Friday, October 5, 2018

hand-knit socks and clogs

At the start of this week my farmer boy suggested we try something different. Instead of writing out a grand, all encompassing farm-to-do list, instead we only write down two tasks per day. It was a way of keeping things achievable rather than overwhelming, interesting rather than annoying, and hopefully the bite sized chunks would keep the momentum going and would stop us from getting distracted and keep us on the task at hand.

On Monday we weeded and mulched in the morning and stacked wood in the afternoon. On Tuesday we mowed the orchard in the morning and visited the bees in the afternoon. On Wednesday I planted seeds in the greenhouse and Bren was supposed to mow but instead had a day of organising and managing with a little bit of mowing and watering in-between. Yesterday was a write-off as far as the farm was concerned but quite productive elsewhere - I had my hair cut, I spent some time fixing the sleeve on the cardigan I'm knitting, we started getting Jazzy's things packed and in the afternoon we trained to Melbourne to buy some things and go to a book launch.

Looking back on it now I can see that this way of organising things suits us. More than waking up and discussing it, more than the mega, never-ending list on the fridge, and more than writing the jobs down after we've done them at the end of the day. Each day we woke up ready to go, we worked hard, we even found time to do some extras - we built a Holtz Hausen woodstack, our friend's Bob and John of @treestotimber started milling some of our trees into the timber that we will use someday soon to build a barn, we kept a bonfire going for four days clearing up an area where a few trees came down, we hung out with the girls and friends and did school holiday things, and we picked up a new wood turning lathe for him and he set it up.

We also looked after Indi and reassured her that every kid doing year 12 in Australia is feeling the same way she is, we did everything we could to get Jazzy ready to go overseas THIS SUNDAY for six weeks and we picked Pepper up from the airport after her trip up north to hang out with her grandparents and cousins.

And in between all of that and the housework, I knitted. And I finally sewed in the ends of the last two pairs of socks that I made. Thick ribbed mohair socks, may they be worn in good health for many years to come. Click here if you are interested in the details.

And just quietly how good do the stripey socks look with the new clogs I bought myself to celebrate being a tulip grower. I feel so rich every time I bring an arm-full up to the house, I don't know why I've never grown them before. I love them!

And with that I'm out of here and off to pick some more! 

But before you go why don't you tell me how you've been?
What's your best trick for staying on task and productive?
What's your favourite thing to make when you have too many leeks?

See you later alligator!

Love, Kate x


  1. I think I have answered your questions once, which is odd, because I love your questions! I love that they get me thinking about my week! I should answer more often!
    I have been busy. Standard answer for everyone on earth.
    My best trick for being productive is changing things up when they become a drag. Mopping with a podcast, dishes by candlelight, or trying it with company if I usually do it without or visaversa if I usually do with.
    I am only just coming around to leeks! But butter and peas and mint and garlic and salt and white pepper is how they usually go down in this household.
    Much love

    1. That podcast trick is the best!! A good, engaging podcast can make hours of weeding enjoyable. And your leek recipe sounds delicious, I'm going to try that one out for sure. Have a beautiful weekend. xx

  2. Hi Kate,

    I loved this post, how could I not when it starts with socks hehehehe! Just two things - I make lists every day and that's what keeps me focussed. I don't mind if I don't achieve them but I love writing for a start and using pen and paper and even my phone some times, but I've done this list making for as long as I can remember. It's a way of seeing what you accomplish and it does help to set reasonable targets. A whole week can sometimes be too daunting and cause misery. Who wants misery?? :-) 2) I know why you didn't grow flowers. You wrote about it once. You felt that flowers were a bit frivilous since they weren't really sustenance/food/farm produce that you could use. I am so glad to report that you have finallu found out something many of us already know - that we feed more than our stomachs and often in many people's cases, feeding their minds for well being and happiness and a joy of life is as important as feeding our bodies. Just seeing something grow from a seed is amazing and makes us more mindful. And who doesn't love a sea of flowers blowing in the breeze. And when they're attacked by bugs and you feel despondent, it's really just a challenge to figure out how to fix it. And just remember how good it felt to find solutions to problems and come out the other side! And this is besides the help you give to bees -those amazing cvreatures. Australia actuslly has a 125% bee health so we aren't really in trouble but it's still good to know that we are doing our bit for them and in the long run, benefitting in more than one way. Even arranging the flowers brought you joy. There is a place for everything. So, happy Friday. Love Lu x

  3. I've just read that and there are WAY too many 'ands' hahahahahah! and we were always told not to start a sentence with an AND but hey, you get the gist and rules were meant to be broken, right? Love lu x

  4. Well I’ve got to say socks and clogs work for me I wear them a lot of the time. The job list is definitely more manageable when not so many on the list. I think I will try that this winter instead of trying to do everything, getting disheartened at where to start and the getting very little done. Breaking it down in to small chunks seems to make sense.

  5. Love your socks, and I haven't seen clogs since I wore them in the 70's! Very in character for a tulip grower. I have been knitting up a storm this week as we are away in the caravan looking at the Silo art in northern Victoria. Beautiful and inspiring. We stayed in Warracknabeal which is where Nick Cave grew up. It makes me laugh to think of him living in this quiet country town. Cheers.

  6. I have been attempting to finish the work ‘to do’ list before I go on holiday (in a week!) and it is not going to happen. I’m not sure I always do stay on task but for me it is important to decide what absolutely has to happen, and what can slide a bit.

    My favourite leek recipes are a Jamie Oliver leek and chickpea soup, & a chicken, leek and mushroom pilaf (lazy risotto with long grain rice) twice the amount of stock to rice and flavoured with lots of fresh herbs.

  7. I have just discovered your blog after a freind suggesting I would love it - and I do!

    I have been known to add things to lists that were not there but that I did anyway and then tick them off, just to make my list look like less of a fail. Ha!

    Your two jobs a day sounds a good plan, and those socks! Beautiful. They do deserve to be out on display.


  8. Love your socks. You would have loved the line of socks at Yarndale last week. They were fabulous. Oh wow! Kate you would have loved it. I spent a little time talking to Lucy @arric24 and she said she loves following your blog. Also met up with Christine @winwick mum. She has just released another fabulous sock knitting book. I attended the Soul Craft Festival this year. I can certainly see it growing as big as Yarndale. My SIL and I are still on our ‘all things yarny’ holiday and are currently in Ireland gate crashing any Knit and Natters we can find the grand finale is next week when we attend a 6 day knitting retreat in Southern Ireland. Xx

  9. I so love your socks! It makes me wish I could knit. :( How do you wash hand knitted socks? Are they more "fragile" than store bought ones?

    As for too many leeks (can that really happen?):
    potato/leek soup,
    cheese stuffed mushrooms topped with leeks,
    carmelized leeks and tomatoes with homemade yogurt tartines is quick and easy,
    creamy dijon leek sauce can be added to so many things,
    leek and mushroom bread pudding,
    garlic leeks in olive oil as a spread,
    cream cheese, spinach and leek savory crepes,
    added to pesto,
    sprinkled raw over stir-fry or omelets,
    pickled in brine,
    I could go on but you get the idea.

  10. The Blacker Yarns mohair yarn that you've chosen for your socks is a great choice - I used that yarn a couple of years ago in their Hebridean Mohair blend for trekking socks when my eldest daughter went to Peru on a social project trip and they held up very well - they weren't washed for a month and thanks to the antibacterial properties of the yarn, didn't climb out of the rucksack themselves when they came home which I would say is a result! :) xx

  11. Thank you Kate, you have inspired me to order new clogs! I looked and still wore my (very old and worn out) clogs this summer - so tatty. I have a new shiny pair of navy blue clogs coming in the post :) The tulips are beautiful and I need those socks - the temperature has definitely taken a dip here. Take care xx

  12. I love reading your blog. You inspire me to do more creative projects. I am now learning to knit. I already crochet. I love your home and all the things you and your family do. Please keep blessing us with your writing.

  13. Socks and clogs are a go to for me! I love your idea of only have a few things to do per day vs making an overwhelming list of all the things you need to get done. I'm great at doing that for work but not at home, I think I'm going to work on it so duties look manageable!

  14. Love the 2 things on the to do list each day....loved the matching socks and clogs and the tulips look beautiful.

  15. Slice up the leeks, dice up some apple and bake them under a roast chicken or slab of pork belly so they soak up all the tasty juices. Amazing!

  16. Well....that's a great way of organising tasks. I have the fridge list...I think most of us do. But it is so daunting !!. Im a terrible procrastinator which doesn't help. But..I could pick one morning task and one afternoon advance...using the huge fridge list for ideas ....that is doable !

  17. Oh, the list! I love that you wrote about it because I think about it quite a bit and am often feeling daunted by the day's tasks and the fact that I keep having to move things from one day to the next because I can't get it all done. Also, there are so many tasks that we do that aren't on the list. I've been known to add those additional things onto the list after I've finished doing them so I can experience the joy of crossing it off. Love your socks and clogs!

  18. Gosh I love those socks. Just wondering are clogs easy to walk in? and comfortable?

    cheers Kate

    1. Yeah I don't know. I've been wearing them for years and years around the house and in the garden so I'm really used to them but my kids don't think they are. They think they're like thongs that you have to hold on to but get used to. They're probably right. I love them so much tho. xx

    2. I used to have a pair of crocs outside the door that I wore for those quick trips outside when I just wanted something to slip on and kick off, I can see clogs being similar to that. Maybe I'll try a pair on sometime and see what I think. It annoys me no end having to put down my stuff to pull on my blunnies.
      Cheers Kate

  19. I am a knitter and I love your socks! I really love the clogs...may I inquire where I, too, can get a pair...Thanks!!! Love from NYC Lisa Grupico

  20. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. Best Heated Socks Review


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