Thursday, August 27, 2015

A walk in the park

On Saturday Willie and I went for a mini road trip to the Dandenong Ranges, which are about an hour out of Melbourne. Willie has been making a list of nearby-ish gardens and bird sanctuaries and the like, which we might want to go and visit. For this outing, we chose the National Rhododendron Garden.

Lots of photos ahead! Click to enlarge them. :)

It wasn't very busy, as the cherry blossoms and most of the rhododendrons have yet to flower, so it was the perfect place for a low-key late afternoon stroll. The first moment of excitement (after sniffing several daphne bushes) was this lovely kookaburra who was keeping an eye on us from its tree:

It looks so much like a puppet or soft toy! What a cutie.

The garden is made up of different areas, featuring different kinds of plants. Massed hellebores under trees, a reedy lake, and long stretches of daffodils under the cherry trees...

I really loved finding unfamiliar trees, like this hornbeam with its very vertical branches, some flowering witch hazels, and some interesting conifers I'd never come across before:

Now I know what fake Christmas trees are modelled after!

Before making our way back through the garden and home (via a great fish-and-chip shop), we paused for a rest by the camellias. Willie took a few snaps of me in my green woolly hat, which I realised I hadn't shown off yet. It's a simple ribbed beanie in Brooklyn Tweed's Shelter. The colour is called 'Button Jar', and the pattern is Swoon. I think it's just right. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

New pattern: Spacedust

My latest shawl pattern is out, and I love it to bits! This is Spacedust, a lace mesh shawl with textured 'stripes' at one end.

  • asymmetric triangular shape, knit on the bias
  • lace mesh and textured stitch patterns (both easily memorised)
  • end-to-end construction, beginning at the longest point
  • a one-skein project, requiring 410 yards of fingering-weight yarn 
  • suitable for variegated yarn, as well as solid and semi-solid colours
  • one size, easily altered by working more or fewer repeats
  • full written and charted instructions

I designed this shawl to show off a very cool skein of speckle-dyed sock yarn from Skein - it's their BFL Sock in 'Neon + Grey'. I really love speckle-dyed yarn at the moment! It's a yarn trend I am very much on board with.

The main stitch pattern in my Spacedust shawl is 'Star Rib Mesh' lace, which makes the shawl very airy and also allows one to get a pretty big shawl out of only one skein. This stitch pattern works very well with the variegated yarn.

We had a lot of fun taking the photos for this design! Julian suggested a motorway underpass which he was keen to explore. It had a lot of cool concrete textures, and best of all, giant colourful sculptures which we'd seen from the car before but never close up. Apparently they're known as the 'red sticks' or 'cheese sticks' (or, officially, as the 'Gateway'). I've been calling them 'the chip and the sauce'. ;)