A bit about Brenda Olwagen…

Hi. I’m Brenda Olwagen and welcome to the Yarn Tails website and my occasional blog. The main purpose of this website is to share information… To provide yarn and fibre-crafters, like myself, ONE stop for finding SA yarns and fibre artists (hence the links to their websites and contact info), info on yarn & fibre-craft events, classes/workshops & regular meetups. I will, at some point, get around to adding a “Shops” page. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find it a useful and helpful resource.

My Crafting background

The happiest moments in my life (other than rock climbing, horse riding and skiing) have been when I was crafting something. I’ve enjoyed a good variety of crafting over the years – sewing, quilt making (but apparently not “the right way”), mosaics, decoupage, beading and a variety of others.

I had learned to knit and crochet as a child. But crochet only became a favourite pastime when my sister came for a visit in 2012 and re-kindled fond memories of my Oumie (maternal grandmother) from long ago. Knitting became an obsession in 2015 when I  first started buying indie yarns and realised that crochet used up a LOT more yarn than knitting. I started weaving in February 2018 after doing a 4-day weaving course, falling in love with how meditative it is and subsequently buying a loom. In October 2018 I started spinning on a Turkish drop spindle.

My interest in natural yarns developed gradually. When I started crocheting again, I’d only ever bought and worked with acrylics, Elle Pure Gold being my favourite. I was totally oblivious to the variety of fibres, yarns and blends that were available. Ignorance was bliss, and kind to the bank balance. Until I joined the Yarmies group, who opened my eyes to the truly beautiful fibres, yarns and astonishingly talented indie-dyers out there. I blame them all for turning me into a bit of a yarn snob ūüėĄ.

I’ve grown to passionately LOVE yarn. I’m sure there are many who can relate. It’s with sadness that I realise I have more yarn than I have hours to knit in this lifetime. I have logged barely any of it in my ravelry stash… lack of time, laziness, fear of judgement or all of these excuses. You can find my ravelry bio here.

My Personal life

Christo, my soul mate and husband, is a darling for encouraging my passion and a fiend for enabling my desires. He is passionate about helping businesses (especially SME’s) succeed and I enjoy helping with his business. His enthusiasm has been contagious, sparking one of the other reasons for this website… To provide a platform for all SA yarn and fibre-craft businesses in one place.

Christo and I have been together since 1994. Despite our promises to friends that we’d only marry when our kids insisted on it, we married on Scarborough beach in Cape Town in 1999. Caitlin came along in 2002 in Cape Town, and Meghan was born in Copenhagen in 2007. We knew we should have stuck to that promise – they both still ask accusingly why they weren’t at our wedding. Both girls are yarn-lovers first and foremost and are gradually falling in love with yarn-crafts (ie: actually doing something with it). I’ve been such a bad example!

We live in Johannesburg with our passionately adored 4 cats and border collie. 


The cats can frequently be very helpful when it comes to anything related to yarn,¬†of course…

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Daiquiri 25 Jan 2016 ‚Äď 27 June 2018. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Rest in peace, our beautiful boy! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Our dainty, but oh-so-feisty, little girl – Storm…¬†


Storm’s darling, super-loving polydactyl cousin, Strycker…mauled to death in Nov 2019 by a¬†neighbours¬†dog. RIP our cuddly boy!

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Quidditch – 12kg FOMO cat; attitude and¬†personality… ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Phoenix –¬†pro-hunter and sweetest little walking winter-pompom…

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