Monday, February 8, 2016

Harikuyo 2016

Sue Dulle reminds us that it is Karikuyo, the Japanese festival that honors needles that bring us so much pleasure in our lives.

This year I will wrap my used needles in pretty wrapping paper, enclose the gift bundle in aluminum foil for protection and they will go in the trash as that's the safest way to send them to their just reward.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright February 8, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Border Help from Carole and Michael

I just got my hands on Desert Island Stitches, Volume Two:  Ideas for Creative Borders.  This is one of the two newest books from the creative minds of Michael Boren and Carole Lake. (The other is Twisty Stitches Vol. 1, but more about that later.)  I was lucky to get an early copy since my current piece, Leigh's "Miami Gold Digger" has an elaborate border for which I needed ideas.

This is a little book, like all the Desert Island Stitches books.   The Desert Island Stitches series are meant to be portable idea machines, not encyclopedias of stitches.  It's spiral bound with a laminated front and back cover for durability.  Borders is eighty pages long, if you count the title page and the list of reference books for further reading at the end.  Twenty-three of those pages are diagrams of border stitches.  There are anywhere from three fat borders to ten skinny borders diagrammed in black, white and gray on each page.  Each chapter deals with a separate type of border and typical examples are also diagrammed in that section.

Folks who prefer their stitch diagrams numbered should note that Michael and Carole do not number the stitch path.  They want people to figure this out on their own, which reflects their backgrounds as needlepoint teachers and designers.  They know there are many ways to work a stitch, depending on how much thread you have and the look you want.

The bulk of the book is an explanation of the various types of borders (borders that run all around the perimeter without a break, borders with corners or center motifs, borders that have mitered corners, etc.,) and tips on how to count out and create such borders.  Chapter introductions to each type of border and the crucial Rules of Divisibility counting tips page are printed on pink paper to make them easy to find.  The Rules of Divisibility section was of the greatest help to me since counting is always a problem.  I was able to figure out with Carole's and Michael's help how to position the border I wanted to use (found on page 59) so that it counted out correctly.

Anyone who uses a lot of decorative borders, striped backgrounds or narrow bands on their needlepoint will want a copy of this book.  Anyone unable to count out borders successfully (like me) will find it a great help.  I highly recommend it to anyone who collects needlepoint books since there are not that many books about needlepoint borders widely available.  I didn't even know June McKnight or Jane Zimmerman had books on borders!  (See the reference book list for more.) This would be perfect for a local stitching chapter's lending library or for a shop's reference shelf.

Your local shop can order this from Rainbow Gallery, Michael and Carole's book distributor, or you can order it directly from the authors.

Miami Gold Digger has a Border!
By the way, here's my border underway.  There's more border to come, courtesy of Carole and Michael who took a lot of mystery out of creating decorative borders!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright February 7, 2016 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.