A New Obsession: Punch Needle

I'm always excited to try out a new art medium and the fiber arts just instantly attract me. I saw a punch needle set at the store and thought I'd pick it up and give it a try. I hadn't seen one in action before and wasn't sure how to use it but experimentation is good and in this case it was a worthwhile attempt because I think I found my new obsession!

So the basics on how this works: the thread is fed to the needle through the body of it's handle. You can control the length of the needle and that will dictate how fluffy your piece will be. Then you basically just push the needle through the fabric until your needle stops then pull up, move over a tiny bit, and push in again. All the while the thread is being fed through the handle so there's no need to rethread. Use "weavers cloth" because it has a little elasticity to it so when taken off the hoop the fabric bounces back and holds the stitches in place. 

The above image was the start of my first attempt. I was using a large needle with a low length. Some stitches would pop out so for the next attempt (purple) I switched to a smaller needle and lengthened it to make bigger fluffy loops.

That totally helped with the tension. So then (green thread), I started to focus more on changing the direction of my needle instead of turning the piece around and also began to focus on being more consistent in my spacing between punches. When doing punch needle you work on the reverse. So below is how the right side of the work looks.

Sooo fuzzy right!? You can see the difference the length of the needle makes. I was at 2 for the orange and 4 for the purple. If I wanted, I could cut the purple loops and make them more fluffy than loopy.

I'm so excited! I like regular embroidery and cross stitch just fine, but they feel a bit tedious....I think it's all the rethreading. This was so fast and easy! I think I'm going to recreate one of Spencer's double sided monsters using punch needle and then turn it into a plushie.

Also, I found this large embroidery hoop (27" x 17") at the thrift store. I got it for next to nothing because no one could tell what it was and I knew it was going to need legs. 

I made the legs with some of the wood that came with it and legs from an old tv tray. I think after some more experimentation to get my skills consistent I'm going to try a large scale punch needle piece on this frame!