Saturday, 31 January 2009

Look what I got!

You know how sometimes the world is full of crazy, selfish people...well, NOT ALWAYS!

As you know, I had to move back to South Africa after a long stint in the UK, thus leaving my whole stash in storage ( the HORROR!!). Well, I once knitted both my mother and MIL some dishcloths. Last week my mother asked me to knit some more. Now the dilemma is that here in South Africa, availability of yarn ( the nice stuff) is very limited. Forget about getting Peaches n Cream or Rowan ( well maybe if you are willing to pay extortionate prices). Anyway, there is a group on Ravelry called RAK or Random Acts of Kindness. This group is used to request items that you couldn't normally find so lets say you're into Manga and live in the North Pole, you could request it on there and someone, on the other side of the world with an excess of Manga, will send you some for free.
And that is just what happened to me! So sans stash or lys, I requested some peaches n cream ( or equivalent). And what do you know.....2 packages arrived today! Check out my great gifts!

The first box is from Memeinmoi or Lauren all the way from the US!


A LARGE ball of wound Peaches n Cream in a peach colour!

And the second box was from Susan, also in the US.



A massive 12 ( TWELVE!!!!!!) balls of Sugar n Cream in some gorgeous colours!
Wow guys, thank you!! I will be sending you something in return from South Africa!!

To think, all I wanted was one ball to make a dishcloth!

I'm in lurve!

In other news, I will be sidelining all other knitting for a few days as a colleague requested some mitts for her teen daughter. I figured, let her pick the pattern herself ( you know, hormones n all...nothing I would pick could possibly be cool enough) and she chose Fetchings. Nice! I love those. So I visited my LYS and bought 10 balls of Elle tweed Aran in a green colour ( which she wanted, of course). I know, Fetchings do not need 10 balls. The others will be used for another purpose.

Kathryn Beck, who is a fellow Raveller is conducting a study on Hypnosis and Knitting/ Crochet. So I signed up, why not! There are a few different catergories that you could apply for...I chose 'Stress'. So basically, Kathryn has chosen 4 knitting and 4 crochet patterns, all scarves, from which you should choose. I have chose the Yarnharlots One Row Handspun Scarf. And that is what the rest of the Tweed will be used for. She will be sending me an mp3 which I have to listen to whilst knitting on my scarf for a certain amount of time per day and keep a short diary. So I already knit everyday and figured that I have nothing to lose.

If you are interested in signing up for her study, go here to read all about it.

Oh and I bought Zoe a knitting dolly today whilst at the LYS. That should keep her busy for a while!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Breaking the law, breaking the law...

Breakin the law, breakin the law

OK, hands in the air….I am breaking the law!!!
In the mornings, I have a 45 minute drive to work and it is mostly bumper-to-bumber slow moving. During such times, I was thinking of all the time that is wasted for knitting purposes. And then it hit me….hey, I can knit in the car on the way to work!!! Totally against the law but I managed to finish a whole heel of a sock in two days. Maybe not as fast as I would usually but then, it wouldn’t be done if I didn’t have it with me. How, you ask?! Well, as traffic rarely moves about 20 km per hour, I knit whilst looking up every second or so. When traffic moves, I just pop the clutch and move forward whilst steering with my knee. I perfected the knee steering many many years ago which allowed me to eat ice-cream in the car without making a mess. Obviously I have to be very careful and mindful of the traffic cops. But hey, it’s working for me! [don’t tell anyone!]
Right now, guilt has set in and Ziggy ziggy has been calling my name from under the bed. So finish it I bloody well will! Seeing as I am on the other side of the world, I have no excuse to have hibernating projects. I have nowhere to put them. So they have to be finished!!! But you know how it is…new projects and yarns beckon and old projects seem boring and uninteresting. I may need to start a new project soon for a colleagues’ 13-year old daughter. She needs some mitts for the mornings for school. I’ve forwarded her some ideas from patterns on Ravelry, which she will show to her daughter tonight. Then the hard part starts…where to find good yarn in this place.

Hey, btw, have you met Penny “laser eyes” Polony?
No……well, behold…

I warn you, don't stare into those eyes too long! This is her in her midnight shenanigans!

In other news, the weather is still great-25 plus. You actually welcome a drop in temperature once in a while. And the office is air conditioned so you can’t go sleeveless, then it’s a bit chilly, but when you wear a short sleeve, you have to sit in traffic for 45 minutes in the blazing heat (MIL’s car doesn’t have aircon!!).
Also, 2 package slips have arrived from the post office. Wonder what it could be especially since one if from the Virgin Islands?!! I don’t know anyone there. It could be a RAK ( Ravelry group called Random Acts of Kindness). I posted a wishlist for some Peaches and Cream ( or similar). My mom wants some more dishcloths and for the life of me, can’t find any cotton that resembles P&C in colour or quality. So here’s hoping.
I also picked up this great Hello Kitty Pez holder!! YEAH! I love Hello Kitty. I’ll keep it forever!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Oh what a night....

Ok sorry... the only reason for my blog title is because I have that song in my head! Dagnamit!

Anyway, this week has been another busy one. Work is continuously entertaining. My one colleague, who is also a temp, was even offered a full time job. I on the other, have other plans, but more on that some other time.

We spent some time with the family and little Zoe who broke her leg. She still has about 5 weeks to go in the cast and can be a handful at the best of times. And seeing as it is a full leg cast, she can't move at all. Queue BORED CHILD!! ALERT ALERT! So I decided to take some cheap acrylic and two crochet hooks with when we went for a braai (bbq). It was such a hit and kept her busy for hours. I tried to teach her a bit of crochet but in the end, she was happy to just wind and unwind the ball. End of the night I packed it all in and went home. And the next morning, I received a message saying that Zoe wants to know where her wool and 'stokkie' (crochet hook) it!!! I've created a monster!! So I have promised to bring her a new one. I'll see if I can find a more child friendly set that she could enjoy. Maybe a knitting spool/ dolly.

My vintage project is coming along well and I am now on the second pattern repeat-so about 10 inches in and it is looking great. I'll take some pics on the weekend in the daylight. I'm really looking forward to wearing it.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The craziness that is South Africa!

- I have a new job
- which allows me to speak to a lot of different people all over South Africa
- which reminded me of the craziness of South Africa!

OK, so much of South Africa is very traditional. And in my daily chattering with store staff, I have come across the many MANY crazy names here. Due to the nature and culture of many families, children are often given an 'english' name in addition to their more traditional 'african' name. So if your traditional name is Sipho, you may also be called Simon. HOWEVER, it's not always that simple. Much of South Africa is also illiterate, which leads inevitably to very strange names for children....and so I present you with my list of names encountered in ONE WEEK of work, listed 5 to 1, 1 being my favourite.

5. Dykie
4. Beauty
3. Given
2. Hawpygirl (geddit? happygirl!)

And my personal favourite.....

1. Alphabet

I kid you not!!! If I hadn't seen it myself, I wouldn't believe it. Someone named their child Alphabet. WOW!!! Oh special mention goes to Velaphi. Velaphi is Xhose (african language) for 'Where do you come from?'....Yikes?!

And my african name you ask......Nomathemba ( meaning 'the one you can trust!)

Progress pics

Ok so I finally have one pattern repeat and Amy shouted at me for knitting in English style...((sorry))...hastily changing back to continental... :-)

And me bestist friend Kiki with her gifted Swallowtail!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Nothing to report

Things have been a bit busy if boring on this side. We did have an eventful weekend but at the same time, quite tiring. On Friday night we had some friends over for a braai (BBQ) of Springbok and krummelpap - a type of porridge that you eat with your bbq. Both were absolutely excellent. Though the Rockstar ate WAY too much and ended up feeling sick. Talk about eye too big for his stomach. On Sunday was a family day. It was SIL's birthday so we had ANOTHER braai with friends and family. This time the Rockstar managed to drink wine in the sun all day and ended up looking like a tomato!! Rooky mistake!!! We are after all South African and KNOW that you don't drink in the sun!! So Body Shop Body butter is his new friend to keep his crispy skin nice and supple. And to top it all's his birthday today. So we're off for a meal with family at a portugese/mozambiquan restaurant called Braza who serve great fish and meat dishes in pans. NICE!! Can't wait. I've had a shocker of a day so definitely need the time-out today. The new job is great as it keeps me busy but I also have to speak to some very irate people. :-((

Things are moving steadily for my vintage knit. I've done about 3 inches by now and am just waiting for a full pattern repeat before I take some new pictures. I have to admit, I have cheated and am knitting english again. Continental was just taking SOOOOO LONG! And I like to see the pattern form in my hands. So anyway, new pics to come soon.

Cape Town today is a bit windy and the tablecloth is on the mountain. A sure sign that the wind is coming-though make no mistake, it's still bloody hot!

p.s. I'm learning Chinese, Mandarin to be exact. I look like a right idiot repeating words to a podcast in the car in peak traffic. What must the other people think???

zài jiàn

Monday, 12 January 2009

It's so hot ( but I have to work!)

This weekend has been a scorcher! Over 34 degree C. It's so hot that you can see the heat in the air, can't touch the steering wheel of the car or eat an ice-cream ( it melts too fast!). It's so hot that the ceiling fan broke from working overtime! Blew up in a ball of smoke. And in all this lovely heat, I have to work. I finally got a job as a banking designate at a local clothing chain. Nothing to write home about but it's a job. And they have a canteen! WHOO! I've never worked anywhere that had a canteen. What a luxury! Anyway, in other news...

I went to visit my mom over the weekend which meant that I got to see Mannie again. He's looking fine, eating again but still painfully thin and clearly blind in one eye and mostly blind in the other. Poor thing walked into a closed door and I couldn't help but laugh!! I'm terrible!!!! Most of the blood in his eye has been absorbed and you can see his eye again. This is what is looks like now.

p.s. he's been to the vets and all is well. He did say that Mannie was blind in the bloody eye and almost totally blind in the right. So no wonder he's been walking into things. Poor thing. But he's still eating and the doc said that's all that matters!

And Snowie was having a good old sleep so I snapped away. She's actually a model because she is deaf. So you can take loads of pics without the need to sneak up on her. But you should see her jump when she is sleeping and you touch her!! My mom has had to teach her hand signals so make her understand that it is feeding time/ come in time/ naughty kitty time/ etc. etc..

Knitting wise, I’ve finally started a pattern from my book ‘A stitch in time’. I’ve chosen ‘It cannot fail to please’ AND have decided to knit the whole thing in continental. Look out for the post in about 2 weeks time that will have the heading WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??!! For now though, I’m optimistic. I’ve knitted a tension swatch that was spot on stitch count wise. I’ve chosen a nice dusky pink colour and the yarn is slightly thicker than the suggested yarn but I still get the right stitch count. So not bovvered. The stitch definition is very nice. I think I could wear this in summer or in winter over a white shirt.

Right now I’m itching to work on it but I just HAD to paint my nails and they are taking AGES to dry. Hopefully the whooshing air as I type will dry them out quicker. I found this magic marker pen by Sally Hansen which draws the white part of a French manicure onto your nails. The tip is quite thick and idiot proof. I know cause I’m an idiot. And my nails look nice! Well, I think so in any case! Hahahah!!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Travelling and knitting

Well, apart from some difficulties with the inlaws (don't ask), we've been enjoying the last remaining days of the Rockstar's holiday. We decided to go on a roadtrip up the West Coast of the Western Cape. I certainly haven't been that way for nearly 15 years so it seemed like a good idea. We left fairly early on Saturday, took the R27 and off we went. Out first stop was at Yzerfontein. The little town, if you can call it that, consists mainly of holiday homes and since Yzerfontein is a mere 45 minutes away, it's the perfect weekend getaway. Many houses are HUGE for holiday homes which of course had us drooling. And all have sea views. ::jellis:::

From there, we drove on to Club Mykonos near Langebaan. Now I remember ads on the tv for Club Mykonos when I was really small. They usually involved some bikini clad babe with 80's hair, jogging down the pure white sand towards a hunk in trunks. In fact, all it is, is an expensive holiday resort. Next to it, we found the Boesmanland Plaaskombuis (translated as Bushman land Farmers kitchen) and since at this stage, we were quite hungry, we decided to give it a try ( I was sceptical!)

But we found the most enjoyable restaurant on the beach front ever! All food served are made and tastes just like my Granny used to make. You walk into an informal dining area. The tables are made from old wooden cable reels. These guys are about 2 metres across. And chairs are old tree stumps with cut-up blankets as seat covers. All food is served in tin plates and mugs-LOVE IT!
So the food...
All food is made the traditional South African way in a black 3-legged pot-called a potjie. But these suckers are HUGE! Every household has their own potjie but not nearly this big. Each pot then held a different item ranging from greenbean stew (Groenboontjiebredie), rice, vegetables, lambshank (lamsboud), stewed sweetpotato (stowe soetpatat) etc etc....Tables also held a local fish called snoek or pike, ribs, prawns. Then at the one end you have the bread made in a woodfire stove and at the other end the dessert: koeksisters and melktert (milktart). YUMMYYY!! I can't remember the last time that I ate that much. Literally! It's an all-you-can-eat buffet so just help yourself. And we did!
So here are the evidence...

On the road again (random South African country side)

A LARGE seagull outside the restaurant..

A Stop sign got some bullet action..the little sign says: We either have shooting or hunting fever!

A sign outside has various directions on it...some to the moon, some home, others wherever!

Inside the restaurant

Oh yes! The good stuff!! From top clockwise: Stewed sweetpotato, greenbean stew, rice, lambshank and firebaked bread-still warm!!!!

Coffee is served from the fire-we call it moerkoffie-no idea what that translates to.

The food pots

And for dessert: Milktart on the left and koeksister bites on the right - the Rockstar even stole some extra koeksisters and he doesn't even have a sweet tooth!

And finally, outside the restaurant

And now for knitting. I finally finished the second Swallowtail. I made a few mistakes-some of whom I could fix and some I couldn't, which didn't make me very happy. Oh well. The overall picture is nice. It is much larger than my first Swallowtail mainly because I knitted an extra set of repeats up to row 19 to accommodate a mistake. And just those extra four repeats have made this guy almost twice the size of my first. That and I think the yarn is a bit more giving. The sucker is blocking as we speak and in length, covers an entire single bed!
Here he is unblocked

And then with my first Swallowtail (which is blocked) over it to show size (still unblocked!)

Now he just needs to dry out and he'll be on the plane to London on Thursday! YEAH! I hope K likes it! I've tried it out and want to keep it! ::jellis again::

Anyway, in other news Kleinman isn't eating-not so good news. Here's hoping that he is just too hot and bothered to eat and not sick. :-((

Gotto go make some dinner. Fajitas!!!

((sigh)) Inlaws

That's all that I'm saying about that....


Friday, 2 January 2009


The news wasn't so bad. My mother rang me 2 days ago to say that my old man cat, Kleinman, has a bloody eye. So I think nothing of it as the cats and dogs play a lot and he probably got a's happened before. But then I get another text to say that the eye is now black?? WTF?? So I went there yesterday. His whole eye is black! Literally! No pupil, no white, no green, nothing! So I start thinking that something is really wrong but being the 1st, no-one is open. My mother rang the vets this morning and got an appointment for this afternoon. By this time, I was dreading the worst as Kleinman is a grand total of 18 years old. I had a bad feeling on my stomach all day, thinking that I may have to agree to putting him down.
Anyway, the news wasn't that bad. Basically, he has high blood pressure which caused a blood vessel to burst and bleed into his eye...thus not on the outside, but bleeding into the eyeball. That is why his eye is black. All the fluid within his eye is blood. He also has a noisy heart but other than that, in good health. So he now has medication and a repeat visit next week to see how he gets on and what the eye looks like. Unfortunately he will probably be blind in that eye. But his eyesight was getting worse in any case. I've noticed how he follows you by sound rather than sight.
So a big PHEW! Mannie (Kleinman) lives for another day!
Meet the man...

Feeling worried...

I'm feeling so worried and sick to my stomach at the minute. I may have to make a big decision later today and don't think I can. :-((