Friday, April 19, 2013

Creative day

The weather was gorgeous  today - again - beautiful, crisp autumn sunshine.

Still no rain, which we desperately need. One thing is that the ground is so dry it is scary, but we don't have mains water and our tanks are getting so low, we will all have to start showering at work if it doesn't rain soon.

I don't know if it is because it is Friday or because the weather is so stunning, but the thought of spending the day in front of the computer was simply unbearable... I did try. After a few attempts - ok, rather half hearted attempts, I decided to allow myself a creative day of stitching.
I have had a lovely piece of light blue cashmere velour blanketing, a pile of soft yarn and a rather 'Folksy bunch of flowers' bunched up in my 'when I get time' pile for a while. What better day to take time?

I LOVE embroidering with wool on wool. I am really not sure why more people are not getting into it. It is fabulous to work with - so forgiving compared to cotton and silk. Anyway, if any of you have tried embroidering onto wool you will know that really the most painful part of the process is getting the design onto the fabric because there is no way you can trace onto blanketing or other woollen fabrics.

I use the 'old fashion' method of tacking through tissue paper. It is very easy, but it is time consuming. I still prefer it to other methods, it is rather enjoy meandering my way over the design and getting to know it better on the way. I really don't transfer a great deal of the design detail either, just the main outlines - the rest is done 'on the eye' as I go.
I took a few pics as I went and put a little tutorial for Transferring with Tacking here.

I know many who use a water-soluble stabiliser such as Solvy for wool embroidery and love it, but I am personally not a fan of it, mainly because wool is one of the few types of embroidery I work without using a hoop - I just love the feeling of it in my hands. I don't have any stabiliser at home, because I never use it, but I am might get some and show how it works so that you can see the difference and make up your own mind.

After just having finished a project where the stitching was super fine and delicate, it was bliss to sit and soak up a bit of sunshine and fresh air while happily stitching away. I just love these crewel yarns. They are from a smallish New Zealand company and are called Strand. Half mohair and half merino wool, they are super soft and have a lovely sheen to them. They are a little bit tricky to get hold off unless you shop online, but if you get the chance, I can thoroughly recommend them.

Before I head off to enjoy the rest of my weekend and you to yours... thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful comments on the finished Blue Birds. It really meant a lot to me. Have a lovely weekend - I hope you find a bit of creative time.

Best stitches,
Anna x


  1. The colors are so lovely and soft! It must have been a joy to just "stitch". I love crewel but have never tried it on wool - must try it. The tutorial on pattern transfer is great; thanks for it.
    -Sharon in France

    1. Wool on wool IS absolute fabulous and I hope you will enjoy it too.

  2. Oh my, what lovely wool and embroidery!!! I never thought about doing crewel ON wool with the wool threads but I certainly will give it a go! I have some lovely cream wool fabric I have been saving for just that purpose I am thinking! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for all your lovely ideas. Praying for rain for you too.

    1. I am so excited that you want to give wool embroidery a go. I love it and if I can inspire others to try that is just icing on the cake. I would love to hear how you go.

  3. I am so happy to see someone embroidery on wool fabric. I have wanted to do this for a long time; however, I didn't know how to start. Did you felt the wool first? I see you are not using a hoop - any particular reason? I need all the tips I can get as I am trying to figure out how to do this. Thank you so much.

    1. ...and I am SO happy others would like to do this. I work on wool blanketing, cashmere velour or doctor's flannel. All fabrics that are ready to go. I am not sure how easy they are to get hold off in other parts of the world but in Australia many embroidery stores with an online presence carry it in various pre-cut pieces.
      I did however make my first fabric myself from a knitted piece that I felted so that is certainly an option.
      This is the only kind of embroidery where I don't use a hoop (only with doctor's flannel). There is enough hold in the woollen fabric to hold the stitches as long as you take care not to pull them too tight - the yarn should just 'hug' the fabric. Good luck with it - I am sure you will love it. Happy stitching Anna