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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Sardinian Knotted Embroidery – Book Review


Amazon Books

For whitework embroidery lovers everywhere, Yvette Stanton has recently published a new and unique whitework book: Sardinian Knotted Embroidery: Whitework from Teulada.

If you are familiar with Yvette’s last whitework book, Portuguese Whitework: Bullion Embroidery from Guimarães, you’ll recognize the approach: she introduces us to the history and culture surrounding a more obscure form of whitework embroidery, carefully educating the reader on the technique while offering a beautiful selection of manageable projects to embroider.

It’s a successful formula that brings to light exquisite forms of whitework embroidery that we might otherwise never know anything about if it weren’t for Yvette’s careful research and instruction.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

Sardinian knotted embroidery is essentially a counted embroidery technique utilizing the coral knot to create lacy, textured, white-on-white geometric designs that involve combinations of, and variations on, a variety of traditional motifs.

And – good news! – the supplies involved in Sardinian knotted embroidery are easy to find and fairly readily available pretty much anywhere!

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

The book begins with a brief history of Sardinia and of Punt ‘e Nù, which is the knotted stitch used in this style of whitework.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

We’re treated to gorgeous photos while exploring the technique used on the native costumes of the Sardinians.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

At the beginning of the book, there’s also a very nice overview of the traditional motifs used in Sardinian knotted embroidery.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

Then, we move into the materials section of the book. What do you need to work this style of embroidery? The supplies aren’t too complicated – even-weave linen and white threads!

Perle cotton #12 is is mostly used, although #8 can be used for thicker lines.

Traditionally, the style was not necessarily worked on even-weave linen, since it was used predominantly to decorate clothing. Yvette discusses the differences between using even-weave and plain-weave linens and offers some guidelines for situations where you would choose a plain-weave linen over an even-weave (in making and embellishing clothing, for example).

And you don’t even need a hoop – the embroidery is worked in hand.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

After all the background information is well-covered, we move into the projects section of the book.

There are 11 projects in the book, ranging from small and simple to larger and more complex.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

For example, you can learn how to embroider and finish this small doily…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…how to embellish and finish a linen hand towel…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…how to embellish the edge of a sheath-style dress…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…and how to construct the dress, as well.

Other projects include a full table cloth, table runner, a cushion, small framable pieces, biscornu, and the like.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

Each project includes sequenced instructions for completing it, including preparing the fabric, following the patterns, and all the finish work.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

Following the project section, you’ll find the techniques.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

This is where Yvette goes into detail on all the aspects involved in Sardinian knotted embroidery, from setting up the linen in preparation for embroidery…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…to stitching (via step-by-step diagrams)…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…to recognizing and fixing mistakes…

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

…to finishing the edges.

The instructions are super clear and easy to follow. Yvette takes into account every situation you can get into when stitching the various motifs of Sardinian knotted embroidery. She covers the nitty-gritty stuff, like changing stitch directions, starting new threads mid-line, working motifs that join back up with each other, working diagonally, vertically, and so forth.

And, for Lefties, you’ll be happy to know that every section of directions is repeated and color coded, for both right and left handed stitchers.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

There are tips and instructional notes throughout the whole book to help clarify what you want to achieve with your stitchery as you work this technique.

I particularly like this photo tip above, because it demonstrates what you can achieve with coral knots – a heavier, textured line on the front of your embroidery, with only the tiniest stitches visible on the back.

Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

Finally, at the end of the book, you’ll find an insert with removable pattern sheets.

As usual, Yvette has given us another beautiful whitework technique in Sardinian Knotted Embroidery. The book is thorough and the technique is easy to grasp, thanks to her insightful and meticulous instructions.

If you love whitework, add it to your library!

Where to Find Sardinian Knotted Embroidery

The most affordable source for Sardinian Knotted Embroidery is through the following book affiliate:

Worldwide with free shipping, you can find Sardinian Knotted Embroidery through Book Depository.


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(33) Comments

  1. Good morning, Mrs. Corbet. I still haven’t decided on whether whitework is on my radar or not when it comes to personal projects, however, I am always so happy to discover embroidery techniques and get a wonderful introduction to them though this site. I love reading my “Left-handed Embroiderer’s Companion” and when I get the time, I hope to be able to tackle some knotted stitches. Who knows, if I manage to be able to do the Coral Knot Stitch, I might want to do this type of work. No garentees though because of the Cerebral Palsy. Still, even if I cannot physically do a stitch, my knowledge of embroidery expands every day, thanks to you.

    PS. Is the Hummingbird Kerfuffle any closer to being resolved?

    1. Dear Kristina Marie,
      I am very sad about your illness and you have courage. I’m ashamed to complain endlessly with my English. This embroidery is interesting on many levels, it’s repetitive, the drawings are beautiful, can be full of beautiful things for the home, it’s fresh and simple and great result!. Also, if you want, I can send you with my heart, skeins of coton floche # 12 white (100% French) brand Cartier-Bresson.

    2. Dear, Ms. Florence A. I don’t think I have the words in any language to say how thankful I am for such a kind offer. I think before I could even dream of accepting it, I’d have to see if I could actually do a coral knot stitch. Even then, I would feel utterly unworthy to accept. The shipping charges alone would be horrible. Still, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loving and generous spirit. If I succeed I’ll let you be the first to know! Thank you again.

    3. Dear Kristina Marie,
      I understand, I assure you. Do not worry about shipping, a gift is a gift, just solidarity and discovery. Only Mary could tell us if the cotton floss can actually suit embroidery Yvette because of course the type of thread escaped me!. I love the # 12 coton floche, I like its texture, shape, thickness, and we can still find in France, even in color, I’d be really pleased that you try it. I just hope to have good news in the future.

    4. Hello ladies, the thread usually used for this embroidery is pearl 12, not floche 12. However, don’t let me stop you from your generosity. 🙂 Floche is a LOVELY thread. Yvette

    5. OK, Kristina Marie, you and me works with 2 threads, perlé n°12 because it is a good thread and we try coton floche n°12 and after we said to Marie and Yvette.

    6. Oh, now I’m feeling the pressure to learn this stitch. I’ve got my “Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion” I’ve got my scrap fabric, and goodness knows I’ve got lots of thread… But if I can’t manage I’ll be disappointing not only a generous lady, but the generous author! :O I’m little freaked out now.

    7. Kristina Marie, please don’t feel any pressure from me! Pressure isn’t helpful when you’re learning something new. Enjoy the embroidery that you can do, learning new things when you can. That’s quite enough for me! Best wishes, Yvette

    8. I’ll try Ms. Stanton, And thank you so much for the “Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion” it’s been a challenge just with my Cerebral Palsy, but as a “leftie” taught by a “righty” it’s made things a lot more interesting! It’s great to have a book where I don’t have to figure out how to do it backwards!

    9. Dear Marie-Christine,
      Far be it from me to make you freak out, I join Mrs. Stanton on this point, I was touched by your situation. And if you still want to keep me informed of your progress, I’d be happy, and if you find no interest in my thread “of France,” I do not find it hurt!. Be assured of this special friendship.

    10. Oh, I am interested. It just seems like too generous a gift to accept. I really do thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re such a kind and loving person to think of me. I will definitely let you know when I attempt new stitches and how they work out. Right now, I have a big project to finish before I can move on. Thank you again.

    11. Chère Marie-Christine,
      I am glad and yes I make the little parcel now…for the futur.And happy embroider with your big projet.Thank you.

  2. Dear Marie,
    Beautiful book, beautiful ideas (I love the dress..), very beautiful embroidery.Yes ,all is english…but all is for home, girls…Really magnifique. I love it. Thank you .
    Best regards

  3. Good morning,

    For anyone interested in this style of embroidery, this book is well worth it. As was mentioned on her blog, I really like the way the projects are organized. Easy to follow and encourages you to start working on one right away.

    I am happy with the purchase. It is a well written book!

  4. Have just added this to my birthday/Christmas list for the men in my life who are always at sea when it comes to choosing presents. Love whitework, and this looks just plain fantastic.

  5. Dear Mary

    i have Yvette’s Portuguese Whitework which is a very instructional book and features lots of different patterns and styles a great book. The Sardinian knotted embroidery by Yvette also looks very instructional with lots of designs and different techniques and it’s great that you don’t have to use a hoop. I will definitely put this on my wish list. Thanks for reviewing the book and for sharing your views with us.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  6. Dear Mary, thanks again for introducing us via book review another form of needlework. I love Ms Stanton’s books and have several. They are well worth adding to any needle worker’s library. This one will soon be added to mine.

  7. Hi Mary,
    This book sounds wonderful. I have been thinking about doing some white work lately and this just fit the bill.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Mary. Just before reading this, I had been on the ‘phone with my daughter, who arrived last night from Sardinia, back to her home in Europe. She was telling me about the beautiful embroidery she had seen (and purchased, of course!). Thanks to you, I can now visualize what she had shared with me!

  9. I’ve been waiting for this book to be released for a while – so now it’s out!!! Yippee!!! Off to order 🙂

    1. First of all a Hearty Thank You for the Beautiful book you have given us!
      & then Congratulations Yvette for winning “The Craft Book of the Year” at the 2014 Australian craft industry awards.

  10. Hello Yvette,
    Thank you for this, Yvette.I known thread is different, now, I don’t meet perlé 12, but I can find in France, I think. If I can, your book is very very beautifull, I love and I buy this month. I to be sorry that no translate french, only.Thank you for this meet embroidery and your work and learn. And thank you at Marie for meet you.
    Best regards

  11. I am fascinated with embroidery techniques that are indigenous to different areas. To find such a detailed account as this, with so many projects, is a special treat! I can’t wait to read it.

  12. White work is radiantly and gloriously beautifully illustrated.
    A truly lost art, being recreated for all of us to appreciate. I truly would cherish this book with all the tips and patterns. It reminds me of a peaceful quietness.

  13. Mary,

    Thank you for your wonderful website! I always look forward to opening my e-mail from needlenthread! I looked at your article about the Sardinian Knotted Embroidery. It is quite beautiful in white on white. I am a big fan of white so it instantly appealed to me. The look is very pure and elegant. I imagine it would look just as beautiful in a red or black work as well. When I saw that this embroidery utilized a technique called the coral knot, I thought, “uh oh…”. For some reason, I had a difficult time trying to master the french knot. (My poor little x-stitch people with no eyes!) It was only by finding your website and video tutorial that I was finally able to overcome my fear of french knots! Well, to my relief, the coral knot seems to be very straight forward and doable. Your tutorials are very informative. 🙂 Thank you for giving everyone a chance to win this beautiful book! Have a nice day!

  14. I tend to get excited by bright colors and generally haven’t been drawn to white work, but the designs in this book are beautiful. I love the intricate patterns and the delicate, lacy look of the raised designs. I also like how something so lovely is created from such simple elements (one color, one stitch). There is something old fashioned about these projects, and they remind me of the hand-made doilies, embroidered pillow cases, and other linens that have been passed down from generation to generation in my family. I would love to add my own contribution to that collection!

  15. There are some printing errors in 2 pages,for which Yvette Stanton has given notice in her website with the Correct instructions, Saying – “Errata Notice” The mistakes are found in the beginning sections of both the left-handed (page57) and right-handed (page60) instructions.

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