Monday, August 10

Two days at the Royal School of Needlework

Last October I signed up for a two day course at the Royal School of Needlework in July. As the date came closer, I began to get a little bit worried. The Inn where I booked a room, turned out to be quite far from Hampton Court Palace (where the RSN is located). I also wasn't sure whether I was 'good' enough to participate and whether I would fit in. Everything turned out fine though. Yes, the Inn wasn't close, but two busses and a short walk later, I arrived way too early at the Palace on a Thursday morning in July.

Armed with a visitors pass and following, what seemed to me, a maze-like route to the top floor (I'm easily confused) we found our way to the class room. The class room had an amazing view and it was a good thing I couldn't see much while seated, or it would have been quite a distraction.

The course was hosted by Nicola Jarvis and she did a wonderful job. Nicola was very patient (threaded my needle a zillion times) and helpful. And she was also honest when things didn't look fabulous. The whole atmosphere in class was friendly and relaxed which was really nice as well.
I had no experience with Crewelwork or Gold work and I'm glad to say that after the course I'm pretty confident stitching with wool now! I found Gold work a bit trickier so maybe I need to book another course someday to try and master the technique properly.

From the Couture Birds collection I chose the Starling. I think I was the only one in class who did. The other birds (I also bought the Green Woodpecker kit) were possibly more delicate in colour and appearance but I thought the Starling really had character and I liked the dark tones.

After the class ended on Friday I stayed in the UK for another two weeks (Wales and Cornwall) with my family and I continued working on my Starling project. This is the last photo I took of my progress.

I'm very happy that I took the plunge and decided to book the class at the RSN. Although I was already familiar with many of the stitches used for Crewel work, as they are the same in shading and 'regular' embroidery', stitching with wool is really a whole different experience. It also inspired me to think of doing projects on a bigger scale and/or stitching with other materials.

There are many classes available to book for this and next year at the RSN. You can check details here. The Couture Birds and other beautiful kits by Nicole Jarvis are available here.

p.s. a little reminder that the code for free shipping (FREESHADINGSHIPPING) on my Simply Shading Class ends on Wednesday!


  1. How amazing it is that you could attend the Royal School of Needlework. Such a privilege! I've always loved your work and enjoy your blog very much. Cheers!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you found your way there okay. I'm doing some crewel embroidery at the moment and you're right, it is different doing the same stitches in wool, the French knots I've been doing for example, aren't my best!

    1. Yes, I got there, had to change busses in Kingston :) I haven't tried French Knots yet, I will have to try that soon!

  3. Looks like you had a great time and learned a lot! I really want to do a RSN goldwork and crewel courses. My youngest starts school this Autumn so I am hoping I will finally get to go!!


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