I’ve been quiet on social media lately, trying to cut down on the amount of time on which my brain is exposed to the world’s hogwash. It’s not all hogwash, I know, but I get sidetracked very easily so I try to stick to crochet pages and news sites (and have limited the latter to precisely two, because my view is that it’s almost impossible to tell who is telling the truth these days anyway). It’s all just become overwhelming and I’m sick of it.
I’ve been spending my creative time on fabric beads and crocheting another Granny Go Round jersey, and trying to get back into my books in the evenings instead of too much netflix or britbox (although I have to say I’m hooked right now on The Bay – those west Lancashire accents take me right back! I love them).
And I’ve also spent some time writing up a tutorial on making fabric beads from straws and using them in a necklace. It’s available on etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1115954156 and is priced at US$4 (the equivalent of South African R65). My friend Kathryn proofed it for me and made some very useful suggestions. I make these beads all the time now and find it both enjoyable and relaxing, and of course it’s a brilliant stashbuster for fabric scraps as well as threads.
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.
Today was approval day for the annual Plaasfees (Farm Festival) in the northern suburbs in March. Usually it’s only the bigger and longer markets that one has to get approved for, but it’s no bad thing to review one’s offerings and think about quality control and labelling, etc.
You don’t have to do a whole set-up, the organisers really just want to see your range, and also want to make sure there isn’t too much duplication. I am happy to say that no other hats were in evidence this morning, but that doesn’t automatically mean they will accept me.
I made sure I took quite a few different styles of ladies’ caps, not just newsboys, and also kiddies’ sunhats – generally those are always popular (especially on a hot sunny day in Cape Town!) Fingers crossed, please.
I mentioned that Alex and I had supper and watched Thelma and Louise together the other night? Five days later, my poor girl was covered in measles. The German kind. My mother has blanked out most of my childhood years so cannot possibly be expected to remember if I ever had it as a child – and the vaccine was only administered in the UK from 1969, which means I missed out, being born in 1961. So far, no-one who has been in contact with her (that we know of) has shown any symptoms, so please keep your fingers crossed. She turns 21 next week and there are celebrations planned – so this would be particularly unfortunate timing.
Hat news: I found this lovely cloche on pinterest, from bozontee. Free pattern, too, which is wonderful.
I think she made her’s in linen. Here’s my version:
I used a heavyweight velvety sort of fabric and a thin cotton for the lining. Quick and easy. Lots of potential for adding bling and extra stuff. But more cloches are for future Jill. Right now, let me get back to the preschool’s sunhats … and do a spot check…
I’ve been hoarding the pattern for Simone’s happy granny (here) for a long time and the other day, when I was looking for something else in an insanely disorganised bookmarks folder, I came across it again. After a lot of Ellas and penguins, this looked like a perfect no-fuss quick make.
Simone’s hat is for a baby, but I wanted to go big. I used a chunky Elle Timber and a 5.00mm hook, so ended up with a hat that fits Carol loosely. I was going to follow the pattern exactly and have the same sort of beanie look but by the time I’d done the two brown rows, I realised that the wearer would have to have an unusually large noggin. (Rob has quite a big head, actually, but I know he doesn’t like raspberry pink).
So I just winged it after that – did 2 rows of grannies with some decreasing, then one row of dcs. That’s given it a kind of puffy beret look instead.
We’ve had a really sharp and sudden icy spell in Cape Town- it’s much much colder than it usually gets in winter, and it’s started a lot sooner. There’s even been SNOW on the mountains – we say that here with such genuine amazement as to suggest that the snow, surely, has picked the wrong country?