Friday, 28 October 2016

Never Not Stitching!

In August I learnt that Belle and Bright offer a monthly sewing kit, so I signed up and received my first kit through the post at the beginning of September.  I'm impressed with the quality of these kits and love their aesthetic.
Part of my idea about these kits, is for me to get acquainted with my new sewing machine by doing little projects.
I decided to adapt the bunting by making the flags smaller and by stitching around them with the embroidery floss provided.
I then added some buttons from my Nana's button tin.
It's been a while since I have done any crochet, but as I love bats I couldn't resist this little one that was with a magazine recently.
I finally finished my Asana Shawl by Helen Stewart.  I had played yarn chicken and lost, but luckily I was able to purchase more of the grey yarn.  In the end I only needed an extra 4g!
I think this is my most favourite shawl yet and have worn it lots already.
Recently I have also been working on a Madewell Cardigan by Joji Locatelli.
A friend had the idea that a group of us, who had signed up for the next Curious Handmade Country House Retreat, could all knit the same item and wear it at the retreat.
It's been some time since I have knitted a garment for myself and although this is comfortable to wear, I would have preferred it to be a little bigger.  Overall I am very happy with how it has turned out and will make another one as it was an enjoyable knit.
Also during October I received the next Belle and Bright sewing kit.
It was another well thought out kit and contained the materials for these cute pumpkins.  I added the crocheted tendrils and they are now sitting in our living-room.
The next shawl design in The Shawl Society by Helen Stewart was the Quill Shawl.  As I planned to knit all of these shawls from stash (failed with the next one!) my shawl edging is different from the design because I started with less yardage.  I like the way it has turned out.  This one is in DK weight and will be warm to wear when it gets cold.
Next my sewing machine was back out again.  We are getting on well and I am beginning to remember what all the buttons and programs are for! :)
This time I was making some little gifts for friends
and some lavender sachets for everyone at the upcoming retreat.  These are stuffed full of my homegrown lavender.
I also decided that I wanted to make a new project bag to take to the retreat.
I had bought the cat material from the Knitting and Stitching Show and the pink material is a remnant from a fancy dress costume I made years ago for my daughter.  I embroidered some cat paw prints on one side and a mouse on the other.  It was finished with a mouse-shaped bell that each time I moved my bag at the retreat had my friends looking for a cat! :)
My final project before going away was this rabbit brooch from a Jessie Chorley kit.
I didn't use the main material provided in this kit as I wanted to use some of the vintage linen that I had recently purchased at Thread.  I stem stitched my bunny and the carrot and the rest of the brooch is a mixture of running, back and seed stitch with some French knots.
I finished it with a bow and a patch at one side.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy embroidery and plan to make a cat brooch next.
So I was all ready for the retreat which will be my next post.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Knitting and Stitching Show 2016

Yesterday we were up early and headed to London.  My husband and daughter went off to do their own thing and I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.
This year I hadn't gotten around to buying my ticket online, which was fortuitous because as I headed towards the box office a very kind lady gifted her spare ticket to me!  I entered the show through the West Hall where there were some vendors and works of art exhibited.  These ones caught my eye:-
Guardians 1 to 5 by Hilary Beattie

An exhibition of work by Jan Beany and Jean Littlejohn to celebrate 25 years of collaborative writing.
Where the Apple Reddens by Jean Littlejohn.

Lazy Daisy by Jean Littlejohn.

Autumn Seed Heads by Jean Littlejohn

Winter Magic by Jan Beanie

Contrasts by Jan Beanie

Stitched Sketch - Sweden by Jan Beanie
The displays of sketches that inspired stitched works were very interesting.

I loved the detail in these two Anne Kelly quilts entitled

and Natural History Bags.

She also had an exhibition of her work Textile Nature that included a stitched garden shed.

Purple Pigeon by Karen Suzuki
Mass Hysteria by Leisa Rich

Nature Study 1 - 4 (There were only 3?) by Meredith Woolnough

Meadow Wall Panels by Emily Nottman

Language of Leaves by Alice Fox

The brown leaves are actually real.

I looked around the stalls admiring the colours of the threads and the pretty displays.

The beautiful ribbon embroidery on this stall were by Lorna Bateman who very kindly answered my questions and demonstrated some stitches to me.

Then I headed into the Great Hall which was full of stalls and where the shopping began! :)  There were so many tempting displays and lots of inspiration.

My favourite stall was La Maison Tricotée from Canada.

So many gorgeous yarns!

I restricted myself to these three skeins.

Other purchases included this bag from Cats Protection, some Liberty fabric and a couple of cross-stitch cottage kits.

Also I bought some Halloween themed material for a project bag or two

and as I had bought the scissor keeper kit, I treated myself to some pretty embroidery scissors.

After the shopping I walked into the Panorama Corridor to look at the Quilt Guild's and Embroiderers' Guild exhibitions.

52° 32'N, 04° 03W by Laura Kemshall.

New Beginning by Elfrieden Grooten.

The Night King by the Embroiderers' Guild was fantastic!  It was huge and there was so much detail!

By now it was time to meet up with my husband and we collected our daughter to head home.

It had been a lovely day full of inspiration with the added pleasure of meeting up with my friend Dani, aka Little Bobbins and her mum.