Thursday, April 20, 2017

dyeing to knit.

the last little while, i've been playing around with a bit of yarn dyeing.
i talked about one project in this post, but since then, i've been doing even more!

a pot and jars containing yarn dyeing away

i had these few vessels just slowly ticking away, doing their thing.
the pot in front, had a bath of acidified avocado pits with half a skein of bendigo bamboo sock wool, anticipating a nice light and subtle pink.
the white lidded jar, housed the other half of the skein of sock wool. after not getting a nice light pink from it after soaking it in with the avocado pits, i popped it in here with some red food dye and added some vinegar to the avocado bath to see if that changed anything...

two balls of yarn, one dyed with acidified avocado pits for a subtle cream colour, one dyed with red food dye for a mid pink colour

as you can see, i didn't quite get the subtle pink i was after from the front pot, but the food dye, well it sure did the trick!
i'm knitting these two together for a hat project i'm hoping to share a little more about soon.

the orange lidded jar, well i have no results from that one as the yarn is still in there! perhaps i'll find some time over the weekend to fish out what's in there and give it a rinse.
i'm hoping for a nice green gradient for a pair of socks. we'll see what happens!

before that though, the jar housed a different dye experiment...



i put together another solar dyeing jar with walnut shells, though this time with a skein of linen, instead of woollen yarn way back in november.

after four months, the results were a little lighter than last time...



but still a nice little bit of warmth to what was a very cool skein of white...

that might be the end of my dyeing for a little while, i'm basically out of white yarns in my stash he he. plus i have plenty to knit with for now too!

have you ever tried any fiber dyeing at home?

Monday, April 10, 2017

green love.

hrmmmm so it would seem i've missed a week again...
i had the best of intentions last week, i got out and snapped some pictures, loaded them onto flickr and worked the html magic to get them onto this here page, and then i was done.
i had no words... i think i've found them this week though!

there's a little bit going on in the garden at the moment, so i thought i'd take this opportunity to share...

white flower growing on the chilli plant

the chilli plant is putting on it's annual flower display. no fruit to speak of, even now a week later, but they are beautiful and delicate flowers to look at all the same.

you wouldn't know from looking at it, but this is my finger lime pot...

small finger lime tree in a metal bucket pot, overrun with native seedlings

it's become completely overrun with native seedlings! the seeds from which have obviously drifted in on the weather and wind and found this to be the best place to spring up!
i think i'll have a crack at replanting them, could use some natives to plant around the farm.

after moving some soil around to top up this section of the bed, i've got a bit of garlic in the ground to harvest come summer!

green garlic shoots coming through the soil

it feels a bit weird to be thinking about, when we've still got SO much garlic from the last harvest, but it won't last forever... particularly the way we go through it!
the cloves are pretty happy in there, a lot more have popped up since i took this picture too!

last year, i picked up some berlotti beans from a local produce shop and kept a few on the windowsill to dry...

purple striped beans hanging on the bush

now, we have some of our own!
i've been picking them while they're little like this, and then steaming or boiling them to have alongside dinner. sadly, the beautiful purple colouring doesn't survive the cooking process he he!

ever seen a pomegranate seedling?

single green shoot of a pomegranate plant

now you have!
i popped a few seeds in the ground from a fruit i found on a tree in melbourne before we moved and i've had one lonely seedling pop up! hopefully it survives and gets nice and big, fingers crossed!

also in our makeshift hot house (ie. the windowsill of the shed)...

green sprouts from a turmeric root

some turmeric!
this was grown from some fresh turmeric, picked up at a local produce shop. i'm super interested to see how it goes, and how it grows!
so far it's looking super happy and green!

how's your garden growing? ever grown pomegranate or turmeric before?

Monday, March 27, 2017

creatively...

as promised last week, i thought i'd share a little about what i've been up to creatively in recent times...

this month's socks are well and truly off the needles.

a pair of jo torr's vanilla sock with gusset heel and eye of partridge heel flap in naturally waikiwi prints yarn in a red/pink colourway

i cast them on on the first day of march, and finished them up in a little over two weeks.
another pair of vanilla socks, but this time, they're for me!

i also played around a little with some dyeing...

skein of cream alpaca yarn, dyed with drops of food colouring

little droppers of food colouring, onto pre-soaked alpaca yarn, allowed to dry and then rinsed, before casting on...

second imagining of the textured shawl, with extra colour, but without knitting errors

the shawl project i was working on in this post, was ripped and cast on again. i wasn't loving the cream colouring at all, and i'd made a couple of mistakes in the edging when i wasn't concentrating properly...
i truly love it now, and it is finished and blocking as i type. hoping it will be dry tomorrow and the weather cool enough to give it a great first outing!

and because i couldn't possibly have the needles languishing...

the yoke of an orange milo vest

i cast on a milo! it's been a while between knits of this ol' fave and i'm knitting it up in rowan wool cotton, picked up on sale from sunspun a couple of weeks ago now. it's very enjoyable to knit with but i've got quite the decision to make as to which cable pattern to choose!

i'm hoping to get the milo finished up by the end of the month, so i can get started on my april socks! now if only i could choose what they'll be...

do you have a favourite sock pattern? which milo cable pattern would you choose?

Monday, March 20, 2017

taking stock.

chunky thighs and vegie sticks, some strawberries too! a quick shop for celery, onions, mushrooms and potatoes, ready to go home in my basket using a sharp blade to cut some swirls and whorls for a screen printing project beautiful blue green water on the golden sand two big baskets of apples, presenting a world of opportunities

Making : lots of things, in the kitchen and craft-wise too. maybe i'll have to share a bit of creativity next week...

Cooking : quite a bit, there's bread proving on the bench, i've all the makings for a stock, and some thoughts on what to cook to accompany the asian style pork belly we've got planned for dinner are ticking away in my brain.

Drinking : a hot chocolate. treating myself while i sit and type in the relative calm of NOT home.

Reading : actual books! would you believe it? i've just finished 'fight like a girl' which was quite thought provoking and eye opening and stimulating. and i'm just about to start on 'big little lies' after being recommended it by a friend.

Trawling : facebook a bit too often... i think i talked about this last 'taking stock' too, but haven't done a thing about it. deleting the app now!

Wanting : a few more hours sleep. i think this will definitely be my default for the next few years he he.

Looking : at instagram a little less these days, that might change now i've deleted the facebook app though! hopefully not though, it's nice to check in and out without feeling like i need to see every single post which was my default for an embarrassingly long time.

Deciding : on some big picture things at the moment. work-wise, life-wise, it's all up in the air... that would normally terrify me but i'm dealing with the unknown better than i would've thought.

Wishing : people could be a little kinder to one another. it would sure solve a lot of heartache on a global scale don't you think?

Enjoying : not having to stress about money too much at the moment. and letting go of the stress when it crops up...

Waiting : for some images to load. one thing that is not great about country life, internet speed.

Liking : that even though the internet is a bit slow, there's lots to look at while i wait. bees buzzing, birds chirping. the complaints list about this country life is a short one, that's for sure

Wondering : if i know someone local that has a tomato machine i could borrow for a couple of days... i have a hankering to get busy saucing some of the mountains of tomatoes we have around us, but don't think i have the patience to sieve them by hand like i did last year!

Loving : how the skein of wool i dyed last week is knitting up. what a tease, i'll show you more next week he he.

Pondering : what kind of socks to cast on next month... my plan to knit through my sock yarn stash by the end of the year is well on track, cranking out a pair a month!

Listening : to the birds, some sweet cafe tunes, the traffic, people's conversations and low down in the background, the ocean. bliss.

Considering : my plans for the rest of the day. i know what needs doing... but i'll be flexible and roll with what the day brings i think.

Buying : well bought... i broke the yarn buying drought when my fave yarn shop was having a sale. looking forward to picking it up this week! now, no more purchasing! at least until the end of the year. i have my eye on one of these. the perfect antidote to christmas craziness, knitting 15g of sock wool a day! crazy stripy christmas socks for the family he he.

Watching : quite a lot of netflix... we just hooked it up to our playstation, and it's super easy to watch now. we've done 'the crown' and now working our way through 'iron fist' at a rapid pace.

Hoping : for a good week!

Marvelling : at how well one can function having not gotten more than 4 hours sleep at a time for months!

Cringing : at the number of flies currently buzzing around me... they're mighty sticky today!

Needing : to stop eating so many sweets... unlikely to happen in my sleep deprived state though, think it's the only thing keeping me going he he.

Questioning : everything. a lot. there are a few issues lately i've been vacillating wildly on. think it's driving poor bb spare.

Smelling : something delicious being whipped up in the kitchen in this cafe, might need to be off soon to make some lunch!

Wearing : this! who says you can't wear handknits in the warmer months?

Noticing : how distinctly uncomfortable i was in the city last week. we were there for a couple of hours while ben went in to chat to his boss. so many people, so much hustle. just not for me anymore.

Knowing : we're in the right place for us right now. yep. it is known.

Thinking : i've been sitting for too long! my coccyx lets me know these days... boo!

Admiring : parents everywhere. making it work on the daily. it's hard work and i feel like i've got it super easy! feeling lucky!

Getting : excited to catch up with some folks i haven't seen in a while later in the week.

Bookmarking : airbnb places. hoping for a little getaway soon...

Disliking : these flies. seriously! shoo!

Opening : packets of seeds. time to get some winter seeds into pots and on their way!

Closing : the doors and windows, and then opening them again, and then closing them again. the weather has been more than a little mercurial...

Feeling : ready to pop back home and see my fellas. it's good to have a bit of time out, but equally good to chat and play.

Celebrating : easter soon i guess... looking forward to some nice family times for sure! and maybe even some catch ups with friends who are like family. my fingers are crossed!

Pretending : i'm not interested in the new seasons of terrible reality shows that have started recently... for the most part, i've convinced myself... fake it til you make it right?

Embracing : my hair at the moment. it's crazy... curly and frizzy some days, smooth and sleek on others, and the greys, well they seem to be taking over he he. definitely other things to think about at the moment, but i'm hoping to maybe do something drastic soon. we shall see!

what have you been up to lately? care to 'take stock' too? there's a blank list over on pip's post if you want to join in!

Monday, March 13, 2017

6 months.

half a year. that's how long little ag will have been with us tomorrow.

life has never been more different, but i struggle to remember a time without him.

ag, all snuggled up having a nap

the joyful smiles, crazy giggles and ever moving legs and arms never fail to light up our days and nights and i snap ALL of the photos and try and soak up every little facet of you every day, you'll never be this age again.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

let me show you around.

i feel like, quite a few times, that i've said i'd show you around our little country mouse house...
well i'm finally doing it!

won't you come inside?

our green front door, framed by our little porch

don't mind the cobwebs on that there screen door... no matter how many times i remove them, they're back within a couple of days... never mind.

care for a cup of tea at the dining table?

table with a couple of chairs and a high chair, with a wall of black framed pictures and artworks

our house is a little bit of a mish mash of furniture that's for sure... dining table care of my grandmother's house, which was care of HER parent's i think... definitely some provenance on that one. paired with an ikea chair and high chair, and a chair with a fabric seat we picked up from the opshop for $2 (one day i might even reupholster it...)
oh and there's the oddball collection of 'black framed things' too he he!

alongside this little arrangement, is the kitchen sideboard...

fridge covered in photos and bits and a sideboard for our crockery, cutlery, glassware and appliances

picked up for $100 off gumtree, it's a solid little number and sits perfectly between the fridge and the front door, housing all our crockery, cutlery, glassware, appliances and all the random crap that accumulates in the spare drawer...
the fridge was one of our first grown up purchases when we got proper jobs and our old one died (the day after i had all four wisdom teeth removed, the WORST!) and is covered in photos and postcards and the meal planning whiteboard AND our spice jar collection.
it's a busy little corner of the house!

a quick peak into the baby's room...

100 year old cabinet for ag's clothes

and you'll see this pretty ancient old cabinet... again, picked up from grandma's house and again, harking from her parent's place too. this guy used to be in my grandparent's shed, housing tools and such, and before that, housing my great grandfather's beer making supplies.
before that, i'm assuming it was some kind of pantry cupboard as it has wire mesh in the bottom section (meat safe style) and a little metal lined cold box too!
for now though, it's the perfect wardrobe for ag's clothes!

and finally our bed'room'

our bedroom: lit by lamplight on either side of the bed with a blue curtain behind

our main living space was built as a pool room, and thus has NO windows! after moving ag into the single bedroom, we've moved our bed into the living space, tucked into a corner to give us a wee bit of privacy if we have guests over...

it's a wee bit unconventional, but hey, it works! plus we get to use our awesome lamps a wee bit more often too!

what kind of space do you live in? massive pool table in your living space he he?

Monday, February 27, 2017

green love.

oops, seems as though i missed my weekly posting last week... trying to post on a tuesday isn't working sooooo well for me at the moment, we seem to be getting up later and later in the mornings, and tuesday is now mother's group meet up day.
so important for the sanity to be able to chat out baby issues with fellow mummas whose babes are around the same age and stage as ag.
anywho, i'll give mondays a bit of a go for the next little while he he.

today i thought i'd give you a little update on what's growing in the garden... with VERY little input from myself to be honest. i sprinkle a bit of water around every now and again (as does mum thankfully, otherwise i'm sure everything would've perished by now!) but i haven't really planted anything new for a VERY long time... everything seems to be thriving though and we're getting little bit and pieces of food here and there which is ace!

bb and i picked up this finger lime tree in the months before ag came along (feels like a life time ago he he) and i didn't have high hopes for it to be honest...

a teeny finger lime growing on the equally teeny tree

it's thwarted all my expectations though, with a beautiful show of flowers, and a few little weeny fruits too! we'll see if they actually grow into anything edible he he.

the corner where the finger lime is growing, with all my other pots, is looking pretty happy too...

collection of pots with all manner of plants growing in them.

what a collection!
the fig is growing great guns and will need re-potting in no time. and the raspberries? well! i've had a few little nibbles from it. delicious!
there are a few roses amongst the edibles too, and they're occasionally putting on a beautiful show which is always a delight!
and the two avocados i recently moved from the windowsill to out here seem to be enjoying the outside life, phew! must remember to keep an eye on them when it gets a bit cooler though... i've heard they're not fond of frosty times.

just next door to the pot collection above, is this little pocket of greens...

spinach, kale and rocket

a rainbow spinach plant, a couple of holey kale plants (thanks for that caterpillars) and a rocket plant. here's hoping the caterpillars leave them well enough alone to let us get a few feeds off it ourselves!

we've popped some nets on a couple of the strawberry plants in the hope of getting to eat a few... but for the most part the birds are too clever...

they get a pretty good feed from them too, as the strawberry plants are EVERYWHERE he he. here are a couple more on the herb garden near the cockatoo aviary...

basil, chives and sage thriving along in a planter box, with strawberry plants in hanging baskets off the front and sides

i've got a plan to paint up some little rocks as strawberries to try and dissuade the birds... will let you know how that goes he he.
in the mean time, we have PLENTY of herbs to munch on! check out the sage and basil. both are SO much happier since moving into this planter box when we moved out here, they were originally in little pots when we lived in melbourne. happy herbs!

and to pair with that gorgeous fresh basil, tomatoes!

tomato plant growing up and through the mandarin tree

like last season, we missed the boat on planting tomatoes, but not to worry as they came on all by themselves once again he he.
i'm particularly proud of this one, not only did it self seed, but it's sprouted itself right under the mandarin tree, and is using it as a trellis.
the mandarin tree is by far our tallest citrus tree, topping about 3 metres or so i think... and you'd better believe that tomato plant is growing right up and out the top!

there are a couple of other that have popped up in and around the veggie garden too, so here's hoping we get a good little supply from them all.

now i'd best drag myself home, i popped out to a cafe to write this up, but i'd best be off and get to dealing with the mammoth supply of zucchini that we've been collecting from the single plant we're growing. what would we do if there were multiple?!

zucchini slice and brownie and fritters coming up!

what's growing in your patch at the moment? any suggestions for zucchini gluts?