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November 2017 - Craft Fair Update

November is proving to be a busy month.  Last Saturday I had a stall at the Metal Southend Winter Fayre, in the lovely surroundings of Chalkwell Hall.  Despite the awful weather we had a very busy day with lots of lovely customers.

Hopefully it will be nicer weather next Saturday when I am at the "I am Handmade" Fair at Leigh Community Centre, Elm Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.  This is always a lovely fair, with lots of different stallholders, and a wide variety of gifts.  I will have all my knitted garments, as well as my scarves and knitted brooches.  

It is on from 10am to 3pm, with refreshments available, and children's activities available.  Also the Christmas Cards for Charities stall will be open in the Foyer.

See you there!

Saturday 9th May 2015 - Leigh-on-Sea Vintage and Handmade Fair

Leigh-on-Sea Vintage and Handmade Fair - 9th May 2015

Yesterday I had a stand at the Leigh Vintage and Handmade Fair.  It was my first fair of the year, and I always enjoy it.  It is nice and local to me, so I don't have to get up too early on Saturday morning, plus having showed there many times before I know exactly what my stall allocation will be and that always saves on setting up time. 

Also because it is local I see lots of friends and family, plus lots of lovely return customers.  In addition I have a stall next to the lovely Cinnamon and Sugar girls who make the most gorgeous Portuguese goodies which keep me going through the day, and a custard tart for when I get home.

I'm not scheduled to do the next Leigh Vintage Fair on the 4th July, so if you came along yesterday and not regretting not buying something from my stand, or wish to commission a piece, please get in touch via my website, or my facebook page where I post regular(ish) updates of what I am making.

Today I am working on my Creative Journal notebook and altered book, as I am doing a six week course taken by Heidi Wigmore.  There is a public viewing group on Facebook  with photos of this and the last session that you may find interesting - search for "Creative Journal Workshops Chalkwell Hall"


Owing to the fact that this blog is incredibly slow at loading photos, I now have a new blog at www.uniqueknitwearbyjulietbryson.blogspot  .   A long title I know, but you can now subscribe to it, plus use a blogreader such as bloglovin so you never need miss a post!



Well 2013 is already 23 days old, and the January is not quite going as planned.  The unexpected happened and I was invited to be part of an exhibition in Maldon in February.  So along with my good textiles friend, Bev Folkard we are putting some work in the Maeldune Centre, which is on the main road in the centre of Maldon.  It is on for a month, and hopefully we will be at the meet the artists day.  There will also be work from various textile artists from around the Maldon area as well.  


New Shop Outlet

I have a new outlet for my brooches and keyrings, which is Cathy's Coffee located inside "What the Butler Saw" along the Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea.   Cathy makes a lovely proper cup of coffee and has some very scrummy cakes and biscuits as well.   So please pop in and support a local shop keeper.  

What the Butler saw is an Aladdin's cave of collectables and antiques, full of unusual items and perfect for unusual Christmas presents.

It is a is busy week, with taking down my Rochford Art Trail pieces, and also being at the Westcliff WI Craft Fair.  This is one of the biggest WIs in the country, with 99 members and a waiting list, so hopefully there will be lots of support for us.




Yesterday afternoon I set up my Rochford Art Trail work at  Rochford Adult Community Learning, where also on show are Tessa Frampton, Greensward Academy and the Open Arts.  Also located there is the Anonoymous Postcard  Sale, where you are buy your own little piece of artwork, and help a local charity.

This morning there was also a Craft market and workshop market in the WI hall.  We had lots of people coming in sheltering from the rain and sleet, but luckily it was nice and warm in there.  If you saw my work this morning and regretted not buying please get in touch and we can arrange something.  Or check out my events page for where I am selling next.

Luckily by the time we had packed up, the sun had come out and we were able to go for our own wander round the Trail.  There was some very nice work there, and some interesting chats with people.  So a good day (apart from the Golf club which claimed to know nothing about the cream tea offer on the leaflet - never mind we had a nice tea and biscuits in the new Holiday Inn overlooking the airport)


I had a very enjoyable weekend up at the Textiles weekend organised by The Material Girls group.  On a very hot Saturday myself and my Embroiderers Guild chairman Lesley just got there in time to see our very own Beverley Folkard demonstrating pamphlet bookmaking to a captive audience, some of whom were taking notes.  Her worry that being first would result in nobody watching was incorrect.  Then we looked round the Bridging Waters exhibition of which had some very interesting and diverse work.  Then tea and cake, and then to watch Helen Wilson with her printing using a pasta machine.  Loved her images and sketchbook.  Then a quick look at the shop and then to listen to Sara Impey which was wonderful as have long been an admirer of her work. 

And then to Sunday, more sandwiches and cake, then watching and listening to Janette Bright talking about the Foundling Museum and her research with it, which then inspired some pieces showing us again how effective handstitching can be.  

Then then to my demonstration which didn't go as badly as I had been worrying about.  There were some people listening and all seemed interested in the different effects plus the speed of the knitting machine.  So then more cake, chat  and home!  A very interesting and informative weekend - thanks to the Material Girls for all their hard work.

Thanks to Miriam Weaver of MG for the photo below showing me in action.  

Textile on the Hill

Textiles on the Hill weekend

It has been a busy few weeks again, with a lot of time going towards organising my branch of the Embroiderers Guild (South & East Essex) being part of the Westcliff Art Trail.  The members produced some lovely work, with lots on the theme of "The Swish of the Curtain" as our location was Danceland at Dalbys, and other pieces on a pink/red colour theme.  You have until Wednesday to view it, before it moves to Rochford Adult Community College until the end of July.  

I have also been busy trying to get work finished for this weekend's Textiles on the Hill at the Woolmarket in Horndon on the Hill, Essex.  I am demonstrating on Sunday afternoon, and there will be lots of well known people demonstrating at other times.  Plus the Materials Girls joint exhibition with the Canadian group Articulation called "Bridging Water", textile supply stalls, textiles to buy, and light refreshments.  

For more details see the Material Girls website at

Hope to see lots of you there.

Exciting News

I received some exciting new this week - my firework scarf picture is being used as one of the artist's images to promote the Rochford Art Trail, which will take place in late October 2012, in the Essex Summer of Art Brochure.  The brochure contains details of all the art trail events happening in Essex, and comes out in printed format in a few weeks time.  But you can sneek a preview at

Now just need to do some new work to submit for the actual Art Trail application which closes next week!

Getting on with things

I had great hopes that January would result in a clear and tidy workroom, new samples created, and plan for the new year all done.  So far I have a bag full of scrap paper but the workroom is still in need of serious tidying.  As  for knitting, so far I have done a lot of knitting that has needed to be unravelled as either it keeps falling off the machine, or hasn't been right.

So I felt the need to actually finish and complete something creative.  This is the book I created from the Lynda Monk pack that I bought after she came and spoke to our Embroiderers Guild in November.  I'm not entirely happy with the decoration as it was done without any planning, but at least it is finished, and I am now thinking about other possibilities.

I wanted to get it finished as this Saturday Lynda is coming back to teach a workshop.  We don't really know what we are doing as Lynda provides the materials, and we only have a short requirements list but am really  looking forward to.   To have a day just being creative will be great.   Check out her website and blog   and 

The other reason for not getting on with tidying is that I had my talk to the Embroiderers Guild - it seemed to go very well, with only one person dropping off.  Everybody was very complimentary and interested in my work, and also a possible commission.  What more could one want!

Now back to the tidying...................  



As it is already January 13th, my new year resolution to blog more regularly is already somewhat behind.  My intention of tidying and clearing my workroom has so far resulted in a bagful of recyclable paper, but I can’t see much progress apart from that.  But hopefully next week I will have time to sort out the notice-boards so they actually are relevant to what is going on with my work at this time, and also tidy up my stash of yarn.  

One reason I have got diverted this week is that I somehow was persuaded to talk to my local Embroiderers’ Guild group (details at - search for South and East Essex branch).  So I have been getting out my portfolio and samples from my college work.  It has been interesting to look back at the various projects and pick out some pieces that I think will interest the group, in particular the embroidery samples.   It has made me wanting to do more embroidery on knitted pieces as I really enjoy doing them, and feel it would be a good point of difference.  

So hopefully none of the group will drop off and start snoring (my Mother won’t be there and she is usually the guilty culprit!), and that I that won’t get too tongue-tied.  Now I need to go and do the various paperwork for the meeting, so everything is ship-shape for tomorrow.  


I am sorry I haven't been blogging much recently, but November is a rather busy month, with lots of Christmas fairs to get ready for.  Thank you to everyone who came to see me at the Handmade fair at Leigh Community Centre last Saturday.   If you are now regreting not making that purchase never fear!   You can just email me what you are interested in, or alternatively I will be back at the Community Centre this Saturday for the RSPCA fair, from 10am to 3pm.  They are promising lots of handcraft stalls, refreshments, and Santa's Grotto.   Entrance is 50p, free for children, all for a good cause.

And if you miss that, then on Saturday 3rd December there will be over 70 stalls at the Leigh Vintage and Handmade fair - get there early it gets busy!

Looking forward to seeing lots of you there - come and say hello!


Well it has been busy couple of weeks since I last posted, and now my work at the Rochford Art Trail has now come down.  It was lovely to see so much of my work hanging up.

Barbara and her staff at Ellis' Hairdressers are all very helpful  to work with, and very complimentary.   If you came along and would like to purchase a piece of my work, please email me and I can arrange to send / drop it into you.  Alternatively come and see me at the various crafts fairs being held at Leigh Community Centre on the 19th Nov, 26th Nov and 3rd December.  More details on my "Where to buy my work page"

This red felted waistcoat was very enjoyable to make, so nice to do some machine embroidery again.  As Kirstie Allsop says on her Handmade Britain, it is the 'crack cocaine' of crafts, being really addictive once you start doing it. 

Thanks also to Dave and Jan of the Essex Art and Design for having more of my work on display in their venue.  Their next show is at Hylands House, Chelmsford on the 26/27th November.  I won't be showing there but will be going on the Sunday to do some Christmas shopping.  These shows are great because all the work has to be made by the sellers and is of a really high standard.  

Now it is time to get knitting for the Christmas Craft shows, after a bit of a detour to the ERTF Colour Conference at Letchworth tomorrow. So who knows what  colour combinations I will be doing next ?



Last Saturday I had a stall at the "We are Handmade" at Ingatestone Community Centre.  I had a great day and met lots of  lovely people who were all very enthusiastic about the work on show.   If you are regretting not purchasing an item please get in contact and I can arrange to send it out to you.  The new ponchos were very popular, and they can be made in a choice of 16 colours.

Today I was over at the market town of Rochford to set up my work as part of the Rochford Art Trail, in Venue 4, Ellis Hairdressers in South Street.   It is the second year running that I have shown there, and owner Barbara and her team made me very welcome, and were very enthusiastic about the work.  I was able to tone in with their autumnal colour scheme in the window and there is a little sneak preview below.  Please feel free to walk in as they are very happy for people to go and view the work inside.   (

The art trail will run from this Saturday, 22nd October to Saturday 29th October.  Maps will be available from all the 34 venues, or can be downloaded from (I'm also on the front cover)  There are also events going in association with the trail, such as demonstrations, film viewing, and the Big Draw.

I also have work in Venue 26 with the Essex Art and Design Show, in West Street.  They will be open on both Saturdays and Tuesday with my textiles, plus visual arts and jewellery, available to buy on the day. 

I hope you will take the time to go and have a stroll round the town and enjoy the art work on show (plus have some refreshment in one of the many tea-rooms and restaurants)

PS Make sure you check out Beverly Folkard's work in Venue 17 - we had a look this morning and was very impressed.   . 

Finally getting back to the website

Visit to London, and the "Coming Through" Graduate Show

It always surprises me that however often I visit London, there is always new areas to discover and explore.  I took advantage that engineering work on my train line meant they were running via Stratford, and went to Bethnal Green tube station.  This meant I could pop into the V&A's Museum of Childhood to buy a birthday present, and then also looked at their "Sense of Space" exhibition in the entrance area.  Artists had gone on cultural exchanges between Britain, Bangladesh and India, then created work from their experiences, which included quite a few textile pieces (   Then onto Hackney Broadway to visit a yarn shop flagged up by the Eastern Region Testile Forum website (, but it was a major disappointment.  However the Saturday market had some great stalls with some great handmade items, plus there was a great fabric shop with some very tempting prints and buttons.  I indulged in a chocolate and walnut brownie and ate it by the canal while watching a narrow boat navigating the lock. 

Then a bus to Shoreditch  to visit the Rechurch Gallery for the Julia Capara School of Textiles (formerly OPUS) BA Embroidered Textiles degree show.  Severn students were displaying their final work.  I had principally had gone to see and support Chris Spencer, founder member of the ERTF.  Chris had been exploring her local woods and spending time there to really absorb the feeling and atmosphere of the place.  You can read more about her progress to degree show at www.chrissythreads.blogspot.  It was good to have a chat about her degree experience and hopes and plans for the future.  She also gave me a tour round the other students work, including Barbara J.West, who had joined the course as a quilter, but had produced her work, mostly in knit on the perils of drinking, especially to young women.  I also liked the calmness of Diana Bliss's work based on a series of walks along the River Dee in Cheshire.  Because the course is correspondence based there was no "house style" visible, and I admire all the students for completely six years of hard work. 

Then through an empy Spitalfields market and onto Clerkenwell, near Farringdon Station, which is another area I didn't know at all.  I was there for the Craft Central's open studio weekend (  formerly Made in Clerkenwell).  This was a fascinating selection of craftspeople displaying a wide range of products lots of gorgeous jewellery, textiles, print, fashion etc, housed in two buildings full of studio space. Particularlly interesting is that you can become an associate member, even if you don't have a studio there.  I also noticed some handbags that looked familar, and discovered that they are based in Rectory Grove, Leigh.  So had an interesting chat (will post a link when I find it!) 

The sun was still shining so I was reluctant to leave London, and had a reviving drink in St Paul's Cathedral churchyard - it has been recently cleaned so it was gleaming white in the sunshine. 
Finally caught the train home, with a great view of the Olympic site at Stratford.



kist - Phoenix at Coggeshall

As I read on somebody's blog recently, the problem with blogging is that if you have nothing to blog about you have plenty of time to blog, but when you are busy you have no time to blog.

Well the exciting news is that I have a shop that have been selling my work.  Phoenix is a lovely shop in the very pretty Essex town of Coggeshall which has a great range of ladies' clothing, and my ponchos have been flying out the door.  The new owner Louise also has some of my shrugs and scarfs,  so it is well worth a visit.  There is also the interesting Paycockes House, so the town is well worth a visit.



I apologise for not blogging before, but somehow a couple of weeks have slipped by, but so much has been happening that blogging about it has slipped down the to-do list.  

Early on Saturday morning, Beverley collected me so we could travel together to the ERTF  Conference at Girton College.  We had a good journey (except for Bev's sat nav lady continuly telling us to turn round and head home - lucky I can map read) and so arrived in plenty of time to enjoy a coffee and have a quick look round the lovely surroundings on the college.  Built in the 19th Century the college was until the 1970s a ladies college, and is a couple of miles north of the town centre, so has a very serene atmosphere.   These photos are of some stained glass windows in the Old Library - I wonder if any future textile pieces will be inspired by them?

Anyway after the business of the AGM, the speaker Stacey Harvey-Brown began on the topic of "Passive Selling" and held us enthralled for the remainder of the day.  

Handmade and Vintage Fair Saturday 26th March

I know that I have been remiss at posting blogs lately, but I have been getting ready for this Saturday's Fair at Leigh Community Centre.   It is from 10am to 4pm, with free entry.  As well as my stall, there will be over 70 stalls selling a wide range of crafts and vintage items.   Plus the lovely vintage tea-rooms.

So looking forward to seeing you there.



Life can sometimes throw up unexpected routes on the road, but that can be very rewarding.   I had been booked on a Sketchbook workshop at Co-exist arts in Westcliff / Southend, that is an artist run studio / exhibition / workshop space.  I had actually done some preparation work, and hoped it would spark off a new creative line of work for the New Year. Thought it slightly strange that hadn't had a formal list of things to bring, but thought sketchbook and drawing materials should do the trick.   So on Sunday morning I arrive at their workshops, get let in and sit down in a room already full of people with an explanation going on.  I know I was late but in fairness it was the bus's fault.  Buses always run early / on time on Sunday mornings as there is no traffic.  But on this particular Sunday they were late.

So I am sitting in a room copying the notes from the nice girl next to me, and it was only after 10 minutes of explanation more suited to an O'Level Chemistry class it dawnedon me that maybe this wasn't a sketchbook workshop.  So I caught the attention of the girl helping and we went outside the room to work out what had happened.  It transpired that the sketchbook workshop had been cancelled but because my booking form had never arrived I never had the cancelling email.

Anyway very kindly they let me stay for the morning and I had a very enjoyable morning painting the chemical mixture onto paper then putting objects onto the paper and exposing them under UV light.  So below are a couple of the images I produced.  And I can see the possibilities especially putting knitting or lace to get an image, although I would probably use the easier ready coated sun-printing paper you can buy.  But a fun morning and interesting to chat to other students/artists.  Check out their workshops and exhibitions at


“Twixmas” is an ideal time to recharge from the creative hussle and bussle of the autumn’s busy craft fairs and competing commissions.  I took advantage of my week off to visit 2 1/2 exhibitions in London.
Future Beauty : 30 Years of Japanese Fashion until 6th February at the Barbican Gallery was a truly mind opening opportunity to see the creativity and diversity of Japanese designers and how different from the Western way of designing and approaching fashion.  We spent nearly three hours here examining the other worldly and yet often very wearable clothing.   Designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto redefined fashion with asymmetric, deconstructed garments, often in black, which were a complete contrast to the bright and artificial couture of the west in the early 1980s.  Garments could be made from flawed or aged fabrics, representing the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi,  that finds beauty in imperfection.  
Many designers collaborated with textile designers to develop their own materials, creating new weaving, dyeing and construction processes.  I found most fascinating Issey Miyake’s new project 132.5  where intricately folded polygons made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate transformed into clothing when placed on the body.  
Our only grip was that the labelling was very low to the floor and so very hard work to keep  bending down to read.
Then to Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes at the V&A (closes 9 Jan 2011) which is one of their blockbusting exhibitions with many of the costumes, original sketches, invoices, unpaid bills, music and stories, that told how Diaghilev changed the cultural scene and outlook of the 20th Century with his dance company, and how it still has an influence today.  The textile artist in me was astoinshed by the level of detail, embroidery, applique in these stage costumes.  Apparently he wouldn’t accept stenciled or painted costumes, with some background costumes costing the equivalent today of £1600.  Also many of the costumes and head-dresses  were actually too heavy to be able to dance in.  
It was fascinating to read and see how he changed dance by bringing the exoticism of Russia’s history and its neighbouring lands to the West, and being adept at reshaping a range of subjects for his Western audiences.   He also collaborated with many of the leading artists, musicians and designers of the era, such as Chanel and Picasso.  Many of the items had been saved for the nation at a Sotheby’s auction in 1968, including a stunning backcloth of The Firebird which is the V&A’s largest single object. As many of the garments were worn on many occasions, they need extensive conservation work and also research work to determine which production they had appeared in.  An excellent exhibition with lots of audio-visual pieces to bring the era to life.  

I also visited Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City (until 27th February) at the V&A but didn’t really do it justice.  This was a feast for an embroiderer with an array of heavily embroidered tunics that were worn for grand state functions as well as daily activities, from three centuries of the Qing Dynasty.  


Well last Saturday I was at another Craft Fair in Leigh, this time the Vintage and Handmade Fair, with over 70 stalls selling a mixture of handmade and vintage goods.  It was a very buzzy atmosphere with plenty of customers.  I even managed to get round and do a bit of Christmas shopping myself!  The Christmas pudding brooches were going down a treat, with the carrot brooches still selling well.

If you saw something and now regret not buying it, please get in touch as I can arrange for collection / delivery.  Also I have one more event, a new venture for me, a Ladies Indulgence and Christmas Shopping Event at Westcliff Hotel next Thursday (9th December), with over 30 stalls of gifts and treatments.  Plus full licensed bar and bar food available. Hopefully the snow will have cleared by then.................

Exciting for me also this week is that Occasion Boutique, in the Ridgeway, Chalkwell (just along from Chalkwell Station) has agree to take some of my work.  So pop along and see my work in the window, and inside.



After last week's successful Made in Essex craft fair, I am now getting ready for this Saturday's fair.  It is also at the Leigh Community Centre in Elm Road, and takes places from 10am to 3pm.  There will be lots of different stalls with a wide variety of gifts to buy.  The added bonus is that the Farmer's market is downstairs as well so will be a great opportunity to buy local food direct from the producer.

I will have a new selection of Christmas brooches, plus new shapes and colours of the knitwear - ideal for presents of to treat yourself.

Look forward to seeing you there - please come and say hello!



This week I am busy trying to get as many pieces as possible complete for this Saturday's fair.  Should be a great day with lots of different stalls, so a great opportunity to make a start on your Christmas shopping.  All the stalls are of high quality crafts that are made by the stall holders - no bought in goods allowed.

Have got lots of new colours of my popular lambswool scarves, and new infinity scarves, some with beading.
Plus winter and Christmas inspired brooches and keyrings.



Well this week has been pretty busy.  On Tuesday I once again went over to Rochford, this time to take down my pieces that had been in the Art Trail.  It had been a very good showcase for my work, and apparently lots of people went round the visited the various venues.  I know when I went round on Saturday afternoon there were quite a few people walking round as well.

Thanks to Barbara and her staff at Ellis hairdressers for all their help in putting up the work, promoting it, and making sure no harm came to the work.

This gives you a taster of my pure new wool scarves that made a colourful display in the window.

If you visited the trail, and are wanting to buy something please contact me on, or visit me at one of the craft fairs I am doing in the next couple of weeks - details on "where to see my work" page.

Anyway after a very tasty all day breakfast in one of the cafes, it is down to the Rochford Adult College to help put up the "Stitches Galore" Exhibition by the South & East Essex Embroidery Group.  

After a few sleepness nights in fear that we wouldn't have enough pieces, our members came up trumps and we have over 50 pieces of very diverse work.  So please visit - it is on until the middle of December.

STTCHES GALORE is an exhibition by the South and East Essex Branch of the Embroiders Guild
3rd November to 16th December 2010
Rochford Adult Community Learning
Opening Times:
Daytime: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Evening: Monday to Thursday 7.00pm to 9.00pm (please check evening
Openings on 01702 544900)
For more details contact: or call  01702 307945


Well this morning was all about setting up my work over at Rochford as part of their 2nd Art Trail.  It does not start officially until Saturday 23rd October, but it suited myself and Ellis Hairdressers where I am exhibiting to set up today.  Barbara, the owner, was incredibly helpful and there is now a selection of work both in the window and inside.  Please don't be embarrassed to go inside and see my work inside - they don't mind at all, and all the staff are very friendly.  

There are over 60 artists showing their work this year, all in easy walking round Rochford (which is full of lovely independent little shops).  Maps are available from all the venues, or alternatively from the website

It runs until Sunday 31st October, although obviously different businesses and shops have different opening times.  


The Knitting And Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace (aka Ally Pally) is probably the biggest event on the Stitching calendar, a four day feast of knitting, embroidery, lace making, dressmaking and any other textile art and craft you can think of.

The point of difference with this exhibition is whilst you can shop til you drop and your credit card or carrying capacity is exhausted, you can equally spend the whole day looking at the exhibitions.
This year the Embroiderers Guild had combined the Graduates Showcase, Members work, the bookshop and magazines Stitch and Embroidery all into one large stand.  Plus they had Margaret Nicholson's visitor book for the Guild and work inspired by it.
It did feel more cohesive, but I found that the Graduates space felt squashed.  

Also it was great to see the Julia Capara retrospective - somebody next to me said "it is very colourful isn't it" which summed it up fairly well.  Was particularly interesting to see her early work that had been collected together especially.  Also liked the boxes of sketchbooks and shells showing how she worked (photo below)

Also loved Deirdre Hawken's amazing hats (she spoke to our Guild a few years ago) - gorgeous strawberries and other food that looked ready to eat.  
The Knitted Textile awards were also interesting to see the recent graduate work, although I had already seen some at the New Designer's show in July.   Also lots of other exhibits to see.
Luckily, as I had not seen everything on Friday, I returned on Sunday and managed to see some of the exhibitions I had missed.  I also attended a workshop/demo by Amy Twigger of Keep and Share on machine knitting, from the beginning to her more complicated techniques of joining pieces whilst on the machine.   I found it very interesting and am already putting some of her hints into practice.

The reason I went up on Sunday as well was that I was stewarding for the ERTF (Eastern Region Textile Forum) so spent all afternoon talking about what we are all about.  People were very interested in the leaves in various techniques that had been produced for the Cambridge exhibition.  So hopefully we attracted some new members and increased our profile.  

The only downside was that it was a wonderfully sunny day, but at least that meant walking down to the train station in the sun eating an ice-cream courtesy of my fellow steward Nicola.  


Although my first love is embroidery, unfortunately life recently has meant I haven't managed to do much recently. However this week I had an "different" request.  Could I embroider a rugby shirt that had been signed by the English rugby captain, and another squad member, so that it could still be worn and washed.

I said I would give it a go and I was able to do it without too many problems by using a small hoop and some washable magic film that meant the jersey fabric didn't stretch whilst sewing.  And even if I say so myself I think it looks pretty good.  Of course if the other 22 in the squad all want theirs done as well I might be changing my tune...............



Village Green is an free arts festival that is now in its 3rd year, taking place in Chalkwell Park, Southend, and luckily only a five minute walk away.  Last year they reckon 20,000 people came to it, and yesterday must have been easily more.

I had one of the marketplace stalls, and was busy all day with people buying brooches, and scarfs.  Saw lots of friends plus previous customers so it was a really good day, although I didn't get a chance to see anything else that was going on.   We have the sun on our backs most of the day, but by 6pm I was very glad to pack up and stagger home.

If you regret not buying something from me, just email me, or I will be doing lots of fairs in Leigh in November - more details on my events page.  


Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Leigh Community Centre last Saturday.  It was a very successful day, with lots of brooches and pumpkins being sold, as well as a few larger pieces.  It was a busy and bustling with lots of people coming to see the 60 odd stalls, showing more craft and vintage pieces.   I had a welcome return to the Vintage tea room with a delicious cupcake.

But don't worry if you regret not buying something from me last week, they are holding the fair again on the 27th November and I hope to be a part of it.

Also I will be at the Village Green event tomorrow in Chalkwell Park, from 11am to 6pm (although the event goes onto 10pm). More details of this event on
 Alternatively you can always email me and we can sort out delivery of your chosen piece.  

Handmade and Vintage Fair, Saturday 18th September

I realise it has been a while since I last blogged, but I have been really busy getting ready for a busy autumn schedule of events.

First is this Saturday at Leigh Community Centre, the Leigh Handmade and Vintage Fair from 10am to 4pm.  There will be even more stall than at the June event, plus delicious vintage style tearoom

So come along and buy your new autumn wardrobe!!



After a busy couple of weeks (more of that later) I found time to visit Rayleigh to view my stitching colleague Bev Folkard's exhibition at Rayleigh Mill Arts and Events centre.  The exhibiiton is in the foyer of the centre, on the way to the very nice coffee shop.  All the pieces are new to the venue, and show the variety of Bev's work, though the majority of them are stitched on paper which is her particular forte and love.

I especially liked "Amongst the Greenery" with the beads threaded onto horizontal threads raised up from the base, and "Strata" which just looked like you were peering through a crack in rock.  Also liked "Terre Verte" with some lovely lines of machine stitching and flower.

The exhibition is on until the 24th September, and September is the month to visit Rayleigh as there is a large Arts Festival happening.

Read more about Bev's work on her blog



Thank you to everyone who came and saw me at the Show at the RHS Hyde Hall gardens.  Inspite of the wasps it was a most enjoyable weekend.  The carrot brooches were an unexpected hit, and if you are kicking yourself that you missed out on these, or anything else please let me know, through the contact form on the website, or by emailing.

These shows are also filled with temptations for the seller as well, so I choose a pair of leaf earrings from Oak Leaf jewellery as a late birthday present.

Now getting ready for the next fair, which is on Saturday 18th September at Leigh Community Centre - more details on the "Where to see my work" page.


It has been a busy couple of weeks so apologises for the lack of blogging lately.  Everything always seem to happen in June and July so it has been case of trying to fit everything in.

My sister and nephew came to visit from France, and so in between playing ball and walking on the beach we also had some trips out.

One was to Tropical Wings, near South Woodam Ferras (Essex) which I love going to.  As the name suggests it started as a butterfly and insect place, but now has expanded greatly to include lots of other animals.  There were less butterflies than I've seen before (maybe we were the wrong time of year) but the ones we did see were as lovely as always.  

Also this one was very beatiful.

There were also some very large goldfish.


 Back in May I posted that I had done a "Bite-sized" photography course at the Focal Point Gallery in Southend Library, organized by Southend Adult Community College.

After being instructed on the features of our cameras, we were let loose in the library to take photos which were then uploaded onto the tutor's computer.  For each of us one photo was printed and is now on view at the college's Ambleside site, for a few weeks.

It was interesting to see which photo was chosen, and this is mine.



Whereas I usually 'do' the Art Trail all in one hit, this year it has been more fragmented, and actually more fun.  Plus doing too much in one day usually leads to art fatigue so this way has been much better.

Late night openings have been staggered this year, so on Tuesday evening when the sun came out, I toddled down to Old Leigh studios to view the work of Richard Baxter, Kate Baxter and Shelia Appleton.  Richard has expanded his range of ceramics this year with some wonderful new glaze colours.  His use of porcelain clay means that they were wonderfully smooth with translucent colours including an acidy yellow and pale pink.  If only I had the house and budget to buy them.

Kate Baxter had taken a found photo of a Victorian tableaux and created ceramic images and portraits on plates to give new life to this group of people about who there are no further details.

I love how Shelia Appleton can work equally well with oils or watercolours producing either evocative paintings of (mainly) Old Leigh or a class of keep fitters.  This year her paintings of France just transported you there.

The rest of the Art Trail will hopefully be completed over the weekend, although I expect I may have to dodge the rain.  Further details are available on  

Art in the Garden and the Leigh Art Trail


It has been an arty weekend , although viewing rather than making .  On Sunday afternoon we went over to Horndon on the Hill to see the work of 5 artists.  For a smallish garden they had a great variety of work displayed including photography, machine embroidery, pottery/ceramics and felt.  These five artists meet every week in the summerhouse at the bottom of the garden to provide mutual support and inspiriation.  We especially enjoyed the felt portraits, and Jane Barry (a fellow ERTF member) with her machine embroidery pictures including some delicious looking cherries. 
Also some delicious coffee and walnut cake.


This weekend has also been the start of the Leigh Art Trail, kicking off on Friday with a private view  at the Leigh
Cliff studios with Tessa, Bronwyn, Tricia and Jo.  It is always great to see what work they have been producing in the last year, and to catch up, talk to people and of course have a glass of wine!

Only time for a quick look round on Sunday with the Yvonne Pedetti retrospective at the Leigh Community Centre, plus the learners of the Community Centre.  Also had a very interesting chat to Lois Swain who was hand coiling her pots in Venue 4, Polarhouse in Rectory Road.

Plenty more going on this week, including Light installation on Church Steps tomorrow evening.


Thank you to all of you that came to the Craft Fair at the Leigh Community Centre yesterday.  Despite it being the hottest day of the year so far lots of people came round and there was a real buzz about the place.  I realize it was probably not the most ideal day to be looking at knitwear, but with the thunderstorms last night, if you are regretting not buying it is not too late.

Just email me with which piece you are interested in and we can arrange for you to see it again or for me to send it to you.

As ever I can rework pieces in different colours, or create something to your own specification.   Just email via this website or via

I will also be showing at the new craft fair at RHS Garden Hyde Hall on the 5th and 6th of August - more details on my "Where to see my work" page.




Well it has been all go this week in order to get ready for the Leigh Craft Fair on this Saturday 5th June.  I've been experimenting with some new poncho and wrap shapes.  New yarn I've been using this year is mohair, which makes a lovely, but light wrap that will be perfect for summer evening events - warm but still dressy.  I've also made one in a more glamorous ribbon yarn which will dress up a simple outfit.

This is the mohair poncho/wrap being blocked.  Because they are fairly large pieces when stretched out I've had to put this on my bedroom carpet and leave it for a couple of days to straighten.  I recently bought some blocking wires and pins which make the job easier.  You thread the wire through the edges of the knitting and the idea is that this eliminates the 'wavy edge' problem you get if you just use pins to pin the work out.  

It means that I have pieces of work in every room of my home - ironing board in the kitchen, lounge with flowers due to be stitched up, bedroom with this on the floor, and of course my workroom with lots of pieces in various states of being finished.  
Hopefully it will be worth it on Saturday when we get lots of people through the door to see all the crafts on sales, plus the  vintage tea room that is being set up.

I had a bit of a break yesterday afternoon and went over to Canvey Island to a Flower Festival being held at St Nicholas Church.  
It was celebrating both the 50th Anniversary of the building of the church, plus the 25th Anniversary of the Canvey Floral Art Club.  It was amazing show of flowers and creativity.  Everywhere you looked there was another arrangement.  

I particularly liked the colours and style of this arrangement on the font by Shirley Perkins, of Eastwood FAC.

We also had a chat to some women from the Stitching group at the Canvey Heritage Centre with their variety of needlework pieces.  



On Tuesday I had the afternoon off from knitting to attend a photography session.  Southend Adult Communit College run free 'taster' sessions in May, obviously in the hope of attracting people to join up in September for longer courses.

I went to a photography session as I thought it would be useful both for taking photos on things that inspire me, and also to improve the quality of the photography of my pieces of work.  The tutor Clarissa was very helpful and although I only have a fairly simple digital camera she actually explained in terms I could understand how to adjust the settings to suit different locations, items/distance, and light conditions.  Then we were let loose round Southend Library to put these into practice.  I was quite pleased with mine, although not that many were of the books.  They were then uploaded, and one print from each of us will be on display at the Ambleside Drive centre from the end of June for a month.  


The majority of my pieces have a machine knitted base, which although obviously a lot quicker than hand knitting isn't the whole story.  Working on a tension square, working out the pattern and size beforehand all takes time.  And then once the piece is cast off, ends need to be woven in, blocking and pressing, and sewing up of seams has to be done.  Then as many of my pieces require embellishment frills need to be attached, fringing added, labeling, photographing and writing up the details, and possibly the most important part of costing and pricing up.

Taking part in craft fairs last autumn I realised that is not a good idea to leave these things to the last week, so I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to finish off loads of part completed items.  I am slowly working through the pile, so that I am ready for the Leigh Craft Fair taking place on Saturday 5th June at the Leigh Community Centre.

One advantage of hand finishing is that it is not so noisy as using the knitting machine so I can listen to speech on the radio.  I have recently discovered podcasts so have been catching up with the Simon Mayo film review programme, Jonathan Ross, and the Arts Programme on the Radio 2 website.  

Anyway today I was attaching the frills to the waistcoat I made for my mum for Christmas - she wasn't happy with the original shape of it, so darts have been put in, and the frills just put round the edge and not the armhole.  The frill was too thick to be attached by using my  Defendi Linker so had to be hand sewn on.  Sneak preview photo.  

Also brooches were good sellers at the craft fairs so am doing some new flower shapes.

This is a rose shape, although in a funky purple Texere yarn.  I didn't have any beads that looked right in the middle so have put in washers instead which look rather good.

I know the photograph isn't wonderful and a bit washed out, but looks better in real life!  


Following the "Knit One, Stitch One" exhibition by Bev Folkard and myself last autumn, my friend Helen loved one of the shrugs on show, but wanted a colourway which would complement a sleeveless dress which was black background with brownish flowers.

Usually items are easier to make the second time around, but this one did prove to be a bit more problematic as I had to use a different type of wool which didn't knit up exactly the same (should have done a tension square) plus as it was knitting using two yarns together to get a balance of colours was more tricky than I had expected.

However Helen is very happy with her shrug and below are a couple of photos of her wearing it, on top of her dress.  




I know that TV is often accused of 'dumbing down' but recently we have had some marvellously informative programmes here.  The programmes about the solar system especially taught me more interesting things than science at school ever did.

Anyway last night the work of Henri Matisse was the second of four artists covered in "Modern Masters' on BBC1.  Alastiar Sooke who is a new presenter explored the way Matisse cast aside traditional representative painting to use a new, fresh palette of vivid bright colours, influenced by moving from the grey /brown of Northern France to the sunshine and blue sea of Mediterrean France.  Also from a textile point of view was the links between his work and textile manufacture.  They showed a working lace machine which still operates in his home town which was producing really intricate lace for the designer market.  Inspired me to do some more colour work, especially mixing bright colours in my knitting - so watch this space!  

Also worth i-playing is the "Genius of Design" on BBC2 on Fridays which is exploring different design movements and pioneers, and last week's programme including various textiles machinery.


I hadn’t realised it had been quite so long since I blogged last, as life and work seem to have been busy so I haven’t updated recently.

So what have I been doing?

Well there was the EASTERN REGION TEXTILE FORUM conference on the 24th April in Chelmsford.  This focused on the Fashion and Textiles industry with speakers talking about how high street retailers choose their colours and Middlesex University with their Fashion and Textiles courses.  I particulary enjoyed hearing about the Fashion and Textile Museum in South London.  This was set up by Zandra Rhodes but was taken over by Newham College a  few years ago and now is a central part of their courses which focus largely on the practical skills required by the fashion industries.  I have visited the Museum a couple of times and always really enjoyed their contemporary viewpoint on fashion and textiles, and it was interesting to hear about their future plans and exhibitions.  (

A feature of their conferences are the “Members Spotlight” talks where a member of the forum talks about their work / inspiration for about half an hour.  I had been asked to talk this time and as the time approached I was more and more apprehensive.  Due to computer difficulties I was shuffled up from the pre-lunchtime slot to first speaker, which actually meant I got it out of the way and was then able to relax.  But it seemed to go pretty well, and lots of people were trying on my capes and pieces (photos hopefully to appear on the ERTF blog sometime), saying complimentary things and also sold one piece.  It was also useful to get pieces out and relook at colours and styles and actually to think about why I do what I do.  For more details about this forum which covers all textile disciplines in the Eastern Region of England go to

I have been sending out applications for craft fairs this year, which involves having to come up with a good sentence / paragraph about your work, photos and cheques.  So far the confirmed dates are the Leigh Craft Fair on Saturday 5th June at the Leigh Community Centre, which is a new venture.  Further details will be posted on my Events page.  

Have also applied to the Essex Art and Design Show with their new event at Hyde Hall Gardens on Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th August.  Further details on, and I will put further details under “where to see my work” when I have confirmed booking.

Also have applied to the Village Green in late September, which last year attracted 20,000 people to Chalkwell Park.  Only thing that worries me is that they have had two years running of gorgeous sunshine so whether this is the year it tips it down - but that could be good for scarf sales!  But at least it is nearby and might even be able to wheel my stuff round there!  Again details to follow once it is confirmed.  

If you have seen my work and want to buy or commission work please contact me as at the moment the shop section of this website is not set up and running.  

The other excitement is that I (and also Beverly Folkard) are in the brochure for the “Essex Summer of Art” which gets distributed throughout Essex and beyond and covers all the major art events / art trails / open studios in Essex.  See a preview at 

This is because I am hopefully in the 2nd Rochford Art Trail which will be Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st October, and is where I exhibited at Rochford Hospital last year.  Again more details to follow but their website is

Well I think that is enough for this posting, and will post shortly about the exhibitions I have been visiting and what new pieces and yarn I have been experimenting with.   




It is only as I look back on my last update that I realise it is so long since my last blog.  So what have I been doing since then?


On Saturday I went round to my friend Helen for one of our regular "art / sewing" sessions where we hopefully get some sewing or art work, as well as eating Hot Cross Buns.  She had a new gadget, a teflon mat which when placed on your sewing machine bed is meant to make free machine quilting easier.  So I had a play as well, and it definitely made it smoother and able to more in all directions freely.  After getting into my stride with how fast to press the pedal I was fairly pleased with the result.  Curves were easier than straight lines, and the leaves at the top of the second photo are my favourite.  


All the cold weather and Valentine's Day recently has reminded me of the Eastern Regional Textile Forum (ERTF) visit to the Chelmsford Museum's store last February.  Although it wasn't snowing at the time it was absolutely freezing in the store and we spent all of the time in our coats, but it was a very interesting visit.  We were looking at love tokens with a view to then creating our own.  Gloves were a theme that came up frequently, as they are a symbol of loyalty and purity.  So I combined this with the pattern on a cross-stitched bookmark, which spelt out "Forget me not".  I then created a punchcard for the knitting machine.  Of course the first time I knitting it the writing came out in reverse - one of those mistakes that seems really silly in retrospect.  They are fingerless gloves with a thumb section, which was a challenge to figure out how to do, and with my trade mark ruffles round the top and bottom.  However the long floats on the reverse side of the knitting would mean that getting them on you would just keep catching your fingers, so they are just an exhibition / prototype piece at the moment.  However gloves at the moment are something that I may make some of for next winter.
The photos are taken at the ERTF's 1st exhibition last September in Cambridge, where the pieces made from the "Romancing in the Cupboard" project were exhibited.  As you can seen the glove theme has been taken up by someone else as well (sorry forget to make notes on names).  Thanks to Bev Folkard for the photos - her hearts book is pictured back left.

Looking back at this does remind me that I really should be doing some more art work at the moment.  I have all the equipment but somehow the inspiration and time is just not happening at the moment.  I think the only way is to make a certain time each week to do it, but maybe even then I would just get sidetracked.   



It seems a long time since I posted anything on my blog.  Before I was too busy buying presents, then had a complete break over the holiday, although thanks to all the knitting books and magazines I received spent lots of time reading about knitting.   Then I had all good intentions to start the new year raring to go, with new ideas of designs, and where to sell them.  However the snow has delayed my getting down to anything very creative, as I ended up working extra hours at my other (part-time) job.  Due to illness, holiday and the fact that I lived closer to work than other people I did 4 1/2 days last week.  So only this week have I been able to get down to anything creative.  But have had quite a successful day, making a long length sleeveless waistcoat in a blue mix yarn that an EG friend gave me as she is clearing out her loft.  I didn't take into account that the weight of yarn has made it longer than originally intended, but it won't matter to me, and managed to knit the back and one half of the front before the light faded and I couldn't carry on.   Plus have written a "to do" list which always make me feel instantly more organized.  

Below is a picture of nearby Chalkwell Park trees in the snow before Christmas.  I took quite a few photos of shrubs and plants in the snow, but this one was the most dramatic.  The branches remind me of crochet chains linking in and out - perhaps an idea for a design!


Thanks to everyone that came along and supported me at the two recent craft fairs held in Leigh-on-Sea.  It was nice to see so many of you, including lots of people that I hadn't seen for years.   Although held in the same venue I had tables in two totally different locations which necessitated thinking on feet to get my textiles shown to the best advantage.

If you are now regretting now having bought something from me, don't panic it is not too late.  I may have what you want still in stock, or I can knit to order, and then can arrange postage and payment.
Either go through the mail section on the website, or direct to


I  will be exhibiting at this Craft Fair, at the Leigh Community Centre this Saturday, 28th November from 10am to 5pm.  Lots of art and crafts at all prices available, free entry.

Look forward to seeing you there!



It was back over to Rochford Hospital to take down my exhibits on Sunday, at the end of the Rochford Art Trail.  Luckily the rain and wind had abated so we managed to get it into the car without getting wet.  This was in contrast to Friday when four of us walked round the Trail.  We had some very heavy downpours and the car park had some major puddles to try and avoid.  However we did get round all the venues and enjoyed the variety of art and sculpture on show, and in the variety of locations. 

If you did like any of my exhibits and wish to buy please get in contact.  I've already had one person wishing to purchase a scarf, which was very nice and so I dropped it round to his studio yesterday.

Alternatively I will be at the Handmade Craft Fair at Leigh Community Centre this Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm so will have all my work for sale then, so drop in and say hello.  There will also be the Farmers Market downstairs so plenty to see and lots of goodies to purchase. 

I am working on a commission for one of my shrugs, but the client would like it to match a dress, so bought two shades of brown wool that arrived today.  It is a really nice wool, and on convenient cones of 250g, but Forsell have decided to stop spinning, so it is getting difficult to find.  A nuisance when you find a great yarn then it is discontinued...






The Rochford Art Trail is now officially open.  I attended the opening at the Library yesterday where we had a chance to meet some of the other artists and organisers.   Nice to be able to hear about other artists' experiences, network etc.  It is on until this Friday with art displayed in various cafes, shops, offices etc around Rochford.  Leaflets will be available in the Library.  Beverley's work is in Barclays Bank which has scaffolding all around at the moment but is open weekdays.  Should be a pretty secure location!

If you are walking round the trail, the hospital location that I am at is accessible via Union Lane for pedestrians - just follow the signs for the Main Reception building.  There is a large painting by Tessa Frampton in the lobby, then past the reception, cafe to the corridor where my work is, with some sculpture by local students. 

It is the first Art Trail they have had, but the feeling at the launch yesterday was that hopefully it will become an annual event.    Rochford is a pleasant town with some cute shops and lots of historic buildings, and is very nice to wander round on an autumnal day, then have refreshment at one of the cafes!



Today it was back to Rochford, but this time the hospital site to set up my pieces for the first ever Rochford Art Trail.   It is smaller than the exhibition at the College, but it is in rather a nice location of an all glass corridor, which has alcoves and raised sections.  Also the display is different as have used mannequins rather than hangers, so they took a bit of arranging and draping to get a set-up we were happy with.   Managed to put more pieces up than I thought as we used the bars on the corridor as well.  

Also there are some sculpture pieces, and a large painting by Tessa Frampton in the foyer.  Although it is a bit of a distance from the other locations in the centre of Rochford, hopefully it is not too far for people to come and look, and was pleased by the response of the staff just as we were setting up.

The hospital is located on the Ashingdon Road, just past the primary school.  There are barriers to the car park, but if you just press the buzzer they open.   Open from 10am to 6pm every day with a reasonably priced coffee shop (although the prices have gone up since our recee visit!)

The Art Trail officially open on Saturday, at 1.30pm in the new Rochford Library, with various drawing events happening.  

Photo : sneak preview of the display



All too quickly the six weeks has passed that mine and Beverley's exhibition "Knit One, Stitch One" has been on display at Rochford Adult Community College.  So Tuesday was spent taking down the exhibiton.  It was a lot quicker than the putting up, but still took a while as the hangers had been wired to the nails and so had to be prised apart with pliers.  There were some nice comments in the visitors books, and the college were happy with the display so a successful exhibition.  

Thank you to everyone that made the effort to visit.  If you are interested in any of the items displayed,you haven't missed your chance, so please get in touch with me, via the website.

The exhibition has led to other opportunities and so both Beverley and I shall be exhibiting as part of the first Rochford Art Trail which starts next Saturday 7th November and lasts a week.   I am exhibiting at Rochford Hospital and shall be putting more details up about it in the blog this week.  


Had a nice day out over at Rayleigh, at their Arts Festival, and also checking out the "Made in Essex" art fair at the Mill Hall.  The damp weather put a bit of a downer on proceedings, but their were a number of different activities going on.

As I am doing the Made in Essex fair at Leigh Community Centre on Saturday 28th November I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out the stalls / layout etc and do some networking.  Bought some cards and had a good lunch so a nice day!

Escaped before the brass band started playing, as I thought that might be a bit loud in a confined space!




Well this time next week Knit One, Stitch One will be coming down at Rochford Adult Learning Centre, so this is your last chance to view!   The college is open weekday daytime, plus Monday to Thursday evenings, so plenty of time to view.  Further details have been posted earlier in this blog, or look at my exhibitions page.

If you see something there you would like to purchase, please enquire at the front desk.  If you like something that has already been sold, usually I can make a duplicate.  Also I can work to commission, changing colour, size, or something completely new for you.

The good news is that I have been accepted to the Rochford Art Trail which starts on 7th November.  It looks like I am going to be in the Rochford Hospital along with some scultpture.  More information will be posted later, and there is also some news on the Castle Point government site. 





Disappointment arrived in the post today with a letter to say I had been unsuccessful in my application for the Leigh Art Trail for next June.  As it was my first attempt and there were a lot of other applications, I wasn't hopeful but it was still a bit of a let down. 

In the letter they say "we would like to invite you to reapply in the future".  It is like any job application in not knowing what went wrong, and whether you were slightly off the mark, or miles away.

Anyway to happier prospects, it is off to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show, a major highlight of the stitching world year, and extreme retail therapy opportunity. Haven't seen much on what exhibitions to expect, but sure it will be good.





Having spent ages uploading the photo of the stolen shrug, when I went to view I realised it is a tad on the large size for some screens.

So hopefully this is a better size for viewing.



As mentioned in the previous blog entry, one of my knitted pieces was stolen from the Knit One, Stitch One exhibition at the Rochford Adult Learning College.

It still has not been returned, as here is a photo of it, and as it is totally unique, if you see somebody wearing it or trying to sell it, please feel free to ask them where they got it from, or report it to me.  It did have my label in it, but that may have been taken out.  


Well our exhibition "Knit One, Stitch One" has now been up for a couple of weeks and is being well received by the staff, students and visitors of Rochford Adult Learning College.

The good news is that I have sold one piece, a brightly coloured devoree velvet scarf which the buyer wanted to coordinate with a bright yellow jacket she owns.  The velvet scarves were created on a textile holiday at West Dean College which is a fabulous place to learn / improve your skills in a wide range of subjects.  It is located near Chichester in a lovely house and gardens, and my room when I stayed just made me think I was in a Jane Austen story.

The good news is that someone liked one of my shrugs on display at Rochford very much.  However the bad news is that is they were not prepared to pay for it, and took it.  The college are going to leave a coathanger and notice where it was hanging in the hope that it is returned, but I don't hold out much hope.  So I will be keeping an eye out for it, and checking on ebay as well as it is unique.  I hope they feel guilty every time they wear it!

Anyway for those prepared to do the decent thing and pay, the majority of my pieces can be duplicated or knitted in other colours to suit the purchaser, and I am willing to work to commission as well.  Have been making progress this week with my new autumn colours so will have some new pieces to put up at the college next week. 


Very exciting post today as my new yarns arrived from Metropolitan Knitting, for the new Autumn / Winter collection.  Now have to start experimenting with the new colours. 


With all the preparations for the Exhibition, my knitting machine (a Knitmaster 321 punchcard) has been sitting idle.  So this morning I thought I would experiment with tuck stitch to see  what different effects I could produce.  A scallop hem, scallop edge, and frill  were produced with few problems, and for which I can definitely see uses for in the future.  They need to be pressed and then hopefully pictures can appear on the blog.  Most thrilling was making a fringe by machine.  Although not as full as the hand worked I have used before, they are definitely quicker, as a hand knotted fringe can take me for ever (well at least a couple of hours).  Also the tuck stitch produced with a honeycomb effect definitely has possibilities, especially for producing a range of scarfs in my new colour range.

My week divides into three days working in a shop (which pays the big bills), and then the remaining days at home creating and producing my knitwear.  Over the summer I have been very good and even when the sun has been shining I have carried on working at home.  However today was a glorious afternoon and as I also have a cold and sore throat I decided it would do me more good to sit outside than try and struggle on indoors.  I sat overlooking the Thames Estuary, and the tide was in and lots of boats out, and just reminded me of how lucky I am to live here.  I did read Vogue magazine and crochet two flowers for brooches, but then read Deborah Bull’s dancing diary (relevant to my other job), so not as productive as it could have been, but felt a lot better for it.  I suspect that will be the last proper day of sunshine and now the evenings are getting darker earlier now as well.  Maybe living hot and sunny all year round would be better!  



Our exhibition “Knit One, Stitch One” is now open for visiting, for details see the poster below.  There may be some Saturday openings later in September and October,  but this is dependent on the classes that the College runs, so please check with them direct on 01702 544900.  It is free, but you will need to sign in at the desk (for health and safety reasons).  The setting up morning went well, although involved a lot of walking around as the exhibition is located in three corridors around a quadrangle.   The exhibition is mixed up with mine and Beverley’s work, and although we didn’t work together creatively, various of our pieces did co-ordinate well  (see her blog at for a photo).  Some photos of my pieces will be appearing here at a later date.  

Whilst we were there we heard about another possible exhibiting opportunity, and now it is back to the knitting and creating a new collection in time for the Made in Essex selling show on the 28th November.  I’ve ordered my new yarns, and will be posting a sneak preview of them on my blog soon.  


When Beverley suggested doing a joint exhibition back in the spring, September seemed a long time away.  But now D-Day (or should that be E-Day) is next Tuesday.  So the last couple of weeks I have been frantically trying to finish as many pieces as possible, pressing pieces, sewing on labels etc.  These are always the things that take far longer than you imagine.  Plus trying to finish writing Artists Statements and getting my CV together and being happy with it.  As well as my finished pieces I also want to put up some samples and storyboards, so visitors can see some of the creative process and my inspiration.  So they will have be dug out of the portfolio and checked over, and decisions made on how to hang them.

We have also been sending out more press notices and releases, and so are in Hot Hive Textiles (used to be called the Textile Directory), as well as Workbox magazine and the Embroiderers Guild website.  Slightly worried about visitors coming from miles away and being disappointed, but I'm hope there will be enough interesting work for them to feel it is worth it.
Visited the new haberdashery shop in Leigh Road (Leigh-on-Sea), called Roses and Rue.  A small but nice selection of hand knitting yarns and notions, but today only purchased a new crochet hook.  Was looking for some more large hooks and eyes but am having trouble sourcing any.  So may have to have buttons on my capes instead.  That is what comes of not making a note of where you buy things originally! 




Art in Action is one of the longest running art and craft festivals in the UK, and regularly has a lot of press attention, so I was delighted to finally get a chance to visit (thanks to my aunt and uncle who live nearby inviting me to stay).  How Art in Action is different is that artists set up their studios and work, so you can see how they work, and chat to them about their creative process, in a way that you don't often get.  Also the selection process is apparently very tough, and there are top notch artists from all over the country and overseas.  There was so much to see that I didn't get round everything, but particularly interesting was the glassblowing demonstrations by E&M Glass,  and the Calligraphy demonstrations. Not surprisingly I spent a long time in the Textiles tent, where there was a wide variety of techniques on display, although no knitting.    We were hampered slightly by the fact we had 3 thunderstorms on the day, and before long the grass around the marquees were thick with mud.  However it was a very interesting and enjoyable day.

Also on my visit we crossed the border in Gloucestershire to visit a National Trust house, Snowshill Manor.  This is an unusual property where Charles Wade spent his life collecting a wide array of items, both everyday and extraordinary, which stood out for him because of their colour, craftsmanship and design.  So amongst the 22,000 items are samurai armour, toys, penny farthings, and a weaving loom.  As the weather stayed fine we also wandered amongst the garden designed in a series of "outdoor rooms" with lots of hidden seats and different viewpoints.  Took various pictures of the gardens and plants, which may inspire some knitting at some point.

Eastern Region Embroiderers Guild Regional Day 2009

Had a great day today in Bedford at our EG regional day - nice location in a girl's school, with lots of different exhibits and traders.  Enjoyed seeing the lace from the Bedford Museum's collection and also the holiday postcards by the Young Embroiders.  Great selection of traders, but actually managed not to spend any money despite all the temptations.  Very interesting lectures - in the morning by Phillipa Turnball ( ) speaking her research in castles and country houses, with some interesting pointers on how to go about researching a subject, and how it is the "new rich" throughout history who have spent money on commisioning new homes and the interiors and textiles to fill them. 

Then in the afternoon Maggie Grey ( with an entertaining look at her work and others titled "Stitches, Straps and Layers", with ways to create texture and layered effects.  Interested by her comments about how she likes to work ideas through in sketchbook form, but how they don't necessaily have to be worthy of display, but be personal to you.  A great day, which would have been even better if we had got wet sitting having our picnic lunch next to the river.

Visit to London Exhibitions - Saturday 4th July

Today visited two exhibitions in London with my friend Helen.  The first "Creation II" at Goldsmiths' Hall in Foster Lane.    The work of 13 contemporary jewellers was on display, with some gorgeous work.  But what was fascinating were the 3 minute films on each, where they descriped and illustrated their inspiration and you got a insight into their working practice and studio space.   Especially interesting was the work of Kamilla Ruberg with her kinetic moving pieces, and Catherine Martin who after studying in Japan for 4 years the techniques of Japanese kumihimo braiding, then has adapted these techniques into metal.  Exhibition closes on Saturday 11th July, but well worth keeping an eye out for other exhibitions at this venue.

Then onto Islington and Highbury to the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art and "Workshop Missoni - Daring to be Different", an exhibition specially curated for this location.   Missoni is a family run Italian knitwear fashiuon and now interiors company, that has produced distinctive colourful knitwear since the early 1950s, with their trademark zig-zag motifs. Especially interested by their spools of yarns dyed to their own colours, inspired by the landscape around their factory's mountain location.  Also the video showing the process from inspiration to catwalk, via colour selection and silhouette sampling.  Inspired to be more adventous in my colour choices in future.


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