Worldwide Knit in Public Day 2019

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This weekend saw the 2019 Worldwide Knit in Public Day on Saturday.

The local steam train group Reefsteamers joined in, and planned a steam train trip for all to the town of Heidelberg, with stalls and a market and lunch and much more.

Worldwide Knit in Public Day 2019

So Saturday morning was a lovely early start to the station to meet “Susan” the 100 year old steam locomotive and train carriages that would take the group to Heidelberg and back.

It was a beautiful day.  The train ride was stunning, and we all got a load of knitting done.  I started two new projects, and took the one with the least concentration required.  Snacks and cupcakes and coffee were available in the dining room.

The lovely Luna Fibers rode on the train with us, and had a bunch of yarns and other pretty goodies for us to look and purchase from her.  She even had little gifts, specially for all the knitters. I got a very aptly names skein from her, “Traveler”  🙂

Worldwide Knit in Public Day 2019

At Heidelberg, the “Old Shed” was converted into a mini market, with stalls and goodies.  I got a beautiful skein on Umbala lace yarn, new to me.  I also met a local seamstress that makes the most interesting bags.  I loved this one, with its pockets for patterns and goodies, and big enough for a notions baggie and a project bag.

The museum that is now housed in the old station building was a delight, and the tour guide most knowledgeable on history.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.

 

Lunch is served in a train carriage / dining car or outside under the huge palm trees.  The menu has everything from snacks to perfect burgers and grills. The salads were nice big portions.

No trip to Heidelberg is complete without a quick visit to the Heidelberg Brewery to see their impressive kettles, and enjoy the aroma of the various beers.

I finished off the day with some goodies for Miekie.  She got a new sweater, and who could resist this lovely princess bed.  🙂  I traveled home with it, and she was so impressed with it, she made herself comfy in it and immediately slept in it.  Definitely a good purchase.

Worldwide Knit in Public Day 2019

A stunning day from very early to a very late arrival back on the outskirts of Johannesburg.  Loved the train ride, and the old station.  A day to remember.

 

 

 

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Beautiful Namibia

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Not a lot of crafting happened in the meantime, but I had a very good reason for it.  🙂

I was fortunate to travel to our neighboring country, Namibia, for a holiday and break.  Namibia is just a 2 hour flight away, and now I wonder why I have never been there.  It is a stunning place to visit.  It is a desert and very dry, but still so beautiful.

Namibia

Wildlife and more in Windhoek

So amazing to see the birds in Windhoek, with guinea fowls visiting every morning, waking you with their chatter.

Namibia

Road from Windhoek to Sossusvlei

Taking the 400 kilometer road trip to Sossusvlei to relax in the desert. It was a long and dusty gravel road All the Way!

Namibia

Sossusvlei (sunset, and the view from the lodge)

Our oasis in the desert.  The views are stunning, and the wildlife comes right up the lodge to drink water at the local watering hole.

Namibia

Sossusvlei Dunes and Deadvlei

The dunes and deadvlei.  An experience to remember forever.

Namibia

Desert animals

Not to mention the wildlife in the desert, that would always find the trees close to water.  Oryx, Springbok and Wildebeest.

Namibia

Tropic of Capricorn, Desert, Beach and Walvisbay Flamingoes

Heading north again, and crossing the Tropic of Capricorn.  An experience I will always remember, that was something I never thought I would get to do.

The desert view was the view from my bedroom, looking straight out over the dunes and desert.  The front dry area is the river bed, dry at the moment.  Not much rain there for a while.  Got to spend time at the beach in Swakopmund, even though it was very chilly and windy.

And visited the large colonies of Flamingoes at Walvisbay.  Lovely viewpoints where one can stop and see them and get a bit closer for photos.

Namibia

Swakopmund Beaches

Last quick visit to the beach at Swakopmund to enjoy a coffee on the beach and collect some shells and pebbles.  Then back to SA again.

I am definitely planning to visit Namibia again, and spend a much longer time here.

 

First up – my finished projects

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So since I last posted about life in the little black dog household, sometime last year, I have been slowly and steadily crafting here and there, and keeping busy.  It was lovely summers days, and hot, so crafting was not always done, and when I was crafting, it was small items that was easy to work on.

Very few are currently WIP’s and I did indeed finish most of the projects I started during the last few months.

 

Some cotton dishcloths for the kitchen, with little crocheted flowers.  And a cheerful make up bag for a sweet and friendly colleague of mine.

 

One of the bigger projects, a very soft shawl with an autumn coloured edge.  Nearly time to start wearing it, it is just a few degrees cooler here now.  And a granny square, paisley pattern lined toaster cover.  🙂

 

When I dropped in at the LYS, she was working on this stunning basket pattern and kit.  It was super quick and easy, and I now take it every day I come to work, it is perfect for lunch and snacks and all the other odds.  I also finished Bop a Long, the furry bunny I had been planning.  It was a trying project, as the fabric shed fur all the time, and I had fur everywhere.

 

For the holidays, I got the notion to “invite some friends” and some cute gnomes came around to visit. This one with the red hat was very popular.  And I had to have a pair of red socks to wear as well.

 

My daughter gave me this stunning yarn from Italy, and I just knew it would be perfect for this wrap the moment I saw the pattern.  It really shows up the details and texture.  And I even had enough for a little hat too.  Even my old pin notice board got a new vintage look cover with storage pockets.  (it really needed a make over)

 

I bought this little kit last year in Brussels, Belgium and got it stitched up in no time once I got started.  The pieces were all pre-cut.  How nice.  Now it travels in the car with me every day as a little good luck charm.

 

And during a visit to the local huge fabric and craft warehouse, I happened to come across these cute minions.  I immediately knew they needed to come home with me.  So I got a few balls of Turkish cotton and crocheted some little pockets and added the minions to them.  Now my tissues and hand wipes are neat and tidy in my handbag, and I can have the little minions around all the time.

cross stitching

And this is the current progress on the cross stitch work I started last year.  Still much a work in progress, but making steady progress.  I absolutely love the embroidery floss and the gradient it creates.

And that is it for now, happy crafting to all and take care.  🙂

ps:  This was the start of my day this morning, a beautiful Fall day.

Foggy morning

On my way to work on this lovely foggy morning.

 

 

Hello again

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Hello again to everyone.

I have been a bit on the quiet side here, and have not been posting as much.  For no specific reason, just busy with live and work and such.  But all is good, and I will be catching up again with posts and news.

Just in the meantime a greeting from me and the little black dog, whom is still very happy and living the spoiled live.  Here she is, napping on my bed.

Stay well and enjoy the weather, wherever you may be.  It is slowly cooling off here now after a very hot (heatwave conditions at times) summer.

The Little Black Dog

The Little Black Dog

Europe is so gorgeous!

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I have not been around here for a bit, and the good news is that I was travelling to Europe for a vacation.

It was very hot, and I got a lovely tan to show off now.  🙂  I only visited Belgium and Holland, and tried to see as much as is possible.  I absolutely loved every moment of it, and I think I left a little piece of myself behind in Rotterdam.  I fell in love with this city the moment I arrived.  Everywhere we went was stunning and gorgeous, and I did everything I could to see it all.  But in Rotterdam I had the best time.  I definitely plan to go back and spend time there again.

The first stop was Belgium, and we stayed in Brussels. I did not have any idea of where the woolshops or such was.  I did however discover these gorgeously soft yarns in the back of a huge store, and also got the sweetest little kit for a doggie to stitch.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

In Rotterdam I took some time one morning and visited the store Schroder.  It was a quick walk there, and I had such a lovely time.  I spent time with the lovely ladies assisting me, and we had lots of good chats and laughs.  The choice was difficult.  🙂  I wanted it all, but had to keep in mind going home with it all.  So I settled for some Scheepjes knitting yarn, and Scheepjes crochet cottons, and of course, I could not resist a few stunning pieces of pretty blue dutch themed fabric.  I did not get around to Jawol in Rotterdam, as it was summer holidays and most stores were enjoying the holidays too.  I did go to the Markthal and was overwhelmed.  🙂  A must see to all.  And if you are not afraid of heights, Euromast!!  I went all the way to the top, and we even had lunch in the restaurant there, way up in the sky.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

Amsterdam had to include a stop at De Bejinkorf, of course.  I checked out the routes there the evening we arrived already, so I knew where to go the next day.  🙂  And the lovely Stephen and Penelope is walking distance from there.  I am so happy I finally got around to the store, and loved the visit.  Such a lot of yarns, notions, pins, bags, needles and hooks.  I loved the yarn I got, “the Night Watch” as inspired by the famous painting.  And how cute are those little house needle size gauges.

🙂  yes I did see all the paintings and visited the museums too.

European Vacation Shopping

European Vacation Shopping

So worth the trip, and so worth the long haul home.  It was 37 hours from getting up the morning, last few hours before travelling later in the afternoon, layover in Paris, overnight flight, and getting back to Johannesburg the next day.  Collecting Miekie and finally home again.  I will do it again anytime.

Going home again

Going home again

Thank you Air France and KLM for taking such good care of us.

New projects and Wips’

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So it is already July and the middle of the year.

And with that, a lot of new small projects and new wip’s that have found their way onto my needles and hooks.

The blanket square pattern are now settled.  I am happy with the look of the pattern and will continue to knit these squares until I have used all the yarn and have enough squares for a blanket.  🙂  It is a large project that may take a bit, but in the end I will have a pretty big and cozy blanket.

Blanket squares

Blanket squares

Then I started with some crochet.  🙂  I had been in the mood to crochet something, and small projects like these crocheted bags were just what I needed to feel very happy with taking out my hooks again.

I made a small cotton bag, and this local cotton works so well.  It is lovely and sturdy and feels good on your hands.

Then I also crocheted a bamboo bag.  I love bamboo yarn to crochet with, it is very smooth and easy to work with.  I added a pretty daisy that I got from a swap buddy last year.  It really adds to the bag, and makes it super cheerful.

Still working with cotton, I am making a small pile of cotton kitchen cloths.  This is the first one, with a few more to follow.

For the kitchen

for the kitchen

And thanks to all the beautiful embroidery work of so many, I could no longer keep myself in check.  I have started a cross stitch project.  I am not sure yet if I will be framing it, or using it as a tea cloth or a centrepiece for something larger.  But I love the variegated floss I got and am working on this when the light is good.  (old eyes you know 🙂 )

A bit of embroidery

a bit of embroidery

Also lurking in the background is this floppy bunny.  I have cut the white fur.  🙂  and had bits of white fur and fluff all over the table and workplace in the end.  I still have to cut the grey fur, which is about twice as much.  🙂  but am still working up the courage to cut into this fluffy fur again.  It is gorgeously soft and will sew up beautifully I think.

Fluffy floppy bunny

Fluffy floppy bunny

It is of course mid winter here in Johannesburg, so lots of time to relax and craft and enjoy a sunny cozy spot in the sun.

Happy crafting all.

New Blanket in the making

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About a year ago, or maybe even longer, I was working on this blanket, but I was really not making much progress.  The pattern I was using was not easy to follow, and you had to concentrate and count mostly all the time.  I also attempted to knit the whole blanket all in one.

After a while of not getting anywhere with it, I frogged it and put the yarn to one side.  The intention to still make a blanket from it was still there.

So finally I have started this rather ambitious project again.  🙂 This time I will rather knit big squares, that I can work on any time, and hopefully over a period of time, I will knit all the yarn that I have set out for this.  Then I can just join it and have a blanket.

After a few attempts at working on a square that I would like, and would be able to pick up and put down, I think this one is the one that I really like and enjoy.

 

Blanket Square

Blanket Square

 

 

 

The last of my #Wip’s

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The last of my current wips are now off my needles.  🙂

I finished the Chasing Blizzard shawl.  I did not use alternating yarns as per the pattern, as my yarn already had all my favourite colours in one ball.  This is a stunning pattern that is absolutely a pleasure to knit.

The yarn is lovely and warm and the yarn cake was big enough to make a large and very cozy and warm shawl with.  It wears well and drapes beautifully.

Chasing Blizzard Shawl

Chasing Blizzard Shawl

Now time to dive for some yarns and patterns and ideas.  I have already got a stitching project ready.  🙂

Winter is here ….

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Winter is here,

Friday morning started off very cold, and very misty.  The mist burned off when the sun came out, but it remained a typical winters day here in Johannesburg.

Misty Mornings

Misty mornings

That of course, meant a cold and wintery weekend.  And lots of time for crafting.  🙂  Yay.

I finished the crochet blanket I was working on.  Miekie loved the idea and could not snuggle under it soon enough.  I used a very plain stitch and pattern and it went amazingly quick.  I love this yarn and colour, “woodpecker” colour says the label.  It works well and fast.

And Old Ned, the little green and red bear, also got done.  He turned out so cute, and the perfect little friend for Old Blu that I did a while back.  I really like the fur with the two colours.

It is a chilly Monday here and this morning was a mere 3 degrees C but it warmed up again to a nice winters day.

Happy crafting all.

Happy Winter Crafting

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So winter is here now, and the days are lovely, chilly and sunny.  I do enjoy a good winter’s day around here.  Although lately we have had some pretty cloudy overcast days, specially in the afternoons, and with drizzle during the night too.  Winter rainfall is unusual in Johannesburg.  The trees have started losing their leaves, and the lawn has a leafy blanket now.

This then means more crafting time for me now.

I have had enough daylight to stitch me little bear, Old Ned.  All the parts are sewn, and ready for stuffing.  Then his face and ears, which is my best loved part, as it gives character to them.  Then I am ready to assemble the last bits.

Little bear progress

Little bear progress

And of course, winter brings shawls.  And even though I have many already, and love to wear them, I guess I can never have to many.  The latest one is a pretty blue-ish one.  The yarn is a yarn cake, and fades into shades of blue.  I found the perfect pattern, Chasing Blizzard Shawl.  The pattern makes use of various colours, but since my yarn is already coloured, I just follow the pattern without changing yarns.  It is an amazing easy pattern and knits very nicely.

New shawl

New shawl

And when the cold is a bit to nippy, I can now change to the Woodpecker blanket, which is growing steadily at a lovely pace, and now big enough to keep my legs warm.  It will definitely be finished this winter still.

Woodpecker blanket progress

Woodpecker blanket progress

Happy crafting to you all.  🙂