Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

The CARON Collection is pleased to feature one of the outstanding shops who so ably provide stitchers with not only supplies but guidance, technical expertise, and inspiration. We hope you'll support your local shops and browse through our extensive SHOP LISTINGS. We're please to take you to a visit to The Needlepointer in the Pacific Northwest.

The Needlepointer
Everett, Washington

Hold onto your needles! You are now entering the wonderful world of needlepoint! Located in Everett, Washington is The Needlepointer, the Pacific Northwest's only shop devoted exclusively to needlepoint. Things here are in a state of constant change and flux due to the arrival of new canvases and threads almost daily. The Needlepointer is a full service store which carries a huge inventory of hand painted canvases, most of which are displayed on walls and specially designed banners so as to be visible at all times. Contemporary designers featured include Melissa Shirley, K. Molineux, Amanda Lawford, Peter Ashe, Nan Hempel, Patti Mann and Mary Engelbreit to name just a few. The shop's selection of unique and vibrant threads, yarns and fibers is extensive. These are arranged by color on their "Thread Wall" and include wool, silk, metallics, cotton, ribbon and cord. The Caron Collection fibers are vital part of this inventory and a formidable assortment of Impressions, Watercolours, Wildflowers, Waterlilies, Snow and Rachel are always on hand.

In addition to canvases and threads, the Needlepointer stocks a full line of frames (lap and scroll frames as well as a wonderful floor frame aptly called the Ultimate Stitching Station), Dazor lamps, boxes from Wood Fantasies and a large selection of accessories: scissors, thimbles, pin cushions, needle holders etc. Specialty gadgets and gizmos cover those items which are hard to find but so indispensable to the needleworker looking for just the right tool for the job: specially designed stitch blades, trolley needles (thread controllers), Bunka Brushes (for raising the nap of wool stitches), Mag Eyes (head mounted magnifier), BLT (best laying tool) and more. Tool boxes are constructed from beautiful hardwoods (walnut and cherry) and are magnet lined to keep tools in place. The literature section offers an extensive array of full color books by Beth Russell, June McKnight, Jill Gordon, Kaffe Fassett, Erica Wilson, Hugh Ehrman and Candace Bahouth. Others cover specific techniques for decorative backgrounds, plant and animal motifs, architectural stitches, shading and thread blending tips and needlepoint guides on stitches for special effects.

Clara Likes, The Needlepointer's proprietress, is an avid, self taught needlepointer herself and was frustrated by the lack of a nearby store devoted to this art. She responded to this need by opening the shop in 1993. She envisioned it as a resource not only for needlework supplies but also as an interactive environment for stitchers to come together and expand their skills by sharing their creative ideas and techniques in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. For Clara, needlepoint represents heirloom stitching and she prides herself on providing her customers with the finest materials available and giving them individual attention from pulling threads and assembling stitch guides to helping clients design original works.

Even though she was optimistic about her new enterprise from the get-go, the reception of the store exceeded all expectations. Within a year she was able to expand and add classroom, office and storage space. When not in use for instruction, the classroom provides a bright, clean and mellow atmosphere where customers can stitch or just hang out. Many new friendships have been forged and fostered within these walls. Shortly after opening the shop, Clara invested in a computer and this tool has been a vital asset. It keeps track of the inventory and has been indispensable for the extensive mail order business the shop does. Clara is assisted in the shop by 3 employees who share both her expertise and her priorities. Her needlepoint instructor, GeorgaDee MacLeod, is a local needlework celebrity and much in demand. A recent and extremely popular seminar that GeorgaDee developed was called "Light It Up" and was a series of classes to make tree ornaments shaped like Christmas tree lights, each one featuring a new thread and new stitch. Over the course of the series each stitcher would create a string of lights resulting in a beautiful Yuletide decoration while expanding her repertoire of stitches, a true example of form and function! This project was so much in demand that Clara finally put the series together as kits and they continue to be best sellers.

A much anticipated biennial event at the Needlepointer is the Framed Needle Art Show done in collaboration with Annabel's Art and Framing Gallery. All needleworkers (not just needlepointers) are invited to participate, the only restriction being that the needlework submitted be framed and prepared for display. Claire developed the show as an opportunity to foster the appreciation of needlework as an art form and to encourage the proper preservation and presentation of such works. Another goal was to introduce needle art to a wider audience by presenting a diverse selection of needlework forms, styles and techniques that the general public may not be aware of. Merchandise awards and ribbons are accorded to winners, chosen by a juried panel.

Prior to opening the shop, Clara was for many years a full time mom and concurrently involved with community activities. She subsequently served as the director of the local Outreach Program. Though she was raised in eastern Oregon, Clara relocated to Seattle when she was hired by the Immigration and Customs Service, where she had the unique distinction of being the first female customs officer at SEA-TAC, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

The choice of Everett for the shop's location was fortuitous. The Puget Sound area is extraordinarily diverse and unique in many respects. Per capita, there are more boat owners here than anywhere else in the world. Except for the waterfront, the town is surrounded by mountains: the Cascade Range to the East, the Olympic Range to the west, Mt.Baker to the north and Mt. Rainier to the south, providing excellent skiing opportunities nearby. The San Juan Islands can be reached by private boat or public ferries, transporting you to idyllic surroundings dotted with exquisite resorts, B&B's and guest houses for the perfect get-away. A profusion of leisure activities can be accommodated: hiking, boating, camping, biking and fishing. In addition, a short 20 minute ride north of Everett brings you to the Skagit Valley, home to the annual Tulip Festival. More tulips are grown here than in Holland. Hundreds of acres of bulbs emerge each April in a riot of rich and vibrant color. Also located here is the Pilchuck School of Glass. Dale Chihuly, the owner, is a world renowned Master Glass Blower with pieces in collections all over the world. He is the only U.S. artist whose work is represented at the Louvre in Paris.

In Everett proper, The Needlepointer is located on the north side of the traditional downtown area, a block from the Civic Auditorium, home to the Everett Symphony Orchestra.. The downtown has recently gone through a renaissance with the construction of a magnificent Performing Arts Center, which is the cultural magnet of the city and the site of dance, theater and music performances. Buildings and businesses in the area have completed a phase of renovation and revitalization and include gourmet restaurants, fashionable boutiques and gift emporiums to tickle your fancy, all within a stroll from the shop.. All this, plus a mild climate, plenty of parking and easy access from I-5 make it a great destination spot for visitors. Not many locales can offer so much in the way of cultural or geographical diversity so close at hand. Whether for needlepoint or other types of recreation Everett is a great place to be, but if you can't get there in person you can visit The Needlepointer on their website: http://www.theneedlepointer.com

The Needlepointer is located at 2517 Colby Avenue, Everett, Washington 98201, Phone 425 252-2277
Store Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm

Email: shop@theneedlepointer.com

(Store review written by Rita Vainius)

© 1997 The Caron Collection / Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

CARON email: mail@caron-net.com