Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

...IN your needlework, that is! Recently we polled our Facebook friends to see which Kreinik thread they liked to use to replicate snow in their needlework. Hands-down Kreinik color 032 Pearl is the favorite, but some add a touch of blue to their snow with colors like Kreinik 194 Pale Blue, 9400 Baby Blue, 1432 Blue Ice, 094 Star Blue. How do you like to capture that cool crystalline coating in your needlework?

Snow is sparkly in real life, and the easiest way to make it sparkly in projects is with metallic threads. If you would like to try blending shades to create a snow scene, look for the Kreinik Metallic Gift Collection: Snowflake, available online at www.kreinikmall.com (in Kits & Collections), which has several different "snowy" shades in one boxed set. Want something really different and fun? We recommend Kreinik Ombre 3200 Pearl in the Satin Stitch for snow drifts.

Here are some responses from our Facebook poll.

  • Blending filament in pearl (sometimes with white thread) makes a sparkly snow .... and for that morning sun hitting the snow look blending filament in Starburst (over white or alone) mixed in with some plain white stitches seems to do the trick! - Loretta O.
  • 032 - in all sizes - sometimes with #4 or #8 when I really want shading in the painting to show through - sometimes #12 when I want full coverage - and #16 when I am using 13 mesh. It is the "best" snow !!! - Betsy H.
  • Pearl Blending Filament (032) I love the twinkle it adds! - Maggie M.
  • 032 blending filament looks most realistic. I'm looking forward to trying the new hologram threads. I think a scattered stitch of silver might be interesting. - Karen C.
  • I use 032 and 100 on needlepoint canvas. I use a lot of your 1/8 and 1/16 ribbon for projects too. I use 4005 what a great metallic thread. It amazes me how this color can change depending on what color is next to it in a design. - Diana M.
  • 032 bf looks the best for getting the sun glittering on the snow look - Margaret S.
  • I like the 032 #4 braid. - Deborah K.
  • Love the sparkle of 032! - Diane S.
  • Have to agree, Pearl Blending Filament (032)! - Niina K.
  • That's funny cos I have to agree with the others, blending filament 032. Just adds enough sparkle without hiding the white I use underneath. So pretty for a subtle sparkle. - Mandy F.
  • My favourite for sparkly snowflakes on white fabric is 094 Blending Filament. But I'll use 032 on all colours. I love the shimmer and sparkle of Kreinik! - Doris D.
  • When I was a kid, I always colored snowflakes/snow with a light blue crayon (as white never showed up on white paper!). I still like to add a hint of blue in my stitching. :) 094 is pretty and I like the look when added to white floss. - Diane Z.
  • I use 032 Blending Filament when I'm doing a winter scene. I like the idea of trying 094 on white floss though, so maybe I'll try it on my next project. - Sharon T.
  • An 032 fan - have in #4, #8, 16 braid - must try the blending filament! - Melita G.
No need to shovel embroidered snow. Just stitch and enjoy the pretty effects of metallic thread sparkle on your project.


Unusual Gifts For Him

What do you get for the guy who has everything? Gift cards? Too impersonal! How about a football jersey? He's already got 10 of 'em (yes, I have 10!). Does he tie his own flies for fly fishing? Wait a minute...now we are talking. Kreinik's Metallic and Silk Threads are perfect items for the fly tyer on your list.

Yessiree, Kreinik threads are perfect for fly tying. There's just something about those metallic threads that fish just love. Maybe its because in nature, bugs, baitfish, etc have a metallic look. Ever take a close look at a Japanese beetle? Sometimes the metallic look just irritates the fish into biting.

For not-so-shiny stuff, Kreinik silk threads and dubbing also do the trick. It might interest you to know that silk threads have been used in fly tying for centuries. It's as old school as it gets. We are also the only manufacturer in the world to make silk dubbing, the ultimate dry fly dubbing that is almost like tying a life preserver onto a fly. The material floats all by itself. Click here to learn more about our Silk Dubbing.

Kreinik has a holiday specials page where you can find deals on some fly tying assortments they probably don't have. Click here to see these deals.

Looking for a cool project to make for that guy who has everything? Try this laptop sleeve man-gift idea. It uses Kreinik Hi-Speed Machine Sewing Threads. Just imaging making this cool gift in your guy's favorite team colors and using team printed fabrics. Click here to visit PrudentBaby.com to see how to make it.


Wait, there's a fly in my shop...

Wait, there's a fly in my shop...

by Dena Lenham

You know that an independent needlework shop is a mecca for cross stitch and needlepoint, but do you know it is also a fly fishing Dream Scene? (The stitchers out there whose fishermen husbands periodically raid their thread stash are all nodding yes.) The eyes of fly tyers "bug out" when they see Kreinik metallic threads because of the realistic, naturalistic color range and durability of the material. The thread colors and textures that make Mirabilia angels and Strictly Christmas stockings also make woolly buggers, bass bugs, poppers, eels, wings, streamers, nymphs and midges. Super alluring to striped bass, crappie, trout, salmon, steelhead, pike and muskie, Kreinik Blending Filament catches as much action in the water as it does in cross stitch.

Did you know, for instance, that new Kreinik Blending Filament color 003L Robot Red also makes a fabulous Disco Midge? Pretty Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon in color 009 Emerald could easily be called Japanese Beetle. See your favorite Kreinik Christmas color 015 Chartreuse? It's a beautiful Caddis Larva in the eyes of another beholder. Here is a little story about one needlework shop that accidentally discovered fly fishing as a fun, creative, thread-collecting, loyal customer, just like needleworkers.

Stitch-A-Cross in San Diego is a thread haven to needleworkers in Southern California. Owner Elizabeth Braun carries all brands, including a large selection of Kreinik threads. Now 83 years young, Elizabeth started stitching back in the 1970s and early 80s. "My husband and I had a hardware store," Elizabeth recounts, "and we had the stitching section in the back of the store." When the hardware business closed, Elizabeth moved needlework to its own spot on Mission Gorge Road.

One day fly tyer Richard DeBusk walked into the store, looking for the Kreinik thread he heard about from the San Diego Fly Fishers club president. This club has 300+ members, offers free fly fishing and casting classes to the general public, and publishes a newsletter with "recipes" for tying specific flies. In Stitch-A-Cross, Richard found a source for products to tie flies for bass fishing in San Diego bay and lake fishing out in the mountains. He told some friends about the store, Elizabeth ordered some fly-specific items from Kreinik (like our pattern book, starter kit, and Flash-In-A-Tube), and a local fly tyers paradise was born.

Fly tying is an amazing, creative process for many, whether they actually use the flies or tie them for art's sake. One person in the San Diego Fly Fishers club has over 6000 flies ("He catches a lot of fish."). Tying his own flies was "interesting at first," Richard said. "Once I started catching fish, that made a big difference." Now he sees fly tying as a valuable tool for his hobby. "I've tied up some new ones and we are anxious to try them," he added.

Will Elizabeth pick up fly tying now that she has expanded her store stock to include books, Flash-in-A-Tube, and other Kreinik fly fishing supplies? Maybe it is too soon to tell, but we do know she has the stash ready for fly tyers out there making lures to catch a big one. Visit the store in San Diego or give them a call for more informaiton. The next time you shop your own local needlework store, bring a fly-fishing friend and share the thread love.

Visit Stitch-A-Cross or contact them for mail order:
7435A Mission Gorge Rd.
 San Diego, CA 92120

Phone: 619.287.4788
Web: www.stitchacross.com/

Information about the San Diego Fly Fishers club:
Membership $35/year, Monthly meetings held first Monday of each month in Clairemont Mesa
Free casting lessons on Sundays, 9 a.m. at Lake Murray Casting Shelter


From Houston, with Love by Doug Kreinik

Now that I have rested a bit after working the International Quilt Market in Houston, Texas week before last, and gotten acclimated to Daylight Savings Time, I need to say: I love Quilt Market. There is such a variety of creative options to see, from hand work to machine work. The art work is great and the imagination is overflowing. My favorite moment was the exhibition where there are more than a 1000 quilts to view. The quilts range from the very traditional to fantastic art quilts, plus clothing, dolls and this year a fantasy bra exhibit. The art quilts were big and used all sorts of medium. Landscape quilts played with experiences and scenes, making incredible eye candy. Being a bicycle rider, one of my favorite pieces was from Finland picturing a bicycle race. It showed depth, speed and perspective all at one time - very exciting. We are seeing more surface embellishing on quilts and, surprisingly, surface embellishing using the long-arm machines. We worked with several long arm companies at this show, using Kreinik metallic and silk threads for quilting and embellishing.

In our booth, we had a professional Janome educator, Carol McKinney, who used our product as I have never seen before. She also made a scarf from the Kreinik Bag O’Bits. It is so easy that even I could do it. She used a water-soluble material (preferably one sheet of the sticky type and one plain), added lots of metallic bits, a free-motion foot for the machine, Kreinik embroidery thread for the top stitches and a regular bobbin thread. Carol encased the bits by stitching around the outside, then creating an up and down grid, followed with lots of free motion embroidery. After about two hours, presto: a great-looking scarf. Our instructor made a sweater jacket with coordinating colors by creating fabric and cutting it out. The whole process blew my mind.

I really enjoy visiting with the doll makers. The dolls builders used Kreinik metallic and silk threads as embroidery and embellishments on clothing and also for the hair. They even used the Kreinik iron-ons in the clothing. This years theme for one doll challenge centered on Gypsies. The faces, clothing and fantasy adventures around the dolls described many stories. I will always be a fan of doll making.

Oh yeah, and the favorite eating places... I always eat at Whole Foods and Central Market in Houston. BBQ was at Goodes off of Kirby and 45, and my cousin took me to a terrific Dim Sum restaurant in the new Chinatown area near the Police Department at Bellaire and Ranchester. Also, I was treated to a 1-hour foot massage across the way. Very reasonable and relaxing.


What are those things?

You may or may not have noticed these funny little codes showing up on posters and brochures recently. Well these codes are a cool way to quickly and easily send someone to a web page or video. Kreinik has recently begun including these "QR" codes on all marketing materials.

How does it work? You need a smart phone such like the IPhone or an Android based phone like the Droid, Samsung, LG Ally, etc. You will then need to download an app for your phone that will read the codes. Luckily there are free apps to do this. For the IPhone you can try the QR2D Code reader and for Android based phones try using the Barcode Scanner. Once you have downloaded and installed these apps on your phone, start the app. The scanner will use your phone's digital camera to scan the code. Simply hold your phone up in front of the code and the scanner will scan the code and instantly take you to the web page that code is programmed to link to. Try scanning the code in this post and see where it takes you. You should be able to scan it right off of your monitor.

Blackberry users we want to hear from you. Tell us about apps that work for you.


Canada's crown jewel of needlepoint

She is quiet, petite, elegant — and one of the most talented designers you will ever meet. Canadian needlework artist Anna-Marie Winter creates stunning embroidery out beads, silk, metallic and real metal threads, makes greeting cards you want to preserve and frame, and shares her expertise with students all over the world. She is also one of the nicest people you will ever meet, one who makes you feel like an instant friend.

We want you to meet this talented designer, creator of the Tree Jewels line of charted needlepoint ornaments, available through Kreinik. These stunning designs look like a million dollars, but the kit is economical, they stitch up easily and finish even more easily, thanks to Anna-Marie's clever directions for molding the canvas on a Styrofoam ball. So we asked Anna-Marie...

Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the Tree Jewels design?
A: The idea for the Tree Jewels came from a guild workshop. My friend was working on a needlepoint ornament that had a narrow band of Blackwork along the center and pulled thread stitches on either side, all worked in perle cotton. I was fascinated by the way in which the halves seemed to mold so easily over the Styrofoam ball but less enthralled by the way in which the color from the perle cotton bled into the surrounding canvas when wet. The technique also reminded me of the stretchy smocked tops I saw in children’s clothes at the time so I started playing with various fibers and stitches to try to create a similar effect. When I combined the Kreinik metallics with a simple pulled Upright Cross stitch for the first time the effect was amazing and that experiment became the first of many Tree Jewels.

Q: You have taught the Tree Jewels in various places and in fact the instructions are written as if you were right there with the stitcher, teaching and guiding them. Can you share any classroom stories?
A: Most students love the project because it can be stitched and finished in the workshop. There is one story that stands out above the rest. During the first day of class the students all work at completing the two halves of the ornament, so that the next day they can complete the ornament by blocking the halves, beading and applying the trim. I usually announce that if a student had completed an ornament by the next day of class, I would finish it for them in class. One student lost her reel of red metallic thread on the way home with only three rows of stitches remaining to complete the ornament. She found a length of red wool that matched the metallic thread and used it to complete her remaining rows. She was very proud of her accomplishment, being first in class to have the work completed and commented that she would put the "wool side" facing the tree and display the good side "out". I used her ornament in class to demonstrate the finishing techniques and effectively hid the wool behind the trim.

Q: Your instructions say, “This is one of the few canvaswork designs where it is recommended that you have fun with your stitching while you break all the rules.” That sounds fun! But what do you mean?
A: When stitching a Tree Jewel, many of the rules in canvaswork are broken mainly to make the work more enjoyable and to allow the form to mold properly over the canvas. The canvas is worked in hand, not on rigid stretcher bars. Working on stretcher bars will not allow the canvas to mold properly. The knots and tails are not worked neatly on the reverse side of the canvas, but are left on the right side of the canvas as they are cut off during the finishing process. The canvas can be rolled and kept in a plastic bag in your purse or pocket, so the project is always on the go in a waiting room or taking the bus to work and where you would never submerse your traditional needlepoint in water, a Tree Jewel is "born" under a running faucet.

Q: Is there a frequently asked question about the Tree Jewels?
A: The most frequently asked question is whether the size of the ornament can be reduced or enlarged. It can be reduced to mold over a smaller Styrofoam ball or enlarged to make a much larger "kissing ball". The design is easily adaptable to variations in size.

Q: We love the portability of the project. It would be fun to know the various places where a Tree Jewel has been stitched.
A: I'm not sure where other people have stitched their Tree Jewels, but I've worked many at soccer games, in airport waiting rooms, on airplanes using plastic needles, at the doctor's office and on long car trips. I found that the zip lock bag was an invaluable tool in completing many projects.

Q: The finishing is fabulous - in part because it can be done at home, inexpensively. Any tips or suggestions on doing the finishing part?
A: One tip that I would like to pass on is to choose the finishing materials carefully. The stitcher has put a lot of time and effort into the stitching, but using the wrong ribbon or trim can take away from the elegance of the ornament. Using a high quality velvet ribbon for example, rather than a cheaper flocked craft ribbon, makes a huge difference in how the ornament will look when completed.

Q: Are you working on any new designs right now or currently teaching? Where can stitchers buy some of your other designs?
A: I am currently working on two projects, a small Christmas stocking that is a continuation of the Women of Government House project and a larger design called Summer's End, which is a design of a butterfly on grass that was created from a number of photo images and transferred onto canvas. I do teach a number of online classes through my website and www.BedeckedandBeadazzled.com. My teaching pieces and classes are listed on my website www.annamariewinter.com.


Small, is the new big

Friday, October 8, 2010, I spent the day at West Virginia University’s School for Fashion and Merchandizing in Morgantown, WV. I am on an industrial advisory board that is designed to help the department in rewriting and orienting the curriculum so that students have a greater opportunity to get a job in their field. In one year, the school has made great strides. They recently acquired a computerized sizing device which takes hundreds of quantitative photos and measures the body for fitting. They now have professional sewing machines from Juki including a buttonhole machine, button attaching machine, overlock, serger and more. Also, the school recently set up a master and a doctorate program.

On Friday, we discussed the future of the students and what they need when they graduate. This advisory board is made up of manufacturers, retailers, educators and engineers. Our goal is to enable the school to create a niche in an ever-changing global economy and become more competitive. We feel that it is important to give them a corporate view and an entrepreneurial slant. In the US right now the apparel industry is sort of disappearing. Big companies are becoming rarer, so it is the small company that is becoming more important. A small business that is niche-based and flexible can be a big influence and survive. As noted by Kenneth King, the couture designer and one of the board members, “Small, is the new big.”

Doug Kreinik


Save The Pumpkins!

Save The Pumpkins!

I don't particularly care for pumpkin carving. It's just too darn messy. Sure you can try to roasting the seeds and making a pie, but at the end of the day you end up with a "one-and-done" decoration. Toss in the fact that in colder climates these darn things are apt to rot on your front step before Ole Hallows Eve even gets here.

What if you can "SAVE" that pumpkin from such invasive carving procedures and use it for both Halloween and Thanksgiving without the colossal mess? Now you have my attention. The following project needs only a few simple items to let you save your pumpkin from unnecessary invasive carving procedures. Oh, and my Jack is waterproof!

You will need:

- A computer to print out a template from the web
- Pen or Magic Marker
- Scissors
- One, 10m spool of Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon in color #054F
- One, 8" x 10" sheet of Kreinik Treasure Tape
- Black-light bulb
- Medium size pumpkin


Click here to view and print the instructions for this project. You will need the FREE program Adobe Reader to view and print this document.


What would you do with a holographic thread?

The colors are cool, the possibilities are endless. So let's get down to specific suggestions for where to use Kreinik holographic metallic thread colors. The threads come in 16 colors in Kreinik Blending Filament, Very Fine #4 Braid, Fine #8 Braid, Tapestry #12 Braid, Medium #16 Braid, 1/16" Ribbon and 1/8" Ribbon — which means you can use these colors in any way, from needlepoint and cross stitch to crochet, knitting, fly fishing, paper crafts, quilting... Check out the holographic color range here: www.kreinik.com/holographic.htm.

Here are some suggestions from a few of our Facebook friends for using Kreinik holographic threads (www.facebook.com/Kreinik.Manufacturing.Company):

• I am using the black on the Witches Checklist - looks so cool. Might use more before it is done. My hubby calls it " Bev-ing it" Because I add sparkle with your threads to most of my cross stitch projects. - Bev
• Used several on my grandson's first Halloween costume, a lion. Also used them on 7 Christmas cross stitch and needlepoint projects this year. Haven't tried them on knitting but have all intentions on using them for a charity scarf project for foster children in colleges across America for Valentine's Day gifts. Thanks for creating such a wonderful product. - Susan
• Green for dragons, gold for goldfish, blue to make lakes look realistic, bits of silver among the ice and snow.... - Karen
• I love them in regular, joe-average cross stitch projects. I love the effect of the light on the thread. - Katrina
ª Halloween crafts, including making an actual web! — Lianna
• I use it to give that extra bling that is needed on a piece. Also to make flames and sparks for a fire. — Deborah
• I use it for animal eyes and people eyes in cross stitch and stitchery. When blended with other Kreinik in such cases, it customizes the eyes, adds expression and depth otherwise not realized. Of course, its addition also gives the shimmer ... — Debra
• Seems it would give depth to water and dimension to snow. — Pat
• I use the holographic metallic in my Halloween cross stitch — Beth
• I haven't had a chance to use the holographic threads. However, I would use them in one of my needlepoint or cross stitch projects. — Tara
• I haven't used them yet, but am currently working on a cross-stitched enchantress design and totally want to use them for the starry skies. — Lisa
• Kreinik threads are what give my dragons their magic and sparkle. I, being like them, would welcome any chance to hoard new threads and colours! — Jennifer
• I have a dual demand household here. I would look for any opportunity to include some sparkle and shine to my cross stitch, Hardanger, and blackwork. Blackwork would demonstrate some interesting effects with holographic threads! In the meantime, my boyfriend poaches my stash for making fishing lures... — Connie
• I've never used them but can see myself using them for highlighting my cross stitch designs. — Barbara
• I have started using some of my 70+ spools of Kreinik blending filaments and cords to embellish my homemade greeting cards. I'll never use them all up in my cross stitching! I haven't found any holographic threads in Canada yet, but I'd love to try them! I love water and have a few charts of ocean, stream and waterfall views. I'll bet they would bring the water to life!!! — Doris
• I have used them in my freeform crochet projects--they really add pizazz and dimension. — Barbara
• I have used it to make Friendship Cords for embellishment on needlepoint projects. It really is precious! — Julia
• For cross stitch & paper craft! I make awesome cards for every occasion! — Amy
• I like to use them in my needlepoint projects. Stars, sun, moon look great with long stitches to really see the effects of your holographic metallic threads. Also stripes on a flag and to dress up anything that needs to be highlighted beyond using Kreinik braids. — Janet
• I would use them to produce highlights in embroidered pictures. My husband raids my stash for fly tying supplies. Solar silver has lots of possibilities for both our hobbies. — Stasha
• As an embellishment to fantasy cross stitch projects! What dragon wouldn't look truly mystical with a strand of holographic metallic thread adding sparkle to his scales?! — Valerie
• I love Kreinik Holographic Threads!! I used them on my new Polar Bear Design. Both the hat & present were stitched with Kreinik Holographic Threads! http://createneedlepoint.typepad.com/create_needlepoint/2010/09/needlepoint-polar-bear-present-ornament-completed.html — Barbara
• I am a bobbin lace maker and use Kreinik threads as accent colors in ornaments and other projects. The holographic colors would look great in the Christmas lights! — Holly

Thanks for all of the great suggestions! If you have created something with the Kreinik holographic threads, send us photos. We would love to see your work. Email info@kreinik.com. The holographic threads are available in needlework stores; visit www.kreinik.com/locator to find one near you, or visit www.kreinikmall.com.

Here are links to some online projects featuring the holographic threads:
1. Needlepoint Pumpkin: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17156&cat=366&page=3
2. Salt and Pepper Shakers: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17130&cat=0&page=1
3. Holographic Headband: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17128&cat=0&page=1
4. Holographic Cross-Stitched Star: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17127&cat=0&page=1
5. Renaissance Napkin Rings: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17129&cat=0&page=1
6. Robot Read cross stitched bookmark: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17132&cat=0&page=1


WARNING: teaching embroidery to children will warm your heart

by Dena Lenham

It was Grandparents' Day recently, and while I no longer have my grandparents here, I fondly thought of them and how much they taught me, and loved me, over the years. My grandfathers taught me about the outdoors and baseball, for instance. My grandmothers taught me how to sew, embroider, and crochet. I love them for it — I celebrate all of these passions to this very day.

Charles and Danielle's grandparents (Mr. and Mrs. Kreinik senior) taught them about needlework. You probably have a grandmother or friend that taught you how to use a needle and thread, or maybe you just watched them as they stitched. These impressions add up, and they keep the age-old passion of needlework alive. Just think how many people have this wonderful hobby, creativity, and stress relief in their lives because of you...

At Kreinik we get to hear about many stitchers sharing their knowledge by teaching others. When Claudette Osterreicher sent us photos of her young students stitching with Kreinik threads in an embroidery class, we asked her if we could share the story with others. The smiles on the girls' faces should encourage all of us to keep sharing our time and talents with others. Thank you to Claudette and the parents for letting us share the photos.

Claudette, who is a member of the Embroiderer's Association of Canada (http://www.eac.ca) and has won an award for her own needlework, teaches a group of Hutterite ladies and girls in Canada. She shared some of the different Kreinik threads with her students and they wanted to learn more. The colors and textures and variety in the Kreinik line is visually exciting and the threads can be used by all ages. "I am amazed at how fast these girls caught on," Claudette told us. If you are thinking of teaching youngsters in your community, take a note from Claudette about types of projects her students prefer: "They like to make more practical things. They don't do alot of pictures on the wall. Right now the little ones are doing needle books and the older girls are doing pincushions."

A message to Claudette's students: Your work is excellent, Lisa, Helen, Jessica, Maryanne, Niomi and Dorothy! We hope this begins a life-long love of needlework and creativity. You have inspired us to take time and teach others too.


New Gingher Sonia Scissors

Looking for a great gift idea? Gingher has just released their latest series of designer scissors. The series called "Sonia" features white flowers on a firecracker red background. These scissors are produced in very limited quantities. Each series has become instant collectors items. Once these scissors are gone, there will be no more in this series so act fast. Each pair comes with a blade sheath and reusable gift tin.

Kreinik offers the "Sonia" scissors in 4" Embroidery, 5" Knife Edge Sewing and 8" Dressmaker Shears. Click here to see these lovely new scissors.


Ornament Contest!

Stitcher’s Workshop and Kreinik have teamed up to bring you a challenge! Design a piece (think ornament) that, when stitched on 40ct silk gauze, will fit in a 2″ round area. Don’t forget to include the great Kreinik threads in your design. Silk Mori and the finer metallics will be perfect for this piece! Designs are due in to us by October 1.

Grand Prize is $100.00 of Kreinik products. First Prize is $75.00 Gift Certificate*, Second Prize is $50.00 Gift Certificate*, and Third Prize is a $25.00 Gift Certificate*. *Gift certificates are to Stitcher’s Workshop to be used in the shop or online.

For more details about this contest visit The Stitchers Workshop.


Q&A with needlework mystery writer Monica Ferris

Love to read AND stitch? Monica Ferris has the perfect page-turner to stroke those passions: "Blackwork" is the latest book from this popular fiction writer whose colorful story lines always feature needleworking super sleuths following mystery threads around stitchery shops. We have been delighted to be characters in previous books, and this one features a design using Kreinik threads—included a new Kreinik Fine #8 Braid color, Fly By Night. We sat down with Monica to hear about the latest book and her next project.

KREINIK: Where did you get the idea of the "Blackwork" story?

MONICA: This one started with the title. Blackwork is a very attractive kind of needlework. It took me a little while to think how best to use the title as a mystery theme, however. But I have two friends who practice Wicca, so I had two sources for the practices of that religion. I know there are people who think only of the "dark side" of Wicca -- that it practices cursing and other black arts, but neither of my Wiccan friends would dream of doing something so dreadful (and dangerous, they say). So there was my conflict, and the story grew out of that.

KREINIK: Your books are grounded in the needlework community and are very popular. How did you get involved with needlework? Where does your interest in needlework come from?

MONICA: Oddly enough, I was asked to write a series with needlework as a theme. My then-editor at Berkley was herself a counted cross-stitcher and saw how well a quilting series was doing, so she looked around for someone willing to write a needlework series. I had just ended my work on a medieval mystery series, so she contacted my agent who contacted me. I was so flattered at being asked -- instead of the usual process of coming up with an idea, writing the novel, and then getting my agent to try to find a publisher -- that I accepted at once. I was very much a novice at needlework, and so that's why my amateur sleuth starts out so ignorant. As I learn things, so does she. And now I find that I enjoy exploring the many, many sides of needlework.

KREINIK: Writers and needleworkers both create, putting together something out of scraps, bringing the fabric or page to life, with “threads” running through the "story". What is your favorite part about writing a book?

MONICA: That's a very difficult question. When things are working, it's all a joy: Getting the idea, setting up the plot, watching the story come to life as I write it, finishing it (whew!), editing it, getting a sample of the cover art (that's when it becomes real), holding the copy of the actual book in my hands. Every one of those steps is a pleasure! The only part that isn't fun is getting a writer's block, and I can generally work around that.

KREINIK: What is the hardest part about writing a book?

MONICA: The middle. The opening scenes are intriguing and the grand finale is exciting, but there's that long, complicated middle part, where I'm trying to get all the scenes to work together, sneak in the clues, advance the characters realistically, and move the story briskly along. It's fun, usually, but it's real work.

KREINIK: Technology has affected both the needlework industry and the book industry. With the advent of electronic readers, do you think that printed books will become obsolete? Will your books be available for Kindles or other e-book readers?

MONICA: Some of my books are already available in an electronic format. I don't think paper books will entirely disappear -- they are, unlike electronic devices, not made unreadable when the science advances to a new generation of device -- but I think publishing is riding a new and powerful wave into the future. I don't think anyone really knows what strange and new shore they will end up on.

KREINIK: Can you give us a hint for what's in store for the next book, and when it may be released?

MONICA: The next book, due out in December, is Buttons and Bones. Jill and Lars Larson buy an old log cabin up in a northern part of the state, and while renovating it, find a hidden trap door leading to a root cellar. On the dirt floor of it lies a human skeleton that appears to belong to a World War II-era German soldier. Meanwhile I am at work on Threadbare, about the murder of two homeless women.


WANT MORE MONICA FERRIS? She shares a blog with five other "crafty" mystery authors -- http://killerhobbies.blogspot.com/. Her day to write an entry is every Wednesday. Check out Monica's web site at http://monica-ferris.com/ for info on all of her books plus her schedule of book signings.

WANT TO STITCH THE DESIGN FROM THE BOOK? Visit http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17134&cat=0&page=1


Possibly odd question regarding your metallic threads...

by Dena Lenham

It began as an email to Kreinik from model plane builder Rob Stewart. He wrote, "I just bought four rolls of your metallic threads "cord" size. I build scale plastic models of WW1 era aircraft and I thought the threads would be perfect for some detailing in engine wires, cockpit parts, and rigging wires, etc. In order to recommend these to fellow WW1 model enthusiasts, I would like to know roughly what diameter these threads come in..."

When we emailed the information to Rob, it started a wonderful conversation about model aircraft, the tiny threads you need to accurately replicate details, and a needlework connection.

"There is quite a large community of modellers, building in different scales, and different thread sizes would have different applications for many people," Rob told us. Colors like 011C Nickel, 021C Copper, and 001C Silver in Kreinik Cord realistically replicate certain wires and cables.

Rob ended up making a WWI "Eduard 1/48 Fokker EV Weekend Edition" model airplane with a little help from Kreinik metallic Cord (for aileron and rudder cables), and wrote about it here: http://www.internetmodeler.com/artman/publish/aviation/Fokker-E-V-Weekend-Edition.php. He also made a "Fokker Eindekker" with the threads and shared photos here: http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/StewartR/CP/index.html

So we found out metallic threads are perfect for replicating aileron and rudder cables, plug wires and rigging, among other various parts. Since we didn't know a lot about model airplane making, but were extremely impressed at the detailed work and use of our threads, Rob volunteered to make us a model. We contacted Jeff at Rare-Plane Detective who had an EDUARD 8036 Albatros D.III Weekend Edition model plane kit. Rob built the model for us and we are excited to share photos here. See if you can spot the Kreinik threads — threads so familiar in stitching techniques are marvelous micro-threads to model makers.

And the needlework connection? Turns out Rob's mother-in-law works in a needlepoint shop and we got to meet her at a TNNA trade show. Looks like threads are woven into the tapestry of this creative family.


Blog Talk Radio with Doug Kreinik

Our very own Doug Kreinik was a guest on Gone Stitching's Blog Talk Radio. His interview aired on August 9, 2010. This marks Doug's second appearance on the show and will be a lively and fun show about needlepoint and embroidery. Don't worry if you missed it. Its available on demand.

Click here to listen to the 8/9/10 interview.

Click here to listen to his previous interview with Gone Stitching on 9/14/09

Gone Stitching is a needlepoint store located in Bergenfield, NJ. They are a full service shop that sells threads, canvases and offers classes, stitch guides, finishing & framing services and much, much more. Did we mention they are one of the stores in our Kreinik Mall? Click here to visit their Kreinik Mall home page.

Gone Stitching
31 South Washington Ave,
Bergenfield, NJ 07621
(201) 385-2100


Doug's Caesar Salad

When I go to friends homes for dinner I am often asked to bring my salad bowl and fixings. Here is my favorite.

In a blender mix the following ingredients: (This will give you a smooth and even dressing and hide the little bones in the anchovies that some find disconcerting.)

  • 5 cloves garlic (Before putting garlic into the blender, slice in half removing the center core. This reduces the after taste of the garlic to a large extent. )
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can anchovies
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 shakes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
Mix until you have a very smooth consistency.

Rinse and dry:
  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 1 head of bib lettuce
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
Break into small pieces bite size pieces. Place in a very very large bowl. This makes it easier to mix and toss.

  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1/2 c black olives with out pits
  • 1 large tomato chopped
Remove all seeds. This prevents salad from becoming too watery. Mix all vegetables well. Pour dressing over salad and mix well.

Add garlic croutons

I prefer mine made from French bread covered with a olive oil and garlic sauce. Sauce is made from 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 a cup of olive oil with a dash of oregano and basil. Spread this on with a pastry brush and cut into little cubes. I brown this in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp at 400 F.

Grind freshly ground pepper over salad.

I always put the freshly grated parmesan cheese in a bowl on the side. Some people like a lot and some people ,like me, are lactose intolerant..

I never use an egg in my sauce. Again some people do not like the thought of the raw egg and I personally do not like to take chances with salmonella..

Things to add to enhance this hearty salad:
  • Canned Salmon
  • Canned Tuna
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Sliced Grapes
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Avocado
  • Olives (Black, Green or Greek)
  • Nuts-walnuts or pecans

Place salad on chilled plates and dig in.

Serves 5.


Silk gauze and Patricia Parra

Once upon a time, a young girl stitched a sampler on gauze. It must have been meaningful gauze — the placard on the museum wall next to this framed needlework said it was gauze leftover from her family's care of a wounded Civil War solder. Romance makes me wonder if she was in love with this boy, and stitched her sampler on something that would remind her of him. Or maybe, she just wanted the medium, the finely woven canvas mesh on which she could achieve amazing detail for her palette of stitches.

If so, she wouldn't be the first or the last to stitch on gauze.
Silk gauze — canvas mesh made of 100% pure silk thread — has been used in clothing, jewelry, embroideries and other textile work for centuries. Today it is common for miniaturists to use silk gauze for to-scale reproductions like rugs, miniature pillows and samplers. Silk gauze comes in different holes-per-inch sizes, so with 40-count silk gauze, for instance, you get 40 holes per inch, and a perfect 1-foot to 1-inch scale.

Other needle artists use silk gauze as an alternative medium and for creating intricate needlework. One silk gauze embroidery designer we are excited about is Patricia Parra. She has taken Kreinik silk gauze kits and added stunning specialty-stitch borders. Her particular use of decorative stitches creates more three-dimensional looks on silk gauze. When she uses Kreinik's holographic threads on silk gauze, her designs look simply magical.

A native of South America, she has had an interest in needlework since she was a child.  Her mother was a clothing designer so she has always been exposed to color and design.  Patricia opened a San Francisco needlepoint store in 2005 and started teaching and creating stitch guides. In 2007 she discovered silk gauze and fell in love with the delicate work. Her silk gauze patterns include traditional themes as well as contemporary geometrics using specialty stitches and lots of color. Patricia often loans us her silk gauze models to take to shows, and we are excited to share photos here.

Where to get more information on silk gauze:
• For more photos of the designs shown here, visit http://flickr.com/photos/kreinikgirl
• Patricia Parra, visit http://www.sfstitch.net/
• For Kreinik silk gauze, available in framed ready-to-stitch pieces or yard increments, visit
• Kreinik silk gauze is available in needlework stores (visit h
ttp://www.kreinik.com/locator) or through stores in http://www.kreinikmall.com
• Check with your needlework store for other artists creating silk gauze designs. Erica Michaels Designs, for instance, has a new line of "Petites" silk gauze kits,


I stitch because...

by Dena Lenham

I was "summer cleaning" this weekend, going through organizers full of quilt, cross stitch, crochet, sewing magazines and patterns that I've collected over the last 20 years of serious crafting. My intent was to get rid of a large portion of them: I don't have enough house-space to display all of the projects even if I could actually finish them; I haven't been able to finish anything or invest time in these lately; and those "hoarding" shows on TV would want me to move these things.

Well, I am too embarrassed to admit how little I managed to hand over to my Frugal Self. Unfortunately, I fell in love with making things all over again. So next on my to-do list is dedicating time for actually making these wonderful patterns I've collected (and get more projects/fabrics/notions when I attend Quilt Odyssey with a friend this coming weekend). 

Now I remember why I love stitching and sewing: it's relaxing and stimulating at the same time. The focus and process of needlework is an escape (the health benefits have even been documented). It's my meditation (I never could master the sitting-still "om" version). It's also liberating and creative. The threads and designs are so pretty and colorful, it's like they are bringing life to the fabric. It is making something out of nothing, or out of scraps. None of these benefits are a waste of time.

One of the magazines unearthed in my pile was "Old Time Needlework Patterns and Designs, January 1977" (sixty cents?!) passed to me from a great aunt. Editor Barbara Hall Pedersen posed a question in her column: "We cannot look thoughtfully at the needlework produced by the women of past generations without asking ourselves a question. What force in their lives was so powerful that it could motivate them to invest the countless hours of their time necessary to produce such exquisite examples of needle art?"

She went on to write, "Was it essentially a quest for beauty? Did they do it out of pride, or possibly an excess of leisure? Did virtue demand that every idle moment be occupied? It may have been all of these things, but I believe that it was also something much more. Each of us, deep down, yearns to leave some sort of mark upon the world, as proof that we have passed this way. In a time when a woman did not even have the vote, when she was forced to transact business behind her husband's name, when her opinions counted for little and her authority extended only to the home, women refused, even then, to see themselves as insignificant. They seized whatever avenues were open to them as a means of self-expression."

Ah, self-expression. Yes, I stitch because of that, and I bet you do too. Stitch your sayings, make your mark, don't stop working your projects. The threads, the designs, the fabrics...it's a beautiful world out there, and we are all making it happen.


How I spent my summer vacation

By Doug Kreinik

My wife, Myla, and I decide to hit the road and travel north. Neither one of us had ever been to Lake Superior, so to us it would be an adventure. We are both interested in history and food, so we wanted to see why people settled in the "UP" (Upper Peninsula) and the type of foods they find to consume.

First, let me tell you about the food. Pastys (rhymes with “nastys”) are a popular food. We tried pastys made with beef and chicken. Myla barely dipped hers in ketchup but swathed it with butter, as recommended. She also tried the beef with gravy. I prefer chicken. To me, it tasted like chicken pot pie the size of a large empanada. The delicacy comes from Wales where there was a lot of mining. The miner would take the food into the mine, and at meal time, place on a shovel or in a helmet and heat it with his candle. It is now available in beef, chicken or vegetarian. There is also a lot of fishing in that area, and the Ojibwa have the fishing rights and supply much of the coast with fish. We imagined that we would eat broiled or barbequed fish, but fried fish with tartar sauce was the main course. Desserts were plentiful with a variety of fruit or nut pies.

Along the way, we took in a lot of sites. We visited with friends in Toledo and Detroit. We even had a personal tour of the Episcopal Cathedral in Detroit — a real gothic classic. In the Lower Peninsula we went to the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. We enjoyed tasting all sorts of jams, salsas and barbeque sauces made with cherries including a cherry pizza.

I stopped to visit two Kreinik thread customers along the way. Lost Art Yarn and Needlepoint is in Traverse City, and Chipmunk Cove is in Cadillac. The shop in Traverse City is right downtown and is filled with knitting and needlepoint. They had a steady flow of stitchers and knitters going through this destination. Gerhild gave me clues as to where to get the best price on dried cherries in the area (Michigan grows more cherries than any other state). Chipmunk Cove is more of a mail order shop. She has classes and has quite a following. Judy cut fresh broccoli from her garden for us to chomp on during our trip. We also visited with Paula Schwenke at Knit-N-Purl in Marquette. She has a really nice little shop that has a long history. She services knitting and cross stitch with lots of classes for adults and kids.

We plowed through the Sault Ste. Marie locks museum and did have a broiled fish dinner at the Lockview. Sault Ste. Marie is the third oldest city in North America. We traveled through Paradise to get to Tahquamenon Falls near Newberry. The water is brown from the tannic acid from the piney woods. It was loud and beautiful. In Munsing we took the boat tour and saw the Picture Rocks, a 12-mile stretch of cliffs and waterfalls carved out by the ferocious seas. Many ships have gone down along the coast. This city butted up against the Hiawatha Forest. I found out that Lake Gitchee Gumee is Lake Superior. The water is so pristine that you see the bottom. We traveled up through Marquette to the Keweenaw Peninsula and ate muffins and purchased Thimbleberry Jam at the Jam Pot. This place is owned and run by the monks. They built a large church right on the water near Eagle Harbor — very peaceful. The muffins were incredible. We stayed in Copper Harbor on the coast in a 50’s style motel. In the morning we were serenaded by the loons and song birds. We went to the top of Brockway Mountain four miles from Copper Harbor, named for the massive reserves of copper that used to exist here. The mountaintop gives you a 360-degree vista of the surrounding mountains and the Lake. It is breathtaking.

Calumet is still large. It originally was to be the capital of Michigan, but the politicians rethought the proposal. There are lots of mining activities all through the area. In Gladstone, we toured a pet casket company. My son is going to mortuary school and asked us to pick up some brochures. Myla’s Iphone Apps were always giving us strange places to visit or view including "Paul Bunyan" who was visible everywhere, built out of paper-mâché, some being 30 feet tall.

After crossing the Northern shore of Lake Michigan, we found the best pastys on the trip in St. Ignace at Bessie’s, and then the next morning at the Mackinac Pasty and Cookie Company in Mackinaw City. Smoked fish also found our palettes, and it was delicious. The white fish was superb.

Following the blue waters of Lake Huron, we drove along the coast to Port Huron. This city has many nice eateries. One notable place is the Raven Café with its walls of books, fine foods, folk singers, and hearty coffee and desserts.

In the morning we swept through the corn fields of Windsor Canada, and then homeward bound to West Virginia, first stopping at my favorite Greek restaurant in Columbus, the “Happy Greek”, and then to Jeni’s for sorbet.

We drove over 2000 miles, saw an amazing landscape, learned new expressions like “Yooper” (someone from the UP), ate thimbleberry jam and pasties, and had a wonderful adventure.


Philly Style Vanilla Ice Cream

By Jim Cargo

Kreinik will be shutting down all of our sales/marketing/manufacturing operations to enjoy a week of vacation following July 4th and will re-open July 10. For 4th of July weekend my mother-in-law reminded me to bring my ice cream maker with me. I have an "off the hook" recipe for Philadelphia Style Vanilla Ice cream. The recipe is ridiculously simple to follow and the results are downright sinful. I have friends who refer to this as "Silk" (we never stray too far from threads) as it is so smooth and creamy. I got this recipe from the book "The Ultimate Ice Cream Book" by Bruce Weinstein. Its been a family favorite ever since.

To make about 1 quart you need:
An ice cream maker and rock/kosher salt
3 cups of heavy cream
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

The directions:
Place heavy cream in a sauce pan and heat (do not boil) until you start to see small bubbles appearing around the edge of the pan. You only need to get the cream hot enough to dilute the sugar. When hot enough, turn off stove, and stir in the sugar. Allow the cream/sugar mixture to cool for 10 minutes before stirring in the vanilla. Place mixture in the fridge for a few hours to cool completely.

Add the chilled mixture to your ice cream maker. Back in the old days we used to have to hand crank this stuff out. Not anymore. I use a Rival electric ice cream maker but any machine will do. Follow the makers instructions for setting up your machine. After about an hour, the ice cream is done. My son gets first dibs on the beater when I'm done.

Fresh out of the maker, a good bit of the ice cream is just like soft serve making it easy to make some ice cream sandwiches. I like to put this on top of some freshly baked brownies to make brownie sundaes. (Sorry, no calorie counting here.) Perfect for get-togethers, holidays or really hot summer days.


Doug Kreinik EGA Talk

By Doug Kreinik

On Thursday night, June 24th, I had the honor and opportunity to speak to the EGA gathering in Charleston,WV. I would love if all travel were so easy. It was a mere 70-mile ride down the interstate where I was greeted by 145 EGA members at their annual meeting- Gathering Pearls.

I enjoy getting out from behind my desk to meet the people who use and love my product. Consumers, designers, teachers and shop owners always make me think harder to create new products and concepts plus it is a great forum for me to show off ideas..

I guess the biggest question was, what is new? Holographics are definitely the new thing for us. I showed off holographic temari balls, pillows, purses and more. Along with this were the very popular Tree Jewels in the three styles and three color ways. These were a real hit at the convention store set up by “Cross My Heart” of Columbus, Ohio. We were all very surprised by the amount of holographic blending filament that sold. I have seen more needlepointers using the blending filament buried in with their stitches. That, to me, is a very imaginative approach to working with the blending filament giving a more textured and 3-D effect to one’s work.

I stayed around during the morning hours on Friday to answer any questions about product plus to sign a few books, “Metallic Embroidery”. Stitchers were also asking me to autograph Monica Ferris’s book Crewel Yule. If you remember, I was the first murder suspect in the book. My kids have never forgotten that. Of course, I didn’t do it.

Maybe I will see some of you on the road in the future. I enjoy entertaining and giving my talks. I believe that humor and fun grows ideas. I guess that is why my daughter went into show business - only it was the real one not the trade show business.


Buying local

By Dena Lenham

There’s a little store on a corner that could easily blend into the other retailers along the street – except for the line coming out the front and curving around two blocks, giving an hour wait time just to get in the door. Obviously, in Columbus, Ohio, it is The Place To Be. There is a line every day, all hours, all ages, all nationalities, all dress types. It’s Jeni’s ice cream shop, and blissfully it is a mere hop, skip and a jump from the convention center where the TNNA needle arts trade show was held earlier this month.

So Cathe Ray of the Alameda California store Needle In a Haystack merely had to mention ice cream and sorbet to get the Kreinik crew to stand in line at 10 o’clock on an 80-degree night after working the trade show booth all day. “What could possibly be so special about this ice cream??” I wondered as we stood in this incredibly long line. A few signs later, peering in the window, I started to get the picture: “Grass grazed Ohio cream”, “Locally made peanut butter”, “Home-made whipped cream”, “Freshly made waffle cones…” Oh yeah, this was a local-goodness, community-centered, expert-in-the-field kind of place, and everyone in that long line knew it.

Today, a week after the show closed, I wish I lived in Columbus so I could get that Dark Chocolate Vanilla Honey Pure Minted Bliss ice cream again (or whatever flavor it was, I just know it was so heavenly I was afraid someone would pick-pocket me as I walked, lost in that freshly-made waffle cone). But it makes me happy knowing that a community and its visitors support an independent establishment that specializes in something that spans generations, offering amazing things you can’t find in a chain store, using the best quality they can get for their customers who deserve the best - kind of like a needlework store. If you are lucky enough to have a specialty needlework shop in your town or within driving distance, support it. If you don’t have one, there are plenty of them that sell online. You won’t regret it.

Find a list of fabulous needlework retailers in the Store Locator on www.kreinik.com.


Chili Hamburgers

Time to change gears and talk about something fun. We have some great recipes to share enjoy this for your next cookout! This recipe comes from the book “Once-A-Month Cooking” by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. Dena Lenham used this book during her days of commuting 1 1/2 hours each way to work.

Have you heard of this technique: cooking all day, once a month, assembling and freezing meals that will last you all month? Sounds daunting, sounds like women that are way too organized. Sounds good, actually.

This book is subtitled, “A proven system for spending less time in the kitchen and enjoying delicious, homemade meals everyday.” I was skeptical until I tried it, but it truly saves my family time during the weekday, when meals are often fast food or less nutritious. The ingredients are all fresh, not processed, and thus healthy, and the meals don’t taste any less delicious because they’ve been frozen.

This book is a great way to try the technique. They offer a two-week plan if cooking for a whole month intimidates you. I suggest following their lists and schedule step-by-step for the basic two-week menu plan, and you’ll discover how this method works. Try it; let me know what you think. I have enjoyed having meals on hand for sick neighbors, unscheduled company, and weekday rushes. Your cooking day is a long day, sometimes 7 or 8 hours, but it is worth it.

You can make the patties from this recipe and freeze them right along with the buns to store for a later meal. Just thaw and grill when you’re ready.
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1-tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1/4-teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2-teaspoon salt
  • 4 hamburger buns

Thoroughly mix all ingredients except hamburger buns. Shape into 4 hamburger patties. Grill to desired pinkness and serve on hamburger buns.


Search This Blog

About This Blog

News direct from thread maker Kreinik Mfg. Co., Inc., located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Visit our factory outlet store when you are in the area; call for hours 1-800-537-2166.

  © Template by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP