Monday, 31 December 2018

Rounding up 2018!

Hello, Lovelies!
Hope you are all well and happy in your patch of Crochetland?

Oh, my goodness, it's been one incredible year for me. At one point, early on, there was so much excitement whizzing around inside of me that I felt I'd glugged down an entire bottle of Frobskottle!

All to do with Scheepjes Yarns contacting me to ask if I'd be willing to collaborate! Um, yaaaaha,  yes, oh, YES, OH, YES I would indeed, and THANK YOU very much! 😂 Then Scheepjes sent me THAT wall of Yarn...seriously what you see on those shelves was just the half of it! Do you remember how crazy excited I was? I still pinch myself.

With the buzz still bubbling inside of me, I was contacted by a UK Publishing company to work on a book but I was so full of Scheepjes Frobskottle that I couldn't actually answer them in anything but goo, goo, ga, ga, ga's. To this day! Sometimes all your wishes come true, all at once, and all on a Tuesday. In future, I'll try to wish upon a star but only every six months or so.

Clearly long overdue, I started a Group and had great fun choosing fabulous Admins to help me help YOU. It's called the Hooks'Tales Pattern Workshops. If you need any help with my patterns or want to show us your progress or finished pieces then do please scoot on over and join us. We'd love to see you there! Just click the link to take you directly there.

Finally  I opened an INSTAGRAM account! I'm cool now, officially. Although not totally cool seeing as I'm still treating IG as an old-style photo-album, just throwing in images willy-nilly. I troll my IG heroes, noticing how careful and creative they are with their compositions and colour profiles. WOW. GOALS! Much!! I am "following" some fabulous Creators so please feel free to troll my IG! 😃

Between all this excitement, L.I.F.E meandered its way through it all... as it invariably does. My eldest son returned home ( yay ) from a six-month work stint in New York, USA and moved into our little rental cottage next door while he got himself settled back in Cape Town. Then there was Kai! Remember Kai? Kai eventually attended Puppy Playschool and became A Very Good Boy! A few months later my son and Kai moved to a new house closer to work and Kai's Puppy Playschool so it's been very quiet next door, until last weekend!

My youngest son moved in with his longtime GF, their three adorable rescued Rats, a rescued Albino Hedgehog, and a rescued Tortoise!  So far, this is child #3 passing through the rental cottage! The thing is, it is adorable and perfect for a young couple who, so far, have ticked all the "perfect tenants" boxes. They may also have unintentionally become Sooty's ( aka Beghara, Mr. Parker, Blackie ) next cuddle dash snack bar seeing as he's not yet settled on one family in our road but takes turns being everyone's favourite feral. I am happy to report that he's been fully vetted, neutered and had two minor operations, all for gratis, courtesy of our local Vet! As you can see he is purrrfectly at home in my little studio.

We also acquired a new rescue kitty called Nisha-Li. Not technically a rescue but taken over from her owner who emigrated to the UK. Like all fur-babies who have lost their loving families she really took it very badly. Nothing more heart wrenching than watching an Animal mourn!  She lost weight, she lost her purr! It's been a long road but with oodles of TLC she is finally happy again although still not quite sure of our little dog Roxy ( who is very good around Cats).  She is also skittish with Augusta and chases poor ol' Sooty when he pops in for a visit. I'm sure the situation will settle down given some patience and time.

Renovations inside and outside of our almost 117-year-old house continued throughout the year but we have definitely progressed and the house is taking on a shape and feel that is pleasing and comfortable to us. I enjoy it now more than I have in many a year gone past. I've realised how important it is to make your house a home and a sanctuary, a buffer against the harshness of urban living. It seems the more comfortable I feel in my home, and in my garden, the less I am bothered by the noises of urban living....trucks, traffic, sirens, noisy neighbours! For a long time, I didn't want to invest further in our home. I wanted to flee into the country! Just get away from it all.

Then, very early one morning, I was lying in bed listening to the myriad birds we have chattering, chirping and flitting about our neighbourhood hedges and I thought " you know what! If they can adjust, if they can be so happy regardless of all the hustle, bustle and noise, then so can I" and just like that, everything changed. If you can't change your situation then change your attitude to it....really worked for me! This is my biggest takeaway from 2018. I didn't go into the new year with any resolutions or a power word but I knew I needed to deal with the issues of urban living and really threw myself into analysing the pro's and con's of city life v country life. I feel a weight has been lifted since I made the decision to embrace urban life and see it's potential and gifts. I bought a birdbath and perched it outside my studio window...this makes me SO HAPPY!!

Of course, there was also CROCHET and PATTERNS!

I started off the year with My African Valentino.

Followed by the Let It Rain Blanket Wrap.

Then Equinox!

Next was Wildflower! . I was amazed at all your amazing colourways!!

After that, another cushion block, FynBos-Protea....

...which evolved into the FynBos BoHo Throw!

I needed a smaller project after that and also a Beanie! Tadaaa, the Cape Agulhas Fisherman's Beanie!

... and finally, continuing my Scheepjes Stone Washed XL crush... the Port Isaac Reversible Bathroom Mat! A big nod to my favourite series on Netflix, Doc Martin! I use this daily in my own shower room! I LOVE IT! It's really the perfect, lush and squishy bathroom mat! I have enjoyed all the Scheepjes yarns I've worked with this year and my plan is to continue exploring the many gorgeous yarns they produce.

Between all the patterns I and my lovely Admins, also ran a few really fun Giveaways, our last one being the SILLY QUESTIONS 12-DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY! Sometimes I wonder if I crochet just so that I can do Giveaways...they are always such fun and make me so happy, because I know they also make you happy. Win-Win right?

What do I have in store for 2019? Well, there is one pattern on the hook as we speak...just a little something to ease us into the New Year and then...well, I'll just have to see where the hook takes me. Definitely another Mystery-Along...I do love a good mystery!😍

Just FYI before I go. I have "retired" seven of the older patterns because they really do need a rework after which I will re-release them but with videos this time, and extra bits, in 2019. So watch this space for updates! 😊 On Ravelry, you will find them with this Officially Retired sticker.

And so, dear Friends, may the New Year bring you much joy, continual prosperity, lasting peace, bags of creativity oodles of inspiration, and many many happy hours of crochet. May your hook be busy and your yarn basket ever full. Take care out there!

Much love, always.
Jen xx