Wednesday, 25 May 2011


before flying to germany for 3 weeks i am trying to finish as many ufos as i can.

one of these ufos is a waist coat consisting of three squares woven on a 40x40 frame with a thick yarn hand spun from merino tops dyed with carrot leaves.

I wanted to finish the piece with crochet borders and found that the thick yarn that
was perfect for frame weaving was too thick for the crochet borders; they turned out to be too chunky.

well, not a problem. if you spin your own yarn you can spin it anyway you need it. i just sat down and spun a thinner singles yarn (for crochet it didn't have to be plied) and now i was able to achieve the look i wanted

Thursday, 19 May 2011


life has to go on, erika is back in joburg, the weather is lovely and warm enough to work outside. i've decided to give the fish a rest and try my hands at a bird.

please, meet SIR ARCHIBALD. he is a jolly fellow and quite the ladies' man (watch this space). he does have a thing about hats. we argued about them quite a lot until he was happy with this one.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


one single baby alpaca was spun and one single silk (didn't enjoy spinning the silk - this is really hard work) and then plied.
the colour idea was hot reds, pinks and oranges for a chilli mix.

my favourite way of mixing colours is to pour the dye solution into a little bowl and use a sponge to saturate sections of the yarn (or top) with the dye

now all the different colours are added and i will put
the skeins on top of each other and roll them into a big fat roll, put them into an oven bag (thank you for that idea, carol) and then put the bag into my big dye pot with water. that went onto the gas stove to simmer for approx. 30 min.

i let the water cool down over night (outside to give michael a chance to cook dinner - aren't i lucky!!!)

the next morning i rinsed the skeins in cool water. not much rinsing was necessary - there was hardly any dye remaining.

...and after drying this is what i got: not red hot chilli peppers but beautifully soft shades of pink, purple, orange and red - just like the hibiscus in front of the house.

not what i wanted - but - i am pleased.
and start thinking about what to make with this soft yarn. a scarf?

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


my friend erika joined me in wilderness under the milkwood tree for a week of felting. erika brought some samples of the decorative felted balls she wanted to show me how to do.

on monday we brought all the materials and tools we needed outside
 to the deck to take advantage
of the beautiful weather.


monday afternoon we had accomplished quite a lot and decided to take a break on tuesday and visit Plettenberg Bay and the Tenikwa Cheetah Sanctuary.

on the way we visited a pottery gallery and that is where inspiration struck. i decided i was going to try and make felted fishes with the balls as basic form.

wednesday saw as back hard at work and when two of my friends came to visit and meet erika we already had a few pieces we could show them.

and this is what we had produced by friday:

and now, may i introduce family fish:

son 'spike' who is currently in a punk phase to the dismay of father 'harry' who has a bit of a weight problem and most of the time is in a bad mood. mum 'agatha' is very sweet and keeps trying to keep the peace in the family. daughter 'lucy' is mainly concerned with her appearance.

sadly erika had to leave for joburg on saturday morning. who knows what else we would have come up with if only she could have stayed longer!