Monday, June 29, 2015

A Tale of Two Cardigans

Today’s story is about 2 warm and fluffy pullovers that have been converted into cardigans – projects perfect for our chilly Southern Hemisphere weather right now.
A Tale of Two Cardigans

The first is  family heirloom Angora Pullover.  This gorgeous item was created by my client’s mom a number of years ago.  Not only did she hand-knit the jersey, but she also hand spun the yarn from an Angora Rabbit that she kept herself.  I believe that Angora is 6 times warmer than normal sheep’s wool, so Deborah found that it was too  warm to wear all day in our mild Durban climate, and preferred to have the jersey as a cardigan that she could throw on for extra warmth when needed. 
Angora Rabbit Wool Cardigan Conversion 
The patterned front became the interesting back of the garment – and I made a little jersey heart from the area where the front neckline was cut out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe second was a pretty fluffy thrift shop find jersey that I converted for myself.
Fluffy Jersey re-inventionBoth of these were done in a similar way.  This is how you can create your own cardigan story. Each Pullover is different so you may have to adapt these instructions to best suit the one you have.
1.  Find an old pullover or polo-neck jersey.
2.  Turn the pullover inside out.  Mark the new opening and neckline with pins, running stitches or dressmaker’s pen.
3.  Press a y-shaped strip of iron-on interfacing onto the proposed cut line on the wrong side of the jersey.  Use a damp press-cloth, so that the yarn is not damaged.
The back neck edge may not need interfacing to strengthen it if the knit is firm enough to support the crochet edging. (a seam or ribbing or the actual edge of the original neck edge)
4.  Cut through the centre front and new neck edge of the cardigan.  The interfacing will help to stabilise the knit.
5.  Turn the cardigan right side out
Crochet over the raw edge.
6.  Select an appropriate matching or contrasting wool or cotton, with an appropriately sized crochet hook.
7.  Starting at the bottom edge, working on the front of the garment, work double crochet stitches into the knit, over the raw edge.  (USA – single crochet stitches)
Put the crochet hook into the knitting, (deep enough away from the edge to not cause it to unravel).  Put the yarn over the hook ,pull the hook back through the work to the front, keeping the yarn on the hook so that it forms a loop on the front side of the garment, make a second loop on the hook, and pull it through.
8.  Keep going all the way around.  It may take a few tries to get the spacing of the stitches correct.  This row forms a base for the crochet edging.  You may want to do a few plain rows of double-crochet.  Button holes can be created in the crochet work, or chain button loops can be added afterwards.

Cardigan Conversion Instructions
Please tell us about your cardigan conversion story.  We’d love to know how it turns out.
Interesting fact – A cardigan is a type of knitted garment that has an open front. Commonly cardigans have buttons. A more modern version of the garment has no buttons and hangs open by design. By contrast, a pullover does not open in front but must be “pulled over” the head to be worn. It may be machine- or hand-knitted.
The cardigan was named after James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British Army Major General who led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Wikipaedia

Friday, June 12, 2015

Button and Thread Bracelets

Button and Thread Bracelets – Finally!  The tutorials are up for these button bracelets.  They are a fun, quick project and a good way to use up a leftover buttons and crochet cottons.  I’ve  shown a few variations of colour and techniques.  Mostly, I’ve used crochet cotton like J&P Coats Knit Crosheen or Elle Crochet from my own collection. I buy my cottons from Wool and Weave in Hillcrest – An inspiring place to visit if you are a local Durbanite.  Bracelet from green thread and brown buttons with French Knots
First the buttons are linked together with thread stitches – to form a basic bracelet.  Then the decorative stitching is added.
Here the basic bracelet is made with teal cotton thread and highlighted with red French knots and cream cotton leaves. The buttons had printing on the front, so I turned them upside down to show the plain brown side only.

This one was made with the same brown buttons, but this time I let the print show – giving it a typographical feel.  The basic bracelet was made with slightly thicker Vinnis Nikkim  (South African hand dyed cotton thread) in apple green and highlighted with cream crochet cotton French knots.

For this one I used black buttons and various crochet cottons from my collection.

Button Bracelet with lilac French knots
If you'd like to make these yourself, this is where you can find the tutorials:
Tutorial for Basic Bracelet
Tutorial for Decorative Stitching on Bracelet.
Please let me know how it goes!


This pattern is available for free on the Freshly Found Blog.  If you like to have it all together in one document, it is available as a downloadable PDF in the freshly found shop

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Creative Collab Durban 2

Creative Collab Durban 2
Tonight is the opening of the Creative Collab Durban.  An exciting exhibition with some amazing local talent.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Creative Collab Durban

Creative Collab Durban
Freshly Found has exhibited at the Design Indaba in Cape Town before and so is delighted to be part of the exciting upcoming Creative Collab Durban.

These Puzzle Bowls are part of the stand decor.  Look out for some new designs as well as the ones you know well.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Delicate Daisy Chain

Delicate Daisy Chain Daisy garlands bring to mind images of freedom,  fun and dancing in a summer field.  The design of these light paper daisies hopefully evokes the same feelings, and can be made any time of the year.
The design is made from paper squares cut from sheets of tissue paper –   An ideal way of using up saved tissue paper from shoe boxes, gift bags or wrapping.
Daisies in the window

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crafted Book Vase

Crafted Book Vase
This week, I am going to show you how to fashion a vase – not from clay, but from a book!  A bibliographic vessel!
It’s a fairly quick to make, and quite attractive.  Good for storing water-less flora like dried grasses and flowers.   These autumn twigs work rather well too.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Beautiful and Botanical

Beautiful and Botanical
Just recently, a few of us creatives visited the Durban Botanical Gardens.  It was a beautiful day and we had a hugely satisfying time snapping away at the photogenic surroundings.  What a privilege to visit this haven with like-minded Durbanites.
These large significant gardens were developed in 1849 as a station for growing trial agricultural crops and are the oldest surviving Botanical Gardens in Africa.
The plant life is breath-taking, and so many of the other elements of this, Durban’s well-run and oldest public institution are intriguing.
Here is some of what I saw:
This bright banana petal seems to be pointing the way…
Botanical gardens b IMG_7564

Friday, April 17, 2015

Pure White Proteas

I just had to share this latest order with you.  What a delight to work on a huge order of pure white proteas!
 Made mostly from recycled materials - especially the pure white paper
Once a large order is made up, I find it personally so satisfying to see the mass effect of all the hard work together.  


 Chat to us if you would like a bespoke order made up.
Visit our gallery or portfolio to see other options.

Monday, April 06, 2015

New Home

This blog is busy moving to a new home

with a simpler address.

Please follow us at


Look forward to seeing you there

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Turned Wood, Painted Eggs and Easter Songs

I have a sweet fledgling vintage wooden egg cup collection and Easter seemed like a good time to fill them .  I  was inspired by these beauties -  gradient painted eggs  from the Annie Sloane inspirational post for EasterOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I am enjoying this collection of cups.  Does anyone actually use wooden egg cups? I guess they are a lovely way to express woodworking design and skills.

The visually soothing repetiton of similar elements in this set along with vibrant variation from different grains, shades and shapes make my heart sing!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis Easter weekend has seen my heart singing along with music that is meaningful to me:
This is Amazing Grace

And if this celebration is relevant to you too , I'd like to wish you the Happiest of Easters!