Friday, July 20, 2018

deep dark winter

This is me right now. It's Friday afternoon, it's miserable and rainy outside, I'm wearing socks I knitted last year and although I have absolutely nothing to complain about, I'm feeling flat and a bit grumpy.

It's crazy what a hold winter has on me because despite the constant reminding myself of all the wonderful things going on in my life, I don't seem to have any control of my mood. It's deep winter, it's been days since we last saw any sunshine, and the arctic gale blasting outside is so icy as it pinches and whips.

It's tempting to make a list of my many blessings here in the hope that it will somehow tip my balance over into the happy, but the truth is that this blog is all about the seasons and the seasonal, and this it appears is my annual, seasonal reality.

So let's get on with the week shall we.

july 14

Last weekend we had some friends to stay on our farm and on Saturday they came up to our house with a bucket full of shakshuka and some Turkish bread and together we cooked and then sat around to eat. We knew these friends at school, we had our kids at the same time, and now here we are as families sharing stories and food all these years later. How wonderful that feels.

july 15

Bren has been turning bowls again. This latest batch are the size of salad bowls and they're incredibly beautiful. He makes the bowls from the wood while it's still green and he leaves the edges thick so that when they dry out he can put them back on the lathe and reshape them. I'll take some better photos for next week's blog so you can see the scale and the shapes.

july 16

On Monday I looked around my room at the piles of books and unfinished knitting projects and decided to make a bit of sense of it all before the big move into my studio in a few weeks time. I put books back up on the shelves, I folded up bits of material and I finished the last few rows of a few knitting projects, then I soaked them and blocked them.

It's crazy how I'm always in such a rush to cast on and knit a new project, but then I often leave them for dead so close to the finish line. 

Hopefully these two will be dry, photographed and worn before the weekend is through.

july 17

There's nothing quite like the feeling of finishing a book you really didn't like the tone of and starting something new and fresh. So far The Dry is everything I need in a book right now; it's engaging, entertaining, suspenseful, and steady paced, thank you Jane Harper.

july 18

On Wednesday Bren and Jobbo made one of my life-long dreams come true when they built me a window-box for my studio. It's incredible how much of a difference it's made to the space by framing the window and the view and inviting you to stop and sit. I imagine many a future blog post will be written in that new spot.

july 19

The power was out for most of the day yesterday so I planted seeds and split wood and the boys nailed shingles onto the front of my studio.

There's a small chance that by this time next week it will no longer be a building site but a small studio instead. Imagine that?!

july 20

The package full of yarn that I ordered full of typos last week arrived this morning. I think I'm going to use the yarn in the top photo to knit a Telija. But first I must finish those wine coloured socks. I pulled them apart twice more during the week. Once because the pattern I was knitting was driving me crazy and not at all fun to knit, and then again when I found a few mistakes. Fourth time lucky I'm going to knit them plain the whole way up to the cuff where I might do something fancy. Watch this space.

Which brings me to now and a little bit of surprise and relief that I managed to string all of those words together considering the grumpiness and the PMS and the rain. As soon as I've published I'll put some wood on both fires, hang out the washing, water my seeds, help Bren with the dinner and hopefully sneak in an episode of The Crown before the girls get home from school.

Hooray for the weekend!

Do you have anything fun planned?
Does your mood sometimes defy justification?
Do you know how much of a difference watching Glow on the iPad while running on the treadmill has made to my endurance?
Do you love peanut butter on corn crackers?
Do you know why our cat spends the day sleeping outside in the cold when she could easily sleep inside by the fire?
What else?

See you next week lovelies.

Love, Kate x


  1. Sorry to hear you are not on top of your game, but we should allow ourselves to come down every now and again lol. I have succumbed to a dreaded head cold and on this gloomy day in Brisbane am wrapped up in bed with my fur balls boring beside me....he too loves to be comfortable! I always admire how much you do accomplish and it gives me inspiration, thanks for that! I’m having a hot shower and ignoring the head cold x

    1. Oh you poor thing, I'm so sorry that you're not feeling well. I do love the picture of you and your fur ball all snuggled up together while it's awful outside. I hope you feel better soon. x

  2. Both of the views from your studio are beautiful. It's so close now, do you feel any sense of fear about setting up the space, making it just so and giving it the importance it so deserves? Or is it only me who feels like that? I'm the same with finishing knitting projects, once they are finished I have to accept them because I can't go back and fiddle with them anymore to achieve the impossible "perfection" I think is required of everything I do. It's quite tiresome actually.
    No fun plans for this weekend, just to stay warm and not bored.
    My mood often defys my reality, I think it's just me though being an ungrateful thing. Not saying you are ungrateful.
    Have no idea about the cat, but really do cats every make sense. Love them but don't understand them at all.
    I'm always amazed at how much you do, how hard you work. You deserve to put your feet up and watch the crown. Also the shared food photo...yum looked so good.
    Have a glorious weekend,
    may the sun peak out for you.
    cheers Kate

    1. oh and one more question,
      that jumper pattern looks beautiful, I was wondering how accurate you found the sizing? Have you made anything else by this designer?

    2. I don't think fear is the right word but I definitely will suffer from something like stage fright when it comes to actually setting it all up and moving in. I want it to be perfect but in truth I'm terribly messy so I want to keep it quite space as well. But on the other hand a well used and lived in studio should be filled with creative chaos, so I'm not sure. I guess I'll just probably do it little by little.
      And I have never knitted any of Jennifer Steingass's patterns so I can't answer just yet, but Revelry says that 596 people have knitted that particular project so I suspect it's a goodie. I'll let you know how I go.
      And I hope you have a wonderful weekend honey. xx

  3. Its quite funny as I feel the same yet here in the UK we are having a ridiculous heat wave and I'm melting and grumpy and cross my fingers for a little breeze! I'm a December baby and crave wrapping up warm and drinking hot chocolate and love to feel that nip of cold air around me!
    We'll get through this I'm sure :) xx Have a fabulous week and cannot wait to see your cabin finished x

    Deanne (Quirky Boots)

  4. About the cat: it is impossible to try to understand a cat's behavior It' a cat!
    I wish I could send you some sun. Over here (Belgium, Europe) we have plenty of that nowadays. A bit to much even. It is extremely dry this summer and everyone desperately wants some rain!
    I have fun things planned: I go to Paris for a few weeks. On my own. I was looking forward to it but at this moment I am a bit worried because I' m to stressed. My vacation started last week and I feel more stressed than before because I wanted to do a lot of nice stuff in my holiday and because my list of things I wanted to do is to long for the free time I have I'm stressed now. I can't shake it of (yet). Silly me...

  5. I know you know I loved The Dry, it is so bloody good but man oh man did the second book let me down. I think I’m
    In the minority with the opinion but don’t rush to read it ok?
    I am ever so slightly not loving winter this year. I love that it slows us down (to a point) but I’m already dreaming sowing seeds for tomatoes. And talking of growing things, if I wanted to grow glorious flowers like yours would I be looking at seeds or bulbs? I planted my first ever jonquils & freesias a few weeks back & they are already popping up! I can’t wait to have pretty flowers.
    Also, today I was in the chemist looking for probiotics & ended up chatting to a naturopath. We ended up talking about my hormones & how I am a crazy bitch these days. My cycle is shorter than ever, my moods are nuts & I have 3am anxiety spirals. She talked to me about my estrogen imbalance & im now I’m posession of some tablets that are supposed to break it down & make me a nicer person to live with. That probably makes ZERO sense so maybe I should have said “ have a chat to your naturopath about esteogen levels”
    Hope the dads go away soon Kate xx

  6. Hello, dear Kate. That wine-coloured yarn is so luscious!

    I, too, get the deep winter blues. Have you heard of Happy Lights? I use one in my not-so-sunshiny office every day.

    Here is a link to the lamp that has changed my outlook:

    I look so forward to seeing you make your home in the new studio. What a treat to share this world with you!

  7. We are having record breaking heat here in Texas, so your pictures look so refreshing. I think your studio looks wonderful with all the beautiful wood on the walls and the big window. You are very fortunate! I like your socks, too. I love to knit socks.

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  9. What a great idea that window seat and the bottlebrush outside the windows (I think they were) are stunning.....what a beautiful space and even more clever husband. His bowl looks amazing he really has mastered the art of woodwork hasn't he. Love the shingles on the little hut too.

  10. I have enjoyed watching your studio take form and am especially besotted with your window seat! Lucky you, having that to look forward too! And I love your socks. I am at the very beginning of my knitting and crochet adventure, and have what might be a silly question... how do you wash them so they keep their size and shape?

  11. Love the socks, love the wool, love the window seat! Peanut butter on anything is deeply satisfying. Winter is hard and there's no getting away from it. But slow days are good. And spring WILL come!

  12. Hi Kate. sorry you're so low. I try and think of winter as the season for big art projects! Or putting together scrapbooks for the kids, that sort of thing. Makes me feel a bit better about having to be indoors...
    Love the way the view from your studio window in the photo with Jobbo(?) up a ladder looks like a William Morris print! XXX

  13. My mood always defies justification - I have chronic depression and anxiety plus other mental health problems. But I tell you what - winter is the worse time of year, even for me. I practise Hygge in large quantities and it helps a little, I read and binge watch shows, I do yoga, there are daylight simulation bulbs in every room (they are fabulous). I have permanent double vision so knitting is just too hard these days but I am saving up for a good old fashioned cross stitch sampler for this winter (it's summer here in Ireland). Keep busy is all I can advise and if it all gets too much, I advocate a nap - I love naps.
    Hope you are feeling ok by the time you see this xx

  14. There is a heatwave coming next week in Holland. I wishes I could sent you some sunshine!

  15. Kate, I enjoy reading your blog so much. Thank you!
    We in in the middle of the summer here in the US, so, so hot, although it rained yesterday all day and its raining now. I love it:)
    We had fun yesterday visiting friends who just had their 5th baby! As my youngest is 8, it was so good to snuggle the little one!


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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