Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Seed Saving...

The frosts have set in for the Season here which means my Basil plants are well and truly finished... When my plants shot to flower back in May I cut off these flowers, the seed heads, and hung them in my shed.... So now a month down the track these seed heads are dried and ready to be put to good use....
For those first time seed savers (like I was last year before this lovely lady taught me a thing or two...) lets start at the beginning..... First remove all of the dried seed pods from the dried stalk and put them in the palm of your hand....
Now rub both hands together, this will loosen the seeds from their pods and you'll end up with something like this.....
Now pick all of those delicate little seeds up , each pod contains about 4, and put them in some envelopes (these ones are great, I like to print 4 of them to a page)...
Seal your envelope and you're done, how easy was that???? Make sure you keep your seeds in a cool dry place ready to be sown in the Spring.
I have an old kerosene fridge next to my garden shed that I like to store all of my seeds in, perfect as it keeps them out of the elements... Do you like to save seeds??? I'd love to hear about it if you do.... Sometimes for a little treat I'll also pop a small branch of the seed pods in the envelope too. I'll then put the instructions as to how to harvest the seeds from the pod on the back of the envelope along with growing instructions. This then makes a great gift idea teamed up with a little terracotta pot....

Take Care :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

That Extra Mile....

There are so many very special people out there in blog-land and this week has seen me busily knitting away for one in particular....

She's been a regular visitor to my blog since I started way back in May 2007 and over the past couple of years has offered great support through her comments as well as numerous emails along the way....

Without giving out too many clues she's a huge chook fan and loves the colour blue. She has an amazing blog of her own that's a constant source of inspiration to myself and many other bloggers. So if you've been reading this blog for a while and think this may be you, a little parcel like this one,should be in your mail box very soon... :)

I have a huge list of goodies I'm planning on making up over the next couple of months to thank those extra special bloggers out there who go that little extra mile to make other people like me feel special....

(Washcloth patterns are both freebies from here... rooster, diagonal.)

To answer Michelle's question from this post... I like to use cotton for all of my washcloths. Bamboo is also lovely and I have found myself using an acrylic blend at times especially if the cloth is destined for the kitchen sink as it's better on the dishes than straight cotton... I use 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills for a lot of my washcloths but I also like to use 10 and 12 ply cottons and I just find them at Spotlight, not in the yarn isle though it's usually in the isle where all the needles and hooks are... Hope this helps... :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekends....

With the last of the wheat loaded in the sowing rig, ready to be planted this morning....
The girls and I decided to go mushroom picking in the paddock that backs onto the homestead....
Loads and loads of beautiful, big edible delights awaited us...But with all of this excitement there was bound to be an accident or 2 sooner or later....So a lot of our mushies ended up stump-less, but who cares right?? I'm sure they'll still taste just as good..... *^_^*
I also managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting this weekend with the completion of another feather and fan project inspired by this pattern (again)....
My modifications are as follows..... do 11 repeats of the 4 row feather and fan pattern then bind off knit-wise leaving a 20’ tail…. using a 4mm crochet hook ch10 then slip back into first ch to create a loop for hanging… weave in ends and you’re done…
How'd you spend your weekend????

Friday, June 19, 2009

Feather and Fan....

I've been an admirer of the feather and fan pattern in knitting for some time now but was always too scared to try it, feared it was too hard.....
When I came across this little pattern for a bib that incorporated the feather and fan pattern into it I decided enough was enough and it was time to conquer my fear.....
I'm so glad that I did!!! Feather and fan is SO easy.... It's achieved by working a series of 4 rows, 2 of which are knit, 1 of which is purl and the other which is the 'pattern', how easy is that???
I modified this pattern to produce a bib that fastens on the side and is adjustable.... My mods are as follows....
Once the feather and fan part of the bib is the desired length Knit in stocking st until work measures 1.5 inches, finish with a wrong side row.
Cast off all st’s leaving 10st on your needle at the end…
Work these 10st in stocking st for 30 rows slipping the first st of every row.
Next row (button holes) - slip 1, k1, yo, k2tog, k2, k2tog, yo, k2.
Work in stocking st for 5 rows, slipping the first st of every row.
Repeat button hole row.
Work in stocking st for 5 more rows, slipping the first st of every row.
Repeat button hole row.
Work in stocking st for 5 more rows, slipping the first st of every row.
Repeat button hole row.
Next row - purl.
Next row - slip 1, k2tog, k4, skpsso, k1.
Next row - purl.
Next row - slip 1, k2tog, k2, skpsso, k1.
Next row - cast off purlwise….
Weave in ends and you're finished.
This will give you a bib with one strap and 2 buttons that are adjustable 4 times…
Take Care and Happy Crafting over the weekend... *^_^*

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stash Busting...

The stash busting continues with a pair of super cute slippers for Miss Connie to match the ones made for Little Millie last week...
Inspired by these slippers my modifications are as follows....
Cast on 20st using 5mm needles and 2 x 12ply yarns held together...
row 1 - knit
row 2 - k5, p1, k8, p1, k5
rep these 2 rows 9 more times...
next row - k1, p1 to end.
rep this row 4 mote times.
dec row - (k1, p1) x 4, k2tog, p2tog, (k1,p1) x 4.
next row - k1, p1 to end.
dec row - (k1, p1) x 3, k2tog, p2tog, k2tog, p2tog, (k1, p1) x 2
next row - k1, p1 to end.
dec row - (k1, p1) x 3, k2tog, (k1, p1) x 3.
Thread tail onto darning needle and thread stitches off needle onto tail, thread through again and pull REALLY tight….
Sew up along the toe ribbing to enclose shoe and weave in end.
Fold cast on edge in half and sew closed, weave in ends…
These instructions will make up a pair of size 7-8 child's shoe which fits a 2-3yr old.
I'm loving stash busting at the moment and have a gorgeous feather and fan bib on the go as I type this... Stay tuned for my modified version of the pattern and a few snap shots later on in the week... :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Toasty

It really has cooled down here over the last couple of days and this morning saw our first frost for the year... With stocks running low on the sock front for both my girls I decided a few pairs of these were in order to keep their little tootsies nice and toasty.... This pair's for Little Millie (my 6 month old). I made them by knitting 2 yarns together at once, a fluffy novelty 12ply yarn and an acrylic/wool blend 8ply yarn using 4.5mm needles.

The inspiration for these little cuties came from here. After a few modifications this is what I came up with as to size the pattern down to fit a 6 month old.

cast on 16st.
row 1 - knit.
row 2 - k4,p1,k6,p1,k4.
rep last 2 rows 6 more times.
toe - k1,p1 across.
rep this row 3 more times.
dec row 1 - k1,p1,k1,p1,k2tog, k1,p1,k1,p1,k2tog,k1,p1,k1,p1.
next row - knit in pattern.
dec row 2 - k1,p1,k1,p1,k2tog,p1,k1,p1,k2tog,p1,k1,p1.
next row - knit in pattern.
Thread tail onto darning needle and thread stitches off needle onto tail, thread through again and pull REALLY tight…. Sew up along the toe ribbing to enclose shoe and weave in end. Fold cast on edge in half and sew closed, weave in ends…

This is such a great stash busting project!!! I love the simplicity of these little slippers and can see my little girls wearing loads of them this Winter as they only take 1 good solid hour of knitting to complete a whole pair, gotta love that... ^_^

I'm already 1/2 way through a pair in toddler size 3 for Miss Connie and will post my pattern notes for those interested some time next week...

Take Care and Happy Crafting....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Foliage...

My latest knitting project was a beanie (pattern avaliable for free here) for Miss Connie....
On completion I found that it also fits this Mumma's head.....What a BONUS!!!! So now when Miss Connie opts not to wear it, as I'm sure she often will.....
I can wear it instead, you gotta love that.... *^_^*
note... I made version 2 on the pattern using 4mm needles and 10ply yarn. I also only did 6 rows instead of 8 of the ribbing before casting off....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Time to Knit....

All of the rainy weather of late has meant that I've been spending quite a lot of time inside with the girls. So with this inside time has come the completion of a couple of knitting projects... First there is this cabled washcloth (free pattern available here) for a swap I'm doing.....As well as this owl one (free pattern available here), also for the swap...
Then there was another one of these cardi's (free pattern available here) for Miss Connie. She loves the first one so much, I thought another was definitely on the cards...
I've also finished 1 fingerless mitten (pattern available for free here) with another yet to be cast on, also for Miss Connie..... Two yarn's were knit together for these mittens to get the right ply. I love how the light and dark blue's look together... Thinking of doing the same thing in a beanie to match....

Take Care *^_^*

Monday, June 1, 2009

Just Perfect.....

Our local picnic race meet was on a couple of weeks back, what a great day for some Daddy daughter bonding..... So with Miss Connie and Daddy in town at the races and Mumma at home with the bubba some crafting was on the agenda.... I managed to whip up a cute little bag using this tutorial....

I love the simplicity of this bag and with it's big opening it'll be perfect for carrying one of my many knitting projects that I have on the go....It's raining on and off here today, has been for 2 days, nice soaking rain too.... Just perfect for the trees and seeds I planted last week.....

A 'Washington navel' and 'Valencia' orange tree.....
Along with spinach and peas in tiny recycled pots that I blogged about way back here.....Here's hoping it's perfect weather were you are today.... For us the rain is just bliss and couldn't of come at a better time. It's just perfect!!!!! Take Care *^_^*