Friday, 25 June 2021

The paths less travelled!

 Happy Friday, from a freezing, blustery and wet Cape Town, Lovelies!๐Ÿ˜Š

My favourite weather has arrived! Finally, I am in my element. I don't know about you but as soon as the temperature drops my energy levels rise. Because of this, I'm hyper-active through the Winter months...things get done! Not Throws though. I had an epiphany recently about that, realising that Mystery Make-Alongs were best reserved for the summer months when I felt lethargic and grounded. It's a conundrum really, doesn't make ANY sense at all. HOWEVER, it works out beautifully for all you Lovelies who live in the Northern climes and who want to squirrel away your snowy months with a solid crochet project to get you through the darkest, coldest days. So, in the end, we all get what we want, right? 

With all this renewed energy I decided a few weeks back to promptly get stuck into properly re-writing all of my "retired" patterns ( with additional rounds to make them all 20cm x 20cm/ 8" x 8" ) and then, make them available FOR FREE over on our sparkly new group HERE! It's a project that will see me through the Winter months seeing as I have a few extra surprises up my sleeve ( or is my yarn basket? ). You probably suspect this already, but crochet designers don't often get swathes of time to make other designers patterns. In a way, rewriting these older patterns is like doing this and it's truly been relaxing and fun! If you're not into being a Groupie I have made the patterns available on Lovecraft's HERE

Remember in my last blog post I was all excited about my little weekend getaway with Mr. HooksnTales and the Girls?  I thought I'd take you along on the road trip to get there. It's a noisy, bumpy ride and the video is a bit long (10mins). Perhaps a good time to make a cup of your favourite beverage and put your feet up?๐Ÿ˜ As always we hit the road less travelled, which doubles our travelling time but makes the weekend seem a lot longer. The fun starts immediately after we shut the front door of our city house. As soon as we arrive at "Almond Cottage" we take ourselves and the doggie girls, Roxy and Lally, for a long walk around the neighbouring vineyards which ring the small village ( we still haven't settled on a name for this off-grid abode but there are six and a half ancient Almond trees on the property... one seems to be giving up the ghost ).

Almond Cottage is set up for easy off-grid living ( thank you, Sun! ). We have all the modern conveniences there but we make a point of eating out at small local restaurants. Sadly, no thanks to Covid, some favourites have not survived. Tiny villages like this rely almost 100% on tourism so we eat all our meals in the village and shop at the quaint shops for things we absolutely don't need but feel our money is well spent if it helps to keep the doors open of a Mom and Pop store. 

The Village was unusually quiet and the weather was perfect....broody clouds, wind and rain!๐Ÿ˜†

We never miss a visit to this gorgeous Garden Center which is within walking distance from our cottage. I made a little video of the inside space ( which includes a cosy eatery ). It's all soooooo pretty!

The views are always dramatic!

We arrived back in the City late on Sunday afternoon and immediately took the Girls to the beach. They were amped for a walk after the two and a half hour trip home. And guess what we saw? On the beach! On a pink lead. Her name is iThombi.๐Ÿ˜† I can't even begin to tell you just how absolutely confused the Girls were!

In closing:

๐ŸŒธTHANK YOU so so so much for all your lovely comments! I got around to replying to about half and then ran out of steam! I always, always LOVE your comments and I thank you again for sharing bits and pieces of your life with me. ๐Ÿ’—

๐ŸŒธPlease check your notifications to see if you're one of our randomly chosen winners of Sandra's gorgeous Babylon Square pattern?

๐ŸŒธOur next GIVEAWAY is another ( the crochet fairies made me do it! ) beautiful square, The Morocco Square, by Sandra Salas. You can view the pattern HERE. 
Don't forget to leave your Ravelry name if you comment!

The rain has set in for the weekend here in Cape Town so it's all hot chocolate, candles, Netflix and crochet for me. I finally caved and bought a brand new sewing machine ( nothing fancy, very basic )! Somehow I lost the foot pedal of my VERY old and totally dodgy Janome machine. Incredibly strange seeing as I'm a neat freak! There's a strong possibility that it was spirited away by Sewing Elves who'd had enough of me cussing every time I did some mending! I have 4m of pink owl-printed flannel cloth and my aim this weekend is to make two pairs of pyjama bottoms! I'm expecting no resistance from the Empisal. Wish me luck! 

Hope you enjoy an absolutely fab and creative weekend!

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Some chit-chat!

YaY, it's the weekend, Yarnarinnas! Why am I soooo excited? 

Well, I'll tell you why. I'm * going away for the weekend *. I packed my little weekend bag on Wednesday already. That's how keen I am to escape the city for two whole days. As you well know, I LOVE Cape Town winters, but there is a downside...the hot, dry Berg wind. This is the wind that blows in from the tropical north. It heralds rain! Sometimes it's a days warning, other times, it's daaaays warning. As it has been. Boots, tights, socks and scarves get packed away, out come the sandals and T's. The air is tinder dry, and hot. The mosquitoes make an unwelcome appearance ( where DO those little buggers hide! ). Also, the air is foul...there I said it Cape Town! If it doesn't rain, smoke from wood fires burning in homes drapes itself like pale mustard gossamer over the city. It's very depressing really. 

Our weekend getaway is, as usual, home away from home to our little off-grid cottage in the hamlet of Riebeek-Kasteel. Mr HooksnTales has very diligently made the 2hr trip every second weekend to keep the place in ship-shape condition. He takes Roxy and Lally too ( plus enough tools to stock a small hardware store ) which leaves me and the Girls ( Miss Augusta and Princess Nisha ) to our own devices...meaning, crochet, coffee, Netflix, chocolate, dressing gown, slippers and catnaps. I WISH!! Realistically, I am usually catching up on Admin work, writing up a pattern, all this between thoroughly vacuuming every nook and cranny of our "doggy" house ( oh. the. fur ), mopping floors, washing dog bedding, sorting out the recycling for Monday and myriad " I'll catch up on the weekend " tasks that I never "catched" up on! In short....I desperately NEED this little break, to remind myself that beyond the malodorous pall of the city, there is pure, sweet, fresh air. Pity I can't bottle that stuff and bring it home. The doggie Girls will come with us and the kitty Girls will stay behind under the care and loving protection of my youngest son and his GF, who live next door. 

As always, there are silver linings and my back garden is one of them. Everything continues to burst forth blossoms and green leaf buds, bringing droves of Bees and Bumblebees. Birds are nesting and squirrels are squirrelling. The Golden Orb Spiders, who usually make a sudden disappearing act after the first rains, are sitting smugly in their webs. I'm not so happy about that. They are Bee trappers! The weekends are filled with the constant whirring of lawnmowers as grass springs back to life. Our rain storage tanks are bursting at the seams. Split pea vegetable soup with dumplings is back on the menu.

There's also been a lot of just sitting on the steps, or hanging out at Fishy Pond.

Our early Sunday morning fresh-baked croissants and coffee run to Olympia Bakery is now a ritual we genuinely look forward to. Especially in Winter! Nothing like a crisp morning to make you appreciate the good things in life. The doggies get a run ( more like a mad scampering ) on the beach too if the weather plays along. Lally has completely lost her fear of waves! We are so proud of her. business!๐Ÿ˜

THANK YOU so much for all your lovely, lovely comments on the previous blog post. I did try my best to answer them all but it's been a very busy two weeks setting up the new Group. I'm thrilled to report that the change-over has been absolutely problem-free, the Group is filling up fast, the Members are as always AB FAB! Our * Lucky 13 * Moderator Team are everything I could wish for. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done. Believe me, over and above their pay grade! ๐Ÿ’— For those of you not on the Group HERE but maybe thinking of joining us...we're running an 8-week pattern Freebie. And after that expires, I have something else hidden up my sleeve. But you know how I love surprises so mums the word!๐Ÿ˜‡

Anyhow, I have a weekend away to get to so I'll say....happy weekend to you all, please stay safe, protect your creative spirit, set healthy boundaries, make self-care a priority and may your yarn basket always be full.


๐ŸŒทPS: I've sent off our previous GIVEAWAY to 5 randomly selected Lovelies, so please do remember to check your Ravelry inbox and/or your email for notification about that!

๐ŸŒทPPS: our GIVEAWAY today is the Babylon Square by Sandra Salas! Don't forget to add your Ravelry name to your comment.

๐ŸŒทPPPS: I feel personally called out by my Black-Eyed Susan who is emulating an Alpaca? ๐Ÿ˜‚