As you can well imagine, I have quite the collection of stitchy and art books, so I thought it’d be helpful if I did a book review of some of my favourites. This review covers “Crewel Intentions: Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery,” and it’s written by Hazel Blomkamp and published by Search Press.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission (such as from Amazon). Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality, and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I would never recommend something I wouldn’t use myself. 🙂
You will see in the video that I am actually working up one of her kits right now, the Pertinacity pattern as seen on the cover of the book. It’s so luscious, I am really enjoying the project, and learning so much. You can see what Hazel has available on her site right now as far as books, kits, patterns, etc here.
The pros of the book:
There are amazing detailed instructions for all the stitches you’ll need to complete each project in the book, and the full colour images are glorious. Hazel’s writing style is very easygoing and funny in spots, and she showcases an amazing range of patterns. Search Press books are always incredibly well put together, I highly recommend them. And the Pertinacity kit is great — needles, all the threads and flosses you need, and the printed fabric. All the items can be purchased together or individually, they are coming from South Africa so do be aware of shipping and duties costs you may incur.
The cons of the book:
Occasionally some of the instruction sections can’t be completed until you stitch the adjoining section of the pattern. That at first was a bit confusing but then once I understood what to do, I would just mark off in the book where I’d left off with the first section so I could easily go back to it when I’d finished the adjoining section. Often there are stitches that overlay the “seams” of two sections of the pattern, like you can see below with the different top stitched colours demarcating the various sections of the leaf.
So all in all, I’d highly recommend Crewel Intentions, particularly if you want to learn some new embroidery techniques or crewel work specifically. Please note that sometimes the pricing on Amazon can be a little wacky, so if the price doesn’t look right, try finding it elsewhere (aka it’s not $200 like some listings say, I paid around $25-30 for it). If you still can’t find it in stock anywhere, it is available currently from Hazel’s website (210 Rand is around $15 US). And if you want more book and stitchy materials recommendations, head on over to my Amazon Influencer shop, I have so many great books and such listed that you may also enjoy. 🙂