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Crewel Twists
Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery
Hazel Blomkamp

Search Press
1 March 2012 (US 1 September 2012) / ISBN: 9781844488483
Genre How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

I have been a keen embroiderer for years and confess a love for Jacobean (or crewel) work but I have never attempted it. This is because I am allergic to wool, and as embroidery experts have told me many times, you have to work this style in wool. But rules are made to be broken, and somebody has now done just that and produced a whole book of Jacobean embroidery where no sheep have been involved.

Cotton floss, shiny rayon threads, metal goldwork strands and beads; yep, got all that right here and used it for years. Feast your eyes on this sumptuous treat of a book and look at all that lovely Jacobean work made using these modern and wool-free materials. To begin the author goes through all the aspects of starting that often get forgotten. These include how to obtain the right glasses if you need them, how to keep the work free of grubby marks and other helpful tips. Choose your fabric, get the right threads and tools and then practice the stitches shown over the next few pages, including needle lace. Most of these are unique to Jacobean work and quite complex; they are explained with a single drawn diagram showing the stitch being done and with a few words on working. No, this is not a suitable book for total beginners but anybody who is au fait with embroidery and has made a few projects ought to be able to make something to be proud of. All the projects have been made into items other than pictures; there is a box, stool and several cushions and pillows instead. They are beautiful too, shining with vibrant colors in most cases or worked in monochromes or shades or ecru and featuring those lush florals admired in stately homes and museums. The instructions are detailed but aimed at intermediate and upwards stitchers on the whole, but nothing wrong with that as there are plenty of other books on this subject for beginners. This is a beautiful book that will make any embroiderer itch to start stitching but not because of any wool!

Reviews of other titles by Hazel Blomkamp

Needle Weaving Techniques For Hand Embroidery
Needle Lace Techniques For Hand Embroidery

Crewel Intentions (Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery)
Crewel Twists (Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery)
Crewel Creatures

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2012