Couple supports each other in craft projects

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/24/96.

Ken and Dolly Peterson have lived in Paynesville 17 years and are loving it. A retired tool and dye maker, Ken has turned his free time to woodworking while Dolly has enjoyed doing needlepoint for about 40 years.

Dolly said she learned to needlepoint at Daytons. While living in Minneapolis, Daytons offered a class and she thought it was something she would enjoy.

Her pride and joy is a large floral design she ordered from England. ãIt took me almost a year to finish that picture,ä she said. Over the years Dolly has completed pillows and wall hangings of all sizes.

One particular design consists of violets which she has hanging in the bathroom. She picked the wallpaper to match the needlepoint picture when she redecorated the room.

Dolly explained there are several types of stitches used in needlepoint. The two most common are continental stitch and basket weave. She said the continental stitch distorts the canvas and requires the use of a stretcher frame. The basket weave is done on a diagonal and is easier to do free form as it wonât distort the canvas. However, Dolly said she very seldom does needlepoint when it isnât in a frame. The end result always looks better when it has been done on a frame.

ãKen is very supportive of everything I do,ä she said. ãI was an avid sewer when the kids were little and graduated from sewing to needlepoint.ä Ken made her a lamp which helps her see the colors better on the canvas. He also made a large lazy susan type reel which fits on the lamp where she can place her yarn for easy access.

A Dickens Scholar, Dolly has a special interest in 19th century. The couple has visited England and while there, purchased some needlepoint besides ordering projects.

At present, Dolly is working on a scene of an English lady holding a bird. The canvas comes with colored yarn to outline the picture. Dolly has to match the colors. The yarn under the needlepoint yarn, gives the picture more depth, she said. ãI consider needlepoint good therapy. If Iâm troubled about something, I develop a peace when Iâm working,ä she said.

Ken said it was natural for him to go from tool and dye making to woodwork, as both required close up work and attention to detail. One of his first projects was a bachelorâs chest of drawers. It contains a pull-out desk top on which the owner could work.

Kenâs handiwork can be seen all around their home. He has made a small storage chest with an inlaid pattern, restored his grandmotherâs rocking chair, drew up plans for book shelves, a cradle for his great-granddaughter, and made a gossip bench, to name a few.

Ken made four small chests, one for each of their children and one for themselves. The in-laid pattern is one-sixteenth of an inch thick and is made of birch and walnut. ãIt took me four months to complete,ä he said.

The project he is most proud of is his grandmotherâs rocking chair which is more than 100 years old. ãI found it falling apart and asked my aunt if I could have it,ä he said. ãI found a picture of the chair in an antique magazine and made the parts for the chair to scale from the picture.ä The chair is made of maple and apple wood. He had the whole chair restained as it had no finish left. He used an exacto knife to restore the detailing on the back.

On another project, he saw a picture of a book shelf in a magazine and called the publisher to get a catalog for the plans. He was told they didnât have any plans. He copied the picture and four months later, he gave his wife a new book shelf.

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