A new routine

September has long felt like the start of a new year for me, and this year has been no different.

A pad of writing paper with a pink and blue cover lies on a table. On top of the pad is a clear plastic pencil case filled with pens and next to it on the table is a blue lanyard with the word "student" printed on it

Not so small daughter has started college, school runs have finished for us as she’s now getting the college bus, I’ve made lists and plans of what to do with my time … and promptly got the September Back to School Lurgy which has flattened me this weekend.  In a change to my usual way of dealing with lurgy (“just keep going, it’ll be fine, it’s just a cold”), however, I have listened to my body for once and spent the day in bed on Friday, most of yesterday quietly finishing off WIPs (it’s embarrassing how many pairs of “nearly finished” socks I had in bags) and watching TV with not so small daughter, and today I am feeling ready to get back on with everything again.

Not so small daughter has thoroughly enjoyed her first two days at sixth form college.  She did brilliantly well in her GCSEs, getting all the grades that she needed to get into college, and we are very proud of her for putting in all the hard work, and especially over the lockdown years when all of her studies were online.  I know that lots of you have children and grandchildren of the same age and I hope that the grades in your house were exactly what you needed too.  They have achieved something incredible.

Not so small daughter is still getting used to the idea that her timetable only includes three subjects now, that her lanyard opens doors for her (quite literally, as the security around the college is very tight) and that she has study periods during the day where she can do exactly what she wants with her time.  The college induction days were structured so that she got to meet people outside of her friendship group in a quieter environment where people were less likely to use being on their phones as a barrier to talking to someone new, a thoughtful move on behalf of the college, I thought, and she has already widened her social circle and has new friends in classes to chat to.  Both big daughter and I went to this same sixth form college and leaving school to study somewhere else for my A Levels was the best thing that I ever did, so I hope that it is as rewarding an experience for not so small daughter.

Before being struck down by the lurgy, I had some lovely walks out with the dog, leaving the house at the same time that not so small daughter went out for the bus (not sure how long I’ll keep that up but it was nice while it lasted 🙂 ).  The sky was blue and the sun shone – we might be reaching the end of Summer and there is just starting to be that Autumn smell in the air, but this seasonal handover was one of the nicest ways to start the day.

We’ve been walking in the fields around Winwick, and they look very different now the crops are harvested.

A view across a harvested field from underneath a tree. The shadow of the tree is on the ground and beyond that, the field is both golden from the cut barley stalks and green where the grass is starting to grow through. The sky is blue with a few clouds.

The last field to be harvest was the blue flax field that I showed you in this post, which was a field of the most stunning blue flowers, an amazing sight to see as the dog and I came over the hill and through the hedge bordering the footpath.  You couldn’t see the flowers from the road so this felt like a walkers’ gift and I loved it.  The flowers were left to go to seed and they have been harvested now, or mostly.  I’m not quite sure why the field has been cut like this but I’m sure there’s a reason!

A view across a field that has been harvested to leave areas of crops. The field is two different shades of brown where the crops have been cut.

This is what the seed heads look like now.  It wasn’t easy to photograph but hopefully you can see.  They look like little golden balls!

Blue flax seed heads - they look like little golden balls!

I didn’t want to take a photo of the mess of sock project bags all over the floor yesterday, but I will be able to show you the socks – one pair will become a new Top Sock Tip – I’m having fun adding these quick blog posts with answers to questions that people have asked me over the years – and the other pair is one from a new pattern that I’ve designed which I really must get on and write up.  I felt that I needed a bit of a rest after the Gingerbread socks and also another commissioned design that is coming out this week for Yarnstravaganza which is a week long celebration of yarn shops by UK Hand Knitting, an organisation which promotes hand knitting and associated yarn crafts and also supports independent retailers, and as a result, I’ve not been as focussed as I usually am on what I’m creating which has made it very easy for me to collect a bigger mess than usual of unfinished projects!

Yarnstravaganza runs from 17-23 September and throughout the Yarnstravaganza week, there will be events and workshops going on at local yarn shops that are getting involved.  You can find out more and whether your local yarn shop is taking part here.   There are also two exclusive Yarnstravaganza patterns – one is a crochet bag by Emkat Crochet and the other is a sock pattern by yours truly 🙂   I’m always very happy to support local yarn shops so I jumped at the chance to be involved when I was asked if I’d like to design a pattern for the event.

There’s already been a sneak peek of my sock pattern on social media so I don’t feel that I’m giving any secrets away by showing you this photo which is actually a work in progress photo (shh!) but is the one that got shared …

A striped sock on a wooden sock blocker in shades of green, blue and red lies on a brown mottled tile

The pattern is called Branch Line, and will be available (along with more professional photos!) exclusively from yarn shops so if you like the look of this sock, it’s a brilliant reason to visit your local store!  As always, it’s a pattern that is based on my Basic 4ply Socks pattern so even if you’re new to socks, you can give it a go.  The rib moves using increase and decrease stitches but they’re explained in the pattern and it’s also a quick knit which is ideal if you’ve got gift socks to knit!  The pattern will suit everybody and you’ll see next week when it’s officially launched that it looks great in lots of different yarns; the one above is Stylecraft Head over Heels in Amazon but it’s also going to be photographed in other yarns from the partner yarn companies of UK Hand Knitting.  I’m going to write more about Yarnstravaganza and what’s going on next week.

Finally for today, I’ve found out that I’ve been nominated in this year’s British Knitting & Crochet Awards in the Social Media Superstar category.  Thank you so much if you nominated me for this, I am thrilled to be on the list again this year!  I’m never very good at asking people to vote for me (I would be terrible at politics! 🙂 ) but you can also vote for your favourite yarn shops, yarns, designers and accessories so if you’d like to take a look through the nominations list and maybe put an X in the box for me, I would love that, thank you! 🙂   The link for the voting form is here, and you can also click the photo below.  There are prizes to be won for voting but I think you might have to live in the UK to register for those.

So, with the idea of a “new routine” firmly in mind, I’m ready to start next week with a new timetable for myself – phew, it’s amazing how much time school runs took up, although it will mean less time to spend on my Emergency Socks so I will have to make to finish those off – you’ll be wanting to know how I’m getting on with the vegan yarn I’m knitting!

I hope that last week was a good week for you if you had back to school as well, and that this next week will one where your new routine feels comfortable as well! xx


You may also like...

18 Responses

  1. Barbara says:

    Lovely blog Christine. Thank you. I shall look forward to seeing how the rest of this year progresses. Good luck to both your daughters (almost forgotten when ours went to uni, such a long time ago! she is 50 this year). Take care and hope you feel better soon.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you! I’m feeling so much better today – obviously the trick is to do as your body tells you and rest! 🙂 Happy birthday to your daughter this year, that will be a big party! 🙂 xx

  2. Margaret Woodcock says:

    Best of luck getting used to your new normal, plenty of time to do your own thing now and I hope it all goes well for your two girls at their new colleges and that mom has a well deserved rest. No you will as usual be busy doing other things that come your way I will wait in anticipation for all your news that is around the corner.
    Take care of yourself

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I am quite sure that there will be plenty to fill my days! 🙂 I’ve already had an order for new socks to go with the college wardrobe so I’d better make sure I’ve got time to get those on the needles 🙂 xx

  3. Susan Rayner says:

    How lovely to have a new routine! Congratulations to your younger daugher for getting such great results at GCSE level! College is a big change and will hopefully be very enjoyable.
    I hope you have fully recovered.
    A stressful time here in the UK – a sad farewell to our wonderful Queen – I remember her Coronation – I was six – and so impressed that we got a day off school and a silver teaspoon with a new threepenny bit on it – welcome to our new King Charles III and a new PM – exciting times ahead!
    I have knitted up my Gingerbread yarn and love it – I enough left over for a pair with contrast heels and toes. I may try the lovely patterns you have designed on a more plain wool!
    Thank you for more lovely photos and a very enjoyable blog!
    Take care.

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, it’s definitely all change here, isn’t it? I don’t think anyone could have imagined changes in Parliament and with the monarch at the same time. I’m glad you like the Gingerbread yarn, it’s one of those that knits up quickly with “just one more stripe”, isn’t it? 🙂 xx

  4. Sarah Murray says:

    Congratulations to your daughter. I’m sure she will do well at college. Glad you are feeling better and I’m sure you will now be able to squeeze in even more knitting 🙂 xxx

    • winwickmum says:

      There’s already been a request for socks for college so I can see I am going to have to squeeze more knitting in! 🙂 Thank you, I am feeling much better now xx

  5. Christina says:

    The return to school lurgy! I hope you feel much much better now. Mine was delayed, we’ve been back a month and I didn’t have the sense to take myself to bed like you did. I am glad you did, and also that you had a quiet day with your WIPs. Might send you mine… (just joking).

    It is lovely to hear that your younger daughter has a wonderful experience at her new school, it will set her up for a successful couple of years. Congratulations on her grades.

    Congratulations also on your nomination! Fantastic news. Cx

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh no! I hope you’re recovered from the lurgy as well now! It’s not the usual case that I actually do what I know I need to and go back to bed, but I was lucky in that there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be left on that day so I decided to ignore it all! Your WIPs must surely be all of your fabulous quilts … you’ve reminded me that I am overdue a visit to see your blog and where you’re up to with your projects! Thank you for your lovely words xx

  6. Kathryn says:

    I’m glad to hear Not So Small Daughter did so well in her GCSEs and is enjoying college. Great GCSE results here for our youngest, too. She has gone back to the same school for Sixth Form and seems to be happy so far. Also getting used to the free periods and limited subjects. I hope it continues to go well for both of them.

  7. Jan Nutbourne says:

    Very nice blig, glad you’re feeling better. I was very sad when my daughter started to go on the bus. I felt I lost a bit of special time, but she decided she didn’t like the bus so I got even more special time. Congratulations to your daughter, they coped with alot in covid. I hope she has a great time at college xx

    • winwickmum says:

      I can absolutely understand that, we had some great conversations to and from school! College is quite a bit further away than school was so it would have taken up considerably more of my day to drive her there and back, and I felt that she would miss out on the social aspects of a bus journey with friends (quite a few of her friendship group get the same bus). They missed so much time together over covid that I think it’s important for them to spend time together now when they can. I’m glad you’re still getting to enjoy your special time with your daughter – it goes so fast that you have to make the most of it! 🙂 xx

  8. Anne says:

    Just curious. Is there a different blog for sept 18 ?
    Mine seems to reconnect to the one for sept 11

    Oh what’s that lovely pastel striped yarn. Beside or wullie. I loved getting that every Christmas. And the Broons

    • winwickmum says:

      Yes, there’s a new blog post (I think you may have found it now!) and I forgot to change the link to it on the email. You can also get to the latest post by clicking the picture in the email, and also by clicking the Winwick Mum logo on the blog (top left hand corner) – that takes you to the home page and the list of latest blog posts 🙂 xx

  9. julie Lewis says:

    Thanks Christine, I enjoyed your post.
    it’s been such a difficult time with the Queens death and her funeral tomorrow. it’s one year since my dear Steve died the following Monday. I can’t believe that a whole year has gone by without him. plus I had a heart attack 8 weeks ago, so am attending cardiac rehab gym once a week and it’s hard work!! I’m going to Yarndale next week so that should be a good distraction. xx

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh goodness, you’ve had quite some year, and with all of this being so close to your own anniversary, I can quite believe that it’s been very difficult. The Queen’s death has stirred up all kinds of emotions, hasn’t it, and you wouldn’t have expected that with her being distant to most of us. I’m sending you lots of love, and I hope that your cardiac rehab work is paying off. You’ll have earned your trip to Yarndale after all of that! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *