fearless crochet at de montfort university, leicester, uk

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De Montfort University’s graduate ready-to-wear collection Spring/Summer 2015 as featured by vogue.co.uk.

These crocheted creations can be described as ‘fearless” and “adventurous”.

It pushes the boundaries of “what-to-wear” and “what-not-to-wear”

and just shows how versatile and visually extravagant dc’s, trebles, bobble stitches and loopy crochet stitches can be.

I am definitely left inspired after seeing this,

although I would tone down the colour palette if I had to make something similar for myself.

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Catwalk Inspiration

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Co-authoring a crochet book with my friends Cornel and Elsbeth is an experience in every sense of the word. It’s scary, challenging, exciting and exhilarating all at the same time. There are days of sheer frustration. Days when I question why I ever agreed to do this. But ultimately, when I stand back and reflect, I know that this experience is cementing friendships, creating proof of a craft we all love dearly, building character and stretching our dreams.

This process has taught me to seek inspiration in everything around me.

The three of us have created secret boards on Pinterest which reflects our own individual style.   We refer to these boards on a daily basis while creating and crafting new patters for our book.

The catwalk has been a source of great inspiration, from Valentino, to Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, Chanel, Francis Montesinos to name but a few.

I know the designs below will inspire you to create your own yarn magic!  Have fun while exploring…

Frances Montesino

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Looking forward to sharing our really interesting crochet designs that will be published in our book early in 2017.

For more inspiration follow me on Instagram!

Have a fabulous week

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happy holiday hat pattern

happy holiday hat cover

I wrote this pattern in December 2010 and it’s still one of my favourites to make up if I need a handmade gift for a friend.

Click HERE for the edited version of this pattern in PDF.

It’s written in English crochet terms.

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PS THIS was my original blog post on I Love Pom-poms

Crochet Olympics 2016

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This was our fourth Crochet adventure in St Frances (or as we like to call it the Crochet Olympics). It’s a time we all cherish! It’s here that we get to cook wonderful creative meals while sipping on bubbles and wine. We crochet (Liesel embroiders) and talk about our daily lives, we discover new topics such as square foot gardening, the joys and benefits of eating only organic and everything about permaculture and so much more…

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It really is a time to restore one’s soul and reflect on the exciting adventures we all have ahead of us. Each year we go back home feeling fulfilled and blessed in the knowledge that life is so much better when its filled with happiness, creativity and the many exciting ventures that lay ahead.

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Cornel has the most beautiful home in St Frances and this year our weather was amazing, Melanie and I went for a walk on the beach every morning. It’s during these walks that we re-discovered the beauty of St Frances.

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Each one of us got a turn to dish up something delectable. Most of the time it’s a group effort with Liezel (our official food photographer) snapping away at every morsel created. What made this year so special is the fact that all our food was organic, sourced from a local supplier. We all agreed that the food was soulful, colorful and so much more sumptuous as a result.

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Of course our visit would not have been complete without a trip to the wonderful Nomvulas. We tend to spend all our money in this store (without any regrets). It’s filled with the most beautiful yarn and we find ourselves spending hours just exploring. Liesel even bought a ball of yarn this year and Cornel made her some awesome mittens for the Winter.

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Cornel, Elsbeth and I are busy working on our crochet book, which is scary, exciting and rewarding all at the same time. We can’t share too many photos of what we crochet on our trip. But I can tell you that we are working with some of the most fantastic South African yarns available. For a sneak peak in the months ahead you should follow us on Instagram. Anisa, Cornel, Elsbeth

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The poem below sums up how the Crochet Olympics team feel about our life passion… crochet, food, conversations and a happy ever after.

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have a fantastic fun filled weekend!

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tierlantynkies and the african flower motif

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As you know Elsbeth and I have a small business called Empty Nest.

Well, between 27 April and 3 May this year our nest was CERTAINLY not empty!

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We held crochet workshops at the Tierlantynkies Market in Pretoria,

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And on the side we sold some lovely yarn from I Love Yarn

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and Moya Yarn.

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From the very young

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to the more mature ladies discovered the magic of crochet in our beginners workshops.

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And for everyone else who just wanted to spend 2 hours crocheting something new,

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spending time with friends,

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drinking wine, laughing and relaxing, we introduced them to these 3 motifs…

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The humble Granny Square, the popular Rustic Lace Square and

THE AFRICAN FLOWER.

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Needless to say, I got a little carried away…

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Over the course of 7 days I progressed from one

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to more

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and more

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to many.

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Until I had a small ‘roll’

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of African Flowers,

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And ultimately this half-finished beautiful blanket made with left-over “kakriel” yarns.

But acrylic blankets last forever and who wouldn’t want to play with so many colours at the same time.

As you might have noticed our blog posts have been few and far between.

I can explain. This is also the reason why I have to move my Happy African Blanket to the side (sad face emoji).

Anisa, Elsbeth and I am working on a wonderful, packed-to-the-brim crochet book with something in it for everyone.

And there’s only 3 months left.

Elsbeth and I have even postponed all our crochet classes (The Gentle Art of Crochet) until November 2016 by which time we hope the  ‘crochet dust’ will have settled.

Please join me on MY INSTAGRAM to keep up with happenings.

Although I can’t show you exactly what I’m making for our book, you’ll get glimpses of the beautiful yarns I’m working with.

We have THE MOST amazing yarn sponsors!

Thank you for following our blog.

Have a wonderful week!

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granny square beach tops

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While on holiday in the Eastern Cape, I couldn’t resist making these granny square tops for our teenage guests.

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It starts as a plain granny square with 9 rounds, then the sides are worked over 11 rows (tapers down in the granny square pattern from 6 treble groups to 1 treble group) and finished off with 6 treble-scollops around all the edges*.

Or you can buy the last one here.

Happy weekend!

CORNEL SIGNATURE* English crochet terms

craft share on friday 4 march 2016

Since 11 September 2009 I’ve had the privilege to crochet with friends on Fridays.  I call these gatherings “Craft Share”, because we make things (crafting) while we share a table, treats, coffee or tea (sometimes champagne), funny stories, sometimes heartache, just being mothers and wives, but most of all a love of making. I’ve met so many incredible woman over the years. To say that our circle of friends (who all love making and in particular crochet) have grown is an understatement. I remember one particular Friday when we met at a restaurant in Pretoria, because I didn’t have enough chairs for everyone to sit on! We were about 25 ladies crocheting, knitting, embroidering and having a good time. After about a 2 year period where I focused more on my family, home and travelling often, Adele Marais and Anneke van Heerden contacted me and asked if I could invite some of the “regulars” so we could all get in touch again. Let me introduce you to my guests:

sonja

On Friday 22 January 2010 Sonja joined Craft Share for the first time. She loves working in soothing and earthy colours. Sonja just finished a blanket for a friend’s baby. Sonja made sure we were hydrated on Friday.

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Anneke fell in love with the Rustic Lace Square recently. She is methodical when it comes to colour combinations and will be joining her squares as she goes (JAYG). I met Anneke on Friday 16 July 2010.

annelize

I’ve never known a person who cares more for others than Annelize. She is always helping someone or making a contribution somewhere. I met her on Friday 11 March 2011.

emsie

I met Emsie at the primary school our children attends. She came to Craft Share for the first time on Friday 6 May 2011. She is making a cuddle blanket for a friend.

ammie

Annemarie (or Ammie as I know her) blesses her children and grand children with generously sized blankets. She loves to use soothing colours together. I’ve known Ammie about 12 years and the first time she came to Craft Share was on Friday 29 July 2011.

jackie

Jackie came to Craft Share for the first time on Friday 9 September 2011. She’s an avid knitter and is making a classic top for herself.

adele

On Friday 9 September 2011 I met Adele Marais for the first time. Adele is a true artist when it comes to crochet. She is always busy with a beautiful blanket in the most gorgeous yarns. Click HERE for her Instagram feed.

elsbeth

Craft Share is where I met Elsbeth! On Friday the 13th of April 2012. It was a most auspicious day and I am so proud to call this incredible human being,  talented artist and extraordinary introvert my friend.

marietjie

Marietjie is a crochet connoisseur and always takes the utmost care when she chooses yarn, patterns and crochet hooks for projects. She loves challenging items like this beautiful shawl in Buttons from One-of-a-kind Yarns. I met her on Friday 1 June 2012.

amelia

On Friday 15 June 2012 I met Amelia, who LOVES colour, especially purple. She is busy making a scatter cushion cover for her daughter’s room.

debbie

Debbie home schools her children and should get a medal for how well she does it. I met her on Friday 15 June 2012.

marissa

Marissa enjoys crocheting in strong bright colours. She is working on the Rustic Lace Square for a blanket. I met her on Friday 15 June 2012.

susan

I met Susan on Friday 10 August 2012. She was busy crocheting a blanket for her holiday home. The blanket she’s holding is her way of getting rid of all her short ends. She bought the grey to tie it all together. How clever!zelda

Zelda is always busy working on blankets. She is almost done with this one (inspired by the American flag) for her son’s bedroom. I met her on Friday 8 November 2013.

I always feel SOOOO inspired after seeing what everyone is working on and also feel extremely proud of what my friends have made and achieved through crochet.

Crochet has so many benefits for the person who’s doing it, but also for the one that is blessed by receiving a handmade item.

If you’d like to explore a little more…….

Just have a look here on my first blog i love pom-poms 

and then there were all these photo albums on Facebook ….

Have a wonderful weekend!

from me, x

cornel

PS Im holding a crocheted beach skirt that a friend made. I’m just joining the panels and finishing it off.

COOL CROCHET WORKSHOP OCTOBER 2015 LAST DAY

buying blankets

I only wanted to buy one blanket – the one top left in the collage, but Rasta took me upstairs to the third floor where a man (I can’t remember his name) was busy weaving a white blanket with black stripes on a ‘contraption’ that was definitely home made.

Then back to Place Des Espices to buy some last gifts

and drinking some more mint tea.

Mohammed asked me if I take sugar in my tea.

He is one of thousands of Moroccans who suffer from diabetes.

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Lunch with Ingrid, Rosa and Ank at El Fenn:

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By this time, the prayers at midday from the Koutoubia mosque seemed magical. Such an integral part of this strange and beautiful city.

Listening to it just before lunch on the rooftop at El Fenn, was extra special.

keeping up

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saying goodbye

Flying back to South Africa via Casablanca (detail in the airport)…

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It has been 3,5 months since I visited Morocco for Ingrid Jansens’ #coolcrochetworkshop.

Before doing this blog post I had to check my photo stream to see what we actually did on the last day in Marrakech, because frankly, the exact dates and details have faded,

but the memories have not and this place will forever be in my heart.

Ingrid recently did a blog post with beautiful photos of Marrakech about the April #coolcrochetworkshop HERE.

There’s only one room left!


making plans

On the second day back in South Africa, I had lunch with Elsbeth and Anisa at Moroccan House in Menlopark, Pretoria, to tell them about the flower of Morocco … Marrakech,

how amazing Ingrid is,

how generous Ank was,

how many other beautiful woman from around the world just love to crochet

and how we HAD to experience the October 2016 #coolcrochetworkshop together!

But before then,

the 3 of us will write a crochet book together (yes, seriously!!!)

and Elsbeth and I will teach about 100 women how to crochet on Wednesdays (SEE DETAIL HERE)

and at Tierlantynkies Koop en Kuier Fees from 27 April to 3 May in Saal street, Pretoria.

Have a lovely week,

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