Friday, 19 July 2019

Raining Cats...

Happy Friday, Yarnarinnas!

🌸Hope all is well in your patch of Crochetland?🌸

It's been raining Cats and Dogs here! I often wonder where that expression originated? If any of you cleversticks can enlighten me I'd appreciate it very much.

This week has whizzed by as I furiously hook up a storm to reach next Friday's deadline for the completed Hibiscus Tea Extension. Yesterday I made over 3000 dc's! All the while LIFE happened in the background. Many of you may already know that our beloved and legendary Johnny Clegg from Jaluka and Savuka fame and the man behind so many wonderfully unifying songs like "Scatterlings of Africa" and "It's a Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World", passed away after losing his four year battle with pancreatic cancer. His music has been the backdrop of my life for so many years, and thankfully his legacy lives on. Again, tears wove themselves into the Yarn. Good grief, this has been a very teary year so far. This has to stop!


On a positive note...it has been raining, raining and did I say RAINING! Our dams are filling up fast ahead of the dry Summer months. Our rain tanks are full to bursting. The swimming pool and fish pond have overflowed. Luckily Jaws, Nemo and Dory ( our three longest surviving Goldfish ) didn't get washed away! As a born Pluviophile, I am in my element. We're heading for our coldest month ( which just happens to be my B'day month too ) and I'm holding thumbs for SNOW! And of course, it's perfect crochet weather. I just want to make ALL. THE. THINGS!



My top-down Lemon and Ginger Fizz Sweater is coming along (aka The Gilmore Girls Project). This is very much an experimental piece in anticipation of many ( hopefully! ) future Sweater and Cardigan patterns. I'm very eager to try my hand at yarny garment designing seeing as I've been making some of my own clothes (as well as my children's clothes when they were littlies) for many years, and I've always loved "fashion"...or more accurately anti-fashion! I'm mostly off-trend though (positively anti-trend! ). πŸ˜„





























As you can see, the struggle to complete WIP is real.

Today, this image caught my eye and I enjoyed putting together the colour mood. As you can see, there are quite a few colour combinations you could play around with.

I've used colours from the Stylecraft Special DK range simply for its many colour choices. I'm sure you can match the colours to any similar Yarn range. Talking about colour. There are some spectacular colourways coming forth from our wonderfully talented Members over on the Pattern Workshop Group. This gorgeously romantic colourway for the Hibiscus Tea is being hooked by Shirly Martosoewondo while she holidays in France. Lucky fish!


The upcoming FIRST EVER Cape Town Yarn Festival is fast approaching ( on Woman's Day August 9 ). I am so excited to meet some very special Yarny people and I'm saving up to make sure I don't leave without an armful of delicious Yarn (and a proper Yarn bowl). I'm going to take a gazillion pics to share with you all and get you acquainted with all our local talent.

Which brings me to some international talent. This week the Giveaway is the beautiful Sakura Shawl by Atty van Norel. If you haven't already nabbed this beauty then all you have to do to stand a chance of being one of our 3 x GIVEAWAY RECIPIENTS is leave a comment in the comment section down below (don't forget to add your Ravelry name!).

πŸ’—Please check your Ravelry Library to see if you're a lucky last Friday winner! πŸ’—



 IMAGE CREDIT: Atty van Norel.

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful weekend, and a full yarn basket!
πŸ’—Jen

PS: for those of you who are no longer on Ravelry I have made some of my patterns available at LoveCrafts. 



Friday, 12 July 2019

Busy Bee...

Hello, Lovelies,

Thanks for stopping by. How are you today?
πŸ’—( I'm serious, leave a comment and let me know how YOU are )πŸ’—

To be honest, I am NOT ok. We have had three house burglaries in six weeks. Luckily we were not home at the time and LUCKILY my Yarn is all accounted for! πŸ‘ I laugh, but I am sort of crying inside. I know, I know it's all just material "things" which can be replaced. Still. Thinking back over the past six months I have to say it's been an incredibly drama-filled period and I do hope the next six months will see things looking a bit more positive. I like POSITIVE VIBES!

Anyhoooo...enough complaining! If you are making the Hibiscus Tea Extension then you will already know that it's in your Library! I am ahead of the deadline, again ( I surprise myself sometimes! ). I've kept the design super simple to offset the very busy Block and I rather like how it's looking up to this point. Part 4 ( final rounds and border ) will be available on Friday 26 July.



In between working on the Extension, I have been designing the "fillers" for the Sunday Folk Hexie. So far I have the pattern down for the Horizontal Half-Hexie. I'm hoping to release the full Sunday Folk Hexie Filler Bundle at the beginning of August. ALSO... in between finishing off the Extension AND the Half-Hexies I am making a simple top-down sweater, a scarf, and a colour-strand Beanie. I'm hoping to release all those patterns close to the Northern climes Fall/Winter. But still...I have 2 x Throws to complete so I really need to grow a few more pairs of arms, right?



I really needed some calming and soothing colours today! The Yarn is Stylecraft Special DK.


If you are a Knitter and entered our last Giveaway please do check your Ravelry Library to see if you have a little something waiting for you there!

Today our Giveaway is the gorgeous and delicate Shawl pattern called Fluttering By by Sandra Paul ( from the Cherry Heart Podcast and Website ). All you have to do is leave a comment in the comment section to tell me how you are? Don't forget to leave your Ravelry name!


On an entirely other note but related... I am thinking of opening a Patreon page. What are your thoughts on this? Unfortunately, it seems that quite a few people have been sharing Unlisted Videos for the patterns even though I do say that if you purchase a pattern the Videos are FOR YOUR EYES ONLY! 😍 I am also looking at how to embed Links into PDF's so that they cannot be shared. It's all very techy so I might have to call in the Tech Troops for help! I'm on it though. In the meantime, let me know if you had similar problems and how you solved this?

I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing and creative weekend!
If you're otherwise crafty ( other than Crochet ) I came across this video and I am SO going to make these... with my eight arms you know? 😊

πŸ’—Jen xx



Friday, 28 June 2019

June, where did you go?

Happy Friday, Yarnarinnas!
Hope all is well in your patch of Crochetland?

πŸŒ‚⛆πŸŒ‚

I'm writing to you from a very brrrrrrrrrrrr Cape Town! It's raining, it's pouring the old man is snoring...do you remember that little rainy-day ditty we used to sing as children when we were bored to tears staying indoors and all we wanted to do was be allowed out to play with the rain? I had five little brothers and we'd sing that song at the top of our lungs until threatened with " wait until your Father gets home!". πŸ˜† One of the fabbest things about being a grown-up is we get to do all the things we weren't allowed to do as children, except that now we WANT to stay indoors, snuggled up with the fur-kids, hot-choc close by, Netflix ( I'm binge watching Suits at the mo ) and a basket filled with rainbow Yarn!

This morning I was Yarn crushing ( again ) over on the Scheepjes website and seriously, does the Cahlista not have the yummiest names for their colours? I've always loved a pantry-kitchen so this image is on my kitchen-remodelling-mood board. Our kitchen was last remodelled by my late parents-in-law, probably in the 70's? Weirdly, because I know they are practical, I have always had an aversion to kitchen units or built-in kitchens as we call them here. I'm loving these Pantry Pastels! Again, there are several different colour combinations we could use here but I settled on these:



                                                                                   πŸ’—


Next! If you are making the Hibiscus Tea Floral Block and The Extension ( in three Parts ) then do check your Ravelry Library for Part 2 of the Extension which I've just made available. It's only 15 x Rounds but it's a fiddly 15 x Rounds so I've kept Part 2 short for that reason. Just take your time. The upside is there are a few repetitive rounds so you CAN watch your fav program on Netflix ( or crochet Podcast! ).

I'm using the same colours I used for The Block + Part 1 but I have added two new colours Mushroom and Buttermilk. So far I've used just over 2 x Graphite. I will update the Colour List in the NOTES section on the Ravelry Pattern Page ( the Extension ) so do keep checking back from time to time.

For more information and general all 'round help please join our Group ( if you haven't already! ).




 πŸ’—

From what I can see, you are all loving the Sunday Folk Hexie! Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging comments. It just makes me want to make more Hexies! I wasn't going to make a  throw but then this happened. Christie Bailey, one of our super-talented Members over on the Group went ahead and made this! Gollygoshgeewhizz is all I can say! I just LOVED IT! So now, of course, there is most definitely going to be a Sunday Folk Hexie Throw and/or a cushion-sized Block.  I have designed the 2 x half-hexies which you will need to fill your vertical and horizontal spaces to square off your Throw/Block. I'll be releasing those patterns plus the Layout and Sizing for the Throw and the Block next week "some time" ( in-between making the pattern for Part 3 of our Hibiscus Extension ). It's raining outside...what else can I do!? 😊



πŸ’—

Next up, please do check your Ravelry Library to see if you are one of our Lucky Friday Giveaway Winners of the Hotel of Bees Shawl by Christina Hadderingh!

Our Giveaway this Friday is actually a KNITTING pattern! I feel bad forgetting about all our wonderfully creative Knitters out there and it is my dream to be able to Knit beyond my Grade 1 level (I can knit a very basic plain-purl sweater). I stumbled upon a super talented Knitter who happens to live right here in South Africa! Her name in Noma Ndlovu and she's been knitting and designing since she was five years old. She has loads of really beautiful, contemporary Knits available on Ravelry. You can find her on IG HERE. I loved this simply beautiful scarf and it's up for grabs!



All you have to do to win a copy of this lovely pattern is comment in the comments section below. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry name. It's as easy as that!

Until next time, Lovelies!
Hope you have a peaceful and happy weekend.
πŸ’—Jen

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Sunday Folk.

Happy Friday, Yarnarrinas! 
Hope you are all well in your patch of Crochetland?
🌷

First of all, I want to say a πŸ’—HUGE THANK YOUπŸ’— for all the love for the Sunday Folk Hexie! I had no intention of making it because I know you are all waiting patiently for Part 2 of the Hibiscus Tea Block Extension which is due next Friday ( hahaha as I hear THAT deadline whooshing by ). But no, seriously, I am working full speed ahead to actually meet that deadline or else it will be Christmas before we finish it ( and there are still two more Throws to go! ).


Anyhow, you know how it is...it's Sunday morning, the Sun is shining, the Cats are lolling about in the shade, it's early, the streets and households in your usually noisy neighbourhood are quiet. Birds and butterflies flit about the plumbago and honeysuckle. So you make a cup of coffee, and still in slippers and Pj's you plonk yourself down on the front steps of the porch. The next thing, there's yarn and a hook in your hands and BAM...a Hexie pops up! I know you all understand exactly how that happens.



And I was thinking, as I made the Hexie how Crochet is one of the few handicrafts left where you have a direct connection to the Maker. Knitting can be made with a machine. Same goes for wood carving, lacemaking, embroidery, cut-work, tapestry, weaving and any number of traditional handwork that has sadly seen ( and been a victim to ) the introduction of mechanisation. Perhaps in the not too distant future Crochet will become part of this list and when that happens we will lose all connection to the people who made the things we love to crochet. I almost cried at THAT thought, but it also made me more determined than ever to support all Makers, all those little handwork co-ops, Mom and Pop Stores, Indie musicians, garage handmade producers, front garden vegetable growers, street corner wire artists, because who makes our stuff means something more to me than feeling like a recipient of a completely soulless mechanisation process. I would love to hear your thoughts on this?

🌷



So saying, some GREAT news for all our local ( Cape Town and Surrounds ) Yarnarinnas! Cape Town will be home to the first ever Cape Town Yarn Festival which is going to be absolutely amazing given all our local Indie Yarn Dyers and fabulously lovely brands like Nurturing Fibres, Colours of Amalfi, Vinnies, Hartlam and many more but MOST OF ALL my all-time local Yarn Crush. Miss La Motte Yarns is going to be there! I have bought several of her hand-dyed skeins and they are so lovely I'm actually too scared to use them!




































Next, today's Colour Mood which I called Sunday.
 I found this image challenging and there are at least six different colourways we could pick out here but finally, I settled on this. You could definitely throw in some Copper, Teal, Green or Saffron! I've used Stylecraft Special DK but you could match the colours up with Scheepjes Colour Crafter, Catona or any yarn range that gives you loads of colour choices.


On the subject of colour. I am always amazed at how my patterns change depending on how you clever colourists place your colours! Rene van der Westhuizen did this with the Sunday Folk Hexie and seriously, I did not recognise my own design! I mean I did, but she's picked out her light and dark areas so cleverly that I only realised when I looked at it, that I'd made Arum lilies! 😊




If you'd like to see more interesting colourways you could scoot on over HERE. As more are completed I'll keep adding them to the photo section on the Ravelry pattern page.

🌷

I'm enjoying our Friday Giveaways and love showcasing other Designers. I've randomly chosen three Winners from last weeks Giveaway which was the Fjell Cardigan by Lilla Bjorn Crochet, so to all who left a comment please do check your Ravelry Library!

🌷

This week our Giveaway is the beautiful Hotel of Bees Shawl by Christina Hadderingh from a Spoonful of Yarn. I know this pattern has been floating around for a while now and is VERY popular but if you still don't have it then here's your chance! 





























To enter today's Giveaway just leave a comment below and DO NOT FORGET to add your Ravelry name if you'd like to make this gorgeous shawl by one very talented Crochet Designer! 

May your weekend be amazing and your yarn basket always full.
πŸ’— Jen

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Cosmos Comfort

Hello, Lovelies, and Happy Friday!

Hope you are all well in your patch of Crochetland?

🌸🌸🌸

Here, in Cape Town, the weather has finally cooled off. And I am loving it! Rain, wind, hail, a bit of snow on the Mountains...bring it all on! I don't know about you but those Summer months seem to be getting hotter and hotter each year and for the first time ever I am seriously considering installing a proper cooling system in the house! But enough about Summer, which I know many of you welcome, and enjoy in the northern climes. Don't mind me complaining. Afterall I do live in Africa so I should just sit down, or move. 😊

As many of you already know the past few weeks have been quite an emotional roller coaster for me. There was our darling Alfie passing over the rainbow bridge but then, what I didn't mention, there was Oscar too! You know how it is in the Animal Rescue World...so many desperate little lives need to be saved and found a fur-ever home...so we did the right thing and three days after Alfie leaving us we adopted Oscar. He got a few tear baths I can tell you, but we decided that through the heartache over Alfie, Oscar, at least, would have a safe home. Sadly, a few days later he started coughing. Just our luck...he had contracted kennel cough at the shelter! The poor boy had to be sent back to the clinic and then back to the shelter where he has to stay until ALL the dogs have passed through the contagious period. A few days after Oscar left, our old Harry presented with kennel cough which he'd picked up from Oscar!

Oh my goodness....it's been a crazy few weeks! I am still surprised I finished PART 1 of the Hibiscus Tea Block Extension and ahead of schedule too!

Anyhow, enough about my furball woes, let's colour Friday! I need colour and crochet therapy now more than ever and when I came across this lovely image my heart just soared as it immediately made me think of my other life when I lived on the Highveld ( as opposed to THIS life where I live at sea level now ).




Every Autumn the veld would just burst into colour-fields of Cosmos flowers, especially along the roads and lanes where I lived out in the country. I would pick armfuls and fill old peanut butter jars, chipped teapots and metal buckets with these cheery wildflowers. Happy days, even though they wouldn't last long and created a mass of pollen dust and fallen petals. I didn't care, I loved them so!


Something else I wanted to share with you all. Maybe you're wondering why I'm chatting about Fur-babies, Cosmos and now, Moths...well it's all connected right, and also part of a very simple but universal equation. Nature + Heart = Endless Source of Inspiration. Which brings me to this: last week someone contacted me on Ravelry. Her complaint was that I chat too much on my Videos, which she found irritating. She wanted to crochet and get it done, not be sidetracked or slowed down by what appeared to be completely unrelated idle chatter. I felt so sad... not for myself, but for this person. We are all creative, in ways that are sometimes not registered. When we talk, we create pictures, we evoke memories, we connect to our common humanity through shared experiences and we do this via language. We create with words. It's sad to think that someone would consider me, or any other Crochet Designer or Designer/Creator of any kind simply a Retail Product. In our digitally driven technocracy I believe, now more than ever, that we should strive to share our common Human experiences. We are a Global Community and even though we may live in different parts of Crochetland and speak different languages, how we experience life, love, loss, sorrow, joy, pain or creating is a common theme that binds us all together. We can't separate Creativity from the Human Being. It's a package deal.

So, this is what I ACTUALLY wanted to share with you! Something I have never seen! A very rare sighting of an African Hummingbird Moth which I would have missed entirely if I hadn't been sitting on the front steps of my house, in a patch of Winter Sun, daydreaming up new patterns. Luckily I was able to quickly fetch my little point and shoot camera and record it ( a bit blurry, I was so excited! ).


Now, let's move on to our Friday GIVEAWAY! I am totally in love with Tatsiana's new creation The Fjell Cardigan ( find it HERE ). I think she is an amazing Designer and I hope I get a moment or 5000 to make this Cardie!



To stand a chance of being a Winner on this Giveaway just comment in the section below. Don't forget to add your Ravelry name!

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend, Yarnarinnas!
πŸ’— Jen