Category Archives: wool

in step with Azzat

Every sixth Saturday I drive through to Sea Point for an appointment with Azzat A_____, probably Cape Town’s best-known podiatrist. Yesterday was lovely because the weather was cooler and the sky was grey, so lots of people seemed to have stayed home and the roads were relatively quiet.  Instead of parking close to Azzat’s building on Main Road, I took a spot down on Beach Road so that I could smell the sea and feel the breeze. I don’t know why I don’t visit the sea more often, living in Cape Town as I do, I thought to myself as I trotted up the road.  I was suddenly overwhelmed by the pungent and unmistakable stink of fetid seaweed.  Ah, right, that’s one reason.  What a pong.

I digress. Here is Azzat at the end of my feet, and here is me knitting while Azzat answers an urgent sms from a desperate patient with a chronic case of burst bunions or something similarly horrible. I am hoping that, with regular maintenance, bunions and ingrown toenails are afflictions I will be able to avoid down the line.    

I love my Azzat time. Not only does he restore my feet to rosy, satin-smooth perfection while I get in a few rows, he also chats away about the latest events in his life, none of which are ever even slightly dull.  His newest love is his 600cc Yamaha motorbike, which he has ached to own for years, but he can’t bring himself to tell his mother he’s bought it because she will worry too much about his safety.  Consequently, the bike lives under cover at his cousin’s house two blocks away, and he goes to see it every evening between 10 and 11.

To be continued…



Shawl up to you

Today I’d like your advice, please. I am still sewing in the ends of this shawl, which I had wanted to be ready in time for our next Kirstenbosch market a week tomorrow, BUT I can’t decide whether to add a crochet edging to it or not. The first shawl I did was in reds and pinks and oranges (and I think is still my favourite, but it went to a very good home so I’m okay with not having it to myself any more), and it didn’t have an edging. I detest fringing so that is not an option, but maybe a loose shell or a chunky picot?  All suggestions welcome.

Apologies for lousy photo quality – I was in a hurry! I’ll wait to hear from you. :-)

To be continued…


tassels for Africa

So Anne asked me the other day what I’d done with all my tassels. I went through a huge tassel passion about 8 or 9 years ago, going so far as to run tassel workshops! It seems they had been wrapped in tissue paper and stored in a box in the garage all this time. A bit like bulbs, and hopefully – like bulbs – they will now come back to life.

I’d forgotten how very much I like them, and how very much I liked making them. Seeing the zebra one made from a cotton reel makes me think I could use other waste things in tassels to come.
The others have special wooden shaped heads, which were made by a very handy man called Laurie who used to live next door to my first shop in Rosebank. He had all the right carpentry equipment and used to turn some really beautiful shapes for me.

A woman asked me one day what on earth a tassel was, and when I showed her, she then asked what on earth it would be used for. [No imagination, some people.] Think of them as house jewellery, I said, just for starters.

To be continued…

what i like

I can’t help it – every now and then while I am at work, some fleeting thought flits by or I get an email alert about someone’s new post and the next thing I know, I am window-shopping on the internet.  Or should I say windows-shopping? Heh. I try and save all the gorgeous, inspiring ideas in one of two folders – KNITTING STUFF and CROCHET STUFF, and go through them every now and then when I am on my own time.  

I just came across this pic, which I think is a brilliant idea because I love knitting as much as I love crocheting and sometimes feel like the former rather than the latter. Depending on mood. Day. Time. Place. Whatever.

I want to knit a zillion hexagons in stocking stitch in different colours. I will not want to sew them altogether when they’re done, but I will. I like the way the rows are at different angles. I like it when things are skew.

To be continued…



mini needlepoint gallery

Wow, I’ve never published a gallery before, that was quite cool! Reason I did, I got a phone call yesterday out of the blue from someone who used to give embroidery lessons in my old shop. She has a friend who wants to make a needlepoint cushion but only likes African designs and can’t find one anywhere. Since designing and painting canvases used to be my favourite thing to do, Jane thought of me. Her phone call led me to scuffle through the boxes of stuff in my garage, where I found three canvases that her pal might like. I’m not sure what I’d saved them for, perhaps I thought I might take needlepoint up again some day – but it’s been over 7 years and I haven’t felt the urge yet! I did so much in the past that I’m completely stitched out.

Anyhow, after finding the canvases, I embarked on a long walk down memory lane.  I dug out the finished cushions I’d made; they used to live on an old oak bench in the shop, all 24 or 25 of them, to inspire my customers. Here are some pictures, not great quality, but you get the idea.

So, what I’m now wondering is – are there still lots of people out there still needlepointing away (despite the high cost of the tapestry wool)? I had a look for handpainted canvases on Etsy, and there is very little available (that isn’t ribboned lavender posies and bluebells, at least) . Might it be time for me to look for my paints and brushes and stencils again…? Any comments from you crafty lot?

To be continued…  







UFOs – this is what Susan calls things you start to make … and then leave to rest for a while because it isn’t turning out as you expected but you can’t quite bring yourself to rip it out, or you aren’t sure what you were making in the first place. These two big granny squares grew one quiet afternoon in Sedgefield 18 months ago, and I found them yesterday stuffed into a bag of odds and ends in the old pine box that used to house Alex’s toys.

Unidentified forgotten objects. Well, I think they’ll grow up into cushions now. Watch this space.

Susan, by the way, is the person behind the blog Crochet and Stuff. She’s very funny, and worth a read :)

To be continued…



Grimace for the camera

Only someone who has tried to take a photo of themselves will know how stupid I felt last night doing this.  I wanted to show you my completed Bellflower infinity scarf, and hadn’t realised I’d been having a bad hair day until then. Still, I’m pleased with the scarf. Must make more – autumn on its way.

To be continued…