Friday, July 22, 2011

Missing - Altered Books

Three of Jeanette Gilk’s altered books that were removed from the exhibition at the National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch in July and not returned before the exhibition was dismantled. Please note that these little altered books were NOT for sale. They are altered Fibreworks Major Minors catalogues that accompany Jeanette’s large altered Innovative Threads book on exhibitions. A copy of each of the 2 catalogues (not altered) were also taken. If you have them or know who does, or if you see them please arrange for their safe return to Dana Biddle, PO Box 2, Heidelberg 1438. Tel. 0163492949 or 0832685856.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Knitting in July

Hi Everyone,
 It’s been a really busy time since my book was launched and very exciting. We’ve had the launches in Cape Town and Hillcrest and C.N.A. in Eastgate have kindly offered to organise a Jo’burg launch. As soon as I have details I’ll let you know. In the meantime we have a lot of knitting events happening in July that I’m sure you’ll be interested in.

 National Quilt Festival – 1st to 7th July 2011  Bloemhof Girls School, Stellenbosch

ColourSpun and Nurturing Fibres will be sharing a stand and we will be selling our hand dyed yarns and a few little surprises. We are planning lots of exciting specials, with something new every day. I’ll also be demonstrating Tunisian Crochet and we’ll both be available to help with any knitting questions you may have. If you’re anywhere near Stellenbosch, treat yourself to a visit.

Breakaway to Clarens – 12th to 16th July 2011Instead of a breakaway to Heidelberg, this year I’ll be presenting workshops in Clarens on the 14th and 15th July as part of the annual Quilt in Clarens.

14th July – 8:30 to 4:30  Modular Knitting

Level – Intermediate to Advanced
Modular Knitting
From accessories, to garments to blankets, modular knitting is a wonderful way to knit geometric shapes into all sorts of everything. This method of knitting is easy if you follow a few guidelines and you’ll soon be on your way creating your own wonderful pieces.
Cost: R250.00
List of Materials
Yarn – all sorts, thick, thin, smooth, textured, novelty in a variety of colours of your choice.         
Knitting needles – bring a few sizes in a range to suit your yarns
Pencil, eraser.

15th July – 8:30 to 4:30 Free Style Knitting

Level – Intermediate to Advanced
Free Style Knitting
The do as you please with anything you like kind of knitting. You will learn to let go and allow your creativity to take over while you just knit.

Cost: R250.00
List of Materials
Yarn – all sorts, thick, thin, smooth, textured, novelty in a variety of colours of your choice.
Knitting needles – bring a few sizes in a range to suit your yarns
Pencil, eraser.

To book for Clarens please contact Alae Grabe – e-mail , Cell No: 082 577 2232, Fax 086 656 2537

To book accommodation in Clarens call Melanore on 058 256 1173

Hope to see you there J

 Free Knitting with Sandra Ratto

Sandra has been free knitting for many years. This means knitting without a pattern using many different textures and colours in one piece of work. You will be shown many techniques which you’ll use to make a Papal Scarf with patches of colour and textures that can  be worn as an accessory in place of a necklace.
3 One day workshops will be presented at “The Coffee Shop” on Pretoria Road in Benoni (near to Fruit and Veg City)

Dates: Thursday 7th, 14th and 28th July  from 9:30 to 1:30
Cost:  R300.00

List of Materials
Pair of 4mm needles
1 ball DK yarn – black
An assortment of other yarns (small amounts of each)

To book for Sandra’s workshops, please call her on 011 894 1011.
That’s all for now.
Happy Knitting

Love Dana

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Launch

Book Launch - A Knitting Adventure with South African Yarn 
                             'n Brei-avontuur met Suid-Afrikaanse wol

at Spin Knits at the V&A Waterfront on the morning of the 28th May 2011 at 10am. Many of the yarn makers will be there and it promises to be a lovely morning out.

at Wool n Weave in Hillcrest, KZN at 9:30am on the 4th June 2011. If you're in Durban, please join us there, we're looking forward to meeting you.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Site_Specific Land Art Event

The Site_Specific Land Art Event will take place in Plettenberg Bay  from the 22 - 29 May 2011. It is South Africa's first international land art event. From the 22nd to the 27th artists will create works along the trail using matrerials such as rocks, sticks, soil and plants. The trail will be open to all on the 28th and 29th and there is a full programme of events.

The Boitumelo Sewing Project  have joined the Site_Specific Land Art Event
and will offer training to 8 different craft projects within the Bitou Municipality as well as creating and showing 'Veiled Hope' which won the first prize from Skaftein in February 2011. 'Veiled Hope' will be exhibited this week in Hillbrow outside the Hillbrow Theatre and on the Church Tower.
Please follow their journey on;

For more info regarding this event, please visit the Site_Specific Land Art Event website.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nuno Felting Workshop

NUNO Felting workshop by Margarida Beneito

Friday 27th May in Winston Park, KZNAll facilites will be provided and Margarida will provide all materials.  This is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn from an expert before she leaves for Germany 5 days later!!

The cost is R850 and full payment must be made to secure your booking.
To book, call Colleen    031 7672239 or 083 311 4647 as soon as possible as this workshop is limited to 10 delegates.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

1000 Traveling Names and a Donkey (and all the Donkey's friends)

Here are 2 addresses that you can send your completed donkeys to

c/o Jackie Herbst 
England and Wales Cricket Board / ECB
Lord's Cricket Ground

c/o Gene
3A Stompits rd
Holy Port

So get stitching and lets see how many donkeys we can send to Mongolia. Don't forget, there's a ColourSpun prize for the cutest one - 10 x 50g skeins of ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn.

Dash on over to their blog to keep track of their progress.

...and a big thank you to everyone in advance :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calling all Visual Artists

SADC visual artists submissions.

Virginia MacKenny, Senior Lecturer in painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, at the University of Cape Town is currently compiling a book on visual arts production in Southern Africa and SADC countries that is engaged with environmental issues with a focus on climate change. She requests info (and pics) on any projects you are doing in the visual arts sector or if you know of any projects (particularly in the SADC countries - especially difficult to track down).

Information submittal deadline is April 25 (tight but in order to do follow up etc necessary as trying to get the book to come out in time for COP17).

for more info, please visit the COPART blog.

ColourSpun Yarn Clubs

At the begining of this year, I started the ColourSpun Yarn Clubs. The first offerings of the mohair and cotton clubs have been sent and now it is the turn of the ColourSpun Bits & Bobs Club.

The inspiration for this offering comes from the night sky, which made me think of Vincent von Gogh's painting, Starry Night.

Read more about the club offering and how you can join on my ColourSpun blog.

Friday, April 15, 2011

1000 Travelling Names and a Donkey

Jo, Gene, Shan and Heehaww-Dan will hit the road on the 23rd July 2011 when they embark on "the greatest adventure on earth" - all in aid of charity and they need your help!

Read all about the epic journey they have planned and how you can help them make it a reality on their website and in return for your help, you could be a hero and one of the 1000 Travelling Names going along for the ride. Share this with your friends so that they can go along too.

I will be posting a simple pattern for a knitted soft toy donkey here soon, one of the items on their wishlist is lots of soft toy donkeys, to be given to needy children in Mongolia. If you have your own pattern, or prefer to stitch a fabric donkey, please feel free to start immediately - the more we can make the better. I'll be posting the address in London for them to be sent to in the next day or so, and I'm putting together a prize for the person who sends the most adorable donkey.

Sedgefield Slow Festival



Easter 2011 | 22-27 April
The event offering real experiences, naturally.
The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections... with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds.

Prepare for Sedgefield 'Slow Festival 2011' !!!
Set in the heart of abundant natural beauty, Sedgefield has for years remained poised for a social event that is a fusion of nature and the relaxed standard of life enjoyed by it's inhabitants. Blessed with sea, beaches, dunes, lakes, river and a mountainous skyline it begs for an outdoors event. The Slow Festival from Friday 22nd to Wednesday 27th April 2011 will launch a well balanced series of events to fit into the lifestyle of Africa's first official Slow Town. 

While most people live by their watches, the Sedgefield Slow Festival will offer the time to enjoy, appreciate and savour. Follow the event developments and program on Twitter by following SlowFestival and on our website at

Contact Us

If you would like more information on various events and activities, please contact us..... or drop us an email at for any general enquiries.
Telephone Enquiries: Amanda Dixon @ 072 949 3002

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sock Knitting Workshop

You are invited to attend a Sock Knitting Workshop at ORION,  Knitting & Stitching Studio, on Saturday, 16 April 2011.

Carlé, of NURTURING FIBRES, will teach the  ‘toe up cast on and turning the heel’ method of sock knitting.   If you wish to participate kindly RSVP to reserve a place.

Time:  10am for 10.30am

Place:  ORION STUDIO,  12 Woodburn Crescent, Cape Town.

If you are not able to participate but will be visiting the studio that day, Carlé will be available throughout the morning to advise , instruct and demonstrate.

ORION will be discounting all NURTURING FIBRE products purchased on the day.
For further details or enquiries please contact Roger.

021 4239782


 Here is a list of workshops that will be presented at Sew Together in April 2011.

Our classes are becoming very popular so they must now be booked and paid for in advance. A requirements list will be given for all classes as receipt of payment.

Fri 15
– with Sue – FREE to all PFAFF owners. –This month we ‘Quilt with PFAFF’ Learn
about the different ‘feet’ and stitches that can be used to make quilting a breeze.
Booking essential. 2 – 4pm.
Machine Class

Sat 16
Quilting Basics’
- with Sue – R320 (4 classes). Part 4 of a 4 class course held every fortnight for those
wishing to start quilting and make a fashionable bed runner or small quilt. 9 – 12 p.m.
Machine Class

Sun 17
Quilt for Japan
’ – Give half an hour of your time to help sew a quilt to be sent to the survivors of the
earthquake in Japan. Machines and everything you require will be provided by ‘Sew Together’. |
Just bring yourself! 9 – whenever!

Tue 19
Sewing Basics
’- with Sue- R80 – A regular monthly class aimed at those new to sewing.
This month’s project focuses on sewing a Make-up bag with zip’ 9 – 12 p.m.
Machine Class

Wed 20
Quilting Basics
’- with Sue – R320 (4 classes). Part 3 of a 4 class course held every fortnight for those
wishing to start quilting and make a fashionable bed runner or small quilt. 9 – 12 p.m.
Machine Class

Sat 23
Quilting Basics
’- with Sue – R320 (4 classes). Part 2 of a 4 class course held every fortnight for those
wishing to start quilting and make a fashionable bed runner or small quilt. 9 – 12 p.m.
Machine Class.

Tue 26
Hand Appliqué and Quilting
– with Babette Greyling – R300 (part 3 of 3 classes) – Learn this peaceful
art and fi nd out many tricks of the trade whilst creating a small, unique wall hanging .9 – 12
Hand Class

Wed 27
Welcome Amandawe!
– This development group will be learning to apply their hand embroideries on to
a PFAFF designed bag constructed during the day.

Thur 28
Machine Embroidery Fun Day
- Held regularly every month for those with computerised embroidery
machines this course offers you the chance to fully explore the capabilities of your machine. Monica
will be unavailable today so Sue will direct operations!. 9 – 3 p.m.
Machine Class.

Fri 29
Quilt for Japan
’ – Give half an hour of your time to help sew a quilt to be sent to the victims of the
earthquake in Japan. Machines and everything you require will be provided by ‘Sew Together’.
Just bring yourself! 9 – whenever!

Sat 30
– R50 -Have fun experimenting with freezer paper, glue, paint etc. to
achieve different effects on fabric. A.M. or P.M. No machines required


Thursday 5th
 – Sashiko (Japanese Hand Quilting);

Wednesday 11th
– All in a Spin ( Kaleidescope Quilt); Thursday 12th – Bagmaking,;

Tuesday 31st
– One Off Wearables ( quilted waistcoat)

Phone and book for a morning or afternoon ‘STUDIO’ class with personal attention in
peaceful surroundings. Cost R80 for three hours. Choose from;- Basic Quilting, Beading
on Fabric, Japanese Braiding on a Disk, Make a Pincushion with Thread Catcher,
Pieced Baby Ball, Fabric Journal Cover, Beginners Baby Quilt, Log Cabin Foundation,
Paper Piecing, Cathedral Window Pincushion, Quilted Make–Up Bag, Little Landscapes
(creative quilting), Make Fabric Beads, etc. or Your own quilt project.
all classes must be booked and paid for in advance. A requirements list will be given as a
receipt for the cash payment. Our classes are becoming very popular so book early.
First come, first served!
Rob and Sue Stevenson
315 Kingsway, Amanzimtoti •
Tel. 031 903 2939 • Rob 082 5253 911or Sue 084 519 0912

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

with love Japan

Japanese Quilt Initiative

The quilters of South Africa have received a plea for assistance from Naomi Ichikawa, the editor of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin Magazine.  She has asked if we could send “comfort quilts” to those that have lost everything in Japan.

Our plea to each of you – and each of your friends, is that you would consider making a quilt to comfort those that have been left with literally nothing after the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.  We are looking for quilts of any size – from small to large (not wall-hangings…), new or old (in good condition).  It would be great if you label includes a South African flag.

We have been given an opportunity to help individuals unconditionally.  If you would like to take this opportunity, it has been made very easy for us through the generosity of Yamaha.   

Yamaha has very generously offered to help us, nationally and simplify the process by setting up drop off points in all the major centres.  Unfortunately, these are not available at the time of going to press, but we will get them to you as soon as possible.  Yamaha will then ensure, at their expense, that the quilts are delivered to Naomi in Tokyo.  All we have to do is make them and drop them off.

We do need the assistance of guilds, shops and/or individuals who would like to assist as more local drop off points and take on the responsibility of delivering to the Yamaha drop-off points.  If you are able to help, please contact Twig on She will compile a list of these for KZN and ensure the information is circulated.

Your quilts are to be tightly wrapped in plastic, with a label on the bag as follows:


Attention: Naomi Ichikawa
2-21-2 YUSHIMA

Please note, the value must be noted for customs, but limit to between 50 and 100 dollars to avoid import duty.  Please do not mention that they are quilts.
The deadline for all the quilts to be at the Yamaha drop off points is 20 May 2011.

Please spread the news – talk to as many people you can about this initiative.  Quilts are physical manifestations of love.  Let’s respond to the plea and warm someone who is trying to deal with this awful situation.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wakkerstroom Natural Fibre Handcraft Fair 2011

Date: Saturday 28th May 2011
Time: 9.00a.m. - 2.00p.m.
Wakkerstroom NG Kerk hall.

What the Fair is all about:-

To create awareness of all the “old skills” that are still being practiced today. This is an excellent opportunity for the exhibitors to sell their creations. To promote as many NATURAL fibres as possible, so we can also do our bit in lessening our “carbon foot-print”. Anyone who would like to demonstrate their skills as well will be a most welcome exhibitor. All weavers, lace makers, quilters, knitters, embroiderers, spinners, fabric painters etc., are welcome. Anyone with cleaned and carded fleece has an opportunity to sell their fibre and an event for the Guilds to attract new members and to network with like-minded people.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Welcome to The News Thread

Hello and welcome to the first post on The News Thread.

I have been wanting to start this newsletter for some time now and was soo busy with the proof reading of my book that I had to have patience and wait for the right time. Well, here we are, my book is done and has gone to print and will be launched in May. There will be launches and book signings in Cape Town and Jo'burg and possibly in Natal too. I'll post the dates and venues on the Events page as they are confirmed. The first confirmation I have is a launch at Spin Knits at the V&A Waterfront on the morning of the 28th May 2011.  Many of the yarn makers will be there and it promises to be a lovely morning out.

To coincide with the launch I am organising a yarn bombing in Cape Town- more on that later.

Kathryn Harmer Fox - workshops

Sew your own Shoes (or Handbag)

·        Boots, Shoes, Sandals; design them to fit your own foot and wardrobe
·        Make them from fabric, string, glue and thread
·        Clothe your feet with imagination, flair and attitude
Join Kathryn Harmer Fox (professional fibre artist) in a 3 day workshop from Tuesday 7th to Thursday 9th June 2011 at Dana Biddle’s ColourSpun Studio in Heidelberg, Gauteng
You will need: Your sewing machine (even the most basic) and sewing tools, different coloured sewing threads and a whole lot of oomph! …and I'll supply the shoe making kit.

Creating with Paper, Cardboard and Glue
Whatever your heart desires - you can make it from papier-mâché, from light shades to cutlery boxes, to clocks to sculptured forms; it's easy and earth friendly with paper, cardboard and glue.
Join Kathryn Harmer Fox in a 2 day workshop and you'll never throw paper away again. 

The work shop will be presented on Monday 6th and Friday 10th June 2011 at Dana Biddle’s ColourSpun Studio in Heidelberg, Gauteng. Book early as seats are limited.

For more info and to book, call Kathryn on 043 737 4814 or 082 350 7024 or e-mail

 Half Price Yarn
Save a massive 50% on ColourSpun Pure Merino DK while stocks last. I have discontinued this range of DK and need to clear it to introduce my new Merino DK
Visit ColourSpun Natural Designer Yarn  to grab your share.

Sandra Ratto - Workshops

Well known knitting designer, Sandra Ratto, will be presenting  two workshops in Dana Biddle's Studio in Heidelberg, Gauteng. The first, Knitting on Fabric, will be presented on the 7th May 2011. from 9:00 till 16:00.

The second workshop, Knitting Papal Scarves, will be presented on the 18th July 2011 from 9:00 to 16:00.  Sandra will cover the creative use of yarn, colour, texture and stitch pattern.

For more information and to book, contact Sandra on 011 894 1011 or 082 639 7323 e-mail

Woman's Day Exhibition

This is a call for entries for  

“Izikhwepha Zethu V11 ” EXHIBITION 2011
“shaping our minds”

see the call for entries page for more details
Don't forget to share this newsletter with your friends and to send me your news to share here