Further to an earlier post about trains, I am continuing the theme to reflect on what makes a good pattern for travel and investigate train-themed projects; but before I do that, I have some photos to share of a recent encounter with steam locomotives.
Last month, I had a lovely day with my family and the steam locomotives at SASMEE Park in Millswood, South Australia. SASMEE stands for the South Australian Society of Model and Experimental Engineers of which my children's great grandfather was a founding member and past president.
|"Yosemite Valley Railroad: Jofesine 9"|
American-style steam locomotive and engineer.
|British-style locomotive "LMS 5037"|
It is the meeting place for enthusiasts of model-making, small machine tools, experimental engineering connected to modelling and tool making. SASMEE Park displays a variety of steam engines–stationary engines and locomotives.
The members have built and maintained working model railways of various gauges for running their locomotives and also a boating lake for remote-controlled water craft.
|A model diesel locomotive is pulling out of the station, |
one of two stations at SASMEE Park.
Meanwhile a steam locomotive is in the station preparing for its next journey.
Twice a month, SASMEE Park is open to the public for a very reasonable fee where families can picnic within the garden setting and enjoy train rides. It is a favourite with families, exciting for the 'littlies' and very popular right now as a venue for children's birthday parties. We saw at least 3 party groups while we were there.
|One of the lawn areas–perfect for picnics and play.|
The weather was absolutely perfect, sunny with a refreshing autumn breeze with plenty of shady places to shelter from the sun. I thought you might enjoy my photos (from my phone because I didn't think to take the 'proper' camera) to get you into the train spirit.
|'Jofesine 9' with passengers emerging from a tunnel.|
The railway lines beyond the fence belong to the full-scale suburban rail system.
Do you ever crochet on public transport?
I almost always do, unless the journey is extremely short. I used to work in the city and I loved my 'train time'. It was uninterrupted time to think my own thoughts, organise my day (or week) and catch up on some reading or crafting. One cannot do those things when driving the car.
The train is a much cheaper and more relaxing option than driving into the city. Now that I tire easily, the train allows me to travel safely without the worry of a fatigue-induced traffic accident!
|SASMEE Park has locomotive models of all shapes …|
|… and sizes!|
What makes a crochet project suitable for transit?
|Model of the "Overland"|
These are my criteria–it has to be (or have):
- small and easy to fit on my lap or stuff into a medium- or small-sized bag
- easily memorised, such as a simple pattern repeat or substantial sections of 'even working', perfect for crocheting when carrying on a conversation
- a pattern that doesn't require constant counting
- easy to navigate–easy to find one's place after interruptions or having stitches accidentally ripped out
- a minimum of pattern notes or none at all
- barely any accessories to carry
- ideally one skein of yarn to be carried at a time (maximum of 2 small skeins)
- non-precious materials–in case of loss or damage in transit
|Even the smallest locomotives can pull a remarkable amount of power. |
Look at this one go! It was too quick for my camera.
What are your favourite travel projects?
|Model modes of transport.|
Here are some train-themed projects and ideas that I have come across:
- (Free) Choo Choo Train Afghan by Beverly Mewhorter (free-crochet.com): https://www.free-crochet.com/detail.html?code=FC00968&cat_id=301
- (Free) Train Tracks Baby Blanket by Heather Tucker (Mama's Stitchery Projects): http://stitcheryprojects.com/2012/02/14/train-tracks-baby-blanket/
- (Free) Choo Choo Train by Agnes Russell (allfreecrochet.com): http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/choo-choo-train-4
- (Free) Train Bobble Chart by Kari Philpott: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/train-bobble-chart
- Interlocking Crochet–Honeycomb & Railway Tracks Design by Tanis Galik, Utube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhEip9c2cWY
For more train projects, just enter 'train' into the pattern search field on Ravelry. Today I found 77 crochet and 158 knitting patterns. Free crochet 'train' patterns can be found on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#view=captioned_thumbs&availability=free&craft=crochet&sort=best&query=train
|Three trains racing around the lake.|
Have you ever heard of 'railway knitting'? That's another name for tricot which has also been called 'shepherd's knitting', 'Scottish knitting', 'tricot ecossaise', 'idiot stitch', 'afghan stitch', 'afghan crochet' and 'Tunisian crochet'.
- Railway knitting e-booklet by Dela Wilkins, PDF: http://www.kbnfibres.ca/images/Railway%20knitting.pdf
Links & References
Lupey Loops, "Training the Transport Department", blog entry, 10 April 2015: http://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/access-all-areas-training-transport.html
Ravelry pattern search 'train': http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#sort=best&query=train
Use Ravelry's search filters from here to find exactly what you want.
South Australian Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (SASMEE), Millswood Crescent, Millswood, South Australia: http://www.sasmee.com.au/
|Even though electric and diesel locomotives are in use today, |
Australia continues to use the steam train silhouette
on its road signs because it is such a unique and instantly identifiable shape.