Créateurs de Perles en Fils

All yarns used are either from natural or reclaimed materials. Most of them are hand-dyed and as much as possible organic, hand-spun and locally sourced.

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PLEASE NOTE my number is : +27 (0)83 365 6782

03 August 2010

Embo-craft in South Africa

Last thursday at Embo-craft i taught the ladies how to crochet the Nimbostratus earrings. It was a great success! They loved it to bits, at last i presented them with a project they can complete in one three hour course!

Embo-craft is a charity on Botha's Hill (basically the hill just across us) and teaches all sorts of crafts (you didn't guess!) to the people of the surroundings thanks to volunteering and donations of crafts materials. They make beautiful screen-printed tee-shirts, felted jewelry, lots of sewn items too, dolls. The most striking pieces of all are the patchworks. The crafters depict their life like in a comic with different fabric skills like drawing, embroidering, dyeing…etc. (Link on the right hand-side and below)

Here is a photo of the Indabuko project (link below), i love those tees, hand dyed and screen printed with all local materials (More info on the Embo craft website). My favourite is the tree with its root outlining Africa. It also makes me think of a human heart. Yeah that's somebody's Xmas present!

I came across the centre one day by chance, i bought a few things, and i volunteered. I really liked the idea that we would give them a skill. It is the old “give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime”. Also any yarn nuts like me would love the storage room where they keep all the donations of yarn in all forms, wool, beads…  A dream for a creative mind. (We need crochet cotton though! Mail me if you have some to spare!)
I have been teaching the women five times so far, every Thursday, and the number of “students” in the class is growing! I teach crochet for now, but they are all very keen to learn knitting. I will wait a little for that because, i explained, crochet can be done anywhere easily. Just take your crochet out of your handbag and go. Knitting in a taxi, well… that wouldn’t be that easy!

So far i had put the emphasis on how to make simple squares and learning stitches. A bit repetitive, for sure, but i had to find out who could and who couldn’t crochet with a regular tension. Then i taught them how to read a pattern and a chart, and i presented them the “puff stitch beret” by creativeyarn (link to her pattern below). They loved it! It taught them how to crochet in concentric circles (rather than shongololo/spiral style) and how to increase and decrease. It was a fairly long project though, so i had to find something quicker, but as challenging. Another thing was that eventually some of their projects must go in the shop to raise funds. So i went into the storage room, well, rather Ali Baba’s cavern, and i found earring hooks. Nimbostratus earrings was my next lesson!

All the ladies are very skilled, and some of them, like Xesibile (pictured above) and Thuli, easily customize the patterns into their own creations. I really have to teach them how to write their own charts so they can make up patterns. Last time was a good one. I’ m starting to grab more Zulu too, so i’m not completely lost when they talk. Not that i could speak, but i’m getting there!

I have plenty great pics in store, watch this space!

Puff stitch beret

Embo craft

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