Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Veggie patch update

Choosing a sunny position for your veggie patch is important. Unfortunately my veggie patch is too shady now that winter is approaching and I have lost all the squash, zucchini, pumpkin and watermelon I had planted. They were looking healthy, some had even started to produce, then suddenly they all died off just before we got all the rain last week.

This photo was taken about 11.30 this morning and shows the offending trees in the background....
The trees aren't going anywhere so I will have to find a sunny spot to have a winter patch next year.

Some things don't seem to mind the shade. I am picking sugarsnap peas, purple king beans and capsicum at the moment. Lettuce, celery and brassica's are looking ok, and the parsley is thriving, I had just pruned a lot off it just before I took this picture.....
I am picking 6 - 8 chokos a week....

These tomatoes self seeded from the compost I added to this spot. It will be interesting to see if they continue to grow through winter.

The pumpkin vine that self seeded is running rampant.....

But it only has one pumpkin on it at this stage.............

We live on top of a hill so we weren't too worried during the recent flooding rains, but the wind picked up and that is always a worry when you're surrounded by gum trees. It blew a tree over in the back paddock and tore a branch from a tree in the front paddock. The branch landed on top of this gate!

Have a great day.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Handmade Dishcloths and a Tea Cosy

After making Tania's frugal scouring dishcloth I started looking at patterns for crochet and knitted dishcloths.

Finding free patterns on the internet was easy. The trouble started when I realized most are written to suit US and used worsted weight or kitchen cotton.

What is worsted weight?

I found a lot of conversions on this site -

Worsted weight is equivalent to Australian 10 - 12 ply

Wouldn't that be too thick for a discloth?
Is 10 - 12 ply cotton available in an Australian brand?
I can only find 4 and 8 ply.

I like a thin dishcloth and I only had 4 ply on hand so I knitted up a basic version of granny's favorite.... too thin.... pulled it out and knitted two lots of 4 ply together and liked that result better.

I looked at the crochet patterns then decided to play around myself and settled on a square of half-trebles (US = half-double crochet).

Then I knitted up the Garterlac dishcloth which was a fun pattern to work with.

Here are the first 3 dishcloths......
The Garterlac one looks abit out of shape. I should have washed and blocked it before taking the photo. Too late now as I have already given these three dishclothes away to a friend :-)

I made these for myself.....
Versions of Granny's Favourite & King Charles Brocade

The King Charles Brocade probably would have looked better if I'd knitted it in a plain colour.... oh well, you live and learn :-)

All of the dishcloths above were made using 4mm needles (or hook) and 2 strands of 4 ply cotton.

I made the next two dishcloths for one of my sisters......
For pattern click here

Rose pattern click here

The rose didn't show up as much as I thought it would, so I knitted the next picture dishcloth on smaller needles and the picture stood out a little better. Sorry no photo as I was in a hurry to get a set of dishcloths ready for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day.

I haven't knitted or crocheted anything for years but it seems like now that I have started I just can't stop, which is probably a good thing as I might use up some of the yarn I have stashed away in the cupboards.

My latest creation is a tea cosy.....
Rosy Cosy pattern here


Friday, May 1, 2009

Veggie patch update

I've been distracted by other things and haven't posted for a couple of weeks, so I thought it was time to take the camera back into the veggie patch.

Every clove of the Australian Garlic I planted in March came up and looks healthy. If they all mature to a good size I will have a great harvest :-)

The onions didn't do so well and if I don't get busy soon the few that have come up will be inundated with weeds!

This watermelon doesn't seem to have grown much.....
and I've now found another which is bigger than the first one I'd spotted.....

A stray pumpkin seed in the compost must have sprouted and has taken off. It's a big vine so I am trying to guide it out onto the lawn so it doesn't take over the whole veggie patch.
We've had a few tomatoes off the heirloom plants and I've picked 29 chokos so far.....
The 5 tomatoes on the left end of the paper towel are heirlooms the one on the right is a Health Kick (probably the last I will get off those plants as they look ready for the compost bin).
The green and red tomatoes in the basket came from friends. They're not sure what breed the tomatoes are as they self seeded in the compost.... perhaps from a home grown tomato or one from the supermarket. These friends are moving to another town and couldn't bring themselves to leave these beauties behind as they were the biggest and healthiest looking tomatoes they'd grown since starting a small veggie patch last year.
They begin house hunting in the new town tomorrow. The layout of the yard is an important part of the criteria for their new home as they plan to put in a lot of vegetables as well as some fruit trees..... just over a year ago that wouldn't have even been a factor! I wish them luck in their venture :-)