Joy, bliss! It’s Saturday! And the weekend is upon us!
It was a busy week behind the scenes here at Needle ‘n Thread. I managed to get a few projects sorted, I’ve gotten a heap of computer work done, and doggonit, I’m glad it’s the weekend!
After my kerfuffle with the linen I showed you yesterday, I tested a couple different fabrics. I’ll share those tests with you down the road.
For the sheer fun of it, I set up a new embroidery project – the full version of the design you saw in yesterday’s article. This time, it’s on crisp white linen, and not for a tote bag. I really like the design and I’m eager to stitch out the concept for it that’s floating around in my head. So I’m looking forward to the first stitches on that this weekend.
Today, I have some fun embroidery-related newsy bits to keep you entertained through the weekend. And I’m going to announce the winner of the Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork give-away, too.
So, grab yourself a cup of your favorite morning brew, and let’s kick back and browse a bit together, shall we?
Let’s get the book winner out of the way first. Business, you know.
In the wee hours this morning, I randomly drew the winner of Beginner’s Guide to Goldwork, so generously offered by Carole, who had inadvertently bought two copies of the new edition. Thanks, Carole! I’m sure the new owner will love it!
The winner is Myrna Lowe. I’ve sent you an email, Myrna. Congratulations! I hope you love the book and get a lot of use out of it!
A long time ago, when the blog was relatively young, I wrote several articles on Lefkara lace, a whitework style of embroidery from the Greek island of Cyprus. If you’d like to read those articles, you’ll find them here:
Here’s a lovely video put out by the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO, called Lefkara Lace – Before Memory Fades. It covers history, technique, and the renewed interest in this gorgeous traditional needlework from Cyprus.
If you’re reading this through the newsletter here on Needle ‘n Thread, the videos aren’t viewable in your inbox. Please feel free to jump over here to the website to view them, or you can also view them directly on YouTube.
Another interesting video on Lefkara lace is this one, which looks like it was produced as a school project. I like the description the embroiderer gives of her work and what the various motifs on her work represent – the river, the foliage around the river, and so forth.
Cyprus is on my Lifetime Bucket List (which means I’ll probably never get there). But if I ever do have the opportunity, I would dearly love to visit the place and learn these techniques from the Cypriot women who so skillfully ply their needles!
How to Repair a Hole in Linen
In case you aren’t familiar with Nicola Parkman’s website, Hands Across the Sea Samplers, you should be! Whether you’re an historical sampler enthusiast or not, the blog at Hands Across the Sea is always interesting and fun to follow.
Nicola features some great videos on her Hands Across the Sea blog, and one of the recents is this video on How to Repair a Hole in Linen. If you’ve ever snipped your linen mid-project, you know how heart-wrenching that can be. Nicola takes you calmly, step-by-step, through repairing the damage.
Nicola has another blog, too, called Stitching by a Cornish Seashore, which is also informative and entertaining. Although not updated frequently, it has a good archive for browsing.
And hey! If you’re vacationing in Cornwall, she also has another website – Seaside Cottages in Cornwall – featuring her beautiful seaside cottages for rent. Definitely a website worth visiting, for the sigh-inducing photos if nothing else!
The Stories of Samplers
Speaking of Nicola, if you want to listen to something entertaining while you’re stitching this week, check out Christine and Gary’s chat on FiberTalk with Nicola from last weekend. She tells some great stories about the people behind their historical samplers, and just some all-around interesting information about historical samplers in general. It’s a great hour of listening! Definitely one of my favorite episodes so far, as Nicola really draws the listener into the social history of samplers.
Lovely Kits & a Big Apology!
So, a while ago, in one of my previous News Snips, I mentioned Bluebird Embroidery Co, which is Helen Richman’s lovely little website where she sells – quite affordably – her lovely little embroidery kits.
I have her Silk Shading Fox, which is adorable. It’s a very nicely done kit, and great for practicing realistic silk shading on a little animal.
When I first mentioned the kit, I noted that the design on my fabric that I received was backwards and that the design lines were not very easy to see. Helen dropped me a line and suggested that I might be working on the wrong side of the fabric.
And she was absolutely right! I took out my work, turned my hoop over and there, on the correct side of the fabric, was the little fox, facing just the right way, and clearly outlined and ready to stitch.
Big apologies, Helen! I duly slapped myself on the forehead for you.
And incidentally, her kit selections are growing – so check them out, if you’re looking for manageable, smaller surface embroidery kits. She has an adorable hedgehog on there!
You can also find her kits here at French Needle, if you’re in the US and want it sooner.
Speaking of French Needle and Kits…
Not to suck you into a black hole or anything, but French Needle is now carrying a selection of Nicola Jarvis’s embroidery kits. You can find several of her floral-ish, William-Morris-esque bird kits available there. They’re unique and fun!
Blackwork Box & Rehabilitation
After we talked about embroidery and rehabilitation last week, a reader sent in a link to this amazing blackwork embroidery box held by the Museum of New Zealand. The story behind it is one of rehabilitation – it’s worked by a disabled soldier in the 1920’s, and it’s stunning!
Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske
If you’re a book reader who likes biographies, who likes stories of coastal life and a bit of realism, and who stitches, you can find all of these elements entwined in a book called Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske.
I haven’t read it yet, but a reader asked me about it, so I looked it up. I found this review in the Telegraph, and it sounds interesting. I’ve ordered it, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
The funny thing about books is that you never really know if you’re going to like it until you actually read it. Like I said, it sounds interesting, but a lot depends on how it’s written!
But if you’re a book-o-phile, you might like to read it, too. You can find it through the following book affiliates:
In the US, it’s available used through Amazon, here.
Worldwide with free shipping, it’s available here through Book Depository.
Are you familiar with Wild Olive? Mollie works up some darling embroidery. She has a nice blog, has published a book or two, and is fun to follow online!
Recently, she wrote about her method of organizing her collection of DMC floss. It’s a colorful, practical, and handy approach to keeping track of embroidery threads without using bobbins, and keeping all the thread fairly compact, easily searchable, and even portable.
If you’re looking for an organizing solution, check it out!
And that, my friends, is our little chat for the weekend. I hope you enjoy the browse!
Now I’m off to the Farmer’s Market – golly, I love this time of year!
Don’t forget tomorrow’s Mother’s Day. A great big happy Mother’s Day to all you terrific moms out there – including mine!