Monday, September 20, 2010

My Punch Needle Adventure with Sandra

Saturday found me driving back to Toronto - second time in less than a week - for a punch needle course taught by Sandra Marshall at Barb D'Arcy's studio. This was a double whammy of fun for me, not just because of the course, but also the chance to spend the day with friends who I don't get to see as much anymore.

Sandra was super organized, as I knew she would be, and had all of the supplies that we needed and the knowledge to guide us along. And both she and Barb provided delicious snacks throughout the day - to keep up our energy (ha ha).

Although I thought I did good prep work ahead, my pattern turned out to be too large for the frame, so some off-the-cuff modifications were needed. When you look at the pattern that I ended up hooking with, it looks as if a very intoxicated bird wearing Sharpie markers staggered repeatedly across the monk's cloth.

But I finally settled on a chair pad pattern that would allow me to play with many of the yarns that I have in two or three large rubbermaid containers - the remnants of many projects from years past.

In case you don't know - in punch needle, the pattern faces you, but the hooked result is on the other side of the frame. So you can't really see what you are doing until you turn it over. And boy, what you see on the other side is a big surprise.

Here is the pattern side (with the bird markings). The strips of under pad protect you from the incredible sharp teeth on the frame, over which the monk's cloth is stretched. They are then stapled into place and removed when you are finished punching the project.


And here is the finished side. If you click on the image, you can see it much closer.



See what I mean?

What fun it was to "play" with colour here and see what happened. I began with a skein of yarn I purchased on its own many years ago to use as my background and just started picking colours that were hiding in the tweed.

And there were a bunch of tricks and tips that are best learned in person. Thanks Sandra for all of those.

It's amazing how fast punch needle hooking is!! I think it appeals to the instant gratification in all of us - this chair pad is the result of only a few hours' work - by a newbie. And I imagine I will only get speedier.

It is very different from traditional hooking and I think there will be a balance of both in my future. But for things like chair pads and gifts, this is amazing to know how to do.

And my yarn stash will be significantly reduced as I move forward on my 14 stair risers that I hope to do this way.

Stay tuned.

(If you didn't read my Ark post from this morning, please click on older post and see it as well.)

1 comment:

Gayle said...

I really like your new chair pad - it sounds like you're really enjoying this new technique. I don't think I'll be trying it myself because I don't have a stash of yarn to use and I REALLY don't need to start another collection! LOL I look forward to seeing the stair rugs you make so hurry! (smile)