I haven’t posted anything here for quite some time, and there are many reasons, which I can’t and won’t go into now but I am writing today and what I want to share with you is a pattern for some wonderful reusable cleansing pads.
I’ve been trying to live more sustainably for quite some time now, mainly because the amount of plastic packaging material that exists in Germany is terrifying and the fact that Germany recycles is not actually something the country should be proud of! Not using plastic at all is the solution, so over the last few months I’ve changed to shampoo bars, I make my own moisturiser and even a tooth cleaning powder, which my daughter and I use. We both also have bamboo tooth brushes and I found – rather expensive – bamboo cotton wool buds online (I recently saw that the drug store I go to sells paper ones, so I’ll buy those once the bamboo ones are finished). I’ve also started using reusable cloth pad and a moon cup.
One thing that I didn’t have a real alternative for though was cleansing pads. Honestly, I also didn’t think they were that big of an issue, after all they are made out of cotton wool, right? However, the manufacturing process isn’t very environmentally friendly and hey, if you can use a reusable product rather than a throw away one, that’s a win, right?
So, yesterday I sat down and worked on a pattern. I showed it on my Instagram and Facebook page and some of you were interested in a pattern, so here it is…
You will need:
2 balls of ColourSpun 100% cotton aran weight yarn in the colours of your choice. This cotton is a chain plied yarn and is extremely soft, if you can’t get this type of yarn in your area look for a natural, non mercerised cotton with a gram to weight ratio of approximately 50g/62m.
4mm crochet hook
scissors and tapestry needle
I was able to make seven cleansing pads out of one ball and I still have quite a bit left from the ball with which I made the basket.
I am using US terminology
ch – chain
inc – increase
MR – magic ring
puff – puff stitch (*yo, insert hook and draw up a long loop* rep from * to * 3 more times, close with ch)
sc – single crochet
slst – slip stitch
rsc – reverse single crochet (this is worked like a regular sc but in the other direction. It can get a bit fiddly but it creates a lovely edge. Make sure you work quite loosely here! Insert the hook in the last stitch from the previous round, pull up a loop, yo and pull through both loops on the hook.)
yo – yarn over
To make the cleansing pad:
MR, secure with slst.
Draw the loop on your hook up to the hight of a double crochet and make one puff, 5 puff, pull MR closed and close with slst into ch of first puff.
Draw the loop on your hook up to the hight of a double crochet and *make one puff into the stitch directly above the puff, make the next puff into the space between the two puffs* ( you may have to use your fingers to move the puffs apart a bit, this also helps you avoid catching pieces of yarn from the puff), rep from * to * 10 more times. You should have 12 puffs in total. Use a slst to close the round.
NOTE: If you are using thinner yarn, you might want to make a third round, in order to make your cleansing pad larger. You will be repeating round 2 exactly as before but this time you will end up with 24 puffs at the end of the round.
Make a rsc into each stitch and between every puff. You will end up with 24 rsc. Cut the yarn leaving a good length to weave in the end pull the loop up so that the tail exits through the finished stitch.
If you are not a fan of the crab stitch you could make a row of sc alternated with 2ch instead. This will create a pretty picot edge similar to the reverse single crochet.
Weave in the ends.
MR, secure with slst.
Make 6 sc into MR, pull ring closed, slst round closed.
Ch1, 2 sc into each stitch (inc), slst round closed.
Ch1, (sc inc, sc) rep to end, slst round closed. (12 sts)
Ch1, (sc, sc inc, sc) rep to end, slst round closed. (18 sts)
Ch1, (3 sc, sc inc) rep to end, slst round closed. (24 sts)
Ch1, (2 sc, sc inc, 2 sc) rep to end, slst round closed. (30 sts)
Ch1, (sc inc, 5sc) rep to end, slst round closed. (36 sts)
Ch1, (6 sc, sc inc) rep to end, slst round closed. (42 sts)
You may have noticed that I did not place the increases in the same place on each round. This way of increasing creates a rounder form instead of a shape with six slight corners.
If you are using thinner yarn continue with this method of increasing until your base is big enough. The rule of increasing is quite simple: you need to increase by 6 stitches in each round.
Round 9 – 14 (6 rounds).
Ch1, sc in each stitch around, slst round closed. (42 sts)
Rsc in each st around. Cut the yarn leaving a good length to weave in the end pull the loop up so that the tail exits through the finished stitch.
If you are not a fan of the crab stitch you can use the same finishing round as for the cleansing pads.
I don’t use a makeup remover, I just use coconut oil, which works really well.
You can wash these cleansing pads in the washing machine. I would suggest placing them into a laundry bag, so they don’t get lost… like some socks 😉
I have been quite absent on the blog for a while. I just don’t have as much time as I used to have, with working three mornings a week but today I have an opportunity to catch up on some things. Eliana spent last night vomiting, so I’ve taken off work today and we are chilling out on the couch now.
I feel like I need to clarify some things, since quite a few of my readers seem to have missed out on some things.
Firstly, I know this blog has a .co.za address but two years ago in May we moved from South Africa to Germany, for various reasons. We live in Lower Saxony now, which is why you will have noticed that I am using more German yarns. I thought I’d use this post to show you a few photos of where we live and also some crochet things I’m working on at the moment.
So, that’s a little insight of where I am currently living. Now for some crochet and a bit of knitting.
And now onto some of the crochet things I’ve been working on…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
Chat soon <3
Oh my goodness!
I forgot to post the video for the chicken tutorial here! It’s been up on YouTube for a while now, I’m sorry!
Let me know if you would like me to add written instructions in this post.
There’s a left and right handed version 🙂
I also didn’t add Episode 11 of the podcast here, so I’ll put it in on this post <3
Left handed video.
Right handed video.
As promised, I am recording more frequently 🙂
Enjoy the episode!
Next up is a tutorial for the little chicken decoration and it will come with written instructions as well as a left and right handed video tutorial!
Since the podcast recording I’ve also completed my sweater and I adore it!
It’s so nice and warm and cuddly.
Dear blog friends,
I hope you enjoy this next episode of the podcast.
I have decided to discontinue the show notes but I will still add the videos to the blog so you can access them easily.
In this episode I talk about what I’ve been up to over the past two months and I share some changes to the podcast format with you.
I also mention an upcoming giveaway, which I will be running over on Ravelry.
In case you don’t watch the podcast; I’m planing on making more regular video tutorials as well as written tutorials on the blog. The podcast will, hopefully, also air every fortnight because I’ve realised that I accumulate far too many items between episodes.
So, that’s all for now but prepare for more regular updates <3
Hello lovely readers!
I’m sorry but I’m not going to be writing show notes for this episode at this moment.
we’re leaving on holiday tomorrow morning and I’ve still got quite a few things to do today.
Here’s a quick rundown of what I talked about:
I finished my Exploration Station and my Talisman shawl.
I also made a Monsoon Stole with the other ball of gradient yarn by Märchengarne.
I’m making a pair of socks with the leftover yarn from my Exploration Station, they have a slip stitch design on the front.
I started a Rosenkranz hat, which is a brioche knit hat. It made me pull my hair out quite a bit!
I talked a bit about my Last Dance on the Beach blanket, which I have kind of lost my cro-jo for 🙁
And last but not least I reviewed a book:
Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step by Tanya Shliazhko
If you’re in South Africa head on over to Penguin Randomhouse to find out where you can purchase the book.
I will do a proper review of the book on the blog once I’m back from holiday.
So, in the mean time, please do watch the podcast episode for more details on the projects I mentioned.
This post is going up a little after I uploaded Episode 7 of the podcast, sorry about that. Eliana is on holiday and time is scarce 😉
If you want to watch the podcast you can do so right here…
So, what have I been up to over the past month?
Quite a lot actually… which is why I’ll jump straight into it.
I finished a few things, first off, my Squishalicious Shawl by Julia Pehl of the Happy Knitting Podcast.
I used yarn from Das Mondschaf, it’s her glitter sock yarn in the Hanami colourway.
I loved making both these shawls. The Squishalicious was a really fun and easy knit and the textured stitch does truly make it very squishy.
I did end up unraveling the entire grey section of my Piha shawl again because it did turn out far too big and also far too deep. I love the border and, if you know the Piha shawl, you’ll have noticed that I did not do the tassel border. I don’t do tassels, so I was very glad that Alia included an alternative border. If you haven’t bought the pattern, go and buy it now. It is worth every cent. Not only does it include photo tutorials but also charts for each of the sections.
During July I also made a few quick projects, mainly for last minute gifts but also for our new addition, whom you’ve seen in the above photo.
We got a kitten at the beginning of the month. His name is Diego and obviously Diego needed a cat basket, so I made one for him using t-shirt yarn.
If you’d like to know how I made it you’ll have to watch the podcast because I explain the process in quite a bit of detail during the episode.
I made two large squishy heart pillows with a chunky Lana Grossa yarn for a set of twins, who’s birthday we went to recently.
I used my 20 minute 3D heart pattern, which is incredibly easy to adapt to any yarn weight as well as any size you like.
Then I made a few little chickens for a lady from the knit/crochet group I go to. I was invited to her birthday last week and he loves chickens.
I used Nurturing Fibres Eco-Cotton for the chickens and I will film a tutorial for them soon.
Of course I’ve got a few wips going too… as usual 😉
I have two knitted shawls on the needles, well, actually I finished my Exploration Station shortly after I filmed the last episode, and if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you’ll have seen it.
I used Das Mondschaf yarn for this too and I love how the colours work together. If you have bought this pattern but are waiting because you’re scared of it, don’t wait… it really is quite simple. Most of it is done just in knit stitch and the brioche is really actually quite easy, especially with Stephen’s video tutorials to help you.
The second shawl is my Talisman shawl designed by Helen Stuart of Curious Handmade. It’s going to be a beautiful shawl but I am finding it quite tedious to make, since it’s mainly knit and purl rows, with an occasional accent thrown in. It obviously doesn’t help that I’m making the large version in lace 😉 but I am going to finish it, slowly, slowly.
Then I started something else new, because that’s just how I am 😉
A few weeks ago a yarn company came to visit the knit/crochet group I attend.
The company is called Lilu’s Märchengarne and they specialise in gradient yarns which are made by winding three or four strands of thin cotton/acrylic thread in to cakes. The cake starts off in one colour and then after a certain meterage the first thread is changed to the next colour, then the second and so forth. It’s not the type of yarn I usually go for since it’s a 50/50 cotton and acrylic blend but I just had to try it out and really do like it.
I bought two cakes of three ply and, after seeing a Sophie’s Universe made with some of the yarn I decided to make one of my own.
I’m a bit further than shown in the photos, you can see my latest progress in the episode, if you like.
I truly love working on my Sophie and Dedri Uys is an excellent designer!
If’ you haven’t made a Sophie yet, get some yarn and start!
The second cake is going to become a Monsoon Stole, also by Alia Bland.
Lastly, I started yet another blanket, yes, I know…. I’ve got four on the go already! However, this one is a cosy memories blanket, which I’m crocheting with sock yarn leftovers.
So far I’ve got 10 squares done. I picked a lacy square design so I wouldn’t use too much yarn for the squares. I’m also joining them as I go along. I can’t wait to add more squares to it!
Lastly, I wanted to share some acquisitions with you…
The first is not yarn related. It’s a necklace made by Mummybird Pretties I’ve been following her on Instagram for a long time and have always wanted one of her necklaces but having lived in South Africa it was a bit expensive and shipping is always a problem. So when I saw she was having a sale I just went to have a look and found something I really liked.
I only ordered the necklace but apparently it took a bit longer than usual for Claire to ship it, so she included the key chain as well, as an apology.
Lastly, I ordered some more yarn, unfortunately I don’t have a photo, but I suggest you watch the episode to see how lovely it was packaged.
The company is called Woll Exclusiv and I met her at the H&H Expo earlier this year.
She specialises in high quality natural fibres and she has some lovely fibre combinations, such as Camel Silk and a Merino, Mulberry silk and Ramie combination. She sells mainly over Facebook and her yarn is definitely not cheep but the quality is amazing and the colourways are exceptional.
Here’s a photo to show you a sampling of her colours.
Well, that’s it for today… I’ll let you know when the chicken tutorial is online.
Happy crafting <3
As promised I filmed another episode in June for you 🙂
I hope it doesn’t come across as too disjointed. I was interrupted quite a few times by phone calls and people, including Eliana, who was home sick. She makes a few background appearances and says hello later on in the episode.
Right, what have I been up to since I chatted to you last?
I finished the socks for Conrad!
They took forever!
Because he wears a size 46, or US 11/12!
I end up with 80 stitches on the needles and I just run out of patience after a while. I do like how they turned out though. The pattern is Driftwood by Mina Philip and it’s from her Beyond Vanilla collection (Part 1). I used Drachenwolle yarn in the Supernova colourway and I love how the yarn looks different with and without the pattern.
I’ve also (almost) caught up with my Scheepjes Last Dance on the Beach CAL squares.
The squares and the socks have been the only things I’ve been working on since I last posted.
My WIPS haven’t changed much, although I have woven in most of the ends on my Greg blanket squares. Once they are all done I can carry on making more squares and finishing the blanket off.
Talking about weaving in ends… I take my squares to knit group with me and use that time to weave in the ends (or I work on something simple, like socks). Otherwise the chances of having to unravel everything when I’m back home are too great.
So, that brings me to unravelling…. haha! Remember the Piha shawl I’m crocheting? The one where I misread the pattern? And then I said, no, it’ll be ok. I won’t need to re-do it all?
Well, guess what I did the evening after I filmed the last episode…
Yup! I unraveled it because I tried it on and the point came past my hips already, which is not the look I want in a shawl! So, I did work on that too for a bit and it’s pretty much back to the same amount of rows as it was in Episode 5 but it now has the correct shape.
While we’re on the topic of shawls… I’ve started another knit shawl (one can’t have too many shawls, right?)
It’s Julia Pehl’s Squishalichious shawl, which is for sale on Ravelry.
I’m using glitter sock yarn in the Hanami colourway by Das Mondschaf (I’m a bit enamoured with Das Mondschaf, as you’ll see later 😉 ). Anyway, I just had to make the Squshalichious with this yarn because Julia made one of her sample shawls in the same colourway and I love the way it looks.
In terms of design work, I’ve not got much to show.
I need to type up the Frosted Breath shawl pattern so I can get that out to testers and I’ve been playing with briochet again. I’ve finally perfected the method, so now I just need to wait for my friend Regina to finish moving back to Cologne so that she can dye the yarn I have in mind for the project I’m planning.
Talking of brioche… the reason I went back to experimenting with the brioche is the fact that Sally, of the Wooldiaries podcast, is making an Exploration Station, a pattern that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. That got me thinking about the briochet again… and also about making an Exploration Station for myself.
I ended up buying yarn specifically for the pattern from Das Mondschaf. It took me quite a while to pick four colours but the website made it easier because there’s a ‘recently looked at’ section at the bottom of the page, which means you can see the last four things you looked at next to each other. A very helpful feature for when you want to check how well colours will work together.
I love the colours I picked and am really impressed with the yarn. It’s super soft and squishy and the colours are vibrant and saturated.
I’m using Einhorn Pups, First Kiss, Leela and a neon yellow, which will be the contrast colour running through the whole shawl.
She only knit parts 1 and 2 and then stitched then ends together to make a closed object. I think it looks fabulous and went stash diving for two skeins that might work. I picked a skein of Haut Knit Yarn in Silence, a white, grey and black colourway, which I was given as part of a swap and a skein of Das Mondschaf in Pinkman, a pink and black colourway.
I also joined Helen Stuart of Curious Handmade‘s The Shawl Society, thanks to The Happy Knitting Podcast and Little Bobbins! Who spoke about it in their most recent episodes. I love the look of the Talisman shawl and so ‘bit the bullet’ and bought a copy.
If you like knitting shawls I think it’s a great idea. You will receive an exclusive shawl pattern, one per months, for six months. In Euro that works out to around four Euro per pattern.
I initially wanted to use a skein of lace weight single yarn also in the Einhorn Pups colourway but then thought about the circular shawl I’m busy knitting without a pattern. The shawl is already quite large and I haven’t used much of the yarn. I really want to make something with the yarn that will use all of it, and the large version of the Talisman uses 800 meters of lace weight yarn. Perfect for the Hartlam Street Racer that I have :).
I am planing on designing something with the Einhorn Pups single and potentially combining it with some Malabrigo Baby Alpaca singles I received at Christmas. The Einhorn Pups is a 70/30 Merino Silk blend, which I think would be quite lovely combined with the Baby Alpaca.
I bought a little pattern book of lace crochet patterns, which I want to make a few things out of. I mainly bought it for the lovely shawl on the cover, which I think will be my next crochet shawl, once I’ve finished the Piha shawl.
Oh, I also wanted to show you the Das Mondschaf yarn which Heidi picked as her prize for winning the shawl naming competition.
She picked a DK Alpaca yarn in the Neptune colourway. It’s gorgeous and so very soft. I’m not sure what you’re going to make with it in boiling hot Darwin, Australia but if all else fails you can just put it on a shelf as an ornament to cuddle occasionally 😉 I’ll send it to you ASAP.
There was a question in my Ravelry group about yarn and whether some yarns untwist when crocheting….
I must be honest and say that I have only had that issue once, when I was centre pulling Vinnis Colours yarn. I eventually contacted Vinni, not because of the untwisting, which I didn’t actually have an issue with but because of several terrible yarn barfs. She replied by saying that her yarn is not suitable for centre pulling and since I’ve stopped doing that I haven’t had any untwisting issues.
Having said that, I know some people do have issues with untwisting and I think that maybe I’m lucky because I am left handed and I also knit funny ( through the back loop for a normal stitch and through the front for a twisted stitch).
There was a lot of discussion about untwisting in the Scheepjes CAL Facebook group and the simple solution given in the group was to start using the yarn from the other end of the skein, this will stop the yarn from untwisting.
Lastly, I want to chat to you about Ravelry Project Pages.
This topic is quite important, especially for us designers and I myself, as a knitter, am terrible at it, so I will try to be better in future.
The reason I am mentioning Project Pages is because I have been having an email conversation with a crocheter who made my Rhino pattern recently. She had a problem getting the neck opening right and I helped her with that. She sent me photos of the competed Rhino, which I loved and I asked her to please add a Ravelry project page.
She replied that she didn’t know how to do this, and didn’t know what the point was.
I told her how to add a page, which is very easy btw!
And then explained the following:
Project pages help designers to spread the news about their patterns.
They also help crafters to decide whether or not the pattern is for them. Especially since the projects will show alternative colour options and combinations, as well as yarn substitutions. This information is critical to designers because we ourselves can’t make endless amounts of samples in uncountable colourways and combinations.
The yarn substitution is also important for those living in areas where not all yarn are available. It gives an insight into what yarns will work as substitutes to unsure crafters.
Pattern notes can also be helpful when it comes to alterations for better fit, for example if you have a very long upper body or are short but big busted. If you add notes on how to adapt the pattern for a better fit others can then follow your notes too.
Lastly, we, as designers, love seeing how you interpret our designs, and Ravelry Project Pages are an easy way to check this. For every design listed on Ravelry there is a Projects tab which shows all the made objects for that design.
So, please add your projects to Ravelry, even if you just upload a photo and list the yarn you used.
And I promise I will start adding project pages of my own.
That’s all for now.
Enjoy your crafting!
<3 <3 <3
So, it’s June already!
I did say I was going to podcast once a month but the May episode has been slightly delayed because I wanted to announce the shawl naming competition winner in this episode.
That means I’ll be recoding another episode later this month 🙂
I’ve worked out how to embed the video directly into the blog (yay!), so you can watch it right here, without having to leave the blog!
Those of you who don’t want to watch the video, or those who are looking of more info about patterns, yarns etc mentioned in the podcast, feel free to read on.
I’m currently working on quite a few wips, three blankets (the Cathedral Window Throw, Greg blanket and the Last Dance on the Beach Scheepjes CAL).
I’m rather behind on the Scheepjes CAL and haven’t touched my Cathedral throw or Greg for quite some time. Well, I’ve woven in ends on my Greg squares, but I haven’t added any new ones…
I’m on week 4 of the Scheepjes CAL but I’m not to fazed about being behind since I want this to be a relaxing project, one where I think about Marinke during the process.
I’m also taking my time to think about which colours to use because I’m treating this blanket in the same way as I did my Succulent blanket (the first Scheepjes CAL and also designed by Marinke). I decided to treat this blanket in the same way because Marinke really liked my take on the blanket and it’s another way to draw the two blankets together and remember a dear friend.
When I filmed the podcast I only had two squares of week 4 done, now I have three, so I’m slowly getting there 😉
My other wip is the Piha shawl, designed by The Little Bee. A gorgeous triangular shawl. I’m using a discontinued single ply lace weight yarn from Nurturing Fibres and combining it with another lace weight single from ColourSpun. Both are South African yarns from my stash. The shawl is designed for sock weight yarn but I didn’t have any I wanted to use for this shawl, so I went with the lace.
I did misread the pattern and in the video you can see that the shape is almost heart shaped instead of triangular.
I wasn’t going to rip it out (because of the lace weight single!) but the evening after podcasting I did rip it back because it just didn’t look nice.
My last wip is a pair of boats (I mean socks) for Conrad. He wears an SA size 11/12 and a European size 46, so he’s got massive feet! I’m knitting them two at a time toe up, as usual but I started by casting on 24 stitches and inrceased that to 80 stitches using 2.5mm Addi Lace circular needles. Yarn is Drachenwolle in the Supernova colourway. The pattern is Driftwood, which is one of Mina Philip’s new patterns from her Beyond Vanilla collection and it’s really fun to knit.
So, now for the shawl naming winner…
It was really difficult to pick a name because all the suggestions were lovely!
I did remove suggestions of people who are not part of the Ravelry group from the thread because the winner had to be a group member!
I eventually decided to go with HeidiWahl’s suggestion of Frosted Breath because it’s what spoke to me most.
Congratulations Heidi! You’ve won a skein of Das Modschaf yarn of your choice, to the value of 20 Euro and the yarn for your own Frosted Breath shawl from Adelé! Please send me an email so I can give you all the details!
I’ve also decided on gifting everyone who entered the competition a copy of the shawl pattern, once it is released.
Now onto finished objects.
I finished three things which you haven’t seen before, unless you follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
The first is the Raindrops Shawl, which is a knitted shawl designed by Christina Wall. Both her and Sally of the Wooldiaries podcast are hosting a KAL for the shawl at the moment. I used my Wollmeise in the Mäuseballet colourway on 4mm circular needles for the shawl. It’s a lovely easy knit perfect for beginners who want to do a bit more than just knit and purl.
The second thing I finished was a pair of socks for Eliana. The pattern is called Spring Ecstasy and it’s a lovely cable pattern that forms a climbing vine up the side of the sock. There’s also a little pattern above the heel, which was a bit tricky to work out because I used a different heel from the pattern but I like the result.
The yarn is from Katja and is a cotton, wool blend.
Lastly, I made Eliana a Twilight Sparkle My Little Pony using Scheepjes Catona.
I changed a couple of things from the pattern: Instead of using iron-on fabric for the eyes and cutie-mark I crocheted the eyes and embroidered the cutie-mark. I also changed the wings because the wings in the patten were a bit boring for m liking.
I love this cotton yarn, even though it is mercerised. I usually find mercerised cotton very hard but this is surprisingly soft, plus it’s available in little 25g balls which are totally squishable and cute and perfect for trying out the yarn without breaking the bank 😉
Acquisitions for this month was more South African yarn and the Scheepjes Catona.
I don’t have photos of the South African yarn but it’s Oriole and an Aran weight, custom dyed single ply from Linda’s Tree House, as well as my swap yarn from Sally, which was a sweater quantity of Vamp Red from Yarn Stash.
Sally also included a lovely project bag!
Oh, and a lovely basket full of Scheepjes Catona yarn for two My Little Pony’s.
Lastly, I’ve got some exciting news… over the next few months I’ll be reviewing some crochet books for Penguin Random House SA.
And that’s it for this time already… enjoy your crafting <3
Herewith the blog post to accompany my most recent podcast episode.
If you would like to watch the podcast you can find it here.
I do apologise for the poor picture quality but the light just disappeared on me 🙁
To begin with, I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this or not but you may have noticed that I moved to Germany. I definitely did mention that before, but I haven’t spoken about where exactly in Germany I am.
So, we live in Lower Saxony in a little town called Hahnenklee. When I say little, I’m not kidding. There are just over 1000 inhabitants in Hahnenklee and we don’t even have a gas station or proper grocer store here.
The upside is that we are living in a bikepark, with beautiful views. It’s also very quiet here, well, between 18:00 and 9:00 when there aren’t any visitors 😉
If you would like some insight into my personal life you’re more than welcome to follow my private profile on Instagram but please send me a Ravelry message first, so that I know who you are because I don’t accept people I don’t know on my private profile. I post quite a few photos of my daughter on there, and I don’t want random strangers to see them.
I’ve decided to change the podcast format a little. So far I’ve managed to film one episode a month, wich is what I’ve decided to stich to for now. I’m too busy with other things to film once a week… I teach English to senior citizens (50+) twice a week. I found a knitting group! Which I would like to attend regularly, so that takes Wednesdays out of the picture, and on Tuesday and Friday mornings I would like to spend some time riding my bicycle. As you can see this doesn’t leave much room for much else on a week morning, which is the only time I can do these things since Eliana is at kindergarten.
If you would like to keep up with me more regularly please follow me on Instagram or Facebook and join the Ravelry group to chat and ask questions.
I’m most active on Instagram and Facebook but if you all become more active in the Ravelry group I will definitely join in on the fun there 😉
But now on to what I’ve been up to over the past month…
As the name suggests, this is a crochet blog, the same with my podcast. However I do knit and knitting to me is my relax time. I usually knit from a pattern and I have no desire to become a knitwear designer but I do really enjoy it and will continue sharing my knitting with you. The focus will still remain on my crochet though and you will get to see mainly original designs from me, since that is what I do: I design crochet patterns.
So, lets get a bit of the knitting out of the way and then move onto the crochet.
I don’t have any finished objects at all at the moment.
Well, my first knit project WAS a finished object but I unraveled it back to the heel because it didn’t fit nicely on my leg.
I like quite a high sock, as you can see from the photo, and I just didn’t increase correctly the first time. I’ve now got it all figured out, in terms of stitch count etc, and will use the same numbers for any other pair I make.
The yarn I used is from Hartlam, who is a South African Indie dyer with an incredible sense of colour. This is her Tulbagh sock yarn, a 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere blend in the colourway Fire in the Sky. I’m using 2.5mm Addi lace needles, which I adore, and I’m knitting them toe up and two at a time. The pattern is Nutkin and I used the Fleegle Heel from the Time Traveller sock pattern.
My second knit project is also in Hartlam yarn, but this time in the Street Racer colourway on the Darling Lace base which is a 70% alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere blend. It is so soft and squishy!
This is the yarn I spoke about on the first podcast episode. I knew I would knit this because the colour changes are too close together and I didn’t want to end up with a muddy mess in crochet.
Some colourways are just better for knitting.
I’m making a very simple semicircular shawl using 3.5mm Addi Premium needles. I don’t like these as much as the lace needles as the tip is much blunter. They definitely don’t work well for lace!
I want to use as much of the cake as possible but it is 800m of yarn, so I’ll see. It is going to be a really lovely and light shawl though.
Now onto crochet!
I am still working on my Cathedral Window Throw and my GREG (no longer a) mystery CAL blanket but they have been neglected a bit.
Luckily Sally (Wooldiaries) is hosting another round of #blanketmadness this week on Instagram, so I’ll be catching up a bit on those.
I did start a new design recently, in fact it’s pretty much finished now, just needs to be properly blocked now.
It’s a Tunisian and ‘regular’ crochet semicircular shawl.
I did block sections of it as I was designing it but it needs a final wash and block.
The yarn is Adelé’s Mohair, another South African brand. The reason I used this yarn is, quite simply, because I met Adelé at the H&H Cologne before Easter when I helped her run her stand at the expo.
The H&H is a huge hobby and craft expo, but not for hobbyists. It’s a major expo for suppliers to show off their products to stores. So, if you have a hobby shop, whether it be for yarn or fabric, this is the expo for you to find new products.
I enjoyed the expo but it was also quite draining. There were so many people and having to engage with them for four days straight, not getting much sleep at night and being on your feet most of the time is a bit hard.
I would definitely do it again though.
Adelé’s speciality is, as the name suggests, mohair. Most of it is hand spun and all of it is hand dyed. She has 96 colours in her range, which is quite a feat for a hand dye business.
For the shawl I didn’t use one of her mohair yarns though. I used her 100% superwash merino skinny wool. It’s a beautiful soft single which is perfect for lace shawls, as you can see.
I’ve been wanting to design a Tunisian/crochet shawl for a while now.
I love Tunisian crochet and wish more people would use it but I think the majority are put off because it seems so complex.
Which is why I decided to use short rows in this shawl. That way you can use a normal crochet hook, as long as it has a long straight shaft. No need to buy an extra long, uncomfortable Tunisian hook. I used my KnitPro Symfonie Tunisian hook, it works like an interchangeable knitting needle, with a cable that is screwed onto the end of the hook.
This shawl just flew off the hook. It cam so easily and naturally and I just adore how it looks!
Now… I need your help!
I need a name for this shawl and there’s a prize in it for you.
I will open up a thread in the Ravelry group where you can enter your name suggestions. I want something a bit etherial and light, if that makes sense? The name should also not have the word Tunisian in it.
The prize will be a skein of yarn. I will give further details on the prize in the Ravelry thread for the competition, so please head on over to the group and join in on the fun!
Lastly, I have some acquisitions and two books I would like to chat about.
My first purchase is this lovely project bag, made by my friend Regina of the HerbstblattRegina podcast.
You can find her project bags, and hand dyed yarn (SOON!) in her Etsy store.
This bag is a cotton canvas bag. It’s not lined but extremely sturdy and very well made.
When Regina announced that she was starting to dye yarn too I sent her a message to tell her that she would probably bankrupt me soon, since all her creations are so beautiful!
The next thing I purchased was this beautiful skein of Rohrspatz & Wollmeise yarn in DK.
I bought a skein for Sally and she bought me some South African yarn but I just could not resist getting a skein of this for myself!
It’s exactly my colours… pinks, greys and blacks.
I’m also doing a swap with another friend in South Africa, for whom I bought the most beautiful DK yarn from Drachenwolle.
Obviously I won’t show you that skein but I bought three more skeins of sock yarn for myself because their yarn makes excellent socks. It is sturdy and the colours are amazing!
This will become a pair of socks for Conrad because he loves these colours!
I need to still find the perfect pattern for these two skeins (and finish my Nutkin socks- again!) but I can’t wait to cast these on!
My last purchase was a big one but it was one I couldn’t not make!
In case you didn’t know, the new Scheepjes Wol CAL started last Wednesday. It is called Last Dance on the Beech and is a commemorative CAL for Marinke, who lost her battle with depression last year on 26th June.
I knew I would buy the Luxe kit because I am a yarn snob and don’t like working with acrylic and also because I wanted to make the CAL as special as possible.
I chose a Dancing in the Rain kit because the other two colour options had some greens and yellows in them which I didn’t like at all.
I ended up bying my kit from Caro’s Atelier, a Dutch company, because the company I had initially wanted to buy from didn’t have their act together on the morning when the kits were made available (sorry for them!).
I’m glad I bought from Caro’s Atelier though, the service was fantastic and there was no shipping fee BONUS!
AND I received a little gift from them as well. They included a glas tea mug, two bags of tea (earl grey and rooibos), as well as four small chocolates.
Thank you for the awesome service! I can highly recommend this store, for those of you who are living in the EU!
Thank you too, to Nerissa, who sent me to them! I met Nerissa at the H&H and follow her on Instagram too.
She also has a blog and designed one of the squares for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL.
Lastly I want to chat about two books.
The first is my go-to crochet bible: Robyn Chachula’s Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia.
This book teaches you everything you need to know about crochet, from simple stitches to cable, lace and colour work patterns.
There’s also a section about short row lace patterns, such as Bruges lace; Solomon’s knots; Tunisian stitch patterns and lastly granny squares, hexagons, flowers and snow flakes.
There is also a section on joins for squares and edging stitches, as well as a comprehensive stitch diagram guide and stitch glossary. Each stitch pattern comes with written and charted instructions, as well as a photo of the crocheted pattern.
If this is the only book you buy you’ll have made a good choice 😉
The second book is Marinke Slump and Anita Mundt’s Crochet Mandalas.
This book is beautiful. Unfortunately it was published after Marinke’s death so she never saw it but she would have been so very proud!
The layout is totally unique and the patterns range from barefoot sandals, brooches and rings, to mandals, rugs and shrugs.
What makes it even more special, and bitter sweet, is the fact that Marinke’s sister, Tink, was the model.
So, if you want to spoil yourself with a feast for the eyes do go and buy this book and have fun making the gorgeous designs.
Take care and happy crocheting, knitting, spinning or what ever other crafty things you do <3