Working with embroidery thread

I recently blogged about the French knitting (also known as spool knitting) place mats my dad made as a kid some 60 years ago. I have long since harbored an idea to knit meters and meters in a fine thread in order to make an interesting neck piece to wear with anyone of my grey silk or linen dresses. After coming across his knitting, I grabbed my money and legged it to the nearest haberdashery in South Africa to buy a knitting spool and hook to slip into my luggage destined for Qatar.

I visited the Singer shop in Doha over the weekend and fell in love with Hungarian pearl cotton embroidery thread available in the most beautiful colours. I chose 6 colours and am aware that it is probably going to take me forever to knit up meters and meters as the thread is barely thicker than sewing cotton!  I specifically wanted the lacy effect to enhance both the fragility as well as the strength of the cord and am pleased with how it is turning out.

Apart from discovering all the amazing embroidery threads in Doha, I have also discovered that  sleeping in pajamas is compulsory when one lives in a glass box!  We are currently hauled up in a serviced hotel apartment in the diplomatic area of Doha and our corner apartment boasts floor to ceiling windows in the bedrooms and lounge. The working day starts early here - between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning and The Husband opens the blackout curtains before leaving for work. 

One morning I was greeted by the window washer and I still don't know whether I was more shocked by his mere presence or actually by his precarious balancing act of sitting on a swing, washing windows! I managed to sneak out of the bed for a photo as soon as he made his way down to the floor below ours.


  1. Oh my !! The window washer story !! I hope you already had pajamas on that morning...
    If not, I think you will never sleep without them again ;-)... plus then there is a happy window washer in Doha ;-)
    It's gorgeous, that embroidery thread. I am very eager to see what exactly you will be making as a neck piece... I can imagine various possibilities with french knitted thread, from very structured designs to more "airy" things, so I am curious to see what you have in mind !
    xxx, Ingrid

    1. I think one of the perks of being a window washer is . . . !!!
      Due to lack of skill I will be sticking to an airy look and feel. The more structured work is fabulous though - on the crocheting front I think the work of zsazsazsu is absolutely fabulous, but I will never even attempt anything like that that!

  2. Wow so pretty! Echt heel mooi...Groetjes Lisanne
    draad en praat...

  3. Very lovely to see! And how surprising - at the least - to see the man on the ladder when waking up :)

  4. Dat wordt mooi! Prachtige kleuren weer. Voor een sponsoractie voor een musical is bij ons meer dan 800 meter gepunnikt! Tijdens de musical hebben ze met ongeveer 10 strengen touwtje gesprongen, met meerdere mensen. Leuk om te zien. Jij maakt er vast een mooi sieraad van!

  5. I love embroidery thread. When I was 10 or 11, my bestie and I embroidered all over our bell bottom jeans (yes, the 1970's). I so wish I still had them today! Grapes, a guitar, music notes, our names, flowers, the date....oh, they were awesome!


  6. Love your colours Magda such beautiful work. Had to laugh at the window man hope you made his day Anisaxxxx

  7. That's a unique colour mix of threads. I love Perle Cotton No. 8. I use it mostly for big stitch quilting and Hungarian embroidery.

  8. Thank you everyone! This is indeed the size 8 in the pearl cotton. I know there is an even thinner one available but eeeek, I believe this no 8 is just perfect for the time being!

  9. Beautiful threads, I'm loving what you're making! You might want to crochet a curtain to allow some privacy... ;-)

  10. What a wonderful idea for the "Strickliesel"-worms! (the German word for the knitting spool: Knitting Liesel)
    I made some with "normal" wool and knitted a cushion out of the worms (you need kilometers for that...)
    But with embroidery thread - great idea! it looks really fancy.
    (Just in case it tkaes too long, the spools also come as a little mill: they have a little crank and this way, the knitting goes much faster ;) )

  11. Haha! I love your snapshots. Does the working day begin early because of the heat?
    I also love Chrissie Crafts' curtain suggestion - clever! No. 8 is a good thread - thin enough for detail but thick enough to work comfortably and grow at a decent rate.

  12. Oh, I love love love this piece of work. The touch of mustard colour is perfect. Just perfect.
    It will be an amazing neck piece. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Embroidery is a beautiful application for embellishing a garment or adding a branding element to apparel and accessories. Vector graphics on a computer screen often do not translate well to stitches based for a number of reasons including the fabric you wish to apply the logo to. There is a simple set of guidelines to follow that will ensure your art will look as exquisite embroidered as is does in your design software. Good Sew Lessons are needed for that also.