Tag Archives: diy

approval day

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.

approval 2

approval 1

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.

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spot check

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.

blogonzee

I think she made her’s in linen. Here’s my version:

cloche

lining

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…

barnyard

happy granny

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 pattern

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).

eben 1

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?

Back soon x

inspired by stinky fish

So, you remember the Stinky Fish hat?  I had hoped someone would fall in love with it at the Somerset West market on Saturday and it certainly got a lot of attention (a lot of smirks and pointing, actually, not sure about the falling in love!!) but it did inspire two requests – one for a rainbow-coloured Stinky Fish hat for a cute little one-year old girl, and one for a sperm whale hat for a cute little 16-year old girl! Jaide lives in London and was on holiday with her mom and brother in Cape Town for a short while. She’s already gone back but her mom is here for another 10 days so, if Jaide likes the pics I’ve mailed her, her sperm whale will be flying over to the UK in the near future.

I looked at these pics:

whale 3 whale 1 whale 2

and this is what came off my hook:

spermy 3 spermy 4 spermy 1 spermy 2

If you stare very hard at it, then quickly close your eyes, I swear you’d think you were under the sea for a few seconds – that’s how realistic it is! hahaha

Incidentally, I worked this one from the brim to the tail, and not the other way round (as with the original Stinky Fish pattern by Catrina Usher).  No particular reason, although I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the tail so decided to leave it til last :-)

It’s a long weekend for South Africa (Sunday 27th is Freedom Day), so I hope you all have a whale of a time.

how to make a fabric infinity scarf (in less than 15 mins)

Here’s a dead easy something to make. All you need is some fabric, needle and thread. I used my sewing machine as well, but if you’re Amish you can stitch it by hand.

I used:
3 pieces of fabric – two were 13cm wide and one was 16cm wide, but they all need to be the same length: 180cm.

cowl 2

1. With right sides facing, and with a 1cm seam allowance, sew the long sides of the pieces together. All of them.

cowl 4

2. You’ll end up with a tube.

cowl 6

3.  Push your arm through the tube…

cowl 7

4. … and pull the end of it through to the top.

cowl 8

5. With right sides together, you’re going to sew the raw edges together, leaving a 10 to 12 cm gap.  (You haven’t turned the tube inside out yet).  It’ll look like this (the arrows are to show you where I left the gap):

cowl 9

6. Pull the cowl through the gap in the seam til it’s all right side out.  Slip stitch the seam closed.  Give it a light press, and it’s done!

cowl 12

At this length, and especially if you’ve used stretchy t-shirty fabric, you should easily be able to get it round your neck three times, if you want to. I generally wrap mine round twice, but you can also fold it in half and pull one side through the loop for a different look.

cowl 20 cowl 17

cowl 13  cowl 12

and if for some reason you don’t want anyone to know it’s you, you can flip one loop over your hair and smack on some sun gogs…. 

cowl 21

Back soon x
PS. I’m not sure about this new blog theme. Any comments?

BonBon update

I attended a fabulous sector meeting about (a) upcycling, and (b) e-commerce at the Cape Craft and Design Institute this afternoon, and worked on the cotton BonBon at the same time. Yip, two hours of uninterrupted crochet. hoo ha.

I have now worked 20.5 cm from the top of the crown and it looks like this:

cotton bonbon 2

And on my head it looks like this:

cotton bonbon 1

I think I’m going to work about another 5cm before starting the brim because I want more of a hang to it at the back. (Hats that hug my head do not suit me. It’s why I can’t ever wear a beanie. I get that whole pinhead look).

It’s weighing in now at 145g, so already it weighs as much as a fully completed acrylic BonBon like the one below.

green bonbon

Please bear this in mind if you’re going to try your hand at one – if you choose cotton over acrylic, you will use more meterage and it will weigh more.

Also, keep trying it on as you go, to make sure it’s taking on the shape you want – you don’t want it taking on too much of a life of its own!!!

How to make a BonBon

Hello. Long time no me. Crummy time management skills, I know.

So, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I want to share with you how Eunice has taught me to make the BonBons.

But first –  please be advised : this is not a pattern for the faint-hearted or those who need instant gratification! This is a pattern for those of you who like to throw a bit of caution to the wind, to be adventurous, who do not stress over the exact number of stitches or any precise dimensions, and who can spend more than two evenings working on it.  This is a wing-it kind of a thing (exactly how I make lasagne, come to think of it!) It’s not a problem for me that no two are exactly the same because I sell them, so there is always someone who wants one slightly bigger, slightly smaller, slightly rounder, slightly longer, with a pompom, without a pompom, whatever.

caramel bonbon

The caramel one above was made by Eunice, using Elle Pure Gold DK (acrylic) and a 4mm hook.
The green one below was made by me with the same yarn and hook, but my tension is much looser than Eunice’s.  I also had more stitches so I have a fatter hat with less shaping at the brim.

bonbon4

I’ve just started one using Elle Cotton On DK and a 4.5mm hook. There’s a lot less stretch with cotton, so I’m working more stitches in the round so that I don’t end up with a long, narrow hat that would only fit a long, narrow gnome. It looks like this so far:

cotton bonbon

The first section is the circle for the crown. (I’m using British terminology).

Ch 5. Sl st to make a circle. Ch 2 (does not count as tr), 13 tr into circle. Join to top of first tr.

Row 2:  Ch 2, 2 tr into same st, and in each st all round = 26 tr. Join with a sl st.

Row 3:  Ch 2, tr into same st, 1 tr into next, 2 tr into next, continue all round. Join with a sl st  (39 tr). That is your flat crown part.

NOTE: At this point, it would be useful to count the number of sts, so that if you want to make another BonBon the same, or smaller, or bigger, this will be your guide. (Eunice says she never counts, she just seems to know by instinct when it’s right.)

The second part is the main textured section. This is much much easier than it sounds. Basically, it’s all worked in front post trebles and back post trebles**  so that you get a lovely up-and-down texture.

Row 4:  Ch 2, 1 bptr (back post treble) into same st, 2 fptr (front post treble) into the next st.  Continue with the 1 bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 5 – 8: Same as Row 4, but  work the bptr into the bptr of the previous row, and the 2 fptr into the second fptr of the previous row. Continue with the bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 9:  Same as Row 8 but you need to do a bit of increasing here: to increase, work your 1 bptr as usual, then work 2 fptr into the first of the fptr of the previous row; work 1 bptr into the second of the fptr of the previous row, then work 2 fptr into the same stitch.  This will give you an increase that looks like this:

bonbon2

Eunice makes about 6 increases evenly spaced around this row.

Now you just carry on crocheting merrily away until your BonBon is about the size you want it to be from crown to brim, excluding the brim (which you may want to wear flipped over anyway).

Note:  I did a couple more increases in about Row 11 of the cotton one pictured above because, as I said, I wanted to accommodate the lack of stretch.  It all depends on the yarn you’re using and how big you want the hat to be.

When you’re not increasing, and you’re just going round and round, you’ll start to see the dome shape form.

Work until the hat measures about 22cm in length from the very top (or less, or more, up to you).

Brim:

Eunice’s brim is simply 5 or 6cm of front post trebles all around. With my green BonBon, I felt the brim looked like it was going to be too wide, so I first worked two rows of double crochet decreasing six times evenly in each row.  Then I did 5 rows of fptr.  End off and weave your ends in.

When you fold the brim over, you get a lovely contrast with the direction of the stitches.

I sold a lot of BonBons on Sunday at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market. Some girls wore a deep brim, some a narrow one, some had no brim.  It’s a pretty versatile hat.  One very stylish and charming lady of 72 has ordered one in dark brown that she is going to wear in a totally different way, that I had never thought of before.  I’ll show you that next time :)

Now, if these instructions really stink, please let me know – I’ve gone over and over them, but I may have made an error or overlooked something.  Fingers crossed not…

** front post and back post trebles

Back (sometime) soon x