A Sparkly Unicorn for a Mythical Knitter

Home from a fantastic Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate and just taking some time before I tackle the unpacking and back orders.

Tonight I am going to a party. My children seemed quite shocked that I have a social life but less so when I explained it was a Mythical Winter Knitting themed event.
I am very excited though and have sew a unicorn for the birthday girl.

He had been stitched entirely in wool but whilst away I thought he really needed some silver beads on his horn…..Disaster…..and I am going to whisper this next bit because it goes against all needlework advice…Rather than worrying about acid free mount board etc. I had ‘no more nails’ him to the box frame to create a shadow gap. Anyway, how to sew beads onto a firmly glued canvas???? I had to resort to a very bendy beading needle and tweezers but I got those beads on this critter.

I think it is probably fine to post a picture of my mythical beast as I am guessing Louise is probably going to be far too busy today preparing the woolly celebration in London to have time to look at the computer!


Hoorah!! These Fellows are Finally on the Website


Oh my goodness, it seems to have taken me an age but I have finally popped these Staffordshire cushions on the website and I will take some to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate next week …..hopefully I have made enough as they seem very popular!

I first started making these after finding a little Victorian ceramic Staffordshire figure of a dalmatian tucked away at the back of a cupboard in my parents’ house. The thought of a big, embroidered cushion version sitting on the sofa, looking at its muse sitting on the mantelpiece, rather tickled my fancy. He is a little damaged on the base but I don’t think that detracts from his charm.


I have now designed quite a family of cats and dogs as well as a rabbit which is currently sitting on my painting easel waiting to be transferred to fabric. They are all designed so the fabric may simply be stitched up as a cushion or there is sufficient thread in the kit to embroider the entire design – it really depends on what appeals.

Hope you like these little fellows!


We Have Some Winners!!!

Many congratulations to Leigh Bowser and Becca Crabbe, winners of the complimentary tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate.

I am stitching, embroidering and crocheting like crazy at the moment so as well as all the old favourites there should be some new goodies on display at the show. Give us a wave if you are about – we are on C530.

I am also working on a little Christmas giveaway which should make an appearance as a PDF file in the coming weeks – hopefully giving you enough time to stitch it up for the festive period!


WIN!!! Tickets for the Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate

Oh my goodness, where is the time going to? It is the 1st of November and just three weeks until I head to Harrogate for the Knitting and Stitching Show.

My husband is under strict instructions not to go jetting off for work as he has to take over domestic duties and herding teenagers. Meanwhile, I shall have a lovely time with my parents, who tend to look after me very well, whilst enjoying this fabulous festival of textiles and all Harrogate has to offer in the run up to Christmas.

If you would like the chance to win a pair of tickets to this event as well as a mini beadwork kit and frame of your choice then simply drop me a line…. Comment here, email me at epavier@annsorchard.co.uk, use the handy message box on the website or simply like my competition post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

All entries need to be in by midnight on Friday 4th November and two lucky winners will be drawn at random on Saturday 5th November….Good Luck!


Inspiration from a notebook and piece of plastic

I have finally recovered from a very hectic but thoroughly enjoyable week at the Knitting and Stitching Show in London. I think I must have chatted about needlework solidly for the entire week! But how inspirational and I am now buzzing with lots of new ideas.

My lovely husband always buys me a notebook for birthdays and Christmas – these are where all my very quick sketches and ideas are scribbled down.

My latest jotter has the most fabulous bird illustrations on the cover. Combined with the surprising┬ádiscovery of plastic canvas from Darice has triggered the idea of some really quick, chunky wool cross-stitch designs. I am trying to keep the colours to an absolute minimum and at 7 holes to the inch these new critters should be ideal for children but hopefully still appealing to us grown-ups….Oh, and I have sneaked in a beady eye!chunky-cross-stitch-birds


Staffordshire Dogs & Cats

Oh my goodness, it seems like an age since I first thought about making some cushions inspired by Victorian Staffordshire pottery figures, but they are finally finished. I was rather tickled by the thought of them all lined up on a sofa with their ceramic cousins sitting on the mantlepiece.

Designing them proved to be much more of a challenge than I had imagined. My first mistake was to paint them full size only to find it was impossible to scan them into the computer. Careful photography, many hours on Photoshop, two fabric test prints and I was finally happy with the designs.

The embroidery turned out to be relatively easy ….
The problem was that although the critters and thread were highly portable and easy to work on, I did not always remember to carry my notebook to record the quantity of thread being used – essential for the kits! It also proved tricky to find enough time to fit the embroidery around all my other jobs. Thank goodness for my fabulous neighbour and good friend who stepped in over the summer and embroidered endless French knots on the poodle for me.

Today, I am on the final stretch writing the instructions for these creatures. Unfortunately my old, faithful computer did not appear to be aware of the looming deadline for printing and conked out two days ago. Thankfully I have a back-up drive and second computer BUT I no longer have my stitching software and my most recent uploads to iPhoto were lost – They just happened to be photographs of the steps to make-up the cushions – Arrggghhh!

It has been a rather frantic rush to embroider another fabric panel simply to be able to replace the missing photographs, but I have done it. Fingers crossed there will be no further mishaps – these chaps have an appointment at the Knitting & Stitching Show in less than three weeks time!



We Have Some Winners!

How do you persuade a teenager to draw the winning tickets for the Knitting & Stitching Show Competition? Well, you have to promise that you will not photograph him.
So, although he has done a sterling job picking our winners early on a Saturday morning I’m afraid we will just have to make do with a photograph of paper scraps.

BUT…Many congratulations to Esther Sparrow and Suzifloozie both winners of a pair of tickets to the show and a mini beadwork kit and frame of choice. Please contact me to let me know what you would like and I will pop everything in the post.

Meanwhile, please keep an eye out as I am expecting some tickets for the Harrogate show which I should be able to give away shortly.

Right, I had better get on with some very speedy embroidery if I am to have my Staffordshire dog cushions ready in time for the show!