Recently Kase Wickman published a great article on the NY Times Wirecutter titled "The Best Fiber Craft Kits for Adults". The article does a great job highlighting some of the best kits currently available from independent makers for adults looking to get started in crochet, knitting, hand embroidery and cross stitch. Many Snuggly Monkey favorites made the list including Dropcloth Samplers, Hook, Line & Tinker, Jessica Long Embroidery and the Woobles. It was so exciting to see so many of our friends being recognized for their wonderful kits! The article really got me thinking about beginner friendly kits, so here are a few more that I would add to the list.
cozyblue Embroidery Kits
Designed by Liz Stiglets in Asheville, North Carolina, the extensive line of cozyblue embroidery kits are great for beginners. These kits include the design pre-printed on cotton fabric, an embroidery hoop, thread and a needle - everything you need to get started right out of the box. Most of Liz's designs can be stitched with beginner friendly embroidery stitches, like the back stitch, chain stitch and colonial knots and more experienced stitchers can use more advanced stitches to make the designs their own. Liz also provides stitching tutorials and guides on her website to help you along the way.
Kiriki Press Embroidery Kits
Level: Beginner to Advanced
The embroidered doll kits from Kiriki Press are available in three different levels. Level 1 kits are perfect for beginners because you use basic embroidery stitches to embellish the screen printed design. It is possible to finish up the stitching fairly quickly and have a finished plushie in just a few hours. Instant gratification! The kits include the plushie design screen printed on cotton fabric (both the front & back panel to make the doll), embroidery floss, needle and stuffing. All of the kits include thorough stitching instructions indicating what stitch should be done where with which floss and the kits also include detailed instructions on how to assemble your doll once you are finished stitching. The only thing that these kits do not include is an embroidery hoop. I recommend the Eversewn 7" embroidery hoop.
Olympus Sashiko Coaster Kits
The Sashiko Coaster kits from Olympus are a great starting off point for those interested in Sashiko. These complete kits include the Sashiko patterns pre-printed on cotton Sashiko fabric in wash away ink, Sashiko thread and a Sashiko needle. Each coaster finishes at about 4.5"x 4.5", which makes it easy to see your progress in a relatively short amount of time. While the instructions that come with the kits are in Japanese, Snuggly Monkey can provide English translation for many of the kits.
Pigeon Coop Designs Cross Stitch Kits
Level: Beginner / Adventurous Beginner
Max Pigeon is the designer behind Pigeon Coop Designs cross stitch kits. Max's complete kits include everything you need to start cross stitching as soon as you receive your kit. Using beginner friendly 14ct Aida cloth, all of Max's designs are beautiful, modern patterns inspired by the Canadian outdoors. All kits include instructions in both English and French.
Having the right tools for the job makes a big difference in the enjoyment of the process. A few of my favorite needlecraft tools include ...
Whenever someone asks me for a recommendation for a good kit to start with, my advice is always the same - find a pattern that calls to you and that makes you smile when you look at it. Needlework is a slow stitching exercise that usually takes many hours to complete, so you want to make sure that the piece you are working on is something you would not mind looking at for a long period of time. Once you have your pattern picked out, just dive in and do not stress too much about perfect stitches and technique - those things come with time and practice. Happy Stitching!