Hygge is intrinsically linked with sitting by the fire, but I’m bad at doing nothing. I like keeping my hands busy, and I like swapping out my crafts if I can. This book is ideal for me, because it’s not all one sort of embroidery, but a collection of quite a few.
Scandinavian Needlecraft is written by Clare Youngs and published by Cico Books. The foreword says that “Simplicity is always at the heart of Clare’s designs and… anyone can have a go.”
Published in 2010, the book must count as riding the front of the Scandinavian fascination wave. I love that in her introduction Clare says that the colours are chosen with care “to make the home a comfortable and welcoming place. It is all about hygge– a Danish word that means a sense of well being, a comfortable feeling, coziness, and pleasure in the simple things in life.” That’s my earliest mention of hygge, then. 2010. I wonder if Clare is still as happy with hygge now? I will try to find her online and see.
The book is arranged in 5 chapters: Bags, Gifts, Kitchen, Clothing and Soft Furnishings. Each chapter contains between 5 and 10 projects ranging in size and complexity from a simple bird garland to large-scale projects such as a duvet cover. Most use free embroidery by hand, but there are some machine embroidery projects and a few applique projects as well.
There’s a good range of projects, some for making for children and others that would be lovely to make for any age. I also felt that the ideas would be easy to adapt, so that a scarf embroidery would make a beautiful pillow edging or cushion instead.
The templates and a chapter on techniques complete the book. Full colour instructions for all stitches used mean even a beginner embroiderer could have a go, while there is a range of materials suggested that don’t actually cost the earth, so experimenting and developing skills wouldn’t be too costly. I’ve added quite a few of the project ideas to my craft queue (like I needed more to do) and I will be making some this summer. Embroidery can be such an easily portable hobby, can’t it?
My book, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way is available in Paperback and Kindle version from Amazon. The contents of the blog are entirely different from the blog, so don’t worry that it’s just posts rehashed. Not yet, anyway. If you purchase through the links on this page, I get a couple of pence extra per copy.
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