Needlepoint is a type of embroidery done with a large needle and yarn on a canvas background. The fact that you can use a large blunt needle and that canvas has large holes make it ideal for children and those who are visually impaired. That doesn’t mean that those of us who enjoy needlework wouldn’t enjoy needlepoint also.
Your canvas can be true cloth canvas or the plastic canvas that is readily available in craft stores and most fabric stores. Cloth canvas is available and like the plastic canvas comes in many different mesh counts. The smaller the number, the smaller the holes and the smaller the stitches. The most common canvas is the 10 mesh or 10 holes per inch.
Any yarn can be used, although the lighter weights yarns may require two or three stitches to cover the same area.
Any large eyed needle will work well, tapestry needles are the best, being blunt with very large eyes. Thread your needle as you would for any sewing, but don’t tie a knot in the end, needlepoint doesn’t require knots.
Your basic stitch is a diagonal from one row to the next. Don’t worry about the back of your work, you will eventually get into a pattern that will be attractive, and you will more than likely cover it when you are finished. You can work from left to right, or right to left, use which ever is more comfortable for you. Just remember you will continue the entire piece with the stitches going in the same direction.
When you have completed one row, you will use the top of the preceding row to start your next row. Try to keep your thread tension the same. You don’t need to pull excessively tight, just pull out the loose yarn.
Now you have the basic idea, what can you make? Almost anything, For a simple project that can be completed in a few hours, try a keychain, cut two rectangles of plastic canvas about 3X5inches. Cover each piece with a pattern of colors using scraps of yarn. When both pieces are done, whip stitch three sides together and then finish the opening with a whip stitch that leaves the side open. Attach a keyring, and away you go.
How about a more ambitious project such as a tissue box cover. Cut the plastic canvas to fit over the average tissue box in your house, make sure you add four or six extra holes on each side so it will slide over easily. Cut the top to match your tissue opening. Decorate to match your decor and stitch the pieces together.
If you prefer to work with cloth canvas you could make a pillow. Simply cut a piece of canvas the size desired, and stitch away. When it is finished, use a heavy material such as denimn to create a pillow.
Try experimenting with some simple stitch changes, having your stitches go in opposite directions on each row, or going diagonally across two rows. You are the artist you decide what you like, and do it.