By Carleton Varney Special To The Palm Beach Daily News
There’s one thing about Palm Beach I’ve always loved: You never know what you’ll discover just around the corner.
A visit to Lycette , a charming and colorful boutique owned and operated by needlepoint aficionado Jessica Chaney, is a case in point. This is a place where needlepoint dreams become reality, and the shop is filled not only with supplies, patterns and samples but also with joy.
Jessica was educated down the road at Saint Andrew’s School and then headed off to college at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
She opened her boutique at 230 S. County Road, Suite A, about a year ago — and the shop, with its old-fashioned brick façade and carriage lanterns, looks as if it might be standing on a street in old Georgetown or maybe Beacon Hill in Boston.
Jessica operates the boutique with her mom, Marina Morbeck, a lifelong master needlepointer. The shop is decorated with candy-pink walls and an abundance of framed scrims (as I would call them, although they are today often referred to as canvases) and yarns. It’s open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
If you are not a needlepointer, you can even take a lesson or two from Jessica and her mother. Jessica tells me you can learn the art of needle, yarn and canvas in 10 minutes. I think I might just take up the art this season.
Asked why the shop is called Lycette, I was told that name honors Jessica’s great grandmother from Idaho, a woman who embraced the great values in life.
In the shop, the biggest seller might very well be the belt designs. There are also canvases with fun phrases, such as “I prefer not to,” “I am not for everyone” and “High maintenance, high return” — perfect for pillow covers and so popular with the Palm Beach crowd. You’ll also find pocketbook patterns as well as wall art and a rug that measures 5-by-7 feet.
Young Jessica at age 12 learned the art from her mom. Her first needlepoint project was a belt with a flamingo design. Very Florida, I’d say.
Way back when in the 1960s, the late Erica Wilson was the star name in the needlepoint world. How nice it is that this charming art form is still with us, and being promoted with such style in Palm Beach.
If you’re already thinking about holiday gifts or are interested in exploring a new hobby, think needlepoint, the Lycette way. Do stop by. You’re in for a treat.