So, I’ve been putting a lot of time and energy into my part-time job at The Carpenter’s Shop, and I have to keep a constant watch on balancing that with the Jam Tarts side of my life.  I’ve made some excellent contacts out in the winelands of Paarl and Franschoek, and the orders are starting to flow in.

On Mandela Day, on 18 July, we were visited by the staff of go2Africa, and they put together a great video afterwards:  I thought I’d show it to you here so you can see where I work.  My best friend Karen is in it, she’s the social worker.  She specially did her nails that day!

My favourite bit is the guy at the end in the yellow anorak.

The Ella hat was big news for me this winter (purchased from etsy here).  It’s a great pattern and, surprisingly to me but then who am I to judge?, two Ellas have been bought by men. For themselves.  Young men, guys really, not big burly rugby player types.  How cute is that!?

wed 3   wed 6 wed 5     bothasig2    judy3

Anyway, when Nicola asked me to make two baby bonnets for her 6-month old niece in Durban, I thought I’d try the same pattern but using thinner yarn and a smaller hook.

Ta-da! Worked perfectly:

ella baby 2   ella baby 1 (pompoms still to be attached when I took these pics).

And on the magical little person herself:

baby ella

I mean, look at that face!!!  I should be paying that girl to model for me :-)

Back soon x

I found this tutorial by Yolanda Lopez on youtube the other day, and got all inspired. She says 30 minutes, but you don’t even need that long if you already have your sewing machine threaded up and ready to go.

I used a thinner fabric, and here is my version:
beanie sew beanie sew 2 beanie sew 3

It’s a particularly cute beanie because Yolanda’s pattern includes a simple but effective way of giving the back a pouchy shape rather than a limp-sock shape. No-one wants that limp sock look, right?

Back soon x

When I was little, fairies and pixies lived at the bottom of our garden. I like to think they would have worn something like this to keep their little heads warm in the winter.

pixie new 1 pixie bought
blue pixie 3  blue pixie 1

The first one is actually a Flying Fish gone wrong. It was the first item to be purchased at the next market I attended, so the second one was planned. With extra beads, a curly-wurly and a pompom for luck. There’ll be more…

 

Nice piece of work:

Why am I only finding out about this now ???!!! This is wonderful :-)

Originally posted on G-Ma Ellen's Hands - Adventures in Crochet and Knit:

This video tutorial will show you how to join a new ball of yarn to your knitting or crochet by making an invisible knot. This knot is very strong and leaves no ends to weave in.

via How to join your yarn by making a double knot – YouTube.

I wish I had found this video before I started my last project!  Well, onward and upward!!!

View original

Being now officially hat mad, I have wanted to come up with more than one design for the newsboys.  Some people love big and puffy, and some people prefer a more compact look.  I tried making a pattern based on my existing knowledge, my (self-taught) pattern-making skills, other people’s experiments, and designs on the internet. I downloaded some free stuff (none of it turned out remotely how I wanted) and even purchased a few patterns, but again, I wasn’t finding my happy place.

Many frustrating weeks and a lot of wasted fabric later, I pitstopped for one of Jeanne’s double-shot cappuccinos (there’s some linguistic serendipity coming up here…) at Salisbury’s in Woodstock. Across the road is Sally Low’s gorgeous vintage clothes cum ceramics shop, so of course my feet naturally led me there once I’d absorbed the caffeine.  I found this:

brown hat

I rushed home and ripped it apart…

brown cap 2

and cut my own pattern from it…

new cap 4 new cap 1 new cap 2 new cap 3

This cap (cap – cappuccino, get it!) has four differently-shaped panels at the back and the front is a semi-circle from brim to brim fitted with a shaped tier underneath.  I learnt about inserting a short strip of elastic at the back in the seam of the lining on my search, and this works like a charm here.  One or two other minor modifications, and I believe I am well satisfied.

Carol modelled the new hat in Tulbagh yesterday, where we participated in the Christmas-in-Winter festival. Happy days :-)

Thanks for all your ideas re the fish hats, you really got my creative juices flowing….but it was while I was fitting the latest hat on Carol for a photoshoot just now …

flying fish 3

… and the little fins were sticking out on the sides…

flying fish 4

that the perfect name suddenly came to me  — it’s The Flying Fish hat !!!

And that’s enough from me for now – I have a crochet lesson tomorrow afternoon to prepare for, and a Christmas-in-Winter market in Tulbagh on Sunday. I’m told there’s snow on the mountains out in that part of the world, so let’s hope everyone has a really cold head.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 722 other followers