Wednesday, November 2, 2011


 I have discovered a blog pertaining to cross-stitch( which I enjoy reading.  I no longer stitch cross-stitch and also no longer sell cross-stitch (both ended when we moved to Florida 30 years ago--you can't pay Florida rents with cross-stitch sales, at least not on the "gold coast of Florida".)  Anna often has lists of various things on her blog.  The lists are, I think, intended to provoke thought. And rightly so.   One she had recently was of her favorite cross-stitch stores (her lns) where she mentioned that this one was delightful to be in, that one the owner was aloof, etc.  I have a shop in a tourist area.  (Especially when we were in Blowing Rock--you become accustomed to being a treat, rather than a necessity to customers).  I try to guide my customers when they say "I'm going to Santa Fe--is there a needlepoint shop there?"  The TNNA retail listing is a godsend reference for this.  I think people should share their feelings about individual shops--"I felt like there was a minimum purchase";  "had a tiny inventory"; "lots of halloween"; etc.  I have many people reading this blog.  It would be wonderful if you could bring yourself to comment on this issue.  The industry needs more openness.  Think of it as saving your local needlepoint shop.  Think about what makes it "your" shop and why you want it to survive (or not). 

I have a male customer who has a marvelous analytical eye (he was a highly successful business consultant before 9/11 decimated the market).  I love it when he returns from a business trip, because he has gone to needlepoint shops and "looked" at them.  I wish he would do a website critiqueing them because his observations are so right on.

I intend to keep hammering on this topic....why?  Because the needlepoint shop is a dying phenomena.  Donna of http://www.needleworkernotinparadise/ mentions this in her October 30th blog entry.To keep it from totally disappearing, we must analyze it and discover what we want to preserve about it.  Please realize that shop owners are aging as are finishers, with no discernible replacements.  Needlepoint  shops are closing, and are too expensive to open new profitably.  Customers are buying on the internet.  That may take the place of the storefront shops, but where are the stitchers going to find finishers?  Let's face it, nothing ruins your delight in a finished product than the realization that the finisher wasn't quite up to snuff.


  1. My favorite shops (and I've been to quite a few!) are the ones that have helpful, friendly sales people and are well organized with a mix of needlepoint ideas... Sometimes I'm looking for the more traditional Christmas ornaments and sometimes I want to stitch a bracelet... it's find that right mix of inventory and attitude that makes the shop feel like an extension of the favorite place in your house to stitch... it feels like home!

  2. I can advise about four of the shops I frequent in my area. There are many more but D.C. traffic is horrible so I've never ventured to them although I'd love to be able to take a long weekend and hit them all. First up, Needlewoman East and Waste Knot are about a 15 minute drive apart in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. They both specialize in needlepoint, although NW East has some counted thread and XS charts. Waste Knot has more painted canvases in stock and books while NW East has more thread brands, but they each stock items the other doesn't have, which is lovely as they make a great double destination. Here are the websites. I am not sure NW East is open on Mondays now. Call before you visit.

    I also visit In Stitches in Alexandra, VA (very close to D.C.) once a year as this shop is three traffic lights from the entrance of Woodlawn Plantation which has a big needlework show each year. In Stitches has a lot of knitting supplies, some painted canvases, a wall of Paternayan wool, many counted thread charts, lots of other threads including Gumnuts silks and a lovely selection of tools, buttons, beads, scissors, etc. Not many books but if you are interested in counted thread or knitting as well as NP, you should check the shop out.

    The last shop I visit is a knitting shop called Hunt Country Yarns with some needlepoint canvases (mostly with horse, dog, fox and hunting themes). The yarns are amazing as the owner is a knitter. I have not been to the shop in several years--it is out of the way for me--but they used to stock Paternayan wool and NP Inc. silk only. This shop caters to the wealthy large horse farm owners in the area so the needlepoint canvases stocked reflect their conservative style. The owner Bob and his wife are delightful but not a needlepointer. Still, he knows all about where to get your rug lined and blocked.

    I understand there is a new needlepoint only shop opening in Middleburg not that far from Hunt Country Yarns but it is not open yet. If you are going to be in the Middleburg-Aldie-The Plains area, it would be worth looking in to so you could visit both places.

    I hope this helps your customers. But there are many more shops in Maryland and of course there is The Point of It All in D.C. proper but I have never visited any of them. They are very hard to get to from where I live.

  3. Hey, thanks for the shout out! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get here. I didn't read much in October when I was sick and then NaBloPoMo came around and my reader just piled up. This is last post to be caught up. And a delightful one at that!