I have been meaning to get new things started, and finish off project on my needles.
And also thinking of other little things to organize.
But firstly I had to finish the projects for my swap partners. The one was a pretty little set of mittens, and the other was for a pair of socks. So those took priority. And I finished them all, and popped them in the mail. The mittens is from a local natural yarn, “Nurturing Fibres” that I ordered from naturalyarns.co.za. This yarn knitted so lovely. And the mittens turned out very pretty and warm.
In the meantime, I have been ordering yarns for my daughter for some winter goodies, and the yarns have arrived, my daughter had chosen some pretty scarf patterns and I needed to get started. I have rolled the ball of yarn, and it looks very pretty. I am ready to start.
I have also started on the hat I promised myself for the winter, the first one of two. I have received gorgeous homespun yarn in a swap, and have put it aside for this winter’s hat. So the hat is on the needles, and looking and feeling very pretty, soft and warm.
My beige cowl, also one of two promised to myself for the winter, is complete. This is 100% merino yarn, and I love it. The buttons on the cowl is just for show, and adds a bit of weight for drape. The buttons are glazed clay, handmade locally in SA. It turned out very soft, and drapes perfectly.
But I did not just knit in the past few weeks. I have a few very old silver teaspoons that I got from my mother and grandmother, many years ago. They were in a drawer, and I had the thought of displaying them, but not in a traditional teaspoon case. So I got some pretty paper, and a pretty card, some other little odd bits, and put them all together in a little display boxframe. There is still a bit of space in the frame, and I think in my travels I will probably find some extra goodies to add to the box to compliment the spoons.
I did however find some really pretty little charms on my travels and shopping, and since it was a lovely holiday here, I settled in at my desk, in the early morning sun, while the room was still warm and comfy, and made myself a few extra stitch markers, one can never have too many. I am happy with them, they turned out pretty cute.
Next up, to cast my daughter’s cowl on the needles. The yarn is from Hartlam, The colour is Autumn Sunset. It looks very pretty on the ball, and I cannot wait to see how it will knit and pool.
My first KIP! (Knit in Public!) I was invited by a group on Ravelry to join them on their KIP, and was very eager and excited to go. This would be my very first group KIP, and it sounded like it could be loads of fun.
As I am working on a pair of socks at the moment, that was my project that I would be taking with me. I was more excited to see what the other ladies are working on, their patterns, their yarns, and all.
They opted for a really nice venue, the Irene Dairy Farm. My daughter joined me on the trip to the Dairy Farm, and we were up pretty early, as it was still at least an hour’s drive or so. But so worth it! It was really easy to find, and the roads were quiet on the early Saturday morning. It was such a beautiful day. Even the weather turned out pleasant, the cooler weather of the week had disappeared, making the day perfect and very comfortable.
At the Irene Dairy Farm, we sat outside The Barn, under the beautiful shades. I was totally loving the projects of the other ladies, they were all working on such interesting projects, and had stunning yarns. I was so inspired by all the gorgeous work I saw, that I simply had to start something new when I got home. So I casted on the Ishbel Shawl on Manos Lace – Fathoms. Which, by the way, knits like a dream and is so soft.
I absolutely loved the farm, the peaceful atmosphere, the country smells and sounds. It reminded me so much of the time I spent as a young girl on our family farm. We had a lovely breakfast, out in the open, with the chickens coming up to us, walking around, eagerly seeing what they could get from us. I loved the cows, both Friesland and Jersey, they were beautiful and healthy, with udders full on milk! The farm has a shop, and my daughter and I stopped in to get some goodies. I even bought a big container of fresh milk. Fresh raw milk, it was great. I drank nearly all of it by myself. We also bought some carrot cake, snacks and yummy jams. Now I have the perfect reason to spoil the family with flapjacks and scones, and enjoy these yummy jams.
I will definitely be visiting the farm again, and making another day trip, this time taking the whole family with me. I know they all will enjoy it.
Thank you ladies, for inviting me to your KIP, it was inspiring.
Up until the Easter Weekend, we have not yet really had cold weather, and were enjoying the most pleasant and mild Autumn days. It was still the type of weather that we could go and spend time outside.
But Mother Nature had her own ideas! No sooner did we venture into April, when things changed. We had some late rain during the week, which lasted a good day and all night. And with that came the cooler weather, maybe even considered cold. It brought the first single digit temperatures for the nights. I suddenly had to get blankets out of cupboards and haul sweaters out.
And with that, came my eager yearning to knit. I normally knit all summer, and always have a few projects going during summer, including some crochet and sewing projects. But I always find myself eager to knit so much more when the weather is cooler and wintery.
So I spent a few days digging through my yarn stash, and looking at loads of patterns. My creativity was running wild, and I wanted to make just about every pretty pattern I came across. But finally I settled on some projects, selected my patterns and chose my yarns. I know these will not be the only projects for this winter, as I will still be making socks. And I have a package of yarns on order for my daughters winter goodies, but at least now I can ease my desire to knit like a woman on a mission.
I am planning 2 hats, 2 cowls and 2 shawlettes, for starters that is.
I have started the Ishbel Shawl, using my Manos Lace in Fathoms Colourway.
I love goodies and gifts from other countries. Especially if I am not able to get them here!
So I was very pleased to receive these awesome gifts and goodies from Europe recently, when Nicholas visited Belgium, Holland and France.
I love bags, all and any bags. So I got a stunning bag from “Lief” that is perfect for my yarns, bigger projects and many more. And of course, two Delhaize shoppers. The small pocket bag now permanently stays in my handbag, just in case I need a bag quickly. It folds up into a tiny square, and takes up no space at all.
Scarfs from Paris, in my two favourite colours. I love blue, and this blue scarf is perfect. The brown/beige scarf is perfect for the office, as my signature office wear is mainly shades of beige and cream. (Makes getting dressed for the office easy).
Are these little Dutch clogs not to pretty? The fridge magnets with Miffy already have a very special place, I love bunnies and Miffy!! The other little clogs will live in the bookshelf, along with my other special gifts and goodies from all over the world.
I was introduced to the gorgeous Manos del Uruguay Yarns recently by Gina Ross on Ravelry. This is not a yarn that I have yet seen here in Johannesburg at my Local Yarn Shops, so to see the yarns on her website (naturalyarns.co.za) was an experience.
Gina then had a stunning purple yarn, and asked us Ravellers to suggest names for this beautiful colourway. Striking and appropriate names were suggested, and I decided to add my ten cents worth as well. As it was February, and my birth month, the colour made me think of my birthstone, Amethyst. And the yarn was variegated, so it most obviously reminded me of a piece of sparkling amethyst.
I then met Gina at the Hobby X in March, where Gina had a stall with the Manos Del Uruguay yarns for sale. I collected my prize from her, and bought some stunning yarns at the same time. I also met Raveller “knitforklipskaap” Claire, and we had a nice chat about the very pretty shawl she was wearing.
I had to restrain myself, and had a good look on the website to decide which yarns I would love to take home. So firstly I decided that I should at least get an extra sparkling amethyst, and these would be for a project for myself. Then I also bought Manos Serena in the Wildflowers colourway, I could not resist it, so soft and pretty. I bought Manos Lace in Eclipse for my daughter, she loves black and gray, and this colour is so perfect. I also took a skein of Manos Lace in Fathoms, although I am not yet sure what I will be making from it. When my daughter saw the black and gray yarn, she immediately grabbed it, gave it a big hug, and said “This is for me hey? That are you making me? Oh, this is so soft and silky!”
Gina also stocks Nurturing Fibres on her website, and had a huge range and variety with her at the Expo. Nurturing Fibres are from a farm in Philadelpia, near Cape Town, where Carle Dehning lives and works, producing these stunning dyed yarns. I had promised myself a sock yarn, in the Springbokkie colourway, and I was even more pleasantly surprised at it when I could hold it in my hands. I loved it when I saw it on the website, and loved it even more when I bought it. I am definitely looking forward to making socks with this beautiful yarn.
My other shopping included a yarn for a swap partner on Ravelry, as I am making a pair of mittens for her. The Escape was perfect, as it had my swap partners favourite colours in it. And when I saw the Mint on the shelves, I stashed two singles skeins immediately.
Thank you Gina and Carle for the very pretty yarns. I am already using my Escape and cannot wait to cast on with some of the others as well.
Recently I have been thinking that I would like to learn even more about knitting, especially various techniques. For instance, I am not good at Kitchener stitching socks, so prefer to knit “toe-up” socks rather than “cuff-down”.
And using beads in knitting. I have crocheted beads into work on many occasions, and fondly remember the time when beads in crocheted “net doilies” were very popular on the farm where I grew up, to cover especially food items with. But knitting with beads I have only tried once or twice.
So I was very pleasantly surprised when my daughter presented by with the book “Knit step by step” by Vikki Haffenden & Frederica Patmore as a gift.
What makes the book so special, is that is contains about 200 different knitting techniques, explaining each one in easy detail, without being lengthy. Each technique is clearly illustrated with beautiful colour photographs that makes it very easy to follow and understand. It literally feels like it is inviting you to try it, even if you have never knitted that technique before.
The book also covers a section of knitting accessories, items to start with, items to get as you progress, must haves, nice to haves, and many more. Then it also features a beautiful section on the different types of yarns and its uses. I found this most interesting and useful, as yarns are so pretty and can be overwhelming, especially to a newcomer.
My other favourite thing about the book is the section on patterns / stitches. The basic set-up of a stitch pattern is given, with the amount of stitches, repeats and rows, etc. that makes up the pattern. This can then easily be used to design any item that you intend using the pattern for. It makes it so much easier. With these guides, even I can now look at designing my own patterns and goodies.
What I also really like about the book, is that is not filled with patterns for projects. It has 10 projects, that you can try your hand at and use the techniques. I prefer to purchase some of the amazing magazines and pattern books available when I am looking for a pattern or a project I plan to make. So having a book that primarily focuses on techniques is exactly what I have been looking for.
This is definitely not a book that I will be putting away or leaving on the bookshelf. I would like to have it around for many more projects, and intends keeping it close to my workspace, so I can refer to it any time I plan something.
I have always loved knitting, and the heavier yarns were some of my favourites. I love Aran yarns, and would always find myself making sweaters and blankets. I did knit with other yarns as well, and hats, mittens and scarfs were frequent projects. Every autumn I would get the usual orders for hats and mittens for the coming winter, and scarfs. Baby goodies in very fine yarns were only made to order.
But last year I started on Socks. And I loved the yarns, the patterns, the designs and designers. It was endless. Socks knitted so fast, and were so lovely to make, for myself, friends, family and swap partners. The huge variety of yarns and colours made sock knitting my next best favourite to knit.
And then a friend I met (Hotsock on Ravelry) gifted me the pattern, The Blue Eye of Poseidon. It is for a beautiful lace shawl. I have admired shawls and lace knitters from afar, but have never tried it myself. So I set of on a new path, with lots of encouragement. I shopped around, and got a stunning Merino yarn, in a very pretty slightly variegated blue, as I love blue yarns.
The shawl pattern is so well written, I was able to knit with ease, and it knitted a lot faster than I had thought I would be able to do it. But most of all, it was lots of fun to knit, to see the lace grow in your hands, see the delicate pattern unfolds. It was so worth it. I carefully washed and blocked it, and the results were even stunning for me. I was very happy with my very first shawl, it turned out beautifully, and I love it.
I am ready to start the next lace item, be it either a shawl or a lace scarf.
I recently decided that I needed to change my bathroom, but not big changes, just small ones, as I was pretty happy with the way it was, but wanted it a bit different.
After some planning and putting ideas together, I decided to upgrade the look slightly to a bit of a vintage feel.
I shopped for fabric, and found stunning stripy material in a colour that I have not yet bought for any room in the home. A very dark salmon / rose colour, that felt just right.
For the prints I wanted to add, I knew just where to get them from. The Pennyfather Store was the perfect place, and I ordered crowns as the main theme, and some extras, as one can never just order one print or design. The bees were my next favourite, and they complimented the new snow white fluffy guest towels perfectly.
Next was a new curtain for the window, and I was able to find an antique looking lace that looks nearly hand-woven. The colour is a cream / off white, that contributed perfectly for the look.
I did all the sewing of the fabric to the towels myself, I am not good at sewing, but I can do straight lines. And this did not even take long.
Then for a new potplant or two, that brightens any room, no matter how small. I decided to store all the goodies in the bathroom in glass jars. I did not want the clutter of store bought items, so glass jars and containers bring the look together. Big jars filled with seashells makes a statement, and I have a selection of various other glass jars with my bathsalts, bubble baths and other goodies to finish of the look.
This was a happy and easy make-over that I had a lot of fun with, it makes a big difference in a small room.