I have dabbled in most of the needle arts. I’ve knit a few blankets and scarves, crocheted stuffed animals and baby clothes and embellished a few hand towels and aprons with embroidery, but needlepoint has always been my favorite. The reason is quite simple—I don’t like to count. Needlework is what I like to do with my hands when I am doing something else. I’m a fidgety sort, you might say. I’ve never been able to just watch TV, for example. I have to be stitching or perusing a magazine or at the very least, doing a crossword at the same time.
Perhaps I am a victim of the new math taught to me in elementary school. To this day, I am confused as to why they taught us base 12 numbering and I thank the heavens above that calculators were invented. And I don’t mean those fancy graphing calculators my kids now need in school. I’m talking the simple four functions that make simple arithmetic easy.
When the kids were little, I spent many, many hours poolside making sure no one drowned. What to do when I was sick of being in the water? Needlepoint, of course. If I had to count stitches or remember which row I was on, it never would have worked. My children simply would not have survived or I would of gone out of my mind with the monotony of sitting by the pool for hours on end. Similarly, on long trips with my husband, who always insists on driving, I needlepoint. Again, if I had to keep track of a pattern, who would be there to alert my husband that he way too close to the red Volkswagen bug up in front of us or about to crash into that car with the brake lights illuminated way up ahead? All of which leads me to conclude that, quite simply, needlepointing saves lives. Children don’t drown and cars don’t crash thanks to carefully stitch-painted canvases.