Knitting for a change

Emel is out! Apart from one unfortunate picture of me, I'm very happy with the whole feature, and hope that if you've read the article and arrived here, you'll try it out. The listings at the back of the magazine say alternate Tuesdays but it's actually Wednesdays.

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting, but not much blogging about it as there has been far too much going on lately, what with being on call and other joyous news which I will reveal when I get the go ahead...

First up, the Lotus Blossom Tank:

This has been knit by lots of people in Blogland, and has it's own knitalong which I isilo'd and put on my PDA to take to South Africa. It was really useful, as the pattern sizing was a bit problematic, as well as being too short. After several incredibly frustrating false starts, including twisting the round (twice!) i got underway nicely during all the long drives in Cape Town. Mr C got fairly frustrated, as I was trying to work out the pattern instead of taking in the scenery.

Anyway, this is how far I got in S.A. :
Actually, I got onto the stocking stitch section, but you can see all the lotus blossoms/alien heads popping out there. I've forgotten what modifications I made now, but I think I cast on 120 stitches and then increased a bit when I got to the stocking stitch. You can see the lace pattern more clearly in this photo:

I still can't figure out how to seam it properly because the shoulders are decreased to a point which you then sew on to the front - my finishing isn't the neatest and I worked hard on this so I want it to be perfect! Any ideas?

It's actually a nicer red than in the photos - not pillar box red but brighter than in the photos. I had a whole ball of the yarn left (SWTC bamboo in fiery red) so decided I may as well make sleeves. It's just getting quite boring now though - and my knitting is starting to look sloppy as I'm working on double pointed needles. Anyway, it should all be over soon so I can get onto more fun things.

Mr C in his hat from Morocco (not knitted by me) and his lovely, cuddly Rowan Plaid Irish Hiking Scarf. I steal it from him sometimes as there is absolutely no itch-factor and it is REALLY warm. The pattern is available online although it's just a basic rib and cable scarf.

Cape Town in Photos

I think our Cape Town trip is best summarised in pictures, as I am totally worn out after 2 weeks of being on call nearly every other day.

Boy in Langa township - on the township tour, we encountered local people going about their daily lives, shopping, washing clothes, working etc. This little boy stood outside our car window and just looked at us speculatively, probably finding us as unusual a sight as we found him and his surroundings.

Memorial dedicated to the Guguletu Seven, activists that were killed during the struggle against apartheid. Yet another example of the shocking recent history of South Africa which I only really became aware of on this trip.

An example of the brightly painted houses in the Bo-Kaap district of Cape Town, traditionally a Cape Malay, or Muslim area.

Even the side of the road is beautiful. We stopped on the way to Simonstown at this beautiful spot for a few minutes. Most of the road by the coast is flanked on one side by mountains and on the other by sandy beaches and the sea.

Boulders Bay African penguin colony, near Simonstown. It was a gorgeous day, and it was quite surreal to see so many tiny cartoon-like penguins basking in the sun, almost perfectly still, while we watched from afar. At another spot, we took photos literally face to face with a penguin.

Butterfly in Kirstenbosch Gardens, the first botanical gardens to gain UNESCO World Heritage status.

Ferns in Kirstenbosch garden

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