I started following Hello Bargello! (hellobargello.com) on Instagram last year and really liked the vintage designs they were producing for their craft kits. Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery using geometric designs made with upright stitches. The patterns have a very 70s feel to them and Brett Bara, the founder of Hello Bargello!, started modernising the patterns and creating her kits after falling in love with the technique when she found several vintage books on the subject.
‘Taken by the Wind’ is the latest kit and it included:
- Skeins of tapestry wool x 11
- Needlepoint canvas
- Tapestry needle
I found the instruction book very well laid out with a double page spread of how to do the basic Bargello stitch and other tips and tricks, followed by the instructions and pattern chart to complete the kit. The instructions were very thorough including measurements for where to start the design from the edge of the canvas and which section to start with. The pattern was divided into squares like the canvas, but all the lines started to make my eyes go funny and it was quite tricky to read at times, especially where two similar colours met. I found it much easier to follow once I started using a ruler to mark my place and moving it across as I completed each stitch.
Although there were a couple of places where I went wrong, it didn’t really matter as it’s an abstract piece and could easily be sorted out along the way by adjusting the length of other stitches. I really love the design of this piece as it reminds of visiting the Grand Canyon and I can totally understand why it was named ‘Taken by the Wind’.
As I mentioned, I have been following Hello Bargello! online for a while but haven’t purchased anything from them before now as I’ve been a little put off by the price. This kit costs $48 (around £37 at the current exchange rate) and considering the minimal materials involved it seems like a lot to me. In addition to this is the shipping cost, which is obviously higher as it’s coming from America, plus I also had to pay a customs fee on it too. I actually used a $5 discount code that they were promoting on Instagram, but even with this I paid a total of £59.72 for this kit. If Bargello looks like something you want to get into I would recommend sourcing the materials yourself from UK suppliers as Hello Bargello! has their patterns for sale as downloadable PDFs for $12-$18 (approx £9-£14) depending on the size and complexity of the design. There are also plenty of videos on the website demonstrating how to do Bargello.
Aside from the cost I found this a very enjoyable kit. As it’s divided up into sections its easy to put down and pick up again whenever you have a moment to craft, but I actually sat and finished the majority of it in one day because I was enjoying myself so much and only stopped because my back and arms were aching! It seems pretty addictive once you get started!