Zooty Owl's Crafty Blog

COLOURFUL CROCHET AND CRAFT

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Making Light of a Crisis

Here in South Africa we are once again faced with an ELECTRICITY CRISIS - the worst since our first crisis in 2008.       While extreme electricity price hikes over the past 7 years were supposed to be used to improve infrastructure, the additional millions have instead been used to provide corrupt officials with bonuses and ridiculously high salaries -  so there is no possibility of this crisis ever abating!!

Forgive my rant - but back in my day poor performance was met with disciplinary action NOT rewarded with bonuses and salary increases (does anybody else spot the not here???)!!!

Our Minister of Energy, in her (*cough, laugh, sputter*) infinite wisdom gave a speech saying we should adapt because this is a way of life!     Well OK then!

When ESKOM gives you loadshedding -  make granny squares!!!!

granny blanket

A couple of evenings ago, I was sitting in my recliner, watching "Criminal Minds", working on a new pattern......  when suddenly "hello darkness, my old friend"!!   - We have just been loadshed.

We frantically run around lighting tea lights, giving just enough light here and there so that you do not fall and break your neck, but not enough to actually see what you are doing!!

Three to four hours of doing absolutely nothing is enough to drive me insane - so I grab a hook and a few baskets of scrap yarn and listen to an audio book on my phone (Anne of Green Gables).     Fortunately I am able to crochet a granny square blindly!!   (I am not that awesome yet that I am able to manage anything more complicated!!)

After three hours without power the lights are back on and this is what I have managed......


The following evening I made dinner early, just in case - a lovely homemade chicken pie (the one with the bread triangles and the mayo! - YUM), and I prepare two flasks - coffee for hubby and tea for me.  Thank goodness, because I have just settled into my chair when..... instant blackout!

"Muuwaaahaaa", I laugh in the face of darkness - tonight I am prepared!!!

Light the candles, listen to audio book and start hooking away on my "loadshedding" squares:


The next morning I arranged the squares I had made (a very motley assembly indeed!).     I then started joining them.

I have to do the joining and the working in of the tails (and OH MY GOODNESS what a lot of tails) in daylight - this is not something I can manage in the dark!

By day (whenever I have a quick spare minute) I weave and join!     When the lights go out I crochet!!

granny blanket


I just made this up as I went using a mishmash of colours and scrap yarn.

granny blanket

There is no "pattern" but this is what I did:

24 x 14cm circles in squares grannies (you could try one or two of these patterns:
WADE'S BLANKET CIRCLE IN A SQUARE;   or
BABY GROOVYGHAN CIRCLE IN A SQUARE

24 x 14cm TRADITIONAL GRANNY SQUARES

Add a single row of double crochet in "cream" to each square (the squares now measure 16cm x 16cm)

Join 4 squares with black yarn (2 traditional granny squares and 2 circles in squares) using the VISIBLE JOIN METHOD

granny blanket


You now have 12 blocks of 4 squares each

Crochet a BLOCK STITCH border around each of these 12 blocks (sc, ch row in beige and the dc cluster row in black).

granny blanket


Plan out the larger blocks before you star adding the border so that you can join as you go.

granny blanket

For the border:  1 granny row (black);   1 dc row (tan);   1 granny row (black)

granny blanket

Use the remainder of the scraps to measure out and cut lengths of yarn for the braids (I just wound them around an emery board and then cut through the top and bottom end).      Add a BRAID between each granny cluster!  

granny blanket

This is a very therapeutic, almost hypnotic exercise (so easy that you can make them in the dark!)

granny blanket

A real "feel good" blanket - I put both my time and my scraps to good use!    

granny blanket

We have been quite lucky so far this week - no loadshedding!     I will have to prepare a new "loadshedding" project just in case .......... (*touch wood;   fingers crossed*)

34 comments:

  1. Beautiful blanket! Crossing my fingers for you.

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  2. I share your rant !! But we have indeed been lucky, no load shedding here for about three weeks now! I check the site every morning, just in case! Love your blanket, good idea Pat x

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    1. We have had quite a few good days here too! Let's hope it stays that way!

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  3. Wow it's amazing and such a positive out of all that darkness, sorry you are having to put up with powercuts.
    Clare xx

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  4. Your blanket is really beautiful and such a good way to use up your yarn and your enforced hours of darkness. I try to crochet as often as possible when I'm ravelling as a passenger in the car. A lot of the time the journeys are in darkness so I crochet Granny square blankets. I tried a straight Granny blanket and it worked out great.

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    1. Oh that is a good idea! I must try to crochet a granny stripe in the dark!

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  5. Beautiful! Hoping that the electricity situation improves! If not, maybe you can sell the blankets for a handsome price! Libby Kloap

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    1. Not a bad idea Libby! I will have to do something with all the blankets - we have been warned that we are going to experience heavy loadshedding during the winter months!

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  6. never heard that term before, here in the Uk we call it a plain old " power cut"" yours sounds more iinteresting. I can remember back in the 80's we had a lot of these due to strikes etc and I loved them because as a family we talked, played board games and did more things together as there was no TV. Blanket is great xx

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    1. I don't mind them too much, as long as I am prepared. Sometimes Eskom does not keep to their schedule and you will have an "unplanned" loadshed - usually when you are in the middle of doing laundry or making dinner!!

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  7. Trish Stevens6 May 2015 at 17:01

    Well done! Lovely blanket!

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  8. Hope you get back to "normal" electricity very soon…
    Your blanket is really eye catching : love it!!!!
    xxxxx Ale

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  9. What a tough time you folks are having in your country..... but HOW AMAZINGLY WELL you are managing to fill that down time!!! Bravo.. you always give me that extra "push" to get me hooking again!!!

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    1. Thanks JoAnn! I suspect I am going to have quite a few of these by the end of the winter!!

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  10. In England in my teens we had power cuts and it was no fun.
    Living for many years in London and Australia I made great friends with South African and I'm saddened that your land is be coming almost 'Third World'. I hope and pray it never becomes as bad as Zimbabwe.
    I admire your tenacity and hope you never stop sharing your great blog.

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    1. It does sadden me when I see the deterioration and the violence. The only way to really stay sane though is to find something happy to do and to concentrate on the positives. We have lovely weather and most of our people are friendly gentle souls. Unfortunately the "bad" people ruin it for everybody!

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  11. You should get some of those light up crochet hooks. Love the blanket.

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    1. That is a good idea Deborah - I was actually thinking of getting one of those lights for my head too!

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  12. I'm impressed,kudos and chapeau! 😲😲😲

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  13. beautiful blanket...we live in northeast ,ohio.usa...we experienced so many brown outs and ice storms that my husband finally broke down and installed a "whole house" generator-propane powered...am new to your site...so inspiring! will have to dig out the old crochet hooks.....

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    1. Welcome! I hope you will visit often!!

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  14. I hate it when incompetency is rewarded - but you made a lovely blanket, good job! Maybe now a ripple one? that is another good "autopilot" pattern. Keep your phone and batteries charged.. We have a small Honda generator that we used for our RV, there is a way to set it up for a home but I do not know what it is. My brother-in-law did it for the last big hurricane in the northeast in the USA. good luck to you.

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    1. I am definitely going to have to come up with a few more autopilot patterns as the blackouts increase over the winter months!

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  15. I share your pain :) I live in an area that always seems to be op the top of Eskom's list for loadshedding! But I love your sense of humor and the way you seem to find even inspiration in the darkness! Gorgeous blanket, love all your patterns.
    Greetings from a fellow wanderer of darkness, candles. yarn, crochet hooks and numerous flasks of coffee!

    http://creativecrochettoys.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Joanita! Looks as if we are going to have a long dark winter!!! (Will have to stock up on yarn and OBS)!

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  16. When I was in Perth a few years ago, they had "rolling blackouts" to deal with the power shortages. So, each area had 2-3 hours a day where there was no power. Funnily enough, the richer suburbs had their power outages between midnight and 6am and the poorer areas had their blackouts in the evening when it was most inconvenient!! It was also 45 degrees for days on end, I thought I was going to melt away... I'm so glad you found something useful and fun to do in the loadshedding times!

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    1. We are in one of the areas that seems to have less loadshedding than elsewhere (there are a few politicians living in the area - so that is probably why!!)

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  17. You must crochet super quick! Nice result too

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  18. Load shedding sounds awful, but you did so much in semi darkness. I bet you enjoyed your pie, and were so glad you made it in time!

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