Friday, 30 March 2012

A blokey crochet hat!

I've struggled to come up with a crochet hat pattern that looks blokey. So many of the patterns for men's hats that I like are knitted. So I've taken inspiration from the traditional knit fisherman's rib pattern to come up with this crochet design. Mr seemed happy to model it (or perhaps that was the end of term / I'm now on holiday good mood).

I've used the Jo Sharp Aran Tweed and a 5mm hook. Without my model to try on the hat this afternoon I got a bit carried away with the length. So he has rolled it up to fit, which does actually make it look more like the old fisherman's rib hats. I might leave it this length. You will find that  the ridges don't form straight rows, but rather have a slight swirl to them.
So here is the very easy pattern.
  • I start my hats with a sliding loop, or you could try a chain of 6 stitches and join into a loop.
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1dc) - 10 dc into the ring - join. (11)
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc) - fpdc in next  dc - (1dc in same dc - fpdc in next) - repeat around - join (22)
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc) - 1dc in next dc - fpdc in next dc - (1dc in same dc  - 1dc in next dc - fpdc in next dc)  - repeat around - join (33)
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc) - 1dc in next 2 dc - fpdc in next dc - (1dc in same dc - 1dc in next 2 dc - fpdc in next dc) - repeat around - join (44)
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc) - (fpdc in next dc - 1 dc in same dc - skip 1 dc - fpdc in next dc) -  repeat around - join (44)
  • Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc) - 1 dc in next - fpdc in next dc - (1 dc in same dc - 1 dc in next - fpdc in next dc)  - repeat around - join (66)
  • Repeat last row until hat reaches desired size.
  • sc around last row and end off.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

In the garden.....

It has been a while since I last did a post on the garden. That dosen't mean nothing has been happening.

I've harvested my "rubish bin" potatoes, which was a bit like digging for buried treasure.This would make a fantastic project to do with the kids, and is really easy to do. I've used an old rubish bin, but any tall structure would work. Try a tower of old car tyers.

Any way here is how to grow your own potato crop in a small space.
  • Late Winter you will be able to pick up seed potatoes from your local nursery. I've tried a mix of different ones this year including Kipfler, Pink Fir,Royal Blue and Pontiac. This gave a mix of potatoes good for roasting, mashing, and chips.
  • Once the risk of frost has passed, you can get ready to plant.
  • Cut each potato into sections making sure that you have at least 2 or 3 eyes on each piece. Anyone who has had potoatoes start to shoot in the pantry will see that the eye is where the plant will grow from.
  • Add about 20cm of soil to the bottom of the bin. I've used a cheap potting mix, but any normal garden soil will work just as well.
  • Scatter the potato pieces on the soil, making sure that you don't crowed the pieces.
  • Cover with about  15cm of soil, and lay another layer of potato pieces. Keep going.
  • Cover the last layer with about 30cm of soil.
  • As the plants grow about 10cm above the soil, cover with another 30cm of soil.
  • Keep repeating until you get to the top of the bin. It is important to keep covering the plant as it grows. It will continue to put out roots if it is covered, and set new potatoes on the roots up its length.
  • I had planned to keep adding straw layers up the wire tower, but the plant grew too qucikly before I had the chance.
  • It is important to keep the soil moist but not wet, or the seed potato will rot.
  • Towards the end of Summer / early Autumn the potato plant will go brown and die off.
  • It is then time to harvest the potatoes by digging them up.
I've kept the soil and will dig it into the veggie patch when I prepare it for the winter crops.

It really is good fun to get your hands dirty and find the buried treasure. Just look at what I have uncovered.

There has been other things going on in the garden too.

  • The rain as bought the end of the Beans, and caused the Tomatoes to split.
  • The Dahlia are in fantastic bloom.
  • The Japanese Wind Flowers have taken over the bed, and add fantastic movement to the bed.
  • The Gazania continue to give wonderful colour day after day.
  • The pumkins have gone crazy and had taken off down the hill, so have been trimmed back so we can get into the wood shed!

  • Monday, 26 March 2012

    That old uneasy feeling!

    I know it is a controlled DSE burn, but I still have an uneasy feeling when I see a bush fire so close to home. Concerning that the CFA don't have it listed on their "Warning" page though.

    Wednesday, 21 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    19.03.2012 - "Funny"

    As the sign says, this is the Everton bus shelter. Everton is a little town in my area, and this is their working bus shelter.

     There are obviously some people with a great sense of humour in the town. They decorate the top according to what is happening. They had a fantastic bride and groom for last years royal wedding. The leprechaun is for St Patricks Day.

    I don't drive past without taking a look at what is the latest "instillation".

    Monday, 19 March 2012

    Sunny Sunday Market
    We had our first local craft market on Sunday, and with such a glorious day that was too good to waste inside, so we set up out in the sunshine. Being the first, I don't think any of us were expecting to make a fortune. Being my first market, I was trying to get a gage of what people were interested in and what my price points should be. I've got some work to do to come up with things that catch peoples eye, and yet are quick and cheap to make. Thinking cap on! Any ideas?

    Clare from Sweet Birdy Love has some lovely pieces, and I can see why her hoy water bottle covers sell so well. They are so cute.

     Lauren and Chris from Indigo Ink have lovely hand bound books, with some really cute designs. I was looking at them, trying to come up with a reason to buy one. Sitting here writing this blog I've just come up with a reason - I need a book to start and jot my design ideas down. Their books would be perfect.

    Judy organised the market, and was a bit of a dark horse. Who new she had this hidden talent? I can't wait to see more.

    Mr had some of his ink drawings on sale.

    And Sidney seemed very happy with the hat she bought from me with her own pocket money.

    Sunday, 18 March 2012

    Kosciusko Cushion

    When we were in Kosciuszko National Park last weekend, I was looking at the colours of the bush, and was inspired to create a new cushion.

    My yarn stash is a bit out of control, so I was fortunate enough to have enough 8ply pure wool on hand to give me the colours of the bush. More good luck than good management really.

    The first side is made of a series of 4cm granny squares in solid colours. When I joined the squares together, I wasn't happy with the "gappy" corners, so solved the problem with a small cross stitched to pull the corners together.

    I couldn't make up my mind for the back. I started off with a giant granny square of merging colours, before changing to a pattern of merging colours in a line. This was also a handy way to use up the odds and ends.

    I wasn't completely happy with the way it looked and it was too big, so I decided to felt it. After one hot wash, along with a scrubbing brush and a pair of rubber thongs, I was really happy with the result. The orange and red yarns are a crape yarn and haven't felted, which has added an unexpected texture.

    And the end result......

    Photo a day challenge

    18.03.2012 - "A corner of your home"

    This is Mr's "relaxation corner" in our house. Slaughtering zombies, reading wikipedia  or searching the net are his main activities carried out in this corner of our home.

    Photo a day challenge

    17.03.2012 - "Green"

    Autumn is on it's way, with the green leaves starting to show a tinge of red.

    Friday, 16 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    16.03.2012 - "Sunglasses"

    Being a person that needs to wear glasses all the time, I struggle to find ones I like. These ones I loved. Unfortunately I lost them when I was tubing down the Ovens River one Christmas holiday.

    Thursday, 15 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    15.03.2012 - "Car"

    This little car is know at my place as "the cup cake car",and belongs to the local bakery. It always makes me smile.

    Photo a day challenge

    14.03.2012 - "Clouds"

    I really enjoy being able to stand on the veranda and look out across the valley. Watching the weather works its way through the valley is a constant wonder. Not long after this photo was taken, we had thunder and lightening.

    Tuesday, 13 March 2012

    When the journey is just as important as the destination.

    With a long weekend in Victoria this weekend, we took the opportunity to drive up to Canberra to see the Renaissance exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Rather than spend 4 or 5 hours on the oh so boring Hume Highway, we had a bit if an adventure . It wasn't the most direct route, but well worth the extra few hours.

    The road over the mountains and through the Kosciuszko National Park is a really interesting drive. The silver of the dead gum trees was really striking

    regrowth on dead trees

    Mt Kosciuszko is behind the cloud

    I'm so glad we made the trip to see the exhibition. Mr gave me an art history lesson while we were waiting to go in, so my viewing of the artwork was really enhanced. There was one underlying issue that came through to me, which was that they had no idea how to paint a baby. So often the proportions were so wrong, but the baby that basically had a shrunken man's body (including a six pack and developed leg muscles) was just really disturbing!

    We also visited the National Portrait Gallery . There were two paintings that left an impression on me. The first was of General Cosgrove. Unfortunately the painting hasn't reproduced well in this link, but the colour pallet was spot on, and the air of tension created by the two soldiers at the back looking off to the side, was really powerful.

    The second was of actress Deb Mailman. I loved the texture of the wool bail fabric it is painted on, and the simple colour pallet used.

    I've mixed feelings about Canberra. It seems to be missing something. An energy? A soul? A feeling of organic evolution? Perhaps if I stayed for longer, I'd pick up on these elements. As a tourist, it has a lot to offer. There is so much to see and do. I love the open spaces, the public art, and the buildings making grand statements.

    I'll be back. I need to see how the National Arboretum develops over the next 20 years. It really is being planted for future generations, but hopefully will be wonderful in my life time.

    View from the National Arboretum

    Himalayan Cedar forest

    The trip home through the wool and sheep regions of  NSW was such a contrast to the trip to Canberra.  The wide open paddocks. The grain silos. The depressed looking small towns. There is no doubt that the 10 year drought has taken its toll on the areas we travelled through.

    We tend to stay off the freeway when we travel. That way the journey becomes part of the holiday too!

    Friday, 9 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    08.03.2012 - "Window"

    The thing I'm loving about this photo challenge is that it makes me notice things that I hadn't noticed before. Like this sign. With the theme of "window" in my head, I set off on my morning walk. I've walked past this pub window hundreds of times, but today was different. I stopped, read what was painted on the window, and got to thinking about what it actually means. With 08.03.12 being International Women's Day, I started thinking about how far we have come as women in Australia. Such a small thing as not being able to drink in "The Bar" with the men, and being segregated to the "Ladies Lounge",  seems like the most ludicrous thing in the current age. But not so long ago, this was the standard set.

    Thank heavens for the women of past generations with the strength of character and firm determination to make a change. We owe them so very much.

    Thursday, 8 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    07.03.2012 - "Something you wore"

    Now that I'm working from home more than in the office , I don't do the whole hair and make up routine every day. It seems like a waste to use my perfume when I'm just at home, but I'm conscious of it going stale. I've been told that if you keep it out of the light, it will keep longer. Hope that's right, or I may have to start using it every day anyway.

    Tuesday, 6 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    06.03.2012 - "5pm"

    I'm in Melbourne for work again, and nothing says 5pm in Melbourne like a tram and peak hour traffic.

    Sunday, 4 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    03.03.2012 - "your neighbourhood"

    Everyone in my neighbourhood has had their fingers crossed this weekend. The rain just kept on coming, and we were all worried about what mother nature had in store for us. She sure made a mess of this little bridge and the creek bank.

    Gold was first found in my town at this creek crossing, so perhaps I had better take a closer look at the creek bed once the water goes down. Perhaps all that water rushing through will have unearthed a nugget or two!

    Friday, 2 March 2012

    Photo a day challenge

    02.03.2012 - "Fruit"

    While chillies may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fruit,they do meet the definition of a fruit.  - formed from a flower and contain seeds.

    Mr is a fan of chillies, and even he things these are hot!

    Photo a day challenge " Up"

    Today has seen a heap of clean "up". With so much rain over the last couple of days, it was no surprise that when the big storm came through this morning, the water had no were to go other than through the garage.

    My day has been spent cleaning up!

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