knit | spin

Ahoy there!

March 17, 2017

Ahoy there dearest readers! It has been some time since we last met. I have been drifting upon the seas encountering Christmas, School Holidays and Back to School. I didn’t mean to be away so long but the CFS part of me was not quite up to anything beyond the basics. I found I had to give up the interwebs for a while just to manage.  Time seems to have passed quickly but in a very slow way!

Let me catch you up with my making.


On my needles you can see I have almost finished another Montbretier shawl by Carol Feller from The Book of Haps (2016). This is my sole project and has been for some months. For a while there, my arms were too tired to get through a row but slowly, slowly I have almost made it to the end.

Whilst I have not been knitting much, I have been trying to do a little more cooking beyond the (almost) daily achievement of dinner. After Our Dear Boy harvested a basket of cumquats, I managed a batch of cumquat marmalade which I have loved since I used harvest cumquats as a child. Our lovely Italian neighbours shared with us how they eat cumquats, just the skin, raw, peeled away from the squishy bit. It is like a lolly, sweet and delicious. But my heart lies in marmalade.


I have also been fermenting sauerkraut. When we were in Germany five years ago, I discovered real, fresh sauerkraut. It is a wonderfully healthy thing to eat. Locally made, fresh sauerkraut is $15 AUD a jar, but a cabbage is only $3, so the economic inducement to make my own was fairly compelling and the process is super simple.


On my wheel, you can see I have begun spinning for my final project in the Spinning Certificate run the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria. It is a Polwarth and Alpaca blend that I made with hand carders for a 2ply lace weight woollen yarn. Despite everything, I have managed to keep going with the course and look forward to sharing my final project with you as it progresses.

Thank you for your emails and good wishes over the last few months. You have cheered me in ways that are difficult to express. You have shared your own experiences with chronic illness so as to encourage and reassure me. These emails have always been unexpected yet curiously timely. I feel I have been most fortunate to have such kind and gracious readers.

I continue to steadily improve in health and energy.


Finally I would like to introduce you to Our Dear Pup who came to live with us a few month ago. She is funny, cheeky and delightful company for us all. She is a yarn thief, a spinning homework destroyer and a fleece eater but now we know that, I plan accordingly.

I hope to be back here again soon but in the meantime perhaps would like to share with me what you have been up to?


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  1. Ahoy yourself dear mate! What a marvelous surprise I got when I saw your post. Good on you making sauerkraut and that Polworth Alpaca looks sumptuous. That Montbretier is my favourite of all the Haps in that book. I love the imagery of the fields and flowers. I’m still spinning and knitting on the Deco sweater for my daughter, using a Romanov/Suffolk fleece…I know an odd combination! she says not to hurry it’s starting to warm up in the dessert where they live 🙂 Ah yes, dogger thieves…………know them well!
    Stay well and thank you for thinking of us.

    1. You were in like a flash Susan, the first one in comments! Thank you for your encouraging and enthusiastic welcome. That Deco sweater will be marvellous. That does sound like an extraordinary cross, I assume the dual coat of Romanov disappears with Suffolk in there? Does it spin up like a springy longwool? The stitch detail in Deco must be coming up beautifully. How exciting!

  2. I was pleased to read your post and, of course, was very glad you are feeling well enough to write one. Your shawl colors are lovely, and the canine addition to your family must daily bring a lot of joy and laughter into your home. Keep getting better!

    1. Thank you Greenspiel, it is lovely to be back and I do hope to be back here quite regularly in future. Yes, she is a beautiful puppy, in a scruffy ragamuffiny kind of way!

  3. So lovely to hear from you again Rebecca! You are achieving so much while coping with CFS that I am reluctant to fess up about what I have managed to do in the last little while. I have been busy with a new and completely unexpected project, helping produce and edit a design publication( Although it is exciting, it is also exhausting and has consumed all the time I would be otherwise spending on art-making (and knitting, aargh). Swings and roundabouts.

    Love the puppy! My own new(ish) family member (a rescue cat) is also a yarn muncher. Which means at least that my wips are more carefully stowed at the end of the day. And I think I need to hear more about the sauerkraut, can you share the recipe?!

    Sending you many warm thoughts of health and energy xxx

    1. Dear Kangabrat…what news! a journal! how brilliant and exciting. I look forward to finding out more. I think you are right, having a yarn muncher around does mean you have to clear up after yourself and just be a little more careful with knitting lying around…which is not a bad thing and I am sure the rest of my family feels happier to have it all squared away too. I reckon I will do a sauerkraut post and share the love a little.

  4. Welcome back Dear Rebecca…How lovely to read your words again. Your Endeavour Journey has taken near to shore then away again for a while and now the tide is gently wafting you towards safe harbour.

    I am thrilled you somehow managed to keep up with your wonderful spinning…the likes of which I can only dream of.

    Very much looking forward to seeing more of your writing here and on IG.

    Love Lydia

    1. Thanks for such a warm welcome Lydia. It does sort of feel like coming back home into safe harbour! The spinning has been a bit of a life line I think. Every month we need to spin 10g sample skeins, so they are not onerous amounts but they keep me engaged. I think of it as rehab! It might be a while before I hop back onto IG again, I’ll start walking before I run but perhaps I will even be dancing before too long!

  5. The shawl looks very pretty – lovely colours as always and the sauerkraut looks delicious! We have been picking kilos and kilos of cherry tomatoes, apples and zucchinis from our garden and turning them into semi and sun-dried tomatoes, passata, dried apple rings and zucchini everything (muffins, carpaccio, spaghetti). I love autumn – even if this one is a little warm. Hugs! x

    1. Dear Heather, thank you for visiting and telling your news. I am so thrilled for you that you can finally grow tomatoes and that you have had such a bumper crop. We didn’t have enough for saving, just for eating and sharing but the apples have been wonderfully generous to us this year. Enjoy your autumn.

  6. Dear Rebecca, good to see you back! Your spinning and knitting look glorious and I am full of awe for your having managed to keep up with the spinning certificate, sea and all. I have been wondering about sauerkraut too. I have taken to eating it and loving it and wondering if I could DIY. You’re helping me build up my courage! We’ve had a great summer garden in spite of the heat, including a wealth of cucumbers. The woad and madder are looking good too. I went to dye camp and it was wonderful. I made quite a few garments on holidays and generally just LOVED being away from my day job. Right now I have stalled knitting projects (slippers and a vest) and I’m on a little embroidery jag. Who knew I would ever take to embroidery on the bus? The freak show aspect of my life continues. People do stare at knitting on the bus, but embroidery, well, there’s a whole other thing! Cheering you on to completion of that lovely yarn, Mary

    1. Dear Mary, What a wonderful postcard of catch up news! Thank you! My woad has survived the summer but I have done nothing with it. I have been hearing great things about dyeing with fermented Indigofera australis but it has to have the right colour flower to indicate dye potential. Your summer sounded insanely hot, we have had a mild one in comparison, late tomatoes and zucchini but few cucumbers. Dye camp sounds wonderful, I did see your pictures. Perhaps I need to do a sauerkraut post soon for I am hooked and happy to enable others! Your energy and enthusiasm is very exciting and rather infectious.

    1. Thank you very much Kaydeerouge, There are no grand plans or comprehensive lists of potential posts…my blogging will be serendipitous and necessarily celebrate the small things for the foreseeable future. Best wishes to you.

  7. Dear Rebecca I even looked at your past blogs to see if I’d missed one. It’s so great to have you back and recovering. The shawl is beautiful and your yarn is so finely spun. That pupper is something else!! I’m sure she’s a great source of comfort and even though mischievous is also calming.
    I’m still spinning and knitting……. too many fleeces and yarn!

    1. Dear Elaine, how brilliant to hear you are still spinning and knitting! I do sometimes wonder what you might be spinning up, I know you love those whole fleeces. Yes, Our Dear Pup is lovely dog and we’ve been super fortunate in her puppyhood so far. She toilet trained so easily and learns well. At 6 months old she is now beginning to ignore us sometimes on a walk and take liberties with sleeping on the couch so we must keep being consistent and keep up the training. But she is indeed a darling to all of us.

  8. Dear Rebecca, it’s so great to read this! You have been in my thoughts often and I was concerned you had not appeared on social media for a long while. I’m so sorry you have been unwell. My daughter has had ME/CFS for 5 years so I understand your difficulties. Slowly, slowly and please take care. Your shawl looks wonderful and hopefully you will show us when completed. I so look forward to future posts, when you are able x

    1. Thank you Deborah. I am sorry to hear that your daughter suffers from the same condition. What a blight it is. Thanks for the camaraderie through the slowness though. Best wishes to you both.

  9. It was such a pleasure to see this post come up on my feed reader! Lovely to hear your voice again. I’ve missed your thoughtful writing but all energy must be put to the highest priorities in life and blog writing, while lovely, must come further down the list.

    I’ve been spinning like mad recently. I have been finishing knitting projects (mostly small accessories) but it’s the spinning that is really getting my juices flowing. Right now I’m spinning some Cheviot/Hebridean roving from Uist Wool and it’s amazing! So springy.

    Take care and we’ll be thinking of you.

    1. Dear Becca, Thanks for coming back and great to hear you are spinning. We do have Cheviot in Australia but I have yet to spin any but I can imagine it would be very springy. I guess it would make great socks. What are your plans for the yarn?

  10. So lovely to hear from you, Rebecca! I just checked in on your SM the other day, wondering if you’d returned. And lo, here you are!
    Slowly, slowly seems to be the only way with these maladies, unfortunately. That said, nothing wrong with slow, I suppose. Very pleased to see you have been able to keep up with your spinning course.
    Cumquats (especially in marmalade) are such a strong memory of my childhood. I would help my Nana and Mum cut them up, ready for the next batch! Bags of the little blighters. Delicious on grainy toast too.
    Life here has passed by as it insists on doing (what do they say – the days are long but the years are short?) I’m facing my dear child turning 18 in mere weeks. And then the next chapter for us both will begin, I suppose. Adult children. Gah!
    Take care, and again, lovely to hear from you!

    1. Dear Kylie, thanks for returning to the blog after such an absence. I am delighted to share a passion for cumquat marmalade with you! Best wishes for welcoming your daughter through the threshold of adulthood, that is a mighty rite of passage for the both of you I reckon. Cheers!

  11. Ah, at last, Rebecca. How lovely to have a sighting. Your ability to report on all the new and wonderful things in your life in spite of the CFS is admirable. It is so easy for me to focus on the bad stuff that I forget the good. Your call made me happy.

    1. And lovely it is to hear your voice again too Diana! I hope your travels in the wilderness are yielding some delights amidst the gloom. Chronic illness sucks, but comrades make us happy. So glad to connect with you again.

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