Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Nordic Needle Broderi Box

If you've done any sort of embroidery, you have probably already become aware of Nordic Needle, a supplier of quality fibers, kits, and tons of accessories to make your projects easier and more enjoyable.

Now, I am a cross-stitcher and haven't dealt much in other techniques for several years, but Nordic Needle covers all sorts of specialties - hardanger, goldwork, you name it!  I love browsing their site, especially the fibers - but there is so much there that I get overwhelmed trying to decide what new variety I'd like to add to my stash.

One of the most interesting things they offer actually takes care of that sense of abundance-overload, and also encourages trying out new stitch techniques.  It's their Broderi Box, a themed monthly subscription box, available for about a week each month or for a yearlong subscription in January for the next year.

The 2017 theme is the Zodiac, and I was was given the opportunity to try out the June Broderi Box. Perfect!  I am a Gemini, and this felt like a wonderful birthday present to me.  Nordic Needle keeps the details of their monthly boxes a mystery, so I was in great anticipation wondering what this would be like.


When I opened the box, I was greeted by this gorgeous array of teals and glittery golds, and it instantly spoke to my Gemini heart.  June is named for the Roman goddess, Juno and one of her animal companions is the peacock.  Don't these colors look like a regal peacock to you?

In addition to the contents of the box, each month there is a link and password to a members only page that includes lore of the month and the featured sign, details about each item in the month, and a free pattern and instructions for a project that uses the contents of the box.

The pattern that came with this one is a beautiful goldwork goblet with dual faces (look closely at the stem).

I love this project, and have long been intrigued by goldwork, but I haven't tried this piece yet. (I will be - there is plenty of these fibers left after playing with them on my own.)

Meanwhile, I wanted to do something simple I could put together in time to share this week, because right now the August Box (Leo) is open for purchase, and it will only be available for the next week, so I didn't want you to miss that window! (I didn't - I ordered it earlier today).

Finally, the member's only page includes a nice coupon pertaining in some way to the theme of the box.  This time it was a 25% off coupon on any of the metallics that Nordic Needle offers. It's good until the end of the following month (so, in this case, the end of July), which gives you a lot of time to decide what you might want after working with the box for awhile.

So, before I show you the contents of the box, here's what I did with them - I'll be putting up a tutorial on this in a couple days.  I made a decorated repurposed Altoid Tin box!

This was my first try using an Altoid Tin as a needlework finish (but not my last!), and the needlework piece itself was mainly worked as I went rather than planned out and graphed.  I just wanted to be able to experiment with each of the threads to see how it felt to use them.

The fabric is 28ct. white evenweave, and not all the fibers were actually intended for that stitch count, which I knew going in.

Ok - let's look at the contents of the June Broderi Box

First, these two fibers from Rainbow Gallery:

Panache - Goldenrod - $2.25
This 100% rayon thread is really smooth and fun to work with -  I used it to do the satin stitch top and bottom border, and it worked so well, I'm now all sorts of motivated to do more satin stitch!

Variegated Gold Rush 14 - Jade Multi - $2.50
This gorgeous fiber is thick (recommended for lower count fabrics than I was working with) and highly textured.  I like it very much, but haven't really worked out how to use it.  I wound up using it for the inner teal lines on my box, and just went for a plain backstitch.  However simple that use was, it adds a nice sparkle and some great texture to the piece.

Next was a delightful silk floss:

Soie Cristale - Teal Green Very Dark - $4.50
If you have ever worked with Caron silks you know how wonderful this feels to touch, and how smoothly it draws through the fabric.  A pure joy to work with, and the skein is 6 glorious yards of 12 ply silk, so I expect to be able to use it a lot.  In my piece, this was the border that ran around the whole thing.

And then, there were the gold metallics!

DMC Diamant - Dark Gold - $2.99

According to the description, "DMC's latest metallic thread is esay to stitch with, soft and resistant to breakage. Designed for hand embroidery, this twisted thread is equivalent to 2 strands of DMC stranded cotton, and is ideal for back-stitching, hand embroidery, and adding sparkle to your work."  I used it to work a little blackwork motif in the center of the box, and it did just fine, with none of the pulling and fraying I often experience with DMC's 6 strand metallics.  As with any metallic, you want to keep your thread shorter than you would with other fibers - but I believe I'll be adding some other Diamant threads to my stash.

Japan Gold #7 - $3.48
This is a really beautiful and fascinating thread to work with, and unlike anything I've used before.  It's a synthetic version of very expensive actual metallic threads, and as you can see from the picture, it's made up of tiny tubes wrapped around its center.  This made it not easily usable as a cross stitch thread, and I wound up putting it to use on the Greek key style border - as you can see, even there it doesn't lay completely flat.  I think where this would truly shine is in the project that came with the kit - as the essential element in goldwork, where the thread is held down by other fibers rather than running through the fabric.  I look forward to working with it more and understanding its properties better.

Finally, the non-fiber goodies:

Mill Hill Med. Bugle Beads - Willow - $1.50
This month's box included this packet of 75 bugle beads in a jewellike teal green.  I've worked often enough with round seed beads but never dealt with bugle beads before, and this was where my lack of a plan for my needework piece almost failed me, because they were just slightly too long to lay right as I'd intended and I had to struggle to find a place where they might work.  I would up just creating a flower (or starburst) in the center on top of my blackwork pattern. It looks fine, but I'll remember next time that beads aren't pliable!

Perfect Needles - Gold Set with Drawstring Pouch - $6.25
Needles are always a welcome addiction, and this pair of golden twins are just the right touch for this set!  These are shorter than I've worked with before and that took a bit of getting used to, but they worked well, felt sturdy and I expect to select them often.  Lastly, this shiny golden bag makes for a great small container of whatever needs containing!

Don't forget to check back in on Wednesday, and I'll show you how I made my Altoid Tin.  But for now - see how much leftover stash I have in this one box?  I really love that the Broderi Box is not just small samples or a kit that has just enough for one included project.

Each Broderi Box is available for purchase for $29.99 on the 3rd of the month previous (for example, starting today, the AUGUST box is open for purchasing), and it stops being available about a week later, so you want to get yours before it's gone.

And if you're really sold on them, at the beginning of the year, the whole year's subscription is available for a short time at $365.00.

I know that sounds like a lot (it does to me) - but that's a dollar a day for enough fibers to keep you busy every day of the year, PLUS monthly member's only discounts, PLUS a year's worth of projects and tutorials on new techniques.

I think that makes for a reasonable cost, and I'm certainly convinced that both the quality of the materials and the creativity that goes into each month's curation is more than I could ever pull together just for myself when I'm looking at all those unfamiliar threads and wondering what I might do with them.

Let me know in comments if you have any experience with Broderi Box - and I'd love to see your links to how you've used them!


  1. Weird that it's $30 a month a al carte which is $360. How is $5 more when you buy it all at once?


    1. Good question! If I were to decide I could afford it in a chunk, it'd be worth $5 to me to guarantee I'd get them without having to remember the ordering window, but I am not sure what the reasoning is on their side.

  2. I've seen several bloggers have these kits, and I'm considering getting onto the band wagon next year. Although I have signed up to Alison Cole's that she opened up earlier this year, so one of these surprise kits is probably enough!

  3. Here is from the email that I got:

    "By signing up for a recurring subscription, you have agreed to keep your subscription for at least one renewal. If your subscription is cancelled before it renews or cannot renew due to an issue with your credit card, you will be charged the 5% difference between the recurring subscription rate and the one-time subscription rate."

    So $5 more is 5% less. I have a feeling that someone is making an error in this and it certainly might be me.


  4. I don't do much embroidery, but I do have a huge stash of unusual threads. I probably wouldn't get use out of the subscription bo but I will get use out of your post. I love the repurposed altoids cover and your post gives me ideas on how to use my stash! Thank you for posting this and inspiring me.

  5. I've never heard of Nordic Needle. I will have to check it out. Thank you for sharing at Ravenwould.

  6. Very beautiful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  7. What a lovely kit and a great idea having it all sent in the one box. Thanks for sharing with us at #overthemoon and have a great week, Lynda!