a puppy and a blanket

milo and the blanket cornel strydom hellohartdotcom_milo


About the same time this little guy arrived at our home, I started crocheting a blanket.

milo and the blanket cornel strydom hellohartdotcom

I wanted to crochet a blanket for a boy, who lost his mom 4 years ago.

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By the end of November last year, we had lost Milo’s sweet little brother Peanut (no photos of him in this post – it’s too sad).

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Milo went on holiday with us, but the blanket stayed behind.

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After 2 months, I picked up the blanket again. By this time Milo was strong and healthy.

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I chose a very simple granny square pattern for the blanket and an even simpler edge in cream. The one kissing Milo is my daughter, Christi.

Milo gets kisses ALL THE TIME.

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Predominantly brown, the blanket has 2 cream squares and only one navy. Life is unpredictable.

And blankets can be too.

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Milo, around April 2015.

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I finished working away the loose ends only about 2 weeks ago.

I guess LIFE got in the way.

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And tonight, wrapped in tissue paper, this blanket will find it’s home.

C x

#rusticlacesquare blanket for christi

rustic lace square for Christi

My first #rusticlacesquare blanket is finished and ready to be sent to Nottingham.

(#rusticlacesquare=that’s the hashtag everyone who’s working on this pattern is using on Instagram)

rusticlacesquare for Christi original 88 squares

I started crocheting this amazingly beautiful design 30 weeks ago, and in 8 weeks time (end of November 2014) had 88 squares that I wanted to join as one HUGE blanket.

That never happened.

Instead, I selected 30 squares (mainly cool shades) and started joining them by hand late last week.

rusticlacesquare for Christi what it would look like

Pretty soon I had this beautiful blanket (some might rather call it a throw…) that needed an edge.

Like a sentence needs a full stop.rusticlacesquare for Christi scollop recipe

Scollops are my favourite edge. So simple and easy to make, without distracting from the beautiful detail inside the rustic lace squares.

rusticlacesquare for Christi leftover yarn for scollop edge

rusticlacesquare for Christi autumn roses

rusticlacesquare for Christi playing a little

I’ll be sending my blanket with SO MUCH LOVE to my daughter in the UK on Monday, hoping it will brighten her room (and warm her heart).

Have a lovely weekend!

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PS Just for fun:

I replaced 3 squares in Christi’s blanket with flower collages. See how quickly you can spot them

rusticlacesquare for Christi with flower collages

Read my first post on THE BLANKET here (click on this sentence)

67 blankets for Nelson Mandela day

nelson mandela

67 blankets official logo

Well done South-Africa!

 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has just set a new ‘Guinness book of world records’ for the world’s largest handmade blanket! The 3133 square meter blanket at the Union Buildings in Pretoria beats the old world record by more than 3 times.

aerial shot and quote

The BIG blanket is not only setting a new world record, but this winter 21000 underprivileged South Africans will be snug and warm under one of these handmade blankets, all in the name of Nelson Mandela.

peter morey collage

Cornel and Elsbeth went to see the BIG BLANKET and would love to share some of the blankets that caught their eyes.

They picked 67 blankets that they absolutely loved.


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67 blankets for Nelson Mandela










our favourites

May Nelson Mandela’s legacy of compassion, forgiveness, understanding and tolerance continue!

This is what South Africa is about.

NELSON IS PROUD by elsbeth eksteen at the union buildings 21 april

Please go here if you would like to know more about the 67 minutes concept inspired by Mr Mandela and here to see more photos on the 67 blankets facebook page..

according to my iphone camera roll …

… I’ve been travelling.

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It’s not that simple though.

Although I love exploring (from patterns to places), I’m a homebody (= huishennetjie).

And there’s always an amount of anxiety when I have to start packing my bags.


the one thing that soothes me when I’m away from home is crochet.

So, before our little work/play adventure started last week Tuesday, I decided not to take the almost finished and very heavy top deck blanket with me “on tour”, but the 6 balls of MoYa yarn that I received from Hester and Martine – and a 3,75mm crochet hook.

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Our family business, Romo South Africa, opened a beautiful new showroom at 304 Florida Road in Morningside, Durban and that was our first stop.

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Next stop was Cape Town.

I’m ALWAYS inspired by the Mother City.

The collage above proves it. Clockwise from top left are Moonbasket‘s beautiful crocheted lampshades,

textures/taste/indulgence at Pure Restaurant at The Hout Bay Manor hotel,

the ultimate in contemporary luxury at OKHA at 109 Hatfield street in Gardens, Cape Town

and my favourite, the Grand Café and Beach in Greenpoint (their Bouillabaisse soup and Linguine Vongole is the best!!! Have a look at their menu here).

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Another gem is Delaire Graff wine estate. Literally. The original Green Lady by Tretchikoff is displayed in the foyer at the moment (see it in the collage above, bottom left).

British jeweller and owner of Delaire Graff, Laurence Graff bought it for more than R13 million and returned it to South Africa. Read the amazing story of the girl who posed for this painting, Monika Sing-Lee here.

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The fun started on Friday the 13th, when Melanie (who moved to Durbanville 4 years ago) and I had a mini Craft Share at The Kitchen, 111 Sir Lowry road in Woodstock.

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I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my MoYa at that stage.

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We ran into Bridget Henderson of Cowgirl Blues!

Just think more lovely yarn, more projects …

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Throw in lunch at Babylonstoren,

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a morning at a friend/client’s working wine farm, La Petit Dauphine,

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and some more wine/cake/coffee/crochet in Stellenbosch at Schoon De Companje



cornel camera roll 19 march travel blanket

My crochet efforts (while travelling) is starting to look like something.

I will keep you posted on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK on how I progress with (what I hope to be) a blanket for my youngest son, Benjamin.

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finding little gems

I had such an amazing Saturday morning at the Provance Vintage Fair.

This special market is every first Saturday of the month.

The shop is full of beautiful Vintage finds and some of the most beautiful antique crochet blankets and doilies.


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What I enjoy most is the little gems you can find at the bottom of a suitcase, just waiting for you to take home!

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I love these crochet and macrame lampshades!



The shop is open on Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 4pm,  Saturday from 9am to 1pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.

The Vintage Fair is only on the first Saturday of every month.

You will find a lot of antique, vintage and funky junk to buy from the traders that exhibit in the beautiful garden.

 Here is some of the little gems I found from the traders…provance9

provance 11provance8The market is on a plot on Zambezi rd, Pretoria and the visitors, especially the children love the little goat Gina, the pig and donkey that live on the property.

Remember to take some carrots for the cute donkey if you go visit!





I bought some really old lampshades that will get a special woolly treatment.

I will share the before and after in a later post.

Hope you are going to have a great week!


mixed bag

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The Italian fashion designers seem to have a love and ability to combine handmade elements with haute couture.

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Stella Jean created the above 4 outfits for her Fall/Winter 2015 runway collection, combining fair isle knitting, wool tassels and pom-poms.

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Salvatore Ferragamo combines crocheted motifs and knitting effortlessly (above left).

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Looking at this new collection, I’m sure you can also predict what we’ll be wearing next year, come winter.

Different variations of ponchos and shawls…

Talking about shawls, look at my friend Alexandra’s board on Pinterest for some amazing inspiration.

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Dolce and Gabbana never dissappoints if you’re looking for handcrafted embellishments added to outfits.

Just look at the crocheted collar (above left) and all the appliqué and embroidery on their new collection.

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I can just imagine how amazing and luxurious any one of these outfits would feel while wearing them (sigh).


These 2 bags could easily have featured on the runway this week.

If you look closer, you’ll see that the one on the left is felted, with crocheted motif detail.

The one on the right is entirely crocheted with puff stitch detail and leather straps (this puts it on another level).

(sudrishta, onstail)

Closer to home …


Elsbeth and I crocheted with said friend, visiting from Germany. We got together yesterday at I Love Yarn (one of our favourite yarn shops in Pretoria) and found the loveliest yarns for our next projects.

alexandra visits iloveyarn

alexandra visits elsbeth

alexandra visits cornel

If you’re wondering … this is Agnes.

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Alexandra is busy knitting me a present (!!!!!!)

and on fitting my new sock, I just realised what an accomplished knitter she is.

We definitely have to host a “sock knitting workshop” on her next visit in 2016.

alexandra visits 2

The little collage above is just to show you what we’re all busy with:

I’m finishing the border on a very simple blanket (top left).

Besides knitting socks, Alexandra is working on a crocheted blanket in different neutral shades (top right and bottom left) and has asked me to contribute 2 blocks.

Elsbeth (bottom right) is knitting (without using a pattern!!) a cropped top in a colour that matches her completion perfectly.

i love yarn italian cotton

(some of the Italian yarn at I Love Yarn)

I hope you get a chance this weekend to do something crafty.

Or at least visit Hobby-X.

It’s on until Sunday.

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hello monday

me and the babette

……Ladies and maybe a gentleman or two, may I represent my first ever finished crochet blanket!

Yes, my first.

I am a very eager starter when it comes to any project but halfway through something else catches my eye and my project becomes part of the WIP pile. Sometimes it will stay there for a month but *hanging my head in shame* some will never see my hook or needles again…

babette blanket

This amazing blanket was my gift to my daughter who started studying at WITS this year.

We decided on Vinnis Bambi, a beautiful blend of 70% organic cotton and 30% bamboo blend.

The yarn is hand dyed and balled by women in a rural area of South Africa.

The primary colours I used was  turquoise, black, and natural and all the others colours was part of the secondary palette.

 babette blanket


bottomleftThis blanket is such a lovely project.

I used Kathy Merrick‘s pattern for the basic layout but didn’t follow her pattern when it came to the colour combinations for each block.


If you are looking for a project that is easy, fun and where you can express your creativity, I highly recommend this blanket!

I know that there are some of you out there that made amazing Babette blankets! Please  join our Facebook page and share your Babette with us, I would love to see yours.

love elsbeth

the blanket


What started out 7 weeks ago as a one-square-a-day project,

turned into a bit of a crochet frenzy. But I’ve never been so inspired and eager to use every spare bit of time I had (and sometimes more) to work on this gorgeous pattern, found as a diagram on a Russian website.


Here’s a look at photos from my iPhone…



My first 20 squares were crocheted in St Francis Bay while we were on holiday. Nothing better to do, with the weather wet and windy.


Then I crocheted some more, feeling totally inspired by the colours of the yarns in my stash. I didn’t buy any extra yarns for THE BLANKET. It wasn’t necessary with so much Vinnis Nikkim, Serina and Bambi, some Cowgirl Blues, little bits of Family Knit in grey, Charity’s Tiger Cerise, some Premier Cotton and even a delicious Mustard yellow from One-of-a-kind yarns.


THE BLANKET was the perfect expression of spring …


I spent many late afternoons working on the squares, in the company of my darling George,


or Cat.


crocheting friday

At last I had 88 squares, ready to be joined,


My only problem was HOW to join them:


sew the squares together,


or crochet them together.


I decided on crocheting them together, because I felt that this would reflect the desired movement and tension that I wanted from the blanket better.


As you can see, it’s a massive job.


and … it … goes … very … slowly …


My hopes are high to finish joining before we go on holiday.

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(originally posted on 26 november 2014)

hello monday

If you know me you will know that I love yellow!

Sunny yellow, lemon yellow- you name it …I love them all! But recently I have developed a deep love for mustard golden yellow.

I found a perfect example of this yellow in the Arthur Bales shop in Linden.

You can read more about this amazing shop in this post.

A gorgeous 100% wool from Rowan. They have a great collection of Rowan yarns and soon here on Hello Hart we will share our amazing visit to this yarn lover’s dream of a shop.

My new yellow love features in the beautiful blokkie that Cornel shared in this post .

You will use a lot of your little bits of wool and leftover yarns for the inside motive, and this way you can buy new wool to add to your stash without a guilty conscious!

I’m really so happy with my collection of blokkies!

crochet motive by Elsbeth


crochet motives


crochet motives by Elsbeth

 This yellow cardigan seems easy enough to knit and makes such a statement because of the colour and loosely knitted tension…..

yellow cardigan

a simple granny square- just in yellow.

yellow blanket

pom pom

Who doesn’t love a pom-pom! An easy way to bring some colour and playfulness to any outfit.

…and then this eye catching statement piece!

big knitt

A little bit of yellow on a lampshade– the yellow just makes it POP a little bit don’t you think?

yellow trim


a pretty summer shawl

hope you all have an amazing week!

here is your little free printable.

hope you like it.

my oulike balletjie wol

click on the link and download the image to your computer.
remember to share and tag your printable with #hellohartco on instagram. we love seeing what you up to!
love elsbeth
(original post 17 November 2014)