How To Needlepoint

Free online class now available
 

Have you, your friends, children, or coworkers ever wanted to learn needlepoint, but perhaps don't know where to start, don't have a local needlepoint shop, don't know where to find the time, or all of the above? Now you can learn needlepoint on your own time, in your own home or dorm, from a talented teacher and designer. Beth Gantz has created a beginner's needlepoint design and video tutorial in collaboration with The Comfy Cottage. The class video is available for FREE on YouTube.
Before you watch the video and fall in love with needlepoint, you will need supplies—but that part is easy (and affordable): purchase a specially made kit which includes a monogram canvas plus everything needed to complete it (needle, stretcher bars and threads, including Kreinik's soft metallic ribbon). The stitch guide and full tutorial video cover everything you need to know to complete your first needlepoint project.

"We had a lot of fun creating this kit, and we're sure you'll have a lot of fun learning how to needlepoint with it. It also makes a great gift for kids, teens or the cross-stitch enthusiast in your life looking for a fun new hobby," said Hayley and Zachary from The Comfy Cottage.
It doesn't get any easier than this…a basic but fun project, your own teacher, and a video to watch at your convenience. Needlepoint is one of the most creatively rewarding, relaxing hobbies. Once you start, you can find more supplies and designs at needlework shops, many of whom have storefronts and/or sell online. Ready? Let's learn to needlepoint!




Visit http://www.comfy-cottage.com/products/beginners-needlepoint-kit-by-beth-gantz-the-comfy-cottage-digital-class-with-stitch-guide

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Book review: "Multi-Layered Stitches for Needlepoint" by Gone Stitching


If you are tired of the common stitches often found in needlepoint, and want something with more depth and complexity, this stitch book by "the gals" of Gone Stitching may be your new go-to resource.

Renee and Michele, of the fabulous needlework store Gone Stitching in Bergenfield, New Jersey, put together this portable encyclopedia of multi-layered stitches out of a true love for needlepoint. These women love to stitch, love to share their stitching (they were one of the first needlework podcasts, way back when the technology was new), and love to design needlepoint (see several terrific needlepoint projects they have created for stitchers via the Kreinik website Freebies section). They carry the complete line of Kreinik threads, among many other thread types, so they know a thing or two about using fibers. We'd trust them in a heartbeat for advice about which threads and stitches to use in your needlework.

This book features colored stitch diagrams and photos in a 67-page spiral-bound book. The size makes it portable to slip into your stitching bag, or takes up little space on your bookshelf. They focus on using multiple thread types to achieve dimensional effects, which results in more eye-catching, visually dynamic needlepoint. Sound intimidating? Don't let it be—as Renee and Michelle have done in this book, start small and build up. The first chapter is on Double Layer Stitches, then the book delves into triple and quadruple layered stitches. Additional chapters cover Trame Stitches (long horizontal stitches as a foundation for decorative stitches on top), and concludes with a photo gallery section of stitched examples (in color).

The value of this book is the large number of stitch options. You will enjoy flipping through the pages, exploring all of the ideas. They can be easily stitched on swatches with threads you have at home just to practice and get a feel for the stitch effect. The book shows you how to play with stitches and threads—two of our favorite things about needlepoint.

The book seems to be geared toward immediate to advanced stitchers. If you are a needlepoint beginner, you may be confused by the lack of numbers on the stitch diagrams (often used to show "bring your needle up at 1, down at 2, up at 3" etc). However, the diagrams are clear, colored, easy to follow, and do include directional arrows. We think they leave room for the stitcher to interpret in alternate ways if so desired, as part of an exercise in exploring creativity.
"At our needlepoint shop we tell our customers every day to push their artistic boundaries and venture out of their creative comfort zone," say Michele and Renee. "We hope that this guide inspires you to do just that."

For more information on the book or the shop, visit Gone Stitching at www.gonestitching.net.


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Embroidery scissors for left-handers

Today is Left Handers Day, one day set aside for lefties to celebrate, and be recognized for, being left-handed. Most of the people in the world are right-handed, so Left Handers Day raises awareness of the everyday issues that lefties face in a world designed for right-handers. Things as basic as a pair of scissors, for example, are designed for righties. Fortunately, manufacturers over the years have started making products specifically designed for lefties.

Kreinik is proud to offer stitchers a line of left-handed scissors created by the Premax company, which is a centuries-old company of artisans in the mountains of Italy. These scissors are primo cutting implements—sharp, smooth, quality, long-lasting. There are four scissors designed specifically for lefties, which means left-handed stitchers no longer have to "make do" with an awkward righty pair.

Choose from:
  • 3 1/2" straight edge embroidery scissor
  • 3 1/2" curved edge embroidery scissor
  • 5" scissor
  • 6" scissor
The curved-edge scissor is designed to get the blades into tight areas, like close to a needle on a sewing machine. They are also good for turkey work in needlepoint, enabling you to cut right where you need to for that texture stitch.


Watch the video here to see these scissors in action: https://youtu.be/TjvHHz7Xyqk


Lefties, settle no more! You deserve a quality embroidery scissor design especially for your needs. Order the left-hand Premax scissors from your local needlework store, or from http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Premax-R-Scissors/.

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North, to Alaska

What I Did On Summer Vacation, by Doug Kreinik

For summer vacation this year, my wife Myla and I sought out an adventure as a relief after the death of our son Charles. We wanted to get away, do something different, go somewhere that we'd never been before. We chose Alaska, land of glaciers, whales, seals and open space, and booked an Alaskan cruise.

The trip began with flight delays, missed flights, and late flights, but then we eventually landed in Vancouver, British Columbia, the second most expensive city in the world after Hong Kong. The air was clean, the vistas beautiful, the parks magnificent and the food great. We took a guided bus tour around the city and discovered beautiful Stanley Park, named after the founder of hockey's Stanley Cup.  It had very tall trees, wonderful bike paths and great views.

The ship left from Vancouver Harbor. We walked through line after line, got our passports stamped, pictures taken, answered security questions, had our luggage examined, and eventually marched aboard.  The first event was eating, of course, which we did and continued to do for eight days.

It was fun to meet people from all over the world on the cruise. Being from West Virginia is an anomaly, for most people have never met anyone from this state, so I suspect we were a novelty to some ("We met West Virginians!") Being on ship was like being in a floating mall, however, and we were constantly being bombarded with products to purchase, spa packages, special dinners and photographic moments to buy. Myla had given me a FitBit for Father's Day, so I tracked every step I took on board. I would often walked more than 10000 steps a day (outwalking the sales people?).  Myla had a pedometer, so we would compete as to who had had the greatest number of steps.

We portaged in Ketchikan, Alaska, where we saw a lot of eagles. There are more than 17,000 eagles in Alaska, so numerous that they are almost like pigeons are to New York. We also toured Dolly's House, the last house of ill repute (prostitution) from mid 20th century, which is now just a museum. Coincidently, one of our tour guides was from West Virginia. Small world.

Other stops on the cruise blended together in some ways. Workers from all over the world come to Alaska in the summer and work in the jewelry stores lining the main streets set up by the cruise lines. We saw the same shops in all the cities we visited on the cruise: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Wittier. In other ways, however, the stops were fun and interesting. I had no idea, for example, that Juneau cannot be reached by road from the lower 48 States. The very cute town Talkeetna, near Denali, was the model for the television show Northern Exposure. I asked a local if they catapulted pianos.

We learned many interesting tidbits on the trip. For example, reindeer are domesticated caribou. Some of the rivers are filled with so much sediment from the glaciers that they are not passable because a boat will not float on the muck. The main extent of the Alaskan gold rush last only two years. Only 30% percent of tourists who go to Denali Park actually see Mt. McKinley (Denali) due to weather, and the others are forced to take photos of photos. Amazing as it might seem, most of Alaska is a cold desert with less than 14 inches of moisture a year. Being from a small town in West Virginia, I was stunned to discover that Fairbanks is smaller than Parkersburg, WV with only 30,000 residents.

We almost made it to the Arctic Circle, short of 2 degrees.  We almost saw the Northern Lights, but you find that only during the winter months. We almost saw a moose, but missed by three hours.  We almost saw a pod of whales (should have gone later in the day). Early morning tours saw a grizzly bear, but we toured in the afternoon.  The tour the day after ours saw Mt.McKinley (Denali) on a breathtakingly clear day.

I did get to visit numerous needlework, knitting and bead shops through the coastal area and up towards Fairbanks. One shop I visited was Changing Tides in Juneau. They carry Kreinik threads and have a nice mix of needlepoint, cross stitch and quilting. 

Overall what I did on my summer vacation was was spiritual, quiet, beautiful, memorable, peaceful and just fun. We are glad that we experienced this extraordinary expanse of our country. If you get the opportunity to visit Alaska, we recommend it.





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Kreinik Manufacturing Receives Governor Award

KREINIK MANUFACTURING RECEIVES GOVERNOR AWARD PARKERSBURG, WV—Parkersburg resident Doug Kreinik, owner of Kreinik Manufacturing Company, was recognized this month by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for being one of West Virginia's top exporters. Kreinik manufactures threads for hand and machine embroidery, weaving, knitting, fashion and fly fishing at its Gihon Road facility.

Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette joined Governor Tomblin and members of the West Virginia Export Council at a ceremony in Charleston on July 21, 2015, to recognize West Virginia's top exporters for their success in international markets. Mr. Kreinik received the Governor's Commendation for International Market Entry for expanding to markets in Croatia and Rwanda this past year.

Kreinik Manufacturing was established in the 1970s by Mr. Kreinik's parents, Jerry and Estelle Kreinik, as a way to bring interesting threads and needlework accessories to stitchers, sewers, weavers, and knitters. Expanded over the years and now offering thousands of products, Mr. Kreinik operates the company on core values of supporting independent businesses, artists, and community programs, plus encouraging creativity in everyone.

Kreinik's small but dedicated staff now manufactures threads and products that are sold all over the world. "Kreinik is recognized for high quality product," Mr. Kreinik commented. "We could not do this without the competent people who work here."

The company recently opened a factory outlet store at the facility, 1708 Gihon Road, which is open during weekday business hours. For company information, visit www.kreinik.com.
Photo Caption: “Parkersburg business owner Doug Kreinik receiving recognition from Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for success in reaching new international markets. Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor.”


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Mid Atlantic Fiber Association fiber fest this week

If you live near or within driving distance of Pennsylvania, come to the MAFA 2015 workshop and fiber festival at Millersville University, in Millersville, Pennsylvania. The Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association's annual conference features a vendor area that is open to the public. You will find all kinds of fiber goodies — including Kreinik threads. Doug Kreinik will be there too, so stop by to pick up your daily dose of Kreinik fiber and say hello.

The conference runs July 16 through 19, and you can find the class list and shopping information here: http://www.mafa-conference-2015.org/

MAFA is a non-profit organization supporting the fiber arts in the mid-atlantic area. It includes guilds from eight states, with interests from spinning, weaving, felting to temari and more. Any organized guild of handweavers or related fiber activities may apply for membership. Visit www.mafafiber.org for information.





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New Yarn Holder for Knitting and Crochet

Once in awhile we come across a tool that is so helpful, we have to share. Introducing the "Yarn It" accessory, which is not made by Kreinik, but is useful for anyone knitting or crocheting with Kreinik. It holds you yarn ball and Kreinik spool in one place as you stitch.

Somehow this yarn holder seems so much easier, cuter, more mobile-friendly than some of the others we've seen on the market. Designed by Kate Sullivan out of necessity, it is made in the USA. "I am the proud owner of every bag and organizer out there, still nothing was doing it for me," Kate said. "My "aha" moment happened at 30,000 feet. My yarn fell out of my lap, rolling under multiple passenger seats behind me and all over the grimy floors of the airplane. By the time passengers were able to kick it back to me it was covered with months of crumbs, dirt and who knows what else from the airplane floor."

Kate adds, "Then the 4-hour drive in the car back and forth every weekend [to the farmhouse they were renovating] was prime yarning time but now, unavoidably, the car floor was covered in mud, stones and bits & pieces from the construction and was wicked when my yarn fell from my bag or lap to the car floor mat." So she invented the Yarnit.

By the way, this homegrown product development is something we can relate to: Kreinik Manufacturing Company began when Estelle Kreinik made the first thread organizer on the market, back in the 1970s, when she found her threads all over the place in the car, on the Kreinik's many road trips.

But anyway, what's so great about the Yarn It? Take a look at the video here to see all the fun details. Inventor Kate shows us how to use it, and we show you how to use it with Kreinik thread. It just makes knitting or crocheting easier, and we're all for that!



Details:
  • See www.theyarnit.com
  • Travel yarn holder. Protects your yarn from dirt, pets, and rolling on the floor. Holds a ball of yarn and a Kreinik spool of Blending Filament or Ombre.
  • Docking slots keep needle tips and stitches safe when you aren't knitting or crocheting. 
  • The base stores stitch markers, darning needles, etc. 
  • It is sized to sit in the cup holder of your car, tray table of a plane, train and bus, or the arm of your beach chair. (Side note: we don't recommend knitting and driving at the same time)
  • Built in strap allows you to suspend the Yarnit from your shoulder or chair.
  • It is made of Lexan, which is a polycarbonate used in things like race car windows, hurricane windows, transparent visors for astronauts, hockey and football players, etc. 
  • The base is made from a polymer that is highly flexible, affording a solid grip to any surface. It comes in a variety of colors.

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