I’ve managed to complete four more squares for Rachel’s CAL.
I’m pleased with the effect of adding the bright pink to the mix, and feel much happier with my colour choice now. The last one, Square #10, didn’t shape up very well at all, but I’ll rip it out and redo it later. (Later later later. Everything’s always later with me…)
On Sunday at the Kirstenbosch Market (and what a perfect early spring day it was, thank you craft gods!!), we introduced our salt and peppers sets to this year’s new batch of patrons. And guess which ones got snapped up first?
And last, for today, I recently commented on the renovations of the building opposite Salisbury’s in Woodstock. It seems the new owner is a ceramicist who will be giving lessons above the shop – she’s asked me to not supply contact details until a month or so, when she’s completely organised. In the meantime, this is how she decided to paint the outside:
I was taught a new stitch yesterday by Doreen, who, at 82, has been a crafter all her life and is still busy as ever with her hook.
She was shown this stitch when she was a new bride at 19 in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) by her neighbour, Tannie Hannie, who took Doreen under her able, ample wing and trained her in the ways of domestic business and homemaking.
Neither of us knows if this stitch has a name. I’ve looked in the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework, and the closest I can find is Relief Stitch or Open Ridge Stitch, but I’m sure there are many many varieties of these.
It works up really quickly. Doreen uses it for pretty much everything but especially bags and blankets, and can do it in her sleep with her eyes closed.
This is one of her bags that she has given me as inspiration:
So, I’m currently busy with Tamara’s shoulder sack and will make every attempt to finish it before starting something new with the Doreen. (Guess that’s its name, now!)
I felt that Zenzo’s lampshades deserved a stitch I hadn’t tried before. I riffled through my trusty old Mon Picot book of stitches and this caught my attention, although I can’t think why. The photo does the stitch no justice, and the yellow is so disgusting that it offends my aesthetic discernment. It is also called “shell stitch” but looks nothing like a shell to me – unless they were thinking of mussel shells? But I am perverse. (I think now of Walt Whitman who said, “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large and contain multitudes.”)
I tried the stitch. I got it all wrong. I ripped it out. I tried again. It worked. I love it. I finished a whole lampshade. One down, nine to go.
I’m going to take it with me just now when I go down the road to return last night’s dvd and show it to Zenzo. It’s fine, he already knows I’m a bit daft (as Rowena would say).
Don’t ask me why but, for the last week or so, I have been hung up on the idea of combining traditional shweshwe cotton with textured knitting. With very little sense of direction (i.e. absolutely no idea what these things are going to turn into!), I have knitted rectangles in a variety of colours and sizes and gauges, and then laid them out with different bits of fabric on my bed. The orange thing looks like it might become a bag, especially as I found a piece of plaited belt that would work well as a strap. Blue Thing might also become a bag, but it won’t be as useful a size as Orange Thing so may end up as … a large pincushion? A cat pillow? The centre panel for a scarf (if i unstitch the seams…)? A duvet cover for the neighbour’s daughter’s barbie? Ah well, I’ll put it down to experimentation and let the idea stew for a while. Suggestions welcome!
I’m getting this first post out before I’ve familiarised myself with the dashboard and the rest of the back-end stuff but, what the hell, I have to start somewhere. That’s how I feel when I start making a new blanket – beginning with a humble little foundation chain and then slowly building in colour and contrast and new stitches. Making something beautiful and functional from nothing, one row at a time.