Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stitching Saturday: Crewel is magic!

Adding some crewel threads

Stitching with wool for the first time last week was a total eye-opener for me. Crewel wool is perfect for larger works - it moves differently, sits differently on the fabric, it has an extra springiness and a visible texture. It makes a much stronger, bolder line, and is so nice to work with. I can't believe I'd never used crewel wool before, and it has already added so much to my stitching.

I had a pillow project I'd stashed away - I loved the pattern, and all the bright colors I'd chosen for it. I'd already done some really dense stitching that I'd totally enjoyed, but then my enthusiasm just burned out. I looked at the large expanse of remaining shapes and practically groaned. I imagined myself separating out 2 strands of floss for each line, and painstakingly stitching away, forever.

crewel wool + embroidery thread

But again, crewel wool and traditional filling stitches were designed to fill up large spaces quickly - and I'm loving that long and short stitch with a thick, plush white wool.

I used a buttonhole stitch to trace the edges of that teal paisley shape, and again I said, "well, duh" - it hugged each curve so perfectly when stitched with crewel wool - no more dividing lots of strands, and fussing as they get caught and tangled up with each other - even when I double up the crewel wool, it pulls through linen like a dream.

Many needles

I keep a lot of needles on hand as I stitch with the different weight fibers - large dull-tipped darning needles with big eyes for thick yarn (left), a long yarn darner with a sharp point for more detailed stitches (center), and a regular sharp crewel needle for the crewel wool (right).

In short, I am in love with crewel - I'm glad I added so much dense texture in the embroidery floss at first, and I'll build on that with all the matte, textured shapes I'll stitch in wool. Yay for crewel wool!

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