Saturday, 31 August 2013

Yarn Indaba 2014

We were watching the countdown towards Yarndale with envy from here in South Africa...but trust the girls at One of a Kind Yarns to come up with...


"Indaba" is a Zulu word, referring to a meeting to discuss important business.

Now what could be more important than discussing what type of yarn to use, what pattern, to hook or knit, browse exhibitions, attend workshops etc?

Yarn Indaba 2014 will take place in Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument, from 31 July - 2 Aug.
Keep track of the info their Facebook Page.

(It'll be winter in RSA - but it's still warm :-)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Klaar! Die Mezzaluna / Crescent Moon / Sekelmaanserp

Uiteindelik, uiteindelik...'n sekelmaanserp...en laat ek dadelik sê: dit is eintlik nié moeilik nie. Dit IS NIE...dis net die patroon wat eintlik omslagtig is.  En as jy die patroon gekliek het, is dit happy sailing van daar.

At last, at last...the Crescent Moon/Mezzaluna wrap...and let me say immediately that it is NOT difficult.  It isn''s just the patterns that are a bit cumbersome. And once you figured that out, it's plain sailing from there. 

Ek het so 'n serp 'n jaar of wat gelede op 'n blog gesien, dit nooit gemerk nie, en nooit weer gekry nie.  Google het my tot by die Crescent Moon en Mezzaluna-serpe op Ravelry gebring, en Google Image later tot by 'n diagram (wat toe uit 'n Japannese boek bly te kom).  

Die patrone lees moeilik, moéilik, want dit probeer baie verduidelik.  Ek het op 'n stadium met drie variasies voor my gesit: die gewone, 'n verkorte, en 'n van-onder-af.   Dis op daardie stadium dat ek begin soek vir duideliker fotos en so die diagram gekry het, wat dinge baie makliker maak....maar selfs daarmee het ek nog 'n shorthand vir myself neergeskryf én ingekleur om by te hou met waar ek is!

My eerste poging was Desember, op vakansie, met alpaca.
Nie 'n goeie idee vir die eerste keer nie, alpaca wil nie uitgetrek word nie.  Tussen het ek met twee ander wolle begin, en uiteindelik besluit om te gaan vir maklik en te werk met Elle Pure Gold.

I first saw a similar wrap  in Blogland a year or so ago, but didn't mark it and could never get back to it.  Google found me the Crescent Moon and Mezzaluna wraps on Ravelry and Google Image later got me to a diagram (that turned out to come from a Japannese book).

The pattern reads difficult, because it tries to explain how lot.  At one stage, I was sitting with three variations in front of me: the full-length, a shortened, and a from-the-bottom-up.  It was then that I searched for clearer photos and and found a diagram via Google Image, which made things a lot easier.  Even so, I created my own shorthand code and coloured it in, as I completed each row.  

I tried it in alpaca first, during the December holiday.  Not a good idea...alpaca doesn't like being frogged.  After that I tried two other yarns, and then settled for Elle Pure Gold, that I knew would work easy

En om een ander rede wou ek verskillende kleure strepe hê...nee, jete, volgende keer gebruik ek variegated wol.
For some orn other reason, I decided on different coloured, goodness, next time I'll variegated yarn!

Dis makliker om kop te hou as die rye ingekleur is...
It's easier to keep your wits together with coloured-in rows...

Merk die bobbels in rooi, en begin met shorthand...
I marked the bobble stitches in red, and developed a shorthand code...

En dan begin die sekelmaan vorm kry!
And then the crescent took form!

Met die nodige ondersteuning kom dit klaar.
With the necessary reinforcements, it grew.

En dan! Uiteindelik, rafels word weggewerk.
And then! Working away the ends.

En die randjie word begin (ja, ek eet of drink heeltyd iets terwyl ek hekel...)
Starting the edge (yes...I usually have something to drink or eat while hooking...)

Yeeha!  Dit gaan tog werk (ek het eers nie baie van die randjie gehou nie).
Oh joy! It's going to work out! (At first I didn't really like the edge).

By Craft Share is ek amper klaar...
Almost finished at Craft Share, just a short bit to go.

Photo: Cornel Strydom @ Craft Share

En..voila.  Klaar.  En toe hou ek nie van die kleure nie...maar 'n vriendin is mal daaroor, so sy gaan dit kry :-)
Poeierblou Lollipop Lambslook reeds aan die haak vir Mezzaluna V.2.

And...voila.  Done.  And  then I didn't like some of the colours...but a friend does, so she's going to get it :-)
Powder blue Lollipop Lambslook already on the hooks for Mezzaluna V.2.

NS -  Ek wou dit breër hê, dus werk ek nou met 'n nr 5 pen, en maak sommige rye tr i.p.v. dc.
En V2.1 - dalk eers volgende jaar - sal gedoen word met One of a Kind Yarns se Marbled of Variegated DK...

PS - I wanted it a bit wider, so now I'm hooking with a nr 5, and use a TR instead of DC in some rows.
And V2.1 - maybe only next year - will be hooked with One of a Kind Yarns' s Marbled or Variegated DK...

NNS - Ek het die patroon in Afrikaans oorgeskryf, maar siende dat die transkripsie op Ravelry nie regtig wettig is nie, en dieselfde met die diagram wat op internet rondswerf,  en ek nou al laaaaaaaank probeer om op Mayumi Kawaii se spoor te kom vir toestemming , kan ek dit nog nie plaas nie..

PPS - I have translated this pattern in Afrikaans, and tried to simplify the writing, but since the version on Ravelry is not really this side of legal, same with the scanned diagram on internet, and I'm still chasing after Mayumi Kawaii for permission, I will not yet post it.  

NNNS - Sy hou daarvan :-)
PPPS - She likes it :-)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

To crochet a basketball net

I hit the crochet wall.

As in dead-on.

Not that there aren't enough on the hooks, or the lists or in my head!  Maybe there are too much.  

Couldn't get myself to pick up TGRB, or the mezzaluna (it's soooo nearly done), or work away ends, or ANYTHING.

Lucky for me, we had a long weekend, so I wallowed a bit, did nothing and read a lot, and on Saturday went for breakfast and a browse at one of our favourite markets.  Upon our return, parking in front of the garage, I looked straight up at the tattered remains of the boys' basketball net, and I "struck the (dash)board and hollered 'No more! I will hook! (if not abroad now)".
(thank you, George Herbert.  Always liked this poem :-)

And I yelled "Take me to the wall!", and I searched a full 12 hours until I found the bamboo standing right there, right in front of my eyes, and quickly hooked a brand-new net:

First attached to the ring with two SC, and a chain between hooks.

Then hook a chain of 30 stitches to obtain a nice, wide loop.

I continued with these 30 st chains, each time hooking with a SC into a loop of the previous row.  After ±3 or 4 rows, I shortened to 25 st.

Yes, looks like it might be working.
(I used a nr 4 hook)

I used this bamboo yarn, can't remember the name, but it was dirt cheap - maybe because of the splitting...

My assistant Waka doing his bit


I even "wet-blocked" hung it :-)  Sprayed with with water and pulled everything evenly out.

Looks good, works well!

For a photo-tutorial for a mini indoor-ring, have a look at Sarah's method, where I got the first bit of direction.

Thursday, 8 August 2013


And one day, somebody wrote about my group.

(That somebody is my virtual friend Ansie, whom I could happily meet once, and must be one of the most creative people I know.  Have a look at her blog Sol y Sombra, you'll see.)

Ansie is also a member at Ons Hekel, and I met her in South Africa on her quick visit from Dubai, just before she relocated to Australia.  She wrote this lovely article about Ons Hekel for local magazine Idees/Ideas (yes, we publish some bilingually) (also available on Zinio). While I was on April holiday, a photoshoot was quickly arranged at one of my favourite haunts, friends called up, and luckily my sis would be there as well- on her holiday from Ireland.

Ideas magazine, June 2013
(and there's sis, with the black T-shirt :-)

I had many questions after the article appeared, and here are some answers:

The beaded necklace is from Thibela Designs, a women's empowerment project in Du Noon, Cape Town and was a gift from my friend Julia, whose mother runs the project..
The blue and green scarf is this one, from My Picot pattern 2030.
The ripple is this one, pattern is Attic24's Neat Ripple.
The pink, blue, purple flowery scarf isYvestown Blog's Flower Coaster and I used Vinnis Serina.
The crocheted ring Annelize is wearing, was a gift, I don't have the pattern :-)
The flower and leaves on my bowling bag can be  found here at Attic24.
Prym hooks are the best hooks ever and mine were presents from a German friend.

Ideas magazine, June 2013

The charcoal and green/orange/brown variegated wool are One of a Kind Yarns 100% wool DK.
Maryna used a motif similar to the Japanese Flower for a throw.
I bought the buttoned tin at a local market. 

If it looks like we were having fun - we did.  
There might have been a bit of hysterics about the whole idea of a photo shoot, and we might have been on a caffeine trip by then...Post about Pure Café coming up soon!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Meeting Marion - when Facebook comes to life

In the years BK (Before Kids), one of my joys was my monthly book club - an informal get-together of ten friends who'd each get a month to splurge R500 on books of her choice, which we then swopped through out the year.  Then, AK, it was a bit more difficult.  Suddenly there was a baby who had to be factored in with book club, work, evening training  and work, and sadly book club had to go.  

Imagine my joy when I eventually stumbled upon my current book club, on Facebook of all places!  This group was just about the joys of reading in general, and Afrikaans specific.  We pride ourselves on being a friendly group, encouraging discussion, but being intolerant of...intolerance and nastiness :-)

What I love, is that this group grew beyond virtual boundaries, much the same as my crochet group on FB.  Members become virtual friends, become real friends, meet up in real life.  And great fun is had when the founder of our group visits South Africa:

The headgirl and headboy of Lekkerlees Boekrak having an annual coffee

Marion is our "headboy".  Due to the sorry state of our education system, and the accompanying sad salaries, he is an expat, having worked as a teacher advisor in various countries in the Far and Middle East, and travelling the world in between.  

When still at school, he said his dream was to walk on the Great Wall of China.  
His teacher laughed and said he would never get anywhere. 
He did it in 2007.  

He also started a brand (Pie-Say) and published a book (Afro-Dizzy Act) in Taiwan, climbed a glacier, swam with jellyfish and piranhas, bathed an elephant, walked the Inca Trails, scanned himself through a baggage scanner (!), jumped with the Masaai, ice-fished in Finland, made his mom's dream come true (walk on a Greek island in a floaty white dress) - and arranged a photoshoot to capture the moment, wrote the first Afrikaans chick-lit book by a male, stood where Moses stood on Mt Nebo, been a finalist with another Afrikaans novel in a Young Writer competition, ate snake in Vietnam, entered the Arctic Circle while searching for Santa in Lapland, camp in the White Desert, bought his mom a house and started a great Facebook group, where friends become family and we all share our passion of reading.

His full, ticked bucket list makes me dizzy.

So if you see a tall, crazy South African bathing in the hot springs in Iceland, eating oliebollen in Amsterdam, or practicing his Czech, it's him, going for countries 60 and up.

We love our Marries :-)