Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A beanie for Waka

Last year, I made beanies with ear flaps for Waka's youngest son  and our nephew John in Ireland.  Waks wanted one too, and autumn has arrived, so here it is:

A Waka-beanie

I used Kismet Spice, a lovely DK acrylic, and hooked with a double thread.  The pattern is a basic beanie, starting with a 12 dc ring and increasing from there.  The earflaps...I winged.

Ears gonna be warm

Think I might hook new ones for my boys as well.

Here's a great blog post on designing and sizing beanies.  Yeeeees, it is in Afrikaans, but between Google Translate and the following, it should be easy enough to figure it out.

kb (kortbeen) = Single Crochet
hlb (halwe langbeen) = Half Double Crochet
lb (langbeen) = Double Crochet

There you go, hook a beanie!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

My Mzansi 14/4 - 20 years

Today is Freedom Day.   Our democracy is 20 yrs old and we're celebrating it, but it's a hollow celebration.

Many things have changed - many for the better.

In 1994, I was a student. I had full post-grad scholarships. I got a job (and worked damn hard), built a house, bought others, moved overseas - came back, travel for leisure, my kids are in great schools.

For millions, nothing has improved.  

Those are the millions who had promises made to them - who still live in shacks, who still carry water in buckets, who still have no toilet, who still matriculate with a worthless education, who still can't get a job.

Our Waka had his promised RDP-house stolen from under his nose while patiently waiting for government - we helped him build his own and get access to agricultural land.

They were promised better schooling - between Waka and Liesbet 8 kids are attending schools where the union has an iron grip, and teachers are the ones loafing. At least we can help with stationary and books.  One is graduating from uni this year, one finished a diploma.

Our Nr 1 is building a R247 million mansion and claims not to be wasting money

These are the promise makers, and next week we'll have to vote for one of them:

Election Day - 7 May 2014

But don't fall in a pile of hopelessness!
(We're not :-)

Here's the great story of how we got our beautiful new flag.

Ps. Where were we pre-1994?
See these movies:
Cry, the beloved country
The Bang-Bang Club

Friday, 25 April 2014

A nice surprise on this Friday

Earlier this week I admired Haafner's Doilified Rug, then linked her to Anneke's new doilie rug pattern that is just as pretty. Anneke might just be single-handedly responsibly for a T-yarn revolution in South Africa, with her beautiful doilie mats that she photographs on the beach, on the rocks, on holiday in Italy...I wrote about her and her crochet work here.

Yes, she took her yarn to Positano

Yesterday, a crochet friend asked to meet me quickly at Pure (our local favourite coffee/crochet spot) - she was bringing me something from someone far away...imagine my surprise when..



A doilie mat for me!

How nice was this?

Now I'll be spending the afternoon walking through the house, deciding where to use book toilet?  No, guest room...or my work room...a new room each week?

In the kitchen/living room now

Thank you so much, Anneke!

Visit her blog at Crochet in Paternoster.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Buying crochet

Although I crochet myself, I also love buying crocheted items.  I buy at farm stalls, markets, bazaars - if it's pretty enough and beautifully done, and especially by a community project, I will support it, and try telling people about it. 

So I was again happily surprised to find lovely items at the new Johannesburg Kamers Vol Geskenke ("Rooms full of gifts").  Kamers always has a selection of beautiful products that you wouldn't find at any other second market, so it is a treat to wait for the annual  Pretoria event, brace your credit card and enjoy a morning of a visual feast plus great food. 

Here's my loot, found at lapoplap:

A cookie/rusk basket, but it will live in my closet to hold my watch and rings.
(It's about soup mug sized)

A bread basket (± large plate sized) that might migrate between the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom.
(Lourette says hers lives on the toilet cistern and hold toilet paper, room spray etc)

And wrist warmers!
I was going to hook some myself, but why bother when you can buy nice ones?

Lourette du Preex is the brain behind these Stellenbosch-based products that include beautiful embroidery on kitchen and home decor that are functional and beautiful.  Most of it is crocheted in cotton string/twine, with accents in Vinnis Nikkim

They're also on Facebook.

There were also utterly beautiful handbags to be found at the stall of Yarn Over Hook, who unfortunately, but understandably, does not allow photographs.  Have a look at their Products page, do not be deterred by the homepage.   I loved the Cami and Jenna handbags, but then...the Stella has my name!  I'm sure they also had shawls and blankets, all beautifully made in lovely colours.  Find them also on Facebook.

All in all - a good day out!

(The Dad entertained The Boys with cupcakes and craft beer for himself :-)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Thank goodness it's Friday.


I say it every Friday, as the weeks rush past, especially during the first three months of the year. 

But today I say it with feeling after a hard and fast first term, a hard and fast week.

We survived Ironman.  

After being terrified by an 8.5K prospect (I thought it was going to 5K, then realised it was 8.2K when I registered, which then magically turned into 8.5K at the start...), I managed to finish in 64 min.  Great time for this unfit hooker!  My husband finished his race in a respectable 13h 53 min, after a gruelling afternoon on the bike leg. 

Family Botha, doing their thing

Done & dusted, roll on 2015!

So after rushing back, wading through loads of sweaty laundry, catching  up on a missed day's school work, getting report cards hamburgers depositing kids in front of their Wii - I'm taking the rest of the day off.  

I had a loooong breakfast with a friend - 

We really did have a healthy, carb-free omelet beforehand

I'm (still) working on a turtle oven mitt for my aunt - 

I don't like pentagons that much

I'm reading about love, murder and the TRC - 

Set in a post-1994-South Africa.
"Everything is a thousand shades of grey"

I had a haircut - 

Trying but not succeeding to show off my grey streak à la Rogue

I'm wondering what I'll write about for Blog Week

Visit her blog and join up for Blog Week!

I'm contemplating beanies for forthcoming Baby Berry -

A few colours and patterns fighting for the waning attention span!

I might just collapse with a chocolate and do nothing.

Roll on hunting season - I want to sit by the fire and have time to crochet.