Thanks to the lovely people at the Make Lounge in Islington, I have caught the embroidery bug. I've had a go before but have found a lot of the designs and transfers just a little bit mumsy although I can appreciate the retro chic of a crinoline lady table cloth like anyone else when its under a heaving table of French fancies and fairy cakes
Thanks to a whole new set of up to date transfers and ideas look what I am making - Rock and Roll tea towel -it's so cool it's hot!
In all seriousness it was a great class with good technical instruction. I can now do a French knot which I understand is viewed by embroiderers in the same way we knitters often view Kitchener stitch - with the greatest of suspicion...
Here's a closeup on my work where you can see the rather wobbly efforts of the first timer.I'm definitely going to keep going as I find it really satisfying but it will probably remain a 'bit on the side'. But don't stand too close you might find yourself embellished!
Not content with my dalliance with embroidery, on Monday I took my courage in both hands and, reassured by the relaxed approach of the Make Lounge (they serve wine for the super anxious) I decided to tackle my long held suspicion of the sewing machine, despite the fact that I have one upstairs gathering dust and signed up for one of their beginners' sewing classes. Again, with expert and very friendly instruction I managed to thread my sewing machine, cut out pattern pieces without drawing blood (Which is more than I managed to do on the embroidery course) and make this perfectly serviceable and rather stylish bag.
It's great to be able to use really good materials right from the start and to be filled with enough confidence that you aren't going to ruin them.
Look at that piece of machining (almost) perfectly straight.
I feel that this is going to be a practical and useful skill and plan to take some more advanced classes in the future. I really enjoyed both classes and whilst I can't imagine abandoning my knitting and spinning I will keep up both activities and try to improve my skills.
I know that this may have come as a bit of a shock to some of you so before you all knock me off your blog reader lists let me just tell you that I am down at Camp Bestival for the next three days helping out in the Iknit Knitting tent in the Magic Meadow. If you're at the festival please come by and say hello.
And if you see me struggling to put my tent up, please take pity on me....