not knitting: punch needle rug

In addition to all the knitting that I have been doing over the past year, my punch needle obsession has also grown - with a lot of learning in the process. Unlike most people, who probably started learning punch needle with a small and manageable project, I jumped in whole-hog with making a rug.

I did my research, and promptly ignored everything I learned; I couldn't find Monks Cloth, but had some leftover burlap. I bought a punch needle on Amazon with no instructions - and then halfway through making the rug realised that I was using it upside-down - and at that point I didn't want to take out what I'd done, so I carried on doing it knowingly wrong. I was committed! I didn't use a frame. I thought I'd use up scrap wool that I had, and then vastly underestimated the amount of yarn that each of the large loops (caused by my upside down needle - they're about an inch tall each!) would take, and had to buy extra yarn to finish it. Twice.

And with all these mistakes, I wouldn't have done a thing differently. I love the end result! It's sumptuous and squishy, it has a gorgeous thick pile. I love the terrazo-style look all of the scrap yarn creates. I love how the bound edging looks. The weight of it is amazing. I will definitely be making more in the future - albeit with the right materials, and the needle the right way around (I've now invested in some beautiful Amy Oxford needles!)

Funnily enough, I was actually first introduced to punch needle years ago at my local state fair (And since Vermont, where I grew up, is a small place, who knows - it might even have been Amy Oxford or a student of hers!). My mom loved the old primitive New England style rugs, and though they weren't my own personal style, I couldn't help but be drawn into the technique. "Rediscovering" this craft as an adult - and the more modern applications for the art form has been a real treat.

And I've done many more projects since, including an adorable passport cover, and a set of beni-ourain rug-inspired pillowed (modelled wonderfully by my cat).

Happy stitching (or punching!)
Molly x


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