Hand embroidered circus initials K & A for shoe bags


Circus initials K & A for children’s shoe bags (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

I’ve often wanted to embroider circus initials and thought they’d make fun cushions for children. Emily Peacock designs very jolly needlepoint kits using such initials but the design has lots of plain canvas to wield a needle through before you get to the fun of the decorative letter. So, for me, embroidered appliqué is the answer. And here are a couple I did for two more children’s shoe bags for Christmas presents. The felt letters are appliquéd to cotton ticking and pure linen, using cotton embroidery floss, all of which should make the finished bag strong enough to stand up to gym shoes and kit and subsequent washes when needed.  Great fun to do and – I hope- fun to receive. (Took these to London having only photographed the embroidered letters, but a shoe bag is a shoe bag is a shoe bag, so I’m sure you can imagine the finished look – though, now I think about it, the initials would make very nice presents on their own in a frame.)

Circus initial K (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Circus initial A (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)


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My favourite Debbie Bliss baby pattern – a third cardigan with Fair Isle yoke

Cardigan knitted Debbie Bliss Fair Isle cardigan

Just as cooks produce recipe books with similar recipes under different names (made an almost new dish with the addition of one or two ingrenients), so – I now learn – do knitting pattern designers.

Knitting sample of three colour variants of the same Fair Isle patern

I had previously knitted two Fair Isle cardigans from a pattern in  Debbbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino collection of 2002. A blog reader recommended Debbie Bliss’s The Baby Knits Book, also 2002 (Ebury Press) and when I found a copy  I was attracted by the pattern for the beaded Fair Isle cardigan,  although I wasn’t particularly keen on the beaded bit. Comparing the decreasing on the yoke rows in both patterns I realised that if I wished to I could shoe horn a Fair Isle pattern of more rows into the yoke for the beaded design and this excited me.

Yoke detail (Debbie Bliss Fair Isle Cardigan)

In the end, creativity on the wilt and wanting the cardigan to be given as a Christmas present, I knitted it up just as in the book! As I worked through the pattern I realised all the numbers given for stitches were very familiar and were in fact identical in both patterns (though as I say the yoke Fair Isles were different). No problem there as I love the end result. If anything, this has perhaps taught me a bit about reading a pattern through more intelligently before I begin – steep learning curves can appear at any point in life!

Back yoke detail (Debbie Bliss Fair Isle Cardigan)

Having a pale blue and a pink cardigan already, one in navy seemed a good idea. I have, however, found it more difficult to photograph navy, in spite of  rushing round multitudes of locations in not one but two houses.  The close ups are an ok  approximation to the real thing but I struggled unsuccessfully to get a good photo of the whole garment.  As the pattern only goes up to 1 year and the 8 month old is very long in the body I may never get to knit it up with a different yoke pattern. Wish I knew how to adapt patterns for bigger sizes as I could go on knitting this until the child’s thoroughly sick of the sight of it!

Below are the first two cardigans I made. The blue one has a yoke different from that in the pattern.

Fair isle cardigan (pattern Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2002)

Fair isle cardigan (pattern Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2002)

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