Friday, 16 June 2017

The Durban Spice Girls ...another BIG square!


Hello, Yarny friends! Well, it's here. The day has arrived where I get to post my very first paid pattern! This is a biggy for me seeing as a)  I really LOVE giving things away for free, or just for fun, and b) I never know how to price my work. I mean, what is the value of ones' time? Priceless, I think. It's easy to work out the cost of materials, but time? Well, that stuff is precious!

I really struggled to settle on a "fee" and decided on $2. My reasoning was that I could purchase a fairly decent ball of yarn with $2! πŸ˜ƒ Also, the few fans I have, keep begging me to charge for my work. Now at least I can say once upon a time I did!!

About this square. It's really the sister square to The Pondoland Square because, while I was busy with The Pondo, my mind was wondering off in many directions, like strands of yarn working themselves into other patterns but linked, like umbilical cords, to the present design. It's a huge problem for me, my mind has all Tabs open, all the time. This can become exhausting, especially when it's virtually impossible to settle on one design only, stick to it, and then see it through all the way to the pattern PDF. Even as I put in the last full stop, I'm thinking oh, I could do this, oh look, I can explore that bit in another design...and so it goes.


So there I was, deep in Pondoland but I could also see women, in pretty Saris, and it made me remember the days of childhood holidays and long weekends in Durban. For those of you who are unfamiliar with where this is exactly, Durban is the major port, and a bustling city of the province known as KwaZulu/Natal. The province lies on the eastern seaboard of South Africa, hugged by the warm waves and golden sands of the Indian Ocean. It's hard to explain exactly, but every province in South Africa ( there are nine ) is like a unique, independent country! KwaZulu/Natal especially so seeing as it's not only home to the King of the Zulus, but it's also home to the largest Indian ( as in from India! ) community outside of India!


Back when I was a child and young teen, Durban was a ten-hour drive away. This involved, seeing as we were six kids cooped up in my Dad's fire engine red Ford station-wagon, many stops along the way. The road was long and wound eventually through the hills and dales of the Natal Midlands, as we descended gently from the escarpment to sea level. I could wax lyrical about the Natal Midlands, for hours! But that's another story for another square? 😊



One of the highlights, for me, seeing as I wasn't really a beach bunny due to my skin which never tanned but burnt bright red, blistered, peeled and went back to " pale, with freckles ", was visiting all the interesting little craft and curio shops in Durban and surrounds. especially when I was older and more independent. My absolute favourite spot was the Indian Spice Market. Think Flea Market, and then upsize with major bling added.




My Father, in his day, considered himself somewhat of a cook but only when it came to Friday night homemade fish and chips, and Saturday night Curry! Oh, the chopping, the sauteing, the fragrance, the swearing... THE KITCHEN ( as the only girl in a house of boys somehow I always landed the dishwashing chore 😒 ). Hence, the Indian Spice Market! Every self-respecting South African man has a unique, homemade- from- scratch, Curry Recipe which absolutely everyone has to try because naturally, theirs and only theirs, is THE BEST! Of course, when you actually taste Indian Curry prepared by Indian people, only then do you admit that your Curry could do with improvement! But never let a South African man, with a Curry recipe, know that! πŸ˜‹



The original Durban Spice Market burnt to the ground in the 70's! I can only imagine the amazing aroma of burning herbs and spices. But yes, it was a terrible disaster at the time. Luckily it was rebuilt and survives to this day! Of course, it's not only Curry spices which are sold there, but every imaginable lovely thing! GORGEOUS rainbow - hued Sari's, bolts of divine fabric, unusual kitchenalia and homewares, sparkling, exotic and otherworldly looking jewelry, hand-embroidered shoes and slippers, pungent and floral toned incense, essential oils, sandalwood soaps, Indian teas, bindis, multi-coloured bangles, skirts with tiny mirrors worked into them, soft Indian cotton teeshirts and of course... lots and lots, and LOTS of food stalls!



For someone like myself who is a HSP and an INFJ ( for years I just thought I was probably an alien )... places like the Spice Market make a lasting impression. Who am I kidding? It's more like the experience somehow sank deeply into my bones, into every cell of my body, and remained there. I only have to have the briefest reminder and I am back there, filling small paper packets with "hot as hell chili mix" or "mother-in-law masala" or "best daughter-in-law biryani mix"!πŸ˜„ There is a place, here in Cape Town, that stocks the soap, first bought at this market, which I have been using for years, Mysore Sandalwood Soap. Nothing compares, NOTHING!πŸ’–



Just a bit about the pattern. It's a cushion sized design, with lots of interesting rounds, and I imagine, from what I have seen done with The Pondo, that it will be translated into the most beautiful colourways! I have not added a specific colourway page to this pattern but I have mentioned each colour for each round. More as a guide. ALSO, there will be videos available, as a bonus, to everyone who purchases the pattern! In the videos, I will also explore embellishing the design, and also another ( or two ) options for the central Flower! I really enjoy making the videos as I can explain more clearly exactly what goes where. Pattern writing, for me, is extremely stressful! My brain is so NOT wired for pattern writing! I wish I had a little crochet Elf who could just take my pages of handwritten notes and magically transform them into a perfect PDF pattern. We can dream, right?


Of course, I could talk crochet, all day, every day and there is so much more I want to write but, this is a blog post and not a book! πŸ˜„

The pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry, and on Monday I am doing a draw ( so head on over to the FB page and add your Ravelry name! ) and three lucky persons will get a FREE copy of the pattern. I tell you, a warning in advance, it's tricky...and why I am making the videos so that you don't end up throwing the pattern at me should you see me in the street! πŸ˜ƒ

English and Dutch Versions available on Ravelry
Click on the button if you are a non-Ravelry Member

See you in Crochetland!
love,
Jen xxx









35 comments:

  1. Absolutely stunning!! Regards, Francoise

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    1. Thank you so much, Marie-Francoise! :-) xox

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  2. Beautiful! Can't wait to make it!

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    1. Hi Charlotte! Thank you! I have finished the video tutorial for round 1-10. If you would like to have it, please send your email address to: jentylerdesigns@gmail.com and I will send you the private tutorial. :-) xx

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  3. Its beautiful Jen. I send you a message on facebook in the Hook's 'n Tales. You are a great creator. Greetings from Greece.

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  4. Omg your description of Durban brought me to tears. We went to Durban in holiday every year as a child. You brought back all the sights and smells. I was born in Kempton Park near Johannesburg, but now live in Orlando Florida via the UK. I will always be a proud South African no matter where I live. Oh how I miss my beautiful homeland.

    Your work is fabulous and it definitely brings to life the beauty of the most beautiful country in the world.

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    1. Oh, Sam! I totally understand! I was away for 10 years when I worked and lived in Europe, eventually settling in Holland for 5 years. I loved Europe, and Holland and the ease of travel and access to "culture". For 8 years I was too busy to miss my homeland but then the last two years...I became literally sick with homesickness. I decided to come home for 6 months, just to see if my homesickness was real or imagined. I tell you, as I landed and walked out of the aeroport I was so overwhelmed with an indescribable feeling, my legs actually gave in and I ended up on my knees on the tarmac, just crying my eyes out!! I decided there and then that I would never ever leave and that whatever happened here, I'd go with the flow and accept my fate. I know it sounds dramatic but I just knew I never wanted to die ( one day when I am ancient ) on foreign soil. You know, I never hear other people speaking about their homeland the way South Africans do. It must be something in the soil, the air, the water, the people... hard to explain, right? Sending you warm hugs, and lots of SA love! xoxoxoxo

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  5. Wow Jen !!!! I just crocheted Pondoland and thought it couldn't get any better.It has and your work is absolutely amazing :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Noelene!! :D xxx I really love making these squares. I wish I had 8 arms! :D

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  6. Absolutely stunning , will have to get this pattern x

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    1. Thanks so much, Wendy!! :D XOX

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  7. Wow!! Jen, your design is stunning. I can't wait to get to work on it.

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    1. Thanks so much, Teri, so glad you like it! :D The video tutorial is available for Part One, rounds 1-10. I am trying my best to send the video link to everyone who bought the pattern. But if it doesn't land in your inbox just send me a mail and I'll get it to you directly. :D XXX

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  8. Beautiful pattern, I've just bought it. Do you have a colour list anywhere? Thanks Jeni

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    1. Hello and thanks so much!! I begin each round with a mention of the yarn and colour. Hope that helps? xx

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    2. Ok, thanks Jen, I must raid my stash and get started :)

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  9. Hi Jen,
    Your pattern is absolutely beautiful! And I'm so in love with the colors. Do you know a website that ships Elle yarn to Europe?

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    1. Hi Mette! :-) You can use just about any DK yarn here. The yarn I use is a syper economical acrylic. It will be easy for you to match up the colours in a similar weight yarn wherever you are in the world. :-) xx

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  10. Love all the patterns you have created and am very impressed with the details. Love the stories that go with them too. Thank you so much for this pattern. I am still struggling to find the tutorials, but will contact you again if I can't locate them.

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    1. Hi Susan, and thanks so much for your encouraging words! Now there will be no stopping me! :D I have aent out updates via Ravelry and everyone who purchased the pattern will get all the links. :-) X

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  11. I don't have words!! The minute I saw it I had to have it - I have only once ever before bought a pattern and I had to think twice because USD to ZAR is crazy. THIS TIME I did not blink.... I think I would not have cared whether you charged $2.00 or $20.00!!! I just had to have it - FULL STOP!

    Brilliant (and I like all your other patterns too)

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    1. erg.... the Unknown post is me... Nola :) I didn't see that my name did not come up - seems like I have to register somewhere haha - all I know is crochet :)

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    2. Oh, Nola that made me laugh! Thank you!! So glad you like it. :D xxx

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  12. This pattern is so stunning, I could not resist. Can I ask, how many colours are used? I have read through the first bit of the pattern and notice you say what colour to use for each section but by the time I get to part seven or eight I lose track (I know, I'm being lazy...should just write it down 😜)
    Thanks so much!
    Michelle

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  13. Dear Jen
    Just seen your stunning new design of Durban Spice Girls. I must admit it is the one RSA city I I have never known well although I know the Pondoland coast well from Kei River Mouth as far as St Johns as after I acquired a step mother form that region as a teenager I spent many school holidays roaming the green hills navigation thorn bushes with the dogs to keep snakes at bay and Christmas and New Year holidays at the beach huts of the family at the river mouths. Like you I have a skin that burns and peels so the beach was not the attraction for me. Some of those rivers run down to the sea through dramatic canyons with cliffs, then still home to Eagles. I cna remeber absolute panic as a non swimmng child whne I ahd to wade across river mouths on sand bars up to my thighs with the constant sensation I was being pulled out to sea. That was the only way to get across. I loved the lonely wilds and although I could not speak Xhosa as hard as I tried to learn, the locals in my wanderings all knew who I was and chatted away profusely and reported my whereabouts to alarmed family back at the homestead where they had gone shopping.
    The description of the spices makes me long for the many meals almost daily I had with my Muslim friends in Cape Town during Ramadan. Briyani was a favorite but I would no longer be able to eat it as I am now fat intolerant and have to be very careful with my diet.
    Keep up this marvelous series of designs. I am working on some large scale Afgans at the moment but hopefully I will start on your squares for an southern african afghan.
    Groete or Chok di (=Good luck)
    RoyG

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    1. Hello, Roy! Thank you so much! I love your stories about your childhood adventures! Also, my aplologies for not getting back to you re earlier mail! Been an incredibly busy few weeks and just managing to keep up with answering comments and emails. I think I need a secretary! :D Take care, chat soon! Stay out of the sun and away from fats! :D

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  14. Fabulous! BTW my mom was born near Port St Johns and spent much of her childhood there, was like living in Paradise😊

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    1. Yes, indeed. a spectacular part of South Africa. Nothing has changed much there. Still beautiful. :-) xx

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  15. I just purchased your pattern, it is beautiful. I can't wait to get started

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    1. Thank you, Michele! I think with the help of the videos you can't go wrong! xxx

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  16. Dette (dreamsofanne on Instagram)17 July 2017 at 13:12

    Hello Jen ,I don't know how but have missed finding your blog ,and fabulous patterns until now. Your designs are beautiful and just what I have needed to get my creativity going again after a recentslump. This afternoon I have finished my first 'Birkenhead Square' ,and have ordered yarn to make my own Pondoland. I live how you link designs to places and I have been inspired to make something that reflects my live for the most perfect place- Sanna Bay (Scotland). Apologies for waffling on,Im just so glad to have discovered your wonderful designs������

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    1. Hi, Dette! Good to hear from you, and so glad to hear my Blog has kickstarted your crojo ( crochet-mojo )... :D Hook up with me on the Facebook page as well. It's a lot more active there, and we will make sure your hook stays warm. xxx

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