When I was making my Elizabethan bride’s bag recently, and posting photos on this blog, several people contacted me to ask where they could buy the half cone sticks from.
I used the half cone sticks to form the 3D shapes for the foxglove flowers and the bluebell flowers on the second side of my bag. I’d had the sticks for several years, but never used them before making this project. But now that I have, I can see me using them a lot more often, as the results are really good.
The sticks are temporarily tacked to the fabric, and then lifted up detached buttonhole stitch is worked over a base thread, row upon row, until the half cone shape is covered, then the stick is removed. I have tracked down various sizes of half cone stick, which are available from several UK websites (and I should think it wouldn’t be a problem for them to ship overseas, if necessary).
The type I own myself are available from Stitch Direct, and come in a set with a hedebo ring stick (to make circular needlelace rings, for flowers, etc). The text on their website says:
Hedebo Stick and Half Cone Set
The Hedebo stick (also known as a ring stick) is tapered with a range of diameters for producing cup like petals. The half cones are perfect for bell shaped flowers and create a wonderful three dimensional effect. The set contains one 7 tier Hedebo stick and two half cones, 1 inch (2.5 cms) and 1.5 ins ( 3.75 cms) long, not including the handle. Made from mahogany from a sustainable source these tools are light and will never rust or tarnish.
The set of three costs £18.73.
Viking Loom of York sell a half cone stick on its own for £4.50. No dimensions are given. The text on their website says:
Use as a template to stitch over to make a 3D flower shape.
The Guild of Needle Laces sells several different designs and sizes, singly, for £5 each. The text on their website says:
Half Cone Sticks or ‘Shoes’: Small, medium and large. Tapered or rounded ends. Please state your preference.
These are used when making stump work flowers. You work your stitches over the half cone and remove the half cone when the stitches are finished. This gives you a raised effect.
They also sell a ‘Raised Embroidery Set’ for £20. The text for this says:
This set includes a brass stiletto, medium ring stick and five half cone sticks of various sizes.
Another really good one is Needlepaws – a UK business which (from the look of the items shown) manufactures some of the items mentioned above, so maybe try them first, as they also sell direct to the public. For instance, they sell five sizes of half cone stick for £5 each, to these dimensions:
Large – 45mm x 13mm
Dumpy – 28mm x 12mm
Medium – 32mm x 10mm
Stumpy – 18mm x 12mm
Tiny – 17mm x 7mm
They also sell lots of other wooden needle lace and embroidery tools, so they are well worth a visit, even if you’re not looking for half cone sticks just now. Their range of hedebo sticks is wide, and they also sell stilettos and thread palettes.
Postage needs to be added to the prices of all these products, for all companies listed above, depending on the total value of your order. I don’t get any commission for recommending these products and websites, I just think they should be more widely known about
EDIT 26 July 2012: Thanks to Elmsley Rose for alerting me to this extra supplier, in Australia – Alison Cole Embroidery sells a set of two half cone sticks and a hedebo stick for AUS$25.