Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In the pink

Two little garments for the smallest member of the family, a cardigan ready for next winter and a bolero to wear now for the in-between months. Sewing up and finishing a cardigan takes lots of time but the result is always worthwhile.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chullo hats

Here are some of the chullo hats I have been making this week for gifts. I use a 4mm needle for the child's size and 4.5mm for the adult, and always start with a rib band to keep the hat snug and to allow for different head sizes. The contrast colour patterns are all different and knitted by stranding two or more colours in a fairisle type geometric design. I only use a maximum of three stitches to strand and carry the wool so that the hat is not pulled too tight. These chullos are made with Cleckheaton Country 8 ply wool and the contrast colours are alpaca and wool. The next ones will probably be in black, white brown and grey which are the more traditional chullo colours if using natural alpaca.

I used braids instead of an icord and added the contrast patterns depending on the yarns and colours I had available.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wildlife in my garden

Although we live in an inner city area, we share our garden with a variety of wildlife, particularly many birds. Growing Australian plants certainly helps to attract native birds and recently we observed a noisy miner building a nest in a low overhanging branch of the eucalyptus ficifolia tree in our backyard. This is the same tree that next month will be covered in red blossoms and will attract the rainbow lorikeets. The female miner builds the nest and as they collect cobweb to line it I decided to help her out with a more luxious fibre. I attached some teased washed fleece to the bark of a nearby tree and the next day it had all disappeared. Checking the nest I could just see the fleece now forming a cosy lining to the nest.

As the branch is very close to the backdoor, we are now under attack everytime we step outside, as the nest and the two chicks are fiercely defended by the mother miner and several soldiers of her extended family. Trying to hang anything on the clothesline is a matter of running the gauntlet with swoops and clicking beaks diving from above. They are very feisty little birds. Thank goodness our resident magpie pair have their nest in a tree in the street. Here are some of the other visitors to our garden. 

A few years ago we also had a visit from a diamond python, but that's another story...