Blogtober 2021 : Day 31

And here we are, Hallowe’en, the last day of October and the last day of Blogtober 2021.  Oh what a month it has been!  Thank you so much if you’ve stuck with me for the whole 31 days!  The posts have been a joy to write (not hard work at all!) and it’s been wonderful to have your company in the comments.

I thought that I would do a bit of a roundup of the month in today’s post, along with some obligatory pumpkin photos given the day that it is.  Both of my girls have been out to Hallowe’en parties this weekend and had a fabulous time dressed up in costumes and being with their friends (me, I’m grateful that the days of traipsing around dark streets with a bag full of sweeties are over), but I prefer to spend Hallowe’en a bit more quietly.  I’ve written before about how this time of year always feels a little closer to the “other side” and I certainly feel that way when I’m in the garden where I often would be with my Dad.

Not so small daughter was very keen that she and big daughter should carve their pumpkins together this afternoon, and I bought these large ones the other week when I went up to Skipton to see Lucy.  Pumpkin carving is quite a different affair to years ago when my brother and I used to hack out the insides of swedes (now that was definitely a calorie-burning event and you never forget the smell of singed swede!) and you can find all kinds of templates for fabulous shapes on the internet if you’re not feeling the urge to create a face for yourself.

Two large orange pumpkins sitting on a stone step, waiting to be carved.

Two carved pumpkins lit up in the dark.

No templates were required here!  The face on the right is No-Face from Spirited Away … I bet you can guess who carved that one!  Big daughter went for a cheeky grin this year, and even that is very different to the toothy grimaces that my brother and I managed to eventually cut into the swedes – a far happier face indeed!

It’s raining tonight.  This month, it has rained A LOT (in fact, that’s probably a bit of understatement, it feels like it’s rained All The Time), but in between there have been some wonderful sunrises …

The sun is rising above the trees, turning the clouds shades of pink and orange.

and sunsets (hooray for having a dog that needs walking, I’d miss these otherwise!).

The sun is setting behind the trees, turning the clouds pink and orange against a grey sky.

There was the most beautiful full Hunter’s moon, so bright that it lit up the sky for the whole night and into the morning, and the occasional blue sky which felt like the most wonderful gift.

A blue sky layered with wispy white clouds. There is vegetation in the foreground. A daytime moon is in the centre of the photo.

It’s been a month of conkers …

The ground is littered with conkers and leaves.

but not so much in the way of leaf colour …

Leaves of shades and brown and yellow littered on the floor. A pair of brown boots are at the bottom of the photo for context,

and just to show you the difference, this photo was taken in October four years ago …

Autumn leaves in many shades. Christine's boots are at the bottom of the photo for context.

Also, not at all relevant to Autumn but because I was rootling about in four year old photos, look what else I found!  The cat had brought it into the house and it was stunned but otherwise unharmed.  It’s a tree creeper; I’d never seen them before we moved to this house but there are a few in the garden.  A few minutes later, it treated us to a cheeky upside down display on the honeysuckle and then was gone.

A tiny brown and white bird with a curved beak sits on Christine's hand. She's wearing green gardening gloves.

The leaves might not have changed colour much but there was plenty of colour in the garden, thanks to the mild temperatures during October and probably all the rain too.  No danger of any plants drying out!

A collage of nine squares featuring colourful plants from the garden, mostly in shades of yellow, orange and pink. In the centre square is a bowl of tomatoes.

We ate the last of our tomatoes out of the green house and I was finally able to get a photo of the teeny tiny pink Fuchsia microphylla flowers which are still blooming at this time of year.  I grew this plant from a cutting at the very first gardening class that I ever went to, years and years ago when I decided that I wanted to become a gardener and needed some qualifications.  You might not even recognise it as a Fuchsia unless you knew that was what it was, although the leaves do give it away.

Tiny pink Fuschia flowers against green leaves.

Also this month, I started knitting my Changing Staircases shawl using a Shetland knitting belt.  I wanted to try out the technique and see if it was actually possible for me to knit something other than a pair of socks within a month – and it was!   I ran out of pattern way before I ran out of yarn and added another four blocks of pattern in to use all of the yarn up.  I finished the shawl last night and you’ll see from the very last photo in the collage that there wasn’t much yarn left at all!   In case you’re wondering I used a yarnless bind off  so that I wouldn’t run out whilst working the last row.  It’s a little tight so I might end up taking it out and re-doing it but I’ll see how it goes.  The main thing is that I finished the shawl in October!

A collage of nine photos showing the progress of a purple shawl.

A purple shawl curled around itself on a wooden table. The shawl needs blocking to stretch it out.

And after blocking (no fancy blocking equipment in this house – a sports towel and some sewing pins!) …

A purple shawl with rows of knit and a lattice stitch is pinned out on a blue and white sports towel.

now that it’s dry, here it is!  Ta dah!

A purple shawl is arranged on a wooden table. One end of the shawl is draped over a pumpkin.

I’m very pleased with it and I’m thinking that I might try wearing it as scarf with my coat over the Winter if it doesn’t feel too bulky.  The yarn is Heartspun by Woolly Chic and is an eco yarn, so no nylon but Tencel to give it strength (and it was originally going to be socks!).  It’s beautifully soft and has a lovely sheen to it, I’ve really enjoyed knitting with it.

There has also been progress on the Emergency Sock, which unfortunately tells you what the traffic has been like whilst I’ve been out and about this month.  Between the traffic and the rain, I’ve not fancied going out very much at all!

A half-knitted sock on a table next to a bag containing the yarn and a pumpkin.

That’s probably just as well as the Horrible Cough has hung around all month.  I had an e-consultation with a doctor earlier in the week and have been prescribed antibiotics – it looks like I have bronchitis which isn’t shifting on its own so although I really would rather avoid antibiotics, sometimes needs must.  I’m taking extra probiotics to try to counteract the effects of all the bacteria in my body being affected (good and bad) and hopefully after the five days of tablets are up then I’ll be able to stop buying Jakemans cough sweets as if they’re going out of fashion!

 

And I think that’s about it.  Thank you so much for coming out on dog walks with me, reading my ramblings and letting me peep into your own lives too.  It’s been a good month, hasn’t it?

See you in November! xx

 

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46 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    It has been a great month and I have enjoyed every blog. It was something to look forward to seeing everyday. Thank you for sharing your corner of the world. I am trying Socks on the Addi crasyTrio SHORT needles. They seem like socks on 2 circular needles but the needles are much shorter.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, they’re funny things to get used to, aren’t they, but lots of people absolutely love them so it’s definitely worth giving them a go. I think they’re a bit like bendy DPNs! 🙂 xx

  2. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for your posts this month. I’ve really enjoyed making the time at the end of each day to sit down and read them.

  3. CJ says:

    It has been a good month, and I’m very happy to have discovered your blog, I shall enjoy following along. The tree creeper is beautiful. I have only seen on once around here, they are such lovely birds. I love your shawl, I am a big fan of scarves and shawls and things. I mostly only knit things where size doesn’t matter – I’ve made far too many jumpers and cardigans that didn’t fit.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh I’ve haven’t knitted a jumper for myself for years, I’m much better at socks because I know I can make those fit! I’m really glad I found your blog too, I’ll look forward to reading more of your posts! xx

  4. Chris Guest says:

    Thank you for a month of lovely musings and photos, it’s been great to have a peek into your daily life and as an aside I have discovered so much more of your work, and your patterns!! Feel that knitting socks is going to feature more highly on my makes – 3 sons, 4 siblings and a couple of friends I’d like to treat (plus something pretty for me 💖)!!! Love the falling leaves, maybe that’s the one for me ☺️

    • winwickmum says:

      I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed it – and that you’ve found my patterns too! Yes, I think you’re going to be very busy with such a large family and with friends too! 🙂 xx

  5. Pam MacLennan says:

    Its been a great month Christine and I love reading your musings/goings on/etc etc as well as
    your knitting blogs and especially learning about the Shetland Knitting Belt.
    Down here in NZ we are looking forward to summer but we have also had so much rain during winter and spring, my gardens are quite water logged.
    Looking forward to your blogs in November.

    • winwickmum says:

      It seems like the rain is everywhere! It’s been quite ridiculous how much of it there has been this month – and on the radio there was a drought warning too! xx

  6. Kathryn says:

    Thank you for sharing your life over the month. I have enjoyed reading along.

  7. Francesca says:

    Thank you for sharing your October with us! I really enjoyed reading your posts every night!

  8. Geeha says:

    Thank you for enlivening my month. With you and Lucy it has flown by with lots to stimulate thought

  9. Corinne says:

    Thank you for your lovely photos, walks and ‘chats’. The shawl is beautiful, well worth the wait to see it. My dad has a fuchsia with tiny long white flowers, but your pink one is gorgeous.
    Pleased the doc has helped sort your cough. Sometimes we just have to take the tablets!
    Looking forward to November.😊

  10. Jill says:

    I enjoyed reading your posts all month and having something positive to look forward to at the the end of the day. Some days, the simple things in life bring the greatest pleasure, and your writing reflects that. Thank you for sharing your stories and photos!

  11. Sue says:

    I have enjoyed reading! And your shawl looks great! Somehow I can knit a fingering weight shawl faster than a pair of socks, and always feel like I should then have way more socks than I do, lol. Happy Halloween!!

    • winwickmum says:

      I wonder if it’s because the shawl is long rows rather than short rounds – plus there’s no heel to turn in the middle! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the posts, thank you! xx

  12. Pamela Brady says:

    Found your blog after discovering your sick knit-along tutorial. Have loved the blog and am having fun playing with socks. Love the shirt circular needles! Thanks for helping me learn about them! Really looking forward to the January knit-along.

  13. Barbara says:

    Well done on a whole month of blogging; I loved reading them all. The shawl is perfect and one of my favourite colours. Lovely to see your countryside and hearing about your doings. Hope those antibiotics work quickly. Have a great week. B x

  14. Maureen Bromley says:

    Have loved reading your blogs and seeing all your lovely photos.
    Maureen Bromley

  15. Carolyn F says:

    I have really enjoyed your blog posts each day in October and so enjoy seeing your countryside on your walks and travels. I finished my first ever pair of socks this year with your pattern and got a blue ribbon on them at the state fair. My stripes matched which pleased me no end. Thanks for everything. I’ll miss “seeing” you each day at lunch but I’ll keep checking for the next one.

  16. Sarah Murray says:

    Thank you for showing us a month of your life and for all the great posts which I’ve looked for every day to read. This is a lovely one to end it on and I’m glad you had a fun Halloween and finished your shawl. I do love its colour but then purple is my favourite.

  17. Gretchen Hrusovsky says:

    What a lovely month of blog posts! Enjoyed immensely, especially learning about the Changing Staircase. I am about “socked out” after the 3 pairs for the 2 daughters and the daughter in law, and still have the fourth skein of your Seasons yarn – was to be socks for me, ,but I think instead the Changing Staircase shawl. Not, however with a knitting belt . . . . . And have to ask about the Virginia Creeper that looks so beautiful in your photo. My sister is a very knowledgeable gardener, and when we showed her this interesting vine growing up in the cracks of our stone patio, she immediately said to pull it out and destroy it – it was an INVASIVE SPECIES! Perhaps just here in Ohio and perfectly acceptable in Cheshire?

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I think the Changing Staircases shawl would look fabulous in one of the Seasons yarns, I do hope it works out for you! The knitting belt was an interesting experiment and I still think it will be useful as long as I remember to hold my hands without twisting them round in a peculiar way! The Virginia Creeper here might be held in check by our cooler weather but it can get pretty rampant if you don’t stop it – but it’s also possible that the common name for it is the same as your plant even though they are different species. That’s why gardeners usually use the Latin names as you can’t confuse those but there can be several plants with the same common name. The good news for you, though, is that your sister knew not to let you grow it in your garden! Phew! 🙂 xx

  18. Bernadette says:

    Thank you Christine, I have enjoyed your blogs. I have finally finished the 2nd sock on dpns. The 1st one was done on magic loop about 5 years ago!! I must say that the dpns sock is not as smooth as it’s other half.
    All trial and error! Had our 1st proper frost last night (Essex) so it feels like proper autumn now.

    • winwickmum says:

      Frost! We’ve not had any of that yet, and you’d think that we’d get it up in the north before you would where you are too, wouldn’t you? I’m glad you’ve finally finished your socks and I hope you are super-proud of them! Even if you never knit another pair, you’ll know that you’ve done it now and as a sock knitter, you can do anything! 🙂 xx

  19. Debbie says:

    Hi Christine. Thank you for your lovely blog. I am a new subscriber after reading your Blogtober entries. It (you) are an inspiration as I attempt to knit socks again after decades away from making them. I am adept at using dpns for the occasional pair of mittens. Hopefully, my sock knitting skills will return easily. Appreciate your knowledge and skills for sure!

  20. Annemarie says:

    Thank you Christine for taking the time to write your lovely blogs. I have enjoyed every one of them. Hope you will soon be back to good health.

  21. Chris Hailebaxter says:

    Waiting for the gas engineer I have read blogs 20 – 31. So enjoyable. I’ve made your headband headscarf and it is brilliant at holding my hair in place. The picture of the Virginia creeper was lovely. One of the hotels in Worthing is covered with this, except sadly for this year. We had high winds a couple of weeks ago and most of the leaves have gone. Thank you for your hard work.

    • winwickmum says:

      I am glad to have been able to keep you occupied whilst you were waiting! 🙂 I hadn’t thought of making a headband headscarf for myself – perhaps I should now that I’ve got longer hair to deal with! 🙂 xx

  22. Ruthie says:

    I’ve loved your Blogtober posts, thank you.
    I was reading the Yarn Harlot earlier…she has an emergency sock too, lovely to think of them being global!

  23. Sherin says:

    Hi Christine
    Thanks for sharing snippets of your corner of the world, it’s so interesting hearing about day to day life on the other side of the world, the northern hemisphere and the opposite season from where I am in Sydney, Australia. The photos are lovely and your thoughts and comments very interesting. I got very distracted with life and “ marathoned” the second half of your Blogtober in one session last night! Your shawl looks lovely, though I don’t think I could do that knitting technique myself 😂, I’m now onto my 8th pair of socks , all thanks to you, all but one pair have been gifted to very grateful family and friends as presents. Take care and I hope the cough clears up! Sherin

    • winwickmum says:

      I am very glad I kept you entertained last night! 🙂 I don’t think I will ever stop being amazed at how you can have the opposite season to us, but I do hope that your Spring isn’t as wet as our Autumn has been this year! I bet you are a favourite with your family now if you can keep their feet warm in hand knits! 🙂 xx

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