|My crewel pillows from Colorful Stitchery|
I have been waiting and waiting for stitchers and knitters to catch up with me. Today in my in-box, I was incredibly excited to see crewel embroidery being featured prominently on Purl Soho's website. Wow - maybe someone else will help the trend along! Check out all their new kits here. They are a little tame colorwise for me but what the heck - at least crewel is out there.
What is crewel embroidery, you ask? It is embroidery stitched with wool thread traditionally worked on linen or cotton fabric. It is easy to do. The use of the wool yarn is so forgiving that even a beginner can look like an expert. I favor Paternayan Persian Wool for my crewel work which comes in over 400 colors!
I learned to embroider when I was about 10 years old. It kept me busy for many hours. In fact, I embroidered incessantly before I began to knit when I was 19. Those were the days of Sunset Design kits and the height of the fabulous Erica Wilson's career. (Did you know Erica is married to the uber-chic furniture designer Vladimir Kagan? Fabulous article about them here from the NYT.) Embroidery covered my blue jeans and my blouses as it did so many others.
|My book Colorful Stitchery|
I have never fallen out of love with embroidery. Knitting just took over my life and career. For years I have been trying to get knitters to combine embroidery with their knitting and I will admit, it has been a hard thing to sell. I'm not sure what it is. It baffles me. And then I go and teach embroidery on knits and I realize that most knitters are afraid of failure and fearful of trying something new.
I have written two books on embroidery - one for children - called Kids' Embroidery (sadly out of print but I still have it for sale on my Shop Page) and one for adults called Colorful Stitchery. Here are some photos of crewel embroidery that are featured in my book Colorful Stitchery (available on my website Shop Page Here). All these photos are by Kevin Kennefick courtesy Storey Publishing.
|An crewel embroidered wedding blanket with a heart shaped pillow|
|A close-up of the heart pillow - a perfect project for next week's Valentine's Day|
|Bug pillows stitched on velvet worked in crewel wool|
|Polka Dot embroidered pillows|
And check out this lovely little sheep embroidery kit on Lorna Bateman's Etsy page. So darn cute! I've been meaning to stitch up a banner for my header similar to this. French knots really simulate wooly sheep beautifully.
Later today, I'll be posting another video of Lazy Daisy Embroidery on handknit fabric. Come back and check it out! Maybe you will be willing to give it a go?