Tag Archives: Water

Harvest those Seeds!

9 Sep
Small tomatoes in Korea

Image via Wikipedia

Did you know that most Farmers are forbidden by law to harvest their own seeds?  That’s right, friends – the seed manufacturing companies passed legislation that makes seed harvesting a crime… for Farmers.  Just think of all of those seeds going to waste… season after season, crop after crop.  It saddens me…  But, this is not A Sad One’s Blog, oh no, my friends, and I am not a Farmer!  People of Earth – I say harvest those seeds (especially yummy, yummy tomatoes)!  Here’s how:

1.I know it’s going to hurt your soul, but this works best if you use your best tomato from your best plant.  We’re an instant gratification kind of a culture, but just think – sparing one tomato today will yield delicious (and free!) tomato plants for next season!  You can eat the second best tomato.  Just save the seeds from your best one (pulp, goo, and all), spread them in a single layer in a glass bowl or dish out of direct sunlight, put just a splash of water in it, and leave it there for a week.

2. Once a day or so, swish your bowl of seeds around a bit (at the same time you’re rinsing your sprouts, perhaps… hmmm), making sure not to let the seeds dry out completely.  Don’t worry about stuff growing in the water; that’s what’s supposed to happen.

3. After a few days, you’ll notice some of the seeds floating on the top.  Skim these seeds off & trash them.  Rinse the rest of the seeds, then leave them out, this time letting them get completely dry (this should take 2 or 3 more days).  Some people recommend drying your seeds out on a paper towel.  If you like your tomato seeds to have tiny bits of paper towel stuck to them, by all means go for it.  If you prefer, say, avoiding things like tree killing paper towels that stick to tomato seeds, then a dry glass bowl or piece of (both recycled AND recyclable) aluminum foil should do nicely.

4. When you’re sure your seeds are dry, toss them in an airtight glass jar (yes, I suppose a resealable plastic bag would work, but since the only things more terrible than tree killing paper towels are resealable plastic bags, I may judge you for it).   Store these bad boys in a cool, dry place until next February, when I’m quite sure you’ll be planting your seeds indoors so they can get a head start on the growing season!   })i({

The Importance of Being Blocked

3 Sep

Ever start with a pattern that looks like this:

Only to end up with something that looks like this?

(FYI:  I didn’t exactly follow the directions here, plus I decreased the pattern my second time through to round it a bit, so don’t worry about the shapes being different… I’m talking about the clarity of the lace).

SOLUTION:  Block it!  Blocking makes your crochet look cleaner, crisper, and more professional.  The thinner the yarn you’re using, the better it will look after blocking.  There are several different tutorials and methods for blocking here.

Blocking may sound fancy & hard to do, but it’s actually quite simple.  For most projects, just lay out your finished piece on a towel, spritz it with water, and gently shape it.  When my projects are small (like this one, which I’m pretty sure my mom is totally psyched about), I sometimes just dunk the whole thing in a sink full of water.  For projects that are more delicate, or for things you want to stiffen, just add some glue or starch to your water bottle before spraying.

Here’s what my lace panel looks like after blocking:

Ahh, now isn’t that better?  You can actually see the pattern now!  Anyway, this is a pattern for a chemisette I found on Ravelry, but you can find it here, too.  I used a bigger hook & thicker thread than recommended, but I’m cool with it… I just didn’t repeat the pattern as many times!  I was going to take a picture of this “in action,” but I didn’t really want to put a picture of my chest on the interwebs, so you’ll have to look at the pattern to see what it’s going to look like.  Happy Blocking, friends!  })i({