I love collective nouns, in a sort of ridiculous semi-obsessive way. Sometimes on car drives we might even try and come up with the most silly collective nouns possible to pass the time; some of our favourites are a shiver of sharks, a parcel of penguins, a mask of raccoons and a journey of giraffes. And yes, these are all real ones. One of my favourite kids books is this one. It's absolutely gorgeous.
So when I came to name the e-book for this trio of patterns; a collective noun seemed totally appropriate. The only debate was which one? You see, there are a number of collective nouns that can be applied to a group of macropods; court, mob, herd or even a troop.
This pattern has been in the works for a while. It came about as a class pattern that I used to teach a class on The Beauty of a Circular Yoke at The Craft Sessions. You all know how much I love a circular yoke. The original version of this was written for a 15" and 16" chest size (about newborn to six months size range) and the idea behind the pattern was to use a simple silhouette to demonstrate how different increases look and work when you're knitting a circular yoke. It was a happy co-incidence that the trio of increases I used actually created a really lovely effect on the yoke. The long garter stitch cuffs just seemed to be the perfect finishing touch to this cardie.
Then Lily needed a new school cardigan, there were three balls of Malabrigo Rios sitting in my stash and a small sample of this wee cardie in front of me, so naturally that's where I went. Usually I would probably knit Rios at a dk weight tension, but I only had three balls and I knew that that would be pushing it. And so Lily's new cardigan got knit with a 20 stitch tension. And thus my friends, is the reason this pattern is available for a 10ply/worsted weight tension; simply because I had the sample before any pattern even evolved.
The obvious next step was to knit an 8ply/dk weight sample. And again, this pretty much made its own course into existence. I'd been knitting with Skeinz Silver Lining, a cardie for me which is still in the works and Toby decided that he'd like a cardie in the Red Triangle. In fact, he told me he wanted a big version of the Joey. This is a boy who knows his own mind and I'm glad he does as I probably would have knit the 8ply sample in Lily's size, and she is one girl who has more than her fair share of cardies already! Toby also is considerably smaller and I was pleased to see that the cordie did translate well to a boy's garment.
I think of all the cardies, the 4ply/fingering is my favourite. I love the lightness of this cardie; it's a very easy to wear garment for this time of the year and our climate. And the yarn I knit it in is really lovely. It's the new White Gum Wool 4ply and while it is quite a light 4ply, it knit up and bloomed beautifully. I really like this yarn and can see more 4ply knits in my very near future.
All three of the Wallaby patterns are available for purchase in my Ravelry store either individually or as part of the e-book, A Court of Wallabies.
Would you like to win a copy of the e-book?
In this post I am giving away five (5) copies of the e-book to readers. All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what your favourite collective noun is. At the end of this week on Friday night, I will give my kidlets the task of choosing their five favourite and they will be the winners.
Please take the time to read through the comments as the first to comment with a specific collective noun claims that one and any further comments using the same collective noun will be invalid.
P.S. If you've already purchased and then win, I am happy to refund the purchase price of the pattern/s.
I've been playing with cotton quite a bit this month, the heat of January seems to kill the desire to knit with wool and especially large garments. It's been pretty much about the cotton. I've knit a ton of dishcloths and then at the insistence of my kids, I dragged out some softer cotton and began to knit some washcloths for the bathroom. My kids love knitted washcloths. They love how soft and gentle and smooth they are. They make quite good rugs and wraps for their dolls too.
I had a play with a couple of patterns, and have to admit my favourite ones aesthetically are the dainty lace facecloths. There's just something so pretty about them. After knitting one and finding it strewn on the bottom of the sink with the wrong side up, I realised that that aspect of the lace facecloth was always going to bug me. I mean, a facecoth really shouldn't have a wrong side, should it? It's just a wee bit impractical. Now I'm not particularly orderly or anal when it comes to housework, so I'm not sure why this facecloth thing bugged me. I guess it's a bit like the wrong side of the scarf saga.
I've wanted to play around with the stitch pattern I modified and came up with for the Buninyong scarf for quite awhile, and I've had a few ideas floating around in my head for it. The connection was obvious.
A facecloth pattern using the stitch pattern from Buninyong.
The facecloth uses one more repeat widthwise than the scarf does.
Like the scarf, the pattern is reversible. It's not identical either side, but close enough that it is pretty much a mirror image and there really is no right or wrong side to this pattern. That is pretty cool, I think.
It's a quick and easy knit that works up well with any lovely soft DK/8ply weight cotton such as the Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Cotton I used here.
The instructions are both in chart and written form.
You can find the pattern on Ravelry here for free.
The name Buni (pronounced as you would Bunny) is the shortened form of Buninyong. Buninyong is a lovely quaint little town in Victoria, Australia set beneath a volcano with some fabulous native forests surrounding it. We lived there for some years in our mid to late 20s and it was a fabulous place to live. My husband proposed to me in the crater of Mt Buninyong amongst the blossoming yellow blooms of the Blackwoods. Buni is the name locals of the region use to refer to the town.
It's always nice to begin a new year. New promises made, new resolutions formed, new toys to play with, new books to read, new yarns to discover, new patterns to knit; lots of the new. And to be honest, a fair amount of the old thrown in there as well. It's always good to embrace the old and familiar as we move forward.
The new year is a glorious time here, it's generally a relaxing time with no school and no work for Andy. We're at home for the summer because we live in a seaside town that sees thousands of tourists flock here; for a reason. It's a perfect place with such perfectly great weather and beaches, so why go anywhere else? We're trying to treat our home as a holiday cottage this summer. We even contemplated packing suitcases and going on a little drive to arrive at our holiday house.
The new year also brings some new patterns from me.
These two new patterns are part of a collection called Deception. The collection is so named because it will feature six different hat patterns. Each deceptively simple but colourful enough to make them look complicated.
I've released the first two of the patterns, Woohlpooer and Cherrypool. And yes, my kids think the name Woohlpooer is the most hilarious name they've ever heard. It's pronounced Wool-poor and not the way my kid say it! In both of these patterns, you will only ever use one yarn colour on each round. The deception of colour difficulty is achieve using slipped stitches.
The names of the patterns come from little known place names. The kind of names you might find on a fire or detailed topographic map. These are the names that sometimes have double facing place-name signs on the road. Places who, may or may not, have had a history that has now completely disappeared. They may have once been home to tiny hamlets of people, or they may not. It's hard to even find what their names even mean sometimes. For some, these names will live on, not just on maps, but because of the double-sided road place-name signs and because they may also share a name with a little known state park or river or crossing or road. For others, the names just slip into history, discovered occasionally on a fire map.
These place names intrigue me. Where did they come from? What secrets of history do these places hold?
The names that I chose for this collection all come from a region in South West Victoria, west of the Grampians. This is a region that is dear to my kids, it is an area where they have spent a great deal of time camping and exploring and experience the freedom of the Australian bush in such true isolation; in a way many kids never ever get to experience. This is an experience that goes way beyond a visit to a national park. They've experienced here the freedom to roam on land they call their own and know the boundaries to, knowing they won't see another soul or stumble upon another camper.
This is such an isolated and unpopulated area. It is especially dry and bush fire prone at this time of the year; often devastatingly so. It was not surprising to see a bushfire warning for Cherrypool the day before I published the pattern. Part of the beauty of this area is indeed, its isolation and the dramatic change in parts of the landscape from winter to summer. The dry arid landscape that in winter can become awash with green. It's startling how the Australian bush can be a place of threat or offer the sanctity of a retreat depending on the weather and the season.
Both patterns can be found in my Ravelry store:
They are available individually or as part of an ebook. The price of the ebook will rise as each additional pattern is added to it. (So if you like surprises, it is cheapest to purchase now)
Do you have an area that is dear to you, like the place these names come from?
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Textile artist, knitwear designer and teacher.
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