Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let it rain!

Hello again, fellow Yarnies, and as you can see, still struggling to let go of this theme...Let It Rain!

Our drought persists. Our water restrictions persist. Everyone has their eyes trained on the tiniest wisp of cloud floating innocently towards landmass, over the Atlantic Ocean, willing it to grow into a big mama Cumulus of a rain cloud. It works, all that concentration! But then, the Wind gets involved and blows those rain-laden clouds over the mountain and the next day I get a phone call from my 85-year-old Aunty Anne, who lives many, many miles north complaining about the massive, terrifying cloudburst of a storm they experienced overnight! So not fair, right?

Of course all this dry, all this parched Earth and shriveling leaves, the dust and relentless heat only makes me want to immerse, all the way to the pebbly bottom, deep under a clear, cooling babbling stream and remain there until I am well watered, inside and out!

It was then, such a pleasure, to work with the Scheepjes Colour Crafter Velvet in the cooling colours of Taylor and Dean. I made the Wrap extra a river of water where the sweet and succulent green leaves gently bob on its sparkly surface. I can imagine though, that this Wrap will look equally beautiful in fresh, bright Spring colours, so I am already excited to see what you talented Lovelies come up with!

This pattern was really fun and sort of challenging to write seeing as there are basically lots of repeats! And, OF COURSE, there are Videos throughout so you cannot go wrong. You can also have a peek here, in the NOTES section to see how many balls I used! Should you get stuck at any point the fabulous Admins on our Hooks 'n Tales Pattern Workshop Group are always ready to lend a hand, so don't be shy to ask!

Of course, this pattern isn't only for a Wrap and it's why I've called it a Blanket * Wrap! The pattern is very easy once the penny drops and therefore also very easy to downsize or upsize, depending on how you want to use it! I can already see it as a full Queen size Throw! 😉 The other advantage is that there are very few ends to work in! Yay!! 😊
I cannot wait for our Autumn weather to set in so that I can stroll around the garden, with my early morning coffee, all snug in my Wrap, watching our poor garden revive after the first good rains! Keep us in your thoughts and don't forget to make them very rainy! 😊

So, without further ado...Let It Rain, Let It Rain, Let it Rain!

❤ Jen 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

My African Valentino and Two Large Boxes!

Any excuse to celebrate right? I'll keep this short and sweet but we have been having a Valentino Fiesta over in our Hooks 'n Tales Pattern Workshop Group. As usual, I am so excited to see how other crocheters apply their remarkable talents with colour. I am not disappointed! Here are just a few examples I had to share, but many more are beginning to surface. Aren't you Crocheters an amazing bunch of talented Lovelies?

credit: Sabine Korinna Herrmann

credit: rewselene on Ravelry

credit: Cindy van der Schee

credit: Noelene Sampey

credit: Jo'Anne Kinter

credit: RaponsieLief on Ravelry

credit: Sandra Salas, who also went on to immediately make a stunning table runner!

As far as the new Group goes, honestly I do NOT know how I have managed this far without it. My Admins are so into "admining"  that basically, there is nothing for me to do but design, crochet, play with yarn, more crochet and more design. Ok, there IS housework and hunting for food at the Supermarket. Also, I wish I had a magic wand to just whoosh Dog and Cat hair into yarn, and the dishes do themselves, and a little Italian Grandma pop in to make us a scrumptious dinner every night. Reality bites, right!? And then there's this!

So saying, in many respects my Crochet Life does have magical elements, just enough to make my corner of Crochetland a very tempting place to settle, FOREVER! Last week, after only one week of nervous pacing, nail-biting, handwringing and several almost sleepless nights worrying about if I'd ever see even 1 x ball of Scheepjes Yarn... two rather large parcels were delivered to my front door. If you live in South Africa, you'll know this was a miracle in broad daylight! And what did I do?  Immediately launch into wrenching packaging tape off to free the yarn? Jump up and down beside myself with joy? Yell at the top of my lungs Yeeeehaaaaa? Nope, none of that. I went into the kitchen, made myself a large mug of coffee, added two chocolate biscuits to a saucer, went back into my little studio, sat down on the carpet....and after gazing at the two nondescript boxes for at least five minutes...BURST INTO TEARS!

A few days before the Big Arrival I'd purchased a sister wall shelving unit, incidentally the last matching one! As you can see, I packed my original stash into plastic drawer units and piled them on top of the shelves leaving the rest of my old stash on the shelves ( right ). Then, the Boxes arrived!

Doesn't look like much, right? But Yarn, well it squishes down! And once I opened the boxes packs of squishy heaven just oozed out like sweet marshmallows! My Husband, who was home for the day with a mild cold, was ordered to stand witness as I went into total Crazy Crochet Lady mode. Basically, I lost my power of sensible speech...all I could say was omg, OMG, oooommmmgggg, omG!!! I could include the entire inventory here but suffice it to say...Scheepjes had sent me a bit of almost EVERYTHING! I was not expecting that.

So much Colour Crafter! 106 colours in all!

Stonewashed and Riverwashed...also in XL!

My Tribe! I cannot wait to get stuck into these!

Yarn I ever going to use them? They are just too beautiful!

Colour Swatch Charts! These are amazing!
Then there was Catona, Sunkissed and the gorgeous Linen Soft, and Spirit, Secret Garden, Colour Crafter Velvet, Maxi Sweet Treat, Whirl,  Softfun and Softfun Denim! As I get to use these new yarns I will give you a lot more insight into their qualities.

With still eight packets to pack out, and having taken over the shelving unit which was home to the "old" stash... I have run out of space! How many times have I wished for a wall of yarn?

And this my fellow Yarnies is pretty much what I have been doing since Wednesday...arranging, rearranging, squishing and gazing. I have not lifted a hook to any of it and I don't think I ever will. JOKING...I'm totally joking.'re going to get sick of my designs and going on about all this FAB yarn! But wait... there was one last little surprise included. very own Scheepjes mug! Am I EVER going to drink coffee from it? Emphatically...NEVER! If it broke or chipped in the wash...oh, no, that can not happen.

Now that I am beginning to float back down to Earth, I realise that all Yarn must reveal itself, and us to it. I have formed a very close attachment to the Yarns I have been using since I picked up a crochet hook in earnest at the beginning of 2014. As imperfect, even downright cheap 'n nasty some were, those Yarns helped me unravel so much of what had been tightly balled in the pit of my stomach...anxiety, loss, grief, pain, physical exhaustion and shattering changes. Through it all, yarn and hook kept me anchored. Now, these new kids on the block... well, we have still to become acquainted, proper like. This takes time. As many of you already know, each Yarn has it's own voice and if we are patient, it will tell us exactly how it wants to manifest itself. THIS is the adventure I am SO excited to embark upon, and it makes me very happy that I will be able to share it with YOU!

And so, the light begins to fade on another scorching, rainless day in Cape Town. Keep us in your thoughts, think about clouds carrying dams and rivers of water winging their way to us, will you?

Until next time, happy hooky!
Jen xxx