Announcing a February Stitch-a-Long

The latest newsletter from The Attic Needleworks has been published today. Jean has announced a new SAL for Mary Clayton.
This is what Jean says:
“I wanted to schedule this for January, but knowing the difficulty we have had in gathering supplies, with the Holidays only weeks away and lots of suppliers’ closures, we will begin on February 1. With the purchase of the $133 kit (chart, 37ct linen with 3”+ borders, and Au Ver A’Soie silk) and if you complete this sweet quick-to-stitch sampler by April 1, you will receive a 20% custom-frame discount and you will be eligible for a drawing to have your sampler framed for free by our very talented framer at The Attic, Sandy.
We are kitting this with Au Ver A’Soie silks and 37ct Legacy Linen, a beautiful new linen that we’ve fallen in love with and we think that you’re going to love it as well! If you want the 52/60 linen”
Are you going to join in?
Click HERE for the newsletter. 

Two new releases

On December 1st we launch our 2018 Christmas release, the beautiful Hariet Hartland 1782.


We are very excited about Hariet, she is stunning. Please visit her webpage for more details.

Our second release is the sweet Mary Clayton. She is delightful!!


We hope you enjoy these two samplers, the last of our releases for 2018. Hands Across the Sea Samplers would like to thank all our customers for their patronage this year and wish them a very Merry Christmas. Here is a small gift of thanks O Holy Night Christmas 2018 , a small chart to download


O Holy Night Christmas 2018


Elizabeth Charlotte Cotton 1753

I have just uploaded a new flosstube video that showcases the reproduction of Elizabeth Charlotte Cotton 1753 on behalf of Miss Jean Lea and The Attic Needleworks. The model has been exquisitely stitched by Bhooma Aravamudan . I also discuss lacing and framing samplers. Storage systems and colour selection. The original When Thou Art Rich is featured. I hope you enjoy my ramblings.



Woad and MH 1656

I posted this photo on the weekend which shows the vibrant blue found on the original sampler. It is quite amazing that the colour is so strong centuries (1656 !!) after it was dyed.

The dye most probably used was woad.

Since ancient times, woad was an important source of blue dye and was cultivated throughout Europe, especially in Western and Southern Europe. 

Woad was one of the three staples of the European dyeing industry, along with weld (yellow) and madder (red

Woad has a long association with East Anglia, the land of the Iceni tribe and of its famous leader Boudicca. The plant whose deep blue pigment was used as a warpaint by the ancient Britons to frighten their enemies

Woad was not used only for textile dyes and, for example the illustrators of the Lindisfarne Gospels (late 7th/early 8th century) used a woad-based pigment for the blue.

In medieval times there were important woad-growing regions in England, Germany and France. Towns such as Toulouse became prosperous from the woad trade. 

The blue threads in the Bayeux Tapestry were dyed using woad and the blue in the tapestry is the only colour not to have faded in more than 900 years. 

In England woad cultivation became strictly regulated in the late 1500s in a period of food shortage leading up to the famine of 1586 and concerns that too much land was being devoted to woad rather than to cereals. Queen Elizabeth I issued a “Proclamation against the sowing of woade” on 14 October 1585

The dye chemical extracted from woad is indigo, the same dye extracted from “true indigo”, Indigofera tinctoria, but in a lower concentration. 

When woad leaves are harvested, in July and September, they are washed and heated in hot water for several minutes. The blueish water is then mixed with chalk and left to settle. A blue paste is left after the water is poured off and this, when dry, can be ground into a fine powder to be used in paints, dyes and ink-making.

Clothes dyed with woad indigo at first appear yellow, but as they dry they turn green, then turquoise then finally deep blue.

Although woad has not been grown in the UK commercially since the 16th century, it was produced in Lincolnshire during the 1920s and 1930s to provide dye for Royal Air Force uniforms, before the adoption of synthetic colourings.

Finishing stitches – MH 1656 My Beloved’s Gift – The Stitch-a-Long Video 2

Finishing stitches where there is no laid stitch to hide them AND a BONUS clip at the very end. A sneak peak of a gorgeous and vibrant antique sampler that HATS will be reproducing.

PLEASE NOTE: there is a difference in visibility between the two pin stitches. The one that the needle has split the laid stitch on the front is a much better finish. The other one has pushed the laid stitch to the side. Practice and play around with how your manipulate your needle. This is nit picking but there is a slight difference that I feel is worth going the extra to achieve. 

Please click HERE