how to make a fabric infinity scarf (in less than 15 mins)

Here’s a dead easy something to make. All you need is some fabric, needle and thread. I used my sewing machine as well, but if you’re Amish you can stitch it by hand.

I used:
3 pieces of fabric – two were 13cm wide and one was 16cm wide, but they all need to be the same length: 180cm.

cowl 2

1. With right sides facing, and with a 1cm seam allowance, sew the long sides of the pieces together. All of them.

cowl 4

2. You’ll end up with a tube.

cowl 6

3.  Push your arm through the tube…

cowl 7

4. … and pull the end of it through to the top.

cowl 8

5. With right sides together, you’re going to sew the raw edges together, leaving a 10 to 12 cm gap.  (You haven’t turned the tube inside out yet).  It’ll look like this (the arrows are to show you where I left the gap):

cowl 9

6. Pull the cowl through the gap in the seam til it’s all right side out.  Slip stitch the seam closed.  Give it a light press, and it’s done!

cowl 12

At this length, and especially if you’ve used stretchy t-shirty fabric, you should easily be able to get it round your neck three times, if you want to. I generally wrap mine round twice, but you can also fold it in half and pull one side through the loop for a different look.

cowl 20 cowl 17

cowl 13  cowl 12

and if for some reason you don’t want anyone to know it’s you, you can flip one loop over your hair and smack on some sun gogs…. 

cowl 21

Back soon x
PS. I’m not sure about this new blog theme. Any comments?

the stinky fish hat

I can’t remember what or who started the internet trail that led to me finding this pattern, but here we are. This is designed by Catrina Usher, who I think came up with a really brilliant idea with her Stinky Fish hat. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry.

Here is my version:

stinky fish 2

stinky fish 1

stinky fish 3

It’s a bit tight on Carol because it’s toddler size, but it’ll be dead easy to make bigger sizes.  I fiddled with the pattern a bit (didn’t do all the fancy stitches, used buttons for eyes, and left off the top fin) but I love it! It’s really versatile, as you’ll see from the photos on Ravelry that people have sent in.

Stinky Fish will come with me to the Somerset West market on Saturday, let’s see if anyone wants to buy it!

Back soon x

a random post

I like Rachel’s idea (10 Random Things) of going for a bit of randomness.  Here’s a selection of pics I’ve taken over the last few days. In no particular order. Of no particular significance. Or no more than anything else that I ever take a photo of, at least.

woman in hat 2

A nice woman who was interested in our stand at the Annual Plant Fair today. I liked her hat and asked her if I could take a pic of it for when I want to experiment with making different styles.

random 1

Going to the Milnerton Market.  Always a bargain to be found, or something you never knew you simply couldn’t live without until you laid eyes on it.

random 2

A rather sweet ensemble, I thought.  She would have kept the sun off her face far more easily with a hat, but the parasol matches her top exactly so I guess she had to use it.

random 3

Our favourite cafe, Puka, in Tamboerskloof; that’s Michael, the owner,  through the window, whipping up another dream smoothie.

random 4

The very first thing I ever crocheted – a baby blanket for Alex, 20 years ago. I guess it served its purpose but, yikes, is it ever ugly! Don’t know what I could possibly have been thinking.

random 5

The car in front of me the other morning, driving down Durban Road, Mowbray. The aFREAKa sticker made me laugh.

random 6

Autumn’s coming, but it’s taking it’s bloody time! Grape vine leaves glow like jewels when the sun streams through. I took this from the veranda of the farm where we stayed for a couple of days last week in Simondium (in the winelands between Paarl and Franschhoek).  It was a lovely, peaceful break.

random 7

Alex roasted a chicken for our supper. It was really good. We ate outside, by candlelight. She seems to prefer eating with her hands, like a monkey.

random 8

Just one more farm pic, because this chap was really handsome.  He and his cousin were in this tree in the courtyard of the Main House, and he didn’t take his eyes off me for one single second… not one. I was very glad that I am bigger than a mouse.

random 9

This man is a builder by trade but his hobby is doing things with pallets.  Slapping on two coats of paint and then smacking your pallet up on a wall is about the most casual type of upcycling intervention of all – and I hope you can see from the photo he’s stuck on the front how great it looks with a few little plant pots in it.  Like me, he likes looking for stuff – one of his favourite places is the rubbish dump off Rosmead Avenue!

random hedgehog

 

Have a wonderful week, everyone :-)

more BonBon stuff

At the last Kirstenbosch Market, I had a customer called Marie who bought a newsboy from me in dark autumny colours with a black brim (I’d only finished sewing it the night before, so forgot to take a photo).  Then she said she also wanted a BonBon but not in any of the colours I had available. She wanted one in the Cotton-On DK I use for my slippers, in Faded Denim. I said I thought that the cotton might be too heavy for the style (because it is quite a fat hat), but she showed me how she would wear it:

1. Pull the entire hat down right over your face.

cotton bonbon 4

2.  Roll it up once.

cotton bonbon 5

3. Roll it up again.

cotton bonbon 6

4. Roll it up once more.

cotton bonbon8

I guess you now have a … what?  a baby BonBon with a sausage brim? I have to say, I’d never thought of that myself, and it looked stunning on Marie the way she did it. She assured me that she had lots of hats and knew exactly what suited her!

NB #1. She asked me to make the “welt” extra long so that she could roll it up as much as Carol has here; my other BonBons are a good 5 or 6 centimetres shorter.

NB #2. The cotton has made the whole thing a lot heavier than the ones made with acrylic, this one weighs 236g.

NB #3. I increased a few more times than usual with this one, because the cotton has less stretch than the acrylic.

I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. Hope she is, too. Now, where did I put her number…?

BonBon update

I attended a fabulous sector meeting about (a) upcycling, and (b) e-commerce at the Cape Craft and Design Institute this afternoon, and worked on the cotton BonBon at the same time. Yip, two hours of uninterrupted crochet. hoo ha.

I have now worked 20.5 cm from the top of the crown and it looks like this:

cotton bonbon 2

And on my head it looks like this:

cotton bonbon 1

I think I’m going to work about another 5cm before starting the brim because I want more of a hang to it at the back. (Hats that hug my head do not suit me. It’s why I can’t ever wear a beanie. I get that whole pinhead look).

It’s weighing in now at 145g, so already it weighs as much as a fully completed acrylic BonBon like the one below.

green bonbon

Please bear this in mind if you’re going to try your hand at one – if you choose cotton over acrylic, you will use more meterage and it will weigh more.

Also, keep trying it on as you go, to make sure it’s taking on the shape you want – you don’t want it taking on too much of a life of its own!!!

How to make a BonBon

Hello. Long time no me. Crummy time management skills, I know.

So, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, I want to share with you how Eunice has taught me to make the BonBons.

But first –  please be advised : this is not a pattern for the faint-hearted or those who need instant gratification! This is a pattern for those of you who like to throw a bit of caution to the wind, to be adventurous, who do not stress over the exact number of stitches or any precise dimensions, and who can spend more than two evenings working on it.  This is a wing-it kind of a thing (exactly how I make lasagne, come to think of it!) It’s not a problem for me that no two are exactly the same because I sell them, so there is always someone who wants one slightly bigger, slightly smaller, slightly rounder, slightly longer, with a pompom, without a pompom, whatever.

caramel bonbon

The caramel one above was made by Eunice, using Elle Pure Gold DK (acrylic) and a 4mm hook.
The green one below was made by me with the same yarn and hook, but my tension is much looser than Eunice’s.  I also had more stitches so I have a fatter hat with less shaping at the brim.

bonbon4

I’ve just started one using Elle Cotton On DK and a 4.5mm hook. There’s a lot less stretch with cotton, so I’m working more stitches in the round so that I don’t end up with a long, narrow hat that would only fit a long, narrow gnome. It looks like this so far:

cotton bonbon

The first section is the circle for the crown. (I’m using British terminology).

Ch 5. Sl st to make a circle. Ch 2 (does not count as tr), 13 tr into circle. Join to top of first tr.

Row 2:  Ch 2, 2 tr into same st, and in each st all round = 26 tr. Join with a sl st.

Row 3:  Ch 2, tr into same st, 1 tr into next, 2 tr into next, continue all round. Join with a sl st  (39 tr). That is your flat crown part.

NOTE: At this point, it would be useful to count the number of sts, so that if you want to make another BonBon the same, or smaller, or bigger, this will be your guide. (Eunice says she never counts, she just seems to know by instinct when it’s right.)

The second part is the main textured section. This is much much easier than it sounds. Basically, it’s all worked in front post trebles and back post trebles**  so that you get a lovely up-and-down texture.

Row 4:  Ch 2, 1 bptr (back post treble) into same st, 2 fptr (front post treble) into the next st.  Continue with the 1 bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 5 – 8: Same as Row 4, but  work the bptr into the bptr of the previous row, and the 2 fptr into the second fptr of the previous row. Continue with the bptr and 2 fptr all the way round, join with a sl st.

Row 9:  Same as Row 8 but you need to do a bit of increasing here: to increase, work your 1 bptr as usual, then work 2 fptr into the first of the fptr of the previous row; work 1 bptr into the second of the fptr of the previous row, then work 2 fptr into the same stitch.  This will give you an increase that looks like this:

bonbon2

Eunice makes about 6 increases evenly spaced around this row.

Now you just carry on crocheting merrily away until your BonBon is about the size you want it to be from crown to brim, excluding the brim (which you may want to wear flipped over anyway).

Note:  I did a couple more increases in about Row 11 of the cotton one pictured above because, as I said, I wanted to accommodate the lack of stretch.  It all depends on the yarn you’re using and how big you want the hat to be.

When you’re not increasing, and you’re just going round and round, you’ll start to see the dome shape form.

Work until the hat measures about 22cm in length from the very top (or less, or more, up to you).

Brim:

Eunice’s brim is simply 5 or 6cm of front post trebles all around. With my green BonBon, I felt the brim looked like it was going to be too wide, so I first worked two rows of double crochet decreasing six times evenly in each row.  Then I did 5 rows of fptr.  End off and weave your ends in.

When you fold the brim over, you get a lovely contrast with the direction of the stitches.

I sold a lot of BonBons on Sunday at the Kirstenbosch Craft Market. Some girls wore a deep brim, some a narrow one, some had no brim.  It’s a pretty versatile hat.  One very stylish and charming lady of 72 has ordered one in dark brown that she is going to wear in a totally different way, that I had never thought of before.  I’ll show you that next time :)

Now, if these instructions really stink, please let me know – I’ve gone over and over them, but I may have made an error or overlooked something.  Fingers crossed not…

** front post and back post trebles

Back (sometime) soon x

novelty yarn – quick and easy

It’s hard to resist a new novelty yarn.  I know I can’t, I wouldn’t even waste an splurt of energy on trying.  I’d had an order for some men’s slouchies in various shades of grey (not a colour I generally keep at home), so I popped in to Roger at Orion to stock up on the weekend.  And there was a new delivery of yarn, not even unpacked yet… yum…

baltic baltic 3

It’s called Elle Baltic and it comes from Saprotex in East London (E L on the South African coast in the Eastern Cape, that is).  Roger had two colours so I grabbed the one with pinks and blues mixed up, called Potpourri. R40 for a 100g ball. As you can see, the yarn consists of two separate strands that are bridged at regular intervals. Makes for a very chunky look.

baltic 10

I used a  10mm hook and made a simple cowl.  Trebles seemed to work best, anything shorter and I think the stitch would have been too squished. I have no idea how many stitches I started with, nor how long it took, and I also know that it’s got a built-in twist because I really wasn’t paying attention (episode 7 of True Detective – who would take their eyes off Mr McConaughey, right?) – but I’m very happy with it.

baltic 1      baltic 9

Back soon x