Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black and White Striped Tea Towel Topper

This is the last in a series of 3 tea towel toppers I've made for my sister's birthday. It compliments the white tea towel topper and the black tea towel topper I've made which will be in the post to Darwin very soon!

black and white striped tea towel topper
For this tea towel topper, I changed colours to create stripes to match the tea towel. I did not fasten off each colour after each stripe, but left the cotton at the side and picked it up when it was time to change. So I could do that, there are 2 rows of each colour, so I could go back to the side that had the cotton waiting. The white stripes are 2 rows of dc, the black stripes are 2 rows of sc so they are thinner. Other wise the decreasing rows are the same as the black tea towel topper I made. I'm glad I decided to do the sc edge in black, I think it looks better than if I did it in white. Lastly, I chose a pretty grey button that I think compliments the stripes.

Happy Birthday, Sis!
<3 <3

Monday, February 27, 2012

Black Tea Towel Topper with white flower

Here is the second tea towel topper I've made for my sister's birthday, which is this weekend. It's a plain black one, with a simple 7 petal flower at the button. Here is a link to the white tea towel topper I've made.

black tea towel topper with contrasting flower
For this one I used a 3mm hook so the stitches are not as spread apart as the first topper I made. I began with an embroidered chain stitch using needle and black 4ply cotton. The first row of crochet is a sc in every embroidered stitch, the second row is a dc in every sc. I started decreasing at the 3rd row, decreasing every second dc, the 4th row is a dc in every dc. The 5th row is decreasing in every second dc, the 6th row does not decrease with a dc in every dc. The next 3 rows are decreasing, with a decreasing stitch in every 2nd dc. By the 11th row there are about 8 dc, if not a decrease a couple more until there is. From there the strap is 8 rows of 8 dc each. The last row of the strap is 2 ch, 3 dc, 8 ch (for a button hole), sl st into top of 3rd dc, 4 dc, turn. Then I put about 15 dc into the button hole at sl st at the other side. Then I slst to the button hole and did a round of sc on the inside of the button hole and fastened off. This last round forms the foundation of the flower. Still in the black cotton, I went around the edge of the topper with sc. Changing to a constrasting colour, I started the 7 petal flower at the sc round at the button hole. I started with sc in 1 sc, then in teh next sc its (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc) sc in next sc, etc. I just put enough petals around the sc round to form a flower with petals that lay flat, skipping a few sc to do so. Lastly, I attached a large button of constrasting colour.

Well, I hope my description of what I did to make this topper makes sense. Its not exactly a pattern, as its not something I think you can predict perfectly, it depends on the tea towel! I'm not overly keen on tea towel toppers myself, but I'm pretty happy with this one, I think its rather cute!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A pretty pink card for a 1 year old girl

Here is a pretty pink cupcake card to celebrate our niece's first birthday! Inside my mother has personalised the card very nicely. I just love my mum's handmade greeting cards, don't you?
front of pink card for a 1 year old girl
My mother makes beautiful greeting cards, and I like to feature some of them on this blog. I was at her house last weekend, and she was showing me how she makes some of them. I'm now thinking maybe one day I will find time to try making my own! If you like my mother's greeting cards she can be contacted at Bead Supplies Australia (she also sells beads!).
inside pink card for a 1 year old girl
Lately I've been linking in with my favourite blog party Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound. There are countless blog parties around, but this one is my very favourite. Check it out! <3

Friday, February 24, 2012

White Tea Towel Topper

white tea towel topper
This is not my first attempt at a tea towel topper, but the first worth sharing! This one I unravelled a couple of times before I was happy enough to leave it.

My sister's birthday is coming up and she's asked me to make her something black and white for her kitchen. I was thinking of making dishcloths, but white dish clothes are not a good idea as the white part will stain and end up looking grubby. I thought I'd make some oven mitt pot holders, but then I realised the acrylic blend cotton I had bought was not suitable, as anything that is exposed to heat like that should be 100% cotton, otherwise it might melt! I finally decided I would give some tea towel toppers a try. The first one I tried a couple of years ago was just a random effort, I did not follow a pattern at all and it wasn't very good.

This time I decided to try a simple tea towel topper pattern at the Lion Brand Yarn site, but after I did it I wasn't happy with that either. It was too gathered and the decreasing stitches were too spread apart. The next morning I went to my craft group, taking Thomas with me which meant I only had a little time to do it before he woke from his nap. While I was there, I unravelled the topper to the 3rd row, and then went on making my own pattern that was not as puckered, changing from a 4mm hook to a 3.5mm to make the stitches closer together. Instead of decreasing every stitch in every row, I did every second stitch in every second row. Every other row was just a normal 1 for 1 row. This made it less buckled up. By the time I got to the strap I realised another lady at the craft group had some vintage tea towel topper patterns, so I found one I liked and just copied the strap part only, it was a pretty fan design. Then I went all the way around with sc to finish it off.

a fan design on the topper strap
I had to change the fan design slightly as I didn't understand the vintage pattern, this is my version of it.
Fan strap design added to work
1. 8 dc, turn.
2. 2 ch, dc, 2 ch sk 1, sc, 2 ch sk 1, dc, dc, turn
3. 4 ch, tr into dc, 5 tr into sc (fan), tr into dc, tr into dc, turn
4. 2 ch, dc, 2 ch, sc into middle tr of fan, 2 ch, dc into tr, dc into tr, turn
5 - 10 repeat row 3 & 4 3 more times

The Lion Brand Yarn pattern said to start the first row as an embroidered chain stitch with needle and thread. I found this method works better for attaching the crochet, rather than trying to crochet straight through the cloth, which I have tried before with minimal success. The problem with this first attempt is it is wonky, not going straight across the middle fold exactly, so next time I will have to draw the line so I can follow it more accurately.

I intend for this to form part of a set of three. Watch this space for more tea towel toppers to come!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Very Pretty Birthday Card

When my mum was showing me some of her latest handmade greetings cards, this one really caught my eye. It's a very pretty printed paper, with a lovely ribbon embellishment. Hopefully my mum will have a website for her cards very soon, so you can see all of her card designs. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pretty Blue Hearts Handmade Card

a pretty blue heart card
Here is another pretty card my mother made. I really liked this one with its blue hearts, lace and chocolate colours. Inside was another special heart and a piece of printed paper. I'm in the process of talking my mum into having her own blog so people can look at all of her card designs. Hopefully I'll be able to link to her blog very soon!
inside a pretty heart card

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Portable Kitchen Shelf

a portable kitchen shelf for renters

This is not the first one of these portable kitchen shelves I've made, but the first one I've blogged about! Because we are renters we can't put up normal shelves, so I've  made a couple of these portable ones which will be usable at the next place we move to.

shelf ingredients!
I decided this morning that I needed a smaller shelf to go on top of the larger one I made a couple of years ago. We went to Bunnings and I got my ingredients! One plank of pine cut into 3 pieces, 2 x 35cm and 1 x 70cm. There was a 40cm left over piece at the end, because the plank was 1.8m long, so that is going to become a chopping board! The hardest part is asking and waiting for someone to cut up my piece of pine, as I don't have a saw. They do it very quickly, once they start, and the cuts are very smooth. Bunnings do this free of charge with a purchase of timber.

leftover pine chopping board
The other things I needed were 4 angle brackets with screws to go in the corners, some hooks to go along the front to hang things on, and some sand paper. I also bought a portable drill today, as last time we borrowed a drill. I just gave the 3 pieces of pine a quick sand and roughly screwed the angle brackets into the corners! I know its a bit wonky, but I only want to put a few light things on it to get them up and out of the way, I don't think it needs to be sturdier than this. I did make it smaller and thiner than the first shelf so it would have less chance of falling over, I don't think it will topple.

The most fun part of course is at the end, when I get to put my stuff on it!
a happy kitchen shelf!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pink Swimsuit for a Pink Haired Doll

pink swimsuit for a Barbie doll
One of the gifts I received for Valentine's Day was this gorgeous pink haired Fashionista doll! Summer is so hot here right now in Brisbane, I just had to add a swimsuit to her wardrobe immediately!

back of swimsuit
Using a very pretty variegated pink cotton that my mother gave me, which I recently used to make a tiny pink heart garland, and my 1.75mm hook, I had a go at my first swimsuit for a Barbie doll. It wasn't too hard, I started it while my baby was asleep on Wednesday afternoon and got it finished by dinner time. I'm thinking I might make another one for my other Fashionista doll (as she is probably very jealous right now!), so I can check the pattern. If all goes well I'll post the pattern when I blog about that. If I get a chance the second swimsuit will use a variegated orange my mum also gave me.

zombie doll head
As well as being a Fashionista doll like the first doll I bought since I started collecting a couple of years ago, this one is also a Swappin' Styles doll. This means you can change the heads around. To start, she was actually blonde, but you can remove that head and attach the pink haired one instead. I've never bought a doll like this before because the idea of having an extra head without a body seemed wrong, like having Frankenstein body parts. Now I have a Zombie Doll head, I wonder what I can do with it? Maybe I can make her into a pincushion? There is just something very wrong about having a doll head lying around!

I also just have to show you the card my husband gave me for Valentine's Day. On this day especially more than any other, we like to give each other personalised cards.

a personalised Valentine's card from moonpig
My husband got this card printed from moonpig. He said it was easy to download a photo, he chose one of the three of us at Christmas time. You design the card and choose all the words. Then they post it to you, or you can have them post it directly to the intended recipient. And the price is similar to the greeting cards you can buy from the store.

The cards my mother makes are far more beautiful, but on Valentine's Day I think its especially nice to get a card from my husband that he designed. Awwwww, that's lovey dovey!

Today I am following my favourite blog party Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound, check it out!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pale Green Toy Marble Bag

plain pale green toy marble bag
Here is another toy marble bag, this time in a pale green craft acrylic yarn. It's big enough to hold the lego toy I am giving as a gift to my 5 year old nephew on the weekend.

I find making up these bags pretty simple, especially if its plain and doesn't have any stripes or designs, like this one. I've done another toy marble bag with stripes that I gave as a birthday gift to a one year old boy. I like doing them because they don't take long to do, maybe an hour or two. I find short projects more satisfying because they are completed quickly, so you can get that finished buzz sooner and more often. But finding a spare hour or two to crochet is challenging when I have a  baby who insists on grabbing at my work if he can reach. I almost always have to wait until he is asleep or wait until daddy comes home and looks after him.

I hope my nephew finds the green toy bag useful for something, I think he just might!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Handmade Card for a 5 year old boy

Here is a cute handmade birthday card for my 5 year old nephew, made by my mum. At first I thought it was a typo, but no it really does say "Happy Dirtday"! Its very appropriate I think!

card for a 5 year old boy
If you're interested in the handmade cards my mother makes, she can be contacted at Bead Supplies Australia (she also sells beads!).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Happy Potted Dwarf Lime Tree

our potted dwarf lime tree is nearly 3 years old
Our 2 and a half year old potted dwarf lime tree is thankfully looking a lot happier this season, after some T.L.C. about 6 months ago.

Last year our lime tree was dropping leaves, and a fair few of the leaves were yellow. We were very worried about our darling, we didn't want to lose it considering how much we invested in it! After some research we found out the yellowing was caused by not feeding it enough fertiliser, and too much water sitting in the base. We started being vigilant about tipping out the excess water from the base, and making sure it got a good feed regularly. It gets a liquid fertiliser every 3 or 4 weeks, as well as some slow release citrus plant food pellets. Last winter we top dressed it, by removing as much soil from the top as we could using just our hands, and replacing that with fresh premium quality potting mix. We also did that the previous winter.

flowering potted dwarf lime tree
After keeping up with a regiment of regular feeding, our potted lime tree is looking better than ever, and I'm so relieved! The leaves are now a healthy dark green, the tree is as tall as I am and the missing leaves have been replaced. There is even a new blush of flowers, promising a new crop to come!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Heart Spagetti Garland

I was at a loss as to what I could make to go inside the tiny red sauce pot I was going to give my husband for Valentine's Day (he loves to cook, and if you do too, make sure you check out his cooking blog Dave's Home Cooking). After making tiny heart garlands over the last few days, I finally came up with the idea of making one that resembled spagetti to put in his little pot!
love heart spagetti garland in a pot
I can't believe I got almost everything done that I wanted to get done by Valentine's Day! The only thing I would have liked to have made that I didn't get to do, is to make my own homemade gift paper, but I ended up grabbing some from the store. Not as nice I know but, oh well, something had to give!

This garland is a lot bigger than the other heart garlands I've made which are 'tiny'. In this one there are 12 red hearts all up and it's over 2 metres long, it's red and white colours make it a good Christmas decoration. For the hearts I used my 3.5mm hook for the thick red cotton hearts, and my 3mm hook for the white 4 ply cotton spagetti. I didn't realise until after I started that I didn't have enough of the thick white cotton to do the spagetti and decided the 4 ply would be ok. There are 30 ch between each heart and 5 ch from heart cheek to cheek. Loops at each end make this garland easy to hang up as a decoration.
love heart spagetti garland design by Teena Sutton Murphy
I also had a chance to make up a rustic Valentine's card for my hubby while he was watching a movie and the baby was napping. You have to make hay while the sun shines! I quickly made up a cute little card in a rustic style, by first tracing 2 hearts onto card using a cookie cutter. Then I cut them out and sewed them together with blanket stitch and red thread. Finally I used baby's crayons to make a rustic heart on the front and a special message inside.

making a love heart card using a cookie cutter
Its not as nice as the handmade greeting cards my mum makes, but I like to make one myself for my husband on Valentine's Day. Its just a little special thing that's nice to do. Even if my card ended up very  "rustic"!
a rustic handmade Valentine's card

Monday, February 13, 2012

Turquoise Heart Garland Love Charm

beaded turquoise tiny heart garland
I made this beaded turquoise heart garland for a friend as a birthday gift, it can be used as a lucky love charm for the bedroom, or as a Christmas tree decoration like the red heart garland I have made. Its also similar to the tiny blue heart garland I made the other day. This one is 70cm long.

Do you ever make something that seems to make itself? It just mysteriously comes into being and you don't know how the design occured? This is what happened here! I've been wondering for a couple of weeks how to incorporate these beads into something I could give my friend for her birthday. They fell off her bracelet when she picked up my baby and he grabbed at it. All the beads fell to the floor of the coffee shop we were at, she told me not to bother to pick them up, but being a thrifty crafty person, I couldn't just leave a bunch of perfectly good beads lying there now could I?

close-up of a tiny turquoise heart
I was thinking of making a small bag with a beaded edge, then I thought of a beaded jug cover. I've even bought the netting to go in the middle, but when I tried it out it didn't work too well. I think I'll leave making jug covers for another time! I don't know how the idea of this heart garland came to me today (Friday), but my friend's birthday is on Valentine's Day so she needed a heart garland, didn't she?

I pulled out all my 4 ply cottons to find a colour that might suit the turquoise beads. On my desk was a pile of colours that were possibilities. I decided upon the glittery turquoise as it was quite a good match and made my first heart, using my favourite little heart pattern at Suzie's Stuff. Then I remembered the tiny pink hearts I made the other day and put one beside it. I realised the other colours I had piled there would look good, so I made a heart each of those. I put the pink one back and found these remaining seven colours went well with the beads as a group. I fastened off each tiny heart using a yarn needle. I'm glad I decided to do different coloured hearts as I think they would have got lost if the whole thing was the one colour.

I then did the joining chain using the glittery turquoise. Each end has 50 ch, with a loop for hanging. In between each heart is 20 ch on which I threaded 3 beads. I counted up all the beads and allocated the beads so every one was used. This was the first time I've crochet with beads and it wasn't too difficult, I used my tinyiest .75mm hook to get the thread through the beads. For the rest of it I used my 1.75mm hook. The ch is attached to each heart at each cheek with a sc and 4 ch in between, with another bead.

Its something frivolous, a cheery thing to bring good luck, I hope my friend likes it!
a lucky love charm or Christmas decoration

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tiny Blue Heart Garland

tiny heart garland design by Teena Sutton Murphy
After I made a pink heart garland the other night, I just had to make a matching blue one for my husband's bedside lampshade as well! These tiny garlands are just under 55cm long, and I used my 1.75mm hook and some 4ply cotton.

I made this one the same as the tiny pink heart garland I posted about yesterday. Again there are 6 hearts, with 20 ch in between each. One heart is at the end of the chain, at the other end is a loop to form a circle. Just slip the heart at the other end through the loop. These hearts follow my favourite little heart pattern from Suzie's Stuff. The most tedious part of making this garland is the fastening off of the tiny hearts, threading each end of yarn through a yarn needle and through the work to hide it.

I've designed these tiny and cute garlands to be lucky love charm decorations for the bedroom. They could hang off bed posts or windows. Ours hang around our lampshades. Awwww, that's lovey dovey! And just in time too, for Valentine's Day is in just a couple more days!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tiny Pink Heart Garland Charm

On a whim, and because I'm getting into the Valentine's Day spirit, I whipped up these 3 tiny hearts. Aren't they sweet? I followed my favourite tiny heart pattern at Suzie's Stuff, using my 1.5mm hook and a pretty variegated cotton my mum gave me.
tiny pink heart garland design by Teena Sutton Murphy
I didn't know what I would use them for. I was wondering if I could make a pair of dangly crochet heart earrings like the ones I saw at a craft site. I have the equipment to make them, but its been ages since I've done earrings and I've forgotten how to do it! I'll have to ask my parents how as they were the ones who showed me in the first place. Making jewellery is their business at Feather's Nest, now called Bead Supplies Australia.
three tiny crochet hearts
So with the earrings idea abandoned, last night I made up a few more pink hearts and joined them together into a tiny garland! This is very similar to the first tiny red heart garland I made.There are 6 hearts in all, one end of the chain has a heart on it, the other end has a small loop. This way the chain can be lopped around the last heart to secure it into a circle.

close-up of how the tiny garland forms a circle
I think it's rather cute, if I do say so myself! This can be used as a lucky love charm decoration in the bedroom. I think I might hang mine around my bedside lampshade!

It's never hard for me to make a post that happens to be pink, so this Saturday I'm linking in with my old favourite blog party "Pink Saturday" at How Sweet the Sound. Check it out!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fluffy-edged Love Heart Pillow

Fluffy-edged Love Heart Pillow
Here is a new Valentine's Day project, a small fluffy edged heart pillow, how sweet! You could fill it with lavender for a scented gift. For this I used my thick cotton blend and a 4mm hook. This is too hard for me to write a proper pattern, so I'll just describe what I did.

To make one heart side, I started by chaining 10, then did 10 rows of 10 sc (counting the 1st ch as a sc).  This 10 x 10 stitch square forms the bottom part of the heart. For a heart cheek, I sl st 2 along a side, and then 6 dc into the middle of the side of the square, sk 2 sl st, sl st 2 along the side until I got to the corner of the square, turn. Then 2 dc into every dc for a total of 12 stitches, sl st into the other corner of the square. I then did another cheek an the adjacent side of the square. I finished the heart in the middle of the 2 cheeks.

I then did the heart for the other side without fastening off,  I just started a square right from the middle of the 2 cheeks. When I completed the square, I joined the 2 squares along one side only with sc to get me to a side that would have a cheek. I started a cheek opposite a cheek on the first heart. When I completed a cheek, I joined 2 cheeks of 2 different hearts with sc to get to the point where I needed to put the last heart cheek. After that cheek, I joined those with sc. By that point there was just one opening left between the 2 hearts where I could put some stuffing. I used old wool that was too weak to use for anything else as the stuffing for this pillow. After I had filled the pillow, I joined the last sides of squares with sc and fastened off.
stitching 2 hearts together

For an optional embellishment, I put an edge of sc along the joins of the 2 hearts using fluffy red fun yarn. This is a sweet little pillow for Valentine's Day. I think I'll give it to my baby son as a cot toy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flowering Potted Rosemary

a potted rosemary bush flowering prettily

Rosemary has turned out to be one of the easiest herbs to grow in our potted garden here in sub-tropical Brisbane. Our 3 year old plant is currently flowering very prettily with delicate little lilac blossoms. It's so easy to grow, I recommend it as one of the first herbs to try.

Even if you don't use rosemary in your cooking, this is such a nice herb to have in your garden because its so lovely and fragrant. Just break a small piece off and sniff for an instant boost! Rosemary is a very useful herb to have fresh on hand and goes especially well when cooking lamb. Check out my husband's cooking blog, Dave's Home Cooking, for ideas on how to use rosemary in your cooking, especially this yummy Beef Casserole and Rosemary Dumplings recipe! Rosemary is also a great herb to add to craft projects like scented pillows and bath soaks.

my three year old potted rosemary bush
This particular specimen is 3 years old, it was one of the first herbs we grew in our potted garden. It grew from a cutting either from our old flat or my mother in law's garden. If you take a cutting, you need to keep it moist if you put it straight in the soil, it won't take if it gets too dry. So far I've only managed 2 successful cuttings.

Rosemary must have full sun and good drainage, our potted rosemary bushes don't have sauces underneath. A common problem that happens here to a very young rosemary bush in its first year is a white mould, probably because you treat a younger plant more delicately with a little shade and a little more water. To remove the white mould from the small plant you simply rub it off with your fingers or a damp cloth. When you remove enough mould for the green of the plant to show through it will fight off the fungus. Both my rosemary bushes suffered from this in their first year, but recovered after a rubbing and placement in full sun. We've not seen the white mould return to an older plant after the initial attack.

drying a posy of rosemary
Rosemary is a woody herb, which means it has bark on it's little trunk. It doesn't like its roots to sit in water or the wood will rot. Rosemary and lavender are related, so you treat them same way in your potted garden. Both prefer full sun, good drainage and not too much water.

I prune the bushes when they get scraggly, I try and keep them in a general shape to match the pot. I then pass on the cuttings to my husband for his cooking, or I dry them by tying them together and hanging the posy upside down. You can use the dried herbs by removing the leaves from the stems.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Variegated Drawstring Bag with fluffy purple lip

drawstring bag pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy
I made this little bag because my friend requested it for her friend's daughter. I hope the recipient likes it!

Free Little Drawstring Bag Pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy

~ you are welcome to use this pattern for your own purposes, pattern not for sale by anyone, do not copy it, link to this blog instead ~

For this I used a 4mm hook and some variegated DK acrylic from Lincraft.

1. start with a chain 10cm long
2. dc in 3rd ch from hook, dc in every ch to end, 3 extra dc in last ch, turn, dc in the bottom of every ch, sl st to form a round.
3. ch 2, dc in every dc to end, sl st in 2nd ch
4. repeat round 3 for a total of 11 rounds
5. ch 2, (sk 1, sc, ch 1) repeat to end, sl st in 2nd ch
6. ch 2, (dc in next sp, dc in dc) repeat to end, sl st in 2nd ch,
7. sl st 2 inside dc, ch 20cm long, fasten, thread this chain in and out of the sp and ch of round 5, sl st in 1st ch, fasten off
8. start a ch on a dc in the 10th round (2 rounds below drawstring), ch for as long as you want the handle, attach to opposite side to 1st ch on the 10th round
9. sc 3 around the dc the ch is attached to, turn, dc in every ch, straighten the handle before sl st to the dc the 1st ch of round 8 is attached to, fasten off
10. sc a fluffy yarn to the lip, by sc in every dc, fasten off (opt.)
11. sew a flower embellishment onto the front (opt.)

This is in US crochet.
To convert to UK crochet
sc = double crochet
dc = treble crochet

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Simple Flower, free pattern

Designing this 6 petal crochet flower was a simple mathematical equation. With a 12 stitch centre, petals in the second round occur in every second stitch, creating the 6 petals.
6 petal flower pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy

Simple Flower in US crochet
(UK dc = tr, hdc = htr, trb = dbtr)

1. ch 3, sl st into 1st ch to form small loop
2. ch 2, 11 dc into small loop, sl st into 2nd ch (12 st)
3. (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st, (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st, (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st,
    (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st, (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st, (hdc, dc, trb, dc, hdc), sl st, fasten off

This pattern by Teena Sutton Murphy.

You are welcome to use this pattern for your own use. Do not copy this, instead post a link, thankyou!

If you find this pattern useful, please let me know by posting a comment.

If you have any problems following this pattern, please let me know so I can fix it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Growing Potted Chillies in a Sub-tropical Climate

a bumper chilli harvest
We just collected a bumper crop of chillies from our potted herb garden! To learn how to make hot chilli sauce with your home-grown chillies, please visit my husband's cooking blog Dave's Home Cooking.

Chillies have been the most successful crop in our 3 year old potted garden. Our oldest plants were planted in the first year, using seeds from a seed packet of mixed varieties we bought from Big W. Younger plants were grown from seeds collected from fruit we grew, all these seeds had a very high chance of sprouting in our garden. You just press the seeds into seed raising mix and water them in, they sprout a couple of weeks later. We stopped planting from seeds a couple of years ago as we ended up with too many plants, we even gave some away as gifts! We now also have a few plants that were given to us by David's father last winter. We have several different varieties of chilli plant, I'm just not sure which ones they are. We live in sub-tropical Brisbane, where the winters don't get too cold, although we do sometimes get a mild frost, and the summers can be quite warm. This summer has proven to be very wet and humid!

flowering chilli plant
Chillies love direct sunlight, but they need good watering regularly. They don't like to sit in water so the pot must have good drainage, which is why our potted chillies don't have saucers. These plants seems to be resistant to pest problems in our area. To keep them really happy they like to re-potted every 1 or 2 years in a rich compost soil, and the pots shouldn't be too small, they seem to prefer our bigger pots which have a 30cm diameter. They also appreciate a regular feeding with a liquid fertiliser every 3 to 4 weeks. We still have plenty of flowering and green chillies for the near future.

green chillies growing
If you like cooking with chillies, and you live in an area similar to ours, I highly recommend including chillies in your potted herb garden.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sea Green and Navy Blue Baby Bottle Cosy

sea green and navy blue baby bottle cosy
A friend suggested I try making a baby bottle cosy, so I googled images and saw some that inspired me to give it a whirl!

The pattern I made up for this is pretty straight forward, with a circle for the base, and a cylindrical side. The 1st round has 12 dc, the 2nd round has 24 (2 dc in every dc). The 3rd round is a row of sc (2 sc, 1 sc) repeated making 36 stitches. The 4th round starts up the sides of the bottle, so every row from then on has 36 stitches.

For this sea green and navy blue striped pattern, I repeated the 2 rounds of dc followed by a round of sc up the sides. Half way up the navy blue cosy, I switched to sea green on a sc round. The next round was a dc of navy blue, the next a dc of sea green. Then there is a round of sc in navy blue, finally the last 2 rounds are dc in sea green.

I thought I would need to make a drawstring lip, but when I finished it and tried it on the bottle I found it fit snugly without it. I think this is pretty good for a first go, I used a 4mm hook so it didn't take long to make this up, and I used acrylic yarn.

I'm thinking I might need to dream up how I can make this double-sided like my Ladybird tea cosy, for extra insulation!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Welcome Back!

I hope you don't mind the changes we've been making around here, as we think they are for the better!

My husband has been helping me with the redesigning of my blog, I now have my domain name back again and all my old google connect friends! So even though it might appear that I've been inactive for some months, I've still been blogging away, just at a different address!

So welcome back to my blog to all my old followers, feel free to glance back at posts for the last few months <3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Variegated Plastic Bag Holder

Well, three of these plastic bag holders in almost as many days, I don't plan on doing too many more of these any time soon!

I made this one for my friend after she saw the photos of my other bag holders on Facebook. We went to coffee and Lincraft yesterday and she picked some yarn she liked. Its a nice variegated acrylic with flecks of green, purple, orange and pink. For this one I used my 4.5mm hook because I started it at the library and didn't have my 5mm with me, I don't have a 5.5mm and the 6mm was too large. It still didn't take me too long to make it up, especially because my husband made dinner so I could finish it!

I'll probably make more of these, especially if the 'product testing' (!) goes well, just not too soon because I have lots and lots of other projects I want to make within the next 2 months. There are so many birthdays coming up, I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all finished!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pale Green Plastic Bag Holder

pale green plastic bag holder
I made this second plastic bag holder on Monday, snatching moments here and there while baby slept or played to finish it.

This one is the same as my dark blue plastic bag holder, only a bit longer. This time I used a pale green acrylic my mum gave me, I figured it would be a nice colour for the nursery, and the blue one can go in the kitchen. Again I used a 5mm hook so this would make up quickly. I already have an order to make one of these for a friend, we just need to find some yarn in a colour she likes.

I wonder if anyone else would like me to make them one?
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