Catching up

I would be catching up a little faster, but I accidentally deleted the post I just wrote. Frustrating beyond belief, when I finally get round to writing something! Believe me when I say it was thrilling and entertaining… 🙂

Anyway, the general point was that we spend our lives rushing from one errand or project or appointment to the next and don’t often have – or take – the time to sit back and contemplate all that we have done. Since I injured my back, I am getting a little better at considering things, rather than rushing headlong into whatever idea has popped into my head. This doesn’t always translate into knitting, as I want to knit all the things! It does mean that I don’t do as much gardening as I used to and I don’t automatically move boulders anymore!

My husband spent months researching chickens and chicken coops before he designed and built a beautiful coop and run for our three heritage breed chickens. He (we) did a fantastic job and they have a great home and are happy healthy birds. They are Willow, a Buff Orpington; Leia, our Ameraucana; and Padme, a gloriously glossy Rhode Island Red.

large chicken coop and run

Heritage breed chickens: Ameraucana, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington

Our chickens


They are reliable layers and we get three different colours of egg from them – and haven’t had to buy eggs from the shop for months. We might have to over the winter, as they will lay less then. Did you know that chickens love grapes and melon?

We had a pretty fabulous, but brief, trip to England earlier this year, but we weren’t able to see all the family, so we’ve kept quiet about it. It was our first trip in 7 years and we needed to spend time with certain people and relax as much as possible. It was an important trip for the girls, as they are both old enough to enjoy and remember it. Here are a couple of my favourite photos.

Annis shawl and coordinating messenger bag

Annis and messenger bag

Lol! How could I not include a photo of the bag I made myself for our trip, along with the shawl I knit to coordinate with the bag! I spent more time considering what knitting I was going to take than I did packing everything else! Whether I would be able to knit on the plan was also an issue – I was able to knit all the way there, but not allowed to carry knitting on the plane for the return journey. The bag is, of course, one I designed myself and the shawl is Annis by Susanna IC, one of my favourite designers. This was the first time I had attempted nupps – tricky at first, considering you have to purl 7 stitches together!

Sheep in field, church in background


Braunston Marina

Braunston Marina

me, Pip, Milly and Si


Philippa discovered the joy of Beano comics

Philippa and her beloved Beano

Brian loved Beano comics when he was a boy and saved a box-full. The girls both love them and they were a priority when it came time to pack for home. Now we have to find some Beano annuals to add to the collection. They are convinced Santa will be able to find them…

When we got back, I got straight into test knitting for the fabulous Kate Atherley, whose new book will be out sometime this fall – with my name in it!! The girls dismissed it as ‘only a knitting book’, but I’m still pretty excited about it. Some of my knitting has also appeared in Vogue Knitting, which I am completely thrilled about. Imagine how excited I will be if I ever get in it as a designer!

A major project this summer was the knit-along with Lynette Meek. We work really well together – she designs and I do the test knitting and help moderate the group on Ravelry. I am so pleased that she took a leap of faith in trusting my newly fledged skills! This was our second KAL together and we’re going to be working on another one this fall, more lace and beads! This time I will be working with some yarn I have been coveting, Handmaiden’s Marrakesh, a stunning blend of silk and baby camel. The project this summer was called Edging the Pink and I used the beautiful SeaSilk Lace yarn from SweetGeorgia yarns in Vancouver. The project used about 2300 beads and turned out amazing, if I do say so myself! It is currently on display at Mad About Ewe, but I’m borrowing it back to wear to the KnitCity kick-off party this weekend. (Squee!!!!)

Pink wrap, knit in SeaSilk Lace from SweetGeorgia Yarns

Edging the Pink wrap

Edging the Pink wrap, knit in 2 colours of SeaSilk Lace from SweetGeorgia Yarns

Edging the Pink wrap

I also did some sewing this summer, including this gorgeous custom order knitting bag:

Pink and orange batik fabric used for custom order knitting bag with bamboo handles

Knitting bag for L.

Doing this post has made me realize how much has happened over the last few months! It is almost time to make the morning tea, so I’ll leave it there and post a little more later, as I haven’t even reached the jam-making yet!

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