Friday, November 29, 2019


I like working one pattern in different colourways. The black and gold one is not very photogenic - it looks much better in real life than in the picture. Still, I think I prefer the multicoloured one.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


I did wear the red top shown in the previous post to the Christmas party. I think Melanie is right, bamboo is less likely to be uncomfortable in the heat than a synthetic fibre would. There were 12 of us there. We all took along a gift and then drew lots to see who got what. Oddly, Riekie and I ended up doing a straight swap. I had made a drawstring bag with clear pockets. I use mine as a tatting bag, but of course Riekie can put whatever she like in hers.
From Riekie I received a covered clothes hanger, always useful for hanging a special garment:
The beads are a nice touch. Here's a closer view:

Monday, November 25, 2019

Knitted T

I've finished knitting the top in bamboo yarn. I think the colour shows better in this photo than the previous ones.  I plan to wear it tomorrow to a Christmas party, I just hope it's not too warm.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Frost Flower

This is muskaan's frost flower. Muskaan is tatting up a storm of snowflake designs. I really like this one and have been wanting to give it a go. I like the 'Eastern' shape of the arms. It's a small snowflake, 6 cm across. I wound on way too much thread! It's size 20 Milford thread.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


There are quite a few patterns for beaded crochet ropes with poppies on Pinterest. I decided to do this one with a 7 bead circumference. I was worried that it would be one of those patterns that look better in a flat pattern than in the round, but I think it look quite effective.

The pattern didn't print very well. I could see the figures on a screen, but not on paper. After fiddling about, I decided the best solution was just to make another beading scheme, putting the screen figures on paper.

Trying Another Pattern

I'm trying out different crochet rope patterns. This one, 8 beads in circumference, comes from Here's a link to the blog.  It covers a lot of different beading techniques.

I didn't get my join as invisible as I'd like. I do one well and think, "Yes, I've got it!" and then the next one isn't so good and I realise I still need more practice. Ideally it should be impossible to tell where the beading was begun.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Travel Knitting

I did get some knitting done while we were away. I'm knitting myself a short sleeved top. I'm using a scarf pattern by Christine Vogel from Ravelry, though obviously I have to adapt it heavily! The yarn is a bamboo/cotton mix. The balls look big, but that's a bit misleading because there's a large cardboard core in them:
The yarn is a bit thick for crocheting and I was worried that I wouldn't have enough for a top, so decided to knit instead, even though the inspiration is this top I crocheted.
I've done the sleeves and most of the back:

Sunday, November 10, 2019


I've finished the necklace I was working on.  I think it worked out pretty well.  The green is a more 'classic' grass green than it looks on my screen.

We're going away for a few days, I'm not sure when I'll be blogging again. I'm taking my knitting with me, so I should be able to show some progress on that when we get back.

Friday, November 8, 2019


Bev asked me how I go about threading beads for a crochet rope, so here it is. First I assemble everything on a tray, so that if I'm interrupted or finished for the day I can just put the whole thing down:

The different colours I'm using are put into separate jam jar lids - they work well because they're shallow.  I have a beading needle with a loop of sewing thread on it. I thread the crochet thread through the loop:

I put my left forefinger on the threading chart to keep my place. Top of the chart shows 8 black beads to go on first (well, it actually shows 8 brown beads, but I'm using black where the pattern uses brown):

Now comes the bit where I need three hands. To the alarm of onlookers, I grip the needle between my teeth and use my right hand to slide the beads onto the crochet thread, while my left hand keeps my place on the pattern. So I work my way down the chart and then start again.

It's perfectly possible to thread all the beads for a bracelet or necklace at once. But the longer the 'train' of beads the harder it is to control. Since joining a new thread in is very easy, I think it makes sense to thread just a short section at a time. It depends on the pattern, but here I'm threading 3 repeats at a time:

To join in the new thread, I use a small hook to hook the new thread through the base of the last stitch, so that the new thread is on the hook with the last loop:

Then I can just carry on crocheting round and round!

 The two ends can be threaded in later. If the rope starts to look 'hairy', especially if I've made mistakes and had to cut the thread to correct them, I thread the ends in as I go. I use an easy thread needle to sew about three large stitches into the rope, taking care not to put the needle through the centre of any beads:

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Using The Beads

Of course I must start using my new beads straight away! It's not practical to deal with one pound packets of seeds continually. So I scratched around in bathroom and kitchen for empty containers and poured a small amount of beads into each. I taped a single bead to each lid to show which colour is where:
And started crocheting:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

En Masse

I did some research online and discovered that buying beads from a wholesaler is way cheaper than buying small packets in a local shop. It varies, of course, but I worked out that one small packet of poor quality beads that I bought here was seven times more expensive than if I'd bought wholesale. So I ordered from a shop in Johannesburg. They come in packets of 450 g, a pound. The colours were a little limited, but even so, a range of colours makes for a slightly alarming number of beads!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Little Ones

Two repeats of the rainbow rope measure 18 cm. Three repeats would be 27 cm, which is much too long for a bracelet. So I decided to make some small bracelets. The 'flowers on a stem' one, lower right, is made using size 11 beads, instead of the size 8 that I usually use. I made a bracelet with small beads a couple of years ago and found it very tedious. But now that I'm more efficient at the process, it was fine. It made me think of a quotation from Elizabeth Zimmerman (I think) that I read once. She said that when she's asked why she knits with fine yarn and small needles she says that she enjoys knitting and so is happy to prolong the experience!

Friday, November 1, 2019


Using the invisible join means it's essential to finish the work at the end of a repeat. I worked the dark necklace as six repeats with three colours. The size is okay, but on the big side. I worked the pattern again, working four repeats of four colours. Completely different colours. I like to see how using different colours with the same pattern gives a different look. Here they are together: