Needle and ThREAD

Challenge Opener

Though today is officially Opening Day of the 2009 Bookmark Challenge, some folks got an earlier start. In fact, at least one person has been Stitching for Literacy all year long, but that’s the subject of another post.

The first formal Challenge event this year was held at Arctic Needle in Anchorage, AK, on March 3. I was this close to being there, but my departure from the lodge earlier this month was delayed a day due to rough seas, and I missed it.

huck-night-1.jpgKaren, owner of Arctic Needle, hosted Huck Night. Stitchers embellished bookmarks with huck embroidery (sometimes called Swedish weaving or huck weaving) and listened to Huckleberry Finn.

huck-night-2.jpgHuck embroidery entails weaving floss or pearl cotton beneath pairs of fibers on Huck fabric or toweling. Patterns range from simple to fairly involved.

huck-night-3.jpgIt’s a technique that is quick to learn and appropriate for kids and adults. Like most embroidery, the result is interesting and attractive and can appear far more complex than it is.

If you’d like to learn more about Huck embroidery, visit Karen next time you’re in Anchorage, or try your own local needlework shop if you are fortunate enough to have one. An online tutorial can be found here, and I’m sure you’ll find others if you search.

Now, if you’ve been hanging around the blog very long, you can guess how much I like the clever connection Karen made between Huck embroidery and Huckleberry Finn. You know what I want to do now, right? I want to think of connections we can make between needlework (techniques, stitches, etc.) and literature. Let’s see…off the top of my head, I get:

Whitework : White Fang
Blackwork : Black Beauty
Hardanger : Northanger Abbey
Spider Web (stitch) : Charlotte’s Web
Leviathan stitch : Moby Dick, The Old Man and the Sea, The Young Man and the Sea

Your turn. I want a looooooong list!

Categories: Needle and ThREAD

2 replies »

  1. Swedish weaving was the first embroidery I ever did. It was followed soon after by needlepoint at my great aunt’s side. I still have a couple of her pillows.

  2. It’s a great starting point for embroidery.

    And it’s a great way to personalize and pretty-up towels and other well-used fabrics because it’s quick enough you don’t feel badly using the end product. There’s nothing worse than embellishing something only to have the recipient be afraid to use it.

    I have Hardanger placemats that are almost never used. What’s the point?