Embroidery is the very first craft I ever learned. It was de rigeur at my elementary school, perhaps as a way to instill focus and hone fine motor skills. Whatever the reason, I’m eternally grateful (shout out to Marin School in Albany, California!) because I love embroidery to this day! I appreciate the relaxing rhythm of a needle pulling thread, and too, I love that embroidery is so self-contained and versatile.
I recently felt a new burst of embroidery inspiration while I was stitching my Felted Wool Hot Water Bottle Cover project. I was fascinated by how the zigzag blanket stitch instantly transformed something plain into something extraordinary. And so, armed with a yard of Dorr Mill’s Wool and a whimsical spring rainbow of DMC Floss, this Ombre Edge Throw was born!
This project is super quick to make but looks so considered and elegant. I originally intended it to be a couch throw, good for curling up and watching a movie, but once it was done, I couldn’t resist the urge to wear it as a scarf as well. The Ombre Edge Throw is one of those great, versatile projects that can be anything you want… kind of like embroidery itself!
To whip up your own, be sure to pick up one of our Materials for Ombre Edge Throw kits right here! – Molly
Purl Soho’s Materials for Ombre Edge Throw kit includes…
- 1 yard of Dorr Mill’s Wool Yardage, 100% wool, in Natural
- 1 small spool of Gutermann’s 100% cotton thread in color 1040. (This is the sewing thread.)
- 12 skeins of DMC Embroidery Floss in the following colors: 648, 3072, 452, 543, 754, 722, 301, 300, 3820, E980, 3819, and 955
You will also need…
Approximately 57 inches by 31 inches
Before you get started you’ll need to felt the wool by machine washing it in hot, rinsing it in cold and machine drying it for 20 minutes.
Cut, Hem and Mark
Trim the selvages off the felted piece of wool and then cut all four sides straight so that every corner is a 90-degree angle and the whole piece is a rectangle. The exact finished measurements will be different for everyone depending on how felted the wool is and how much you cut off to get the edges straight.
Press and pin one of the long edges over 3/8 inches twice towards the wrong side. Sew this fold down with an edge stitch using the sewing thread. Hem the other long edge in the same manner.
Hem both of the shorter edges in the same way. Make sure to sew all of these seams as straight as you can because they will be a guide for the embroidery later.
Once all four sides are hemmed, carefully measure the entire perimeter of the rectangle. My perimeter was 174 inches. Divide this by 12 to get your Marking Distance. For me, the Marking Distance was 14 1/2 inches. Starting at the middle of one of the edges, make a mark on the edge of the right side hem using the water soluble fabric pen. Make a second mark one Marking Distance from the first mark. Make a third mark one Marking Distance from the second, turning around the corner if necessary. Keep marking along the edge of the right side around the entire perimeter. Once you get back to the first mark, the edge will be divided into 12 sections, one for each color of embroidery floss.
Notes: Use three strands of the embroidery floss for all of the embroidery in this project.
Work with the right side of the throw facing you, so that the hem folds are in the back and the marks are on the front.
Before you get started arrange the embroidery thread in the following order:
Thread an embroidery needle with a 24-inch length of thread. Starting at the first mark, push the needle from the back to the front at the stitched seam.
Instead of tying a knot, leave a 4-inch tail and bring the working floss behind this tail. Pull the tail to the left, causing the stitch to angle to the left.
Bring the needle back around to the front and insert it directly into the previous exit point. Pull the needle through to the back and over the back working floss, as shown above.
Pull the working floss to the right so the stitch angles right. The entire stitch will look like a little triangle. It should look the same on the back.
From the front side, insert the needle 3/8 inch to the right of the bottom point of the first stitch.
Pull the needle through, but do not pull it taut yet. Instead, insert the tip of the needle, from right to left, under the X-shaped intersection at the top of the previous stitch. Pull the floss taut. It should be anchored to the top of the previous stitch and angled to the left.
Continue by inserting the needle, from front to back, directly into the previous exit point. Pull the needle through, passing it over the back floss and angling the stitch to the right.
The second stitch should look like the first.
Just as you did previously, insert the needle from front to back 3/8 inch to the right of the bottom point of the previous stitch. Pass the tip of the needle under the X-shaped intersection at the top of the previous stitch. Pull the floss taut.
Insert the needle from front to back directly into the previous exit. Pull the needle through to the back, passing it over the back floss and angling the stitch to the right. Pull the floss taut.
Keep stitching in this manner until you have 4 inches of floss left. Tie a small overhand knot at the top right corner of the last stitch.
Then insert the needle right under the knot, and pass the needle through the hem about 1 inch to the left.
Snip the floss at the exit point to hide it.
To start with a new length of floss, or a new color, pull the needle from back to front through the top of the last stitch.
Insert the needle 3/8 inch to the right of the bottom point of the last stitch.
Coming from the back, insert the tip of the needle under the X-shaped intersection at the top of the last stitch. Pull the needle through, leaving a 4-inch tail, just as you did at the beginning of the first length of floss and then continue sewing the zigzag stitch as previously instructed.
When you reach the end of a marked section stop using the current color of embroidery floss and switch to the next color in the sequence.
Stitch all the way around the blanket in this manner, changing to the next color at every marked point.
Once you’re done with all of the stitching, the tails from the beginnings of each length of floss will still be visible. Hide them by tying a small overhand knot at the top of the nearest stitch, pulling the tail through the hem, and snipping off the tail at the exit point, just as you did for the end tails.
Once you hide all of the tails, you’re all done!