New: Designer Shoelaces For A Cause

Shoelaces? Yes! Made from the quality, colorful Kreinik threads you use for stitching. This project of love comes from the Kreinik family, made to honor their son Charles who passed away in 2015. Charles loved colorful shoelaces, and this line was created so people of all ages could step out in fun, brighten their corner of the world, and donate to worthy causes.
C.A.K.S. Laces honor Charles Austin Kreinik who took his own life at age 28. In the end, Charles was affected by physical pain, alcoholism and depression, but in brighter days he was a gifted person of quirky humor and generous spirit. You could even spot that in his clothes: he loved wearing unique, patterned socks and bow ties.

Suicide dimmed that light. However, Charles’ parents, Doug and Myla Kreinik, want others to keep theirs shining brightly.  One small way to do that is through these fun shoelaces, made from Kreinik threads in West Virginia.

Wear these colorful laces to bring cheerful color to the day and show your sparkling personality. A portion of the proceeds  from C.A.K.S. Laces will benefit a fund designated for suicide prevention, addiction counseling, and grief support programs

So lace up your shoes, put one foot in front of the other, and keep on going—or dancing! Your purchase helps others, supports grieving families, and makes the world a little brighter. These cool laces are made with Kreinik glow-in-the-dark fibers and look awesome under a blacklight.

Click here to purchase.


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Holiday Happenings


This week, many in the United States are traveling and preparing for the feast of food and friendship also known as Thanksgiving. We hope that all are safe, happy, and healthy—and we thank you for your business this year. The Kreinik factory and office will be closed on Thursday and Friday so that our staff can celebrate the holiday with their families and friends (no orders will be shipping after 3 p.m. Wednesday November 25). We will reopen on Monday, November 30.

Christmastime is here
Later this week our 25 Days of Free Christmas Projects begins on www.kreinik.com. Bookmark the page and check frequently as we add cute, classic, clever, and creative free projects to make for decor or gifts. We start with a few projects kids can do too; this is the perfect time of year to teach someone to stitch or craft.

Our own staff spent the last two weeks making ornaments for a Christmas tree, which will be auctioned for charity in the Parkersburg community. All the ornaments feature Kreinik threads, of course, because you can't have Christmas without some sparkle, right?! Take a look at some of the projects we made, including Bag O' Bits glass balls decorated with Kreinik Iron-on Threads, and a tree skirt decorated with the Iron-on Threads.


Christmas Schedule
Are you busy stitching holiday designs or organizing your projects for next year? For your Kreinik thread needs, place orders with your favorite online resources or visit your favorite needlework store as soon as you can. We will be closed for the Christmas break from December 24 through January 3.

TNNA Trade Show
We will be back January 4, welcoming the new year with a booth at the trade show: the TNNA Winter Show in San Diego, California, January 9-11. This is a trade show, open to retailers, designers, publishers and other needle art businesses, where companies like Kreinik debut new products. We are very excited to show what we've been working on the last few months. For info on the trade show, visit www.tnna.org.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Kreinik family and staff!


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Update: Tokens and Trifles™ perforated paper

In 2005, the talented trio of Wendy White, Tricia Wilson, and Justyna Teverovsky of Redefined, Inc, brought an historical needlework medium back to life: die-cut perforated paper shapes in the Victorian era tradition. Recently the company announced they are closing.

Tricia provides some background on the product line's inspiration: "Back when perforation machines were developed, about 1860, the idea to combine die cutting and embossed paper with embroidery was hatched as part of the ephemera explosion of the Victorian Era." She recounts, "It was made from thick, luxurious paper with a smooth finish - and decorative edges that made the unstitched pieces works of art before the embroidery. They were the 'quick projects' of their time, often called trinkets."

Tricia, Wendy and Justyna recreated these wonderful shapes, first in a line of cards with elaborate borders, then with shapes featuring simpler lines called "Trinkets". Everyone who stitched on the shapes instantly adored them and began a collection. They connected us to stitchery's past and gave us something fun on which to stitch.

We have loved this product line from the beginning: quality perforated paper, beautiful edging to make finishing better/easier, potential for lovely designs and quick/satisfying projects. We have loved being their official distributor, providing shops with the lovely line and creating stitchery kits using the various shapes (see http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Ornament-Of-The-Month-Designs/ and http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Mini-Quilt-Collections/ ).

While the company will no longer make the products, Kreinik has stock of many shapes, see http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Tokens-and-Trifles/. We are stocking up on the most popular shapes as well to bring exciting limited-edition kits in the next year. So stay tuned to Kreinik and needlework stores for lovely projects to come.


In the meanwhile, here is the heartfelt message and story from the product creators: http://thistle-threads.blogspot.com/2015/11/end-of-era-tokens-and-trifles.html



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Which came first: Filament or Braid?

Stitcher Roberta recently asked us about the story behind the development of Blending Filament. "Did they come first, or did the Braids?" she asked, and "Were they meant to be used with other threads or as 'stand alone' fibers?"

Great questions, Roberta! Actually, the filaments and Braids came out at the same time. The filament was meant to be used as a blending thread, to add subtle highlights to whatever cotton or wool you use. The Braids were designed to be used as "stand alone" fibers, and were developed to be in different sizes to match (or provide perfect coverage) on common needlepoint and cross stitch fabrics or to be used in surface embroidery. Here's more detail on where Kreinik metallic threads come from, courtesy of Doug Kreinik:

In 1979, my parents, Jerry and Estelle Kreinik, loved visiting museums.  My dad spotted a 17th century sampler featuring gold work combined with silk threads and came up with an idea.  In the early 1950s, my dad worked for Naval Research.  He helped establish sizes used today for woman's clothing (during WWII it was mainly  a generic categorization of small, medium and large), invented the D ring and even created rain cap covering for officers' hats.  He also came up with the idea of using plastic metallic coated filaments to create military regalia for uniforms (the idea was nixed by the Navy at the time).  Go forward almost 30 years. He felt that the material he had seen when working for the Navy could be used for embroidery to take the place of real metal threads, which were expensive, hard to find, and could tarnish easily.

Kreinik Blending Filaments and Braids, first known as Balger (because my parents liked French sounding words) came about at the same time. My parents realized that there was a use for the filaments to give a bit of light to a blended thread, and the same material could be made into a braid to used as a separate thread or yarn. In the beginning they had Blending Filament,  #8, #16 and #32 Braids in seven colors. At the time, my mom felt that seven colors would probably be enough shades as a product line. Today there are 14+ sizes/weights and 220+ colors in the Kreinik metallic thread line.

When they began, they had a manufacturer make the Braids for them.  After a while, my dad, who loved machinery, began purchasing his own equipment.  Today we have many machines that run and run and run. We make all of our flat and round braids at our factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
For more information about Kreinik Manufacturing, visit www.kreinik.com and connect with us on www.Facebook.com/Kreinik.Manufacturing.Company

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Three quick-to-make Halloween costumes

Halloween is one of Those Holidays: you know it's coming (the same time every year), but it still sneaks up on you. At the last minute, you realize you need a costume—and with stores already sold out, it's time for do-it-yourself solutions. Here are three ideas for Halloween costumes that look great but take very little time. The patterns can be downloaded right to your computer.

KNITTING: Black Widow's Choker and Wristlets

  • Purchase the downloadable PDF patterns for these gorgeous glow-in-the-dark knitted designs by Lisa Barnes of LMB Designs here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Knitting-Patterns/. They knit up quickly and dress up any outfit (even office wear) for a spirited yet classy costume. 

NEEDLEPOINT: Martian Mask
  • Use Kreinik glow-in-the-dark Braid to whip up this clever mask. You can stitch it on mono canvas, but plastic canvas is easier for finishing (find plastic canvas in craft stores). Download the pattern here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Martian-Mask.html


NO-SEW: Glow-in-the-dark Boo Vest
  • Head over to a thrift store like Goodwill and pick up a vest or sweater, then embellish with Kreinik iron-on threads. No sewing or stitching experience necessary. You can iron the thread in the shape of words, or a ghost, as in our free pattern here: https://www.kreinik.com/shops/Glow-in-the-Dark-Boo-Vest.html
Halloween can be a stressful event if you wait until the last minute to get candy or costumes. So stay one step ahead of those negative spirits and make these clever outfits this weekend.

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How to use Kreinik threads in weaving

Have you used metallic threads in your weaving projects? The first reaction we get when people see woven projects with the added metallic is "Wow!" followed by "It looks so beautiful with the metallic!" Here's your chance to try these shimmery fibers that will make a special project more eye-catching. Pick up the latest issue of Handwoven magazine and start with the Turned Overshot Runner by Deb Essen.

From the issue: "This beautiful turned overshot runner by Deb Essen would make the perfect decoration for any table. The shimmering, 6-shaft runner is woven using a supplementary warp which means you get the elegance of overshot without having to switch shuttles. Woven using wool and Kreinik metallic threads, Deb’s runner is an absolute delight to weave."

The instructions can be found in the November/December 2015 issue of Handwoven magazine, published by Interweave Press: http://www.interweavestore.com/weaving/weaving-magazines/weaving-magazines-handwoven. You need 164 yards (which equals one 150-meter cone, or three 50-meter cones) of Kreinik Heavy #32 Braid in color 027 Orange to make this project, which you can order here: http://www.kreinik.com/handwoven.htm.

Consider Kreinik metallic threads for your next special occasion weaving project, to add a stripe or motif area of sparkle. Focus on a little sparkle so as not to overwhelm and to keep the cost down. "The metallic threads as weaving yarns is so enticing and has sooooo much potential," said Deb, who is also using the metallics in Zoom Loom projects like her new Christmas Ornaments kits; see http://www.djehandwovens.com/.

The most common question about metallics in weaving is about shrinkage. All types of yarns shrink differently, even at different temperature levels. Kreinik fibers are hand and machine washable, but, since these metallics are inelastic compared to some other types of yarns, we recommend sampling the threads with the weaving yarns you plan to use before starting your actual project.

Another common question is "Where do I get large cones?" Weavers need more material than you can find on the common small black Kreinik spools. Since we make our own threads, we can cone any amount. You can special order large cones through your favorite yarn store, on the Kreinik website, or come by the Kreinik Factory Outlet store (1708 Gihon Road, Parkersburg WV 26102, open during weekday business hours) for special savings on selected cones.

Don't wait any longer—your next weaving project will be even more gorgeous and awe-inspiring with motifs or stripes of soft shimmer.

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Knit the most elegant Halloween design


Your "what to wear this Halloween" quandary is solved with two new knitting patterns from Kreinik and LMB Designs. The unique designs are pretty (with a twist) and versatile: lacy for daywear, edgy for nighttime, and fun for party time (they glow in the dark).

The Black Widow Spider Choker is designed by Lisa M. Barnes (LMBDesigns on Ravelry). She used Kreinik's realistic fuzzy Micro Ice Chenille yarn for the creepy-cool spider, and carry-along Blending Filament for the glow-in-the-dark background. Fun and quick to make, the downloadable pattern is just $6 here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Black-Widow-Choker.html 

Complete the look with the matching Widow's Spider Web Wristlets, available as a separate downloadable pattern here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Widow-s-Web-Wristlets.html. Both can be worn beyond Halloween, too: the choker will be a conversation piece at your next ComicCon, Spiderman viewing party, or knit-out. The wristlets will keep your wrists warm in a cold office, plus serve as an elegant accessory to wear at a formal event. The background yarn (Kraemer Yarns Fountain Hill Brushed Mohair) is a lovely neutral gray, so it will coordinate with any outfit.

The spider is created with duplicate stitch, a useful tool to have in your knitting repertoire due to the embellishment possibilities. If you've never tried duplicate stitch, this project is a perfect first-timer.

Love the designs but don't knit? Simply buy the supplies and pattern, and ask a knitting friend to make one for you (they'll probably want a set for themselves too). Both projects are easy weekend or weeknight projects that can be finished quickly.

Buy the patterns here:

You can buy the Kreinik threads on the Kreinik website or through your favorite shop.






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How to rock your Halloween projects

There's only one thing you need to make your Halloween projects more fun: glow-in-the-dark thread. Doesn't matter what your technique is — weaving, knitting, crochet, quilting, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroidery — you can add this creative element to the delight of everyone. We mean it: people of all ages all over the world love seeing things glow in the dark. Amaze your friends and surprise yourself with how easy it is.

Kreinik makes five glow-in-the-dark colors, and they all carry an "F" (for fluorescent) after the color number: 051F Tangerine, 052F Grapefruit, 053F Lime, 054F Lemon-Lime, 055F Watermelon. Each will glow for about 15 minutes after being exposed to light. To re-activate the glow, simply expose them to light again. They are available in standard sized spools (10 meters to 50 meters) and cones for larger projects (just ask your favorite needlework store to special order). The threads are washable by hand or machine, tumble dry on low or hang to dry.

Here's how:

  1. Pick your level of glow. Kreinik Blending Filament is the thin, add-to-anything-anywhere fiber that is idea for knitting, crochet, and cross stitch. For needlepoint, where you need heavier coverage, choose Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, Medium #16 Braid (the thread gets heavier as the number goes up), or 1/16" Ribbon. For paper crafts, weaving, or hand embroidery, choose any of the Braids or Ribbons.
  2. Now add them to your design. If doing embroidery, use a needle large enough to accommodate the thread easily and use about 18-inch lengths. If knitting or crocheting, simply work the fiber alongside your main yarn, or use it for duplicate stitching. Need some inspiration? This article offers great ideas:  http://www.mrxstitch.com/ghost-in-the-embroidery-machine/
Free glow-in-the-dark projects:
Have fun with your creative projects by adding glow-in-the-dark threads. Everyone will love the results.

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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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The Art Of Needlepoint Cats

Forget about the dog days of summer, we all know that cats rule the space-time continuum. If you haven't already fallen in love with internet cat sensations Lil Bub, Grumpy Cat, George2Legs, Maru, Snoopy the Cat, Colonel Meow, Nala, Cooper the Photographer Cat, then you're probably using your time wisely, and we a-paws you, er, APPLAUD you.

For the rest of us who love cats, there's a must-have needlepoint canvas line from designer Marla Pelz of MAP Designs to stitch and show all of our friends, or at the very least hang in our hallway galleries. Each design is a cat-take on a famous painting or famous painter's style. Marla has stitch guides for several, and often uses Kreinik metallic threads. A favorite is using Kreinik Hot-Wire wired #16 Braid for the cat whiskers.

Designs like Pecasto, Chatese, Toolooz, Melo, Catzoir and Vengo are purrfect—sorry, can't help it—perfect for offering a classic design, with a cat motif, for your own artistic interpretation. Your stitches and threads are your paints…and your MAP cat design will be one-of-a-kind.

Marla has been designing hand painted needlepoint canvases for several years. She also owned a retail shop specializing in needlepoint, knitting and crochet. Today she focuses on the painted canvas line as well as teaching classes in her studio near Los Angeles, California. You can see more of Marla's designs on her website http://www.mapdesignsneedleworks.com/ or in needlepoint stores.

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How to use Kreinik metallic threads with a Zoom Loom

If you have a spool of Kreinik metallic thread, you can do many things: cross stitch, needlepoint, knit or crochet jewelry, tie a fly fishing lure, make a tatted ornament, stitch on a card or scrapbook page, wrap something, make string art, hang something, cord some piping, and even weave. Swedish weaving and pin loom weaving are particularly perfect for Kreinik's standard sized spools (10 meters). So grab one of your extra Kreinik colors—maybe one you bought because you loved the color but haven't used in a project yet—and let's get started weaving…

First you will need a small pin loom, like a Zoom Loom by Schacht. This tiny hand loom has pins in place that allow you to weave in and out quickly, making a woven square that you can then transform into many items. Designer Deb Essen, for instance, has a line of stuffed animals made from squares. At the TNNA Columbus trade show this month, she is releasing a line of Christmas ornaments made out of Zoom Loom squares. You can also combine them into scarves, sweaters, blankets, etc.

Pin looms have been around for awhile, but they are seeing a resurgence because they use up yarn stashes, you can use any kind of fiber, they make quick projects, and they are travel size. Doug Kreinik and his brother had pin looms as children, and they made hundreds of little squares that their mother, company founder Estelle Kreinik, could turn into an afghan. (Side note: about 30 years later, Doug found the box of squares in his mother's closet, still waiting to be sewn into something. Don't be sad for Doug, though: some of those squares eventually appeared in an issue of Piecework magazine.) Once you get started making your squares, be sure to turn them into something.

How do you use Kreinik metallic threads in a Zoom Loom? The answer: just like any other yarn. We like to combine the thinner Kreinik metallics like Blending Filament, Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, and Ombre with other yarns as a way to create custom blends, or dress up plain yarns. See the photos for one idea, combining Kreinik gold Ombre with a camouflage colored yarn. You can also use the heavier Kreinik metallics by themselves for a bold, contemporary woven look.

Top tips:
  • When you use a carry-along fiber in crochet, knitting or weaving, keep a watchful eye on the two fibers, making sure you don't separate them with your needle or hook. 
  • You can also use the heavier Kreinik Braids and Ribbons by themselves in your pin loom, although the final result may be a bit stiffer. These threads are ideal for projects that won't be worn.
  • Metallic threads don't have the elasticity of cotton or wool yarns. You can still wash items made with metallic threads, but they may not shrink stretch like other types of fibers.
  • In all Zoom Loom projects, watch that your tension isn't too tight. 
  • Weave carefully or slowly to avoid tangling, twisting, and knotting of the thread.
Kreinik metallic threads are also used on rigid-heddle looms, but you need larger cones for those projects. However a simple, small spool of Kreinik is all you need on a pin loom. Grab your favorite color and start weaving! It's simple, quick and fun—a perfect creative activity for kids and adults this summer.





More information:
  • For info on Deb Essen's designs, see http://www.djehandwovens.com/
  • For Kreinik threads, see http://www.kreinik.com
  • For shops and designers visiting the TNNA needlearts trade show this upcoming weekend in Columbus, Ohio, visit the Kreinik booth #918 for fibers, and DJE Handwoven's booth for patterns

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