Saturday, January 15, 2011

Needlepoint isn't just for women!

Needlepoint has always been a past-time most commonly enjoyed by women. However, as Rittenhouse Needlepoint has proved with its owners, this is not the rule. Needlepoint is a very relaxing craft, and men have been discovering this fact.

The most notable example of a male needlepointer would be Rosey Grier, a former football player from the 1970s who later became an Ordained Minister. He took up Needlepoint to have a way to relax, and found that it was very enjoyable! He also noted that over the years, fueled by the demand for more contemporary and exciting canvases, there have been more canvases designed that men would enjoy stitching. He wrote "Men are attracted to the more modern geometrics and bold colors-and the more of us who do it, the greater the demand will be for designs with masculine appeal, and the more designs there'll be. Even now, you're sure to find something that appeals to your own personal mood-be it serious, amused, bold, or nostalgic" (Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men, p. 18, 1973).

As time goes by and more and more different types of people are becoming interested in Needlepoint, there really are many great new designs being created. You really can find a canvas for pretty much any person. Also, as is the case in our shop, you can even have your own canvas designed FOR you! So if you aren't attracted to any canvas you see, you can always have it custom painted!

In December of 2010, there was a newscast on NBC36 in Davidson, North Carolina about a man who is carrying on his family's tradition of needlepointing Christmas stockings for the new children in the family. The man, named Bob Dillard, started needlepointing 5 years ago. He mainly stitches while watching football and other sports on television. "'It's very similar to paint by numbers,' Dillard says. 'It's just have to watch the needle'" (WCNBC, 2010).

To encourage men of all ages to consider needlepoint as a fun, relaxing pasttime I've compiled a selection of canvases and projects that they may find appealing. It wasn't hard! The hard part was only in limiting the amount I show here!

One of the favorite needlepoint projects for the male customers who frequent our shop are belts. We certainly have a wide selection and they appeal to both genders. The belt shown to the right, a Hamburger and French Fry themed belt by Rosalie Peters is particularly fun! I could see giving this to my younger brother, as a gift and as a way to encourage him to try this as a past-time! He certainly enjoys fast food, so it seems like a great way to include his interests in a relaxing past-time!

Another ingenious project for a guy would be a cummerbund! Similar to the belt, this would be something they would be able to enjoy while needlepointing, but then they would be able to use it afterwards! This cummerbund by Elizabeth Turner is stunning. The colors are great for a man, not too out there, and there's a lot of visual interest with the diamond pattern.

As well as the wearable canvases a man could do, there are a lot of accessories that a man may carry around that could be personalized to suit his interests. One such idea would be a flask! We have kits that include a flask and an canvas which you would stitch and then insert into the front. You can also buy the flask separately and then buy a canvas that fits and that you're attracted to. The Lee canvases in the BJ series fit these flasks perfectly! This would also be a great idea for a gift to give your boyfriend or male friend for Valentine's day or his birthday!

With so many options now-a-days, it's easy to see why men are being more attracted to needlepoint. If you are interested in learning, or you know a man who may be interested in getting started with needlepoint, send him in our direction! We'll definitely show him the ropes and get him prepared for beginning this great past-time.

I feel Rosey Grier has hit the nail on the head with his quote:
"One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself to start needlepointing on the right foot, is to find a needlepoint store that's just right for you. It may take a bit of time, but it's worth the effort. The right needlepoint store is just as important as finding exactly the right wine, or your favorite tennis racket, the kind of pipe you want to smoke, or the perfect bowling ball. Once you find it-you're set for life" (Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men, p. 21, 1973). We hope to be that store for you!

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