Vintage Throw in Bamboo Cotton

Don't you just love this?! Pattern from here and here - please do not hesitate to point me towards the origin of the pattern. I do not want to land in copyright prison where punishment is having to hook endless grannies with containers full of squeaky acrylics in garish colours . . .

This is a set of high quality carbonised bamboo hooks I bought whilst we were living in Malaysia. I have realised that quality of bamboo hooks can differ tremendously between different manufacturers. I bought three bamboo hooks (in a very light colour)  from a well known manufacturer in South Africa and I disliked hooking with it intensely. It is not nearly as smooth as these in the photo and fights against the yarn in stead of having a close, very close, relationship with it.  It's gone straight to the bin. Ooops.

King Cole Bamboo Cotton DK in color Glacier. 
This is a very soft yarn in a slight sheen in 100% natural fibers.

Yarn in Doha is available from the one and only shop that sells a few skeins of yarn, the Singer Shop! Needless to say they sell and repair Singer sewing machines but also stock a limited selection of yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles and embroidery thread. The Singer shop is located next to Badie Music Studio and Stores in Al Muthaf Rd for those using Google Maps. There is no organised system of street names and postal addresses in Qatar. We explain directions via landmarks and not street signs e.g.  . . . across the road from the Pink Mosque next to the Iranian Cafe with the big tree near TV roundabout  . . .  We are used to this, it was the same in Dubai and a quirk of Middle Eastern living!  

A big Thank You to Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence for  including my Star Shaped pillow in her 20 Best 2014 Crochet Patterns for the Home!  It has not gone unnoticed and it is a great honor!

Curious to see a sneak peek of the finished African Inspired Throw?  Be sure to pop over to HelloHart!  I will do a blog posting about the blanket soon, but first I need to distance myself from it. Rows one and two were hooked together during a time when someone close to our family became critically ill and even though it remains the African Inspired Blanket, those two rows have been renamed Picking up the Pieces.

You can now find me on Instagram!

Have a nice weekend! 


ByHaafner sent me straight to heaven!


Hello! I think you will agree with me that when ByHaafner made up this parcel for me, she knew EXACTLY what would send me over the moon and straight to heaven. 

I was on my way to enjoy my weekly crochet, carrot cake and cappuccino at the Bread and Bagels Cafe, when the staff at front desk (we are still living in a hotel) halted me to tell me that a parcel had just been delivered for me. I dove right in, gave the contents one look and whirled along the lobby all the way to the Cafe located a few skyscrapers away with a massive smile on my face!

It is all so beautiful, the antique wooden spool with the paper yarn from paperphine in Austria and the balls and balls (there are many more than what you  can see in this photo I will tell you!) of Paris Drops in the most gorgeous colours.

I am stoked and my mind resembles Pinterest Feed at the moment. I see patterns and possibilities, bags, baskets and blankets. Pity I had just started working on a throw in a vintage pattern, I will need to be quick with that project so that I can wrap my hands around this twine and cotton sooner rather than later.

Hop on over to ByHaafner and indulge yourself in her amazing blankets and doilies. Oh the doilies, I might just decide to sit back and make doilies by dozens with the Drops . . .

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!


Blog Hop

Yarn: Elle Cotton On in Ash. Make-up: Vivienne Westwood

Hello!  I have been invited to participate in an Around the World Blog Hop! A Blog Hop "hops" from one blog to the next, with the aim of introducing readers to other blogs and sharing the love.  This blog hop involves four questions around the topic of "Creativity".  

I was nominated by the lovely Silvia of Tämä Pöllö. Her blog is such a happy, colourful space, she manages to revive retro crochet by using chunky yarns in fresh colour combinations. Silvia is a Plant Biology Researcher and lives in Bologna Italy. How lucky can anyone be to be living in a city that boasts one of the largest well-preserved historical centres in Italy! This month, it is exactly 10 years ago that I last traveled Italy and what a pleasure then to be nominated by someone living in Bologna. Thank you Sylvia!

Before I proceed with the hop, allow me to nominate the team behind new blog on the block namely Anisa, Cornel and Elsbeth of HelloHart to participate in the hop. They are three incredibly talented artists and their contribution to the crochet community in South Africa is second to none. I am so lucky that our paths crossed during the time I spent at the tip of Africa recently! 

Elsbeth, Anisa, Magda and Cornel enjoying wine and mezze in South Africa  - photo courtesy of Cornel.

At the moment I am working on the edge of the blanket  that I am dedicating to the Mother Continent. It is made out of 315 hexagons, 42 half hexagons and I eventually used 26 shades from 10 different yarns to create a monotone colour palette. I am grappling with the edge though, the tone of the silvery yarn I chose for the edge is too insipid to support the boldness of the blanket and I am hoping there is enough Elle Cotton On in Ash left to add the necessary punch to the edge. The Teen (she has the patience to hand wind 120gr of yarn) will frog the edge later today. It has to be perfect you see! 

I really enjoy working with natural plant fibers and am drawn by the mottled colour effects of yarn created by dye artists, but also work in factory dyed cotton and bamboo yarns. Simply thinking about the raw fibers before it is processed into yarn, is like taking my mind into a veritable Ali Baba's cave of tactile and visual delights. Imagine the possibilities working with seed fibers (cotton and kapok), bast fibers (linen, jute, nettle, hemp and ramie), hard fibers (abaca, sisal and paper) and regenerated fibers (soybean and bamboo).  I love the idea of grabbing tangled masses of cotton, bamboo, paper twine or sisal to create crochet craft with a mere little bamboo hook and imagination! 

On academic level during 2010/2011 when concluding research using the ethnographic approaches of visual analysis and sensory ethnography, I also cross academic paths with a method referred to as "Photovoice". (See papers I uploaded to another blog after concluding my research in 2011.) The method was not suitable to my academic work, but I find it most applicable to the human development work I was doing among human trafficked victims in South East Asia. "Photovoice" is a group analysis method which combines photography with grassroots social action within community development and education. Marginalized or disadvantaged participants are encouraged to generate their own photographic work in order to share live experiences and present it to the world as they see it. It is a sub-type of "Picturevoice" which also includes "Paintvoice" and "Comicvoice" and I realised craft could find a rightful place within these collaborative participatory methodologies. I found it natural to turn to crochet as the craft is widely practiced among children, women and men living in SE Asia and the Far East. Crocheting also became a personal outlet in order to cope with the often heartbreaking human conditions I was and still am faced with from time to time when involved in development and humanitarian work.

I like to weave stories around my work. Living as a global nomad and travelling the world extensively; experiencing new cultures and environments and actually embedding myself within those cultures, lead to tonnes of inspiration. I grab an idea and find the yarn; on the odd occasion I find the yarn and then look for a story. Just last week I found the yarn - it is a cotton bamboo in a colour named glazier. It reminds of duck egg blue and sea foam, just a tad more subtle. The yarn is telling me to look on the vintage side of life for inspiration. Let's see where it takes me, I think I shall pay a visit to my Pinterest boards again in order to capture the right mood!  

Phew - apologies for the lengthy answers.  I am pressed for time and am currently spending the majority of my day dashing across Doha - my fingers were flying over the keyboard with no time to edit and shorten the replies.