In 2013 I taught myself to crochet, admittedly I am not extremely skilled but I have mastered the basics and can just about navigate myself around a pattern. Whilst I have enjoyed learning to crochet I have churned out countless scarves, snowflakes, small animals and even a blanket. I need a new challenge, something to occupy my hands in the evening whilst I watch television.
I used to embroider when I was younger so when I stumbled upon Mary Corbet’s Needle ‘n’ Thread blog an old love was rekindled. I used to sew pre-printed kits and am a master of cross stitch, satin stitch, french knots etc but I still wanted to learn something new. Mary’s blog shows very elaborate and detailed embroidery with skills such as gold work. This coupled with discovering stump work on Pinterest led me to the website of the Royal Society of Needlework and a discovery of a whole range of other types of embroidery such as black work and white work. Looking through the techniques I decided to start with learning Jacobean Crewelwork. I love the way the shapes are shaded and being passionate about early English history this style of embroidery really appeals to me.
I ordered my first kit from the Royal School of Needlework – a Pomegranate. However, I was in for a surprise when the kit arrived as unlike the kits I had done as a teenager the fabric was not printed with the design! However it turns out that this is how proper embroidery is done and as I want to be able to do my own designs in the future transferring a design to fabric is definitely a skill I need to learn.
It turns out that to do this you need to prick and pounce the design. A bit of research led me to order a prick and pounce kit.
Today, being the start of a new year, I set to with the kit. First up I had to prick holes along the lines of the design (top photo) with the pin provided. Then I pinned the design to the fabric and pounced charcoal through the holes with the pad provided (second photo). This was rather worrying as I wasnt sure it was working. Lifting off the design I was left with the design marked on the fabric. The final step was to use some grey/black watercolour paint to sketch in the design and then blow off the remaining charcoal (see below).
Next up is to start the embroidery by using trellis stitch to fill the central part of the pomegranate flower. I haven’t done trellis stitch before so this kit is proving to be a real learning curve.