PieceWork Fall 2021

PieceWork is the only magazine for those who love all things made by hand and the history behind them. Every issue explores the life and work of traditional needleworkers, takes an in-depth look at historical needlework techniques, and gives instructions for making heirloom-quality projects of your own.

United States
Long Thread Media LLC
R 159,38
R 558,22
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min

During times of intense cultural upheaval—be it war, pandemic, or modernization—needlework has often acted as an agent for change, stood as a record of events, and provided very personal statements of lived experience. One of the things I find most interesting about these periods of tumult is that it can encourage makers in very different ways. Some may look to the past for inspiration and comfort, others to a future filled with new materials and ideas—or both! With explosive scientific advances and dramatic population shifts, the changes felt during the Victorian era are seen in textiles from around the world. The cheerful ticking-work embroidery on the cover of this issue, stitched by Colleen Formby and based on an 1863 pattern, was designed to be simple, colorful, and quick. But the Victorian…

3 min
by post

Treasured Vest I just finished the article in the Summer 2021 issue about argyle socks that the author’s grandmother had knitted [“Mid-Century Argyles: Connections to the Past” by Erika Zambello]. Here’s a picture of the argyle vest my mother, Peg, made for my father, Joe, in the summer of 1949 right after they became engaged. She was a grade school teacher in Massachusetts during the school year. She and several friends would rent a cottage and work at a restaurant in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, for the summer. My father and his buddies would often visit on the weekends. My father remembers seeing her knitting on the beach with all the bobbins hanging from her work—a labor of love! I believe that the yarn is sportweight and 100% wool. The blocks…

1 min

Stitcher’s Guide Stash a Cross Stitch Key from It’s Sew Emma in your bag. It conveniently helps cross-stitchers count threads, on 10- to 32-count cloth, and take quick measurements with its corner guide. Plus, you can use this tool to reference the recommended needle size and floss strands for common counts of fabric. itssewemma.com Timeless Winder The Highlander Nøstepinne in persimmon wood from The Dancing Goats features the fern-shaped patterns commonly known as Lichtenberg figures, making it truly one of a kind. Use this traditional Scandinavian tool for winding center-pull balls of yarn in the old way. thedancinggoats.etsy.com Tying Trims Try your hand at making knotted embellishments for clothing, just as they did in the eighteenth century. Use Burnley & Trowbridge’s genuine bone shuttle for crafting decorative knots or fashioning elegant fringes. Shuttle shown measures…

6 min
the long thread

How did you become a knitter? As a little girl of three or four years old, I saw my mother knitting all kinds of underwear, sweaters, and cardigans for me and my little brother. The fact that from two needles and some woolen thread a whole garment could be produced was so intriguing that I wanted to be able to do that, too—at least for my doll. So my mother taught me how to knit on two steel needles with some cotton thread—the most awful combination you can imagine. But after a lot of angry crying and fallen stitches, I managed to produce a little, straight piece of knitting that I could wrap around my doll. After high school, I received a textile arts degree, and I taught textile arts for…

4 min
mauchline ware

I began collecting Mauchline ware because of my Scottish heritage and a lifelong passion for all things related to needlework. Mauchline (pronounced mawk-lin) is a small town in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Two of the things Mauchline is most known for are the National Burns Memorial Homes, dedicated to the poet Robert Burns, and the birthplace of the Victorian-era tourist souvenirs known as Mauchline ware. FROM SNUFF TO SOUVENIRS In the late 1700s, skilled woodworkers in Mauchline began making small wooden boxes for storing snuff. Made from the cream-colored, tightly grained wood from the local sycamore trees, these boxes were decorated with handpainted or inked designs and finished with multiple coats of amber-colored varnish for shine and durability. Later, the designs were applied using time-saving paper transfers. However, by the 1820s, demand for snuffboxes…

6 min

In September 1918, subscribers were receiving the new issue of Needlecraft magazine, and the end of World War I was just six weeks away. But in the magazine, the war’s impact was evident in a full-page ad for nurses and in the “devastated France” letters and quilts. On the magazine’s cover was a dainty garment any woman could create “at very slight expense.” All she had to do was buy the cap and gown patterns, but the tatting instructions were provided. In 1918, tatting knowledge and skills were assumed. The pattern called for size 50 crochet thread, which is no longer commonly available at craft stores or online. Likewise, tatting knowledge is required to translate the one-hundred-year-old instructions into modern terms, resolve ambiguities, and figure out misprints, such as the fact…