Kumihimo Braiding

Let’s begin to catch up…

My friends and I love a shop in Weston, MO; Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/). The owner Gretchen is wonderful and so creative. You just want to spend time with her hoping that the excess creativity will fall off onto you. And Cathy the shop manager is the sweetest person on earth; she always has a smile on her face and never seems to get rattled when we all descend on her at once.  It is the most fun, creative, relaxing place on earth! Go explore the website and you will get a feel for the place. But like I’ve said before…If you fly into Kansas City airport, make sure you have a three hour layover and make the trip to Weston (maybe 30 minutes north of the airport)…maybe you should just spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast in Weston…there is so much to do there but Florilegium will captivate your heart if you are a needlework person or just a creative soul. Also make sure you are here the later part of the week…I don’t think they are open on Monday-Tuesday and maybe Wednesday…but you can call and if someone is going to be at the shop, they will let you in.

But back to the catch up…My friend Nancy and I drove up one day for something to do and Gretchen taught us her method of Kumihimo braid. It is really an old technique, and of course many cultures have a braiding techniques also . Kumihimo braiding can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. Like any technique the more you practice the technique, the more proficient you become. I have seen people who do these braids and never look at the pattern. They are really good and get the count down perfectly; they can start and stop anywhere while making their pattern and never mess up. There is a rhythmic method to the patterns you make and can be very relaxing once you get that rhythm in your head.  I have to really concentrate if I am doing a pattern design; I have to stop at the end of a round so when I pick it up again I don’t mess up the pattern. I think that is why I like the Gretchen methods of Kumihimo best, but I will always be a novice.

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But of course, Gretchen had made it fun and easy and we were hooked. We came home and taught it to all our friends (One person even made a cording to use to finish a piece of needlepoint.)

 

Nancy collected supplies for us, we had round and square Kumihmo boards; you use the round disk for round braids and the square disk makes flat braids, they also come in different sizes for small and large braids.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou need bobbins to roll your looooong lengths of yarn on (save bath tissue cardboards…they make good bobbins for large yearns and large amounts of yarn).  So we have bobbins

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We collected yarns of all types and have a bag of these too.

I had books (surprise, surprise, surprise) in my library and so I did a study of Kumihimo and even took yarn and stitched different braid patterns for everyone to see. Books in my library: (NOTE- all my books are without beads, but if you check Amazon.com there are lots with beading…it seems to be a big thing right now)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kumihimo Japanese Silk Braiding Technique by Catherine Martin,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreative Kumihimo by Jacqui Carey,

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and Braids by Roderick Owens.

 

I like them all but the last two are my favorites because they have color pictures of the braids.

 

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Nancy even indulged me with and authentic Kumihimo stand. It is beautiful and I use it when I am not braiding to hold my current project or it just sits in my studio to remind me of the fun times friends have together and are always pushing our creativity to learn new techniques.

And even though I am a novice and will OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAprobably never be a more than dabbler in this technique, I knew I was hooked when I had a lunch box and bag for my supplies. In my lunch box I keep a pair of working scissors, a tape measure, weights, the different disks I have and my current project. In my bag are different sized bobbins, some sample braids I have made to see patterns and the yarn for these sample braids.

I enjoy making the braids for projects, but I will tell you this method takes more yarn and time than making a twisted cord. The advantage to this is you can make a pattern braid or just a braid using many of the threads used in a project. Remember when you are planning this that you will need threads that are available in skeins; cut threads will not work. And if it is a large project you may have to make a couple braids to complete project.

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I made a braid for a Christmas present and it turned out to be too large for the project. So saved it, and I am planning on using it for cording on a pillow I just finished stitching.

 

Here are some other braids I’ve played with:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the one I finally made for gift I made last year. It is just #5 perle cotton.

 

This is my pink flat braid I started with Gretchen at Florilegium.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am not sure what I will do with this when complete but it would be cool appliqued to a jacket or used in a crazy quilt design some way.

These are samples I have made of design patterns using suggested colors so I could follow the pattern.

I have my bag and supplies and when inspiration strikes I will be ready to begin. I think it would be interesting to make several Kumihimo braids and then braid these braids together to make an thicker Kumihimo braid to use and a garland or intertwine in a wreath…I can even see making a Kumihimo braid to use at a lanyard for a cool bead or even a beading project. I even see making a braid to couch in needlepoint…oh so many ideas so little time.

Needlepoint will always be my first and main love but I think in order to expand or creativity we need to explore other techniques. It doesn’t mean we will ever be as adapt as the person who loves their chosen technique; but at least we will be able to recognize it when we see it and we will have at least a passing knowledge of how it is done. And sometimes in just knowing the method, inspiration will strike and we will be able to adapt one technique to our chosen method of stitching and make something really creative.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today or do whatever your chosen technique is!

ttfn…sue

Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue


 

More on ribbon books

I am venting…

In my research of Ribbon work I found a couple books I did not own and so I purchased them (they were less than $10 and there was free shipping.) When they arrived I was happy I had not paid more for them. One was nothing but projects and the description did not say that, but I did not send it back,,, more trouble than it was worth and any way when you are a bookaholic , what’s one more book.  (Although I do promise that one of these days I am going to downsize when I find that round tuit again)

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Left book best: The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery

The other book was pretty interesting Creative Ribbon Embroidery (book on right) and as I was going though it I keep thinking it looked familiar. The pictures and layout were enough different that I had to read a few pages before I realized I had read this before. That’s when I realized I had another book by this same author. And what do you know two books, same stuff one is just ten times better than the other.

And this does bother me!

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Color pictures of stitches vs b&w

These two books are night and day. One is full of color pictures and the other is not…all the stitches are in black in white and in fact most of the book is in black and white. The projects in the second book  have been condensed and are not shown to their best advantage. But the cover picture is new to the second book as well as the title is different

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projects

suggesting different content. Then I went back and checked. Some pictures had been turned, some made smaller but it was the same book printed less expensively.  I guess both books are good, because I do like the first one (The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery ) but if you are investing (even though both were inexpensive, less than $10) purchased the better one. How do you know, I guess I would purchase the older copy in this case first

Don’t get me wrong, I have bought the same book more than once for a couple reasons”

I have about worn the first one out from use. I usually buy a second one to have for back up or if I have sentimental attachment to the first so I can keep it. My very first two needlepoint books I did this. I think I’ve told this story but it is worth repeating.

My mother gave me a needlepoint book in the 1972’s for Christmas. I was not a stitcher of any kind. I was an only child raising three little boys all under the age of 5 years…I was a mother in a foreign male kindom and did not speak a word of male.   I asked her what she was thinking and her response was, “I got it from my book club.  I forgot to send the card back that I was not interested, so I’m giving it to you.”  Thanks Mother. I put it with my cookbooks in the kitchen. WWho had time for needlepoint?  But the following spring a magazine ran an article on learning to needlepoint with six stitches. And that same month our youngest ended up in the hospital with an unknown ailment (turned out to be cutting teeth…my diagnoses that the pediatrician finally agreed after ten years was probably true). And I needed something to do to keep my sanity. So rather than learn just six stitches I had my friend go pick up my book and go  by the needlepoint shop to  buy me three colors of wool a piece of canvas. I had learned to needlepoint from my Grandmother and Mother but now I could do all these stitches too. The rest is history.  My first needlepoint book is still one of my favorites and my go to book when looking for a stitch.

And another  reason I have bought the same book twice is because I publisher changed the cover on the second printing. Not nice. So from that experience I Ann Coxcheck as well as I can before I purchase. My Ann Cox ribbon book states it is combined material from two of her other books and I happened to come across one of them and sure enough it has some of the material and enough not to warrant the second purchase. Thank you Ann because I think my book is the best of the other  two.

Sorry that this is my post of the week but I am venting.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Books on Ribbon Embroidery, Bullions and other creative stitches:

Here is a list of some of the books I am consulting. Some I have had just for the different embroidery stitches used to make flowers, some are specific to bullions and others are all about ribbons. And there are others, these are just the ones I pulled for the Blue Bird project.

I have three Hard to Find Book stores in my area and I never go by one that I don’t stop…never know what you will find (and I usually do too.)  I like to see the book before I purchase it. I want technique instructions rather than project books. I check several online sources for needlework books too and I price compare:

Abe Bookseller: http://www.abebooks.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com

Hard-to-Find Needlework Books: http://www.needleworkbooks.com

Ruth Kern Books: http://www.ruthkernbooks.com

The books in my library: I wouldn’t list them here if I didn’t like them but some are better than others.

A-Z Ribbon WorkA-Z of Ribbon Embroidery. Country Bumkin Publications. Susan Gardner, Editor-at Large, Quilter’s Resourses, Inc.; 2003 Illinois.

This book is out of print but if you are patient and check often you can get a deal on Amazon or Abe Books and I understand they are going to update and reissue this soon. But it is a staple for learning  Ifa picture is worth a 1000 words then this book is worth every penny you pay for it. There are pictures for every stitch and technique. Excellent Book

A-Z BullionsA-Z of Bullions. Country Bumkin Publications. Inspirations Magazine Publishers. Country Bumpkin Publications. 1999. Australia.

The instructions are clear and the pictures are wonderful. This book is strictly bullions, bullions of every kind. Again the pictures make the directions clear and concise. How can you go wrong with a book published by Inspirations Magazine?

American School of NeedleworkAmerican School of Needlework. ASN Publishing. California.

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs #3409. 1997.

An Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Holiday Designs #3410. 1997.

The Big Book of Little Ribbon Embroidery Designs #3411. 1998.

Encyclopedia of Ribbon Embroidery Borders #3412. 1999.

All these books are nice and they all have pictures to help.

 

Bradford Book Jenny Bradford. Textured Embroidery. Milner Craft Series. England. 1994.

A  book on Decorative stitching, it has nice drawings and projects.

 

Victoria Brown BooksVictoria Adams Brown. Watson-Guptill Publications. New York.

The Complete Guide to Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1996.

It is a basic Ribbon work book,  full of how to pictures and projects.

The New Ribbon Embroidery. 1997.

This book takes ribbon work to the next level. Dying ribbons, making ribbons, etc. Plenty of eye candy but not for the beginner. I like it but I like to push the envelop too.

book cableSheena Cable. Silk Ribbon Embroidery. A Reader’s Digest Book. NY. 1996.

Mostly projects with pictures and diagrams.

 

Ann CoxAnn Cox. The Handbook of Sik Emroidery. Search Press. England. 2010.

This is a small book (same size as the new Royal School of Needlework books) and it is material from Ann’s two other books: Beginner’s Guide to Ribbon Embroidery and Silk Ribbon Embroidery Designs & Techniques (neither of these do I have). This book  is full of pictures and instructions for ribbon work techniques. I would recommend it.

Heather JoynesHeather Joynes. The Complete Book of Ribbon Embroidery. Kangaroo Press. Australia.1993.

Another book on ribbon work. Has pictures and clear instuctions. Ms Joynes is one of the experts on this subjecy and her books are reccomended in many bibliographies.

River SilksPaul E Krynicki. “OOOOOH”. The Essentials of Ribbon Needlepoint with River Silks 100% Silk Ribbon.Self published.  2006.

If you are using River Silk Ribbons you may want to read this book. It explains how to use RiverSilk Ribbons. It was written for RiverSilk ribbons only. When you order this book you will also receive a spool of Ribbon Silk and a doodle canvas to play.

Lampe Diana Lampe. Sally Milner Publishing. Austrailia.

Embroider A Garden. 1995.

Embroidered Garden Flowers. 1997. with Jane Fisk.

            Embroidery from the garden. 1997.

Diana Lampe’s books are decorative stitches…Any of these books are nice if you are doing a lot of decorative flowers.

Montano silkJudith Baker Montano. C & T Publishing. California

Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1993

This is eye candy for the ribbon world. Judith knows the rules, bends the rules and does inovative things. I have all the books listed her and look at them for information and inspiration.  Some of Judith other books… these are either inspiration and or quilting techniques.

Montao othersCrazy Quilt Odyssey. 1991.

The Art of Silk Ribbon Embroidery. 1993.

Elegant Stitches. 1995.

Free-Form Embroidery. 2012.

TrottPat.Trott. Three Dimensional  Embroidery Stitches. Search Press. England. 2005.

This book is similar to Diana Lampe’s books but with more and different techniques explored. I like it but it may not be for the beginner to decorative stitching.

AnchorSue Whiting. The Anchor Book of Ribbon Embroidery. David & Charles. England. 1997.

An old book but a goody. Small, 4 x 4 inches, will fit in your stitching bag. Has a complete list of stitches with explanation, drawing and picture. It is really inexpensive and I would recommend for beginning study of ribbon work and library.
Brazilian Embroidery Books: I have had these for years. Brazilian Embroidery Chapman was basically small embroidery (decorative stitches) flowers done with rayon floss. I used them to stitch on denim shirts in the 1980’s.


Floss Flowers, Book 1
. Virginia Chapman. !mpact Presentations. Oregon. 1988 This book was created basically for Brazilian Embroidery and covers a multitude of ways to use bullions as the cover photo attests.

Brazilian booksThe Bossa Nova rose and Friends. Mary Clark and Vee Wedoo. self published, Colorado. 1980.

Hand drawings , project book, a nice book if you can find it but not a necessary one.

Brazilian Stitchery, Instruction Book 1, Janice Gerst Levine and Patricia Von Coelln. American Crewel and Canvas Studio. New York. 1985. Another project book with photos  and line drawings.

Dimensional Embroidery, Book 2&3. Zeann Aguilar. self Published. Utah, 1980. Basic stitches and patterns.

Brazilian Embroidery Instructions. Barbara Demke Johnson. Hawkes Publishing. Utah. 1980. Basic stitches and patterns.

By the way, while I am reading I may not be back too soon…but I hope to have other things to share while I read.

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

Why do you stitch canvases?

When you buy a canvas do you think what the finished product will be? You should but few of us do. We are impulse buyers and this is good for shop owners but not always wise for us. There is just so much wall space that pictures can occupy. And even though I love my dog to bits, I do not like her using my needlework pillows as her lounging chair. And when are stand-ups & ornaments too many, not to mention where you store them all? So next time you go to buy that canvas, please think about the finished product; what will it be, where will it go, where will you store it if you need to do this and who will get it (if it is a gift)? All good questions and if you can’t answer them, then you might think about another canvas…because we all know that we have to purchase a canvas to maintain our mental stability. And visiting a shrink is more expensive and it will take you too long to get an appointment, so find a canvas you can see finished (someday), you can live with and then by all means… purchase it.

Do you ever buy previously owned canvas? Sometimes these canvases come with threads and stitch guides too. They can be from Susie Stitcher who is no longer as excited to stitch the canvas as she was when she purchased it; it can be from a guide member who is downsizing; or an estate sale of a former member. While I have purchased a canvas or two (less than 6) from an online auction company; I like to buy directly from the original owner, I like the connection to the stitcher.  I prefer to purchase something from a guide member at an estate sale for a couple reasons: 1. It gives that person a portion of her investment back or 2. It reminds me of that guild member who is no longer with us.

I have several of these and each time I stitch one I remember this lovely stitcher and how much I enjoy(ed) her company. This is one of those canvases, and when I got it out to stitch it I wondered how she had meant to finish it. I’m guessing a picture, but I do not know for sure. I asked on Facebook: Needlepoint Nation Group how I should finish this piece (https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeedlepointNation/search/?query=sue%20dulle) and received many responses: bolster pillow, box, black lacquer box, top for a new stitching bag; basket band, top of a chair back, door draft stopper, hat band, eyeglass case, table runner, top of a mirror, tray insert, coat rack inset and a stand up. At first I thought I would learn to make a box, then I thought top of a tote bag or a bolster pillow, but after stitching on it I’m not sure.

The canvas is an older canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs. I think it has been retired; but when I contacted Melissa Shirley Designs (http://melissashirleydesigns.com/)for permission to use photos, she had some great advice for those of us looking for an older canvas. She suggested you contact your local shop and have them check with the designer; they sometimes have a back stock or will be willing to paint a special order. There were at least two others if memory serves me well; one was with a fish and the other I do not 2015-07-06 Barbara pictremember. Thank you Barbara Cohen for sharing one of the other pieces that are in this series. The piece is lovely and I do like the framing too. .  Does anyone remember the other design canvases in this series? Maybe I should check and see if the others in this series are still available… Oh my gosh, I am enabling myself!

This canvas I purchased from a guild members estate was kitted with silks and so I decided to use these…there were some stitch suggestions from the shop that chose the threads but I decided to wing it on my own. First I took a picture of the unstitched canvas. I always try to do this as a reference to the canvas; I print this as a reference only. AND I do not keep them 2015-07-06 MS JB unstitchedafter I am finished stitching and shred these pictures as they are not my designs.

I try to remember to ask permission of the designer to use pictures of the design in my blog too. I’m not always good at this; I guess I think all of you who needlepoint and read my blog are honest. I did contact Melissa Shirley Designs and obtained permission for two of her canvases. And then feeling guilty, I contacted some other designers I plan on stitching and received their permission too.

I Basketweaved all the children’s skin and most of their outfits; the exceptions were the small decorative stitches and they were either Reverse Basketweave, Cross over 2 threads one direction, Cross stitch over 1…whatever fit the area. Their backpacks or ribbons were mostly Diagonal Goblins to fit. I decided to have some fun with the hair and so three of the children have padded, hair, I think they call this Shimada hairstyle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimada_(hairstyle)]. The second child from the left just had wild hair… Random Straight stitches; while the second child from the right had a more controlled hairdo using Straight stitches in a more controlled method.

2015-07-06 MS-JB shoesThe shoes of the children were a combination of Cross stitches to fit; the heels and straps were Elongated Cross stitches to fit.2015-07-06 MS JB feet & grass

I spent 2015-07-06 bookan evening perusing for a grass stitch I liked. I chose #Grass 27 from Stitch Landscape from Little Shoppe Canvas Company (http://littleshoppecanvascompany.com/books); your local shop should be able to get this helpful little book for you.

Next I am going to stitch the butterfly…and then the background.

I still am undecided about how to finish this but maybe it will come to me as I stitch.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! Enjoy the rest of your summer…

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today!

ttfn…sue

The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen

2015-04-10 Needlepoint book aLast week-end I received an advance preview copy of the new edition of Jo Ippolito Christensen’s The Needlepoint Book direct from the publisher, Simon & Schuster (simonand Schuster.com). I had received an email asking if I was interested a few months ago and I replied, “Yes.” (What needlepoint and book-o-holic wouldn’t want a book about needlepoint and the Black Bible at that.) I never thought much about it until last week in my mail box I received a package.

2015-04-10 kalidascope & scissorsI had ordered an Easter gift for myself and thought Come to the Point Needlepoint Shop in California (www.cometothepoint.com) had packed my gift very well. Wasn’t I surprised when I opened the package and there in front of me was the new “Black Bible?” BTW, the other package came the next day and was well packaged too…it was a very Happy Easter to me!

Since this was a gift, I decided I should read it from cover to cover and really study the book. So for the last five days I have read every word in Parts One –Two and Three and compared every stitch in Part 4 to the previous edition. Although I found much of the material similar; to my mind the material is presented in a concise and logical manner.

Overall I liked the book. I, like Amy Bunger (she wrote the foreword), will not replace my other copies of “The Bible” but this new edition will share space with 2015-04-10 Needlepoint book bthem in my needlework library. The book is printed on nice paper and the diagrams are clear and easy to read. There are 130 new color pictures and many of these are canvases we see people stitching today.

But the truth be told most of us are looking for stitches and this book has stitches, I counted 435 stitches (yes 2015-04-10 Needlepoint book cBev, I counted them) which included 50 new stitches in the different categories (Straight, diagonal, box, cross, tied, eyelet, leaf, line, decorative, ribbon and open stitches). Yes, I compared this edition to the last…section by section, page by page.  There is a new section of ribbon stitches. I like that the chart at the beginning of the stitch sections (i.e. straight, diagonal …); in the new edition has them listed in alphabetical order. I have used these sections in the previous additions and found it a pain to look for a stitch name in the section.

And of course I compared the bibliography (135 books listed) with the last edition and with mine (I have over 1000 books in my library). There are 49 new additional books listed and I only have 16 of them not to mention the ones I don’t have from previous editions. I will be adding some wishes to my wish list soon.

Here were only two things I thought might hinder the purchase of this book:

One: the cost. It seems like a very expensive book, but I think I have spent more for a book on a specific technique.  With the purchase of the hardcover book you are going to receive a free download app for you tablet (either ios or android.) These apps was not available this week (I asked the publisher), but they are going to try and get me a version soon. If I get one I will add a post here about the app. I’m sure relative to what I paid for my other two copies at the time, this price is comparable. I have also heard that there will be an e-book, but I am old school and this would not appeal to me.

Two: I personally would have preferred that the book be a softcover edition…but I do think a hard back will wear better and last longer. My first book is a hard back and is in much better shape than my second book

Keep in mind, we all process things differently and this book may not be something you need in your library today. BUT if you are a new or beginning needlepointer I recommend you take a long look at this book. It will serve you well over the years, mine is still the first book I grab when looking for a specific stitch. And I know some shops that use the previous addition when choosing stitches for painted canvases.

I hope that this book and app will help educate the new needlepointers much in the same way the other two editions have helped many of us grow from novice stitchers to better stitchers. (I would like to say expert but I am no expert. I am just learning and having fun along the needlepoint path with you.) I do think there is a new and growing interest in needlepoint and I hope these new stitchers will learn the basics before they venture into breaking the rules. Please learn Basketweave first, it will serve you well. I always tell new stitchers it is the first step before the fun of stitching.

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

It is COLD!!!! but I have been reading …

Oh will this cold weather ever let up? The first 12 days of 2015 have been spent reading and keeping warm…I am in a historical fiction phase. Everything I am reading is fiction based on some facts; none of which I knew much about. I have become very interested in history again; because if my nose hasn’t been in a book, I have been on the internet finding out more about the Romanov’s and World War I.
I saw the book Romanov Bride at the library when I went to see the Jason Pollen show (http://www.jasonpollen.com/ or http://www.kclibrary.org/event/jason-pollen-unfurled) and (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/creative-week-but-no-photos/) I 15-01-12 Bk Romanov Brodewas going to pick it up on my way out of the library but forgot, so I requested it online and had it sent to closer library. The book just sitting there on the shelf in the library must have become a popular book because it took almost 8 weeks before I could pick it up. That was right in the middle of the Christmas rush and so I just put it aside for later (also had to renew due date).

But January 1 brought cold weather and the desire to do nothing but keep warm and read. I wasn’t 25 pages into the book (and of course because I read the back of the book first) I already knew this was a historical fiction book and that Robert Alexander had written two others based on the Romanov Family. I ordered these to be picked up when I returned Romanov Bride.

Romanov Bride is the story Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna. She was the sister to Alexander Romanov and wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia. After The Grand Dukes assassination she founded a convent, Convent of Saints Martha and Mary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marfo-Mariinsky_Convent and http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/marthamary.html). Until I read this book I had thought that only the immediate family of Nicholas and Alexandria had been assassinated. And I never knew about this convent.

15-01-12 Bk Kitchen BoyKitchen Boy was my next read and I thought it was a very interesting read. Since somehow I missed in history that Nicholas and Alexandria and their children had not been imprisoned and executed quickly; it was interesting to read this historical fiction account of their lives in exile and imprisonment before their execution. And of course there is a twist to this tale, but I won’t spoil it for anyone that wants to read Kitchen Boy.

My least favorite of the trilogy of
15-01-12 Bk Rasputins DaughterRussian historical fiction was Rasputin’s Daughter. Rasputin was a dark figure in history and this book reveals this and more. It is a daughter’s view of her father and what he did, how he lived his live and her love for him through it all.

And my last book April Smith’s A Star for Mrs. Blake is another historical fiction based on journals kept by Colonel
15-01-12 Bk Star for Mrs BlakeThomas Hammond. His first deployment after graduating West Point was the liaison officer for a party of Gold Star Mothers to France after WWI. I knew of the Gold Star Mothers organization (http://www.goldstarmoms.com/), it exists to this day but I did not realize their history. And since I live right here in Kansas City where the World War I National Museum (https://theworldwar.org/) is located I plan to do some more studying. And I want to see these medals…15-01-12 Tiffany Gold Star medalwouldn’t it be fun to find these somewhere? I have several 15-01-12 Gold Star Mother's badgeantiques from WWI and WWII; a blue star flag and an embroidered post card and a beautiful photo album my father put together after WWII; I even have my own blue star flag from when my second son served in the first Iraq War.

And, I did not know that the last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother’s Day, but this year I will remember those mother’s and wives who have sacrificed their precious sons and husbands for the freedoms we enjoy today.

And now that the weather is supposed to warm later this week, maybe I can un-cocoon from my pile of blankets and get some needlepoint stitching or finishing completed. But I do have a reserve of needlework related books in case the weather takes another cold dip.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue