Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tree cosies

Spotted on the way home from the art gallery today: a forest of rainbow trees!
I've seen a lot of tree cosies around in Wellington and elsewhere, but this crop is especially well done. Obviously a lot of skill and effort went into them, and I love that they're all different...

 According to the little tags pinned to the cosies, they're the work of an international yarn-bombing group called Yarn Corner. Naturally, I looked them up when I got home and joined. Time to dust off my crochet hook! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunset on Mars

We discovered some fascinating rock pools during our recent holiday at Apollo Bay, at the bit of beach nearest our holiday house. The first time we explored them I was cursing leaving my camera behind, but luckily when we returned the following evening, the light was skimming nicely over all the crazy textures. I accordingly went a bit photo mad...

(click the photos to enlarge)

The shellfish make 'snail tracks' in their pools. :)


I love the honeycomb rocks!



...and outies!

Every bit of the rocks had a different texture! Such a magical place.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


One of the lovely things about living in a city with great galleries and museums is that you can return to the free exhibits a few times, and really see all there is to be seen.

A few days ago I made my second visit to the National Gallery of Victoria's 'European Painting 17th-18th C' collection. It's an enjoyably overwhelming experience, being dwarfed by the giant paintings on their vast walls. Last time, I had focused on the paintings themselves (and as a music history nerd, enjoyed seeing the portraits of Farinelli and Boccherini).

This time, I was fascinated by the paintings' frames! My parents run a picture-framing shop, so this is a bit of a theme for us when we visit galleries - we've been known to spend more time discussing the frames than the art inside.

I took photos of some of the fabulous Baroque and Rococo frames in this collection (I was allowed as long as I didn't use flash). It was difficult, but I managed to cull them down to a mere thirteen to share...

(click photos to enlarge)




Thursday, January 3, 2013

New pattern: Mithrandir

Just in time to go and see The Hobbit, I've finished my very own Gandalf-inspired scarf! Gandalf the Grey (alias Mithrandir) has been my favourite literary wizard since childhood - I even had a poster of him on my wall, in addition to my Middle Earth map. Gandalf is described in The Hobbit as wearing a silver scarf, and so I created my own version of a wizardly scarf: lightweight yet practical, with an interesting textured pattern, and a rune tucked secretly in a corner.

The meandering stitch pattern represents a journey through winding roads and rivers, and tangled forests. Instead of using cables to create the texture, I used a non-lacy lace technique: simple decreases, plus yarn-overs which are twisted shut on the wrong-side rows. Sections of plain ribbing give the knitter (and the eye) a rest along the way.

My old map in the background. :)

Gandalf's rune, hiding in the bottom corner.

The scarf is lovely and long (two metres), and because it's knit from laceweight yarn, it's very light and airy. I used a skein of Vintage Purls Lace in the colourway 'Dragica' - a semi-solid mid-grey.

 The pattern, Mithrandir, is now available on Ravelry.