Carousel Charts' (Portland designer) Mermaid of the Oregon Coast, as stitched by Reta Holland (Dufur) - lovely!
One of Sandy's best helpers, granddaughter Amelia, putting up Mill Hill beads.
What's new? Mill Hill's spring kits are here, and we love them all - magnets include a fabulous Triple Scoop ice cream cone, dreamy dragonfly and beautiful butterfly; beaded and buttoned kits are for Mardis Gras, a Main Street Flower Shoppe, wonderful hummingbird, and two cute cupcakes - small and quick!
Mary Engelbreit has created darling PAPER DOLLS with beautiful and fun backgrounds, not to stitch, just cut out and play! We've gotten them for our granddaughters - but want to cut them out ourselves! We were reminiscing about the old McCall's paper dolls when we saw these, how we waited for mom's new magazine so we could cut them out right away. Nostalgia! Sandy will keep one set of books at the shop until it's time to give them up in June for a birthday gift...check them out, or you can see the covers on the Leisure Arts website. We'd love to get some for you!
There are lots of new designs out from our favorites, too, so do stop in to see what's new! Little House is beginning the 2011 ornament series with Cardinal Winter; Lizzie Kate's begun their Halloween Rules Double Flips, just adorable - the first is "Wear a Costume"! Sandy's begun, so you can see how it looks at the shop.
February 8 is
"Hari-kuyo: Festival of Broken Needles
In the Hari-Kuyo ceremony, Japanese women gather once a year on Febuary 8th at Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples to thank their worn out needles and pins for good service.
It is also a time to value the small, everyday objects of daily living and to wish for progress in one's needle work. In what is known as the Festival of Broken Needles, women gather to offer a funeral-type service by laying the needles to rest in soft jelly cakes or tofu. This burial is meant to bring rest to the needles and wrap them with tenderness and gratitude.
Further to the idea of laying the needles to rest for good service is the idea that women have many secret sorrows in life. These sorrows are often passed to the needles during long hours of stitching and the needles are thought to take on the burden of some of these sorrows, thus taking them away with the stitching that they do. This "rest" is brought to the needles in appreciation for their faithful service.
Another aspect of the ceremony is the consideration for "the value of small things." The concept of Mottainai, or not being wasteful, is related to the usefulness of the needles. These small but important tools would give long, useful service throughout the year. They were not to be lost or wasted nor carelessly replaced."
What a great sentiment! Should you choose to bury your old needles, rest assured we have plenty in stock to replace them. Let us know you've honored your needles and we'll give one for free. :-)
News from Zweigart: Many fabric colors in various counts have been discontinued - because they're no longer popular in Europe - they don't seem to worry about the rest of the world. :-) Since it's our source for most stitching fabric, it causes difficulty in that older designs might call for something which is no longer made. We usually have an easy alternative - Wichelt has provided us with a very useful color chart relating fabric to DMC floss colors, so we can generally find an excellent replacement. There's also the option of hand dyed fabrics, and we have a good assortment of those on hand also. Flexibility is the key. :-)
DMC - Their prices have gone up again, so we may be re-thinking ours. For now, we're holding it at 50 cents per skein, but you might wish to stock up soon. Anchor remains stable, at 60 cents per skein. (Full retail on both is quite a bit more.) Most of the overdyes are now $2. Kreinik went up some time ago, but hasn't changed recently.
It's like everything else, prices go up but seldom go down. Many patterns now fall closer to the $10 range - those designers have multiple levels with whom to share the income, so we can hardly blame them. Shipping, too, is a huge factor in costs. Still, counted cross titch is one of the least expensive types of needlework - and we still love doing it! We hope you do, too!