Bibliography and suppliers
Via Laurie has been involved in the embroidery world for the past 15 years and has taught cross stitch, ribbon embroidery, canvas work, goldwork and crewel embroidery. Specializing in various forms of embroidery, she is currently busy with a Master Craftsman Course in canvas work through the American Embroiderers' Guild. She started the Helderberg Embroiderers' Guild seven years ago and chaired it for five years. She is current chair of the Cape Embroiderers' Guild and regularly gives talks on canvas work, goldwork, crewel work and 17th century samplers at several guilds in the Cape Province. Via runs her own business hand-dyeing embroidery thread under the label Chameleon Threads, distributing to shops all over South Africa as well as Australia, New Zealand, Norway, France and the UK. This is her fourth book.
Stitch:Space-dyed threads are very tempting - but using them effectively can be a challenge. Unlike variegated threads, which are machine dyed and have definite blocks of colour, space-dyed threads (machine or hand-dyed) are more subtle as the colours bleed into each other - and where they meet, a new colour is formed.The projects in this book really make use of the properties of space-dyed threads. On canvaswork, a single stitch such as cushion stitch is used to great effect, and the nuances of colour found in a single skein work beautifully in blackwork. Hardanger, Casalguidi, crewelwork, stumpwork and ribbon embroidery all benefit from the gentle hues, and the spectacle case and evening bag by Gay Booysen are quite delightful.This gorgeous book will encourage you to sue some of those mouth-watering threads you've been hoarding...or even give you an excuse to buy some more!Waterstones Newsletter:This is a beautifully presented book, packed with beautiful projects, using beautiful colours, beautiful threads! An introduction explains the qualities and uses of different threads, and how best to take care of them, followed by different effects that can be achieved using different techniques. Additional tips are included throughout the book, and the personal tone of voice makes reading the instructions more interesting than the usual practical project book.The book includes a wide range of small to medium-sized embroidery projects in various techniques, including blackwork, canvaswork, casalguidi, freestyle, hardanger, crewel, stumpwork, and more, with a brief introduction to each. Although step-by-step instructions and clear charts, diagrams and photos are provided for each project, they are not aimed at the beginner, rather a stitcher who already has some experience, and is perhaps looking to learn or experiment with some different techniques. In that sense, it is a great introduction and actually covers a bit of a gap in the market. I did expect something slightly different (/more?) from this book, though. Perhaps I was expecting something a little less project-based. The projects do showcase the space-dyed threads used to wonderful effect, but it is not a comprehensive guide to using them (although an introduction is of course better than nothing!), nor is it a reference guide to the stitch techniques covered, explaining only as much as you need to know to stitch the projects. However, as an intermediate to advanced project book it is full of the highest quality, inspirational designs and photography, and it is a great sampler for any stitcher who enjoys trying out something a little bit different, in terms of both materials and technique.N.B. The author, from South Africa, hand-dyes her own threads which are used in the projects throughout. I was surprised not to find details of a UK supplier included, but I managed to locate a UK stockist here: http://www.polstitchesdesigns.co.uk/chameleon.htm. They are very subtly coloured, and worth seeking out (but you could substitue different brands with a lttle initiative).Meg-online:Via Laurie brings a new slant onto traditional techniques with this beautifully illustrated book. All the well known methods of traditional stitching are shown but given a new and subtle twist by her use of space-dyed threads. She covers such old favourites as Castlegaudi, Blackwork, Goldwork, Hardanger, Ribbon-work and stumpwork and makes these old techniques sing with colour. The stitched examples are inspiring and the methods are explained in clear photographs which make them easy to follow. There are also projects to try which incorporate leaves, flowers and other botanical sources. This book would be of interest to the traditional stitcher who would like to bring new ideas to techniques she loves and also to people who would like to learn how stitching has been done in the past. Myshelf.com: There are lots of beautiful single color yarns around, but why stick to these when variegated yarns offer even more possibilities? Whatever your chosen embroidery style you can find inspiration in this book for augmenting your work using these lovely yarns. This really is a stunning book that I have spent many happy hours poring over. The projects are gorgeous, showing how versatile and attractive these yarns really are. Don't expect just the usual freestyle and counted thread styles to be represented either, as here you can find such delights as Casalguidi, goldwork, crazy patchwork and Jacobean to name a few. Picking a favorite made me ponder between my own inevitable choice of goldwork and the crazy patchwork. This shows how you can join together oddments of pretty patterned cloth with fancy stitches and adorn it even further. Was recycling ever more pleasing to the eye or fun to do? If you were a beginner I would not tend to recommend this book, but anybody who is reasonably au fait with at least three or four of the styles will find plenty of food for thought. Instructions are clear and show photographs of stitches or techniques being done, so although it is not exactly a step-by-step process, with every tiny thing shown large and in full color, most pieces are well within the ability of many embroiderers. Buy it and see-a book to grow into, and use to inspire many masterpieces. A lavishly illustrated book featuring a selection of beautiful projects and ten traditional embroidery techniques including goldwork, stumpwork ribbon embroidery and canvas work. In some form or other embroidery has been part of mankind almost since recorded history and remains ever popular. New ways are always found to enhance age-old techniques and the use of space-dyed threads is one of them. These threads are very tempting to knitters and embroiderers, but using them effectively can be a challenge. The book includes embroidery styles that work particularly well with these exquisite threads. It will give those of you with embroidery machines lots of ideas and inspiration and the book includes templates and diagrams plus a comprehensive stitch gallery.-Machine Knitting Monthly What a useful book, informative about how threads are dyed, well illustrated with beautiful examples of embroidery to motivate you to have a go. A good style of writing that made it easy to follow the techniques. Such good value too, ten different ways of embroidering to utilise your threads. A must for any stitchers bookshelf.-West Country Embroiderers Via Laurie aims to show how, by taking traditional embroidery methods, and working them with space-dyed threads instead of those usually employed, new and vibrant techniques evolve. Space-dyeing is the practice of hand-painting a skein of yarn with colours that segue into each other in a pleasing fashion...before a primary red becomes a primary blue, many different shades of purples, indigos, violets could occur. Each skein is individual, and may be non-repeatable. This is a volume with the 'wow' factor. Every page has colourful photos of exquisite embroideries especially created to illustrate the clear and prescriptive text. There are copious images explaining both the intricacies and detail of the techniques, and the finished pieces. The glorious images of silk, rayon and cotton space-dyed threads are so real I wanted to handle them! The book is aimed at embroiderers of all skill levels: there is a wealth of general information on fabric, threads, equipment, storage and care that gives the novice a sound introduction, and serves as a reminder to the more proficient. There is a comparison with variegated yarns and an explanation of why 'space-dyeing' as a technique produces a thread that is versatile and unique, even if slightly more costly. Among the projects detailed are a canvaswork pincushion and scissors-keeper, a Casalguidi box lid, a crazy patchwork phone pouch, and a Jacobean cushion. The book concludes with a comprehensive stitch glossary complete with diagrams, and a short bibliography. This is the first book dealing solely with this topic, and as such it should settle nicely into its niche. It is colourful, instructive, and clearly set out.-Journal for Weavers Spinners & Dyers This is one for the embroiderers amongst you. Fabulous photographs and good, clear instructions, this book is packed full of different stitches and methods for using them. Via started her business dyeing and selling threads in 2001 and now they are sold all over the world. Space dyed threads offer exciting design possibilities with their subtle colour changes and sheen. There is a selection of projects together with templates, diagrams and a comprehensive stitch gallery.-Fabrications