When you hear “Marine” many thoughts probably come to mind. Perhaps you think of the Marine Corps slogan “The Few and the Proud.” For some of you, images of the Marine Corps’ Dress Blue uniforms appear. Or maybe it just makes you say “HOORAH!” But most folk do not associate Marines with needlepoint.
Retired Marine Edward Castle knows a thing or two about needlepoint. He has been exhibiting needlepoint and cross-stitch at the Missouri State Fair since 1977. As anyone would expect from a Marine, Mr. Castle does his needlepoint with determination and expert precision. His hard work paid off this year as he took home four first place ribbons and the Best of Division from the Missouri State Fair.
For those of you unfamiliar with the craft, the American Needlepoint Guild defines needlepoint as “any counted or free stitchery worked by hand with a threaded needle on a readily countable ground.” Simply put, needlepoint is a type of embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a stiff, open weave canvas.
Even though he only entered four pieces (that’s right each piece he entered won!), over the last year Mr. Castle also made 65 Christmas ornaments which he did not enter in this year’s Fair. At 95, Mr. Castle says it takes him 35-60 minutes to needlepoint one square inch. He regularly spends a couple of hours each day, patiently stitching his work.
Mr. Castle already has plans for next year’s entries, and we can’t wait to see what they are.
For more information on Mr. Castle’s entries and the rest of the 2013 Missouri State Fair, visit mostatefair.com.
**Photo Credit: Tammy Goodwin, Missouri State Fair.