Too Crewel

Over the weekend my mother-in-law and I went to a workshop in crewel led by Katherine Shaughnessy, the author of The New Crewel, at Make Workshop in NYC.


I’m actually not one to try each and every craft out there, but there is something about crewel, which is embroidery done with wool on linen, that I’ve been attracted to for a long time. Once I saw the beautiful abstract designs in Katherine’s book when it came out a few years ago, I knew it was just a matter of time before I gave it a try, so this workshop was a no-brainer for me.

In the workshop, we went over the basic stitches to get started on a sampler. I chose some different shades of yellow wool to work with, and though I still have a way to go, I’m loving how it looks.


I think it’s the way that wool is such a forgiving fiber that makes crewel so great—instead of perfect stitches, it’s more about the organic shapes. Katherine has done a lot to bring crewel into the mainstream, and she now sells the hard-to-find supplies on her website Wool & Hoop.

I guess I’ve had stitching on my mind this whole year—later this month I’ll be adding the first cross-stitch pattern to the Mochimochi Shop! (More on that soon!)

7 thoughts on “Too Crewel

  1. That looks really fun! I am sooooo bad at embroidery though! I love the cover on her book… what are they? Corals or something?

  2. Your sampler is going to be so pretty! I have to cut out a few of my samples as I’ve now changed my color palette for the third time. I meant to ask her what crewel kits she got from Ebay. I’m going to look and see. Good luck with the rest! (I bet the kitties would love to play with crewel wool.)

  3. Somewhere in the depths of my crafting room I have a crewel kit, but for whatever reason I never got into it. I love doing cross-stitch though.

  4. Ohhhh… just saw that you actually went to a workshop! Cool! I might want to try it. I wanted to ask a couple of questions please, if thats ok! :)

    Would you recommend it to someone who ins’t the most patient person? (That’s why I knit toys lol!)

    Is it time consuming?

    Could you possibly use it on knitted toys or bags and the like?

    Hope I didn’t bombard you with too many questions… I am very interested in any kinds of new fiber crafts! Thank you so much! :)

  5. Good questions, all of them!

    I’m still just a beginner with crewel of course, but the sense I get is that it maybe doesn’t require quite as much patience as traditional embroidery. But it’s very different from knitting of course, so I suppose it requires a different kind of patience.

    Katherine has kits available on her website, so I would recommend getting one of those if you’re interested and giving it a try.

    I can definitely see using wool thread to embellish knitted things, just as you can with other embroidery. Sounds like you already have some interesting ideas!

  6. Thanks so much! Yeah the kits are a good idea… I always like trying new things. Thank you!!! :)

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