Friday, May 12, 2017

the second week


When I decided to do a photo a day in May project last week one of the rules I imposed on myself was to not always capture the prettiest moments, but to challenge myself to look for the interesting and the gritty too. The two photos I took last Saturday are heading in that direction.

It was a freezing cold, wet, windy day and we'd called off all of the girls' activities and were bunkering down inside instead. There was one point in the late afternoon where I looked around at the cozy scene wondering what to capture. If I didn't get my shot then, I'd lose the light and miss my day. The fire was roaring, the house was a mess of papers and computers and musical instruments and girls, but nothing called to me. Then I looked outside, onto the back deck and decided.

I slipped on my clogs, quickly slid open the back door, snapped two photos and dashed inside again.

Leaves from the grape-vine that cover our back deck and give us shade in summer, grapes at the height of autumn, and then a sludgy mess as they decompose into winter.


Miss Pepper helping me out by searching for scarlet runner bean pods inside the tee-pee.


Knitted with love for my kitty cat obsessed, youngest. She loves them but did not love me dragging her outside into the cold and pulling up her leggings, as proven by her goose bumps.  

It's a free pattern I found on ravelry, you can find the details here.


Last year we grew a paddock of pumpkins. This year we didn't get them in til so late that they didn't get a chance to really get going before the days started to cool off, so we gave up on them and eventually pulled them out. The compost it seems had ideas, and seeds, of its own and grew this load. It's probably more than enough for us for the season anyway.


One of the first things we built when we moved to our farm back in 2001 was this hot house onto the side of our house. Using bits of poly pipe and greenhouse plastic, but without the help of YouTube, farmer Bren and my dad constructed a place for me to raise seeds and shelter some sensitive plants.

It's hard for us to remember where the idea for the plans came from. It's hard to imagine if we thought it would be a temporary fix or a long term solution. It's crazy to think about who we were back then: a couple with one baby girl and no farming experience.

And here we are all these years later pulling it down. Cutting the pipe, slicing at the plastic and digging out all of the soil. It's served us well over the years. I'd guess it's grown hundreds of thousands of plants.

And now it's time for an upgrade. We've drawn up the plans, we've gathered some old windows, we're starting on Monday. Watch this space.


Rushing outside last night to catch a photo of the flame tree glowing in the afternoon sun, it occurred to me that I could take the shot from what until the day before was inside the hot-house. Four steps to the right gave me another perspective. Makes me pleased to know that the new hot house will have opening windows. And how about that tree hey!


My current knitting project is a Guernsey wrap for Miss Indi. Remember when I told you a few weeks ago that Pepper had a list up on the door where family members could place their knitting orders? Indi ordered a scarf.

The thought of that scarf and the meters of knit stitch or purl stitch that would be involved in the making made me shudder. A more tedious project I couldn't imagine. That is until we sat on Ravelry for a while and looked at the endless possibilities of stitch combinations.

We chose this pattern because it was a mixture of textured patterns found on traditional fisherman's sweaters which would keep it interesting for me and yet was a simple long, rectangular scarf for her. I know I've barely even started, but so far I'm loving knitting it, long may it continue and grow.

The ravelry details are here.

And there they are, my seven (plus a couple) photos of the week.

It's been a bit of a topsy-turvey week for me. One afternoon I cried three separate times on the drive home from school at the sheer magnificence of the show that mother nature was putting on for us, the next day I heard a friend's difficult news and felt so weighed down by the weight of the world. Nasty, short sighted comments on a friend's Facebook shocked me and hurt my heart, but then a brother and sister raised over two million dollars in five cent pieces to kick cancer where it hurts and smash a world record. One of our girls got a role in a local production of The Three Lost Children and we were all thrilled, but then she has this bit of eczema that makes her so uncomfortable it hurts. Some of the olives were hit by frost, but the carrots are sweeter than ever. Up, down, up down. I'm blaming PMS and the full moon. And I'm hoping for clear skies and calm waters ahead. And sunshine of course.

I hope you've had a gorgeous week.
I wonder if the leaves are growing or falling off where you are?
If the days are getting longer or shorter?
If you use circulars or DPN's to knit your socks and sleeves?

Happy Mother's day!

Love Kate xx


  1. Hi Kate, I love your blog. I also have 3 children, it can be hard to find time just to be still. I am using your blog every Friday afternoon to take some time just for me. You inspire me. Thank you. Jeanine.

  2. Oh my goodness, the PMS this week! Right there with you. I have a deadline but all I want to do is curl up in bed and knit and binge-watch Borgen.

    That Guernsey wrap is just stunning. Scarves make me feel a bit faint but I can see that being a companionable piece of knitting indeed.

    DPNs for socks every time; circulars for sleeves. I just did my first afterthought-heel sock and it was like a lifetime sentence on Sleeve Island! I had mixed feelings casting on the second one, that's for sure.

    I'm giving our compost pumpkins as long as I can (the fruit is huge) but the frost i going to get the vine completely soon; it's lost a lot of leaves already.

    Looking forward to seeing your gorgeous new hot house. x

  3. Love those kitty cat socks. It is a cold wet squally night in Auckland sitting at the dining table hand quilting, and have just now poured myself a glass of red wine and curled up to read my favourite blogs. Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend, whatever you end up doing.

  4. I love reading your blog every week. It's great to see what life is like 'down under' and how your seasons are the reverse of ours! I particularly love to see what you are making, especially knitting and unfortunately it's DPNs for me as I just cannot master the magic loop method! Have a lovely weekend.

  5. Hi Kate beautiful pictures, I love read your blob, it make me calm and relaxed. As usual your pics are fantastic. the weather here is crazy!!! I hope tomorrow will be better!!!
    Have a lovely weekend Stefy

  6. I hope you see those clear skies and smooth sailing ahead! I look forward to seeing your greenhouse/sunroom... The leaves are growing here and the days are longer. I like dpn's, magic loop, and 9 inch for socks. Have a great weekend!

  7. I love your blog with its beautiful photos and thoughtful writing. I don't share your dread of winter but I agree that it can feel miserable - I have heard people from the Northern Hemisphere say they have never been so cold as when they came to Melbourne!
    I spent a year in Canada and really loved the winter there. So clear and sunny and dry (but so cold! No standing around without moving!) The Canadians say there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, and that has changed my feeling about the cold. We don't seem to deal well with the cold and wet - I find myself cancelling a walk if it's raining, which is ridiculous, so I have made a big effort to own and wear a really warm coat and shoes/boots. It's kind of an outdoor version of feeling snug inside beside a warm fire!
    Anyway, I hope this winter brings you inner warmth at least.

  8. Gorgeous Kate. Do you know what variety of pumpkins popped up in your compost? They look beautiful. The new hot house plans sound exciting. Isn't it funny how farm things evolve, improve, become obsolete, new things replace old things, ideas get refined and adjusted. The days are getting shorter here although the afternoons are wonderfully sunny and warm. Happy weekend x

  9. Beautiful as usual. Hope next week will include any progress on the new hot house. Those socks 😍
    Cheers Kate

  10. Best of luck with the new greenhouse! We are coming into summer here and I've been starting many seeds this year. Never made socks yet but I like to knit baby hats with long circulars. But mostly have been crocheting blankets.


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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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