A new crewel project

I often seem to need some time to re-group after finishing a bigger project like the dragonfly. Most of the time I am too busy stitching to plan out what is next. I did some stitching over Easter on another project I have going, but not much was done. I was taking advantage of the chance to watch the eider ducks, since the males don’t stick around. The males have a beautiful black and white coloring and make a woo-wooo sound you can hear from the shore.

Anyways back to the embroidery.

After working with the cotton floss for a couple weeks, it was nice to get back to the wools. Really nice, in fact. It really is my new favorite material now. It’s just so soft, and I love the way it looks on the fabric. The threads are thicker than cotton, so there is more dimension to the embroidery.

If you rub against the cotton too much while you work on  your project it tends to get a little fuzzy and loses its shine. Wool doesn’t do that. It’s already fuzzy to begin with. Which is why the wool looks matte, while the cotton is shinier.

The loose fibers scatter the light. I’ve read many, many authors refer to this effect as the wools absorbing the light while cotton reflects it, but that simply isn’t true. The amount  of light absorbed determines the color, but the shininess depends on the how many directions the light is scattered by the surface of the material.

The wool has a bumpy surface, so it scatters the light in many directions. It has very little shine. Ok, enough of the physics lesson. Time for the little sheep – which are always a favorite subject for embroidery!

I used fairly simple stitches on this one on purpose, since these crewel projects have been generating inquiries from beginners. If I succeed in bringing a few new converts to embroidery, then I will have made one of my larger goals. And by the way, my other goal with the crewel, if I can manage, is to try to show that crewel embroidery is not defined by the patterns! They can be fun, modern and playful or whatever else you want to make them. I am planning on revisiting a few of the patterns I already have made with crewel and see what can be done with them.
I already have the next project in mind, so I hope to be able to get started on it very soon! I am actually going to make an embroidery with a use in mind. It’s going to be a cover for a little foot-stool we picked up at a flea market. And yes, it will be with wool again!

4 Comments

  1. Lovely. I began embroidery more than 40 years ago. My first project was crewel. What is the fabric used on this piece?

  2. That is just gorgeous – i love the circular border

  3. Love those sheep! How adorable.

  4. The border is beautiful! I love the heart at the top.

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