Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lovely Blog Award

I'm sooooooooo lucky! I've been given another award. This one is the Lovely Blog Award and I was nominated by Vicky and Maryanne over at Woolhogs.

The rules are:

1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the blogger(s) who gave it to you.
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
4. List the rules.
5. Award to 15 bloggers.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. Done

2. I have posted a thank you on Woolhogs' blog but thanks again Vicky and Maryanne!

3. 7 random things about me:
    1) I love chocolate (who doesn't?)
    2) I love all of Tom Hanks' movies
    3) I love my job (preschool teacher)
    4) I love knitting and crochet
    5) I love Saturdays
    6) I love all things English
    7) I love audiobooks

4. Done.

5. Award 15 Bloggers.  I can't make it to 15 but I will give you 5. Here they are:

6. Done

So that's it. It's so lovely to know that people read these funny words that I throw out into cyberspace and that some people even like them!!!!!!!!!!
Til soon.

Things You Might Like....

Sadly I don't have too much knitting or crochet to show you today (or at least anything that looks remotely exciting!) but I've read a lot of really great posts this week on other blogs so I thought I'd share them with you...

First off is Crochetbug who is putting together a cookieghan (an afghan made up of cookie motifs) and you can see her progress here

Then there's this from Susan at Susan's Hippie Crochet

Living in South Africa I LOVE chameleons and these are very sweet appliques. Susan blogs about them here and the pattern is available at her Etsy shop here.

And then there's Kate at Fox's Lane

She is absolutely one of my most favourite blogs - she's a farmer's wife and her writings are very witty and just so entertaining. Oh yes, and she has the most gorgeous caravan! At the moment, she's just had the painters in so please pop over and visit her. I'm sure you'll end up following too.........

And then this week I stumbled across this tutorial to make a teepee!!!! Looks like just the thing for summer fun in the garden!!!!

And finally for the gardeners among you Veggiegobbler wrote about a guy in Australia who is trying to grow 80% of the food he and his family need. Self-sufficiency has always fascinated me so I zoomed across to his blog Zucchini Island to have a look. Please pop over if you can cos it's really inspiring and if you like the idea of homegrown fruit and veg, this would be a great place to start!

So, I hope you enjoyed my offerings. Have you found anything truly fab on the web recently? If so, please share......
Til soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Now I'm not usually a fan of putting myself under too much pressure - in fact, I don't handle pressure at all although as a preschool teacher people are often surprised when I say this. Looking after 15 three year olds every day for 5-7 hours can be stressful but it's not quite the same as setting myself goals that I may or may not reach!

BUT I've decided to take the plunge and join Carole's One-A-Day Project. BTW, Carole is truly delightful and her blog is a treat so do pop over and visit. You can find her at Gingerbread Girl.

So, what is my one-a-day going to be????? Miles of miles of rippling rows? Always tempting but no, not this time. How about gorgeous grannies? No, not this time either. Let me put you out of your misery cos I know you're dying to know....... remember these?

Well, they kind of got dumped laid very carefully in a work basket and forgotten about allowed to rest for a while. Then, when I saw Carole's project post they literally leapt into my brain and I knew what they could look like with a little tweaking. I knew I wanted a blanket ultimately but they weren't looking right but now there's a whole lot of this going on in my house......

and this ....

and this.....

and this .....

and most definitely THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the blanket I want I reckon I need around 66 hexies and I've got about 23 so I've got some way to go. One-a-day and I should get there in about 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!

So if you fancy a challenge and a little pressure, why don't you join us?? Pop over to Carole and sign on the dotted line...........!

Til soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Two Needle Socks

I don't know about you but I'm always amazed at how many people around the World love to knit socks! Whilst I love handmade socks and think that they're much much warmer than factory produced ones, I could no more knit with four double pointed needles on a regular basis than fly round the moon! BUT I do admire the people that can and therefore do. They knit the most incredible socks in luscious sock wools in the most fabulous colours. If you want to see what I mean have a look here.

However, if (like me) you are a two needle knitter as opposed to a four needle knitter DO NOT DESPAIR!!! I have a pattern for handmade socks which are easy to make, have a great fit and will keep your tootsies warm and snug on even the coldest of days. And here they are....

What do you think? Can you see your feet in these? If so, here's the pattern.........

What You Need
Sock Wool
3mm needles
Tapestry needle to sew up


Patt = moss stitch 
SKTPO = slip 1, k2tog, psso
WSF = wrong side facing

How To Make Them

Using 3mm needles cast on 115sts. (25sts for cuff, 20sts for leg (this can be more if you want longer socks), 28sts for the heel and 42sts for the foot.
Row 1          (WSF) K25, p20, patt 28, p42
Row 2          K42, patt 28, K20, K25
Row 3          K25, p20, patt 28, p42
Row 4          K42, patt 28, K20, K25
Row 5          K25, p20, patt 28, p42
Row 6          K42, patt 28, K20, K25
Row 7          K25, p20, patt 28, p42
Row 8          K42, patt 28, K20, K25
Row 9          K25, p20, patt 28, p42
Shape one side of heel:
Row 10        K42, patt 12sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 12sts, K20, K25 (113sts)
Row 11        K25, p20, patt 26sts, p42
Row 12        K42, patt 11sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 11sts, K20, K25 (111sts)
Row 13        K25, p20, patt 24sts, p42
Row 14        K42, patt 10sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 10sts, K20, K25 (109sts)
Row 15        K25, p20, patt 22sts, p42
Row 16        K42, patt 9sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 9sts, K20, K25 (107sts)
Row 17        K25, p20, patt 20sts, p42
Row 18        K42, patt 8sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 8sts, K20, K25 (105sts)
Row 19        K25, p20, patt 18sts, p42
Row 20        K42, patt 7sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 7sts, K20, K25 (103sts)
Row 21        K25, p20, patt 16sts, p42
Row 22        K42, patt 6sts, K2tog, SKPO, patt 6sts, K20, K25 (101sts)
Row 23        K25, p20, patt 14sts, p42
Row 24        Knit
Row 25        K25, p to end
Rep last 2 rows 26 times more (Rows 26 to 77)
Shape other side of heel:
Row 78        K42, patt 6sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 6sts, K20, K25 (103sts)
Row 79        K25, p20, patt 16sts, p42
Row 80        K42, patt 7sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 7sts, K20, K25 (105sts)
Row 81        K25, p20, patt 18sts, p42
Row 82        K42, patt 8sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 8sts, K20, K25 (107sts)
Row 83        K25, p20, patt 20sts, p42
Row 84        K42, patt 9sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 9sts, K20, K25 (109sts)
Row 85        K25, p20, patt 22sts, p42
Row 86        K42, patt 10sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 10sts, K20, K25 (111sts)
Row 87        K25, p20, patt 24sts, p42
Row 88        K42, patt 11sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 11sts, K20, K25 (113sts)
Row 89        K25, p20, patt 26sts, p42
Row 90        K42, patt 12sts, m1, K2, m1, patt 12sts, K20, K25 (115sts)
Row 91        K25, p20, patt 28sts, p42
Row 92        K42, patt 28sts, K20, K25
Row 93        K25, p20, patt 28sts, p42
Row 94        K42, patt 28sts, K20, K25
Row 95        K25, p20, patt 28sts, p42
Row 96        K42, patt 28sts, K20, K25
Row 97        K25, p20, patt 28sts, p42
Row 98        K42, patt 28sts, K20, K25
Cast off loosely.
Shape toe:
Using 3mm needles, pick up and k89sts evenly along lower end of sock.
Row 1          Patt 21sts, SKTPO, patt 41sts, SKTPO, patt 21sts. (85sts)
Row 2          Patt
Row 3          Patt 20sts, SKTPO, patt 39, SKTPO, patt 20sts. (81sts)
Row 4          Patt
Row 5          Patt 19sts, SKTPO, patt 37, SKTPO, patt 19sts. (77sts)
Row 6          Patt
Row 7          Patt 18sts, SKTPO, patt 35, SKTPO, patt 18sts. (73sts)
Row 8          Patt
Row 9          Patt 17sts, SKTPO, patt 33, SKTPO, patt 17sts. (69sts)
Row 10        Patt
Row 11        Patt 16sts, SKTPO, patt 31, SKTPO, patt 16sts. (65sts)
Row 12        Patt
Row 13        Patt 15sts, SKTPO, patt 29, SKTPO, patt 15sts. (61sts)
Row 14        Patt
Row 15        Patt 14sts, SKTPO, patt 27, SKTPO, patt 14sts. (57sts)
Row 16        Patt
Row 17        Patt 13sts, SKTPO, patt 25, SKTPO, patt 13sts. (53sts)
Row 18        Patt 12sts, SKTPO, patt 23, SKTPO, patt 12sts. (49sts)
Row 19        Patt 11sts, SKTPO, patt 21, SKTPO, patt 11sts. (45sts)
Row 20        Patt 10sts, SKTPO, patt 19, SKTPO, patt 10sts. (41sts)
Row 21        Patt 9sts, SKTPO, patt 17, SKTPO, patt 9sts. (37sts)
Row 22        Patt 8sts, SKTPO, patt 15, SKTPO, patt 8sts. (33sts)
Row 23        Patt 7sts, SKTPO, patt 13, SKTPO, patt 7sts. (29sts)
Row 24        Patt 6sts, SKTPO, patt 11, SKTPO, patt 6sts. (25sts)
Row 25        Patt 5sts, SKTPO, patt 9, SKTPO, patt 5sts. (21sts)
Row 26        Patt 4sts, SKTPO, patt 7, SKTPO, patt 4sts. (17sts)
Row 27        Patt 3sts, SKTPO, patt 5, SKTPO, patt 3sts. (13sts)
Break yarn, thread through rem sts, pull up tightly and fasten off.
Sew seam.
So that's it! Easy, peasy lemon squeezy!!! Please have a go because once you've made one pair you'll become addicted and soon your entire family and neighbourhood will have a pair of your handmade socks on their feet!!!! We could start a Sock Revolution!!!!

If you do make a pair please let me know and I'll post your link on a future post!

Happy knitting!!!!
Til soon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Absence & Award....

Goodness it's been a while since I posted. Not sure why. Lots of things happening at once I guess but that's really no excuse..... I must admit that sometimes I spend so much of my free time (of which there's definitely not enough) reading other people's blogs, that I run out of time to post on my own!!! Crazy isn't it? But then I really don't want to post just for the sake of posting so perhaps it's good to have a break now and again. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.....

I've been doing a little crochet and a bit of knitting but I'll post about those in the next couple of days. For now I just wanted to tell you that I've been nominated for ANOTHER award by TWO different people!! I'm soooo chuffed, particularly because I haven't been posting quite so often. Anyway the award is the Sunshine Award and my first nomination came from Shelley at All4MeggyMoo and my second from Helen at 26 Minutes Past - please pop over and visit with them both.....

Just with any other award, this one has rules and here they are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you many thanks to Shelley and Helen.
2. Answer 10 questions about your favourite things - see below.
3. Nominate 10 blogs and let them know - also, see below.

So, here goes with my 10 questions.....

1. Favourite animal - this was easy, elephants. Who doesn't love them? They're so huge and gentle and gorgeous and living in South Africa I can actually see them in the wild by driving a couple of hours from my home, so how lucky am I? They are truly majestic creatures and very spiritual. If you haven't read The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony then you should, you really should.

2. Favourite number - mmmmm tricky. I have quite a few but if pinned down to one then it would probably be 17. My mom's birthday is on the 17th June, I was married on 17th December, our second home was No 17 and my youngest son was born on 17th September. I think those are pretty good reasons to like it.

3. Favourite non alcoholic drink. That would have to be Rooibos tea. I use to drink gallons of proper tea (usually PG Tips) but when I stopped smoking (nearly 2 years ago now - YAY for me!) tea suddenly tasted awful!!! I don't know why that happened but it did so I switched to Rooibos and have stayed with it ever since. It's delicious and I know I couldn't get through the day without it .....

4. Facebook or Twitter - neither really but if pushed it would be Facebook. I signed up about 18 months ago like everyone else on the planet but have since realised that I really don't want to know what everyone else is doing 24 hours a day. It's nice to pop in now and again and check out what's happening and for a quick 'news bulletin' to friends and family it's great but I don't log on every day and I worry about people that do......sorry. I've had a look at Twitter and follow a couple of celebs every now and again (mainly Stephen Fry who is my all time favourite person) but apart from that, nothing else.

5. My Passion - well I have two really - knitting and crochet. There isn't an evening that goes by without me doing one or the other in front of the TV. I just can't sit and watch TV without creating something. I love crochet for the speed of it, the 'quick fix' instant creativity thing that happens but I love the melody of knitting, the structure and the end products.  Wool is my drug and I cannot walk past a wool shop without going in and buying something. We own a bookshop which I love but I would dearly love to own a wool shop too.....

6. Getting or giving. Giving definitely. That's not to say that I don't like getting but if I have money in my pocket I would much rather spend it on someone else (usually my kids) than on myself. There is nothing I need or want (except more wool, of course) but I would rather buy for someone else. It's more fun.

7. Favourite Pattern - I don't really have one but I love the Neat Ripple Pattern from Lucy over at Attic24 and it was my first real adventure into crochet so it has a special place in my heart. I would never have tackled it from a book but Lucy's tutorials are so easy to follow that you really can't go wrong.

8. Favourite day of the week - this has to be Saturday. It's my only day that I don't do work of any kind - some days I teach preschool and some days I work in our bookshop - but on Saturdays I just get to stay at home with my kids and do whatever I want which is soooooo precious!!! I wouldn't swap my Saturdays for all the tea in China or in fact, all the wool in the world!

9. Favourite flower. Another easy one, the daffodil. What's not to love? So bright and cheerful. So happy and gloriously brassy. So in your face. To me daffs say 'Move over Winter, Spring is here!!!' and that's always a very very welcome message in my book.

10. Favourite country. Although I live in South Africa I have to say that my favourite country is England and it always will be. I was born in London and although I've travelled extensively, my heart will forever be in England and it will always be my true home.

So that's me and my answers. I hope you enjoyed them. Here are my 10 blog nominations for the Sunshine Award.....

1. Matt at According to Matt
2. Veggie Gobbler
3. Mark at Mark's Veg Plot
4. Happy Loves Rosie
5. Living With Punks
6. Jane at Hook and Yarn
7. Jules at  Little Woolie
8. The Adventures of the Gingerbread Lady
9. Kashi
10. Sarah

Well, there they are. I love to visit them and I hope you will too.

Til soon.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Price of Children

This post is actually an email I received recently but it sums up my beliefs in why we have children and the joys of children. I hope you agree......

The Price of Children

The calculated cost of raising a child, from birth to 18, was calculated at R1,681,470.00 (for a middle income family). Talk about price shock! That doesn’t even touch university fees!

But R1, 681,470.00 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

· R 93 414.93 a year
· R 7 784.49 a month
· R 1 796.34 a week
· A mere R 254.52 a day!
· Just over R 10.50 an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is: “Don't have children if you want to be rich. Actually, it is just the opposite!

What do you get for your R1,681,470.00?

· Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
· Glimpses of God every day
· Giggles under the covers every night
· More love than your heart can hold
· Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs
· Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies
· A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
· A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites
· Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day

For R1,681,470.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:

· Finger-paint
· Carve pumpkins
· Play hide-and-seek
· Catch lightning bugs
· Never stop believing in Santa Claus

You have an excuse to:

· Keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh
· Watch Saturday morning cartoons
· Go to Disney movies
· Wish on stars

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For a mere R254.52 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

· Retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof
· Taking the training wheels off a bike
· Removing a splinter
· Filling a paddling pool
· Coaxing a wad of gum out of hair
· Coaching a rugby team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless

For R10.50 you get a front row seat in history to witness the:

· First step
· First word
· First bra
· First date
· First time behind the wheel

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice,  communications, and human sexuality that no university can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God.

You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, So one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

That is quite a deal for the price!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Happy Day!!!

On Wednesday I had a lovely surprise! This arrived .....

All the way from the UK. Yay - I love parcels! But before I get too ahead of myself, let me explain.

A few weeks ago one of my wonderful bloggie friends Shelley and I decided to do a yarn swap. I had mentioned in a post that it was very difficult to find lace yarn in South Africa and Shelley kindly came to my rescue with the yarn swap idea!!! Shelley has the most adorable little girl who adores all things pink and purple, so I had a ball doing some serious 'girlie' yarn shopping to send over to her. If you want to read about my parcel to Shelley see her post here.

On Wednesday Shelley's parcel to me arrived. First, there was this -

A gorgeous card with some very delectable shoes - show me a girl who doesn't like shoes and I'll show you a man!!!!!

Then this ....

Now, when it comes to knitting mags in South Africa we are certainly starved!!! Our big stationery shop chain (similar to WH Smith in the UK) does stock a few but they are normally a few months out of date and you have to remortgage your house to buy one!!! So this edition of Knit Now from Shelley was like gold to me!!! I sat on my bed stroking the cover for a while just savouring the pleasure of what would be inside ..... images of Homer Simpson murmuring 'mmmmm bagels.....' spring to mind!!! I must have looked a little mad to say the least!!!! I don't want to read it cover to cover because then it will be over too soon, but  I have dipped inside it once or twice and am happy to say that I haven't been disappointed. It's lovely. Lots of great ideas, patterns and articles as well as a pair of free needles and a free booklet on lace knitting!!!!

After my magazine fix there were these for my children -

And this stunningly beautiful rainbow picture from Shelley's daughter Lil Mooey -

And last but by no means least, there was the main reason for the parcel. Oh my. Four balls of the most delicious yarn I have ever seen.......

Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace yarn. Are you jealous? Are you? Are you? You can admit it. I would be.

It's the most gorgeous deep burgundy wine colour - the colour of crushed berries. It's so rich that it makes me think of long winter evenings, log fires, cinnamon sticks and Christmas......

So here is everything again, just for the record.

Am I lucky or am I lucky? Thank you again so much Shelley - it's all perfect!

Til soon.

p.s. Please pop over to Shelley's blog and say Hi. She'd love to hear from you!!!