When I started designing a needlepoint stocking for my first child, I had never done needlepoint. Lots of sewing, knitting and embroidery yes, but no needlepoint. The year was 1978 and my preference for making as many things as possible by hand was well in place. I learned what a unique design challenge it is to create a design based on a grid and to shade and color pictures with yarn. I love it still, even though my time for such work is limited.
Below I have posted a series of photos of the two stockings I eventually completed for son Eli and daughter Emily. The third is for Eli's daughter Ada, and it is a work in progress as you will see. On Christmas Eve it will be filled by Santa if all the stars and yarns are aligned.
Is there anything sweeter than to stitch something for a beloved child? To keep the little one in mind, stitch by stitch, throughout the creation of the object, trusting that this thing will be used for many years and that a bit of the maker's heart and soul remains entwined with the stitches even after she, the stitcher, is gone? No wonder the tradition is worldwide and ongoing, especially for the mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers whose fingers speak a unique language of love.