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 ask...how 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...