All my chickens …

have been back home where I like them to be this week!  I’ve had all my family in the house, even big daughter who has her own house but can still call this one home, and it’s been wonderful!

An open suitcase with a turquoise blue hoody, a red, blue and white Guide necker (neckerchief) and a green and yellow fan lying on it

We collected not so small daughter from the airport on Wednesday afternoon and she was so giddy, you’d have thought she’d eaten a truckload of sugar on the flight back!  She had so much to tell us and was so pleased to be back, and we were so pleased to have her back.  Within minutes of her walking through the door, her suitcase was open and she was handing out gifts, sharing chocolate and KitKats (oh so many KitKats!) and showing us the souvenirs she had bought for herself.  It was all far more exciting than the pile of washing that I knew was in there somewhere!

It turns out that the Japanese are quite keen on KitKats and they have them in every flavour imaginable.  Not so small daughter was particularly pleased with the bottom packet which she and her friends had named “Mysterious Biscuit” as they couldn’t quite work out what it was.

A large selection of KitKat biscuits in various flavours and sizes lie on a wooden kitchen table

Can you see the one on the vegan KitKat box to the right that looks like mint choc chip ice cream?  Not so small daughter had brought one of those home for each of us to try straight away, so of course we did.

A mini KitKat biscuit lying on a pink wrapper on a wooden table. The KitKat is the same colour as mint choc chip ice cream

Oh my life, not only did it look like mint choc chip ice cream, it tasted like it too!  I don’t buy chocolate biscuits very often, let alone KitKats, but I am quite certain that these would be dropping into my shopping basket on a regular basis if I spotted them in the supermarket!  Not so small daughter is quite certain that she has contributed quite considerably to the profits of the 7-Eleven shops that were around where she stayed, and no doubt KitKat will notice an upturn in their sales too! 🙂

Anyway, it’s lovely to have her back, washing and all, and thank you again to everyone who contributed to the fundraising through the Don’t Be Koi socks pattern, who sent her good wishes for her trip and who checked that she was safe when the national news reported that the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea had been evacuated due to the weather.  Not so small daughter was very hot and sticky in Japan as it was particularly hot and humid whilst she was there, but they had air-conditioned hotels to back to each day and were safe in their group.  I hope that your loved ones who were away at the Jamboree have kept safe and well and have a safe journey home.

I’ve asked our traveller to write a post for the blog for me so that she can show you some of her photos so hopefully it won’t be too long before I can share that with you.


Back in England, it’s not been hot or humid.  It’s been good weather for plants, though.  Our grass has grown much more than it would normally do at this time of the year, and out in the fields with the dog, I’ve spotted ripening rose hips …

Rosehips on a rose bush. They are just turning from green to red

blackberries …

Ripening blackberries on a bush

apples … yes, really, this tree is out in the wildflower meadow when you think it should be in a garden or an orchard!

Red apples on an apple tree branch against a grey sky

and acorns.

Small green acorns on a bush

The farmers started to cut the barley and got the grain safely harvested whilst the weather was good but the straw has been left because the weather turned and they’ve not been able to get back out to bale it.

Stubble in a barley field. The straw is still on the ground and the sky ahead is grey and promises rain

I noticed a tractor in the fields the other day turning the straw so hopefully it will soon be dry enough for them to bale it and get it under cover for later in the year.

In my own garden, I’ve been making a start on dismantling the veg boxes to turn it into a flower border but it’s been surprisingly slow going.  Considering that a lot of the planks are rotten, they are still held together very well and it’s all taken longer than I expected.  I’m a bit further on with this right hand box now and I’ve removed the wood from two sides and the damp proof material I used to try to slow the wood decay down (it worked really well, these boxes are about 13 years old now); I’m thinking I’m going to create a frame from the wood to contain the border so that it will make it easier to cut the grass and the hedge, and nobody will stand all over it when they go to the bins.  Of course, this all just adds more time to the job but as long as I get the border built this year and the plants that I’ve been collecting (they’re all in the central box) planted, I’m OK with that.  Not much is going to happen this year but next year, hopefully, will be great!

Tools and planks of wood lying across a lawn with partly dismantled wooden raised beds in the background

It’s raining today – only on and off but it’s heavy when it comes down, so I’m still deciding whether I’m going to go out today or whether I’m going to finish off this sock.

A mostly-finished pink, maroon and stone-coloured striped sock lies on a wooden table next to the knitted cuff of a second sock

This is the 6ply sock that I started a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve just realised that I didn’t show you the start of the sock as I posted it on Instagram instead – you know, this idea of uploading new content to lots of platforms is not great for people who don’t use any kind of formal content-planning system and forget where they’ve posted things as they generally can’t remember what day it is!  I really should make time to sit down and work something out, but to be honest, I tend to think of chatting to you through the blog as my priority and everything else fits in when I remember.  Shh, I don’t think that’s how I’m supposed to look at it! 🙂

A partly-knitted pink, maroon and stone-coloured striped sock lies on a wooden table next to the ball of yarn

Back to the sock – it’s been a quick knit when I’ve had a few moments to sit down and get on with it; it’s a ball of Regia World College Color 6ply which I found at the bottom of one of my stash boxes so I expect it’s been long discontinued, but I was very pleased to see it!

6ply yarn is a weight between 4ply and DK (8ply) – I know, stating the obvious here! – but it’s not often used except for accessories.  You can still buy 6ply yarns (try Northern Yarn*, Karelia House or Snufflebean Yarn* (use code WINWICKMUM for 10% off)  but there are other places too).

I have been asked if it’s the same as sport weight and I think the answer to that is “no”, although there’s not much in it.  6ply is 22-24 sts to 4 inches and sport (5ply) is 24sts to 4 inches so I think you could probably use either of them with my free Basic 6ply Boot Socks pattern as long as you checked your gauge and worked out your size with the Sock Stitch Calculation.

As you can see, I’m getting on with it pretty well.  I need to finish the toes on the first sock but I started the second sock so that I could take it with me to the TV studio last Monday as I was on Yarn Lane again.  I completely forgot to mention it with all the excitement of visiting relatives and Japan, and it doesn’t look like they’ve updated their YouTube channel for some time, but you might be able to find it on a re-run on the show channel itself if you want to see it (Freeview 72, Sky 670, YouTube and the Yarn Lane TV website).  I was talking about the new West Yorkshire Spinners Country Birds yarns and the pattern book that I showed you last week, and thank you for all your comments on that post.  I’m so pleased to know that you like the patterns and I’m really glad that you like the yarns too; I’m already seeing them being knitted up on social media and I am delighted for WYS that they have created yarns that have caught the imagination again.  I’ve realised I haven’t replied to all your comments but I will do.  I don’t know if you go back to read them again, but if you’ve taken the time to write to me then I like to reply!


Whilst not so small daughter has been away, my husband and I fell in love with a new-to-us TV series called Detectorists.  I’m sure that many of you will have already seen it as it was first aired a few years ago, but we’ve never seen it before and honestly, it’s been a joy to watch.  It’s a comedy about two friends who go out with the metal detectors in search of treasure, and the stories of their lives that unfold gently around them.  It’s written by Mackenzie Crook, who plays one of the main characters, and I loved the kindness of it all.  No peril, no trauma, just beautifully written scripts and shots of the English countryside.  We properly binged it, episode after episode as we waited to see how it would all turn out, and we were absolutely not disappointed.

Partly inspired by Detectorists but mostly because I am fed up with not being able to find my washing line post hole in the grass when I take it out, I have bought a metal detector of my own.  Well, to be truthful, my husband bought it for me as I suspect he is fed up with seeing me shouting at the grass (it doesn’t help the post hole magically appear but does make me feel better) and worries that the neighbours will think I’ve completely lost the plot (I imagine they have their suspicions anyway) – I chose the cheapest one that I could find as I’m not looking for treasure, I just want to put the washing out, and I was delighted when it arrived.

A large hand-held metal detector held over a cardboard box for scale

I actually think it’s less of a metal detector and more of a light sabre!  I had imagined one that looked more the size of a large frozen ice pop that’s used in the TV programme rather than something Luke Skywalker might hand to me in a fight to the death situation, but it does the job (has done twice now!) and my washing has been hung out to dry without any unnecessary drama.  Phew!

I’m also available for hire as security for festivals and parties, although the sort that I would want to go to would be yarn-related ones and a metal detector would be a bit useless for that!


Right, it’s stopped raining for five minutes so I’m going to love you and leave you and head out into the garden whilst I can.  It’s been lovely to chat with you and I hope we can see each other again next week! 🙂



* these are affiliate links



You may also like...

45 Responses

  1. Jan says:

    So glad you have your daughter back home safe and well and that she has had an amazing stay in Japan. xx

  2. Audrey says:

    love reading your blogs. showing us your garden. and what you grow .pleased your daughters home and had a great time

  3. Kumi Whiteman says:

    Yes, it is a mint choc one and misters one is made of granary biscuits! My favourite one is melon choc one and matcha

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, they did wonder if the granary biscuit was one “digestive” biscuits so that makes sense. She didn’t like matcha at all so I’m not sure what will happen to those in the packet, and I’ll have to ask her about the melon one 🙂 xx

  4. Joy Wilson says:

    lovely to near your news and loving those 6 ply socks.

  5. Sheila says:

    Your comment made me smile, I used to say I was happy when all my chickens were home under the same roof!🤣🤣
    I’m glad your chicken is home safely.

  6. Susan Rayner says:

    So glad your daughter is home again and so happy with her adventures in Japan. I never knew they had 7/11 shops outside America – you learn something new every day. I am looking forward to her account of the trip.
    The new flower borders will be lovely – we have just planted up two huge new areas having removed a thug of a Choisya and an old Magnolia in order to have a fence replaced – it is so much fun replanting everything.
    Those socks are almost the same colours as my Sister’s college in America – she went to VPI (Virginia Polytechnic Institute) as one of the very first ever intake of women. You just need an orange in there for the colours to be perfect.
    Happy Weekend.

    • winwickmum says:

      It seems that 7/11 shops are everywhere in Japan, they’re one of the big corner shop chains and not so small daughter made good use of that fact! 🙂 I’ve got a Choisya that I’m debating whether to plant or not because they do get big, don’t they? It can sit in its pot for a bit longer whilst I decide 🙂 xx

  7. Brenda says:

    Susan we also have 7/11 shops in Australia

  8. Jane Reynolds says:

    I loved the Detectorists All of the actors are so well cast! Did you realise that Diana Riggs daughter plays Becky? Spoiler alert DR turns up in one of the episodes! Love the new WYS Birds and look forward to buying some when I visit home UK.

    • winwickmum says:

      The cast is perfect, isn’t it? Yes, we’ve watched them all now apart from the last Christmas special, I think, so we’ll need to track that one down. I hadn’t realised that Becky and her Mum were related until I was looking something up about the series (hooray for Google!) but now that I know, you can see they are related, can’t you? 🙂 xx

  9. Good day from sunny Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I am wondering of you will be doing a Christmas sock this year.
    Enjoy your newsletters.

    • winwickmum says:

      Hi Diane, there will be a new yarn and pattern from WYS for Christmas this year, I think it will be coming out late August/early September but I don’t have an exact date 🙂 xx

  10. Carol says:

    Your chat always makes me smile, loved the lost washing line post hole detector! And that yesterday I spent hours (how Does that happen!?) exploring DK and 6ply yarns as my father has recently ordered warm thick socks that must cover his calves, pointing as he was to a very specific spot on his leg. O and the wool Must be plain, P.L.A.I.N. Not so simple one discovers *lol* but I have ordered some Regia 6ply, charcoal and a lovely brown… so of course had to slip a ball of Regia Design Line in for me.

    • winwickmum says:

      I think that if you’re going to be knitting long P.L.A.I.N. socks then the least you can do is buy a ball of yarn for yourself! Good luck with those! 🙂 xx

  11. Denise says:

    My daughter introduced me to The Detectorists. As you say, it’s a gorgeous, gentle show with a lot of laughs. The intro music is beautiful, too, the daughter thought about having it as her introduction song at her wedding!
    The very best of British TV.
    And I’m so glad your daughter had a great time in Japan. Lots of Aussies go there to ski, it’s not as far for us as Europe or North America.

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I looked up the song on YouTube and quite a few people had commented that they’d used it at weddings, and I can quite see why, it’s lovely! It also makes perfect sense to go skiing in Japan from where you are! 🙂 xx

  12. Gillian Edwards says:

    So pleased your chickens are home safe as there is so much going on in the world right now. That is one of the reasons I love reading your blogs and looking at all your photos. Love love love knitting socks, you are one of the main reasons I am so addicted !!! Thankyou

    • winwickmum says:

      There’s always so much going on in the world, isn’t there – I stopped listening to the news years ago as I think that it’s easy to get caught up in the latest headline and believe that the world is a terrible place when actually, there are some terrible things happening and there always will be, but not everything is doom and gloom. Besides my husband is addicted news apps so I always get an update when I need to know something! 🙂 xx

  13. Helen says:

    Oh I loved the Detectorists. It was a lovely programme to watch before bed.

  14. Annette Edwards says:

    so glad your daughter is back from her trip, safe and sound And by the sound of it, had a amazing time. Can’t wait to hear about it.

  15. Amanda Eccles says:

    Thank goodness. I am not the only one shouting at the grass. I am sure the worms move that hole!

  16. SueJay says:

    Glad your daughter is back safely. We are still waiting for our intrepid grandson to return from the Jamboree in Seoul. They had four days in Seoul sightseeing arrived a day late at the jamboree because the site wasn’t ready and left four days later due to dreadful conditions. They are, however, now in an air conditioned hotel in Seoul with a gluten free burger shop next door so at least he is eating! He is back on Friday. I think by that time they will have seen all the sights in the area!

    • winwickmum says:

      It sounds like it worked out well and he’s actually had a better time than he might have done if they’d stayed on site! It’s a shame, though, as everyone going will have worked hard to raise the money to get there so I’m glad they’ve still be able to see something of the country xx

  17. sarah says:

    Thanks for another lovely post. Glad daughter is back safe and happy. I can’t blame her for buying do many Kit Kats. I will keep an eye out but don’t think we will get many of those varieties over here. Good to know they exist though. I bet Japan was awesome.

    • winwickmum says:

      I don’t think we get anything like the number of KitKat varieties here, they’re obviously just not as popular! I think from the stories we’re getting that Japan was awesome! 🙂 xx

  18. Wendy says:

    Are you doing no dig flower beds so much easier. Love the socks such lovely colours.Glad your daughter is home safe and sound.x

    • winwickmum says:

      They’ll be no dig eventually but at the moment, I’m dismantling wooden frames and digging out bindweed roots so I’m looking forward to the time when I can leave it to itself! 🙂 xx

  19. Sara says:

    We discovered The Detectorists early on in the first lockdown, and the calm it brought to an anxious time can’t be stressed enough! One of our very favourites 🙂

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I can quite imagine! It’s a very calming programme, isn’t it? I also think it’s one you could watch more than once, too, and see new details every time xx

  20. Becky H says:

    Love Detectorists, I feel like it’s a real hidden treasure (appropriately enough!) and love it even more because it’s all set in my part of the world 🙂

  21. Julia Harding says:

    This is your first lovely chatty post for me as Ive only just joined in the fun of knitting socks and I love it! I thought it would be too fiddly but I’m hooked!
    Can’t wait to try your patterns.

  22. Jules says:

    I’ve also lost my washing hole way to many times and have used my kids metal detector to find it each year, it’s fun and so tempted to go properly outside with it, just need to pluck up the courage, grown up kids have refused to come out with me!

  23. Shirley Ann says:

    How lovely to have everyone under one roof once again! I had to smile about the Kitkats as they are my husband’s favourite!

    I had a good giggle at your metal detector story! So funny 🙂 and as for social media I have to say I am tending towards making my blog my main focus again as I’m absolutely useless at all the other platforms plus I prefer a more chatty way of communicating too.

Leave a Reply

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