Tuesday, March 3

Early Bird

 This is the piece I've been working on since January in preparation for the class later this year.  I like how it's turning out although it's taking me a little longer than I planned to because I'm writing down a lot of details. After I have finished this (and I'm guessing there's about 8-10 hours of stitching left) I really want to embroider another small furry creature! 

Tuesday, February 24

Birds & Bears looking for a New Home

Soon I will have to clear out my craft/sewing room. We need to install a new bathroom (which is in the space next to my room) and obviously I can't leave all my precious supplies and work as there will be lots and lots of dust. A good opportunity to go through all my stuff and let go of some of it. So in March I will be listing several embroideries in the shop!

Most of them will be small to medium sized and some, like the sea bird, are even hooped and ready to hang. Prices will be friendly, I just hope some (or all) will find a good home and make someone happy instead of being kept in a drawer... :)

Tuesday, February 17

More Knitting Adventures

Well isn't this a handy tool to measure the size of your knitting needles? After I noticed that two sets of needles I had bought (different brands, different sizes) appeared to be the same size some helpful peeps on Instagram advised me to get a Needle Gauge. Apparently you can get these for free at some places but I bought this one for a few euros (and it also has a thread cutter for some reason). Anyway, it turned out that my 10 mm needles (pictured here, the '1' has been rubbed off due to frantic knitting) were actually 8 mm needles!

I knitted a huge, chunky looking cowl for my oldest daughter Zoe with the 10 mm needles (that actually were 8 mm needles)  and it turned out quite nice! I have now started on a smaller one for Luna and it's almost finished. After that I want to make myself some leg warmers. Because I saw these (note the subtle diamond pattern!)

from Knitting Smitten by Jessica Biscoe

in this book

Kntting Smitten by Jessica Biscoe does not just  feature leg warmers, also egg warmers!
Knitting Smitten is aimed at beginners and has a lot of basic information like how to decipher knitting patterns, how to choose yarn and what needle size to use etc. Jessica Biscoe manages to make things that are a bit intimidating for newbies (like 'knitting in the round and 'increasing' and 'decreasing') a little less scary. I also really like several projects in the book like the leg warmers, mittens, hats, cushions and blanket. I doubt I will ever make a knitted bow-tie for a dog though  ;) Apparently the leg warmers in this book need to be knitted in the round as well, which is something I'm definitely going to try (I even bought the double pointed needles) but not yet. I found another, easier pattern for leg warmers and only need to decide which colour yarn to use: chartreuse (one of my absolute favourite colours) or grey (goes with anything and rhymes with 'hey')?

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 10

Shading Extravaganza

I'm trying my best to put a super fabulous online class together, as well as kits to go with it (and feed the family from time to time and conquer mountains of washing) so posting on this blog might be a little less frequent the coming months. I hope this Shading Extravaganza makes up for it....You guessed it, my online workshop will involve a good portion of shading but I'm putting my own spin on it. It's 'shading for the uninitiated', so if you have some basic embroidery skills and want to really learn something (instead of copying an example to the exact stitch) this might be a good one for you. :)

Thursday, January 29

On Knitting and other things...

This is Jumper, Luna's favourite cuddly toy (along with his little brother Rory) posing quite elegantly with his new knitted cowl. I'm trying to learn how to knit and Jumper's cowl was a good first project. Actually it was Luna who wanted to learn how to knit so we're in this 'learning how to knit' thing together. At least that was the idea...

A little while ago I bought a book about knitting but it's not very helpful. So to learn how to cast on I turned to Youtube for a video and found this one for left handers very helpful. At some point in my past (probably 35 years ago at least) I learned how to do the Garter Stitch but apparently I learned it the right handed way. Mmmmm... So now I cast on left handed and knit right handed.

For now I'm sticking to the Garter Stitch until I have finished my Bulky Yarn Scarf (the Black and White thing in the photo). I bought some cheap yarn but if there's progress in my knitting efforts I will probably move on to fancier yarns. Knitting is still a bit of a mystery to me. I found out that there's a difference between American and European needle sizes for instance and that there are 3000 different ways to cast on. After reading this review of the book Knitting Smitten on Laura Howard's blog yesterday I ordered it right away because it looks like a good (and easy) place to continue my knitting journey. And I also have Julie to turn to with my Knitting Questions as she has kindly offered her expertise. And look what she knitted recently, lovely!

In other news: you can find an interview with little old me on the Bugs and Fishes blog (that's also where I read the Knitting book review) in the Crafty Ladies Series. And for the &Stitches blog I made a tutorial about the Roumanian Stitch and the Roumanian Couching Stitch. It's a versatile and easy stitch so go check it out. :)

Wednesday, January 21

New things

Good news (at least I think it is!): I'm busy writing and embroidering for a new online workshop (or 'class', but workshop sounds more 'hands on'). More details will follow next month but the planning is to launch towards the end of May. If you are interested in joining me (and yes the photo below is a hint of what to expect) then be sure to keep an eye on this blog or sign up for my newsletter!

I learned lots from my experiences (and the survey) from last years 'Furry Nice' online Embroidery class, so things will be a little different. But for the better of course. :)

This Spring I'm also hoping to have a few more patterns printed. One that is familiar (see above) and two brand new ones. I'm working with someone to sort out the printing stuff (because that's really not my thing) so I can focus on the Embroidery part (which is more my thing)!

Wednesday, January 14

Lovely (handmade) gifts

Just at the end of 2014 I received a lovely package full of goodies, including this wonderful hand stitched brooch my friend Sami made for me! I'm wearing it today but thought this old book was a better backdrop for a photo than my wrinkled cardigan. It wasn't a swap technically as both me & Sami just (without knowing we were planning to) sent each other a few goodies around Christmas time. :)

I don't do many swaps anymore as they always stress me out a bit but I had much fun with the &Stitches Bloggers Secret Santa swap. Rebecca sent me an amazing package with a fabulous pouch (Polar Bear from Sophie's fab Stitch the Halls book!) and a very pretty pieced mug rug (a.k.a glass of white wine rug). Rebecca's package also included lots of different M & M varieties, which my daughters loved. Over here you can only buy the chocolate and peanut M & M s.... Rebecca has a post featuring the whole loot on her blog!

I sent a Moomin Snorkmaiden drawstring bag with goodies to Julie. I adapted one of the Sublime Stitching Moomin patterns to make it look more winter-y.

My bestie Caroline went to Japan and brought me heaps & heaps of fabric, including this super cute animal print. No idea what the owl is on about but I'm sure it's something nice. :)