Since I don’t have a convenient, well-stocked local embroidery shop, and have discovered over the years that colours often don’t display well on screen, leading me to spend lots of money on the wrong thread, I now concentrate almost all my embroidery shopping around one event: The Knitting And Stitching Show in Harrogate. I had a wonderful weekend there last week, and even managed to take tea at Betty’s Tearooms, and to visit the Royal Pump Room Museum which had few items from Amarna, as well as a rather fabulous painted and embroidered screen from the early 1900’s.
It’s particularly useful when I am planning to branch out into a form of embroidery I’ve not tried before. There are always stallholders with a deep knowledge of the particular technique I have in mind, and they are always willing to talk, and share tips and ideas.
This time I am planning two or nué pieces, so my first stop (after buying some merino/possum blend wristwarmers from Jamie Possum) was to visit The Golden Hinde. I described what I had in mind, and soon had a spool of gold and a spool of silver to use for those pieces. Then on to the Pearsall’s Embroidery stand to buy the silk to couch it down with. I’m not sure how much I will need, so I bought one skein of each colour. Since these are single colour threads, I can re-order if I need to.
I also bought some more turban cotton and faience-coloured threads from Stef Francis and from Oliver Twist, and some silk threads to make another attempt at the Dig House. I’ve been looking for threads that resemble some of the other colours I will need for the Dreams of Amarna panels – the carnelian and jasper and other semi precious stones the Egyptians used, but some of those aren’t so easy to find. I am going to need to do some more reading in my references to get a clear idea of some of the colours I will need.
I’ve found I’ve bought more silk threads than cotton, this time around. All this work using silk for the Floral Glove Needlecase Course and the Tudor and Stuart Goldwork Masterclass is changing my habits!