Monday, November 2, 2009

Feeling a little punchy.

Here is my first nearly-finished punch needle project. I think of it as "test" more than anything else, since I really didn't know what to expect and I'm still feeling my way along. Although I had planned to have a private lesson last weekend at OHCG school, as it turned out simply seeing someone with the punch needle properly threaded was all I needed to have my "duh" moment and get started. Truth be told, I could still use a clean up clipping and shifting lesson, but for now this will do.

As suspected, it is incredibly quick to do, especially once you get into the rhythm. And for something as fun as a little snowman mat (which will probably go on a table top somewhere) it was a great exercise. If you look closely, I still have much shifting and clipping to do to clean it up. But overall, I am quite pleased. I love the little candy cane effect I got when working with red and white yarn together. And I think this indicates that choice of yarn and combinations created add greatly to the textural effect. The trees show a bit of that, although I had to pull from my current stash. I think I need to find some "sparkle" to add to this mat before I finish the edges.

Will it ever be a replacement for the other kind of hooking in my life? I'm not so sure. I don't find it quite as textural in appearance and, truth be told, I don't find the actual hooking as interesting. I'm sure with more practice, I would be able to master the "directional" hooking that would give it more dimension. So, it can exist as a complementary kind of hooking.

The other thing I realized is that I much prefer to look at my work "right side up" and see how it is evolving. For those of you who aren't familiar with punch needle, your pattern is on the side facing you, but the loops are formed on the under side of the frame, so you can't see your work unless you turn it over. And since the pattern is on the top side (while the loops are on the bottom side), there is no pattern to relate the loops to as you go. When you turn it over to "admire" your work, there are blobs of yarn with no pattern for context.

When I said in a previous post that the "veggie chopstix" rug would probably have taken me half the time (if not less), I think that was confirmed in this exercise. It would have been considerably faster. But I wouldn't have had the pleasure of admiring each veggie as it unfolded and running my hands over the loops (as I realized I am wont to do). Also, I learned that textured yarn, which is the entire border of the veggie rug, cannot be used in the needle, as it jams and pulls out loops.

Will I punch again? Undoubtedly, and it certainly is the speedy way to do simple designs. I have heard of teacher gifts that were done - start to finish - in a couple of hours and now I know that it indeed possible. And I have greater admiration for the more sophisticated punch needle projects I have seen.

But I think I will save the special projects for traditional hooking, which I now appreciate more for the tactile and admiration aspects that they offer me.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Lovely job, Wendi!

I have wondered about this technique too, so I appreciated your remarks.

As you said, November 1st, denotes a time to get busy in the gifting area!

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