It’s surreal flying across the equator and moving straight from summer into winter. We took off after three weeks of heat and Highveld storms and landed in zero degrees. We made it home with hours to spare before the UK’s heaviest snowfall in two decades plunged Heathrow (and most of the country) into chaos.
It was our first trip back to SA since moving to the UK. We spent it catching up with family and friends, with a trip to Arthur Bales thrown in. This family-run shop in Johannesburg's suburb of Linden is more than 100 years old and continues to employ skilled knitters to help customers. Here you’ll find a large selection of quality wool, mainly Rowan quilting fabric, dressmaking fabric, shwe shwe, haberdashery items and a coffee shop.
I didn’t indulge in any fabric this time around, but I did buy enough gorgeous wool to finish my king-size blanket of squares. So much for the envisaged lemon yellow and white, I fell in love instead with these rich mulberry strands of Sirdar Juniper and a pale shade of Elle New Mosaic known as willow:
But it wasn’t an entirely fabric-free holiday. My sister gave me two big pieces of milk chocolate-coloured fabric, each with a different graphic design in white. My mom-in-law had been saving two pieces of vintage fabric for me and I got three fat quarters of 1930s reproduction fabric from my mom:
Sadly, I had to leave the larger pieces of vintage and brown fabric behind. But not for long. We’re heading back in March for my sister’s wedding under the Marula tree – and I’m going with an empty suitcase.