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Needlepoint

Q: Can I use my knitting yarns on a needlepoint canvas? Or my needlepoint fibers for knitting?

A: We like the way you think! The ‘cross-over’ possibilities are endless. For knitters,  needlepoint yarns offer vast color options in nice small yardages, so if all you want is a color-tipped cast-on or a few rows of Fair Isle, you don’t need to buy a big skein to get just a little color. Silk & Ivory (Featured Fave! 10% off through August; call the store to order 206.780.2686) knits nicely at fingering gauge, while Appleton and Paternayan wools can be bulked up with multiple strands. Silk and metallic fibers can be used for surface embellishment, or to knit or crochet jewelry. Needlepoint fibers are also great for color matching knitting repairs. For needlepointers, hand-painted knitting yarns are especially interesting—try long or short color runs in a variety of stitches. Heathers and tweeds yield effects you won’t find in the needlepoint  department. A yarn that’s sturdy and fairly smooth will wear better, but chunky and textured yarns can be fun, funky and quickto stitch. Whichever way you’re ‘crossing over,’ swatch! swatch! swatch!

Q. My needlepoint project is all askew. What did I do wrong? What can I do now?

A. While any of the diagonal ‘tent’ stitches can skew your canvas to some degree, you’ll do best to use the basketweave stitch wherever you can, and continental stitch whenever you can’t. Avoid half-cross stitch (which also provides poor coverage). Use stretcher bars or a scroll frame to help keep your canvas square. Blocking your finished piece can correct some of the twist, but a badly misshapen piece may need repeated blocking.

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