Welcome to Serendipity Needleworks!

by , on
Oct 26, 2017

Welcome to the new Serendipity Needleworks website!

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.

Needlepoint Canvas: A Closer Look

by , on
Oct 18, 2017

Bet you never thought about needlepoint canvas much…

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 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 manufactured by Zweigart. It’s a superior quality product made by very knowledgeable folks over in Germany. In fact, 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.

Gauge Matters!

by , on
Aug 16, 2017

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?

Great question! Let’s take a look at it and see why it’s SO important!

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.

Here’s an example…

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″.)

Choosing the Right Needle

by , on
Jul 26, 2017

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.

The Right Tools

by , on
Jul 16, 2017

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!

Choices, choices!

by , on
Jul 6, 2017

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 Many Threads!

by , on
Jul 6, 2017

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?!

Introducing my top 25 from the past 25!

by , on
Jun 28, 2017

I’ve been teaching other people to knit, crochet, embroider, and needlepoint for more than 25 years. Throughout those years, I’ve compiled a list of tips that will make you a better knitter, crocheter, or stitcher.

You may already know some of my tips. Hopefully, you’ll learn something that will improve your skills and make you a more confident needle artist. (Because that’s what you are, you know!)

Sound good? Terrific!

Let’s get started…

Tips for Organizing Your Stash

by , on
Jun 21, 2017

A couple of years ago, I became “acquainted” with Marie Kondo and her wonderful book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I read it, cover to cover, rather quickly (it’s a relatively short book) and, when I finished it, I committed to “konmari-ing” my house. Unfortunately, “the best-laid plans…” well, you know – and I didn’t quite get around to it then. I’m working on it now, though, and I’m finding the process works very well. You really should read it, if you haven’t. It’s quite sensible – and liberating! And if you don’t want to tackle your whole house right now, start small by organizing your stash.

Organizing Your Stash

Everyone knows when you’re a knitter, embroiderer, crocheter, needlepointer, cross-stitcher, quilter, or any other kind of self-proclaimed needle nut, loving all the beautiful and colorful yarns and threads is a cinch. It’s keeping them orderly that can be overwhelming, and it can feel like a monumental challenge! Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned stitcher, organizing your stash will help you know what you have, find what you need, and inspire you to make projects you love.

Tips for Getting Your Stash Under Control

And it doesn’t matter what size your stash is…these 10 tips will help get yours under control so you can focus on the fun part — making beautiful hand made treasures for the special people in your life, and, of course Y-O-U!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

by , on
May 1, 2017

And so, after 14 years – and more fun than you can imagine – I have decided to semi-retire and close the Serendipity Needleworks storefront. (I would be fibbing if I said that Rick’s health scare in January had nothing to do with my decision, or that Rebekah’s recent move didn’t influence me, either.)

New Beginnings!

It’s time to close the door on this chapter of my life and move on to the next one, which, by the way, is VERY exciting. You see, I’m writing again and I have two articles that will be published shortly. One in that fabulous new magazine called Making (May issue!) and the other in an equally fabulous publication called Classic Sewing (Fall 2017). I’m also working on a new

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