Saturday, 26 October 2013

On a washcloth trip

Busy procastinating again.

While there's a summer throw waiting to be completed, and a green cardi to tackle, I have been making  washcloths.

Yes, absolutely logical   What else to do with the little half balls of Vinnis lying around?

First one was to try out daisy stitch, and it went into the Santa Shoebox as the washcloth requirement.
I loved the stitch, the duck egg colour (looks a bit darker here), the hot pink edge.
(Have to really work on the edging technique...)

Daisy stitch will stay in my future

Then I went for linen stitch.  I worked with a larger hook as I wanted it very soft (gift for a baby)...and then I wasn't so sure if it would work.  Three rows of singles around in a light green perfectly matched the washed denim colour.

I kept it for myself.

Even added a loop!

Then I tried the stitch-without-a-proper-Afrikaans-name, which is now called "cellulite stitch" on my FB group... 1 sc 1 dc alternating. This provides a beautiful background and would work lovely as a gift, I think.  I love the denim tones.  Also tried out a crocheted blanket stitch edging, but think it would work better on the linen stitch example.

My boy claimed this one.

Two more has been made since!  

Another in a tight linen stitch in bamboo, which proved to be a bit stiff (the younger boy claimed that), then back to the cellulite (my sister requested one)...and still the baby has no washcloth.  Luckily, there's still a months or so before he arrives!

I never could understand the washcloth craze, until I started hooking these.  It's perfect to used up the last bits of yarn, to try out new stitches, combinations, edges, gauges, and you're left with something useful, not just a square that's going to hide in the corner.

So the washcloth project has now been relegated to my car and the school gate, and I' just took out lovely yarn for the baby boy.  But then there's my friend who wants one, and I thought my gran would like one, and maybe MIL, and SIL...mmm, I  think I'll use the supersoft Serina for them...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Everyday 10 (Cont.)

Yesterday I posted a photo of our jacarandas dropping.

My city is a beautiful, purple sight to behold

Skies are clearing after a couple of days of welcome spring rain.

The streets are lined with brilliant purple blooms.

It's exam time. Students believe you're lucky if a jacaranda drops on your head.

Purple carpets on the sidewalk, as the jacarandas fall.

...and sometimes, a tree falls .

 School traffic was halted this morning.  We drove the sidewalk to mush.
Luckily, it fell during the night, and was all cleared up by lunchtime.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Everyday 10 - My Jacaranda City

Early morning walkabout - jacarandas are falling after the first summer rains

Monday, 14 October 2013


And meanwhile, while I'm contemplating which WIP to pick up (almost done with an unplanned washcloth series) - a look at one of my absolute most favourite shops in the whole whole whole world ever.

My house looks like a Bellbottoms showroom.

It helps that their prices are fantastic.
It helps that the owner lives just a block away and happily delivers that which doesn't fit into my car.
It helps that they allow me to spot something, grab it, and make an EFT payment from home!

Actually, all of the above don't help.  it just feeds the addiction.

Bellbottoms - a landmark in the Valley

What's on the sidewalk just immediately tempts me.

A juke box, bunny ears, accordion or toilet for you?

Bohemian Rhapsody is not for sale, sadly :-(
I tried.

I have bought tables, cupboards,  chairs and benches - and a red Brylcream bathroom cabinet similar to the orange and green ones.

Shoes, handbags,, hats, roses etc upstairs.  Upstairs I once found a 100% wool jacket for the princely sum of R80.
Make that  €6.  Or  £5.  Or $8.  Bargain anywhere.

Collectors LP's, vintage postcards; remember the old shop tills?

All the tea pots and jugs you can think of.  And my boys usually end up at the sweets counter.

And I've even found some crochet doilies and table cloths here :-)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Of crochet fights and retail therapy

Pre-script ; Heavily edited, numerous times, and held back, but I need to vent, so here goes:
Are you fighting the same battle?

I had a bitter few days on my crochet group last week.

I found solace in retail therapy at the Tierlantynkie Market (joke, but it was a fruitful mission :-)

My crochet group on Facebook is now a little more than two years old.  From the very beginning, I was quite strict on what and how patterns might be shared.  No copies/scans from books are allowed, no e-books, but links to websites, blogs and free, legal patterns are welcome.


There will always be those who refuse to oblige, refuse to listen, refuse to understand, no matter how many times the rules are stated, explained, enforced.

It came to the point where I said that anyone breaking these rules will be removed from the group, no questions asked.  

Then these last couple of weeks, more and more mentions were made of a group where you could get any pattern, it would be emailed to you.  Now, as one goal of Ons Hekel is  to serve as a portal to access crochet-related information, groups, blogs and websites, I had to verify the nature of this, but  I couldn't.  I couldn't see the group - it turned out to be a secret group. I asked members to tell us more, as many other couldn't see it, but there seemed to be a deliberate vagueness about it. 

Then one lady reported that paid patterns were being distributed on this group, patterns from well-known websites and designers, patterns scanned from books and magazines.  This goes against the grain of Ons Hekel, and I didn't want a group like promoted there. So I said so. And other agreed.

And then all hell broke loose.

((But meanwhile, I happily skipped away to market with my aunt :-)

I checked in on Facebook every now and then via my mobile, as I realised there was an argument heating up, mostly back and forth bickering and disagreement -

- but then somebody's children were threatened per message.


What the hell?

How could people threaten another, and bring race into the matter, just because she takes a stand against unethical pattern theft  "sharing"?

At the end of that the day, 15 members have left my group; I helped another 8 along.

I don't mind numbers, that's not the purpose, never have been.  I'd rather run a happy, great group with 50 people, than have 4900-something along wih bickering, constand demands,  pirated patterns, and I've said so often.

And just when I thought the message would actually sink in, Heidi Bears reported that her beautiful hippo pattern has been pirated, and she received a list of names and email-adresses of people who requested it.

Really, is there no respect for basic law and order left?  In a country where crime is a talking point every day, people wouldn't stop to think that what they're doing is exactly the same, even though "small" or "petty". And the excuses provided...they can't access overseas sources (!), they don't have the money to pay, they just wanted to help, they don't want to be selfish...and the list goes on.

(I've since looked around, and did find the same on groups all over...seems to be a wave around the world now, but, luckily, resistance as well).

Luckily there are a great group of people who are dead set against this, and who report and help, and I thank them from my heart, because makes it worth the while to admin a group like this.  To meet with like-minded hookers, to show off and admire, share and discuss about our work, yarns, hooks, husbands, kids and what not.  That's why we have crochet groups, the world over, not just to feed the pattern demand.


So I have loot to show :-D

My credit card suffered some damage on Friday, but Christmas presents have been found for many, something or two for the house, and for me:

Pretty earrings (I love pretty earrings, and I'm a cheapskate, doesn't have to cost triple digits, and I'm very happy if it's R50 like these !)

Dainty doilies

...and a bag. 

Oh, what a bag!

I've bought a slingbag from her before, didn't realise it was the same designer - she actually recognised mine as she only makes one of a kind.
This bag is big, big enough for my wallet, diary, bunches of keys, wet wipes, pouch with lip balm & lip stick, sweets, a book or magazine, a hooky project with extra yarn plus the kitchen zink. 
It would actually work great as a cabin bag when flying.
Plus the leather...the leather is the softest ever.

Consolation :-)

Okay, I'm done venting now.

This weekend I'll finish my third washcloth (a tiny new obsession), working on the leprechaun-cardi, hook a square for the summer throw and another for Yarn Indaba's yarn bomb.

That'll sooth the feathers now.