Learning Punch Needle

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I love trying out a new craft, it’s just so nice to be a beginner at something isn’t it? I still feel that way about knitting, with every project I learn something new and it’s such a great feeling watching those skills grow and develop. I’ve been following some awesome punch needlers for a while now and was thinking it looked like a great way to use up yarn scraps so when I was asked if I’d like to try the new Milward range of punch needle tools I immediately said YES!

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I was sent the regular & fine wooden handled punch needles as well as the interchangeable punch needle set and my favourite bit – the punch needle embroidery hoop bowl thing! That’s not it’s official name I don’t think but that’s what I am calling it. Basically, it’s like a bowl made up of one huge embroidery hoop on one side if you are working on a large piece, and a smaller embroidery hoop on the other side for smaller pieces, the best thing is because it is a bowl shape and not flat – if you are working on your lap you aren’t going to stab yourself in the leg with the needle! If I were working on a flat embroidery hoop that would definitely happen to me!

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Thank goodness the bowl stops me from stabbing this in my leg!

I did lots of reading before I started on my punch needle embroidery as I didn’t want to get it wrong. But guess what?! I got it wrong! And that is OKAY. In fact, isn’t that kind of the best thing about learning a new craft? I don’t want to make mistakes with sewing – I don’t want to ruin nice fabric or have something not fit me. But when leaning something new it is totally ok to be fearless and just go for it – you are a beginner, you are supposed to make mistakes!

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This linen did not work for me!

I had read that linen was a good backing fabric for a punch needle, in fact the punch needle artist I was reading about said it was her favourite backing fabric. Great! I have some linen scraps in my scrap bag! Sadly, I tried with several of the different punch needle sizes and I just could not get the yarn to stay in the work. It was like the linen was too loose weave and it didn’t have enough tension to hold the yarn in place.

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I then did a bit more reading and it turns out weaver’s cloth or monk’s cloth are the best fabrics for punch needle. Ever heard of those? No me neither. I had also read that aida cloth was a possible and as I had a cross stitch project I haven’t framed yet I tried it on a cheeky corner of that and it worked! Not wanting to gamble with an unknown fabric I went to my local haberdashery and bought some of the largest gauge aida cloth they had.

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I got it pulled really tight on the embroidery hoop and actually had my husband help me put it on so I could get it as absolutely tight as possible – it need’s to be as tight as a drum-skin for this to work. I then set about experimenting with the different needles and  playing with yarn textures and colour.

It isn’t easy and I sometimes pull the yarn back out the reverse side, and the back of my work isn’t as neat as those punch needle experts’ work. BUT I am having a lot of fun learning a new skill and I think it is so pretty that I basically think no matter what I do it will look nice!

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I am only at the start of my punch needle journey but when I have finished this little art piece that I am going to put in a hoop and hang on the wall I have big plans to make a lovely squishy textured cushion cover – it might take a while though as I plan to only use up yarn scraps from my knitting projects!

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For more information on Milward products, feel free to email: groves@stockistenquiries.co.uk

Disclaimer: ⭐️Punch needle supplies were provided free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions are totally my own, and I wouldn’t recommend something I didn’t like!

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