Friday, 8 October 2021

Blogtober... post#2!

 Happy Friday, Lovelies!🌸

As many of you already know...we have our lovely group back on FB. It took eight days and countless protest forms to FB from so many of you Lovelies ( THANK YOU x millions )! Finally, the powers that be ruled in our favour. You know that feeling when you've had a close call with some random nasty event? That feeling afterwards of GREAT relief? The feeling of joy, appreciation and gratitude to have what seemed lost forever, come back to you? Ok, well all those feelings descended on me in bucketloads. It felt like I'd won the Lottery and simultaneously found the item I was looking for in the supermarket after they had changed all of the shelves around!


It's sooooo silly I know, and Mr H&T's keeps sayings "it's ONLY the internet" but to me, each and every person I interact with in Internetland is a very real flesh and blood person ( no, not YOU, Trolls!! ) with lives being lived, heartbreaks being experienced, illness being fought, families being nurtured, furry-kids being walked and pampered, trials and tribulations being met and overcome...or not. In my mind's eye, I see you on the other end of our communication. Our lovely Group is "home" to 1000's of real people and losing it, even for only eight days, was devastating to us ( the Admining Team + me ). Judging from all the emails and messages... to so many of you too! We all need a GROUP HUUUUUG!😆


Anyway....before I start getting way too mushy let's chat crochet! It's been a month since I have been without yarn to continue with the Extension for the Harvest Moon Throw. Finally, my yarn arrived! Yippeeeee! All the lockdowns and restrictions meant that Styecraft Special DK was having to labour through MANY hiccups to get to our local South African yarn suppliers. For some odd reason...EVERYONE loves the same colours as I do for whichever design I'm currently working on. Murphies Law? But * happy dance * I'm finally back at " work " and hope to have the Throw done and dusted ASAP! Keep those hooks warm!

The weather has warmed up gradually over the past week. It's still fresh and crisp in the mornings, which is lovely. I've been walking the girls early before "work" and seeing as we're fortunate to live within spitting distance of several lush "greenbelts", it's been an absolute delight! The rivers are still gurgling, the wildflowers are still twinkling... little pops and stars of joy amongst the still-green foliage. But, I can already feel the dry edge on the wind. Our Cape Doctor is good for blowing away colds and flu but does nothing for the landscape. In a few short weeks, we'll be parched. And HOT ( not in a good way though ). I'm trying to not think about that and live in the moment.

While we're still betwixt seasons indoor sun patches are fought over. 

Miss Augusta won this one and is making sure she takes up ALL the space.

Tadaa! GIVEAWAY time ( finally! ): I just loved this festive throw HERE and of course, who doesn't love a man in a kilt. It's also a bit of a nod to my Scots DNA ( my paternal grandmother was a, NOT the crisps! The Pringles originated from the southern parts of Scotland and have their own tartan. Blue and Green just happen to be my favourite colour combo. I should design something, right? 😆

Should you feel inclined to comment, don't forget to leave your RAVELRY NAME if you'd like a chance to be the one to win the fabulous Sholach Throw.

And on that clannish note...please do everything you can to have a fabulous weekend!
In Yarn,
💛 Jen

PS: Just look at this gorgeous Delft blue bag made by Johanna Cornelia using the Chrysalis Block HERE for the frontispiece and the Chrysalis Square for the sides! 

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Blogtober...a bit of a late start!

 Dearest Lovelies,

As usual, I'm unfashionably late to the Blogtober party. To compensate, this will be a three-day's worth blog post and then I'll be all caught up, right? So grab a cup or a glass of your fav beverage, curl up in a comfortable spot and let's catch up?

I can't believe it's been almost two months to the day that I last posted a little catch-up. I rambled on last time about taking a winter break...which I totally did. August was also my B'day month and as always I like to slow right down and take stock of the past year. I do this because, and I'm sure you would agree, THE DAYS WHIZZZZZZ by so quickly. It feels as if nothing of any importance was achieved. Yet, when you sit down and actually have thinky thoughts about the year, it turns out lots and lots of all sorts of things did occur which you can confidently slap a  " progress " label to. I've always been progress-orientated which has historically driven my nearest and dearest MAD! Is there no rest in you, Mother, shout my kids. Oh Lawdy, not another " bright idea ", groans Mr H&T. Sorry ( not really ) it's in my genes!

Speaking of which; I've always wanted to do one of those DNA Ancestry kit thingies and finally a full bells and whistles test became available at an affordable price tag. So, spontaneously, as a B'day prezzie to myself, I purchased the 9-in-One kit, did the early morning mouth swab routine ( first the inside of one cheek then the inside of the other cheek ) with the giant earbuds provided, then popped my questionable DNA into a huge test tube! A short while later a courier arrived to collect the sample then sped off with what felt like a very personal piece of me for analysis at Stellenbosch University. I had flashes of being cloned and got very excited at the thought of having a few extra arms to crochet with. Every crocheters dream, right? After a longish wait ( close to eight weeks ) the results are in! As you know, I'm always banging on about how much I hate the long, hot, humid African summer months? Well, it's all the fault of my DNA! Turns out, 60% of my DNA is a mash-up of Scottish, from the Orkney Islands specifically, Dutch, French and British ancestry ( no surprise there ). The next bit was a surprise though, wait for it....30% FINNISH ( what!? no wonder I pine for the icy tundras and frozen fjords!! ). But here's a laugh; 10% Italian, specifically from the island of Sardinia. Made sense, as anyone can tell by the way I expertly and in record time polish off a bowl of linguine. My oldest son on learning this, quipped, NO surprise there at all, Mumsie ( I have no idea what he's talking about ). My !!!!!! could be a dead giveaway though? Of course, I'm rounding off the %'s here. The remaining 2% DNA involved Northern Pakistan, an ancient nomadic tribe situated in the region between The Black Sea and The Baltic Sea, the bleak vast plains of Siberia and lastly, a horticultural tribe deep in the Amazonian forest of South America ( what WERE my distant ancestors up to? ). The kit went into loads more detail which included a handy meal plan for my specific DNA make-up. In all, fun, revealing and quite helpful.

Mr H&T and I have been escaping the city almost every other weekend for the past eight weeks. Always to our off-grid "pandokkie" ( aka the hovel ) in Riebeek Kasteel. I took full advantage of these escapes while the snow still sparkled on the surrounding mountain ranges and the valley temperatures plummeted to zero degrees Celcius overnight.  Mostly, the little village is quiet throughout the deep Winter months. Even so, because it's only an hour and a half's drive from the centre of Cape Town, there are just enough visitors to keep the Hotel, Bakery and Restaurants open for business. We're early diners so we'd have our usual favourite spot to ourselves ( and the roaring fireplace ) at The Bay Leaf and Thyme. Which felt deliciously luxurious. We've both been twice-vaxxed, but we're still cautious around crowded spaces ( we pointedly avoid them ). Also, just to up the fun-factor on our trips, Mr H&T researched all the scenic back roads, many of them dirt roads, which make our journeys seem longer and definitely more adventurous. With plenty of rain over the season every farm dam, duck pond, winding river and roadside ditch was filled to capacity. Which contributed generously, at the beginning of Spring, to the spectacular display of myriad wildflowers for which the Cape is world famously known. Every now and again we'd get a bit lost but we always seemed to end up at some quaint little eatery that just happened to serve excellent snacks and coffee! It's always a delightful surprise! This prompts us to high-five each other every time, like two weirdos. Two pretty happy weirdos!😆

Wild Pear Trees in bloom!

Unspectacular wildflowers in a roadside ditch. 

We always stop along the way so that the doggies can smell the flowers. The fields were covered in yellow canola blooms. My phone camera does this scene no justice.

Inspired by two early morning cappuccinos and icy temperatures, crawling up the side of a mountain above the mist shrouded village. I'm getting too old for these challenges. 😂

Oooo'd and aaaaaaa'd over this gorgeous Camelia "tree" blooming on the main street of Riebeek Kasteel.

On another note altogether, but to keep everyone in the loop; recently, in between all the galavanting around the countryside, there's been a bit more drama-related goings-on in my social-media "space ". Remember all the hullabaloo in May around the sudden closure of the original HooksnTales Pattern Workshop Group? Well since then, this Blog has been hacked eight times! Less dramatically, Google blocked eight attempts. Inexplicably, I find this hilarious that anyone would think I'm worth a hack! It's a backhand compliment, right? Heehee. Then a few days ago, Facebook mysteriously disabled our lovely "new" HooksnTales Group. The thot plickens ( or it could just be Mercury in Retrograde? ). The reason sited was that we had violated several of its Community Standard Rules, repeatedly, relating specifically to...wait for it..." nudity and soliciting 53X "! Oh, I can tell you the Admin Team and I laughed our heads off between the inevitable "Hooker" jokes, and so on. However, this dragged on for three days with dozens of our Members protesting to Facebook via a handy complaints form that is not readily available ( you have to hunt it down ). This made us sad. Finally an email from FB ruling ( tentatively ) in our favour. However, an investigation is now underway as it appears several "culprits"  falsely ( maliciously I'd say ) fingered ( sorry, LOL! ) our lovely, friendly, helpful and fun Group! To those of you Lovelies who find yourselves "Groupless", we can't say for sure when we might get our Group back. To accommodate everyone, the Admin Team and I quickly set up an "emergency" Group HERE.  I fear we may, for some reason or the other known only to untouchable FB, never get back our lovely crochet group. But, no worries...we will keep going. It's the darndest thing though. Since all this uncalled for drama, I've been filling my art journal with sketches of design after design. I close my eyes and literally see new designs dancing across my mind. Strange, right? One thing, for sure, the Universe works in mysterious ways. It's a universal law that Creation is an inevitable by product of Destruction. There's a very strong feeling of being in a deeply regenerative space. I know, sounds artsy fartsy but, I have a HUGE smile on my face.

Finally, I'm getting around to crochet-speak! My LYS ran out of several Stylecraft Special DK colours that I'm using ( specifically Sage, Gold and Denim ) to continue on with the final two sections of the Harvest Moon Thow. As many of you already know. I live at the bottom end of Africa. Sometimes we have to wait a loooong time for things to reach us. But good news, my colours are already at the courier warehouse and, fingers crossed, their arrival at my front door is imminent! I'm SO excited to get back to this project! Mostly because there are other designs in my head clamouring to materialise. It's getting crowded "upstairs ". Below are some gorgeous colouways of where the Throw is at right now.

By Kris Price

By Nana Razpoush

By Urooj Umar

By Marjolijn Zweeren

THANK YOU all so much for your support, for your encouragement and your kind, kind words through yet another HooksnTales drama. I'm positive we will get back to a place where no one gives us a second thought as far as false reporting or other silly shennanigans are concerned.

To get properly back on track, it's GIVEAWAY time again! As usual, we'll randomly choose five lucky Lovelies to win this beautiful free pattern, The Blooming Moss Scarf HERE by Dutch designer Christina Hadderingh. So, don't forget to leave your Ravelry name if you do comment!

See you in crochetland and please stay safe but make sure to have loads of fun time too.

Hugs as always,

💛 Jen

PS: Miss Augusta makes me smile every single day. She's such a funny old girl!