My list of future (someday) projects keeps getting longer.

Contemplating our living room, The Resident Male and I have decided that the perfect thing for over the fireplace would be a tapestry. So we went looking at various tapestry reproductions sold on-line. The ones in our price range are pretty uniformly horrible – bad cartoons (the drawing on which the weaving is based), cheap looking materials/bad drape, and garish color choices predominate. I won’t even mention the awful chenille surface type and printed things that look more like stuff that along with 8-foot tall inflatable teddy bears are normally sold out of the back of vans parked at busy intersections in the summer.

As we were looking we also saw some of the painted canvases intended for needlepoint. Big ones that encompass scenes or details of historical woven tapestries. The better ones imported from France seem to offer more faithful reproductions of their inspiring works than do all of the modern woven reinterpretations.

Now I’ve done needlepoint before. It’s not my favorite, but technical implementation of the style is not a barrier. Plus I know exactly how long (read forever) it takes to do one of these. My mother did a a needlepoint tapestry reproduction in the early 1970s, working a rendition of this classic bit of canvas:


She did it in DMC embroidery floss, stitching the details including the hunter’s face, gloves and tassels, plus the hound, songbird, and hawk all in petite point. It’s heavy from all that cotton, but substantial enough (and mounted well enough) to resist distortion or curl. That she did most of it in basketweave rather than tent stitch has helped it keep its shape. The thing is a bit less than a yard wide and a bit more than 4 feet tall. It took her the better part of a year. Maybe a bit more. It’s roughly the same size as the one that caught our eye – a reproduction of a French woven tapestry from the mid 1500s (the clothing style is early 1500s, but the weavers may have been deliberately trying to imitate earlier works):


In canvas, even with the full thread kit, this one would be within my price range. Not counting a year or more to stitch it, of course. Will I end up doing this? Will the curtains I described yesterday come first? Will I stay true to knitting, and deaf to the enticements of other needle arts? Only time will tell…

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One response

  1. I think you should just go "steal" the one your mother made. 🙂

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