Brattleboro Book Signing
I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon with some interesting women at the Book Cellar in Brattleboro, VT who wanted to learn embroidery. I taught them a bunch of stitches and we all made some beautiful bookmarks (that's them in the photo). Bookmarks make an easy first project - the instructions are in my new book Colorful Stitchery. They are lovely to send as a little gift in a letter or to tuck into a book you are giving to a friend.
But here's my question - and maybe someone out in blogland, can answer it. I am having a hard time understanding why knitters are so afraid of embroidery? Every knitter (well, almost every knitter) I speak with says "Oh no, I can't embroider." I don't get it? Maybe noone is interested in embroidery yet? Are they all trying to learn crochet - since it is the newest thing?
I can't understand why knitters fear embroidery - the dreaded duplicate stitch, the elusive french knot. With embroidery, you can be brash, mod, delicate, colorful or demure. The sky is the limit and your imagination can take embroidery places your knitting never will be able to go. There isn't a mass of stitches on a needle to count or drop. It's free and easy. Don't get me wrong - I love to knit too - it's just a different frame of mind that I put myself in when embroidering.
Combining embroidery with knitting can take your knitting to another level. Transform a plain piece of stockinette stitch fabric in about an hour by adding some simple embroidery stitches. It beats following an intarsia or Fair Isle chart. I have also done embroidery on old sweaters from the thrift store which I felted.
I'm hoping embroidery on knits is a new direction. Look for editorials in the Fall 2006 issues of Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting, and Knit It that I designed combining embroidery with knitting. I'd love to hear from you with your thoughts on embroidery.
The swatch below shows some embroidery stitches -- outline stitch, chain stitch, lazy daisy, fly stitch, french knot -- all on a simple checked Fair Isle background. It's a swatch I loved - but no editor loved. So here it is in my pile of sweater ideas that never happened. I still love it. All the stitches are in Colorful Stitchery so you too can make something like this.