Saturday, 12 September 2009

Blog is moving....

So I've finally decided to move my blog over to Wordpress. I've had a separate Hong Kong blog over there and find it a bit nicer than Blogger.
Please continue to visit me over there!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A white lace blouse

A white lace blouse, youthful and fresh for the young lady!
( Wit kant bloesie, jeugdig en vars vir die jong dametjie!)

This pattern is translated from Afrikaans and dates from around 1940's. If you have any questions regarding the pattern, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Measurements: Chest - 36" - 38"

Needed: 8 balls Nr 50 crochet thread, 1 pair of no 17 knitting needles with corks on the back (?), 1 crochet hook size 6, 5 small white buttons

The blouse is knitted in the same pattern throughout except for the collar.
1 Pattern repeat measures 1,5” wide and 7/8 in length.
Pattern length = 18 stitches divisible by 2.

First row: k1, *k1, yo, k1 (p3, k1) 4 times, yo*. Repeat from * ending with k1.
Row 2 and all wrong side rows: k1, p to last stitch, k1.
Row 3: k3, *yo, k1, (p3, k1) 4 times, yo, k3. Repeat from * ending with yo, k2
Row 5: k4, *yo, k1, (p3, k1) 4 times, yo, k5 repeat from * ending with yo, k3
Row 7: k5, *yo( k1, p2tog, p1) 4 times, k1, yo, k7, repeat from *ending with yo, k4
Row 9: k6, *yo, (k1, p2tog) 4 times, k1, yo, k9, repeat from * ending with yo, k5
Row 11: k7, *yo, k1, (p2tog) 4 times, yo, k11, repeat from *ending with yo, k6
Row 12: as row 2


Cast on 236 stitches and knit the pattern above until 24 pattern repeats have been completed in the length.
Sleeves – Cast off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next few rows until the width of one pattern repeat has been cast off (18 stitches). You should have 11 pattern repeats left over the chest area. Knit another 7 repeats in length. For the neck, as soon as the 31st repeat has been knit, knit 5 pattern repeats of the row, cast off one full repeat (18 stitches) knit to end of row. Continue for the left shoulder. At neck edge, cast off 3 x 3 and 5 x 2 stitches on alternative rows (thus cast off on knit rows only). Continue knitting another 3.5 pattern repeats in length ending with a wrong side row. Next, knit to the start of the first pattern repeat, turn, knit to the start of the 2nd pattern repeat, turn, knit to the start of the 3rd pattern repeat, turn, cast off all stitches. Complete right shoulder in the same manner reversing cast off stitches.


Cast on 218 stitches. Knit in pattern until 24 pattern repeats have been completed in length. Complete sleeve decreases as per front in other words, cast off 4 stitches at the beginning of the next few rows until 18 stitches have been cast off. Knit another 4 pattern repeats in length and split knitting in two in the middle for back opening. You may need to cast on/ increase and extra stitch on one side to have an equal number of stitches. Knit these sections separately for another 6 pattern repeats in length. Cast off for shoulder as per front. Repeat for other shoulder. Using crochet hook, crochet in sc around the edge of the opening for a few rows leaving 4 buttonholes at the top of the opening.

Cast on 200 stitches. Knit 5 pattern repeats in length. Cast off 4 x 3 stitches at each edge. Cast off one stitch at the beginning of each row until sleeve measures 7 pattern repeats. For a neat edge, leave out the yo at the ends of the shoulder to ensure a neat edge. Cast off 3 stitches at the beginning of every row until sleeve measure 9 pattern repeats. Cast off remaining stitches.


The collar is knit in 2 parts. Cast on 92 stitches. Knit in stocking stitch with the wrong side to be used as the right side. In every knit row, kfb of the 3rd and 3rd last stitch. Continue until collar measures 2.5”.Cast off. Repeat for another collar. On bottom edge, pick up and knit all stitches. Next row: p1, (yo, p2tog) to end, p1. Next row: knit. Cast off. Fold the edge in half and sew in place. Steam collar and sew to neck edge.

Sew all pieces together.

Where have you been?

Well... for starters, this little monster was keeping me very busy.
Her name is Calypso and she is a miniature pinscher. She's chocolate in colour and about 4 months old. And man, has she been keeping us busy. We've been inbetween apartment for the last month, moving from the serviced apartment we were staying in, to our new apartment on Hong Kong island. It's a great place, facing the harbour with beautiful views at night. We were very lucky to get something quite modern (with a stove!) and a sea view. And as we finally had a place of our own, we decided that it was time for a new addition to the family of the 4 legged kind. She's a hoot! Funny as hell, runs like a show horse, eats hardly anything and is scared of buses. She's also very very small. Much smaller than she looks on the photos. And a result, she is shivering constantly if the aircon is on. And so I spied a knitting opportunity! Yeah!
This is the hooded dog sweater from Bernat
It fit her perfectly except around the neck area which was a bit droopy. So I bought some thin elastic and laced it through the neck. Works much better now. She has such a thin little neck it's no wonder! I really liked this pattern. It was easy to knit. Super quick-only one afternoon and it fits without mods. I want to knit this one again but in a thinner yarn, maybe even a sock yarn.

Finished projects the last month:
FINALLY!!!!!! Looking so nice but WAY too warm for the Hong Kong weather. Hopefully I can put it to use in winter with a white shirt underneath.

Fat Bottom Bag by Julie Armstrong Holetz. I LOVE this bag! It holds more than it looks. Mods: I crocheted 10 extra rows( with 10 extra repeats) to make the bag a bit bigger. This was knit in Lily Sugar n Cream in a very cool camoflage colour. Look-it now holds my wallet, camera, travel card( MTR), keys.
I even managed to get the dog into it! Most people lined their bags. Right now, it's not really bothering me as it is nice and stretchy without.

These are Dzonba - The Himalayan Slipper by Tracy Hudson. I'm loving how this turned out ( FO pics to come) but had to make a few mods. Despite what the designer states, these are TINY! And I don't have monster feet. They are really small. Granted that they stretch but even then, they cut into the bridge of my foot. So I cast on an extra 10 stitches and it made all the difference. Fits like a glove and looks great. They only took about half a ball of sock yarn so I may try to squeeze another pair out for myself (they were a gift).

These are the Whale Cat Toy Pattern by Vicki Mikulak. Great pattern. Knits up in 20 minutes. Easy as pie and looks like a fish too! Calypso already stole one so the rest will be destined for the Lifelong Animal Protection shelter on Lamma Island. More of these to come.

Next up I started a great sweater from Phildar. Though I haven't had a good start! I'm working on Gilet Kimono #012-T8-502 by Phildar Design Team. I bought the Spring 1 catalogue along with yarn for the following projects:

I picked the same grey colour for this. The yarn is great. Quite thick so I can see this one going very quickly!

Again, I picked the same colour. This is a thin cotton, slightly shiny, yarn.

At lastly, the bane of my life:

This was just doomed from the beginning. First I didn't have the needles. THen I couldn't find the right needles. Eventually cast on then couldn't figure out the pattern. They say to increase 3 stitches at the beginning and end of the row. But then you can't keep in pattern. So I stuggled with this for a while-a very long while. Sweating and swearing all the way. So i'm fudging it. I'm casting on 3 stitches at the end and beginning. Where it interferes with the pattern, I just increase one and cast on 2 instead. So fine, got that sorted. Knitted about 2,5 inches and then realised that I never upped needles size after the ribbing! WHHHAATTT!! F*&^% that! I just switched at the end of the row mid pattern. There's no way I'm going back to the start for the upteenth time! Please PLEASE let this go better from now on. The pattern is knitting up very nicely so I can see the potential. ps...been having problems with the chart too. I think that this will take a while though I really want to finish this soon. much to do, so little in Hong Kong you suddendly have a social life! So knitting time goes out the window. I'm trying though, I'm really trying. Even knitting at work when no-one is around! Naughty very naughty.

I'll leave you with a pic of Calypso and her friend Lucy.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Vintage Pattern: Maryke

OK, first vintage pattern translated from Afrikaans. This pattern is from the book: Die Breiboek vir die Huisgesin, nr 2. Dates from approximately 1940. I've translated word for word so if anything seems confusing, give me a shout and I'll look at the original pattern again.

Keep in mind that vintage patterns use old needle sizes so look for todays equivalent here
I'd love to see some pictures if anyone knits these up!! Good luck!!



A practical pullover in light pastel colours for fresh autumn days

Length: 21”
Breast: 36”
Underarm: 18”
Middle: 27”
Gauge: 7 st = 1”
16oz 4ply wool; 1 pair no. 10 needles, 1 pair no. 12 needles, 1 set double pointed needles no. 12, 1 zip 14” long, 1 set of shoulder pads
Pattern 1 = k2, p2
Pattern 2 = With right side facing: 1st row - * k1, slip 1 st purlwise with yarn in front*, 2nd row – purl. Repeat these two rows but alternating the slip stitch and knit stitch every other row.

Cast on 89 st and knit 4” in pattern 1 on size 12 needles. Switch to size 10 needles and knit pattern 2 until work measures 12,5”. Next cast off the middle stitch and knit the two parts separately for the back opening. When the work measures 17,5” excluding ribbing, cast off for shoulders as follows: on every other row, cast off 7 st 4 times at the sleeve edge. Then cast off remaining stitches.

Knit as for the back without the neck opening. When the front measures 15”, cast off as follows: first cast off middle stitch. Then cast off on neck edge on every alternative row: 4, 3, 2 x 2, 2x1 st. When the front equals the back in length, shape shoulders as back.

SLEEVES AND SIDES ( knitted as one piece)
Cast on 44 st on size 12 needles and knit in pattern 1 for 2,5” as follows: slip 1, k2, p2, to end on every row.
Now start increasing as follows: There are 10 increases on a needle every 2” on size 10 needles.
1st row: slip 1, k2, m1p (pick up yarn between stitches and twist, purl stitch), p2, k2, p2, m1p, k2, m1p, p2, k2. Repeat until 10 stitches have been increased on the row.
2nd row: knit/ purl all stitches as they appear i.e. knit a knit stitch, purl a purl
Repeat the increases a total of 7 times every 2” in pattern for a total of 10 stitches per row. The last row should be: k2, p9 (114 st on needles)
Knit in pattern until work measures 17”.
Increase as follows for side panels: Cast on 5 stitches at the beginning of each row and knit in pattern k2, p9. Increase 12x5 stitches on both sides until 60 stitches have been added. Knit 6 rows without increasing. Cast of 5 stitches at the beginning of every row 20 times until 34 st remain. Bind off remaining.

Block. Seam shoulder seams. Attach the side panel section just above the rib section with right sides together. Then seam underarm seam and rib together. Pick up 17st at each side of back neck edge with double pointed needles. And 66 on front neck edge. Knit the 100 stitches in pattern 1 for 1,75”. Bind off and attach to inside of neck. Using a crochet needle, crochet a row of tight stitches around the back opening and sew zipper in place. Sew shoulder pads in place.

Recent knitting

Last night I finished my Cowl. What an easy and beautiful knit. The yarn has really made the project. The yarn is from Vinnis Colours Bambi - a cotton and bamboo mix. I have noticed something similar on Ravelry called Be Sweet. I think it may be the same supplier. Anywoo, the cowl...



It's unblocked but that sucker is soaking right now. And I just need to get a button. But other than that, I'm very happy.

Second little project was this little guy..
I just needed some instant satisfaction knitting. No clue what to do with him though! Hahah!!

And just off the blocking mat....


Front done, back done, sleeve done. Just one little sleeve to go!!

Of course, I made the stupid mistake while in SA to make dishcloths for all the mothers/ mother-in-laws. Now I'm suddenly getting requests from all fronts, wanting more dishcloths. Meh!! Lucky for me, I was in a swap with 2 very nice ladies from the US. I requested both sock yarn and Peaches and Cream cotton. I pick my own colours which was nice. I still need to photograph the one package but this was the other one.
Just look at all the lovely sock yarn!! Yeah! Weirdly enough, you can't find sock yarn here in HK. Only very thin crochet cotton mostly. Now granted, with high daily temperatures, people probably don't need knitted sock. But I'm sure in winter, they'll come in handy. Anyway, they have been bagged and put away for when I finish my super queue on Ravelry.
I'll have to look for some nice sock patterns. And the leftovers will go to my sock yarn blanket.

ps..little kittens on the roof disappeared last week. I was really upset. But momma cat brought them back this week. Both are looking well. I also got a quick look at momma who is a tabby.
Enjoy the week. I'm going to translate the first vintage pattern now.


Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Vintage patterns

Seeing as I'm sitting at home, I decided to slowly start translating my book of vintage Afrikaans knitting patterns and will be posting them on the sight as I get through them. There are some really nice designs and I've already queued one on Ravelry.
I've done quite a bit of knitting while in Hong Kong.

Oh I've just seen a street cat and her kittens on the roof of building next door. I'm very worried as the kittens look about a week old and it's a straight 9 floor drop down. There is nothing to keep them from falling off! EEKK! I think I might call the SPCA right away. It's probably a feral cat but gosh. Those kittens won't live if they fall. And they are under a sheet metal roof in the 30 degree sun. mmm....look I managed to get a picture. Damn you! Why do I always spot the cats and dogs in need!!!!!!

This is momma with one of the babies. There are two I think.

And they are on top of the white building on the left ( with the washing).

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A lot of knitting!

Phew. WIth so much time on my hands, I've been able to do a lot of knitting and even found a local knitting group in Hong Kong. I finished my little shrug.

It fits like a dream and is exactly what I needed. The colour looks very black on the pictures but it's more of a charcoal. Really nice. I may make another with one less repeat in the width to make it narrower.

Then I've started another new project from my queue on Ravelry. That is the Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan. I'm using some Vinni's colours Bambi that I bought while in South Africa. Its a cotton/ bamboo mix in a lovely seagreen/ turq colour. The pattern is a nice mindless one and very similar to the 1000rpm socks.
I'm really like this yarn and the stitch definition apart from the fact that it has stained my Denise needle tips. :-(

I've also managed to finish a shopping bag from some local unknown yarn. I think its a cotton/ acrylic blend. You can clearly see the cotton and then something shiny inbetween. The pattern is the Monteagle Bag by Ann Hahn Buechner. Many people seems to have difficulty with the pattern. It had a bunch of new stitches that I've never used or heard of before. But I found this exciting rather than daunting. The base has a cross over stitch which is ended off with a horizontal stitch.

Next is the complicated stitch for some people. Its a weird twisted knot. You wrap the yarn around the outside of both needles 5 times. This leaves bunches behind which is later pulled out.
This is the before with bunches...

And this is after it's unravelled...

And this is the bag before unravelling and after unravelling. See how it grows!

And the finished bag in use.

I love this bag and again, will probably make it again but with a lighter weight yarn.
And I've committed to finishing my vintage sweater. I really want to get it done. Right now I've finished the back and one sleeve. And I've cast on the front and knitted about 4". So really working it. The sock yarn blanket is on going.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Knitting update

I've made major progress on the shoulderette. I have about an upper arm to knit and then I'm done! Yeah!! It will be perfect for the aircon here in HK. You walk outside and it's 32 celsius. Go walk into a store and the aircon blasts at 18 degrees! This will cover my upper arms and keep my nice and snuggly. Most people even walk around with long sleeves outside. I don't know how they do it! It's too hot!

Anyway, so will try to finish this guy in the next 2 days.Then I've also started on the sock yarn blanket. It's really addictive making the little squares!

Only problem is I might run out of left over sock yarn. I have tons of little balls in storage in the UK with the rest of my stash. I'm going out to visit a LYS or maybe two today. Hopefully they have some sock yarn.

My also reorganised my queue on Ravelry. I have allocated all my current stah ( which isn't much) and allocated patterns to all of them.

The Rockstar is off to Macau today for meetings with clients. Lucky him!

Oh and look what I found!!!


Enjoy the week!


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Project pics

Ok, promised pics of the shawl and new shrug.




I'm particularly pleased with this shawl. Probably because I'm fond of black and the geometric patterns speak to me! But alas, as usual I have promised it to someone else. Always the same story. I promise one day I'm make myself a nice shawl too!

And secondly, new project.



Nothing much to see yet though I've made a lot of progress since yesterday. I think i'm going to wear it a lot!

Monday, 8 June 2009

I'm baaaaaccckkkk!!

Yup. I'm back and writing from Hong Kong. Follow my adventures on the HK blog.
So due to the whole process of moving to another country, knitting took a bit of a back seat the past few weeks. Today, I picked up the needles again and finished the Matilda. Looking good. I just need to block the sucker-not sure where yet as we're in a small serviced apartment- but will find a place. Maybe under the equally small dining table. It's looks fab though. Then I will send it on to South Africa to my SIL.

After a week here, I've realised that aircons on full blast tend to leave me a bit cold. Compared to the 32 degree C outside, a full cardigan simply doesn't work. So I've started a little shoulderette with HK bought yarn-yup, found a lys here-and am about 4" in. Looking good.

Re the lys, an experience if any. The first was Tailor and Alteration which, as per previous reports, is tiny! Shelves are so close together that you can't lift your arms to pick something off a shelf. And my handbag on my shoulder kept knocking things off. So had to put my handbag down and carry on without!! I bought 6 balls of Mondial superwool in a charcoal grey. Thought i'd move away from my usual black. Ha!
The second shop is near our apartment. Its called Filo Kilo. It is one of those shops where, the moment you step in the door, you have an instant tail. This chinese lady followed me throughout the store. And it's not a big or cluttered store. She could probably keep her eye on me from the till area. I was looking for some cotton akin to Peaches and cream. But no luck. So I settled for some random yarn in a peach/orange colour. I really need it for a market bag. Not my choice or taste but would have to do. I'm thinking of doing a large order of Peaches from the US or UK and save on shipping that way. Either way, the 4 balls of peachy yarn cost me HK$40 for all 4! Cheap as chips. Less than £4 for all 4.

I've also emptied my stash on Ravelry and started again with the stash that I have with me. I figured that this would be a good time to not accumulate past my current projects. I read somewhere on Ravelry that someone filled her whole queue with projects made from her entire stash. So I will try to allocate all my current stash to projects and will complete ( I HOPE!!!).

So will get onto that tomorrow inbetween job hunting/ passport renewal and chinese supermarket shopping! Yikes!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hong Kong Blog

OK the new Hong Kong blog is up and running. We're leaving veeerrryyy early tomorrow morning.

Check us out at

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Hong Kong continued....

I'll be starting a blog for all non knitting related things and our life in Hong Kong soon...keep 'em peeled!


OK so it's official! We're moving to....HONG KONG! YEAH!!

It's been in the making for the past six months and we've been sitting ducks in South Africa ever since. Visas took quite a while as well as company registrations, etc.. So we finally got the good news that they were approved yesterday and we'll be flying out stat! So far our family and friends have been crying and/ or upset at the news. They all knew of the proposed move but as it's taken so long, they've probably hoped it wasn't happening anymore. But alas, news is in and we're leaving in a week.
I have so much to organised and to pack. We've had to buy quite a few things while here as we were unprepared for the weather. So I'll probably leave some clothes here. I've been taking pictures of patterns in books that I've bought and still want to knit. That way I will have them on me instead of a heavy book.

As yet, we don't have anywhere to stay and don't know anyone either. I'm both scared and excited. We're just waiting for the visas to arrive here and then have to book tickets, book hotel, start saying goodbye, etc.

Of course my knitting to-do list is now obsolete. I'll only get to finish the bedsocks and maybe the Matilda shawl( though I can take it with me). But free time will be few and far between.

And in all the excitement, the Rockstar fell ill yesterday. Nausea, gas, fever. I don't know what it could be as we've been eating exactly the same things except for a little tub of yoghurt that he had. He couldn't celebrate properly yesterday. Hopefully he feels better today. I think it will be toast with peanut butter and herbal tea for him this morning. He didn't eat at all yesterday.

Anyway, planning to start feverishly today! EEK!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

So much to do...

OK so suddenly my life is a list of knitting priorities! When did this happen...
So in order of 'delivery date', my list of knitting at present:
1. Aunt Alm's Dorm Boots by Brenda Zuk for a male friend ( who requested them!), my mother, my SIL and the Rockstar who stole the finished pair for said male friend. I've completed a pair for my mother.
2. The Matilda shawl for other SIL. This one is my second in line when my fingers get bored of the bedsocks.
3. Winter jacket for Tammy the dog. I'm thinking of using Side Button Down Dog Sweater by labpugglechi as Tammy struggles so buttons would make things a bit easier.
4. Leftovers Baby Socks by Matthew Hesson-McInnis for little Megan and Zoe. Knitted with leftovers.
5. A scarf for Zoe though I haven't decided on a pattern yet. Her mom requested something bright. I'm kinda thinking in the line of a rainbow but...
6. Just threw out about 9 pairs of the Rockstars old boxers but decided to recycle rather. So will cut them into strips for a possible bag.
7. I have some lovely turquoise Vinni's bamboo yarn and would like a neck shawl thingy for myself.

Clearly, I'm the least important as seen on the list. But long as people like hand knits I won't complain.
Oh and as a very long term project: Sock Yarn Blanket by Shelly Kang. Love this!

Otherwise, not much going on in South Africa. Weather has been unpredictable. Today it's about 23 degrees c but was absolutely storming on the weekend. We had a quiet giggle as everyone seems to think it's freezing though only 17 degrees and nothing compared to UK winters! Such babies! haha! So today I'll be taking advantage of drier weather and will be doing the washing..yeah...

Oh and the Rockstar has suddenly decided that he is fat. So booked a personal trainer today ( I got roped in too) and we'll be starting on Monday. So expect a lot of moaning about sore legs and arms and the rest of it.
Furthermore, got roped into a cut and 'creative colour' tomorrow at the local hair salon. Now that should be interesting!

This is autumn in Paarl, South Africa. Lovely!


And a night shot of the vineyards with Stellenbosch in the background. Take on a looooong exposure.

Enjoy the week!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Animal Shelter

Originally uploaded by kietiekat