Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hand spun Cashmere yarn from Afghanistan

Empower a woman and you empower a nation.
 Educate a woman and you educate a nation. 

At Scaapi we represent unique yarns that have been made with consideration for both man, animal and environment. We have always aimed to align ourselves with yarn suppliers that  serve the community they live in by empowering, educating and offering secure employment to women and men that struggle to make a living and have little or no education. 

In our quest to add more unique yarns that also serve the community we contacted Stella van Himbergen of Dutch Design in Development to help us source quality suppliers of beautiful yarns. When Stella informed me about Cashmere yarn from Afghanistan and the good work Mr.Hotak is doing, I wanted to form a part of this yarn and tell it's remarkable story. 

Afghanistan is home to 73 million cashmere producing goats.  In 2007 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that only 30% of the goats in Afghanistan were being harvested for fibre. 

The Sustainable Agriculture program (ASAP) teamed up with Mr. Abdul Basir Hotak, at the time a 15-year veteran of the Afghan cashmere industry. Together, they installed the country's first scouring and de-hairing equipment, allowing Mr. Hotak to process and add value to the fiber in-country.  ASAP provided herders with veterinary assistance to improve herd health as well as  training in how to harvest the cashmere through combing rather than shearing. These two steps helped to dramatically improved the quality of the raw fiber.  The higher quality fiber fetches a better price for the herders.  As a result of ASAP and follow up work by key players, the Afghan cashmere industry has transformed itself into a global provider of luxury cashmere fiber.

While working as a consultant for USAID in 2011, Susan Inglis, the founder of From The Mountain yarn,  was contracted by (ASAP) to work with Mr. Hotak to improve the cashmere supply chain in Afghanistan and to bring new economic opportunity to rural areas. Mr. Hotak had long seen the potential for developing Afghan cashmere, and he seized the opportunity to invest in building a supply of this premium fiber. He sourced a network of spinners in remote areas and is now managing a cottage industry that supports over 100 women.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

MoYa 100% cotton yarn, ideal for babies knit and crochet projects

Lovely MoYa 100% cotton yarn is ideal for babies crochet and knit projects. 

MoYa is a DK yarn with a high twist. It's super easy to work with and gives a high stictch definition. 

Here below a free Ravelry pattern,  using MoYa's soft pastel shade called Peche.

The pattern is called Lilac's for Lila and can be downloaded for free from Ravelry. 

Please note that it has been slightly adapted below. 

What a cute Baby Bib knitted in MoYa Jelly Beans yarn.
 This pattern can be purchased online from and is available in Dutch

Below a stunning crochet doily  baby blanket design using MoYa yarn from the soft pastel Whisper range. Designed and made by the very talented Maaike van Koert of Crejjtion blog.
 More information on this pattern can be found on her blog. 

I love these little MoYa crochet gladiator sandles for a newborn baby. This is a Ravelry pattern by 
Mon Petit Violon  All  of their beautiful patterns will work very well with MoYa yarn, so cute. 

This cheecky little monkey is called Jacobus and the pattern is designed by the Dutch designer  He has been knitted in MoYa's Jelly beans colourway

Give away!! The wonderful Dutch online store, are giving away two balls of MoYa yarn pictured below. Be quick! You have till the 15th of November to join and the give away is posted on their Facebook page!
Happy knitting for cute small kids and babies with fabulous soft MoYa yarn

MoYa yarn can be bought in the following stores in Europe:

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Wollen Berlin

Wollen Berlin is a unique knitting supply shop situated in the creative suburb of Friedrichshain. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall this part of Berlin was on the Eastern side. It is a much loved suburb of Berlin, with many quaint and creative shops and restaurants. 

Wollen Berlin offers many interesting work shops and as can 
be seen below at a crochet party hosted by them, it is
always a fun and interesting happening. So when in Berlin,
I recommend you check out their website in advance and sign up for one. 

I wish I was living in Berlin when the very talented crochet designer from Finland 
Molla Mills was giving a workshop at Wollen Berlin. Molla is the author of many inspiring crochet books like

Wollen Berlin offers a wide variety of yarn brands like Baa Ram Ewe, Juniper Moon Farm, Cowgirlblues, Manos del Uruguayto and Midara to mention a few. They also sell beautiful habedashery and knitting kits. 

One of the first that caught my eye was this knitting kit 
called Fairytale designed by Julia Kunz 

Another favourite is this super cute baby bonnet in grey and yellow
with grey booties. 

I love their colourful button selection 

When I was a child, we used to watch Jacques Cousteau all the time. 
This free pattern for a Jacques Cousteau knit beanie is a classic
cool  must have. Free pattern available on the blog 
of Wollen Berlin. 

Cowgirlblues DK merino is available in 50g balls from Wollen Berlin.
This month they will be hosting our very first give away.
The lovely Julia scarf pattern and 7 balls of DK yarn will be 
going to the lucky winner. 
For more details follow the social media accounts of Wollen Berlin:

Good luck and Happy Knitting !


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Exploration Station, starting out step by step.

Stephen West of Westknits is an artist. What I find fascinating in his Exploration Station Shawl design is the movement and structure, combined with various stitches from bold to delicate. 

Exploration Station is a  work of art, inspiring to look at and to knit. 

Stephen does not only design exciting knit patterns, he calls them really great names. Exploration Station is a very apt name for this pattern I think. The name conveys the experience that lies beyond the knitting needles. 

For me personally it will certainly entail exploring new knitting skills, textures, colours and techniques. 

I learnt to knit in junior school and have pretty much not knitted since then.  
 I decided to take knitting lessons. Knitting lessons with one goal, to knit Exploration Station. 

I found the ideal teacher in Puk Vossen of Bureau Vossen. At first I thought I would need basic lessons followed by lessons to knit Exploration Station, but Puk reassured me,  I was going to learn to knit better, while knitting Exploration Station! 

 Off I went to Rotterdam on Monday morning to start my first knitting class. We started with a try out and within no time I had knitted the first two 'wedges' of my Exploration station! Abbreviations that seemed so abstract started to make perfect sense under Puk's positive  guidance. 

 Exploration station in all it's glory. From front, back, side, this is a statement piece. I love the styling of this photo and the way the scarf is presented. Images above and below are by Westknits.

Before I could start to knit Exploration Station, I had to decide on colour. I looked at many coloured versions of this pattern on Ravelry,Pinterest and Instagram and downloaded images of the ones I liked the most.

  Even though I love all colour, neons, brights, neutrals, the patterns knitted in tonal colours caught my eye most. I wanted to keep my version of Exploration Station neutral so that the beautiful stitches would speak for themselves. Example below by  Hedgehog fibres blog. 

I decided on neutrals but still had to determine colour. Pinterest is always my ideal place to search for inspiration and I found these beautiful images below on my board ''Nature Inspires' to determine my colour choice.

I decided to use the gorgeous hand dyed  Sockweight yarns by Cowgirlblues. I chose the colours Natural, Lavender, Candyfloss and Silver Fox. Knitting with Cowgirlblues is wonderful, their sockweight yarn is so soft and beautiful.  I Love their sophisticated colour palette. Cowgirlblues is hand dyed in Cape Town, South Africa. 

 Puk Vossen, pictured below is an experienced knitter. She told me her mother taught her to knit at a young age. Her mother spun wool, knitted, dyed and had a vast knowledge of which plants and bugs had to be gathered to create her own dye baths.  As a child Puk recalls not being aware of the value if this knowledge, but now as an adult she can enjoy and reap the benefits of this gift passed on by her mother. 

Below my hands getting to grips with the first few rows of Exploration Station. Using an alternative yarn for the first try out. The pattern for Exploration Station can be purchased on Ravelry as a PDF download. I will continue knitting this fascinating fun and beautiful pattern and will keep you posted on my progression. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Presenting Scaapi's new DIY crochet kits 'Nell' and 'Jinthe'

I am proud to present Scaapi's DIY crochet kits! 
Nell is a 3/4 sleeve vest with a one button closure and Jinthe is a multicoloured poncho. The yarn used is Vinni's Colours Bambi cotton bamboo yarn 70% organic cotton, 30% bamboo. Bambi is a super soft yarn, 100% handmade in Cape Town, South Africa by Vinni's Colours. The Nell DIY kits are available in 4 fresh colours: Jacaranda, Lemonade, Teal and Magenta. Each pattern also contains a cute accessory pattern, for a clip, hairband or a soft toy. The Nell DIY kits are available in 3 sizes, 6 months, 1-2 years, 3-4 years and Poncho Jinthe is available in 2 sizes 1-2 years and 3-4 years.

There are many people to thank and mention who contributed to the making of our DIY kits.

The patterns are designed by Wieke van Keulen, who is multi talented when it comes to crochet. She blogs, teaches and designs and is loved and followed by many. The beautiful signature porcelaine button on the front of the Nell vest, was hand crafted  by Fiona Drewes of Hart & Ziel design. For our foreign readers, directly translated Hart & Ziel design means Hart & Soul design.

I would also like to thank my sister in law Gerie-Janne van Dinter who did the photography, I love her style and how she portrays children. Last but not least, I would like to thank my daughter Nell who modelled so patiently, in between sweety breaks.

All DIY kits are available wholesale internationally via 
For more information on prices and deliveries, please contact me Michelle on

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


I am always amazed by the large and beautiful  spectrum of colour available in the wool range of Vinni's Colours. 
Vinni Nielsen, the owner and creator of Vinni's Colours sees  knitters as artists. She created a large and inspiring colour palette for artists to use in their knitting creations. Vinni's Colours consists of 3 ranges of yarn, Bambi a mix between 70% organic cotton and 30% bamboo, Serina a 100% Bamboo yarn and Nikkim a 100% cotton yarn.

Feast your eyes below on a preview of some of the fantastic colours available in the Vinni's colours range.

Bambi is a beautiful 100% organically grown cotton slub yarn twisted with Bamboo. Hand-dyed and machine washable. A cosy and soft yarn ideal for babies, men's sweaters, tops, toys, blankets ect.

Serina is a 100% Bamboo, hand-dyed yarn. Bamboo is a luxurious yarn with a rich shiny lustre. The variations in the depths of shade make every product a unique knitting adventure. It's natural drape makes it ideal for scarves, shawls, cowls, summer tops, home decor and babies.

Nikkim is a soft 100% cotton yarn. The yarn is hand-dyed giving your garment a unique marbled effect. Use for anything from blankets, tops, children's wear, toys. bags ect. Hot water machine washable.

The complete collection of  Vinni's Colours is available wholesale via 
 For more information on Vinni's yarn, please take up contact with Michelle on

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Bright, Bold, Beautiful African inspired Design

The  shapes and colours of Africa will always inspire me. Bold, bright, beautiful. You cannot look at it and not feel happy and excited. There's movement, energy and lot's going on. 

 1. Jacket by M' 2. Wedding cake inspired by African prints 3 & 4. MaXhosa Knitwear by Laduma Ngxokolo 5. West African fabrics on furniture 6. African inspired rug by  Matthew Williamson 7. Woven vases by Gone Rural Swaziland