Category Archives: Craft

Yarning along with Rachel (2)

My second post, after a mild nudge, to tie in with Rachel’s Yarning Along series (see what I did there?) Rachel’s right, it is interesting to see what other people are reading!

yarning along 2

Well, all you UK readers will know this chap quite well. I wasn’t aware he’d written anything at all along these lines until a friend lent me this book and, I have to say, he makes reading history an absolutely captivating adventure. If there’s any irony to be found in a situation, Boris is your man, and his style is drily contemporary.  I’ve watched him in a couple of news reports and meetings on youtube and, while I have to say I wouldn’t like to work with the guy, he’d certainly be a whole lot of fun at a dinner party.

And the knitting? Yes, it is exactly what you thought it was – a meaningless rectangle of garter stitch with randomly chosen colours. But I’ve heard that the Mowbray Maternity Hospital is always glad to receive baby blankets – some of the mothers arrive and leave with practically nothing – so it might be turned into something like that (despite the odd mix). A baby won’t care what colours it’s wrapped in, anyway, and the nights are truly cold here now.

Yarning along with Rachel

So Rachel does this Yarning Along thing now, and I thought it was about time I supported her initiative and joined in. She’s making a superb star crochet blanket from leftovers, as you can see on her latest post, whereas I have laid my crochet hooks to rest for a few months. What I can manage is knitting – I linked up with the lovely crafty ladies at Martli’s house again this morning, and we’ve decided to knit up some blankets to give to people who need them more than we do.  Here’s my beginning:

yarning along

and here’s my current read: Mediated: How the Media Shape Your World, by de Zengotita. He’s an American anthropologist and teacher, but this book isn’t academic or pretentious in any way – it’s highly readable, enjoyable and funny, and is really making me think about how our “reality” is constructed for us, and how we (as audience, or consumers) are positioned within it.

That’s it from me for now. Still taking things slowly here…. xxx

elefanti!

No, you’re not seeing double. There are two throws here folded in half but each one actually measures 140 by 190 cm, which is what the lovely Italian couple ordered :)  They found me at the last Kirstenbosch Craft Market and this was a special order. White elephants (elefanti!) printed on grey denim, mixed in with blues and whites and some neutrals.

Andrea One

Andrea and Martina divide their time between Cape Town and Italy (poor things) and this morning I delivered the throws and so got to see their beautiful 200-year old house in one of the City Bowl’s older suburbs, which they have renovated with exquisite flair. I was actually quite flattered that they wanted to find a place for my patchwork in amongst their European styling and modern look.

Andrea Four

We’ve had a little bit of rain here, not enough to make a difference to the dam levels, but the garden is looking a bit less thirsty. To wake up yesterday to the sound of rain falling was like a gift from heaven.

I’ve been through a dormant period lately (inert? low? uninspired?…something like all of those…) but I’ve felt better in the last couple of days. Autumn helps, as does the support of good friends, who always see me through the lousy times. You know who you are – xxx

Ruth’s bedspread

I was very disappointed to discover that the grey-water system in the new house only links to two bathrooms (one of which is seldom used). I couldn’t understand why so little water was coming out every day, as the washing machines (yes, two of them!) are in near-constant use, and also a hell of a lot of washing-up gets done around here. (Don’t look at me, and don’t ask. Just don’t).

So, under even tighter water restrictions, Rob fiddled around with some of the water outlet pipes and we now have an efficient – albeit rudimentary – “system”, involving lots of different-sized buckets carefully positioned over various drains. Twice a day, I decant from the bigger buckets into smaller buckets and go staggering round the garden with them trying to keep the plants alive. It’s very bad timing to have tendonitis in my right arm but how can you not use your right arm ffs, so I keep on regardless.

I don’t know how I got started on this, actually, but clearly I am obsessed with trying to get my garden growing the way I want it!! — I was planning to show you Ruth’s bedspread, which still needs a backing but will be ready in time for the market on Saturday.

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She asked for shocking pink and navy, with a lighter blue and some grey here and there. I didn’t have anything useable in bright pink, so bought 2 metres of mediumweight linen and spread it out over the kitchen counter to break the solidity of it with some printing in whites and grey.

printing

She’s also asked to make some little fabric containers – I guess something like this (found here), so I’ll have some fun playing around with that idea today.

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mixed blessings

The good news is that Andrea loved her bedspread, this is the picture she sent me of her guest bedroom.

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She has now asked me to make cushions with guinea fowl on them, and some pillow cases. She brought her friend Ruth (also Swiss) along on Saturday morning to the Country Craft market, and she has ordered a patchwork bedspread for her guest room (luckily the bed is more realistically sized than Andrea’s). I love Swiss people.

Other good news is that the gooseberry bushes are doing well – one better than the other, since it gets more sun, but good to know for next season. (All grown using grey water, fyi).

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After Friday’s big rain, we had two hot days, and then another good rain during the night. February is usually the hottest month in Cape Town, but we at least have some water saved up now. I have had to relieve the tomato plant of her two offspring: she is completely drained and withered, and these girls clearly used up all her energy. Mothers of young children may remember this feeling well.

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They are kind of beefy and dark and, let’s face it, are unlikely to end up in a salad. But they are something, and as such will sit on the kitchen counter for a while.

Other news: yesterday, at Kirstenbosch Market, a dog urinated on my leg. I was standing on my side of the table talking to a woman about pillow cases, when I felt a warm liquid running down my right leg. She had two dogs, on leads, and one had nosed under the tablecloth and, well, just made use of me. She apologised profusely and handed me her bottle of sparkling water to wash off my jeans and foot and sandal (I used it all!) and then we all sort of laughed. Her mother came along and told us that the dog had once lifted its leg against a woman’s shoulder while she was sitting on an otherwise-empty beach with her husband. Dogs. This is why I can live without them.

And not-so-good news: my phone got disappeared yesterday, while I was at the market. I’d either left it on the table (for maybe two or three seconds) or it got removed from the pocket at the front of the body bag I always wear. If something had to get nicked, I’d rather it was the phone than my cash, but it’s disheartening all the same. First errand of the day: get into nearest Vodacom shop and get a new sim card. I would hate to lose my number, I’ve had it for fourteen years.

 

even Ken is excited

We have woken up to a wonderful downpour and the sound of good solid drops of skywater crowd-smacking onto the roof. The sky is a beautiful steel grey and it’s a cool crisp 16 degrees. I rushed outside to feel some water on me, and there I saw Ken had beaten me to it – that’s him doing his happy little rain dance, albeit on his side.

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It isn’t due to last long but it certainly is marvellous right now.

Here’s a bedspread I started last night, after finishing the neutral Swiss one. I was desperate to work with some very vibrant colours :)

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Back soon x

When in neutral…

Andrea’s bedspread: this afternoon I finished stitching the panels together (12 by 13 of them, to make 300 by 280cm) and topstitching, and tomorrow I’ll tackle the back. I had to spread it out over the dining table and chairs to get it all in one photo, and even then I couldn’t manage it.

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There are some guinea fowl in grey, and some in brown, and a few proteas, and a bit of other handprinteds here and there, the rest is a combination of light to medium weight upholstery fabrics, mainly cottons.

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This is for Andrea’s guest bedroom, and she specifically wanted neutral colours. Did I mention she is Swiss? Am I the only one who finds this amusing?

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