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….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


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Yarn Along – July

I can’t believe it’s July already. How did that happen? June seemed to disappear in a blink of an eye. Although, I have to admit, if I look out in the garden, it does look as if a month has passed. So much has grown.

First Wednesday of the month means that it’s time for the monthly update on my knitting project and book. I have made a bit of progress this month. Unbelievable considering how much time I’m spending in the garden and keeping the children on track with their studies. Not forgetting the small matter that I have a job too.

So, with no further ado, I’ll make this a speedy update.


I’ve finished the back of the blue jumper. It is knitting up faster than I thought it would, which bizarrely, is not how I intended this to work out. This project is all about the journey and not the finished product. Not that I’ll ignore it once it is finished. It’s more about mindless knitting. Something for me to knit at odd moments, when my brain needs a rest. I’m currently working my way up the front of the jumper and progressing quickly now that I’m passed the ribbing.

Working from the cone can be deceptive. It doesn’t seem to shrink, in the same way as a ball of wool. The combination of thin yarn and slowly unwinding makes it seem like a never-ending yarn cone.

Book (Affiliated links)

I’ve changed books. Last month, I had just started The Invention of Wings. It is a perfect pick up and read book, which fits in fine with my time at the moment. One night, I decided to read it before bedtime. Big mistake. I spent the rest of the night unable to sleep, going over what I had read. Pretty disturbing, to be honest. I have now banned the book to day time reading only. Instead in the evenings, I’m reading Oscar Wilde’s Complete plays. A bit lighter and safer before I go to sleep. Thank goodness.

That pretty much wraps it up. Ending with a poppy from the garden. I love the structure and the colours. I’m really struck by how this one looks as if someone fitted it out with badly set piano keys and a fancy pudding mould.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What’s everyone else reading and knitting?

Yarn Along – June

Yarn Along time again. Combining two of my favourite things. Knitting and reading.


I’ve started knitting a blue jumper. I’ve not knitted anything big in 4 ply for a while (that’s sport for US readers). I wanted a slow, non-fiddly knit, to knit in the evenings when I was about finished for the day. This one is perfect. Saying that, I’ve almost knitted up the front to the point I need to decrease for the raglan sleeves, so maybe it’s not as slow as I thought.

The pattern is King Cole 3755. I’m using King Cole Merino blend, which comes on a cone, from The Knitting Network (not an ad). I love knitting from a cone, as there is no playing yarn chicken at the end of each ball. (translate: do I have enough yarn to finish this knitted row/garment? Should I swap to a new ball of wool now to avoid tying the new yarn in half way through the new row?)

I use the dk version of this yarn and love the merino blend. It doesn’t irritate my hands as I knit and I can wash it on the wool cycle in my washing machine. I’m hoping that I can do the same for the 4ply.

Hopefully, next month I will still be knitting this one, as it requires very little thinking and that is just the type of project I need at the moment.


I’m reading (affiliated links*) The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I love the Secret Lives of Bees by the same author and thought this might be good too. It’s based on a true story of two sisters that fought against the slave trade in South Carolina during the 1830s. The book is broken into small chapters, with Sarah and Hetty taking turns to tell the story. Sarah, one of the sisters, is given Hetty as a slave on her 11th birthday. Sarah is unwilling to own a slave and Hetty, whose basket name is Handful, struggles to fit the role. Neither have a choice. I’m only part way through at the moment, but it certainly is interesting.

Slow progress at the moment, as I’m spending any spare time in the garden. I still have plants in the greenhouses waiting to be planted outside. Knitting and reading definitely take a back seat at this time of year.

So. What’s everyone else reading and knitting?


April Yarn Along

It’s time for this month’s Yarn Along. A moment to share my latest knit and book.

I have to admit, I didn’t feel remotely creative last month. Certainly not in the sense of knitting or sewing. Not helped in the least, that I’d reached a tricky point in my knitting. I had to put in time to figure out how to put the finished pieces of my raspberry waistcoat together. Followed by picking up stitches to make borders, which is most definitely my least favourite part. So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to throw it to one side and start a new project. Something simple, requiring no thought.

So, my cardigan is semi finished. All the parts are knitted. They just need joining together.

Book wise, I’ve been reading my homesteading books. We’ve decided to dig up the old kitchen garden again and plant it up. We abandoned it a few years ago, as it was proving too much for me to do by myself. I’m also expanding the existing kitchen garden. Fingers crossed, I should have enough room for all the seeds I’ve bought. With the schools closed, until September possibly, it should be easier to keep on top of it all and, more importantly, feed us. I have captive work force, who are fortunately keen to help me.

We were hoping to buy a new greenhouse, before the lockdown, but I missed the moment. Instead, I’ll make do with my existing one and the old glass corridor, at the side of the house, which we optimistically call a conservatory. It may be a race between the plants growing and taking over the two glass areas, and the movement restrictions being lifted. We’ll either be drowning in fresh, green leaves or make it out in time to buy a second greenhouse. Only time will tell.

Fortunately, I seem to have reached a good place in my sourdough making journey. I can produce a good loaf which everyone enjoys. With all the family home, due to the lockdown, it is perfect timing.  They will happily nibble on it instead of the snacks they used to buy during the day, when they were out and about. I am definitely winning. Anyway, I’m enjoying planning my new variation, now I’ve figured out the basics, from A Handful of Flour book.

Hopefully by next Yarn Along I should have recaptured my knitting get-up-and-go, and finished the waistcoat. Am I the only one struggling to fit in knitting at the moment?


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