Category Archives: cotton

ballet pink

A lovely new customer found me at the Somerset West Country Craft Market last Saturday, and I’m making a beret for her in Vinni’s Cotton in Ballet Pink. It’s similar to the mustard one I had on display (seems mustard isn’t a popular colour, who knew!)

It feels like a long long time since I used a 3mm hook for anything, but I’m enjoying the change:

beret pink

And I’m using this pattern by Luba Davies:


I’ll be working on this while watching Madiba’s memorial service in Johannesburg at 11h00:


Back soon x


How African is this really?

Yesterday a couple from Washington DC was keen on buying an owl beanie for one of their grandchildren.

owl hat

The woman asked if it had been made in Africa. Yes, ma’am, I replied, It was made by me. I indicated to the half-finished owl beanie I was making on the table next to me, as proof that I do indeed do all the making myself. But you’re not African, she said, I mean, how African is this really? [Take a deep breath, Jill.]
Well, I said, I’ve lived in South Africa for forty-four years, I own property here, I pay rates and taxes, I love biltong and bunny chow, I only use locally-manufactured cotton and it’s also hand-dyed in Cape Town by South Africans, and I can say “I made it myself” in Venda, Xhosa, Sotho, Ndebele, Afrikaans, Shona and Zulu. That African enough for you, lady? Okay, I didn’t actually voice the last question, but I think she heard it anyway, kubwa na ya wazi / hard en duidelik!

Back soon x

The Scarf

I made the scarf again (or “The Scarf”, as I think of it now), this time in tomato with a slate gray edge.


I would never have thought to order the tomato if it hadn’t been for Kathryn. (But I think we’d pronounce it differently, ya?) It’s pretty close to the brick red, but it’s got a nice juicy sharpness to it.

And guess what, the lovely lady in Wichita made one as well. Tamara chose blue and grey, and I think it looks stunning (and not least because she’s a damn fine crocheter!!!) She’s going to send some feedback on the pattern soon, and I know with her help the scarf kit is going to be a winner. Without her help, I think the pattern may as well have been written in Croatian for all the use it would have been to anyone. Except a Croatian, of course.

DSC_0319 DSC_0322

Back soon x

bags of progress

This is the fifth bag I’ve made now, which perhaps is significant (5 bags / pentagon = 5 sides, you know) and I’m finally happy with the pattern.

kit pics 069

I’m liking this colour combination, too – baby yellow, sunshine, burnt orange and brick red. I got some nice bricky red felt at Fabric City today, which will be perfect for the lining. The one pictured here is brown, but you can see what the shape is and get an idea of the magnetic clasp. (Both will be included in the kit, when it’s finally a “product”).

kit pics 067

So, Laura in the south of England put her hand up to test this one – thank you, Laura, I’m very grateful to you. And here’s a link to Laura’s lovely blog, Cute as a Button. She seems to be one of those people who manages to fit a greater variety of crafty stuff into her days than most people, and you know what they say – if you need something doing, give it to a busy person!

Bye for now, from a grey wintry wet windy Cape Town.