chanel inspiration

Now that winter is slowly turning into spring and all the sweaters, blankets and mittens have been made, or your WIP pile got a bit bigger,  we can start planning our to-make list for spring.

Spring Beanies are a thing this season as you can see in the 2015  Chanel spring collection.

Look how cute!

chanel 1chanel 2

  chanel 4 chanel 3

I’m not sure how many South-Africans will wear a beany in spring since it is really warm here, but I cannot describe how cool these are to me and I decided to spend my Sunday making a beany a-la-Chanel.

I liked the random way the colours played with each other and the little plastic flowers are just so cute!

I couldn’t go to a yarn shop to buy wool for the project…. it was  Sunday and the shops are closed… so I had to use what I had.

knitted beany by Elsbeth

I used 3 different yarns and I found some romantic pink tulle in my fabric stash that I cut into long strips so I could knit with it.

I just knitted in the round with my biggest needles and also didn’t follow any plan.

The tulle and some beads that i found in an old tin was used to make the flowers.

I love to have fun like this and now Amber, my daughter, has another beany for her collection.amber in beany

Hope you have a great week!

love from Elsbeth

#rusticlacesquare blanket for christi

rustic lace square for Christi

My first #rusticlacesquare blanket is finished and ready to be sent to Nottingham.

(#rusticlacesquare=that’s the hashtag everyone who’s working on this pattern is using on Instagram)

rusticlacesquare for Christi original 88 squares

I started crocheting this amazingly beautiful design 30 weeks ago, and in 8 weeks time (end of November 2014) had 88 squares that I wanted to join as one HUGE blanket.

That never happened.

Instead, I selected 30 squares (mainly cool shades) and started joining them by hand late last week.

rusticlacesquare for Christi what it would look like

Pretty soon I had this beautiful blanket (some might rather call it a throw…) that needed an edge.

Like a sentence needs a full stop.rusticlacesquare for Christi scollop recipe

Scollops are my favourite edge. So simple and easy to make, without distracting from the beautiful detail inside the rustic lace squares.

rusticlacesquare for Christi leftover yarn for scollop edge

rusticlacesquare for Christi autumn roses

rusticlacesquare for Christi playing a little

I’ll be sending my blanket with SO MUCH LOVE to my daughter in the UK on Monday, hoping it will brighten her room (and warm her heart).

Have a lovely weekend!

cornel signature

PS Just for fun:

I replaced 3 squares in Christi’s blanket with flower collages. See how quickly you can spot them

rusticlacesquare for Christi with flower collages

Read my first post on THE BLANKET here (click on this sentence)

hello fancy pansy

This weekend was spent sorting out my yarn stash. My daughter wanted to knit a scarf for the cooler Johannesburg mornings, and while looking for something suitable, I found the beautiful Pierrot Linen Yarn that I got as a gift at our crochet Weekend last october.

I decided to make a small Pansy Flower brooch for myself.


I love to crochet brooches- I usually make them when I want instant gratification. Its easy to start and quick to finish and feels amazing to add something new to your outfit.

The natural linen yarn has a very interesting texture- it is stiff and takes a bit to get used to, but once you start the texture becomes amazingly soft.

The way my little leaves and flower kept their form and how the hit of shimmer from the yarn played with the light just won me over.



fancy pancy brooch by elsbeth

If you can remember from my previous post, my dog played with my precious Malabrigo Silkpaca yarn and I promise you, I tried to unravel it but it was just impossible to wind back to a ball.

So now I have messy leftovers and most of my projects that need a little bit of yellow amazingness will get the silkpaca treatment. I added some french knots in the centre of my crochet flower with my silkpaca.

fancy pancy brooch by elsbeth

fancy pancy brooch by elsbeth

I highly recommend this yarn for making necklaces and little accessories or any project where you want texture and a natural feel.


Lucy also loves the brooch and couldn’t wait to try it on!

fancy pancy brooch by elsbeth

Have a great week!

love from Elsbeth

PS: My daughter ended up knitting a scarf with some Vinnis Bambi.

She is going for a colour block effect. How sweet!


my mittens

Winter is coming…..

and its getting cooler here in Pretoria.

I love the cooler weather because it means I can wear coats, pretty knitted and crochet scarves and some of my cute stockings to keep warm! So to celebrate the start of cooler days I  decided to make some mittens.

I have never knitted anything like a mitten and I loved this project!

mittens by Elsbeth

Apart from starting over like 5 times, I eventually got the feel for the pattern and enjoyed it so much.

I used the beautiful Rowan Wool that I shopped with Cornel.

mittens by Elsbeth

I used this free Ravelry pattern by Tincanknits but didn’t follow the pattern word for word  stitch for stitch.

I simplified the pattern so that all the stitches are knitted with the easy plain knit stitch. I only purled a bit at the ribbing.

mittens by Elsbeth

I know that my stitches are not consistent and that I can improve my overall technique but I am super happy with the end result!

The Ravelry pattern is for adults and children and also gives instructions for how to knit a finger-less mitten.

Definitely going to make some of them for my loved ones.

mittens by Elsbeth

mittens by Elsbeth

I embroidered a flower and some twigs on the one mitten and will do the same on the other mitten.

I used some Italian cotton and silkpaca from Malabrigo for the embroidery details.

Hope your week is fantastic and that you are using your special knitting and crochet skills to make the world a warmer place!


ps: if you were wondering why all my yellow Malabrigo silkpaca is in such a mess it is because I had an assistant aka Lilly, my dog, who put my wool through a rough play session behind my back!!!

hello, winter is coming…

This year is travelling at the speed of light and it is already March!

The mornings are getting chilly and I am getting ready for winter.

I bought some beautiful Malabrigo yarn from my favorite local yarn shop, I love yarn. I had no clue what I wanted to make with the wool (I rarely do), but after seeing Stephni, co-owner of I love yarn in this cute knitted top, I felt inspired to knit myself a little top.

The last major knitting experience I had was in high-school. I made myself a  sweater and when I finished it, it turned out to be a sweater for some weird giant person with extremely long arms.

I didn’t dare to make anything else, I was so disappointed.

Fast forward and here I am  in 2015 and I just completed this little top!

knitted top by Elsbeth

The Silky merino Malabrigo was such a treat to fondle and knit with and I highly recommend it. It is a blend of silk and merino and mmmmmmm….. very beautiful.

I felt very adventurous and just started to knit, and measured the top as I went along.

After knitting a rectangle shape with a hole in the middle for my head, I sewed the sides closed and added some crochet detail at the neckline and arm openings.

knitted top detail

sleeve detail

I am busy adding some embroidery details to the top and will share the complete finished top in a later post with you.

(the embroidery details are also there to hide some of the holes and weird stitches I knitted!)

embroidery detail

I enjoyed the challenge of knitting so much and I want to make another top for the cool autumn days with mid length sleeves. I have a few balls of beautiful Rowan Cocoon in my stash for a pretty sweater top!

Here are some sweaters and cardigans that I would love to have this winter.

I can imagine starting to knit these…..


….and then moving on to knitting like this…






..yes, in my dreams I can.

All these sweaters are from my Pinterest board- just click on the photo for the link.

Hope you are going to have a great week!


the blanket


What started out 7 weeks ago as a one-square-a-day project,

turned into a bit of a crochet frenzy. But I’ve never been so inspired and eager to use every spare bit of time I had (and sometimes more) to work on this gorgeous pattern, found as a diagram on a Russian website.


Here’s a look at photos from my iPhone…



My first 20 squares were crocheted in St Francis Bay while we were on holiday. Nothing better to do, with the weather wet and windy.


Then I crocheted some more, feeling totally inspired by the colours of the yarns in my stash. I didn’t buy any extra yarns for THE BLANKET. It wasn’t necessary with so much Vinnis Nikkim, Serina and Bambi, some Cowgirl Blues, little bits of Family Knit in grey, Charity’s Tiger Cerise, some Premier Cotton and even a delicious Mustard yellow from One-of-a-kind yarns.


THE BLANKET was the perfect expression of spring …


I spent many late afternoons working on the squares, in the company of my darling George,


or Cat.


crocheting friday

At last I had 88 squares, ready to be joined,


My only problem was HOW to join them:


sew the squares together,


or crochet them together.


I decided on crocheting them together, because I felt that this would reflect the desired movement and tension that I wanted from the blanket better.


As you can see, it’s a massive job.


and … it … goes … very … slowly …


My hopes are high to finish joining before we go on holiday.

cornel signature
(originally posted on 26 november 2014)

hello monday

 The things that make me happy are very simple:

a smile,

a pretty handbag,

the warmer weather

and the amazing things people make with wool …

pineapple dishcloth

This pineapple dishcloth is so cute and sweet!

photo found on pinterest

crochet blanket

This blanket! Cute cute cute, it’s so cute that it makes me broody.

photo found on pinterest


This crocheted sweater with embroidery is SO pretty, that I must confess: I feel actually, illegally-happy just looking at it!

photo found on pinterest

Here is your free printable for the week

hope you like it!

do what makes you happy

do what makes you happy

click on the link and download the image. wanna show us what you did with it? tag your image #hellohartco on instagram.

love elsbeth

(original post 24 August 2014)

friday i’m in love

Wow! We are a bunch of girls who LOVE LOVE LOVE yarn.

You really shared the most amazing reasons why you love yarn with us these last 4 days and we hope to share those with you over the following 120 days! That’s how many replies we received for the question: Why do you love yarn?

Our winner of the I LOVE YARN-giveaway is Marie Swanepoel.

Congratulations Marie! We totally agree with you:


Elsbeth is working on a little artwork, with Marie’s words, for the blog on Monday. Another printable for Monday! I can’t wait to see it, because I love Elsbeth’s work!

15 aug 2014 collage

Today, I’m in love with (clockwise from top left) a crocheted handbag

the combination of colors in the bouquet of flowers

a crocheted alphabet

and a simple granny square cushion

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lots of yarn-love,

cornel signature

(original post on 15 august 2014)