Friday, September 7, 2018

the craft sessions

These are the only photos I have on my camera roll from this past week. Daffodils with Bren and wallflowers with Indi. As well as that we planted lots of seeds, scrubbed our house, celebrated Bren's dad's birthday, celebrated father's day, drove kids around, cooked lots of food, knitted, read, listened, learned.

And then on Tuesday Felicia (right) brought Mary Jane Mucklestone (middle) to visit for the day. Mary Jane is the author of two of my favourite knitting reference books, designer of some of my favourite patterns, Fair Isle and Scandinavian motif queen, and as my girls say - my celebrity crush. 

Those of you who have been around for a while might remember these socks that I knitted back in 2016. Every motif came from Mary Jane's books and thus began my love affair with her work.

The four of us hung out in Bren's studio and admired his bowls and collection of axes, we hung out in my studio and admired the view, and then we ate lunch. She's amazing, as down to earth, and colourful, and lovely as I'd imagined.

And three or four hours later when they were leaving and it occurred to me that we hadn't even knitted a stitch together, Felicia told me that someone had just dropped out of The Craft Sessions this weekend and why didn't I come instead? In two days time!

This is the blurb from the website - 
The Craft Sessions' annual retreat is a weekend of creative workshops, delicious food, quiet moments and inspiring people. It is an opportunity to play and learn, to talk and share ideas. It's about coming together and sharing a love of making, appreciating the beauty in the smaller things, and delighting in the pleasure and simplicity in all things handmade.
The weekend is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a weekend of knitting, weaving, stitching, printing, sewing, dyeing, and making. Surrounded by beautiful greenery the retreat space boasts big light filled rooms with stunning views of the surrounding bush.

I ummed and ahhed overnight (mostly about not sleeping away from home) and then when Felicia told me I could share a room with Mary Jane at the retreat and do two of her three classes, I knew there was only one choice for me to make.

So here I am sitting up on my bed in our room at 3.30 in the afternoon. She's sitting next to me putting together a slide show about her Grand Shetland Adventures and I'm writing my blog. This morning I did a darning class, tomorrow I'm doing a two colour knitting class and on Sunday - Fresh Fair Isle. 

After I press publish on this I think I'll have a cup of tea and do some knitting in the dining room followed by a walk in the bush. With no school pick-ups to drive, no dinners to make, no farm chores or house work to do, it's amazing how much time there is in a day.

I hope you have a gorgeous weekend my friends. I hope it's just the right mix of productive and restful. If you feel like it you could listen to the Alice Fraser podcast Trilogy podcast which is funny and musical and sad and upsetting and heartwarming in equal parts. I really loved it and highly recommend it. 

You could download the very first issue of Yarnologie Magazine and read the six page story about me. 

Or you could tell me something you think I'd like? Or something you've been up to lately? Or anything really, I'm listening...

I'll see you this time next week with some new skills and some crafty stories.

Until kind to yourselves and each other.

Love, Kate xx


  1. Sounds an amazing retreat. Looking forward to next weeks blog to hear about it.
    My weekend will involve visiting aged relatives around the state. That does mean lots of knitting time. I have finished 70 beanies so far this year, 330 left to go.

  2. Oh lovely daffodils and such lovely coloured wallflowers I’ll just bet they smell divine, has Spring sprung at last? Sounds like you are having a fabulous weekend enjoy. We have elderly relatives staying with us this weekend so a slower pace than usual but plenty of laughs as the pair of them are really funny. They are doing really well for their age 89 and 87.

  3. Ah, good evening and happy Friday Something(or in this case, SOMEONE) always manages to come along and cheer you up and what a way to be cheered, dear Kate. Mary Jane Mucklestone! Whaaaaaaaat!!!??? Oh my gosh, my crush as well. was over the moon but surprised that I hadn't known she was coming to our country (since I'd been lamenting that we don't get many overseas knitters visiting because we're too far away!) How fantastic to get to the retreat. Very good for one's soul.

    I had written to MJM on her Facebook to say I was sad that Issue 1 of Yarnologie had sold out and then the lovely Sarah wrote back to say No it is NOT, Lu, so I've promptly bought it and can't think of a better evening knitting, reading the issue and eating chocolate and lollies. Yay. Thanks so much for your blog and have fun with all these wonderful people. Love Lu x

  4. Congrats on being able to take classes with your celebrity crush. That sounds awesome for you! :)

    I've noticed that you don't do much with shawls or wraps. Would you ever be interested in knitting (or crocheting for that matter) a ruana? Just a thought.

  5. such beautiful photos and the oh the luck - enjoy. you need some time away.

    i cant wait to hear all about it when you are back x

  6. Those are my very favorite times, when serendipity claims you and you must not escape. I love MJM and am so happy you got to spend all that wonderful time with her. Hope it’s just what you needed.

  7. Oh Kate, how lovely to meet Mary Jane. I need to share with you an adventure of a lifetime my SIL and I am embarking on next week. We are off to the UK and Ireland. First stop Isle of Skye to complete a three day Gansey knitting course, then the Shetland Islands for Woolweek where we are booked onto three workshops (Fair Isle This is followed by four days in Skipton to attend Yarndale and meet Lucy from Attic24 and Christine from Winwick Mum (my sock goddess). Then..... off to Ireland for a little trip around looking at the sights for a week before boarding a bus for a knitting retreat over six days with Carol Feller. My SIL and I put this trip together 18 mths ago and we are super excited. We are going to put a lot of pictures on Instagram @lenoremr if you want to have a peek. Nola has also enrolled in the Knit Stars this year. Have a wonderful weekend at the retreat, it sounds awesome.

    1. oh my, what a wonderful trip you have coming up. I'm off to follow you on insta because, jealous.
      cheers Kate

  8. I just returned to the US from attending Mary Jane’s and Gudrun’s Grand Shetland Adventure (say hi to Mary Jane from Bonnie) and it was wonderful! Have a grand weekend in Australia.

  9. what a wonderful chain of events for you. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
    cheers Kate

  10. Dear Kate,
    I look forward to reading your post each week. The last month of winter seems to weigh heavy on your soul. The change of seasons and the blessing of meeting Mary Jane, has shifted / lifted you and for that I am very pleased for you.
    My daughter and I are continuing our journey around Australia aka the big lap. This week, after 20 weeks of travelling, I have felt loneliness for the first time since leaving ‘home’. I am blaming the 40 degree heat, here in Kununarra.

  11. Serendipity! Hope you had a lovely time.

  12. That is so awesome to have on of your heroes visit you in your own home!
    It's been said that one should never try to meet their heroes to avoid disappointment but in your case that doesn't apply at all. How wonderful for all of you.


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Kate XX

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