14 facts that make you a Kreinik Blending Filament expert

By the end of this year, you're going to be an expert on Kreinik. You'll be in the Kreinik Crown Club. You'll know so much about Kreinik threads and products, you'll practically be a member of the family. You probably know a lot already, but in case you don't, our blog this year features "Kreinik A to Z." That is, the ABCs of Kreinik, providing useful information, inspiring ideas, and helpful tips.

When you know more, you grow more, which leads to creating more in your beautiful and relaxing hobby. Do you remember what you learned already, about Acid-Free Tissue Paper and Adhesive Press Cloths? Well it's getting even more exciting now…

B is for Blending Filament

Oops, we heard a few groans. Perhaps Blending Filament doesn't have the best reputation IN USE, but you have to admit that IN EFFECT, it's stunning. It offers the most subtle shimmer, adding light and a little bit of visual interest without adding any weight, texture, or over-the-top effects. It's perfect for people who like just a little bit of icing on their cupcake, for example; it lifts a piece from drab to dreamy without overwhelming.

Forget any negatives you may have heard. Grab a spool and explore this baby metallic with us. Let's talk about where, why and how to use Blending Filament so that it can add grace, whimsy and elegance your projects this year.

WHAT IS THIS BEAUTIFUL FIBER

  1. It's a thin metallic thread, kind of like tinsel on a Christmas tree.
  2. Because it is so thin, it was created to be used in combination with another fiber, ie, used with cotton embroidery thread, or with a knitting yarn (but you don't have to always use it that way; keep reading…).
  3. The thinness means it creates the most subtle metallic effect. It's like a whisper, a metallic fiber whisper.
  4. Kreinik began producing and selling it in the 1980s.
  5. It comes in more than 100 metallic and glow-in-the-dark colors, giving you options for different effects.
  6. Colors with "HL" after the color number (ie, 002HL) mean Hi Lustre, or the brightest metallic in the line.
  7. Colors with "V" after the color number (ie, 003V) mean Vintage, or an antique finish.
  8. Colors with "F" after the color number (ie, 052F) mean Fluorescent, or glow-in-the-dark.
  9. Colors with "L" after the color number (ie, 001L) mean Lolographic, err, Holographic (the HL was already taken when we introduced this color line), as in variegated like a disco ball.
  10. Blending Filament comes on 50-meter spools, but is also available by special order on cones of any amount.

HOW TO USE THIS MAGICAL METALLIC

  1. Unwind a length from the spool; about 18 inches is good for a start. First you will notice it has two parts: a metallic fiber, and a non-metallic fiber. The latter is the supporting core, there to give a little strength to the baby-thin filament. It also helps reduce static. We recommend that you leave the core, but some stitchers prefer to remove it; so that is up to you. Experiment with both options to see which you prefer.
  2. Since Blending Filament is so thin, it may slip off your needle while you are stitching. Not a problem: the easiest way to avoid this is to knot it onto your needle. See the diagram for details.
  3. Now decide if you want to use it WITH another fiber, or AFTER another fiber—or even purely by itself! (What a versatile little metallic.) For example, you can:
    •  Use one strand of Blending Filament with two strands of cotton floss for perfect coverage in cross stitch on 14-count Aida. Simply add the floss to your knotted-on-filament needle and begin stitching. The key is, since you are using two different kind of fibers with different elasticity and tension at the same time, is just to stitch a little bit more slowly than you would if using just one kind of fiber. That's all, just let the slow rhythm of the stitching movement bring a few moments of zen as you watch a little sparkle fall into place.
    •  Do your stitching in the non-metallic fiber first, then later go over the area with Blending Filament by itself. This is idea for those who don't want to use two different fibers together. One advantage of this option is that the metallic lays on top of all stitches, which means you get more shimmer.
    •  Create illusions by using filament by itself, as in background stitches. This is fun, for example, if you use glow-in-the-dark filament to add hidden words, or moonlight streaming through clouds and other background effects.
  4. Items made with Blending Filament are hand and machine washable, and dry cleanable. Tumble dry on low. Try not to iron directly onto the metallic; instead, use a press cloth between the iron plate and the stitchery.




Now that you know how unique and versatile Blending Filament is—and how to use it beautifully and easily—you may be asking: What's the negative? Well, it really isn't strong enough to use in the needle of a sewing machine, unfortunately (but we do make super-strong metallics for that). Also, if you want to combine it with big chunky yarns for knitting, it may not show up very well (but that's why we made heavier super-soft metallics like Kreinik Twist and Ombre). But aside from those, it's a jewel of a fiber to have in your stitching repertoire.


WHERE TO GET IT

To get some Blending Filament today, order from your favorite needlework store, or visit http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Blending-Filament.html


EXPLORE MORE TIPS AND IDEAS:

Glissen Gloss Rainbow Blending Thread conversion chart to Kreinik Blending Filament: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Glissen-Gloss-Rainbow-Blending-Thread-TO-Kreinik-Blending-Filament-Conversion-Chart.html
The Secrets of Blending Filament Revealed: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Secrets-of-Blending-Filament-revealed.html
Kreinik Blending Filment Threading Technique in detail: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Kreinik-Blending-Filament-Threading-Technique.html
Uses and care for Kreinik Blending Filament: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Uses-and-Care-For-Kreinik-Blending-Filament.html
Video gallery of Blending Filament ideas: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/VIDEO-Uses-For-Kreinik-Blending-Filament.html
In your quest to know more, grow more and create more, test this metallic thread to see what else it can offer. We'd love to hear from you and see photos of your projects. What do you think of Blending Filament?

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How to get out of a sticky ironing situation

Life is short and time is precious; who wants to slown down with a gummed-up iron? Touch something sticky with the hot surface, and a quick ironing job turns into a clean-up effort—and who wants to clean?

What's that? You haven't heard that word "iron" in years? Ok, it's true. Most people don't like to iron (too much time and work), and plenty of people don't even own an iron. Today we are ironing less and less. Hooray—except we're missing out on some fun crafting.

Iron-on threads, patches, and sequins make decorating creative, fast and easy. They are good for quick holiday projects and quick costume embellishments. Use them for card making, scrapbooking, quilting, crafting, and home decor.

Side note here: Not to brag, but we make the best iron-on threads. There's no right or wrong side so you can twist, turn, write, flip, tie, etc. Plus they come in two sizes, a flat 1/8" Ribbon and a round Medium #16 Braid, that you can use on wood, fabric, and paper. The color range is good: holiday, earth-tone, and jewel shades of metallic plus glow-in-the-dark colors. They're fun and easy for getting the look of embroidery without actually stitching. We'll add links below for information and free project ideas.


So here is our Tip Of The Week:


Whether you're an ironing newbie or seasoned pro, this tool will make life better: an Adhesive Press Cloth. Sounds dreamy, doesn't it? It's actually perfect in its practicality: gives any iron a non-stick coating. Why is this important? Most craft irons aren't coated with Teflon™, the material that makes it non-stick, which means any adhesive (found in iron-on items) will quickly build up on your iron. This little press cloth fixes that problem. Less time messing with your iron means more time making fun stuff.

So as we continue the new year of Kreinik A to Z, with the goal of "Know more, grow more, create more," we offer details:

A is for Adhesive Press Cloth
  • What is it: A non-stick surface you apply onto the plate of craft and household irons
  • Why it's helpful: Keeps potential residue from iron-on decorations, threads, stabilizers, and starches from sticking to your iron
  • How to use it:  Each piece of press cloth has a heat-resistant adhesive on one side. Peel off the yellow protective backing and stick the press cloth on your iron. Trim the edges if needed.
Sizes:
  • Small (pack contains three pieces): 1 inch by 1 3/4 inches (ideal for small craft irons like the Clover Mini Iron)
  • Medium (pack contains two pieces) : 2 inches by 2.5 inches
  • Large (pack contains one piece): 5 inches by 9 inches (ideal for standard home irons)

Other tips:
  • Apply it while the iron is cool, not plugged in, not in use.
  • Lasts for a long time. Not really re-usable or re-positionable.
  • For large household irons: use only on "dry" settings unless you poke steam holes in the material. Most people use an old iron or one they've dedicated to "dry" ironing only.
  • If an air bubble occurs while applying the press cloth, use a pin to poke a micro-air-hole, then use your finger to smooth it out.

Where to get it:

More fun iron-on stuff:

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Know more, grow more, create more

Here is a simple-but-strong New Year's Resolution for stitchers and makers that will change your life and is totally do-able: Know more, grow more, create more. Strive to learn about something new every week, no matter how big or small—a new stitch, historical tidbit, helpful tool.

To kick off this New Year's Resolution and keep you learning all year, we present "The ABCs of Kreinik" — a look at Kreinik-related items or ideas you can use to improve your stitching, knowledge, experience, and creative process. It's a fresh way to expand the fiber art techniques we all know and love. Let's get started.

A is for Acid-Free Tissue Paper

If you've seen our posts on the Kreinik Facebook page, www.MrXstitch.com, Twitter, and our blog, you realize how important this subject is: Safe Storage. Textiles are valuable: you (or a loved one) spent time making something, you want it to last, you don't want it to be damaged. So be aware of how you store your finished or unfinished projects. The safest way is to use Acid-Free Tissue Paper.

  • WHAT: Used by conservationists, this paper is neutral and free from acid products
  • WHY: Chemicals in plastic bags, normal tissue paper, even old pillow cases can transfer to textiles and cause them to become discolored, brittle or tarnished
  • WHERE TO USE: Ideal for textiles including cotton, wool, silk, linen, real metal threads, quilts, embroidery. Also safe for jewelry, photos and other heirlooms
  • WHERE TO GET SOME: Kreinik Acid-Free Tissue Paper comes packaged in 6 or 12 or 100 (20" x 30") sheets. Available through needlework stores or http://www.kreinik.com/shops/Acid-Free-Tissue-Paper/



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25 Days of Free Christmas Projects is Here

If you are looking for a handmade holiday activity for kids or friends, you can find fabulous free ideas on our 25 Days Of Free Christmas Projects Calendar. Or maybe you just love making gifts and home decor...you will find pretty projects on this calendar to suit all. Looking for projects to start on after the first of the year, to ensure you are ready for next holiday? Download the gorgeous patterns from our calendar today.

Our annual 25 Days Of Free Christmas projects covers techniques like cross stitch, knitting, crochet, weaving, needlepoint, crafting, and more. Explore projects for all skill levels. They feature Kreinik silk, metallic, and reflective threads; if you've wondered how or where to use these, the creative projects will show you. And did we mention they are all FREE?! We offer them as a thank-you for your creativity and support.

Click here for this year's calendar of free holiday projects. We will be adding projects each week, so bookmark the page and check back often.

Happy holidays from Kreinik!


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3 Gifts That Give Back

There seems to be two types of Christmas gift-givers: 1. Those who express their love and friendship by picking out just the right thing to match a person's uniqueness, personality, interests. And 2. Those who hate shopping and just need to find something good for a present. Hugs to both kinds of people, because the search can be a challenge for either. We're here to help with three easy gift ideas that also give back to the community—a win-win for giver, recipient, and others.

These three gift ideas are unique (colorful and fun), useful (something you can use every day), and help others (back story below…): shoelaces, lanyards, and eyeglass strings, all made with Kreinik's durable, colorful fibers. Yes, the same threads you use in needlework and fly fishing make great accessories. 

Here are more details:

1. SHOELACES come in metallic or glow-in-the-dark colors, in lengths to fit children and adults, from little shoes to tall boots. Washable, featuring metal aglets at the tips. Click here to see the colors and purchase.

2. LANYARDS keep keys, badges, even embroidery scissors nearby. We use silk, a durable, strong fiber that produces beautiful color. If you have to wear a badge for work or school, make it gorgeous, classy, or spirited. Click here to see the colors and purchase.

3. EYEGLASS STRINGS made of Kreinik's strong silk threads mean those spectacles won't get lost, plus you'll look good while wearing them around your neck. The silk feels so good against your skin. Click here to see the colors and purchase.

What''s so special about these shoelaces, lanyards, and eyeglass strings? A range of shades means you can match any outfit, team color, or personality. The shoelaces even come in glow-in-the-dark options. Metallic combinations bring a smile to the face without being overly glittery—but you can go that route if you choose; just take a look at all the options on our website www.kreinik.com.

Also, a portion of each sale goes to suicide prevention, drug addiction, and grief counseling programs. These items were designed in memory of Charles Kreinik, who took his life after battling depression and addiction. Company owner Doug and his wife Myla wanted to create a product out of Kreinik fibers that would be beautiful, useful, fun, and raise money to help others. You will be honoring someone you know who took their life, or helping others in similar situations, with each purchase. 

Thank you for sharing something positive and spreading love through these gifts. Be sure to share photos of your friends and family wearing them!

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How to create a fund-raising Christmas tree

This time of year, charities look for ways to raise funds for needy families or community organizations. Creating a Christmas tree, decked out with handmade ornaments, is one way to do that—and get a group involved in crafting fun. Here's how we made the charity "tree" shown in photos here.

Each year, the Kreinik staff gathers around one of our big work tables in the silk department to make holiday ornaments. It's not just a holiday party (although cookies from a favorite local bakery are involved), and not just a way to play with Kreinik threads. We make ornaments and decorate a tree that will be auctioned off for charity by the local Easter Seals organization. While it's fun to make the project, it's even more exciting to see how much money is raised through the auction. Everyone wins.

This year's ornaments featured a few crafty techniques (look for full instructions on our 25 Days of Free Christmas Projects calendar on the Kreinik website this month). We covered foam balls with double-sided tape, wrapped Kreinik metallic threads around them, then covered the remaining areas with shiny beads. In another project, we wrapped metallic threads around pine cones. Metallics are such an easy way to dress up any craft item, and add that holiday sparkle. Look for Kreinik 1/8" Ribbon and Heavy #32 Braid, two of our thickest metallics, for the prettiest punch.

Our ornaments were set into metal trays, which we decorated with Kreinik Micro Ice Chenille (one of our fly fishing products). The design makes a lovely centerpiece for a table, foyer, or mantle. Doug Kreinik claims the concept heralds from the olden days."Yes, the Italian Pan Tree was a popular table decoration used towards the end of the 19th century. I think it came from the Trieste Region of  Italy," Doug recalls. "The Pan Tree was frequently created from discarded olive oil pails filled with boughs from the Alps, decorative balls, a tradition of eastern Italy and pine cones, the national fruit of Albania. The Pan Tree's small size enabled them to be placed on tables festooned with small gifts for children."

The whole project is a fun way to spend some time crafting, plus make something that benefits the local community. Great idea—take it and run with it to raise money in your own area.

Happy holidays to everyone.





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60 ways to use the new Kreinik pearls

Three new gorgeous metallic thread colors debuted this fall: 1232HL Lavender Pearl, 2132HL Copper Pearl, and 5013 Plum Berry, available in Kreinik Braid sizes. Did you pick up your set? If not, get thee to your nearest needlework store and add them to your stash! No store? You can pick up a pack here: http://www.kreinik.com/shops/2016-New-Colors.html

2132HL Copper Pearl
1232HL Lavender Pearl

We added these shades to fill in some color families within the Kreinik metallic thread line. People are always asking for a color with more of a shade in it, such as the famous pearl color; "I need pearl, but with more copper…" or "Can we get a pearl to go with the green-tinted pearl?" The two new shades seem to be fitting in nicely, based on the fabulous responses we got when we asked Kreinik fans, "Where would you use them?"

Here are 60 ideas from stitchers for using the new Kreinik pearl colors in needlework designs (idea credits are listed after each one):


  1. Santa's beard and the white trim on his coat (Nancy W.)
  2. Water…reflections (margdierembroidery)
  3. Ice cream (needlepointforfun)
  4. Cement and cinder blocks (jacquelynroyal)
  5. Magic light! (tatianakostenko)
  6. Christmas snow (Wendy S.)
  7. Snow-covered trees for added sparkle (Erica K.)
  8. To give the moon a sheen (Erica K.)
  9. Halo, wings, trim on an angel (Helen O.)
  10. Stitch a cake and use it for the icing (Helen O.)
  11. Snowflakes, angel wings, stars, a moon, Santa ornaments, water in a glass (Pat M.)
  12. White background of a kimono design (Nancy F.)
  13. Rain, snow or clouds (April W.)
  14. On Peter Ashe"s Timberline lodge needlepoint ornament on Mt Hood - to get the purple mountain majesty (Ursula H.)
  15. Dragon's wing, angel's wing, fairy wings (Emma S., Karen J.)
  16. Highlight the light hitting clouds in the sky (Mikel O.)
  17. Snow, rain, fire, stars, gems, lace and angel wings (Annie W.)
  18. As a delicate crocheted edge on a knitted or crocheted scarf (Barbara V.)
  19. Make the wings of macaws look sun-kissed (Debbie H.)
  20. Christmas ornaments and Easter projects (Connie G. and April S.)
  21. Christmas stockings (Marla C. and Cyndi F.)
  22. Any dragonfly design (Squiffy L. and Yvonne H.)
  23. The lavender pearl to add sparkle in Santa's eyes and the copper added to the strands of brown for the reindeer (Pam M.)
  24. Great sheep colors (Kd B.)
  25. As the crests/foaming of waves (Marla K.)
  26. Santa's beard, snow (Sheila I.)
  27. Snow (Carol E., Angela G., Lucille H. and Anne H.)
  28. Snowman scene and snowman ornaments (Donna S.,Tina H. and Anne E.)
  29. As accents or stars in a night sky or setting sun, or as the reflection of the sun in a body of water (Christine P.)
  30. Snow, angel wings, trim on hats and scarves (Karen O.)
  31. As an over wrap on a beautiful yarn (Sara H.)
  32. Christmas ornaments (Katie E. and Terry P. and Beth M.)
  33. Accent harvest moons (Susan S.)
  34. Temari designs (Ginny T.)
  35. On a Christmas canvas that needs to be started (Margaret R.)
  36. Snow, clouds, stars, trim on Santa and Mrs. Claus' clothing (Pat W.)
  37. On Mirabilia's Snow Queen (Madge G.)
  38. Easter egg designs (Deby B.)
  39. For a moon (Paula C.)
  40. Accents on fairy wings (Jess M., Monica D., Elizabeth B. and Teresa B.)
  41. Bee wings (Bev F.)
  42. Snow scenes, fur, beards on Santa (Pam J.)
  43. Lavender pearl should definitely be blended with silk for appropriate flowers (Betty D.)
  44. Snow, icing on cupcakes, bride's dresses, christening gowns (stitched ones as well as real ones) (Jackie M.)
  45. Any project done on black canvas (Susan C. and Heather G.)
  46. Accentuate dark colours, for angel ornaments (Eileen L.)
  47. Add sparkle to white horses (Corine V.)
  48. Joined with a lovely fine yarn and crocheted (Kristi R.)
  49. In bobbin lace bookmarks to add lovely sparkle (Michelle L.)
  50. The Victoria Sampler design Wedding Sampler (Wendy W.)
  51. Copper Pearl to accent on Judaic canvases (Donna B.)
  52. Santa's beard awaits (Christine W.)
  53. On hand embroidered purses (Diana P. and Lida R.)
  54. On any Laura J. Perrin canvaswork design (Wendy W.)
  55. For the four horsemen on the HAED design (Tanya W.)
  56. Tatting a beautiful necklace with mother of pearl (Catherine P.)
  57. Shadows on Snow (Carole J.)
  58. Copper pearl on fall designs (Wendy W.)
  59. For shading of snow, glitter on trees, ornaments, flowers, anywhere I want (Sallie M.)
  60. Anywhere and everywhere (Denise H.)

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