Socks

Last time I wrote about socks I’d got myself into a muddle balling up the yarn for the “Hometown Socks” (by the Queen of Socks, Winwick Mum), but here they are finished!

They were great fun to knit and as always, Christine’s instructions are so clear and easy to follow.

Next up was another pair for Mum, using “Ann’s Go-To Socks” from the “sockupied” book and Nettle 4ply sock yarn in Raspberry from Say! Little Hen I ended up playing yarn chicken doing the toes as I’d made the leg length a little longer – and lost – but luckily I had a bit left over from a previous pair (for myself) to save the day!

and Mum loves them

as soon as they were finished, I was eager to start another pair – the weather was still cool and rainy so perfect knitting weather! While looking for something else in the “other craft section” of the cupboard I saw this contraption and realised what it was! This belonged to my mother-in-law who was an avid spinner and knitter (I have her spinning wheel – purely for decorative purposes as spinning wheels and I do not mix well!). It’s been sitting in the cupboard for nigh on 30 years, just waiting, patiently, for me to realise it was there……

after a trawl of YouTube (and working out that the metal bit could swing out to the side (Duh!!) I got started on winding my hank, and here it is, all wound and ready to go! And fun to do into the bargain!

This beautiful yarn from half-baked, hand-dyed knitted up so well into yet another pair of “Muscadine Socks” (again from “sockupied”). I do love this pattern and working toe up really is fun.

then, after seeing a friend’s copy, I just had to have this book “52 Weeks of Socks“. It only took a couple of days to delivery and when it arrived I finished the cuff on the second “Muscadine” lickety split, and immediately dived into the sock yarn stash and found a Moda Vera ball (couldn’t take the time to wind up another hank!!) and started on the first pair in the book, “Intersections”…….

and loving it! Not sure that I’ll knit every pair in the book, but the majority of them are sooooo tempting. Plenty to keep me knitting for a wee while! Anything on your needles?

Meredithe x

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Class show and tell

Had our first class at the quilt shop this week! Again, small and sweet.

Val has stitched up a storm on her sewing machine during lockdown getting 5 rows of her Double Wedding Ring together!

She had the sixth row prepped and sewed that on in class then started choosing the next row

Denise and I basted her hexie quilt, which she finished hand piecing during lockdown, and she had a lesson on Big Stitch Hand Quilting

Frances had been Big Stitch Hand Quilting too,

but wasn’t happy with her technique, so she had a refresher

Rosalie had all her pieces pinned for her wall hanging

so she started whip stitching her pieces in place and then we explored some embroidery stitches to embellish her felt garden.

It is SO nice to be back in the classroom!

Meredithe x

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Class show and tell

Very slowly, and very carefully, classes are starting again. It was just lovely to go to Nuno Nuno last week for this first class back. I was super early (and just a tad excited) in case one of my students was an early bird too, and I got to wander the shop for a while – so many beautiful fabrics and gifts!

It was just a small class for starters, which I have to admit suited my brain!

Faye has made 24 of her Grandmother’s Flower Garden blocks while in lockdown, and she needed a refresher so she could start appliqueing them onto background squares. We chose which fabrics she’ll use for the backgrounds and I cut the blocks for her

Megan was new to class, a beginner, and she’s starting with these gorgeous Liberty fabrics, along with some neutrals

Megan made good progress, with me showing her the joys of templates and hand sewing, making “The Avenue“.

Suria was also new to class, wanting to finish a quilt started a little while ago (she didn’t want me to say how long ago!), and getting a refresher on hand quilting.

So while it was a small class, we were all kept busy rediscovering and learning new things together.

Meredithe x

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In the garden

All the rain we’ve had has meant I haven’t had to hand water for ages. I’ve missed that first flush of enthusiasm when watering means a detailed checking out of how things I’ve planted in the pots are going. But I have been good and taken some pics for you.

The lobelia are growing and I’m loving the variety of colours in this hanging basket

the gazania have gone from this

to this

showing their cheery, pretty faces to the sun and closing over again when they go into the shade mid/late afternoon. Loving that change of colours from the centre into the petals – it’s almost like a necklace around the centre.

the nasturtiums are flowering too; I planted these to add to salads, something I’ve not done before

the potted hydrangea has so many heads ready to flower and they should come out a red colour according to the tag

while I’ve already had rich pickings from the hydrangea bushes, even taking some to Mum for her to enjoy

and there’s plenty more to come

bees are busy buzzing around the bottle brush

all the geraniums along the driveway are enjoying the rain too

my sweet peas are flowering and all seem to be this stunning red/blue/purple combo

I’ve been picking roses too

and this one has the most beautiful scent

there’s just one or two orchids still out. Waiting for them to finish flowering then I’ll do some repotting

It’s been delightful to view all the flower pots from the family room and better still when I can sit on the deck amongst them! How is your garden growing/going?

Meredithe x

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on my walks

On the days when it’s not raining (and, I might add, it rained all weekend!) I do try and get out for a walk. Have to get rid of these Covid Kilo’s somehow!

From the storms the other week, there are big tree branches down in the neighbourhood

and smaller ones litter the naturestrips

I’m wondering how long they’ll be there – tree people must be in huge demand at the moment.

All the rain has been great for the gardens. This rose bush is almost a tree!

the bananas aren’t getting enough sun to ripen though

there are Birds of Paradise blooming

and I do like this iris

Back soon to show you some of our garden.

Meredithe x

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Routine

Hello, Dear Peeps (if there are any of you left out there following me!). How are you? Don’t know about you, but post lockdown I’m finding it hard to get into any sort of routine, and frankly, I think the weather is the same.

It’s November, our last month of Spring, and a few weeks ago I put away all my boots, washed the last of the socks and jumpers and put them away, and changed the blanket and quilt on our bed for Summer weight ones. Today though, I woke up cold, and dressed in jumper, socks and boots. It was 11 degrees when I went out earlier for an appointment and it’s been raining since before we woke up!

We seem to be having a couple of warm, blue sky days, perfect for getting the washing done

and having morning coffee and/or lunch on the deck

then we get four or five days of grey, cold, wet and windy and even storms. What’s going on? The weather forecasters in the know say that November will be our wettest month so it looks like we’ll have to put up with it.

The Golfer and I have managed to get out for breakfast at our small, local cafe, The Boulevard.

and lunches too

The Boulevard have a new menu and I’m determined to try everything on it as it all sounds soooo delish. It takes me ages to make up my mind as to what to have next but as I try each one my options will narrow down!

We’ve also been for a drive down to Red Hill to the Red Hill Brewery. A big storm had struck the state the Friday before and on the Monday as we drove along we could see where huge trees had fallen across the road in several places Thank goodness for the SES who had obviously been in sawing away at the trees to clear the road. It was a lovely day and the Bewery was nearly deserted. Poor loves didn’t have any power so there was no food, but they had a generator to keep the drinks cold and I enjoyed a cider they had from another, nearby brewery (I’m not a beer drinker).

It felt very strange to be out and about with hardly any other patrons around

but we did enjoy our visit and hope to go again

One thing that I’m filling my diary with is appointments to – finally! – have my nails done.

I’m feeling like a girly-girl again and even though they’re short at least they’re a pretty colour!

Ever so slowly things are opening up, the most important of which is being able to visit Mum again, albeit at booked times, not just dropping in when I want. With some bananas about to go off, I baked a gluten free banana cake, took some to my friend Maree and some to Mum (they are both GF peeps)

along with the first bunch of hydrangeas for the season

The Golfer and I actually visited Mum in her room, spending the requisite hour in non-stop chat and I have to say the time flew by way too quickly. It was, however, a delightful, precious time.

MyWalkingFriend, who is also my hairdresser, is back at her salon, working long hours trying to get all those COVID locks into some semblance of order for people, so I have to get myself up and at ’em and as we’ve had lots of rain I’ve been doing a bit of yoga instead of walking. Classes still aren’t back and we’ll probably only get a class in for each group, if that, before the end of the year.

I’m hoping to discipline myself to more regular blogging. I seem to have fallen into that trap of posting on my Instagram account as it’s easier, but it’s definitely not the same as sharing on a blog post. Fingers crossed!

Stay safe and well

Meredithe x

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A mish-mash

I’ve been taking lots of photos as these lockdown days slip by, but as I’ve been so slow in posting they’re starting to date! So I thought I’d try and catch up a bit.

But some new stuff first. We had a stunning Melbourne Spring day here today; brilliant sunshine and warm to boot. I managed to get 2 loads of washing out and in, including a load of hand knitted socks – always such a satisfying sight seeing them dancing in the breeze on the clotheshorse, their stripes and colours flashing in the sunlight – I made them!

I had my second Pfizer injection on Sunday and it really knocked me about; headache, very tired and aching limbs. Not as bad as getting COVID obviously so a small price to pay, and I do feel very happy to be double vax’d. Today I was feeling a bit more human and took a little wander around the garden. I was delighted to see some of Dad’s orchids still blooming (this pic was actually taken a few weeks ago when there were lots in flower)

and one in particular that hasn’t flowered for me before. To make the most of it I had to pick it! It’s so soft and pretty with it’s pale throat and that touch of lemon at the end and that beautiful limey green on the other petals. Just love it!

The dark pink orchid is still blooming and I think another is coming up

the white hydrangea is flowering – just two, but still. They usually don’t start until Nov/Dec so quite a surprise.

I picked some of the purple daisies and some white pelargonium to round out my eclectic posy which has given me great joy all day.

A little while back I succumbed to temptation (you know I’m easily led!) and bought a pair of Liberty Vans

Aren’t they just gorgeous?! I love them and can see me getting lots of wear out of them – just need to choose a nice day and not a rainy/muddy one like we’ve had of late. Don’t want them ruined!

My sock knitting fetish hasn’t abated and I recently finished these “Likeminded Socks” from Christine at Winwickmum using Onion yarn from SayLittleHen. Christine’s patterns are so easy to follow (I started my sock knitting adventures with her) and they seemed to knit up in a trice! Likewise, the yarn from Sarah is a delight to knit with, so soft and so easy to knit, and the colour is glorious.

After finishing these I had the urge to start another pair – it’s so addictive isn’t it? – and got out a beautiful blue yarn from HalfBakedHandDyed. Danni’s yarns come in a hank and I eagerly chose the darker blue

and being an impatient sort when my heart is set on a task, I decided I could wind it into a ball myself, using my knees as “holders”. Really NOT a clever move………

This Big, Knotty, Tangly Mess took about 2 hours to sort out – all my own fault for not doing a proper job, the proper way in the first place. Oh dear – live and learn! I did get there in the end but by the time it was sorted I really didn’t feel like knitting anymore!

Once I’d calmed myself down (and vowed NOT to do THAT again!) I started on Christine’s “Hometown Socks“, again a lovely, easy pattern to follow and Danni’s yarn is super soft and very easy on the needles

This first one is actually finished and I’m up to the foot of the second one so won’t be long before they’re finished too.

I did a click and collect with Bunnings the other day and bought some flower seedlings and had such fun planting them out. This little pansy is a rogue, but a very welcome one

We have zinnias surrounding the polyanthus (already there)

nastursiums, which as well as being colourful I’m going to try in our salads

gazania, which look a little like my favourite gerbera

some white petunias, half of which I planted under the red hydrangea

and the other half with some foxgloves in a cleared section of garden

and lastly in the hanging basket, some lobelia. I forgot to order a new liner so am “making do”.

They all seem to have taken well to their new homes with the petunia already flowering!

Hope you’re all well and happy and safe, Dear Peeps!

Until next time,

Meredithe x

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Excitement

Well! that’s been an exciting morning. Just before I left for my walk, around 9.15, there was a roar and the whole house started to shake; ceiling fans, pictures, ornaments on the dresser. I yelled to The Golfer to get under a doorway – the only thing I could remember about earthquakes – and after several seconds the noise and shaking stopped. We headed outside, as had some of our neighbours and compared notes (from a safe distance).

It was indeed an earthquake, and Magnitude 6! Very rare for us. The epicentre was the town of Mansfield some 170 odd kms from us. Friends in the north and south of Victoria also felt the tremor. Very scary stuff!

We’re all safe and, thankfully, the only damage I can see was a new jar of peanut butter falling from the shelf in the pantry onto the pile of bowls below

I’d heard the crash from under the doorway. One bowl less.

So glad I don’t live in an earthquake prone area. Judging from new reports so far there’s been a little building damage but no-one hurt, thank goodness.

Before the drama of the day, I was going to start this post by saying that Winter is keeping a stranglehold on our weather. Despite this Nature keeps moving forward. This is how the deck was looking a few weeks ago….

The hydrangea that was just coming into bud above now looks like this

and the ones on the south side of the house…….

Hopefully I’ll get more blooms this year. The cyclamen put on a beautiful display

The azaleas across the front verandah started out slowly, as they always do

and now it’s a full display

including some red ones in amongst the white

Also out the front, the hyacinths popped their heads up

and are now showing off their purple hues along with the daisies

and speaking of daisies, the cutting I took from Mum’s has burgeoned

and sits quite happily beside this spoon petaled one

On the brick wall the creeper looks stunning

the cabbages are growing

I’ve so enjoyed picking orchids for inside admiring their peculiar but pretty faces

We have enjoyed the odd sunny day and there’s even been a little warmth before the dark clouds descend yet again. I missed most of it, but here’s a little blossom to brighten your day, should you need it.

Stay safe

Meredithe x

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Comfort

It’s been a while again, Dear Peeps. We’re in Week 7 of a 7 Day Circuit Breaker Lockdown. Yes, you read that correctly. 7 days has morphed into 7 weeks and it looks like another 5 weeks or so before any substantial changes are made to our lifestyles in Melbourne. While I know it’s necessary I miss seeing Mum, holding her hand and giving her hugs; texts and Facetime just don’t cut it. I miss seeing my friends; whatsapp texting and video sewing just don’t cut it. I miss my students; again texting and video class just don’t cut it.

I haven’t felt much like posting, and haven’t read many others either. Each day is blurring into another. But with an end date in sight we need to gird our loins and hang in there for just a little bit longer.

So while I daydream of meals and coffees out with family and friends, I’ll share some of the food that we’ve been having at home. While my wrist was out of action The Golfer did a sterling job of keeping us nourished.

We’ve had sausage and rice dishes, pasta bakes, home made hamburgers and frittatas

My gammy-wristed attempt at toast and jam from one of my students – the most delicious apricot jam ever! Oops – the frittata pic got in there twice! Well, we have had it more than once (I’m obviously out of practice), and burgers with home made relish from another student

Between lockdowns, a meal with family friends and a lunch out! Oh, those were the days!

And a casual Saturday night antipasto type dinner with home made humus

We are trying to eat well and vary up the diet to add interest and The Golfer is still cooking quite a bit which I don’t object to at all!

Til next time. Happy eating!

Meredithe x

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Sewjourn

Last year we missed out on our annual getaway to Sewjourn by a week due to a lockdown and this year we luckily got to go the weekend before another lockdown was announced and boy, were we happy to be there!

Unfortunately, as I was indisposed with my wrist, there weren’t too many photos taken.

I really didn’t do too much stitching, in fact I only took one project and it mostly stayed in its bag. We spent most of the weekend in the house watching dvd’s, stitching, eating, chatting and all, as always, with lots of laughter.

Being Winter, the weather was a little damp, quite cold and with the occasional burst of sunshine.

I can assure you that, while there’s no photographic evidence, we did eat REALLY well, as you would expect, and there was lots of lovely work being done by t’others.

I am sorry that I didn’t take pics, but I did have a relaxing, very enjoyable, restful weekend; just what I needed, I think. Someone else did the driving, we split the cooking chores and clean up was relatively easy as we only had the house to deal with.

So looking forward to going away next year…….if, by then, that’s possible!

Stay safe and well

Meredithe x

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