Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Thanks for all of your comments about my guild situation. Seems to be a common problem with guilds. I thought very hard about my course of action and have decided to resign from the committee and take a break from the guild. I’ll try again in the new year when there is a new committee in place. Most of the women there are lovely, and having the guild to look forward to each month has been good – especially when I have been feeling a little lonely or homesick.

I was going to resign from the guild effective immediately, but I decided to see the quiltathon through. It was my idea, and I feel some obligation to it. Besides, I know that it will probably die away if the two of us on the committee that were the strongest force behind it aren’t there.

I’ve been sewing for it in preparation for the day – I turned these:

Into these:

The first colour is more accurate.

These were really fun to do and I’ve just been gifted with a whole stack of muslin so I’ll be doing some for me in the near future. Probably with strips all the same width though. These blocks were a mix of my own and donated fabrics.

I’ve also made some more straight strip blocks, and packaged colour-coordinated kits for the day, and put together some 1 and 1/2 inch strips into sets that the ladies can take home and then bring back on the day. The idea is then that all the blocks will be put together and randomly sewn into a quilt top.

I sewed the buttons onto the charity sweater today.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I am sadly behind in my committment to 25 things for Charity this year.

Well it’s late and I’m tired so I will leave you with this picture of Gorgeous Girl. She loves feeding herself pasta.

This is the aftermath.

And, simply because she is so darned cute – here is Gorgeous Girl caught in the act of eating paper again.

There has been reading:

2008 Book List

26. Yoga School Dropout – Lucy Edge – a travel book about her trip to India in search of enlightenment. It was OK

27.  In Her Hands – Craftswomen Changing the world – Paola Gianturco and Toby Tuttle – this was interesting. It looked at women in the developing world who were earning a living through their craft, and in the process raising the status of women and achieving education for their children.

I haven’t forgotten about the pictures of how to wear your baby African style, I just wanted to show some crafty stuff today.


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Forgot to mention the other day that the pictures from the Quilting Guild’s show are up on their website. If you are interested in seeing what South African quilters are doing you can see some examples here. Click on the show tab in the menu.

Yesterday I had to head in to the office for the day. One of our Execs from the US office was out and he wanted to meet with the all the people in our department. Then we got to go out to a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant for lunch. The restaurant had AMAZING views of Table Mountain. Unfortunately, my camera batteries were busy charging, so no pics.

Thanks for all the feedback on the sweater. I’m going to continue (since the mother-to-be tells me that she doesn’t think it’s too girly), but I’ll leave the sleeves until I know the sex, and leave the decorative edging off if the baby is a boy.

No new sewing or knitting to show. I’m trying to get caught up with my blog reading and Gorgeous Girl is not having a good day as far as napping goes. She’s perfectly happy at the moment, but napping isn’t on the agenda.

I keep forgetting to update my reading list:

2008 Book List

25. Golden Deeds by Catherine Chidgey

Oh, yes, I’ve finally given in and joined f@ceb@ok. Love the scrabulous application 🙂

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Hi. I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the planet. I got the flu and spent a few days huddled up on the couch (to quote Gorgeous Man) as a ‘disease ridden bundle of misery’. I even took a day off work, which is very unusual for me.

Then work got really busy  – I had to go into Cape Town twice this week (there was car knitting) and my week somehow disappeared.

I’m putting the binding on the African Quilt. It’s going to be finished by Monday and pictures will come when it is ‘finished finished’.

Just before Mum came over in January, I bought a kit online from a store in Australia and had it posted to her so that she could act as courier. Because I’m a one project at a time girl it has been safely stored until this week when I pulled it out in anticipation of my quilting finish.

Below is my email to the store:


Last year I purchased a ‘Snake in the Grass’ kit and had it sent to my mother so that she could courier it to South Africa for me. When it arrived I checked that all the fabric was there, and then placed it back in the envelope and stored it until I had time to work on it.

Last night I pulled out the fabrics and had a closer look. There are a few problems: One of the animal panels has been cut so scantily that there is no way I can cut it out and have a 1/4 inch seam. This means that the seam will eat into the actual picture. Please see the attached photographs.

It’s mainly the block in the top left hand corner that I am concerned about. Do you have any suggestions for fixing this. I think that a scant 1/8 seam (which is what I would have to do) will not stand up to the rigours of washing that this quilt is likely to sustain.

Secondly, the backing fabric has a large patch of sun damage on it. The faded area is larger than the envelope in which the fabric was sent and stored, so I know that this did not occur while the fabric was in my possession. Unfortunately this doesn’t show up very well in photos, I’ve attached a photo which shows the faded lines.

Please email me so that we can work out a solution for this. I really would like to begin this quilt as soon as possible because I love the design and it’s perfect for my daughter’s room.


I’ll let you know how I go, and if I don’t get a satisfactory response I will name names.

There has been reading:

2008 Book List

22. Death of a Red Heroine – Qiu Xiaolong

A murder/mystery set in Shanghai in the early 1990s. Very well written and interesting. I enjoyed this a lot.

Ok, I’m off to finish attaching the binding to my quilt so that I can snuggle down and hand stitch it to the back.

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

PSA: Check your spam queue from time to time. I just found a whole bunch of comments from one of my regular readers who for some inexplicable reason had been marked as spam.

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I had a good run over the weekend and actually managed to finish three of my blocks. So I’m now down to the final 10! Here’s the latest block done.

The starburst was Gorgeous Man’s idea, and I really like it, so there’ll be a few more like this.

Not much else going on. Work is keeping me frantically busy, some parts of it are really interesting, and other parts not so much, but I’m learning a lot.

My ‘helper’ wasn’t able to come today and so Gorgeous Girl had to amuse herself quietly while I worked on the computer. Here’s part of what she got up to:

Into Mummy and Daddy’s recipes. I need some more bookshelves.

Finding the leftover fabric from the doorsnakes.

Finally, playing with her toys.

Stay tuned for exciting pictures of Gorgeous Girl taking her first drink from a cup!

There has also been reading.

2008 Book List

20. Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman – by Walter M. Miller (boo hiss, this was a sequel that should have remained unwritten, in my humble opinion0.

21. Invisible Escort – by Rose Christensen

I’m slowly getting around the blogs. Speaking of blogs, my friend Kerin is a great scrapbooker and she enters a competition each month for her local scrapbooking store. She’s won at least once. Go and check out what she did with a picture of my mum and Gorgeous Girl for this month’s competition. It’s great. Even better, she’s going to post it to my Mum as a surprise. I love my friends.

Well, Gorgeous Man is at a meeting until who knows when. I’m off to update Gorgeous Girl’s blog for the grandparents and then surf the blogs for a while before settling down with a dvd and my hand quilting. I hope your evening is wonderful

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Last week, South Africa had public holidays on Monday, Thursday and Friday, so we took Gorgeous Girl on her first-ever camping trip.

We went to the Karoo National Park. This park doesn’t have a lot of big game, and doesn’t get a lot of international tourists (I’m pretty sure we were the only people in the campsite that didn’t speak Afrikaans) but is a lovely spot to get away from it all and relax. The five hour drive took us through the mountain (literally through a mountain via a tunnel) at Worcester. I love driving in this part of the Cape. I never know which side of the car to look out of.

Stunning isn’t it. It’s autumn here and in the vineyards the grapevines are turning red and yellow and just look so pretty.

It was quite cold out in the Karoo at night (and the early mornings), but the days were lovely. Here’s Gorgeous Girl enjoying an early morning with Gorgeous Man. She’s wearing her hat from The Secret Knitter.

That’s our little tent from Australia in the background. It’s been across the Nullabor, in the far north of Western Australia, Uluru and various other places in New South Wales and Victoria. It really has seen better days and this was it’s last camping trip, it’s also a bit small now that we have a Gorgeous Girl to accommodate.

The scenery in the Karoo is spectacular too, flat plains with high mountains with lovely flat tops, like someone sliced the tops off.

Gorgeous Man is a keen bird watcher and he spent quite a bit of time wandering around the park looking for birds while I stayed with Gorgeous Girl and knitted while she napped. We also did some drives slowly around the park looking for birds.

It was really difficult to spot, but I managed to find this one:


Because Gorgeous Man is wise to the ways of the knit blogger, he pulled over at the top of a particularly scenic spot and asked if I wanted a sock photo.

I give you travelling sock in Africa!

Please excuse the wild hair, camping (and a desperate need for a hair cut will do that to me).

We will not discuss that out of the 4 projects that I packed for only one came out of the bag. The sock was cast on in the car just after we left home. It is nearly finished though. We have a dinner party tonight and I’m planning on taking it with me to finish it off…the host is a knitter that I reconverted to knitting, so she won’t mind.

Finally the time came to load up the car and come home. Gorgeous Girl was very good and waited patiently in her car seat while we packed everything in.

I’m planning on creating a website with all of our holiday photos on it, (I need to familiarise myself with web-design for my new job and this is a good way of doing it), if you are interested I’ll give you the URL when it’s done. I have lots more pictures of Gorgeous Girl, and the fantastic scenery around the area.

Oh, nearly forgot the BIG news. Gorgeous Girl pulled herself into a sitting position for the first time while we were away.

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Don’t forget to enter my contest! You have until Thursday.

Well, it’s been really cold here this week and so I got out some hand knits for Gorgeous Girl to wear. These items were knitted long before she was even a gleam in the eye. I had some yarn leftover from a gift that I had made and I knitted it up into a little jumper and a not so little hat, you know for ‘one day’.

The hat is still a bit big, though the jumper fits quite well.

Yesterday we put her in this outfit from my friend Kerin.

In other news, I have the flu. Friday and Saturday were dreadful, but I’m feeling much better now and just have a runny nose and lingering cough.

I’ve finished quilting another block, I’m not really thrilled with the stitching (note to self, don’t stitch while ill) but I’m not pulling it out because so far I’m on-track for my self-imposed deadline.

There has been reading this weekend.

2008 Book List

18. The Secret Life of a Knitter – Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot)

19. The Yarn Harlot Casts Off – Stephanie Pearl McPhee

Thanks Beth! I really enjoyed reading them.

Well I’m off to wack on a dvd and do some more hand quilting while Gorgeous Girl is sleeping. Enjoy your weekend.

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A little while ago I won a contest on Beth’s blog for some yarn. Her parcel arrived yesterday, and I was overwhelmed. There was so much more in it than just the yarn I was expecting.

Beautiful malabrigo yarn (this is going to marinate while I ruminate on the perfect pattern – suggestions welcome), a book for Gorgeous Girl (which she thinks is hilarious, apparently Mummy making animal noises is very funny), some fabulous fabric and two Yarn Harlot books which are impossible to get here! I’m halfway through one already.

Thank you so much Beth!

I promised you a dahl recipe. This makes a ton of it, so I always freeze half.


2 large carrots

2 large parsnips

1 large onion

2 stock cubes (beef flavour)

500 grams of red lentils (about 1.1023 pounds) 🙂

fresh ginger (about 5 centimetres – 2 inches)

two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil



Finely chop the onion and saute in a large saucepan with the oil.

Grate the carrots and parsnips (I use a food processor) and add to the onion

Grate the ginger finely and add to the pot.

Pour in the packet of red lentils and then add water (about 6 cups) it should be an inch or so above the vegetables and lentils. NB I use water I’ve already boiled in the electric kettle to cut down on cooking time)

Stir well, bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest setting on your stove, cover with a lid and leave it until cooked.

Simple really. You may also wish to add salt, depending on the saltiness of your stock cubes. It’s great with fresh crusty bread, and is always better the second day. In fact I usually make it and then leave it overnight in the fridge.

2008 Book List

17. Trajectories – Julian Rathbone

Come back tomorrow for a big annoucement.

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