Tag Archives: throw blanket

Leg warmers? No, thanks.

Yesterday Doreen gave me a pair of leg warmers that she’d made ages ago.  I have no need for them, having the kind of legs that are so naturally well-covered they keep themselves warm.  But I liked them, and like things to be useful, and I remembered Alex’s friend Dani who came round the other day and was wearing these:

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They look like caterpillars. Dani’s mom had bought them for her and she didn’t know where, but I knew something would come of this idea.  So, I unpicked a small section of the leg warmer seam, blanket-stitched around it and VOILA – wrist warmers!

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And yes, I am still in my cruddy old dressing gown and yes, I am deliberately covering my left eye (it was red and puffy when I woke up today, it’s such a glamorous look, you can imagine).

I might still work a row of dc (UK dc, that is) around the top and bottom edges, but I might not. I think I like them just like this.

Doreen gave me something else, too. I don’t know why, I haven’t done anything particularly special to deserve it, but she’s very generous. She actually said, “Listen, if you don’t take this stuff, when I’m dead my daughter won’t know what to do with it and she’ll chuck it all out, so just take it now.”

green square blanket

Her daughter, who I’m sure is a very nice person and wouldn’t just throw anything away thoughtlessly, has, however, lost out on this INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL granny square blanket. Sorry for you, Linda. It’s now on the back of my couch and it has transformed the whole room. And, of course, it makes me think of Doreen who, at 82, is one of the most inspiring and kindest and funniest and sharpest people I have ever been lucky enough to have in my life.

Back soon x

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This and that, including Rachel’s CAL

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?

Buttons ahoy!

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:

Baie mooi!

To be continued…

CAL with Rachel*, squares #5, #6 and #2 (repeat)

Squares #5 and #6 = fabulous patterns. I’m very pleased with my efforts here, and will definitely use the stitch in #5 in other projects. (I feel a lampshade coming up….)

Then I looked at my square #2 again, and thought I’d done it badly enough that I should rip out and redo it. So, that’s the third one in this pic.

I’d decided that square #7 was yucky and that I’d give it a miss, but I’ve looked at it more closely and realise that the built-in corner thingie could be pretty damn useful in a blanket. Plus, what puts me off the most is that emerald green – maybe I’ll like it more in my own colour combo. #8 and #9 look wonderful, but I’ll have to pace myself – got orders to finish over the next couple of days (not complaining, mind you!)

* Link to Rachel’s blog here.

To be continued…

CAL with Rachel, squares #1 #2 #3 #4

I’m taking part in Rachel’s CAL. This is my beginning.

 

Cleaned out an old knitting basket and gave it a fresh piece of gingham lining.  Picked some potential-ish Cottage Garden colours in Pure Gold double knit, although I seem to have a preference for pastels here. (Note to self:  what are you thinking? Add in some brighter colours!!!).

Square #1 – complete disaster.  Colours all wrong, plus I undid and reworked a couple of times, before I decided that I don’t like working diagonally at all.  This asymmetrical square works much better folded in half as a sunglasses case.  But I still hate it. (Anyone need a glasses case?)

 

The next 3 were lovely to do, and I particularly like #4 with the bobbles. I’ve never been tempted to do bobbles before but now I think I’ll work them into some other things.

 

Bobble close-up:

 

And then Jessie asked to be included in the photos.

 

Pity I can’t teach her to crochet, then she could earn her keep.

To be continued…

A day in the sun

Our first Jam Tarts stand at the famous Kirstenbosch market!

Please take note of our beautiful new business cards, we are very proud of them! (Thanks, Anne, for organising). That’s Anne in the white top with the money bag optimistically round her waist, me in the middle, Karen on the right, and Megan rearranging everything a hundred times more appealingly after we’d set it all out.

When we arrived, as ‘guest stallholders’ we had to check in at the office and find our location. Meeting the organiser in person after a protracted email correspondence was a strong reminder that Cape Town really is a village – Tessa and I used to work together at the Argus newspaper 26 years ago when I first moved down from Joburg! We had a quick chat, mainly about the shortage of decent men in Cape Town, before getting down to business. She told me not to expect to do well on our first day because it takes a while to ‘get noticed’ and build up a customer base. A bit spirit-dampening but maybe she was right.

Ant and Rob set up our gazebo (borrowed from Faiza – thanks, friend), which didn’t seem nearly as enormous as the unpacked weight of it suggested it would be. I couldn’t even lift it, it was so heavy, and on Friday Sizwe had kindly trundled it on a trolley to my car for me. I hope I can find him when I go into work in two hours time.

The Kirstenbosch market is a very old and well-known one in Cape Town, it’s probably been going for over 30 years. The setting can’t really be beaten, situated in the meadow around the 18th century Stone Cottages built by the busy Dutch, across the road from the botanical gardens. On one side, you can buy fresh farm veggies and fruit, honey and jam and biltong, and have a ride on a horse. In the middle (sort of) you can get teas, coffees (choice of filter or nescafe), and ready-made grub. Sit at a table or plonk yourself on the grass in the shade of an oak tree. The side closest to Newlands Avenue is a sea of colourful gazebos and umbrellas and bunting, with all the crafters and their wares.

The general consensus was that yesterday was a quieter day than usual, but there were still stacks of people (some with dogs – yuck) (sorry dog lovers, but if you all carried poop scoops with you I’d be a lot less anti) and we made enough sales to cover our costs and still be keen to go back next month. I was the unofficial networker of the group so did quite a few laps handing out our cards and making new stallholder friends and yakking away like the sociable chatty friendly person I have to try to be in situations like this.

Of course, with so much gorgeous stuff around it was hard not to want to spend one’s money at other people’s stalls. Karen was very strict with me and I wasn’t allowed to buy anything until I had sold at least one thing of my own. She changed her tune a bit after she’d had a trot round and found some garnet earrings that she felt were entirely essential. Anne was very disciplined and mostly sat in the shade with a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich, crocheting the pink and lilac flowers for a new baby blanket.

The items which drew most people to us were Karen’s and Anne’s blankets, which really are works of art. They aren’t ‘cheap’ because they’re made with best-quality wool and cotton and a lot of practiced work and new design ideas, but they are realistically priced and we believe they’ll find good homes soon :) As did we, after 3 o’clock when we’d packed up and done the reckonings.

Next Kirstenbosch market = 22 April.

To be continued…

With friends like ours…

…Jam Tarts will be a great success! Hoo ha.

It was hard work, a bit of stress, a lot of tidying up (thank you Karen and family), some biscuit making (thank you Lyndall), some moving and lifting and arranging (thank you Rob and Ant), and a lot of encouragement from a lot of friends. Thank you so much – for liking what we make, for pitching up to show your support, and for buying stuff. Please don’t stop :)

I took a few photos.

Here are some frames, and that’s Anne behind the glass with her arms full of blankets:

more frames and mirrors (South African readers will recognise the old burglar bars now cunningly put to new use – what South African doesn’t have a whole stack of old rusty ones in their garage…!!):

blankets and bags and scarves:

more blankets and bags and scarves:

table mats, button jewellery, paper hearts, blankets and beanies:

more frames (and Anne’s mug of half-drunk tea), and more blankets:

tea cosies, shrugs, blankets (no, really?) and crucifixes:

Dawn models her new flower scarf – hot off Anne’s hook:

Every single visitor commented on Karen and Ant’s beautiful Victorian
house. It was the perfect venue. It was the perfect day.  We think we might be onto a good thing. Like I said earlier, hoo ha.

To be continued…