Happy New Year everyone!

Following on from yesterday’s post looking back at the highlights of the Stitching Sheep’s first year, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate it’s anniversary today and look ahead at the things 2018 will hopefully have in store for the Stitching Sheep.

I have actually started writing this post enjoying the last day of the Christmas break before going back to work tomorrow having a relaxing and lazy day and currently enjoying the New Year’s Day concert from Vienna. We used to always watch it at my Grandma’s during our New Year’s day visit but after she sadly passed away at the end of 2016 I am carrying on the tradition at home.

Since I am not a fortune teller I don’t know everything that 2018 will have in store for the Stitching Sheep but as some things do require planning I know I can already start to look forward to some things.

In February I’ll be back at the Royal School of Needlework for the last three lessons of the RSN certificate Jacobean Crewelwork module. I am hoping to be able to do some finishing touches and my mounting during these days so I will be able to hand in my work when I am there hoping it can be assessed during the Easter assessment-session. I am actually quite scared about it. Even though I am actually quite happy with my design at the moment, there are probably a lot of flaws that I am not seeing but that the professionals easily pick up on. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see. Just keeping fingers crossed that I pass!

My RSN-certificate Jacobean Crewelwork @31-01-17 10:42

Straight after my visit to the RSN, Catherine from Hillview Embroidery and I will be off to Paris for an embroidery trip to Paris! I am so much looking forward to it! I had mentioned to her that I was planning to visit the Aiguille en Fete show and she said she quite fancied it too, so the idea was born to have a trip together. On Saturday we will be visiting the show and on Friday we hopefully will be visiting some embroidery shops (Sajou, Bonheur des Dames etc.) before La Nuit de la Broderie at Au ver à Soie. We might even be able to fit in a workshop by Jenny Adin-Christie who will be at Au ver à Soie that weekend!

In April I will be back at the RSN for a long weekend. Strangely not to do any embroidery at all but to do a lot of drawing and colouring-in. I have signed up for a drawing and design course they are having especially for certificate and diploma students. I am really excited about it as a really would like to learn more about design as I would like to be able to sell my own kits in future.

My next trip to the RSN will be in July when I will be doing the summer intensive in Canvaswork. It will be 8 days of tuition within 11 days so it will be lots of hard work to get it done in time. I am hoping to get a head start in February by getting the brief and talking to the tutors about the design, framing up and drawing it on and choosing my threads.

I have not completely decided on what I will be stitching but I know it will definitely be a historic building. At the moment I am thinking about stitching Haddon Hall (near Bakewell in Derbyshire) but I will need to find the perfect viewpoint and picture to make it work.

You will have noticed that 2018 will be a very busy embroidery year. However, I am still planning to do a bit of crochet too, as that is a great thing to do when on the go, and do some more Ed’s animals but I would also like to do some homeware items. I am also want to get back into knitting (I received the Toft Loch hat kit for Christmas) and teach myself Tunisian crochet and make the Almond Blossom scarf from the latest Scheepjes Yarn bookazine. The details on it are embroidered so that should be fun.

The Almond Blossom scarf by Scheepjes


I am also going to be doing some smaller embroidery projects, like to get some more goldwork and silk shading practise under my belt before doing those certificate courses.

On the Stitching Sheep, I will, of course, be writing about all of the above but I will also be doing some book reviews and some how-to’s and craft-organisation posts as I really like those and you seem to like them to.

My new needle-organiser made from a Penco business-card holder


The most exciting plan for next year is that I would also like to get a Stitching Sheep’s online shop started! I even already have my first item!

The Stitching Sheep’s needle-minder! They are made from wood and laser-cut by Creative use of Technology in Breda. They measure 30 mm by 22 mm and 6 mm thick. Before I start selling them though I am looking for three road testers. The needle-minders are made up of very strong magnets so I want to make sure that they put through some testing before being sold to ensure they are sturdy enough. I have already sent a couple of minders to Catherine of Hillview embroidery and I am hoping she will review them on her blog or in the comments below.

If you would like to be one of the three other road testers, please comment below with the reason why you would be the perfect for the ‘job’. The competition is open to my blog readers all over the world. You will have until the 15th of January to comment after which I will choose the 3 best answers and I will announce the winners as a comment to this post and on Facebook and Instagram. I will post the needle-minders out to you totally free of charge and the only thing you have to do is use it and tell me what you think of them! Easy!

Once the needle-minders have been ‘quality approved’ they will be on sale on my website and from me personally at €6,- each (plus postage & packing at cost).

Please let me know what you think about them, and which other items you would like to see in my shop in the future!

Have a very crafty year everyone and hope to hear from you soon!

Posted by:Marlous

26 replies on “A new year!

  1. Thank you for the great tip on using the business card box for needles. I have been using a business card folder for some time for storing my packets of needles ( Will try to post a photo on my blog ) but I have so many packets now that the box will be the next step for storing. I love your index cards for sorting.
    I do hope we get to meet when you are at the RSN in July as I will be doing the blackwork intensive when you are doing canvaswork. I choose blackwork so that I did not have to bring so many threads to and from Australia – will pick up canvaswork another time.
    Love the look of your needle holder as there appears to be plenty of room for a couple of needles. Great when you have a few needles on the go at once.
    Looks like you have a busy year planned ahead, and the trip to Paris sounds magical. All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments Sally 😃. I used to use A4 sized plastic folders with spaces for business cards, but they only really held one packet of each size. That is why I thought this holder would be so great as it can store several. I might get a 2nd one to give my sewing needles some more space too. Have a look at my Instgram feed for the before and after pictures (the box came with index cards).
      We will definitely get to meet in July as the blackwork and canvaswork should be in the same room. Really looking forward to meeting you too! I do like blackwork designs but I didn’t see myself stitching them yet. I really like the multi-coloured canvaswork and the textures the different stitches produce, so I decided to go for canvaswork.
      I will enter you in the competition for a needle-minder! I will announce the winner in 9 days time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love needleminders. You’re already on the right track, a nice flat needleminder is great for parking more than one needle in a specific order and you don’t want them to flop around. Does the wood have a smooth finish?

    I’m so jealous you guys are going to Aiguille en Fete. You should pass by the Dior exhibit if you have time. I saw pictures and it looks gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The bottom of the needle-minder is smooth (and flush with the magnet), the sides are very smooth, the top is slightly ribbed because of the engraving. The wood is not varnished or anything. Would you like to enter the competition? 😃
      Thank you for the tip Dima, I’ll keep the exhibition in mind.


  3. I often just slip my needles through the ground fabric or use a scrap of felt secured with a safety pin but having found a needle on the bathroom floor this morning I think I’d be an ideal candidate to put your needle minder through its paces!
    (I only recently found your blog and now look forward to each new post that appears in my Feedly reader. Thank you for sharing your stitching journey and good luck with all your 2018 endeavours.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for your lovely comments about my blog! You are entered in the competition and I will announce the winners on the 15th of January. Good luck! 😃


  4. That is a lovely crewelwork design! I’m doing a crewel weekend myself with the RSN this February – very excited! Nothing like yours, it’s just a two day course. But I’ve never done this type of embroidery before, so looking forward to it. Who knows – we may even run into each other in Hampton Court! Wouldn’t that be just weird. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Elena! Enjoy your 2 day course, it will be really good. That would be a fun coincidence! I am hoping to be there on the 1st saturday of Feb (depending on class availability)


  5. Wow! It seems you will be having a very busy and interesting year. I wish you well with it all.

    I would be very happy to give your needle minder a trial run. I use needle minders extensively and have used a number of them. At present I am looking for another so it would not go to waste and I think I am well placed to review yours. I’ve been wanting to try a wooden one and yours is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It sounds like you’ve got a great and exciting year planned! And I’m really looking forward to our trip in February. A tip for your canvaswork- take a few printed photos with you in February and discuss with a few tutors to get a good range of opinions to help you make the best decision. You’ll be looking for photos with a range in texture. And with your thread choices, they encourage you to use a variety of threads, so it’s a good time to look at your knitting wool, embroidery wool, silks, cottons, linen thread, ribbons etc. So you won’t be bound just by what the RSN has!
    I love my Needle minder! I unfortunately haven’t used it a great deal, but I’ll pop back here and keep an eye out on my FB page and newsletter for other reviews 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Catherine! That is what I was planning to do, bring a few photos and ask the tutors. I was looking for a photo with building and greenery but have not really found the perfect shot yet. Depending on how much time I need to finish my crewelwork (fingers crossed not much unstitching), I might be able to get set up and while in London, I hope I have some spare time to pop into London bead co for threads. I have a notebook with all the threads I have so that should prevent doubles. Glad to get away from Appletons!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great plan! I’ll find the details for the shop I bought my linen thread from for you too. It was expensive, but is all things you won’t be able to get anywhere else – very ‘rustic’. I’ve got some (as in a lot) of some of the threads, so if you are interested let me know and I can mail you some ‘samples’. We are clearly on the same page with Appeltons!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Will you be able to take some along on Friday 2nd/February 3rd depending on when your class is? It saves you posting it! Do e-mail me the details of the shop and I can start looking at the different colours available. It thought Appletons would be great, but I think there are more threads in my thread bin than in my actual embroidery, and I am probably not even as fussy about wear as I should be!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed reading about your plans for 2018. Hope you enjoyed the concert from Vienna. It is also traditional for me to watch it a home but this year I forgot the time and so missed some of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading them. I did enjoy watching the concert. It is so easy to forget the time during these days. Fortunately the concert is long enough so you could still catch some of it.


  8. Happy New Year and good luck with all your plans! They sound very interesting and that means that we will have a great possibility to read interesting posts 🙂

    And about the needle-minders… I would be very glad to win one of them. I had only one. I know, that I need more, but I had one and I gave that one to my mother few days ago. Many years ago shewas my first teacher, she allowed me to stitch when I was three years old. But I do not remember her stitching. But last year she made few small cross stutch kits and now she has started her first bigger kit. Even more, it was her very first stitching with frame. So I gave her my needle-minder and now I was looking for a new one. So this would be a great possibility to be amongs lucky ones to try yours. It should be great to have a wooden needle-minder…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much for these news 🙂 I was very busy this week, I had no time for embroidery, so I was very glad to find that I was a lucky winner.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s