These were hooked in Vinnis Nikkim Colours [midnight] and Elle Cotton On - Seriously Chunky in single crochet spirals. I smell a dinner party!  


Single Crochet [sc] : Start with 6 sc and increase 6 sc in each round so that the total stitch count in each round is a multiple of 6
Half Double Crochet [hdc] : With hdc it is a multiple of 8
Double Crochet [dc] : Multiple of 12

See Cara Medus for tips on how to crochet a perfect round circle without visible corners and seams.

Cheers! One day I will hook like the amazing At Swim-two-birds.  Head over and check out her work.


Roly Poly Pillow Seat and Pentagon Pattern

While some parts of the world are currently covered in snowy white, we are living in a country covered in colour during the long Southern Hemisphere summers! The Roly Poly Pillow Seat fits right into this image but I can only show you the deflated version at the moment. Stuffing of the ball will take place later this month and I cannot wait to see the ball in it's full splendour - only then will it be possible to truely appreciate the beautiful yarn, colours and design. If you haven't hooked anything in Vinnis Nikkim Colours yet, this is an amazing 100% cotton yarn that I cannot recommend enough!

 The 12 pentagons hooked in different colours

I hooked the pentagons with a 3,75mm hook rather than the recommended 4mm as I wanted to achieve a slightly denser look. The ball was hooked in half double stitches [hdc].

Round 1. Chain 4, close to form ring.  Chain 2 to form first stitch. Hook another 19 hdc and close round with slip stitch. Total stitches = 20.

Round 2. This round will increase by 5 stitches. Chain 3 to form first stitch and single chain. Then in same space hook 1hdc. This will form the first corner. Hook 1 hdc in each of the following 3 spaces. Then in fourth space to create second of five corners: hdc, ch, hdc. Repeat to create 5 corners. This round = 25 hdc in total.

Round 3. Chain 3 to form stitch and single chain. Then in same space hook 2hdc.Hook 1 hdc in each of the following spaces until you reach the corner. In corner space: 2hdc, ch, 2hdc. Repeat until you reach the first stitch. THEN hook another hdc in the corner and slipstitch before going into second round. This round = 40 hdc in total.

Round 4. This round = 45 hdc in total.

Round 5. This round = 60 hdc in total.

NOTE: You will see that the corners of every odd round [starting round three] = 2hdc, ch, 2hdc. Every even round [starting round two] = 1hdc, ch, 1hdc. This resulted in a flat Pentagon. I always join the next round in a corner in order to hide the joins between rounds as demonstrated here. For these pentagons it meant that during the odd rounds you need to hook one last hdc in the corner before slipping into the first one in order to ensure 2hdc, ch, 2hdc for that round.

Thanks for stopping by - Cheers!



Hello from a windy, wintry South Africa!  It is summer and the season of sunshine, beach, picnics and endless barbeques, but somehow the weather continues to play up and it is far too cold for the time of the year.  It makes for great hooky time though, something no hooker should be complaining about. I have been hooking up a storm to finish my impromptu, unplanned project so that I can focus on what I really wanted to hook - a charcoal tablecloth for a dining table seating eight people. I will be sad once the roly poly is finished, it is a fun project and a real pleasure to hook!

 Nine out of twelve pentagons that will form the roly poly pillow seat - I will be adding one last round in colour "natural" before I block the lot. Each pentagon will also be getting a  hand stitched  cotton lining to ensure the ball holds it shape well.  



Aha! Caught red-handed! Isn't she adorable, not quite three yet and already hooking up a storm. She has been watching me quietly for weeks now and then last week as soon as I got up to make her a hot chocolate, she grabbed hold of the hook! 

Cheers, have a great weekend! 


Frogging and a fab find

Bonjour, Good Morning, Asalaama Alaikum, Hej! 

After completing a quarter of the pentagons for the stripey roly poly pillow seat [giant crochet ball], I decided that the random stripes in random stitches wasn't doing it for me. The subtle colour changes in the handspun, hand dyed yarn sadly disappeared in the pattern.  It looked 'meh'.

One of the new Pentagons - there will be 12 colour combinations in total

I decided to frog the lot and start again with a simpler pentagon.  The new ones are hooked using 4 colours, 4 rows per colour for a cleaner colour blocking look and feel.  I fell in love with the new effect straight away and will be visiting the yarn shop in another hour to pick up two more colours to add to a more vibrant look. Take a look at the above photo to see the variation in the yarn, I am HOOKED on hand dyed cotton - it is scrummy!

Another pentagon was taking up space in my handbag during a trip to town recently and woopeee, the below bowl jumped out of the shelves, sporting the exact same colours of that specific pentagon.  Of course the bowl belongs to The Teen now. On my way to the yarn shop, I am once again popping into the same shop to see whether there are any new stock . . . ;-)

 See how the crochet pentagon matches the colours of the bowl!

Cheers, have a great Friday and weekend!


Ball and sort of a Holdall

My fingers did the walking and before I knew it, I was hooking away on a Pentagon. I am hooking a big ball, a rolypoly pillow seat, yip another one! My fourth and I still think this is the one item I want to be associated with in the land of hooky - huge roly poly pillow seats.

 The ball will again consist of 12 Pentagons, each measuring 15cm from any of it's corners to the center or alternatively 30cm across and the final ball will hold nearly 2 normal pillows [the kind we sleep on] worth of stuffing.

This is a teaser of some of the Vinnis Colours Nikkim 100% hand dyed cotton I am using. I am following instinct, combining sc, hdc and dc stitches and simply enjoy the motion of going round and round and round.

Don't you just love my fabulous leather bag in which I can stuff a whole project, my I-pad, a camera and still have space left over for shopping?!  Thanks to the Husband I am now the proud owner of this great holdall. I love Tsonga, the shop where this bag comes from.  The Tsonga stores and project is all about a "A thread of hope" - it is yet another upliftment project involving a community of women who will eventually pass on their skills to ensure a real future for their children. Check it out.

Have a great weekend. Cheers!


Handbag Orgy!

Handbag orgy definitely describes how I view the 5 bags I whipped up over the past month! Wow, I have a weakness for anything round in the land of hooky.  I hooked this specific bag during the past week and it is ready to be lined, zipped and handled.  I am stumped though as to exactly how I should be handling the erm handles. Any ideas?

I bought a pair of Bamboo handles, 100% round and smooth that I intend to use on the tiny hexagon bag.  I could always pick up another pair and use it on this bag too. I prefer bamboo handles to be smooth - I really REALLY do not like the ones with the knots and prefer all my handles as clean looking as possible but mimicking the shape of the bag or the structure in some way. 

I also bought a couple of meters of clear, translucent tube - the type that is used in fish-tanks - that I am using on another stripey bag.  I need to line, zip and handle three bags and wished I had planned them better.  Anyhow, that is what tailors are there for!

See how great my scarf and blouse look with the bag. The outfit is completed with a pair of Aldo wedges, white linen pants and a hat. I am ready for summer in the Southern Hemisphere!

I am thinking that the lining should also form an extension of the "wand/sides" of the bag and that it will get a zip.  It is safer roaming the streets with bags that close properly. I squashed the sides [above], but after assembling, one should only see the round discs.  Do I use some sort of boning to keep the shape?

 I love these silver earrings [above] I picked up from a coffee shop/trinket shop last week. I also love my new straw and linen hat [below]. These will go great with my summer wardrobe!

It is Friday again, we are off to diner at a Turkish restaurant tonight, tomorrow we are digging our heels in the sand, tucking into seafood at a local Seafood Beach Restaurant.  Bag Orgy, Food Porn, such is the life of a Hooker!  Cheers, enjoy your weekends wherever in the world you are!


Colourful Coasters

Wow, what a busy week.  Driving the Teen to ballet classes 4 times a week is taking chunks out of my day, but on the other hand, it allows me a full hour of hooky time.  I used the time this week to hook another doily [as per previous posting, only bigger] and also 12 coasters that will just go along quite nicely with Moroccan, Indian or Turkish tea glasses!  I hooked these with hook size 3 and used Elle Premier Cotton, Double Knit.

This is actually a vintage pattern that has been reworked and is doing the rounds on the internet at the moment.  It resembles the Yvestown Flower but this one has 10 petals, 2 more than the Yvestown flower and having hooked both I can confirm that I definitely like this one more.

Hello also to all my new followers!  To say thank you, I will try and hook patterns from your blogs over time.  Hello then today to teszek-veszek-vacakolok on whose blog I found this coaster pattern.  Thank you for the pattern!  Just switch on Google translate if you haven't quite mastered Hungarian yet, take a look at her hand drawn pattern and away you go!  Easy peasy. You definitely want to be scrolling through her blog to see all of her fabulous work and patterns.

Have a great weekend. Cheers!


Doily Time!

I love watching Arab and Persian waiters perform the ritual of pouring a glass of mint tea.  They pour the tea into small glasses from a certain distance, an act that mesmerises me and I really enjoy the bit of conversation to be had with the waiters after tea is served.  A few years ago The Husband bartered for an antique silver teapot at a traditional souk in Marrakesh and when I saw this Elle Premier 100% cotton in grey, I simply itched to hook a doily for my tea tray.  You can find the pattern for the doily on the blog of Karen Klarbaecks, she hooked two and joined them together to create stunning potholders. I edged the grey in the same Elle Premier cotton - colour "leaf".  I also hooked 12 coasters in a few vibrant colours and will show those off soon.  Have a great weekend!


The Teen's Afghan finished!

Yay, the afghan as ordered by The Teen for her new bedroom in Mumbai is done! It is looking great against an all white, minimalist background and I have to admit that the photo is a poor reflection of how scrumptious it actually is. The weather is still playing up but I decided to photograph it nonetheless the moment the sun appeared for a few minutes. I used 34 skeins of Vinnis Nikkim hand dyed 100% cotton [50 gram per ball] to create 70 squares and the edging. It is a high quality yarn, a dream to hook with and the cotton is most suitable to the climate in Mumbai which is hot and humid.

The Teen drew a quick pic of her idea of what her afghan should look like. I convinced her to trim it in off-white and she selected the full range of colours during a visit to the yarn store.

The afghan is edged in a design by the lovely Lucy from Attic24. She used it on a Granny stripe and even though it is a simple pattern to hook, the result is very pretty. 

Have a great weekend! I am nearly finished with the small hexagon handbag too and am itching to start hooking something in a more complex pattern for a change. First however, it appears that I will be hooking a bag in the Crocodile stitch, then a few coasters and doilies and finally something more complex. Cheers!


Tiny Hexagons for new Handbag and the Karoo Floral Kingdom

Since I posted two weeks ago I not only finished the stripey round handbag I posted about previously, but also a 70 granny squares [eight rounds per granny] single bed afghan for the Teen! I am itching to show you how both turned out but a current bout of rainy weather is hijacking my plans for pretty pictures.  

Above is my current work in a progress, tiny hexagons from all my left over Vinnis yarn which will become a great handbag for someone special.  I was about to churn out African flowers when it struck me that these tiny hexagons fit right in with our latest travelling experience through the Cape floral kingdom - I like connecting impressions of places visited with my projects. We recently spent a weekend on a Karoo farm near Laingsburg and the flowers and shrubbery of the region is simply beautiful.  Some of the flowers in the photos below are no more than 2 mm in either height or width!  Unbelievable. Cheers until next time xxxx

 These [directly above] are all teeny weeny and no more than 1-3mm in size each! I got as close as I possibly could with my camera. The below ones are "normal" flower size ;-)


Local crocheting and knitting

Good morning from sunny South Africa!  South Africans produce the most beautiful works of art and craft and travelling the Little Karoo is an experience of visual indulgence.  Between the pink, yellow, white and purple flowers currently carpeting the area and the works of craft, it is hard to choose a favourite image.

The "Smitswinkel" is a Karoo Farm Shop/Roadstall located on the R62 between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn. The shop and cafe is co-owned by Marianne and Frances who also run a job creation project involving a group of ladies living on and nearby the farm. These ladies were born into extreme poverty and challenging social circumstances and now earn a sustainable income through the craft of hooking and knitting Their story will soon be told in a local magazine, the Landbouweekblad and for those interested in the work created from string, Marianne or Frances can be contacted on +27 44 213 3801 or via mail at  smitswinkel@gmail.com

Oh how I wish I could shop and shop, but alas all my purchases are currently influenced by the size of that one suitcase I am living out of during this period of relocating between Malaysia and India via a pit-stop in South Africa.  Have a great day.  Cheers!

The project space where fingers are regularly crafty with string

Bags knitted from string and adorned with crochet flowers  

Images from "The Smitswinkel" where we also popped in for breakfast and cake in addition to enjoying the craft work. Below on the chairs the knitted throws can be seen.


Works in Progress and the Old Age Home

Wow I just realised that I rarely work on more than one project at a time and that I took up a second project yesterday simply because I ran out of yarn for my current WIP.  Expats absorb bits and pieces from all the different cultures they live in and I mentioned before that Penang in Malaysia resort around a saving culture and not a consumer driven one.  Our family now shop, live and consume /save similar to the average Penangite in Malaysia even though we have left the country. That surely has to be the reason why I only work on one project at a time and see it through to the end - no stashing of projects. Below I will post sneak peeks to the two projects - the one is a stripey handbag hooked in Elle Premier and the second project is an afghan for a single bed hooked in Vinnis Nikkim.  I love working in 100% cotton since it looks luxurious and shapes beautifully. 

This week I am kicking of a hooking project with the old and wise residing in an old age/caring home.  I am hoping to also involve ladies from a nearby retirement village since the latter are a wee bit more energetic and will help keep the project alive once I am no longer around in this area to assist. The purpose of the project is twofold, firstly as therapy and secondly to decorate their corridors which is currently devoid of any decorative objects let alone colour.  It is quite sad that these wonderfully wise ladies stare at white and grey walls day in and day out when their minds are full of colourful memories . . .

I saw a bag featured in a local magazine and decided to quickly hook myself one.  Isn't it pretty? I am using both 4ply as well as DK in six different colours - 3 warm and 3 cool shades

A throw for the Tween's bed as requested by her to be joined in off white.  The granny squares are in shades of green, purple, pink, aqua and yellow/orange.


Tutorial: Hiding Chain Stitches on Granny Squares between the rows

Hello, Hi, Hiya, Bonjour, Dumela, Asalaama Alaikum, Hej, Namaste and more! When I decided to forego my beloved pentagon and hexagon patterns in favour of hooking the "Little Karoo" throw in a basic square a month ago, I simply couldn't remember at what stitch to start and end a Granny Square. In hindsight I am glad since the majority of squares start and end each row in such a way that the chain stitches that form the first US dc are highly noticeable throughout the project.  Below are a few photos detailing the way I start my squares which also happen to hide the joins 100% - a pattern that emerged out of not knowing how others do it. Anyway, it might also be that this method is well known but I haven't surfed the tinternet yet to verify, so this is the Pigtails join for the time being. 

You will also notice that I do not put a chain stitch between my clusters in order to keep the squares tight and uniform.  I also only chain 2 instead of 3 stitches in order to create a US dc. I demonstrate by joining a new colour but the method remains the same irrespective of colour changes.

 In corner, ch 4. These will form one US dc and the 2 ch to create the corner.

Now create a cluster by hooking 3 dc. The corner will thus consist of 4 chains and the next set of clusters. 

Hook clusters all around.  I create my 4 corners by hooking ch 2 between clusters and not ch 3 as some do.

Once you have hooked a row around the square, simply hook another 2 US dc in the corner. You will cover the base of the first 4 chains you started with somewhat [it might feel wrong] which is exactly what you wanted. No-one will be able to detect where you started and ended your rows.

 Slip stitch into chain to close round - as seen above and below.

Now simply ch 4 again in order to start the next round. 

I hope my tutorial makes sense, I am not exactly the best tutorial writer where hooking is concerned. Have a great day - the sun is shining here and the weather is pleasant for a change. I am off for more tea-garden hooking and another fabulous Lemon Meringue South African style as seen below. Cheers!