28/10/2014

Indian Cotton Mattresses (gaadi)

Hello!  Our furniture has at long last arrived last week and I have been crazy busy organizing the Pigtails Palace ever since. Ah hell, I am clearly not 20 or 30 or even 40 years old anymore. My muscles are aching, my knees buckling. Three story palaces are really most suitable to the young and restless, not the middle aged! As soon as I unpacked my beautiful Vinnis Colours yarn though, I was feeling young and dandy again! 

 Friday morning I took a respite from unpacking to enjoy breakfast at Souq Waqif and stumbled upon the most interesting little street in downtown Doha. In fact, Doha is packed with interesting streets and I just love being able to finally explore the city now that the weather has cooled down significantly. This street is home to a few Indian Cotton Mattress (also known as gaadi) makers and traders.
 

Such shops are common in the towns of cities of India and it was a surprise to also stumble upon the same in Doha. Production of cotton mattresses (pillows and quilts too) is a labour intensive activity since it is all hand stitched. This YouTube video demonstrates the beautiful process, it is well worth watching to see how they pack the cotton sleeves, hand stitch it closed  (referred to as knitting in this video), flatten and compact the cotton with a stick before finally adding the edging to both sides and sewing the quilt like stitches. Indians are masters with scissors, thread and needles! These mattresses are very comfortable and suitable to hot and humid climates, however, it also loses shape quickly and the cotton needs to be treated and re-packed after a few years.

Two men recount how changes in the bedding industry in India, is affecting their craft:
Anser Basha Mattress Maker from Chennai
Khurban, Mattress Maker from Bangalore

I fell in love with some of the fabrics used to create these mattresses, not to mention that the mattresses and pillows are gorgeous items in its own right. My mind is spinning, I am thinking that this offers the perfect solution with regard to seating, or rather lounging, here at the Pigtails Palace. We have two great outdoor spaces, the one an L-shaped courtyard which also features a build in plant bedding on ground level and the other an entire rooftop area with beautiful wooden lattice shutters dividing space between the water tank and the rest of the rooftop. The space is accessible from a door on the third floor. It is the perfect weather now to develop the full potential of these spaces with the help of  Indian cotton mattresses don't you think?!
 

Have a great week!

13/10/2014

Toothpicks and a Cardboard Box

Doily + toothpicks + cardboard box = blocking with minimal resources


I already have a plan to crochet a throw resembling Islamic design
Vinnis Serina in Dark Army or Army + Amanda Perkins pattern in either Clementine or Jonquil = Islamic inspired throw

Our new abode
This is the view from the l-shaped courtyard on the ground floor
There is also a rooftop patio leading from the third floor
T's a happy feeling home
BUT
We have a pink, yes a PINK kitchen for goodness sake!
Dusky pink and stone coloured tiles . . . 


11/10/2014

Loving the Linen Stitch!

 
 Pattern: Woven Stitch/Linen Stitch
Yarn: Drops Paris in 6 different colours
Hook Size: 5mm
Thank you once again for my gorgeous yarn Haafner, I have doilies hanging from the hooks at the moment and hope my effort to create gorgeous doily bowls does not disappoint! 



 A while back I spotted these hand-size butterfly beauties from the 1920's in an antique store and instantly fell in love with it. When The Teen gave me an idea of what she would like her new room to look like, I realised that these would make for a perfect start to execute her vision. I was doing the happy dance when my eye also spotted the brass mirror, it is solid and heavy and I wish I had more information about the origin of this standing mirror. The glass was broken, but life is endlessly surprising and a glass & mirror shop trades right across the road from the antique shop. Within 5 minutes, I had a hand cut mirror fitted. 

The Champs Elysees Palace (yes, that is the name of this antique shop!) is owned by a Hindi, Arabic, English and Farsi speaking Iranian. The shop is located on Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street, Doha, Qatar.


Meanwhile Ikea didn't disappoint either! We bought the full length mirror and clothing rack as can be seen in the above picture, with the hat & coat stand and carpet to follow soon.  Looks like the Teen is not interested in this particular throw, but I really like it and think it will be a great item for the master bedroom. 

I have also spotted a gorgeous velvet single bed throw trimmed in faux fur at another one of my favourite stores in the Middle East, namely THE One. Invented by a Swede, the stores are referred to as Theaters: "We don't sell products. We sell feelings. Because we believe that it's not what you buy that's important, it's what you feel after you have bought it."  Apart from ethical sourcing, they make a difference by employing challenged people, do a lot of local volunteering and is involved in a sustainable village community programme. It is easy to see why THE One has been rated the top local employer to work for by global research and management consultancies for the 4th year running.  I am almost feeling guilty for not making that purchase yet!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Today is the last day of what was a wonderful Eid holiday here. 
xxxxxx

30/09/2014

Vintage Throw Finished


Yarn: King Cole Bamboo Cotton in Glacier, 13 x 100gr
Hook Size: 4mm
Pattern from here and here
Images for mood boards below from my Raw Rustic Duck Egg Blue and For Me Pinterest boards

I hope you like my throw as much as I do!
It was such a great and rewarding pattern to hook that I am quite disappointed it came to an end.  I wanted to finish it though, so that I could still photograph it against the wallpapered wall here in the hotel where I also took the pictures for the previous posting.  We are at long last relocating to a villa tomorrow after 5 months of hotel apartment living. T's a busy time for me eeeeeek!
Have a nice week! 






17/09/2014

Simply Crochet Issue 23

"Issue 23 officially goes on sale tomorrow, so we thought we'd treat you to one last preview. This stunning blanket was designed by Magda de Lange. Inspired by her travels to Istanbul, the mood reflects the energy and colours of the city. We're captivated."   - Simply Crochet Facebook Page

Would you like to hook this blanket?

Simply buy the Magazine!
Simply Crochet Magazine Digital Version

Thank you Tanya Kalyan and the team for inviting me to contribute to your stunning magazine and thank you for being very friendly, professional people throughout this project.



The Inspiration/Design Process - links below
Istanbul Inspiration
Process of Choosing Colours
Choosing the Yarn

The Yarn -  links below:
34x50gr Colours of Grace Hand Dyed Aran Cotton Available locally in South Africa from Beatrix Snyman and locally as well as internationally from Hilda Steyn
Colours used to create this blanket: Lime Light, Melon, Orange, Moss, Grey, Lilac, Pink dust, Jade, Denim, Baby Blue, Olive, Sand, Champagne, Mustard, Candy, Mudpie (4 balls of this brown), two balls each of all the others.