It’s cold outside. Really. Cold. (At least for Alabama.) And this early December visit from Old Man Winter has put me in the holiday spirit. Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and our tree is up, but we haven’t decorated it yet. The ornaments are in boxes, stacked by the fireplace, just waiting to be freed from their wrappings and hung on the tree.
If you’ve ever worked a needlepoint canvas using a professional stitch guide, you know the difference that decorative stitches and fancy threads can make in your finished project. The added texture and sparkle bring a flat 2-dimensional design to life and transform a plain needlepoint canvas into a hand-stitched work of art.
Maybe you’ve even taken a class from a guest instructor at a needlepoint shop or guild meeting. You got all inspired to branch out and try new stitches and embellishments. You bought new canvases and threads – the works!
The holidays are right around the corner. There’s no denying it’s holiday season when you see the employees at the grocery store filling displays with candy canes and Christmas cards (on Halloween!).
I’m so happy that you’re here. Please bookmark this page on the new website so you can visit with me regularly.
Let’s take a quick tour around the website and I’ll share a little about what you can expect to see here.
But it can affect your needlepoint project more than you might think. Let’s take a peek at the 3 main types of needlepoint canvas that we use most: interlock mono canvas, mono canvas, and Penelope canvas.
Each kind has special features that make it uniquely appropriate for a variety of projects. I prefer cotton canvas from the folks at Zweigart. In my opinion, it’s the best. How can you tell the origin of your canvas? Well, if you’ve ever purchased a needlepoint canvas that has a thin orange thread running through the selvedge, you can count on it being Zweigart canvas.
Have you ever worked really hard on a project, only to have your hat (or mittens or, even worse, your sweater!) turn out waaaay too big? Or how about making something that ends up being entirely too small?! Well, that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t check your gauge before you start your project. Now, you may be wondering – what, exactly, is gauge?
Gauge refers to the number of knitted stitches in one linear inch of fabric. (It also applies to rows per inch, but we’ll chat about that another time.) Gauge directly affects the width of your knitted item and, if it’s off (even by 1/2 stitch per inch) can completely wreck your project.
Suppose the pattern you’re using states that gauge should be 4 stitches per inch. The pattern also tells you that you need to cast on 60 stitches. When you do the math, that calculates out to a piece o knitting that will measure 15″ wide. (Because 60 stitches divided by 4 stitches per inch = 15″.)
Last time, we chatted about choosing threads for your canvases so, today, we’re going to talk about needlepoint needles. A tapestry needle is the needle of choice for working needlepoint. It’s a blunt-tipped hand sewing needle with an elongated eye. The large eye can hold thicker needlepoint yarn or multiple strands of needlepoint thread. The rounded end allows the needle to slip between the canvas threads without piercing the horizontal or vertical mesh threads.
Last time, we chatted about choosing yarns, and today we’re going to talk about — yep — knitting needles! Knitting needles come in an assortment of shapes and sizes and they’re made from a variety of materials. From plastic and metal to bamboo and wood -there are so many options out there that it can make your head spin. But I’m going to share some tips with you that will make choosing the right needle for your project easy-peasy. Let’s get started!
Now that you’re committed to purchasing the best quality supplies you can afford, it’s time to take a look at making the best fiber choices for your projects. Remember in my last post, I told you that I’d be sure and address both knitting/crochet and needlepoint/embroidery? (So you’d have the information for whichever technique you prefer — or both, if you’re a multi-crafter!) Well, while writing this part for knitting and crochet, I realized that it was going to be a wee bit long, so I divided it into two separate posts.
Info about choosing yarn (for knitters and crocheters) is below.
Stitchers, you can find tips for choosing the best fibers for your projects here.
Now, my friend, why don’t you fix yourself a nice cup of tea and let ‘s talk yarn choices…
So, now that you know how important it is to buy the best quality supplies you can afford, let’s chat about choosing the best threads for your needlepoint projects.
If you’re looking for tips on choosing yarns for knitting and crochet projects, check out this post. I divided the information into two posts, so it would be more convenient for you to read.
Why don’t you pour yourself a cuppa and let’s talk thread?!
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