Today is Hari-Kuyo, the festival of broken needles. It's a lovely Japanese tradition that honors the lowly needle for its service in our art. There's a lovely description of the 400-year-old tradition on Stitchstress Stumbles's blog and pictures on Kikuko's Website. If you want to have your own ceremony, get a slab of tofu, offer up a prayer, meditate, or do whatever you want to offer reverence for our most important tool, then stick your broken or about-to-be-retired needles in it. Of course, the question remains, what do you do with the tofu full of broken needles?
I recently had one of those annoying mishaps with a needle wherein the eye splits, you don't realize it, and you keep wondering why the needle won't stay threaded. There's one for the tofu. This meant, though, that I could open a new package of needles! But what kind? Most of what I do requires a size 24 tapestry needle. Simple, right? Ha! Not so fast. Each brand of needle has its own, unique "feel." Some people swear by Piecemakers, while others say Bohin is unsurpassed. I prefer a petite size, which I've only found from John James. Why the petite? Because I can get it into some pretty tight spots and use that thread down to the last inch if I want to. And I do! Don't ask me why, but I don't like to see long orts. Silly, I know.
My stitching continues on Miss Zombie USA. I'm nearly done! Her lovely skintones are what I'm working on, her face, shoulders, and arms. Last night at my stitching group, I realized that I didn't have the right shade of pink for her rosy cheeks. Who knew a zombie would have rosy cheeks? Perhaps she applied blusher for the pageant. Fortunately, one of my friends had a pink that would do. I'll post a picture as soon as she's done, which I hope will be later this week. Another friend thinks she may have just the right frame for this beauty. I hope so.