Sunday, 28 April 2013

4kcbwday7 : 365 days...where will my craft take me?

Reading through Blog Week's last day's post, obviously I would start to ponder in the back of my mind...what happened to my resolutions of last year? And where do I want to be within in another year?

This was my list in April 2012:
  1. "learn to hook from a diagram
  2. complete a Japanese flower scarf adapting from an existing doilie type pattern
  3. learn to hook from a diagram
  4. go beyond simple amigurumi
  5. learn to hook from a diagram.
  6. continue meeting new hookers at Ons Hekel and meet up with them where possible."

At least I'm working on the diagram now.  No Japanese Flower Scarf completed yet (although quite a few other flowery versions).  Amigurumi...still where I was.

But I had success with nr 6!  Ons Hekel (my crochet group on Facebook) has grown far beyond any expectations.  At 4500 members, I closed the Page and restarted as a Group, finding a few things easier in that format.  I have met so many new friends through this group, meeting up with some on a regular basis in Pretoria and planning to expand on this while on holiday wherever I find myself in the same town as fellow members.  

I love meeting up with fellow hookers.  I love meeting up with Craft Share hookers and will do a post on that in the near future.  I learn so much and get more and more inspiration every time.  

I started a doc on Ons Hekel, "Hekel om te Help"(Crochet to Help) where members who collect items for charity can list their details - typically for beanies for prem babies in government hospitals, cancer patients etc.  My hope is that this will grow and become an active part of Ons Hekel and I recently completed a pile of beanies that will be sent off to one of these ladies soon.  So this is nr 1 then.

But what else?  I think I can safely say that I've mastered the bare basics of blankets and beanies...So:

2. Learn to crochet from a diagram (uhm :-)
3. Complete One Item To Wear. (Ok, that's big enough a challenge.  Nothing more.)

Did I say something about a diagram?

Friday, 26 April 2013

The tools of my trade

I was involved in a photoshoot the other day, and was asked to 
"bring the tools that you use for you workshop"...


(That is now for my virtual crochet group...)
(I don't do workshops. I  get a few fellow hookers together over coffee).

So this is what I assembled:

The tools of my trade

  1. If possible, a great cappuccino.  But a sweet, milky rooibos tea at home also goes down well.
  2. Great yarn.  If acrylic, then Elle Pure Gold.  Cotton, bamboo or wool should be Vinnis, or then One of a Kind Yarns.  The Rowan Handspun I have here, is an absolute bonus.  And my ultimate, and a fantasy to work with again - Malabrigo DK
  3. My hooks - a selection of metal, plastic-coated metal (the red and purple), some bamboo, but only thicker than size 6, and my best: my Prym hooks from Germany.  I love my Pryms and hope to get more when my German friend returns to her country!
  4. Pretty scissors. The tiny duck-egg spotty one lives in the little Cath Kidston pouch with yarn needles, and the bird or Eiffel tower travel from project to project.

These are the tools of my trade :-)

Cappo by my favourite barista, MX, at Pure Café

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Colour my world

I was that Grade 2 girl who knew colours by the description on the wax crayon wrapper.  Not "green", but olive green, apple green, forest green, moss green, sea green. Not brown, but dark brown, sienna, khaki.  Post box red, tomato red, sunshine yellow, mustard, lemon yellow...

I dislike primary colours when used in crochet/knitting.
I like pastels, but deeper, and muted, not fluffy and sugary sweet.
I don't like pink, although it can be very pretty - and I do love raspberry.

But my best colour is green and its versions.
Forest green, moss green. Greens with blues (bedroom), green with red (my living room/kitchen!), "Shutter Green" (a favourite Plascon paint colour).

When I buy yarn, though, I don't necessarily go for my favourite colours.  Then my colour choice will depend on the project, like when I wanted to do a Rainbow Ripple...
...or a blanket for a baby boy, using what Vinnis I had available:

What about the green/blue Malabrigo Rios, just because it was so utterly beautiful?
...or then the sunshiney yellow merino when I hooked a scarf for a snowy holiday,
the stool cover inspired by Klein Karoo veld colours...

and and and...

That is me - flitting from one to the other, but never too bright, never too sweet, never too light

Friday, 19 April 2013

Waar ek hekel - +27 Design Café

Een van my groot sondetjies is 'n cappucino so deur die dag, gewoonlik met 'wings', maar vandat ek begin hekel het, gebeur dit meer en meer dat ek neerval iewers vir 'n cappo, en een van die projekte in die hand.  Ek het nog nooit gesukkel met hekel-in-publiek nie, en het maar met die tyd agtergekom dat mense verras is/dit vreemd vind/wens hul kon die moed hê om dit te doen.  So nou maak ek 'n punt daarvan en kry gereeld 'n vriendin of drie vir 'n koffie en saamkuier om die wolle.
(Dis natuurlik great om die perfekte wenkbroue te sien lig in Brooklyn Square ;-)

By Ons Hekel post ek ook gereeld my hekel-met-koffie fotos; meestal by Pure Café, maar soms ook by Wimpy of Woollies, en selfs met 'n Seattle langs die langpad :-)

Hekel- met-cappo

So vir die Pretorianers se onthalwe (en dié wat soms hier deurry) sal ek van tyd tot tyd van my gunstelinghekelplekke vertel.

Vandag was ek by +27 Design Café in Hatfield vir 'n cappo en mini-burger, met 'n beanie aan die haak:

+27 Design Café, Hatfield

+27 Design Café is geleë in Hatfield, by die kruising van Jan Shoba- (Duncan) en Suidstrate, in die hoekie tussen Big Al's, 'n klein bloemiste en Chinese supermark.  Van buite lyk dit nie na veel nie...

...maar gaan in!

Binne lyk dit na 'n klein take-away, met een bank en 'n paar sitplekke by die toonbank. Daar's 'n paar soetgoedjies onder die klokglase op die toonbank, en agter trek 'n rak jou oog - supermooi sling bags, klein, funky juweliersware en mooi kaartjies.

Maar stap bietjie na agter, deur 'n klein kamertjie, uit in iets wat lyk soos 'n parkeerterrein, en om 'n hoek...

... en jy kry 'n binnehof met  hope sitplek, 'n bank as jy lui voel, waterwerke vir die kleintjie om mee te speel en 'n lang tafel met wi-fi as jy sou lus voel (dis waarom dit ook gewild is by studente):

Hy kan homself besig hou

Dis nie net klip, gruis, hout en staal nie:

Funky mini-landscaping

Die kids kan redelik rondbeweeg sonder dat jy vir karre hoef te vrees..

...en hulle is mal oor die Nutella milkshakes én croissants!

Die spyskaart is klein, maar lekker, met interessante keuses: 
Milkshakes - cherry & Cola, Nutella, crème brulée
Klein ontbyte
Gourmet mini-burgers - Greek, Salsa (dit bránd!) en Forest
en 'n nuwe Sodabar - pomegranate, cherry plum, lavender, coconut ens
EN natuurlik.
'n great cappo, ook latte, machiatto, Red 's, chai en nuut nou: Pumpkin Spice. 

+27 is ontwikkel deur argitek- en ingenieurbroers wat 'n gaping gesien het vir 'n kreatiewe spasie wat toeganklik is vir jong ontwerpers, en dit wou kombineer met 'n café.

Goeie idee, sê ek.  Die beste geheim in Hatfield.

Monday, 15 April 2013

My Granny's hooks

My granny turned 89 yesterday.  89!

Until very recently , she was still fitter and stronger than many women 20 years younger. She's survived 11 of her siblings, her husband, a daughter, a grandson.  Life is getting a bit difficult now with a very sore back, hips, neck, but on a good day, her wit is as sharp as ever.  Every  time we go down south (which is almost every holiday), I make the drive over the Robinson Pass for a visit and hopefully some mutton curry or souskluitjies.  

When my sis came to visit now from Ireland , we visited again.

Ouma Nettie with three of her (16?) great-grandchildren and my sisi.

We always have tea on the stoep or in her sitting room, and she always take a second cup.  

She produced this, with the instruction that my sis and I should divide it between the two of us:

A wooden container, looking like a tiny pencil box

...and inside we found the minutest of small crochet hooks!

Old-time crochet hooks, made in England

It doesn't look that small, until you compare it to my standard nr 4 hook:

How did they work with it??

Isn't it the most beautiful hook?

I'm wondering what to do with my half, since I'll never work with it (too small!)  I'm thinking of a nice box frame, together with a delicate old handkerchief I also got from her.  Or with a small tray cloth she embroidered as a young woman.

Any ideas?

Monday, 8 April 2013


I am an IronWife.

IronWives have husbands who think it's great fun to swim 3.8 km in the ocean, followed by 180 km cycling, and then top it off with a 42.2 km run.  All in one day.

(You get IronHusbands as well).

My IronWife supporter shirt last year

It's that time of the year again.
The first 4 months of our year spins past. Around 20 kg has been lost, double spinning classes has been done (no one in his right mind trains on the road in this city), a new bike bought, and legs are being Veet'ed tonight.

Our Ironman will be going for his 10th event this year!

The boys' choice for Dad's T-shirt last year

Every year we stay in this hotel room, right on the beach front at the start/finish line.  This year we'll be staying home, following the sms updates :-(

Hobie Beach

We'll miss being in Port Elizabeth.

This is what our day usually looks like:

Early morning - first thing checking out the palm trees (wind) and surf conditions

The boys and I don our support stickers and get down to the jetty

...and off they go! Two laps of 1.9 km each around the jetty. On a good day, the water would be a mirror; on a bad day, a washing machine.

While waiting for dad, this guy finishes his swim.
This is what real Ironmen look like. They swim, bike, run with amputations; with a disabled son in a buggy, in a team with local disabled kids.*

Out of the water after  90 minutes -  we're cheering from the balcony now.

Playing on the sidewalk, waiting for Dad to run past
We plan according to his splits - go for pizza, watch for dad, play on the beach, watch for dad, up to the room, watch for dad, down again for ice cream, watch for dad...

Keeping refreshments ready when our Ironman arrives!

Heroes of the day in horrible weather

More heroes - IronKids

Last year was a 14h38 day in storm-like conditions. He's much fitter and lighter this year, so we're hoping for great weather. And a better time!

Go Fanie!!  Kona is waiting!

*Ed.  Have a look at Team Hoyt, a dad-and-son team straight from heaven. I dare you not to cry while watching. And here's a link to Ironman 4 the kids

Yes, it's great watching the winners come in, especially when it's a local boy. It's great cheering your dad, husband, friend in. But the real Ironmen, the heroes, are those guys, struggling in at 16h, 17 h, painfully, slowly walking in at 17:30...that 's 23h30 at night! And there will be people waiting, along the route, at the finish line, to cheer them in as well, as the announcer welcomes them, announcing their name, with "YOU are now an Ironman".

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Everyday 4 - Egoli

I drive by this informal settlement every time while on holiday at our little beach house.

"Powertown"is located adjacent to Klein Brakrivier, its residents either unemployed or working in one the beach villages. It started as a squatter camp, it's now a permanent informal township. The more affluent neighbours don't want it here, but they want the labour.

Amidst these circumstances, the residents live their lives.  This little house always stand out to me.  The garden is tended, vegetables planted, a fruit tree or two...and there's always flowers on the outside table.

Egoli in Powertown

And they named their house "Egoli"*.  Dreams of gold?

(*Sotho for " place of gold")