Brown Paper Packages or Why I Love Indie Businesses

Brown Paper packages tied up with ribbon. Little gifts enclosed. Have you ever ordered a book from Marcia White’s NeedleArts Bookshop?


Not only does she have a great selection, but the personalized service makes you feel like you are getting a present from someone who cares about you. A secret pal who just happened to know exactly what you wanted (and charged it to your credit card.) The last time I ordered from NeedleArts, I received a laminated set of directions for hand and wrist exercises along with a rubber band of the right size to assist with my workout. I have no affiliation with Marcia White, but I really like to patronize independent businesses, especially bookstores. There are so few left. I also really appreciate small businesses that emphasize good service and customer relations. I can buy almost anything anywhere. But I really like to support someone who knows I can order another book and get free shipping from Amazon and goes the extra mile to show me that she cares about my business. The books from Amazon don’t have to cross the border, and will arrive faster, too. However, Amazon never sends me little presents and nice notes along with my order, and NeedleArts does.

Regarding the book itself. I have long wanted a Japanese stitch dictionary, but have never seen one live and in person. Ordering from a website is difficult when you can’t browse through a book, and there are several of them available. So I figured, 500 is better than 250, take that one. I always like to use my stepmother’s birthday check for an actual present that I can then report to her.


This year it is 500 Japanese Stitches. The book has no explanation of patterns, which is all the same to me, since I have no knowledge of Japanese. The pictures are not great, and some of the charts are hard to read because the lines of the graph and the symbol are the same weight and width. Maybe with 250 Stitches they aren’t packed in as tightly. But I think it will be fun to browse through and try out. Any tips on using Japanese charts are most welcome!



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