dear diary,


Happy second Advent! I hope you are all beginning to feel a little festive and are enjoying some special ‘me’ time with your crochet or knitting? I am trying to finish my last handmade present for a dear friend, as well as some translation work that pays the bills.

This week’s square is staying in tune with the festive spirit. I am calling it ‘festive stripes’ and introducing the spike stitch (sps)…


Spike stitch (sps): insert hook 1 row below next stitch and pull up loop of yarn, insert hook into that same next stitch the usual way and pull up loop, yarn round hook and draw through all three loops.

I used: A=green, B=white and C=red

Chain 30 with A

Set-up row: (RS) 1dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch along – turn

Row 1: 1ch, 1dc in each st along – turn

Rows 2-3: rep. row 1 – break off A

Row 4: Join B, 1ch, 1dc in each of next 2sts, *sps in next st, 1dc in each of next 3sts; rep. from * to last 2sts, 1dc in each of those 2sts – turn

Rows 5-7: rep. row 1 – break off B

Row 8: Join C, 1ch, 1dc in each of next 4sts, *sps in next st, 1dc in each of next 3sts; rep. from * to last 4sts, 1dc in each of those 4sts – turn

Rows 9-11: rep. row 1 – break off C

Row 12: Join B and rep. row 4

Rows 13-15: rep. row 1 – break off B

Row 16: Join A and rep. row 8

Rows 17-19: rep. row 1 – break off A

Row 20: Join B and rep. row 4

Rows 21-23: rep. row 1 – break off B

Row 24: Join C and rep. row 8

Rows 25-27: rep. row 1 – break off C

Row 28: Join B and rep. row 4

Rows 29-31: rep. row 1

Fasten off and weave in all ends.


Have a lovely week and enjoy this square x

dear diary,

Christmas around the Cape…


The easy way to Table Mountain


Cape Town with Robben Island in the distance


The Vineyards of Stellenbosch


Moyo’s for Christmas Day dinner


Zulu warrior paint applied


No words needed!


Great braking waves!


Guillemots and Seals


Hout Bay


Colourful Africa!


We certainly had Christmas with a difference 🙂

To be continued…

dear diary,

I had been thinking of a gift from me to all you lovely loopy follower’s for a while, and last week when visiting one of my fave shops, Stash Fine Yarn’s in Chester, I had a light-bulb moment…hurrah!!!

On seeing a basket full of gorgeously squishy Louisa Harding – Thistle yarn, a combination of 60% Merino and 40% Baby Suri Alpaca, I knew exactly what I could whip up for you. Here are the colour’s I chose…


On returning home I set straight to work and after a couple of false starts I was soon on a knitting roll…


…and every stitch knitted brought me closer to giving you these (or rather the pattern to make them)…

Mangas 6

A beautiful pair of Mangas!

Mangas (Spanish word for ‘sleeves’), as worn by the people of the Andean mountains, have traditionally always been very colourful and my design is no exception.

A few little stripes plus some simple Fair Isle make these Mangas a fun knit. Using Aran Yarn and 4.5mm needles they can be knitted in a couple of evenings, just in time for Christmas.

Mangas 4

So go on, what are you waiting for!!! Download this special gift from me to you and treat yourself (or someone special) to these squishable, huggable, warmingly beautiful Mangas…or arm-warmers if you prefer.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and see you back here in 2013 🙂 xx

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