Sunday, 18 June 2017
Monday, 20 March 2017
Feeling happy to have finished the Elsa Williams Woodland Animals Crewel kit #00078 , which is a beautiful sampler of different basic embroidery stitches .
Heritage Embroidery by Elsa Williams Published - Van Nostrand Rienhold Company in 1967 .
I would say that on the whole most of these basic stitches , could be learnt from the book, if you were a complete beginner .... with the exception maybe of the the French knot and the Tufted stitch , which would be better if someone could sit beside you and show you . There are plenty of youtubes and tutorials on line , but there's nothing like having someone actually demonstrate it to you .
So , " Dear Elsa Williams , what do you think of my French Knots ? "
The Tufted Stitch , was the most frightening stitch for me , but I think I have grasped it now .
I finally chose this shade of green for the centre of the main large sunflower , this was not clear at all on the instructions .
That tiny little pink flower , each petal all different shades of rose-pink !
Then to proudly stitch my name on .
The reverse ...for those who strangely always insist on seeing it .
I always begin and end on the front and use every little scrap of thread. I never throw any of the cut off ends of threads away . I am very miserly with my crewel wool !
I have plenty of bundles thread left over..except for the palest yellow /gold . I used up all but about one inch of it and used that last bit to stitch the daisy in my name . Very strange how they didn't put so much of the yellow into the kit ....anyone else with less stitching experience might have run out of this pale yellow wool and been stuck .
I'll have to have a think about what I can do with this left over crewel wool .
So now I,ve finished it and am thinking about having it framed .
I have another project, a medieval picture to finish , one I,ve designed myself and have been slowly working on over the last year .
So maybe I,ll show you some of this next time . Happy stitching .
Sunday, 12 March 2017
So next French Knots for the blue berries . . .I,m o.k. with the French Knot , but had to try very hard to get nice round berries .
That yellow sunflower...it is not clear at all what colour the centre should be . The instructions say F2 which means French Knot in shade 2 but does not give the colour number. By looking at the colour photo of the finished project on the kit packet , it looks like the same colour as the dark stripes of the furry caterpillar... I'm still thinking about that , I,ll come back to it later on .
The instructions say that the Squirrel is to be worked in grey and the Rabbit and Owl are to be worked in shades of earth brown .....however ..the Owl and Rabbit do look grey on the kit packet picture . Husband thought grey, we even tried to think about the wild rabbits out in our meadow ....they are browny grey ...goodness..I spent too long thinking about this and decided to do as the kit instructions said .....
"Rabbit is to be worked in Long and Short Stitches of earth brown" ...mine looks a bit different to the kit picture , because I got carried away trying to stitch in the natural direction of the rabbit fur ..and then there was a little bit more of the dreaded Tufted Stitch for his tail .
While I,m here, see that little flower ,the one bunny is about to nibble ..it looks as if every single petal is a different shade of rose pink ! ..o.k. ..leave that one for another day !
Owl . Earth brown Owl . How funny to do an Owl in French Knots . He is a very rare "Woolly Brown Owl" .
I,ve certainly had some practice doing French Knots here ! Tell me ? They're not looking too bad are they ?
The Owl's eyes are grey Satin stitch with an earth brown French Knot in the centre .
The colours in this vintage kit are beautifully mellow .
I allowed myself to personalize it where the instructions were not clear . The only really naughty thing I did was to change the Owl's beak to yellow ! ... oh..and I worked the beak in two little Bullion Stitches ... On the kit picture it looks to have been just simply stitched with dark grey.
It does not give any colour nor stitch instructions for stitching the Owl's beak on the " Directions for Embroidery #00078 " list ....I like to think that Elsa Williams just knew we'd all want to do that beak yellow !
I think I can allow myself to do all the pretty Rose pink flowers next .
Well after four days of drifting fog here on the Lizard , Cornwall , it looks as if the sun is trying to come out ..so I,m off to take the dog for a walk and maybe a little gardening this afternoon . Wishing you a lovely day x
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Very fiddly , this Tufted Stitch is very scary ! The caterpillar on the kit picture has been worked slightly differently to the kit instructions diagram , which gives the caterpillar more stripes ...I think he looks proper Cornish ..and decided to work him with more stripes. I still need to stitch in his antennae and feet .
Then on to that squirrel . I forgot to take a picture here , of the guide lines that I found helpful to draw on with a pencil , to remind myself of the stitch direction , the way the fur lies .
One of the annoying things about these kits is trying to make sure the stitches cover the printed lines . When I design my own pictures I use a pencil and as I work over it, the pencil lines disappear . When I have completed this kit , I will go back over it and tidy up all those turquoise lines .
I continued with three shades of the crewel wool for his bushy tail .
Looking good so far ,This stitch has various other names such as Carpet stitch and Turkey Work . Then to carefully snip all the loops .
All loops carefully snipped and then I spent a very meditative 20 mins or so just teasing apart each of those snipped woolen threads , to give it a more blended and softer squirrelly tail look .
Tomorrow I,ll begin the rabbit, which has just a little bit more of this tufted stitch for his tail .
It's all good practice !
Monday, 13 February 2017
Hopping mad !
I had planned to stitch all the gold areas next , but the numbers on the wool skein labels do not match the numbers on the instruction leaflet picture chart . I studied it for ages....and gave myself a headache .
The labels on the skeins are 3, 4 and 5 ...but the small yellow flower is marked as being 2 , 3 and 4. T he butterfly is marked as being stitched in 2 , 3 , 4 and 5 . It quite clearly says on the instruction sheet that there are three shades of each colour in the kit .
It is a vintage kit , so I cant contact anyone to ask .
So I stitched the happy little froggy next instead , before returning to the gold areas .
I just did the best I could .
I,m now doing the caterpillar , which is worked in an altogether even more terrifying stitch known as Tufted Stitch , in forest green and light gold .
So here goes .....I,m not going to attempt a tutorial here..these are sort of back stitches which hold down little loops , which are then snipped to give a furry or carpet effect .
I did once know how to do this stitch , a very long time ago ! :)
Monday, 23 January 2017
A lightly frosty morning here in Mullion , but worth noting since we dont very often see this .
We took the dog for a walk along the cliffs and I thought you might like to see a little of where I live .This was just an hour ago or so...not a cloud in the sky .
This is looking towards Gunwalloe Church Cove , there's my shadow waving to you ! :)
A beautiful morning we enjoyed our walk and flask of coffee .
After lunch and having a little rest now . Time to do a little of my new , vintage unopened Elsa Williams crewel kit and quite a rare find here in the UK .
I always begin with the most tedious parts first , in this case all the stem stitched stems , tree trunk , satin stitch and long and short stitched leaves . After working all this I reward myself with the prettier things like the more intricate trellis stitched leaves . I am nearly there ; then I will allow myself to dip into the more colourful threads for the flowers and finally , the woodland creatures .
This kit doesn't actually have a name as such on the picture on the packet it says "Crewel Embroidery Picture or Pillow Kit" by Elsa Williams Needlecraft Creations. It does have a number which is 00078 and it also says "made in USA"West Townsend , Mass . 01474 .
I have been told that this one is known as the Woodland Animals Kit ....but if anyone knows otherwise , I would be really interested to hear from you .I would also like to know the name of the designer and the date ?
On the instruction card , it talks about a book - Heritage Embroidery by Elsa S.Williams published by Van Nostrand Reinhold ....which I have and can recommend if you are interested in crewel embroidery . This book can still be quite easily found on the usual used books websites and for a sensible price if you look around .
I,m not parting with mine !
Time to go , things to do , shopping and looking after grandchildren this afternoon :)