Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Balkissock Black Faced Sheep Hats

How would you like to knit one of these lovely hats for your friends or family?


I’ve been knitting some hats as gifts for family for Christmas and to also sell at the Christmas Fair. You could make either a hat with a turned over ribbed band or a beanie.

I guess it doesn’t really matter what colours you use but to get the Balkissock Black-Faced Sheep ‘look’ you’ll need to use a creamy white and a charcoal grey.


Yarn used: Drops Karisma (DK) 100% wool

Finished size: 50-58cm (20-23 inches) circumference. (Please note that the finished ‘stretched’ size will mostly be determined by how tightly you pull your trailing yarns behind the pattern which could restrict the expansion of the finished hat).

Needle size: 4mm circular needle (alternatively use 4 or 5 DPNs).

Weights required: approx. 100g (total, excluding pompom which will take about 15-25g depending upon how big you make it!).

So that you can decide whether you have sufficient yarn of each colour, the following quantities were used in making this version (approx weights): Blue (35g), Green (10g), Light Grey (30g), Dark Grey (5g) and Cream (15g).

 Free knitting pattern

Pattern: teenager/adult size

Cast on 120 stitches using your own preferred method.

Rib 26 rows (I do 2×2 rib but feel free to chose your own option) (rib 8-12 rows only for a beanie).

Next row: Begin following the gridded pattern that you will need to repeat once per row to give you 120 stitches:

You will end up with 12 stitches on the needles. Cut the wool leaving approx. 20cm tail. Thread onto a darning needle. Thread through the 12 stitches in a circle and pull gently until the hole closes up. Go through the stitches twice more and then fasten off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Make and attach pompo.

Pattern (Child 4-10 years) 

I’m busy writing a child’s version of the pattern and I’ll add it here in the next couple of weeks.

If you don’t have time to make one yourself, perhaps your resident yarn botherer will help you out!!


If you would like an Excel version of the pattern grid, please email me and I’ll send you a copy.

There are lots of patterns out there so it’s taken me a while to look through them to make sure that I haven’t accidentally copied someone else’s as they’re all quite similar but if you think that I may have, please do let me know so that I can rectify the situation. It’s quite difficult to actually design a small pattern that’s different to others! Any similarity is purely co-incidental and no copyright infringement is intended.


Balkissock Lodge B&B

For more information about the B&B, to check prices and offers please follow this link to the tariff page or to check availability and to book direct with the owner online, please click this link here.

Read Full Post »

Happy New Year!

This year I have decided to crochet a Temperature Afghan using these gorgeous colours…


temperature afghan 2016 colours
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then read on…

The first temperature afghans that I saw were knit or crocheted in stripes…


screenshot from Pinterest
[screenshot from Pinterest]
You select a range of colours of yarn and allocate a temperature (or range of temperatures) to each colour. Check the forecast (or your thermometer) each day to find out the maximum temperature and work one row in that colour. Unless you live somewhere exotic where the temperature is the same every day, at the end of the year you should have a beautiful multi-coloured blanket at the end of the year.


These are my colours:

White: background and below 0C

Blue: 1-4C

Green: 5-8C

Yellow: 9-12C

Orange: 13-16C

Raspberry: 17-20C

Purple: over 20C
Edit: I’ve ordered a pale blue to cover -5 to 0C and a pale yellow to cover over 25C (which will probably get used once!!).
I’m not really into stripes so I have decided to make coloured squares and to make it even more colourful, I’ve decided to record the nighttime low temperature (the colour in the centre) and the daytime high temperature (the flower itself).

Squares however have caused me a bit of an issue as 366 squares don’t sew together to make a square or a rectangle! To accommodate this I’m doing 14 all-white squares to put between the months (with an extra one between June/July) making a total of 380 squares (19 x 20 rows).

A disadvantage is that its difficult to buy sufficient yarn when you don’t know how much you’ll need so I’ve deliberately over-bought. I love the colours and I’ll make something nice in a year’s time with what’s left.

I’ll post pictures now and again of my progress.

Let me know if you’re also doing a Temperature Afghan 2016 as I’d love to see them.

Copyright © 2016 by Cordelia

All rights reserved

Balkissock Lodge

Click her to check B&B availability, promo codes, special offers and to book online

Read Full Post »

Nice little surprise

A parcel arrived in the post today … imagine my surprise to find enclosed two tiny Fish and Chip baby vests to add to the collection.

Thank you very much Bridget, they’re beautiful.

More information about the Fish and Chip baby vests can be found here.

Cordelia (c) 2015

Click here to check B&B availability, information about promocodes, special offers and to book online.

Read Full Post »

Fish and Chip Baby Knitting Patterns:

I really thought that my mother had finally lost the plot on the phone last week when she said that she was knitting jumpers for the fish and chip babies!!

Finding information on the internet about the scheme was difficult at first but it does appear to be something that started in New Zealand a couple of years ago and progressed world wide.

Babies born in some of the poorest areas of Africa are wrapped in newspaper, hence the name “Fish ‘n’ Chip Babies”, to keep them warm when mothers have no clothes for them so in addition to the jumpers/vests people are also knitting tiny beanies.

I’ve made three this week so far with some left over wool:

Fish and Chip Baby Jumper/Vest

Here are the original knitting patterns which are circulated worldwide:


  • 8 Ply Yarn (double knitting)
  • 5mm needles (tight knitters) or 4.5mm needles (loose knitters)
  • Cast on 44 stitches
  • Work 18 Rows in K2, P2 rib
  • Work 30 Rows stocking stitch (1 row plain, 1 row purl)
  • Cast on 12 stitches at beginning of next 2 rows and at the same time change to K2, P2 (for sleeve)
  • Rib 22 more rows.
  • Next row: Rib 21, cast off 26 stitches, rib 21
  • Next row: Rib 21, cast on 26 stitches, rib 21
  • Work 22 rows in K2, P2 rib
  • Cast off 12 stiches at beginning of next 2 rows
  • Work 30 rows stocking stitch
  • Work 18 rows, K2, P2 rib
  • Cast off
Eagle eyed amongst you will notice that I tinkered with the original pattern when I was knitting the one on the right! They do ask that you don’t use white or baby pastels as they’re unlikely to be washed very often.
  • 8 Ply Yarn (double knitting)
  • 5mm needles (tight knitters) or 4.5mm needles (loose knitters)
  • Cast on 64 stitches
  • Work 14 rows in (K 1, P 1) rib.
  • Knit 24 rows, or work until 11 cm from cast-edge
  • Shape Crown as follows:
    Row 1 : K 6 K 2 tog; repeat to end of row (56stitches)
    Row 2 : Knit.
    Row 3 : K 5, K 2 tog; repeat to end of row. (48 stitches).
    Row 4 : Knit
    Row 5 : K 4, K 2 tog; repeat to end of row (40 stitches)
    Row 6 : Knit
  • Continue decreasing in this manner until (K 1, K 2, tog) has been completed and 16 stitches remain
  • Knit 1 Row
  • Break yarn and thread through remaining 16 stitches 


The Ruth Mailbag, Ladysmith, South Africa.

EDIT 10th February 2016


Thank you for your support of our group over the past 13 ½ years, however, it is with regret that I have to advise that our group will be closing on the 6th February 2016. If possible could you kindly publish a small item to this effect, so, that the community may know that we will no longer be collecting items for the needy of our community?
Once again, many thanks for your support.
Joy Coetzee – Founder – The Ruth Mailbag Group”

I have had several people telephone and email me since the beginning of 2016 looking for alternative charities and addresses to send donations. I’ll add them here as I find them.


EDIT 20th February 2016:

Message from Joy Coetzee:

GROUPS – Please continue to support these groups:
Beanies And Blankets For Babies – We knit, crochet, sew and donate items to babies and moms in King Dinuzulu and Murchison Hospitals, KZN, larger sizes go to Creighton, southern Drakensberg
Bowlers 4 Babies – We aim to make up gift packs to give to the new mothers at the local Provincial hospitals. Inspired by The Ruth Mailbag Group and Joy Coetzee

Amor Group works for the babies born at Steve Biko in Pretoria

Ten Thousand Blocks for Amor works for the Amor Group

Bertha Gxowa Hospital – Address for donations: Maternity Ward, Cnr. Angus & Joubert Street, Germiston. Postal: Private Bag X1035, Germiston, 1400 South Africa. Name of staff liaison person: Mrs N J Korong. Telephone number of staff liaison person: (011) 089-8500 Ext 1244. Fax: (011) 825-5425. Email: Jeanette.Korong@gauteng.gov.za. Needs: Kangaroo Abbas, vests, jerseys, booties, hats (prems and full term new-borns). General: Receiving blankets. Contact person is Alison Beattie at https://www.facebook.com/alliebt

Morag Macneill Van Deventer lives at Fordmouth, Baynesfield and works for various charities e.g. Nels Rust School, mums in Edendale Kangaroo Mother Care unit. Edendale Burns Unit (Burns Care Trust), Mahagu children, etc. She calls her charity group, “Kuvela Orhandweni”. Please visit her page at https://www.facebook.com/morag.m.vandeventer for more information.



Reproduced here with kind permission from THE RUTH MAILBAG GROUP

I could not find a long-sleeved version of this vest although I saw that someone suggested just extending the 12 cast on stitches for the sleeve.
I felt that this could make for rather a bulky finish under the babe’s arm so came up with this solution.

1.     Work as for the original but do not cast on the stitches for the sleeves.
You will end up with a straight piece going from one ribbed edge to the other.

2.     Where the sleeves should be, pick up and knit 44stitches.(22 either side of the neck slash.) This is the exact number of the rows of rib before and after neck slash and proves very easy to do.
This join looks virtually seamless and will provide no irritation for the baby.

3.      Work 5 rows in st. st. ending with a purl row.

4.      Continue in st. st. decreasing one stitch at each end of every knit row until you have 28 sts.

5.      Change to K2. P2 rib for 8 rows and cast off loosely.

You should have something that looks like this:

You should finish with this:

I do not have a baby to try this on but cannot see why it shouldn’t work.


Thank you to Anne who commented on this blog and left these very useful addresses:

Knit-a-square in Soweto

Loving Hands (Scottish charity knitters)

Baby Pack Project South Africa


Thank you also to Bek who commented on the blog and left this address:

Mowbray Maternity Hospital
12 Hornsey Road
Cape Town
South Africa




Copyright © 2011 by Cordelia

All rights reserved

Balkissock Lodge B&B

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: