Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Crewel Embroidery Rooster: More Knots and Not Finished!


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Last weekend, I was thrilled to be within finishing distance of my current crewel embroidery project, The Crewel Rooster. Between me and the Finish were many, many French knots. But the Finish was in sight! And, oh, that delectable anticipation of Finally Reaching the End! But… you know. Things don’t always work out the way we plan. Here’s my week-later update on The Crewel Rooster, which isn’t finished at all, and which still requires lots and lots of yucky knots. (See how my attitude has changed towards the French knot?!)

French knots are not really yucky, I suppose. I just under-estimated the time it takes to work that many French knots, and, as it turns out, I haven’t had a lot of time for embroidery this week.

I have, however, moved on to the second flower and adjusted the color layout somewhat. I’m still using Renaissance Dyeing wools – wools dyed with pure vegetable dyes – and I’m really enjoying working with these threads. They’re quite nice. The colors are the same used in the first crewel flower, but I’ve re-arranged the location of the colors on the various parts of the flower.

Crewel Embroidery: Flower in Wool Thread using French Knots

The stitching is the same – the buttonhole scallop around the outline of each petal, the petal filled with French knots, and then a detached buttonhole stitch worked around the very edge of the petals.

For the colors, though, I went with the mid to lighter tones on the scallops and the filling, and then the darkest tone as the “ruffle” around the outside of the scallops. The dark red will also be used for the stamens and the round things at the very top of the flower. I like this color layout better, personally. The dark on the very edges blends better with the buttonhole scallops, so the individual buttonhole stitches don’t stand out as much, making the stitching look neater over all.

But, hey. That’s just my opinion! What’s yours?

I am determined to finish the rooster project this weekend, come hell or high water or even something more exciting, like a place to go or people to see. No, no! I shall be a hermit and git ‘er done. It’s time to move on to a new project. Multiple projects all at the same time, actually – but more about that later!

Enjoy your weekend! And keep your fingers crosses for me!


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(9) Comments

  1. Mary, hope you are able to reach your goal this weekend. I am very excited to see the finished bird in all his glory. And am also wondering what you have up your sleeve for your next project?! Have a wonderful weekend. Sandi

  2. This rooster has been a great learning experience for me. I am waiting to see the finised piece. Multiple projects sound so interesting- now I am waiting to see those as well. Good luck with your crewel rooster.

  3. I love this rooster! And I am so NOT a rooster fan! LOL

    It's been nice to see how the various wools work up when used by someone other than me. 😛 I know now that I REALLY want to play with the Bella Russo wool I've got in my stash!

  4. I do like the dark for the edging much better than the light you had originally worked. Overall, the flowers are looking great! You are inspiring me to get back into crewel.

  5. G'day Mary,
    What has snow and French knots got in common?
    Sometimes Mary likes em and sometimes she don't. Now that's a bit cheeky of me. Hope you have a nice warm home. I'm sitting in reach of the air conditioner!

    The flower is looking beaut. Yes, I do like these colours though haven't gone back to the other to compare. It's going to be lovely.

    Bye for now, Kath

  6. Just saw the finished project. Your rooster guy is gorgeous!
    Thanks for the great website and for sharing your time and talents.

    Kysis in Kentucky

  7. Hi

    I love your website and am finding it a great help in my first forays into embroidery. Thank you so much.

    I was wondering if you could help me out a little as I've seen your instructions for buttonhole stitch but cannot find any for detached buttonhole stitch – I'm assuming it is a slight 'tweak' of the original. Could you please tell me how to do this/

    Many thanks


  8. Hi Mary,

    I have really been inspired by your work and would love to start this project although I am just beginning I have done embroidery before and wow what a great project and I have to admit to I really dont like roosters that much but he is so beautiful.
    Thank You Mary for inspiring me to reach higher levels. TLC

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