Monday, May 28, 2007

Wildflower winter woolies

Winter has hit down here, (well sort of!) Today was 27 which is hardly cold by any stetch of the imagination. I wore a T shirt for the day.

Given I have more afghans in my house than I care to count I have been putting this years crochet energy into scarfs and accessories. I made a few for some friends of the female type of my son, but my daughter needs a few more necks before I give her any more, and I think I have exhausted the the list of scarf recipients for a while, so I have listed a few on etsy for the fun of it. Pity we are out of season with the top half of the globe.

I have also been exploring our native flora to trigger some different designs.

I was feeling rather hippy and had some colourful yarn I wanted to experiment with. From this I created the hippy head band and matching scarf. Not super heavy, but bright and light!

The colours remind me of the everlasting daisies that I see on the side of the road out west. I remember doing a trip few years back and collecting them along the way. Dried flowers were pretty trendy in the 80s. I remember having a houseful of the things, all lovingly arranged in brass containers. Of course they look spectacular when they are new, but gee they are terrific dust collectors.

Everlasting daisies also called paper flowers, come in a variety of colours, have a large centre and multiple petals. They are bright and cheery where they grow in the tough parts of the Australian countryside. This is a square motif, designed by me, and is simple and effective when done in a variety of colours.

The one below I have called the flannel flower scarf. More to do with the texture of the yarn, than the actual shape of the flower as the real flannel flower has skinnier petals. It is a variation of the everlasting daisy above.

This scarf is luxurious to the touch and made out of a yarn comprised of mohair, wool, and acrylic with a slight metallic thread that adds a bit of glisten. As a yarnaholic I couldn't resist this at the local spotlight store when I saw it. It is a beautiful soft pink and a good quality yarn. I have made 25 flannel flower motifs and then joined them into a scarf . I must say I am a bit over those fluffy scarves that have been around for the last few years, so thought I would try something a little different.

The flannel flower is one of Australia’s’ interesting wildflowers. They have a large centre and petals which are textured like flannel. They look a bit like a daisy, but are more closely related to carrots and celery. The flannel flower is also called the Federation Star as the petals have a star appearance. A more rare kind, the pink flannel flower is only found in the heights of the Blue Mountains.
The flannel flower has also been adopted by the Mental Health Council of Australia for use as the symbol to promote mental health.

You might like to read about this initiative at this link:

Trying to use Australian flowers as inspiration for crochet designs is quite challenging. Having entertained myself with a range of critters, I am enjoying thinking about flowers, however my head is still trying to work out how I can incorporate wattle into a design without it looking silly.

mmm maybe get some of that fluffy yellow yarn and crochet it up..(lol)
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Corrugated Cosies for coffee plungers and tea pots

This is the very latest in my kitchen kitsch range of cosies - Corrugated Cosies from the Aussie Bush. I have named these tropical garden tea cosy, rainforest coffee cosy, and gum trees tea cosy.

This collection includes three basic designs which you can mix and match the trims on.

When we were kids every backyard had a corrugated iron tank up on a tank stand. I remember when town water became available the local council determined that all private tanks be removed. I think a part of their reasoning was that they were a health hazard and a place for mosquito's to breed. Now with the drought and the fear of running out of water, the council is offering a $1,000 rebate on every tank installed. Funny how things go in circles. The shed in many of our farming properties are made of corrugated iron, as is the roof of many of the houses. Brisbane is know for a style of house called a "Queenslander". This is a timber house, up on stumps, and with a corrugated iron roof. The sound of the rain, when it happens thumping down on a tin roof is a magical sound. Need I say when it hails the noise is phenomenal!

So I have taken the corrugations of cast iron, and mixed this with some of our flora and created this set. My inspiration is from our Australian country side and flora. I have matched the texture of the corrugated iron roof and water tank of outback Australia with the freshness of the flowers and trees of the bush and rainforests. The one below I have called gum trees. The muted colours of the bark, and the dark browns and green of the gum nuts. This one looks so much better in reality as the photo doesn't do it justice. The famous scallop cosy is looking in need of a holiday and this is my new cosy.

Plants I grew up with in Brisbane, Queensland were the gum trees, the frangipani and the bougainvillea and impatiens. Banksia, wattle and jacaranda were also planted by the council as street trees. The native frangipani has a very sweet smell and we have one in our yard. My Nana also had a few, and when my cousin was married in the early 70s she had a frangipani wedding. I was an early teen and I recall collecting all these flowers for the tables and bouquets. It was stunning. So here is a cosy for the coffee plunger. We are a coffee plunger sort of household and I have designed this one to tie around the side, but have a bit of a space at the top to enable an easy pour. I really like how the flowers fall forward when you tip the pot. I call this one Rainforest as the native frangipani grows naturally in our rainforests.

Tropical gardens to me are bright and filled with colour from impatiens, orchids and bromides. the colours are bright and brilliant. I have also used a horizontal corrugations for this one which works well with the different colours. I kept the flowers here simple as I thought the colour was the main feature. Corrugated iron usually runs vertical on a roof to allow the water to flow into the gutters, and horizontal on a tank. My dad used to mark the rings on the tank with chalk so he could monitor our water reserves.

This cosy has a bright and cheery look on my little 2 cup pot. I am having fun experimenting with some designs based on our plants here. It isn't easy though as many of our flora while being beautiful, lack a defined form. Banksia, wattle, and tea tree all have tiny little flowers which as a mass look stunning.

Any how, thanks for looking. I have listed the patterns for these on etsy.

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