Friday, 18 August 2017

Welcome, Amanzi!


" Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!"

"Amanzi" is the Zulu word for Water. It's also the Xhosa word for Water. Zulu and Xhosa are the most widely spoken languages in South Africa. We recognise eleven official languages! That's democracy for you!😊

Now, more than ever before, I am keenly aware of how water is life. It sounds obvious, but the lack of it was brought into sharp focus recently with the devastating fire storm in Knysna. Knysna is a truly magical place and I'm not going to even try and cover this unique town in a blog post. Instead, I invite you to delve into its remarkable history,  here, here and here

Knysna Lagoon

Although South Africa is considered a water compromised country, it is a hard fact to keep in mind when you're faced with some of the planet's most beautiful waterfalls, rivers, lakes and natural springs that thunder, gurgle, ripple, roar, and snake their life-affirming presence across the length and breadth of this land. Not to leave out two magnificent oceans, The Indian and Atlantic, lapping our eastern, western and southern shores.

This book, The Story of Water, by Alick Bartholomew, dives beautifully into the life of Water and its role in sustaining our physical, spiritual and emotional equilibrium.



The ancient Augrabies Falls. On my bucket list!

Debengeni Falls in Tzaneen ( I have had a swim in that pool! )


The beautiful Breede River


The mighty, snaking Limpopo! 

Once, a mad bunch of Geologists and I ( a mere core logger) went for a splash ( on truck inner tubes ) down one of  Limpopo's tributaries, The Sand River, only to be stopped short about a mile down by a Farmer standing on the banks gesticulating and yelling at us in Afrikaans, " Is julle blerry  mal! Daar's krokodille in die rivier!!" ( Translation: Are you all bloody crazy! There are Crocodiles in the river! ). To say we beat a hasty exit from those waters is an understatement! With some regret, we watched silently as our inner tubes bobbed off into the distance. It was a long, scorching hot walk back to camp and all the cold beers had been tied to the tubes! 😥


A gift from The Drakensberg ( The Dragon Mountains ), the Tugela River which is about to burst its banks!


Yet, here in Cape Town we are restricted by phase 4 water rations!  The directive from our Provincial administration is this: 100 liters per person, per day! Inclusive. This means: 2-minute showers, no watering gardens or washing cars with hoses... and if it yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down ( with water saved from that 2- minute shower! ).😅

I was inspired ( and craved!) to create a design that was rich in texture, colour, and filled with "flowery, growing, and reaching out elements"...if that makes any sense at all? Amanzi, water, life giving and the root of all Abundance.


After our dreadful Summer here in Cape Town, where every thriving green bit of life browned and shriveled, where the relentless Summer winds whipped away whatever moisture was left hidden deep in bark and briar, our first Winter rains felt like soft diamonds from heaven, and more precious than if those jewels themselves had fallen from the skies. Yes, I'm waxing lyrical. 😄 To see the Earth spring back to vibrant life made me all the more aware of saving every precious drop for the torturous Summer ahead!



This is the first time I have used Stylecraft Special DK exclusively for a project and all I can say is that my little point and shoot camera does not do the colours justice! 💖 They are YUMMY!!



I have SO LOVED, making this square, that I didn't want to stop. So, I designed an expanded border!



Please excuse the picture quality but my camera just freaks out over all the yummy colours! I really must spoil myself ( and all of YOU ) with an upgraded camera...any recommendations that don't cost the earth? 😃 

The expanded block measures 56cm x 56cm/22" x 22"

As with The Durban Spice Girls, there are Video Guides to help you through, so you can't go wrong! 😊 There are  "independent rounds" to keep your interest all the way to the end. ENJOY, and I'm sure to see some amazing colourways surfacing soon!

   Click on the BUY NOW Button to purchase this pattern via Ravelry! 
THIS PATTERN IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN DUTCH! 

Take care, and happy hooky in Crochetland! 💖
Jen 
xxx





30 comments:

  1. Your work is so detailed and and inexplicably beautiful! Want to put it together in a blanket someday.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nazneen! I want to try and keep extending the borders until it is a blanket. I'll be adding all the extensions to the pattern ( with video guides ). Watch this space! :D XOX

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  2. Oh wow! That is absolutely amazing. What great work. You have incredible talent!

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    1. Thank you so much, Roxan! :D xxx

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  3. jen i absolutely enjoy your patterns... thought that the pondoland square was exquisite, however must admit that amanzi "vat die koek"!! its so so so beautiful!! and i love your blog how you describe our beautiful country and what inspires you to design a certain pattern. take care.. regards x

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    1. Thank you very much! Ah, I do so deeply love this country. The inspiration is endless! :) xxx

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  4. You are so talented. I love your designs and we've all been praying for rain for us in KZN and in CT. So glad we are having some showers

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    1. Thank you, much appreciated! XOX Yes, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

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  5. This is the most beautiful yet. Thank you so much for your blog post too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! :-) xxx

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  6. Jen Tyler, loved the story behind the square. This I have to do because the core of what we do is water. I work for a company that implements bulk water infrastructure projects including dams and pipelines and my newest project is the Berg River Voelvlei Augmentation Scheme in your neck of the woods.

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    1. Wow, Kogi that is so good to know! I would love to be able to follow this project. Is there a page/website? :-) xxx

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  7. hallo jen, would like to know if i purchase the amanzi block pattern, do i have to pay for the additional patterns to make it as a throw? read on ravelry that the first enlargement pattern will be released on 25 aug. thank you for your amazing patterns! you are a wonderful talented designer. ♡

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    1. Hello! Thank you for your kind words! :D xxx All the expanded rounds are FREE! The option for the Throw is my way of saying thank you very much for supporting this designer! :D When you purchase the pattern, updates, as they become available, will be automatically sent to your email/messages. xxx

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  8. Hello Jen.
    I've just found your Blog this morning and I have to tell you I am in total awe of your beautifully talented works of crochet art! Thank you for putting it out in the world! Oh, and Happy Birthday (a little early) ;-)

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  9. Hi, Tina! Aw. thanks so much!! :D Thank you too for the B'day wishes! XXX

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  10. HI Jen, I learned to crochet some 45 years ago and then I learned to knit about 5 years ago. Knitting took over all my crafting time. However, after seeing your amazing squares I can hardly wait to start crocheting again (after Christmas gifts get done lol). Thanks for your amazing inspiration!!!!

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    1. Hi, Kelly! Wow, that's so good to know! Thank you so much! :D xxx

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  11. Hi Jen,
    I have purchased the Amanzi pattern. It is a work of art. I cannot seem to find how much of each color is needed for the square or the blanket when all the sections are available. Also when you list 2 colors for a row does that mean you can use either or? Thank you for your help. Roberta

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    1. Hi Roberta. My pieces are all stash busters so it's really hard to give exact yardage. The colourways I use are just a suggestion. I do very much encourage everyone to have fun with their own colourway choices ( so impressed with how creative everyone is with their colours! ). The 2 colours I list are for the pattern piece, and the video piece. Usually I will use a different colourway for the video, as I said, merely as a suggestion not a hard and fast colourway rule! :) xxx

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  12. Hi Jen,
    How much of each color yarn is required for the throw? Is there a color pack available? I have purchased the pattern on Ravelry and cannot wait to start. Your work is amazing!!! Melanie

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    1. Hi, Melanie! Thanks so much!:D xxx

      It's hard to say as these pieces are all stash busters! :D
      I haven't got to the point where colourpacks could become a thing...but I'll look into it. xxx

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  13. Hi, I've just purchased this and The files for (1 of 5), (2 of 5), (3 of 5) are in English However the (4 of 5) and (5 of 5) are in Dutch. How do I get the English versions please

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    1. Hi Veronoca! :-) I hope this is all in order now? Ravelry does sometimes seem to take a few days to send out updates. Some people get theirs immediately while others do experience problems. Best to email downloads@ravelry.com. xxx

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  14. Hi Jen. I have really enjoyed making this block these past couple of days. I purchased the pattern and been following along with the videos. One small problem, the link to part 4 does not work from the PDF file :(

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    1. I got it, had to manually enter it in :)

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    2. Oh, good! :D Best to email me directly if you have any problems. jentylerdesigns@gmail.com xxx

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  15. Hi! How much of each colour is needed? I need to buy yarn and I want to be sure I don't have too much leftovers. Thanks

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  16. Hi Jen, do you know how many yards of yarn I'd need to make this If I just used a monochromatic scheme? Thanks.

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