Archive for the ‘Antarctica’ Category

Spinning Yarn: Not Baggy Green at all! #105

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

The practice Balaclava is indicative of the original garment, yet with plenty of room for a helmet underneath! and Earmuffs, and a scarf, and goggles…. Not doubt VERY warm and deserving of being warn, yet who has a head big enough for this particular one?  Time to re-visit the pattern! …and Sir Douglas would approve of that too!

Mawson looks out in approval….#104

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Before attempting the balacava with the actual Antarctic  Yarn,  I have better try a practice pattern, eh? I’ve nutted out the pattern using similar yarn, that we spunl Melbourne Show.  Using the correct needles and the bulky white yarn, I began the 7×7 rib, to see how it would turn out. As you can see, Sir Douglas is pleased….

Now on to the real thing…..

…And the Winner is…..#103

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Overall winner of the Photo competition  is JOANNE BAILEY of Rowville, Victoria, Australia. I knitted and crocheted a hat and matching scarf,  using the “Antarctic Sunrise” Yarn (see post #    ). Not only did it fit perfectly, but she was thrilled with  the colours and standard of the work! Joanne will be wearing this with pride, physical proof of her ability to use a camera, something that she has been very interested in for a long time. ”

Travelling around gives you a good perspective  and lots of subject matter”, she says!

Exactly Right! 

Well done, Joanne!

Spinning Yarn: Majacraft MajaSponsor! #101

Monday, August 15th, 2011

The plan to take my spinning wheel to Antarctica, (fuelled by a dare from my brother), required a bit of research into the most convenient wheel to take. I had been looking at taking a wheel that was compact and very portable, but also one with endurance which was friendly to use, and my research led me to Majacraft, a New Zealand based company in the North Island – at Tauranga. When Glenis and Owen Poad of Majacraft heard about my trip to Antarctica, they wanted to be part of it, and so offered me the Little Gem.

 Made of New Zealand “Rimu” wood, each piece matched for colour and growth ring pattern, it is also modern is size and shape. It is an elegant wheel, by any standards. The polymer drivebands are guaranteed to a temperature of minus 30 for 20 minutes, which was ideal for me at my destination. Add to that the functional and compact carry bag, and it is a wheel for the most discerning Antarctic traveller!

Spinning Yarn: More Heart of the Great Alone #100

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

 Herbert Ponting was Scott’s photographer, equally skilled with an artistic eye and plenty of film! The shots he took are stunning and evoked the same surprising emotional response– Amazement! Incredulity! Recognition!  I was stunned at how much the ice had changed, yet not changed.

 So many penguin photos – gosh, I took a few of those, myself!! – and so many seal shots, but also the artistic angles. There were the obligatory “happy snaps” and the documentary shots too. Would anyone know or believe that men even went down to Antarctica, had these pictures not been taken? And would anyone have understood the immensity, or the scale, or the proportions of the ice, or seen the beauty of Nature at her most extreme?

 We owe these men, Hurley and Ponting, the utmost respect and admiration, and we owe the expeditioners more of the same.

Spinning Yarn: The Heart of the Great Alone. #99

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

It amazed me how much this exhibition meant to me. As I devoured each of the displays of fabulous black and white photographs of Antarctica taken 100 years ago by the famous Frank Hurley, I was transported not only back in time, but also back to the Frozen Continent, to see it through the eyes and heart of this skillful and daring man.

 Frank Hurley shared the huts with Mawson and his team, not only in his specialty as  photographer but also as a sledger. He man-hauled his fair share sleds and did his share of depot-laying, same as the rest of them. His company was valued on several scientific missions.

 His famous prints are the product of his labours in the tiniest of darkrooms in the most trying conditions of cold and cramped workspace. Some of his chemicals are still in his darkroom at the Huts, the labels still readable and corks still in the bottles.

Spinning Yarn: Knitcola and the Spinning Shop #97

Monday, July 25th, 2011

 Ashford is a worldwide and famous spinning wheel company, very popular with all spinners, and, located in Ashburton, on the way to Christchurch, I fully intended to stop and visit, telling them about Antarctica and my spinning adventure. It was 4pm when I arrived, and the sign on the door said closing at 430pm. Whew! Just in time!

 Nicola is a lovely lady who has a long association with Ashford wheels, and who now runs the on-site shop stocking wheels, accessories and fibre of all kinds. We had a great chat about all things spinning and she gave me a tour of the shop. It was 530pm when I left I left happy, more informed and with a much needed spinning boost!

Spinning Yarn: Marion meest Clancy of the Overflow! #91

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Actor Jack Thompson is a man passionate about Australian History, as evidenced by his portrayals of Australian historical figures. He has brought to life such characters as Clancy of the Overflow in Man from Snowy River, The head shearer in Sunday Too Far Away and the Defending Lawyer Major JF Thomas in Breaker Morant. He is well-known also for his heart connection with the explorers Burke and Wills. It is no wonder then, that he was a guest speaker at the Mawson’s Huts Foundation Luncheon in Sydney, recently.

 Mr Thompson has lent his distinctive voice and heartfelt passion to a specially made documentary presentation, to be screened later this year, about the famous Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, and his expedition to the Southern Continent, last century.

 Imagine my thrill in meeting such an amazing man, listening to that magnetic voice, and spinning yarns of history with him! At the podium on stage, his yarn was one responsibility – that it rests on all of us to ensure that younger people know of the courage, strength and endurance of the men who gave us our nation and its territories. He fully supports the work of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation.

 And so do I.

Spinning Yarn: Flying through the Southern Ocean #89

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

 Orion has stabilizers – the wings that extended below sea level, to help balance the ship – so our ride might have been a bit more exciting than we had expected with the high rolling seas, but it was also quite comfortable. As I lay in bed trying to sleep, I imagined any number of wooden ships of the last century – the Discovery, the Endurance, the Aurora, the Terra Nova – all loaded to beyond the crates lashed to the upper decks, ocean water streaming in over the sides of the ship, determined to stay on course and arrive safely in both directions. I imagined the sounds of the creaking boards, the shifting loads, the howling dogs, the scuffling and scrambling of horse hooves, the shouts of the crew, the barked and hurried orders from the Captains, and then heard our own Captain over the PA announcing that the stabilizers needed to be re-set so please either sit or lie down until this had been done by the hardworking and efficient engineering team.

 The rolling seas had exposed the wings, the Captain told us, putting undue twist on the engine when the water took away the resistance. Ten minutes was all the time needed to make the corrections and extend the wings once more. The wooden ships were not so well-equipped

 It was lovely being rocked to sleep.

This is the french barque BALEM from the cover of “sail.ie” , but you get the idea……..

Spinning Yarn: Back on Board, Never Bored! #87

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Returning to the ship, we made sure to walk through the bucket of anti-germ wash.

With all those penguins, and Sea Elephants and seals, it would be so easy to step in something unpleasant, unwittingly bringing it aboard. That would never do!

 Back in the rooms, we removed the lifejackets and the boots and the coats, hats, mittens and cameras, changing into something more comfortable for the afternoon tea that awaited us. Yes, it was time to eat yet again! And you know – you really build up an appetite with all this fresh air and walking, so it was most welcome (as well as delicious) especially the hot drinks.

 We awaited the day’s briefing….