You may have been thinking about learning needlepoint. Or you may have been thinking about teaching a friend or family member to needlepoint. But you’ve stopped because you thought you would need expensive books and materials.
You can learn needlepoint inexpensively.
Let’s begin with materials. You need, at a minimum, needles, thread, and canvas. Tapestry needles can often be found made by DMC or Anchor at fabric and craft stores. If you will be learning on 14 mesh canvas (my preference for beginners) look for size 20 needles.
Perle cotton and embroidery floss are the least expensive threads. Because perle cotton doesn’t need to be separated, it’s best for new stitchers. Even better perle cotton isn’t very expensive. While needlework shops will have better selections of colors, you can also find perle cotton in limited colors at many fabric, quilting and craft shops. Buy #5 perle.
To begin you will only need one color of thread.
Needlepoint canvas is probably the most difficult material to find. Often at needlework shops you can find small pieces of canvas at lower prices. Even better if you stitch or know someone who does get some canvas from them. An 8″ square is more than enough.
If the shop did not tape the edges of your canvas for you, you need to tape them to make them smooth. While it isn’t my favorite, masking tape will work for this first project.
That’s the minimum you need. But your stitching will look better if you use stretcher bars. Use stretcher bars made for needlework not artist’s stretcher bars. Needlework bars are thinner and lighter. For this little project, you can use plain old thumbtacks to mount the canvas (next week there will be a post about mounting your canvas).
Now you have your materials.
Next is picking the text to use. I’m suggesting three options, one free, and two inexpensive.
My email course, Right from the Beginning, is free. Almost 2000 people have taken it. You can sign up on this page.
TNNA has put together an excellent needlepoint book called How to Needlepoint. It is available in print in many shops and on Amazon.
The best inexpensive book on needlepoint I know is the classic Hope Hanley book 101 Needlepoint Stitches (available in my Amazon shop). This book is published by Amazon, so it is inexpensive and with 101 stitches, this book will keep you happy for quite awhile.