Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where I'm at...

My I ❤ Tikki Knits giveaway is going super well. And not just because people are coming out of the woodwork to enter, but also because people are telling their knitting stories in their comments and I am just loving reading them. I have been finding them so interesting and emotional. I have laughed and even cried a few times.

Knitting and craft in general is so wonderfully important to us womenfolk. Busying our hands making clothes to warm our loved ones warms our hearts. And the connections and memories we feel to those who taught us are priceless.

And I feel so heartened by those of you that are going to give knitting a go, or another go. You'll get there. Just this weekend I cast on and knit 37 rows of the cardigan above only to pull it all out on Monday. The learning process seems to be part of the knitting journey. Two stitches forward - one stitch ripped back. But a completed and worn project makes it all worth while and then some.

My gorgeous friend Manda sent me some of her newly printed fabric late last week. It's sitting here next to my computer so I can gaze at it adoringly and often. I think it's destined to become a dress one day when I have a minute.

Manda has more of this fabric as well as colouring-in books and lots of other fun babushka things in her shop. Check them out, they are the cutest.

My littlest sister is back from San Fran for a while. Yay!!!!!!!

Last night I calculated that every week I plait fifteen meters of hair. FIFTEEN METERS!!!!!!!!! That means that every month I plait 60 meters of hair and every year 720 meters. Holy hair!!!!!

Do you know about the Daylesford Craft Experience? Check out the details here. I think it's going to be load of fun and guess what??? I'll be coming along on the Saturday afternoon to give a little crochet lesson. I'm thinking I might teach a granny square cushion pattern. And Jodie will be there on both days too.

Farmer Bren has been experimenting with fast bread. Soda bread. This particular loaf took twenty minutes from measuring out the flour to hitting the table. That is a BIG difference to the 20 hour sour dough he's been making over the last few weeks. And it's delicious too.

The recipe is in The River Cottage Bread Book.

And lastly, but super excitingly, my gorgeous friend Abbe has opened a craft retreat in Woodend. It looks totally gorgeous, check it out here. And the best part of this exciting news is that you have the chance to win a weekend at the retreat for you and nine of your crafty friends. How great is that!!! Check out the deets on Abbe's blog here.

And I'm adoring the golden wattle, wondering what to do with some overripe mandarines, diligently keeping the home fires burning, stressed about a kiddie friendship issue, wondering how I can convince my family to move right up North and grow coffee or mangoes, thrilled to have found the Maremma rescue people, sadly pulling up the very last of the rainbow carrots, making stir fry and rice for dinner, relieved to have spotted jonquils this afternoon in town, adoring having Indi home from the snow, freezing my bum off, amazed at the practically life sized car being built from cardboard boxes in the other room, thrilled with our decision to put an Esse radiator next to the toilet, looking forward to plonking down on the couch this evening and knitting a few rows of the fan stitch cardi and hoping for a few dry, sunny days so we can plant out our roses.

So that's me this afternoon. In between the school pick-up, the ballet, the hip-hop, and the harvesting and cooking dinner. A sentence here, a photo loading there, you know how it is.

So how are you?
What's going on in your world?
What are you making/baking/growing/reading/thinking?
Do tell.
I hope you are having such a wonderful week so far.

Bye! xx


  1. Bakey day today: meat loaf and spice cake. Both taste great and will still be here tomorrow for left-overs ... mmmm good stuff.

  2. Making cushions with my newly printed Terrarium fabric... baking sweet potatoes chips today... reading 'the last sin eater' and not enjoying it - so will start something new tonight... thinking that my head has been feeling a bit crazy lately...growing winter greens... also thinking about Thursday's Aussie Garden Journal! xxx

    I hope your week is great too - how great to have your sister home! xx Rach

  3. Thank you for asking. I am putting off cleaning all the glass atthe back of the house because as soon as I do it will surely rain AGAIN. Keep your fingrs crossed the jetstream starts heading North som/e time soon or even my Hilltop Town will start floating away.

    I am deliberately ignoring the bad naughty afternoon tea shawl pattern as I have now had to frog it bag three times. the poor old Posh Yarn I am making it from is starting to cry whenever I pick it up again

  4. So many exciting things happening at yours Kate :) Lovely that your sister is visiting - how long since you've seen her? And I'm super excited about the stitchery weekend.. already planning how I might wrangle to go ;) There's something about fresh bread, isn't there? It looks wonderful :) Kx

  5. I too am dreaming of a move up north to the beautiful northern NSW hinterland. Warm weather, rainforest and beaches are so appealing at this time of year in Melbourne! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your daily life, I never fail to be inspired by your gorgeous photographs and heartfelt words. Cheers, Shannon.

  6. My knitting just got unravelled too while listening to readers. We've just got back from Cairns so its feeling especially cold here. Yay for seeing your sister too!

  7. How exciting that your sister is back! (and Indi too!)
    Your farmer boy's bread looks so yummy - I can't believe how quick
    that is to make/bake!!
    I've got a rental inspection next week, which means i need to clean the oven...
    the lady wasn't impressed last time...!!!lolXXX

  8. yep making a tardis scarf for my 17 old - have pulled it back 5 times. seriously - its not even hard!
    jo x

  9. Hello lovely

    My email is not working so here I am to say Elliot would love some little white jocks. Thanks!! Plus we are puzzled at how they found their way into your house of girls!

    PO Box 69
    WA 6333

    ... and as for overripe mandies, Mandarin & Polenta biscuits are the best:

    Wondering how i can wrangle a trip to visit Abbe's. . .(having just returned from a week long yoga retreat!)


  10. I enjoy reading your blog so much Kate. And I know exactly what you mean about unpicking and re-doing-it is a vital part of the creative process!! I am in the middle of making a crochet hood with tassels, and Chef could not understand why I took apart and re-did the whole thing, he thinks I am mad....yet he does not bring the issue up when I am making him a new beanie!

  11. Can I pee in your loo? No heating vents in either of ours = very quick loo breaks ;-)
    Thanks for blogging The Retreat, you of course now have an entry in the giveaway.
    Abs xx

  12. oooh, I did not know about the Daylesford Craft Retreat!!!
    can we book for it yet? I would love love love to go!!!

    I've just finished knitting a wee newborn baby cardigan for a new niece, and am so proud to have finally perfected the perfect Spelt flour tortillas!

  13. Why do you need marrema rescue? Look at me, crazy dog lady honing in on the dog parts of peoples lives. i am so looking forward to DCE and cannot wait to see you again. I can't add to knitting comments, but when I see what you do, I wish I had that skill and had something to add.

  14. I stumbled across your blog- lovely place you have here...
    The bread looks delish!
    Happy Wednesday.

  15. I'm baking soda bread too - I adore the stuff, can't get enough of it, but mine doesn't look as good as Bren's - and knitting - of course - and thinking and dreaming a lot, because my life really needs a good shake up just now.

    Love that pics of your sis and your girls :D

  16. Kate you are a legend!!! Love the stitching, love the bread, love the wattle - we had two kangaroos under our wattle this morning.

    Cant wait to make for DCE and checking out more of your beautiful work


  17. Hi there,

    Sorry to be anon (I'm not a blogger). Just a quick point...

    I enjoy craft blogs, and I knit and sew. I sometimes find it a bit disappointing that they occasionally feel a little sexist. Crafting, and clothing one's family, is not just important to women. I know the comment is intended as supportive of other women, and to build solidarity - but that necessarily excludes people, and on inaccurate grounds. Isn't it possible just to say that it's important to some people, or lots of people, to craft and care? Shouldn't that be the focus, not gender? Not here, but on lots of blogs that invoke terms such as "Us mums understand..." It all adds up to an environment that feels a little hostile and sexist.

    I enjoy your blog and really hope that this is taken as a gentle prompt to further the good work by including more people within your virtual circle rather than implicitly excluding others.

    All the very best.

    1. I didn't read it like that at all - and usually have quite the radar for sexism. I think by saying it is important to womenfolk is not excluding others, rather, I feel, Kate is only talking from a womens' perspective given that she is one. Given that the overwhelming majority of people who read this blog are 1. women and 2. love craft I don't see how that could possibly be taken as hostile or sexist. I firmly believe that many women CHOOSE to be the ones who craft and clothe their families and because of everyone one who fought before us we have a choice to do this. As this has in the past been a traditional role of womens, which Kate acknowledges insofar as we have been taught by others, it also acknowledges that many of us love doing this. I don't think it is saying no one else can, rather acknowledging that many womens do this and love to do it.

  18. The word 'womenfolk' is such a beautiful word.


    1. it is indeed! Folk... Kinfolk... have you laid eyes on it yet? I like it.

    2. I love any word that includes " folk" - womenfolk, menfolk, kinfolk,folklore, folk music.....the list is endless :)

  19. Followed just about every link in this post. Daylesford Craft Experience sounds excellent! I am off to have a look!

  20. I so wish I was coming to the DCE- wishing so hard it hurts! xx

  21. Re plaiting all that hair. We are a family of five and I worked out the other day that I wash, dry and put away 70 socks per week, or nearly 3640 per year. (Summer is cancelled this year - we're all wearing socks every day)
    70 socks a week! No wonder I'm fed up.
    Cheers all

  22. I'm totally in love with your blog Kate. I find it so comforting & inspiring. Just thought I'd let you know.

    I love hearing about Bren's bread experience because I bought the same bread book but had an absolute disaster with my sourdough so closed the book & haven't opened it again. Silly, I know, but now I'm scared off...

    This week I made my first cowl. It was a pattern from Kootoyoo. The first was beautiful & such a success so I started a second one but it's not great. I think it's the yarn. I'm going to undo it & try again. Even though it's no good it's ok because it taught me how important yarn choice is.

    We are just about at the end of school holidays. It also means the end of my holidays. I'm sad. I don't want to work anymore. I want to be at home. I want to study. I want more time to do fun things. We are trying to find a way so I can work less. I love that my man wants me to be happy. He is so great.

    We are also having the baby talk- AGAIN. To have more or not, that is the million dollar question??? Will we ever decide? Will we be happy with either decision? I'm not sure why I'm telling you this but sometimes it's good just to put your thoughts out there, release them, so they can stop dancing around your head. Thanks for giving me the space to release the dancing thoughts xx

  23. I absolutely love your blog! I baked soda bread at the weekend too...however it didn't come out as beautifully yummy as yours did! I'll give it another go at the weekend seeing as the British summer is still acting like a monsoon!! XX

  24. Gosh, you sisters are alike!

    Off to a sewing (=knitting) long weekend in Victoria this weekend but Abbe's is on the radar for next year.

    Like the idea of that bread and love that fabric too.

  25. We're still on school holidays, yay!! Love Posie

  26. Your bread pictures makes my mouth watering. Being married to a professional chef I am spoiled rotten with great food from fresh produce, tons of veg and of course homemade bread (lucky me finding him in this big world). He is exploring new ways within cooking and baking and if Farmer Bren wants to experiment some more with bread making he should really try the breads from the book "Artisan Breads Fast" by Peter Reinhart's . The wet dough (instead of the kneading dough you fold a wet dough between letting it rest) makes the most fantastic fresh bread that lasts fresh for days instead of going stale in 24-36 hours like it usually does. Check out the book here on

    Well, just a tip. Take it or leave it. If you decide to try it let me know what you think. Love your blog, said it before, saying it again. Truly enjoying every post. We try to live true to life in the same way although we are far from completely self sufficient. But right now I am looking forward to a green bean feast as it is time to harvest them soon. We have a pretty big garden and I keep telling myself that I am so proud to be able to give my kids the gift of growing, picking and eating home grown vegetables. They of course just take it for granted and think that is life... Inspired by your kitchen garden and am thinking about maybe arrange a small one for us as well, although we get snow... I will investigate what we can grow in fall... Broccoli. Cabbage. Lettuce...

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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