Thursday, July 29, 2021

Cupcakes Galore


I baked 48 cupcakes this morning for a friend's shop. The venture started as a way to use up Jack's bananas. I used bananas that were fine but unattractive to bake banana muffins. Last week the bananas were finished, but cakes still wanted. so I baked two dozen cupcakes with lemon icing. They sold so quickly that this week I baked four dozen! I bought another muffin pan during the week, thinking that I could fit two pans in the oven at once. Alas, they didn't fit side by side. But even so, having two pans enabled me to get a better flow, so that's fine. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021



I need a new pair of pot holders. When I made the last pair, I had no access to the internet, so I did the zig zag pattern that I could remember. This time I was able to revisit angelfire's tutorial (via my blog, of course) for doing the block pattern. It took two attempts before I got going, but I have the hang of it now.  I'll probably do the second one in zig zag, I like the idea of using different patterns that are connected by colour. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ready To Wear

 I finished sewing Jack's pullover together yesterday afternoon, so now he's wearing it. That gives me a chance to wash the one he was wearing. I very much doubt that anyone will notice that the sleeves are a slightly different shade of brown to the main body. Though it would be more noticeable if I had changed shades half way up the back or front. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Dorset Buttons


Lace-lovin' Librarian is learning to make Dorset buttons. I said I'd show her (and you) a photo of a paperweight that contains Dorset buttons, so here it is. My cousin Andrew brought it as a gift when he visited us in Zimbabwe many years ago. He lived in Dorset at the time, so the Dorset buttons really do come from Dorset!

On the pullover front, I've finished the first sleeve and am about to start knitting the second. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Back


 I continued the cable from the front neck edge, knitting it on by purling the last stitch together with the next stitch from the back neck. There's a bit of a wriggle in the middle where the back cable is. That's not ideal, but I'll live with it! 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Front


I've started with the front of Jack's pullover because it's much easier to match the back to the front than vice versa. I've left the cable stitches live because I plan to continue the cable across the back of the neck. The V is quite deep so that Jack can reach his shirt pockets without difficulty. He keeps his phone, notebook, glasses in his pockets and is constantly needing them. 

Friday, July 16, 2021



Or ladybug as it is, more sensibly, called in some parts of the world. I used fabric for the hood as I don't have any black toweling. I've decided that tacking or basting the large pieces to the towels is worth the effort. I just pin the small bits like eyes and eyeballs. I took four towels to a shop in town on Wednesday on consignment. With markets and fairs closed because of lockdown, that's a good opportunity for me to still get the towels out there. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Not Enough


I've knitted up one ball of yarn and it's clear that the five balls I bought on Friday will not be enough for a long sleeved pullover for Jack. Oops. I'll try to get another ball, but if that fails I'll just make a sleeveless pullover. Plan B....


The shop had a brown that was almost the same, but not identical. The vendor kindly took back the ball I'd taken in as a sample and gave me two of the new shade. So the sleeves of Jack's pullover will be slightly different to the body, but the same as each other! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Butterfly Towel


It took me a while, but at last my butterfly towel is done. I deviated from the pattern a fair bit. Amy cut the towel to resemble wings, but I didn't want to cut into the towel itself, so I just tried to suggest butterfly wings by sticking bits on. I hope it looks more like a butterfly than a flag! 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Knit Two, Purl Two

 It's amazing how many different effects can be created using k2, p2. If you line them up, you get a neat rib:

If you misalign them, you get mistake rib or mock fisherman's rib:

But you can get really fancy; this zig zag is created (mostly) with k2, p2:

I considered this pattern for the pullover I'm currently knitting, but I don't want to work that hard for a wear-in-the-garden garment. I settled instead for another k2, p2 pattern, double moss stitch, which creates a good texture:

There are a lot of other possibilities, I'm sure, but off the top of my head, I think this is a good selection.  

Friday, July 9, 2021


 We have had a steady stream of visitors this week. I've spent time on household chores and a lot of time chatting on the veranda, but have nothing to show for it! Ah well, I should probably try to be less goal oriented. I did buy some yarn this morning - bright cottons to keep on hand for things like crochet flowers  and dark brown acrylic to knit Jack an at-home pullover. Once I get going, I should be able to knit while I chat. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021



The gilet in the lower picture is no more - it's now a sleeveless pullover for Jack. Looking back at my blog, I see the yarn is a cotton/silk blend, a bit fancy for garden wear! But I have no regrets. It's of no use sitting in my cupboard and Jack needs a pullover. 

I knitted downwards in the round until I ran out of yarn. The vest is exactly the length I scribbled on my original sketch, how neat is that? 

Monday, July 5, 2021

A Boon For Bees


The Kenya Coffee Shade Tree in our front garden is in full flower at the moment. It's mid-Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere and there are not many trees flowering, so this one is proving a magnet for bees and all sorts of birds. During the day the hum of traffic drowns out the sound of the bees, but I went out very early this morning and could hear them loud and clear. Jack has a couple of hives in the back garden, so we like to hear the bees working! The miniature poinsettia is also flowering and no doubt providing the bees with nectar too:

I thought I'd finish Jack's sleeveless pullover this weekend, but such tasks always take me longer than I visualise. I did determine that I have enough yarn to finish the job without adding stripes of another colour, so that's something. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

A Bit Of A Battle


I found a new source of towels that are bigger, fluffier and less expensive than the green and orange ones I originally bought. That's good, right? Right. Except that when I came to sew this dinosaur's spikes to the back of the hood, I discovered that four layers of fluffy toweling will simply not fit under the pressure foot of my sewing machine. I had already zig zagged the spikes to one side of the fabric, so I finished off the sewing by hand. The stitches sink into the fabric, so the rather rough stitches don't show. Now that I know, I'll look for solutions before I find myself in that situation again. Thinner fabric for the spikes, a different pressure foot perhaps.....This dinosaur will go to his new home this afternoon. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021



Well, in spite of the market being closed, I am getting orders for towels, so that's exciting. These two are packed and ready to go. Frog was in stock; I made the hippo yesterday. 

I got a small person to come and model the towels for me - they look much better when worn than slumped on a chair. Here are a couple of the photos: