Free crochet dishcloth pattern

Monday, 7 December 2015

I absolutely loathe plastic cloths and sponges in the kitchen, the stinky, smelly things. Although I have been using cloth dishcloths for more years than I can count (OK, slight exaggeration there) I have only been making my own for a couple of years. This has become more important since moving to our little smallholding as we are on a septic system for our waste water. The last thing we want is little bits of plastic sponge floating in the septic tank. Ugh, like those things aren't disgusting enough (although not as disgusting as you might think, but that's a story for another day).

I love everything about these dishcloths. I love that I make them with a natural fibre. I love that the bobbley, popcorny surface makes them great for a really good scrub. I love that they last for ages. And most importantly I love that because I make mine from cotton when they eventually wear out I can just throw the worn cloth on the compost heap. Freaking awesome.

I have no idea where I found this pattern, I'm sure there a gazillion other patterns similar to this, but here it is:

Crochet Dishcloth Pattern

US terms used.

Using whatever yarn you like, and a hook size that is suitable, chain in multiples of 2 + 1. I use a worsted (10ply) weight cotton with a 5mm hook and start with 29 or 31 chains.

Row 1: Treble crochet into 2nd chain from the hook, single into next. Continue TR, SC until the end of the chain. Ch1, turn.

Row 2: SC across row. Ch1, turn.

Repeat rows 1&2 until the cloth reaches a size you are happy with. I generally do 11 or 12 repeats. Do not turn when you reach the end of row 2 on your final repeat. Simply continue to SC around the remaining 3 sides of the cloth. End with a slip stitch into the first SC. Cut yarn and weave in ends.


In the garden

Monday, 5 October 2015

 The artichoke patch

 The garlic is going so well you can almost see it growing!

 The seed potatoes are now in

 Yummy loquats straight from the tree

The lilypads are starting to flower

All these photos were taken with my phone so please forgive the poor quality.


A white cottage

Saturday, 15 August 2015

What the?

Did I mention this blog is my first step towards world domination? Mwahahaha.

Not really. To be honest some days I'd be happy with just conquering the housework. But don't worry, I'm sure we'll be back to regular programming shortly.

Have I ever mentioned my love of white? No? Well the secret's out, I love white. All shades of white. Everywhere. In fact, this little cottage dreams of being a white cottage when it grows up (although last month's Country Style magazine cover did cause some angst over whether to be a charcoal cottage with a sunny yellow front door!). When we moved in it was all colours of beige, with blue, aubergine and chocolate feature walls, definite no-nos in a house this small and dim. The perfect place to indulge my love of white.

I have been leaving any major work on our house until we decide what to do with it. Will we extend or won't we? If I win the lottery this week then that question becomes substantially easier, but just in case I don't, I have decided it's time to get started regardless. I can live with the status quo no longer!

I have already done a little painting but as soon as the weather warms up I will attack it with a renewed sense of purpose. And to the carpet, your days are numbered.

Here's a little inspiration

 'Blushing Bride' hydrangeas and 'Morning Light' ornamental grasses soften the path to Beverley's 700-square-foot guesthouse with a wraparound porch.
An all white cottage - Source

An all white kitchen, although I am considering timber worktops -  Source

guest room
Perhaps a little black in the bathroom? Source

A little pop of colour in the bedroom? Source 

Ahh white, you make my heart go all pitty-pat!'

And in case you have never seen it (and unless you know me well, you haven't because I have refused to show it before now), here is the cottage when we moved in...

Argh, the purple! The not quite matching posts! The stick on house numbers! The crappy looking and totally not matching anything aluminium windows! But at least it has a white roof to get me started,  I told you there's a little white cottage in there just trying to get out.


The Etsy shop is back in business

Thursday, 13 August 2015

What's this?

Two posts in two days. The sky must be falling in!

This one is shameless self promotion, but who cares? It's my blog so why not?

After taking a bit of a break to complete a baby blanket for a friend in Canada I have re opened my Etsy shop.

This is the blanket, I adore the finished product but as it was made with very small stitches (all 17,113 of them) it seemed to take forever. Details Ravelled here.

Anyway, back to the shop. I have replaced almost all my hats with a new pattern featuring a stretchy ribbed edge for a perfectly snug fit. There are plenty of patterns out there for hats similar to this but this was my own pattern.

I've added a lovely wooden button to the unisex/boy's hat and the usual flower to the girl's. Available in lots of colours, with more being added.

And lastly, this is one of my old ones but the customer wanted a scarf to match and I was tickled pink with the outcome!

Somewhere in France there is a little girl wandering about in a hat and scarf made by me looking tres cute, mais oiu?

My Etsy shop is here.


Our front fence, well half of it anyway...

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Although have yet to really make our mark on our little 5 acres one thing we have done is build a few new fences, particularly part of the front fence. This is what the old fence looked like:

Complete with dead shrubs. And don't get me started on the fake grass.

This is what it looks like now:

Not a great photo as it was taken on my phone (but as a bonus I have included the girls, having just gotten off the bus), but a gorgeous fence nonetheless! And I'm sure it will look even better when the hedge has grown.

We are still only about half way along the front boundary, but this certainly gives us some incentive.


Backyard Bees - they're back!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

In April we experienced a horribly violent East Coast Low on the mid east coast of NSW. The death toll wasn't as high as it was during the Pasha Bulker storm of '07, but still several lives were lost.

The storm hit us pretty hard, winds equivalent to a category 2 cyclone the first night, torrential rain the second, and we had no power for several days. Being on tank water, no power also means no pump and therefore no water either, so it was a bit of a nuisance. We also had some damage on the farm but nothing serious.

The brand new trampoline made it's way onto the top of the rainwater tank and eventually ended up leaning against a tree in the front yard

What was sad though, was that the area where the bee hives were situated was flooded and the hives were washed down the creek. The hives were able to be salvaged but unfortunately the queens didn't make it so eventually all the bees were lost.

One of the bee hives in the creek

This month the hives are back. It will take time to build the numbers of bees up again but at this time of the year there isn't the profusion of flowers that there will be in a few weeks so the low numbers aren't a bad thing. We have situated them in an area much higher than before, and although we didn't think they would be harmed where they were before, if the water gets high enough to get them in the new spot we will certainly have bigger things to worry about!


Where does she get it from?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Miss 12 has always been a naturally good runner, placing in many events at school athletics and cross country carnivals over the years. A few weeks ago she was first in her age group at high school for cross country and last week also became the zone age champion.

Crossing the finish line

So yesterday Miss 12 represented her school zone at the Hunter Regional Cross Country and came an astounding 7th! She missed out on going to state by just one position but is first on the reserve list in case one of the other place getters is unable to attend.

Trying out shirt sizes for state, just in case

But what is most amazing about her performance is that she has never had a day's training in her life. Not a single session.

So now it looks like we are going to enrol her in the local Little Athletics group because this much talent deserves to be nurtured.

And we already feel guilty enough about not having done something before this...


Meet Olly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

We have a new puppy!

When I say puppy I mean the-biggest-six-month-old-dog-you-have-ever-seen!

Olly is a Maremma, a breed of sheepdog indigenous to Italy, and the perfect companion to our chickens. The cats not so much...


Glorious garlic

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

As we slowly set up the permanent raised beds in the veggie patch I reserved one solely for the garlic as I wanted to have a largish crop this year. I purchased 6 bulbs of garlic from Diggers but when it came to planting them I was sure I was going to have to buy more, 6 bulbs just didn't look like it was enough.

Until I separated the cloves.

And ended up with 93.

93 possible bulbs of garlic. If that's not enough I don't know what will be!

So I planted them in mid March and they are doing very nicely now. There is a tiny bit of room left at the end of the bed so I might pop some leeks in too.

Have you planted your garlic yet?


5000 Poppies

Monday, 2 March 2015

To commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings, and in honour of all our servicemen and women who served in WWI and since, in April this year there will be a field of handmade poppies 'planted' in Melbourne's Federation Square. The initial plan was to have 120 poppies at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne but this grew to a target of 5000, hence the name. As of November last year there were over 52,000 poppies collected! Now the target is over 100,000.

So this is my little contribution in dedication to Great Uncle Harold. I previously wrote about him here.

You can read more about the 5000 Poppies project here. If you are interested in donating a poppy contributions must be received by 15 March to be included in the installation.


February Knit - His Golden Lair

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The MegaKAL knit for February was Kourtney Robinson's lovely His Golden Lair and I loved this pattern. It had several different sections so was never boring, but still intuitive enough that you weren't constantly looking at the pattern. It contained charts but also a written pattern if you, like me, prefer.

The result is small enough that it can be worn wrapped around the neck as a scarf or around the shoulders as a small shawl.

This was my first attempt at blocking, and I would say it was only partly successful, the points not turning out quite as pointy as I would prefer. Perhaps I will block it again in the future, although the result may have something to do with the yarn being part acrylic.

Details Ravelled here.

What's on your needles?


January knit - Armonika Cowl

Thursday, 5 February 2015

This year I have joined my first knit-along (KAL) and I have started with a biggie. It's a MegaKAL! We will be knitting a shawl or scarf each month of 2015. It will be nice to spend some time knitting for myself instead of crocheting for someone else. The KAL's developers are in the northern hemisphere so I shall spend the warm months knitting cozy things and the colder weather on lighter things.

Excuse the crappy photo, it was taken with my phone (although love the filters on Instagram!)

January's project was a warm cowl called the Armonika Cowl. I really didn't like the look of it at first but am quite fond of it now. The pattern however was not enjoyable. Extremely easy but too mindless for my liking. My mind tends to run away with me if a pattern is too easy and when it comes back down to earth it is usually with a thud. Mistakes everywhere! Some of them I fixed but some I didn't notice until several rows along and then I was too lazy to pull it apart. Hopefully the mistakes will not be able to be seen when it is worn!

I haven't bothered putting many details on Ravelry, mostly because I have no idea what the yarn was. I remember making something else with it a couple of years ago but frogging it when I didn't like the result. But here it is if you want to take a look.

What's on your needles?

Backyard Bees

Friday, 9 January 2015

We have bees!

Well, they're not ours but they have made their home right here in our backyard. Squeeee!

Can you tell I'm a bit excited about them?

Keeping bees in our backyard was always a plan, but a very distant one as we know nothing about keeping bees. We got lucky when friend's of Mr Homespun's parents were looking for a new home for their hives and we got a mention. ' Yes please' I said when the question was asked.

We still know almost nothing about them, but we are slowing learning. I know to observe and take notice of their flight path out of the hive so as to not stand in the way. Bees won't generally go around you, just straight at you!

I have also donned one of the funny jackets to get a close up look at them in action and they are fascinating. Unfortunately in my excitement I didn't think of grabbing the camera until much later. Close up photos next time.

This morning the first frames were removed for honey extraction! They were very full and smelt divine.

Do you have backyard bees?


Happy New Year!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

And, merry christmas too!

Haven't I been a bit slack lately? But as everyone is at this time of the year it's busy, busy, busy.

I hope you all had a wonderful couple of weeks, hopefully spending time with loved ones and eating far too much. Or was that just me?

I spent a day in the kitchen before christmas making blackberry jam, and plum cordial and jam from plums from a neighbours trees. I have lots of plum trees here, of several different varieties, and when I went to pick the ripe ones to make jam I found the bats had eaten them all in one night! So off I trotted to Dave's to buy a tray of his lovely cherry plums. Now several of our other plum trees are ripening so quickly we can't use them fast enough and need the bats to finish them off they are nowhere to be seen, so they are lying on the ground rotting. I'm sure we will have drunk chickens shortly if I don't get around to picking them all up as the fruit start to ferment!

My Etsy shop has also kept me very busy in the lead up to christmas, which has been great. This time last year I put the shop 'on vacation' so we could move house and therefore missed the busiest period of the year.

Anyhoo, hope your 2015 is even better than your 2014.