Crochet

I’ve known how to knit for quite a while but have always been fascinated with the amazing things you can make with Crochet. There are the classic and well known Granny Squares turned into amazing blankets and afghans, intricate lace, the wonderful world of Amigurumi and everything else in-between.

Ergonomic Handles are more comfortable to hold
Ergonomic Handles are more comfortable to hold

You can’t start to learn something without the right tools. Recently, I ordered some crochet hooks and a pouch to store them in. There are many different types of crochet hook you can buy, but after some research I decided to buy the Clover Ergonomic Hooks as they looked sturdy with lots of reviews about how great they are compared to their thinner counterparts.

This set features a soft easy grip that is warm to the touch and gives the user the most comfortable finger placement as well as tireless functionality.

The polished Aluminum hook is the perfect shape for smooth crocheting.

Each of the 10 sizes features a different bright and fun colored handle. The sizes are B-2.25mm, C-2.75mm, D-3.25mm, E-3.50mm, F-3.75mm, G-4.00mm, 7-4.50mm, H-5.00mm, I-5.50mm, and J-6.00mm.

Holds 8 crochet hooks safely and securely
Holds 8 crochet hooks safely and securely

Interestingly, the case matched the one I have to store my Knitting Needles (you can find out more about them here), so I was really pleased about that. Obviously a much smaller version to accommodate the size of the hooks and perfect to throw in your bag for crochet-on-the-go.

It’s called the Clover Getaway Case for Soft Touch Crochet Hooks

Lots of room and well made
Lots of room and well made

There is only space for 8 hooks but I have managed to pop the other two on top and fold down the inside flap. Once the pouch is rolled up it holds them all securely, so I haven’t found this to be a problem.

Considering you’ll most likely have a couple of projects on the go anyway, will help solve the storage problem.

The timing of my order was perfect as my Mother-in-Law was visiting and set me up and running on the basics – starting chain and practicing the single crochet stitch (sc) back and forth. I even managed to change color.

However, she couldn’t stay forever so I had to practice on my own and also find some more help. Thank goodness for the wonderful world wide web. You can pretty much find anything you want especially videos to help you learn many things – crochet, luckily for me, being one of them.

I’m part of a knitting/crochet community on Ravelry and someone suggested the best beginner crochet tutorials she had found with really clear instructions were with help from the Crochet Geek. She really explains the stitches well, has slow motion segments in her videos, so you can really following along, and before you know it I’d made my first crochet hat. Considering I’d only been doing crochet three weeks up to that point, I astounded myself. Give it a try…if I can do it you can too!

look at my hat and continue reading

Joe’s Stone Crab

Joe's Stone CrabFor more than 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab.

The restaurant was opened in 1913, by Joe Weiss, who began his Miami Beach career by cooking at Smith’s Casino. Joe’s is the top buyer of Florida stone crab claws, and it plays a significant role in the industry, influencing the wholesale price and financing many crabbers.

Even though stone crabs are their most famous dish now, fish was served, rather than crabs, when the restaurant first opened.

Joe’s Stone Crab is often visited by politicians, actors, and athletes. The restaurant is reputedly referenced in Ian Fleming’s novel “Goldfinger” as “Bill’s on the Beach” in which James Bond ate the best meal he had ever eaten in his life.


There are two sections to Joe’s – the Take Away section, although you can eat in too, and theJoe's Take Away main restaurant that offers a lunch and dinner menu.

Joe’s Take Away, is the best of both worlds. The Take Away is casual dining serving three meals a day, 7 days a week with a coffee bar and private room, JoAnns, for special occasions.

There’s a selection of breakfasts and speciality dishes available starting from 7:30am and yes Stone Crab is available for breakfast if you wish.

They have seasonal opening hours that coincide with the Stone Crabbing season (Oct 15 to May 15). When the season is over, Joe’s Take Away closes and the main restaurant only offers a reduced dinner menu available in the evening.

They also offer the famous authentic Key Lime Pie. You can buy them by the slice or alternatively take a whole pie away. This is a great option as you can freeze it until you need a piece (if it lasts that long!).

Interesting Facts about the Florida Stone Crab

The Florida Stone Crab is a delicacy known around the world. Its sweet taste and perfect texture, however, means its popularity has spawned a number of impersonators, including Pacific Rock Crab, Baja Stone Crab, Red Rock Crab and Japanese Crab (to name a few).

Select your fresh Stone Crabs
Select your fresh Stone Crabs

Because these non-Florida Stone Crabs don’t have the benefit of the warm tropical waters of the Keys and Gulf, they are stringier in texture and much gamier in taste. That’s why at Joe’s Stone Crab they only serve the real thing.

Florida Stone Crabs are found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts but are commercially harvested almost entirely in Florida. In the wild, adult Stone Crabs are easily recognized by their oval body and two large claws.

The adult body of the Stone Crab is dark brownish red, more or less mottled and spotted with dusky gray. An interesting feature about the Stone Crab is the mark on the inside of the large claw that resembles a thumb print.

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Wisdom Wednesday – Yesterday and Today

Your favorite time of the week is here again. You never know, you may be inspired to do something different…yes, its Wisdom Wednesday, where the posts speak for themselves.


Don't let the past ruin the present. Have a great day.
Don’t let the past ruin the present. Have a great day.

 


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Wisdom Wednesday – Look Forward


 

Social Media Links

After successfully adding a logo to my header, I’ve decided to continue tweaking the Travelling Banana site. Today I added a few Social Media links. You can find them just under the Travelling Banana logo or if you’re visiting on a mobile device, drop down the menu (the three lines often referred to as the hamburger) and you’ll see them pop up.

In case you’ve been living on Pluto or you’ve actually been busy doing more important things, you may not know what some of those hieroglyphics mean.

Here’s a quick guide on the Social Media icons I have added to my site.

TumblrTumblr – pronounced “tumbler” is a microblogging platform and social networking website. Often contains a mixture of art, design, photos and videos. It has been around since Feb 2007

TwitterTwitter – Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”.  It’s been around since Mar 2006.

FlickrFlickr – pronounced “flicker” is an image and video hosting website owned by Yahoo. It’s a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs since Feb 2004.

PinterestPinterest – Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. It has been around since Mar 2010.

Google+Google+ – pronounced and sometimes written as “Google Plus” is an interest-based social network that is owned and operated by Google Inc. It has been around since Jun 2011.

Have you noticed how a lot of these social media sites launched in February or March apart from Google – I wonder why?

This is only a small selection of a vast amount of social media sites that are popping up all over the place.


Here are a few of my doodles that you can find on Tumblr


 

Wisdom Wednesday – Hallowe’en

Welcome to a special Hallowe’en themed Wisdom Wednesday where the posts spookily speak for themselves.

Hope you have a fun time.


If you are reading this...you are blissfully unaware of what is creeping up behind you. Boo!
If you are reading this…you are blissfully unaware of what is creeping up behind you. Boo!

 

If you are reading this…you are blissfully unaware of what is creeping up behind you. Boo!

Coral Castle Museum

If you are ever traveling down this way, you have to make time to visit the Coral Castle Museum.

Coral Castle was built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world’s most mysterious accomplishments.

The castle was originally located in Florida City in the 1920’s but was moved single-handedly to it’s present location by Ed in the 1930’s.

It was a fascinating tour. When you arrive you are greeted by one of the tour guides who will direct you to join one of the on-going tours – don’t worry you won’t miss anything as it’s a circular tour and you can join and re-join as many times as you wish if you missed any part of it.

Ed was only 100 pounds and 5 feet tall but as you wander around you will be amazed at how this sleight man could maneuver large heavy and rough coral slabs to construct a selection of beds, tables, walls, his workshop and sleeping quarters.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Some of the features at the Coral Castle include a 9-ton gate that moves with just a touch of a finger, a Polaris telescope pin-pointing precisely where the north star is located and functioning rocking chairs – all made entirely of stone.

There is also the world’s largest and heaviest Valentine. The table is a perfect heart shape and weighs 5000 pounds!

The 9 ton gate is perfectly balanced and moves extremely easily. It is Ed’s amazing engineering skills that continue to baffle experts and visitors.

The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind - it has baffled engineers and the like.
The gate is perfectly balanced and is able to move by the slightest touch or by the wind – it has baffled engineers and the like.

Ed accomplished this by drilling an eight foot longitudinal hole that precisely aligns with stone’s centre of gravity for perfect balance. The door fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side. The door is so perfectly balanced that it can be easily pushed open using only a finger. How he did this remains a mystery, as even the most advanced electronic analysis equipment we have today would find it difficult to reproduce it.

find out more

Wisdom Wednesday – No Failures

Wisdom Wednesday – where the posts speak for themselves


 

Look at what you are doing a different way and success will follow
Look at what you are doing a different way and success will follow

Today’s Wisdom Wednesday quote is inspired by a comment I read on a blog I follow.

Why not check out Kathie Gregory’s blog at ataleoftwohorses.com