If you think about it, there are so many lovely sources of design. As needleartists, we take lovely things we find and adapt them to our medium of needlepoint.
I’m a resolute saver of interesting pictures and drawings I like. I have two notebooks stuffed full of things cut from magazines, copies from books, and drawings I like. I’ve started a third
This summer’s massive clean-up project has yielded a box of recipes, inspirational pictures and house ideas, culled from the magazines I’ve thrown away as part of my reduce mania. I think of my recycling bin as “free trash can” — it’s as big as my trash can, I pay for it anyhow, and so why not fill it with stuff which can be recycled. These days I fill them both and still have trash to carry forward to the next week.
One of the first needlepoints I designed on my own was an adaptation of a lovely Arabic mosaic I found in a high-end art magazine. It was square tiles and I adapted it one for one, one stitch per tile. It was lovely.
So I thought this month would be a great time to encourage you to adapt something else, preferably another needleart to needlepoint. Throughout the month, I’ll have articles discussing how you can adapt all kinds of different patterns and make lovely needlepoint. These will also be collected into a eBook which should be available in December sometime.
You might adapt Fair Isle Knitting patterns as I’m doing for my current Twinchy. (I’m not far enough along to show it off.) The basic color is bright red with other bright colors. Traditional design in untraditional colors. It’s based on a haute couture sweater from a couple of years ago. I can’t wait to show it off, but I don’t even have the first stripe finished.
You could do a filet crochet design as needlepoint in color on cream canvas or in cream on dark canvas.
Take a bead pattern for Peyote or Brick Stitch and make it into Brick Stitch needlepoint.
Adapt a cool striped fabric into a Bargello pattern.
Some of the needlepoint I’ll show you takes charts for other charts and turns them into needlepoint. Others use different sources of design, often no counted, and makes them needlepoint.
In the needlepoint ideas we’ll talk about this month, I’ll show you how to do all these things, along with some surprise adaptations.
What is a needleart you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t? Now is the time to find a design you like and adapt it into a little bit of needleart.
Adaptation is such a rich and ready-made source of needlepoint design, I never tire of making new things. Earlier this week I saw a glorious needlepoint by my friend Lorene based on randomly cut pieces of paper. I bought the canvas and stitched a whole needlepoint malachite, entirely in metallics just because I saw a glorious sequined evening gown in these colors in a magazine. I can’t afford the gown, but the needlepoint is wonderful.
This is going to be so much fun!
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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