Erin of Harp & Thistle Stitchery Making Punch Needle Embroidery

Erin Flanagan Lind of Harp & Thistle Stitchery, a featured Holiday Market vendor, makes Punch Needle Embroidery, an ancient rug-hooking technique that she has shrunken down into a painstakingly and meticulous process in order to make christmas ornaments, watches, wall hangings, wearable art, and accessories. She says that “each tiny loop is hand punched with love.”

We chatted with Erin about how she got into making such unique crafts.

GP: Of all the crafts, why Punch Needle Embroidery? 

Erin: My Mom introduced me to Punch Needle Embroidery over 6 years ago. I’ve been hooked ever since! (Ha! Get it?) I’m an actor and singer in New York City. Auditions, Rehearsals, and TV/Film shoots are filled with a lot of wait time, so I would always bring my punch needle projects to work on. Fellow cast mates would tell me I should sell them, so three years ago I took their advice and opened up shop. My husband Corey photographs all the merchandise and ships the items. We’re both theatre nerds, we met on a touring show 14 years ago. I was in the cast, he was the show’s Technical Director.

GP: How do shopper react when they see your work?


Erin: A lot of people tell me “Hey! I’m crafty and I’ve never seen that form of embroidery before! What the heck is that?!” 

GP: So what the heck is it? 

Erin: Punch Needle or Needle Punch, is an ancient rug-hooking technique shrunken down onto a much smaller scale and uses a special twice-threaded hollow needle, embroidery floss and weaver’s cloth. What makes this technique so unique is that the needle itself is adjustable, so some loops can be made longer for depth. It’s what makes punchneedle so special, and different from all other forms of embroidery. 

GP: What makes your particular Punch Needle so special?

Erin: I use the finest hand-dyed high end embroidery floss for even more texture in my designs. My husband and I even hand dye our own weaver’s cloth for our wall hangings and pendants. My sachet and Christmas ornament creations are especially unique as I stuff them with handmade mixes of herbs, spices and oils. Winter themed sachets are filled Maine Balsam fir and Eucalyptus or with a mix of lavender, vervain, tea roses and balsam fir for a refreshing woodsy goodness.

GP: Which of your creations is a crowd favorite?

Erin: My avocado pin is one of my best sellers, I think because it’s three dimensional and so life like – and to be honest, a bit odd. 🙂 NYC is not known for its overly friendly commuters. I wear my own avocado on my coat, and am stopped daily by smiling people dying to know about this quirky, fun pin.

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