Tag Archives: kit

and yet more changes #4

The second-last room that needs tackling is Bathroom #3. It has one of those awful jacuzzi-type baths and a few shelves, so those always got used just for storage. Not only did the spurty bits in the bath that are for “massage” never work anyway (previous owner had informed us of this), but no-one baths in the Western Cape any longer. Baths are for drought-free areas. I limit my shower time to 60 seconds these days, and even then I feel guilty about using the water.

next challenge

I think I can safely say this will be a relatively straightforward job. It will be undertaken this morning, after I’ve nipped out for groceries and before I meet a friend for lunch to wish her a belated happy birthday. Have energy = get lots done! Long may it last!

Oh, also – in my recent unearthings, I found this:

cross stitch…a cross-stitch kit that my ex-mother-in-law bought for me on a visit to Australia over twenty years ago. Looks like I even managed two-thirds of it. I think it’s rather pretty, and perhaps it won’t take long to complete. Famous last words….

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pentagons and awards

Some sort of horrible energy-sucking bug or virus has had me in its grip the last couple of days, today I have been almost totally inert. I feel like one of those lantern-jawed sea monsters that lives 72 million feet under the deepest ocean and conserves energy by never moving a whisker. It’s 5.55pm here, I’ve been under the covers most of the day, but I’ve just managed to make myself coffee and am also going to force this post (most of it done two days ago, when I felt more human).

When is a hexagon not a hexagon? Why, when you can’t count properly and you end up with five sides instead of six.
But it’s okay, I like it better this way. And it works out perfectly for my bag idea.

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hexagon multi

These girls are going to be bags, with a felt lining and magnetic clasp and long strap. Laura over in the mother country (= UK, haha) has volunteered to make one up following my pattern and using the Vinni’s cotton I send. When she’s given me the thumbs up, the kits will follow. A blue one, a turquoise one, a pink one, and a mixed one (because I was dying to use the new Brick Red that arrived this week).  I was also thinking greens. And maybe neutrals.

Kathryn in Colarado has been working on the mitts pattern, and has come up with some incredibly useful suggestions and a great new lay-out (far and above the ‘call of duty’).  She chose to make hers in Sunshine yellow, and here’s the first one she finished. Kathryn also writes a blog. I like reading what she writes.

left_mitt (1)

Two very thoughtful ladies have included me in their nominations recently, for which I am happy and appreciative, and I promise promise to fulfill my acceptance conditions (eg. answering some questions and nominating other blogs) as soon as the blood starts flowing to my brain again.  In the meantime, thank you both very much, Alice and Jane: Knit n Run 4 sanity and Rainbow Junkie Corner.

Phew, exhausted now. Back to the bottom of the ocean. x

moving swiftly along

So, the pattern, instructions and cotton for the fingerless mitts kit are on their way to Colarado to be tested (not Canada, I don’t know why I kept thinking Canada, maybe I just have a small brain and two proper nouns both starting with C was too much overlap for me), and the pattern and cotton for the headbands is on its way to be tested in Melbourne, Australia. Kathryn and Sharon, thank you both in advance!

Right, next up = mesh stitch scarf, 4.00mm hook, Vinni’s dk cotton in Plum.

headband 006

I’m going to add a border to the two shorter sides, but not sure what colour yet. This is the second scarf I’m making, the first one was a complete disaster and had to be ripped out. (Amazing how quickly one can do that, hey? that ripping-out thing!)

I did most of this last night watching the first two episodes of the new Dexter (!), and hope to finish it and have the pattern knocked out sometime tomorrow. Is there anyone out there who would be willing to test this one? I’ll send you all the cotton you need (colour of your choice), the pattern, the instructions, and I’m also thinking of including a simple gold or silver pin to, well, pin it together. I’ll just need your honest comments afterwards (and hopefully before Christmas!).

Back soon x

a new venture for Jam Tarts

I’m too excited not to tell you about this now, even though I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. I’ve been working on the idea of putting together crochet kits, and the first ones are nearly nearly ready to go!

I’m thrilled with the cover, thanks to Coral-Leigh, who took Megan’s original logo and colours and made them work so well.

cover with border for blog

A “first draft” of the pattern, instructions and cotton for the first kit (for fingerless mitts) is on its way to Canada to be tested, and the others are semi-ready. My plans are to make up kits for headbands, neck ties, hats and photo frames, and they’ll include a yarn needle and threadcutters. It’s quite a mission putting the whole thing together, what with printing and instructions and cotton and dealing with wholesalers and packaging, etc… but I’m loving it, and expecting that it’ll be easier to be organised the more practiced I get.

I’ll be happy to get your comments on this – Have you ever bought a kit? Do you think a kit would appeal to someone who has never crocheted before?

Back soon x

DIY bead tassel

I love tassels. You can make them out of pretty much anything you have lying around, and they can be as fancy or simple as you like.  I made a black and white one this morning for Jane, who is coming round later today to pick it up.

Finished!

Finished!

What you need for one tassel:

1. one large bead with a big hole (this will be the tassel head)

2. a selection of beads in various sizes and shapes

3. a 16cm length of soft cord (you can use ribbon if you prefer)

4. a sharp needle with a narrow eye (I used a #7 crewel needle)

5. strong thread (I used Gutermann topstitching thread)

6. scissors

Beads and cord

What you do:

1.  Cut a short length of thread and fold it over the cord.

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2. Push the thread up through your big bead and pull it out at the top, the cord with it.

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3. Pull the cord up until the loop is about as big as you want it. Leave approx 1.5 cm of cord stub sticking out of the bottom

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4. Thread your needle and knot the end. Run it through the stub and wrap the cord round it a couple of times to make it really secure.

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5. Trim the stub if it’s got a bit fluffy.

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6. Make the first length of beads: thread them on (in the order of your choice), using a little seed bead as the last one.

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7. Skipping the last bead, take your needle and thread back up through all the other beads back to where you started.

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It will look something like this:

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8. Make a couple of stitches through the stub to secure the thread nicely, then start a second length of beads.

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9. Add as many lengths of beads as you like (depending on whether you want your tassel to be slender or chubby), and vary each length slightly.

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10. When you’re happy with how it looks, secure the thread tightly in the stub and carefully trim off any messy bits.  I also like to dab on a bit of clear nail polish or fabric glue, just to make extra sure the thread won’t ever loosen. Push the head down firmly and knot the cord if you wish.

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And that’s it! If anything is unclear, please let me know.

To give you some more ideas, here are some of the tassels currently in my home:

Hanging on the key hooks at the front door

Hanging on the key hooks at the front door

Very simple tassels that Alex made when she was about 6; they're on the key to the linen cupboard

Very simple tassels that Alex made when she was about 6; they’re on the key to the linen cupboard

Multi-coloured tassel with a silk flower pinned on top, on my trusty old brown leather handbag

Multi-coloured tassel with a silk flower pinned on top, on my trusty old brown leather handbag

A tassel on a long piece of black and gold cord that I sometimes wear as a necklace. Modelled by you-know-who.

A tassel on a long piece of black and gold cord that I sometimes wear as a necklace. Modelled by you-know-who.

And if you don’t have the materials to make your own tassel, or if you want someone else to have the fun of making one, I’ve finally got around to making up more kits for bead tassel keyrings and listing them on etsy again.

Back soon x