Saturday, October 03, 2009

Check out this Video!

A friend saw me today, on a program on national Australian TV called Stateline, and wrote to tell me. Thanks, Bunty!

Well it was true enough - it was recorded over two years ago and I had forgotten about it - and I had never seen it! I am the one in the bright pink blouse and glasses - who gets called by the wrong name. Story of my life - my "15 minutes of fame" and get called the wrong name!

It was for a girl called Samantha who started a business on a government grant called Biddy Bags. Little did I realize at the time that the term "Biddy" referred to me and the other ladies, as in "Old Biddies" ! What a cheek! LOL!

But hey I was given the yarn (organic cotton from Lion Brand) and paid to make some dishcloths so who's complaining! I never got to make any of the bags though.

Just one of life's experiences!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Australia Zoo

I have had a few people tell me they are very interested in the late Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo

We took a Japanese house guest - a lovely young girl named Mai (pronounced MY) here on a University exchange - for a visit there last year and I thought you might like to see some of the sights there. We had a fantastic day and it was beautiful - a lovely warm Spring Day. As we entered the Zoo Gates we came out into a courtyard and there in front of us was the bronze statue of Steve and his family that the local people donated.

We started at the Koala display - at Mai's request ! they have a special enclosure where only about 8 young males are on display for photos and a short talk about Koalas in general - you can tell these are males by the brown smudge on their chests.

Australia Zoo are very careful of their animals - no one can get too close - there is only one koala able to be patted at one time and only on the outside of the body very gently. They are very easily hurt, especially round the rib cage, so visitors to the Zoo are not allowed to pick up or hold the koalas.You will always see the staff pick up the koala by holding its paws and arms. And they are not a bear although they do look like one!
This koala on the ground was wanting attention - the staff member was having a deal of difficulty in getting him to come back to stay on the trees in the enclosure - which is under cover by the way.

The koalas are not kept in this enclosure - it is iron roofed and would be far too hot for full time living quarters - but only for a short period a few times a day for photo opportunities and to learn about koalas in general.
The koalas were very active ( except one, LOL!) and seemed to enjoy all the attention - they particularly wanted cuddles from the staff - it is obvious they are very well treated and the staff love them.

Later on we took Mai to the area where she could get her photo taken patting a koala

As you can see, the koala was high up - Mai had to go up a little set of steps and she could only just reach to pat him - which is designed for the safety of the koala.

The whole Zoo covers a lot of acres - they have wonderful little shuttle train/bus which takes visitors from one area to another - I was so glad because my poor feet don't take kindly to a lot of walking these days!
Mai was thrilled to see her first Kangaroo - and to pat him - they are very used to human beings here - but we noticed there was always a staff member nearby - very unobtrusive - but we were glad to see it - it means that unwanted rough treatment from children or other visitors is avoided.

This particular area had kangaroos and wallabies, ducks, geese and other animals just resting and totally unafraid of people. Nice

The bird enclosure is magic - fully enclosed, there are rainforest, wetlands, and grassland areas, and the birds we saw were stunning! the colours!

The bright green bird is an Australian eclectus parrot - the brightest colour you ever saw - so green it hurt the eyes!

Just get a load of that beauty!

The Australian King Parrot was there in all its glory! We are lucky enough to have these parrots sometimes zoom through our garden!

I got a shot of a Princess parrot - not terribly good - the birds of course, don't stay still for too long, but I did my best.

I am very proud of this lovely close up of a little Chestnut Breasted Finch - so pretty!

This curious fellow is the Stone Curlew - or, as it is now called, "the Thick Kneed Curlew"

If you look at the picture - he does have thick knees!

Left is an Australian Fig Bird - they love the fruits on our native trees - a common sight in sub tropical Brisbane and coastal areas and in rainforests. Very pretty - have a monotonous short whistling call.

This is the pretty Emerald Dove or Green Winged Pigeon

A Cicada Bird - they have this name because the do sound like a cicada chirping.

Wouldn't be Australia Zoo without a "Cocky" - a Sulphur Crested cockatoo - but this fellow wouldn't co-operate - he was more interested in his grooming!

The Raptors and Eagles weren't out that day for some reason - but we did get to see this lovely Barking Owl - I tried to get a face shot but she was a bit shy! Look at those beautiful grey feathers - gorgeous!

Ok - watch this space - will be back with more soon! Snakes !

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Long awaited update!

I have been a very slack blogger! Nearly three months since last posting. Mind you I have been extra busy lately as well as having had a very nasty chest cold - caught from husband Eric on 5th January yuk! The 5th January is of course , Twelfth Night - so "On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me"..................................................

I was well enough to be able to join in with a Crochet-a-Long on a group of friends - the result is the Ray of Hope Doily - so pretty!

I also joined in a mystery crochet-a-long on the same group - the result was this charming little jacket!

If you look at the close up picture you will see a shell edge on the yoke - when I had finished I though I would like to see the yoke end with the shell edge separately from the body - so I came up with this version of the same jacket.

Done in two shades of blue baby yarn - the pale blue is a very old bri-nylon from yonks ago that Iwas given - real vintage stuff! The darker blue is Sirdar Snuggly.

What I did was end off at the shell edge of the yoke, then lifting it up, crocheted around the posts of the last set of trebles(US DC)and then continued as per the pattern for the rest of the body.

I have no idea why I used the darker Blue Snuggly to do this instead of using the lighter blue colour.

Maybe I thought the lighter blue would show through the darker blue yoke?

I ended up with a jacket yoke that looked like this:

And then I invented some booties to match.

Very pleased with the result!

By this time I was starting to feel better after three days just sitting up in bed, taking vitamin C, Senega and Ammonia Medicine, and inhaling Eucalyptus and Menthol. And crocheting of course.

I have been very guilty about the number of UFO's that have been accumulating! So one of my New Year Resolutions was to get some of them finished. So here is one. The pale pink pants (Happy Baby from Red Heart free pattern) I made months ago, in Panda Angoretta.

The colour of the jacket is a lot lighter than the first picture and a lot darker than the second, it is a colour called Fusion and I love it. It is Red Heart Super Saver from USA..

The little ballet slipper buttons came from Dave Rundell in Florida

The pattern for the jacket is one I invented and use a lot - it is knitted (in this case the stitch is Feather and Fan) straight up the back, then cast (bind)off centre stitches for the neck back, knit one row, then cast on half the amount of the back neck stitches for left front, knit down to same length of back, cast (bind) off. Back to right front, cast on half the back neck stitches , knit down to same length as back cast (bind) off. I usually change to garter stitch for last rows of fronts and back.
Mark armhole width the same on each side - then using the shoulder centre, pick up and knit equal amounts of stitches on each side of shoulder from the armhole marker and then knit down sleeves to required length - change to garter stitch for cuff, decreasing about 8 stitches four garter ridges from end of cuff. I then sew up side and sleeve seams, then knit up a garter stitch band on both fronts, placing buttonholes where required. Finally I knit up a neck band in garter.
Most times I make this with seamless sleeves - marking a generous armhole and sewing up (or crocheting up) the side seams. The number of stitches varies with size so it is a bit of a hit and miss - but as I mostly knit to give away to homeless and needy people, my little jackets will always fit someone!
With DK and 4mm (US 6) Needles, I start with about 50 stitches - this works for about a three month size.

This little jacket and hat is the Sweet Baby Bundle pattern

The yarn is Caron Simply Soft in Powder Lilac. The pattern is a free one on the net. There is also a blanket and socks to match, which I didn't make this time! As usual, I had started it and put it aside for more urgently needed items - so another UFO is finished.

This delicious little set is a crocheted thread confection from Annie's Attic "Heirloom Bonnet and Boooties" - it was a free Pattern of the Day from ages ago and I really needed to do the second bootie (is there a Second Bootie syndrome like the Second Sock Syndrome I wonder?) It is all finished (another UFO bites the dust) and ready to go off to Knit4Charities (see Yahoo Groups) . Hopefully Pam can think of a way to use it to raise money for postage pacs etc.

Because of the terrible bushfires in Victoria, Australia (a state 1000 miles further south than where I live in Queensland) a plea went out for beanies, and blankets, or squares to be made into blankets. I crocheted 15 25cm squares - and forgot to photo them. But I did make a lot of beanies to go down and have more on the way.

I made another eleven beanies, this time from a free crochet pattern on someone's blog called The 2 strand Ear Flap Hat. The blog is Suzy's Stuff on Blogger ( I can't get the link to work here) All went to charity (Knitting for Brisbane's Needy) to go down to Victoria's Bushfire Victims. The elven beanies were made from Monday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon inclusive - very easy. The original was designed for an adult using two strands of worsted weight yarn. I made children's sizes just using 8 ply (DK) - bigger ones using 2 strands of 8 Ply (DK), some using 1 strand of WW - I even used up odd balls of 4 ply and 8 ply together. Anything goes - they all look great. My grandson put in an order for a black one with purple stripe to go under his bike helmet! Great for cold ears in a Toowoomba winter!
Photo is pending because I forgot to take a pic before I gave them to Karen - she has a photo to send me!
Edited to include photos of earflap hats!