Thursday, February 28, 2019

Flowers Uncharted

I loved this flowery bracelet by Zeynep Atalay when I saw it on Pinterest.  The pattern, like others I've seen recently, doesn't have a chart. It just has a photo of the bead sequence. It's a short sequence, so I made my own chart:
Why do I need a chart? In theory I could just crochet round and round, without looking at a chart. But, as when I'm doing cross stitch or even lace knitting, I like to work a row in relation to the previous row. So I mutter as I go, red on white, two white on red........ That makes sure everything is ship shape. Of course, you first need to know how many beads there are on each row - six was not correct!

I struggled with the invisible join on this one. The more colours there are in a pattern, the easier it is to keep track. With only red and white, I failed. It would be really important to get it right for the join to be invisible on such a simple pattern. Eventually I put beads and a loop fastening on instead.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


I've seen several pictures of beaded bangles recently where different patterns are worked in segments, rather than having the same pattern repeated throughout the bangle. I've been wanting to try out the idea. I used this pattern from Lbeads. I like its bright and cheerful look! It has a circumference of 9 beads, which is a bit bigger than I'm used to. I had some difficulty getting going. I'd crochet the first three rounds fine, and then on the fourth round the tube would collapse in on itself and I'd struggle to find the right bead to work into. After half a dozen attempts, I put a pencil into the middle and worked around it. That was rather awkward, but did the trick. After 10 rounds I removed the pencil and could carry on as normal.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Couple More Rounds

I've done rounds 10 and 11. I gather there are only a couple more rounds to go.

Monday, February 25, 2019


I wore the paint splash blouse and decided I liked it, so I bought some more fabric for a second one. I tweaked the pattern slightly - I brought the side seams in a smidgeon, lowered the front neckline a tiny bit and cut the sleeves in a bigger size so they're less fitted. Once upon a time I wouldn't have dared tweak a Burda pattern, but I'm more blase now - surely the point of sewing your own clothes is that you can make them to suit yourself?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Round 9 Is Done

The doily is ruffling a bit. I blocked it, which flattens it but perhaps distorts some of the arches. Hopefully the next round will bring everything into line. Worked in size 40 thread, it now measures 23 cm across.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


I've just finished another bag, to be given as a gift. I came across an interesting article about shweshwe, the fabric I've been using to line the bags. Here's a link to follow if you're interested. The fabric should be blue and white to be absolutely traditional, but I rather like the idea of traditions evolving and being updated.


I was recently given a pile of craft magazines by a friend who is moving house. Most of them are about quilting, which is not my field - I admire and move on! But a few of them are crochet magazines. This one, called Simply Crochet, has this fabulous shawl. I just had to try the motif out. I don't think this thread is suited to a shawl, but it might work for an idea I saw in another Simply Crochet - a fabric blouse with crochet sleeves. I'll ponder the idea as I work on my tatting and knitting projects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Knitting Progress

The cardigan is knitted in one piece up to the armholes, so rows are very long, and working on it only in the evenings means progress is slow. There's no hurry though, so that's fine.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Wayuu And An Unusual Visitor

I had an e-mail from the Wayuu pattern team in Colombia, asking if I would put a link to their website on my blog. I didn't hesitate for long. I think the Wayuu bags are really impressive and I'm a big fan of using crafts to create employment while making something beautiful. So here's the link.  Have a good look at the website to find out more about Wayuu bags. By the way, I had a go at doing the tapestry crochet used to make the bags and gave up, which makes me even more impressed by their work!

I was sitting knitting a few days ago when I heard Mex the pup give a very surprised yelp. I went out to see what had startled him. There was a leguaan on the lawn. Wikipedia calls it a Nile monitor, here's a link to their description.

Mex gave the leguaan a wide berth. It stayed amongst the garden furniture for a quarter of an hour or so and then wandered off.  This is a small specimen. Jack saw a much bigger one yesterday in the veld. It whizzed up a tree when it saw the dogs, but I don't think Mex would've tackled it anyway.

Round 7

I'm working on round 7 of Tat-a-Renda's tat along. I'm working the traditional way, ending off each round and then winding enough thread on to the shuttle for the next round. This enables me to tat most of the rounds with shuttle and ball.  I prefer to use the ball rather than a second shuttle whenever possible because it saves time and thread. There's a link to the pattern on my previous post.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Tatting Along

I miss Jon Yusoff's Tat-a Renda blog, it was one I read regularly. Apparently Jon has moved to Facebook. I followed a link to a tat-along doily Jon is presenting on Facebook. I was tempted. I was even more tempted when I saw Diane's version of the doily.

 What thread to use? I don't want to tat another white doily. How about the apricot thread left over from a crochet project? 
No. The thread is not only much too thick, it's too loosely spun and fluffy. Sure, you can tat with it, but it's far from an ideal tatting thread. Black? My daughter brought me four balls of Milford black in December, two size 20 and two size 40. Two balls of size 40 should be ample for a doily.
So here are the first three rounds. I find it quite difficult to keep finding the right place on Facebook, so here's a link that I hope I can use as a shortcut.  There are 10 rounds up so far, so I'm a bit behind. This is strictly a day time job, no way I can tat with black size 40 with our lighting, so I will knit in the evenings and tat in the day.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Green Galore

The size of the blanket in the previous post was dictated by the amount of multicoloured Italian wool, but I did hope to make a big dent in the green wool while I was at it. Mmm, not so much, the bag is still two-thirds full!
Luckily I came across a cardigan pattern that should be well suited to the green wool. I belong to a Facebook group called Brei en Geniet - Knit and Enjoy. I joined it mainly so that I can download and print patterns for my neighbour Dorie, who only has Facebook on her phone. But I like to see the patterns on there and every now and then I save one. Luckily, the patterns themselves are not necessarily in Afrikaans - I struggle a bit with Afrikaans knitting terms! Anyway, that's where I found a link to this pattern, Bamboozle Cropped Lace Cardigan, designed by Gail Tanquary for Crystal yarns:
I'm not using Crystal yarns, of course, so I've had to make a few changes, but I think the lacy pattern is showing up well with the crepe wool yarn:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Flower Blanket

I've finished the flower blanket, I think. The squares are quite small, so the blanket is not as big as it looks. It measures 88 cm by 118 cm, approximately 34 inches by 46 inches.
I like this little square, I must remember it for future reference. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Time For Hearts

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, there are a lot of hearts on the internet. Naturally I must take some time out from crocheting to tat a couple of hearts! The top one is by muskaan, the lower one by Anita Barry, but links to both patterns can be found here on muskaan's blog. I like the way muskaan gave two links, one for a long post and pattern, the other for just the diagrams. I read the long version and then just downloaded the diagrams.

The Border

I joined all the flower squares, nine squares across and twelve in length:
Now for the border.  I didn't want it to be unrelieved green. But I still want it to frame the squares without distracting from them. Pops of colour is what I was aiming for. I used up all the Italian wool in the squares, but there was also a bright pink yarn in the stash I was given. It's acrylic, not wool, which is not ideal, but on the other hand it does need using up, so I'm using it.
I wasn't sure this would work, but it worked like a charm. I did a row of pink, 3 chains, single crochet into a space. On the next round, the shells cover up most of the chains, so that I'm left with the pop of colour that I wanted. I don't know if I've seen this somewhere and it was lurking in my subconscious, but as far as I know, I made it up.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Tatting Spotted

We spent a night in a guesthouse in Bloemfontein, where I spotted this tatted tray cloth:
Here's a close up so you can see the double stitches:
I didn't get a chance to ask any questions about it, but I was glad to see tatting in use.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Joining As I Go

I had another look at this video to remind myself how to join squares on the last round of each square. It's simple enough, but I needed a refresher. The video is clear, so off I went. I'm putting another green round on each square and joining in a grid of 9 squares across and 12 long.  It's fun deciding which colour flower to put where.

Squared Away

I didn't quite reach my goal of 10 squares by the time I ran out of multicoloured wool.  I crocheted three blocks with yellow flowers to make up the numbers. Because I've finished working the squares before I started joining them, I'll be able to distribute them evenly through the grid.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Not Sure

Was my Burda sewing project a success? I'm not sure. When I read Kate Davies's article A Question of Proportion I thought that I too need to experiment with different shapes. This is certainly a different shape to what I usually wear. I think I'll have to wear it a few times before I decide whether I like it or not.

Friday, February 1, 2019

One Third

I've used up one ball of the multicoloured Italian wool. I think I'll be able to make 108 squares for a blanket 9 squares by 12. I've hardly made a dent in the green wool, so I should be able to work another green round on each square and still have enough for a border. So far, so good!