Friday, November 27, 2009

One Year Anniversary Party Today

We've been receiving fruit and flowers this morning. Why? Because it is a special day here at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. We are one year old today!

That's right -- we opened just one year ago today -- on the day after Thanksgiving. For those of you who were with us during that first weekend you know how far we've come in a year. Definitely a lot more stuff for sale now then there was during that first weekend. But hey -- what do you want? We put the whole store together in something like six weeks!

Of course, some things don't change. The coat rack is still here but now it is covered with a visiting trunk show of beautiful Christmas stockings and the majority of our canvases adorn the flip panels -- the ones that did not arrive in time for our original opening.

Stop by the shop between 4 and 7 and help us celebrate!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stitch of the Week: Parisian Stripe

A nice and relaxing stitch this week. Parisian stripe is simply the Parisian stitch where the long stitches line up underneath one another thus creating a small space that can be filled in with short stitches in a different color. The Parisian Stripe leaves a good backing on the reverse side of the canvas. It would work well as a background stitch or as a filling stitch for large areas. It has the regular appearance of a geometric stitch and little texture therefore it is relatively undemanding and discreet.

The stitch is done in horizontal rows alternating one short stitch and one long stitch. The combination can be: short stitch over 1 canvas thread and long stitch over 3 canvas threads or short over 2 and long over 4 canvas threads. In subsequent rows, the long stitches are lined up underneath one another leaving a space that is later filled in with short stitches in a different colored thread or for a more subtle look in a different thread texture.

The stitch is easy to compensate and therefore works well in small areas. Possible thread combinations include wool with pear cotton or a variegated thread with a coordinating solid color thread. Because the stitch is made up entirely of Gobelin stitches it might be necessary to use more thread than usual for your canvas mesh size.

According to Suzanne Howeren and Beth Robertson in their wonderful book, More Stitches for Effect, this stitch works well "for grass, fields, shrubbery, trees, beaches, clothing and animal fur" (p. 54)