Last swap for 2017

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Just joined my last swap for 2017.  How awesome.  A local to SA swap for the Festive Season.

Looking forward to spoiling a swap buddy with some festive cheer.

 

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Progress update.

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It has been a lovely hot weekend, and despite the heat and warm sunny days, I even got around to some knitting and crafting.  🙂

So just a quick update this morning of my progress:

My grey lambswool sweater is now in one piece, and it is so soft and warm.  I need to knit the neck and add a few finishing touches.

Grey Lambswool sweater - Progress

Grey Lambswool sweater – Progress

The shawlette I am working on, is as good as halfway there.  One or two more pattern repeats and I can start the decrease section.  Quick and easy, and the perfect kerchief for any winter sweater.

The best part of the weekend was to embroider on the candlewicking piece I am working on.  I just loved making all the little french knots in various thickness of threads.  Mostly using shades of blue.  Now on to the other last bit of embroidery, and then into its frame and on the wall.  🙂

Summer is stitching time

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Summer here has gone into the low 30 degrees C already, and it is only November.  It is going to be a very hot summer.

This is my daughter’s orchid, happily growing at my house.  It is blooming beautifully.

Summer Orchid Blooms

Summer Orchid Blooms

Summer also means less knitting, and more time doing something else.  I have started working on my mini bears, and have begun to work on Old Blu.  When I saw the little Bat Bear, I was lost and loved the little critter.  I decided to get him, as I know once the kits have been sold, many are not redone for sale again.  So better to get the kit, even if I only get around to sewing him later.

Mini Bears

When I visited the lovely Michelle at Honeydew Bears, she also had these pretty darlings.  Old Ned, which is beautiful, in green and red.  He is a cousin on Old Blu, and came to visit for the Holidays.  And no festive season is complete without a Christmas Elf.  🙂  The little Hope Angel, with the cutest little wings, is a limited edition for Breast cancer awareness.

Transferring the pattern onto the fabric for the little bit of old school Candlewicking did not take long at all. Now for a bit of french knots and colonial knots, with a bit of stitching here and there.

I am still working on my grey lambswool sweater.  All the knitting has been done, and it is off my needles.  Now to sew it together and add the neck details, which I think will be uncomplicated.  Keeping my fingers crossed to have something to show soon.

 

A lovely weekend.

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It has been a chilly cool weekend in Johannesburg, in the midst of our very hot Spring.  I did not mind the cooler weather much, as I put it to good use to work on my grey lambswool sweater.  It is starting to look like something.  The front is done, the back needs a few more rows and the sleeves needs final shaping.  I opted to not try and knit them all as one piece, as I have not knitted a sweater like that before, and the wool does not like being tinked or frogged.  So I stuck to what I know.  🙂

And finally the Konoha no Shawlette got cast on.  I’ve knitted this pattern a few years back, and gifted the shawlette to a swap buddy at the time.  I have been wanting to knit it again.  It is a lovely pattern that is easy to knit and follow.

My daughter and son in law were in Cape Town during the chilly weekend, and enjoyed lovely sunny weather.  They got around to visiting the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and the V & A Waterfront amongst others.  I got this absolutely delightful bag from the museum, just the right size to fit my shawlette project.  And it is even big enough to hold a pair of straight needles.  How amazing.

Zeith Musuem of Contemporary Art Africa

Zeith Musuem of Contemporary Art Africa

And of course, no visit is complete without a trip to Rain Africa on the V & A Waterfront.  This store is one of my favourites, specially when it comes to spoiling oneself.  They have a superb range of products, and I love the bath salts they have.  The fragrances and combinations are truly amazing.  I got a great selection from my daughter and son in law, and have already put the lovely pink one to good use.  It has an amazing fragrance.

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Heading for Summer

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October is coming to a close already.  How very quickly this Spring season has passed.  It is warm and sunny here in Johannesburg, and we had good rain on the weekend.

We were really fortunately to have stunning weather during the annual International Festival at work.  Each year we host a festival for all the students from outside South Africa that study here.  They then cook a meal from their country and share with us.  The food is amazing.  Each flag represents the students from that country.

With the warmer weather, I have been knitting a bit less on my grey sweater.  I did still get the sleeves long enough and am now ready to get to joining them all together.  Still not being able to just not be busy, I have knitted a few dishcloths, decided to  try my hand at making a small needle book, (it needed to have the corners starched to stay flat), and sorted my mini skeins into large jars.  Each jar got a crocheted doily for its lid.

Sweater progress

Sweater progress

And since I am still in the mood to stitch, I cut out the next mini bear.  Old Blu is already cut and ready for stitching.

Something I have not done for a very long time, is “candlewicking”  It is a type of embroidery.  I have opted to use a bit of colour, in shades if blue, and not stick to the traditional unbleached creamy colours.

Some stitching ideas being planned

Some stitching ideas being planned

And of course, despite all the busy crafty hustle and bustle Miekie is just relaxing and enjoying the sunny mornings in my bed.  That look simply says it all.

Miekie

Miekie

That time of the year! #stitchingsanta 2017 time!

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Looking at the calendar this morning, I realized that I have less than 8 weeks to work before I break for the Summer Holidays.  And I wondered where the year has gone!

But at the same time, it is #stitchingsanta time already too.

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This is one of my most loved swap to do each year.

The very talented Sheila at Sewchet arranges this awesome swap.  As always I am looking forward to this years swap too.  I met the most interesting lady last year via the swap, and we have kept in contact since.

I can not wait to see my possible swap partner will be, I have already got a few possible ideas of goodies to make.  🙂

From Germany with Love!!

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Along with my Danish / Peruvian yarns, I decided that my second order would have to be with Birgit Freyer of Die Wollust in Berlin.

I have been wanting to try out Schoppel Wolle for some time.  Whenever I saw these beauties being knitted, I could not keep away from the beautiful shades and colours they had.

I choose very carefully.  I would have chosen way to many if I could. I got a selection of stunning colours, in Laceball, Edition6 and various Zauberball.

De Wollust Berlin Germany

De Wollust Berlin Germany

But I wanted some of Birgit’s fine lace yarns too.  I spoiled myself with a very pretty sage silvery green lace yarn.  And a kit for a lace stole / scarf / shawl that is in the most beautiful colours.  I was gifted the pattern for the shawl, and it is so well written and easy to understand.

De Wollust Berlin Germany

Thank you Martin and Birgit, for making shopping with you (even from very far away) such a lovely and warmhearted experience.

 

 

Peru to Copenhagen to Johannesburg

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That is the trip these pretty skeins of yarn took.

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

I “met” Marianne of Frisenvang via the great wide web.  It all started when I started to follow Marianne’s journey to Peru on Instagram.  I loved learning about the alpacas and the breeders and the yarns that they produce.  All done naturally and sustainable.  It was absolutely amazing to see all the gorgeous pictures.

I wanted to order yarn, but was wary of getting a package with such precious goodies via the postal service, as I was worried it may get lost.  So when my son in law announced that he may be working in Europe this year for a bit, I quickly asked him if he would not mind bringing home a few skeins and balls.  He smiled and said yes, of course, knowing that he would be getting a hand knitted beanie or two for his effort.

I placed just two orders.  The first one was off course with Marianne of Frisenvang.  (I will tell you about the second order in a separate post)  Selecting just a few was extremely difficult.  Every skein looked prettier and softer than the other.  And the shades of brown that was available were just as stunning.  But in the end I settled for a blue and green order.

I placed the order and the payment was a breeze.  The yarns were packed and shipped within a day.  How super excited I was.  But I had to be patient.  The yarns went to Antwerp in Belgium, where my son in law got them.  Then they travelled to Germany (Hanover, Einbeck, Hamburg) with him where he was working and finally the took a long train ride to Amsterdam and a flight to Johannesburg.

They arrived safe and sound.  And I got a lovely postcard with the beloved alpacas, breeders and yarns.  I put the postcard up at my office.  And Marianne sent me a collection of samples too.  Oh so very tempting.  The browns and greys are so lovely.

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

The texture of the yarns that I received is amazing.  They are super soft and has a wonderful feel between your fingers.  The blue yarn is slightly thinner and more delicate.  I have a pattern for a scarf that I got from Marianne a little while ago, that I may use for some of these.  But every pattern I look at now looks like it is just perfect for casting on with either of the two colours.

I will probably start something with them around Fall, as it is heading into summer here now and I am crocheting a bit more than knitting.

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

Frisenvang Copenhagen Denmark

And incase you are wondering what my son in law was up you 🙂   He was invited as a South African Street Artist (Graffitti) to Einbeck in Germany to partake in the StreetArtMeile.  The piece he did is 9,02m high and 4.9m wide. One storey off the ground. (3.78m)  Here he is in action, and the finished piece, super cute and colourful turquoise goldfishies and a big shark!  I am so very proud of him.

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Orchid Flower Show

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When Spring is here, it is just so amazing.  I got to visit the Orchid Flower Show held at the Flora Farm in Boksburg.

These orchids are truly stunning.  The colours range from pure snowy white to a nearly black purple.  I am stunned by the natural brown flowers, and such masses of them too.

Here are just some of the flowers and award winners at the show.

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Orchids of Show

Orchids of Show

Orchids of Show

And of course, no show visit is complete without bringing some pretty ones home too.

Pink Orchids

Pink Orchids

Spring Time.

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It has been September, and a beautiful Spring.  The temperatures got warmer.  Much warmer than I would have expected.  Some days actually felt a lot more like Summer, and we had a odd day or two with temps as high as 30 degrees C.  We did have a few chilly morning starts as well, and with the weekend around the corner, we woke up this morning to a beautiful foggy day.

We celebrated our Heritage this month, and swapped packages.  I can now happily show off the goodies I sent to my buddy, and the amazing goodies (all SA) I got from a visiting German lady.  She loved the Heritage swap just as much as us all.  I sent my buddy mini skeins, stitch markers, dutch biscuits, coffee, fudge and treats.  And since she also has a furry baby, Miekie shared her best loved snacks too.

Heritage Day Swap

Heritage Day Swap

I got stunning yarn and mini skeins.  And my buddy even caked my yarn for me already.  🙂  It is on the worktable, I pet it every day.  And delicious coffee, and the cutest little tin with stitch markers too.  I popped the tin right into my current project bag, just in case.  Miekie got tiny treats, which is perfect for an older doggie with only a few teeth left.

Heritage Day Swap

Heritage Day Swap

 

I finally made my way to the Bryanston Organic Market.  I have been planning to go for a while, and each time something seems to happen and I don’t get around to this specific market.  It is not as close to my home as the others we normally visit.  What makes this one extra special, is that I could take Miekie along.  She loved it and got so very dusty and dirty.  It was a very hot Saturday, and not much of a breeze though.  The market has bowls of fresh water all around for the furry children to drink from.  Miekie rather enjoyed the home made ice creams more.

Bryanston Organic Market Shopping

Bryanston Organic Market Shopping

And Miekie and I got to meet the very talented Dana from Colourspun, who has a stall at the market.  I had a hard time deciding on what I want to get first, and settled for some soft summery colours in stunning sock yarn.  And a skein of beautiful lace yarn, just in case.  Dana also has the cutest selection of kits, including all kinds of pretty little animals, including giraffes, zebras and teddybears.  I loved the ombre kits, and I know I will be visiting Dana again to get one, at least.

It is less than three months before Christmas, and I got to see the first Christmas display already.  This one was huge, and so much to see.  Even though very early, it was so pretty I did not mind at all.