Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Parliament House baubles

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A while ago, CraftACT contacted me about making some Christmas tree ornaments for the Museum of Australian Democracy, at Old Parliament House.
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This was a pretty exciting opportunity. At first I assumed they were to be sold on consignment (like my work is at the CraftACT shop) so it was also a pleasant surprise to learn that they would be buying them outright.
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I went to check out the tree last weekend and it is really big. The other ornaments are beautiful works in glass and porcelain. As they are mostly neutral colours, the bright felt ones do stand out, although they are smaller. With hindsight, I would have probably made them a bit bigger and perhaps in a more consistent colour scheme.
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Anyway, it was a kick to see my little baubles hanging out in the lovely foyer of Old Parliament House.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

On a holiday! - so much for me to do

Time flies! This Byron Bay trip was over a month ago. 084_e
A cool place to spend some time, especially if you have a nice place to stay (and we did). I was very glad we were walking distance from town - and we could walk there by road or by beach - because the traffic was pretty bad at times. It's a very popular town with tourists and backpackers, and of course surfers. It has maybe grown a bit beyond its infrastructure. The local alternative culture is still really strong though, and they've successfully kept out the MacDonalds and other fast food chains.
 no lifesaving service
While we were there the weather was warm and super windy. (The very same winds were involved in these bushfires, though there were none in our vicinity.) It wasn't hot enough to want to spend long in the water, plus the surf was pretty bracing and there was a strong rip tide. I enjoyed just a quick swim most days and avoided too much sun exposure.
I wasn't a very diligent photographer - maybe I was too relaxed. But I managed to drag the camera along for a few outings.




Monday, October 28, 2013

Wintergreen, juniper, cornflower, chicory

3-pear rainbow

Here is the three-pear rainbow, felted. Red-Orange-Yellow (actually Yellow-Orange-Red), Yellow-Green-Blue, Blue-Indigo-Violet.

Rainbow in 3: after

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rainbow pears

Rainbow pears

Quite a while ago, a friend asked me to make a rainbow of pears. I've been mulling over the possibilities for months. This first set of seven is the simplest option, each pear representing one colour of the standard 'ROYGBIV' (Red-Orange-Yellow-Green-Blue-Indigo-Violet). I also have in mind a couple of other ways to do a set of seven, with each pear having transitioning colours within the rainbow. I hope to get around to making more soon.

Rainbow of pears


And then I thought, what about representing a rainbow in a smaller set of pears? Seven is a lot for any customer to buy. But you could work through the seven colours in any number of pears (even a single one). In this case three not-yet-felted pears: ROY (though I generally like lighter colours at the top of the pear, so I reversed it); YGB; BIV.

Rainbow in three

Monday, October 07, 2013

Taking photos, lots of people taking photos

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A day or two after visiting Tulip Top (with only the little camera that lives in my handbag), I went to Floriade with family and friends, with the big camera this time, and I found I wasn't at all inspired to take any more flower photos. There were so many people crowded everywhere, it was hard to appreciate any of it, and I felt I had seen it all before.

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So being the contrary type I am, the following weekend I decided to brave the crowds again, and challenge myself to get some interesting photos.

I didn't have any particular ideas or theme in mind. I just wanted to avoid the obvious. I'm not sure pictures of people taking pictures at a major tourist attraction is really that far removed from the obvious.
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That, in the foreground, is parsley.

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Still singing along

Sweetheart dress/tunic
Look! More than three years later, Miss B is still wearing this dress I made in 2010.
  Sweetheart still

It's had an even longer wearable life than the original Little Sister's dress I made for her. The tough cotton has held up really well too.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Starry night slippers


I recently made these Maryjane slippers for a slightly unseasonal birthday gift - then again I am still wearing my ugg boots every evening, so slipper weather is not exactly over yet. The pattern is really nifty, all in one piece with no seaming.


I used Paton's 'Stella,' which has a bit of silver bling in it, and held two strands together, with 5mm needles, for a nice tight fabric. I think the crochet edging was Jo Sharp silkroad.

Maryjanes 2

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Well, I am no gardener

but I can still appreciate a beautiful array of tulips and blossom trees forming a backdrop. These photos are from a visit to Tulip Top Gardens last weekend with my grandmother.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Before and after reknitting

I meant to include this with yesterday's post. The first photo is the top before I ripped and reknit it, without the 2 extra rows for every 4 in the pattern, but only in the top section, from the start of the sleeves to the neckline.
The after photo shows how much shallower the sleeves are - much better to wear and, I think, more in proportion with the fit of the top.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's not that I'm trying to keep my face off the internet

I just have difficulty posing for self-timer photos, it's enough of a challenge getting one where the garment is sitting right and the light is ok and the focus is ok, without worrying about my weird facial expressions!

Anyway my facial expression for this one should be a big smile, because I finally did the reknitting on this top and it worked out. Perfect timing for Spring.

As it was fresh from the wash when I wanted to photograph it today, I had to dance around the house a bit first. This fabric shrinks each time it's washed - it was very clingy when I put it on, and took a little while to relax. It actually is a bit longer and looser than this photo by the end of a day of wear.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Babies! Ha! they'll wear whatever their parents put on them

So, I made a Batman baby cardigan. And then I went on to make a Wonder Woman one as well. (Might need a bigger one of those for me!)
I knit the large logo on the back as I was knitting the cardigan, using stranding with a bit of intarsia. As the cardigan is knit in one piece, the smaller front logo would have had to be done at the same time as the back, and that was more simultaneous colourwork and hanging threads than I could take. So I decided to try duplicate stitch to embroider the smaller front logo on after the knitting was finished.
There was a bit of a learning curve but I liked the result with duplicate stitch. It makes the fabric a bit stiffer, a little bit like a fabric badge has been attached, which I think works well for this logo. And my intarsia was problematic anyway - you can probably see in the first two photos where some black stitches show through the yellow sections. I also had trouble with stitches slanting and sagging weirdly, especially where there is only one yellow stitch on the edge of the logo in many of the rows, and I had to close up holes and duplicate stitch over some spots. I think there are probably many refinements in intarsia/colourwork technique that avoid these problems - like making sure the new yarn is coming from the right direction? I'm not an expert!
 The cardigan pattern is the same one I have used so many times, and I found great charts online for the small Batman logo and large Batman logo.

For the Wonder Woman one, I had some travel coming up so I decided to just knit the whole cardigan plain and then embroider the logo on the back later. I enjoyed the process very much - a nice bit of mindless knitting and then the duplicate stitch, which I felt a bit more confident with this time. I didn't find a small enough logo to put on the front, so I just left it plain.
I actually bought a 10-pack of this wool cheap, thinking it might make a garment for me, but I'm really happy with this steely teal blue colour for gender-neutral baby knits. (It's Shepherd Baby Wool Merino.) I think it's an easy to wear colour that flatters many complexions, and it's turned out to be a nice background for these primary coloured logos.