Tag Archives: house slippers

Day #? at the Waterfront

I’ve lost track of time. Can’t believe I’ve been at the Red Shed for two weeks already, and only have another thirteen days left. The occasional ‘odd’ tourist has been just that – occasional; most people are just wonderful and complimentary and funny, wherever in the world they’re from. Just a couple of highlights:

* the gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous on more than one level) German businessman who gave me a hefty tip when he returned to collect a pair of house slippers for his wife in her favourite colour (which I didn’t have on the stand and so made them overnight). Vielen dank, Herr Hunk, next time I make you a pair for your own feet, ja?!

* the lady from Somerset West (in Cape Town) who was walking past with her husband on their way to a movie; she fell in love with my crocheted stool and wasn’t prepared to leave without it.
Husband: But, Susan, we’re going to the movies now, we can collect it afterwards.
Wife: No, Nigel, it’ll be too late.
Me: We’re open til 9 and I’ll put a sold sticker on it.
Wife: Nigel, just give me the car keys, I’ll go and put it in the boot.
Husband: Susan, that’s ridiculous, the parking is miles away.
Wife: I don’t want to leave it.
Husband: What do you want me to do? I’m not taking it to the film with us.
Wife: I can’t risk forgetting it. Could you sms me at about 8.45, just in case?
Me: Sure, no problem. And I’ll put it behind this display case for now and then no-one else will see it in the meantime.
Wife: And with a sold sticker.
Me: Yes, ma’am, with as many as you like.


* the sweet young woman who didn’t know what a hedgehog was:
Woman: Ah, these hats are darling! Look at this penguin.
Friend: And this bear. Awesome!
Woman: Do you have one that fits a three-year old?
Me: The only one left in that size right now is the baby hedgehog, there’s been a bit of a run on the bigger hats today.
Woman: A baby what?
Me: Hedgehog.
Woman: [turns to friend] Is that like a …like a…raccoon?
Friend: No, it’s like a…like a….
Me: It’s a small prickly woodland-sort of animal, very cute, lots of spikes.
Woman: Like a porcupine?
Me: A little bit like a porcupine. But smaller and cuter.
Woman: Oh, okay! I’m sorry, I’m from the United States, there’re so many things we just don’t know about over there.

hedgehog hat baby hedge

Back soon x

Day Three at the Waterfront

Day Three was yesterday, Sunday, and it was AMAZEBALLS (as Lisa would say).

I’m loving being at the Waterfront, interacting with customers, and chatting to the other vendors.

red shed 009

My favourite new friends are the little band of tailors at Tidy Tucs, just across the way from me.  A steady (and I mean steady) flow of customers keeps them busy twelve hours a day, and they are always pleasant and efficient and sweet.  The lead singer, Ritesh, is about 26 or 27, and moved to South Africa from Pakistan seven years ago. He says he loves this country and the opportunities it has given him.  He tells me he’s on the market for a wife. He watches cricket on his DStv Walker which is presticked to the wall next to his steam press. He made some extremely helpful suggestions about my display yesterday and, after I’d made the changes, three customers in a row bought a pair of slippers. We high-fived six times (once for each slipper!)

Ritesh is in business with two of his uncles. An older man came by to visit and, when he’d left, I asked if that was one of them. No, he said, but also yes, because in a vay everyone’s my uncle. But vat I really vant is father-in-law. You have daughter?  

Back soon x

blowing my own …

Sometimes you just have to, right?

Slippers on happy feet in Australia, ordered through our etsy shop:


and cheerful red mitts warming the hands of a budding novelist, as he slaves over his keyboard late into the Cape winter night:


In other news, I have a pal over in Omaha, Nebraska (where? hell, I don’t know, one of those big blocky-looking states over in the middle of the US sort of, a very veeeeery long way from here…) who has just started her own etsy shop, so have a look at YarnChick40 when you get a moment. She’s got some nice stuff going there, and I think I might have to order myself the pattern for the ipad cover. 

Back soon x

Monday mish-mash

This post is going to be a bit of a mish-mash, I can feel it.

On Saturday Anne and I went to the Reformed Church in Gardens, where the Christmas market organisers set up their approval day. The xmas market runs for 3 weeks from end November at the Sea Point town hall, and this is their 11th very successful year. So please keep your fingers crossed that they liked our things and think they will be good sellers.

100_7413 100_7414

It’s a relatively informal set-up, we just used half a table and our hat stand, and then you fill out your forms and leave them on the table. You pack up and leave when six judges have reviewed your range and then you wait until the end of June to hear whether you’ve been successful or not. There were lots of cushions from other people – but none that were owls – and no other hand-crocheted items (that we saw, at least). The organisers were extremely efficient and friendly, and had laid on tea and coffee and scones that you could just help yourself to.  That always helps, right?!

Jam Tarts had a message from Simone, our left-handed trainee crocheter, to say she’d found a use for the crocheted bunting that was our encouragement-gift to her after the first lesson:


My guess is that this is in her baby daughter’s bedroom (the teddy bear and pink wall decor is a bit of a give-away), and I think it looks stunning.

It’s always good when something you’ve made for someone else comes back for repairs – it means the recipient really used it! I knitted this hw bottle cover for my mother some years ago, but the bottle itself has leaked and she couldn’t figure out how to get the cover off. I think I did a bit of fancy hand-stitching round the neck so will just rip it out, wash the cover, and find a new hottie for it to live on. The heart was crocheted, I like it more now than I did when I gave it to the mater.


Then I had a mail from a lady who had ordered 3 pairs of slippers from me, to say that the recipients loved them. It’s so nice when people think to do that. She sent this pic:


Nearly five years ago I was lucky enough to meet Rob. The day after our first date, I was so taken with him (!) that I started knitting him a scarf.  He looked like the kind of man who would wear a handmade scarf (just the kind of man I like!) – and he also looked like a man who had never had a scarf handmade for him in his life.

As you can see, the old one has become a bit shabby-looking so I felt he deserved a new one. He has, after all, been obedient and useful over the years. For the most part.

rob scarf

Old scarf, garter stitch, variegated wool

I’m kidding. Rob is the best man ever: he encourages me in everything I do, helps where he can, looks after all my IT needs, cooks, picks me up when I don’t have a car, picks me up when I do have a car,  won’t let me drive alone at night, takes me out for sushi, looks after my daughter and her friends when they are partying in Camps Bay, has a great (and occasionally black enough) sense of humour (like mine), is an amazingly patient and caring father to his own sons, treats his parents like gold, underestimates his own talents and abilities, and is very generous and loving and considerate in general. I’ve been extremely lucky. And no, sorry, he doesn’t have a brother. He’s OOAK.

JillandRob2  Rob and Jill

Both these pics were taken at other people’s weddings, the first one was on the way to Megan (Anne’s daughter) and Jeremy’s wedding two years ago, and the second one is at Katie (my stepsister) and Peter’s wedding in Johannesburg last year.

So, yes, Rob deserves a new scarf. We went to Roger at Orion to choose the yarn and, after much debate (because I’m allergic to yellow!), he picked the dark navy in the Pure Gold DK, and he’s asked for three narrow rows of slate grey on either end.  I’m knitting it double for a nice chunky look, but he wanted loose and soft as well, so I’m using 7mm needles.

rob new scarf


It’s nice to knit for someone you love, isn’t it?

Back soon x

I need a man (part 2)

More experimenting with slippers for men:

slippers man

Going for a tweed look now, with natural and a dark grey cotton combined. Higher at front, squarer at toe. The ones pictured are a size 8/9. Have to say, uses up a lot more yarn than the women’s ones, and of course most men have BIGGER FEET as well, so will use up even more yarn per pair and will take longer in the making. Rob tried one of these on and said,  “Wow, this is even comfier than a stokie”  (I think you have to be South African to know what a stokie is, sorry.) but he didn’t comment on the look of them.  Richard saw the photo and said, “Hmmm, for my demure side” – frankly I have no idea what he meant by that.

So, once again – Brad? James? Frank? Mary-Anne’s husband? Rugged and manly enough for you? Seriously, all comments appreciated and taken seriously.

Back soon x

I need a man

wait, that sounds wrong – I mean, I need a man’s opinion!
I’ve had two orders for slippers for men, so needed something with a squarer shape and more ‘masculine’ look. I decided to purchase another pattern from Tara Murray on etsy at Mamachee because her womens’ slipper pattern has been such a hit and I love it.

Here’s my version for the boys:
100_7288 100_7289

and I’d really like a man to comment on (a) the colour, (b) the shape, (c) the button strap, and (d) anything else? Maybe a man wouldn’t be keen to put anything crocheted on his big manly feet at all? (although the fact that I’ve already had orders suggests otherwise). I am still searching for a cotton or yarn equivalent to the chunky natural one I use, but in different colours. I have even asked a hand-dye company if they would dye for me but apparently it wouldn’t work well on very thick and already-twisted cotton. Using two strands of DK cotton doesn’t work either, it’s still too ‘floppy’ for slippers.

Anyone? Rob? Brad?

Friday update

So, I was right about the size of Jono’s head – the Jayne hat was way too tight, so I knitted him another one and he gave the first one to his eldest son, Max.  (Two Firefly fans in one family, what are the odds!?)

Here I am wearing Jayne hat #2.  jayne two

And you don’t have to say it – when it comes to photography, I’m a natural, I know. Thank you.

Then I made more hats.  Autumn, here, remember? I guess they look pretty stupid just lying there like this, but I didn’t want to hit you with two pics of me in a hat in one post.


I made these patterns up. Sort of. The brown and maroon stripey one is a larger variation on the CrossStitch slouch that I’ve made many times before, and I don’t often do stripes but the recipient loved it! She has dreads, and wanted something big enough to accommodate them but not so big around the brim that the whole thing would slip off.  When I’d finished it, it looked humungous so I did a red one. It fits me very nicely, not like the black one below that was made last year, which will possibly be turned into a bag.

too big  (Oops, sorry, that’s two after all.)

Another hat but this one with little bear ears for a baby. Anne is officially our Chief Baby Beanie Maker but I suddenly got the urge to try one myself.  I’m not big on faces so, hey, could be anything you want – meerkat, squirrel, pug? Heh.


In other news, I’ve been whipping up as many pairs of house slippers as I can for the Kirstenbosch Market on Sunday. We have a new spot there (I did mention that Jam Tarts is now a Permanent Vendor, hey?) and I’ve just taken delivery of five stunning wooden crates made for me by Colin at the Carpenter’s Workshop; these will be used in our new-look display, which we’ve been working hard on. Will post a pic after Sunday. Very excited.

I’ll leave the other makes for my next post, don’t want to overwhelm you and think I never do any ‘real’ work…

Back soon x