Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wool Capes

A friend recently visited The Textile Museum in Washington, DC and sent me some photographs of what she saw. I thought you, too, would enjoy seeing some unusual wool clothing, so here are the pictures for you to see.

The top picture is a Turkish shepherd wearing the traditional wool felt cape called a "kepenek".

The second picture is a traditional felt burka from the Daghestan region of Russia in the southwestern part of the country.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas

The AZ Heirloom book is due in February and we already have lots of pre-orders. In January, we'll be getting the new Ottobre spring issue as well as the next Inspirations magazine. Pictures and additional informationwill be posted as soon as we get them.

We are making a change with our Appleton crewel wools. Over the next few months, we will be transitioning from the twisted skein to the more conventional straight wrap skeins.

Finally , we want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A-Z of Heirloom Sewing

We just found out that Country Bumpkin will soon be releasing its 20th book in the highlyl acclained A-Z series of books. This one will be A-Z of Heirloom Sewing. We've already pre-ordered several copies and have been told to expect it in February. If you are interested, let us know, so we can be sure to have enough.

Here's what they are saying about it:

Add an extra special touch to christening gowns, children’s clothes, wedding dresses and delicate garments with this comprehensive book, suitable for all skill levels.
Over 840 step-by-step photographs and detailed instructions will help you...
Discover machine and hand sewing techniques, from basic to advanced
Choose the right fabrics, laces and trims
Learn more about the correct tools and equipment
Achieve a perfect finish with handy hints and tips

Friday, November 13, 2009

Australian Smocking & Embroidery #89

AS&E issue #89 just arrived minutes ago.
In this issue you'll find.........

two damask dresses
a baby girl's dress made of batiste
a journal cover with beaded flowers
an older girl's dress in broderie anglaise
a square yoke dress
a voile gown and petticoat
a knit top with smocked yoke
a dress with smocked bodice

This issue will be on our website shortly. In the meantime, contact us directly if you want one.

Make Your Own Blanket Binding

Years ago I drafted a pattern, i.e. directions, on how to make your own blanket binding out of fabric. The idea is to coordinate the blanket with the room decor or a theme. Store bought blanket bindings don't offer many options.

Now I've decided to make them available to everyone. They'll be included in my monthly newsletter, but I thought I'd start right here. All you need is wool blanket fabric or an old wool blanket that needs refurbishing, make your own binding and you've got a blanket ready to use.

If you'd like the instructions, just let me and I'll send them to you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspirations #64

Inspirations magazine issue #64 just arrived. Subscriber copies will be in the mail tomorrow.
The cover also reads: "Grannies, Babies, and afternoon tea!"

Some of the projects in this issue are:

Special Occasions: a small teddy bear tea cosy
Snug as a Bug: sleeping suits for baby
Beaded Beauty: a classical silk bag
Sweet Treat: a cupcake blanket
some Irish lace
a sailor cap
and lots more.........

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Ottobre Design magazine - Winter 2009

We just got the cover picture and details about the soon-to-be-released children's winter issue.

The new OTTOBRE design® kids fashion Winter issue 6/2009 will be published on October 23, 2009.
This issue includes thirtynine (39) patterns for kids in sizes 56-170 cm.
The themes are:
WINTER ADVENTURE: A cute collection for babies’ winter adventure. Lined pants, a furry-knit vest, a warm jacket, a winter bodysuit, T-shirts and a retro romper. Sizes 56/62-92 cm
HAPPY SNOW: Children have great fun playing out of doors after a snowfall. Three tunics, a skirt and two different pairs of pants plus various coats for girls. A quilted bodywarmer, outdoor pants and a warm sweat jacket for boys. Sizes 86-158 cm
NIGHT OWLS: Pajamas and nightdresses for very young and slightly older night owls. The little children’s striped jersey pajamas are pepped up with appliqués. Schoolchildren will be delighted by pajamas with a reindeer appliqué, a feminine nightdress and a camisole and pants set. Sizes 92-128 cm and 134-170 cm
SPECIAL DAYS: A fabulous collection for festive occasions in the holiday season. A dress, a skirt, a pinafore dress, a blazer, a wool-knit jacket and a jersey blouse for girls. Dress shirts, dress pants and a jacket for young gentlemen. Sizes 92-128 cm and 128-170 cm

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Big Move

In just 2 days the movers arrive and we move everything in our house 150 miles southeast of here. Hopefully, you Wooly Thread aficionados won't even notice. The moving van pulls out of here on Tuesday afternoon and delivers to our new house on Wednesday morning. If all goes as smoothly as planned, you'll never know the difference. However, life does have a way of interrupting the best laid plans, so we shall see how it goes.

Inspirations magazine is on its way to us and should be arriving just a few days after we move to our new environs. Hopefully, there will be no problems with the new address. We'll post pictures as soon as we get them.

Also, the children's winter issue of Ottobre Design magazine will be released later this month. I should be getting pictures and info about this issue very shortly, so check back next week for more updates.

For those of you who are reading our blog, here's an early news release and you're the very first to know. I won't put this in the newsletter until the time gets closer, but here it is for you blog followers..................

For many reasons, we have decided not to participate in the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup this coming year. We've been there every year for about 7 years, but it just seems that it is time to let that go - at least for this coming year.

That's it for now.......check back soon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ottobre Woman

Ottobre Woman magazine arrived last week. What a great issue this is! See our recent post for more info on this issue.
Has anyone made anything from this issue? When you do, let us know. We'd love to see pictures of your creations from the Ottobre designs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine #88

AS&E issue #87 has just arrived. Subscriber copies will be in the mail tomorrow morning.

Here's what you'll find in this issue:

Sandpiper - a ruffled sundress - sizes 3, 4, 5 years

Cherry Sunday - classic square yoke dress - sizes 3, 4, 5 years

Angel - exquisite dress for first communion or confirmation - sizes 6, 8, 10, 12 years

Red Birds - cotton dress with picture smocked birds - sizes, 2, 3, 4, 5 years

Bebe Bleu - baby boy's romper with embroidered collar - sizzes. 3, 6,12 months

Blush - party dress with tatted lace and embroidery - sizes 5, 6, 7 years

Peek-a-Boo - baby girl's dress in micro check - sizes 6, 12, 18, 24 months

Reflections - beaded evening purse and matching silk wrap

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ottobre Woman - Fall/Winter 2009

Here's an early look at the newest Ottobre Woman magazine. It will be sent out later this month.

This issue includes twenty (20) patterns for women (European sizes 34-52) - wool coats, tunics, skirts, pants, tops, dresses, a classic shirt blouse, a cardigan and a wool scarf. Also beautiful jacket, skirt and a top for special occasions. To top it all, we also included much requested patterns for underwear as well as outdoor outfit for active women.

Our warm autumn and winter collection includes wonderful wool coats, tunics, tops, pants and a skirt – all items that are perfect for layering. Earthy tones, tweed, wool jersey and boiled wool. Sizes 34–52

The festive season is full of sparkling luster, swinging hemlines and lovely details. A special-occasion top, a ballooned satin skirt and a beautiful jacket. Sizes 34–46

Whether purple or grey, fantastic wool knits are equally charming. Every woman’s favorite cardigans, dresses, pinafore dresses, a classic shirt blouse and a gorgeous wool scarf. Sizes 34–52

Beautiful underwear for women of all sizes: a camisole in retro-print knit and panties in two basic styles. A soft-shell jacket and casual outdoor pants for active women. Sizes 34–52

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Newsletter Time

On the first of every month we send out an email newsletter to anyone who signs up to receive it. We've been doing this since September, 2000. If you'd like a look at the current issue, here's the link:

If you'd like to receive an e-copy of our newsletter regularly, on the first of every month, just contact us at:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Inspirations Magazine #63 has arrived!

The newest Inspirations magazines just arrived this morning. Subscriber and pre-order copies will be in the mail this afternoon.

Here is what you'll find in this issue -more pictures of contents below on our June 29th posting.

• Everyone's favourite fruits and
vegetables captured in stitch
• A dazzling hot water bottle cover
• A pretty beaded tape measure cover
• A unique and stylish evening bag
• A stunning embroidered red cardinal
box top
• An elegant cushion with an
enchanting bird embroidery
• A pair of delightful stumpwork pictures
• A decorative scissor fob
• Two 'pocket projects' introducing
exotic techniques

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Sold Out Ottobre Issues

We just got word that several more issues of Ottobre are totally sold out. Here is the list:

spring, summer and fall issues from 2000
summer and fall issues from 2001
spring issue 2002
spring issue 2008

There are also some English edition magazines that are sold out, but still available in other languages. They are.........

winter 2003 - only available in Dutch with English instructions inserted
summer 2008 - only available in Dutch with English instructions inserted

Monday, June 29, 2009

Inspirations Magazine #63 - coming soon

Here are some pictures of projects in the upcoming issue of Inspirations magazine - issue #63.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Early Release

We just got word from Ottobre that the newest magazine will be released a little early. I'll be looking for mine late next week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ottobre's Autumn Issue

The cover picture for the newest issue - 4/2009 -has just been released. It will be sent out in early July. Here is what you'll find in this issue:
This issue includes forty (40) patterns for kids in sizes 50-170 cm.
The themes are:
You'll find rich Slavic colors and voluminous styles. Delicious clothing items for layering – both for boys and girls. Tunics, pinafore dresses, pants, a bodywarmer and three fabulous coats. A pinafore dress and a girl’s T-shirt also in plus sizes.
Sizes 86–158 cm
BABY DREAMS -A delicate vintage-style linen outfit and a soft, first outdoor coverall for a very young baby. Sweet hooded jackets, a little skirt and com-fortable overalls for toddlers.
Sizes 50-74 cm and 62–92 cm
ENJOYABLE AUTUMN -Showy appliquéd and embroidered motifs appeal to schoolkids. Straightforward, practical outfits for daily wear: pinafore dresses plus T-shirts, knit jackets and pants for boys and girls.
Sizes 104–170 cm
Looks like another winner to me!
If you want to see more pictures, so to Ottobre's own blog at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sold Out!

We had just been notified that Ottobre Design magazine issue 1/2008 (spring, 2008) is totally sold out. Not only are we sold out, but so is Ottobre - even the foreign language editions of this super popular issue are gone. I don't recall such a recent issue ever being completely sold out this quickly. It's been removed from our ebay store and when our web designer gets back from summer vacation, it will be removed from our regular website, as well, but wanted you blog readers to be first to know. If there is a back issue you want, don't delay!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What a Deal on A-Z Books!

We've had a chance to get a really great deal on some of Country Bumpkin's renowned A-Z books. The regular retail price is about $30 - $33, but we are offering the following A-Z books for just $15.

A-Z of Stumpwork
A-Z of Wool Embroidery
A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2
A-Z of Threadpainting
A-Z of Embroidered Flowers

In paperback we are offering A-Z of Knitting for $18.

These books are available on our website - or just contact us via this blog if you want one.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wool Soap??

You may remember our wool rocks (see post on Dec 16th) that we introduced last year. Well now we have found some wool soap. This is actually soap that has felted wool surrounding it. Here is what our information says about it:

These handmade bars are wrapped in wool to create a soap and washcloth all in one. Wool has natural antifungal properties and will retain its freshness. The wool acts as a wicking agent, soaking in the lather of the soap, making the encased soap last longer. The wool felt shrinks along with the soap as you use it.
The wool used in this product is locally sourced from friendly farm sheep. The cold process soap is made in small batches from 100% natural vegetable oil base with real essential oils and botanical ingredients. No synthetics, chemicals or animal ingredients are used in our soap. These make great travel gifts and may also be used to add wonderful fragrances to your car or linen closet.
Made in California, USA

This soap sounded intriguing, so I had to give it a try and sure enough, it really does work. Once the bar is thoroughly soaked, the lather from the soap emerges from the wool. It dries out just as nicely as it was originally.

As it says above, it can also be used in a closet or drawer to add a subtle fragrance. We have several of these wool soap bars in either lavender or verbena. The picture shows only one, but they come in various colors. If you want one, let us know. - Price: $14/each

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A-Z of Sewing Has Arrived!

The long awaited and much anticipated 19th book in the highly acclaimed A-Z series of books from Country Bumpkin has arrived. It is entitled: A-Z of Sewing. It is a hard-cover, spiral bound book which is 156 pages long and full of color photographs. Pre-ordered books will be sent out tomorrow. We have extras, so let us know if you want one. Price $3o.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Australian Smocking & Embroidery magazine #87

AS&E magazine issue 87 has just arrived this afternoon. Subscriber copies will go out tomorrow.
Here is what you will find in this issue:

Hearts and Roses - floral dress smocked from shoulder to waist (sizes: 3, 4, 5)
Little Wonder -bishop dress with ribbon embellishment (sizes: 6, 12, 18 months)
Eloise - classic Sunday dress with lace collar (sizes: 4, 6, 8)
Poppy - poppy print dress with black smocking (sizes: 4, 6, 8)
Luminesce - bewitching silk party dress for little girls (sizes: 2, 3, 4)
Summer Blooms - daisy print dress with embroidery (size: 3, 4, 5, 6)
High Five - smocked denim jacket (sizes: 2, 4, 6)
Serious Fun - sleeveless wrap front dress with matching cardigan (sizes:12, 18, 24 months)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inspiration Magazine issue 62 has arrived!

Inspirations issue 62 has arrived just today. Subscriber copies will be in the mail tomorrow.

Here's what is in this issue:

>Chiffon Flower: Proddy flower using rag rug techniques
>Oliver Twist Temari: Learn the Japanese art of temare
>Garden of Earthly Delights: Stunning bag and cushion
>Serenade: Exquisite embroidered chair back
>Sitting Pretty: Kogin style embroidered chair pad
>Picnic Time: Ivory flannel blanket with endearing embroidery
>Snow White: Elegant Mountmellick embroidered table cover
>Washing Day: Spectacular thread painted study
>Constance: Beautiful needlecase and pinwheel
>Lavender Delight: Dainty embroidered sachet
>Sweet Slumber: Luxurious embroidered pillowcase

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ottobre Design - Summer issue

What a great smile this little girl has! I especially love the toothless look.
This is the cover of the soon-to-be released summer issue of Ottobre.
This magazine will be sent out the last week of the month, so be watching for it.
Here's what you will be seeing in this issue:
This issue includes forty (40) patterns for kids in sizes 62-170 cm.
BABIES IN A PEA POD - Sweet summer outfits for babies. Intense colors borrowed from garden produce ripening in the sun: rhubarb, carrot and raspberry. A little jacket, tunics, a dress, a shirt, T-shirts, jeans and a sunhat.Sizes 62–92 cm
VISITING GRANNY -Elegant special-occasion wear in vintage style for schoolchildren. Modernized sailor outfits for young children. Shirts, dresses, a skirt, shorts and a vest.Sizes 62–170 cm
ZOO OR JUNGLE - A safari-themed collection dedicated to little boys. The clothes are pepped up with animal motifs, using new techniques. A jacket, T-shirts, a shirt, shorts, bermudas and pants.Sizes 98–170 cm
TECHNICOLOR KIDS -Colorful outfits for the hottest days of the summer holiday: a T-shirt, a tunic, pants, dresses, sunwear and swimwear.Sizes 92–170 cm

Friday, March 20, 2009

What a Deal!

We have just located a source for two more A-Z books that we can offer you for less than half the regular price. A-Z of Threadpainting and A-Z of Embroidered Flowers are now available for just $15 each. Our website is in the processing of being updated to give you this discount on our website. We'll keep this low price as long as supplies last.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Theo Chocolate

As most of your know, I am a huge chocolate fan. Now and then we find a great chocolate and want to share it with you.

Theo Chocolate is a fair trade, organic chocolate producer right here in Seattle. Their newest creation is the Jane Goodall dark chocolate (70% cocao) bar. But, this is more than a chocolate bar and it benefits far more than just the consumer (who gets to eat it) and the producer (who gets to sell it). Here is what Theo has to say about their newest creation:

The partnership between Theo and Jane Goodall is inspired by “Cocoa Practices,” a ground breaking Theo Chocolate initiative that brings together small scale cocoa farmers, larger producers and non-governmental organizations from the world’s cocoa producing regions. Cocoa Practices is designed to give farmers the tools they need to grow high-quality cocoa beans while conserving indigenous wildlife and other natural resources in the tropical rainforest eco-systems that provide both their livelihoods and their homes.

Proceeds from the sale of these chocolate bars will benefit cocoa farmers, promote conservation in the tropical rainforest and directly contribute to the Jane Goodall Institute’s efforts to save chimpanzees, develop community centered conservation efforts and direct youth education programs around the world.

We like this chocolate so much, we bought a case of it fresh and direct from the Theo Chocolate factory. If you'd like a bar or two - before I eat them all myself - just let us know. They aren't on our website just yet. They are $5 for a 3 ounce (84 gram) bar. Contact us for more details.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A-Z Book in Paperback?

Yes, it is true. For more than 20 years, Country Bumpkin has been producing their highly acclaimed series of A-Z books. With 18 titles now available, A-Z of Knitting is the first one to be made available in paperback. The book has the same dimensions (9" x 8.5"), has the same cover picture, the same number of pages, and the inside is identical to that of the hardcover.

What is different, is that it is a paperback without the spiral binding used in the hardcover editions and the price is almost half the cost of the hardcover edition - $18.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here is a very early sneak peak at one of the outfits that will be in the children's summer issue of Ottobre Design magazine being released late next month.

This tiny dress is made of Anna Maria Horner fabric from the Free Spirit collection of Westminsterfibers.

The child shown is 10 months old.

Can't wait to see this issue.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vintage Ottobre and A-Z Books

We have a few of the very oldest Ottobre Design magazines dating back to the first year of publication. They are not in English, so keep that in mind if you decide you want one.
Here's what we have from the first years of publication:

- winter issue 2000 in Finnish (shown)
- spring issue 2001 in Finnish
- winter issue 2001 in German and Finnish
- summer issue 2002 in Finnish
- autumn issues 2002 in Dutch, German, and Finnish
- winter issues 2002 in German and Finnish

As for the A-Z books from Australia's Country Bumpkin......

we have some new offers on some older titles. We found a great deal of the A-Z of Flower Embroidery, so can offer it for just $15 - that's less than half the regular price. We also found a brand new paperback edition of A-Z of Knitting that we can offer for just $18, rather than the regular $33 price for the hard cover edition.

Let us know if you want any of these books or magazines and we'll send them to you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What's New?

The expo is over and it was once again a great show. It seemed especially good this year, because we were expecting it to be in a slump as is most of the economy now, but someone forgot to tell the attendees. We had a great time and attendance was actually up from last year.

Just before the expo, Ottobre launched their new blog. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out: . This is the place to see details on current issues and get all the news first.

As for us, what's new is our recently arrived shipment of The Crewel Work Company kits. Here is a brief overview of what we have in stock. We only have one of each, so if you want one you see, let us know right away. They come from the UK, so it takes a while to re-stock. More details are (or soon will be) on our regular website.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sewing and Stitchery Expo Here We Come....

Later this week, the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington begins. It is touted to be the largest sewing show in the country with about 30,000 attendees over the course of its 4-day run. For the sixth year now, we'll be participating.
Here's a link if you want more information:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Ottobre Woman Pictures

We just received some more pictures to post from the newest, soon-to-be released women's spring/summer '09 issue along with some background information.

The model in the beige dress is Maya - her father is Peruvian. The model in the gray coat is Laura and she is a Finnish Laplander. Also note that the current children's issue features a young boy on the cover who was adopted from Africa by a Finnish family - scroll down a few postings to see him.

Don't you love the international flare of this magazine? What's more....this is a Finnish magazine with an Italian name.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Ottobre Woman Magazine

The newest Ottobre Woman magazine is not out yet, but we can show you a picture of the cover and give you some details about the contents. This magazine will be ready for release the last week of February. If you want one, just let us know, so we can have it sent to you as soon as it is released.

Here's what you'll find in this issue:

Nineteen (19) patterns for women (European sizes 34-52) Carefree clothes for active women, modern yet romantic special-occasion dresses, skirts, tops and pants, a breastfeeding top in response to our readers’ requests and much more.

ROUND'N ROUNDLight and easy summer wear. Retro prints, nuanced natural colors and always chic black. A sundress, a tunic, pants, a skirt, a nursing top and a knit dress.Sizes 34-52

OUT AND ABOUT Clothes for sporty women who love the great outdoors. A coat with a metallic sheen, a flared viscose knit tunic, a camisole top and denim pants.Sizes 34-44/46 and 34-52

ART GALLERYDressy clothes for those special occasions that spice up the daily routine. Bamboo, cotton and linen. A beautiful classic dress in two versions, elegant pants, tops and a swingy viscose-jersey skirt.Sizes 34-44 and 34-52

BROWN, TURQUOISE OR MOSTLY PINKApparel for functions and cultural events. Small and large print patterns, draping viscose and soft linen. Viscose-jersey blouse and dress, a skirt, a linen coat and a linen sheath dress.Sizes 34-44/46 and 34-52

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine - issue 86

Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine issue 86 has arrived! Subscriber copies will be in the mail tomorrow. We have extras, so let us know if you'd like to have one.
Here's what in this issue:
8 multi-sized patterns including....
a princess party dress
a sun dress
gown for baby
gypsy dress for old girl
sailor romper for baby/toddler boy
skirts - funky and cute
ensemble for older girl with a French flair
enchanting dress with floral print

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inspirations Magazine #61 Has Arrived!

Country Bumpkins' Inspirations magazine issue #61 has just arrived. Subscriber copies will be sent out on Monday morning.

Here's what is in this issue:

a lavishly embroidered little bear·
an amazing stumpwork picture·
a fascinating embroidery étui·
an elegant embroidery accessory·
charming linen placemats·
a dainty potpourri pillow·
a superb whitework cushion·
2 simple 'pocket projects' to make in a night

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ottobre Has Arrived!

The eagerly awaited spring issue has arrived and what a great issue it is! Some people on internet discussions boards tout this as the best issue ever. A picture and description are shown below.

Is it a coincidence that it arrived today - Inauguration Day - and on the cover is a skinny little boy from Africa with a 'funny' name - Hanzie? You decide, but I've been told the cover child was actually adopted from Africa by a family in Lapland - the home of Ottobre magazine.

If you don't have a subscription and want this issue.... there are plenty to go around, so just let us know you want one and we'll get it to you.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Needle and Nibble

Our favorite Chocolate - Theo Chocolate - made right here in Seattle is having an event where you bring your own needlework project (embroidery, knitting, crochet, etc) and they provide the snacks made with Theo Chocolate and it's all free! Can it get any better than that?

Of course, their organic, free-trade, chocolate made right there on the premises will be available to purchase in case you don't get enough and you want to take some home with you, too.

Time, Date and Place:
JANUARY 28, Wednesday @ 6-9pm
3400 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, Washington
This event is FREE, no reservations are required.

If you are local and interested in attending, let us know and we'll try to coordinate our own group. It could be a great time to meet one another.