Hi. I've also wanted to try crewel work for some time and have just bought a kit from Phillipa Turnbull's site (www.crewelwork.com). Great quality kits (wools/materials) and there are instructions in each kit to help with the stitches you need to use. On the site you can pick a kit for your respective level of crewel work experience if you wish. I've contacted Phillipa with a query and she is very helpful and service was great too! I'm sure there are lots of other sites but I just thought I'd share this info. Hope it helps.
Crewel is more about the actual stitches, rather than kits. As for fabric - Crewel is stitched on any dense weave fabric. I use a heavy calico for my crewel samplers and it works wonderfully well. The specialist counted thread fabrics do not work for crewel as they are too loosely woven.
I have written an article for beginner Crewel embroiderers - Five Crewel Embroidery Stitches
You will also need a sharp needle - I like a No. 9 embroidery needle but then I do a lot of very fine work. Crewel was traditionally worked in a fine wool (Appletons Crewel Wool is great) but it can be stitched using ordinary stranded thread, silk, or even perle thread. DMC used to have a non-stranded embroidery thread (I think it was Flower thread) that worked really well.
I love Crewel work - and it has so much scope.
Katherine Shaughnessy in"the new crewel" says that the traditional crewel fabric is linen twill and wool thread. It is kind of expensive and hard to find except on the web. I did a piece using a woven fabric and pearl cotton, I think. It is here:
There are lots of free crewel projects on the web. When I did mine I just picked several patterns I liked and made a circular design. Search fo Jacobean Crewel, too.
Hi there, As Megan has said Crewel embroidery is about the stitches. Inspiration magazine by Country Bumpkin (in Australia) have some very nice designs and they also have brought out a book called A-Z of Crewel Embroidery. Hope this helps. Enjoy! Deborah-Anne
I just won Hazel Blomkamp's new book 'Crewel Work', I can't wait for the postman, she has done several designs for Inspirations magazine and I'm so excited. Her book was previewed on Mary Corbet's blog and it looks so inviting and different, beads and silk threads, what fun.
Mandy I am going to check out the book you are talking about Thanks Girlfriend. I have been wanting to try crewel work.
Oh have fun Elaine, I've loads of designs that are already printed on either cotton or silk, I bought with me to England from another South African designer, I'm her agent in England. Beautiful big blousy flowers that you can just have fun and experiment with stitches and threads and beads and pearls. Bliss. I've nearly finished a fairly big design and need to put it on my priority list to get it finished then I'll share a photo.
Share what you have done. I love to see the process.I hope I can find this book.
Thanks Mandy Hugs Elaine