We Have Some Winners

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.


WIN!!! … Tickets for the Spring Knitting & Stitching Show, Olympia

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 – epavier@annsorchard.co.uk

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


Antique Inspiration

It was a very chilly -6°C this morning but I wrapped up well and was determined to head to the local antiques fair at Ardingly with the intention of finding some furniture for our entrance hall. A sideboard or chest with lots of storage for my precious fabrics and yarns would have been perfect!

Alas, none of the furniture quite fitted the bill but the great joy of an antiques fair is all the other unexpected treasure that is on offer. There is often a lot of vintage clothing or curtaining made with really quirky fabric. Chairs may be in pieces but the seat still covered with beautiful needlepoint and then there are always unique pieces of art!

Probably much to my husband’s relief I only made a couple of purchases, including this pair of Staffordshire rabbits. I have never seen a pair quite like this and I think they may be an imported Chinese interpretation, but at only £20 they were, ‘cheap as chips,’ and are crying out to be made up into embroidered cushions.


Colour Dilemmas

Designing is my real passion and I just love heading to the haberdashery shop and being able to choose a rainbow of threads, often without any clear idea of what I plan to do with them. Sometimes just seeing a particular colour, ball of wool or size of canvas will spark an idea. These are then jotted down, mulled over and some will eventually be stitched, knitted or crocheted.

This New Year I am finishing off my new chunky cross stitch designs. I saw the plastic canvas last summer and immediately thought it would be perfect for children or beginners to counted cross stitch. I wanted to make the designs quite simple, using no more than four or five colours but characterful without being kitsch. I also wanted to use beautiful materials as some of the kits aimed at children seem to contain the poorest quality products which are often very difficult to work with and give disappointing results.

The design process often starts with a very, very rough sketch, a selection of photographs and then I just doodle it out on the computer. Sometimes I get lucky and  this can take a matter of minutes but often takes much longer as stitches are moved and colours changed. Then comes the fun….stitching.

Radio 4, plenty of canvas, piles of wool, good light and lots of time – these critters can be stitched many times until I am happy with the colours. Not only do they have to be looking at their best but they also need to complement their neighbours – again it helps to keep the colour palette fairly simple.

Yesterday I was debating the background to Foxy, blue or green? To be honest he looked good on both but there was already rather a lot of blue wool in the collection and the general consensus on social media was that this chap looked better on green.

Hoorah, another design complete, and on trend, rocking Pantone colour for 2017.


A Christmas Muffin

Some of you may have already seen this little Muffin the Mule as I started him last spring after finding the vintage pattern in a local charity shop. He was a project I kept by the computer so a little stitching could be squeezed into the odd moment of light relief from spreadsheets!

My mother would occasionally look in to ‘see how he was coming along’ and then in the autumn, when half finished, he simply disappeared – she had snaffled him! I didn’t see him again for a few weeks but then he reappeared, the majority of the stitching complete and some muttering about the pattern being wrong – the Pelham puppet version, her childhood love, only had four strings.

So, a quick Google search for a picture and I was able to put the four strings in the correct place, remove the waste canvas, pop him in a beautiful Victorian maple wood frame and here he is in his full glory – I managed to take a quick photograph before wrapping him up and returning him to my mother for her Christmas present!



Christmas Robin Hoop Embroidery


It seems quite incredible that we are almost at the end of another year and I have been so grateful for all your support and encouragement in my stitching endeavours.

As a very small thank you I have designed a little hoop embroidery robin.
He is sewn on linen in a variety of stitches with a few beads for good measure.
At only 5″ in diameter he is quite a quick project and you may be able to squeeze him in before Christmas – this year!
I have put together a few materials packs from my stash but feel free to use whatever you have to hand – I would love to see what you create.

For full instructions, pattern and optional materials pack please click on the link.

You are very welcome to share this chap with family and friends.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas!



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!