Zooty Owl's Crafty Blog

Colourful Crochet, Craft, Cooking, and Contemplations

Sunday 28 June 2015

A "Magic" Blanket

..... and the lessons my Grandparents taught me! 


My Oupa (grandfather) and Nanna (grandmother) lived in a big old rambling house when I was a little girl.

I spent most of my waking hours with my Nanna and a lot of time with my Oupa (who was semi-retired).

Oupa and me in the garden

Nanna was a true lady, and Oupa a real GENTLEman and from their example I learnt some valuable lessons:

My grandparents in Johannesburg

Always have self-respect:
Never disrespect yourself by being untidy, unruly, rude or improperly dressed!

Me - in my school uniform

Always treat others with respect:
No matter what their station in life! 

Manners Maketh Man (or woman!)
There is absolutely no excuse for rudeness or discourtesy!

Anything worth doing is worth doing well!

My Grandparents - At a Police Service Awards Ceremony

Prepare Food with a Happy Heart:
Having food to prepare and eat is a blessing!   Show your thankfulness for that blessing by preparing and eating your food with a happy heart. 

I always have a good giggle when they speak of "cross-contamination of food" on Food Network - I always tell my children this means that you must never make food in a bad mood!! 

Be grateful for every meal!
Eat your food mindfully - never shovel food into your mouth!

Me - at breakfast time!

Never put off till later what you can do now:
When you are done sleeping, make up your bed!    When you are done bathing, clean the bathroom!
When you are finished using something, pack it away!
Tidy and clean the kitchen as you cook or bake!
Pack away your laundry as soon as it is done! 
Wipe your shoes and allow them to air after wearing them (they last longer and NEVER smell!!)

Doing things this way actually gives you a lot of free time to do the things you love (Crocheting!!!!!!) 

Calm Down:
If you are fretting about something make yourself a cup of tea and drink it mindfully!! 

Think before you speak or act:
Once the words have passed your lips or the actions have left your hands they can never be taken back!

Don't wait for life to happen to you:
Get out there and participate!!!

On a "Big Walk" with Oupa to raise funds for charity

Don't look for someone to blame:
Take responsibility for your own actions!

Sorry is just a word:
It means nothing if you do not atone and change your behaviour! 

About sloth:
Lazy people look for excuses - industrious people find solutions! 

Waste not - want not!
My grandparents grew up through the depression and lived through WW2.     They knew what it was to go without.   

My grandfather was taken prisoner by German Forces at TOBRUK IN EGYPT and spent many months in a Concentration Camp

Oupa - During WW2

They taught me to use my imagination to turn scraps (paper, wood, yarn..... almost anything) into fun and useful projects!

crochet stripes

(There is a great little tutorial on You Tube if you have never used the   MAGIC KNOT)

I never was (and still never am) bored - I just need to apply a little imagination to whatever is to hand and "magic" happens!! 

crochet stripes

Idle Hands are the Devil's Workshop
Keep your hands busy doing something constructive (knitting, crocheting, baking, cleaning, gardening, being helpful).   

crochet stripes

When you sit around doing nothing trouble comes looking for you!!

crochet stripes

Don't let Evil Sully you!
No matter how evil or horrible the world around you maintain your own goodness! 

crochet stripes

Always be kind:

These blankets are a great side project to keep going and when winter comes you will have quite a few blankets to donate to your favourite cause!

crochet stripes

The end result is a super snuggly, soft and warm blanket!   

Each and every blanket is unique and you can use up your scraps as you go!!


  1. This was a beautiful story and time you spent with your grandparents ...the same things that my grandparents taught me ...I so enjoyed it ..thkyou for sharing ....

  2. Wonderful, wise words :-) And a great idea to use up scraps!

  3. What a lovely post! And what a beautiful couple your grandparents were. Thanks for sharing this story. :)

  4. I enjoyed reading that and peeking into your life. How wonderful...I think so many of us have at least a couple of those life lessons (they are all good ones) that we have had through out our lives one way or another, but need reminding now and then even as we age...thank you for that. De'Anna~

  5. Such wonderful life lessons. Wish I could remember them all. Your blankets are a great way to use up stash. xox

  6. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. It's such a blessing to be a part of your world . My grandparents held close to many of these same beliefs. A few are no sitting on the bed, you either lye down to sleep or sit in a chair. Always wash your feet before bed shoes or no shoes. Only adults may turn the t.v. on or change the channel. What you put on your plate must be eaten. When adults are speaking you are quiet until acknowledged . There were many great times with them, I was with them more than my parents. I'm proud of my children for they practice these things I was taught they are compassionate and caring . My son when younger gave the take out dinner I picked up on my way home from work and placed into the fridge until time to eat , to the neighbors because "they were hungry moma. We can find something else to eat " thank you for today's blog. You are truly a blessing☺

  8. This is beautiful, Thank You for sharing!

  9. forbesm@ymail.com6 July 2015 at 20:30

    Such a thought provoking little gem. Truely inspirational.I suspect I will re read this many times. Thank you so much for sharing.


  10. Such a lovely post. Delightful memories interspersed with amazing nuggets of wisdom. I love the magic yarn blanket idea, certainly one to remember. x

  11. What lovely people your grandparents must have been. Loved reading your story. Hugs, Ursula

  12. Frances Lightner29 June 2016 at 21:55

    I happened upon this extremely inspirational story today. I love your style and the tribute you pay to your beloved grandparents. I would like to save this and refer back to it periodically as it has touched my heart in a deep way that words are not enough to express. Many blessings to you for sharing this, and for sharing your beautiful "Magic Ball" concept. Like life - we gather all the lessons we've learned and use them -- one way or another; at one time or another! I'd like to read more of your posts. Thank you again!

  13. Are you crocheting using two balls at once, for the colors seem to always be two colors running together. Thank you also for the lovely reminiscence about your grandparents!

    1. Hi Saffyyre! Yes, I used two strands of 8 ply yarn worked together. This gives you a 16ply (super chunky) yarn. I roll the two strands together, but you can work the two strands from two separate balls of yarn.

  14. Enjoyed reading your blog, remembered my grandparents which we usually don't do everyday, thank you for your valuable tips, loved the blog

  15. Found your blog via your Facebook post on the K4C group, loved reading this entry <3

  16. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. Love the blanket idea too. Have a lovely day.

  17. Wow! Your story of your Grandparents touched my heart! What AMAZING GRANDPARENTS you had!
    Such teachings from the heart they gave to you!
    Our world was most certainly better for them being here & what. Tribute you have given them as their Legacy & Values live on in you!
    I am AMAZED... TOUCHED... & in AWE!
    May God Blessyour Grandparents and Heaven most certainly had them as very special ANGELS now!
    Love the Blankets and Thank you for sharing them & your BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES & Story of them !
    Warmest Regards,
    Pamela Goulart 💗😁👍

  18. Loved your story. I was brought up that way as well. Growing up my sister & I never had brand new..it was always new to us..:)
    I have made many of these afghans...I used black as the main colour then added every single scrap colour with it and this worked well. I have also done this with baby wool and it makes lovely baby throws. I used white for the main colour. Thanks for the memories....:)

  19. Thank you for sharing this pattern & the story. =) I never thought of the magic knot & working with the scraps this way. I can't wait to try it.

  20. I absolutely love this story - simple advice that hits the mark. My new mantra. Thanks for sharing the blanket patterns too. They look lovely xx

  21. I do the same sort of rug with scraps but I use the Russian Join. Working on a colourful Zig Zag blanket at present. I use UK/Aust terms not US terms. Had me going for a while trying to figure it out.
    Beanies done with two lots of 8 Ply yarn are nice and quick. Pat

  22. A lovely post and a wonderful tribute to your grandparents and their honorable values.

  23. A heartwarming and inspiring blog post. Thank you.

  24. Thank you for sharing, my grandmother and mother told me that everyone with a roof over their heads, a table with food on it and a bed to sleep in is rich. I teach my children the same, we try to share and be kind.

  25. I enjoyed your post. I love the magic blankets. I live in usa. are these usa terms or european? Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Mitzi. This pattern is in USA terms. Kind regards, Zelna

  26. 1st time seeing this page. I love it! Sage advice from previous generations. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Your blog is beautiful! I will add a link on my blog to your page! :) Mine is Tastecraftiness.blogspot.com

  28. What a delightful read, thank you for sharing your wonderful lessons from your grandparents for us to learn from too. LOVE owls ;0) Anne

  29. Can I share this story on social media? Or is this private?
    Excellent lessons.
    We need these reminders...in our fast paced culture.
    Thanks for sharing.

  30. Oregon Craft Girl14 March 2020 at 01:17

    Thank you for the step by step instructions for this blanket.