Friday, June 29, 2018

Upside Down

Something that has bothered me vaguely about the tulip pattern (scroll down to previous post) is that when the knitting is folded to make a bag, part of it will be upside down. I assured myself that that didn't matter, but it nagged at me none the less. This morning I had a brainwave - knit part of it upside down, so that it's the right way up when folded! I confess that I thought the flap would be upside down, but when I folded the tulips realised that it is the back part of the bag that would be reversed. Hmm. I was prepared to undo two rows of flowers to redo the flap, but not four rows. I'll have to start over. Thinks, thinks, I've decided to do the three parts of the bag in the same colour order, rather than the random arrangement of the first one. Now I have  'It'll be just like starting over' singing loudly in my head.


I've finished my beaded knitting. I'm going to wait until I have a magnetic clasp before I turn it into a clutch bag. The beaded knitting process is simple enough, it's sorting out mistakes that is time consuming. Sort them out I did, and I'm happy with the result.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Back To Beads

I managed to buy a few more bead colours locally, so I've gone back to my bead knitting. It's not always easy to find beads in the right size and colour.

I don't know why there are big white spaces on my blog page. They're rather unsightly.

Monday, June 25, 2018


A friend of mine who doesn't have access to the internet gave me a link to a tutorial on YouTube for a tutorial on joining granny squares as you go. Here's the link to it.  The tutorial by Bella Coco uses a different method to the one I've used. I promised Zandra  I would watch the video and then show her what to do when we see each other tomorrow. We'll be short of time tomorrow, so I've worked some squares with scrap yarn to the joining stage. I hope she's a quick learner!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Too Small?

I'll check with an expert next week, but I rather think that my crochet top is too small to qualify as a 'woman's top'. So much for all my careful calculations! You can see why I have to start working on this nearly a year before it's needed. The bust measures 26 inches, 66 cm.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

On The Edge

I'm working on the bottom edging of my crochet top, after sewing the pieces together with as neat a seam as I could manage:
I have the kiwi tea towel on my lap when I'm working on the top, in an effort to keep it clean. I'm making rusks  today and am bound to get covered in flour. I'm not allowed to wash the top before entering it into the competition, so I had better not get flour all over it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Another Fish

I tatted another of Carollyn's fish.  I tried out an idea from muskaan and put the eye slightly above the mouth. It complicates Carollyn's wonderfully simple pattern slightly, but I like it.

Winter Tomatoes

The tomato crop that Jack planted in late Summer was still very green when frost threatened. If they froze, they'd turn to mush and that would be that. So Jack picked them, even though we weren't sure they'd ripen. It took a while, but they are ripening splendidly on the kitchen windowsill.  I must admit that they don't taste quite as good as Summer tomatoes, but they're acceptable and I'm glad the crop was saved. ( 'Crop' is an exaggeration, it's only a few plants.)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Making Progress

I have made progress on my crochet top. I'm working on the second sleeve, having finished the bodice and the first sleeve. I'll have to put it together and then work an edging on the bottom edge, so there's still some way to go.  I added little beads to the bottom of the sleeve edging, because I have to make clear this is an 'evening top':

Saturday, June 16, 2018


I do like Carollyn's Kiss Kiss Fish! The third part of her tat-along is here. It's a good pattern for emptying shuttles, since it doesn't use a lot of thread. Though it's important to heed Carollyn's advice and leave a long enough thread for the padding. I was a bit mean the second time round, and it shows. The bottom fish is not as neat as the top one because I struggled to hold the inner threads in place. Thanks Carollyn, it's a lovely pattern.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Fishy Tale

Or tail. Very clever use of beads to create the pointy part of the fish tail. Instructions are here on Carollyn's blog, day 2 of her tat-along.  Funnily enough, I noticed a similar structure on a Japanese blog the other day, using small rings rather than beads - here.  Both give a bigger 'triangle' than just three beads or rings.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Of Skipping Ropes and Fish

I thought I'd start another curds and whey lace as a 'handbag project', but when I was looking in the book, Tatting with Visual Patterns, for the pattern, I came across Mary Konior's skipping ropes edging and decided I'd work that one instead. I scribbled a copy of the diagram so that I can take it with me instead of carrying the whole book. The pattern is worked entirely in chains, so that one shuttle full of thread should go a long way. The thread is a charity shop find, I don't know what brand it is, but the colour is mink, subtly variegated.

I also wound thread for Carollyn's fishy tat along, which is here. It's a small project, the perfect diversion from my crochet.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pecan Pie

Not far from us is a big irrigation scheme called the Vaalharts Scheme. Here's a link to a Wikipedia entry for it. They grow a lot of pecans there, most of which are exported to China. As a local, it's possible to get hold of the best quality if you know who to ask! Perfect for pecan pie.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Spot The Difference

I did try to make sure that all the balls of crochet thread I bought the other day were the same size, but an odd one sneaked through. The one on the far right is size 5, the others size 8. It's not too serious because I bought way more than I'll need for my crochet top. It's firmly spun, I think it'll tat up well, so perhaps there are apricot bookmarks in my future.

I am making progress on the top, I've got to waist level:

Friday, June 8, 2018


I decided to use the 2 mm hook, so that there isn't too big a difference between this section and the central panel. I like the more open look, though some of yesterday's commentators say they like the denser fabric. It was easier to get going this time round because I made the mistakes on the first version! One thing I like about this pattern stitch is that all the shells are worked from the same side. Crochet definitely has two different sides; working back and forth they usually alternate, but in this case the mainly chain row is worked on the 'wrong' side.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


I'm making heavy weather of this. I've done some work on the main body of my crochet top, but it feels very stiff to  me, it isn't going to drape well. I crocheted some samples using different size hooks. 3.5 mm is clearly too big:
The next sample uses a 2.5 mm hook on the bottom two rows and 2 mm on the top two rows:
Dither, dither, not sure how to choose between those two. I'm hoping that I can keep the central section I did using a 1 mm hook, and use that hook for the edging that is in the same pattern.

On Tuesday we had an 'information day', where experts gave us tips for the competition articles. The crochet fundi says an evening top should be in black or red, or perhaps grey. Hmm. Apricot not on her list!

One of the examples shown on Tuesday used an interesting asymmetrical shell pattern. I made a sample of it in the hope that I will remember it:

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Here Be Dragons

Well, a dragon anyway.  I knitted this beaded dragon some weeks ago for my daughter Penny, who likes dragons. Penny reads my blog, so I didn't show it until she had safely received it.  I didn't really think in terms of usefulness, but Penny has put the dragon to work:
Good,  I like the idea of it being useful as well as decorative.

Monday, June 4, 2018


Another skirt cut according to my (insufficient) cloth. Crafty Sylvie commented that no one but me knows what skirt I originally intended to make. Good point!

Friday, June 1, 2018


So I made a test skirt to enable me to work out how much fabric to buy for the next one, made a miscalculation and came home with insufficient! How daft is that? I decided to fudge it, knowing that the skirt wouldn't hang as well as the original because it's not cut properly on the cross.  I figured that if it was really bad, I could just wear it at home. But I think it'll do. No one is going to stop me in the street and say, "Excuse me, your skirt is not hanging correctly".
The fabric is a teeny tiny houndstooth. 

I'd still like to make a skirt according to the pattern, so I will have to buy more fabric, calculating more accurately.