Monday, 25 August 2014

Blog-hopping in Mzansi

The International Blog Hop has reached the capitol of the southern tip of Africa - thanks to Dorien of Just Do  and local girl Anneke of Crochet in Paternoster (yes...we have a beautiful little town in South Africa with a name out of a prayer).

It is such a treat to learn of many new blogs this way!

Photos of me can be scarce, but here's a nice one Cornel took last week when she did a Craft Share with me.  I love her new blog with fellow creatives Elsbeth & Anisa.

This is me :-)

Cornel cleverly took a picture of an empty, grey frame I hooked on a lone nail just to get it out of the way, just changed the colour a bit, and voilà, a pretty portrait :-)

(Cornel's Craft Shares are legendary - a random group of super-creative women met at her house to share and work together, accompanied by anything from yarn temptations, scrummy snacks to bubbly. She has now changed to concept to individual Craft Shares, of which mine was the first, and I really look forward to see who (and how!) she meets up with next.

What am I working on?

I just finished a CAL with my sis that I will blog about later, and declared the past weekend A Creative Weekend For Myself, during which I started a few things (I am a great starter...)

This beautiful square, designed by Cornel for the Sorbet & Lace blanket  in the Ideas Crochet magazine.  I'll use the blanket's edging to join as I go. It will be a slow project, 2 squares per weekend, maybe.

Square 1 of my Project Bohemia!
Ideas Crochet Magazine
(Video tutorial here - but in Afrikaans)
Find Ideas Magazine on Facebook

I've also started a blanket for my husband:

Defaulted into this pattern after
a) Elle Marco (top right) was discontinued, and therefor,
b) I couldn't do the single-coloured blanket I was after and,
c) I want to use wide stripes for another blanket later...

I rescued a baby blanket, my first attempt ever, and I don't think I'll ever have the nerve to do it again!
(Teacher Shan at the preschool asked me a week or two ago...could I? Would I?  This was her son's, and he used it almost to pieces...and he is now about to become a dad...

See how I did it here

I started a collar for a t shirt:

Found in a men's shop and it looks near enough to doilies.

And I cheated a Summer Throw!

From discarded table cloth to my new summer throw in 1 trip to the Hospice Shop and 2 boxes of  dye!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I don't think it differs much from any other crocheter who wants to make pretty things.  

I dislike "old" crochet - toilet sets, frilly doll's clothes, antimacassars - I'll try to get new uses for vintage items.  
My colours are also muted/deep, never too bright  (primary) or sugary.  I don't think I've ever used pure white!
Although I haven't yet made anything to wear (something that I really, easily, intensely dislike), I've come upon a beautiful pattern by a friend and this will be attempted soon. 

Why do I create what I do?

I like the craft of crochet.  It's quick, it gives me something to do while waiting in the car at school, at swimming, at Kumon...I can do it while chatting with friends over a coffee. When done right, it produces beautiful work, and I hope to get there! Meanwhile, I get pleasure out of making my own scarves, cowls, blankets, trying out new things growing in the craft and helping to preserve it by developing it in a whole new way with all the great new yarns we have available.

How does my creative process work?

Oh, jeepers. Let's not pretend :-)

Does this sound familiar...
"Oh, what beautiful yarn!  I need it, to make...something!"
(and then thinking up something)
"Oh, look at this beautiful pattern! I want to make X, Y, Z with it!"
(and then rushing to the yarn shop to add to the stash)

And sometimes, sometimes, you'll see something in nature (a rock rose on a Free State farm stoep), a photo (a friend 's photo of mountains in Tajikistan), or have a vague plan for useful item - and let that simmer away in your brain while contemplating another visit to the yarn shop...

This is my story!

Anisa also did a profile on me at Hello Hart

I want to pass the baton the friend and fellow crochet, and yarn shop owner (stocking NO squeek) and bistro owner Hilda of Yarn in a Barn.  She is busy with the most exquisite heritage blanket that I can't wait to see finished. 

(I'm coming for breakfast  this weekend, Hilda!)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Covering South Africa with blankets

Hooker (and knitters) in South Africa might remember 2014 as The Year of The Blanket Yarnbomb.
When We Covered South Africa With Blankets.

We're still happily reminiscing about the Voortrekker Monument Yarn Bomb
(630 blankets going to charities):

Bean there, helped laying it out :-)

Yeay, it made the front page of Sunday Times!!
(Trust me, the monument, crochet, and English newspaper in one's something to yeay about)

Wool for the people

...and then the next one happened!

Guinness record attempt, Polokwane

Congregation members of the Duth Reformed Church in Welgelegen, Polokwane, crocheted 568 blankets, attached these to cover 1020m2 on a local school's rugby field and will distribute these all over the country.

Here's some stats:
5112 balls of yarn used (100g each)
Cost of yarn  = R81 792
Men, women and children got together on Monday nights to work together; one lady hooked four blankets with the use of only one hand, another hooked fifty blankets on her own.

This attempt has just been submitted to the Guinness World Record's office, and we're waiting with bated breath.

But that's not all...

Another group, Caring with Crochet, is finalising their attempt to be displayed at Loftus Versfeld rugby stadium!

(Plus there was the highly successful 67 Blankets for Mandela Day project).

Lots of people are going to be very happy receivers of all these blankets.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Buy An Afrikaans Book Day!

Today is Buy An Afrikaans Book Day!

That's is not a very difficult thing for me to do.  I am actually exempt from this by my reading group on Facebook, as I ... "invest heavily" in the Afrikaans book industry ;-)

Here's my contribution for 2014:

Kamphoer by Francois Smith - an excellent book, based on The Boer Whore by Nico Moolman, in turn based on the amazing, horrific life of Susan Nell who survived a brutal rape and attack by two British officers in the Winburg concentration camp during the Anglo Boer War.   She survived and was nursed back to life in a hidden cave by a Sotho couple, who helped her escape the war to Cape Town, where she was taken in by the Koopmans-De Wet sisters.  From there she left for the Netherlands, was trained as psychotherapist and eventually psychiatrist.  She worked with victims of war in the Netherlands, UK and Java and eventually came face to face with both attackers. Chilling.

Seisoen van Lig en Donker by Alta Cloete - Alta started her writing in the Afrikaans romance genre and from there progressed to what in Afrikaans is classified as "relationship novels", or then, love stories with depth.  In this "Seasons"-series of 4 books, each deal with difficult and heart-wrenching issues such as anxiety, testicular cancer, miscarriage, farm murders, emigration and in this one's case depression and suicide.  Alta deals with this in a very sensitive manner and never takes you into a dark pit of despair.  I love her books and will buy the latest even without knowing what it is about.  

Both these books were great read (yes, I did my bit over the weekend already...who can wait for the 14th?)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Mzansi 14/8

Mosaics at/around the promenade and pier at Umhlanga

Imagine the crochet work that could be dreamed up from these:

Friday, 1 August 2014

This was Yarn Indaba 2014!

What a beautiful day!  What a beautiful event.

This was Yarn Indaba, and the yarn bombing of the Voortrekker Monument and today, I'll just share a few pictures of this great event.

Those steps are looking a bit bland and dreary, don't they?  

But we're going to fix it!

Bags full of blankets, ready to go

Marléne and Esté were the two driving forces behind the Yarn Indaba and yarn bomb:

"Opening the floor"

Ah, we were a bit teary-eyed.

Joy and relief. 

There were enough willing helpers, and soon some of us were jogging up and down the stairs with the heavy bags (a good workout!), while others were unpacking.

Let's get going then!

Marléne had the dream and the vision for today:

...and she's looking happy!

Smiling for the TV cameras:

Esté had the honours of laying down the last blanket:

And then it was done.

We did it.

We covered all the steps leading to the monument with blankets that will be distributed to various institutions. 

Your think we were excited?
You should have seen the tourists.  Busload after busload stopped in their tracks and couldn't stop taking pictures of the yarn bomb!

The morning turned into an extended photo session for tourists :-D

"Smile, love"

We had great fun looking at the individual squares, finding quirky ones like the tractors that was also posted on Ons Hekel before begin sent off.

Nothing runs like a Deere.  John Deere.

That's my sisi, on holiday here from Ireland. She might have been the attendant who came the furthest! 

Thanks for helping out, my sisi.

We found squares that her MIL sent from Ireland!

Here it is, Ann!

And three of my green squares:

(Test-pattern for the yet-to-be-decided-on Summer Throw...)

It was great to meet up with various friends from Ons Hekel:

...friend and fellow cappo addict Riesl angel, Mara, whose Maak 'n Verskil (Make a Difference) group took on the massive job of joining these squares and will be distributing the blankets.

...Anneke - she of the T-shirt yarn doilie rugs and twisties

...Alet, who sat in great pain and with a shoulder strap and worked to the end, fastening blankets

  All figures to be confirmed, but here's what you can work on...
± 30 000 squares crocheted and knitted.
± 630 blankets assembled.
Three flights of stairs yarn bombed.
Many tired legs.
Thousands of Rands spent on yarn
(I haven't said a word yet about the yarns...)

Hundreds of Happy Hookers.

My feet are busted!