Sunday, 22 June 2014

Some more unusual vegetable beds made from old pallets

Yes...I did it again; I saw some old junk laying around and thought "That would make a really good garden bed"

This time it was an old pallet. My partner installs stand alone solar systems so he occasionally brings home a pallet that has been used to transport panels or batteries. They are usually used as fire starters (being made of pine they burn fast and hot).

I had cleaned out the trailer bed ready to be planted with more green pick for salads and stir fries, and was thinking I need more space for lettuce and baby spinach when I wandered past the 'to burn' pile and saw the pallet.

I propped it up with a stack of old tyres to be level with the trailer bed.

Lined the bottom and up the sides with black plastic from the 'take to the dump please' pile and stapled  it in place. 

Filed the lot up with soil, potting mix and compost and poked a lot of holes in the bottom. There it is; complete with bird cage covers to keep the chooks out of the lettuce.

The trailer bed is all cleared and ready for planting too.
The pallet bed is very shallow (about 10 cm) so it will be hard to grow anything but lettuce or baby spinach in it, but if the soil is rich enough and it doesn't dry out it should do the job.

Being made out of pine the whole thing will only last a year or two, but it re-uses something from my rubbish pile and makes a useful short term bed so I'm happy.

Using pallets for gardens isn't really unknown; I found these examples on the internet.

I guess I will be using more of the old pallets that make it home from now on.

What do you upcycle at your place?

From fleece to toe bag and all stops in between - the journey so far

A colourful pile of my home spun wool.

While I'm knitting the tote bag, I thought I would link all the posts in this series so far to one page. That way you can read it all together.

Just click the links below to read the entire story.

Part One 

Part two

Part three

Part four

Saturday, 21 June 2014

From fleece to tote bag and all stops in between - part four

Now I have some dyed skeins of homespun wool to knit with, its time to cast on and start.

When I have an order for bags I ask the client some questions;
What bag shape?
What colours?
What stitch pattern?

In this case, my client has chosen the petite bag, in black and rainbow colours with the Asthore stitch pattern. So I dug out my bag of reclaimed embroidery wool and saved scraps of pure wool and spliced them together using the Russian join to make two rainbow balls of wool.

My reclaimed scrap wool pile.

Joined together to make...
Huge balls of rainbow wool
Now I have everything I need; black homespun, reclaimed rainbow, circular needles and coffee. Away we go.
My favourite bag pattern of the moment is the petite felted bag.

I begin by casting on eight stitches (four on each needle) using a 'figure 8 cast on'

I then knit the base of my bag by increasing stitches every second row., as indicated by the pattern.
Once the base is big enough I choose a slip stitch pattern and start knitting.
So far I have used these slip stitch patterns to make bags;
Dog's tooth cross
Yin Yang
Fretted mosaic

The base of my bag is started. Eight stitches on each side have been increased to twelve.

The entire base is done; a total of 154 stitches. I am using the Asthore pattern so I needed to add a few stitches to make the number a multiple of 16 (Asthore is a 16 stitch pattern).

And the colour knitting begins. 

The pattern is beginning to emerge.
This is the quickest part of making felted bags, I can take my knitting anywhere and fill in free moments and I can settle down to a quiet evening watching a movie while I knit too.

Next step; felting. Stay tuned.

Note; I do apologise for my photography, most of the photos are taken in the evening with my phone so they don't show true colour and are not well focused.