Wednesday, 29 July 2015

More beanies, blanket work and new yarn

We're a week into the new school term after three weeks of a super-lazy winter holiday.  The season has already turned here, the first blossoms have appeared on the fruit trees, but we have also just seen the first light dusting of winter snow on the mountains and suddenly it's the coldest it has been the past couple of months!

Winter = beanie time, so I set myself a target of a beanie a day for one week, which would then be delivered to one of the many Madiba Day projects country-wide.  The idea was to work quickly, with thicker yarn, so I tried out this Kartopu Cotton Spray yarn, a beautiful, smooth cotton/acrylic blend.

Although the yarn was lovely to work with, it didn't really deliver on the colour promise
and looked like vanilla ice cream with 100's & 1000's that melted :-0

See ?  Oh well, it is soft and snuggly and will keep someone warm.

While I had my tidy little plan of 7 beanies, my dear darling husband promised his associate office in Cape Town a BAGfull of beanies for their Madiba Day contribution to a home for disabled children in Gugulethu...and he juuust remember to tell me with a few days to go.  Luckily, the helpful hooky ladies  of George and some in Cape Town heard my sudden, hysterical plea for help, and after the weekend I had these to send off:

To this was added a bag from my CT friends and together we delivered more than
the hastily-made promise :-D

Holidays also means roadtrippin' time, and we went down the N2 to a farm stall complex (comprising La Bella Deli, Die Rooi Aalwyn, Bali Trading and a couple more) outside Riversdale, where I spotted these beauties:

A cotton pouch/purse 

I totally loved this beanie, but the yarn -though beautiful - is quite hard and scratchy

Granny throw for your chair?

Beautiful cushion covers (and a clever plan for all those loose motifs)

 While my boys were off hunting (we had one family hunting weekend and one only for The Men - that is the dads and cousins) - I worked on the Cheap & Cheerful blanket.  
All of us had success!  My two boys and their cousins shot their first blesbok - very proud of their contribution to the deep freeze - and I at last finished with the blanket, with only a few ends still staring me in the eye.

Early morning hooking in bed

I must confess that I really had to motivate myself to complete this one! For all that I do understand people preferring or being limited to this type of acrylic, it really isn't a joy to work with.  That said, I do hope to show with this little challenge that cheap yarn does not have to be nasty looking.

I was also treated to a sample of Moya Yarn's new Bulky Plush, a thick, soft cotton!

These came in the mail - the soft, muted colours perfect for a prezzie that I need to hook up quickly
for MIL's birthday one of these days.

Of course I had to try it out immediately. I love to sit and hook over a coffee, and took my hooky with me to this tea garden in the mountains. When my boys took off with the proprietor to chase away baboons at a nearby house, I took my chance to get in a few rows :-)

Hooky with a view at Over the Mountain

I might have halfway caught up with my laziness at posting now...

I fell smack bang into the trap of Instagram, when I KNEW that it would be an abyss of utterly beautiful images on the one hand, and the ease and convenience of a quick upload plus three words and a couple of hashtags on the other (but have you seen the lists of hashtags getting longer and longer? It looks more like advertisements that anything else).  So after 7, 8 months there I decided to drastically cut the accounts I follow and clear my feed a bit (and the blog feed!) and I must follow up my own posts there with a blogpost here, because that's the other thing I realised - I miss writing about the process, the idea and the progress and the mistakes made and lessons learnt until the end.*  I also miss reading about other bloggers' processes**, because more and more we see beautiful images, styled beyond belief, but less about the how and the why. And that is why I, for one, started to blog - to document my own, and read and learn from others.   

*And as I write and want to add labels, I realise there are no labels because I forgot to write about the Cheap and Cheerful Blanket's progress!  A next post then.

**Sandra of Cherry Heart wrote a recent post about her first project - and she thinks of it as a failure :-) and that's what I really liked about Blogland from the beginning - to see how and what others learnt, because that's how I then learnt. That might be what got me thinking.

So there.  Off to the couch I go to end with the ends of ends of the C&C.  I'm still not saying anything about the Summer Throw, notice?  It will come :-D  Ends an'all. 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

A visit down the road

My sis and I share a Hanlie KotzĂ© print with the subscript "Today I took a walk around the block.  It felt like a holiday in a far off land".

Today I took a drive down the highway to the town on the bay.  It was a long overdue visit and it certainly felt like a holiday!!

I joined Yuliya Nilssen's regular crochet class/group at The Blue Shed Coffee Roastery in Mossel Bay.  It is literally a converted old shed overlooking the harbour and inside you find the best of coffee, quiche en other baked goods.  Plus it has the best atmosphere ever - which makes it a good thing that it's a good 35 min drive from home, otherwise I'd hang there every day.

It really is an old shed :-)

The inside is old and threadbare and I don't think there's one superflat surface of real corner or two pieces of furniture matching and i really love that it's not sleek and styled beyond submission.

Suffice to say that it was like a homecoming.  

I've loved the venue already and it was great meeting like-minded ladies who produce such beautiful work that I actually just wanted to sit and look.  It really reminded me of our Pretoria Craft Shares!

At long last I met Yuliya who was sporting a spur of the moment new winter dress:

Love it!  Isn't it clever?
Can you see this in steely-grey and it becomes...chain mail?!

We talked hooks and Yuli took out her Addis that I just had to test:

I'm working on her Thank You-scarf

The Addi is perfect for a Knife-gripper like me, more so if you like/need to take a very firm hold.  I would like to see what sizes it is available in and how it would work with T-yarn.
(Yeehaaa, and I learnt that it IS available in South Africa at

And look some of the beautiful work on the table...

The start of an Elle Gold Aran ripple

Towards a Road Trip Scarf that will be slightly different

Annemarie also made this handbag:

Love the snowflakes

...but look at the bottom of the bag!

Minda is starting an epic  project:

Some Katia becoming tiny squares

...but she also finished this one!

This is seriously one of the most beautiful blankets I have ever, ever seen.  I literally sat there, stroking it, square after square.

The "join" was actually an "after-treatment", but I can't imagine the blanket without it.  

Ah, beautiful.

Black clouds and a howling wind brought my visit to an early end, as I still had to get back for school pick-up through the heavy rain, but this is a trip that I most definitely will make on a regular basis.  I already have a project in mind that Yuliya's creative brain can help me figure out!