A little trip around the world

cs nov web-137With all the gold and black in this pullover it may be more Egypt than Israel, but its history starts with a trip to both those countries more than 20 years ago.

I did not take the trip, but my friend and knitting mentor Jean Napier did. She visited Egypt and Israel in the early ’90s with a few friends. While visiting a Jerusalem market a wall hanging made of Bedouin embroidery caught her eye and her fancy, and being a creative and resourceful woman, she set out to find embroidery pieces to make her own.

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A few of the embroidered pieces Jean bought in Jerusalem. Beautiful, but too old and tattered to use in a garment.

She asked around, but nobody could help her – until she found a man who pulled a cardboard box from under a counter. It was filled with pieces of embroidery, mostly bibs meant to be the centrepieces of garments. Jean splashed out and bought the whole lot, but never got around to making her wall hanging. When she moved to a retirement village she gave me the embroidery and I immediately wanted to use them as centrepieces in garments.

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Why I think the pullover is more Egypt than Israel: This Egyptian dress I bought at the Oriental Plaza in Johannesburg in 1997.

Alas, although still beautiful, the pieces were simply too old and tattered to use in something wearable. But fortunately, among the things Jean gave me were small pieces of batik fabric she imported from Sri Lanka when she had her boutique in Pretoria in the ’80s. These were still usable and I cut and sewed together small pieces from which I then fashioned a bib.

Still, the end result reminds me more of Egypt than the East.


This became the centrepiece for this pullover in pure wool.

Measurements (actual size):

Bust: 106cm

Length: 61cm

Sleeve: 49cm

This exclusive, one-off garment is for sale. If you are interested, please contact me via email. The address is under “contact” at the top of the blog page.

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