We had a fabulous Voorkamerfest weekend in Darling – an abundance of sunshine, customers, and good spirits. We stayed in a stunning little guest suite up at the top of Stasie Street, and we’ll be back there for another 3 days for the Wild Flower Show on the 18th of this month.
I was waiting to see what the peeps would think of the new fedoras and the patchwork bags, before spending too much money and time on items that wouldn’t sell. Now I know, and happily will be making lots more.
But not today. Today is PILLOW SLIP MAKING DAY. I have stocked up with egyptian cotton, white thread and a range of beautiful new fabric paints, and have even imposed a target on myself. Luckily it’s pouring with rain so I won’t be tempted to go out and roll around on the grass and smell the roses. But I hope you get to, wherever you are.
Sharon found this book in a charity shop. How we laughed at the hats!
… then I realised that three of the styles were very similar to some of the hats I make myself! hahaha – maybe it’s just the photo that’s dated :-)
I decided to try the green “Tyrolian” hat, top left in the pic. Shaped hats are difficult to achieve with crochet, even using thicker and less flexible yarns, so maybe there was some secret to this pattern?
Nope, there wasn’t. I have ended up with an un-Tyrolian hat – the crease will not stay, however hard I thump down on it, and the brim will not stay up at the sides, however hard I shout at it. Consequently, I have a completely different style of hat that I really really like. With some flowers or a band or a brooch pinned on, it’s versatile, warm and very vintage-looking. As in old-fashioned but in a good way.
It looks like the most disruptive part of that messy business is behind me, so I’m back home and getting back into a productive work routine.
I’ve found knitting has helped me keep calm, especially since I am really really slow at it…. I’ve been trying out different hat patterns so my knitting ladies have samples to work from. (I have another one on board now, and I didn’t even have to look for her, she found me!).
I also fitted in a pair of shark slippers for the girlfriend of a customer’s son, who is having a birthday today and is mad about sharks. Her boyfriend is treating her to a shark cage diving expedition… some people are craaaaazzzy.
Apparently they were all ecstatic about the slippers, but I have to say I wouldn’t make them again in a hurry. Too fiddly for my liking!!! I like more instant gratification.
I have also been sewing, which is fast becoming my preferred activity right now. I have boxes and boxes of leftover bits of fabric from Suzette (who makes cushions) and decided to make them up into patchwork bags. I love mixing different colours and textures, but what I love most is making something useful out of someone else’s discards.
They’ll get a lining and a bit of velcro to close but nothing fancy because I’d like to keep the price as low as possible. They’ll be coming to the Rondebosch Market with me on Saturday, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for another sunny winter’s day.
We got home from 2 weeks in Grahamstown on Tuesday afternoon, in our cleanest dirty clothes. It felt like a long time to be away and, despite the hospitality we got from Sean and Melinda, I nearly cried at the sight of my own bed. Wonderful neighbour Isabella had taken care of the cats, so they pretended not to notice I’d been gone a while.
I thought I would spend a day or two just kind of resting and unpacking and preparing for a 5-day market next week in Napier, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I’ve had to cancel the market (sorry, Suzette) and have to go back to Johannesburg on the weekend, and don’t know for how long. I really dislike the place, plus the business that necessitates my presence is deeply unpleasant. There are other family matters here at home that I need to deal with, so how I’m going to be in two places at once is a mystery that maybe only Superwoman or the Virgin Mary can advise on. Dealing with my sciatica will also have to go on the backburner until I can fit in a visit to Michelle, the most fantastic physiotherapist in the universe.
I did manage a couple of hours yesterday experimenting with fabric and fedoras.
Other than this, all crafting activity is on hold until further notice!
So, Karen and I did the train thing to Johannesburg and back a couple of weeks ago. It’s 26 hours one way (from Cape Town, remember!) People said, “Are you insane? Why don’t you just hop on a plane?”, but we knew better. We knew better because we’d made the same trip about 15 years ago, when we had small children and husbands and unpleasant jobs. That trip gave us uninterrupted peace and quiet, and ever since our code phrase for “my children are driving me mad” or “I never want to lay eyes on my husband again” or “what a foul day at work” or “the next person who asks me what’s for supper will get punched in the face”, has been “I wish I was on that _______ train….”
So we did it again.
It was fabulous. Even better than the first time.
Karen packed a massive hamper full of good food and coffee, enough to feed the entire train. We had books, music, phones, ipads, and crochet, but mainly we relaxed. Karen spent most of her time relaxing, actually, relaxing and looking out the window and resting and sleeping and dozing and reading and napping. And a small amount of crochet.
After my first big rest, I was happy to get some serious work done. We can’t all have a salaried job, after all!
I made nine hats. I cheated a bit because I didn’t use any patterns, so they went pretty quickly. The one with the five horns is my favourite.
I need to do a proper stock-take tomorrow, my market bags have got all mixed up and I don’t know how many hats are in each one. It could go one of two ways — bad, or very bad.
Saturday was the Durbanville Plaasfees*, held at Diemersdal Wine Estate. A much hotter day than the weatherman had predicted (he’s a moron sometimes) but, hey, that meant more people needed sunhats. Here are some pics:
First sale of the day – this cute little guy’s dad (who’s also pretty cute) got him a new sunhat.
These crappy little puppies from China were at the stall next to us. Charged up with fresh batteries, they yipped and yapped from 09h00 to 17h00. I was tempted to buy the whole lot and throw them under the wheels of the nearest tractor.
Making use of a couple of random bales of hay for bird display.
Crafty Beach – wonderful handmade wooden items made by a lovely couple from Gordon’s Bay. I have three of their frames in my lounge.
Friends Suzette and Antoinette tucked away at the back, cushions and soya candles respectively :-) Suzette shouted at me that she hates having her picture taken.
Some crochet inspiration
Hats you might recognise.
It was a very good day, and I got to practise my Afrikaans a lot. We slept like logs that night.