Despite knitting since I was quite tiny, I still find it quite mind blowing to think that a strand of yarn can be twisted and turned in so many different ways and combinations to create just about anything.
With my garden now bursting into leaf and the birds in full song I thought it appropriate to share some knitted nature. These lovely creations are a tiny selection of the garden and mythical knitting figures that were on display at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia last month. I only had my mobile phone camera on me so the photographs really don’t do justice to the quirky and imaginative creatures on display. However, everything brought a smile to my face, sparked a few ideas and I particularly loved the rather cheeky troll. Hopefully he and his friends will make it along to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in the autumn and I will be sure to take a better camera along to capture all the woolly wonders.
I am home from a fantastic Spring Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia. It always seems to take me a few days to resurface after such a intense week, but I love it!!!
One of my favourite aspects of the shows is that it is such a wonderful opportunity to meet up with like minded makers, to swap ideas, to be inspired by a varied selection of work and to sometimes kick myself for not coming up with a particularly brilliant design first!!!
Jamie Chalmers aka Mr X Stitch is always on hand with his Royal School of Needlework students to showcase the best in funky, contemporary embroidery. His latest venture is a ‘cross stitch magazine for the modern world’ embracing contemporary cross stitch with contributions from some of the best known designers as well as some newbies like myself.
The first edition has the theme of ‘revolution’
I have moved away from my usual critters and come up with an optical art design based on a torus donut to give the impression of a twisting, three dimensional shape. There is a sneak peek of a corner of the design below as well as the header for the Kickstarter site for this new publication .
Please take a look as it should shake up the world of cross stitch – just click below
For such a long time I have wanted to make some cross stitch kits that would appeal to children. Having started sewing at a very young age I was keen to encourage a new generation to fall in love with needles and thread.
Much of what I have seen for children has been disappointing, cutesy designs in bubblegum pink shades of acrylic yarn that is impossible to work with and never gives a quality finish….. It always worries me that an early disappointment puts children off sewing for life.
I came across the plastic canvas, quite by chance, in my local craft shop and it immediately fired my imagination. It is really firm so no need for a frame and the holes are well spaced giving a really easy surface for stitching. All the designs are stitched in just four or five colours of beautiful wool tapestry thread from Anchor and to give these critters some extra cheekiness I have added wooden beady eyes.
I hope you like these fellows and remember they don’t need to be just for the children!
My husband is the sort of person who, if he needs something, will just pop out and get it, making buying a gift almost impossible. Added to that I haven’t managed to find a Valentines card that I liked this year, so he is getting an embroidered bear. This little fellow will not be a surprise from a mystery admirer as he saw me stitching!
I just sketched the outline using a Frixion pen onto some natural Essex linen and then raided my stash of embroidery thread and beads to stitch this little fellow in a 5″ hoop.
He really didn’t take long at all and once finished I just held him carefully against a hot iron to remove any remaining pen marks left on the linen.
When my husband and I married my parents commissioned a celebratory slipware plate from a local artist and potter, Mary Wondrausch OBE. At the time I had not realised quite how special this present was. For a start, it had to be collected in person, by appointment only, from her home and studio, Brickfields, in the village of Compton.
My goodness, what a treat, Mary was utterly unique, a real English eccentric with an absolute passion for art and cookery. She was so generous with her time, spending a good part of the afternoon showing us around the studio and demonstrating her slipware technique using bicycle inner tubes. We were then give a tour of the garden; introduced to ‘Pidge,’ a grey plastic shooting pigeon who sat on a pile of green glass sea glass in a ceramic urinal, shown the garden screen covered in ‘Barbie’ dolls which led to the private, grass amphitheater where, Mary told my husband, ‘she liked to dance naked!’
We returned to visit Mary a couple of years later to collect my sister’s wedding plate. Again, we were given free reign of the studio and I found one of my most treasured possessions, a sgraffito plate celebrating the Queen Mother’s centenary, pushed under an old garden bench! Mary then took us though to the kitchen….Oh, my goodness, it was quite unbelievable. Every surface was covered with her collection of old metal meat grinders and there were at least ten small enamel saucepans on the Rayburn each filled with wild fungi she had collected with her friend, Clarissa Dickson Wright, earlier that morning.
Mary died 26th December 2016 at the grand age of 93….. she was still painting!
Words really cannot describe this remarkable woman so click on either picture for a video.
Hooray, we have some winners for the Knitting and Stitching Show tickets.
Congratulations Milla, Rebecca and flowerpot1981. Please let me know which minibeadwork kit you would like or take a punt on one of my new chunky cross stitch kits, they are lovely, super easy and great fun to stitch – honestly!
If you are still hoping to come along to the show then please take advantage of voucher code EX17 for a discount when booking your tickets on the Knitting and Stitching Show website.
Give us a wave if you see us at B66 …. we should have some new goodies.
Horrah, the first sign of spring, tickets have arrived for the Knitting and Stitching Show, Olympia, London, 2nd to 5th March 2017
This should be a lovely day out. Lots to inspire and plenty of fabrics, threads and general loveliness to stock up on for all those projects you are planning for the year ahead.
I have three pairs of tickets to give away for this event and to get you in the stitching mood either a minibeadwork kit and frame of your choice or one of my new chunky cross stitch kits – they are almost ready so it may be a pre-production kit – very exclusive!!!!
If you would like a chance to win please leave me a message below or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
All entries need to be in by midnight 27th January 2017 and three lucky winners will be drawn on Saturday 28th January 2017.
Best of luck and give us a wave if you are heading to the show – stand B66