I love the texture and worn depth of crewelwork.
A Decorative form of surface embroidery uising wool and a variety of different embroidery stitches to follow design outline applied to the fabric. The technique is at least one thousant years old. It was used in the Bayeux Tapestry, in Jacobean Tapestry and in Quaker Tapestry.
The origin of the word crewel is unknown but thought to come from an ancient word describing the curl in the staple, the single hair of the wool. Crewel wool has a long staple; it is fine and can be strongly twisted. Modern crewel wool is a fine 2-ply or 1-ply yarn available in many different colours.
We have a Kyrgyzstani crewel work wall hanging, which needs desparately to be framed. It is currently hanging in my office. Look at the wonderful combination of faded pinks, yellows and blues.
You can find lovely crewel rugs, from Anthropologie and William Sonoma, although I would be wary of how they would wear. The first two are from Anthropologie and pick up elements of traditional crewelwork in the twisting vines and birds, but make them clean, moden and whimsical.
Whilst I love the look and technique, it is very hard to find any crewelwork kits or live examples which are not, frankly, fusty and Jacobean. Where are all the vibrant, modern crewelworks? Something like the tapestry and needlepoint works shown below, which are by the incomparable, amazing, Kaffe Fasset (he also is a fabric maker, and knitter, and painter. There is no end to his talents).