bad cats and snoozy dragons

•December 5, 2019 • 3 Comments

When we set up at Harrogate last week we got finished and home earlier than expected, so I did the last sttiches on this and made up eight kits

Trubble got his own embroidery!

I still have three left and I’ve put them on the shop if anyone wants one.

I also did some kits up for the christmas dragon, which was quite complicated, and for the most expensive kit I’ve ever done they sold well.

both are on the shop, but there are only a couple of each left, so once they’re gone I’m not making more kits until next year.

I’m giving a free calendar with any two kits, but last order dates for uk are dec 17th, and for America friday 13th

all set up

•November 27, 2019 • 11 Comments

and ready to go at Harrogate knit and stich this weekend

Gareth built the new rack for kits for me, which has really helped maximise the space.

It’s stand cv5, if you’re passing. And I have a few free gifts for those buying more than one kit.

I have a new ragbag skirt, food themed, which I shall wear tomorrow




•November 20, 2019 • 2 Comments

OK, so it’s meant to be the peasant fantasy, but there was a little gap that was just perfect for a mermaid, and medieval embroidery does abhor negative space, so here she is.

I love her. I especially love the fact that she has saggy tits and a muffin top.

Being peasants this fantasy is meant to be woolier than the last, but even slightly droopy bosomed mermaids needs a spot of sparkle, and so she is silky, with some green metallic twist that was a gift from Brenda. It may not show on the photo but there’s also a nice textural interaction between the silk and wool.

I am rather kicking myself for not giving her a selfie stick instead of the mirror, but I’d already drawn the mirror in permanent fabric pen.

I have done kits of her, but only about half a dozen, they’re on the shop for now, but once they’re gone they’re gone. I really did them as a special for harrogate next weekend and I’m not sure I’ll do them again because they were a bit of a faff to assemble


•November 13, 2019 • 9 Comments

Another new kit for Harrogate, and I’m rather pleased with him

he’s in the shop with a pink option.

Gareth is convinced that this kit is even more unsaleable than the bad wabbits, but I think it’s lovely. I always think medeival elephants are sort of a visual game of chinese whispers. I imagine some poor impoverished scribe, let’s call him Alfric, sneaking into the tavern at the end of a long day for a well deserved ale, and somedisreputable looking chap in tattered silk lurching over to him and slurring, “you the scribe”

Alfric nods nervously.

The man waves his hand vaguely across the room “theesh chaps don’t beleef me. I’ve been trying to tell them about a beast of rare wonder I saw in far away – will you draw it?”

“beer?” Alfric suggests.

The man sloshes a generous amount of beer from his jug into Alfric’s cup. most of it washes the table, but some makes it into the cup and Alfric gulps it down as he pulls a scrap of parchment and a quill from his scrip. “what did it look like?”

The man ponders whilst assorted patrons shuffle closer, eager for any free entertainment on offer. “Sort of like a very big cow…but no uddersh”

Aflric draws a cow

“no no no! it’s horns washn’t nears it earsh, they wash in it’s mouth, like a boar. And itsh earsh wash floppy”

Alfric rubs out the top of the cows head before the ink dries, and give it wild boar tusks like the ones he saw last yule when the boars head carol was sung at the lord’s feast, and adds a couple of floppy spaniel’s ears like those on lady Alice’s lapdog.

he squints at it, looking doubtful, but decides he’ll keep drawing when the man splashes more free beer at him.

the man grins broadly, looking even more foolish than before, “Thatsh it, but it din have a nose like a cow, it wash more like…like…like a twumpet”

Alfric takes another sip of beer. It’s a big sip, and afterwards he indicates his cup is sadly bereft of ale. Once it’s full again he asks, “a trumpet?”

the man nods eagerly

“like the musical instrument?”

“yesh, and it sounds like a twumpet too”

Alfric, by this point, has decided the man is winding him up. But on the other hand his ale cup has been filled to overflowing, so he replaces the cow’s nose with a trumpet similar to one the Angel gabriel plays in the fresco on the wall of the parish church. The assorted patrons are snickering into thier ale by now. It get’s worse as the man announces “Ish not big enuff. I swear it wash sho big it had a housh on it’s back”

Alfric snorts ale out his nose. By the time he’s composed himself his cup has been topped up though, so he draws a tiny thatched hovel on the beast’s back.

“no no – grand housh! A castle!”

Alfric snorts “just growing there, like a wart, was it?”

“don’t be shilly, it wash on a shaddle”

More ale is sloshed. By this point Alfric can bearly hear himself think for the din of guffawing peasantry crowding round, but he resulotely draws a saddle on the creature’s back, with castle snugly nestled therein.

He squints at the ridiculous thing, certain something so improbable must be a figment of deranged imagination and too much beer. perhaps the drunkard is possessed by demons and Alfric should do the decent thing and summon the priest to excorcise him? but he asks “And where did you see this thing?” He dearly want’s to add, “and how much ale had you drunk when you “saw” it”. But his ale cup has been refilled again, with a steaming meat pie cosied up beside it, and he reflects that it would be rude to doubt the sanity of such a goodly patron of the arts

“Africa” Beams the man, “darkesht africa – you know, where the monkeys come from”

Alfric takes a big bite of the delicious meat pie, and feels it filling him with warmth, so he draws a monkey on the ridiculous creature’s back. At least he knows how to draw monkeys, they are little hairy men with conspicously visible arseholes. Not that different to the denizens of this tavern, reallly.


Speaking of Oliphants, when I was about ten or so I was helping my mum on a stall at a craft fair. A gentleman who looked a bit like an off-duty Santa claus picked out one of the most expensive necklaces, and because my mum was busy, I went to serve him. he asked if a cheque was ok, and I nodded happily because I knew how to take cheques.

then I saw his cheque, and elbowed my mum with only the complete lack of subtlety and social nicelty a ten year old can summon, “Mum, is that a real bank?” whilst eyeing santa with suspicion.

Mum assured me that Coutts and co was indeed a real bank, so I took the cheque guarantee card from a now smirking Santa and went to check the name.

I elbowed mum again “mum, that’s not a real name, is it?

Mum sighed “Oliphant is a very old english name”

“like elephant? are you sure?”

Mum by this point was ignoring me and apologising to the poor long suffering customer, who had obviously heard it all before, and took it with good humour



shy little ducky

•November 6, 2019 • 6 Comments

you will realise why he’s so shy once the rest of the picture progresses

I think he’s sweet


•November 4, 2019 • 4 Comments

bet that got your attention.

I have four voucher codes for free (ish, thursday, friday and sunday are free, but you still have to pay £5 for saturday) tickets to the knit and stitch show at harrogate at the end of the month.

Condition is you come say hello.

I will leave this here and if no one claims them by wednesday I’ll offer them on the facebook group


viking frock

•November 3, 2019 • 4 Comments

I made a new viking frock/hangaroc (I have a great fondness for the word frock and like to use it as often as possible)
There really wasn’t anything wrong with the old one, except that it was somewhat dated. The idea of a replica being dated is somewhat ironic, but that are trends and fashions in reenactment as in anything else. My old dress was based on up to date research when I made it twenty years ago, but research has moved on since then.

So my new viking frock, red diamond twill wool with the silk/linen brocade I bought on a whim from Sartor a couple of years ago. I only bought half a metre because I was curious, having never encountered a silk/linen blend before, so this seemed a good enough use for it – I did have some pure silk that was suitable pattern, but it’s also red, this made a better contrast.

It’s not a great fit on the dummy because she’s so old and knackered her sides are no longer adjustable, the screwy bits have gone, but it’s a good fit on me. I’ve been wearing it for a couple of months and realised I’d better get a picture before I slopped something on it at lunchtime. I had been waiting until my new brooches were ready, but they still don’t have pins because I haven’t had them hallmarked yet ( I hurt my back over summer and sitting at my bench was really aggravating it)

I want rid of the boars head brooches, the ears are too pointy and I keep stabbing myself.

I suspect this fabric will be just as hardwearing as the fabric from the old dress, which I intend to recut into a child’s viking kaftan for school use. The old green is the kind of tweed you can wear every day of your life and it will happily outlive you, I’ve worn it a lot the last twenty years and it really doesn’t show, if it fit a bit better I’d be tempted to keep it as backup.

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