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25th February 2022

New Beginnings, Vintage Crochet and Thread Substitutes

It’s already the end of February and while New Year seems like a distant memory, the excitement that arises from new beginnings and new projects can be experienced at any time. It doesn’t just have to be in early January! Several people wrote to us about what New Year means for them and how they intend to move forward as 2022 matures.

Lucy’s completed project

Inspired by our opening editorial ‘Start Line’ in All Stitched Up! issue #314, Lucy Byford shared her experience of using ‘stashed’ threads. She found a chart in a charity shop and, using a leftover piece of Aida fabric, she carefully substituted the Anchor threads listed for DMC threads from her stash. This is her completed project, which shows just what can be achieved with what you already have.

Beverly Atkins is facing a very different year this year. She wrote as she was waiting for a doctor’s appointment which she felt would probably change her life. However, inspired by our newsletter and feeling circumspect due to the news she expected to receive, she has decided to simplify her life.

Beverly is getting rid of clutter and only looking to do things she enjoys.

She has enough yarn and fabric to last a long time, which she’s going to use only on projects she gains joy from, not those that are a chore. Beverly said she’s thankful for the opportunity to really think about what she wants out of 2022. It can take great change for us to really take stock of what we are doing.

Helen Johnstone shared with us her aspirations for 2022. Like many of us, Helen is a magpie when it comes to materials, threads, patterns and kits, so she has set herself a goal of trying to use more of what she has rather than adding to her stash. It is an admirable goal and one many of us want to put in place. However, as Helen said, once the latest issue of Inspirations magazine slipped through the letterbox… well, she had to rethink slightly!

Mrunalini Nimbalkar wrote that, despite the challenges 2022 are already posing with the continuation of the pandemic, embroidery remains a constant for her. She has eight projects to finish as gifts that none of the lucky recipients know about yet. Mrunalini is very excited about them and is already anticipating the reactions. There are also unfinished projects from 2021 to see to, and new challenges to try from some of the books she purchased last year. 

She’s always looking for ways to improve and test her own skills, so 2022 is looking very bright.

Also in All Stitched Up! issue #314 we started a series on converting threads in response to several requests we had received from readers around the world. Renowned designer Trish Burr generously pointed us to a number of thread conversion charts that she has on her website.

There are charts for DMC, Anchor and Cosmo thread among others, all of which were produced specially for Trish by Kristina Toth. Trish said they took many months to compile, are highly accurate and are free for all readers to use.

‘The Ballet Braid’ by Theresa Forsman

Finally, back in All Stitched Up! issue #313 we asked about uses for vintage crochet and doilies. Theresa Forsman is another person who loves vintage embroidery as she says it is a storehouse of women’s history and creativity. Sometimes she salvages the embroidery or crochet from linen that is stained or torn, upcycling it into new artwork. You can see from the images of Theresa’s work how effective it is.

‘Pieces of her Past’ by Theresa Forsman

Terry Mullen also reuses vintage pieces. This is an ornament that she made from a piece of bobbin lace she had inherited from a friend. She stitched it onto a piece of green velvet, added real pearls from some broken jewellery, then padded the board with satin taken from the lining of an old coat. What a wonderful use of old materials!

Terry Mullen’s ornament

Whether you’re repurposing vintage embroidery, reusing items in your stash or rethinking your year ahead, we would love you to tell us about it

And if anyone has ideas for articles they would like to see, let us know that too! Our job is to bring needlework happiness and inspiration to your inbox each week, so we never get tired of hearing from you all.

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