Saturday, June 24, 2006

Australian Killer Spiders

Australian Killer Spiders

One of the things you learn to live with in Australia is Spiders. There are always a few building webs in our pergola out the front. Always gives me the heeby jeebies when I walk straight into a web. My crochet endeavors lead me away from the cutesy to these ugly little buggers. The Funnel Web Spider, Huntsman Spider and Red Back Spider

Australia has some of the nastiest, ugliest spiders in the world.These original crochet designs have been inspired by the creepy crawlies that hang about dark dusty places, and scrubby bush in Australia.

The Sydney Funnel-Web Spider carry atraxotoxin, the world's most dangerous toxin to humans. The mature male funnel-web spider will wander around during hot humid nights, looking for a mate. After mating when he is totally exhausted the female bites him and sucks all the nourishment from his body leaving him an empty shell. What a tough cookie!

While the male is about 6 times as poisonous as the female, in this breed the female has the last laugh!

While the Huntsman is non toxic, it is a big hairy thing that scares the living daylights out of you and often hides in the garden. I often find these hanging about near the bark in the gum trees in our yard. They do bite, but actually wont kill you. I have seen these up to about 15cm ( 6 inches across). We tend to leave them alone as they get rid of the flies and mosquito's.

The Red Back Spider can make you quite ill. They are famous for hiding in dark places like underneath the toilet seat. We found some under the tile edge of our pool a few Christmases ago. I was swimming about and noticed these cute little red things under the tiled edge. I got out of the pool pretty quick on realising what they were!

They are a pretty cool looking spider with the splash of red on the back.

About 250 people received antitoxin for these each year.

I have just listed this lot on my etsy store. I think they are creepy enough to appeal to a few of you out there!

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Orange Sea Star

I find Sea Stars interesting. The Orange Sea Star comes in all sorts of shades in the orange spectrum from bright reds to orangey yellows.

While they start on the Barrier Reef, they are often found in the rockpools along the coast of South East Queensland. The sea stars come in with the tides, or the cyclones and are stranded in the rockpools.

They are fascinating animals, which when dead dry out in a skeletal shape. This weekend I went to Melbourne, and today got the ferry down the Yarra to Williamstown. This is a seaside resort established in the convict days. As we got off the ferry I could see star fish in the water. They are a pest in these waters, and there was a chap with a long implement whose job it was to kill the star fish. Apparently they rein havoc with the mussels and native fish to the area.

I hadn't much thought about sea stars, till recently, but I do like their simplistic shape.

This is a simple crochet design which I have come up with. It is free for you to have fun with, in line with usual copyright restrictions. This means you can use the pattern to make these for yourself, to give away, or to donate charity. So enjoy the pattern, which I share in good faith.

I think the beads add a bit of texture. I might try some with a few more beads and see how they turn out.

Orange Sea Star
(c) 2006 crochetroo
Australian Instructions

Size 20 Coats Cotton, 1.00 hook or 4ply crochet cotton, 1.75 hook
Put 5 beads onto thread, 6ch, join into a circle.

Round 1
1ch, 15dc into ring

Round 2
(2dc into first st, 1dc next st, 2dc next st, bead to hook1ch) 5 times around, sl st to join.

Round 3
*11ch, starting in 3rd from hook and working back along ch: 3dc, 3htr, 3tr, 1dc in 1ch of 2nd row*. This is where the bead is. You may need to fiddle with the bead for it to sit in the space. Repeat from * till there are 5 arms.

Round 4
Working between the stitches and going up one side and down the other.

8htr up first side, 3dc at tip, then 8htr down L side, continue around star in this manner however on last arm work 1dc 3ch 1dc (instead of 3dc) at tip to make a loop if you wish.

Slst into first htr and finish off. Weave in ends.

Orange Sea Star (c) 2006 crochetroo
American Instructions

Size 20 Coats Cotton, 1.00 hook (10 steel) or 4ply crochet cotton, 1.75 hook (5 steel)
Put 5 beads onto thread

6ch, join into a circle.

Round 1
1ch, 15sc into ring

Round 2
(2sc into first st, 1sc next st, 2sc next st, bead to hook 1ch) 5 times around, slst to join.

Round 3
*11ch, starting in 3rd from hook and working back along ch: 3sc, 3hdc, 3dc, 1sc in 1ch of 2nd row*. This is where the bead is. You may need to fiddle with the bead for it to sit in the space. Repeat from * till there are 5 arms.

Round 4
Working between the stitches and going up one side and down the other.

8hdc up first side, 3sc at tip, then 8hdc down L side, continue around star in this manner however on last arm work 1sc 3ch 1sc (instead of 3sc) at tip to make a loop if you wish.

Slst into first hdc and finish off. Weave in ends.

I hope you enjoy these as I think they are very effective.

I am still frozen from my trip to Melbourne, and it is nice to back in Queensland. It is going to be a long crochet night as the Socceroos play Brazil in the world cup at 2am Australian time.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fish From the Great Barrier Reef

Angel Fish, Clown Fish, Tang Fish and Seahorses
(c) copyright original designs

I have been busy working on my fish collection.
I am really happy at how they have turned out, although they took a bit of time to test and perfect. The colours of tropical fish are amazing and I figured these were just the thing to go crazy with colour on.
The tang fish look pretty snazzy as they scoot about the ocean. The clown fish also have a bit of attitude.

My favourites are still the seahorses. They are such interesting little animals. It took me most of the day to photograph these. Sounds silly but I had to get the sand and the light just right. I guess if I was a professional photographer this would be a piece of cake!

I had a bit of fun fiddling arround with the towels. I like the lacy look of the angel fish on the terry towelling.

Each pattern is quite different, hence they took a bit of writing up.

They are special though, and as I finished something else came to mind........... more about what's next another day.

I have just listed the patterns for Fish from the Great Barrier Reef: Angel Fish, Clown Fish, Tang Fish and Seahorses at my Etsy store.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Australian Reptiles of the Water: Northern Territory Crocodile, Short Neck Turtle and Hatchlings.

crikey! It's a crocodile!

Well here is my latest- Australian Reptiles of the Water: The Northern Territory Crocodile, the Australian Short Neck Turtle and Turtle Hatchlings. These little guys have taken me a bit of effort to write up. I am finding that the design bit is the easy part, but it is the writing up, testing and photographing that takes the time. I do like them though. These are native reptiles to the Australian waterways, rivers, swamps and billabongs.

I saw the Northern Territory crocodile when I was in Kakadu a few years back. Kakadu is a most amazing part of Australia and a Natural Heritage Park. The crocs are nasty little buggers and as ugly as sin. I brought back a crocodile foot key ring and tooth necklaces for my sons. They have a few registered crocodile farms in the Northern Territory which sell odd bits of the animal at the markets! I reckon I have made them look good in crochet.
Crocodiles and Turtles don't get a long real well, so are found in different areas. Mainly because the crocodiles eat the turtle hatchlings.
When I was a kid we had a creek and a dam down the bottom of our farm. I remember the short neck freshwater turtles, or "tortoises". They had dark shells and short stumpy necks and limbs. This little guy often shows up in indigenous paintings. Penny Tortoise used to sell in pet shops, but that is now illegal here because of their native protection. They are cute little critters.

I have had fun with these and along with the book mark designs, got a bit excited by their potential and stitched a few on the towels. I think they are great little embellishments for the bathroom and I plan to put some on washers and hand towels for Christmas gifts. From here I then created a soap or sachet holder.

I am enjoying exploring my talents, but it is a labour of love as the write up takes me forever.

Any how, the patterns for my Australian Reptiles of the Water are now listed on my Etsy Store.

I would love to receive your comments!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Australian Reptiles of the land: Gecko, Taipan Snake and Blue Tongue Lizard

There have always been reptiles in my life. Not that I like them, but because they are a part of the Australian great outdoors.

I always remember the fear as a kid of the rustle of a snake in the grass.

The Austrailain inland Taipan is the most deadliest in the world, being some 50 times more deadly than a cobra.

He looks pretty tame in crochet as a book mark!

When we were kids there was always a Gecko or two that would scurry over the ceiling at night. The camoflage was fantastic!

The blue Tongue Lizard is a real ugly bugger. They often lurk in my garden catching insects. How it ever got a blue tongue is any ones guess, but it sure as heck gives it a distinctive look.
The choo choo bar grin ;o)

I had a lot of fun designing these. They are my own fair dinkum original designs which have taken me a while to write out and test. These images are protected by copyright as are my ideas.
I do think they are pretty crazy though! The idea of a gecko squished in a book is one that will appeal to many. This all started because most bookmark and motif patterns are very feminine. Not much out there in the crochet line for kids, and in particular boys. Not much out there in reptiles eithor!

I have just listed the patterns for these three on my etsy store.

Check it out!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Book Marks and Motifs from the Great Barrier Reef.

These are my latest designs. Because they came out of my noggin I own the copyright, so please don't nick my pictures or ideas! I know the yellow print is annoying, but I was reminded recently about the risks of internet theft so while I am happy to share, I need to take some precautions.

The Great Barrier Reef is North of where I live in Queensland. I remember a few years back visiting Townsville and the aquarium there which has to be one of the most remarkable tourist places I have ever visited. So I share with you my latest, which in amongst the geckos, teacosies, afghans, and holding down a full time job, are in the list of patterns I am currently writing up. I would value your comments, as while the ideas and creativity flows clearly, the pattern writing is the excruciating part!

My thoughts are that these would be great book marks, or motifs for kids cloths, jeans and accessories. If people like them, I will make the effort to finalise the instructions.
I just love the colour and the natural "weirdness" of tropical fish.

The Angel fish is quite a beauty and is a graceful swimmer

The little Clown fish was made popular in recent years by a particularly cute kids movie. I have designed these little guys to be hanging of a string as tho they have been caught by a tourist on one of those tourist fishing trips, or alternatively swimming free in the Pacific Ocean.

The Tang fish is a funny looking flat fish with what I call "kissy lips" I had fun with these, they don't use much thread, and the more colourful the better! I think a school of these on a little ones bib on overalls would look fabulous

My last, and probably favourite little fellows are the Sea horses. I have seen these in a tank, and they are the most fascinating creatures. So very tiny, but so very graceful.

Please leave your comments