New Texas Flag Pen

 By request, a new Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kit is now available: the Texas state flag. This cross stitch kit features Kreinik soft and pretty metallic and silk threads, worked on perforated paper and inserted into a useful pen. Quick and easy to stitch, these make great gifts. Kit includes everything you need to stitch one design. Get your Texas Flag Pen from your favorite needlework store or here.

You may be wondering... "Why Texas?" We have many shops in that grand state, with many stitchers living in or hailing from Texas. Once we created the country flag Stitch-A-Pen line, which you can see here, requests came in for the red-white-and-blue Texas flag. Since the pattern is relatively simple, we easily created a cross stitch version. Finishing it as a pen makes it useful—a fun way to have a little bit of cross stitch in your every day.

"Will there be pen designs for other states?" We are always open to requests. However, some state flags are rather elaborate, or involve seals, figures, and other motifs that may not translate well to a 2-inch by 3-inch stitching area. You can reach us via email at info at kreinik dot com if you have requests or questions about any Kreinik product.


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New Flag Pens

Next in the popular Kreinik Stitch-A-Pen kit series: Country Flags. Using Kreinik silk and metallic threads, the stitches are easy and the project takes a mere two hours to completely finish. Kit includes everything, even the pen. 

Now available:
  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • Russia
  • Italy

Stitch a flag pen for military members or veterans, foreign language teacher, sport fans, scout troops, school clubs, travelers, or for anyone who loves the culture of one of these countries. The pens use Parker® pen refills, so your project can be used for a long time to come.
For more information, ask for the new flag pens at your favorite needlework store, or visit http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Stitch-A-Pen-TM-Kits/

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New #8 Braid Colors


Designer-requested blends are in the spotlight of the five new metallic thread colors from Kreinik. Now available in Fine #8 Braid size (plus #12 Braid) are two cheerful lime green shades: 5801 Cool Cucumber has a touch of blue, while 5802 Leap Frog is a pearly lime. Then we filled in some of our color families with various hues: color 5803 Seaside blends pretty purple and pearl. Colors 5800 Golden Blackberry and 5804 Calypso (a rich orange) feature a golden shimmer thanks to the addition of gold to the base fiber. Calypso would add a level of elegance to Halloween and autumn designs, while Golden Blackberry covers many design themes.

Use Kreinik #8 Braid in needlepoint on 18 mesh canvas, and as a blending thread on larger canvases. In cross stitch, Fine #8 Braid is about the weight of two strands of embroidery floss, which means it gives perfect coverage on 14-count Aida. It is also good when used over two threads on 28-count linens. Kreinik Braids are proudly made in the USA, in our Parkersburg, West Virginia, factory.

All five new colors are ready to be in your stitching repertoire, to bring your next design to colorful life. You can find Fine #8 Braid in your favorite needlework store or http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Fine-8-Braid.html.

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This thread is for the birds

It's a truth universally acknowledged that Kreinik threads make great bugs. Whether you are fly fishing or stitching, a metallic thread beautifully replicates what is shiny in nature. Stitchers can go beyond bugs, however, in using metallics to add realism to a project: use them for the birds AND the bees.

To inspire your own creations and show how Kreinik threads work to bring bird-themed designs to life, crazy quilt designer Barbara Blankeship shares these beautiful photos of her recent work. In Barbara's words:
"The blue block is the one I made for the wall hanging our Bee donated to the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory: http://www.gcbo.org. It will be auctioned online beginning April 1.


I really enjoyed doing it, so I did a smaller bird on my peach block…If you look closely you will see all that beautiful Krenik thread.  The motif on the peach block is stitched with the ZTlC 0031 [a Kreinik machine sewing thread]. I absolutely love that thread and have this brown and a bright gold.

I've used the 0031 on the brown bird and the 001C fine silver cord on the peach one.  The branch has 3 various Krenik cords and ribbon.  Of course, many of the seams are Krenik threads as well…They remain my favorite threads by far."

Crazy quilting is such a beautiful form of embroidery, and it always inspires us to experiment more with threads and stitches in other mediums like cross stitch and needlepoint. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos, Barbara!

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How to knit an Eddie The Eagle hat

Have you heard about this upcoming movie? Here's the scoop:

1. From the Red Heart yarn site: "Eddie the Eagle is a new movie starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton and telling the true story of Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Egerton), a British ski-jumper who succeeds against the odds and with the help of his coach (Jackman) to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics. Knitting plays a big role in the movie, since Eddie’s mom (played by Jo Hartley) knits and wears a sweater that says “I Am Eddie’s Mom”.

KNITTING IN A MOVIE? YES! This is a great opportunity to promote the needlearts. History has shown that when knitting, needlepoint, and other hand arts are featured in a movie, newcomers want to learn about it...leading to growth in our favorite hobbies.

2. Jimmy Beans Wool, the company who initiated the promotion with the movie's producers, is inviting stitchers to create one hat for themselves, and one for a someone else (a young person . . . ). Inside each hat, you're to include a dream label for each wearer to write their own special dream.

3. Our friends at PremiumYarn.com have created an Eddie the Eagle Hat in a kit - featuring Kreinik's new shoelaces in red for stitching the E in the hat. Making something with meaning + for a good cause + promoting knitting and crochet = win win win and fun fun fun.

All the kit details here (please share and help us spread the word): https://premiumyarn.com/blog/post/index/1/whats_happening/

Here's why time is of the essence: There's a contest going on (deadline April 1st) for the most original Eddie the Eagle hat design. We're encouraging people to embellish the hats with the Kreinik shoe lace yarn (included in the kit). For details on the contest, visit http://www.iknitforeddie.com/

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What's New in Needlepoint: Bracelets

Have you been keeping up with the reports out of New York and London's Fashion Week runway shows? The motifs, colors, styles and trends seen there will trickle their way through the retail landscape like a branching river, making their way to low, medium and high end stores. As it has for hundreds of years, embroidery is still trendy for embellishments. While many of us can't afford Alexander McQueen couture, we can add spots of stitching to our outfits and be right on trend.


Start with these new needlepoint bracelets from Cheryl Schaeffer and Annie Lee Designs. While needlepointed jewelry cuffs aren't new, Cheryl and Annie's designs and silver bangle style are refreshing. We spotted these at the TNNA tradeshow in January, and knew they'd be a hit: quick to stitch, easy finishing, and you get the bangle when you buy the painted canvas. Just add threads—with a spice or two of Kreinik metallics, of course. The designs would make great gifts for yourself or a friend.

Take a look at the photos here to see a few of the design options. Ask your favorite needlepoint store to order them for you from Cheryl Schaeffer and Annie Lee Designs, http://www.cherylschaeffer.com/.






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This kind of needle-work is a cinch

When an email comes in asking for Bent Weaver's Needles for making horse saddle cinch makers, you can't help but do a double-take. We get a lot of needlework enquiries, but not often from the horse industry. Then you find out the business owner in interested in Kreinik threads for making dressings for horse riders, and you definitely want to know more. We interviewed business owner, Charlotte Sharkey, and she shared some fabulous photos. Settle in; it's an extensive chat, but pretty interesting. The lesson here: no matter what you make with needle and thread, it can be creative, useful and beautiful.

Q: How did you get started in the horse business (making mohair, cinches, belts, etc)?

A: I guess first we’d have to go back to how I got started with fiber. I designed and taught jewelry techniques for 20 years as a hobby, including making glass beads over a torch—that’s where I experimented with color, which has served me well.  About 13 years ago I moved from San Francisco to a 13-acre farm in the New York area known as the Finger Lakes. I’m only 10 miles from Cornell University, but 4.5 hours away from NYC. My new home  is where the ice cream sundae was invented, and the Moog Synthesizer. We even have a farm raising buffalo.  It’s a pretty grass roots community.

Since I moved to a farm I figured it should BE a farm. Didn’t want to raise meat, didn’t want to milk every day, so I turned to fiber. I started with Angora rabbits, joined the local hand-spinners guild and learned all about fiber from shearing to cleaning to spinning. Then dyeing, felting, weaving, crochet…it all followed. As did the alpaca boys and the Shetland sheep. And the ducks & chickens.

Then I got my horse, Sweetie. Being a “maker,” I wanted control over creating some her tack. Somehow, while I was doing my research online I discovered a site that was all about weaving horse tack with mohair. Now, mohair is one of my favorite fibers. It’s considered the “diamond of fibers.”   So I ordered a loom and a lot of mohair cinch cord. This is a special yarn made specifically for horse tack. Very difficult to acquire here in the U.S.. Nearly all mohair is milled in South Africa, the world’s largest producer of mohair. The color range I was able to get was interesting, but limited. The next thing I knew I was importing the mohair cord myself…and buying dyes, and pot to dye in, and all the other things ones needs.

Q: How do you use Bent Weaver's Needles?

A: The instructional video I learned how to weave the cinches from illustrated how to weave in the mohair ends—using forceps! I still cannot understand why.  I already had some Bent-tip Weaver needles carried by Kreinik and instantly knew this was a MUCH better method. Why is this type of needle preferred to a straight needle? Because the cinches are woven very tightly. You want to know exactly where your needle is and where it’s going to come out. The Bent tip allows this. Plus, the fact that it’s stainless steel means you can actually grab it with a pair of needle-nose pliers & pull it through without the pliers nicking the needle shaft, causing rough spots, as would happen with an aluminum bent-tip needle. This is critical in order to smoothly weave in the mohair ends. Not to mention that I’ve had an aluminum needle head break while trying to pull it through with pliers—something the stainless steel needles won’t ever do.


Q: What role does color play in making dressing for horses, riders, etc?

A: The Western horse riding crowd in our U.S. Western states do more than just ride their horses for pleasure. They also compete in all types of events, many we’re familiar with through rodeos. And if you’re familiar with the sport of English Dressage, you can add Western Dressage to your vocabulary. It is a new and growing sport and there is a national organization supporting and teaching these methods of horsemanship. And then there are hard-core endurance events. In all of these sports standing out with unique colorful western tack on your horse is one way to catch the judge’s eye. My best customer and friend, Shonna Shore, has opened a FaceBook page: Concho River Mohair Cinch Company. Her designs are phenomenal and she makes the best use of my array of colors. (See photos of some of Shona's cinches).

I now have over 60 colors for the 2-ply cinch yarns. This is the yarn that is used to weave the design. I also create custom colors in the 8-ply cinch yarn—4 times the thickness of the 2-ply, this is the yarn that is the “warp” and runs from buckle-to-buckle. And I’m creating tie-dyed 8-ply and 2-ply in two, three or even four color combinations. The picture of the Turquoise & Black horse breast collar depicts one of my tie-dyed pieces. Also woven by Shonna.

Q: Do you make any other items?

A: I’ve woven a bunch of belts, which are lingering in my new Etsy shop all alone. You’re more successful in selling when you have a variey and abundance of products in your shop. I’ve also made “mini cinch” keyrings with my 2ply scraps. And I’ve passed this “recipe” for making them onto the cinch makers to make as giveaways, gifts or to sell. I currently have a large weaving in progress combining the mohair with sari silk yarn & sari fabric yarn, this I plan on making into messenger bag flaps, bound with soft leather.

Q: Do you sell at shows, galleries or online?

A:  currently sell only through my Etsy shop; Caravan Fiber.  I am working on a 2nd Etsy shop—Caravan Emporium. I’ll be carrying something completely different in this shop—vintage accessory items for the boudoir such as 1920-1930 vanity lamps from Germany, which I am refurbishing, rewiring and making hand-sewn shades. Also vintage porcelain Little Lady powder boxes and trinket boxes, and luxe pillowcases of crepe-backed satin, hand-trimmed with lingerie laces—all very fem, very luxe.

As you can tell—I’m always busy and always coming up with new ideas—so many it’s hard at times to keep up with all of my lines as well as maintain my farm and the animals every day. But somehow it all gets done. It’s a really good life. And I feel it’s also pretty well-rounded in creativity, helping my fellow artists, enjoying the outdoors and communing with animals.

Do I miss city life? Yes, yes I do. And I’ll get back to visiting cities to enjoy the hustle, the inspiration that the diversity of the people and products offered, the restaurants and museums…the SHOPPING! I actually can’t wait until my animals don’t need me around so much. Until then, I’ve plenty to keep me busy.

For more information on Charlotte Sharkey of Caravan Fiber (and soon Caravan Emporium), visit her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Caravan-Fiber-104905256418/?fref=ts or her Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/CaravanFiber


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