What a scarf!

A gorgeous Winter Scarf in locally produced hand dyed wool for an equally gorgeous old school friend
Pattern: Saint-Malo by Cath-e-design, Ravelry
Hook Size: 5mm
Scarf Size: 220cm
Yarn: cowgirlblues 100% wool, hand dyed, colour Silver Fox

This yarn is terrific, another smashing product available to South Africans! I bought the same colour from two different dye lots (on purpose I daresay), resulting in two of the skeins being lighter than the others. I used the lighter skeins in the single stitch rows and absolutely love the subtle play on the pattern as a result. I bought my yarn from Beatrix - see her Facebook Page and Blog for more details.

Because I am used to working in Bamboo and Cotton Yarns that yield a softer drape, I initially struggled to settle on a pattern. I needed a sensational pattern to suit the unique qualities of the cowgirlblues. I tried the stunning Muirlands Cowl, the Tall and Wavy Stitch, the Wavelength, and the Vega Crochet Cowl, before I finally felt happy with the look and feel of the Saint-Malo Pattern.
The frogging even had Captain America in a state!


Freakin' Brilliant!

I used the seamless join technique on the last round of each square for the Moroccan Inspired Throw. This is brilliant!  For super neat, seamless joins, see the tutorial by Sarah London.

Thank you Tanya for including me in your 5 Things I love Saturday posting. Your Little Things Blogged blog is brilliant! So many ideas, such inspiration.

I've got a hankering, a HANKERING I tell you for walking the isles of IKEA again.
IKEA is targeting space poor hipsters with their newly released space saving collection.
We are neither hipsters nor (space) poor, but I just asked The Husband to get me these. 
Brilliant for organising my WIP, hooks and yarn! 

I met up with three super talented ladies this week. Cornel from I love pom-poms blog and the Craft Share get togethers gave me this Freakin' Brilliant stamp. Thank you, it is a winner!
I also met Elsbeth Eksteen, she is a brilliant artist! Take a look at her blog and Purl and the Woodpecker Facebook page.

This old tin mess plate is serving as the background for all the photos I have been taking for the Moroccan Inspired Throw.  Don't you think it makes for a brilliant background? 

I use this Apple SD card reader almost every day. It is included in the Apple Ipad Camera Connection Kit and I use it to import photos directly from the camera's SD card to the ipad for editing on Snapseed.  Brilliant!

Have a fun weekend


A French Affair

Pierrot Yarns produced in Ichinomiya City Japan
Pont du Gard 100% French linen, fingering weight
Non itchy, but stiff and crisp
To be turned into Sophie Digard inspired jewelry once I am settled in Doha, Qatar
Bought from I Love Yarn, a new yarn store located in a beautiful house in Pretoria, filling a huge gap in the market by catering for those of discerning taste

Photos of interiors by Petra Bindel with Lo Bjurulf
Photos of yarn my own, edited on Snapseed, collages created with the Moldiv App
uploaded on Google Drive rather than the less reliable iCloud

The Cat had some fun with my precious yarn (below) one night, it looks worse for wear but is thankfully undamaged

Flashback: 1999 Nogent-le-Rotrou where we attended 
the wedding of my French friend and her South African sweetheart
Left: Myself nearly 6 months pregnant with The Teen; 
Middle: Hair tied up, enjoying Paris sightseeing
Right: the (very young looking) husband and I taking a romantic stroll just outside Nogent-le-Rotrou

Enjoy your weekend!  I am still working on the Moroccan inspired throw and have to say that I am really very pleased with how it is turning out.


Moroccan Inspired Throw for my Dad

Throw in progress inspired by Zellige terracotta tile work as seen in Moroccan Architecture, especially the cities of  Fès and Meknes. In this ancient art form, terracotta tiles are covered in enamel and chips are set  into plaster to create the most beautiful geometrical patterns. The art of Zellige dates back to the 14th century and was historically a statement of luxury (homes) and sophistication (inhabitants).

Yarn:   Vinnis Nikkim and Vinnis Bambi. I am using 16 different shades of blue and grey with old gold as an accent to lift the palette.  The squares and the throw will be edged in Stone.
Each square measures 17x17cm

Pattern:   Circle of Friends (Ravelry by Priscilla Hewett) or PDF Link

Tip: Remember to turn around the work for the bobble rows, the wrong side should face you so that the bobbles are pushed to the front (right side). All other rounds are hooked as usual. 

Thank you for the e-mails I have received regarding this project.  I have amended the posting to include a link to the PDF pattern in addition to the Ravelry link and also added a tip above.  Rachele of BabyLoveBrand demonstrates an interesting joining method for this square.  I will not be using this method, but it is beautiful nonetheless. Since I would like to stay as close as possible to a Zellige look and feel, I will simply single crochet around each square as per original pattern and join with a slip stitch at the back.

This is a very, very special throw. I am making it for my (still highly active) dad for his 70th birthday.  He loves fiddling with his fingers and I chose a pattern with texture as I know he will rub and roll the bobbles between his fingers all the time. He absolutely loves blue and furthermore has a great passion for measurements and figures. It is second nature for him upon entering any space to immediately calculate floor area and volumetric dimensions! 

As soon as he receives his blanket, he will analyse every square, calculate the number of stitches and ponder the yardage of the yarn used.  To keep him even more busy, I am going out of my way to ensure that every square is unique with regard to the color combination.  My dad enjoyed his travels to Arabia and looking towards Islamic design for inspiration came naturally to me. With this design process, I am able to create something that will always be a reminder of the special bond that exists between the two of us.

 See my previous posting about our travels to Morocco.


I will resume conversations about my love affair with Paris and Istanbul in a later posting where I will show you more of my yarn shopping (the Pierrot French Linen and newly launched bamboo/cotton Imagine yarns available from I love Yarn).
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Colours of Grace

I am highly interested in the lives and backgrounds of people creating art and craft as they all have a fascinating story to tell through the works they create. I am especially drawn to those who create as a form of therapy or emancipation as it adds an emotional connection to the sensory experience.

Melani, the force behind the sumptuous Colours of Grace  hand dyed aran weight cotton is no exception. Deeply religious, she turned to prayer when gripped in the fog of depression. The answer to her prayers was to turn her hand to a craft that has been around for thousands of years. Spinning. As a medical technologist by profession, Melani had no background in spinning. She located not only two spinning wheels within a week, but also found a master spinner to teach her. Soon she was transforming raw fiber into spun yarn, telling stories through colour (she hand dyes the cotton) and texture. 

Colours of Grace became Melani's living memory. Two days before the launch of the (then differently named) yarn, she changed the name to Colours of Grace after a revelation, honouring the biblical women Hannah (DK) and Magdalene (aran) who both received grace in answer to prayer. All of the yarn is produced by Melani, Elsabe (her mother in law) and Silent (an assistant originally from Zimbabwe).  

The yarn is locally (South Africa) available via the Colours of Grace Facebook page, as well as from independent distributors. I bought 34 x 50gr balls from another person with a big heart, Beatrix Snyman (Blog Btrix Dsigns and also available via her Facebook Page).  I forwarded Beatrix my mood boards and she put together the yarn choices for me.  Beatrix has an excellent understanding of colour and I love connecting with her since we share similar outlooks on life, having both lived global lives for extended periods. 

Below is the latest Colours of Grace colour chart - I bought a selection of colours from the current as well as previous colour range.  The yarn is a perfect match to my mood-boards and my own ideas of romantic Istanbul and Paris.  I absolutely love the slightly mottled effect and am struggling to keep my hands off the yarn (it is going into the container destined for Qatar!)

Correction - I sneaked the yarn into my son's suitcase and when Simply Crochet magazine approached me for a design/article to be published in Issue 23, my fingers naturally reached for this amazing yarn and I had the time of my life making the Milla Magic throw.

PS For international orders: Hilda Steyn via Yarn in a Barn  


I will be back soon to tell you about my 6 balls of cowgirlsblues merino wool, 5 balls of Pierrot French linen, 21 balls of a newly launched Imagine hand dyed bamboo/cotton mix, 27 balls of Vinnis Bambi and 6 balls of African Expressions Soul purchases.
Fiber artists in South Africa are at long last spoilt for choice!