Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gauge squirkle

I got this great Amigurumi book yesterday.

The author recommends making a gauge circle in order to figure out your suitable hook size, before beginning any of the ridiculously cute projects in the book.

She suggested to start with a 3.5mm hook, so I grabbed my variety package of ten, only to discover that it contained no 3.5mm hooks, but two 3.75mm ones. The idea was that if your circle turned out bigger than 2 inches in diameter, you should use a smaller hook than the 3.5mm, and if it was smaller than 2 inches, you should use a larger hook.

Anyway, I made my first attempt at a circle (actually a spiral) from a magic ring using one of the 3.75mm hooks. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the magic ring, and then I followed what I think must be a fairly simple pattern - an increase every second stitch for five rounds. I am almost ashamed to show a picture, but here goes....

As you can see, it is not the most perfect of circles, and somehow I ended up with about 35 stitches on the last round (should have been 30). BUT it is almost exactly 2 inches!

I also learned a lot during the making of this cat's toy:
1. (a) I can't count up to two without getting distracted.
      (b) Then I can't figure out whether I've already crocheted into that stitch.
2. I make such tight stitches that I sometimes struggle to get my hook in.
3. I'm getting more comfortable with my hand position.
4. Double crochet is single crochet if you are following a non UK or Aussie pattern.
5. It is best not to have a cat nearby during a crochet session.

Monday, 30 January 2012

The happy hooker

Yay me! I've been teaching myself to crochet for about three weeks and I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it. Although this little flower did take me several hours and it's not even finished yet!

This is what it looked like before it got rolled up into the rose shape.
The pattern is from PlanetJune who has some lovely amigurumi patterns and probably the best instructions for teaching yourself to crochet I've come across so far.

Off to practise some more!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Busy morning

I forfeited my usual Sunday morning sleep-in to take advantage of the cool of the morning to get a few jobs done out the back. I managed to put up a trellis in front of the ugly fence and transplanted a passionfruit vine which has already taken a hold of it!

I got a little strawberry plant and whacked it in together with some marigolds. I put a marigold in with the tomato too, since they are supposed to be companions.

Aren't marigolds the cheeriest sight?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

My little buddy

Considering what happened the last time I raved over a few tomato flowers, I don't want to go overboard, but I would just like to announce the appearance of some buds on my new little Grosse Lisse. I'm pretty sure they weren't there yesterday.

I got a decent photo of the rainbow silverbeet which are growing very fast and look much longer & leaner than the squat little stunted ones out the front - probably a very good sign!
 It's so exciting watching things grow!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Summer catches up

After a fantastically cool start to the summer, for the past week or two Perth has been mercilessly wrenched back to January reality. Even a sudden thunderstorm last night didn't bring the temperature down to a comfortable level for sleeping. I'm lucky enough to have an air conditioner and ceiling fans, so I shouldn't complain. It has been serving me very well but I'm not looking forward to my next electric bill.

My poor garden. Something has gone horribly wrong. I don't know if it's the heat or some kind of disease - it's certainly not neglect, as I have been fussing and fretting over it every morning, feeding it with seasol and blood & bone every couple of weeks. And it's not lack of water. I've had maybe a dozen fruit from the pear tomato plant, and there are only two small fruits on the Black Russian. The others have had loads of flowers but refused to set fruit. The only surviving silverbeet is not even growing - it has remained exactly the same size for a month. The rocket, which were shaded by the tomato, have all curled up their toes.

So anyway. I started kinda thinking that it's a lost cause, and set up a few containers out the back which only get a couple of hours of direct sun a day. I got a few seedlings - tomato, basil and silverbeet (because my tummy has been waiting for them). And some chives. So far so good. They are doing well in Yates potting mix.

My silverbeet and rocket seeds have germinated after only three or four days and are benefiting from the shade until they get established (I took pics but you can barely see the little green shoots). I'm hoping that they'll do as well as the kitty herbal garden I planted about a year ago for my two little catnip fiends, which has gone totally wild.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Green shoots for the new year

Apologies for the very poor photos. It was a little too dark really, but I wanted to record their first day above the earth.



So excited to see their little green heads pop up. I hope they do better than the economy.

Here's a friend of mine

And something that floated down onto the tomatoes

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