Beautiful Crewel Kits

As you may have learned from our extensive needlework post this summer, we've been bitten by the crewel bug.  Especially our lovely Mari who just finished two of the wonderful Crewel Work Company kits; the Scottish Thistle above and the Jacobean Sampler below.  She thinks crewel may be her new calling and says they are the perfect thing for her as a mother of a newborn because they are quick, portable and totally gratifying work!  As a beginner creweler herself, Mari found these two kits to be ideal for someone just learning to crewel. 

Crewel, which is also called crewel work or crewel embroidery, is embroidery using wool traditionally stitched on linen twill. It's an ancient technique (at least 1000 years old!) and is incredibly beautiful (and easy to do!).

The kits from The Crewel Work Company, a company which specializes in historic British needlework designs, are some of the prettiest kits we've come across.  You can see above how the design is printed beautifully on the linen twill.  They come with all the Appletons crewel wool you will need, gold-plated crewel needle for single thread stitching, nickel-plated needle for double thread stitching,  the booklet "The Essential Guide to Newcomers to Crewel Work", an actual size stitch chart showing the exact stitch color locations, detailed step-by-step stitch instructions and in this case, beads for the eyes of the rabbits.  It's one stop shopping at its best!

If you'd like to create your own color palette, we carry a wide variety of crewel yarns including this beautiful Appleton Wool Crewel Yarn. It comes in over 400 amazing colors! As it comes, it is the perfect weight for crewel, you don't need to separate the plies.  You can find all of our crewel embroidery threads right here. Working with soft, fuzzy wool gives crewel a full, lush quality. The edges of the designs are soft and the insides fill in beautifully as you can see in the Sunshine Bouquet Crewel Kit pictured above. It's pretty, soft quality reminds us of an oil pastel drawing.

The vintage crewel kits from the wonderful Custom House of Needle Arts above and below are some of our other favorites.  You can find them all right here.  Something we especially love about crewel is the definition you can create by layering the colors of wool.  The whole process feels very painterly and we are always so delighted by the realistic and cheerful result of the stitched design.  The result is far more dimensional that any other needlework we've done.

You can find all of our crewel embroidery kits right here. We hope you'll enjoy these as much as we do!

Happy stitching!  --The Purl Bee

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16 Responses to Beautiful Crewel Kits

  1. kathy says:

    I love the kit with the houses and cannot find it on your website. Can you direct me to it please? Many thanks.

  2. Katie says:

    This is gorgeous. Definitely want to try out crewel now!

  3. These are very beautiful. I remember when I was a kid and my mom did crewel. I liked it, but the designs were a bit…."stuffy." These designs and colors are much more fresh and have renewed my interest in crewel!

  4. Breean Elyse says:

    Ooooh! Love these. I have a great crewel book at home. Crewel embroidery also looks great on hand knitted items!

  5. Jacqueline says:

    I just wanted to say that Purl Soho and the Purl Bee have been just above and beyond amazing lately. Each project, tool, fabric, yarn, kit is more beautiful than the next! I am almost caught up on everything that I ordered last year to make, and I plan to order more over the winter holidays this year for the following year. Beautiful, inspiring, thoughtful. Thank you!

    P.S. Love the new book too – got it the minute it was released!

  6. Luisa says:

    Oh my you definitely got hit and hard by the embroidery bug. They are beautiful.

  7. Carrie says:


  8. CraftyRachel says:

    Stunning. My mother is making crewel stockings for her two grandsons and am thinking I should try out one of your kits and give her the finished product for the holidays. They are indeed so fresh and inspiring! Thanks for this.

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Kathy,
    Since posting this story we've sold out of that item online. However, I'm 99% sure we have at least one more at our shop (we'll also be trying to get more online, but since this is a vintage kit we're not sure that we'll be able to). If you'd like us to check to see if we have one at the shop, please send us an email at the link below and we'll be in touch to let you know and to make arrangements to get it to you. The kit with the houses is called "Old Towne Crewel Kit" from Custom House.

  10. Lscantron says:

    Lovely! I only wish you had titled this post "Crewel Intentions."

  11. Karena says:

    Great tutorials and I lovethe Thanksgiving napkin tutorial!


  12. Kristina says:

    These are really beautiful! You guys always have the nicest stuff!

  13. Madeline says:

    THANK you for posting about these crewel kits…I've lusted after similar designs and projects, but never thought to look for them in kit form. Fantastic!

  14. Andrea says:

    These are beautiful kits, and my grandmother would have approved. She was an avid creweler and designed some best-selling kits. See: for photos of her work.

  15. María Eugenia Gatica Zincker says:

    These are a beautiful embrodery, congratulations! . M. Eugenia

  16. Mara Eugenia Gatica Zincker says:

    These are a beautiful embrodery, congratulations! . M. Eugenia

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