Monthly Archives: February 2015

Crewel French Knots and Stars

Boing!…French Knots always remind me of little springs that need to be held down to keep them from springing up and making a mess….whether you wrap one or more threads around your needle you need to control those little buggers… I decide on how many wraps to do depending on the type of thread/yarn/floss etc. I am using…some are thick/medium/thin….With thick crewel wool thread I only used one wrap…on a crewel needle….if you use a thicker needle you will also get a looser French Knot…test first to see what you like best…
So now for one of the best hints I ever got for french knots…when you wrap your thread around the needle and proceed to take your needle back through the fabric…”hold” the other end of the thread taut and “voila” it makes a really nice French Knot… holding that thread taut really keeps the knot from becoming to “springy” you know “boing”!! Do I still have problems at times….I have boinged them a lot and will again I am sure…
Now for the stars on this pattern they are just small straight stitches to create the look of a star…cute…huh…
Here is the picture of a part on Nicola’s Piece with French Knots and some Stars…Lots of “wooly ends” too!

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Nicola Jarvis Crewel Piece con’t…

Below is some “Trellis Work” and or “Laid Work” with a “Lazy Daisy” stitch inside of every other square …then some satin stitch worked in the other squares… the “crossovers” were couched down to hold the shapes…
I have to use a ruler and some “air erasable pen” to get an accurate sizing going as I am unable to draw a straight line for beans… One of the reasons I like kits…. I can interpret what a designer wants but to draw it …that is beyond me…you know my brain and hands communication is for the birds…. I am hoping one day to use my own ideas for stitching but we shall see… enjoy….

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The Crewel flower….oh…how cruel….!

Okay… I have a thing about “flowers”…besides the fact that they are simply one of the most beautiful things in nature….as far as embroidery goes I do struggle with trying to get the “depth perception” of the petals done correctly.. I do think I did okay on this one but I do still need work on getting the depth looking more realistic…. Nicola instructed me at our class last year that I needed to try using “tension” to help pull the wool tighter or looser so the depth of the flower would stand out more…”foldovers” I believe they could be called… I even slid some wool under as some “padding ” to raise the edges up to give it more depth…I do feel it worked on Nicolas Chintz piece….as for the “rose” on the picture below it looks good but I know I can still use practice…

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I will be practicing this many times I am sure…because I would like to master this part….frustrating but invigorating at the same time…
Next time….another section of my crewel piece….

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Have you ever heard of the “heavy chain stitch”? That was a new stitch for me on this Crewel piece by Nicola Jarvis…below is a picture of the stitch on the project…

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I know I took it out a few times…over at Mary Corbet’s “NeedleNThread” her video tutorial was a lifesaver….thank you Mary…. believe it or not this part was the favorite of my husbands he liked the effect it gave to this part of the piece….
Working this crewel piece was challenging as I had to interpret the instructions and naturally wanted to keep to Nicolas “vision” for the piece…
Thankfully every time I contacted her she said everything looked fabulous…so I was good to go on without much input because I felt I was working the piece the way she wanted it….
Next time another section…what fun I had!

My Crewel Embroidery with Stitch Designer Nicola Jarvis

It began with an email…. Nicola Jarvis wrote “How would you like to do one of my stitch designs for me?” Nicola is a fantastic artist and has incorporated many of her drawings into beautiful stitcheries/embroideries…(even my daughter said the one I did was “gorgeous!”, and “she is very up front about what she thinks!..)
Now mind you I had the opportunity to take a couple of classes from this very talented embroidery artist…in Williamsburg, Virginia…May 2014 sponsored by the Royal School of Needlework…the classes I took were in Crewelwork and Goldwork (which I will share about another time)…
On to Crewel Embroidery…The class I took was the first time in about 30 years that I had even given thought to doing a crewel piece…I had incorporated a few bits of crewel in some embroideries but this class in Williamsburg was “way” different than the large pieces I did in the 1970’s and early 80’s… I was kind of taking the class just to “learn” technique and improve my skill as an embroiderer…below is a picture of the finished piece that we had in class called Nicola’s “Chintz”…

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Of course I said “Yes” to stitching one of her new collection designs…Nicola sent me the package from England and I received it just after Christmas and I was ready to go to work….below is just a small taste of what I have done on the piece….

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To be continued…..