Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A St. Charles Report

I've heard from Vicky DeAnglis who was at the St. Charles market and emailed me a report to post for everyone.  Here's what Vicky has to say:

"There is a new publication just released called Spool that was introduced at the St Charles market. It is covering counted cross stitch, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, crewel and assorted sundry needlearts. It is about 40 pages of wonderful articles, cross stitch charts, embroidery, punch needle, knitting, crochet and even needlepoint! Their website is http://www.spoolmag.com

I have some copies that I will be bringing with me to ANG seminar in Columbus!

By now you have seen the Ladies of the Night from Leigh. I just love them all and it would be hard to decide which one to stitch! Of course the one with the black cat would be my favorite, but then there is the one where she is sewing her web with a needle that could be fun to do! I love what ThreadworX has done with stitching the first one and that is available with a stitch guide and threads. 
[Note:  ThreadworX stitched Remilia whom you can see at this link.]

What they did with her hair is very clever! The canvas that they are painted on has been hand dyed with some undertones of greys and speckled black spots that makes it so very unusual.

Melissa Shirley debuted her Debbie Mumm collection and very soon will be seen on her website. There is the 12 days of Christmas, these darling owls that I just wanted to pick up and start stitching now! A large selection of Halloween designs, which really makes the decision tough enough to say, I will just do them all! I think that in total there were over 3 dozen new designs soon to be in your favorite needlepoint store.

There is a new cotton floss out with some of the best periwinkles and aquas that makes you want to just start stitching with it! It is a 5 ply cotton called High Cotton, available now in 74 colors and soon to be growing to 125 by January. Hyla Hurley of Point of It All Designs is the creator of this great new thread.

Brown Paper Packages of Silk and Ivory fame has a new thread called Stardust, which is a silk and merino wool blend with an additional strand of sparkle in it. The colors now of this new thread is Really Red, White, Pewter and Toast. I am anxious to try the white on some Holiday Ornaments."

Vicky promises more information once she has time to unpack and catch her breath.  Thank you, Vicky!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Moving Right Along

Mindy's Fall Pumpkin
I've been promised a report from St. Charles from an eyewitness of all the fun, but that will have to wait until my spy gets home, unpacks and rests up a little.  I have heard from one of my spies that the Elaine Magnin store in San Francisco is getting ready to reopen in the same location under another name.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I've updated the CH Stitch Guides blog with a short article on Eye Candy and Painted Pony Designs, both of whom have stitch guides available for some of their canvases.

Mindy has posted new photos on her website.  There's a slide show on the home page but I prefer these images.  The Fall Pumpkin photo above is Mindy's, by the way.

I've been browsing various designer websites, looking for new things.  Here are some selections I've found. I don't recognize the designs so I hope they are truly new and not just new to me.  The sites below are (in no particular order) Associated Talents, Maggie and Labors of Love.



Now I'm going to settle down and work on another Stars section.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

SuZy Murphy Books: A Review

Three of SuZy Murphy's Books
Until recently I had never seen any of SuZy Murphy's books.  Living in the Back of Beyond as I do, bookstores that carry stitching books for me to browse are few and far between.  It's been at least 10-12 years since I found a stitching book in Borders Books or Books a Million.  The trend now is self-publishing books that are not released in regular bookstores and I simply don't visit a needlepoint shop often enough to see these books, much less have time to study them.  Fortunately, this last week I bought the latest in her series (Mini Stitches) and a friend sent me two of her SuZy Murphy books since she doesn't use them much now that she is more of a knitter than a needlepointer.

A Peek Inside
I spent the weekend studying the books.  They are all stitch dictionaries and the format for all three books are the same.  Stitches are organized into categories:  straight stitches, cross stitches, diagonal stitches, small stitches, etc.  Each chapter covers one of these categories.   There is a diagram for each stitch, a few notes about how to stitch it, a list of things this stitch is good for (such as Water, Clouds, Walks)  and a black and white photograph of each stitch done on NP canvas.  The diagrams are small but usually there are 1-2 drawings in each diagram so you can see the numbered sequence of one full stitch, then see a group of them so you can do rows.  In the back of the book there is a series of colored plates of each stitch and opposite each plate, each stitch from that group labeled.    See the photo above for more information.  Mini Stitches and SurpriZe Stitches has a stitch index (a list of all the stitches so you can look one up if you remember the name) and an effects index (where you can find all the stitches in the book that are appropriate for hair, etc.).  Small Stitches doesn't have the effects index, just the stitch index.

I was surprised to find that stitches don't repeat between books.  It is easy for authors to forget they already put a stitch in an earlier book, but SuZy Murphy is very organized.  Small Stitches and Mini Stitches explicitly say that many of the stitches described (but not all) are good for small areas.  It's nice to have a place to see stitches that cover small areas but I have to say just because a stitch doesn't take up much space doesn't mean that it is good for a small area.  Some stitches, such as Serendipity, have to have room for many repeats before the beauty of the stitch will reveal itself.  What I'm trying to say is don't count on each and every stitch in these books being appropriate for a tiny area.

My own opinion is that SurpriZe Stitches and Mini Stitches have more unusual stitches in them than Small Stitches does, but Small Stitches takes common stitches and diagrams variations of them which are unusual and useful.  An example is the Tent Stitches chapter in this book which starts out with basketweave and skip tent and Alicia's lace, then diagrams all sorts of variations on these stitches for the stitcher who likes to use them but is looking for something different this time.  Almost every stitch in Small Stitches has a variation listed, which is quite interesting and useful.

I recommend these books for the intermediate and beyond stitcher.  A beginner might find the small diagrams a little confusing, especially since only one stitch unit is numbered, but someone who is experienced or very adventuresome will find plenty of ideas in SuZy's books. Remember that Portable Stitches combines Small Stitches and SurpriZe Stitches into one book.  Portable Stitches is also available as a digital download for smart phones. Here is a complete list of the SuZy Murphy titles.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow