Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Silver Stitch Needlepoint Interviews Needlepointers

Joyce Silverman of Silver Stitch Needlepoint has a fun blog that interviews needlepointers each month.  There are plenty of pictures, anecdotes and more and you'll meet shop owners, designers (including Joyce's DIL Audrey Wu) and regular stitchers.

I'd better bookmark this to read about all Joyce's stitching buddies and see their work!  And of course you can also browse Joyce's fun selection of sayings and other canvases on the main part of her website by clicking Home at the top of the page.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 3, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

New Travel Rounds from Kirk and Bradley

Kirk and Bradley have two new travel rounds for Colorado and Prague.  The company has quite a few of these designs available (all come with stitch guides and you can buy an optional thread kit) and have also done sporting destinations for those who like to ski or golf or horse racing.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 1, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Finding a Canvas to Fit a Turtle Bag UPDATED

The latest rage in the Needlepoint World are the Turtle Bags, which come with windows to insert panels of fabric.  Needlepointers are naturally inserting canvases in the openings instead of the fabric panels that Turtle Bags Inc. sells.

But how do you choose a canvas that will work?  The openings on both the tote bag and the cross body style are approximately 5 1/2 inches wide by 7 inches tall, so you will need a canvas with a design that is either that size already or that you can add background around to make it that size.  

The pre-made fabric inserts that Turtle Bags Inc. sells are 7 inches wide by 9 1/2 inches wide so you will need to cut down your canvas to be that size or perhaps a tad smaller before you slide it into the pocket.  That means you have to buy a canvas which has an outer dimension at least 7 x 9 1/2 inches or that you can cut to that size.  

Let's say you have a canvas in your stash that you think would look good in a Turtle Bag.  How do you check this?  First, you need a piece of paper that is 5 1/2 inches by 7 inches.  Using a ruler, cut a piece of paper that size.  Now, using magnets, position the paper behind your canvas to see if it will work.  




Above you see my birdhouse canvas from Tapestry Fair with a piece of 5.5x7 inch paper behind it.  The paper shows what will be visible on the front of a Turtle Bag.  As you can see, I'm going to have to add background around the birdhouse, so I basted a line all around the canvas about half an inch away from the edge of the paper so that I have a margin of background in case the canvas shifts a bit.  The outside overall dimensions are 8x10 inches so I will cut down the canvas to approximately 7x9.5 inches once I get the background stitched and am ready to insert the canvas in the window on the front. 

What if you don't have a suitable canvas in your stash?  What should you shop for?  First, I'd recommend you pick a canvas you can do entirely in basketweave.  My birdhouse piece has beads and ribbon embroidery, both of which will snag if it is used on the front of a purse that I carry, even if I only use it occasionally.  An all-tent stitch piece is the best choice for you as it is the most durable stitch.  

Now let's go shopping!  I browsed the Stitching Destashing website for canvases that were the right size and that were all under $40.  This charming daisy canvas is 4 1/2 x 4 and is slightly offset so adding background outside the border won't look odd.  You can do two different background colors, too, one inside the square and one outside it, to add interest.  

You could stitch the Chinese "good fortune" character in metallic.  The design is small at 3.5x3 but has high impact against the dark green background.  You could even add a gold border if you wanted to this one.  

Another high impact design is this red shoe which is 3.5 inches square.  The one drawback of this design is that the outside dimensions of the canvas are slightly smaller than the 7x9.5 inches we are looking for, but I think you could make it work if you used double sided tape to make sure the needlepoint canvas doesn't shift around in your opening.

Want a real charmer?  How about this rabbit?  This is a larger design at 5x7 inches and has the merit of the background being easy to make wider by just adding a bit of branch on the left side.

SharonG's perfume bottle is 3.75x6 inches, and will be easy to add background to.  Designs that are vertical like this one make really good choices for a purse insert as they look natural with a background added.

Square designs like Melissa Shirley's five inch square vase with flowers isn't quite as easy to use but you can make the red border as wide or tall as you need.  

Still, dede's elephant (which is also five inches square) will look more natural with additional background as the design itself is offset.

Finally, consider designs that coordinate if you are buying a Turtle Bag in the tote style as it has a window for displaying needlepoint on both sides.  This SharonG bra and tap pants set would work nicely.  Of course if you are going for the cross body style of bag, it only has a window for display on one side.  And there is no rule you have to have a needlepoint panel on both sides anyway.

Is all this too much for you?  Stitch by Stitch in Larchmont sells the bags and will find you a canvas that will work if your local shop can't help.  They recommend the Colors of Praise initial canvases but I'm sure they can find something else for you if that doesn't appeal.  

Good luck stitching something totally fun for your next purse adventure.  

UPDATE:  Mindy's started painting designs to fit in the openings of Turtle Bags.



Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 26, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Color Changes

Eye Candy occasionally charts her painted canvas designs.  One of the Texas chapters of ANG worked this as a chapter project, using various color ways.  It's amazing how different each design looks!

Don't believe me? Check out the current ANG Stitch of the Month (SOTM) project that the NJNA chapter is stitching.

Here is last year's STOM.

Color makes a huge difference.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 31, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Kente Inspiration: An Introduction to Needlepoint

Denise Beusen's introduction to needlepoint lessons is up on the NAN website. 

The design is done on 18 count canvas using perle cotton and wool in African abstract patterns.  The lessons explain step-by-step how to mount a canvas on stretcher bars, why stitch tension matters, even explains a good way to protect your stitching while traveling. It's a great tutorial.  Raid your stash for supplies and gift this to someone you don't see often to teach them needlepoint.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 28, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Breaking News: Jane Zimmerman Has Died

The amazing embroidery historian, embroiderer, needlepoint writer and teacher Jane Zimmerman has died.


For now her website is still up, so you can see some of her designs.  What you cannot see is the play of light on the silk and metallics she used.  Trust me, her work is stunning in person.  Cameras are blind to the technical expertise she used so well to create lights and shadows on her designs.

Snap up her books and charts if you can.  They are marvelous.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Free Hearts for Hospice Charts from NAN

The National Association of Needle Artists has added a section of free heart charts to their website.  These are intended to be used for the Hearts for Hospice program.  The designs are from graduates of the NAN certification program and they are lovely.
https://needleart.org/publications/free-patterns/?fbclid=IwAR318-cVylTtXvZgfA-3yBpzAKdNAkWqVbTvalQmlE3uoSP-_lHoyVltnoA

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 28, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Free EGA Stitch-a-long

I'm not too familiar with the Embroiders Guild of America (EGA) but apparently they have a free stitch-a-long project that sounds interesting for needlepointers.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 25, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Stretcher Bars: The Movie

While exploring KC Needlepoint's blog yesterday, I found this series of videos about stretcher bars, perfect for those who wonder how they work.  This video shows how to assemble them.

As you can see, you will need two pairs of stretcher bars the size of the outside dimensions of your canvas.  If your canvas is 6x8 inches, you will need a set of six inch bars and one of eight inches.  Usually a shop will tell you the design dimensions (not the outside ones) but you can always call them or email and find out what size stitcher bars are needed.  

This video shows how to mount a canvas on the assembled stretcher bars.  KC Needlepoint uses thumbtacks but I use heavy duty staples.  This is stitcher's preference.  

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 1, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Poor Man's Amazon

It's habit these days to automatically go to Amazon to order books, but it's not a great idea for many needlepoint books, most of which are self-published.  Amazon's pricing can be astronomical, much more than you would pay at a needlepoint shop for the same book.  I was happy to hear about ThriftBooks, described as "the poor man's Amazon."  A stitcher over the mountain uses them all the time, so I paid their website a visit.  

Entering "needlepoint" in the search engine, I got thirty pages of results, most of which are actually needlepoint-related.  Prices generally are in the $5-15 range, although some books are more expensive, such as Rosey Greer's Needlepoint for Men, which runs just over $70.  There are a lot of classic Bargello books from the 1970s available, although most of the charted alphabet books are "temporarily unavailable."  I saw a lot of nice bargains.

Condition is listed, but if you want your books to be in excellent condition, you'd do better to buy from NewNeedlepoint which is fanatical about only selling books in very good condition or better whenever possible.  Prices are higher, but you get what you pay for.

Wherever you choose to shop for needlepoint books, happy hunting!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 22, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Email Feeds of Blog Postings End July 2021

Google just announced that they are ending the widget that powers email feeds of blog postings on July 2021.  So shortly you will no longer get a notice that Blog is updated.  Sorry, but I have no control over this.  It's possible that another email widget will be made available but there are no guarantees.  I suggest you use Feedly or Feed Burner or Bloglovin or another RSS reader to keep up with postings of blogs that use Blogger like I do.

Of course, Blog updates daily so you can bookmark and visit each day.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 14, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Art Bin Magnetic Storage Boxes

3 Kittens sells these magnetic boxes to hold scissors, needles and the like.

Here's a bit more about it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 30,  2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

dede Purses

While browsing the Twisted Stitches shop website yesterday, I stumbled across this dede Odgen purse, something I've not seen before.  The purse is leather, appears to be a clutch style, and comes with the chart to create the pattern shown.  You have to supply the threads and canvas to stitch it, though.  I'm assuming this is self-finishing but the shop can tell you for certain.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 18, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Breaking News: Wellesley Needlepoint is for Sale

The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection store is for sale!  Cindy Matthews just announced that she is thinking about retiring in the latest shop newsletter.  If you are interested in talking to her about buying the store, contact Cindy at TWNCFuture@gmail.com or call 781-235-2477.  Here's the shop website.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 18, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

A Visit to Twisted Stitches Needlepoint

Beth recently visited Twisted Stitches Needlepoint in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I've heard nothing but rave reviews of the shop.  Peter Ashe lives in the area and they have an outstanding range of his designs as well as a huge number of thread brands.  If you want to visit their website, here it is--

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 18, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Woodlawn 2021

Visitors to the 2021 Woodlawn Needlework Exhibit are starting to post photographs.  I'll try and collect them all here so everyone who can't get there can get a glimpse.  

Donna's postings started with a view of the Woodlawn mansion itself.  This gives you a sense of how needlework is displayed here.


Here is Chris' magnificent (and huge) Shorebird Designs peacock.

Melita gave a great overview of everything.  I am sorry Jeff Kulick's original design wasn't shown.  He's an amazing designer.  But I was happy she showed off a piece on silk gauze, which I love stitching on.


Melita won a second place ribbon for this original piece, which I think is lovely.

By the way, this is the Best in Show winner.  I think it is cross stitch.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 17, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

How to Change Colors in a Ribbed Spider Web

Mary Corbet has posted a tutorial on how to make a ribbed spider web stitch using multiple colors.

This stitch goes by many names (Mary calls it a ribbed wheel) but it is used to make ribbon roses as well as add round textured shapes to your stitching.  Fun!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 17, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Needlepoint Knot Headbands

Looks like headbands are back in style!  Penny Linn sells kits, either with or without threads.

The Penny Linn website has a tutorial on how to assemble them, too. The instructions are included in the kits but if you have a belt you'd like to finish this way, you can buy the instructions separately.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 16, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Rittenhouse Copes with Covid-19

Like all our beloved shops, Rittenhouse in Philadelphia has struggled during the coronavirus.  With the help of understanding customers and their magnificent staff, they are soldiering on.

We applaud you, Rittenhouse!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 15, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Eastlake Folding Tapestry Camp Chair

Those interested in Victorian murders (or Victorian tapestry design) will enjoy reading this.

The chair is described as a folding tapestry camp chair and it appears to be in the Eastlake style.  The needlepoint is quite a bit like this although the wood of the chair in the Borden house is different.  

These are found on the antiques sites in various conditions. 

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 7, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Celebrate the Art of Stitching Via Zoom UPDATED

The pandemic that started sweeping the world in early Spring 2020 has made profound changes in how we stitch.  The Main Line Stitchers Chapter of ANG is taking advantage of technology to have a virtual opening of their exhibit, "Celebrate the Art of Stitching,"  starting at 4 p.m. this afternoon.  All the details are here--


Thanks for the heads up, Melita!

UPDATE:  The links.
https://melitastitches4fun.com/2021/06/13/celebrate-the-art-of-stitching-with-ang-main-line-stitchers-chapter-at-the-meda-arts-council-online-gallery/

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright March 26, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Equestrian Wreath

Horse Country Chic is horse-mad--and mad for needlepoint--so she was charmed by this equestrian-themed wreath covered in ornaments.

Its a lovely idea, whether you love bird ornaments, Christmas ones, ornaments for dogs and cats--whatever you love can go on an ornament for display all year.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 9, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Chandail Sells Ultrasuede

I just stumbled across the fact that Chandail Needlepoint sells Ultrasuede fabric in 8x10 pieces.

That is perfect for a small pillow or standup or maybe 2-3 ornaments' backing.  Best of all, you can call the shop and discuss colors and get intelligent help.  The online fabric stores don't seem to speak DMC these days, so you can't request a blue that is similar to DMC #3843!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 9, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Needlework and Needlework Tools Exhibit

Pocket Full of Stitches in Lubbock, Texas just alerted us to an exhibit on needlework and tools used for handwork at Texas Tech University's Museum.

Here's a bit about the exhibit, which runs until December 22, 2021.

There is a small book on the show, and PFOS has copies for sale.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 12, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

DMC Sells Memory Thread on Cones

The rumors about memory thread being discontinued have been around for several years.  I can't buy it at the big box craft stores, but I can't even buy gold Kreinik there any more.  There are all sorts of reasons a thread might be unavailable--the store may not sell enough or DMC might not want to bother selling in the USA.

However, you can buy memory thread on DMC's website.  Now they sell it on big cones, in code you and friends want to go together to buy a bunch--or you want two lifetime's supply!

You can buy the small sizes wound on plastic holders on their website, too.  There's a link at the bottom of the page.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 13, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Rock-a-Way Custom Wood Products Has New Home

Little Stitch Shop in Libertyville, Illinois is the new home of Rock-a-Way Wood Products, the makers of custom wood trays for floor stands, among other things.

Email them for a brochure at rockaway1124@gmail.com,  Yo can also call the shop for help.
https://littlestitchshop.com

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 14, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Traveling with Anna Pearson's Designs

Travel is difficult right now, so the English designs Anna Pearson takes us on a journey with some of her designs inspired by her travels Before.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 14, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

A Beginner's Guide to Needlepoint: Running Wild

Basketweave's Done



The little torch ginger sock is done!  Or is it?  Isn't that a snag on the right side of the stocking, in that leaf?


The Snag in Closeup

Yes, it is a loose stitch.  First, I have to fix that.  Luckily, it's easy.  All you need is a bit of Kreinik metallic.  I have a three inch length of size 4 Kreinik braid in my tool box for just this situation.  Thread it into a smallish needle (I used a size 24) but don't put a knot in the end. Put your needle into the same hole as the loosest end of the snag.  




Pull the Kreinik all the way through to the back side.  Kreinik is just rough enough that it will snag your wool thread and pull it along.  You may need to do this more than once, especially with a size 4 braid.  Size 8 would be better but I didn't have any right here, so I used the smaller size 4.  I went through the hole twice with my bit of Kreinik and fixed the snag.  There are specialty tools made to do the same thing but don't bother buying them unless you do a ton of basketweave and snags are an issue.  Better to just fix it with your Kreinik bits and save your money for a pretty skein of silk.

Ok, now the snag Is done but the mini sock looks plain to me, so I found a pink Vineyard Silk the same shade as the tent stitches and added bullion stitches all over the petals to add dimension.  I used Vineyard Silk because the pink Bella Lusso that I tent stitched the petals with is pretty skinny and didn't make nice bullions.  You need a bit of heft for bullions.  

Of course not everyone likes embellished canvases.  It's perfectly fine if you finish the basketweave and continental and stop.  This is a matter of taste and also how the mini sock will be used.  Hung on a tree it'll be fine but if it was to be a gift for a five-year-old that would likely be handled a lot, it's best to stop when the tent stitches are in.  They are a lot more durable than bullions.

If you are curious, here is a video that shows you how to make bullion stitches.  Practice makes perfect and I also recommend wool for bullions.  It just is easier with wool instead of silk or cotton or other types of thread.


 Torch Ginger Sock Done!


So, am I finished?  Nope, I added a stem stitched vein down the middle of each leaf with my dark olive Essentials wool.  I admit it--I'm an embellishment junkie.  Here's Mary Corbet's video on stem stitch, by the way.

I hope new needlepointers found this helpful.  All tent stitch pieces are classics but there's a bit you need to know before you tackle one.

Now that this series to help beginners with common questions on stitching a painted canvas is over, I'll post all the other links here:






Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright May 15, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Friday, June 4, 2021

A Beginners Guide to Needlepoint: Outlines in Continental



I promised to talk about how I plan to stitch the darker red outlines of my torch ginger petals today.  Short version:  I'm using continental stitch for the darker red outlines and then filing in the lighter pink of the petals with basketweave.  Above is a close up of the unstitched stocking where you can see each petal is outlined in a darker color.  

Long version:  Remember when I said there are three types of tent stitch?  They are basketweave, continental and half cross.  They all look the same on the front--rows of even ///// stitches.  But on the back they are very different because of how that / stitch is formed. 

You can see photos that show all three stitches, front and back here.  (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

Basketweave uses the most thread and half cross the least, so save half cross for when you are running low on thread but avoid it if you need something that will take hard wear like a footstool or glasses case.  Half cross will also distort the canvas badly.  

Basketweave does not distort the canvas so use it when you don't plan to block a finished design.  I've done pillows in continental that were parallelograms when done that had to be blocked four times to get them square again!  Basketweave uses a lot of thread so it's very hard wearing, perfect for items that will get wear.  Just make sure you buy enough thread so you don't run out.  

Continental is perfect for canvases with lots of outlines.  That's what I plan to use for the red outlines on the petals since it's easy to work both horizontally or vertically.  Here is how continental is done, whether you are right-handed or a leftie.





Now I need to get busy and finish the stitching!  Above is my progress to date.

Now that this series has all published, I put the other links here:







Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 29, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Breaking News: One Shop Goes, Another Appears

Yesterday Yarn Explosion (knitting and needlepoint shop in Roanoke, Virginia) announced it would be closing this summer so the owner could retire.  I always meant to stop by the shop on my way to and from visits to relatives but never managed to find the time during this long trip.

To balance the sad news, there was an announcement on NP Nation that a new shop will be opening in Gulf Shores, Alabama the 4th of July weekend.  It will be called Creative Needle Arts.

We wish our shop owners both a great retirement and a fun time opening a new shop!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright June 3, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

More Beginners Guide to Needlepoint: Handling Threads




Yesterday in my tutorial on how to do needlepoint, I ended with a photo of little tails sticking out all over the front of my canvas.  What's up with that?!

This is how I manage ending threads.  When I get down to the last 2-3 inches of a thread, I come up either horizontally or vertically in the channel down from my last stitch and bring the thread to the front.  NEVER go on the diagonal when doing basketweave, whether you are tying off a thread on the back or just bringing it to the front like I'm doing.  You read the tips on yesterday's tutorial, right?  If not, go read them again.  Dragging threads across the back on the diagonal when doing basketweave creates a ridge on the front.  

If you forget this tip, you'll have little ridges on the front of your work instead of having a nice smooth surface.  You are aiming for perfectly even fat little stitches that are identical.  

Anyway back to what I was saying:  I like to put my end of thread tails on the front, especially when I am just starting a piece and there's not much on the back side to weave my thread tails through.  As I stitch the green leaves, I'll cover the yellow tails on the back with my green basketweave, and eventually I'll have them secure enough that I can pull up on the end of the tail from the front and snip off the thread close to the canvas.  It will be held securely. 

In a few places you see big yellow knots in the end of my thread.  These are away knots, which is one way to start threads that's explained here--

Just remember not to run that thread on the diagonal if you are doing basketweave!

Tomorrow, a progress report and I'll explain how I'm stitching the pink and red torch ginger flower.

Now that this series is finished, I'll post all the other articles here:






Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 28, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

More Beginners' Guide to Needlepoint: Basketweave




Today I'd like to talk about the stitches I'm going to use on my little torch ginger mini sock.   You can see the design above.  If you missed Part One from yesterday, here's the link.

I'm using tent stitches on the design.  This is the most basic needlepoint stitch.  It looks like this / and from the front you see rows of ///////.  However, there are three types of tent stitches:  continental, half cross and basketweave.  I'm using basketweave for the background, the leaves and the lighter pink of the flowers.

Basketweave is tent stitches done on the diagonal, which makes it a little tricky.  (Half cross and continental are done in horizontal or vertical rows.)  This is a good tutorial.

If you look at the black and white numbered diagram in the Poppy Monk tutorial, you'll see the last diagonal row you've finished makes little "teeth" that the next row you do will slot into, sort of like a zipper.  Make sure you read the tips at the bottom of the article.  If you have areas you need to skip over on your canvas, here's a tutorial on that.





Here's my start on the background.  Tomorrow I'll talk about all the yellow "tails" you see sticking out on the front.  It's my thread management, which isn't pretty but works for me.  But more on that tomorrow.  



Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 20, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

How to Stitch: A Beginner's Guide to Painted Canvases

Lots of people are trying needlepoint for the first time.  I thought I'd post about my current project (a mini sock with Hawaiian torch ginger from Vanoni) to help answer common questions that people wonder about when they start needlepointing a paint or printed canvas, just in case you have no one to ask.


Vanoni's Torch Ginger Mini Sock


So, here it is, a little design that's about 3 1/2 inches at the widest point and perhaps 5 inches tall.  It's on 18 count needlepoint canvas, which means approximately 18 stitches to the inch.  Take a good look.  As you can see, most of the design is outlined, either in black (leaves) or dark red (torch ginger flower).  The sock itself is outlined in black, too.  Just keep that in mind.  It's important.

The first decision to make is what color to use for the background, which is unpainted.  You can go with any color you want, but often if you choose a very dark color like black or navy, the white canvas will show.  We needlepointers call that "dandruff."  Since I don't want white speckles in the background, I rummaged in my stash and found a pretty pale yellow Impressions from Caron for the background.  Any white that shows won't be noticeable if I use pale yellow.  

Impressions is a silk/wool blend.  I decided to see what other silk/wool blends I had in two shades of red and green tucked away in my stash.  I found I had both greens and the dark red in Planet Earth's Essentials, which is a blend of silk and merino wool.  You can mix thread types, of course, and use a metallic with cotton,  wool and silk, but these threads can be different weights so I would recommend beginners use one type of thread for everything until you have a little experience under your belt.  

The only problem I had with thread colors is that my two shades of green were a dark rich green and a dark olive green.  I didn't have any spring green in a silk-wool blend!  Oh, well, I'll just use olive green and no one will ever know.  You won't tell, will you?

I have some pink Bella Lusso, an all-wool thread from Fleur de Paris for the flower.  More about that later.

I didn't look for any black thread for the black lines.  That's because I'm not going to stitch them. I'll just cover the black lines on the leaves with green.  Let's take a look at the painted canvas again.



This design was originally drawn on needlepoint canvas as a black and white drawing, then the artist filled in the various areas with paint, sort of like coloring in a coloring book.  The black lines are just guide lines--they don't add to the design.  Since I'm using two shades of dark green, the black lines won't show if I stitch over them.

The red lines are also guidelines but they serve a purpose--they are there to help outline the petals of the torch ginger blossom.  I am going to stitch the dark red lines so the flower won't be a big shapeless blob.  The outline of the sock is just a guideline.  I'll stitch yellow background up to the line.  The yellow thread won't hide the black lines well.  The black lines may show through the pale yellow, but that's ok. I won't cover the black outline and the finishing will hide that edge anyway.   

I think that's enough for today.  Tomorrow I'll talk about the stitches I will use.  Stay tuned!

Questions?  Just email me at chilly hollow at hot mail dot com.

Now that this series is finished, I'll post all the remaining articles here:






Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com
and at http://chstitchguides.blogspot.com
© Copyright April 17, 2021 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.