Tis the Season for Tinsel Socks

Want to wow your friends, impress the teens, and be known as the best gift-giver in the family? Take a cue from knitting designer and teacher Susan B. Anderson and make some tinsel socks. Too late for gift-giving this year? Start making a pair a month in 2015, and you will have next Christmas' projects finished already.

It's easy: just add Kreinik Twist to any yarn (stash-buster!). This is a super-soft metallic carry-along we make in our West Virginia factory. Susan used two Twist colors in these fabulous striped socks, which seem to capture happiness and the holidays plus comfort and joy all in one (or two, one for each foot). She used Kreinik Twist 273 Red/Orange and 339 Teal.

The metallic makes any knitting pattern a party-in-a-sock, plus it's practical: soft (= happy feet), washable, and dry cleanable (if you are into dry cleaning your socks). Twist is a softly variegated thread, made up of two or more colors, so the hues give a lovely depth to your base yarn and almost literally dance in the light.

Susan offers this expert advice about the Kreinik Twist carry-along: "The thread I'm using is called Twist and it doesn't change the gauge at all for knitting when carried along with your yarn. I have been asked if it is scratchy and the answer is no. The thread is not scratchy at all but it does change the texture of the knit fabric slightly. It is remarkably still soft considering the addition of a metallic thread."

Check out Susan's blog featuring her Tinsel Socks here: http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2014/12/tinsel-socks.html. Her blog post also includes a link to her free sock pattern.

Get your Kreinik Twist from a needlepoint or knitting store, or online here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Twist.html

May your holiday socks be merry and bright.

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25 Free Christmas Projects

Deck the halls with handmade treasures this holiday season. What to make? Pick one or more of the colorful and quick free project ideas from Kreinik. Our 25 Days of Free Christmas Projects calendar is on the Kreinik website, featuring crochet, knitting, cross stitch, needlepoint, kid's crafts, paper crafts, and more.

Each project is designed to use one to three Kreinik thread colors, and to be made in short order (we know how busy everyone is this time of year). And we've designed them to be low-cost on finishing: many of the cross stitch or needlepoint designs can be finished using ornament frames found at craft stores and discount stores this time of year. There's even a few dollar-store transformations you have to see to believe.

Visit the 25 Days of Free Christmas Projects calendar now, and bookmark it to check for design additions.


Happy holidays from Kreinik! Make it a colorful, shiny, creative New Year.

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Cabled Cowl

Cabled Cowl

Designed by Karen Whooley of www.krwknitwear.com 

This knitted cowl stands out thanks to the Kreinik metallic Twist, a soft 3-ply metallic. Yes — it's a soft metallic thread! It dresses up any yarn and makes your project look more elegant.

Abbreviations:
CO – Cast On
K – Knit
P – Purl
RS – Right Side
Sl – Slip
WS – Wrong side

Finished Size:
Approximately 25 inches circumference and 10 inches deep.

Materials:
  • Tahki Yarns Mesa (100% Superwash Merino; 50g=98yards) in Color # 07 Sunset – 3 Skeins
  • Kreinik Twist (65% Cupro / 35% Polyester; 250yds) in Color #031 Berry – 1 Cone
  • Size 9 (5.5 mm) Knitting Needles or size needed for gauge
  • Stitch Markers (optional for marking edge of cowl)
  • Cable Needle
  • Yarn needle
Gauge:

28 st in pattern and 36 rows = 4 inches

Pattern Notes:
  • Cowl is worked holding one strand of yarn and one strand of Twist together through out.
  • Be sure to end on row to allow Kitchener stitch to correctly graft ends together for a seamless join.
Directions:

Using a Provisional Crochet Cast On, CO 68 st.

Row 1 (and all ws/odd rows): K5, p4, (k2, p4) nine times, k5.

Row 2 (rs): K3, p2, (k4, p2) 10 times, k3.

Row 4: K3, p2, (sl next 2 st to cable needle and hold in back; k2, then k2 from cable needle, p2) 10 times, k3.

Row 6: K3, p2, (k4, p2) 10 times, k3.

Row 8: K3, p2, (k4, p2) 10 times, k3.

Repeat rows 1-8 until cowl measures 25 inches, ending with row 7.

Remove provisional cast on and graft beginning and end with Kitchener stitch. Be sure to work your Kitchener correctly for knits and purls.

© Copyright Kreinik. May not be reproduced or sold.

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Thanksgiving Recipe From Doug

We asked Doug Kreinik to share a Thanksgiving memory and recipe, in Celebration of the Tie One One Campaign (a apron, that is!). Kreinik is a sponsor of this baking-and-sharing event, started by The Apron Book author EllynAnne Giesel. Enter the Tie One On Weekly Drawings for a chance to win Kreinik metallic threads and other fabulous prizes: http://www.apronmemories.com/

Growing up, my favorite meal was the day after Thanksgiving.  Turkey Pot Pie was my comfort food and to this day is still one of my all time pleasurable experiences.   My Mom used to use Crisco to make a very flaky crust.  I actually surprised her a number of years ago by making it with olive oil.  It was still very flaky and did not have all of that saturated fat.

Chopping up the yams, layering the stuffing, pouring in the corn, peas, gravy and adding the turkey created a yummy experience for me.   It has now been passed down to my kids as one of their favorites also.

Along with this, my Dad would make his Caesar Salad, which would top off a very delectable family meal and memory. Dessert was usually my Mom's Pecan Pie. Just thinking about it, makes me hungry.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Recipe: Turkey Pot Pie and Caesar Salad

Pastry Dough
Sift
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Add
1/2 c olive oil or (2/3 c crisco)
1/2 c hot water
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp lemon

Make a ball and place in refrigerator for 2 hours to chill
Pat out 3/4 of the pastry- line a 2 quart or 8" casserole dish

Filling

Sauté
1 chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
Add Mushrooms

When onions are transparent
Dissolve
2 tbsp cornstarch into
1 cup chicken stock along with
Turkey gravy and drippings from roasting pan if available
Stir until thickened
Blend in sauté onions and mushrooms

Season with
Dill
Chopped parsley
Basil
Salt and pepper

Add
1 c frozen peas
1/2 c frozen corn
2 grated carrots
2 c cooked turkey ( can be replaced with chicken or other poultry)

While layering
Sweet potatoes
Stuffing
Pour in concocted sauce from above

Roll out final 1/4 of chilled pastry dough and apply over filling
Seal edges and slash top to allow steam to escape

Preheat oven to 425 F

Bake for 25 minutes

Eat!

This makes terrific leftovers if you are lucky.

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New ideas for quilting and mixed media art

Book review of: Cut, Shape, Stitch

If you've ever lamented that you "can't cut a straight line," the availability of rotary cutters, punches, and die-cutting machines is heaven-sent. Our fancy edges are no longer limited to what we can do with pinking shears. Intricate shapes, decorative letters, and fancy borders can be made with the touch of a button/punch/lever/computer. Whether working in paper, metal or fabric, you expand your creative options with shape-creating machines.

After you've created fun shapes, what do you do with them? A new book aims to inspire you with mixed media ideas. "Cut, Shape, Stitch: Working Creatively With Cutting Machines" by Maggie Grey, Samantha Packer, and Paula Watkins has just been published by 4Daisy Books Ltd (ISBN 978-0-9574413-2-3). We've worked with Sam and Paula on models for our tradeshow booths and love how they think in layers, combining techniques with colors, shapes and mediums to create gorgeous designs. See some of Sam's quilts in this article: http://www.mrxstitch.com/bring-light/.

If you were lucky enough to have art class in school, you may remember the things you got to play with: shrink plastic, paste, yarn, paints, ribbons, tissue, foil. The authors take those elements and more to help you make grown-up, mixed-media, textile art with your cut shapes.

"Who can cut the perfect circle, or cut a series of words for a textural piece, without feeling some disappointment in the end product?"  says Sam, putting words to our own frowns when we get a jagged edge or crooked line. She points out that cutting machines also cut your time and labor in half, and there's no shame in this short cut. "Having your shapes ready-cut does not signify a lack of imagination," she adds, "it merely gives you more time and patience to use them to create something wonderful."

The book has chapters on Simple Cutting Ideas, Creative Die Cutting, Digital Cutting, and Negative Shapes, which show you how to combine cutters with mixed media techniques and stitching We are talking about embroidered quilts, handmade books, embellished jewelry, wired motifs, "carved" sculptures, and three-dimensional work. The decorative threads running through them include Kreinik's beautiful metallic braids, ribbons, machine sewing threads, and Flash In a Tube.

Don't be intimidated by the seemingly elaborate samples in the book. Start where you are, with whatever die cutting machine or punch you have access to right now—even if it's a simple hole punch from your office drawer. When Paula started, "I had only one die, a flower, but every time I used it with a different fabric or material, it opened more possibilities for use with textiles and mixed media work."

The availability of ready-cut shapes and cutting machines has made life easier for quilters, paper crafters, and other artists. Once you start combining shapes with art materials, fabrics, threads and stitches, you may find a whole new level of self-expression and passion.

For more information on the book "Cut, Shape, Stitch," visit http://www.d4daisy.com/.
For more information on Kreinik threads, visit www.kreinik.com.

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Doug Kreinik's Winning Recipe

Side note: Within the needlearts industries, Doug Kreinik is more than Thread Man, fiber super hero. He is also famous for his love of food and his recommendations for good restaurants. Here at the thread factory, he's also known for treating us to delicious locally baked cookies!

For four years I have entered the Mid Ohio Valley's Great Bowl's of Chili Cook Off, representing my Rotary Club.  This year, I finally won 1st Place in the Vegetarian category. Here is my winning chili recipe.

Doug' s Winning Vegan Chili

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 medium red onion, chopped 
  • 2 large carrot, chopped 
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 Hungarian pepper.  Seeded and Chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeño discard seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoon dried oregano 
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin 
  • 5 tablespoon chipotle chili  powder or to taste (gives a bit of a smoky flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid 
  • 7 cans dark red  kidney beans, drained 
  • 3 can black beans, drained
  • 2 can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 bag of Lentils
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 leaves Swiss chard chopped
  • 4 tbsp sugar
Sauté chopped garlic, onions, Swiss chard, peppers, celery and carrots 

Add all beans, tomatoes, spices

Simmer on medium for 1 hour

Place in crock pot on low   Note: You may need two large crock pots for this feeds a multitude of people. Add water if liquid is needed to make chili less dense. Add corn. Let cook for 12 hours. Add water if needed to give a more fluid effect.

Enjoy and Eat.

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Blue Ribbon Stitch A Pen

Size doesn't matter. Your stitchery, whether big or small, has the potential to be a ribbon winner. At the very least, it's already a victory: for carving time out of a busy day to create, for resting your mind by using your eyes and hands, for turning a strand of thread into a picture. However, if you ever get the chance to submit your stitchery for an exhibit or fair, do it. It's a triumph for bringing needlework to the public, but it could be a prize-winner too.

Rebecca Yost stitched one of Kreinik's smallest needlework kits as a cross-stitch refresher, and ended up winning a blue ribbon in the cross-stitch division with the project. The ribbon was won at The Barlow Fair, which is the oldest independent fair in the state of Ohio. It is a small country fair that has been going on for 143 years. "It is a big deal for the people in our community," Rebecca said. "I have entered photographs and other craft and sewing projects into the fair every year for the last 15 or more years. So when my pen project was completed I knew it would also have to be entered."

"The pen was my first stitched project since I was a teen. When I was around five or six I can remember my mom bringing home a project from some home show she went to. I believe it was a very simple strawberry with yarn and plastic canvas!" When Rebecca started working at the Kreinik offices, she wanted a project that would get her back into stitchery, so she chose Fireflies, one of the Kreinik Stitch A Pen kits. "The pen was very simple and easy to follow and I was finished in no time. It was my first time doing anything with metallic and glow in the dark threads. I really enjoyed working on it."

The "Fireflies Stitch A Pen" kit is one of a series of designs available for stitching pens. Available in needlework stores and on http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Fireflies-Stitch-A-Pen-Kit.html, they use Kreinik metallic and silk threads in a variety of stitches on perforated paper. The finished stitchery is inserted into a blank pen ensemble to make fiber art you can use every day. See more designs in the pen line here.

When you call the Kreinik offices, you may talk to Rebecca on the phone, as she has joined the company in the customer service and marketing departments. She's pretty crafty, in a good way, and loves being surrounded by beautiful Kreinik threads at work. "I come from a very crafty family," Rebecca tells us. "From my grandmothers to my niece, we have worked on weaving baskets, making Ukrainian eggs, scrapbooking and quilting. I recently received a crash course in crochet from my Aunt! Let's just say I still need some practice."

Rebecca's family owns a quilt shop in Ohio, which is just across the river from Parkersburg, West Virginia, where the Kreinik plant is located. "My family's shop is "Sew Happy Quilting Traditions" and is located in Little Hocking, Ohio. Our family has had it for five years. It is run by my sister Rachelle. I can still be found there most Saturdays, working on quilting projects and assisting customers." The store's website is www.sewhappyquiltingtraditions.com and we recommend a stopover if you are in town or passing through. 

Congratulations on your ribbon, Rebecca, and welcome to the colorful thread world of Kreinik!

To get your own Stitch A Pen kit, visit http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Stitch-A-Pen-TM-Kits/

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Halloween Gift Bag

Designed by Jan Monahan using Kreinik Iron-on Threads

Materials needed:
  • Kreinik Iron-on Ribbon in black
  • White gift bag, medium size
  • one sheet Orange Mulberry paper or orange tissue paper
  • one white Creative gift tag
  • a rubber stamp that says “Boo” or Halloween stamp of your choice
  • Craft Glue Dots®
  • Black pigment ink
  • Friendly Plastic™ modeling material in black and orange
  • Black and orange Wraphia™
Other materials needed:
  • Frying pan
  • Press cloth from Kreinik
  • Scissors
  • Household Iron
Instructions:
  1. Click here to download the template for the spider.
  2. With scissors, cut orange mulberry paper to fit the front of gift bag. Randomly stamp “Boo” (or Halloween stamp of your choice) with black ink.
  3. On the wrong side of the mulberry paper, place 16 glue dots on the outside edges and affix to the front of the bag.
  4. Heat iron to highest setting (“High” or “Cotton/Linen” setting). Cover the Kreinik Using a press cloth over the thread, iron the black ribbon onto the bag front to make a web, following the picture as a guide. Work one section at a time, pressing for about 20 to 30 seconds to adhere the thread.
  5. Following the pattern, cut Friendly Plastic. Place the large heat sheet in a cold frying pan. Arrange Friendly Plastic into the spider shape including the orange hourglass shape. Heat frying pan to about 200 degrees and allow plastic to melt together. Turn off the frying pan and allow plastic to cool.
  6. Peel spider off of heat sheet and attach to bag where web threads meet with glue dots.
  7. Finish off by tying black and orange Wraphia™ to one of the handles of the gift bag and attaching a gift tag.
© Copyright Kreinik. www.kreinik.com.

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Athens Ohio Fiber Faire is this weekend

If you live near or will be traveling through Athens, Ohio this coming weekend, stop by the Athens Area Fiber Faire to pick up either gorgeous finished handmade items or the raw materials to make your own designs. Kreinik will be there, showing shimmery metallic threads and luscious silk fibers.

The event will feature classes in spinning, felting and knitting, but there will be plenty of activities and vendors around all kinds of techniques. Fiber fairs like these are new hot-spots for picking up supplies, meeting fellow fiber enthusiasts, and making connections with makers and shops. If you've never used Kreinik threads, this is a great way to feel the fibers first-hand and talk with Kreinik staff. Janice and Rebecca will be there on Saturday, and Doug Kreinik will be there on Sunday.

With the weather just about perfect this time of year, it will be a fun day for all ages. You can shop for supplies or pick up gifts for the holidays while your kids help form a giant pom pom or help stitch a community quilt.

The event is Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5, 2014, at ARTS/West, 132 W. State Street in Athens, Ohio. For more information, visit the Athens Area Fiber Faire on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/athensareafiberfaire) or Ravelry.com, or email faire organizers at athensareafiberfaire@gmail.com.

Hope to see you there!

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New Halloween String Art Kit

Have you tried string art lately? No need to get out the hammer, nails, wood plank, and sailboat outlines. You just need to pick up one of the new String Art on Canvas kits from Kreinik. They're smaller, easier, portable, and use metallic and glow-in-the-dark threads. No, this isn't your 1970s string art—it's modern materials in a retro technique, it's making your own decal or patch you can put anywhere, and it's a kit you can use to teach kids how to stitch.

New for the season is the Halloween kit, with outlines for witch's hat, bat, pumpkin, cat, haunted house and spider. The kit includes everything you need: thread(string), needle, canvas, outline, and a reusable embroidery hoop. Did we mention that the string glows in the dark? Halloween bats, witches, spiders and pumpkins have to glow in the dark, we're pretty sure it's in the holiday rule book.

You can stitch a design in less than two hours, while you're watching sports or tv, sitting in a waiting room, waiting in the car… When you're done, attach it to anything for a fun, insta-patch.

Want to see more? Visit our website for the complete collection of String Art on Canvas kits, or ask your local needlework store for them. If you don't have time to stitch, these are the perfect projects to get kids stitching, to get them using a needle and thread. Kids and teens love quick, easy, free-form embroidery, and here it is, in a cute little package: Kreinik String Art on Canvas kits.

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Make It Easier To See Your Stitching

Reviewing the Beam N Read®

It's no secret that, ahem, some of us have aging eyes. We may need to stitch on larger counts of fabric or canvas, or give up stitching altogether. And for the younger stitchers, it's not always easy stitching by the light of Netflix or in dimly lit rooms. You may have to limit what you can stitch to what's most visible. Well, here's a possible solution to these problems: the Beam N Read® from ASF Lighttware Solutions.

We met Bob from ASF at a needlework tradeshow as we were demonstrating stitching on silk gauze. "I have something to make that easier," he said—and we were interested, especially since Kreinik silk gauze comes in canvas counts as high as 90 holes per inch. As he showed us the Beam N Read, other vendors, needlework designers and shop owners passed by and said, "Oh I love that!" Those who had used the Beam N Read were 100% positive in their reviews.

We got one to try in a few stitching scenarios: stitching on black fabric, working on 40-count silk gauze, needlepointing in a hotel room, crocheting while watching Game of Thrones. The results, plain and simple: it worked. It really helped, and it wasn't cumbersome or in the way. It's good for reading too, so you can use it for more than stitching.

There are several Beam N Read® devices you can purchase, but the model we tested is the BNR LED 6-3. Hang it around your neck and adjust the strap to a comfortable length. With a choice of "bright" (3 LEDs) or "brighter" (6 LEDs), you have some control over the illumination. Set the switch to the desired light, then flip up the end to turn it on. There are three possible angles, so you can experiment or change the angle as you sit, move, or stitch.

The version we tested has two clip-on filters: red "for maintaining night vision" and orange "for softer light." We didn't test the filters, but they seem like a good idea, at least nice options to have. A Beam N Read® fan told us the filters are more relaxing to the eyes if reading or stitching in bed. "If you sew or read in bed at night, try the filters for a few days and then try no filter. You will be surprised at how much more relaxing the filtered light is when working or reading in bed. My wife reads in bed using the orange filter. I read in bed using the red filter as I find it even more relaxing," he said. The package also has a clip-on magnifier, which will help if you are stitching on silk gauze.

The Beam N Read® is available through needlework stores and online resources. You will need 4 AA batteries, and that stitching project you've always put aside because you can't see it well enough. Now, let your light shine.

Beam N Read® LED6 Deluxe Hands Free Light, ASF Lightware Solutions of Merrick, New York:




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String Art: The Next Generation

The next generation of stitchers—those under 20—call thread "string" and hold a needle like a touchscreen stylus. They like making things but don't like rules. They value freedom and self expression as daily life presents boredom, school, homework, and growing-up pressures. And they love the new String Art kits from Kreinik.

You remember string art, don't you? Wrapping colorful yarn around nails hammered into wooden boards to create pictures like animals and spirotot shapes. Today's string art style has advanced with modern tastes and trends: it uses metallic threads on different surfaces and in modern patterns.

Kreinikgirl (@Kreinikgirl on Twitter) shows the new way to do string art, with metallic threads on "floating" canvas, in this blog post for the popular stitch-and-embroidery website www.mrxstitch.com. Click here for the article: http://www.mrxstitch.com/string-art-next-generation/

The designs and ideas are available in new and coming-soon kits from Kreinik. Look for the Kreinik String Art On Canvas series. Each kit includes design outlines, thread (the string, some of which glows in the dark), needle, Polysil™ canvas, and reusable embroidery hoop. You even get double-sided tape to attach your string art to anything, such as a notebook, cosmetic bag, sleep mask, or anything your heart desires.

String Art isn't just for the young, mind you. Anyone wanting a quick, low-stress, colorful thread project will love these string art kits. You get self-expression and creativity without charts, order, rules and critique. Anyone who fears doing something "the wrong way" needs to make a Kreinik String Art On Canvas project. There is no wrong way to stitch one. Mental health note: once you learn to let go, you relax, and the creative freedom feels wonderful.

So no matter your age, your mission is to explore the exciting world of String Art On Canvas, to seek out free-form creativity, to boldly stitch on something you may not have tried before. Stitch long and prosper.



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Marking pens for needlepoint canvases

We have informative discussions on the Kreinik Facebook page with the community of stitchers sharing tips whenever someone has a question. It's a convenient place to share stitching tips, project ideas, and needlework community news as well as a place for announcements about Kreinik thread. Like our Facebook page to you can visit by clicking here

Recently a stitcher who wanted to create her own needlepoint designs asked us: "Is there a pen that can be used on needlepoint canvas that won't bleed?" We posted it on Facebook, and it became one of the most viral topics we've seen in awhile. In case you want to create your own designs, we are posting some of the answers below.

Stitcher-suggested pens for drawing on needlepoint canvases:

  • "I use Pigma or Micron for fine lines and Sharpies, usually in pale colors, for thicker ones." - Marjorie H.
  • " How about griffon…I hate spell check make that frixion pen made by pilot. They are heat sensitive so even if the bleed with a little heat, the ink will disappear." - Mary L.
  • "Zig Markers - been using them for years - Fleur de Paris was the distributor--usually can find them in a good art supply store." - Carolyn T.
  • "People before commented that Micron was the best…" - Ann L.
  • "I asked this question a couple of months ago and the responses were Identpen, Zig fabric and a couple of others. Of course I have not been able to find any locally. Others also said not sharpie on canvas. It was a huge discussion with many posts to blogs etc. Use the search feature of facebook to find lots of info from that post." - Lisa P.
  • "Def Sharpie" - Zarina A.
  • "Sharpie fine point." - Judy C.
  • "I use an IdentiPen extra fine, just for outlining lightly. Micron is fine too." - Carol G. (Note: Carol is one of the designers of needlepoint canvas company Associated Talents)
  • "Sharpie makes a fine-point pen." - Karen C.
  • "A fine Micron pen." - Louise H
Thanks for the suggestions, Facebook friends! Janet Perry also talked about marking pens several times on her blog. Check out the articles here http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/marking-pens-needlepoint-naming-names/

and http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/coloring-a-needlepoint-canvas-with-pens/

Stitchers and DIYers are all about personalization these days, stitching specific words, phrases, even texts and Tweets that are meaningful. These finished projects make great gifts since they are so people-specific. The next time you want to create your own needlepoint design on canvas, use these suggestions to outline, then fill in with stitches of colorful Kreinik threads.

Like Kreinik on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Kreinik.Manufacturing.Company

And we are now on Pinterest! Follow our photo/idea posts at http://pinterest.com/kreinik/ If you post photos of your projects stitched with Kreinik, be sure to add "Kreinik" in the comment section so we can find you.

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A Few Of Our Favorite Christmas Needlepoint Canvases

Have you heard? There are 19 more Saturdays until Christmas. Do you have your decorations figured out for this year, gifts lined up, projects ready to go to the finisher? We don't either, but now is a good time to start.

First up on your project list if you are a needlepointer can be the "My Favorite Things" ornaments from Rebecca Wood Designs. We saw the finished models at this summer's TNNA tradeshow, and can attest that they are gorgeous. The colors are classic, the ornament sizes are ideal for standard trees, and the stitched details are fun. The designs are brought to life by Cynthia Thomas, who created stitch guides for the series.

Side note: If you are unfamiliar with "stitch guides," they are printed (or PDF) pages that give you suggested fibers, stitches, and stitch diagrams to make a design. If you've ever stared at a blank canvas wondering how to go beyond basic tent and continental stitches, stitch guides will be helpful. Cynthia is one of the top stitch guide writers in the needlearts community who works with just about all of the needlepoint canvas companies. We adore her not just because she loves Kreinik threads and is super nice and fabulous, but she's got a great mind for interpreting needlepoint through stitches and fibers. So you are in good hands if you have a Cynthia Thomas stitch guide.

But back to this ornament line… The designs include raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens and all the references mentioned in the song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music musical/movie. They would make an heirloom addition to your holiday tree, or a gift for a new bride and groom, grandchild, or anyone else who will have their own trees to decorate each holiday. The theme is so classic, it will never go out of style*.

Take a look at the photos below, and visit our Flickr page for more. To get the canvases and stitch guides, contact your local needlepoint shop or favorite online needlepoint source.



Anyone else now hungry for some crisp apple strudel or schnitzel with noodles?

* Did you know: "My Favorite Things" has been recorded by a range of artists including Julie Andrews, The Supremes, Carrie Underwood, Barbra Streisand, the cast of Glee, John Coltrane, Andy Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Tony Bennett, Kenny Rogers, Outkast, and Mary J. Blige among others.

Source information:
REBECCA WOOD DESIGNS: http://www.rebeccawooddesigns.com/
KREINIK METALLIC THREADS: www.kreinik.com

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New Cross Stitch Christmas Book

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Kreinik, as we are getting advance copies of new holiday publications featuring Kreinik threads. We "ooh" and "ahh" and get excited when we see our designer friends' names in print, and immediately want to tell you what's coming this fall for your stitching inspiration. Get your lists ready...

New from Bayview Publishing (Craftways Corporation) in Plover, Wisconsin: "A Cross-Stitch Christmas  2014" hardcover book. With 128-pages of full color photos and charts, there is something for everyone to stitch in this book. Bayview has been publishing a Christmas cross-stitch book every year for as long as we can remember, and every year they manage to be original and fresh—and come up with more projects we want to stitch.

A few of the things we like about the book:

  • They cover all color options for Christmas decorating, not just the usual red and green. You will find designs in purple and gold (very elegant), green and brown (perfect for rustic decor), and bright blue and red (retro love!).
  • The charts-with-symbols are in color, which makes them so much easier to read and follow than black-and-white charts. (This is helpful for anyone stitching Christmas gifts after midnight.)
  • Stitch diagrams are included. If you are a cross-stitch beginner who may not know how to do an Algerian Star, there's a detailed diagram for that.
  • Design quality is terrific. Some of the top designers in the industry created patterns for the book: Joan Elliott, Ursula Michael, Tracy Horner, Debbie Rowley, Lois Winston, Janelle Giese, Erik Shipley, Linda Bird, Erin Dekker Raatjes, Amy Bruecken, Ada Haydon, Julia Lucas, Barbara Sestok, Cathy Bussi, Barbara Ana and more, just to name a few. Many of the gorgeous designs use Kreinik threads for that must-have holiday sparkle.
If you look forward to giving handmade presents to your loved ones for Christmas, take a look at this book. It should be in stores soon.

A CROSS-STITCH CHRISTMAS, Bayview Publishing, Craftways Corporation, PO Box 157, Plover WI 54467, 1-866-321-9550, suggested retail price $39.95 US, $44.95 Canada

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How To Use Leather on Needlepoint

What are you wearing? Any leather? Not to pry, but we're guessing you have probably worn this material at one time or another: leather gloves, leather jacket, leather boots, maybe even leather pants. Or perhaps you've been on a leather saddle or sofa, or read a leather-bound book.

Leather is not only a decorative fashion staple year after year, but it appears in daily life in some form or another as a durable, all-purpose material. It covers people in harsh weather and protects motorcyclists from flying rocks and road rash. It is also used in works of art, clothing, accessories, and home decor for its unique texture. Synthetic alternatives have even been developed for those who do not want to use any kind of leather.

In needlework, leather offers the possibility of replicating real life in your design — that is, for making realistic stitchery. Stitching a Santa design, for example? Make his boots black leather. A saddle can be an appliqued piece of brown leather. For needlepointers and quilters, Kreinik offers kid leather in a variety of colors, from the common black and brown to copper, gold, silver, even red. Kreinik distributes leather from another manufacturer, so stock can vary. Check the Kreinik website for the latest color options: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kid-Leather-Skins/

Two common ways to attach kid leather to needlework:

  1. Tack with a glover's needle (a sharp needle with a triangular point). In the photo at right, Beth Robertson and Suzanne Howren, authors of the
    Stitches for Effect books and many other guides, attached a kid leather
    shoe on a Mile High Princess needlepoint canvas (now discontinued) using Kreinik silk thread and a glover's needle. The technique is from their
    book, "New Twists on Needlework Embellishment."
  2. Use heavy-duty, double-sided tape (like Kreinik's Treasure Tape, which is archive quality).

Soft, pliable kid leather is available from Kreinik in a variety of sizes. We also have a grab bag of mixed colors and sizes called Hold O'Hides (part of the Bag O'Bits and Sack O'Silks line). As you start your next project, think about ways you can add leather elements. It adds another texture and visual element that can make your project more exciting and fun.

Want to know more?

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On Becoming An Explorer

Mission Accomplished!
Vacations are supposed to be a removal from what you do day to day. This year, after reading all of the literature, my wife, Myla, and I decided to take an adventure around the northern shore of Lake Superior known as the Circle Tour of Lake Superior: "beautiful vistas, water falls, islands, historic sites, lighthouses, smoked fish, moose, elk, bear and the Northern Lights." Wow, what could be better? What the literature did not say was that if one was into kayaking, canoeing, motor cycling, hiking or cross country bicycling, the experience would be fantastic. Myla and I are not outdoor people, so our adventure into the wilderness only accomplished one goal, and that was to see a moose.

The landscape was beautiful when viewable; but the fog was heavy. The waterfalls were magnificent, along with the mosquitoes. The days were cold, and we wore three layers of jackets all-the-while wishing we had not forgotten our toboggans. The food was just okay with no real local lake food available.  We had expected to spend two days in Thunder Bay, but the rain and forecast of more rain pushed us onward to Minnesota.

Crossing the border, we ventured southward towards Duluth, MN. We drove into a small town not knowing what to expect, and found a gem of an artist colony in Grand Marais, MN.  We discovered great food, Bed and Breakfast inns, beautiful vistas and lots to do. It was amazing, but still cold.  Met a nice yarn shop owner and learned of a fantastic pizza hangout in town. We were told that there were still small icebergs on the lake, making natural air conditioning on high. The waves crashed along the shore line, the winds blew and people stayed indoors, but it was beautiful.

Split Rock Lighthouse
On the route to Duluth, we stopped at Split Rock Lighthouse.  The light’s lens was made in France in the late 1800’s as were those of other lighthouses throughout the US. It is able to magnify light up to 20 miles away. Lighthouses are monuments to the past and are normally no longer in use because of GPS.

To say we vacationed in Duluth, is strange, but we had great fun in this charming city.  It is hilly like Seattle and San Francisco.  Driving up the hills was challenging, and winters must be really interesting.  There are gourmet quality restaurants, tours and shopping available.  On the Duluth harbor tour, it was explained that along the ocean coasts there are sea gulls, but in the bay outside Duluth, they have only “bay-gulls” (ha,ha,ha). 

Flood waters were high on our way down to St. Paul/Minneapolis.  Our son just moved there, so we were excited to see what brought him to this town.  Great restaurants, shopping, parks, buildings and museums were abundant. We visited the St. Paul History Museum where a retrospective exhibit on popular toys from the 50’s through the 80’s was on view.  I saw toys I had played with in the 50’s and 60’s:  Block City (the precursor of Lego), Hop-a-long Cassidy paraphernalia, Erector Sets and Lincoln Logs.  Charles, my son, was amazed and commented, “No electronics?”

The rest of the trip home was along the flooded Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side. We drove by religious grottos, monuments to French explorers and a lot of wineries. We stopped through Galena, IL where President Grant entered politics, and we had a great time looking through shops.  Onward to Normal, Illinois where we met “Normal” people. We shot through Indiana to Springfield OH, the original home of 4H.


Once back in Parkersburg, we napped for two hours, then went to the factory and picked up my market display. We drove south to the Mountaineer Arts and Crafts Fair in Ripley, WV where Kreinik was a prize sponsor for the annual Quilt show.    spent three fun displaying my goodies, all the while making friendship bracelets, talking to quilters, knitters, cross stitchers, needle pointers, spinners and weavers.  People were pleased to see my little display of art quilting, dolls and product ideas.

Mountaineer Arts and Crafts Fair in Ripley, WV
Custom Corder Friendship Bracelets in Ripley, WV


Doug on Vacay










Vacation was a 3500-mile trek filled with interesting challenges, adventures and surprises.  Myla told me that next time we will visit Mackinaw Island rather than driving by it and seek out a moose with antlers.  We will see about that.

by Doug Kreinik

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Trend Alert: silk threads and smocking

If there was a Time magazine issue for textiles, we're calling it now: Silk is going to be the Thread Of The Year. It is durable, strong, and takes dyes on a deeper cellular level than any other fiber (that means you get really rich, gorgeous colors). While silk has been used in needlework for centuries, tastes come and go…and right now silk is on the scene. We are seeing it used more in everything from fly fishing to knitting, needlepoint, cross stitch, weaving, and smocking.

Remember smocking? It's making a comeback too. Did you see the cute little smocked jumper England's Prince George was wearing on his visit to Australia? Smocked sundresses are a staple in little girls' fashion, but fashion-forward children aren't the only ones wearing the style. Vintage-inspired embroiderers are embracing smocking for everything from wedding dresses to home decor and handbags. "I am on a campaign to get the word out that smocking is so much more than children's clothing," says teacher Barbara Meger.

From the Middle Ages onward, smocking has been an embroidery technique with pretty but practical virtues. It may look like simple elastic-like pleating, but the sculpting effects, embroidery stitches and eye-catching patterns make smocking extraordinary. The most popular threads in smocking are cotton and silk, but you can use other threads as well. In her store, Barbara sells Threadworx overydyed floss and Kreinik metallic threads, for instance.

The photos shown here are designs from Barbara's company, Classic Creations. This smocking and bead embroidery bag is created with Kreinik Silk Bella, a 100% pure very thin, fine silk thread. The design is called "Beaded Van Dyke Reticule."  Barbara will be teaching it at the Smocking Arts Guild Convention of America (SAGA) Convention in Orlando in September.

As you peruse Pinterest, Flickr, Google, blogs, magazines, and stores this summer, keep your eyes open for smocking. It's another beautiful embroidery technique where silk threads shine.

For more information:

Side note: Kreinik's production facility and offices are closed this week for summer holiday. We will be back July 7.

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Registration is now open for the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival

Fiber artist Barbara Grossman, Founder of the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, is teaming up with her sister Ann Szilagyi on a new endeavor: The first-ever Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival. The fiber fest takes place at the Four Points by Sheraton in Mars, PA, Aug. 22-23. It will feature classes, workshops, lectures, interactive demos and a marketplace focusing on a variety of creative arts. Doug Kreinik will be there, teaching classes and doing demonstrations. Kreinik threads and kits can be purchased through a shop in the marketplace.

The website, www.pghcreativearts.com, is open for registration for admission and classes.   Visitors can also sign up for a free enewsletter at the site.

In addition to Doug Kreinik's class on making trims, other classes are: Transforming a Garment with Barbara Assejew. Metal Embossing, Hand Painting a Silk Scarf with Evi Slaby (an exercise in letting go), Book Arts Boot Camp with Kitty Spangler, Wire Wrapped Bracelet with Elaine Smith, Color and Your Emotions with Donna Bogosto Kearns. You get the idea; the festival will have something for everyone, from Embroidery to Basketry, Calligraphy, Paper Marbling, Collage Painting, Soapmaking, Quilting, Fabric and Paper Design and more.

“Some artists work in a variety of media, and others choose to stick mainly with one medium, such as fiber,” Grossman says. “The Creative Arts Festival will appeal to an even wider audience, as well as hopefully bring back some of our fiber fans to explore the incorporation of fiber with other media like beads, fabric, paper, surface design and more."

The event will feature a kick-off reception with a sneak preview of the marketplace on Friday evening, August 22nd, 2014 that will include demonstrations, mini classes, music and the open marketplace.   Classes, demos and marketplace will be open all day on Saturday, August 23rd , 2014.  Visit the show's website for registration and updates: http://pghcreativearts.com/

This is a great opportunity to meet Doug Kreinik and ask him all of your Kreinik-related or thread-related questions. Click here to sign up for Doug's class: http://pghcreativearts.com/classes/saturday-august-23-2014/afternoon-classes/make-creative-trims-doug-kreinik/



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