The Apprenticeship

My Curriculum

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March 2018

After several months of experimenting and working my way into the basics of embroidery, time has come for the official start of my apprenticeship. However, since I am both student and teacher, looks as if I have to work out the curriculum, search for appropriate projects, prepare all the materials all by myself. For an inveterate autodidact like me not really a problem. I decided to simply start from scratch, working my way upward to the more challenging techniques and styles, including, however, only those I'm really interested in. That's why my curriculum will be determined by the various styles of embroidery.

Basically, there are two main types of hand embroidery: Counted Thread Embroidery and Surface or "Free-Style" Embroidery. The first one's the more basic one, that's why I'm going to start here in the following order:

  • Module I: Counted Thread Embroidery

Unit I.1: Counted Cross Stitch

Unit I.2: Assisi Work

Unit I.3: Colbert Embroidery

Unit I.4: Canvas Work

Unit I.5: Blackwork


  • Module II: Free-Style Embroidery

Unit II.1: Surface Embroidery in General

Unit II.2: Crewel Work

Unit II.3: Needlepainting

Unit II.4: Stumpwork

Unit II.5: Silk Ribbon Embroidery

I didn't include in my plans such techniques as Chicken Scratch, Cutwork, Whitework or Drawn Thread Work and the like, because I was of the mind that I don't like them. However, as things turned out, Drawn Thread and particularly Hardanger can be used to create wonderful art pieces - just have a browse through our Needle'n Thread Community on Facebook! So I think I will include them later, too. First, still, let's deal with the already existing endeavour. I reckon, it's ambitious enough.

My plan is this: every unit will consist of a Practice Piece of sorts, where I'll be practicing all the new stitches learnt in the respective technique, followed by a representative Sampler in the respective style. At the end of every module, I'll design a simple motif myself, which will be stitched repeatedly in every one of the various styles - a Recapitulating Sampler of sorts. My final project after finishing the whole course shall be one self-designed work (scene) in every covered style of embroidery respectively. Ambitious, eh? We'll see... In any case, you're welcome to follow me through the ups and downs of my apprenticeship!

Counted Cross Stitch

Assisi Embroidery

Colbert Embroidery

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