Alive & Kicking! Despite a “wobbly” start to the year…
A happy and prosperous year to you and yours! To say, “It’s been a while!” is an understatement. It’s been close on a year since my last post. But I am alive and kicking! Last year was a stressful year with a variety of traumatic events that just didn’t seem to stop. When anyone asked, “How are you?” my automatic response would be “Alive and kicking. Kicking harder on some days than others.” I suspect that any blog posts would have been whingy and whiney. Hence, there were none. However, there’s always much to be grateful for, and it was important to remind myself to focus on those.
Now that 2019 is done, I’m excited about writing a blog post again. Especially because I have neglected you so, despite the growth of my social media followers. I am so extremely grateful for your support. After all, you’re the reason for my website – for you as yarn lover to find as much South African yarn information as possible, all in one place. Thank you 💕. I will be updating everything this week. So, on to recent happenings…
Yarmies Market Bag CAL, prizes & ornament swap
The Yarmies Market Bag CAL ended at the beginning of December. Gorgeous bags were made by all. Some knitters, who learned to crochet especially for the CAL, became “hooked” on crocheting. They’ve even gone on to crochet other projects. Those of us who could already crochet are so proud of them. Here are some of the bags:
A huge thanks to Michbabs (Michelle) for all the gorgeous prizes she brought back with her from the States. Lucky lucky us! We were so very spoiled. Here’s what Belinda K. and I walked away with. Mine (on the right) is 576m of divine cotton linen blend from Trailhead Yarns Fundy Tides in Shipwreck colourway. I can’t wait to get stuck into it. Any suggestions on a pattern? …
And at our last Yarmies of the year, we had a little hanging Christmas-tree ornament swap. Such fun!
One of our young Yarmies friends had a stroke shortly after she’d learned how to crochet. Luckily she had already finished her bag. She’d tried numerous times in the past to learn, but as a lefty, she just needed the right person to teach her – thanks to Lauren of Yarn at ZelLé. It was a big setback for her because she had to learn to crochet all over again. We are so glad that she is recovering so well and hasn’t lost her spunk and sense of humour. We love you so much, B! Your perseverance and determination are awe-inspiring and we’re extremely proud of you.
My “My f*k Marelize” moment (ie: my cycling “wobbly”)
You might have seen on Instagram that I’d had a “wobbly” start to the year… a little cycling accident just before New Year at Mountain Splendour Eco-Resort in the Drakensburg. Eish, people, I did a superb job with that fall and I felt like an idiot. It was a step up from “My f*k, Marelize”.
Firstly, I was riding on a sand and gravel road. Not with a mountain bike, but with my granny-bike. Apologies to any grannies out there, but this is what my bike was called on holiday by my dear husband, my kids and their friends. It’s a “city bike” that I got way back when we first moved to Denmark and I’m quite attached to it.
Unfortunately, that became quite literal on the Sunday before New Year. I’m sure my hubby and youngest are able to laugh now at how comical it must have looked… me speeding down the road (the second stupid thing I did), my mind completely somewhere else (third stupid thing), when the sharp turn in the road somehow surprised me, even though you could see it coming from a previous bend in the road (yes, the fourth!). At that moment I had a total brain-fart (ugh, the fifth) and thought, “Oh sh*t! How do I brake? Actually, where are my brakes again? And which one should I use?” The bike has a back-pedal brake and one hand brake, thus giving me the option to respond with either my feet or my hand. And yet all of me froze (bloody sixth), and at the last second tried to frantically turn the bike while braking (does the stupidity-count even matter anymore?). It was that or hit the fence and go flying over the front.
After driving to a Ladysmith hospital on New Years day, it turned out that, apart from a variety of scrapes and bruises, the fall fractured a rib and I had a linear collapse of the middle lobe of my lung (or something). So I’ve been trying to keep deep breaths to a minimum and avoid laughing, coughing, sneezing, bending, driving. Which, it seems, means almost living in limbo. The fricking last of the 2019 challenges. It could be worse, as I’m in the enviable position of getting a lot of knitting time with my monster 12 kg cat (who has a gigantic foot fetish to match his frame) happily soothing my bruised ankle. Some gratuitous pics of him…
And what WIP am I busy with, you may ask? After crocheting 4 bags to a deadline for the CAL, I have to admit that my fingers were itching to knit again. I got some gorgeous sweetgeorgia cashsilk lace yarn from The Yarn Room in Pretoria. It’s a luxurious cashmere silk blend in Watershed colourway, and I’m knitting Federleichtes Cape with it. Absolutely deeee-vine to work with, and it gets a deserving snuggle and smush every now and again (because I just can’t help myself). I cast on while we were on holiday and am nearly done. Yes, I’m a slow knitter.
I have to add that I love going to The Yarn Room, despite the “great trek” from Johannesburg – the Gautrain and Uber are sometimes my preferred mode of transport if I’m worried about getting stuck in traffic there or on the way back. Let me know if you’d like to join me sometime, especially if you’ve never been.
Yarn Tails SA Knitting workshops at The Yarn Tree
I’m also extremely excited to be presenting some knitting workshops this year at The Yarn Tree in Parktown West (one of my favourite local yarn shops). I’ll be starting off with a beginners lace class in Feb and progressing in technique from there to a more advanced lace workshop, brioche, cables and more. The only requirements are the ability to do a cable cast on, knit, purl, cast off, and sew ends in.
We’ll be doing squares in Nurturing Fibres Eco-Fusion or MoYa Shimmer that you can either gift as wash cloths or put together as a blanket. If you choose the blanket option, you may want to plan your colours or choose at random. I’m really looking forward to meeting new yarnies and helping them become more adventurous in their knitting. If that’s you, I look forward to seeing you there!
Until next time, dear yarn-loving reader 🤗. Keep well and let’s hope it won’t take me as long to be in touch again.