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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Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels


Amazon Books

Good morning and welcome to Tuesday. Things are starting to level off here, and next week, I should be back to the normal Mon-Wed-Fri publishing schedule, if all goes as planned. Yay! More on that below…

Today, I wanted to share an online treasure with you, thanks to a friend who sent the link. There are So Many old needlework books online, that it’s hard to recall which ones you’ve encountered. I try to keep a list of favorites, and I always download them as PDFs, if there’s an option. There is an option on this one, so do download the PDF if you can. Then you can browse through the book at your leisure.

Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels

The full title page of the book will tell you what it’s all about:

Art needlework. A complete manual of embroidery in silks and crewels, with full instructions as to stitches, materials, and implements. Containing also a large number of original designs and a handsome coloured design for crewel work

They liked long, descriptive titles back then.

Since the book was published in 1882, you’ll find that some of the content may seem dated in a charming sort of way, but throughout the book, you’ll still encounter much that is relevant today.

Materials that may be worked upon are so numerous and varied that it hardly seems like exaggeration to say that almost any material may be embroidered upon…

… yep. Chain link fences, anyone? Iron frying pans? Colanders? Tennis rackets…

Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels

The book features many images that could be adapted in whole or part to new embroidery projects.

It even offers some ready-to-trace designs in florals and even some whimsical studies…

Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels

…like an Alice in Wonderland tea cloth.

Very much in the style of the late 19th century, the Alice in Wonderland drawings are akin to the originals, which always struck me as a little creepy.

But then, Alice in Wonderland always struck me as a little creepy, too.

Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels

Some of the image plates might seem puzzling, but really, doesn’t everyone want to embroider a ghoulish nutcracker brandishing his baton at maniacal squirrels gathering nuts in trees?

In any case, it’s a book well worth browsing through – and it’s online, for free, and you can download it right to your computer. What can you lose?

You’ll find Art Needlework: A Complete Manual for Embroidery in Silks & Crewels available here on Internet Archive. Go grab the PDF today!

Follow Up on the Eyes

So, things are coming together eye-wise on my end. I have a problem with the new lens in the left eye, and it’s scheduled to be fixed hopefully towards the end of October… once again, delaying new and stable spectacles. I’m plodding along well enough, though, otherwise. I can stitch fairly well with readers, though the over the counter readers that I bought three weeks ago quickly became obsolete as the eyes healed. Then the ones I bought a week after that became obsolete. The ones I got last week are fair-to-middlin’ right now, and I’m going to try to stretch their usability for another week.

The temporary prescription glasses I got for distance in the interim (after the second surgery) are ok for distance still, though it takes my eyes a while to adjust to them. The bifocal part of them is useless!

Moral of the story for those who are anticipating cataract surgery: wait a while! Be patient! Listen to your optometrist. It’ll save you money and frustration in the long run.

I can see the computer better than I could, which is nice. The overwhelming problem I’m encountering with computer work, though, is neck strain. So I’m trying to find the “sweet spot” in position while seated, standing, typing, and so forth. I haven’t found it yet. But I know it must be here somewhere!

Follow Up on the SFSNAD Chat

For those who registered last week but didn’t get a chance to join us on the chat with Lauren at the San Francisco School of Needlework & Design, you can email SFSNAD for a link to the recording. The recording is only available to those who were registered for the event.

While you’re there, check out the other online lecture they have scheduled. Some are free, others are not. But they all look good!

If you posed questions during the discussion and we didn’t have a chance to get to them, just drop me a line! I’ll see if I can put together a list of questions and answer them here on Needle ‘n Thread, or maybe do another little Zoom thing from this end. We’ll see! I’m playing with possibilities.

Have a lovely Tuesday! I’ll see you a little later this week, and then next week, hopefully, we’ll be back to normal publishing. I have many exciting things to show you!


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(9) Comments

  1. Hang in there with your eyes – it takes time. You’re lucky that you’ve been at least able to use readers (even tho’ you have to keep changing them). I couldn’t because I have a weird form of astigmatism that means that I have to have a separate presc’n for each eye or they go to war with one another and I end up feeling nauseous. I had to go eight weeks without being able to see to read, do needlework or much of anything else. I could see the tv – sort of – and I discovered that using the CTRL and the + buttons on my computer simultaneously embiggened the font so I could read it. It was a very long eight weeks!!

    1. :-/ It is definitely stretching out a little longer than I’d like. As long as I don’t move my head around too much, the readers don’t bother me terribly. The “temporary” prescription that I had filled for distance and readering (in lined bifocals, cuz they’re cheaper) make me positively sick – I couldn’t move my eyes without feeling seasick. It’s almost funny, but not. LOL! But with readers, I’ve found I can hold my head still and see pretty well. It’s just a matter of time, I know. I’ve enlarged the font on my phone and my computer and it does help. Another thing that helps is increasing the light on the screen so that the contrast is greater between font and screen. Fun stuff! Eyes are amazing things, and I find the whole process of healing and change quite interesting. We shall see how everything pans out! The opacification and ripple on the left lens needs to be taken care of before I can get a semi-permanent Rx, and the next appointment to see how that is developing isn’t until October 19th. Here’s hoping the fix can come shortly after that.

  2. Désolée, je ne parle pas anglais mais je suis capable de le lire et de toutes façons avec google je fais traduire en français.
    Je visionne vos pages à tous les jours et j’ai appris plein de choses. J’ai 79 ans et je brode depuis l’âge de 6 ans . J’appris au pensionnat. Mais avec vous j’apprends encore et je transmets à d’autre mon savoir.
    Merci beaucoup pour tout ce que vous nous donnez, c’est une mine d’or.
    Gisèle Moyen

  3. Mary, glad to hear your eyes are healing. Your glasses becoming obsolete is proof that your eyes healing. After my cataract surgery ,instead of bifocals with the pronounced line between the two prescriptions that I had been wearing, I switched to the type that gradually switches between the two prescriptions. You’ll find your sweet spot for the computer somewhere in that space.

  4. Hi Mary – what a treat that book is. Thank you so much for posting the link!
    Glad to hear your eyes are mending. Let me know if you find that ‘sweet spot’ – I am looking for it too 🙂

  5. Bummer on the one eye, I hope it’s sorted out soon. I wouldn’t be so sure it’s your eyes that made you dizzy with that prescription. I had a new pair made once and they made me dizzy – then I figured out that the “sweet spot” was set too close together. Anything close made me ill, far away was tolerable. They remade them – after I finally got it through their heads what the issue was.

  6. Yes, do hang in there with the eyes. It will get better as your brain has to adjust to your new vision as well.
    I enjoyed reading many pages of the beginning of the Art of Needlework book. There was a reference to projects that mothers would “pass down” to their daughters, thread, needle and all. I strongly related to that since I have a project my mother left unfinished when her hands could no longer do needlework. I have the scissors, thread and all that her hands held. It provides a comforting connection to her since her passing earlier this year.

  7. I have had bifocals since 5th grade. I know what you mean about the sweet spot. I have not been able to find it so went to dedicated computer glasses. I have not had to change them as often as the bifocals.
    The process I used was to sit as I was accustomed to at the computer and measure the distance from my eye to the screes. Then ordering the glasses was easy. I wanted 20-20 vision at that distance.
    Good luck with your eye changes. Having gone through the surgery I fully understand your frustration. I went Back to some 14 count needlepoint just to be able to stitch at all during the process.

  8. Dear Mary

    So glad your eyes are getting better, I do hope you will be able to see normally soon and you will be able to get back to your normal daily routines. Thank you for sharing with us the Art Needlework: A Complete Manual of Embroidery in Silks & Crewels manual for us to view it looks lovely and lots of different projects to look at. Been really busy lately with physio appointments with my hip as my foot keeps turning out and numbness in my foot. Anyway good to be back.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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