Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here goes...

Hello and welcome to my blog. After much humming and hawwing I have decided to start a blog in order to share all the wonders of Italian Needlework that I have found over the last 10 years of research. I aim to show you needlework techniques, books, kits, supplies, websites, and anything else I think you might be interested in. Please feel free to ask me questions about Italian Needlework and I will endeavour to find you some answers. Italian Needlework is my passion and I have been researching it for the last decade with the hope of bringing it to light for English-speaking embroidery enthusiasts who might not otherwise know of it or be able to find it. Until very recently it has been difficult to find, the language barrier is always an issue and techniques were traditionally handed down verbally without much enthusiasm for writing anything down. However as women went to work and had less time to stitch, techniques and know-how have been lost. Recently Italian needleworkers have started to publish books, manuals, kits and start websites about the embroidery that they love and now there is a wide range to choose from albeit most of the text is still only in Italian. The trend now is for embroiderers and lace makers to show the world their art and they are making an effort to have things translated into other languages like English, French, German and Spanish. This can only mean good things for those of us who are curious to learn of the wonders of Italian needlework.


  1. This site is a great idea! I've been wanting to learn more about Italian needlework but information is hard to come by if you don't speak Italian. Your library is enviable.

    I did encounter a problem trying to subscribe to your page through Atom: the link led me to a page of html.

  2. Janice, I don't know how to help you with the subscribing... I'm new to this and I don't subscribe to the blogs I read, I just manually visit them each day, or whenever I think of it.
    I will ask around and hopefully find you a suggestion.

  3. Brava Jeanine!!!!
    Lo vedo già che sarà un blog bellissimo
    In bocca al lupo

  4. Grande, Jeanine!!!! il tuo blog mi piace, anche se mi fa fare una fatica enorme per via dell'inglese (la mia 'maestra' di inglese ti ringrazierà di sicuro, perchè mi costringi a fare esercizio..). in bocca al lupo! ti abbraccio.
    renata :)
    p.s.: grazie per avermi citato.

  5. Janice, I enabled the "Subscribe to" buttons, maybe this will make a difference for you... will you let me know?

  6. I've just found your blog, it's great, congratulations! I started out doing crewel embroidery years ago, but got hooked on needlepointing using the tent stitch because of the challenge of getting different effects by varying only the colors. While living in the States, I had lots of "company," so many people enjoying needlepoint, so many local stores. Then I moved to Italy, and the situation is completely different. It seems that cross-stitch is the embroidery (as opposed to lace, or pulled work, etc.) technique preferred by the typical, non-professional stitcher, or at least that is my impression received from the supplies available in the local handwork stores and the patterns and books available. When needlepoint supplies ARE available, they are the French DMC yarns, which--for me--either are way too big, or way too small, and I don't like mixing yarn sizes in one piece. I prefer Paternayan yarns (originally an English company, now based in America), which I have not been able to find in Italy. Only recently, I found Paternayan yarn on the CBC Italian website, but have yet to try to buy anything from them; in the past, I had to order from abroad, or stock up when visiting relatives.
    Because I've no one with whom to share this passion of mine, I, too, recently started a non-commercial blog, which I would like to share with you and your readers:
    I would like to close with a question for you: why do you think Italian ladies do not like to do needlepoint? I think it's because it takes too much time to cover the background, and not just work the design. I'd be curious to see your thoughts about why Berlin Work spread so easily in England and America in the early 19th century, but--apparently--not so easily in Italy, where there was a centuries-old tradition of other kinds of even similar embroidery, such as the flame stitch. Perhaps the lack of national unification until the 1860s, and, hence, the great language differences from one politically independent region to the other, had something to do with it. Perhaps the slower pace of industrialization did not create as rapidly a large enough base of upper middle class women with new leisure time on their hands. Or, maybe it DID spread in the 19th century, but did not survive.
    Thank you, Star

  7. Star: Where abouts are you in Italy? has some wools but I don't know how they compare to Paternayan yarns. Gianfranca is great to deal with.

    I'm not sure why there aren't many needlepoint supplies in Italy. To tell the truth any time I found needlework shops in my travels years ago, there were *only* painted canvases.

    I have one needlepoint book which is written by an Italian woman: Raffaella Serena.

    I will ask around and see what I can find out.