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

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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

my butterfly brooch

 

I had so much fun making this! A cute little butterfly brooch…..

It has two sides. The fun speckled yarn side……..

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….and another side with flowers

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the collection yarns

I used an arty speckled yarn from one of a kind yarns, black vinnis nikkim to crochet the two sides together and to crochet the middle of the butterfly’s body and to embroider 2 small flowers.

The other side of the butterfly was crocheted with some delicious natural merino dk yarn, and cowgirlblues merino lace was used for the little french knots and flowers.

If you would like to see it in action on my jersey you can pop over to my instagram account. Winter is here and its time for jerseys, sweaters, scarves, beanies and mittens…and of course, my cute little butterfly brooch!

Have a lovely weekend

love from Elsbeth

ps: this is the pattern that I used.

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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Bell Sleeve Revival

I loved wearing vintage clothing in my teens. I used to scour the local vintage stores and visit Rocky Street in Johannesburg to find the most beautiful vintage items. My favorite was any item that had either bell bottoms or bell sleeves. So it was to my absolute delight that I discovered that the bell sleeve is experiencing a revival. From Victoria Beckham to Rosetta Getty – two of the worlds renowned designers have included the bell sleeve in their collections.

Victoria Beckham always a trend setter, launched her version of the bell sleeve jersey in 2015.

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Take a look at Rosetta Getty’s  fall 2016 collection where she showcases her beautiful knitted bell sleeve jersey.

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And just because I could not resist, take a look at some of Rosetta Getty’s beautiful crochet items

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Gigi Hadid looks super chic in one of Rosetta’s designs

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Here are a few Emma Bell designs to inspire you

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There are some interesting bell sleeve knitting and crochet patterns to be found on etsy.com.

 Have a fabulous weekend creating something spectacular!

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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!

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Be bright

Things that brightened up my day….

  • Receiving the most funky and sweet place mats ever from Cornel this morning while working on our crochet book.
  • This neon yellow African fabric I used to dress my paper doll version of myself.  These paper dolls are part of our Empty Nest workshops at Tierlantynkies . Please see the workshop schedule if you live in Gauteng,-  our workshops will brighten up your day and no previous art experience needed to make and paint yourself and your family!

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Hope you have a bright, shiny weekend full of love

love from Elsbeth