Knitting and Stitching Show – take 2!

Excited! I am excited and proud and grateful and…lots of other good feelings!

I haven’t been to the Knitting and Stitching Show in London since 2010.  Although we planned to go last year so I could see my RSN goldwork piece on display, our plans had to be cancelled. This year, however, we are going. In fact, we are going next week and I will be there on Thursday, October 10 all day and into the evening to see everything and everyone.

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Nicola Jarvis has an exhibition in the Gallery as does my very first teacher Phillipa Turnbull.  The Acorn pillow I stitched for Nicola’s one woman show, “The Art of Embroidery: Nicola Jarvis and May Morris” at the William Morris Gallery will be on display in her exhibition.

Finished Acorn

Finished Acorn

Last week Phillipa emailed me and asked if I would be willing to loan her the Bateau Bayeux piece for her exhibition “A timeline of Crewel Work 1630 -1930”.  You don’t need me to tell you what my answer was – and I sent it in record time – under 5 seconds! I feel very fortunate to have friends in the embroidery world who think highly enough of my work to include me in their exhibitions. Their encouragement is what motivates me to keep learning and striving to create higher quality work.


Above is the Bateau Bayeux piece all framed and ready to go. I’m carrying it over with me and will go to Alexandra Palace on Wednesday to get it to Phillipa in enough time for her to mount it.

The last and only other time I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show I didn’t sign up for any workshops. This time, I’ve chosen to attend a workshop  in the morning given by Bobby Britnell titled “Easy and Fun Sketchbook Skills”. According to the workshop brochure, “You will be given clear and accessible, step by step instructions of how to create effective and instant designs, working directly into a sketchbook using a variety of media. You will go away with your sketchbook full of ideas and a head buzzing with possibilities for personal interpretation.  This makes this short course a must whether your interest is in drawing, designing or in any aspect of textiles. Suitable for the complete beginner through to experienced artists.” Oooohhh! I HOPE so!

I decided to treat myself and enjoy a proper British tea in the afternoon. Since I’m going on my own, I will be put at a table with others and hope to meet some equally enthusiastic needlewomen. If any of you, dear readers, are going to be there on Thursday and have booked in for tea, please let me know if you want to meet up! I will also be at Nicola’s exhibition just a bit before 6 pm so that is another place we could say hello.

For those of you – of which I know there are many! – I will do my very best to see all I can, write about it and take photos where I’m able. I wish I could pack you all into my suitcase and take you with me. Wouldn’t we have fun shopping, talking, drinking tea and eating scones?!



Would you like to embroider your own Acorn Pillow?

Click on the image below to purchase the e-book “The Acorn: A Story of Stitching” .




The Acorn: A Story of Stitching

Over the last 7 months you’ve followed my progress while stitching the Acorn design on The Unbroken Thread.  Many of you asked about obtaining the pattern and now youhave the opportunity to stitch this stunning crewel work design!

The Acorn is the story of stitching this beautiful crewelwork piece designed by Nicola Jarvis for her one woman show at the William Morris Gallery during 2013. The book includes the full size pattern and stitch diagrams with easy to understand  instructions. Beautiful, detailed color photographs fill the pages and provide both inspiration and an excellent visual reference to help you stitch this piece.

The stitch diagram/instruction pages contain references to the  pages of text where I have written about working that particular area of the piece so you can learn from my experience – both successful and “needing improvement”. Encouragement and feedback from members of The Unbroken Thread community are included and provide encouragement, insight and tips.


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  • 81 pages

  • 71 full color images

  • Stitch diagrams with complete instructions for completing the piece

  • Full size pattern and thread recommendations

  • Pattern is 13.5 inches/35cm wide at the widest part and 11.5 inches/28cm high at the highest part

This book can be downloaded to your computer or tablet and opened using a PDF reader. (Get Adobe reader here – it’s free!) In electronic format The Acorn book is easy to carry with you and doesn’t take up any space! If you prefer a paper copy, you may choose to print only the diagrams and instructions or the entire book.

When you purchase The Acorn you will receive both a confirmation of your purchase in an email with a link to the download of the book and pattern. The pattern is available in two paper sizes –  to be printed on either A4 or Letter sized paper.

If you are not familiar with the stitches used in the pattern, you may need an embroidery stitch guide.

Please note that the download files are 47.8 MB and download times will vary according to the speed of your internet connection.

If you are downloading the book and pattern to a tablet such as an iPad or Android machine, please ensure that you have enough memory for the whole file. Depending on the apps you have you may need a Zip app such as iZip (iPad) or WinZip (Android). They are both free.

You may also need a zip program such as WinZip, if downloading to a PC.

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The Acorn complete

Firstly I need to tell you all that I’m sorry I haven’t written this week: a terrible flu has been making the rounds at school and I fell victim. I’m all better now and hopefully immune to the flu until next year!

Last week I showed you the Ghirodes knot sections of the design. The very, very last things to do were the couched threads around the Acorn up and my initials and date.

For the couched threads around the cup edges Nicola asked that we use two strands of a dark teal blue thread. Those two strands are laid gently around the edge of the acorn and couched down using one thread at equidistant points around the shape, making sure that the laid threads are not pulled too tightly. This technique makes a beautiful, almost ruffly border that looks especially sweet when viewed from an angle rather than from above the piece.


In the bottom left corner I added my initials and the year the piece was completed in the light green thread. Then I packed it up and sent it off to England where it will be made into a

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