Friday 29 September 2023

Finally finished Plastic Fungi

 I've been working on 'Plastic Fungi' since late 2021. It's now delivered to the Yarra Sculpture Gallery for the 'Sculpture Now' exhibition. This is a members exhibition of the Contemporary Sculptors Association. I'll be going to the opening and trying to figure out if I can find time to sit the exhibition. This is the first time I've exhibited with the CSA since rejoining two years ago.

         Sculpture Now 2023

       Opening Exhibition
       8th of October 2023
       2pm - 4pm

Show will be open on Friday the 6th of October to the public and close 22nd of October

Plastic Fungi was inspired by the book 'Entangled Life' by Merlin Sheldrake. An amazing look at the life of fungi, which I carry around with me on my Kindle. 

An absolutely fascinating read. Makes you think about connectedness, life and where fungi sits in relationship to humans. It's the biggest single organism, fungi lives in our bodies. It can kill us, cure us, feed us, give us a trip, deal with all sorts of waste. And, who is the planet made for?

Somehow, this feeds into my artwork, and, plastic fungi is the first work to result from this inspiration.

I decided on plastic and to attempt to be more three dimensional with it. Rather than weaving a flat piece, I decided to work with it and attempt to 'build' a work. So, I've wrapped, stitched and fitted together.

I was still working on it when I did the residency at Ivanhoe Cultural Centre in July 2022, in the middle of trying to sell our house!! It did get displayed at the Banyule Art Salon, which was pleasing, but it still wasn't quite right and it wasn't stable.

I've added more to the base with a thousand, almost, plastic ties that I'd got from Gail at TACAS. I still have a box full. I'm now quite happy with it.

Tuesday 12 September 2023

A scarf remake

 I have a very special scarf that I spun and knit many many years ago. At a time of deep pain, it was the only thing I felt like doing. I was a new spinner and yet to embark on my textile studies. 

Now, I don't wear it, as long scarves don't really serve their purpose. So, it is time for it to be reknit and reworn. A new life. It seems to be the right time.

So, I've unpulled it all and washed the resulting skeins. 

I did a favour for a friend and as a reward she gave me the book 'Knit Fold Pleat Repeat' by Norah Gaughan. On first looking at this book, I wasn't sure if I really liked it, but as I was getting it for free, I thought I'd give it a go. Well.....I've knit the cover scarf, which is named Pinion, and am in the process of knitting one of the tops inside. And now there are a few other things on my wish list.

For this I knit my yarn trying to use as much as I could, whilst leaving enough to knit a pair of matching fingerless mittens. To make the cowl effect, I twisted it in the grafting to make a mobius scarf. Am very happy with the big bulky warm scarf. Just right for Winter at the beach.

It feels like quite an achievement to give this scarf a new life. Warming in all the right ways.

Sunday 10 September 2023

Stormy days

 I've challenged myself to take photos throughout the week; to capture a moment. I have my new little pocket size Lumix camera which I have added to my backpack. Further confirming the feeling that I carry everything, including the kitchen sink! 

I do carry kindle, keep cup, zip up carry-bag, sunglasses, etc. etc.

This week the weather was the driving force with some strong winds and heavy rain. I did manage to get out on Saturday, in between storms to have a coffee at my favourite coffee shop in Rhyll. The view across the bay was dark and forboding and the swans, who don't usually congregate here thought it might be the safest place. 

I haven't changed anything in the photo. 

Sunday 12 March 2023

Qualifying and the First Round

 Boy, the Qualifying sock for Sock Madness 17 was fun but very time consuming. An exercise in knitting intarsia in the round. It's a trick, and you knit back and forth and end up with a sock in the round.

The Round 1 sock was completely different. Socks knit flat, another trick. Sewn up at the end. Love it, it's like a scar! Unfortunately, had to rush these as we were around from the weekend and being in Team Rambutan I thought that we would be quite fast. I had to resew the seam, so was a little more stressful. But I did make it! 

They are a bit small...not sure how that happened, so someone else is going to get these.

Saturday 11 February 2023

Moving and Spinning


This was another project to take along to my Sit and Knit group, SNB Rosanna. But it did take a long time to finish. Originally, I was going to block it before sewing it together and finishing the neckline and cuffs. However, it sat there unable to find space, as I spent the year, getting our house ready for sale, and, eventually, selling and moving. Currently, I don't have the space to block, either, and despite the fact that it's Summer and I don't really need it, I decided to finish it off, and, wear it.

For the past couple of years, I've been spinning up the fleeces and tops that I had in my stash. These are natural colours and I have lots of different colours, but not enough of one for a whole jumper. So, I have been searching for patterns that have multiple colours.

This pattern is from 'The Knitter'. It's knitted in two pieces, bottom up and include the sleeves. 

It was pretty easy to knit as most of the rows were either stocking stitch or garter stitch. There's one row where you do short row knitting to get the bobble. This row takes ages!

Fortunately, the yarn fit to the pattern pretty well. 

Friday 10 February 2023

Sock Madness has started....again....for the 17th time

 Yes, indeed, Sock Madness has started again. Registration is up until the 14th February. If you want all the details about Sock Madness, it's on Ravelry at If you're not on the worldwide knitting community that is Ravelry, perhaps you should have a look and see if it's for you.

Anyway, Sock Madness is, basically, a sock knitting competition, where everyone knits the same sock in two weeks. Over the 7 rounds there are fewer and fewer knitters as the time frame shortens and shortens. The patterns are amazing and you learn alot about knitting and yourself, and, you get a drawer full of beautiful handknit socks.

But I do have to ask myself why I keep doing it. I have an overwhelming number of handknit socks. My first Sock Madness was SM9 where my first socks were the Stroop Stroop socks, which were the warmup sock pattern for that year.

I've just finished this years warmup sock, which was one of three!

I continue to look forward to the challenge. It can be challenging, there are difficult patterns to interpret and knit fast. There are invariably, a new or nearly new technique to look up on Youtube, or figure out, along with fellow competitors. Again, the designs are amazing and done especially for the Madness. I love that people do this for free, they are so generous. We get a veritable library of patterns. 

I also like the competition. It's friendly and in many ways, collaborative as we help people with their difficulties, knowing that there will be someone to help us. But it's still a competition and that deadline, whether it's time based or numbers based motivates you to knit faster.

It's going to be interesting this year with one pattern apparently having a main colour and 34 different bits of colour.

I have bought myself a set of sock blockers, not so much to block the socks, but to be able to photograph them without have to get my feet in all sorts of positions. I hope it helps the moderators to view my finished socks also.

I've downloaded the other warmup socks, but don't have the time to knit them, I may never, but I have them. So, now, I wait impatiently for the 14th and the drop of the first pattern, the qualifying pattern. 

Thursday 19 January 2023

Finished - first for 2023


I started this simple t-shirt as an easy project to take to my sit and knit group (SNB Rosanna - on Ravelry-  for more info).

It's basically a stocking stitch t-shirt, however, the asymmetrical neckline gives it a twist. I do love asymmetry. It was lovely to knit and looks good on. Very happy with the result.

The pattern is 'Dora' from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2022.

The yarn is Papyrus 8ply by Fibra Natura, a lovely combination of 78% cotton, 22% silk. I purchased from Wonthaggi Fabric and Yarns, a great place to shop. Small but a great range. 

So glad I finished this in time for Summer. Now I have to find another mindless knit.