Wednesday, 31 December 2008


All those pics took a while to upload. I'll add some more of Franschhoek (for those who are interested) tomorrow and will take some pics of the swallowtail and crochet creepies later.

More photos...

Ghostly me...

Dinner (BBQ) on the stoep

The Rockstar acting all cool at a streetside cafe

My cranberry cooler...

Knitting, of course!

First morning coffee

Franschhoek Photos

The 'Treehouse' cottage

The porch or 'stoep' (pronounced like stoop but with a short oo)

The view

More View

Sunday, 28 December 2008

My weekend away..

As we have been spending so much time with the in-laws, who are driving me crazy, we book a weekend away. We decided to go up to Franschhoek. Franschhoek is pretty much a tourist destination. House prices are purely aimed at foreigners with pounds/ dollar to spend. The town is so named by French Hugenots who were given land by the South African government and literally means French Corner. Many wine farms still have french names. What I like most of the town is how they are preserving the old Cape Dutch building style. These styles are my favourite-I would love to live in one some day!! Anyway, so we went away for the weekend to Klein Dassenberg. We booked the Treehouse for 2 night and I must say, what a good choice. The cottage is set back in the trees against the mountain. It has a great veranda and is so tranquil. At night, the only thing you could hear was the frogs, crickets and owls. We sat outside the whole evening with a nice woodfire and chatted the night away.

So knitting-wise, I managed to get quite a lot done. I'm nearly done with the second Swallowtail but don't want to post any pics as it is a gift for a wait and see. I made a mistake in that I knitted one repeat too many and so couldn't make the 'nupps' lace section fit. After much calculating, I knitted an extra few repeats and it all fitted. So this one will be slightly bigger than the other one but hey, rather too big than too small.

Tonight is New Years and we'll be having a proper bash at a friends..which means too much to drink! HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everybody!!!!
I hope this year brings much joy and happiness and is a LOT better that the past! ( well for me in any case!)

I know that I have been missing from my blog a bit. But rest assured, I have been busy! VERY BUSY!! For starters, the second swallowtail is well and truly over halfway. I need to take some pics of it but haven't gotten round to it. I have run into a major problem though as I have a lot more stitches for some reason....will have to figure out what the hell happened there. I may have knitted one or two rows too many. Anyway, other than that, it is knitting up beautifully. The stitch definition is good with the sock yarn. And the colour is quite nice too. Between navy and purple. Also on the knitting front, I received a gift all the way from the UK. A very good friend missed me so much and bought me a book....It's called Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden. The book is full of these great little caracters of otherwordly dimensions! There are ninjas, Nosferato ( my personal favourite!), a devil, a corporate zombie, etc.

I just HAD to start ( I'm so lame!) and have made a devil so far. Nosferato is halfway. They are about 3 inches big. I think I want the whole collection.
Meanwhile I wore my own Swallowtail a few times this week and have gotten so many compliments and even managed to get another two people to knit again!! BOOHAHAHHA!!

Well, I hope everyone has a great day tomorrow. I know that I will definitely eat too much, in true Christmas spirit!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

South Africa Photos

My new niece M! How cute!


Result no.1 - Well after a very long wait I finally have my results from uni! I PASSED!!! YYEEEAAAHHH!!! I now officially have a BA (Hons) Business Management. Thank goodness. It was 4 very long years of studying and working to get through this and I've made it. Though I can honestly say that the knitting was a HUGE help. It kept me sane through all the stress.

Result no. 2 - I have finished the swallowtail!! YEAHHH!!! I started this guy on the plane and it is now blocked and ready for wearing! Bring on the cold weather.....well, maybe not yet..

Proof of said swallowtail

I can't believe I actually did it. So I am now starting another one in a plum colour for a friend. The yarn is a lot different that the Kauni. It is some sock yarn bought locally for a bargain. Didn't I blog about this already....I may be losing my mind. It's the heat over here! It was another scorcher. 28 but probably more like 30+. My brother and family came over for a swim. The kids enjoyed it tremendously as they don't have a pool at home. Needless to say I spent most of the day in the sun. And my lily white London skin didn't take too kindly to the african sun....even after factor 40 baby sunblock! I'm a bit pink on my back...ok...a LOT pink!! My inside tip for sunburn is: buy a BIG pot of the Body Shop Coconut Body Butter and lather it on every day and night. That stuff takes away and sunburn and prolongs your tan. It really works! Promise! I've run out so will have to make a trip to the shop tomorrow to get some at an extortionate price....things here in Africa is a lot more expensive than in Europe. Even if you are buying with pounds.

Seeing as I have so much time on my hands, I've also completed a bit of Xmas knitting. I made two sets of dishcloths and matching potholders for my mother-in-law and her sister. I only intended to knit the dishcloths but had some of the Peaches and Cream left after...not enough for another dishcloth. So I fiddled a bit and came up with these potholders.

They're not something that I would use personally but the mothers will like them. Pity I didn't bring more Peaches...though I didn't have any space in my suitcase in any case. We had to pay for overweight suitcases!

Next I'll post some random pics from the past week here in South Africa. If anyone wants to know where they were taken, give me a shout!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Still sick :-((

Can you believe that I still have a cold! It's just a runny nose but it's starting to get on my nerves! I tried to spend some time in the sun today but eventually got so annoyed with my runny nose that I left it.
So that aside, I'm nearing the end of my shawl! YEAH! I have started the final lace section of the shawl but about an hour ago realised that something isn't adding up. I've messed up somewhere ( it was inevitable, wasn't it!) and will have to frog back about 4 rows. Luckily there are about 2 rows of straight knitting between the 2nd last and last sections so it will be easy to rip back! PHEW!
I've enjoyed knitting it so much that I went to a local yarn store today and bought 4 balls of sock yarn in a lovely deep purple. I plan to knit another Swallowtail for my best friend who loves purple and I know that she will wear it. It actually wasn't to expensive in relative terms. In South Africa, we keep comparing prices in £ terms...i.e. R400 Oh it's only about £35. So these balls cost R25 equalling about £1.60. Nice and cheap! Anyway, that will have to wait until I have finished my own Swallowtail.

Teeth wise, they are still giving me problems...I've read that crowns do ache for a while. But I'm seeing the dentist again tomorrow to replace the temporary crowns with the real McCoy. I'm sure that it will be another FUN-FILLED session....NOT! I do hate the dentist. Bleagh!
I won't post pictures of the new teeth for fear of looking like a saddo with no life! Hahahah!!

Oh well, all things considered, the sun is shining, it's hot in South Africa and I am on holiday.
Hope you are on holiday too!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Middle of the night stories

It exactly 2:58 am and I am up with tooth ache. It's painful enough to have woken me up and kept me up. :-(
I am in the process of receiving a new capped tooth and have a temporary one in place. Since receiving the temp, I have had pain around my two front teeth ( the teeth to be capped). So I'm sitting here in the early morning hours in a very quiet house, googling tooth ache and crowns. Luckily the Nurofen that I have taken, seems to be kicking in so I'll hopefully be able to get some sleep. So while I wait for the full ibuprofen release, I'll update you on my shawl.

This has so far been one of the most enjoyable knits to date. One other may be the pinwheel sweater that I made. The shawl has knitted up so quickly and easily and me irrational fear of lace seems silly now. I'm even thinking of making another for my best friend left behind in the UK ( I miss you K)
The colour changes in the yarn has been great. And so has knitting with the yarn. The stitch definition is nice and I think that after blocking, will look even better. Maybe I should use some sock yarn next time around? mmm......

I've completed the main lace body section and have started the dreaded 'nupps'. I struggled with these the first time round but by the second time, I knitted them REALLY loosely and the p5tog were easy enough. So if you are intending on knitting the Swallowtail, make sure you knit the nupps even looser than you think is necessary. You'll thank me when you have p5tog.

The nubbs can be seen here. They are those two bobbles at the tops of the image.

((Can you believe my stomach is rumbling?? At this time of night?? I feel hungry!))

Anyway, tomorrow I may head down to the beach with a friend and hope that it won't worsen the last leftovers of a cold I picked up...(Imagine having a cold in 35 degrees heat). We'll probably head down to Blouberg.

I need to write an update of our outing to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. They have jazzed up the harbour which includes a snazzy shopping centre and various restaurants and shops. Very nice. Will do so tomorrow...

For now, I'm off to bed......again.....
Tooth is numb now so will hopefully get some sleep....that's if the mosquito leaves me alone....PAH!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

It's 35 today!

Yikes! It really is 35 degrees in the + today. I'm contemplating going for a swim or heading to the mall for the air conditioning....maybe I'll do both. First mall and then swim.
Anyway, yesterday I got a call from a very old friend from primary school. So I drove out to meet her in Stellenbosch. Being a farmers wife, she doesn't have much to do and so, volunteers at the local Animal Shelter. So she invited me along.

The Animal Shelter outside Stellenbosch is totally donation funded and it shows. The few building that they have are kennels to keep either dogs or cats with babies apart from the rest of the population. Puppies and dogs are kept in large open pens which is semi covered with a tin roof on one end and a sand floor. The cats were in a closed off area-still open to the elements.

Now I have to say, everything were very clean and the animals had food, water and shelter. But it is quite clear that they only have money for the basic needs of the animals. We went to socialise with the puppies and most of them are quite dirty from living in sand. Though so full of energy and love!!! I have a puppy hanging from every piece of fabric on my short! PUPPY COAT! There was this one that was definitely not well and all he wanted was to sit on your lap. Not normal puppy behaviour. He was also the ugly pup and I contemplated taking him home...which of course, isn't practical as yet.

The kittens were all gorgeous! MAD MAD MAD! One little kitty even hissed at me and he was small enough to fit in my palm! He definitely has balls! It wasn't as sad as I thought it might be...the only thing that surprised me was that all the cats given up for adoption, were all lovely, very friendly and beautiful. One little black mama was so small, not even 8 months old, and already has a litter of the most gorgeous smokey grey babies. The same with the dogs. There were two huskies (very dirty) but very loving and the most beautiful white staffi.
I won't preach today, but I will say that if you want/ need a pet, don't forget to check out your local shelter. The animals all need homes and not all shelters are no-kill. And they may even have some pure-bred dogs/ cats if you're so inclined.
I'm thinking of volunteering at my shelter for a while. I heard that they don't even have a pc. And I'd like to do something about that.

Moving on shiftly....
I've knitted about 13 repeats of the lace pattern on the swallowtail. According to the pattern, I should do 14, but most knitters on Ravelry have increased the size. I'd rather have a too large shawl than a too small shawl. So I will be knitting another 5 rows. Apparently you should increase in increments of 5. Thus if you were supposed to knit 14 rows, you can also knit up to 19, 24, 29, etc... that way the edging lace pattern matches up. I haven't had any major hitches yet (touch wood!) and am surprised that I actually like knitting lace. Meisje (on Ravelry) told me that it would be fun! I believe you now! (Ek glo jou Meisje!)

So I'm off to the mall for flapjacks ( the American kind not the British kind) and some bottomless coffee....mmmm....

Here's a nice picture taken from the car yesterday...typical roadside fauna and flora around Stellenbosch.

eta..mmm... once again I am being thwarted by a very slow internet connection in South Africa....I'll try uploading the pics again annoying.

eta..ha! Got it!

ps. Penny says HI!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Welkom ( aka Welcome)

Hallo and welcome to South Africa!

It’s very hot here today-about 27 degrees and I am about to jump in the pool! OK enough gloating!

WOW!! What a hardcore two weeks. We finally flew out from the UK on Sunday evening, arriving in South Africa on Monday morning. We flew premium economy (thank you Virgin) which was a blessing! The extra legroom really made a difference.

I’ve spent the last two days making some random purchases, such as hangers and sandals. Why I didn’t bring all my sandals I’ll never know! I’ve clearly forgotten how hot it gets here! So I just bought some cheap black gladiator sandals.
Just a short walk around yesterday was eye opening. Food is very expensive in the grocery store but restaurants are cheap. I bought the same amount of food that I would usually buy in the UK and it cost a whopping R1400-about …mmm….just realized that there isn’t a pound sign on this keyboard??!! OK so 110 pounds for a week’s worth of food! Damn expensive! I’ll have to scale down the Rockstar’s diet massively.

Knitting wise, I started my Swallowtail on the plane and managed to knit a good 5 inches on it. So far so good. I am actually enjoying knitting it and everyone is very impressed! I’m sure that once I make a HUGE mistake 100 rows down, I’ll lose my cool and toss it in the pool!!!

I may have a few less posts while I’m here due to limited internet access but I will surely keep everyone updated as to the goings-on over here. And I’ll have a bit of local pictures and news too!!

I'm off to take some pics!