Friday, 8 May 2020

A Few Roos Loose in the Top Paddock


G'day! G'day!
Come and play!  
Two crocheted kangaroos with red ears, beige faces, black facial features, red pouches, white chests, and limbs of purple and blue. Their bodies have narrow stripes of dark blue, lime green, mauve and purple. The smallest, Joey on the left, is looking up at the camera and waving with her right arm.  The largest on the right is sitting looking at Joey.
Joey is waving and wanting to play.

The crocheted dog is 'playing' with the scraps of yarn around it. The yarn includes 5 ply (light DK) acrylic in red and beige; 8 ply (DK) acrylic in light brown and white, 4 ply cottons in black, navy, light blue, mauve and blue-grey sparkle blend.
Scrappy Lucky Dog
[crocheted by Jodiebodie, 2019]
  
Do you remember Scrappy Lucky Dog?  
He was lonely.  
He needed some friends. 
Not to worry. 
Jodiebodie came along and created some playmates 
using Lucky Dog's yarn leftovers …


Introducing … 

Two mirthful macropods,
The sweetest of stashbusters:

Mother and Joey kangaroos!

Front view of crocheted kangaroos. Joey is sitting in mother's red pouch.
Pattern by Katka Reznickova
Crocheted by Jodiebodie 2019–2020

These kangaroos were inspired by yarn scraps left behind by a  friend who was going overseas to live.  Now the remnants have been fashioned into these cheeky characters and will soon be bounding off in the post to be reunited with their original owner as a reminder of their time in Australia.

As a scrap project, the aim was to utilise as much leftover yarn as possible.  The limited amounts of each yarn and the unusual combination of colours presented a design challenge, especially because I wanted the joey to match its parent.  
A closer view of the large crocheted kangaroo's face. The black nose has two thin black threads trailing from it demonstrating how two threads are used together to make a yarn thick enough to match the other yarns. These strands will later be used to embroider the muzzle features.
The scrap black yarn
was a thin 4-ply.
Its thin weight was ideal
for embroidering the features.
To make the noses,
I worked two strands at once.

The faces needed to be a solid colour to contrast the facial features but that used up most of the beige.   The red yarn was thinner therefore I didn't feel it was suitable for the body or limbs but it was perfect for 'features' like the ears but it was so BRIGHT! An accent colour the red will be.  Fortunately there was enough to make the pouches and balance the accents across the bodies and the thinner yarn made a stretchier, more forgiving pouch.

The Red Kangaroo is the largest of all the Australian roos so red yarn is apt.

That was pretty much the end of the 8-ply scraps from Lucky Dog but I needed more yarn! This is where Ravelry came in handy.  Ravelry sorted my 8-ply stash by amount leftover and helped me find orphaned scraps of acrylic, the lonely remnants of completed projects, hitherto without purpose.  There were limited colours and not in a combination that I would normally put together.


The answer was: STRIPES!  A striped body will be fun and irreverent and allow me to spread the colours evenly. The solidly coloured limbs will contrast the stripes and be in harmony with the solid heads, ears and pouches.  


The large crocheted kangaroo is facing away from the camera. One can see the red ears, the back of her beige head, her mauve left arm with a purple paw, blue right arm and multicoloured tail (purple, blue and beige) against the stripes on her body. Her upper body has blue and green stripes, the lower body has beige and brown stripes. Stripe patterns are separated with mauve.
Mother kangaroo
rear view, tail detail.
The crocheted joey is facing away from the camera. One can see the red ears, the back of her beige head, her purple arms and stumpy purple tail against the stripes on her body. Her upper body has blue and green stripes, the lower body has beige and brown stripes. Stripe patterns are separated with mauve.
Joey
rear view, tail detail.



The stripes took some planning.  I counted the number of rounds in each body and calculated the ratios of each stripe combination (beige/brown, purple/blue, blue/green) in order to have joey's pattern match its mother's to scale while retaining its own individuality too!








The kangaroos grew bigger than anticipated. The pattern did not list a finished size.  Even though it listed the type of yarn and hook size, I am stilll surprised that I did not think of this considering my years of crochet experience.   Never mind. Not only did I use up all of the 5- and 8-ply  (and some doubled 4-ply) yarn scraps, but finished off a stash of polyfibre fill that has been taking up storage space.  I am not looking forward to the price of postage for these large cuddly friends. 

Right hand view of the crocheted mother kangaroo. She is facing the right side of the screen.

Left hand view of the crocheted joey. She is facing the left side of the screen.











When I see these two, I think of my own mother:daughter relationships.

I have a happy memory (from just a few weeks ago) of spending time with my daughter on a mild, sunny afternoon in the backyard with me crocheting and my daughter reading. 

Picture us in the middle of a fresh, lush, green lawn with me in a comfortable chair and my daughter sprawled across the lawn, as we savoured the gentle breeze and warm autumn sunshine.  A little bluetooth speaker played soft, relaxing music which gave a picnic atmosphere and it reminded me of summer in The Netherlands.  

These quiet, relaxed times, just 'being', are the times when our children can 'open their hearts' and share their deepest feelings and thoughts … or maybe not, instead discussing passing topics which might seem trivial in the moment but, in the end, it is often the small stuff that ends up becoming the big stuff  because this sort of sharing time creates strong bonds in our relationships.

It's important as parents to create such opportunities and not be rushing around with the hustle and bustle of hectic routines all the time. Even though my offspring are reaching their late teens and young adulthood, they still need the reassurance of their parents no matter how independent, competent, strong or aloof they may seem.



Beyond the fence and grey roadway stands an Eastern Grey kangaroo on the green verge facing left.  It is standing in front of a green shrub which is growing in the garden of a cream-coloured wooden house.  Beyond the house is a grey garden shed, other rooftops and, in the distance, one can see a canopy of eucalyptus trees against a light sky.
Eastern Grey Kangaroo on the street.
This is a regular sight in Lake Conjola.
(New South Wales, Australia.)

To see it hopping along, see the video on the
Lupey Loops YouTube channel:
https://youtu.be/MBdbdKmEGj8



Cheeky crocheted joey looks like she might jump out of mother's pouch to greet you!
Security of mother's pouch!
Have you ever watched kangaroo joeys explore? They won't stray far from mum at first and each small foray has them repeatedly returning to mum for reassurance. Gradually, they overcome their clumsiness, grow their confidence, and stray a bit further until eventually they learn how to negotiate their world.  Many joeys stay close to their mothers until they are quite well developed (unlike some other species of animals) and kangaroos will congregate in 'mobs' made up of family groups.

Our children are just like joeys–exploring independence but then needing the security of mum to come home to.  There's nothing like the warmth of a mother's arms (or pouch) to snuggle in...




Mother and joey resting on the lawn underneath a folded washing line. Behind the washing line is a standard creeper on a wooden trellis and a small shrub.
Mother and joey having an afternoon rest under the washing line in Lake Conjola, NSW, Australia.

When I think of kangaroos and paddocks, I think of fences. Then I think of the Australian volunteer group called "Blaze Aid" which provides aid to rural communities affected by bushfires and floods by rebuilding fences and other structures. (Link to website in 'References' below.)

Which leads me to today's quotation:


Don't ever take a fence down
until you know why it was put up.

—Robert Frost (1874–1963)*


Do you agree?

Your thoughts are most welcome in the comment boxes below.
Have a hoppy happy day!


*Quotation was ascribed to Gilbert Keith Chesterton by John F Kennedy in 1945 but it was not a direct quote, rather G.K. Chesterton paraphrased the sentiment in his book The Thing (1929). See references below.
 

Framed by tree trunks and shrubs, two Eastern Grey kangaroos are resting on a leaf-covered lawn in dappled shade. They are facing left. Behind them one can see a yellow painted house and a spa pool.
Fences and boundaries mean nothing to kangaroos!
As beautiful as they are, kangaroos can create havoc.
These two enjoy peacefully roaming around the Lake Conjola township.



Mother kangaroo (right) and joey (left) facing each other. Both have fawn faces with dark features, stripey bodies, white chests and purple limbs. Their ears and pouches are red.Project Details


Pattern: "Kangaroo mother with a baby" by Katka Reznickova, Kamlin patterns:
http://kamlin-patterns.blogspot.com/2014/05/kangaroo-mother-with-baby.html


Publication: Pattern renamed "“Kinga the Kangaroo and her baby Jumpy”
Reznickova, Katka, Total Crochet: Amigurumi made easy, No. 3, Bromleigh House Ltd, http://www.bromleighhouse.com/, Suites 1–3, 70 Queen Street, Newton Abbott, TQ12 2ER, UK, 2015.

Ravelry (www.ravelry.com):
Above-view of crocheted dog surrounded by yarn scraps on three sides - in front and either side.
Lots of yarn scraps
Yarn:
  • Black 4 ply (not sure of fibre) possibly Strutts 4 ply cotton Thought about making a circle out of the 4 ply black to make the noses.
  • White acrylic 8 ply: Small bunches used for chest patches.
  • Light brown yarn in 8 ply: looks like Carnival acrylic that I used on one of my first skater beanies.
  • Red acrylic 5 ply: may have been 5 ply Carnival acrylic (M. did not keep labels).
  • Lilac acrylic 8 ply: Moda Vera Marvel colour no. 1044, lot no. 774931 - my Ravelry notes recorded 268 metres remaining at the start of the project. After this project there was 62g / 175 m remaining. 93 metres used (32.86 g used).
  • Lime acrylic 8 ply: Moda Vera Marvel colour no. 1015, lot no. 767405., 3 grams / 8.5 metres.

Hook:  3.5 mm


References


For my fellow 'word nerds' … "A Few Roos Loose in the Top Paddock":
Quotation:
Blaze Aid: https://blazeaid.com.au/

Related Posts on Lupey Loops


"Scrappy Lucky Dog", 16 August 2019: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2019/08/scrappy-lucky-dog.html

"The House at Lake Conjola", 9 February 2020: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-house-at-lake-conjola.html

"Bouncing Back to Blogland (Update)", 3 April 2020: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2020/04/bouncing-back-to-blogland-update.html

"Double the Magazine Fun", 6 August 2015: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2015/08/double-magazine-fun.html

"Kangaroo Hopping Down the Street", [video, 36" duration], 14 December 2011, published on  YouTube, Lupey Loops [channel], 8 May 2020: https://youtu.be/MBdbdKmEGj8

"Covid-City Kangaroo", 24 May 2020: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com/2020/05/covid-city-kangaroo.html 

20 comments:

  1. What a beautiful kangaroo you have made.
    The photos are also beautiful, they look very close to the houses.
    Best regards Irma

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    1. Oh yes, the kangaroos are right next to the houses. They used to come into our backyard at the Lake Conjola house. There were very few fences (not that fences would make any difference). The kangaroos are not tame but not necessarily timid either. People know that kangaroos can become dangerous if they try to tame them. Do not feed or approach wild kangaroos. Stay safe and enjoy them from a distance.

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  2. Amazing that you have such lovely kangaroos living close to you :D

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    1. While the city of Adelaide was in lockdown, the streets were so quiet that the kangaroos came right into the central business district to explore the city streets. There are a few kangaroos that frequent the city's parklands and railway corridors! I suspect that some of them came down from the hills and into the city to look for more food and water during the recent drought. Many parts of Australia are still in drought.

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  3. They are so cute. Your story about the baby joey and how it explores made me think of my daughter with her daughter. I think I will have to make a set of these for them. Interesting quote - I think it applies to mental health too and I am cautious to remove metaphorical fences until I really understand why I had them up in the first place. Thank you for that. And for your lovely comments on my blog. I really appreciate your input into my postings. You are heading towards winter, and we are heading towards summer but despite that difference I feel a true connection to you. Take care.

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    1. I agree that fences can be very metaphorical and agree that we have our emotional fences as much as the physical ones.
      After writing that quote, I thought about how it is a contradictory time for fences. We build walls and barricade ourselves indoors in order to protect ourselves from the outside world and physical contact for fear of pathogens; at the same time we need to pull down the emotional walls and reach out to others and strive for the cohesion and wellbeing of our communities.
      Then I thought of your proverb from last post: This too shall pass. I remembered the Berlin wall which, in the mid 1980s, I had resigned myself to the idea that it may never come down in my lifetime and yet it did come down only a few years later!
      The monumental Great Wall of China is still standing but does it still play the same role for which it was intended when it was built?
      What about Hadrian's wall? Was it a successful or failed venture? Much of it has crumbled away in the weather.
      How does this bode for the American leader who is resolute about building a border wall/fence?
      We have a long border fence within Australia - the Rabbit Proof Fence (there is a film of the same name which I highly recommend) -and that has served its purpose wonderfully and is just as relevant today as when it was built.
      So what of our old European fortress towns originally built within walls but then the gates opened - will the current conditions force those gates to be closed again? These are questions on my mind.

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  4. Your little creations are delightful to see! I love your work and your real critters around the neighborhood!


    Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

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    1. Thank you so much Betty. I am afraid that the photos are not the highest definition - they get compressed so that the page doesn't take so long to load but there is the option to share higher definition pictures at request. Some of the photos are just quick phone snaps and not at the best resolution to begin with.

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  5. These are darling, Jodie. Just so darned happy! Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. Thank you Jeanie! Wishing you a happy day also. :-)

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  6. So adorable both Mom and Little Joey. I love that kangaroos and other wildlife have made their way back into the streets and canals,near civilization. I saw a beautiful photo of a gorgeous jellyfish in the canal in Venice, swimming along in the quiet. It makes me feel like Mother Earth has needed a big break for a long time and now she is getting one. If we would just stop messing with her maybe pandemics would not happen and the world would be a safer place. Sending you love, stay safe my friend.

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    1. I totally agree. The planet needs to have a break from stress and to breathe. This may be a saving grace for many species just in the reduction of roadkill alone.
      I will share some footage and articles of local wildlife moving into urban areas in a future post. I've read stories of big cats, goats, and other creatures boldly exploring newly desolated urban areas.

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  7. I like your new friends, Jodie!
    And yes, I agree with the quote (I don't think that I would dare disagree with my beloved Robert Frost) - many things in life have more meaning than can be seen in a first glance, it is better not to assume that we know everything.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you Amalia,
      I also like all the little friends that you create!
      As for 'assumptions' - oh yes! Don't get me started! hehehe
      Sometimes the more we know about something, the more we realise just how much we *don't* know.
      It is nice to know that Robert Frost is one of your literary loves.
      I wonder what you are reading at the moment. Any recommendations?

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  8. I do love a good scrap buster project. Incorporating stripes was genius. Im thinking back to 23 years ago when we visited Australia. I don't think I appreciated seeing animals in the wild back then as much as I do now, so much older and wiser! Ha ha. I'm just completing a flamingo from stash and enjoying it so much.... And you are so right about it being essential to find some quiet relaxed time with our teens especially right now. That's a lovely description of you and your daughter.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Tamara. Lovely to see you!
      Oooh! Flamingos - don't they make wonderful subjects and inspiration for design ideas with their unique proportions and colours? Flamingoes have been a very fashionable motif in recent years.

      Adelaide Zoo used to have two flamingos. They were a gift to the state. Named 'Greater' and 'Chile', they were the oldest living flamingos in captivity. They have since died of old age (Chile lived to be in her 60s but died in 2018, Greater died in 2014 and he was in his 80s). They were favourites at the zoo and are very much mourned and missed. There will be no more flamingos here as they are not allowed to be imported any more. The modern focus is to support wild populations and prevent extinctions.

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  9. Your colouurful kangaroo and b aby are charming! It's amazing how those real kangaroos are very much part of daily life! So nice to visit you here. Thank you for visiting me on my blog too!

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    1. It is lovely to see your comment here Sandra.
      We are lucky to have wildlife around us like the blackbirds song during your morning walks. I like it when the animals choose to visit us like our regular cheeky magpie visitors. We've had kangaroos and koalas, lorikeets and lizards and even a giant millipede! The latter was massive and so swift with all those legs - fascinating but freaky. Unlike your blog - your blog is so pretty! I will be visiting again, Sandra.

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  10. These two are just the most adorable pair ever! Looking at them, I wish I had more time to work on any amigurumi...

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    1. Thank you for popping in, Maya.
      Nature is a wonderful inspiration - fauna and flora.
      I love your recent botanically inspired work. You do the flora, I'll try the fauna and between us, we can complement each other! :-)

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