Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Size Does Matter


Thread size, that is. These two baubles have the same number of beads, but the one on the left is worked with size 10 thread while the one on the right is size 20. I think in the size 10 one the thread too obvious. I won't undo it, but I made another one using finer thread, which I think works better. The red and gold baubles are fine:

Since the fair I'm going to is billed as a 'family event', I thought I'd make some bracelets for children:

It's impossible to predict what people will ask for at a fair, but I have a fair range of different products, from Christmas tree decorations to necklaces. And I can always take orders. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Label


With a lot of help from my daughter in Australia, I managed to create a label that I can print, with iKoro beadwork on one side and my contact details on the other. iKoro was my name when I was spinning and knitting, so I thought I'd stick with it.  I pondered the term 'beadwork' for a while. iKoro beads? People might think I was selling loose beads. iKoro bead crochet? People would visualise something quite different to what I'm making. 'Beaded crochet rope' is too long and not really helpful. No, I think beadwork is the best option. I have to cut the labels apart with scissors, which is fine. I plan to attach the labels to bracelets and necklaces and also give them out when people ask how to contact me. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020


Jack made me a frame to hang beadwork on. At the moment it has my tiny Christmas tree decorations hanging on it. I have reached my target, five each in four colours, with three designs. 

The design that took longest was the 'random' one. I didn't want any gold beads to be touching each other, which turned out to be trickier than I supposed in such a small circumference.  With bit of trial and error I got there. 

Tomato Jam


Keeping up with Jack's garden could become a full time job! He has a lot of cherry tomatoes at the moment, so I thought I'd make some jam.

I used this recipe.  Another recipe that I'd looked at suggested squashing the little tomatoes as they cooked. I used a potato masher to do that, which worked really well. Two pounds of tomatoes made two jars of jam and I've managed to reduce the number of tomatoes lurking on the windowsill and in the fridge. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bottling Beetroot


I've been bottling beetroot from Jack's garden. I don't even like beetroot, so I see a lot of beetroot in Jack's future! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020



Thanks for yesterday's guesses - all will become clear!

At last I've been able to book a table at a fair. It's a Halloween fair on the 31st. Halloween is not really a thing in Southern Africa, but any excuse for a party will do.  I know that small items often sell well at fairs, so I've been making little Christmas tree decorations. They measure just over 3 cm across, a little over an inch. They have a circumference of 5 beads. I've joined them with an invisible join and put a ribbon through for hanging. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Ten More


 Ten more masks decorated with tatting, that is. There are some interesting experiments here. I hesitated to use a couple of them, but really, they're not doing any good languishing in the tatting tin, it's better to make use of them! I'll leave mask making for a bit, until most of these have been sold. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


 I know that Pinterest is open to criticism, but I do like the way it enables me to come across 'new to me' techniques in all sorts of fields. The latest 'ooh I must try that' was pixelated crochet, or pixel crochet. It consists of small crocheted squares joined to make a picture. A kind of cross between crochet and cross stitch. As with cross stitch, you can use a lot of shades and go for a subtle effect, or go for simple and bold. Better start with simple and bold at any rate! There are some amazing pictures of blankets out there, like this one. But I'm starting with a cushion cover, simpler than this one which is also spectacular. 

I couldn't find any instructions, so I had to experiment and learn by experience. My first square, using trebles (double crochet in American) was too large. Using a half treble (half double crochet) was better. I'm crocheting over the starting thread  and using the end thread to sew the square to the next one. That was fine on the first row, but on the second I realised there would be places where I'd be using a green thread to join two grey edges. The solution is to sew from the back to minimise the appearance of the thread. It'll take a bit more work for the picture to start to emerge. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

More Masks


It's fun looking through my tatting tin to find bits to sew onto masks. Some of the pieces wouldn't work as 'stand alone' pieces, but are fine sewn onto fabric. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Boring Masks Need Tatting


I have another order for masks, fabric supplied. The fabric is strong, but looks boring. Grace, who brought it to me, suggested I sew some beads onto the masks to make them more interesting. Of course I had a better idea. I showed Grace a tatted flower and she agreed enthusiastically. So, I've been delving into my snippets tin. I know the cats pattern is Ninetta's . The green rosette is mine. But many of the snippets are long ago experiments whose origins I have forgotten. I'm looking at 30 or so masks, so I don't know if I'll find enough snippets. If not, I'll tat some simple flowers and butterflies.  

Turquoise T


In theory I like the idea of just knitting in the evenings and taking a project slowly. But eventually I get fed up and want to get it completed! So after some daytime work, the turquoise knitted t-shirt is done. It used eight-and-a-half 50g balls of Raeesah cotton. Oddly, the label says who distributes the yarn in South Africa, but not where it's made. The lace pattern is called Ivy Lace, as you can read here; the shirt pattern I made up as I went along, using 4 mm needles.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Update on Lily


Lily the lamb was becoming a bit of a nuisance, munching on Jack's vegetable garden. He had thought he could shut her into the front garden to eat the lawn, but hadn't reckoned on her bleating loudly when she couldn't see him! The lady who was supplying us with milk for Lily suggested we take her to 'Healing with Horses', a local version of riding for the disabled. Our neighbour works with Healing with Horses and it was all arranged in a flash and a blur. We took her out to their place on Friday afternoon. It felt like leaving a child at boarding school as she cried when we left, but you can see from the photos that she has settled down well. Apparently "Lily is already capturing everyone's hearts and showing great potential as a therapy sheep". So That's Alright Best Beloved, to quote Rudyard Kipling.

PS I do have permission to use the photos. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Daisy Chain


I've finished my second links necklace. It has approximately 4680 size 8 seed beads in it and weighs 228 grams. It's a fun for Spring necklace. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020



Lily is growing apace. She's getting two bottles of milk a day now instead of three and nibbling on leaves and other vegetation in between. Jack had planned for her to eat grass, but naturally she prefers lettuce hearts! She's a noisy little thing, especially if Jack has gone out or she doesn't know where he is. I'm not part of the flock apparently so don't serve as a substitute.