Big Plans, Big Move

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Some of you may have seen on Facebook that we have decided to make a big move. This has been a very long decision in the making.

Why move when we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world?
I will admit that Cape Town is one of the prettiest places I have stayed, and after 4 years we are starting to feel really settled. So why think of moving now?

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Can it ever be ME and YOU and not US and THEM?

Will I ever me more than part of ‘them’? Those people that was responsible for the suffering of millions, in this land?

And by part I mean my skin colour and not my beliefs. I was a child at the time and you can read more what I have written about apartheid here I benefited from Apartheid – did you? and I hate that I fear

With the death of Mandela and thinking about all he stood for, and watching A Long Walk to Freedom last night. I am again reminded of what a great man he was. It was also an eye opener to see what it did to Winnie Mandela and that her anger was her survival method and it made me understand more. It is one thing to read stuff and to know theoretically what happened, but to see it, even in a movie which can never be perfectly the same, is another. It brings more of the emotions home.

Not everyone thinks like Mandela, people I still very angry and I don’t blame them. I would be too. While I am a English white South African and so also not the old governments favourite kind of white, I am still white and had benefits way more than most in this country. Actually I think as a child I was blissfull unaware of most of what was going on. Many other children were not so lucky.

My question is now, 20 years later is there hope that we can ever see each other as more than US and THEM. Will I ever not be hated by some people in this land because of my fate of birth? I am not sure I could forgive if it was my people so I ask in honesty. What do you see when you look at me? Can this wrong ever be righted? It is so much easier to use our stereotypes and group people collectively and hate them as such than to see individuals.

Please be honest, I will never insult anyone by saying I want to understand, because I never never will. But I want to know.

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Veggies

I know that I have not blogged in so long that I probably don’t have any readers anymore so it will not matter if I blog about my boring vegetables.

To me it is very exciting. That I have managed to grow wonderful veggie in rubbish Cape soil is amazing.

The tricks have been
1) chickens: I let them scratch and fertilize the area first – about a year. Then I kicked them out of that area so they can help the rest of the garden.
2) I did not pull up grass, just covered it with cardboard and compost. I did area by area while the chicken were there.
3) where I am in CT along the west coast is frost free so we started seeding in winter still
4) lots of rain this year
5) a great gardener
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Shoes and the curse of the Gargantuan Woman

I am 5″11 or 1,79m for the metric amongst us. This is not short for a woman. In fact I am taller than the average for women in every country around the world and a good deal of the male averages too. In fact there are only a couple of European countries where the male average is taller than me. Wiki is such a useful place. All the height info is here

While there are definite advantages to being tall one of them is not the ability to wear high heel shoes. Although I did wear these on my party, it is just not something I do on a regular basis.

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I know high heels make your bum and legs look great and all those things , but I land up feeling like Brienne from Game of Thrones, although admittedly she is 6,3″ ( with heels I am not far off) I just feel a little ridiculous. So I have been confined to flat shoes most of my life. I am not complaining much as I like flat comfortable shoes. Being a nurse I needed comfortable shoes and the same is true being a mom of 3.

But there are some pretty shoes out there! At the moment I am lusting after these, they are by a company called Fluevog and cost $299! (a mere R2996 without postage and import costs)

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I want to wear them with hand knitted socks like these Ardwinna socks on Ravelry

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I am now on a mission to combine cute knitted socks and shoe. My mom brought me some Groundcover Mary Jane’s in fuschia for my birthday and Carle knitted me some great socks

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But what to wear with them? Jeans are okay and my default item, but a cute skirt would look so much better. Like this example Clare from Yarn and Pointy Sticks Blog had of Hedera socks by Reecie

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Pinky is back – and I had a birthday party

I turned 36 yesterday and I decided it was a good age to have a birthday party. I usually do the braai and jeans thing on my birthday. I realize that 36 is not traditionally a big birthday but I am not really one for tradition. I guess I might skip the 40th then, who knows, I have leant not to plan the future.

While I never wear heels for height reasons I quite like dressing up now and again. But this time for my birthday I thought, height be damned I am going to wear heels and have a cocktail party. I really enjoyed it but my feet are not thanking me.

The night before I needed to do my hair and the choice was whether to stay light pink or go darker again. The Geek likes the lighter pink, but he is very careful to make sure that I know it is up to me to do what makes me happy. I said to him that I thought I would go back to my normal colour. He looked a a little shocked and said ” what, brown?” I told him not to be ridiculous, I meant my bright pink. That is what I think of as my normal proper colour.

It makes me happy when my hair is pink. This is rather a poor quality picture but I like it anyway. Hooray for Atomic Pink

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I cooked and baked for the party

savoury snacks

I got to use our wedding lemonade stand again
Lemonade stand

party snacks

Nadine from Jorjacs Cakes did it again with another great cake. I gave her free reign to do whatever she liked. I just said it was a cocktail party to dres up and wear high heel shoes.
Cake

I landed up taking very few pictures during the party and don’t have any of The Geek and his brother together in their Tuxedos. I am not sure if anyone else took pictures, we just all seemed too busy chatting.

I did get one of Titus and Yme
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Here is one of the few of me
Pink Hair

Blowing out candles and cutting the cake with Rachel
Blowing candlecutting cake

And although there are no photos of them on, and thankfully no photos of The Geek and i standing next to each other, here are the shoes I wore. My feet still do not feel normal!
shoes

Oops

When the design does not go to plan…

I saw a funky cotton infinity scarf kind of thing in Big Blue. It was modled in the shop over a T-Shirt and I was thinking that with Autumn (at that point coming up) it would make a great season changing T-Shirt accessory.

I decided to use Bamboo to be a cool spring/autumn type of scarf. I knitted and frog a few ideas. Bounced a few ideas around when had tea with Di one day. I was really not happy with the one way I was doing it and chatting to her I decided changed the whole thing.

It started as a tube, to avoid rolling, but knitting a tube was using a lot of yarn and I was worried about not having enough length and the pattern did not feel very inspiring. So I frogged it.
Infinity Scarf

Next I decided to knit it across casting on the 400+ stitches. I love the pattern but when changing the pattern from a flat pattern to a round I did not feature in the stitch that had to move one to the left in the 2nd pattern repeat so it did not stack up as I wanted it to.

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It blocked a normal size
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Wearing it made it grow vertically a lot! And it has the tendency to roll, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first design
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Now when I wear it I have made peace with the fact that it rolls and I just embrace the garter stitch Wrong Side look. Bamboo stretches a lot and I can now wrap it 4 times!
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So where to from here for the pattern. I am going to try knitting it length wise instead of width wise, Fix the pattern error and maybe maybe go back to the tube idea so it can’t roll. Not a waste, lessons learnt

I need a Haramaki – Belly Warmer

It is now winter in South Africa although I am thinking our Northern friends might actually laugh at what we call winter. It will get a tad colder but for now the air is chillier and I need slippers and a cardigan.

Being a tall girl I have the problem of my clothes not always approximating in the middle well. This makes for a cold belly and back.

The Japanese have the solution a Haramaki. Originally worn by Samurai warriors, sewn by their women for luck and to protect their Chi around their middle.

We loose a lot of heat through our middle and so a modern take on a Haramaki is a good option. As we can see from the picture below, they really do work.

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Rachel has been wearing a scarf around her middle for the last 2 days and is sold on the idea. I think I might knit myself one. Maybe even design one.

Or if you sew you can follow the tutorial on Planet June

4BCWDAY7 Looking forward

This is my first knitting blog week so I can’t check how well I did, but this does feel a bit like setting New Years Resolutions. I hope I choose things that I can achieve. Most of mine are about designing but lets hope this keeps me on track. These may sound a bit cryptic to you but I don’t want to give too much away about the ideas in my head and ruin the surprise.

1) Hat and fingerless mitt set
2) Diamond
3) Hearts
4) Just do that cardigan already!
5) Gold

And on those cryptic notes, I end Knitting Blog week. It has been fun

4KCBWDAY6 – A tool to covet

Today we are supposed to: Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

But I got stuck on the word Covet, and I am known for loving words. According to Google it means

cov·et

Verb
Yearn to possess or have (something).
Synonyms
crave – desire – hanker – lust

So I am not going to tell you about my needles, or books, or stitch markers or other stuff. I have very little that is fancy. I still want a swift and a ball winder. For now my daughters arm and hands are what I use to wind skeins into balls.

BUt what I covet and longingly dream about is a circular sock knitting machine

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This one is a new one made in New Zealand, the NZAK, most that you get now are old vintage ones that get restored. I am not sure that there are even any available in South Africa.

Here is a video if you feel the need to know more

But imagine how much of my stash I could use and how many lovely socks I could make for my family and friends if it just took 3 hours or less!

Then I could use the rest of my time to knit all the other things that I want to knit. As all knitters know the one thing we actually covet more than anything else ever is Time

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