Friday, 29 June 2018

Part Three and we're in Warmwaterberg!

Hello again, fellow Yarnies!

Before I take you along on the next leg of our journey I wanted to tell you that I had the fright of my life when I got a notification from Google to say my Blog had been "attacked!". This is every Bloggers nightmare, that their many years of input will all go "poof" just because someone is malicious enough to target your Blog! Luckily, I am surrounded by tech-savvy family and friends, and all the content on my Blog is safe and soundly backed-up. If my Blog does disappear it won't be a train smash to replicate it again. Whew!

Now, let's visit Warmwaterberg! Wow, what a place. Very unexpectedly and having set our minds on reaching Barrydale for dinner, a hot bath and a soft bed we stumbled upon two surprises halfway between Ladismith and our intended destination. The first was Ronnies Shop, in the middle of nowhere a pit stop for weary travelers in need of hot food and cold beer.

Because it's also popular with road-tripping Bikers, Ronnies Shop  ( click on the link to see why it's now a world-famous pit stop! ) stays open into the wee hours and on one of these nights someone got it into their head to insert, in bright red paint "SEX" between the letters Ronnie and Shop. Apparently, this had cars screeching to a halt from thereon and Ronnie, an old Biker himself, decided to keep the addition and, to boot, added "Pompstasie" to the adjacent wall. Pompstasie is basically the Afrikaans word for Pump Station, as in Gas, but it's also slang for something much naughtier!😁

Of course, it's all just a bit of fun and nothing untoward happens there other than your one beer turning into six ( or in my case several Appletisers ) and finding yourself wobbling over to Warmwaterberg which just happens to be across the road, albeit up a very long, deeply rutted, dusty winding road.

Warmwaterberg ( Warm Water Mountain ), is exactly what it says, which is a hot water spring gushing out from a source somewhere in the hills ( if you click on the links they will take you to the history and discovery of the spring as well as some fab pics of the place itself and the "baths "! ). Wooden Cabins are dotted around under massively tall Bluegum trees,  there's also plenty of space for Caravans and Tents. Other than one other couple we were alone, seeing as it was way out of season! It had been a really long day so we were more than happy to unpack in one of the little cabins and with a trail of Peacocks, Peahens, Cats and Chickens in tow, we wandered down to the hot pools, immersed ourselves and stayed there ( alternating between the hot pool and the not so hot pool ) until the stars were twinkling brightly in the vast black velvet skies of the Klein Karoo. Bliss, I tell you! Later, at the unpretentious country-style restaurant we ate one of the best Vegetarian platters I have ever been served ... this while the kitchen staff peeked nervously around the corner waiting for a Yay or Nay. It was a definite YAY!😋

The Cats, Chickens, and Peacocks all seemed to get along! Two little darlings adopted us for the night. And then, there was THIS Dog! 😃

 In short, we could have easily stayed forever!

To find Part Three-Warmwaterberg you'll just need to look in your Library on Ravelry! If you still have not got caught up in all the Karoo magic then you can visit the pattern here to learn more.

Take care, and happy hooky until next time!


Friday, 15 June 2018

Fri-Yay, it's Ladismith!

Happy Friday, fellow Yarnerinnas! What a week it's been in my little corner of Crochetland. We have had the best weather EVER...rain, hail, thunder, lightning and gale force winds. I'm in my Pluviophile element! This is exactly the sort of weather we had on our road trip, the one I am reminiscing about through the Karoo Vintage Mystery-A-Long.

In Part One, I mention how we began our trip with a hearty breakfast in darling little Darling! The next leg of our journey found us on the N1 headed North because somehow, in our mind's eye, we imagined The Karoo was "North", seeing as if you headed South you'd end up in the ocean. My husband doesn't do maps but at our next pitstop I snuck into the curio shop and pinched a few travel pamphlets of the area...well, pinched is a strong word, they were free!😃

By this stage, we'd traveled quite a way up the N1 and if we'd carried on just ten hours longer we'd have arrived in Johannesburg and been very cross indeed! Of course, the road we'd missed was Route 62 so now, how to get to Route 62 which ran parallel to the N1 "only" divided by The Swartberg ( The Black Mountain ). and a few hair-raising passes? Our only option was to either go back and start all over from Darling, or find a way across to Route 62. Which we did.

We almost missed it, a tiny faded road sign to our right that read Ladismith. My little tourist map showed Ladismith on it and it seemed a really short cross-over from the N1. Oh, took three hours of sand and stone "roads", winding like a snake drunk on fermented marula fruit, roads that climbed steep enclines then lurched madly into boulder-filled gullies. How we ever got through this and actually arrived in Ladismith is a miracle. We felt not unlike aliens from a distant planet who had landed in a bad neighbourhood with flying saucer engine trouble! I'm referring to the road-of-hell, not Ladismith! Ladismith, lovelies, was LOVELY and we had the best hot chocolate I've EVER tasted ( real dark chocolate at the bottom there. None of that powder stuff!😊 ) whilst looking out onto the snow-capped peaks of Towerkop Berg ( Magic Mountain ). There is so much to say about Ladismith but I'll leave you to explore in your own good time with the links I have inserted. Really worth a visit!

We also spotted this amazing looking Cat!

Visited the old graveyard ( not to be missed, in these tiny towns! )

And marveled at the Volstruis Palaise ( you must click on the link to see how absolutely lovely the interior is! ) charming relicts from by-gone days when Ostrich farmers became filthy rich selling Ostrich feathers and skins to the well-heeled in Europe! Most have now been renovated and turned into gorgeous, gracious old-worlde Guesthouses.

But let me not keep you as I'm sure you're impatient to begin the next stretch of  Karoo Vintage?😊 I really hope you enjoy Part Two of our crochet journey. See you in Crochetland! You can find the pattern HERE!


Friday, 1 June 2018

Hello, Darling!

I am so happy that Winter is finally here...oh, the rain, the clouds, the wind! Hopefully, we will see some snow too in a month or two! This is my weather, to a T! And what better time than now to begin a lovely crochet journey, but from the comfort of my slippers, cups of hot chocolate and a view of storm clouds! Aaaaah, BLISS! As you can see "Wildflower" was the result of this happy combination. 😁 I know many of you Lovelies in the Northern Hemisphere are sweltering right now so you may want to hold out a little. However, if you do begin now you'll have a lovely blanket done and dusted, just in time for your cooler months?

Let me tell you about my new project!! To begin, it will be larger than Amanzi...somewhere between a Throw and a Double-Bed Blanket. I have in mind a rough measurement of between 1.60m x 1.60 to 1.80m x 1.80m! If all goes well I am counting on the larger size! However, at this point, I am promising nothing! I confess, this project is as much a mystery to me as it is to you and that's why I have called it Karoo Vintage Mystery - A - Long!! 😃

What I have is a rough sketch doodled on a piece of notebook paper, a WALL OF YARN ( thank you, Scheepjes! ), my trusty hook and bucketloads of inspiration. Knowing myself ( that is, knowing for sure that I am a Dreamer who frequently gets lost in the Dream), I decided that the best way to tackle this project was to set some boundaries. A theme seemed a good idea. The theme I've chosen had to be very close to my heart...yep, you guessed it, no surprise...South Africa! But this time it's even a little closer to home. I have a milestone B'day coming up soon which reminded me of the last big milestone B'day 10 years ago when my husband surprised me with a cosy getaway long-weekend to one of our favourite little Karoo towns, called MacGregor. That weekend, at the end of August, it snowed heavily yet I could not have wished for a better gift. More about that weekend when we get to "Part MacGregor "! 😊 This made me think of the rest of our road trip, which began with breakfast in Darling! at one of the many quaint, shabby-chic Vintage vibe restaurants.

On to the Gateway to the Karoo...the Hex River Valley Pass.
My poor husband's phobia was seriously triggered...a fear of heights! I click away while he keeps his eyes on the road ahead. 

Aaand lightbulb! a blanket based on our road trip from Darling, all the way to Ladysmith, and back again! We've traveled quite extensively around South Africa, but there is something very special about The Karoo. If I love Cape Town's wet and wild Winters, then equally I love The Karoo for its wide open arid spaces. This journey covers parts of Die Klein Karoo ( the little Karoo ) and the historical little towns dotted along the famous Route 62!

However, I meander! This could become a travel blog post in no time at all! So, let me introduce you to "Darling" ( aka  Rocking The Daisy). This is the first part of our journey! I won't write too much about any of these villages or we'll be here all year but be sure to follow the links for a little visit. I'm using my stash of  Scheepjes Colour Crafter seeing as I have so much of it but also because an acrylic yarn is hard wearing, can be machine washed, tumble dried and of course, comes in a gabillion colours! It will be lovely, I think, in a monochrome colour as well. I should mention here that taking photos outside in dark wet conditions was a challenge.

Of course, the pattern is guaranteed to be texture-rich and as always, a little bit challenging! Don't be discouraged though, taken stitch for stitch, round for round and with the help of the Videos, as well as the from our amazing Group will succeed! 😊

I'll be releasing each part every 2-weeks. No rush, take your time! There is no official MAL Group Page ( but please do join our HooksnTales Workshop Group! ), no official begin or end time either. This is a SloCro ( did I just make that word up? ). So put your feet up, pour a glass of wine or make a pot of Tea and take it sloooow and easy.

Until we meet again at Part Two, happy hooky!