Tuesday, 26 June 2012

One-a-Day Granny Cowl

My One-a-Day Granny Cowl is finished!
(Well, if you don't look at the 7 squares x 6 rounds + 1 black round's worth of ends that is still flapping happily about...)

We left yesterday afternoon on an impromptu hunt with the boys, I had just  about time to grab my hookie things.  While the eldest and Dad were freezing their butts off in the hide since 07h00, youngest and myself placed ourselves as close to the fire as we could, back at camp:

I just had one row of singles to do, all around.  My fingers were freezing!

In the end I hung the scarve around my neck while doing the last bit!  
Here it's all done and doing double duty with my beanie.  

Worked a treat :-)

(You'll note that I'm discreetly quiet about The Great Romany Blanket...)

If you would like to participate in One-a-Day, please link your project in the Tuesday's Tallies at Carole's blog, Gingerbread Girl.

Monday, 25 June 2012

A Meadow of African Flowers

I wrote about the African Flower blanket that we are doing, my sis and I, together with our aunty Helena. It's not finished yet, but I thought I'd show you, because it's going to be so beautiful that I just can't wait any more :-) 

When I first started to surf through blogland, I saw this one African Flower blanket, against a light green background.  Usually it's black, or randomly colourful, and although that is also nice, the light green was Just So Beautiful. Of course I couldn't find the image again (will have to SIT with Google images one day), but it sat in the back of my mind, and then I got the idea that my aunty should get one. 
African Flowers on Green.

So after much flowering happening in Ireland...and Potchefstroom,,,and Pretoria...

...there are finally enough flowers to make up a blanket.

Helena brought the whole stash along on a visit, and we proceeded to pack it all out.

Couldn't decided on a favourite - these are some:

Wowieee...I love the cornflower blue one with the red center, or the red one with purple...but also the light blue ones with yellow centres, 'cos they look like real African Violets.

I made one or two "rules":

1. Hook with a 4.5 and DK yarn.
2. The inside part of the flower could be made with any colour.
3. The round of singles, with the spikes, had to be in any green (some look  bit yellow, some a bit blue).
4.  And then the last round, of doubles, had to be in elle "Rustica", a lovely forest green - that also differs between batches, but that's fine.   

(This is an African Violet,  by the way, also known as Saintpaulia. I don't think there's a house in South Afica without one, although I seem unable to keep them alive):

Also available in crochet:

This image is from the Planet June Craft Blog; have a look, and the pattern is available in her shop - look those apples and cacti!  I'm not allowed to, must first finish a few other things.   

But back to the blanket...we packed it out on the kitchen table, moved flowers around, looking at combinations...man, it is going to be so pretty!  Can't wait to see it finished an on her bed. 

She's busy putting it together now- received this image thourgh WhatsApp this morning:

I'm not going to say again how pretty I think this is going to be ;-)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

One-a-Day Granny Cowl Scarf

A couple of us got together to knit/crochet a few things as part of the Knit-in-Public-Week thingey. The plan was to donate what we made to the school, to use as and where required.   So my contribution was this granny cowl, inspired by the lovely cowls Alice hooked down downer under in NZ

...and this beanie (which I promptly decided to keep for myself, and I donated another one that I bought new!). It's the first time a beanie fits nicely over my huge head, it covers my ears, and will be perfect for our December holiday venture up north to where it is very cold and wet.

I started thus with my own granny cowl, to match said beanie.  I will hook 7 squares, of 6 rounds each, using the colours in the beanie, but replacing the light blue with this denim blue:

The plan is to make one every day, as it goes so quickly, and next week I should be able to show off my granny cowl.

And then, some of you might ask...what happened to The Great Romany Blanket, that was going to be finished in time for winter??

Ah, yes...I'm still working on it...albeit very slowly...23 rows so far, and 23 chains.

I got a bit side-tracked.

But One-a-Day will again provide the needed momentum, so here I go!

In the meantime, have a cappucino and hook away :

 If you would like to participate in One-a-Day, please link your project in the Tuesday's Tallies at Carole's blog, Gingerbread Girl.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Breakfast Rusks

There are few things so quintessentially South African as The Rusk.

We have a few beloved delicacies, such as biltong, melktert, snoek and jam tarts (and many more), and you will find these in homes, recipe books and expat shops wherever you'll find a Saffa accent.  Not that the above is totally unique, mind you.  Just replace the above with jerky, custard tart, barramundi and empanada, and you know what I'm talking about.

But the rusk, now the rusk! Basically, it's just a very rustic form of that other double-baked goodie, the Italian biscotti, and the Afrikaans term "beskuit" isn't far from its roots.  But it leaves many a foreign visitor bewilderd when coming face to face with his first rusk.

A German friend still laughs when remembering her reaction when faced with her morning coffee accompanied by a rusk on her first morning in South Africa.  When she couldn't figure out what it was and what to do with it, she carefully wrapped it in toilet paper and hid at the bottom of the bin!
We love our rusks in many and varied forms, but one of nicest, and basic (and the only one I've mastered!) is the Buttermilk Bran rusk. It's as easy as a pie and I give thanks to my friend Anina every time I make my variation of her recipe:

Buttermilk Bran Rusks

1 kg self-raising flour
4 cups oat bran
125 ml dessicated (shredded) coconut
250 ml sugar
250 ml nuts (usually flaked almonds)
handful of dried cranberries
10 ml baking powder
pinch of salt

(I also add a handful of pumpkin seeds, sunfloowers seeds, linseed, sesame seed, or whatever I have to hand).

3 eggs
500 ml buttermilk / maas
500 gr margerine/butter, melted

Stir all dry items to mix thoroughly.
Beat eggs, add buttermilk and margerine.
Add to dry ingredients.

Place in large, shallow oven pan.
Bake @ 180 C for 30 min.
Slice into pieces and place on oven racks.
Dry at 100 C for 3 hours, or 80C overnight. 

Enjoy with your morning cuppa!

- 0 -

I was lucky enough to find special rusk pans, with a press cutter that slices everything up neatly before I even bake it, so it already comes out of the oven like this:

... on to the drying rack:

... in the oven to dry:

...and ready for morning tea;

Monday, 11 June 2012

Hoopla! Gr 1-Super- Method Cheat's Lemonade

After five year of fighting the dogs, pests, disease, frost and what not, this year, I have a harvest:

So I contemplated my mini-orchard over the weekend and wondered...what to do with four trees bearing fruit (after giving away heaps)?

Aha! There was one of these in the fridge:

So I juiced one:

And voilà!  Homemade lemonade :-)

Vitamin C for winter.

Works best with half a lemon to a glass.
(Would have garnished it with a sprig of mint, but , alas, Ben the Boxer got there first)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tadaaah!! Lucy se Ripple in Afrikaans

Translated into Afrikaans with permission of Lucy, www.attic24.typepad.com

Baie dankie aan Lucy van Attic 24 wat ons toestemming gegee het om haar Neat Ripple
in Afrikaans te doen!

Die oorspronklike Engels is hier, met stap-vir-stap fotos.
The original English is here, with step-by-step photos.

Na 'n klompie navrae vir 'n Afrikaanse weergawe van hierdie patroon:

Lucy se Ripple

Hier is eers die verkorte weergawe...

Maak 'n beginketting in veelvoude van 14, plus 3 ekstra steke (telkens om te draai).
(Of dan - maak die ketting soos lank soos jy dit wel hê, kyk net dat die total 'n veelvoud van 14 is, en maak 3 ekstra steke om te draai).

1 lb in 4e ketting van pen
1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k
2 lb tesame
2 lb tesame
1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k
*2 lb in volgende k
2 lb in volgende k
1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k
2 lb tesame
2 lb tesame
1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k*

Herhaal tussen * en *, eindig laaste herhaling met 2 lb in laaste k, draai.

Maak 3k, 1lb in basis van die 3.
1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k

2 lb tesame
2 lb tesame

1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k

*2 lb in volgende k
2 lb in volgende k

1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k

2 lb tesame
2 lb tesame

1 lb in elk van volgende 4 k*

Herhaal tussen * en *, eindig laaste herhaling met 2 lb in die boonste lus van die 3 ketings van die vorige ry.

Herhaal so tot kombersgrootte wat jy verkies.

Lucy beveel wel aan dat jy 'n oefenblokkie doen soos hier:

Maak 'n beginketting van 31 steke (2 x 14 + 3).
Maak 'n langbeen in die 4e steek van die pen.
Maak 1 lb in elk van die volgende 4 kettings - nou het jy dus 5 (2 lb + 3 k)

In die volgende steek - maak 2 lb tesame, so:

Haak wol oor, hekelpen in steek, wol oor, haak terug (3 st op pen), wol oor, trek deur 2 lusse (2 st op pen), wol oor, steek in volgende ketting, wol oor, haak terug (4 steke op pen), wol oor, haak deur 2 lusse (3 st op pen), wol oor, haak deur al 3 steke op pen. 

Klaar: 2 lb tesame :-)

Maak nog so een!

Werk 4 lb in elk van die volgende 4 kettings. Nou behoort jy die "valleitjie" te kan sien, die V-vorm van die Ripple.

Om die "piek" te maak...

Werk 2 lb in die volgende ketting.
En nog 2 in die volgende ketting.

Dan weer 1 lb in elk van die volgende 4 kettings.  

Twee maal 2 lb tesame.

1 lb in elk van die volgende ketting.

Al asl reg geloop het, behoort jy 1 ketting oor te hê, maak 2lb hierin om die ry te eindig.   

Draai nou die werk.
Maak 3 k, dan 1 lb in DIESELFDE steek (die basis va die 3 kettings)
En volg die patroon:
1 lb in elk van die volgende 4 steke
Twee maal 2 lb tesame
1 lb in elk van die volgende 4 steke
Twee lb in elk van volgende 2 steke
1 lb in elke van volgende 4 steke
Twee maal 2 lb tesame.
1 lb i elk van die volgende 4 st.  

(Nou behoort jy weer by die einde van die ry te wees). 

Maak nou 2 lb in die boonste lus van die 3 kettings van die vorige ry.

Begin weer die volgende ry met 3 k en volg die patroon... 

Hierdie was my eerste poging tot 'n vertaling, en ekself hekel nie eintlik in Afrikaans nie!  Laat weet asb hoe dit gaan, is daar enigiets wat ek moet duideliker maak.  Ek het probeer om haar stap-vir-stap verduideliking so eenvoudig moontlik te volg.  Hierdie patroon sal deurentyd bygewerk word soos daar vrae inkom.  

Vir diegene wat ook sukkel om in die basisketting te hekel...ek werk in die agterste lus van die steek, dis vir my baie makliker as in die boonste twee lusse.  Na die eerste ry gaan ek dan weer normaal aan.