It is Easter Weekend, and I did a little “Easter Tree” for the home, with some chocolate eggs and ducks.
Happy Easter to all that celebrates this holiday.
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.
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