Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My Mzansi 14/9 - Heritage Day and an Afrikaner boykie

They had to dress up in national or traditional dress, the letter from school said.  It had to be proper and dignified, otherwise just plain uniform, no civvies. 

So this mom had to come up with a plan, as we were not really raised with "traditional costumes" and the like.  The Afrikaner is such a mixed breed, and such a very young thrown-together nation, that we don't really have a...corporate identity, as such ;-)  Well, apart from wearing a Springbok rugby jersey (but that's for all South Africans), or Bafana soccer shirt (that too)...we might as well just wear a flag T-shirt like on Flag Friday!

But Heritage Day is actually a great day to celebrate your heritage and ancestry, and we have so much of that in South Africa.  Today, cashiers in various shops will be in their traditional wraps and make-up, I saw a Xhosa woman in a stunning modern version of  a blanket wrap, white dots over her face crossing the street. 

So...into the old photos I searched and came up with something resembling an Afrikaner boy of a couple of decades ago:

One pair of vellies (leather shoes) bought at the local cobbler.
One pair of khaki pants (or any other sturdy fabric, denim only came to SA much later)
One corduroy waistcoat (I managed to refashion a shirt !)
Hat for the sun

"Ik ben een Afrikaander"

How's that?

With slight changes here or there, he could also be Dutch, German, French, Belgian...all of which features in his ancestry, along with a smattering of Scottish and a few unknowns. 

(Before I came up with this outfit, I did briefly consider beach wear, as the first Pretorius here did serve as secundus and "sick-comforter" in Mauritius for three years before coming to the Cape of Good Hope in the 1660's!)

PS - anybody know the surname "Hunlun"?
We're still wondering about that, sources say it might be of Irish of German or Finnish  origin, most likely the spelling has been changed. 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Almost a Bohemian Bugger-up

When it's the end of a long, busy week, and you just made the 2hr drive with two lively boys to your aunt, and you're busy the whole weekend, and the little time you take to work on the Bohemian Blanket is spent squinting bleary-eyed at the yarn... can only gasp at the horror of the mistake you realise only Three Rounds After You Made It!

What the...whaaat???

Tragically, yes, it can be done.
My heart rate is back to normal. Several cappo's later, the horror has been rectified, the ends have disappeared and Project Bohemia has been completed and is actually drying outside. 


(But I'm sure I'm not alone in this club...)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Cobertor do bebê

At the school gates, the Portuguese avó and I don't understand much of each others' languages - her English is...broken and my Portuguese limited to bom dia and obrigado - but we both speak crochet!

Apart from a huge throw, she's also busy with this baby blanket

She usually works with thiiiiin yarn and in tiny stitches - and she says crochet relieves the pain of her arthritis, so she crochets while watching tv every night.

We love each others' work.  

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


No real spring storms yet, although Pretoria hit 32ºC yesterday!  Wishing on rain, this dust is killing our sinuses.

Meanwhile, we are spring-cleaning, house-clearing, decluttering -  all in anticipation of The Great Move for which we are house-building-from-a-distance.

Freaking out at the cost of moving!

(I've moved a lot in my life - six schools, this is my 25th house in 43 years, and we're breaking a record here with 7 years in one place.  Moving furniture 1600 km now costs more than moving it from Australia back to  South Africa 7 years ago, eeeew).

So what do you do???

Free printable by friend and fellow crocheter Elsbeth Eksteen, at HelloHart

(I used this as the front page of my new carry-around folder for printed patterns.)

I also met up with friends for a Hook-in-Public-to-Welcome-Spring at Tasha's:

Riesl caught us through the window, hooking, breakfasting and brainstorming away

Colour-guru Adele, rebel-hooker-designer with the eyebrow ring Brenda, and beautiful-blanket-maker Zelda

I wore a men's T-shirt that I made this collar for: 

Version 2, previous collar discarded.  Working at night, with Crochet Nr 5...not a great idea. 

...and I'm still busy with my Project Bohemia, trying out a new way of working with colour (for me).  The beautiful square is the Sorbet & Lace, published in Ideas Crochet.

Symmetry-obsessed, even when seemingly working random.

When seeing this photo, Adele exclaimed "Ah, Now I see the Christelle layout-process!"

Have a look here to see the beautiful blanket the above-mentioned Elsbeth made with the same pattern.

With a few changes, I want to make the same for myself, with an Aran organic cotton, similar colours.  Roll on, next year!