top of page
  • Writer's pictureSzilvia Burrows

Isolation creations

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

Keeping busy and creating something new while recycling/ upcycling at the same time.

During a well needed tidy in the studio (although it is usually tidy but I do hoard lots of old samples and other creative bits and bobs in storage) I came across an old cross stitch kit, plenty of different beads and sewing machine thread in lovely colours.

I thought it's time to reuse my old samples too; samples that I've created when I first set my knitting machine up (Duchess Olivia). I do love experimenting and sampling, even when I get a new yarn. I kind of know how it will look like but even though I love keeping the sample and referring back to it later on or to use it for moodboards. Anyways, I've had a full bag of these samples and I thought this would be a good chance to give it a second chance.


I've started off with simple cross and straight stitches on the knitted fabrics. Just something quick, not very planned.

I've also had a go at macramé previously, with the 'cotton cord' I've made from old T-shirts and had plenty of leftover cords to make this sample above. Again, just something quick to try incorporating a thicker cord to a knitted fabric.


After these quick and simple embroidery samples I've moved onto some more time consuming designs.

I started off with a French knot sample and really enjoyed it! It took me quite a long time but I do like this organic, intricate sample.

The next step was to do an even busier, more chaotic sample using beads, different thread and yarns etc anything I could find really. I even pulled an old sample apart to get to experiment with the tape yarn. I don't have much of my old yarns from university, I gave them away and now mainly just have the luxurious Merinos.

To make the pompoms I strictly used yarn ends tied together to reduce waste. I also have a few cones that have such a tiny amount of yarn that I can't really use for a garments or accessories.

I could use the very ends of the cone and start a new row with the same coloured yarn but a new cone's colour shade can vary slightly. It can happen when I use the same colours but there is tiny colour variations between the two. This is completely normal and acceptable during the dyeing process of the wool, it just needs to be taken into consideration when making the garment and planning always helps.


This embroidery sample below took the longest of them all. Unfortunately I didn't have any specific embroidery thread so I've used the sewing machine thread and I know it looks quite 'bony' (I've got so many beautiful colours of course I had to use them) but I'm glad I did because I don't often get to use them. If you are familiar with my brand ethos I don't sew my knitwear, knitted garments and pieces should be linked. Of course it could be sewn but I calculate the products into the desired size this is so I don't create any waste.

I've been busy and staying at home even after the lockdown. After these few samples above I got into embroidering a few times a week in the evenings. Again, using off cuts, and leftover craft bits I've made my own face mask with freehand embroidery on them.

I hope you're all keeping well, until next time.

Stay safe!


bottom of page