It’s February already!

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Wow, it’s February already!  Where has January gone to?

I look at my calendar, and wonder where the month has gone.  Its been a pretty hot summer month, lots of sunshine and heatwaves.  With a little bit of rain, finally.

I did finish my daughters socks.  They turned out great, even if I have to say so myself.  This yarn is absolutely fantastic for socks, and with the bit of lycra in it, the stretch makes for the most perfect fit.  She wanted cabled socks, and I love knitting cables, so they have a little cable running up the outside of the sock.  They are soft and comfortable and I am sure will make for great winter comfort.

 

My Smocked Lace Scarf in burgundy mohair is nearing the end.  I have finished the middle section, and have started the last lace section.  Only a few more inches and pattern repeats and I can finish it off.  I love this yarn and colour, and look forward to wearing this scarf in the coming winter and showing it off.

And I did work a bit more on the blanket I am making for the winter.  It does not look very wide, but when stretched, its just fine.  I just want a small blanket to cover one up in the winter when relaxing on the sofa with a book or a movie.  I am thinking it needs a pretty border, and I know I have an old pattern (from my grandmother) somewhere that she always used to add to her knitted blankets.  I just may need to dig deep in my old patterns and goodies, or maybe there will even be a similar version out on the web.

First yarns for the year

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It is a new year and I spoiled myself with a bit of yarny goodness.

The holidays are now a thing of the past and things are seemingly slowly beginning to return to normal.

Our weather has become much more bearable, and we have had a bit of rain as well.  This meant more knitting and crafting time.  And with that said, it means only a few more months before we start thinking about winter again.  So that meant a bit of yarn as well.  One never knows when you need something from the stash.  :)

Carle from Nurturing Fibres always has the most stunning colourways, and I simply could not resist her latest, in Satchel and Shipwreck. Her hand dyed yarns are really beautiful, and they knit so well and quickly.

And who can resist Manos Del Uruguay!  I absolutely adore this yarn, and the merino and silk blend of these are super soft.  They knit and wear so well, and are comfy and warm all day.  These are imported into SA by Gina from Natural Yarns.

These are not really meant for me to knit with, I just loved them to much to not order a set.  Pretty bamboo knitting needles finished with a soft shiny pink bead.

It is a new year, welcome 2016!

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It is 2016!  A New Year!  How quickly the holidays have gone.  Thankfully I had a good break and a typical warm and sunny Festive Season here in South Africa. The most exciting thing that happened was probably Miekie having to have some of her teeth out on New Years Eve.  She recovered super fine, and is enjoying all the attention and great food and treats.

The Little Black Dog

I intended to just rest and do as little as possible, but that will never happen.  :)  I can not sit idly and let my hands do “nothing”.

So I did do a bit of this and that.  I decided I need a little splash of soft colour for my home, and worked on these three canvases.  I did the basics and some background, but I am not done yet.  They still need a bit of finishing off.  I have some pretty bronze paint to still add to them.

Thanks to AndreSueKnits and her lovely podcasts, I got totally inspired to also dye “Speckled Yarn”.  She made it look so easy and I could not wait.  These are done using food colouring, and I had lots of fun, despite having “speckles” all over myself as well in the end.  :)

I did knit and crochet during the holidays, but only on small projects that I could take with me while on vacation.  I had been wanting to make colourful and summery coasters for glasses or mugs, and decided on these.  I also knitted the Baable Hat (Pattern by Donna Smith) This is a super pattern that I knitted up so fast.  My daughter promptly asked for one as well, so I knitted another.

Currently I am still working on my winter blanket, but since we have been having a pretty warm summer with heatwave warnings, the knitting had been few.  I am working on a pair of socks in Silverspun yarn from the Feel Good Yarn Company. This yarn has the perfect name, and I know they will be perfect gifts.  (for my daughter again)

And I am knitting with super soft Mohair from Istanbul, that my LYS had stock off, making myself a Smocked Lace Scarf.  The pattern is by Veronik Avery and is featured in the book “Knitting 24/7” that I was gifted.

And that is how my year ended and the new one started.

I wish you all a Wonderful and Fantastic 2016!  May it be an Awesome Year for us all.

Happy Crafting!

#Stitching Santa Reveals

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Before I start the new year, 2016, I just want to pop back to 2015 for a brief moment.

During the Holidays, the #Stitching Santa Swap took place.  I got to send a package to Sewchet, what a fabulous time I had putting her package together, and trying to include goodies that are local yet still to be loved in a far away country.  As all the packages had now made their way, I can show you a bit more.

These are the items I included into Sewchet’s package.

A cute pincushion, a magnet to show off our beautiful sunsets, local crochet cottons and hooks.

A little wooden angel, handcrafted from recycled materials, some of my favourite sweets, and I found these 2 stunning teacloths, from India, that I added a little crochet border to.

I could not resist the big red bag, I have some of them as well, in other colours too.  They are so versatile for market days and storage. And a few other goodies, sewing needles and local printed ribbon.

Swap goodies

But I must tell you about the HUGE surprise I got a few days before Christmas.  My Stitching Santa package arrived just in time for Christmas.  I did open the package, but not the gifts inside, and put them under the tree until Christmas eve, which is the day we normally open gifts.

I, actually myself and my doggie, got gifts and goodies from the very kind and dear Mollie and Claire.  I was totally surprised and completely loved all of it.  I have been following Claire and Mollie for a while, and I absolutely love her blog, as I get to see her part of the world, and what she and Mollie and her family and friends get up to.  I have never been to Britain, and get to see parts of it this way.

We were totally spoiled.

A package for Miekie and lots for me.

I got an Owlie project bag, that is ready for use already.  Beautiful, gorgeously soft green lace yarn, and soft grey kidsilk mohair that Claire gifted me from her stash, so beautiful.  Also the cutest buttons, sock needles that is so pretty and colourful, which I don’t have.  Yummy chocolates, that survived the postal delivery and was enjoyed by all, and two cutest ever coasters, that is now on my desk at the office to keep it cheerful all year round.

Miekie loves her treats, and are spoiled with a treat or a snack each time she was a good girl.

Thank you Claire, and Mollie, for your most lovely Santa Package and making our holidays such a very special one.

 

ps:  Miekie (the little black dog) had 7 teeth out on New Years Eve, and are currently wishing for her treats, but as she has stitches, I am saving some for a bit later, as soon as she is healed up a bit. Here she is at the vet, hours after the surgery, that went very well.  Thank you to all the staff and surgeons at Park Vet Sunward Park that took such good care of her.

New years eve at the Vet

 

 

Happy Holidays!

It has finally come to that time of the year when I am taking a break from the normal, to enjoy a well deserved and restful Holidays and Festive Season.

I want to wish you all the most splendid and happy Holiday and Festive Season.

May you all have a beautiful time and enjoy wherever you may be going and staying.  Take care and return well rested.

Happy Holidays!

 

So we may not have much in the line of snow here, and therefore no Reindeer, but we do have Giraffes, and I have a cute white one, with sweet little girl gnomes to wish us all a Happy Holiday.

And what is more cheerful than stunning red candles and cute bears to cheer up the season.

Happy Holidays to each and everyone!!

 

A Few more FO’s!

I have been able to finish my Barley Hat.  This was an absolutely stunning pattern and a very quick and easy knit.  I loved making it, and am sure it will pop up again in the coming months, when it turns colder again.

Then I decided that I need a few new dishcloths, and they really needed to brighten the kitchen and celebrate the stunning summer weather we are having, so they got a little bright yellow trim!

Ready for something new now!  And still working on my blanket, which is taking its time, as we are enjoying really hot summer weather at the moment.

 

 

Holl and Lane online magazine

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Holl and Lane

I joined the online magazine Holl and Lane a little while ago. It is a stunning online magazine by the very talented Sarah Hartley.

I started reading her online magazine, as I was totally intrigued by the articles about live in the USA, especially by the stunning photographs that was the perfect way for me to get a bigger and better picture of so many places I love to maybe even see one day, and be able to visit them.

So for now I am enjoying my “desk” visits to so many places.

How great was my  surprise then when Sarah asked me to write a few paragraphs for her about Holiday Traditions in South Africa?  What a huge honour.  I could hardly believe it and was not sure what to write, but I sat down and wrote what I thought would be interesting enough.

And now my Holiday Traditions in South Africa are featured on page 64!

How awesome is that, and what a wonderful way to end a beautiful year that was full of good times and lots of fun.

 

A Quick Update

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Just a quick update this morning.  I have been pretty busy with smaller projects, and I am happy with my progress so far.  It is so satisfying to complete things, and even so fairly quickly.

I finished the Bridger cowl, and cast on for the Barley hat, which is going just as fast.

I did a bit more crochet, and made these cozies for my mugs.  I used little wooden buttons to open and close the loop for when I am washing the cups.

The blanket made a little bit of progress, as I completed another pattern on it.

And I even got around to visiting my LYS and was pleasantly surprised with all the new tools and goodies they had in stock.  Just in time.  I could not resist these new goodies, and got myself some crochet hooks with a light that can be switched on / off.  A stunning bamboo crochet hook, a new Tunisian crochet hook, and some really pretty metallic straights.

On my needles and Wip’s

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Winter is still months away, but I could not resist this stunning tweed yarn in Oatmeal, and have started a blanket for next winter.

Yes, can you believe it, a blanket!  I did knit a blanket many years ago, and it was that very same blanket this kick started this blog.  That blanket was a gift, and I have not done anything as big since.

The blanket I have now started, is probably not as big as the first one, as I just want a medium sized blanket that is soft and comfy and cozy to keep around for when you want to just pull something over you.

I knit it inbetween my other projects, and I have a few months to go before we have winter here in Johannesburg again.  It will probably on my needles until close to winter then.

In the meantime I am working on a quick and easy and very pretty little cowl for myself, using the most stunning Manos Del Urugay Handspun Pure Wool.  The pattern is the Bridger Cowl.  It is pretty and informal, and I can see it getting lots of use in the winter.

I also tried my hand (after years, actually centuries) at tapestry work.  I can not remember when the last time was I actually did a tapestry.  This one was a swap gift and I am now starting to work on it.  It was most pleasant and peaceful, not to much effort, and I am starting to get the hang of it again.

Of Chicago Fire and Bronchitis

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Its been pretty quiet on the homefront here lately.  I caught a nasty case of Bronchitis, and was “ordered” to stay home and rest.

So to pass the days and get the rest I needed to get this nasty bug out of my system, I spent my time with the really cool gang of Chicago Fire.  I binge-watched the series, which is awesome, and I worked on some small projects that I could put down any time when I fell asleep, and just pick up again without much effort.  I crocheted a small colourful doily, and finished a small knitted project bag, that I lined with some pure linen.

Small knitted project bag

I also had the time to finish my Autumn colours scarf, which I think turned out pretty neat.  It is a colour that I adore, and I can see myself wearing it very often during the winter months.  This colour reminds me a lot of the changing leaves during Autumn.  Just too pretty to not have around during the whole winter as well.

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