The RSN USA Summer School

Two years (2018) ago I attend the RSN (Royal School of Needlework) Summer School in Lexington, Kentucky, in the United States.

Enjoyed it a lot and learned to do blackwork and whitework and stumpwork. I also bought a couple kits to learn goldwork and broderie anglaise (more whitework.)

Whitework pulled thread stumpwork brooch. Design by Sarah Rickards.
Blackwork initial (I added the beads.) Design by Annalee Levin
Goldwork cherries. Design by Annalee Levin
Broderie anglaise thimble. Design by Zinaida Kazban

I was supposed to go again this year (2020.) They were planning to have the USA summer school every two years, but COVID-19 put a damper on that.

So I decided to take one of their online self-paced classes this summer. I signed up for the Introduction to Jacobean Crewelwork class.

Online self-paced embroidery class

The class was great! I learned the basics of crewel. It’s very interesting working with wool threads. They tend to break more easily than cotton after a few stitches.

My own effort, the crewel pomegranate.

One of the ways to keep the wool threads from breaking, is to keep the stitch on the surface as much as possible. This is done with stitches like the raised stem stitch. You first create a supporting grid of horizontal stitches. The stem stitches will then go vertically under the supporting horizontal stitches, NOT through the fabric.

Raised stem stitch.

Other stitches that help cover large areas with minimal trips through the ground cloth are the trellis stitch (inside the pomegranate) and the woven wheel in the center of the petals to the lower right side.

It was a great class, I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Deborah Wilding for teaching it!

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