Monday, July 27, 2009

Scratching the Needlepoint Itch

It turns out that yarn is not the only thing I have stashed.
With the introduction of needlepoint at the Tangled Web, I took a trip in the way-back machine to the time when I used to wield a needlepoint needle instead of a knitting needle.
It was years ago and I think I was attracted by the colors of yarn and embroidery floss that needlepointers worked with (yes, I am easily distracted by bright colors). I had become an avid knitter and was not looking for yet another artistic craft. But the pull of the canvases was strong and before I knew it, I had put knitting aside for this new pleasure.
My joy didn’t last long; I never mastered the basketweave stitch. I could only do the tent stitch which tended to warp the canvas. But I tent stitched away and made several pillows including an adorable tooth fairy pillow for my niece.
And I developed the really bad habit of buying canvases that caught my eye. Therein lies my stash. I have several canvases that are totally untouched. They were stored away and truthfully I forgot about them almost as soon as I bought them.
But the Web has needlepoint and I am experiencing the old stirrings. Lovely canvases, brilliant fibers in a variety of textures. My fingers are itching to try it again.
I went to my stash and found one of my old, untouched pieces. It is the seat cushion and back for a child-sized director’s chair. It has letters and numbers and is hard enough to be challenging and challenging enough to be fun.
I bought it almost 12 years ago. This too was to be made for my niece who was then a year old. Of course, now she is nearly 13 and won’t fit in a child’s size chair.
But my new granddaughter ought to fit it just fine.
So here I am, a knitter with the needlepoint itch. What to do?
I have decided to scratch the itch. I am putting down my knitting needles and settling in to learn how to needlepoint -- seriously. This means I probably won’t knit my husband’s annual birthday sweater; I hope he doesn’t mind.
It means that my Christmas knitting list will be put off to 2010. It means that instead of teaching lessons at the Web, I will be the student as I once again tackle the basketweave stitch.
My plan is to make this a first birthday present for Jordan Marie, which means I have until May 26, 2010 to get this accomplished.
I promise this will not go back into the dusty stash.
But do me a favor: when you stop in the store, ask me how it’s going. That will keep me on point.
And stop in and see our luscious yarns and canvases; you’ll see the needlepoint bug can be contagious.
-- Lucia Herndon

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our Fall Class and Knit-Along Schedule is Up!

Believe it or not, it's almost that time of year again! Relax and enjoy your time by the pool and keep digging that sandcastle at the beach, but (pssst!) we've got our Fall Class Schedule done and posted on our website here. Registration is open!

Here are some tantalizing images to whet your appetite:

(Lady Eleanor Stole Knit-Along)

(Felted Moebius Basket)

(Easy Lace Shawl)

(Amigurumi Acorn)

(American Girl Doll Chestnut Hill Gansey)

(First Friday Manos Block-of-the-Month Club)

Call the store at 215-242-1271 to sign up!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I've Been "Dyeing" To Show You This!

On Saturday I taught one of the most fun classes I've ever taught in 7 years of instruction. It was Dyeing Your Own Yarn. Armed with a skein of sock yarn and Wilton Cake Icing Dye, my four wonderful and intrepid students got to work.

Here we have Marina, Maggie, MaryAnn and Peggy hand-painting their yarn:





Marina and Maggie working hard:

Their beautiful skeins, in skeins-y form::

And here is the finished yarn, ready to be knit into some snazzy socks.
Left to right we have: Peggy's gorgeous Stained Glass Fantasy, MaryAnn's delicate Rose In Bloom, Maggie's patriotic Fourth of July Special, and Marina's summery Festive Fruit Salad. [I made up the names, don't blame the ladies!]

Ladies, you need to bring your socks in for show-and-tell!

We'll be offering Dye Your Own Yarn again early in the fall - I highly recommend taking it. We had a blast!