Category : Blog
10 years, 1 month ago 0

How’s that for alliteration?

This spider was a fun little thing I did while playing around with knots. As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been on a big knot thing recently – so large that I’m wondering if macrame is going to be appearing in my near future.

a stumpwork spider of poisonous green

In this case I mainly wanted another excuse to do some Ghiordes Knots (because god knows it’s not like I haven’t already been putting them in everything I’ve stitched for the last year or so) and I had a vague curiousity about what would happen if I used two differently coloured threads in a Bullion Knot. And what happens? STRIPEY SPIDER LEGS HAPPEN. That rocks. A couple of french knots in red and some friends with a button machine and lo-and-behold a spider button was born.

This was seriously simple stitching stuff (again with alliteration!): Ghiordes knots (also  called Turkey knots) with one green and one black strand of floss in the needle stitched in a small oval, two bullion knots per leg also with one strand each of green and black and some bright red french knots for the eyes. That’s it. Now it graces my knife holder in the kitchen along with some other badges I picked up a few years ago – how can you not love the claim that “super-ness is no coincidence”?

10 years, 1 month ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Crewel, Projects


So who’s had experience with wool before? I must admit I’ve avoided it for years, I think mainly because it reminded me of those orange and brown 1970s tapestries which were somewhat dominant in my childhood.

Sure they’re retro cool now, but that didn’t stop my aversion. I’ve never been known as a trend-setter after all.

So the last time I made it to a well-stocked embroidery shop (xxx in sydney – and why I have to travel halfway around the world to find decent supplies is a topic for another time) I grabbed a few dozen wools, including the Appletons I’m using in this piece. Judging by the dust on the wool stand, most other embroiderers are also bypassing wool at the moment.

Wool is proving slightly more tricky than floss. You need to use much shorter pieces to start with as it really suffers with every pull through the fabric. It wears and thins and so I’m currently only using 20 cm lengths.

It’s also varying dramatically in thickness along the length. I’m not sure if that’s to be expected with all wool, or is a just a “feature” of the Appleton, but it makes a real difference to the look of the stitches when some are with thick and fluffy thread and some with thin and tight. I’m staggering stitches a lot more, so that when it thins a bit I can come back later with a fresher, fluffier strand and full out in between and that way keep the look consistent.

But even with having to start and finish more often, wool works up faster because it covers so much better. And because it isn’t smooth and shiny, it’s far more forgiving of the smaller mistakes that can destroy a piece of satin stitch.

So I’d really recommend giving it a shot. I’ve got a few other kind of wools, and wool/silk blends, that I’ll try out sometime soon and let you know how they go. But seriously, be braver than me and don’t wait decades to try it!

10 years, 1 month ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Crewel, Projects



Have you ever tried crewel? I’ve done little bits and pieces over the years, worked some crewel stitches into other pieces – mainly just in normal stranded floss. In fact, those Pekin knots I complained about previously was me dabbling a little.

However it just wasn’t working in floss and so that particular WIP went back into the drawer. Now, though, I’ve finally dared to broach the whole wool theme and I’ve grabbed that design again and restarted.

So this is where it was: I was working on floss on a thick red fabric and those knots, not to put too fine a point on it,  sucked big hairy donkeys balls.

Now I’ve taken a finer cream linen and I’m giving Appleton wool a shot. So far I really like how the wool is working out, and those Pekin knots were a little easier to do.

So what do you think? Is the wool working for you too?

10 years, 7 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Crewel

Has anyone else tried Pekin Knots (also called China Knots, but not to be confused with Pekingese Stitch apparently)? I decided to stretch myself a bit into more crewel work – I’ve done a bit before, but that was mostly pretty basic stuff and not really pushing it. But I’ve got a grafitti project on the go at the moment and decided this might be just the time to try some new stuff. Flicking through the little Anchor Book of Crewelwork Stitches, I found the Pekin knot combined with some padded satin stitch and thought that would work well.

And it didn’t really look any worse than a French knot after all and French knots REALLY aren’t bad, no matter what kind of reputation they’ve got.

Maybe it’s because I’m doing it all in cotton floss instead of crewel wool but I am battling with each and every one of these little suckers. It knots too tightly around the tail and then I can’t get the tail through, so there I sit with needle and laying tool trying to get it apart again so that I can get the tail between the stitches of an even length and tension. They’re driving me insane. I CAN do knots (although I’m not particularly eager to spend large amounts of time with bullion knots again anytime soon) but this guy has got me stumped.

Anyway, only a few centimeters left, that’s all, then I can leave this knot behind me.

10 years, 7 months ago 0

I’ve been hammering away slowly at the string Or Nué project I started last year. I’d run into a bit of a problem in that I started the whole thing with a ball of string we happened to have in our kitchen drawer… and after about ten hours of stitching was done it seemed pretty clear that thi s wasn’t going to last for the full portrait. So then I spent months hunting around Berlin for string that wasn’t horrible, plastic-coated stuff so that I could continue.

I found a few likely candidates a few weeks ago and started of again. At that time I posted an update to Flickr but it was already pretty clear when I took the photo that one of the string substitutes wasn’t going to cut the mustard. It was too stiff and thick, didn’t like to bend into tight corners and was about twice the height of the other strings. So I unpicked those bits again.

Then I started off, with a few more circles and swirls and realised that I’d given him matching round cheeks… hmm, didn’t look good at all so out it came. A few more hours and I realised I’d put a bullseye in the middle of his forehead -arrggghhhh- out that came too. So with probably another fifteenhours of stitching on it I have about four hours to show for it.

But I guess that’s what happens when you’re trying out new stuff, hey?

So here is the current status. What do you think?

stringornueor nue detail

10 years, 8 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Cross stitch

Well here it is, after a loooonnngggg time in the making, the first Stitchalicious cross stitch patterns!


The first series to be released are The Virgins and came out of a collaboration with Berlin-based Chilean artist Karolina Kruz, the creative force behind Luciluxx. I mean, go and check out her stuff – who wouldn’t want to be able to cross stitch it?

The Virgins are very iconic, a little ironic, and show off the best of the Berlin street art vibe. There are three to choose from Maria Dolores, Maria Esperenza and Maria Inmaculada who is pictured above.  Are you starting to get a bit bored with full cross stitches? Want to push it a bit more? These designs use a lot of partial stitches – 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 stitches – which make the finished piece detailed but not too big. The patterns are printed on good quality card which will survive being pulled in and out of bags while you’re working on it and they’re also available as kits with 14 ct Aida, DMC threads and needle. Go to the shop to check them out!


10 years, 8 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Courses, Events

If there’s anyone who’s going to be in Berlin next week, why not come along to my embroidery class at La Bastellerie? Thursday Feb 4th I’ll be doing a 3-hour basic introduction for anyone who has never picked up a needle, or who would just like a bit of help with the simple stuff. One month later, Thursday March 4th will be a slightly more advanced class, including transferring designs, stitching onto clothing and how to do some of the more complex stitches (French knots anyone?). You can do each independantly of each other and the price is 20€ without materials.

Please sign up beforehand by either sending me an email, leaving a comment here or going via La Bastellerie’s site (click on Anmelden to sign up).

Here are the details again in German:

Was Du schon immer über Sticken wissen wolltest, aber nie zu fragen wagtest:

Jacinta Lodge ( ) führt Dich gekonnt in die Kunst des Stickens ein.

Workshop-1, 4.2.2010, 18:30 – 21.30 Uhr

Sticken für Einsteiger
Hier lernst Du die Grundkenntnisse im Umgang mit Stick-Nadel und Faden, was diese seltsamen Muster bedeuten, und die häufigsten verwendeten Stiche und Techniken. Am Endes des Tages hast Du dein erstes cooles Stück selbst gestickt!

Workshop-2, 4.3.2010, 18.30 – 21.30 Uhr

Coole Klamotten selbst gestalten
..oder Kissen, T-Shirst, Taschen, Tücher. Bring ein Kleidungsstück mit, oder beginne mit einem unserer Geschirrtücher. Lerne, wie man Designs auf Stoff überträgt und diese dann mit der richtigen Technik stickt. Gib Deinen Kleidungsstücken eine ganz persönliche Note. Verwende dazu eines unserer Designs oder bring ein eigenes Bild mit!

Beide Kurse können unabhängig von einander belegt werden.

Kosten 20 Euro / Abend .Materialkosten Extra.

10 years, 10 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Events


Hey! Tara from City of Craft has put up the first of a series of interviews with the installation artists taking part this year. And this one is mine! Go and check it out, and make sure you go back to see what other amazing artists crafters are going to be exhibiting soon.

10 years, 10 months ago 0
Posted in: Blog, Featured, Projects

A while back I tweeted that I was accepted into the City of Craft festival in Toronto in December, so I figured I’d give you a quick shot of the work-in-progress. I had a very definate idea in mind for this, wanting to emulate stencil graffiti in stitch and so I figured I could probably use blackwork for that. What do you think, has it worked out? There’s still a few more pieces to stitch to complete it, but they’re simpler than this so – come hell or high water – I will get this finished this weekend!

Overall pic. Because this piece is so large  (stitched are is ~60cm high) it doesnt fit on any of my frames and I have to stitch in hand. The creases WILL be removed from the finished piece!

Overall pic. Because this piece is so large (stitched are is ~60cm high) it doesn't fit on any of my frames and I have to stitch in hand. The creases WILL be removed from the finished piece!

Close up of the face so you can see how the density of the diaper pattern changes to give the shading effect

Close up of the face so you can see how the density of the diaper pattern changes to give the shading effect

10 years, 11 months ago Comments Off
Posted in: Blog, Miscellaneous

Swapping is one of those internet craft phenomena that I previously never really had time for.  Plus I know exactly how bad a pen-pal I am (Hello 6th grade Japanese penpal who received exactly one letter from me). So, until recently, I had never signed up for one.

But with the Phat Quarter group on Flickr I decided to give it a shot. And I had so much fun with that one that when it came ’round again I signed up once more. This time with the theme NSFW… ie. don’t be shocked by anything that you receive.


Now I’m waay behind on my piece (which should have been sent off, oh, a couple of weeks ago) but I got mine today. Sailor Mouth, a bloke in Texas stitched me a well-hung sailor centaur and if that doesn’t just cover every genre then I don’t know what will. He commissioned the design from an artist friend and stitched it up on linen. Mostly backstitch with 2 strands and some satin stitch around the hat, the tattoo and the, ahem, manly bits.


I decided not to frame it but put it on a cushion. And as it was an idea I’d had for a while – a display cushion where I could swap out the embroidery on it – I spent tonight whipping it up from some old left over fabric and a second-hand zipper. I hemmed the embroidery with bias tape  and used press studs to attach it. Taadaa! Display cushion with well hung mythological seaman. What more could a girl ask for?

in situ