Monday 30 April 2012

Bridge Update

We are having the most gorgeous spring weather. Yesterday I could eventually pull out my summer clothing and wear some open shoes :D Hubby and I took a walk to where the new hanging bridge is being built to see how things are going. I took some photos to share, so this is what we saw...
This is from the site where the bridge will begin.
This is the view you will have from the bridge...
Apparently, this is one of 6 planned bridges so that you can hike around the entire lake. Interesting, not that I will be walking over a hanging bridge....especially if it swings!

Sunday 29 April 2012

Blog Week - 3KCBWDAY7 - Crafting Balance


Since about a month now, I have started my crocheting journey. I did crochet baby blankets whilst I was expecting my children, but that was as far as the craft went. Lately, I started to really want to try my hand at crocheting again, and so, my sister in law, who crochets more than she knits, and I started to meet up once a week for coffee. She helps me with the crocheting and I help her with any knitting issues she is having. It is working out wonderfully. I am halfway through my first ever crocheted garment. This is how it looks so far. It is a vest for Jas, (Florette) she loves it. It looks a bit weird as it now stands, but will soon have a photo of her modelling it! 

I love the speed of crocheting. Unlike with knitting, you progress so much faster and get to see results that much quicker which is great! My next project crocheted project will be this.

I think that now that I have started crocheting I will always have at least one Crochet WIP along with all my other knitting WIPs.

Before I round off for toady, I would like to express my thanks to eskimimimakes for arranging this week. It has been so much fun, I have been able to discover blogs I otherwise wouldn't have come across, and I have had an awesome time blogging as well. So thank you, I can't wait for next year!

Saturday 28 April 2012

Blog Week 2012 - 3KCBWDAY6 - Improving Skills

Hmmm, how would I like to improve my skills. 

That is quite tough, I mean where do you start?
This is what I definitely want to achieve by the end of this year:
  1. Knitting socks two at a time
  2. Knitting socks on the magic loop
  3. Crochet a complex piece of clothing
  4. Knit an Icelandic patterned jersey
  5. Make something that has needle-felting on it.
  6. Finish the summer cardigan, I started and now frogged - more about that on Wednesday!!
Will keep you updated on what I achieve!

Friday 27 April 2012

Decorah Eagles

How cute is this?...
Check out this live stream of these Decorah Eagle babies - Awwwww!!!

Streaming by Ustream

Blog Week 2012 - 3KCBWDAY5 - My Hobby - A Poem

My Hobby

From the sheep the wool, the wool to the needle,
Always crafting something peaceful.
Sometimes jerseys, maybe hats,
Crochet something for the cat.
Accessories, clothing and more,
My wonderful hobby has something in store,
For me to while away the hours,
Whilst peace rains down on me in showers.

I can no longer imagine my life without this craft,
Others may think I am slightly daft,
But you understand me - know it's true,
Without knitting or crocheting I would be blue!

Will be sharing this over at Linda's Blog today.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Blog Week - 3KCBWDAY4 - A Knitter for all Seasons

I can't say I have been knitting long enough to know if I am a crafter for all seasons or just one - namely winter!
I must admit though that the things I have knitted until now have been winter based. 
At the beginning of April I joined a KAL over at luvinthemommyhood for a spring knit and that has helped me get out of my normal routine. It has also helped me to explore other avenues of things I might not have generally looked at as future projects.
These are my projects which I am busy with:

Grand Plage Cardigan

Kernel Lace Scarf

Mariah Hoodie
And the projects I have lined up after these - or during :D

  1. Glam Shells
  2. Make up your mind - for Jas
  3. Drops 123-3 - for Kay
  4. Sweater with squares - my second crochet project 
Just to mention a few! The list could go on and on and on!

Kitchen Krafts - Dandelions

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Today I am going to blog about Dandelions. I love their gorgeous colour, they always seem to tell me that spring is really here!
Let me start with the botanical details first.
The latin name for Dandelion: Taraxacum Officinale
The great thing about dandelion is that you can use the entire plant, blossom, leaves and roots. 
According to the Doctrine of Signatures, yellow flowers tend to be used for the liver and gallbladder (Bile)
Dandelion is best known for its' vitality-giving qualities. It is used as a "Spring Clean" as it works on many bodily systems and will detoxify and enliven you, especially if you are feeling a bit groggy after a long winter. 
Now, if any of you have eaten Dandelion you will know that it is extremely bitter. Because of these bitter principles it detoxifies the liver and cleans the kidneys, it activates the gallbladder to empty itself and to create new bile which in turn activates the spleen and stomach juices.
If you happen to suffer from arthritis or gout, this is an amazing herb that will help to remove he excess uric acid from the body. As it is a natural diuretic it doesn't rob the body of potassium. It is also a fantastic source of calcium.
It also works wonders on the skin - detoxifying it and supplying it with blood.
Here a list of the most common problems that Dandelion could help with:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hepatitis
  • Stomach problems
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Gallbladder issues (including stones)
  • Kidney stones
  • Allergies
  • Gout
  • Skin problems 
Side Effects: If you are allergic to daisys, marigolds or chrysanthemums you may have an allergy to dandelions.
Normal usage of dandelions (1-2 cups of tea over a 3 week period) cause no side effects.
Children who have eat the stalks and lots of them, will show "Poisoning" or severe cramping.
I tell anyone using herbs in a tea form, to always use the herb for 3 weeks and then give it a break for 3 weeks.

What about the psychological reasons to use Dandelion? 
You will find people who are melancholic can find great help through this plant. People suffering from anger, and rage can benefit from this plant, as it will detox the body on all levels, letting go of harboured feelings.

So how can you take Dandelion? You can use it as a tea, or eat the leaves in a salad. The leaves are also used in the Green Nine Soup - which is a combination of herbs used for a spring detox.

To make the tea I would recommend to use the leaves and the roots together. But to do that you would make a decoction of the roots, and an infusion of the leaves and add the two together afterwards.
In other words: Place a teaspoon of root into a pot and cover with a cup full of water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, then allow to cool. For the infusion: Place a teaspoon of leaves in a cup and cover with boiling water. Allow to draw for about 10 minutes. Strain the two mixtures and mix.

Now here is a yummy recipe for Dandelion Honey. This is a wonderful syrupy spread, that brings you the goodness of the dandelion for everyone to enjoy!

You will need:
4 Cups Dandelion Heads
1kg sugar
1 litre Water
Juice and rind of half a lemon

Place the dandelion heads in a big pot and cover with the water. Allow to stand for about 2 hours.
Bring to the boil and then remove from heat. Allow to stand overnight.
In the morning remove the heads from the water.
Return liquid to the stove. Add the sugar and lemon juice and rind.
Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer until the desired thickness has been reached. It should have the thickness of syrup/honey. Once this has been obtained, bottle and label. If you find that the cold honey is still too runny, you can reheat it and simmer until it thickens.
Join me next week for a post on Asparagus!

If you have any tips and tricks from the home, or traditions or recipes that you would like to share, please feel free to do so below. Be sure to link back to this blog. You may use the image below on your blog.

Please visit others who have linked here to show support. Thanks.
Till next week
Disclaimer:All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
I will be sharing this post over at Natural Suburbia on Friday.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

WIP Wednesday / Yarn Along

This is turning out to be such a fun week. I am thoroughly enjoying my blogging experience for Blog Week, and I hope all others taking part out there are also! It has been delightful to go and visit new blogs and see all these creative people, using the same subject matter but having such total different takes on it! I am absolutely having a ball!

So right of the bat I can tell you that I have done absolutely no reading this week. I hope that will change shortly :( I don't like not reading, I feel as if something is missing!

As for WIPs: I worked like a bat out of hell to get somewhere on my KAL over the weekend and by Monday was feeling great as I had made some progress. It looked like this:
Then, whilst I was merrily knitting on Monday afternoon, I read the pattern again and realised I had knit it all wrong, well from where I had started with the two front with a very heavy heart and aching arms I pulled it out so it again looked like this:
After this, I had to put the work down as I really couldn't look at it. Yesterday though, I picked it up again, and have since managed to start the climb once more. It now looks like this:
I am happy with the progress, I just can't wait to change onto the next colour, do you get like that too?
Onto other WIPs': I am progressing quite nicely on Jas's vest that is my first crochet project. With the proper wool it is looking good. 
When I had to take photos of my stash and projects this week, I was a bit disturbed by my lack of colourful work and plan to make a change. I still have some grey in my stash that is planned for another jersey for myself, but I do have some purple for Kay and Turquoise for Jas.....then the party will start - I am hoping so at least.

Don't forget to come past tomorrow for Kitchen Krafts! I will be discussing Dandelion in my nature series. Look forward to seeing you there.

Today I am sharing with the fabulous peeps over at:

Blog Week 2012- 3KCBWDAY3 - My Heros


Today I want to talk about my knitting and crocheting heroines. I can't say that there has been only one single person who has inspired me, but rather a collection of wonderfully talented people who I admire and because of them feel very motivated and driven in my crafting lifestyle.

The first would have to be my Mother-in-law. From the first time I met her, I used to watch her with fascination as she would whip up one garment after the other with only a few days of work. Not only was I completely enthralled by her pace, but her knitting style was something I had long wanted to accomplish. I am a very slow knitter and my style is (I think I have read it described as) an english way of knitting, whereas she knits in a continental style, barely looking down at her work as she flew through her WIPs.

When I moved back to S.A. I dabbled a little with knitting, creating scarves and beanies for my loved ones but that was as far as my creative juices flowed as I didn't think I could possibly manage to knit anything bigger.

Through our homeschooling journey I came into contact with Linda (Natural Suburbia) and we connected right away. She too would fascinate me endlessly as she would sit at our homeschool afternoons knitting up a storm. I recall early on in our friendship her telling me that she had to knit all these bunnies for an easter order, and I thought to myself  "Whew, rather you than me, that sounds like far too much hard work!" As our friendship grew she constantly encouraged me to pick up some needles and try to be creative. She was such a wonderful mentor, always believing in my capabilities and motivating me to go further and to try new things. If anything she has been one of the greatest inspirations to my knitting hobby.

I am ever so grateful to Linda and my mom-in-law for inspiring me into what I can only call my rescuing force. I hope all of the crafters out there have had the possibility to meet someone as awe-inspiring as I have!

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Blog Week - 3KCBWDAY2 - Photo Challenge

We were up in the barn when I saw something odd:
 Are those needles in that haystack? :D
Don't forget to go over to eskimimimakes and vote for your favourite Photo today.

Monday 23 April 2012

Pay It Forward - Update

I still have one spot to fill......would you like to be the lucky one?

Thank you to Kitenswithmittens and More Like June. I will be contacting you shortly via email to get your details.....
If you are wanting to take part, go here to read how to go about it!

Blog Week 2012 - 3KCBWDAY1 - Colour

The beginning of the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012 - How Cool!

I wasn't sure what this adventure would entail, but I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun! :D

So todays' topic is on colour - my choice of colour for my projects.

I must admit that when buying wool for my projects, it largely depends on the person I am knitting for or the purpose of the project. I made this shawl for example for my darling neighbour. I chose this blue wool as she has blue eyes, but also she is such a caring being that I felt the blue would be the ideal protection for such a beautiful soul.
These red socks were made in fire-engine red for their temperature regulating attributes. Nothing warms your feet and gets the circulation going like some RED. (They are a bit fuzzled from so much wear and tear!)
I used to work as a colour therapist for a while and as such delved deeply into the colours and their symbolism, and I guess through this work I became acutely aware of colours I choose and their deeper meanings. That said it doesn't stop me falling for a gorgeous skein of wool when I see one.
Some of my finished projects - definitely more of earthy tones, but lots of greys and browns. 

Looking at my stash of wool, which is not enormous, I must admit that it tends to be dominated by colour-changing wools and blues and greys. I think that is where I am at the present moment in my knitting although I feel myself being drawn into the simple one-tones for some wonderful patterns that I would like to try my hand at in the near future. Definitely some Green involved soon!

Thanks for visiting - hope you have a great start to Blog Week!
See You tomorrow!
I must come back and edit - After looking at my pictures and stash, I saw just what a creature of habit I am. Yes, my stash has colour in it....but these have either been given to me or bought for a bargain. I so feel the need to change the colours I work with. So I am going to attempt to break the mold and go way out of my comfort zone the next time I buy wool. Will keep you posted!
Hmmmm - interesting and this is only Day 1!  

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