Thursday, July 30, 2015


In the world of knitting and crochet we have a lovely three-letter acronym - WIP (Work In Progress) - that refers to projects started but not yet completed.

I've been quite agitated recently because I have a bunch of WIPs - not just crochet projects but all sorts of other things - like the replacing the silicone around the basin (I pulled most of it off but haven't finished the scraping that needs to be done before I can replace with new), a work project I'm excited about but haven't made any progress on and a bunch of crochet WIPs and crafty projects (damn Pinterest for its project ideas!) that I haven't event started but that I want to do.

With crochet it is easy to end up with WIPs, especially if you do big projects like making a blanket. A blanket, for me, isn't something I work on all the time so while the blankie is still a WIP, I'll complete a few smaller projects. Some become bigger and they end up as WIPs too.

On Ravelry -  a pattern/project/social sharing site for knitting and crochet - you can set up projects and add start and finish dates, include details like hook size, yarn type, how much yarn, money spent on yarn and photographs of your project. There's also a 'progress bar' where you can indicate how far you are - 10%, 30%, 85%.

I appreciate having a projects page because much of what I make is not for me and over time I forget about what I've made. This is a great way to see how I've spent my time.

On Monday night I completed a 'Sophie's Universe Crochet-A-Long' blanket that I started at the end of January. I haven't worked on it full time so in that respect it has actually gone quickly. Six months is not bad at all for a blanket of this size. She's big and heavy and lovely.

The past two weeks have been all about finishing Sophie to free me up to work on Stella's blankie and also to start a Corner-2-Corner blanket. I've got the yarn for both of these projects.

There's a distinct satisfaction in completing a WIP and on Monday night when I changed my project status on Ravelry from WIP to completed I breathed a sigh of relief.

It isn't just in crochet that I have a WIP issue. I like to think of home and work tasks of projects - displayed like my Ravelry projects - that I can monitor and gauge in terms of time, materials, cost, outcome and progress. I have a dozen home and work tasks not even begun as well as those not yet completed.

I'm on a mission to complete WIPs. Finishing a project takes it off the to do list and brings with it a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. And it frees up time and energy to start new projects.

A Google Earth challenge book

I love Google Earth. A few years ago I had a monthly challenge on my site where I'd fly around and look for a location. I'd look for something identifiable - with features-vegetation-geology that would be distinctive and aid participants in identifying the location. It was good fun.

On Tuesday I was on a mission to find birthday gifts for children. I'm practical so clothing and books or something activity-related are my top choices.

At the mall they had one of those book sales, where books are spread on tables in a big open court at the mall. I began browsing.

They had a superb selection of children's books and a better selection of children's reference books - dinosaurs, insects, space, how things are made, science, human body and the like. I picked up a lovely, thick science reference for the 10-year old. Kyla is showing good strength at school and interest in geography and biology - after my own heart.

For the seven-year old I picked up a fun sticker book and a Mr Men book.

And then I saw it. "The Great Global Puzzle Challenge with Google Earth". Only R85 (R135 on Loot).

While I have officially bought it for the seven-year old, Ruben, the reality is that I actually bought it more for myself. To do with him..

It is hardcover, a good big size, not very thick and the illustrations inside are divine.

Each double-page spread is a location - cities like London, New York, Tokyo and sites like the Great Barrier Reef, Himalayas and the Amazon.

You type in coordinates on Google Earth to go to the locations. Once there the page has interesting information on the location and a second coordinate for a specific feature / landmark to visit. There are also items to find on the book page and it is great fun searching the illustration for these as well as a historic and geographic 'misfit' - like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the New York picture.

This book is a gem and I hope it will be a fun introduction for children to the wonders of Google Earth.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A bunch of stuff

I'm surrounded by lists with topics for blogs that I want to write but haven't gotten around to yet... Like the fun I had planning the Big Red Barn event the weekend before last; or that FEAT tickets go online next week; or about the my first kiddies birthday party that I'm planning for Sunday (complete, unsurprisingly, with an obstacle course)... and I've been writing a bunch for FEAT and clients.

The best of all news is a WIP that I completed at midnight last night.

More on this in the days to follow.

Feeling the love from Trail Magazine

Ooohhh... how exciting is this! My blog has been featured in Trail Magazine (current issue) and included in their piece on '10 Lekker local trail blogs' in their website.

Their next issue (#16), which comes out at the end of August has a feature on trekking poles. I contributed some content for this piece.

Trail Magazine comes from the Go Multi Magazine stable (Go Multi is now no more - Trail Magazine essentially took over from it). I wrote a column for every issue of Go Multi for many years. The magazine is edited and published by Deon Braun - an avid and accomplished trail runner.

Thank you for the recognition Trail Magazine.