A work bag embroidered with knotted thread

embroidery couching

Wrapping the started ends through the back of the embroidery to tack them down.

I decided I just had to make something that I could embroider using the knotted thread I was making with the knotting shuttles I recently purchased.  It seemed fitting to make a work bag to store the thread and shuttles in.

For the knotted threads, I used crochet thread in size 3.  I wanted it to be a little thicker because the embroidery floss I had first practiced with seemed flimsy and thin.  Knotting with the crochet thread was much easier to do and definitely looked much nicer.  I’m still a little hesitant to put the knots too close together, but once I get used to how things look or work out I should be able to have fun varying the spacing.

I decided to try a few different techniques.  I have never done couching before, so I practiced on one side by couching the letter “G” using crochet thread and cotton floss, and then working satin stitch around the crochet thread with embroidery floss to cover it.  I also used a quick fern stitch for the little wreath pattern around the G.

For the other side, I used both knotted crochet thread and regular crochet thread.  I tried different patterns of knots when I made the knotted thread to see how they worked together, and I also used regular embroidery stitches for filler.  I used a cross stitch, fern stitch, seed stitch, and french knots.

I had a blast with this project.  I can honestly say that I am addicted to this type of embroidery.  It’s just so much fun to mix so many textures and types of embroidery.  It makes me look forward to working with other things like ribbon!

I’m not going to go into too much detail here since I will most likely create a page for this item in my costume gallery.  I also had a few people really looking forward to seeing what it was I was doing with this knotting shuttle thing I have been going on about.  It can be hard to explain to people, so it’s just best to show them! 😉

Here are some photos:

embroidery couching

Outlining the G by couching with crochet thread. Later, I went back over it with satin stitches using embroidery floss.

knotted thread embroidery couching

My first attempt at couching knotted thread made from the knotting shuttles. I looked at the knotting section in the 18th Century Embroidery Book, by Gail Marsh for some ideas for filler stitches.

couching embroidery

The finished "G" embroidery. It was first couched with crochet thread, and then I used regular embroidery floss to cover it with satin stitches. The fern stitch part in blue is regular embroidery floss as well. I'm not as happy with this side, but it was great practice.

18th century work bag with embroidery and knotting shuttles

The finished work bag for storing the knotting shuttles and thread. I decided to make it a spade shape. I need to get wider ribbon, but it will be white as well.

18th century work bag with embroidery and knotting shuttles

The other side of the knotting shuttle bag.


Work bag for knotting shuttles and embroidery

The bag with the drawstring ribbons closed. I think it will be handy to hang off of my left wrist while I'm working with the knotting shuttles. The knotted ends of thread will go in the bag so they're not dangling on the floor. A wider ribbon should make it just comfy and close nicely.


About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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3 Responses to A work bag embroidered with knotted thread

  1. I love the first photo! It’s so soothing to me.

    I kind of understood how the knotted thread would work with embroidery, but when I saw the white rose coming along, it really clicked! It really makes flowers pop out and gives them great line weight and depth.

    I can’t wait to see other designs with knotting that you do.

  2. Thanks Christopher! I’ll have to try knotted thread as a filler sometime 😀

  3. Jaci says:

    How wonderful to finally see the knotting on a project. I don’t think I had ever seen this before – or maybe just had never understood what I had seen. I love the dimension it gives to the rose. The whole project is such a treat to see.

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