Category Archives: yarn

Opal

Last week I received a huge box packed with surprises all the way from Grand Junction, Colorado. I think it was a combination housewarming/ early birthday present :-)  How lucky, right?! Each gift merits its own post, so I’ll start with the wool.

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I haven’t seen this available in any of the wool shops I visit (and know so well). But even if it was, I wouldn’t be treating myself to any – it would be way out of my yarn budget!  Made in Germanland, it’s 75% wool and 25% polysomething. Slides through my fingers smooth as silk.

I’ve decided to use it for a shawl (there’s 150g of it) and there are some mighty fine knitting and crochet patterns out there. I started one, didn’t like it, ripped it out. Started another, didn’t like it, ripped it out. I was about to start on a third pattern when my Inner Voice said, This wool doesn’t need a fancy pattern, the colours are magnificent all by themselves, make up your own shawl, birdbrain!

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So that’s what I’m doing. It’s going to be one of those wide shawls with a shortish point, like the triangular shape below. I started with a chain (didn’t count, just made it as long as felt right), worked 2 rows dc and the rest will be trebles. Maybe with a ch st in between alternate ones on alternate rows. Or not. I don’t know yet, I’ll make it up as I go along. triangle

And how perfectly it goes with my beaded bowl! Plus, opal is also my birthstone. Such synchronicity! Thank you again, Kathryn, it’ll soon be finished and I’ll think of you every time I wear it.

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mitten smitten

I’ve been busy with fingerless handwarmers lately. Doreen had given me another pair of legwarmers, which have now been repurposed for man paws:
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because Rob says he also gets cold in winter…

Following on the success of Nicola’s cowl last week, I made another one with matching fingerless mitts** and added a bit of furry yarn top and bottom. I posted this on the Jam Tarts facebook page and had a buyer within 15 minutes. Thanks, Mr Zuckerberg.

alex cream

And how’s this weather!? This pic was taken two days ago – Alex was in a bikini lying on the grass in the sun when I asked her to model up. It’s supposed to be WINTER here, hello!!!

Today a few of us gathered at Mama Roma in Newlands to celebrate Gwen’s birthday (although any excuse for a grub-fest will do). She’s still doing the early-morning school run, so I made her some mitts** in shocking pink to keep her hands warm on the steering wheel. Everyone thought they were cute (but not as cute as Gwen herself!)

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** My “pattern” for these mitts: with dk yarn and a 5mm hook, ch 31. Work 18 rows in htr. Fold in half and stitch the seam, leaving a short gap for your thumb. Optional – work 1 or 2 rows of dc top and/or bottom in a contrasting yarn.

Back soon x

person cosy?

I had meant to finish this before casting on for the Kaya bolero thing, but I’ve been juggling between the two of them for a bit. Bolero almost done, pic tomorrow.

This is called a ‘capelet’, which I can’t actually bring myself to say out loud, I think it sounds so silly. I guess the designer can call it whatever she likes and so, for the sake of variety, allow me to put forward the suggestion that Alex’s friend Ash made this afternoon when I asked her to wear it for a photo:  “That’s so cute”, she said, “it’s like a person cosy”.

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(You can just see Ash hovering around in the background there).

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So, I quite enjoyed making it – about 65%, I’d say. It started off well but by Row 14, I’d got lost in the pattern so I had to improvise. Which I think I did fairly well, but not brilliantly. My person cosy has more flounce around the bottom than the original capelet (snicker), no doubt because I ended up with far more stitches than I was supposed to. heh.  Also, I probably wouldn’t choose to do it again in the same wool.  I used Elle Pure Gold DK and I think it has a bit too much droop for something like this.  I very much like the idea of this as a garment, though, because I think it can be used to jazz up a plain outfit easily or could even work as a modern type of bed jacket.

It was a free download from here, if anyone is interested. And now that I’ve just opened that link to check that it’s still good, I’ve seen the comments about the difficulties other people have had around row 14…hmmm!

Right, back to my knitting. Still hot and humid here this evening, I’m really getting fed up with the heat now. I WANT AUTUMN.

To be continued…

CAL with Rachel*, squares #5, #6 and #2 (repeat)

Squares #5 and #6 = fabulous patterns. I’m very pleased with my efforts here, and will definitely use the stitch in #5 in other projects. (I feel a lampshade coming up….)

Then I looked at my square #2 again, and thought I’d done it badly enough that I should rip out and redo it. So, that’s the third one in this pic.

I’d decided that square #7 was yucky and that I’d give it a miss, but I’ve looked at it more closely and realise that the built-in corner thingie could be pretty damn useful in a blanket. Plus, what puts me off the most is that emerald green – maybe I’ll like it more in my own colour combo. #8 and #9 look wonderful, but I’ll have to pace myself – got orders to finish over the next couple of days (not complaining, mind you!)

* Link to Rachel’s blog here.

To be continued…

Woolhogs Made It Challenge

This challenge is an excellent idea from a clever fellow Capetonian crafter/ blogger: woolhogs! Yay, proudly South African! (Vuvuzelas, please!)

My entry is a little knitted bag. I call it The Little Knitted Bag.

I used:  super chunky yarn and size 7.5mm knitting needles. I can’t remember what the wool is called, there was a single ball left in Roger’s shop and he said he wasn’t going to order any more so I can’t ask him either.  I just know it was imported, but any nice chunky yarn will work.

I cast on 50 sts and worked 40 rows stocking stitch; cast off.  I made sure to leave enough wool to use for the strap.

With right sides together, fold the rectangle in half and stitch up along the side and bottom seams. Turn right side out.

Find a suitable piece of fabric for the lining.  I used a medium-weight velour-type material in crimson.  Cut two pieces a bit bigger than the bag; sew the two pieces along three seams, right sides together.

Don’t turn the lining inside out. Fold the top over (see above) and insert into bag, and pin into place at the top.  Stitch by hand.

I made a cord using the leftover wool from the bag and some other crimson wool and a length of silver chain to make it a bit more substantial. I cut lengths of 140cm and made a plait, and just knotted each end (instant tassel!)  Sew each end to the sides of the bag, and add a big press-stud for closing (optional).

Also optional – find or make something to stick on the front for extra oomph.

    

Voilà –  the Little Knitted Bag. Très facile et très jolie.   French? What the hell?  I’d forgotten the whole Proudly South African thing.  Ok, here it is in Xhosa –  kakhulu khaphukhaphu, kakhulu lekker.  And in Afrikaans – baie maklik, baie mooi.

To be continued…

Still on about stools

Whaddaya know, it’s a two-blog day.

In response to a suggestion that I make a cover for the stool for added comfort    (although my own posterior is plenty well-padded and certainly needs nothing further), I shall show you these: for weeks I have been playing around with variations on crocheted covers for footstools, and, as it happens, the first one (knitted) was unsuccessful. It is, however, PERFECT for the stool.

And here are the crocheted covers. As much as I like the shell edge, I find it’s better to do a border that tightens up because it sits better on the foam.  Can’t show you any actual footstools… they are in the wings awaiting paint.

Incidentally, it was through Tamara that I found a tutorial for a granny rectangle.  Thanks again for that :-)

To be continued…

Needlepoint and knangles

I have just put together a little needlepoint kit for an old customer of mine; she saw a photo of the ellie bag and decided it would be a good project to take with on her overseas trip to the states, as a large part of her time will be spent with her mom in a frail care centre.  Always nice to keep one’s hands busy.

When I got back home yesterday from work and the supermarket (all so boring boring boring), I sat myself down to start and finish the idea that was in my head for that circle of foam. Yes, it was foam – Dawn and Janet were both right but in slightly different ways, and Janet gets the box of smarties for wry humour (“a foam rubber circle – you could make one of those cushions you get to sit on after the episiotomy”) !!!

 

It’s the inner foam ring that gives wool doughnuts their shape.  See above. The wool is Elle Elite double knit and it has a lovely texture but it’s quite a thin double knit so I end up using it with something else for extra substance. Anyhow, I got it into my head that a knitted bangle would be just the latest trendy thing, so I knitted up a storm while watching my soap, and here is the finished product:

I call it the knangle (KN-itted b-ANGLE). I used a chunky Elle Timber in a dark red with light flecks, and 5.5mm needles; c/on 34, worked 22 rows stocking stitch, and bob’s your uncle. It’s really nice and snug and soft, and makes a change from the collection of jangly metal bangles I usually wear and that makes such a clatter and racket when I type. 

Or maybe it could just be a doughnut!?

To be continued…