Knitters, Needlepointers, Cross-Stitchers, Rughookers

There are so many fun needlearts out there, and I was thinking back on all of the things that I have done, this past weekend. It might’ve had something to do with cleaning out basement shelves and coming across a ridiculous amount of cross-stitch materials that I’m fairly sure I’ll never use again. I thought I’d share with you what I used to do, and you can share with me what other needlearts you have done or still do.

I started with knitting. I took a stab at it in junior high and I remember the ugly maroon scarf that grew in width as I worked on it. I also remember the ugly yellow and green sweater that my mom cast on for me. I knitted the body, and she did the arms and finished it up. I don’t ever remember wearing it. Then in high school I was in a production of “To Kill A Mockingbird.” It was a BIG part. I was a member of the jury in the courtroom. I also had a side-part as a wandering towns-person. My line (that’s singular) was, “Yonder are some townfolk.” Like I said, it was a big part. But what does this have to do with knitting? I had to sit and knit in the courtroom. I guess that made me look like a typical town lady doing jury duty. I think I was knitting with that same ugly maroon yarn and I’m pretty sure whatever I made was thrown away after the play. The knitting bug never stuck back then.

DSC00535.JPGIn college I moved on to counted cross-stitch and was a huge fan of that for years and years. Here’s a picture of the quickest thing I could find for a photo today. πŸ™‚ DSC00536.JPGI cross-stitched for enjoyment, and I cross-stitched for pay. For several years, I stitched many cover models for the Cross-Eyed Cricket Collection. Here is a picture of my very first leaflet – I did the stitching on the denim jumper. I think I stitched for 25 or more of these leaflets and I always thought the best part of that was getting the leaflet for free. I would’ve bought it anyway. Very nice gals to work for. I don’t know how they keep coming up with designs, several times a year. It was fun to be at the TNNA Market this summer, and find their booth! We had a good time catching up.

DSC00533.JPGMy next hobby in the needlearts was needlepointing. I liked this a lot, as there were no charts to follow and everything came out so great looking. What I didn’t like was how costly it was to have it finished off. Yikes! I kept thinking how much less I’d be spending if it were cross-stitching, but I was enjoying the needlepointing too much. I think I have two or three belts that are done but not “finished off”. Oh well. I enjoyed doing them. I will probably do more needlepointing someday.

And then of course, came the knitting again. I started back up because a friend was doing it and I thought, “Hey – I used to do that!” I went out and bought the “Teach Yourself How to Knit” book and just couldn’t get the hang of it. Finally I realized the problem. It was teaching me how to knit by throwing the yarn, and I had learned (ooooh so many years ago) by picking the yarn. I made the switch and it was as easy as pie. Isn’t that funny that after all those years, my brain remembered the other way and refused to learn a new method?

I have also tried my hand at quilting (which I enjoyed briefly) and sewing (which I enjoyed a little longer than briefly), but not rughooking. There is a nice rug hooking/knitting store in town, and the rug patterns look very enticing. But I am not adding another thing to my plate. At least not until I have knit up my sock stash. πŸ™‚

So – I’m interested in hearing which different areas you have tried and enjoyed. Is knitting your favorite? Or something else? And have you evolved from one to another, or do you just keep adding more in and keeping the old hobbies, too?

Sheri gladthatIhavesettledonknittingandnotplanningtomoveawayfromthisone!


  1. Hello all, What fun to remember the crafts I’ve learned, practiced and enjoyed over the years! (When did I get that old?) I started with knitting as a little kid, my mother taught me. Then her mother, my Nana, taught me to tat. Next was cross-stitch, then crewel embroidery and needlepoint, and I was doing all those crafts at the same time, as the spirit moved me, or as I had money to indulge them. In the end, knitting won out as my favorite, but not for long. In the early 80’s I learned to spin, and spinning and knitting are now my main languages. I love other needlework, but the things I made were more decorative than functional. Now I can spin a Corriedale fleece into a wonderfully rich and body-full yarn and knit a gorgeous sweater out of it, something I can wear for years, or give away. I make garments that are fashionable (from patterns in the knitting magazines and blogs), garments that are traditional (Arans, Scandinavian style sweaters, Fair Isles), and garments that my family wears to carry the firewood. It is endlessly satisfying to process a beautiful fleece from a sheep you know, or bought from a supplier you love, and spin a yarn and knit it into a sweater.

    Of course none of that stops me from buying beautiful sock yarns.

    Thanks to all for their wonderful stories. Sherri, do you ever think about carrying dyed rovings as well as sock yarns?

  2. My fifth grade teacher taught a bunch of us to knit and crochet during long winter recess periods. I couldn’t knit. But I did get the hang of crochet, and indulged in that off and on for another, oh, thirty-odd years. Very odd years.

    Along that path, I’ve also indulged in needlepoint, cross-stitch (do NOT have the patience for either) and a bit of sewing. I like sewing. I hate cutting things out, but I like the seaming up bit.

    Knitting sticks with me. I picked up the pointy thingees again three years ago, determined that THIS time, I was going to learn and conquer. And behold — here I am, finally. Sitting down, stroking the Apple Laine yarn and finishing a few things every now and then. Content.

  3. What a fun subject to read about! Knitting was the first needlecraft that I learned, taught to me by mother when I was about 8 or so, and her aunt taught me to crochet. I’ve continued to do both for 40 years (admittedly, more crochet than knitting until a couple of years ago). When I was in high school, I learned to sew in home ec, and over the years have done garment sewing, home dec and more recently, costume work for dd’s dance studio (pays for yarn!). I also took up crewel embroidery as a teenager, but that eventually gave way to cross stitch. I like to stitch samplers, and two of my favorite designers are The Needle’s Prayse and Jeannette Douglas (ever see her “Time To Knit’ sampler? Has a little sock and some sheep on it! It’s on my to-do list.) I tried rug hooking once, but that never stuck with me. I accumulated alot of cross stitch patterns, magazines and thread over the last 30 years, and I finally cleaned all of that out last fall. I’m down to just a few things that fit in one tote bag sitting at one end of my sofa – the knitting’s at the other end :=).

    A few years ago I started to quilt, and that became a serious passion. I still love to sew, but it’s not as frequent any more, since I no longer have a dedicated sewing space/room where I can leave everything out. For the most part these days, I knit, and occasionally crochet or cross stitch when the mood moves me. My biggest problem is not having enough time to spend on all the projects I’d like to do!

    And speaking of time, I think I’ll be able to get some knitting in tonight thanks to the big winter storm making it’s way across the country. Kid’s activities are cancelled for the evening and probably school tomorrow. Think I as happy about it as the kids!

  4. Mom started me on cross stitch when I was little, but it didn’t end well. She finished the project because I just couldn’t get it. After that, I didn’t touch anything crafty until Thanksgiving 2004, when I helped Mom with the needlepoint on the stocking she was making for Anna.

    Then I picked up knitting in May of 06, and I think it will be my only real hobby. I sewed my first object today, though. A pillow case, and I’m very thrilled with myself.

  5. When I was eight, my dad took me to visit his family in Alaska–my aunt, two grandmas and a greatgrandma–who were all crafting maniacs. (All those long, dark days in winter, ya know?) They converted me in about two days. I came home loaded with small quilts and sewing projects and have been crafty ever since. The only thing they didn’t teach me was knitting–I picked that up on my own, in high school. I still love quilting, but I don’t do it much since it requires large chunks of time and space–I can’t just wad it up, toss it in my bag and take it along anywhere like I can a sock! πŸ™‚ My mom’s mom taught me cross-stitch around that time too–I still love embroidery but it suffers from similar portability problems.

    (My aunt recently took up knitting again! Word is that she’s completely hooked. πŸ™‚ )

  6. i just got home from work and a haircut and thought i’d check out the blog replies. how relaxing and entertaining these minutes have been reading all about the talented folks out there. had some laughs along the way and i just really enjoyed this today. hope you all have fun crafting days ahead.

  7. Well, I began with crochet. Then I learned counted cross stitch. Made a few latch-hook rugs. I learned to sew from my mom, who made my school clothes and Halloween costumes until I complained too much. Moved on to painting terra cotta pots, and gave away a lot of those for wedding gifts in college. Then I started stamping, and moved from cards to scrapbook pages. I finally learned to knit about 14 months ago when I fell in the parking lot at school and was stuck on the couch for two weeks. Right now I am also beading crystal collar bars for my horse show friends to wear with their show suits. The funny thing is the only crafty thing that I don’t really do anymore is latch hooking. I have made our upstairs bedroom the craft room that right now looks like Hurricane Michele hit…. I just wish that I could make money doing these hobbies that I am so passionate about!

  8. I started knitting when I was 7 years old. I have done cross stitch, needlepoint, crewel, spinning, and tried quilting. I always go back to knitting. I find spinning very meditative. Knitting is relaxing and I like taking it wherever I go. Spinning is kind of what I do when I want to tune the whole world out.

    Knitting is by far my favorite and I find it comforting. But I think I knit better than I do any of the others.

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