Monday, May 22, 2017

why.

homemade soup and bread for lunchi've been listening to the slow home podcast for quite a while and the episodes always get my mind going, thinking about things in different ways and from different perspectives as well as giving me lots of ideas in ways to slow down and simplify...
last month though, brooke and ben spent the month (on mondays) talking about their 'why's', as in why they do what they do. the values and beliefs that shape their long and short terms goals and daily life too.

i loved this concept, so have been doing quite a bit of thinking about it...

the first part of the podcast series introduced the concept of what a why is, the ways that it can shape your life and world view and in the second part of the podcast series, the how-to begins.
brooke recommends writing your eulogy. what would you want said about you at your funeral? what parts of your life would you want people to remember?
after a bit of pondering, i realised that what i would want remembered of me, is my hard work to make our house a home. a warm and safe place that is welcoming and nurturing. and despite working hard at this, to have had time to be there for those that need me, children, partner, family and friends.
they're the things that are important to me.
the third segment involves pulling values out of that eulogy, boiling it down to a couple of key words to help shape those everyday decisions and the fourth makes recommendations of how to use those values to actually shape those everyday decisions.
the values i gleaned were home and quality time, and i'm really already starting to think about them when i'm making decisions on the daily.

have you ever worked on an exercise like this? are you a slow home podcast listener too?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

wool gathering.

woweeeeeee! what a weekend!

the weekend just gone, marked the hosting of the inaugural wool gathering event at tarndie, and boy was it a great one!

i spent the weekend, wearing an apron, helping out to ensure everyone was having the best time they could be! though those tasks kept me pretty occupied, i managed to flit around and take a fair few photos too!

the event started out pretty nicely for us "staff" (helpers and teachers) with some beautifully motivating words from karen, and some bubbles with a side of tea and a spot of knitting.

bubbles and tea around the dining table while karen says a few words the very start of a milo vest for ag with a glass of bubbles and a cup of tea

before we got settled in to start welcoming folks at the registration desk.

bonnie and kate getting the registration desk set up

after some dinner, and (hopefully) a good night's rest, the attendees flocked back to tarndie on friday, saturday and sunday for some excellent woolly classes.

shawl shapes class with clare in full swing around the dining table sue's short row class participants crowding around to get a good look spinning up a storm under janet's watchful tutelage a pair of newly skilled hands, feeding the fleece into the twist briony showing off the depth of dye on a skein, all the way to the core of the yarn! beautifully coloured skeins, drying on the clothes horse

knitting, spinning, dyeing, and that was just what i managed to snap photos of! there was also weaving, crochet, embroidery and farm touring happening too!

with all that fun, thankfully there was still a bit of time for resting (knitting) too...

saffy the collie resting outside the tarndie cafe window

unless you're saffy the dog, then there was LOTS of time for resting!

after a slow few days this week to recover, i'm really looking forward to getting started on next year's event! one or two kinks to iron out, and then next year's should be even better! can't wait!

Monday, May 1, 2017

a tale of two socks.

around this time last year, i was talking to a friend and together we were trying to figure out a problem she had come up against while sock knitting. she wanted to keep her pretty yarn for the instep and upper portion of the sock, and use a plain, contrast colour for the sole as well as the heel and toe.
after a bit of brainstorming, we came up with a solution!

fast forward a year, and i've knitted myself a pair too to test our theory.

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

these are my two-toned vanilla socks. quite the success i think.

i used this vanilla sock pattern as my basis (as i have for almost every pair of socks so far this year... it's a great pattern!) and went from there!

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

the basic premise i used was to begin the socks, knit the toes in the round as per the pattern, and then when it came to knitting the body of the foot of the sock, i split my stitches into sole and instep stitches. i knit the sole first using the same yarn as the toe, backwards and forwards, slipping the first stitch of every row. i continued knitting backwards and forwards, completing the gusset increases and then the heel, before moving back to the instep stitches.
using my fancy yarn and the instep stitches i had on hold from the toe, i began working backwards and forwards again, to create the instep but instead of slipping the first stitch of each row, this time i picked up the slipped stitch from the sole in the corresponding row, and knitted (or purled) it together with the first stitch of my instep row, using an ssk decrease or a p2tog.
once i'd knitted the full instep and had picked up all of the stitches along the sides of the sole and heel, i went back to working in the round, continuing to work with my fancy yarn.
i decided to do a contrast ribbing section too

vanilla socks with the toe, sole, heel and ribbing knit in a slate grey yarn with the remaining portions knit in a self fair-isling yarn in blues and greens

they were a little slow going for me, though i think that was all to do with my mind!
i think i was a bit scared of them not working, and having to pull them out.
i had a stern talking to myself though, it's only knitting, not brain surgery! it's ok to make mistakes when they're so easy to fix! and look how well they've turned out?!

they're aaaaaalmost perfect... unfortunately, they're a wee bit big on my feet. damn!
not to worry though, i'm sure there's someone out there with bigger feet than me he he.

what do you think? would you give these a go?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

dyeing to knit.

the last little while, i've been playing around with a bit of yarn dyeing.
i talked about one project in this post, but since then, i've been doing even more!

a pot and jars containing yarn dyeing away

i had these few vessels just slowly ticking away, doing their thing.
the pot in front, had a bath of acidified avocado pits with half a skein of bendigo bamboo sock wool, anticipating a nice light and subtle pink.
the white lidded jar, housed the other half of the skein of sock wool. after not getting a nice light pink from it after soaking it in with the avocado pits, i popped it in here with some red food dye and added some vinegar to the avocado bath to see if that changed anything...

two balls of yarn, one dyed with acidified avocado pits for a subtle cream colour, one dyed with red food dye for a mid pink colour

as you can see, i didn't quite get the subtle pink i was after from the front pot, but the food dye, well it sure did the trick!
i'm knitting these two together for a hat project i'm hoping to share a little more about soon.

the orange lidded jar, well i have no results from that one as the yarn is still in there! perhaps i'll find some time over the weekend to fish out what's in there and give it a rinse.
i'm hoping for a nice green gradient for a pair of socks. we'll see what happens!

before that though, the jar housed a different dye experiment...



i put together another solar dyeing jar with walnut shells, though this time with a skein of linen, instead of woollen yarn way back in november.

after four months, the results were a little lighter than last time...



but still a nice little bit of warmth to what was a very cool skein of white...

that might be the end of my dyeing for a little while, i'm basically out of white yarns in my stash he he. plus i have plenty to knit with for now too!

have you ever tried any fiber dyeing at home?

Monday, April 10, 2017

green love.

hrmmmm so it would seem i've missed a week again...
i had the best of intentions last week, i got out and snapped some pictures, loaded them onto flickr and worked the html magic to get them onto this here page, and then i was done.
i had no words... i think i've found them this week though!

there's a little bit going on in the garden at the moment, so i thought i'd take this opportunity to share...

white flower growing on the chilli plant

the chilli plant is putting on it's annual flower display. no fruit to speak of, even now a week later, but they are beautiful and delicate flowers to look at all the same.

you wouldn't know from looking at it, but this is my finger lime pot...

small finger lime tree in a metal bucket pot, overrun with native seedlings

it's become completely overrun with native seedlings! the seeds from which have obviously drifted in on the weather and wind and found this to be the best place to spring up!
i think i'll have a crack at replanting them, could use some natives to plant around the farm.

after moving some soil around to top up this section of the bed, i've got a bit of garlic in the ground to harvest come summer!

green garlic shoots coming through the soil

it feels a bit weird to be thinking about, when we've still got SO much garlic from the last harvest, but it won't last forever... particularly the way we go through it!
the cloves are pretty happy in there, a lot more have popped up since i took this picture too!

last year, i picked up some berlotti beans from a local produce shop and kept a few on the windowsill to dry...

purple striped beans hanging on the bush

now, we have some of our own!
i've been picking them while they're little like this, and then steaming or boiling them to have alongside dinner. sadly, the beautiful purple colouring doesn't survive the cooking process he he!

ever seen a pomegranate seedling?

single green shoot of a pomegranate plant

now you have!
i popped a few seeds in the ground from a fruit i found on a tree in melbourne before we moved and i've had one lonely seedling pop up! hopefully it survives and gets nice and big, fingers crossed!

also in our makeshift hot house (ie. the windowsill of the shed)...

green sprouts from a turmeric root

some turmeric!
this was grown from some fresh turmeric, picked up at a local produce shop. i'm super interested to see how it goes, and how it grows!
so far it's looking super happy and green!

how's your garden growing? ever grown pomegranate or turmeric before?

Monday, March 27, 2017

creatively...

as promised last week, i thought i'd share a little about what i've been up to creatively in recent times...

this month's socks are well and truly off the needles.

a pair of jo torr's vanilla sock with gusset heel and eye of partridge heel flap in naturally waikiwi prints yarn in a red/pink colourway

i cast them on on the first day of march, and finished them up in a little over two weeks.
another pair of vanilla socks, but this time, they're for me!

i also played around a little with some dyeing...

skein of cream alpaca yarn, dyed with drops of food colouring

little droppers of food colouring, onto pre-soaked alpaca yarn, allowed to dry and then rinsed, before casting on...

second imagining of the textured shawl, with extra colour, but without knitting errors

the shawl project i was working on in this post, was ripped and cast on again. i wasn't loving the cream colouring at all, and i'd made a couple of mistakes in the edging when i wasn't concentrating properly...
i truly love it now, and it is finished and blocking as i type. hoping it will be dry tomorrow and the weather cool enough to give it a great first outing!

and because i couldn't possibly have the needles languishing...

the yoke of an orange milo vest

i cast on a milo! it's been a while between knits of this ol' fave and i'm knitting it up in rowan wool cotton, picked up on sale from sunspun a couple of weeks ago now. it's very enjoyable to knit with but i've got quite the decision to make as to which cable pattern to choose!

i'm hoping to get the milo finished up by the end of the month, so i can get started on my april socks! now if only i could choose what they'll be...

do you have a favourite sock pattern? which milo cable pattern would you choose?

Monday, March 20, 2017

taking stock.

chunky thighs and vegie sticks, some strawberries too! a quick shop for celery, onions, mushrooms and potatoes, ready to go home in my basket using a sharp blade to cut some swirls and whorls for a screen printing project beautiful blue green water on the golden sand two big baskets of apples, presenting a world of opportunities

Making : lots of things, in the kitchen and craft-wise too. maybe i'll have to share a bit of creativity next week...

Cooking : quite a bit, there's bread proving on the bench, i've all the makings for a stock, and some thoughts on what to cook to accompany the asian style pork belly we've got planned for dinner are ticking away in my brain.

Drinking : a hot chocolate. treating myself while i sit and type in the relative calm of NOT home.

Reading : actual books! would you believe it? i've just finished 'fight like a girl' which was quite thought provoking and eye opening and stimulating. and i'm just about to start on 'big little lies' after being recommended it by a friend.

Trawling : facebook a bit too often... i think i talked about this last 'taking stock' too, but haven't done a thing about it. deleting the app now!

Wanting : a few more hours sleep. i think this will definitely be my default for the next few years he he.

Looking : at instagram a little less these days, that might change now i've deleted the facebook app though! hopefully not though, it's nice to check in and out without feeling like i need to see every single post which was my default for an embarrassingly long time.

Deciding : on some big picture things at the moment. work-wise, life-wise, it's all up in the air... that would normally terrify me but i'm dealing with the unknown better than i would've thought.

Wishing : people could be a little kinder to one another. it would sure solve a lot of heartache on a global scale don't you think?

Enjoying : not having to stress about money too much at the moment. and letting go of the stress when it crops up...

Waiting : for some images to load. one thing that is not great about country life, internet speed.

Liking : that even though the internet is a bit slow, there's lots to look at while i wait. bees buzzing, birds chirping. the complaints list about this country life is a short one, that's for sure

Wondering : if i know someone local that has a tomato machine i could borrow for a couple of days... i have a hankering to get busy saucing some of the mountains of tomatoes we have around us, but don't think i have the patience to sieve them by hand like i did last year!

Loving : how the skein of wool i dyed last week is knitting up. what a tease, i'll show you more next week he he.

Pondering : what kind of socks to cast on next month... my plan to knit through my sock yarn stash by the end of the year is well on track, cranking out a pair a month!

Listening : to the birds, some sweet cafe tunes, the traffic, people's conversations and low down in the background, the ocean. bliss.

Considering : my plans for the rest of the day. i know what needs doing... but i'll be flexible and roll with what the day brings i think.

Buying : well bought... i broke the yarn buying drought when my fave yarn shop was having a sale. looking forward to picking it up this week! now, no more purchasing! at least until the end of the year. i have my eye on one of these. the perfect antidote to christmas craziness, knitting 15g of sock wool a day! crazy stripy christmas socks for the family he he.

Watching : quite a lot of netflix... we just hooked it up to our playstation, and it's super easy to watch now. we've done 'the crown' and now working our way through 'iron fist' at a rapid pace.

Hoping : for a good week!

Marvelling : at how well one can function having not gotten more than 4 hours sleep at a time for months!

Cringing : at the number of flies currently buzzing around me... they're mighty sticky today!

Needing : to stop eating so many sweets... unlikely to happen in my sleep deprived state though, think it's the only thing keeping me going he he.

Questioning : everything. a lot. there are a few issues lately i've been vacillating wildly on. think it's driving poor bb spare.

Smelling : something delicious being whipped up in the kitchen in this cafe, might need to be off soon to make some lunch!

Wearing : this! who says you can't wear handknits in the warmer months?

Noticing : how distinctly uncomfortable i was in the city last week. we were there for a couple of hours while ben went in to chat to his boss. so many people, so much hustle. just not for me anymore.

Knowing : we're in the right place for us right now. yep. it is known.

Thinking : i've been sitting for too long! my coccyx lets me know these days... boo!

Admiring : parents everywhere. making it work on the daily. it's hard work and i feel like i've got it super easy! feeling lucky!

Getting : excited to catch up with some folks i haven't seen in a while later in the week.

Bookmarking : airbnb places. hoping for a little getaway soon...

Disliking : these flies. seriously! shoo!

Opening : packets of seeds. time to get some winter seeds into pots and on their way!

Closing : the doors and windows, and then opening them again, and then closing them again. the weather has been more than a little mercurial...

Feeling : ready to pop back home and see my fellas. it's good to have a bit of time out, but equally good to chat and play.

Celebrating : easter soon i guess... looking forward to some nice family times for sure! and maybe even some catch ups with friends who are like family. my fingers are crossed!

Pretending : i'm not interested in the new seasons of terrible reality shows that have started recently... for the most part, i've convinced myself... fake it til you make it right?

Embracing : my hair at the moment. it's crazy... curly and frizzy some days, smooth and sleek on others, and the greys, well they seem to be taking over he he. definitely other things to think about at the moment, but i'm hoping to maybe do something drastic soon. we shall see!

what have you been up to lately? care to 'take stock' too? there's a blank list over on pip's post if you want to join in!