Sunday, 22 July 2012

67 minutes

What can you do in 67 minutes?

Read a magazine, have a coffee at your local, or do something good?

Down here in Mzansi, we try for the latter, during July.  

On his 94th

On July 18, old-president Nelson Mandela turned 94 and for the past couple of years, South Africans celebrated the day, Mandela Day,  by using 67 minutes to serve your community/a charity, in any way you want (one minute for every year he was politically active)*. It has now also been declared International Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations.

Many people volunteer at schools, old-age homes, on community projects, donating things, helping, fixing, feeding.  At 08h00, school kids across the country sang "Happy Birthday, Madiba".  A businessman in Centurion planted 94 trees along a freeway. Our local newspaper volunteered at the inner city primary school I attended with heavy-weight donors and fixed the buildings, painted, distributed food parcels, arranged a party for the kids. "Bikers for Mandela Day" served again, planting a tree and working at the school in his hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

Scores of people gathered beforehand on Sandton Square to record a birthday song:

Looking quickly, I could recognize singers Loyiso BalaLloyd CeleDanny KKurt Darren, the guys from Prime CircleYvonne Chaka ChakaBonganiPJ Powers, sportsmen Bryan HabanaKobus WieseAshwin Willemse, I'm sure Baby Jake Matlala (and quite a few others that I know I should know ;-)

- 0 -

This hooker hooked.  

I finished up a beanie and gave it to the homeless man living underneath a tree just three street corners away:

Snapped from the car, parked across the street, before I gathered my courage.

Every morning I drive past and see his pile of blankets underneath the tree. Now that it's colder, he is usually still sleeping.  He came out from hiding and took it when I spoke to him. I presume he works or try to find employment during the day, or otherwise beg; I don't know. I don't offer him employment, because we already support two other families that way. With our level of and fear for crime, I also don't offer him shelter.

67 minutes = 1 beanie

But I can give him a 50% wool-mix beanie and hope it will keep him warmer.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

One-A-Day...Towards a baby blanket

Hi fellow One-A-Dayers!

I decided to give you a photo-log of my progress this week on a baby blanket for a friend:

Testing the pattern - which one shall I use?

Getting colours together

I'm using Vinni's - a local yarn.  You'll see that the textures differ: the smooth, duller yarn is Nikkim, a 100% cotton.  The glossy one is Serina - organic bamboo, and the lumpy one is Bambi, a bamboo/cotton mix.  Lovely to work with!

Day 1 - First Square is done!

Day 2 - Hooking the next 4

Day 3 - Four Circles to be Squared

Day 4 - The centre of the blanket!

Day 5 - Filling in the four gaps

And this is how far I've come.  I'll only do bits and pieces this week, as school started and we're all getting into the routine.  

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

Guest Blog! The Widest Ripple Ever

And so I invited myself to be a guest blogger on my sister's blog!  

See, I've just finished the widest-ever-ripple and I'm so relieved and happy that it is e-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y finished.  Some time last year I fell in love with Lucy's (from Attic24) Neat Ripple Pattern blanket and decided to do one for our Super King size bed (Ed.  It is wider than wide...).

The Widest Ripple Ever

I love colour, but also try not to think too much about colour combinations.  I knew I wanted the blanket to cheer us up, especially during the long, wet Irish winter.  I also wanted it to somewhat "go" with our Ikea bed linen.  I decided to use Aran weight yarn, with a 5.5 mm hook.  I went for a Hayfield Bonus in Cream.  And 10 colours in the Sirdar Supersoft range:  4 greens, pink, orange, yellow, purple, blue and khaki. 

Starting an epic blanket

I did not really have a plan in place, with regards to colour sequences.  I did decide to do two rows of a colour though.  And so I did the foundation chain and first double row.  (Here I must say that after about 15 rows I realised I made this blanket quite wide and it became the Widest-Ever-Ripple Blanket  It took me a while to get used to the hills and valleys of the ripple and in the beginnig I often had to frog some stitches.  At times I also got bored with the ripple and had to do some smaller projects inbetween.  

It's growing...slowly.
After slogging on for what seemed like forever, I decided to finish the ripple with a rainbow of the colours I used (bar two of the greens that ran out).  I also finished off the sides of the ripple with an American single stich in cream.       

Adding a rainbow for the Irish rain

The rainbow photo that Does Not Want To Go Horizontal
Some stats:

504 stitches in a row (American double crochets)
88 rows of which 80 was double colour rows
44 352 stiches in all
2.6 x 1.6 m in size
I love the colours, it looks great in our room and I can't want to start using it.  And I don't have to wait too long....we don't really have a summer this year.
All done!

Thanks, Stel, for this opportunity!

♥ GK

Snuggling away!