Monday, September 17, 2018

Breaking News: Death Comes to Needlepoint UPDATED

It's been a sad few days in the world of needlepoint as we have lost both Mary Agnes Ruhudy Cussen of Needle Nicely in Florida and the Needle Deeva.

I enjoyed Mary Agnes' blog where she talked about the realities of owning a needlepoint shop and I loved the fun designs that the Needle Deeva gave us.  Our sympathies to their friends and families.

UPDATE:  For those unfamiliar with Needle Deeva's work, The Needlepointer was having a trunk show when news of her death broke and made two videos of the show.  You may like to browse the designs, just to see what a talent she was.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright September 17, 2018 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

The Boring Party (or Greg Gutfeld is Off My Christmas Card List)

Juli saw this show on Fox News last night and posted the link to Needlepoint Nation. It's a satirical piece about elections these days but the folks who wrote us decided to use the stereotype that needlepointers are boring. Sigh.

Some days I'm glad needlepoint is under the radar.  Other days the fact that stereotypes like these still exist makes me mad.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright September 16, 2018 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Styling My Neon Rays

My new flat iron

Recently I purchased a $10 flat iron at a big box store near my house.  This is supposed to straighten your hair, which makes it a pretty funny purchase since my hair is straight as a stick naturally.  But I didn't buy it to style my hair—I bought it to help tame threads.

As you can see in the photo, I bought the simplest model available.  It has an on-off switch that is inside the area that you clamp over the threads, so the off/on switch is not visible in the photo.  You plug it in the wall, turn it on, and wait for it to heat up.  You can buy a fancier model with a longer cord, temperature controls, etc. but I didn't bother as I'm only using this on threads that have bends in them from being wrapped around cards.  If you already have a flat iron that you use on your hair, you might want to invest in one just for threads.  I'm told that hair spray and hair conditioners build up on the flat iron's surfaces and might come off on your threads.  This was cheap enough that I can use it just for threads.

Neon Rays, Fresh off the Card

Neon Rays are notorious for being hard to handle and having crimps in them when you cut a length off the card, so I thought I'd use them to test my flat iron.  I cut 5-6 lengths, each about 18 inches long, so that I would have plenty to use in my current project without having to get the flat iron out.

I plugged in my flat iron, turned it on, and after a minute or so I picked out a length of Neon Rays, held it near the end with one hand, clamped the flat iron over the end of the thread near my fingers, and slid it down the full length of the thread.  Nothing happened!  I checked the heat of the flat iron and realized I'd not given it enough time to warm up.  Brands will vary but my basic version needs two-three minutes before it is warm enough to use.

After another wait, I tried again.  This time each strand came through the flat ironing process smooth and sleek.

Smooth and Sleek After Flat Ironing

The flat iron definitely works!  My Neon Ray lengths look about a thousand percent better and I think it will all stitch up nicely.  I will probably use it with other flat threads with kinks such as Flair and ribbon floss. My cheap version doesn't get really hot so I am not worried about melting a thread.  I will test first, though, just to make sure.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright August 7, 2018 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.