Saturday, January 06, 2007

Christmas Beetles

Australian Christmas Beetles in crochet

Well that was the Christmas that was! I can't believe it is over a month since I posted. Now that the silly season is over, and I am on leave I can get back into my usual activities.

We had the grand ol barby on Christmas day. The mosquitos seemed less this year, probably because of the drought, but them pesky Christmas Beetles were out in force. I must say though, there didn't seem as many as in previous years. I think the drought has mucked up their breeding patterns. I remember as a kids these things buzzing around , making a racket. They would fall on the lino floor and give me the heeby jeebies if I got up during the night and stepped on one. They are crunchy under foot.

I purchased this snazzy Cannon yarn from Mimi in the Philippines and was desperate to do something Christmassy with it.

She has some great threads which I can't get here in our lousy shops.

Holly and snowmen seem a bit stupid down here cos a) the stuff doesn't grow here, and b) the only snow I see is inside the freezer! And even that struggles in our summer heat.

I guess that is why I never got on the crochet snow flake wagon. While I think they are very pretty and some of the designs quite amazing, they look a bit alien in my house on the Gold Coast.

So what are seasonal Australian Christmas icons? Well the barby, the beach, the thunderstorms, and the Christmas Beetle.

This is Anoplognathus pallodicollis, a member of the scarab beetle family. They grow to about 3cm, and have glossy sparkly wings. They never seem to travel alone, so I had to make a few.

They feed on the eucalyptus tree and are attracted to lights. They can strip a gum tree bare.

Yep these little buggers just love lights, candles and Christmas tree lights. They are nocturnal, and just love a good party. Our cat also finds them amusing and has managed to munch her way through a few as well.

So I embarked over Christmas on crocheting a Christmas beetle. I think they look kinda pretty on the tree. Of course the highly critical family said the colour was wrong, and I had lost the legs ( doh) it is crochet not an oil painting..

I will tweek the pattern, and think they would also look good in brights for bookmarks. There are three versions: the closed wing, the open wing, and the beetle in flight. I needed 3 to show off Mimis' beautiful threads. If I had of got my act together sooner I would have made a heap of these to go out with the Christmas cards that I didn't send (lol). I guess if I start now I might have a few by next Christmas. I am imagining a whole tree full of them.

Here is a few beetle links for the interested:

So now the family mob has left I have a bit of time to catch up on the household chores and spend a bit of time with the kids and my hook. I have also been painting the inside of the house. All this activity has given me carpel tunnel so I have had to slow down a bit.

My next series is looking oh so cute! I will hopefully post these in the next week. I cant wait as these are the bestest, ridgy didge thing-ame-bobs (in my mind that is).

I hope you all had a happy and safe Christmas. onwards and upwards with 2007.


Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, and you are brilliant. What a perfect antidote to Christmas kitsch, and a great complement to our situation here in Florida, where the climate is similar. Crocheting the flora and fauna is a wonderful idea, good for you, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Happy New Year!

Mimi said...

They make unusual and interesting Christmas decors! I'm so happy to see your designs using the metallic threads. Looking forward to more of your wonderful ideas put to life in crochet ;)

M said...

Great idea with the Christmas beetles - I haven't noticed any around here this year...

-- Michelle

Anonymous said...

I love these. Can't wait to get a pattern so I can make some for next Christmas. In VT we don't have many critters crawling about in winter so they'll look festive unlike the real thing. Could you e-mail me when you get the pattern tweaked and up?