Embroidery practice

Earlier this year I attended a Jacobean crewelwork class at Hampton Court Palace – a Christmas present from my benevolent sister.

I’ve finally just got round to finishing off the piece, being in need of a) a kick up the backside and b) some serious needle practice for the textile conservation course starting in September. Conservation stitches are quite different to embroidery – the priorities being support and discretion – but I think any practice is useful.

The course was fantastic for learning a variety stitches in a short space of time, and from a professional embroideress. However, I was a bit disappointed we weren’t shown some original examples, and used cotton rather than the more traditional linen.

peacockThe piece includes the following stitches:

  • back stitch
  • satin
  • stem
  • split
  • french knots
  • chain
  • seeding
  • bullion
  • long and short
  • padded satin
  • fly
  • herringbone
  • closed herringbone
  • ermine
  • battlement couching

I added a stitched epitaph, inspired by the Victorian samplers that usually read something along the lines of this, for example: “Elizabeth Irwins work age 10 March 5 1848. All you my friends who now expect to see A piece of work performed by me cast but A smile on this my mean endeavour Ill strive to mend and be obedient ever”.

I make no such promises!

The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

The London Knitting and Stitching show is on next week, 10th – 13th October. I’ve never been to any of the shows (two in London at Ally Pally and Olympia, as well as Dublin and Harrogate) so am looking forward to exploring as many of the stands, galleries and workshops as possible.

A few galleries that have especially caught my eye are:

the Knitted Textile Awards

the Graduate Showcase

‘Sewing for Survival: Arctic Stitchery’

‘A timeline of crewel work, 1630-1930’

I’ll also be helping out on the UK Hand Knitting Association stand, so come and say hello if you’re there on Thursday afternoon!

Visit the show’s website here for more information on tickets and how to get there.