Couch Pillows and Needlepoint Intestines

There’s only so  much time and energy in a day, and doing things around the house feels like it takes FOREVER because there always seems to be a domino effect. We can’t decorate the TV room until we get a credenza for the TV but we can’t get a credenza for the TV until we have the floors redone but we can’t get the floors redone until there’s pavers down in front of the basement doors so they can get supplies in and the pavers can’t go in until… Oh my. Well, enough dominos have fallen at this point that we have new “luxury vinyl” floors (instead of really nasty carpet) in the basement and I’m saying to heck with everything else because I don’t want to begrudge how unfinished the room is every time we snuggle up for a movie in here (and, honestly, every day since I have …


The Beginning of a Purple Mystery Organ Needlepoint

I’ve started a new needlepoint project to follow up my Anatomical Heart Needlepoint. I decided to do it in 6 shades of purple that I hand dyed. It will be several inches larger than the heart, perfect for turning into a pillow for our couch :) I tied a bunch of hanks of natural 50% wool 50% silk yarn (following my own tutorial) and dyed them in a pot on my stove. I wantonly mixed red and blue dye in two different batches (the top and bottom rows shown above) so I ended up with two slightly differently hued sets. To get the variety of shades along the top row, I put the first hank in for 15m, the second for 5 min, the third I dipped in, and the last two I got wet before dipping in. Dying them in sequential order, the earlier hanks take up the majority …


5 Tips for Successful Needlepoint Projects

As I have dived into my new craft obsession, needlepoint, I’ve learned some tips for successful needlepoint projects. These are all things I learned from stitching my Anatomical Heart Needlepoint.


Bougle’s Heart – Needlepoint from an Anatomical Heart Drawing

I am a woman newly obsessed with needlepoint, and this anatomical heart needlepoint is the first evidence I have to show of my obsession. My work is based on an anatomical drawing by Joulien Bougle from a book of drawings published in 1899 called Le corpus humain et grandeur naturelle: planches coloriées et superposées, avec texte explicatif. The images are available online through the U.S. National Library of Medicine. I’ve recently started exploring anatomical drawings through needlework as a way to connect my love of science to my love of craft. This heart is my first finished project, but I’ve already started stitching another and scheming even more. Some data: The design uses 11 colors which I hand-dyed. On standard 14 count needlepoint canvas, it makes a finished size of just over 8″ x 10″. The design is 115 stitches by 145 stitches. It used over 200 yards of fingering …


Hand Dyed Yarn for Needlepoint

Rather than buy a bunch of yarn for my new hobby of needlepoint, I decided to dye my own yarn from a spool of 50% wool 50% silk yarn that I already had (I’m almost done with the sweater I’ve been knitting out of the yarn, slowly but surely). I measured out lengths of yarn in different size bundles corresponding to the different amounts of each color in my finished design. (Having never actually needlepointed before, I took a wild guess as to how much yarn I would need and figured better too much than too little).


Needlepoint, SF

Add one more hobby to my list – needlepoint. I was recently drawing a pattern for what I thought would be a cross-stitch. But when I got it finished, it struck me that it would be beautiful as a needlepoint. So, I set out to start a needlepoint project. My first stop was Needlpoint, Inc., a retail store in downtown San Francisco that is dedicated to, you guessed it, needlepoint.