Tag Archives: shawl

the knitted shawl to beat all knitted shawls

There really is something enormously special about having something made just for you, isn’t there? This was made for me by Kathryn, and got flown over from the States to South Africa as part of my big surprise parcel. Back in April, she cunningly initiated a discussion about the three colours I would choose were I to knit up the Drachenfels pattern, which she had her eye on making.  I chose sagebrush, claret heather and tumeric, not realising she was purchasing them for me.

And that’s how come I now have this gorgeous item in my wardrobe….


shawl-1  shawl-five

It’s large and wide, so can be worn in different ways depending on the temperature. Cape Town evenings are still cool so I’ve been draped in Drachenfels quite often lately, but it will get it’s best airing come next winter :-)

Kathryn, xxx






Last week I received a huge box packed with surprises all the way from Grand Junction, Colorado. I think it was a combination housewarming/ early birthday present :-)  How lucky, right?! Each gift merits its own post, so I’ll start with the wool.


I haven’t seen this available in any of the wool shops I visit (and know so well). But even if it was, I wouldn’t be treating myself to any – it would be way out of my yarn budget!  Made in Germanland, it’s 75% wool and 25% polysomething. Slides through my fingers smooth as silk.

I’ve decided to use it for a shawl (there’s 150g of it) and there are some mighty fine knitting and crochet patterns out there. I started one, didn’t like it, ripped it out. Started another, didn’t like it, ripped it out. I was about to start on a third pattern when my Inner Voice said, This wool doesn’t need a fancy pattern, the colours are magnificent all by themselves, make up your own shawl, birdbrain!


So that’s what I’m doing. It’s going to be one of those wide shawls with a shortish point, like the triangular shape below. I started with a chain (didn’t count, just made it as long as felt right), worked 2 rows dc and the rest will be trebles. Maybe with a ch st in between alternate ones on alternate rows. Or not. I don’t know yet, I’ll make it up as I go along. triangle

And how perfectly it goes with my beaded bowl! Plus, opal is also my birthstone. Such synchronicity! Thank you again, Kathryn, it’ll soon be finished and I’ll think of you every time I wear it.

more bolero

A friend said she couldn’t work out how to make the bolero from the tutorial I used the other day, so I’ve put a few pics together for her. Not my most professional work, please note — this has been a very hasty exercise!





And that’s it, folks!!! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!! Here are a couple of pics of one of my colleagues, Delene, wearing the one I made for the tutorial. As you can see, the length gives it a drapey, shawl-y sort of look. If you don’t want it to be like this, you’d probably use a rectangle measuring approx 100 x 80cm.

delene4 delene3 delene6

Here’s a different one.  The fabric has a lovely stretch to it, so it’s still comfy to wear even though it’s smaller than the other two.

delene1  delene 2

My recommendation would be to do a test run using an old bit of sheeting or some very cheap fabric, just to make sure you get the look you want, before you go using anything expensive.

Back soon x

sewing up a storm

I’ve become totally manic about sewing lately, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon. It started with the newsboys (hereand here….

carol      newsboy

carol newsboy 2     hats celeste

and now I’ve moved on, largely inspired by the receipt of a whole bunch of fabric samples from an awesome guy who runs a textile agency down the road from me …. thanks, Peter. Again.

So, I found a brilliant tutorial on how to make a simple shrug-type bolero here, and that’s what I did last night.


I used a much thinner and silkier type of fabric to the woolly one, and I also fiddled with the measurements a bit (my first effort was too tight over the bust).  But I’ve ended up with something that perfectly satisfies my three basic sewing requirements:  1. user-friendly 2. cheap and cheerful; 3. pretty damn quick to put together.

bolero 2

And yes, it IS very hot and sunshine-y in Cape Town again today.

Back soon x



summer shoulder wrap

There are eight variegated shades in Vinni’s Nikkim cotton range (here’s her website if you want to see die hele reeks:

teals mixaubergine mix autumn mix blues mix greens mix greys mix purple mix summer mix

and here are some things I’ve made with them:

bangle   flower frame

skinny blue  skinny two

anne blanket

and here’s the latest, this time with the Summer Mix:

cover 1

wrap back         lindsay and jessie

The colours look better in the pic below, but it was very kind of my upstairs neighbour, Lindsay, to model my wrap for me this morning.  Jessie got a bit jealous though.

wrap 006

Back soon x