Friday, December 27, 2013

Pre-Inventory Sale

The new year is upon us and that means Inventory Time!  Help us reduce what we have to count and save some serious cash, to boot.  

Here's a list of everything that is 40% off today and tomorrow:

Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Chunky
Lorna's Laces Chunky in selected colors
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande
Araucania Milodon
Debbie Bliss Como
Queensland Kathmandu Chunky
Opal Sock Yarn
Debbie Bliss Andes
Tahki Stacy Charles Ritratto
Mirasol Akapana
Mirasol Sulka
Mirasol Miski
Sublime Organic Merino Wool DK
Sublime Merino Wool DK
Louisa Harding Millais
Louisa Harding Thistle
Malabrigo Rasta
Noro Iro
Noro Kochoron
Caron Collection Impressions Thread
Caron Collection Soie Cristale Thread
YLI Shimmerblend Ribbon Floss
Gloriana Silk Ribbon (4mm & 7mm)

All in-stock cashmere yarn is 25% off.
All in-stock needlepoint canvases are 25% off.

We'll be open Friday and Saturday from 10:00 - 5:00, then we'll be closed through January 7 for inventory, so come on down and get your "stitch fix" for the New Year! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Coco has been reeeaaaallllly busy!

Our Countdown to Christmas continues...Coco has added Impressions and Soie Cristale needlepoint fibers by The Caron Collection to our sale.  Now 20% off through the holidays, these luxurious threads are a favorite of stitchers everywhere.

Como, by Debbie Bliss, is one of our favorite super chunky yarns...and it's super soft, made of merino wool and cashmere.  We have a terrific pattern for a last minute cowl that you can knit up in a jiffy.  Really - I made one in one evening while watching television.  The pattern is free with your yarn purchase - a holiday happy from us to you.  (Oh, and it's 20% off, too!)

Love, love, love this yarn - it's Debbie Bliss' Luxury Tweed Chunky.  Coco added it to our Countdown today, making it 20% off, like all of the other goodies she's chosen this month.  The rich colors would make a luscious throw, don't you think?

Keep an eye out here for more additions to the Countdown...and feel free to leave us a comment if you have a question.  We'll be glad to help!       

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The countdown continues...

Coco has added more items to the Countdown to Christmas sale!  Here she is all snuggled up in Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande, a luxuriously soft chunky-weight 100% alpaca yarn.  Available in both solid and hand painted colors, this yummy yarn is perfect for last minute holiday gift knitting and, now, it's on sale for 20% off the regular price.  Two skeins is all you need for knitting up a cozy cowl or cuddly scarf...and we have a free pattern for you when you purchase this yarn.

Especially for our needlepoint friends, Coco added all of Raymond Crawford Designs' canvases to the sale.  20% off now through Christmas, too, these wonderfully whimsical canvases are a delight to stitch.  There's a photo album on our Facebook page, if you'd like to see what's available.

Continue to keep an eye out here for more additions to the sale and leave us a comment if you have any questions.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Countdown to Christmas!

Meet Coco, the Serendipity Needleworks Elf.  Coco has all kinds of terrific surprises for holiday savings in store for you now through the end of 2013.  Between now and Christmas, Coco will select a new item each day that will be added to our sale!  You'll be able to choose from a variety of merchandise at 20% off it's regular price.  Both yarn and needlepoint canvases will be included in the sale, so keep an eye out here for details.  Why, just today, she decided that oodles and oodles of Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Bulky and Lorna's Laces Swirl Chunky should be part of our Countdown to Christmas sale.  Take a peek at these luscious yarns below...

 Let us know if you have any questions...leave us a comment and we'll gladly get back with you! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

We're baa-aa-ack...

Hi and Happy December!  Welcome to our blog - where you can read all about Serendipity Needleworks and the latest happenings at the shop.  Bookmark this page, sign up to receive email updates of new posts, and follow our feed to be sure that you don't miss a thing! 

Our Serendipity Circle of Friends is such a wonderful community and we warmly invite you to join all of the fun!  You can keep up with us - wherever you call home - by joining our Ravelry group, liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and taking a peek at our boards on Pinterest.  We're looking forward to getting to know you.  Thank you for dropping by. 

(Oh...I almost forgot!  Be sure and check back here on Thursday for details about our 20 Days til Christmas Countdown!)


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summertime Swatching

Swatching is as much a part of knitting as the heat is a part of summer. Don't put your needles and hooks down just because the mercury is rising - Summer is a great time to swatch and practice your knitting skills! Think of them as the ultimate summer project as they are relatively quick and portable and you can knit without being under a pile of material. Swatches provide the opportunity to get chummy with your yarn, needles, and pattern to ensure all involved will get along! They are especially important if you are knitting an item where fit will matter, you should always take the time to make a swatch.  

When you have knit your swatch, take the time to treat it as you will the final garment. Give it a bath and let it dry! This will ensure an accurate stitch count. Don't fret if your gauge does not match the pattern! Take a break, stretch, maybe get a snack, and come back to the yarn with a different set of needles. If you have too many stitches per inch, try it again with a larger needle size. Work with a smaller needle size if you find you have too few stitches per inch. 

After your swatch has served its purpose give it another use! Several could be joined together into a larger piece for yarn bombing! Or maybe your favorite little one would like it as an accessory for a doll house? We spotted this one on Pinterest: pop the swatch into an embroidery hoop as wall art for your own home! 

Summer is also a great time to work on ornaments and get a jump on your holiday decorations and gifts! Don't forget, you have the opportunity to have one of your ornaments finished for free! You have a little less than one week to finish up your ornaments and bring them in to the shop. We will select one winner at random from all the ornaments we have received to get the finishing done for free. The ornaments shown above were finished this summer. The ones above were stitched by Mary Alice; the ones below were stitched by Arvid.  Aren't they lovely? 

Whether you choose to swatch or to stitch, we hope you are having a great Summer! We would love to hear about your summer projects - leave us a comment or stop by our Facebook page or Ravelry group!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christmas in July

It's July and that means the time has come for thinking about seasonal stitching!  We're celebrating "Christmas in July" this month and one of our favorite holiday gifts is an ornament for the Christmas tree. Creating a truly unique keepsake to celebrate life's precious moments is so much more personal when you select a special canvas and then stitch it with love. We have a large selection of canvases representing a wide variety of themes - from collegiate and greek life, to nature, hobbies, people, places and more! Let us help you create new keepsake treasures this summer with our wonderful selection of needlepoint canvases and the opportunity to have your ornament finished for free!

...and, speaking of a keepsake ornament - it's finally here!  Our exclusive limited edition University of Alabama 2012 NCAA National Football Championship ornament has arrived - and WE LOVE IT!!!  The design is painted on 18 mesh canvas and stitches up quickly.  (The ornament pictured above was stitched over the 4th of July weekend!)  We have a limited number of these little treasures in stock now and re-orders will not be available until after the 2013 Christmas finishing deadline, so get yours today.

Of course, we have a wonderful Christmas ornament project for our knitting friends, too.  Our Christmas in July class on July 20 is designed especially for you!  (A little bit of homework prior to class is required, but it's reaaalllllly easy!)  We'll spend our class time cutting out and embellishing felted gingerbread ornaments with wonderfully sweet embroidered details, so get out your apron and get ready to whip up a batch of these little gems!  Note:  space is limited and pre-registration is required.  

The Christmas finishing deadline is rolling around quickly.  All needlepoint to be sent off to our professional finishers must be in the shop by Friday, September 6 in order to guarantee having it back by Christmas. That may seem like a long way off, but actually it's only 9 weeks away!  Need some incentive to go ahead and get those ornaments into the shop?  Bring your stitched ornament (or ornaments) in during July and you'll have your name entered into our drawing for free finishing on a single ornament. Your name will be entered once for each ornament purchased from Serendipity Needleworks that you bring in, so the more ornaments you bring in, the better your chances are for having one of them finished for FREE. 

Merry Christmas in July!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Visit with Melissa Shirley

June was jam-packed with activities to kick off our summer at Serendipity!  We took a trip up to Columbus, Ohio for The National Needle Arts trade show to see all the new products being offered in the world of yarn and needlepoint, and - WOW - what a show!  There were all kinds of must-have goodies that we couldn't resist, so we want you to mark your calendar for July 17th now.  That's when we'll be rolling out our own red carpet at Serendipity Needleworks to put the spotlight on these hot new items at our Market Preview Party.   

Our special visit with Melissa Shirley of Melissa Shirley Designs was a real treat!

We're delighted that you all came out to give Melissa such a warm welcome!  She'd never been to Alabama before and she had a wonderful time while visiting with us.  Many new friendships were made and everyone who came walked away with a bit of stitching inspiration. Melissa was so kind in chatting with everyone about stitch selections, fiber choices and finishing options - it was a real treat to hear her suggestions. We also had a little "show and share".  Customers brought in their finished projects and we all had a great time "oohing and aahing" over their hand stitched art.  If you click on over to our Facebook page, you will be able to see all the photos from our wonderful afternoon.

Before wrapping up this post, we have to are your needlepoint projects for Christmas coming along?  It may seem like it's a long way off, but Christmas is actually less than 6 months away.  YIKES!  Our finishing deadline for Christmas is earlier this year than ever before! All items that you wish to have back for Christmas must be turned in by September 6 (sorry, no exceptions). There is still plenty of time to stitch, but now is definitely the time to get started. Whether you're creating a keepsake treasure to add to your holiday decor, or making a precious holiday gift, we have lots of terrific canvases from which to choose. Christmas ornaments, pillows, wall hangings, stockings, tree toppers, and more... we'll be glad to help you select the perfect project!  See you soon...

Monday, June 10, 2013

You Can Knit in the Summer!

Simple Summer Socks
When the weather begins to warm up (as it has been doing here in Tuscaloosa) there is no need to abandon your knitting until cooler days and nights return! There are plenty of projects and yarns that are great to work with in the summertime, and of course it is never too early to start thinking about knitting Christmas gifts!

Child's I-cord Hat
We encourage you to look to the smaller gauge yarns, like Koigu! Hand painted in small batches, you will love knitting with this superior merino yarn. This is an incredibly versatile yarn that looks great as socks, fingerless gloves, hats, baby items, cowls and shawls. 1-2 skein projects are portable and are great for knitting while you are traveling or just relaxing outside. They work up so quickly, too, that you are likely to find yourself unable to stop.  (Kind of like those Lay's potato chips!)

Koigu Fingerless Gloves
The projects we have shared here are all free downloads on Ravelry. When you click each caption to download the pattern, we hope you will take a moment to join us in our Serendipity Stitchers group. Read about our Summer Sweater Knit-Along. Meet Baby AL, the first of our ever growing herd that we want to send to Moore, Oklahoma as part of "Elephants Remember Joplin".  Share what you're making right now - we'd love to see your latest PIP (project in progress)!

Irish Mesh Cowl

We would also like to invite you kick off your summer knitting by joining us this week as part of World Wide Knit in Public Week!  We will have all kinds of fun activities at the shop every day to celebrate. The overall theme of the World Wide Knit in Public event is to promote better living through stitching together, so come to the shop and knit with us! This is a great chance to introduce a friend to knitting as we will be teaching people how to knit. When you knit in public this week, be sure to snap a photo! Send it to with WWKIP picture in the subject line. We will share the photos on our Facebook page and in our Ravelry group. The photo with the most likes / loves will win a great goodie-filled project bag! What a great way to kick off summer, don't you agree?

Keep those needles busy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Texturally Stitching

As spring begins to turn into summer, do you ever notice how the landscape around us changes? Leaves are fully opened up on the trees and flower petals are opening up in a variety of shapes and colors. Let your surroundings inspire you to add some visual impact and drama to your project by working with textured stitches.

When knitting or crocheting, this can be as easy as working a ribbed stitch pattern or as complicated as intricate lace or cables. Consider the edges as a great place to experiment with texture. This Baby Wrap Sweater is adorable in squishy garter stitch and a delicate (but not difficult) ruffle, as shown in this shop sample. This same sweater made with an applied i-cord edging is perfect if you are looking for a more masculine item. The pattern calls for Koigu yarn, a wonderful fingering weight merino wool that is hand-painted in small batches. Baby items are great fun to work on in the warmer summer months as they are tiny and generally do not take a lot of time to complete!

Decorative needlepoint stitches can make your piece really pop! Just as when you first learned how to stitch, keep in mind that each starts and ends in a specific hole. Take care to think through your textured stitches as they may be worked over different numbers of canvas intersections, to see if they will work as full or partial stitches, and when you should work them. The end result is sure to give your piece dimension. Here we're sharing Esther's London Phone Booth ornament. Notice the stitches at the bottom, all those French Knots! Looks like a chilly night in London, doesn't it? If you need a quick refresher on how to work a French Knot, here is a great stepwise tutorial!

Until next time, happy stitching!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer News & Events

Can you believe that May is already here and half-way done? We hope all your projects have been tangle-free! It seems appropriate to take care of a little bit of spring cleaning here - we want to make sure you know that Serendipity Needleworks is now operating on summer hours. From now until August 31, the shop is open from 10:00am until 4:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday! Thanks to the Internet you can stay connected with us, even when you can't make it in to the shop. You can check out our website, stay up to date by liking our Facebook page, following our Twitter feed, share your projects in our Ravelry group and find inspiration on our Pinterest boards!

While your calendar is still open, we hope you will pencil us in for a chance to learn something new! We have several classes scheduled. Just as a vacation is a great way to experience another location, classes are a great opportunity to dabble in a new craft.  In June, we are so excited for a very special event! Melissa Shirley will be here Wednesday, June 26 for a "Meet and Greet" event! Join us in extending a warm Southern welcome to Melissa as we spend the afternoon sharing stories, tips, and creating new friendships!

KNITuscaloosa / CROCHETuscaloosa will still be taking place on the first Tuesday of each month during the summer, from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Our summer project is to knit / crochet blanket squares on behalf of Warm Up America! Blanket squares should be 7"x9" and should be made from machine washable yarn. The finished blankets will be presented to The Salvation Army for distribution to individuals in need.  

Here's to a great start to the summer!

Monday, January 21, 2013

We went to the beach in a snow storm!

Happy 2013! I hope your year is off to a terrific start. Ours sure is! We spent a fun-filled week last week with American Needlepoint Guild Senior Master Teacher, Sandy Arthur. Sandy spent three days sharing her love of needlepoint with us - and teaching us all kinds of wonderful decorative stitches and how to use them to make our canvases come to life! One of my favorite things about Sandy is that she always shares ideas on how to implement techniques you learn in her class on future projects. Here's our group hard at work!
B.J. is concentrating so hard...
...and so is Jane!
Here's a peek at the project in progress.
Sandy advises Pride on where to start the next row of stitching.
Alice T. is practicing the new technique she learned for creating life-like curls...
..and so are Becky, Alice H., and Alesia.
It began to snow...and snow...and snow...while we were all working so hard!
We forged on, though, and Sandy explained how to work padded satin stitches in a curve to Alice H., Becky, Linda, and Susan.
Donna is hard at work trying her hand at one of the myriad techniques that we learned from Sandy.
Linda, Donna's sister, came all the way from California to take Sandy's workshop!
And here's our happy group at Serendipity Needleworks at the end of the workshop (minus Pride and Alice T. who had to get on the road a little earlier in the day). It was such a wonderful three days - delightful stitchers, an awesome teacher, a darling project, and terrific food and true Southern hospitality at The University Club. What more could one ask?! Hmmmm, I think we'll have to do it again soon...say, in September?!!!