Archive for the ‘Antarctic clothing’ Category

Spinning Yarn: #106 Ancient Pattern Unearthed – then Discarded!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

 Well, I have decided that, as nice as this one is, it is just too big. I am not happy with it and I would not put this one up for auction.

So let’s have another look at that photo….the one showing the blue balaclava…..ok – this is going to be a replica – not a duplicate – and that makes the difference. 

In 2 days of knitting and I had just enough Antarctic Spun yarn to finish the smaller size! Praise God!

 (I suppose I could have gone back this year to do more…..)


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!

…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: What a Swell Ocean This Is! #93

Friday, July 1st, 2011

 The weather had certainly been favourable for our whole trip, so these 10m swells were a special treat. Orion is a small ship by comparison to some who travel the Southern Ocean, certainly with only 100 passengers while other ships take several times that, so I am not so sure that the Captain thought it was such a special treat. Orion is a well-appointed and courageous little ship, ably captained and engineered. Stabilized and making good time, we left Campbell Island behind and made way for Dunedin, sad to be ending the adventure, but glad to be almost back on land again.

 Lisa and I took time to do more spinning and knitting over the last few days and she was pleased with the result of her efforts – a gorgeous scarf of exotic Llama fibre, in two colours, spun by hand, knitted by hand (using chopsticks!) and worn by neck.

 You remember the song? I hope Fred Astaire will forgive my paraphrase of his line, “What a swell party this is”.

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….

Spinning Yarn: Polar Plunge #77

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

 Anyone for a swim? Brash Ice is very refreshing…..

 Yes, there were some of us that dared to defy reason and sanity, donning bathing suits and safety harness, to “close encounter” the Southern Ocean. Just to say we had done it, I suppose. Wrapped in thick dressing gowns before the plunge, candidates lined up on the marina deck of the ship in preparation for being buckled in to the snatch straps, and to face the deep COLD COLD ocean.

 Cries of “Yeaaahh” resounded on the deck as each person launched from the platform. Cries of “Eeeeeww” echoed back from the upper deck as the rest of us wore their splashes.

Once fished out, the icicles broken off bodies and back into the dressing gowns, the Hot Chocolate was very welcome, as were the warm showers before dinner.

 Back in the warm, in the Lounge, those of us who recorded the event were busy swapping photos and angles ….Smart of me to take photos….

Spinning Yarn: The Yarn of the Penguins…#71

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

 They are adorable, these knee-high little guys in dressy feathers, sooo curious and having sooo much character. Quite cheeky, and totally fearless, you should see the way they careen down the slopes….Singly or in bunches, they streak by in their haste to make it to the next destination.

 The Adelie penguins arrive at Cape Denison about October each year, and they come to mate and increase their population as well as swell the numbers of things living in Antarctica over the summer. Travelling enormous distances to “home”, the penguins make their little nests of plain rocks in and amongst the granite boulders of the shore and the cliffs, making sure to have access to the ocean.

 Weddell seals join them for the season. These are huge flat blubbery masses with big round deep dark brown eyes, lying on the ice pretending to be asleep. The only things missing for them are the sofa and the remote control! You could be forgiven for thinking the seals are part of the boulders, being much the same colour and almost the same size. Take this advice: WATCH YOUR STEP. Seals can move VERY fast when they have to, and they have teeth!   (NO, I saw the teeth, I did not experience them!)

Spinning Yarn: The Cross on the Hill, Part 2 #70

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

 Left behind!  All the effort, all the energy, all the hope….

 How would you be?

 Mawson struggled to the Hut, but WAS SEEN by the 6 men that Captain Davis (in the Aurora), allowed to remain for another year, on the off chance that Mawson and the team would re-appear.

 The men did not recognize him.

 They did, however, take him in and nursed him back to relative health, but it took the full 12 months. Mawson later stated that he would not have made it back alive to Australia had he left on the Aurora that day…

 The men erected the cross.

Spinning Yarn: Time Delay #67

Monday, March 7th, 2011

 My Grandmother’s attic smelled of old wood and dust. It contained old trunks with Union Jack bunting, old clothes from long dead family members, leather suitcases of toys sadly abandoned and lots of other interesting things from the Victorian era. Looking around the attic, I used to wonder at the treasures left behind, their purpose, their owners, why they were there and why they were not loved by the next owner. It was as if time stood still there in the roof space and when I came down, nothing had changed, no one had missed me for the hours I was there exploring.

 That was the smell and feel of “HISTORY”

 Antarctic History has its own smell:  Old wood, well-thumbed magazines and books, moldy leather thawing out on the floor, melting snow and ice, and over it all – the faint smell of smokey blubber……All the items of the everyday life of a Victorian, Heroic Age Antarctic Explorer are placed just so –books aligned on the shelf, bottles and tins arranged on the bunks, crates of unopened foodstuffs stacked on the floor away from the stove, sledging clothes hung on the hook near the door……

 They’ll be back in an hour……