Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yarn Clubs

At the dyeing workshop we had last week, the ladies attending convinced me to start yarn clubs. I have decided to start with 3 different ones.

The ColourSpun Mohair Club
This club will offer 150 -200g of different types and weights of mohair - fine, DK, brushed, loopy etc. (not necessarily all at the same time) and will always include an extra special yarn. All will be hand dyed in colours inspired by nature.

The ColourSpun Cotton Club
This club will offer 150 - 200g of different weights of 100% cotton yarn, from fine to chunky.(not necessarily at the same time) It will also always include an extra special yarn. All will be hand dyed in colours inspired by nature.

The ColourSpun Bits & Bobs Club
Suitable for freeform and modular knitting projects, this club will offer 150 - 200g of a lucky dip mixture of different ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn, including Merino wool, mohair, cotton and art yarns. All will be hand dyed and some may be hand spun.

Each club will deliver 4 times a year and is limited to 20 spots and then a waiting list will be set up.
The cost of the club yarn will be discounted by 20% off the normal retail price.

The details of the each club will be posted on the ColourSpun Group on Ravelry . The first offering will be the ColourSpun Mohair Club at the beginning of February, followed by the ColourSpun Cotton Club at the end of February and the ColourSpun Bits & Bobs Club at the beginning of March.

Hope you'll join in the fun

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Day Challenge

Everyday, my youngest son's girlfriend forwards me the "Thought for Today" from innerSpace. I love receiving them, they are always positive and often thought provoking. Today she sent me the link to their 25 Day Challenge - .pause .think .act  and we are both taking up the challenge :)


Day 1's challenge is "No Worries"  That's easy for me, I've never been a worrier, believing that no amount of worry ever fixed anything. Do what you can to fix a problem and get help when you can't. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's challenge.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tunisian Crochet Rug

Everyone who attended Carle's dyeing workshop on Saturday wanted the instructions for my tunisian crochet rug so I thought it would be nice to share them here.

Tunisian Crochet Knee Rug

This quick and easy knee rug is worked in basic Tunisian stitch using an assortment of yarn. Change colour on each cast on and cast off row and leave a tail to form a fringe. I used an assortment of  wool, mohair and novelty yarns. If you would like a bigger or smaller version of this rug, just adjust the number of stitches and rows to suit.

You will need:
1x 10mm Tunisian hook
An assortment of yarn – about 550g available from ColourSpun natural Designer Yarn

Start with a crochet foundation chain of 100 + 1 – 101 chain using ColourSpun Kid Mohair DK
Row 1:

Cast on row: Insert hook into the second chain from the hook, *wrap the yarn (from back to front) over the hook and pull through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next chain* repeat from *to* to end

Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

Row 2:

Cast on row: Insert the hook into the second vertical bar of the previous row, *wrap the yarn over the hook and pull the loop through leaving the new loop on the hook; insert the hook into the next vertical bar* repeat from *to* to end

Cast off row: wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook;* wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first 2 loops on the hook* repeat from *to* until there is only one loop left on the hook.

Repeat row 2, 95 times then work a row of single crochet using ColourSpun Kid Mohair DK.

Trim the fringing.

Natural Suburbia: Giveaway from ColourSpun

My friend, Linda, has a wonderful blog - Natural Suburbia, which is filled with lots of beautiful and interesting things. This week she has a giveaway of ColourSpun yarn - dyed by moi.

If you feel like a treat pop in there for a visit.

Natural Suburbia: Giveaway from ColourSpun: "Please welcome Dana from ColourSpun... Natural Suburbia: Tell us a little about how ColourSpun began and how long you have been dyeing ..."

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I love the wild Cosmos flowers that grow along the roadside in our little corner of the world. They usually start flowering in March, so you can imagine our suprise and delight when my friend, Carle' and I found some driving home on the R23. Cosmos was the inspiration for the little girls cardigan in my book.

Carle' was up from Philadelphia in the Cape for a little retail therapy and to present a dyeing workshop in my studio yesterday. We all had an awesome time and I can't wait to see the results. Most of the girls who were there are Ravellers and whilst chatting at tea time, they convinced me that I should have a Ravelry group for ColourSpun - you can find it here. I hope that members of the group will be inspired by my yarn and each other and that through it we will all grow and develop and find happiness in our craft.

Carle has a lovely group on Ravelry too. It's called Nurturing Fibres and if you love yarn, you should really check it out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

People Pins - a workshop

Last year Pretoria had their first HobbyEx and In2Crafts workshops were a big part of this prestigeous crafting exhibition. In March HobbyEx will be back at the Coca Cola dome in Honeydew and In2crafts workshops will be there too.

Taking part in an In2Crafts workshop is the ideal way to try out a new craft or improve your skills and be inspired.

I'm looking really forward to presenting my little "People Pins". The first ones were made for a travelling exhibition of contemporary jewellery in Europe and sold out at every venue. If you would like to make your own little people, all the details are at or just click on the "People Pins" title above.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


A friend of mine, who is an amazing fibre artist will be holding a shoe making workshop at her studio in February. These are not just ordinary shoes - they are really special. She will be presenting the same workshop at my studio in March. We haven't set the exact date yet but as soon as I can, I'll post it here.


• Boots, shoes, sandals; design them to fit your own foot and wardrobe.
• Make them from fabric, string, glue and thread.
• Clothe your feet with imagination, flair and attititude.
• Join me, Kathryn Harmer (professional fibre artist) in a 3 day workshop.
Date: 1st week February: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Where: At my studio in Kwelera Mouth (Just outside of East London)

Cost: R250 per day + R150 for shoe kit (Includes rubber soling, contact glue, canvas, masking tape, a sheet of card, string, and bits and bobs of fabric)

You need: Your sewing machine and sewing tools, different coloured sewing threads and a whole lot of oomph.

Contacts: 082-350-7024 or 043-737-4814 or

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Cord Bracelets

Some time ago I posted instructions for French Knit Bracelets which were made on a French Knitting Dolly. These are instructions to make those same bracelets on 2 double pointed knitting needles.

You will need:

DK yarn available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn
2 x 4mm double pointed knitting needles

Scraps of multi coloured yarn.
Perlé embroidery thread
Blunt tapestry needle
Seed beads
Sewing thread
Beading needle

Instructions can be found on my Ravelry Pattern Store andmy Craftsy Pattern Store


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rosy Cotton Top

I have been trying for days to post here and the block where I need to write my post just wouldn't open. I finally realised that it was opening on "Edit HTML" and not on "Compose"?! Anyway here I am again.

We have finally settled on the name for my book, which should be on the shelves in May, it is - "A Knitting Aventure - with South African Yarn" and the Afrikaans one will be " 'n Brei Advontuur - met Suid Afrikaanse Wol". The original title was unfortunately too long :(  I will be getting the 2nd draft from the layout artist today or tomorrow and am looking very forward to seeing it with all the changes done. As soon as the cover is finalised I'll post it here.

In the meantime, I have a lovely pattern for a cool summer top to share with you. It can also be knitted in wool for a warmer winter version.

for a downloadable pdf - visit my Craftsy pattern store here

Cotton Top

The instructions given are for bust size 96 – 102 cm (38 – 40”) but if you want your garment bigger or smaller, alter the number of stitches and rows to obtain your required size. Remember that this top is meant to fit loosely.

Materials Required
300g ColourSpun 100% cotton DK in main colour available from ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn
Other cotton yarn or ribbon for embellishment
4.5mm knitting needles
4.5mm crochet hook

c/on = cast on
c/off = cast off
ch = chain stitch
K = knit
K2tog = knit 2 together
Sc = single crochet
St/s = stitch/es
Stst = stocking stitch
Yo = yarn over needle (each yo counts as 1 stitch)
On knit rows bring yarn to front of work and then over needle to knit next stitch

16 stitches and 22 rows = 10cm over stst

Sides and Sleeves – work 2 identical pieces
Pattern – (over 10 rows) starting with a k row work 9 rows stst, k 10th row. Repeat.

C/on 155 sts and work 45 rows in pattern as set above
Next row: c/off 29; p 97; c/off 29. End and break off yarn.
Rejoin yarn to sts left on needle and continue in pattern as set; work 34 rows
Next row: c/off.

C/on 36 sts and work 5 rows stst.
Next row : k5 (yo; k2tog; k4)x5; k1
Next 5 rows: stst
Repeat last 6 rows 16 more times

C/on 36 sts and work 5 rows stst.
Next row : k5 (yo; k2tog; k4)x5; k1
Next 5 rows: stst
Repeat last 6 rows 12 more times

Stitch back and front pieces to side pieces (see photos for reference).
Fold garment in half along shoulder line and complete sleeve and side seams.

Work edging around neck, sleeves and bottom.
Using either main or contrasting colour, work 2 rounds of sc around edge
Next round – [2sc; (1sc,2ch,1sc)into next st] to end.
Remember to decrease in each neck corner by skipping 1 or 2 sts on rounds 2 and 3 to keep your work flat.

Finish your garment by lacing contrasting yarn or ribbon through the holes in the back and front and winding the ends into a rose. Stitch to hold in place.