Wednesday, June 18, 2014

snapshot of now

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I feel like I have a thousand things to tell you. There's so much going on my mind, in my heart and in my life. This morning after I took the girls to school, tidied the house and took part in a lovely girl's photography project, I sat down and started this blog three times.

I have three incomplete blog drafts sitting in my post list and now this is my fourth.

But I think this one will work because just before I sat down to write it, I spent a few minutes walking around snapping photos of things that tell the story of me now. Twelve photos that represent a bit of a snap shot of my life at the moment (minus the girls of course because they are at school). So I think instead of being overwhelmed with details I'm going to write a sentence or two to go with each photo and that'll be that.

Simple, right?!

OK, let's do this.

HARVESTING - rhubarb. There is just so much rhubarb right now. I cut and tied this bunch to give to a friend this morning but forgot. I think I'll make a cake for the girls for afternoon tea now instead.

I'm a little bit obsessed with tying things up with string at the moment. Somehow the winding and the tying make every package just that little bit prettier, don't you think?

IMG_9940 READING - These two books. Finished one and a hundred pages left of the other. Possibly two of the best books I have ever read. I'm trying my hardest to slow down and make the last pages last longer but it's impossible. I only hope the next book I pick up is as good.

IMG_9925 MISSING - salt. About a month ago my grandfather was told he had to cut salt right out of his diet. My grandfather and I have always shared a deep love of the salty. We were the type of people who added salt to a dish before even tasting it. If you were looking for the salt shaker at a meal time you could always be certain it was next to one of us. When he was told to cut salt out for health reasons I was devastated for him. It actually made me cry. And then I decided to cut salt from my diet too.

I haven't added salt to a dish for a month. I miss salt like crazy.

WAITING - for rocket. And for all the veggies that are sitting still in the icy cold ground waiting for the winter equinox and the days to get longer so they can put on some growth and feed my hunger for salads.

IMG_9942 CROCHETING - well I'm not actually crocheting anything right now, but I do need to darn in the ends of my May motifs, photograph them and write up a blog post about #MotifDayMay before it turns into July.

IMG_9901a KNITTING - woolly slippers. I love that Miss Pepper chose odd colours for hers. I love that she sleeps with them on the shelf next to her bed and I love that she took them to school today to wear them in class. Miss Jazzy's are next.

IMG_9931 LOVING - my farmer boy's new house rule that every member of this family must pick and eat at least one carrot a day, everyday. Yay!

IMG_9957 CARRYING - chunky wool and fat knitting needles in a cute basket wherever I go.

IMG_9944 SEWING - right now I really should be outside helping farmer Bren prune the apple orchard but instead I'm alternating between writing this blog and sewing leaves. But firstly it really is just too cold outside. And secondly, I've got this space in my new craft area that I just painted white that I think needs to be surrounded by a leaf wreath. Hopefully the reality looks as pretty as it does in my mind. Hopefully also, it warms up a couple of degrees in the next little while and I can get a couple of hours of pruning in before pick up.

IMG_9961 WEARING - great quality, wool socks for the first time in my life and marvelling at the difference they make in terms of comfort and warmth. Until now I have always been too mean to spend much money on socks, but all that has changed from now on. Wow!!

I would really like to learn how to knit socks this winter. If you have an in-the-round, snugly fitting, simple sock pattern, I'd love the link.

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IMG_9938COOKING - spinach and kale and all things green and leafy in every meal. It makes me feel like a better Mum when I know my girls are eating such garden goodness.

MARVELLING -  at the fact that you can cook haloumi in your sandwich press. I know!! I had no idea you could do it either. Indi saw it on a blog somewhere, told me, we tried it and it works. I can't believe I spent so many years frying it in oil, splattering my kitchen with oil, and burning myself with flying bits of splattering oil. This past week we've enjoying the squishy, melty cheese without the hassle of the big cleanup. So great!

IMG_9879 OPENING - the pages of Zoe Phillip's new book The Time of Our Lives. It is such a gorgeous book and I think the photo she took of farmer Bren and Bingo Maremma might just be one of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen.

OK, that's me all caught up now.
How about you? What are you harvesting, reading, missing, waiting, crocheting, knitting, loving, carrying, sewing, wearing, cooking, marvelling and opening?
Care to share?

Big love

xx

66 comments:

  1. I am a recently joined follower and love the glimpses of your lifestyle. All your pictures today are lovely. We grill our haloumi on the bbq, then you get nice brown stripes! it's an outdoorsy bbq kind of thing for us and I love the way it doesn't make a melty mess. Your leafy wreath looks interesting, hope it turns out how you want. We are just approaching the Summer solstice here in the UK yet I secretly yearn for those chilly days you are having, carrots in the ground and warm, woolly socks! Betty

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  2. I am filled with basket envy, I am going to try to track those books down. Spinach and Kale both look and taste wonderful. I have tried to knit socks but seem to add or lose stitches and drop one of the needles every few stitches, I tried knitting flat and sewing up but the ridge is uncomfortable. Rhubarb cake sound delicious. I am harvesting salad leaves and wild strawberries, reading blogs, missing my garden, waiting to find a house to buy, crocheting a blanket,attempting lace knitting, loving the Welsh countryside,carrying a bit too much weight, sewing rail fence blocks, wearing summer clothes,marveling at the friendliness of the Welsh people,and opening my mind to learning the language.

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  3. We stopped cooking with salt once our baby daughter started solids. At first I missed it, but now I don't reach for the salt grinder, and when I sneak a slice of ham at work it tastes REALLY salty!

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  4. Your posts are full of heart and authenticity. I love that.

    Here's the sock pattern I use - it's a beauty!

    http://www.redheart.co.uk/free-patterns/socks-him

    They are men's socks but you can adjust lengthwise -where it says knit from end of heal flap until foot measures 23cm or 5cm less than desired length! (e.g. I have an 8 1/2 shoe size so I knitted to 19 cm then started shaping the toe). My partner loves his! I used Pagewood Farm Yukon (merino/bamboo/nylon) - so soft!!! Now I'm knitting a pair for myself.

    Love those slippers. Love those leaves. I'm going to give Flight Behaviour a go! The Poisonwood Bible is one of my faves, so I reckon I'll enjoy this one too! Have you read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent? You have to. Immediately!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks for the sock link! I love, love, love The Poisonwood Bible and Burial Rites! Great taste. Linda. :)

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    2. Thank you so much for the sock pattern, it looks great!
      And I adored Burial Rites. I read it earlier this year and almost wish I could read it again for the first time. I've been thinking about rereading Poisonwood Bible, it's been years and I love loved it too. xx

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    3. Thank you for the sock link! I have some ambitious plans of my own.....

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  5. I learnt to knit socks from 'Knitting Socks' by Ann Budd, it has every possible yarn variation in there and is very informative. In fact knitting socks is one of my fave projects to do and you can't beat a wool one for warmth. Make sure you use a yarn with a bit of synthetic in it to make it hardwearing and keep some yarn back for darning! I am harvesting my first courgettes, reading 'Wild', missing sugar which involves a lot of label reading but also a lot of homecooking which is good! Knitting 'Myrna', loving my little boy who is growing up so fast, sewing a dress of sailboat fabric,carrying worry about my poorly Dad, wearing a new wrap skirt which I finished yesterday, crocheting some dishcloths, cooking Rohans butternut squash and leek soup at 6 in the morning,marvelling at the speed my tomatoes have grown in the past week Yum!! Opening my arms to love!!! Lovely post and photos Kate x

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    1. Oh I'd heard that you need a bit of synthetic but I've never heard the keeping some yarn back just incase trick. Brilliant! Thank for that. Oh and Bren is sitting here next to me reading Wild, such a brilliant book. x

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    2. I agree. I have an Ann Budd book (Sock Knitting Master Class) and when I purchased the book, it came with a dvd in the back. She explains things very well and I can recommend her advice.
      I am also a fan of Karen Rhatto-Whooley's patterns (or is it just Karen Whooley now?) I have tried her beginners knitting and crochet sock patterns.
      Basic Knitted Socks: Basic Socks #70739AD by Lion Brand Yarn
      Cozy Crochet Socks by Karen Whooley: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90528AD.html?noImages=&r=1

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  6. I'm on the other side of the world, (Austria, Europe), so summer is just starting here right now! I love your photos, they look so beautiful! Your blog is definitely on my top-5-blog-reading-list. Such a beautiful space! My goal for this year is learning to knit. By the end of the year I would like to manage to knit a pair of socks. And I want to learn to sew! I got a sewing machine for christmas and it still sits in a corner, unpacked. Shame on me! Do you have any suggestions as to where I find easy sewing and knitting projects for beginners?

    Greetings from Austria, Emm.A

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    1. I have no idea about beginner sewing patterns. I tend to just trace around things and guess and make things up. But for knitting patterns I would look up Tikki knits patterns and join ravelry, such a lot of info over there. x

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  7. Love all your bits and pieces happening. Snapshots is a good thing, it's like a sneaky peek, or maybe just a peek. But a good one...
    Now socks, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will give you a good link and if not yell and I will unkrinkle the paper pattern I have. I've never used it as to me it looks like ancient Greek, but my Nana is the bees knees of sock knitting and they rock on winters days. Oh yes they do :-)

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    1. One of my fave things about blogging is how it looks like another language to anyone not in the knitter's club. xx

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  8. Love your snapshot Kate...how good is that swirly seed planting!? Love the carrot rule! Those wool socks look like the goods, I have trouble finding decent socks.

    I am cooking lamb shanks, harvesting Asian greens and broccoli and wearing a beanie almost all of the time x

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  9. Halloumi! In a sandwich press! That is genius!!! Thank you for passing that one on! Oh those books look great. I always love our book recommendations. Sounds like you're having a great time at the moment :)

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  10. I really can't decide which of your pictures i like best! Thanks for giving us such wonderful insights into your life!

    I am a crochet person but my little sister learned to knit socks last winter whem she lived in Danemark! With her sock production and my grannys amazing wool socks i am possibly thw luckiest sock person ever :)

    Looking forward to your motif a day post. Your post on how crochet can be meditation got me thinking. I often call my crochet my yoga. I wrote a blog post about it just this week.

    Take care
    Anne
    http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.de

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  11. Such heartwarming snapshots of a glimpse into your life right now :) I love how genuine your writing is, and how down-to-earth you sound...I have been absent from blogging for a little while, so I thought I would ease my way back in by reading some great blogs ~ I am so glad I came across yours :)

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    1. PS I'm sorry, I'm not sure why my name turned into an akismet key :( My name is Chantell, and I have a little blog @alifemissunderstood.wordpress.com Thankyou for the book suggestions, always keen for great books to read!

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  12. Hey, I can definitely recommend Liat Gat's two-at-a-time, toe up socks. She made my first ever socks easy-peasy even for a novice knitter like me! What's not to love :-)

    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/toe-up-socks-one-or-two-at-a-time-on-magic-loop-video-e-book

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  13. it's true good socks are amazing, I have some goats wool socks that are heaven! I like your rocket spiral, I must do one of those. Did you finish reading 'Wild'? I thought it was brilliant, very edgy. I'm going to look into her other books now so thanks for the lead. Enjoy all your different doings! Heather x

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    1. Oh yes I finished and loved Wild and then I read her Tiny Little Things. My Mum said they have just republished one of Cheryl Strayed's earlier works but I haven't read that yet. x

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  14. So many happy ideas here, I love the swirl of salad, looks great! I love heading out into the garden to pick greens for dinner, so quick to grow too, you've inspired me to out some more in this weekend!

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  15. I love big baskets of knitting and woolly socks too. I bought Wendy Johnson's Socks from the toe up book when I started knitting, socks, it covers the basics of construction and has lots of gorgeous patterns. I'm on my third pair of those slippers now, one more pair to go then we'll all have cosy feet. Keep warm!

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  16. Kate, your blog is one of the best I have read in capturing the important things in life. I just love those leaves you are sewing, I can see them on the cover of a fabric book about the garden too. Your real leaves look really scrumptious, full of simple goodness. The daily carrot rule sounds brilliant! Thank you for sharing your wonderful snapshots of your lives on the other side of the world from me! Elaine x

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  17. Such a wonderful post Kate. I always so enjoy coming here. I love the way you write, and i love the way you capture your images. Always inspirational on both fronts. I'd love to knit socks too....just have to get to grips with knitting first as I am such a pants knitter!

    Have a super rest of a week and I hope the temps warms up a little for you!

    Vanessa x

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  18. I love the snippets of your life Kate. I have no pictures to share so I'll just share words xx
    Harvesting- spinach. Not much but neough for me to make spinach & cheese rolls for the freezer.
    Reading- blogs & the internet, no time to sit & read, only time is when I'm feeding sadie & its all on my phone ( thank goodness for Iphones!!)
    Missing- my husband but he flies in tonight so that'll stop very soon :)
    Waiting- for Sadie to stop having so much trouble with wind, its no fun for any of us :(
    Crocheting, Knitting, Sewing- absolutly nothing
    Carrying- a baby, sometimes two at time
    Wearing- my new comfiest ever shoes & jeans whenever I leave the house ( which is about once a week)
    Cooking- lots of things to try & entice Blake into eating more
    Marvelling- at how your heart expands with each new addition to the family
    Opening- the cake tin too many times lol

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    1. Thanks lovely Reannon, loved reading your goings on.
      I have often thought about how different my baby/breast feeding years would have been with the iPhone for distraction when I was stuck on my bum for hours at a time. In the olden days all we had were infomercials in the middle of the night. xx

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    2. Can totally relate to the infomercials combined with reading the Sunday papers during the wee hours of the week because life was too busy to even open it on a Sunday!

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  19. Lovely list! I too spent money on really good socks this year... merino wool, thick, australian made (ethically)... at almost $30 a pop I had a little gulp of guilt before I made the purchase thinking how much cheaper it would be to make my own. I too am going to learn to knit socks this year... will be looking for the links other lovely readers are sharing!

    Hope all is well in your part of the world, Linda. x

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  20. My next husband will be haloumi. If I wasn't in love I would marry haloumi now.

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    1. This is another of those times I wish Blogger had a "Like" button.....

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  21. I know exactly what you mean about trying to slow down the book so you don't finish it - Barbara Kingsolver is fantastic! I have not read that book yet - will have to check it out! Spending money on good wool socks is definitely worth it. I wear the same three pairs all winter (SmartWool) and I always ask my mom for a pair for Christmas! Though I do want to learn how to knit some for my little babe this year.

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  22. Lovely pics Kate! Thanks for the book tips, have just finished my last. Will have to hunt them down. As for Halloumi, we do ours in the frypan with the teensiest drop of olive oil - Loooove Halloumi! :-)

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  23. Try this link to a very simple diy for basic socks. I'm trying it right now. If you like that she also has a simple one for men.

    http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/how-i-make-socks.html

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  24. Oh my gosh. I think you've changed my life. Haloumi in a sand which press. Wow. Thanks from wool sock wearing country (Tassie to everyone else!!).

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  25. That haloumi tip may have just made my day! Except we need to buy a new sandwich press!!!

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  26. lovely blog post. I've read The Goldfinch and Flight Behaviour and agree with you - such wonderful books! I've recently loved Delicious by Ruth Reichl, The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden by Jonas Johnson (I think?), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and I just re-read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. It's so necessary to always have a good book on the go - even if we only manage to read one paragraph before falling asleep at night!

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  27. The beauty of the Blogging world is we can meet people from all over the world and share for a moment. Every time I visit your Blog I'm reminded as you are talking about the emerging cold and after a blistering hot evening DH got up before work this morning to install a window AC unit.

    The only veggie in our garden we are concerned is going out of season is the Asparagus, everything else is just starting to emerge from its late Spring growth.

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  28. What an idyllic and healthy lifestyle :-) beautiful snapshots, as always. hard to choose a favourite but the colourful basket of yarn is an enduring image. baskets are such an attractive and convenient way to store our craft supplies.
    Thank you again for taking the time to share it all with us

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  29. just finished Barbara's "Flight Behaviour", it was ok. not amazing like her "The Poisonwood Bible" which is highly highly highly recomended. !!!
    tnx for your lovely posts time after time :-)

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  30. Socks: Please check out Silver's Sock Class. She has great instructions with wonderfully clear pictures for every step. Even if you choose to use a different pattern, please do check out hers. :-)

    The rhubarb and carrots look lovely and tasty. Happy winter. :-)

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  31. Dear Kate
    Love your blog, came to you via the Attic 24 vantastic blog. Have loads of rhubarb too here at the mo, love the recipies in rustic fruit desserts. I read back in your blog and know the fear that comes from finding a lump or having a call from the doc, fear for your kids and the thought of leaving them far outweighs the fear for yourself, glad all is ok with you.
    love
    Clare

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  32. You did ask! ;-)
    harvesting: lettuce, beetroot and young silverbeet leaves for salads. Sweet lemons - perfect for zest and juice. (Mmm honey & lemon drinks to warm the winter days!)
    Still picking some late climbing beans and tomatoes even though Winter has begun.
    All the usual herbs - parsley, chives, rocket, sage, rosemary, nasturtium
    reading: blogs!
    missing: faraway friends
    waiting: for my groceries to be home delivered
    crocheting: too many WIPS! baby items, a scarf, amigurumi and freeform projects
    knitting: nothing atm. Socks are on the agenda as soon as the WIPs are done.
    loving: lots of rain for the garden
    carrying: my crochet basket
    sewing: if I had energy I would be sewing PJs but only mending atm
    wearing: brightly coloured crocheted earflap hat with pom poms + woollen fingerless mitts
    cooking: soups and curries; red cabbage, potatoes, parsnips and turnips
    marvelling: at my children as they grow & the tenacity of my seedlings
    opening: the door to friends and family visitors

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  33. Hi Kate, I love your now. I am going to do a blog post over the next few days to link back here. I'll let you know when it's done. I'm hoping you'll show us some piccies of your room with the leaves. I love green and white, sounds lovely. Happy days lovely lady. xxoo

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  34. Kingsolver is my most favourite author I think...but I haven't read this one. Must remedy that! Love the look of those leaves. Did you just do them freeform on your machine?

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    1. I did them free form with the embroidery foot thing.
      I probably should have used a hoop but I couldn't find one at the time. xx

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  35. Love love love your spiral rocket (is it rocket?) I am going to do that! When I get a wine barrel... Alas my veggie gardening has taken a bit of a backseat in the latter days of my pregnancy, and I fear will continue to do so in the early days of motherhood. Ho hum. Those socks look the goods, where did you get them? Possibly unknown fact... I went to uni with Zoe Phillips, us country photog types ;)

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    1. You can look forward to the delights of gardening with toddlers and children. Such a great sensory and learning experience for them, especially in summer when they get to wield the watering can. All the best with your pregnancy and family life.

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    2. The socks I bought are from here - http://www.creswickwool.com/accessories/socks/alpaca-socks-natural-15521.html Locally grown and made, Yay! And such a small world with Zoe, love that. xx

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  36. Hey gorgeous face,
    I LOVED The Goldfinch-tried to slow myself down reading it then just gobbled it up ,sigh !
    Its been SO cold hey? I saw some hand knitted socks yesterday (STRIPEY *faints*) , longing for them , then thought noooo I shouldn't. But , now Im going to RUN back and grab them ;)
    Thanks for your bloggy posts xx

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  37. Oh, wow. That is a gorgeous photo of Farmer Bren :)

    Thanks for the heads up on the haloumi tip.

    I am about to read The Goldfinch. Well, it is in my pile. Just finished Life after Life by Kate Atkinson. Leaves you pondering for a long time...

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  38. Your photography is so lovely. Your blog is so inspiring + I'm so glad I just stumbled across it.

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  39. A lovely snapshot of your life right now. I'm harvesting berries and peas and salads and other early summer things. Knitting a scarf, even thought it's warm. My thoughts are full of the idea of doing a writing course. Should I, shouldn't I? I can think of nothing else. Love the picture of one man and his dog, wonderful.

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  40. I love this pattern because I hate to do short row heels. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/afterthought-heel-socks. It's a good beginner pattern, I think. Thank you for the book recommendations! Can't wait to check them out on Audible.com. That way I can knit socks and listen at the same time.

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  41. I like every pictures you show us.
    The green and the wool are inspiring to me.
    Miss.

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  42. I second the suggestion of Anne Budd's How to Knit Socks. That's where I learnt. However, I've been reading a lot about toe-up constructive as it means you can try them on as you go, so mastering toe-up is my holiday project! I'm trying the Widdershins pattern on Knitty, as it was recommended (http://knitty.com/ISSUEsummer06/PATTwiddershins.html) and I'll be reading this series to help me along: http://www.craftsfromthecwtch.co.uk/2014/06/demystifying-toe-up-socks-part-1-toe.html

    Hope that helps. And thanks for the simple slippers pattern :)

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  43. Hi Kate, I have been thinking about knitting socks for a while now. The idea is so, so appealing but I am so, so afraid of 'second sock syndrome' that I continue to resist. I have a single mitten that has been waiting for a partner for four years. It's all too much :)
    I must look more into two at a time........
    Love your catch up and your pics, everything you do is always so inspiring. I must put up a blog post myself, tomorrow is the Winter solstice, seems appropriate!
    Have a lovely weekend and a beautiful week.
    xoxo

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  44. Beautiful photos and post Kate :D I just wanted to say thank you for your personal post recently about boobies, I checked mine straight away and reminded me how it's important to look after yourself. Warm regards, Jan

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  45. Every picture looks amazing - the Kale, Carrots, wooly socks. Winter is upon us! I love salt I don't know if I couldn't add it - amazing job!
    www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

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  46. i have two super-simple, free sock patterns that i have knit and loved. i haven't read all the comments yet, so i apologize if someone else has already mentioned these. they are susan b. anderson's how i make my socks: rav link here - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/how-i-make-my-socks and pattern link here - http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-i-make-socks.html
    and how i make worsted weight socks: rav link - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/how-i-make-worsted-weight-socks and pattern link - http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-i-make-worsted-weight-socks.html

    have fun!

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    1. sorry about the very odd formatting in my last comment. hope it's legible and useful!

      xo

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  47. I find your blog, lifestyle, photos and craft very inspiring :-) Thank you for sharing.

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  48. hey kate - i did the 12 photos - just what me and my tired old blog needed!!! thank you, louise x

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  49. Hi Kate

    I just discovered your wonderful blog after reading your inspiring interview in the latest issue of my favourite magazine, Dumbo Feather. Reading this post felt like listening to an old friend. You have a rare gift for writing. Thank you for sharing it! Indrani

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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