So yesterday we found a good parking spot on the Main Road in Knysna from which to embark on a touristy stroll with a couple of cappucinos in mind at the end of it. I wasn’t planning on buying anything and, even if I did, it would never be a cream cotton crocheted bolero top. I already have half a dozen. But then I met Deborah.
Deborah is a cheerful, practical, engaging woman from Zimbabwe, and possibly has better business sense than one might at first expect. She uses “special” cotton that she gets up from up north on her three or four annual trips to make the most exquisite crocheted tops, jackets and waistcoats. She also sells traditional African jewellery and curios, which she manages on behalf of other people. I have to keep busy, she says, there are so many children to feed! As if she’d been cued, a little girl popped out from under the table right then and climbed proprietorily onto her lap, eating an apple.
I chose a top that has sleeves to the elbow, in anticipation of the cooler late summer days (which are hopefully coming our way soon before we all die of heat). My photo doesn’t do it justice, but it is soft and simple and drapey and has a beautiful picot edging all around.
Deborah was working away with her crochet hook all the while we were chatting (Rob had a forage himself and finally found an elephant hair bracelet with his name on it) and, to my amazement, I discovered that she never ever uses a pattern. She just makes it up as she goes along. I’ve never had the skill or the confidence to do this, a sad truth which struck a particularly loud chord last night when I was trying to follow a pattern for a crocheted shawl. It wasn’t working so I ripped it out and tried again. Three rips and three tries later, I gave up in disgust and watched CSI with idle hands.
I’ll bet Deborah would have finished the damn thing by now :)
To be continued…