I like to think that most everybody has a heimat; that place they think of as 'home', or where they come from, that has that special corner in their heart, even thought they might not return that often.
My heartland is the Klein Karoo (Little Karoo). It is tucked into the south western corner of South Africa, set between two mountain ranges, the Klein Swartberg (Little Black Mountain) and Groot Swartberg (Great Blank Mountain) (and we use the Afrikaans even in English context). It basically consist of 5 towns, from Montagu in the west, bordering the Breede River Valley, through Barrydale, Ladismith, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn in the east, bordering the Outeniqua and Langkloof.
|Klein Karoo, South Africa|
I haven''t lived there for 30 years now, having spent only 3 years as a young girl. But that was a definitive three years - attending the same primary school my mom did (two of her teachers were still there!), being able to run to Grandma's house after school at least once a week, living on a deciduous fruit farm, playing in the river, climbing the koppie with my cousin, running through a freshly ploughed field "to harden my feet".
After leaving, we would return every year to spend either Christmas or the winter holiday with the family and still I return, every time we visit the in-laws or our little beach house, to visit my granny in Ladismith. And every time, once I go up Robinson's Pass, my heart squeeze at the beauty of the veld, the grey-greens of the fynbos, the dark pinks of the protea, the burnt orange of the aloes in winter. And this year, for the first time in many years, I went in spring:
|Klein Karoo spring colours, near Calitzdorp|
The Klein Karoo in spring is a sight to behold! It doesn't have the short-lived flowery abundance of Namaqualand, rather a more subtle colour fest, but once you look closer, there's a beauty that takes you breath away. I took the above photo late one afternoon, near seven o'clock, on a ostrich farm with a view towards the Klein Swartberg. I sat and sat on the grass, my boys were playing in the dam-like swimming pool, and I just drank in the beauty (with my tiny glas of port ;-).
|Late afternoon chillin'|
For a long time I've wanted to hook something in the colours of the Klein Karoo, and with that picture in mind, an unplanned visit to the LYS in Mossel Bay turned into a tiny splurge on Vinni's Cotton...
|The greens and greys of the fynbos and Karoo shrubs|
There are too many varations of green and grey to describe, and here and there a splash of bright green will surprise you. Luckily Vinnis fares good with their subtle greens!
|Klein Karoo wild flowers|
I stood in the yarn shop trying to match yarns to the tiny photos on my phone
- the blues of the Karoo viooltjie (Aptosimum indivisum)
- the white of the oumakappie (still trying to indeitfy this one - the regional common name isn't as common!)
- the salmon-pink of klapperbos (Nymania capensis)
- the bright cerise of the pronkvygie (Cerochiamus pachyphylla) and spekboom (Portulacaria afra)
- the yellow of granaatbos (Rhigozum obovatum)...
And what would I hook?
I found the answer in a second-hand store in Calitzdorp: a milk-stool type side table, of which my parents had the exact same waaaaay back when:
|The milk stool (under the green doilie)|
I will sand it down and paint it vaguely white. For now, it's living with a green doilie in the corner at the little beach house.
Time ran out and I was travelling by plane, so I took the measurements, and throughout the last day visiting the in-laws, kept myself busy with Alice's Granny Mandala pattern and my bagful of Vinni's. Luckily, MIL had a similar side table with almost similar measurements, so I could get an idea of what it would look like:
|Klein Karoo milk stool cover on MIL's side table|
Yes, it would work, but I still needed a bit of white for my favourite oumakappie flowers, so I added a row or two. Back home, the only way to get an idea, was to drape the stool cover over a cake tin, where it will stay until January, when we hope to go down to Hartenbos again! Might be a tad too long now, but at least I have all the colours I wanted.
|Milk stool cover posing as cake tin cover|
Can't wait to go back. The veld will be waiting, and September it will look like this again:
|Vygie veld, Rietfontein Ostrich Farm|
And Towerkop will still be standing tall