The Wool Embroidery Collection by Gail Rogers is a project book for wool embroidery enthusiasts. It features 18 wool embroidery projects that range from a footstool to blankets to clothing. While the book is instructive, I would not call it a “beginner’s” book – yes, it teaches techniques and offers clear instructions, but overall, it is strikes me as a book meant for the stitcher who is already familiar and comfortable with wool embroidery and who is looking for some fun projects to work on. This is not to discourage the beginner – if you are adamantly enthusiastic about embroidering larger projects in wool even if you’ve newly fallen in love with stuff, then you will probably like this book, too!
The Wool Embroidery Collection is arranged somewhat differently from most needlework books, and this is where it becomes evident that the book assumes a familiarity with embroidery. After some inspirational acknowledgements, the author launches right into the first project. All the preliminary information – materials, tools, threads, etc. – are summed up at the end of the book, in a page or so.
The author uses a variety of stitches and threads in her projects featured in the book. The cover attests to a colorful and abundant interior!
The majority of the projects in the book are blankets. However, if you don’t like the idea of stitching blankets, don’t be turned off. Most of the blankets feature motifs that can be isolated into individual projects. In fact, if you consider the blanket projects in that light, suddenly there’s an infinite variety of combinations and designs suitable for interpretation in embroidery!
The first project is a blanket that features Australian wildflowers. Incidentally, the second project in the book is the sequel to the first – another blanket featuring Australian wildflowers.
The instructions for each project include a thorough thread list, a list of stitches used, and then written explanations.
You’ll find line drawings of the designs, and a colored photo of the finished motif.
Throughout the book, there are nice close up photos, so that you can see clearly what the results of your stitching should look like.
The book features several children’s blankets which focus on bears. Teddy bears are cute, but they’ve never actually been my “thing.” But if you like bears, you’ll really like these – they are so cute! This little guy, hounded by bees, has taken refuge in the pond.
And the little Hide-and-Seek bear blanket is very cleverly designed. It combines the cuteness of bears playing the game with all the fun the stitcher can find in embroidering gardens, flowers, and even some dimensional items. It’s quite darling!
If I were embroidering a child’s blanket, I’d lean more towards this type of design – scenes and text from the nursery rhyme “Little Boy Blue” surround the edge of this blanket.
From the sheep in the meadow to the cows in the corn, the blanket is really adorable.
The projects advance in difficulty throughout the book. Towards the end, we find this lovely wool vest with embroidered lapels…
… and a vibrant evening jacket with embroidered lapels and cuffs.
After the projects are presented, there are several pages with stitch diagrams and a couple pages dedicated to tools, materials, and basic finishing.
All in all, The Wool Embroidery Collection is an excellent project book for anyone who loves stitching with wool!
Stitchers in the US can find the book used or new through Amazon:
Or, you might try The Book Depository, where you can find The Wool Embroidery Collection for US$19.45, with free shipping worldwide.