Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Pondoland Square is here!


Hello, Everyone! I'm really so happy to be able to squeeze in this square before April is upon us. I can't believe it has taken me all of the entire month of March to finish this block. Ok, it is quite a few more rounds than I am used to, but I wanted so much to make a piece that was big enough for a cushion cover, that when all was done, only the tails needed working in. Well, let me tell you...it was CHALLENGING alright! Whew!!


My heartfelt deepest thanks go to my Testers, Cindy van der Schee ( Holland ), Judy Stamnes ( US of A ) and Lucia Martins ( Brazil ). I can tell you from hard experience now, that pattern writing is a Lady Dog! If you're a Virgo you'll know then that we are pretty good with the details, and finer print, but make no mistake, pattern-writing tests the limits! Imagine, EVERY single stitch must be accounted for! Anyhow, as you know, I could talk Crochetnease ALL DAY, every day, but I do want to get this square to you before the weekend. 😍





So, let me tell you a bit about the magical Kingdom of Pondoland. To be sure, until recently, I kind of vaguely knew it was in the general eastern area of South Africa. This area is also known as The Wild Coast because of its pristine natural beauty, as well as an awe-inspiring coastline. If you've ever wondered about herds of cattle on the beach, then you have to see the beach loving Bulls! of Pondoland!

No surprise where I got my colourways from! 😄







That coastline, like all the coastlines hugging the southern tip of Africa, is famous, or should I say infamous, for its hundreds of shipwrecks and dozens of Castaways!  Half of all these shipwrecks saw all souls drowned or eaten by sharks ( I mention this in The Birkenhead Square ). However, groups of sailors, officers and civilians sometimes made it to shore. Survival depended on where exactly they found themselves. The shoreline then was dotted along the way with "rest and replenish" stations but considering the distances, as well as the wild terrain between them, even landing halfway between these way-stations drastically reduced your chances of being saved. In many cases, survivors seeking sanctuary sickened and died along the way. If luck was on their side, they were rescued by peaceful tribes living along these shores.There is ample documentation of survivors integrating into local tribes, and of course, legends abound about these pale-faced people and their descendants.



Some years ago I came across a book in our local thrift shop called The Sunburnt Queen. This is a tale based on scatterings of information, about a White, or possibly a Malay girl-child, a survivor and castaway from around the mid-1700's, who was rescued and integrated into one such tribe, later becoming a Queen of Pondoland! This was a fascinating read!



Not so long ago my husband worked for a company that designed and made signage. One of their clients was a large Petroleum group. Anyhow, as luck would have it, just after a new design was implemented they asked if anyone would volunteer to take a road trip into these wild eastern hinterlands! The task: visit ALL related gas stations and check on how well the signage was displayed.

It is truly wild country still, and most people are fairly sane, so no hands went up. At lunchtime, my husband skyped me and in conversation mentioned this. Two days later we were on the road!! He didn't stand a chance! I mean come on, a FREE road trip, all expenses paid, to a part of South Africa neither of us was familiar with!? What's not to volunteer!

I won't go into the entirety of this ofttimes beserk, one-week car trip that covered a few thousand miles, but let me just say that at one point, we crawled along national roads so as not to collide with Cows, Calfs, Bulls, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Piglets, Chickens with Chicks in tow, Roosters and Geese. At another point we were surrounded by wildfires and once we were stopped to have the car sprayed against Foot and Mouth disease!? Being Vegan ( me ) and Vegetarian ( husband ) we also pretty much starved! Mind you, the Backpackers we mostly stayed at were incredible. Really beautiful, well kitted out, almost luxurious. Our car-sore bodies were most grateful at the end of each day. And if all else failed, the views were worth it all!





South Africa, so wildly diverse, spine-tingling wonderful, full of raw energy, and colour and light... all underpinned by deep, deep soulfulness. 💗 A never-ending well of inspiration 💗

Until next time. Or as we say in Afrikaans, Tot Siens!!

HERE IS THE PDF DOWNLOAD TO THE PATTERN. ENJOY!

I've also made a video tutorial:

Part One: Rounds 1-7



Part Two: Rounds 8-12




Part Three: Rounds 13-17





Part Four: Rounds 18 - 23




Take care, have fun!
Jen xxx


51 comments:

  1. OMGosh. This came up on Ravelry this morning! Thank You!!!!!

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  2. My dearest Jen, your stories are just as good as your fantastic designs! Being able to make this pattern feels like a gift. You're awesome, but you already know that, right?

    XXX en tot ziens ;-)

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    1. Aw, my dear Cindy! I can't thank you enough for always being so willing to take on my flights of fancy! I want to mention the next one is already off my hook, but I don't want to scare you away!:D xxx

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  3. As usual... another absolutely stunning square. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Hope! :D This was really a fun square to make, and also challenging because it's quite a bit bigger than the others. :-) xx

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  4. A lovely story and an even more lovelier square! Prachtig!

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    1. Baie dankie, Simone! Much appreciated! xx

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  5. I admire your work and creativity. Many many thanks. Echt fantastisch.

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    1. Thank you so much1 It means a lot to me. xox

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  6. I feel in love with this, thank you so much Jen for sharing your wonderful work with us. It was lovely to read the story.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sofie! There is really so much more to the story but I hope all the links I provided will fill out the gaps. :D xx

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  7. I so loved reading your story here...and am in love with The Pondoland Square...it is stunning and reflects all of the creativity and mystery surrounding it...meticulous work and I'm over the moon...thank you for sharing it. I can only hope to have the patience to complete this.

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    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Bev! MUCH appreciated!! :-) xox I am always available to help and answer any questions concerning the pattern, so GO FOR IT!:D

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  8. Thank you so much for your time and effort designing this gorgeous square - equally stunning colourways! I love the beauteous tale behind it that you wove so artfully!
    Tot siens xx

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    1. Baie dankie, Caro! That is such a mysterious part of the world, as is much of this beloved country. My Ouma used to tell me stories about her life as a child growing up in The Free State, so much inspiration... I could make Squares 'til the cows came home! :D xx

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    1. Muchas gracias, Silvia! :D xx

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  10. Love your story telling and your gorgeous patterns.Thank you for your kind and generous heart Xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Noelene! :) xox

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  11. Oh it's so beautiful. I hope to start it this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely design with us. Wishing you a most lovely day. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Stitchy! Have a fab weekend and if you do make the square I would love to see the end result. :D No pressure. :D xx

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  12. Jen, this is the most stunning squares I have seen! I am speechless in front of this beauty! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  13. wow. Your talent. Just wow!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so encouraged by all the kind comments. :D I've been doing a lot of blushing today! :D xx

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  14. Thank you for this gorgeous block. Love it! You are so kind.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Joan!Much appreciated1 :D xx

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. It's beautiful.

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  16. This is gorgeous 💙 Thank you for sharing this pattern with us.

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    1. Thanks so much,Mary! :-) xx

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  17. Hello thanks for the pattern can you tell me if it's in us or eng terms thanks

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    1. Hi there! All my patterns are in US terms. I'm so used to using US terms that I forget to mention this. :D xx

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    2. Thank you i am in Australia and we use English terms but it's fine I can convert them and by the end I will be used to them also :)

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  18. Hi Jen,
    Many thanks for sharing your gorgeous pattern, as well as the accompanying story with us, I truly loved it. It has taken me back to so many of my wonderful childhood memories of growing up in South Africa (I now live in the UK).
    I definitely will be having a go at this beautiful pattern.
    Tot siens,
    Chezza xx

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    1. Hi Chezza! Thank you for kind words. I'm so glad you like the square and that it has reminded you of happy times! :) xox

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  19. Vanessa anderson2 April 2017 at 01:46

    Jen Tyler... Thank you. Your designs ate indeed aewsome! But this... This is so supremely gorgeougeous... Going to be difficult to beat! I love your designs... This one will go dead center in my blanket of mysteries. And your patterns are free.. So generous! Thank you again kind lady!

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    1. Ah, thank you so much, Vanessa! I love making these squares and I also love sharing them! I'm always excited to see what comes of them, where they end up...as a cushion cover, or a blanket centre! :D xxx

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  20. Hi thanks for a wonderful pattern. I would just like som clarification on row 21. It says that 1 sc to be made in space before scfp and then a sc2tog over the scfp. Does that mean that there will be 1 sc plus half of a sc2tg in the same space before the scfp?

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    1. Hi there! It was a bit difficult to explain this bit but I think you've got it! :D What you're doing is making a sc2tog over the scfp from the previous round. To do that you will insert your hook into that space before the fp, pull through a loop,two loops on your hook now, do not yarn over,insert your hook in the space on the other side of the fp, three loops on your hook now, yarn over and pull through all three loops. Basically you've worked 2 stitches together OVER the fp. Does that make sense? Let me know? :) xx

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  21. Thank you so much for this pattern. It's beyond my skill level for sure, but it's something to aim for.

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    1. Hi Kriti! You're welcome! :) I'm going to be making a video tutorial for this pattern. Watch this spce! :D XX Have you joined the hooksntales facebook page? I'm there all the time, so you can pop in for a chat. :-)

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  22. This is absolutely STUNNING Jen and I LOVE the pictures of Pondoland!! Thank you so much for this pattern! xx

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    1. Hi Erica! Thank you so much! It's a gorgeous part of the world and still very untouched by development. I would like to live there but it's a bit too off the beaten track...and where would I find a yarn shop! :D xx

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  23. Hello, this is a beautiful square, congratulations, from Argentina, Adriana

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    1. Hi Adriana! I'm happy to meet you! Thank you so much for your kind words. :D xxx

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  24. Bellísima diseño, gracias por compartirlo.Hay alguna posibilidad de encontrar las instrucciones en español? .
    Un saludo desde Málaga (España)

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    1. Hi Maria! Thank you so much!:) xx Unfortunately there is no translation into Spanish. Perhaps someone may offer to translate for you? x

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  25. Thank you for the pattern and the tale of your Pondoland adventure. My (late) husband and I travelled cross-country by Landrover from Natal to Coffee Bay in the early 70's and stayed a while - on the beach. We were young then and it was a magical time, your tale brought back lovely memories x

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  26. What an absolutely wonderful square!
    And the same goes for your entire blog 😊
    I was browsing ravelry, looking for a colorful square or mandala when I stumbled across your designs. At the same time I got totally caught in the stories about your country, which seems, for a Finn, quite exotic!
    Even though it looks complicated enough, I think I will go for the Pondoland square, thanks to your great video tutorial!

    (I will use it, by the way, as a hiking seat pad to protect my bum from dampness and pine needles, of which we have a great deal up here. Also have to make it colorful enough, so it's easier to find when I lose it in the woods 😄)

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