Wool threads and winter skies - our Woollenflower collaboration

Today is the day that we bring you the beautiful collaboration with natural dye expert Jules from Woollenflower!  You can read a bit more about Jules and her workshops in my other blog post, but here I am focusing on the gorgeous wool embroidery threads that she has created for Beyond Measure.  

We decided to work on these together last year and after discussing the basics like thread type and quantities, I gave Jules free reign over the dyes to use in each palette, as I know she has a great eye and sense of colour.

We settled on Appletons crewel wool as a base as it is tried and tested for embroidery and also UK sourced and spun, then Jules got to work with her dye pots!

Horticulturalist and dyer Jules hopes to expand the commonly-held view that natural dyes give mostly soft yellows and browns and to create a range of colours that inspire people to see them differently. The two collections that Jules has created certainly do that!  I was so delighted to see the final results and the two collections:

Winter Skies: this set was inspired by the myriad shades of light and dark seen in Scotland's winter skies and was dyed with indigo, madder, oak, rhubarb root and walnut hull. 

Madder & Indigo Gradient - this set was dyed with two of the world’s oldest dyes, indigo and madder, and includes a gradient of blues and red-to-salmon. 

The threads are most suitable for embroidery and hand stitching.  They work beautifully on linen, canvas, cotton, felt and wool.  Each selection of 10 balls has been hand-packed in a beautiful and sustainable embossed Beyond Measure board storage box that can be reused for many years. 

Jules and I were keen to show you how the threads look when worked, so we both set to work on some little samples.

Jules used inspiration from the book Embroidery on Knitting by Britt-Marie Christoffersson to show how the threads can be used as a mend - she created a subtle woven chevron on this knitted cowl which could be used to reinforce work areas or small holes. The Madder and Indigo Gradient box was used for this piece:

Jules also got to work on a beautiful linen project bag (from Making Magazine issue 1) using the Winter Skies collection - it's just so pretty!

And finally Jules took on of the gorgeous motifs from Zakka Embroidery by Yumiko Higuchi and worked this sweet little blossom using the gradient set:

I stitched up some pieces over the summer too, inspired by our workshop with Claire Wellesley-Smith, I made a little stitch journal during my summer holiday in Devon - I used threads from both boxes for this:

I was also inspired by the designs in Beautiful Botanical Embroidery by Alice Makabe to stitch up a flower motif on some vintage linen and make some little covered buttons:


I really love sewing with wool and there is a wonderful warm finish and softness that you get with the matt finish.  I can't wait to get stitching up some more wintery designs too!

I do hope you love the boxes - they are quite limited in numbers so don't delay, but I do hope that we'll be working with the wonderful Jules again in the not too distant future!

You can find the thread boxes for sale here!


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