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.

 

 

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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.

Purple it is!

I tend to clam up and go all introverted in a room full of people I don’t know (parties? do people even have those any more?…dinner parties, workshops, seminars, that kind of thing), but have never found it hard to approach a total stranger and say how much I love the unusual and/or gorgeous item that she is wearing (it’s usually a she, men are pretty boring, let’s face it) and please can I photograph it. Here’s a stranger from two days ago:

Elsabe1

Her name is Elsabe and she was having a fresh-air break outside the building where I used to work.  She told me that she doesn’t knit herself, and bought this mini-poncho thing from someone at a market. (I love her purple hair, too, wish I could carry it off.) (And it reminds me of someone in Wichita!)

Here’s the back view:
elsabe2

We figured it was basically a long rectangle stitched together at one side, at a sort of angle. It’s no surprise that I love a whole bunch of different colours and textures mixed together, and in fact have something similar coming off my crochet hook at the moment (a cowl in autumn rusts and oranges and crimsons). Nearly nearly done, just one more episode of Sewende Laan

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:

simone

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.

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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:

IMG-20130525-WA0003

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