Although I don’t write about it as often as I did earlier in the pandemic, I’m still knitting. I still only know one stitch and I haven’t progressed past knitting in a straight line. I still have to consult YouTube or video-call Fiver each time I start or finish a new scarf. But knitting continues to preserve my sanity.
I’m obsessed with Joburg’s East Rand and I’m obsessed with knitting. So when Gail invited me to visit a knitting shop in Edenvale, one of my favorite East Rand suburbs, I eagerly accepted.
Elli Mansfield, proprietress of Elli’s Needlework, immigrated to South Africa from Greece more than 50 years ago. Forty-five years ago, Elli was saving money to buy a car. She had R3000 saved up, but instead of getting a car she changed her mind and opened a knitting and haberdashery shop. Elli still runs the shop today in the same spot.
Elli’s shop is stuffed full of needles and thread, buttons and ribbons, knitting and embroidery patterns, clothes, yarn in a cacophony of colors, and lots of other bibs and bobs I couldn’t identify.
Elli is 81 (although she looks about 70) and seems to have no inclination to retire. I was thrilled to hear she has already received her first covid-19 vaccine shot. Elli loves to chat, knows everything there is to know about yarn, and is generally a joy to hang out with.
Please support Elli’s Needlework if you’re in the area. (Incidentally, Elli’s is right up the street from the best pancake house in Joburg.)
I will publish more knitting shop posts in the future.
Elli’s Needlework is at 22 Van Riebeek Avenue, Edenvale. Call 011-453-9986.
I bought those little white buttons in your photograph the last time I was there. Hope she gets to see this post.
Ah this is so cool. I buy all my knitting supplies from Ellis. Its such an amazing place. And she is an amazing lady – her store is a pure joy
Ah, awesome! It really is lovely.
inspiring, I may have to order a scarf soon.
Wow another place to shop. Not that I have a shortage of yarn. Enough to last into the next lifetime. Off there for some buttons and vintage pattern books. I’d forgotten about this place as Arthur Bales is around the corner.
Thinking Friday is a good day for pancakes and shopping. Where is the pancake shop please?
Yes I also normally go to Arthur Bales — I’m going to blog about that next time. Here’s the link to my post abut the pancake house. It’s also on Van Reibeek: https://2summers.net/2019/03/12/this-is-the-east-the-windmill-of-van-riebeek-avenue/
Thank you for this. Another knitters paradise is Moon & Son on Dunkel. They’re in the side street next to Fournos. They’ve got some beautiful Karoo Moon and Colourspun yarn as well as good coffee. As we knitters say welcome to the dark side
Oh cool, I didn’t know about that one! Thanks.
Thanks so much for this Heather. I’m in need of some supplies for my needlework but think Arthur Bales is way too crowded both with stuff and people for these COVID times.
I’ve got boxes of books with patterns and related information that I’ve collected over the years. As I’ll be doing a major downscale within the next 2 – 5 years, I think I’ve found a place where I can donate the majority of them. 🙂
Given the rocketing infections in Gauteng I’ll probably wait until after my second shot. :-/
Ahhh, so glad to help! Enjoy.
Loving this post.
I am based in rural Eastern Cape and part of a community project that creates awareness of climate change realities. We recently started knitting and crochet as an add-on to sewing and beading.
Kindly share your abundance with us. We would really appreciate your support.
I can share pics of our work.
Hi Khaya – lovely to hear about your community project; I’ll be in touch.
I don’t knit, or crochet, or sew (unless there’s a necessary stuffed animal repair), but enjoy looking at colorful yarn and sumptuous fabrics. I can’t resist buying them for my more crafty friends.
I also love buying fabric even though I don’t know how to do anything with it.
Is there an online shopping option for the haberdashery?
Hi Khaya, not for this shop. Elli is pretty old-school 🙂 Best of luck on your project!
I’m in the area – I’ve shared your post onto local Facebook Community Groups, so she’ll get some nice exposure from that and I’m sure someone will show her 🙂
Oh great, thanks so much Andrea 🙂
It’s great to hear that you’ve stuck with knitting and yes, more features of knit shops (and wears)! 😛 Are you going to bring your airline regulated needles so you can knit on your long haul flight? 😀
I had no idea that I needed airline-regulated needles! Thank you for telling me — I am going to investigate this 🙂
OMG. I was kidding. Hahahaha. Ooops. But yeah, you better check. xo
Haha! I took it seriously! I get stopped for odd stuff at US airports …. My needlework go-to for air travel is ‘kiddies’ tapestry using a blunt plastic needle 🙂
You could try it Heather – I’m willing to guide you when we are both are up to date on shots. A great way to use small odd bits of yarn.
Luckily I’ve heard US airport security rules have eased significantly since covid!
Well, these days, you just never know what they will or won’t allow, so I suppose it’s good to double check!
Sorry about any confusion! xo
Just make sure they’re bamboo or wood and you’re good to go