Monday, 19 May 2014

Autumnal rambling


 I love Autumn. I love the colours I can see out my window from my special spot on the sofa, I love the crunch of leaves underfoot, I love the light spilling into the house in ways it doesn't in summer, I love the blaze of orange across the hills after the shade has engulfed our garden, I love the feijoas and the last of the summer garden coming inside.... so much goodness in Autumn.

It's time to dust off the winter woollies and light the fire each day, as we move more into Winter the fire will stay on all day every day. Winter sports have started so Saturday's are a bit of a write off with hockey (Marcus) early in the morning and netball (Ella) in the afternoon. It's the first season for both of them and we're really enjoying watching them. There are practises added to the calendar as well as the Saturday games but we've given up swimming for the term so it kind of balances out. There are lots of tidying up jobs to be done outside, the road hedge needs a big haircut and the veggie garden needs attention. The other weekend I planted garlic, cabbage, broccoli, celery and cauliflower but there are broadbeans and pea seeds sitting on the bench reminding me they need sowing. I've finally made a start on the driveway garden, it's been an overgrown, neglected eyesore for a few years and with a big effort from my gardening group's working bee, it's now been cleared and Anth has put up a windbreak fence. Now I need to get on with buying the hedging plants and mulching it.

I managed to read a number of books and get some knitting done last week when I was laid up on the sofa with a sprained ankle. After finding some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in my stash I whipped up this scarf, I haven't got around to putting it up on Ravelry yet but it's called Rambling from memory and was a free pattern, super easy and super squishy to wear. I really loved reading Cheryl Strayed's Wild, it is such an inspiring story and has made me want to go tramping - not on my own though and nowhere where there are bears and snakes. Somewhere like Fiordland perhaps, I turn 40 this year (arghh?!?! how did that happen?) and am keen on the idea of walking the Milford by way of celebration, not sure celebration is the right word... I need to save up though as it's not a cheap thing to do unfortunately. Wild is not really the best book to read when you've injured yourself though, I'm feeling very frustrated that I can't get out walking the hills right now!

What do you love about Autumn? What are you reading and or knitting at the moment? Have you read Wild? How would you celebrate turning 40, or would you ignore it?

Thursday, 1 May 2014


I lost my knitting mojo a while back.  I was sad it had gone and I missed having a project or three on the go. I had tried to get started on a couple of things but they were never quite right and sat in my basket, neglected. Then in the knitting void I took to reading. I went through a phase of spending all my free time devouring books, escapism pure and simple. With all that reading there was no room for knitting although I should have been more organised and listened to audio books. 

Through this knitting hiatus my favourite Aunt (aka my knitting coach) would message me about her exciting projects and it was with her help and encouragement that I cast on my first jumper - a Ysolda Teague Blank Canvas (more on that another time).  I mucked around on that a while but things really got moving when my dearest friend asked me to knit her a pair of socks for her birthday. I went from bingeing on reading to bingeing on knitting - by ignoring all but the most basic of house duties her socks were completed in a record four days. Then I was hooked again! I love knitting socks but had given up as I couldn't get them to fit right, all the patterns came out too large. But that problem has been solved by my knitting coach, it turns out that my tension was too loose and by wrapping the yarn around my little finger twice, I've managed to knit my first perfectly fitting sock, yay! It's the Hearts and Flowers sock from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up.

I have a few books on the go at the moment. I'm dipping in and out of Rhonda Hetzel's Down to Earth again. I read the book cover to cover when it first came out a couple of years ago and learned so much from it, she's a very inspiring lady and I'm in need of being inspired at the moment. I already practise a lot of her simple living advice but there's always room for improvement and I've been reminded of a few things I used to do but have fallen out of the habit of. I'm also reading The Matchmaker of Perigord  by Julia Stuart, it's the first book of hers I've read and I'm finding it quite entertaining so far.

Joining in with Ginny.