Applying Crewel Embroidery over Hooking

To take some of the starkness away from all the stone work in the arch and flagstones, I decided to add some flowers on top of the finished hooking. As I mentioned in the last post, I had done this once before on an English Cottage tea cozy and really liked the effect (see previous post for photo). With that in mind, I purchased a large ball of variegated wool that moved through pink, to mauve to red purple, to blue….all colours already used in my piece. DSCN1866I rolled off the pink into several small balls of various shades of pink (this is what is left over now that I’m done), then using a blunt ended large needle, I made french knots on top of the hooking to create some window boxes of flowers. I started with a knot on the back, using 3 loops for the french knot, I made the french knots, then knotted the tail on the back  (just as you would in embroidery).  For the leaves, I used a 3 cut of green, hooked large loops amongst the flowers, then cut the loops …….DSCN1834 ………to create the leaves.DSCN1835I made sure the shank of each (french knot) flower was loose enough to let the knot sit comfortably on top of the hooking. By inserting the hook gently between the rows, it’s amazing how much you can add over the hooking.

I wanted a large vine to run up the wall of the arch on the right, but I felt I needed a pattern to follow so it would be balanced and look right……hmmmm…..what could I use? I glanced at the bureau and saw a roll of toilet paper left there after a “kitty mishap clean-up”.  That might work!

I rolled out the length, used a sharpie to gently sketch the vine, and then pinned it in place.DSCN1836

I think you can buy ‘tear away  stuff’ at the fabric store for this sort of purpose, but I’ll bet my solution was cheaper, and readily available.

Many, many years ago, my craft of choice was crewel work. Was there still some crewel wool amongst my stash of supplies? Yes indeed, and I was actually able to find it.DSCN1840I even had a variety of browns to choose from. Using a needle with not such a blunt end, I began making the vine using a chain stitch right over top of the pattern.DSCN1841….. as I progressed, I realized I didn’t have enough of the brown to do the whole vine, so I switched to a split stitch . (doesn’t use nearly as much wool). Actually I liked that stitch better, and wished I’d started with it, but decided not to try and rip out what I’d done. I was afraid that was a recipe for disaster.DSCN1846DSCN1843I think the flowers and leaves will hide the difference in the stitches. It was then a simple matter to rip away  the toilet paper, and use tweezers to take out the small pieces caught in the wool. (you can still see a few pieces near the top that I missed….they’re gone now).

The flowers were once again french knots, this time made with 4 or even sometimes 5 loops on the needle so they would be bigger. I let them  shade over from the pinks into the mauves. DSCN1850

I tried doing individual small prodded leaves, but they frayed trying to pull them through. I removed those and went back to the cut high loops. I found a piece of left over dip dyed wool in a yellow green.DSCN1854…..using a 4 cut I divided the strips in three for light medium and dark leaves, then after pulling them with high loops, I cut them on a sharp angle to make them a little more realistic.DSCN1862

I’ve some final touches to add…some extra brown on the stem to hide the chain stitch loops, and some earth at the base  and a bit wider stem there.DSCN1858

My favourite part is the three dimensional effect of the vine sitting on top of the wall.

So after more than a year  (working on and off) it is done. (I think).  I haven’t decided if I will add a vine on the balcony door…to add or not to add….that is the question! DSCN1865 2…..of course the finishing is next…(my least favourite part of any piece). I’m always mentally planning my next hooking adventure while I do that.

Thanks for stopping by.

8 thoughts on “Applying Crewel Embroidery over Hooking

  1. You are a genius!! And a very great sharer. These touches take this exceptional piece to a whole different level. Well done, my friend, well done!!!

  2. Elizabeth – it is absolutely stunning and so much detail – amazing to see how a little bit of this and a little bit of that changes and adds so much to it.

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