Friday, September 22, 2017

a story of socks, spring and other sunshiny things

Hello honey bunches!

It's so lovely having you here again this week. Sunlight is streaming in through the (smudgy) windows, I can hear farmer Bren on the walk behind tractor spading into the green manure in the garden and I have that excited spring feeling in my tummy that anything is possible, probable even.

Having said that, I'm going to attempt to squeeze this in to a tiny little time slot today as I have meringues to bake for a family lunch tomorrow, I have washing to hang OUTSIDE on the line, I have pasta bake to cook for my big girls coming home from camp tonight, I have Miss Pepper's end of term school concert to attend and if there's any time left over after all of that then I'd love to spend it pulling winter vegetables out of the garden to make more room for spring flowers.

So let's do a bit of a 10 things about now blog.

Let's go!

The colour-work socks I just had to knit as a personal challenge and because I am slightly obsessed with colour-work knitting and am slowly working towards some bigger pieces.

After I cast these socks off my farmer boy promptly nailed them to the lounge room wall. True story! For me the beauty of knitting socks is that they are so utilitarian. They can be beautiful and creative but their main purpose is to be worn. But he thinks they are works of art and should be exhibited for all to see. Bless him.

The Ravelry details are here.

Is about how panicked I get at this stage in spring every single year. The sun comes out, I plant 1,000's of seeds in the greenhouse, I fill every empty garden bed I can find and then I freak out that I've run out of space and what will happen to all the rest of my plant babies? Where will they go? How will they grow?

So I'm slowly pulling the rows of over-wintered carrots, beets, spring onions, garlic and kale out of the garden and preserving them, so we can prepare the space for replanting.

Over the past two weeks and going ahead into the future, our builder friend Jobbo is spending three days a week working with farmer/builder Bren renovating our house. So far we've put some gorgeous shelves in the kitchen, replaced our ugly mantelpiece with a beautiful slab of wood, pulled the car-port down, rendered half the front of our house and pulled out all the bushes that were growing along it. We have big plans to extend the green-house, build a new space for our cars, include a wood-shed and then get going on my studio. Oh what fun! I'll get some photos and show you soon.

I'm reading my sister Abby's review copy of Peter Carey's new book A Long Way From Home.

I almost always finish the books I start. But generally I feel that you know if you should continue by page 60. I'm on page 56 of this book and am still undecided. I'm not all that interested in cars and the characters don't grab me yet, but I know there's some sort of race around Australia coming up and I do love that the bit I've read so far is set in Bacchus Marsh which is right up the road from us and feels local. One character even caught the train to Ballarat via Ballan, which is our train line, and hung out at Craig's hotel where my friend works, I do love that.

I think I'll give it a bit more of a chance.

We're watching episodes of UnREAL. I've never watched even one episode of The Bachelor, but I must say I am tempted now.

My elbows are sore and I don't know why. It could be from gym, it could be from gardening, it could be something that happens to me every year at this time because I vaguely remember it from last year, I don't know. I do know that I'm determined to not push too hard so that hopefully it'll disappear quickly and not linger.

My latest favourite thing to eat is scrambled eggs with spring garlic and spring onion, spinach, kale, parsley and herbs, delicious!

A few days ago I woke up filled with a sense of well being. I searched my life for the cause of this wonderful feeling. Was is the weather? Did I have something exciting going on? Eventually I realised that it was because all my girls were tucked up in their beds, in their rooms, in our house. So often these days they're out with friends or at school things, and it just felt warm and wonderful to have them here safe with me.

Another night I woke up and thought about the fact that all of our girls sleep through the night now and it would take something pretty big for one of them to wake us up. We're fully and completely in another stage of parenting now, wow. It's only a shame that after all those years of wishing they'd sleep through the night, when they finally do - I don't.

I've recently discovered and listened to a couple of episodes of Wardrobe Crisis the podcast and I really like it. Clare Press the presenter covers issues on her podcast like slow fashion, mending, responsible buying, waste, and they're just the episodes I've looked at or listened to so far. Living in a house where conscious, sustainable shopping and dressing is such an issue, I'm loving what this podcast is teaching me and how it is making me feel like we're on the right track.

We walked through the apple orchards this morning and I'm thrilled to report that things are looking good. The bees are flying, the trees look strong and healthy, some of the varieties are even at green tip and one had started blossoming! We're crossing our fingers tight and sending a little prayer up to Mother Nature for a still, sunshine filled October, so the blossom can come out, the bees can fly and pollinate and the fruit can set. That would make this farmer very happy indeed.

And that's me.

How about you?
Do you have somewhere to rush off to soon, or can you stay where you are for a while?
Do you finish every book you start?
Do you mend your clothes when they wear out?
Do you have something fun planned for the weekend?
I hope so.

Lots a love,



  1. Hi Kate. Thanks again for another newsy post. I thoroughly enjoy reading them and Farmer Bren is so right in nailing them to the wall. They are works of art to be much admired! Love how your garden is coming along. Enjoy your family weekend. Cheers Sandra from Brisbane xx ��

  2. Those socks are amazing....I can see why he wanted them as an art piece...

  3. OH. THOSE. SOCKS. I'd be putting them behind a glass case; not just nailing to the wall...
    I've NZ made woollen tights that have major holes in them... i keep on wearing them, as they are warm and cost $30-50 a pair too. Perhaps I should just mend them, as I can't bear to throw them out... Fun planned for the weekend? On a craft mission to finish 12 un-finished things... (challenge with cousin) and do uni work (inspired and motivated after an A grade essay today). But this is also my last weekend before I stop work permanently after 8 years as a school librarian... then I'm on hols until fulltime uni in January... a bit weird this!

  4. Ahhhh Friday again ☺️. Those socks, how beautiful to have someone recognise and value the work that goes into making them.
    That podcast sounds like something I would enjoy.
    Sounds like lots of good things are happening at your place, how exciting. Nothing like a spruce up to make you feel enthusiastic and inspired.
    I no longer finish every book I start, it's been a challenge for me to do this but my reading time is so little these days that I just can't give it to every book I start.
    No plans for this weekend, I shall try very hard to not spend it being a grumpy old woman because I feel like all I am doing is feeding and cleaning. Sigh. Really not the person I want to be.
    I do sometimes mend my clothes but I'm not very skilled in anything fabric related and the truth is most of my clothes aren't good enough quality to be mended.
    Have a lovely weekend dear Kate.
    Cheers Kate

  5. Lovely to read this catch up. I am with you on the sleep thing!!! x

  6. Thank-you for another blog post. They are just such a balm to my soul in the midst of the crazy internet world that I really don't care much for anymore. But your blog is like sitting down with a cup of tea and a dear friend. I feel like "thesimplelife" up above-feeling like all I currently do is clean up, feed people, and drive people around. LOL. Grumpy statement I know. My attitude needs work!

    We are camping this weekend so hopefully that will help.

    Your lovely photos and thoughts have already lifted my spirits. As for books, I usually give it to page 30 or so and then lay the book aside if it hasn't grabbed my attention. This year I'm on a memoir kick. It's practically all I'm reading. I don't know why they are grabbing my attention. The latest one I read was "Walk to Beautiful" by Jimmy Wayne.

    Sending you happy thoughts!

  7. Your talk about the girls sleeping through the night has got me wanting another baby...

  8. Hello Kate! I love love love those socks. I have taken up knitting again after 32 years (I was 12 when I knitted last) and I am enjoying it but I'm a long way from socks! I just love your Spring news too (as we head into Autumn) and I'm really looking forward to seeing your flowers grow this year! Have a wonderful weekend lovely, Lucy xxxxxxxxxx

  9. Lovely post as always Kate. I do like your socks, they look great. A bit complicated for me, I'm still at the self patterning yarns at the moment. Not that there's anything wrong with them but I enjoy watching how the colour flows 'round the rounds.'
    No I don't always finish a book, the one I'm reading at the moment is grim and quite awful really. I'm reading 'Killing Kate' by Alex Lake. It's for the book club and I do the questions but I'm stopping halfway as I just can't stomach it. I won't reveal spoilers so don't worry, it's domestic violence and serial killing. I grew up in domestic violence and although physically I was ok and unaffected, emotionally and mentally it effects the whole family. It is hell to live through and I have no desire to read or watch tv about it either.
    On a brighter note, the weather has been lovely and sunny today and am hoping for a week of good weather in England. A bit of an Indian summer before winter.
    Have a good week. Cx

  10. Well I agree with Farmer Bren those socks are a work of art and should be on display. Well done you. I have images in my head of all your lovely root vegetables simmering in stews, soups and casseroles. I love vegetables in all of those. Weather here has been a lot cooler and damp have the heating on at the moment. I am trying to finish a hat for my sister as the Aran sweater is done and socks for the hubby. I'm supposed to be starting a shawl for my aunt for Christmas and partaking in a KAL with the Outlander group. I have never taken part in a KAL before so not too sure what to expect. Reading The Steel Kiss by Jeffrey Deaver at present. Photos are great as ussual always fun to see what you're doing in your neck of the woods. Have a good week.

  11. Those socks!

    I cried when I read your feeling of waking knowing your girls were all there. I occasionally dread being an empty-nester. My kids are nine and twelve.

    Hope your elbows feel better soon.


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Kate XX

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