Why I just love winter!!

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Winter is my favourite time of the year.  It is that time of the year when its just a little to chilly to spend so much time outdoors.  And when it happens to be a long weekend, you really get around to all those creative projects that had been lingering for so long now.

This weekend I got around to working on these canvasses I had done about a year ago, if not even longer.  🙂  I have had various ideas, but none of them really took off.  Then finally I decided to add to the canvasses and make them slightly 3D.  I have been looking for interesting pieces to add, and so far, these are the ones I have accumulated.  I painted them is the same colours as the original canvas colours, and added them so long.  It is still a long way to go, as I will be looking for more pieces to add, but I am very happy with the content so far.

 

My Stormy Day Shawl is looking good.  I have been working on it steadily, and have progressed into the various gradient changes.  This is an amazing pattern, and I love working on it.  It is the perfect name for a shawl for winter, as we have been having some pretty windy days here lately.

Stormy Day Shawl Progress

Stormy Day Shawl Progress

I ordered a ball of Scheepjes Secret Garden yarn a little while ago, and it has been calling to me since the day I received it.  So this weekend I broke down, and cast on an open cowl with some 100% Wool (Turkish) and my pretty Scheepjes.  I am using a mock cable / open eyelet pattern that was my Mom’s favourite stitch.  I love the way the stitches show up with the white yarn.  The Secret Garden yarn is amazing with it.  It is going so quickly, and this weekend I will get some buttons to add to the side for fastening.

New Cowl

New Cowl

 

 

 

 

 

Winter is here!

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Winter is here.

Woke up to this stunning sunrise and the promise to a beautiful day.

Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

And with the colder weather, came time to spend with the family.  Good times, to bake and cook and crochet.

This is what the weekend held.  Baking beer bread, making lamb and vegetable curry, and crocheting on my Stormy Day Shawl.

 

And of course, Miekie enjoyed the cold weather, being a little thief and stealing the hot water bottle for a cozy afternoon nap.

Winter Naps

Winter Naps

SA Cosy Winter Swap

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You may remember the Alpaca yarn to sent to my buddy in the SA Cosy Winter Swap.  🙂

My package arrived as well, and it is stunning.  I have been looking online for some pretty autumn coloured yarn, and each time I got distracted.  Good thing, as my swap buddy sent me 2 gorgeous skeins.  How amazing is that.

She also spoiled me with teas, candies (I love jelly beans) and stationery.  Plus the sweetest little birdy ornament.  She also sent me a lovely shawl pattern, that I have already printed out and it is awaiting me, patiently sitting on my workdesk.

SA Cosy Winter Swap

SA Cosy Winter Swap

Loved this quick and easy and cosy swap.

It’s a wrap

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That sounds a bit of a cliche! 🙂  But it actually is a wrap.

My Stratus Wrap is all done, and ready to wear, just in time for the cooler weather.  It was faster to knit than I originally thought it may take, as the rows after about midway became pretty long.

Stratus Wrap Completed

Stratus Wrap Completed

Stratus Wrap Completed

Stratus Wrap Completed

Stratus Wrap Completed

Stratus Wrap Completed

It is gorgeous, even if I have to say so myself, it is so soft and warm and comfy.  I love the 100% pure wool that I used for it.  It is a wool from Turkey that knits up beautifully and quickly.

Stay Cosy Winter Swap

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It is winter here, and of course, time for a nice Stay Cosy Swap.  It was just a quick and comforting swap, as no knitting or crochet was needed, just the kind and warmheartedness of buddies swapping something warm and cozy, with would mean Yarn, of course, and something nice and warm to drink.  My buddy likes coffee, so I got her a lovely toffee flavoured coffee to enjoy and my favourite Dutch cookies (Koffieleutjes).  And since she has recently indulged in knitting her first pair of socks, I could not resist sharing a pretty sock pattern with her.

Winter Cozy Swap Goodies

Winter Cozy Swap Goodies

But since I was in the yarn store to get her some Alpaca, which was on her list, and she has never knitted with it before, I could not resist bringing some lovely Alpaca home for myself as well.  These lovely neutral colours just had to be part of my stash.

Rowan Alpaca Colour

Rowan Alpaca Colour

The yarn store also had some new goodies, like these super cute (fake) fur pompoms.  Not so widely available here, and I was lucky to come across these.  They also had a Sirdar Colourwheel, that I had not seen yet, and I opted for something cheerful, but not overly bright.  I think this cake will knit up pretty well into a comfy shawl for those very grey chilly winters days, when you just need to feel like Spring is around the corner.

And the lovely Sally at Yarnbling updated her store.  New Project Bags!!  The fabric of these are stunning, with butterflies and dragonflies.  I got a really huge bag this time, for those big projects.  And some notions bags to match.  She also had a few bags left in a previous range, and I ordered this stunning white bag with embroidered flowers on.  Just the right size for a lace shawl, or my sock projects.

Project Bags and Notions Bags

Project Bags and Notions Bags

I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the one little notions bag, and got these super cute stitch markers inside.  What a lovely surprise and way to spoil a person.  I love these small markers, they work so well on lace projects.

Stitch Markers

Stitch Markers

A little something different

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What do you do or give to two young arty people, that just about has everything they need?  That was what I was thinking about when I decided to make something for my daughter and son in law’s second wedding anniversary.  And it had to be modern enough to fit into a loft apartment in the city.  🙂

This is what I finally came up with.  It is their star constellations, embroidered and embellished with beads for the stars, and sequin and beads for the bigger stars.  I chose a hoop and attached a small black leather strap, as they have a round wooden mirror that hangs from a leather strap, in the bedroom.  Perfect match.  🙂

Embroidery - Wedding day Anniversary

Embroidery – Wedding day Anniversary

 

I ordered this stunning Scheepjes Yarn (Whirl) from BeInspired, as I simply loved it the moment I saw it.  This is Green Tea Tipple, not blue, but close.  🙂

Scheepjes Green Tea Tipple and Stormy Day Shawl

Scheepjes Green Tea Tipple and Stormy Day Shawl

I had to wrap my head around crocheting UK stitches / pattern, since I normally crochet and read patterns USA stitches when working on crochet items.  I am already getting the hang, and although progress is a bit slow, the darker colour is not to easy on the eyes when working at night, I am looking forward to moving into the lighter shades, and making faster progress.  I love this yarn, it is super soft, very light, and I am sure it will wear beautifully and be lovely and warm.

Rainy weekend.

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It has been a rainy weekend here.  I spent the time hibernating and knitting.  It was excellent weather to stay indoors and craft and create.  Not good light though for taking many photos of my knitting, but the wrap is receiving lots of love and attention.  I have ordered yarn for a crochet project, and it should be arriving today.  Yay.

So this is how it started on Friday afternoon, the rain and cold winds rolled in just as I arrived at the stores for delicious weekend goodies and warm snacks.

Big storms rolling in.

Big storms rolling in.

And on Sunday I spend a large part of the day having a Mother’s Day breakfast and shopping with my daughter.  The weather turned icy cold just as we arrived and it then rained some more, after raining the whole of Saturday as well. We spend the time well, shopping for winter beanies and warmers.  Breakfast was delicious and warm, and included lots and lots of very good coffee.

The mall is stunning, and I can never get enough of the architecture and beauty of the design.

Still wet and chilly.

Still wet and chilly.

Cold and wet and grey out there.  It is definitely winter here now, and I am very happy with the colder weather. The trees are turning colour, and soon everything will be covered with a blanket of leaves.  I love this time of the year.

 

Great timing

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Saturday morning dawned with with clouds and cooler weather.  But the end of the day surprised us with this stunning view.  The clouds reminded me of an oil painting.  This is the view from my kitchen, and I used no filters and no touch ups.

Sunset

Sunset

My Granny Square blanket now has a border, and just in time for the more chilly weather that rolled in on Saturday.  Even though the days are still pretty awesome, and gets warm enough to get by with just a light sweater, the mornings and evenings are now chilly enough for something warmer.

Granny Square Blanket

Granny Square Blanket

And with that said, I am very happy with the progress on my Stratus Wrap.  It is going to be a nice big and warm wrap and I can already tell that it is going to be with me wherever I go this winter.

Stratus Wrap

Stratus Wrap

Happy Crafting!

A quick update before a very long weekend. :)

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With the Easter weekend, I have been able to craft a bit on my WIPs’ and I am so happy with the Granny Square blanket that I am making.  The blanket squares have all been joined, and I am working on a border.  The border may take a bit longer, as I have decided to just keep going at it with the colours and wool I have for this project until I run out.

My Tanis Triangular Shawl is complete.  It blocked beautifully, and I would recommend this easy to knit shawl to anyone.  I am considering knitting a second one, and doing the large lace border, as I stopped after a short piece of the lace border, and although I love this shawl, I think another one is definitely a must knit.

I also started on a Stratus Wrap for myself.  This is a great pattern, and it is so easy and knits up so fast.  I am able to take it with me, and during the Easter weekend my sister and I enjoyed a good lot of knitting while the men in the family tended to the fire and a typical South African braai.  It will probably become a bit to big to carry around for much longer, but I have yarn and ideas for the next projects ready as well.  I added a spot of colour to the stratus wrap, specially since our Johannesburg sunsets are just so beautiful and you can not resist the evenings and the fiery colours.

Johannesburg Sunsets

Johannesburg Sunsets

I am working on a small embroidery piece and unfortunately the grey rainy chilly weather on the weekend was not so good for getting good pictures, it was a good time to hibernate with tea and stitching.  I will hopefully be able to show my embroidery soon.

It is a very short week for me, only 2 working days and a day workshop (work not craft related) and then a 5 day weekend.  LOL.  Yes I am ready for the long weekend here, and have loads and loads of projects and ideas to keep me busy, regardless of what the weather is bringing this time of the year.  It has started to become cooler, and some trees have now started to turn colour and drop leaves.  It is beautiful and I am so happy to have Winter coming to visit.

Take care and enjoy the new week.

Stitches Emporium @ Kyalami Corner in SA

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Last weekend was a lovely long weekend, and I was invited along to visit a new yarn shop that has just opened.

The new shop is in Kyalami, at Kyalami Corner, and although not close to my home, a very easy drive, freeway all the way there.

The lovely Gen, the owner of the store, treated us extremely well.  She has a large work table in the store, and there is coffee and tea if you are in the mood to linger and get creative.  Looking at her beautiful yarns and displays I would think many a shopper would be lingering for a while.

Stitches Emporium at Kyalami Corner in SA

Stitches Emporium at Kyalami Corner in SA

Stitches Emporium at Kyalami Corner in SA

Stitches Emporium at Kyalami Corner in SA

I came home with a stunning haul of goodies, and I can hardly wait to get another opportunity to take a drive out to the store again, for a cup of coffee and a chat and some stash enhancements.

Goodies from Stitches Emporium @ Kyalami Corner in SA

Goodies from Stitches Emporium @ Kyalami Corner in SA

 

We were wonderfully surprised with a free gift as well.  Just look at this pretty bag.  It is hand printed fabric, and beautifully lined.