RSN Crewelwork Animals and Insects

Wow, it's been a while since I've updated this. I went on holiday to Berlin (photos in later post) and picked up a lurgy, since then I have just felt like hiding in bed reading...

Before that, I went to a Jacobean Crewelwork day course at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, concentrating on animals and insects and led by Becky Hogg. It all started off quite chaotically as we were left in the waiting room for half an hour due to an admin mix up. Once we had found the classroom, we were given a huge amount of animal, insect and tree images to choose from to build up our piece, as Becky gave a detailed history of the technique. Once we had arranged our chosen images, we decided on the stitches to use.

We then traced the image onto our fabric using a lightbox (not simple as it was hard to see the lines, so my fox and deer ended up less delicate than I intended!) and chose our wool colours - most of us chose three colours then several shades of each colour so there were no gaps in each colour range.

Becky then taught us the stitches we would need. This was really interesting as it turned out I had been doing many stitches in a completely different way than the RSN recommend! I had no idea you are only supposed to do one loop for french knots fpor example, so if you would normally do 4 loops, you use 4 strands in the needle and do one loop instead - it definitely makes the stitch much neater. There were so many stitches to practice that I stitched hardly any of my actual design and shamefully haven't done any of it since I got home. I can add it to the goldwork squirrel that I haven't finished from the last day school I went to! I hope I can still remember the stitches when I go back to it.

I really wish the RSN was nearer, I would love to do their Certificate or Diploma course. Sadly I am not a fan of 6am starts or dealing with Clapham Junction train station :(

Here is the Palace in the cold early morning:


  1. I love your design - it would be great to see the fox and bird when they are done

  2. I love your design - it would be great to see it when it's finished!