Tag Archives: knitting

mixed berries scarf complete

Right, it’s done. The scarf that I started knitting up here with Lisa’s gorgeous yarn has just had its ends woven in.

It’s all garter stitch, and I simply cast on two stitches then increased one stitch at the beginning of every row. So wonderful just to be able to pick it up and put it down whenever I needed a little break from more strenuous activity. The longest side of the triangle measures 90cm, and I just stopped when I ran out of yarn. It’s not long enough to go round my neck on its own (unless I tuck it into the jacket or coat collar, if I’m wearing one) without being pinned at the front, but I love brooches so this suits me perfectly. You may notice the very beautiful silver, jet and mother-of-pearl gecko above, which came to me from a dear friend in Colorado (originally met through blogging). It is one of my most precious possessions, plus I have always had a soft spot for geckos. She didn’t know that when she sent it to me!

Now, somewhere in this house there is a bag with a chunky garter stitch tank top that needs to have the shoulders stitched up. I must find it soon because I can feel a necessary break coming on…  Moving day is only 5 days away – you won’t hear from me again before then, so see you on The Other Side :)

PS. The weather for tomorrow looks to be like the last perfect autumn day for Cape Town, so I’m looking very forward to the Kirstenbosch Market – the neck cushions to be given away have been allocated (via this blog) to people who became customers over six years ago. They remain customers and have always been wonderfully supportive of my various nutty ideas, but they’ve also become friends. Life is good.

 

 

mixed berries and garter stitch

My crafty friend and fellow trader Theresa (she’s also included as a beneficiary in my will because anyone else would simply toss my long-accumulated mountain of fabrics, trims, beads and yarns in the rubbish) saw me knitting at the market. I need to have something mindless to knit (I’m still off the crochet) and the chunky tank top I had on the needles was perfect — and almost finished, just need to sew up the shoulders and sides then will model for you. She suggested I try what a friend of her’s did – make a shawl or scarf by casting on 2 stitches then increasing one stitch at the beginning of every row until your triangle is the size you want. I’m doing it in garter stitch.

Lisa 4

and using 3.25mm needles and some very special hand-dyed “Mixed Berries” yarn sent as a gift from Lisa at Yarnchick last year. The garter stitch is perfect to show the different shades, and every row is different.

Lisa 2Lisa 3  Lisa 1

Once I’d got cracking and found my knitty sticks yesterday, I was too excited to look for my wool winder hence the loose drape over the back of the chair.  Yes yes, I know I should be working (or packing) but I’m getting such pleasure from the knitting that I keep thinking just one more row, okay okay, just three more….

In other news, plans for moving are going gaily ahead. I have ruthlessly pruned back the amount of furniture and tchotchkes I own, also sold fridge and microwave and anything else that will be duplicated on the ‘other side’. [Prince] Philip has a piano and crystal chandeliers that need special care in moving, but I’m just a happy commoner so my stuff is getting bunged into old fruit crates and supermarket boxes. My movers are called Two Men and a Truck. We are counting the days and have the champagne all lined up. Now, just to stop knitting….

strip tease

strips 1

Please excuse the unmade bed but I suddenly thought I should lay out all the strips that Martli and her pals have knitted so far to see how much progress has been made. I had actually been on my way to brush my teeth but then tripped over my market basket which had my knitting in it so obviously and completely understandably got side-tracked. You know how it is.

strips 2

I think we can safely say – almost big enough! And now, I’m off to brush my teeth…

patchwork pants, unicorns, leather straps and coffee

Quickpix from yesterday’s market at Somerset West:

Hands need to be busy if I’m not occupied with customers or friends. Crochet is still too uncomfortable with my gammy right hand but I can manage a bit of knitting. This is a long length of garter stitch which will eventually be joined to other long lengths of garter stitch and turned into a blanket for someone who needs one.

knitting

Extremely desirable cotton patchwork pants worn by someone strolling along – she told me where she bought them (Langebaan) and how much they cost (R250), and how often people commented on them. She said, You should make some, they’d sell like hot cakes. I said I wouldn’t put so much work into something that I couldn’t sell for a really decent price, so she should just take them off and let me have them immediately. Oddly, she didn’t go for that but at least I have a pic to remember them.

patchwork pants

I had a brief text chat with Martli: she’s making amigurami unicorns and sent me this pic of the little darlings lined up on her windowsill. Aren’t they divine?!

Martli unicorns

And then, my second greatest pleasure of the morning: seeing what leather straps look like on my patchwork tote. It’s a prototype, of course, I’m still working on getting the right size and how best to put the zip in at the top, but in the meantime I’d asked Faranaaz to come up with leather straps so I could keep going with the idea. Faranaaz is the “bag lady” next to me at the market, she and her aunt make beautiful simply-designed leather bags and purses that sell very well (I have a few myself, of course….)

leather straps

My biggest pleasure of the morning turned out to be a loooooong conversation with someone I’d met a couple of years ago at the same market, a lovely lady called Lisa. We talked about children and divorce and men and work and didn’t realise that time was even passing. Thanks for the coffee and the chat, Lisa, hope to see you when you’re next in the southern suburbs :)

 

back to business :)

It looks like the most disruptive part of that messy business is behind me, so I’m back home and getting back into a productive work routine.

I’ve found knitting has helped me keep calm, especially since I am really really slow at it….  I’ve been trying out different hat patterns so my knitting ladies have samples to work from.  (I have another one on board now, and I didn’t even have to look for her, she found me!).

knitted hats

I also fitted in a pair of shark slippers for the girlfriend of a customer’s son, who is having a birthday today and is mad about sharks. Her boyfriend is treating her to a shark cage diving expedition… some people are craaaaazzzy.

shark slip 2     shark slip 1

Apparently they were all ecstatic about the slippers, but I have to say I wouldn’t make them again in a hurry. Too fiddly for my liking!!! I like more instant gratification.

I have also been sewing, which is fast becoming my preferred activity right now. I have boxes and boxes of leftover bits of fabric from Suzette (who makes cushions) and decided to make them up into patchwork bags.  I love mixing different colours and textures, but what I love most is making something useful out of someone else’s discards.

patchwork 3   patchwork 1 patchwork 2

They’ll get a lining and a bit of velcro to close but nothing fancy because I’d like to keep the price as low as possible. They’ll be coming to the Rondebosch Market with me on Saturday, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for another sunny winter’s day.