When I was about 11 I took a notion to try tapestry, even though I knew nothing about it.
They had taught us some rudimentary needle skills at primary school (the girls were whisked off once a week to do needlework while the boys mucked about with paints. I have always been grateful for that, even though it seemed a bit anti-feminist at the time).
I think I had also started reading Jean Plaidy historical romances and the heroines were always sitting around making tapestries, when they weren’t being ravished, or raced through the countryside in the dark to avoid A Terrible Fate.
My Granny was the needle-woman in our family, and also the only one who ever had a stash of spare cash (those tapestry kits ain’t cheap, kids), and so she was tapped to talk to Santa about getting it for me. That Christmas I was delighted to receive a tapestry kit of horses (which I was very into at that age) running through the surf.
Granny joked that it would keep me going for the next two years. I laughed. She was right.
I set it down and came back to it over those two years and in the process of finishing it, learned a lot about colour and painting and patience.
I haven’t done any needlepoint or cross stitch since, and I’ve never really felt tempted. I like my knitting because I can do it while I’m doing other things, while fancy needlework requires good light and ‘eyes on the canvas’.
Then I saw this:
Klimt Tapestry Cushion Kit in Coral. Isn’t it gorgeous?