Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Always believed in futures

final modelled
Well, I think this might be a weird double first for me. I knit a pattern that apparently no one has entered in Ravelry yet. And I knit it in the yarn for which it was written.

I think this has got to be one of the more modern patterns from Bendigo. The body is even knit in one piece. However, I did make a few changes:

I tweaked the way the ribbing pattern interacts with the lace, by adding one extra repeat of the lace motif extending into the ribbing section, adjusting the ribbing count so that it would fit with the lace better and would allow me to continue a column of purls on either side of the lace.

I also left out all the garter stitch, instead doing hems on the sleeves and ribbing for the neckband. I originally also tried ribbed button bands, with about 12 buttons instead of just four up the top as in the pattern. Even though I would only wear a couple of buttons done up, I liked the look of lots of buttons.

I had knit one of those ribbed bands about four times and completed the other side too, including sewing on all the buttons, before I decided that I hated this frumpy, ill-fitting cardigan!  Even earlier as I was knitting the separate pieces (oh yeah, seaming took a couple of tries too, as I haven't had much practice sewing in sleeves) I though that the armholes looked really big. I've noticed this with more 'classic' style patterns before.

with bands
I don't know if the photo really captures the bagginess, but it does show how adding the bands also meant that the neckline came up higher around my neck than I prefer.
  with bands2
I realised that if I removed the button bands, the fronts could be pulled together a bit more and the fit would be better. So I did a narrow crochet edging instead of bands, then added loops for the buttons. This improved the fit and the look, though there is still a bit of room in the shoulder and sleeves. Not a perfect fit, but good for layering in cold weather!

Now I was getting somewhere, but the crochet edges were curling under a bit and the buttons (even those that were done up) didn't sit flat either. I was delighted to find that putting a stabilising button on the reverse side of each of the buttons solved both problems. And now, though it's not perfect, I am pretty happy with my cardigan.

stabilising buttons

purple cardigan

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Snow. It's better than rain, when you're trying to ski!

On Monday it rained heavily all morning. When it eased up a bit, I went out to ski for the afternoon. There had been so much rain, and the snow cover was already so poor (it has not been a good season this winter, at all) that things were looking grim. But it did start to snow a bit in the afternoon, especially higher up the mountain.

And we woke on Tuesday to find it had been snowing all night and there was a good it of snow in the village! Which meant lots of great snow up on the mountain.

I didn't build this snowman, just stopped to say hello.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Visit to MONA!


I had been wanting to go ever since I first heard of it. Then a great opportunity came along and I made sure I had a full day to visit David Walsh's Museum of Old and New Art, outside Hobart, in Tasmania.


I knew beforehand that it was an art gallery that had been developed and created by one eccentric collector, using megabucks made from being very talented at gambling (and being able to borrow stakes from a very rich friend).


I also knew the museum had been designed to be as shocking and provocative as possible, with its main themes being sex and death, and big ticket items including some of the most outrageous modern artworks. For example, Chris Ofili's 'The Holy Virgin Mary,' which lead to a lawsuit brought against the Brooklyn Museum by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Even though I was keen to go and expected it to be entertaining, I was surprised by how big, beautiful, and even classy the whole thing is. I loved every minute I spent there, and have to go back to see the rest.


Outside there were a lot of chooks and other birds.


The main building is not that big from the outside. But to enter the first gallery, you have to go down three stories, cut right into the rock. It's dark down there and it draws you in to another world. Although some of the art belongs to MONA and some is only there for the current exhibition (The Red Queen), in general it's not organised in obvious themes. There are lots of interesting juxtapositions. Antiquities, such as Egyptian mummies and scarabs, are mixed in with everything else. Many of these were part of Walsh's first collections, before he ventured into modern art. There are no placards on the walls with even the name of the work or artist - every visitor is given an 'O' device (an Ipod touch) to carry, which locates nearby works and provides access to information about them.

And there is a lot of information, including unconventional and often quite personal essays by Walsh and the other curators, recordings of interviews with the artists, and sometimes music that ties in (a couple of bands have done songs inspired by Henry Darger, for example). And as someone who almost always reads all the info in museums, I had to stop myself from doing too much reading, at the expense of spending time looking at the art. A record of everything you looked at is saved anyway, and all this material is available for guests to look at later on the MONA website. Brilliant.
Tennis court with a view. (Walsh and his family live on the site). There is also a brewery and hotel and conference facilities. Oh and Mona Roma, the special ferry that brings visitors over from the city centre. The next day I returned to MONA for a work function, and this time we took the ferry, which was very nice as they served good coffee on board. When we arrived at the dock there was a small seal hanging around there, just near the waterline. I gather he is a regular there. 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Gull, on a Monday


At MONA, Hobart in the background.