Congratulations, We have Some Winners of the Knitting & Stitching Tickets

Winners K&S 2019 Ally Pally.JPG

Congratulations to Hilary and Rachel, winners of the tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 10th to 13th October. Please contact me to arrange your prize and have a fantastic day out.

In the meantime, please keep an eye open as I should have more tickets to give away shortly for the Knitting and Stitching Show held in Harrogate at the end of November.

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Win!!! Tickets to the Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London

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It is the start of the new autumn term and that also heralds the start of my manic preparations for the Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London, 10th to 13th October 2019.

I have a couple of pairs of tickets to give away for this amazing textiles show and a needlework kit of your choice; mini beadwork, chunky cross stitch, sample or biscornu.

If you would like a chance to win just leave me a message and if you tag a friend both names will go into the draw. All entries need to be in by midnight Friday 13th September and two lucky winners will be drawn at random on Saturday 14th September 2019.

Best of luck and give us a wave at E27 if you are passing through the main hall.

A Little Summertime Stitching

Free Helenium Flower Cross Stitch Pattern
Free Helenium Flower Cross Stitch Pattern

We are planning to take a break for a couple of weeks and enjoy the sunshine with family and friends. I am hoping to use the time for some intensive stitching. There are a lot of projects I have planned for the autumn shows but many have not yet been started!

In the meantime, I was inspired yesterday afternoon by the lovely weather and the glorious show in the garden to design some jewel coloured heleniums in cross stitch. I’ve not yet had time to sew them so the only recommendation as to fabrics and thread is to simply raid your stash!

Please let us know by Friday 5th July if there are any stitching goodies you need so we can get them posted by the weekend otherwise I’m afraid you will need to wait until Monday 22nd July 2019.

Have fun with these cross stitch flowers and please feel free to share with family and friends, Emma x

Click Here for Helenium Chart

Learning to Machine Knit

In a past life when I was working as a research scientist there was a whole host of professional training; ‘writing COSHH assessments’ ‘how to build a database’ ‘time management’ ‘working with radioactive materials’ …. Anyway, now I work for myself I thought I ought to arrange some more training, but none of that dull, useful stuff!!! Instead to celebrate yarn shop day on Saturday 27th April I book myself in for a beginners machine knitting afternoon with KnitWorks in Bethnal Green, London.

Oh my goodness, what a place, stacked from floor to ceiling with cones of yarn of the most glorious colours and textures. After four hours of very patient teaching I came away with some of the skills to master machine knitting, a rag tag collection of samples, a bag of yarn and a finished scarf, which, after a hot wash with plenty of fabric conditioner to shrink it after an error with the tension dial, is good enough to wear!

I now NEED a knitting machine…much to my husband’s horror! The problem is which brand and model. Many of my friends swear by Brother but they stopped production in 1996 so all the machines are vintage and my concern is how to get my paws on a good one??? The other option is to choose a new Silver Reed machine, not cheap but still in production so maintenance should be easier. Then there is the question of a simple manual machine or a full on electronic beast! So many options so any thoughts would be appreciated.

Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in America

Just before Easter I had to take my daughter to the University of Bath Architecture Department for the day. Surprisingly she didn’t want her middle aged mother ‘hanging about’ so I took myself off to the American Museum & Gardens. Well, what an unexpected treat – Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in America exhibition featuring a selection of the most exquisite antique American quilts and a collection of Kaffe’s designs inspired by the work.

Not only were the antique quilts so carefully pieced and stitched but you could see they had been used, repaired and some of the fabric had become quite worn and taken on a subtlety of colour after years in sunlight. Kaffe Fassett’s new quilts sang with colour and pattern but the piecing was very closely matched to the antique quilts so made for an interesting comparison.

If you are fortunate to be in the Bath area I would thoroughly recommend this museum, packed full of the most beautiful objects in original room settings. The grounds are inspired by George Washington’s gardens at Mount Vernon and there is a superb cafe with views over Limpley Stoke Valley and River Avon. The quilt exhibition runs until 3rd November 2019 and is closed on Mondays.

Mosaic Seagull

Gosh, it has been a long time since I last wrote a post. I have been mainly working on our house. A lovely old property that looks just like a typical Georgian dolls’ house but very demanding of my time with a constant stream of maintenance to keep the old dear in shipshape condition.

This month I foolishly decided to block up one of the four doors into the kitchen to create a large coat cupboard under the stairs, tile the entire room and commission a pair of larder cupboards. Like many tasks I completely underestimated how long the work was going to take! The larders are about to be delivered and I have just about tiled enough of the walls for them to be fitted. It has got me thinking though about how much I must really love tiling because there are an awful lot of tiles throughout the house, even the bookshelves my husband made have a frieze of Delft birds along the top.

The first time I ever attempted using tiles for mosaic was one New Year, in the highlands of Scotland, when visiting the family holiday home of my University flatmate. They had chosen to create a mosaic of the local wildlife that covered the entire conservatory and kitchen. It was a truly epic undertaking and I’m not sure my contribution had much of an impact!

My next attempt was much more successful, a seagull mosaic kit from the marvellous Martin Cheek – check out his work as he uses fused glass elements to created the most characterful designs. The colours are quite vivid when you first cut the mosaic but the entire design takes on more subtle hues with the grey grout, the odd pops of gold around the edges and that fabulous red spot on the beak. I really think I should have another attempt but first I must finish this kitchen.IMG_2695