ScrapHappy October 2021

I have more than one project on the go at the same time, as most of us do – it’s a blessing and a curse, isn’t it?! Sometimes it’s good to switch from machine-sewing to crocheting, for instance, or from beading to hand-stitching, but sometimes my brain wants to work on all the things at once. Result = chaotic mind (not to mention work space). I’m trying to focus on one thing at a time, make lists, plan my days, be more productive.

In the meantime, here’s my contribution to this month’s ScrapHappy initiative. I needed to shorten a jumpsuit (why are they called that? no jumping is going to happen around here, that’s for certain!) so I kept the pieces I chopped off from the bottom of each leg and turned them into little balls of fabric-stuffed beads and made them up into a necklace.

It was a bit overcast when I took these pics, my apologies. Over the last 30 years I’ve built up a goodly collection of embroidery and crochet threads, so they’re perfect for the wrapping part.

ScrapHappy is hosted by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden; it’s a day for showing something made from scraps every month. Here are the links for everyone who joins from time to time:

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Esther

revised crochet scarf pattern – anyone willing to test?

Many years ago I wrote a pattern for a triangular crocheted scarf. I made it in cotton and used a contrasting colour for the edging. One of my lovely neighbours, Lindsay, modelled it for me at the time.

The plan was to make up a kit, including the cotton and hook, but it petered out – as so many of my plans are wont to do! I forgot all about it until yesterday when I was going through old files on my laptop and it seemed like a good idea to revise the pattern using acrylic instead of cotton for a change. It works up really quickly and I’ve already finished it (it’s being blocked right now).

Before I think about what next to do with it, I’d really like to find two people who would be prepared to make it. I’ve amended the instructions here and there, and may well have overlooked some things. If you make it using the same yarn for the scarf and the edging, it uses approximately 80g altogether (of acrylic, that is – I used Stylecraft DK). It might also lend itself to a scrappy look, I’m not sure. You’d also need a 4mm crochet hook.

If anyone is interested please email me at jamtartssa@gmail.com and I’ll send the instructions as a pdf. TIA!

all puffed up

No, sorry, this post is not about puff adders – although we did go for a long walk last week in Pringle Bay and, halfway along, very far from the road, Andrew casually remarked that I should keep my eyes on the ground in case of puff adders.

I immediately froze. No, keep walking, he said, they can feel you coming and will simply move away. But what if it’s asleep? I screamed, and I’m the one to wake it up??? Just back away veeeeeery slowly, he said. I reminded him that my mother had recently woken up to find a cobra in a corner of her kitchen and I was still getting over the trauma, but he just laughed. I’m not sure it’s kind to laugh at another person’s fears so I yelled SPIDER SPIDER SPIDER and did my impression of a black widow to get back at him before continuing through the fynbos, stamping as hard as I could to scare off serpents as far afield as Mpumalanga.*

But I’ve digressed. The reference to puff is my lovely new Paddington top, designed by clever Sarah-May of French Navy Designs in Cape Town. She sells her patterns on etsy but this top was a free pattern from Peppermint Magazine and, for some unknown reason – because I’ve gone off machine-sewing lately – I had the urge to make it. The big puffy sleeves were the main attraction.

I used a piece of cotton from West Africa that someone gave me years ago, and which may have previously been used as a tablecloth. I have horrible arms – bingo wings, I believe they are known as in the north of England – so am always happy to cover them up as much as possible. The design was great and I’m so pleased with the result that I’m considering making a dress from the first pattern I ever bought when I was 22 and had just got my first sewing machine. It was navy cotton with tiny white dots and I wore it until it fell apart.

* Happy to report that no snakes or spiders or even baboons were seen, just a very fat mongoose and a tortoise later that day while sitting on a bench looking out at the sea.

ScrapHappy September 2021

I recently bought a motley collection of old beads and findings from someone on Facebook who was selling off her late gran’s bits and bobs (for the ridiculously give-away price of R150). I like that kind of thing – you often get a few fabulous surprises. To my amazement there was, in fact, a broken string of beads that looked suspiciously like garnets. I took them to a friend who used to work in a jeweller’s shop and she confirmed that they were indeed the real thing. I phoned the young woman I’d bought the beads from to let her know about the “valuables” but she said she didn’t want them and I was welcome to make them into something and wear it. I still haven’t decided what to do with them, but how lucky was I with that score!?

I thought I’d use some of the other stuff from granny to make something for this month’s ScrapHappy. There were a lot of little glass beads on wire and some pretty varnished shells with holes in them. I decided to turn it all into a scrappy boot wrap.

I’ll probably give this one to Karen. I started making the wraps with just two strands of beads to go round the ankle but I prefer the look of three (or more). She already has one of the first ones I made so she can add this to her collection. I’ve managed to list a few on etsy, will see if anyone finds them appealing!

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every month but their blogs are still worth looking at): KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean, Jon, Hayley and Jule.

back on etsy

The Kalk Bay market at the Brass Bell on Wednesday was cancelled – management decided it was too quiet to be viable (mainly due to lockdown regulations which still include curfew restrictions) until at least the summer comes and more locals start going out again and more tourists are able to visit Cape Town. As more people get vaccinated and case numbers fall, perhaps the curfew will be done away with completely. We can only hope.

I used the time I’d saved on Tuesday and Wednesday to restart my etsy shop. It’s something I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages, ever since I started working mainly with beads and playing around with fabric jewellery.

I’ve only got five items listed right now, but I aim to add three to five a day including some boot accessories. Perhaps you’d like to visit? Perhaps you’d like to favourite my shop? All fans welcome! The more the merrier!