Warm Cable Knit Hot Water Bottle Pattern

Another cable knitting project today! I don’t know if it’s quite weather appropriate but it was definitely time for a new hot water bottle cover, the old one I made was totally past it’s used by date!

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This is another cable knitting project but with fairly simple cables. I used 4mm needles with 8ply yarn
This was my original sketch for the idea…

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Cast on 108 stitches.
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Then follow this row pattern:

 

k3 p2 k2 p2, 2 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k2 p2, 4 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k2 p2, 2 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k6 p2 k2 p2, 2 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k2 p2, 4 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k2 p2, 2 strand cable with 2 stitches per cable, p2 k2 p2 k3.

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It looks really complicated when it’s all written like that but when you get in the rhythm, it’s quite easy because the second half is just a mirror image of the first half.

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Cable knitting is a great skill to learn but it is much easier if you have cable needles!

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Starting to come together…

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Once you have made the piece long enough to cover the main part of the water bottle switch to k2 p2 for the top area.

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This is the change between the cabling and the ribbing at the top.

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Continue the ribbing so it is at least twice as long as the top part of the water bottle then cast off. It should be something long these lines:

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You can see the two strand and 4 strand cables here:

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Now fold it in half and stitch up the side and bottom.

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Yay finished!

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It looks so pretty and comfy and warm!

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Perfect for when it’s a bit colder! I love cable knitting so much, it makes me so happy to look at for some reason haha!

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Let me know if you give it a try!

 

How To Cover A Tray For Cute Photography – Tutorial

Recently I’ve been looking for better backdrops to be able to take craft/food/whatever photos on and while digging through a cupboard I found a tea tray that I bought when we first moved here. Unfortunately it wasn’t a colour or design that would work well with the things I usually make so I set about prettying it up a bit.

This is the finished product:

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You need:

  • Tray
  • Fabric
  • Paper
  • PVA glue
  • Hot glue gun

I started with a basic try from an Asian grocery store. I bought this one because I liked the bunnies.

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Next I covered it in white paper and glued that down with the PVA glue. I didn’t do a particularly neat job because this was going to be covered in the next step.

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Once it was dry I cut out enough fabric to completely cover it. The fabric I chose was a loose knit so I had more leeway when stretching and moving it around to fit.

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I used hot glue and glue it into the corner of the lip of the tray.

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Looking better!

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Then I folded the extra around the edge and glued it to the bottom. As this was such a loose weave it was easy to mould it around where I needed it to fit the circular design.Photography-display-tray-DIY30326

And that’s really it!

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It really didn’t take very long at all and it’s been a really great background for food photos and macro shots of things! I like this fabric because it’s an interesting pattern but it doesn’t take the focus away from an object, it just add some texture.

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Pretty!

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I think I will make some other photography props, let me know what you think!

How To Plant An Awesome Window Box Garden – Home Sweet Home

Well Home Sweet Home continues! Definitely not as fast as it was in the beginning of the year but we completed our next big project: Home Sweet Home garden!

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James and I had toyed with the idea of making window boxes and growing flowers and herbs in small pots for a few years but we were always turned off by the cost and the fact that I have a track record of killing everything green I touch. I even made us a fake window box so we could enjoy the idea of flowers without the effort. That window box was awesome and other than being a little bit dirty, it was exactly the same a year later as when I put it out there. Winner!Diy-Window-Box20568

Anyway, off we went to The Reject Shop and Daiso and way over-bought on supplies. We didn’t end up having enough potting mix so we did a second trip and bought a lot more tiny pots too. I can’t say no to cute pots!

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Basically all you really need for this project is potting mix, a window box and seeds but James was really into it so we also bought a lot of matching accessories etc too. It was a really fun way to spend an afternoon putting it all together!

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We began with a pre packaged strawberry kit.

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The basic premise is the same for all of them:

1. Line the bottom of the pots with empty tea bags so dirt doesn’t fall out of the holes. (Not necessary if you don’t live in an apartment.)

2. Fill the pot with potting mix.

3. Add fertiliser. We used Blood and Bone which sounds super gross but is apparently very good for plants. Eww.

4. Mix the fertiliser through the top 5cm and wet the dirt the appropriate amount for the particular seeds. It should say on the back of the packet how wet they need to be.

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5. Sprinkle the seeds in and poke them down into the dirt. Seeds need to be under at different depths depending on the plant so refer to your packet again for this.

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That particular one was a big strawberry making kit. I don’t suggest growing strawberries, they take FOREVER and are really fussy. Ours still haven’t even sprouted so I’m considering just replacing them with some other pre-grown plants from Bunnings. I did that once when we were living in Brisbane, but they may or may not have died due to neglect… Then James brought them back to life! But then I killed them again. I’m so glad Lottie asks for food and water and doesn’t just sit there and die like a stupid strawberry plant.

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Before we started filling  the big window box, James poked holes through the plastic so we could put the hooks in. You can just place the box on the hooks but seeing as we’re very high up I wanted to be extra sure it wasn’t going to fall on someone below.

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If you’re going to try this out make sure to buy potting mix not just regular dirt as it apparently is blended for use with potted plants rather than just outside plants.

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Lottie wanted to help put the dirt into the big one. I’m just imagining her thinking “OMG our house smells like outside!”.

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We picked out the plants to put in the big window box alternating between herbs/food and flowers. The smaller other window boxes are both also flowers and then all of the little pots inside are a mix of all the left over seeds.

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Lottie has been really into the garden in general actually, she likes to sit and stare at them at the window. Sometimes there are a few little flies around them which she chases too, it’s so cute.

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Then it was just a matter of actually planting them!

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And of course giving them the first drink of water.

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I used MT Tape and some blank name plates from Daiso to make little signs for each pot.

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After that was all done we hung the big boxes off the balcony.

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And I put the white fencing back up again.

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We left all of the inside pots next to the window so they could get some sun and fresh air easily.

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It was just a matter of waiting then… I really hate waiting. During the wait I regretted buying seeds and wished I had just bought actual plants and repotted them >_>

First to sprout was the radish.

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Then chives…

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Gypsophila…

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And everything else followed soon after!

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Almost all of them have sprouted now, we’re just waiting on Lemon Balm, Snapdragons, Chilli, Strawberries and Swan River Daisies. All of those ones have much longer germinations times though and the wait is killing me!

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The Coriander is the tallest out of everything at the moment, it looks like a mini forest!

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My personal favorite is the radish though and it’s the quickest to grow, the entire area is covered now!

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We’re waiting for the little pots to grow big enough that they can be put all around the apartment and really brighten things up.

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I love waking up and seeing the progress that all of the plants have made! I think it will be really exciting once they get big enough to cook with!

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So there you go! We haven’t killed anything yet and it’s definitely providing a lot of entertainment! Have you guys ever grown a garden? What did you grow? What else should we put in ours?

How To Pretty Up A Puppy Harness

So when we first started walking Lottie everyone we spoke to told us we had to have a harness. That is a whole can of worms to get into right there which I don’t have time to debate but the only harness we could find that actually fit her at the time was cat harness from Daiso. It was pretty flimsy and a pain to clip on and off a wiggly puppy so I set about making it a bit better until we could find another one.

Yes, complete with crappy diagrams 😀

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I used:

  • Crappy Daiso harness
  • Velco
  • Cute fabric,
  • Needle and thread

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First I stitched it in place so it was no longer adjustable. The sliding adjusters suck, Lottie just pulls them apart to escape, smart dog!

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Next I cut off the clips.

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I sealed the edges with a lighter.

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Then I measured out the velcro.

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Lastly I covered the whole thing with thick cute fabric. This helped pad it a little so it was more comfortable for Lottie too.

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Done and done!

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And does puppy Lottie like it? Nope haha!

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The harness made her feel invincible and she just used it to swing off like a rock climber >_< Damn you adventurous puppy!! I can’t believe how short her tail looks in these old photos *_* Omg I miss my chubby little puppy!

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So make shift harness done! It served it’s purpose well until we caved in and bought a cute expensive one for Billy Idol Day last year haha! I can never say no to that face!

 

DIY Heart Bokeh Mask Tutorial

Bokeh is the fancy photography term for specular highlights (pretty orbs of light) that show up in photos when using a wide apeture and a long focal length (higher mm number on your lens/more zoomed in) or it’s another word for dust ghosts if you are one of the hosts from that hilarious Ghost Hunter show on the Discovery Channel XD

Whatever it is, it’s extremely pretty and can be used in really interesting effects in photos! You can even make your own custom shaped bokeh mask in any shape you want… or just buy a kit… but yay making things!

I made a heart one and here are some of my results:

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The heart cut out shapes the little round lights in the background into hearts or whatever other shape you can imagine.

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More of my playing around later, let’s actually make one!

You need:

  • Black paper
  • Knife or scissors
  • Rubber band
  • Camera
  • Pen

I actually started making/experimenting with these so long ago that the photos are with my old phone and have black edges XD

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Trace around your lens on a piece of black paper.

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Cut a circle out of the paper which is around 3-4cm larger than the circle you just drew.

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Make little cuts from the outside to the drawn circle all the way around.

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Decide on your shape and cut it out of the center. If you’re going to use a knife please be very careful, a perfectly shaped heart isn’t worth losing a finger over!!!

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Fold all of the tabs around the outside up so it makes kind of a cylinder.

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Once you’ve done it all the way around you should slot it on the end of your lens.

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Use rubber band to hold it place and that’s it!

These work best at night time in photos that have lots of lights in the background. The hearts here are cars:

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Here are some of the photos I took when we went out 😀

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This is the same photo with more and less blur so you can see smaller and bigger hearts.

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I love the way the Melbourne lights reflect  on the water.

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Keep in mind that whether this works will depend on whether your camera has a large enough aperture and long enough focal length to create a good bokeh in the first place.

A good lens to use would have an aperture larger than f/2.8 and is longer than 50mm.

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And here’s how it looks without the hearts, little round circles.

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Go have fun with yours, you can make any shape at all!

How To Crochet A 365 Day Shaggy Loop Rug – Home Sweet Home

So remember almost 9 months ago when I posted the finished Home Sweet Home project? Yeah, me either >_>

Anyway there were many, many, many requests on how to make my white rug, the one from the lounge room:

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Well I have written this post like 3 times now but the original photos were lost and bla bla bla other excuses that no one cares about. Anyway I made Lottie a matching mini rug so I could retake the photos and here we are!

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You need yarn and a large crochet hook. I’m using some fuzzy chenille yarn and a 5.5mm afgan hook.

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Start with a foundation chain which is as long as you want the rug to be.

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Chain 2 more.

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The basis of this entire rug is a single crochet stitch with an extra long loop hanging out the back. When you have so many loops they form a thick shag pile.

So poke the hook through the 3rd chain.

Wrap the yarn around your left index finger to form a big loop.

Use your hook to pull the tail end of that loop through the chain.

Now you have one large loop at the back of the chain and two regular loops on your needle!

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Now wrap the yarn around the hook.

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Use the hook to pull the last loop through the other two. Now you have one big loop at the back and one on the hook. Done and ready for next stitch.

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So basically you’re just doing a single crochet stitch over and over again but at the beginning you’re wrapping the yarn around your finger so there’s a huge loop hanging out the back. I’m thinking it might be easier to explain this in a video!

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Repeat this stitch until you reach the end of the row. It will feel awkward at first but it gets much easier. When you reach the end of the row chain two, turn and go back the other way. This time the loops will be on the wrong side so after each stitch move the big loop to the front and begin the next stitch.

If you want a less thick pile you could always just do a regular single crochet every second row but I love how plush this version is:

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After a few rows you’ll get something like this with a flat back and a bobbly front:

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And eventually something like this…

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Then this…

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And like 6 billion years later something like this:

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Once you get to this length you’re half way there! This is why we called this the 365 Day Rug!

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And that’s really it, I ended up doing mine in two sections because I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would have but it worked out well because even at this size it was completely unruly to work on and a real pain in the butt. I probably wouldn’t make one of these again unless I was going to do it in lots of small sections. It gets far too heavy to work on something this big!

Anyway I’m glad this tutorial is out of the way finally, let me know if you try it out or have any questions!

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