the japanese tradition of honouring broken needles
all over japan, and indeed the whole world, many women will gather together their broken needles and lay them to rest in a simple ceremony
some at shrines or buddhist temples, some in backyards, parks, forests
we find our shrines where we need to, i think
i haven't yet decided where i will place mine...
below is a needle case i designed to teach at the needle arts guild in whitehorse many years ago
silk threads on linen in counted thread embroidery
it's my "fancy-dress" needle case
inside is wool felt to keep the needles sharp
and on the back is a charming poem i found in an old needlework book
(the author was not credited)
those four lines have become my mantra over the years....
below is the very first sewing case i made
it was on the cover of a needlework magazine down at our local bookstore and i was instantly drawn to it - that was the first needlework magazine i ever bought!
i spent a lot of time trying to find the linen
and even longer making it
i use this every single day when i am at home but it doesn't travel with me as i am so terrified of losing it
i made it in 1989
and thank goodness i did find that linen or it would have been long worn out by now!
i loved it so much i designed my own version for my class project when i took my teaching course through The Embroiderer's Guild of America
i loved counted thread embroidery
and hearts were very popular in cross-stitch back then
this one is worked on cotton fabric with flower thread and so it goes in my travel case as it wouldn't get much wear and tear
|i just noticed the thread fluff in the photo but don't have time to re-take it!|
i found a different version of the poem that was featured in the first case
and below is a beautiful case made for me by a lady i work with
she knows how much i love crazy-quilting
beautifully stitched with a special place for many needles
and plenty of space to store the bent and broken ones!
i have always said that whenever i pick up my needle
the world seems to float away
and i am lost in the rhythm of the stitch
the glint of needle
i do love this little poem
and recite it often in my head
and the other one that comes to mind?
"i pray that risen from the dead
i may in glory stand
a halo perhaps upon my head
but a needle in my hand"
susan from "plays with needles" blog is hosting a link up event so please head over there to check out all the different blog posts about the ever wonderful, ever giving needle!