Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Turn

 Yesterday it was my turn to do a demonstration for the craft group I belong to. We made bread. First I plaited dough into a loaf, and then Amanda had a go. Here are the loaves when they came out of the oven:
We all made bread rolls from scratch after that and then sat down to a meal of bread and home made jams, pates and other tasty goodies. Apparently the results were well received in homes around the district, so we may be under pressure to make bread instead of buying it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Usha's Braid, Explained by Muskaan

 Usha Kota invented this tatted braid, after looking at a macrame video. I have to say that it boggled my mind for a while, but after rereading Muskaan's tutorial many times, I eventually had an aha moment and 'got' it. Muskaan's tutorial is in two parts. First you must learn to twist work , that is, make a reverse stitch (unflipped stitch) that has the caps on the left instead of the usual right. Then you can start on the tutorial for the braid. When I started off, I stuck labels on my 6 shuttles to help me keep track:
Once I got the hang of the pattern that was no longer necessary, but it helped at first.
Muskaan and Usha both put a  lot of work into this project. Thank you. It's one of those techniques that is easy once you know how, but difficult to explain. Muskaan created a number of different versions. Anyway, I'm here to say that the rest of us can grasp it with a bit of effort and it's well worth the trouble. I used 4-ply cotton knitting yarn, which is clear and gives a good size to the braid. I plan to make a bracelet, but need to practise a little longer to get my tension right.


The women's group I belong to tries to learn something new each month.  It's not always possible to complete a project in the two or three hours of a meeting. The theory is that we go home and finish it off. I confess that I don't always finish the project. But I have finished last month's bedsocks:
And this morning I finished the month before's rope mat:
The easiest way to explain it is to show a picture of work in progress:
A strip of material is wound around the rope, and then the rope is coiled into a mat and zig zagged with the sewing machine. It's possible to make bowls  by curving the sides, you can see a little bowl that was my first attempt. But I want a mat to put my teapot on, so I kept this one flat. My sewing machine didn't really like the task, it had a tendency to skip stitches, but I kept on regardless. Homework done.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thanks Tally Tatty

Just in case you think I've abandoned tatting, here's a picture of  bracelets I made for Tally Tatty to say thanks for all the help she has so kindly given me as I prepare to teach tatting in Afrikaans. She has translated tatting terms into Dutch for me, and sent me pattern books/tatting instructions in Dutch. They will be very useful. Linda has already chosen a doily pattern from the Burda pattern book Chantal sent.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I've finished my hexagon cowl. The pattern is Sweet Hexagon Cowl by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. I had to adapt the pattern a little because I used handspun wool instead of the specified yarn. And I made mine much shorter. Mine is 110 cm long, where Mercedes' one is 162.5 cm long. I think that if I knitted it again, I'd dye all the skeins the same multicolour, so that the scarf would look like my sample. I enjoyed knitting it more than I expected to.  It's  not as difficult as I thought it would be to knit hexagons.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Broomstick Crochet

Linda and Marinda were here yesterday. Marinda doesn't want to learn to tat - she says that if she wants something tatted, she'll just ask me to do it! So Linda showed us how to do broomstick crochet. Linda does have a 'broomstick', like a very thick knitting needle, but prefers to use a ruler. The yarn is looped around the ruler and then crocheted off in groups. Hmmm. I wonder how it would look in handspun, handdyed wool? Could there be a tatted version? The very long picots part is easy, how to group them needs some thought.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ari's Magnificent Doily

I can't tell you how delighted I am that Ari has not only used my pattern Under An African Sky but has put her own twist on it. Ari used different shades of green in the trees and made a variety of animals! Considering that Ari had not done block tatting before, or interlocking rings, it's amazing. Ari says she learnt a lot while tatting the doily - she learnt it well. The thread Ari used is No.10 Italian Grignasco 2-ply cotton thread. Well done Ari, I think it's magnificent.