I just realized that is has been over a month since my last post…time sure does fly. As some of you know I moved to Bethany Beach, Delaware in March. I started training as a Barista at Starbucks the beginning of May, working at a brand new store in Ocean City, Maryland, less then 10 miles from where I live. So I have been learning the ropes of a very fast paced environment, trying to stitch a little and more importantly, working on my tan. The beach life is growing on my, be it sitting on the beach, listening to the waves, watching the people and stitching or relaxing on the porch with a cup of coffee and a canvas, to pass the evening hours; I am liking the LSD (lower slower Delaware) life.
I decided that both the store that I work at and the store that I trained at needed to have one of these ornaments. I had stitched one for myself a couple of years ago. I am adding a back canvas with the store info as a commemoration of the event. So far it has been a fun experience, both stitching again from a chart and designing on the fly. You can find the chart for the Starbucks mermaid on Pinterest, search pearler bead patterns, there area few of them, most are free.
So after unpacking and finding employment the next biggest task for me was to find a source for my needlepoint and crafting needs. Fortunately there are 2 Michael’s stores nearby, sadly the closest Joann’s is over 50 miles away; there will be no running there for supplies very often. Needlepoint Shops are also scarce, there are 2 nearby that carry some Needlepoint; Sea Needles in Bethany Beach and Salty Yarn in Ocean City. But as luck would have it, just as I move down here a new shop has been announced, Stitch-Stash, I have met the owner Patti a couple of times, and am looking forward to spending some time at her new shop. She brings to the area a wealth of knowledge and creativity.
She also has the same eclectic tastes as I, so there should be some fun canvases that will attract a younger audience. I believe that for the art of Needlepoint to stay relevant, the designs must also be attractive to a younger audience, if we are going to push the limits on threads, stitches and embellishing, then we must be open to designers that are also pushing the limits. So pot leaves, rainbows, and subversive text, I say bring it on, if it is what attracts the 20-30 year olds to take part in our craft, if it keeps the thread companies coming up with new fibers or simply continuing the lines we already love, I say bring on those designers and those designs. Needlepoint is supposed to be about creativity and fun!
Time for Tips
I belong to a group on Facebook called Needlepoint Nation, fairly large group of individuals, some very experienced, some novices. One question seems to pop up on quite a regular basis, working with a variety of Rainbow Gallery threads and how to avoid fraying. Now there are 2 things you should know about me, first I don’t believe that in anything having to do with Needlepoint that there is a right and wrong way to do it, simply do it the way that works for you, and secondly, I am somewhat a minimalist don’t tell me I need a tool or product to do something.
With all that being said here is my very simple instruction on dealing with fiber on cards from Rainbow Gallery, the exception being any plyable fiber.
- Thread your needle before you cut your fiber. some thread have a nap or twist, this way you are not going against that.
- Let about 1 and 1/2 of the folds hang over your needle.
- Short lengths, you should never be using a thread longer than your forearm. Think of it this way, every pull up, and pull down scratches at the thread as it passes through the canvas. Now that of the thread as your skin, how many scratches do you think you could stand?
- Don’t worry about the folds, your tension is key in needlepoint, once you master that your threads will lay evenly, even with those wrinkles.
- I believe this one is key, I know many work on stands, try and pull your needle straight up, and straight down, this will be much easier when working with the shorter lengths mentioned earlier. Not only does this help with the abrasion to the fiber, I find that it also helps with the thread twisting.
- On the uptake and before plunging the needle again, roll the needle between your fingers about 3 times counter clockwise, this will relieve some of the twist that happens.
Above are some illustrations to reference what I am talking about, as you can see by the third picture, there is almost no fraying of the Neon Rays and I was able to work almost all the way to the end of the needle, my results was similar with the Fyre Werks also pictured. You can also see that in none of the pictures, do any of the folds show up.
I promise to try and get better at this, into more of a routine. Hey, enjoy the summer weather, pack up a small project and head outdoors, grab a friend, and drink and enjoy these long, dog days of summer.