Bloglovin, google reader, etsy and so forth

Hello! I have been largely ignoring the web furor regarding the axing of Google Reader from 1 July 2013. That is, until this morning, when I took a hike through Bloglovin land, coffee in left hand, Baktus WIP on lap and reading glasses resting on my nose. I love Bloglovin, it is a friendly, modern space and I realised that this was where I prefer finding new blogs and content to feed my hooky interests.

Bloglovin is currently referring to a few articles advising readers on how to Keep your Google Reader Subscribers.  Well, it took me less than a minute to import all my readers into Bloglovin land.  It really is easy as pie - Click this button and follow the prompts.  It took me all of 60 seconds to  update Bloglovin with the blogs I follow via Google Reader.  MissDriftedSnowhite penned a great article about Bloglovin as Google Friend Connect Replacement.

Did you know that the African Flower was not designed by two South Africa ladies as so many hookers assume after the pattern was published in Afrikaans in a local magazine?  I too was under the impression that this is a unique South African design but during a conversation with Lauren Fraser of the fabulous Etsy shop 2ndlookvintage in April this year (I am nuts over her vintage handbag designs and posted about the patterns a year ago), she pointed out that it was known as the Paperweight motif and was created by Dorothy Neidhardt. 

The motif originally appeared on the cover and in an article titled "Gorgeous Granny Square Afghans" in the September 1986 issue of Woman's Day magazine published in the US. Lauren told me her mother owned a needle shop in California from 1962-1992 and she inherited a very worn copy of the magazine in which the pattern was printed from her.

Thank you for the info and conversation Lauren, I hope to be hooking your bags sooner rather than later.  Your shop is fabulous!


Pigtails Crochet Mag now available on Flipboard!

Pigtails Crochet Mag is now available on Flipboard (Download Flipboard for free - iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire & NOOK). Catch up on the latest news re all matter hooky, discover amazing things from around the world and stay connected with the craft!

Oh I love where social media & technology is takings us - uhm not that it is always that easy to stay on top of all the latest developments, but at least us bloggers try. I decided to try my hand at a mini magazine on Flipboard 'cause I don't like Twitter, can't be bother with Tumblr and Facebook Fatigue is setting in worldwide. If you have access to Flipboard, feel free to join my space.

Copyright is a territory that is becoming increasingly difficult to manage - please let me know if you see any of your postings flipped and would like me to remove the content.

Have a wonderful week, I see my friends in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying beautiful sunny days. It is sunny here too, but cool, winter, brrr. Cheers!


Mind the Gap!

Hah!  Anyone in need of a new set of chompers? 

Don't despair, in South Africa they sell these on the street corner of your nearest town! What on earth is the story behind this picture? (Apologies for the poor quality of the snapshot, sun shining from front etc and I snapped him after a split second decision)
Well, in South Africa there are peoples who prefer pulling their teeth to create an errrr  so called "passion gap"!!  Maybe this man from another ethnic group was taking advantage of the situation by selling teeth to those who decided they'd rather close said gap ;-)
Oh, you have to read these two articles, it is a fascinating culture and who knows what the truth really is all about, all we know is that there are a substantial number of peoples roaming the streets sporting selected toothless grins in South Africa!

The pics below are to show you what parts of South Africa look like. Many of these were shot through the windscreen during a roadtrip




Skinny Crochet Baktus Scarf

This is a sneak peek of my own version of the Baktus Scarf which is normally knitted and increased every 4 rows.  I am trying my hand at a skinny version and am increasing only every 8 rows (always on the same side so that one side is straight whilst the other increase and then decrease to form a triangle) 

Vinnis Bambi in Clouds
Vinnis Nikkim in Lime
Hook Size: 4,5
Stitch: single crochet

I will most definitely be blocking the scarf in order to achieve sharp sides. I am working in two different yarns, hence the slight unevenness at the moment. Hmmm I think it will be lovely and very wearable once finished. I promise to hook the next project in anything but green, in fact I am thinking of Raspberry pink for a change! 

A big hello also to all my new members, it is always great to connect with new hookers and crafters and I appreciate your interest. Thank you!


Joining Squares with Dc2Tog

What will a hooker be if she is not able to learn and display a variety of techniques? Without a career interesting crochet work that is for sure!

This hooker loves the creative process in joining squares as much as hooking the squares in the first place. There are so many different joining techniques to choose from - from flatter to decorative to textured joins - most which I still need to master. At first I thought that the flat braid would be a perfect choice for the raw rustic cotton bamboo throw, but I soon realised that this method is not suitable to the textured Bambi yarn I was using.  The Vinnis Bambi yarn called for a simple joining method in order to add structure to the project as well as showcase the yarn the best. I soon identified the Dc2Tog stitch as the perfect choice and what a pleasure hooking this method turned out to be!

Tanis Galik put a great video together demonstrating two different joining methods - the DC2Tog is explained from time 1,33 min - 3,12 min. The DC2Tog joining also added quite substantially to the size of the throw - hmmmm what's not to like about that!

 Lastly for all my friends living in the Netherlands - Vinnis Bambi is available to you via Scaapi! 

Photo: Scaapi

I used this specific Silver Green colour for my Little Woollie scarf (photo below) - it is a gorgeous colour. Happy shopping, it is the perfect yarn to work with during the European summer!


Raw Rustic Cotton and Bamboo Throw!

Good Morning from a sunny Mother Africa!  The Throw that I have been working on for a while ('cause I ran out of yarn and so did my supplier) is finally finished - well that is apart from the weaving in of ends that is still happening . . .  It is such a soft, beautiful throw and I enjoyed every minute of the process from selecting the colours to deciding upon the appropriate hook sizes, joining methods and edging. I have made about 4 different postings about this project over the past weeks and attach the links below where appropriate. 


The 70 squares are hooked in HDC
Ring: Ch5, close with ss. 
Row 1: Ch2 to form first stitch and then another 15hdc. Close round with ss. 
Rows 2-5: Ch2 to form first stitch and then 1hdc, 1ch, 2hdc (this is the first corner). Rest of the 3 corners 2hdc, 1ch, 2hdc. For the rest of the stitches between the corners: 1hdc in each. 
Repeat until there are 5 rounds in total.
See my posting On the Hook! where I blogged about the idea and stitches


 hand-dyed cottonbamboo and cotton-bamboo mix
See my posting titled Wabi Sabi for more about inspiration for projects and yarn choices

Joining Method

I absolutely fell in love with the joining method I used for this throw.  I will be writing more about the method in another posting and will also refer you to a YouTube tutorial by someone else that thoroughly showcases this easy but visually appealing method. 
At first I was interested in joining the squares via the flat braid method, but I realised that the method was not suitable to a highly textured yarn.


I tried out a lattice edge in two different sizes - 3 chains as well as with 5 chain lattice but discarded the effort as I felt a simple edging would be more suitable to the yarn. The final edging consist of 3 rows hdc in the bamboo/cotton yarn and one row sc in the cotton.  The hooksizes suitable to these yarns are 3,75-4,5 mm.  I however hooked the throw in 5,5 and 6,5 mm - using the 6,5 mm for the lightest in weight in order to achieve the texture I was after.


I steam blocked the squares in a rather rustic manner on a block made of nails and a rustic piece of wood 
See my posting titled Why I blocked all my squares for more information on the process

Stitch and Texture 

Squares in hdc, edging in sc
This throw is showcasing lovely texture by using a simple pattern, 3 different kinds of yarn and 2 different hook sizes.  It is lovely to say so myself and I am still playing with the idea of joining the squares with the flat braid pattern.
See my posting titled Progress where I blogged about the yarn and texture

I will post about the next wip on my hooks soon!  This time it is a modern looking Baktus stripey scarf in single crochet. I have a soft spot for the Baktus knitted scarfs that made the rounds among the Norwegian blogs a while back and designed a skinny version in single crochet to achieve the minimalist look I am after.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Dentelle Scarf

 Dentelle Scarf - pattern by Shara Lambeth
Yarn: Vinnis Serina 100% Bamboo in Light Turquoise
Hook Size: 4mm

I bought the felt brooch from a shop in Thamel, Kathmandu a few years ago

Wow I found myself in Hooky Heaven over the past week or two!  I love hooking scarves, it seems to be perfect projects for many different reasons - from keeping one's interest with regard to pattern, colour and yarn choice to being perfect additions to one's wardrobe. These also make fabulous gifts of course!

I enjoyed hooking this pattern - thank you Shara!


Incredible India

These are a few photos I took during a visit to one of the most sensory rich cultures in the world namely the Rajputs, people famous for their extraordinary chivalry. Rajashtan offers mesmerising landscapes of forts, havelis, palaces and villages dotted in the Thar desert. Jaipur was a city that both stole my heart and rendered me speechless and numb. The contrasts were overwhelming! 

Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur. The other images in the above collage were taken from and at the Monkey Temple

 Streetscenes, Jaipur