By Judy Moore Pullen
Playtime is important for children as well as for those of us who have fond memories of being a child. Playtime offers opportunities to learn, relax, share time with others, or just enjoy the silence of our own company. One of the ways I love to play is with threads, and Colonial Needle Persian 100% Virgin Wool Yarn has become one of my favorite playtime threads.
We generally think of Persian Wool Yarn as being specifically used for needlepoint. And it truly is wonderful to use for just such a purpose. But I decided to separate the three strands of yarn and play with one strand in several different ways.
While rearranging my playroom/sewing studio to make room for a new sewing cabinet, I unearthed a UFO wool applique project that I had begun in the early 2000’s. I have a passion for wool applique, and was so excited to begin playing. Being a “process person,” the doing part is just as important as the completed project. I began by auditioning the rainbow of colors of yarn, against the burgundy-red wool berries that still needed to be appliqued. Selecting “American Red,” just a shade darker than the berries, I cut about an 18-inch length of Persian Wool Yarn, and stripped one strand from the section. I used a baby dot of Roxanne Glue Baste-It on the wrong side of a berry where I would not be stitching, and pressed the berry in place on the background. In preparation for stitching, I pressed Needle Grip-Its on the forefinger and thumb of my stitching hand. Using a John James Chenille Needle size 18, I began blanket stitching around a smaller-than-a-dime burgundy berry.
Oh, what fun to stitch and play with Persian wool yarn on wool! The larger shaft of a chenille needle opens the fibers of the wool applique piece, and allows the wool yarn to be more easily pulled through. I loved the process as well as the look of the finished berries.
That went well, so why not try using one strand of “Fawn Brown” for the stems holding the berries? Sometimes when I am unsure how certain threads will work with stitches, I will play on scraps of cloth first. But I was already so excited that I threw caution to the wind and began using a stem hand embroidery stitch for the berry stems. Again, I loved the process and final product.
Long ago, I had traced the design onto a background of osnaburg fabric. Small leaves were to be appliqued on each side of the stems. However, still in a playful mood, I decided to embroider the leaves, using one strand of Persian Wool Yarn “Green Apple.” I began a leaf next to the stem, by stitching one large lazy daisy stitch which served as the leaf outline. Then, I filled in with long and short stitches, somewhat like crewel embroidery. That went well, so I kept playing with needle and thread. The leaves took on dimension, and no two were exactly the same.
Playing with yarn to complete the stitching on this old UFO turned out to be so much fun. Colonial Persian Wool Yarn comes in so many beautiful colors. Selecting colors for my project was somewhat like being in a candy store. I loved the process as well as the finished project…well, almost finished. I am still hand quilting it with Presencia Perle Cotton size 8, while looking forward to working on other UFO’s and playing with needles, threads, and yarn.