Raised Beds: Part I

I constructed two different types of raised beds for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers a few years back. One was out of the Ikea shelving unit Hejne

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Dimensions: 78cm x 50cm x 171cm

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I had this at home already and only had to modify the way it was built to turn it into a planter.

Construct the shelving unit by shifting 2 of the 4 long posts so that they sit just outside the frame of the shelving unit and not flush with the edge as shown in the picture. (This will give you more room at the top side of the planter for plants.)

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Arrange the shelves so that they line the outside of the frame like the top shelf shown in the first picture above. You will need 6 shelf pieces:
Two on each long side of the planter with a gap in the middle, which we’ll address in the next step, and one on each short side.

The set only comes with 4 shelves so you will need to buy the expansion pack which adds an additional 2 shelves…

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You won’t be needing the metal brace pieces that come with the shelf set, so set those aside. You will need two additional pieces of cut wood the same width as your gaps (or wider is also ok) cut to 47 cm long.

You can use two cut pieces of an old pallet, which is what I used, or other scrap wood planks that are cut to 47 cm long. Nail them to the inside of the frame to fill in the gaps between the two shelves on the long sides of the planter.

You should now have a raised bed that looks something like this…

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This planter was very easy to construct as the shelves are already assembled when you buy the kit and just need to be faced outward along the edge of the frame to form a top and bottomless rectangular planting frame. Normally if you buy a raised bed for plants at a garden store they can run hundreds of dollars each. This planter cost me:

Hejne Storage System          Cost: € 25

Hejne Additional Shelves    Cost: € 9

Scrap Wood                            Cost: € 1

Nails                                         Cost: € 0.60

Total                                     Cost: € 35.60

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My Grandfather’s Vest

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I started knitting this vest for my grandfather, originally for his birthday in March, but wasn’t able to finish it in time so it will now become his Easter gift.
It was rather simple to knit on two straight needles, back and forth and was mostly all in stockinette stitch (one row of knit and one row of purl) with the exception of a bit of increasing/decreasing for the arm holes and the v-neck.

I knit a size small and ended up using about 7 1/2 balls of an aran weight wool/alpaca blend yarn by Drops called Nepal.

It’s a little softer and bulkier than their 100% wool dk weight yarn, Karisma, which I like and have used for several other projects. Here are my Ravelry notes on this project.

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I used a free pattern from the American Red Cross called:
Man’s V-Neck Sweater (Sleeveless)
This is a World War II era knitting pattern which was used to supply soldiers and refugees with warm clothing as part of a “knit your bit” home knitting campaign during that time.
My grandfather served in WWII and maybe back then he also had a vest just like this one!

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Ylva’s Lamb

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Here’s a little lamb that I made for a friend’s daughter for her 3rd birthday….

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My 4 year old daughter, Anna, helped me stuff the little lamb with carded sheep’s wool.
(It seemed appropriate for the project and it is also much nicer and softer to use than polyester stuffing when making dolls and stuffed animals.)

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I used a free pattern from the site Pattern Bee called Little Lambkin.
The only changes I made to the pattern was that I printed it at 1 1/2 times its original size and added round pieces of fabric to the bottoms of each of the lambs legs to make him more realistic looking when he’s standing.

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I used white fleece for the main body fabric and brown velvet for the contrasting ear fabric, buttons for the eyes were sewn on with white embroidery floss and pink embroidery floss for the nose and mouth (both colors were sewn with double strands).

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I used less than a quarter of a yard of the white fleece fabric, scraps of velvet that I had left from another project, left over ribbon from last Christmas, and buttons and embroidery floss that I had in my stash already. The only costly item was the organic wool stuffing I used which came to about $5-7 for the total amount used in this project.

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It was a pretty straight forward sewing project and Anna had fun helping me with the little details along the way. The only trouble I had was the fabric was very stretchy and didn’t want to stay put while I was sewing the body together so I needed to use a lot of pins and patience to get the face and legs right. Overall it was a moderate to easy project to work on.

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Time wise this can be a weekend project if you have plenty of time to dedicate to it or can be finished up slowly over the course of a week or so.