It’s always around this time of year in the fall when I start looking for craft projects to keep me company for the long cold winter months to come. If you read my previous post in this category, you will note that the last fall/winter craft I selected was the Beekeeper’s Quilt.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed working on the quilt, I only made it as far as knitting approximately 15 hexapuffs before throwing in the towel. I think that it is a lovely project for any knitter who is quicker at the needles than I, but for me, it was just too time consuming of a project to complete.
This year, I would to invest my time into a project that I can see through from start to finish. Enter, the punch needle.
Needle punching is a craft or art technique of looping yarn, floss or ribbon in the format of a pattern through fabric. The looping gives the pattern a rug like appearance. The origins of needle punching are debatable. Some claim it has been in existence since the ancient Egyptians began making needles out of hollow bird bones, others claim needle punching originated from the Old Believers in Russia, while others trace its origins back to Germany or England. Needle punching is used to embroider items, create wall hanging, ornaments, pillows, rugs and other décor and crafts. Needle punching is done as a hobby and commercially.~ WikiHow
I have found many great resources online for needle punching, but I think the most valuable was this video I found on YouTube by Shmoxd. I love it because he didn’t edit out any of the mistakes he made while he was trying to figure out the craft for himself.
I also like this video because the projects that he comes up with are a lot more modern than what is available through most other resources. It inspired me to try some punch needle of my own.
I decided to go with pretty patterns in all of my favourite colours with my punch needle project. I bought two separate punch needles to experiment with, both of which I bought off of Amazon, one for approximately $12 and the other for about $30. The more expensive one came with 3 differently sized needles (small, medium, large) and was the punch needle most recommended by the tutorials I checked out on YouTube.
There is also an Oxford needle punch which is used for the application of thicker yarns and sells for around $30 that is available from the Amy Oxford website. That will be my next punch needle project.
You will also need weaver’s cloth, which I bought from Amazon, although it was only available by the bolt and so I would recommend going to your local fabric store and buying just enough to get you started.
Follow the directions that come with your punch needle to thread the needle, first in through the back and then through the needle.
I used a washable ink to mark my pattern on the back of the weaver’s cloth, but you don’t have to do that if you are confident enough to stitch freehand.
When you are working, you have to always lead with the flat edge of the needle or else your stitches won’t hold. Try to keep your floss loose so you don’t drop any stitches that way either.
Above is my first punch needle project ever. I was going to do another one so it would look better for the photograph, but then I thought that there is some value in seeing where I started, near the bottom, and how I improved as I worked toward the top. This whole project took me about thirty minutes!!
As you can see, once I got used to working the punch needle, I was better able to manage my stitch lines. I think I will do one or two more of these practice hoops and then try my hand at creating something that I can hang in my office.
All in all, I would say that I like punch needle a lot. It is super simple and, as long as you don’t punch your fingers (which I did more than a few times), it is super fun. There is barely a learning curve involved in mastering this craft, so if you are looking for something that doesn’t involve a lot of time to learn, punch needle may be for you!
If you have created your own punch needle craft you can post it on instagram with the tag #SheZineMakes so we can check it out!!