Saturday, 27 June 2015

Unusually Light!

I'm starting this post with the very last photo I took on the way home from my walk, sometimes you save the best till last but sometimes it is just an appetiser for things to come.
I must say that the light tonight was just spectacular.
We have just had winter solstice and yet the days are so clear (cold and a tiny bit bitey but not the deluge kind of weather that we normally have for June- you might say unseasonably warm for this time of year
I started my walk just before 4 oclock, so the sun was already winding up for the day and casting long strong shadows across the hills.

The barbed wire takes on a vibrancy of its own in this light

The purple vines twisting their way through the gum trees reflect the light and stand out amongst the gum leaves

These ballerinas flash their pink tutus in the sun, Legs up girls!~

Sour green and grey, a stand out combination at anytime.

Even the blackened branches and remaining gum nuts stand out in the ethereal light

Golden wattle and a flash in the pan - capturing the wildlife was difficult tonight

hiding high in the leaves

or obscured from sight

I have walked this park many times but veered off the normal paths I take and went slightly further afield to be surprised by this hanging/ weeping eucalyptus tree. A few spectacular branches hanging down with lovely yellow flowers beginning to bloom. It almost has a bridal feel about it. I took lots of photos but culled it down to a few for you.

More photos of lovely light

Cheers Monique x

Friday, 26 June 2015

Sock Finish

Following on from the last blog post I thought I would actually show a comparison of the colours obtained from the purple carrot. When you look at the carrot it actually almost looks black and when cut bleeds a dark purple juice, they are dark purple the whole way through. It is only recently that these heritage carrots have started appearing in the greengrocers. I think that as more people are steering to vegetarian/vegan diets the variety of vegetables grown for market has increased. (They have always been around and as my friend informed me the purple colour was bred out of the carrots) Other than the colour I can say I am not at all attracted to the taste of these carrots, they are strong and almost bitter. I will save them for dyeing and at least I wont have to race my children to them, as all have vetoed them because of their flavour.

 Squares so far

And 21 weeks later a pair of socks is finally finished!
I actually have made three socks because I introduced the wrong colour purple in to one of them and decided I might as well finish that sock and match them up later. So. so far we have one pair and the promise of a second pair.
My mother has very quickly nabbed these to take to Holland with her. They are just a tiny bit short in the toe department for me and fit her perfectly.- they have happily been adopted. The second pair I have adjusted for the largeness of my foot (size 12 womens, 44 US= that is nothing to brag about but at least I am well grounded!)

Not perfect by any means but I am happy to be finished/

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Dyeing along with natural dyes

So it has been a little quiet on the bloggy front. I imagine we all go through phases where the impetus to write is not there and things just fall into a lull. Sometimes it is like that with creative flow and the urge to produce wanes. Mind you this is rarely a problem, as I always have a backlog of things that I wish to do. Sometimes I plan to start one thing and instead fall into another project without thinking it through.
It seems to me that once I start dyeing wools, I can't resist starting a project to utilise them.. Hence yet another hooked project started on impulse, just because some yarn came in out from the cold and hung in my room for less than one day.
I have managed to finish the second top (to match the first Pillow I did.) The one hanging in the first picture is not complete, but having tried to take a photo at night with flash did not produce a nice quality picture. That top was finished last week and is still waiting to be sewn into a cushion... and still I started another project!

This time the wool is thicker - a 8 ply I think and makes a bigger square.
I am using a 1970's Vogue crochet pattern , the square is designed for a baby blanket  in finer cotton . I think it comes up a treat in a bigger hook.

I must say I am jolly pleased with purple carrots! I have extracted such a range of colours from them. It may be due to the length of time spent on the stove top cooking, or soaking time or due to the different wools and manufacturing additives or just the type of pan I cooked it in (aluminum or steel)- alum is a mordant or the containers I let the wool and dye mixture rest in (honey and yoghurt containers- both which also can react with dyes) Whatever the reason the colour range has been fun to watch.

The skein on the left appears almost grey with a hint of purple and on the right a stunning magenta.

Top left : purple carrot- first batch
Top right : purple carrot - first batch second night, reheated dye
Bottom left : acorn dye
Bottom right : pomegranate dye

Tomorrow, if I have time, I will complete my second pillow and plod along with my crochet or knitting depending on the whim that takes me.

Hoping all is well with you and big hugs to Kim and husband xxx

Saturday, 13 June 2015

May, been there done that!

So, may slipped by without so much as a nod. I complete forgot the month that was. What a busy  month I had. A little jaunt to Hong Kong, winery tours and lunches, crafty bag finishes and my son's. Caleb's 21st party. Maybe I wont be so tardy for June. but better late than never! Cheers. M

Friday, 12 June 2015

Pillow Finish

Yup i've finished my cushion. I karate chopped it so that it would sit in this chair. The cushion is too big for this chair, although it is hard to tell from this picture. The colourings quite suit the chair dont you think? This is my curb side pick up chair. Yep, I picked it up of the curb (only moment after it was put there) it was awaiting rubbish collection. Hard to believe. i am forever hanging my legs over the arms when watching TV. The  rest of the family hate it...they think it is dirty... God I am not going to eat my dinner off it and really it is in very good knick. Bah hum bug to them!

Sun drenched photos in the back yard this morning... strong wintery light

In the shade at a reclaimed wetland. The wattle trees are just starting to bloom.

 I used a grey wool material to make the pillow

Such a magnificent and grand eucalyptus tree. Couldn't resist taking a photo whilst I wandered around the wetland

The ducks wandered up looking for a such duck luck.

I started to look for feathers and found a few in the water

A find at the local op shop which has now become a project for my father to renovate. He is staining them coco black and I have requested a matte finish - which is causing my father grief  (cause everything in his life has been stained mission brown or cherry red- aaurgh)... but he is the most obliging of dads and is doing a wonderful job of  up marketing these for me. Cant wait until they are done. I am keeping the handles... LOVE LOVE them

See you soon!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Subtle Colours Crochet

To anybody who follows me on IG - I apologise for the repeat photos. I find that IG is easy for sharing in the moment and when I do finally get to the blog I repeat myself photographically. I like utilising the square shaped photos - already cropped and sometimes (hahhem) digitally enhanced in colour. Most of the time I leave my photos in their natural state because I like to try to represent true colour. If I have played with the photo it is generally to give truer representation of colour than what I was able to obtain photographically.  Does that make sense?

So back to this blogpost. My previously dyed - eco dyed wools have been screaming at me for attention. I have tried to ignore them as I plod along and make my socks that I started months ago. I have actually made two socks, but of course they dont match? How is that? Well, silly duffer here, picked up the wrong colour purple and made two striped socks with differing hues of purple. So now I have two more socks to make to make two pairs. (Photos another time)

Tantalised as I was,  it wasn't until I spent the day in bed fighting off a sore throat and headache that I decided to crochet with my eco dyed yarns.
Once I started I couldn't stop. Well  I did to do the shopping and stop and have a coffee with mum and dad (but I did take my crochet as you see below) Talk and crochet go well together.

A little break out in the sunshine to photograph my progress

And a day  and a half after commencement  I have gotten this far.
Whilst dropping my daughter off to work at the  Edge cafe, I decided to stop at the beach for a quick pictorial snap.
The sandy tones meld in perfectly with the muted colours.
So my next question is... do I have enough wool to make a bag or do I stick with making a pillow or two.
If I make a pillow I really need to go one more row to make a 40x40 size...thats nine more flowers and matching squares  or risk  not making a complete bag  in the yarns available. I could dye more yarn but it never works out the same colour twice...nature is funny that way with eco dyes.
Any opinions??