Like most of you - I was introduced to stitching by my dear grandmother and great aunts (her sisters). I think I started as a very small child with the sewing cards. Then making potholders on the little loom. At around 7 my grandmother taught me to crochet - I made miles of chains before learning the single crochet and then set about making a small afghan.
We visited one of my great aunts every summer at her mountain home in Highlands NC - that is where I learned to needlepoint. There is still a needlepoint shop in Highlands but of course not the same location or ownership. Canvas work has been an off and on constant throughout my life. Ebbing and flowing in and out of favor.
In the early 1980's I got a new job - at that place of employment were I stayed for 21 years - there were two much older than I women who sat in the lounge every day at lunch time watching Young and Restless and doing cross stitch. HUMMMM - I was interested in this thing called cross stitch. They invited me into their stitching clutch and initiated me by taking me to visit a cross stitch shop across town.
I stitched and knitted off and on for the next 15 years - but not so much as I was heavily involved in exhibiting pure bred dogs. I traveled alot in those days and spent all my energy and extra money on that hobby. However as time went on - things turned again and I became much more involved in stitching and knitting again and less interested in grooming and traveling with my dogs.
I still didn't know anything about reproduction samplers but in the 90's I started taking some classes at our LNS and was introduced to companies like Drawn Thread, Just Nan, Shepherds Bush and so forth. Those were referred to as "samplers" in that shop and I guess they are. Thru an odd set of circumstances - I was introduced to someone who had a "sampler shop" about 50 miles from my house and I was in awe of the vast array of real reproduction samplers she had stitched models of and charts, designs and kits for sale. I was hooked.
So since the late 90's I have been predominately involved in stitching samplers. Also in 1999 I became interested in learning to do traditional wool rug hooking. I love the creative freedom you have with hooking so I have become more and more involved over the years. Still - stitching and samplers hold a special spot in my life.
I have enjoyed my needlework journey - I always say it's the "journey" that counts - not the number of finishes. Some people thrive on finishes and there's nothing wrong with that at all but since I have so many interests along with a demanding career as a network admin - I try to just chill out and enjoy every minute I have and am able to pull a few loops of wool, knit a few rows or cross a few X's.
Hope you enjoy every minute of your needlework journey !