Embellishments with Emma King

Yesterday, I did something for myself. I know, shocking isn’t it. I’ve not spent a lot of time doing things for myself as of late. So, when I saw that Emma King was going to be at Knitting Arts for a one day class on embellishments, I decided that was something I really wanted to do.

Part of taking this class came from the decision not to take classes at Stitches West. I had planned on it. Really, I had. Then I payed off one too many bills. Unfortunately, that meant that I didn’t have $500 to spend on knitting classes.

Lucky for me, Emma’s course was only $80 and some materials. The course cost was no big deal, and you know me… I love those materials. I ended up buying 4 skeins, not too bad. It could have been worse. You know, I’m trying to save up to buy yarn at Stitches. Now, I couldn’t decide what colors to use for my materials, so I picked pink. I didn’t want to pick pink, really. Seriously. But when I looked at the choices, pink was it. I ended up with Rowan HandKnit Cotton, Rowan Cotton Glace, Rowan Summer Tweed and some shimmer that looks like Rowan Lurex Shimmer. I brought some Rowan KidSilk Haze and all my left overs. I had a bunch of tweeds from when I knit my mom a striped scarf. I also had some other mohair yarns.

Emma started her class with a brief introduction. She currently works for Rowan. She is a design consultant, and just got promoted.  I was jealous. She says that she gets to knit for work. How cool is that? I’d love to knit for work. Although, I’m such a slow knitter… I bet I wouldn’t get paid much. The first thing I noticed about Emma was how young she was. Granted I don’t look very old, but all the women in that class were older than me. Most in the class were old enough to be her grandmother. I’m not kidding. Unless she’s like me, but even then… I think she must only be about 26. She is also one of the sweetest people. Very soft spoken, but very knowledgeable about her craft. She was delightful.

The class started with flowers. Hello? My favorite. I love making flowers. One thing I learned while making her flowers, I’ve been doing make one’s wrong. I just picked the stitch up, put it on the needle and knit it. I always got a hole, and wondered why. It’s because you are supposed to knit in the BACK of the stitch. Frickin’ hard on size 3 needles, but not ONE hole. How cool is that!

We made two types of flowers, one was flat, one was kinda like the others that I’ve made in the past. Another cool thing about Emma, she brought spare yarn for us to use! Apparently in the UK, when Rowan give a class, they provide yarn. Why don’t we have that here? I mean really. Seriously. Anyway, I got to use her yarn mixed with the yarn that I had brought. I think I got some pretty cute flowers. (pictures later, forgot the cable this morning)

Before lunch, Emma taught us how to make a leaf. Lucky for me I had some really pretty spring green tweed left over in my scraps. I made the cutest leaves, and I even modified her pattern to make it a tad bit longer. I thought the leaves were a bit small. Granted I was using size 3 needle.

I think at this point I should thank Xeno for asking me to knit that hat. I was ALMOST right at home with those tiny needles thanks to that project.

Then we made beaded butterflies. OK. What is up with beading. Talk about hard. It’s so easy to miss a stitch. It’s easy to forget where you are. It’s not the most fun thing I have ever done either. But, the finished product looks AMAZING. I made two butterfly wings. Now I need to make two more, and I’ll have a pretty pink butterfly with frosted beads.

Next came the iCord. I hate the iCord. HATE IT. So, I decided to make a my second butterfly wing instead. I didn’t come to an embellishments class to make an iCord. Seriously.

Finally we talked about embroidery on your knitting using yarns and ribbons. Emma showed us a basic chain stitch, and then left us on our own to decorate a swatch that we had brought to class with us. I knitted my swatch out of Rowan Kid Soft, color Storm. Then I placed two of the leaves I made onto my swatch, and added one of the flowers. Then I had to knit 2 more flowers, as the swatch looks silly with just one. I also need to make 5 more leaves. But, when I’m done, I’m turning that swatch into my first home accessory, a pillow. smile

If you have the opportunity to meet Emma, or take one of her classes, I highly recommend it. She is very knowledgeable, and honestly pretty fun.  If she comes back to teach a small class like that again, I will be there!



  1. That sounds like a great class.  I’m interested in learning how to knit with beads – but the frustration factor is keeping it on the back burner.  I’m sure it will pop up as an obsession in my near future.