Marking the First Year

My first anniversary of being a wordpress blogger, as opposed to a blogspot blogger, came and went on 1 January 2011 and I promised a contest. If I tell you that the reason I missed my own deadline for acknowledging the day and putting up an announcement, I think you’ll understand.

It’s because I’ve been on holiday. I’ve been at home, drifting through slow, summery days where I couldn’t even tell you what day it was without stopping first to think. Time slowed down and we filled in the hours with relaxation interspersed with productivity, although for me sometimes productivity and relaxation have a large area of cross-over. I might be out in the garden digging through weeds and planning what to grow and yet it still feels relaxing because it’s an activity of my own choosing.

One day away from returning to work and we’re feeling pretty good about all we’ve achieved. Neat rows of  vegetable seedlings in a bed that had been taken over by weeds. We claimed it back.


I can’t tell you how good that feels – to get a bit of control back in a bed we’d once worked so hard to set up. We both vowed not to let nature take over again like that.


We hung out with the chickens (who give us three eggs a day now like clockwork!), perched on the deck, entertained a little but not too much and of course, there was knitting. That’s been interesting. A mixed bag of success and struggle. The Shetland Tea Shawl has basically taken over every spare minute I’ve got (and there have been lots of spare minutes) so it’s grown amazingly. The chart I’m on right now is proving challenging. I try not to lose concentration.

shetland lace

At 500+ stitches, and no rest rows to rely on, this is slowing down now and will be on the needles for a little while yet.

Along with a bunch of other friends, far and near, I began work on 1 January on the first of six planned sock patterns. With my head stuck firmly in the Shetland Tea Shawl, the first sock pattern suffered. It’s safe to say I hated it. Several attempts to come to terms with the not altogether intuitive pattern left me cursing and I nearly gave up.

I hate to be beaten when all around me people are loving a pattern, so I persisted and look! It works!


So that was a good lesson to learn. Persevere. Stick it out. Sometimes, it’s worth it.

Now, to the contest. I’m going to put together a lovely bunch of stuff, including yarn from my stash and other treats, for whoever wins. The package will be put together based on who wins. So leave a comment and I’ll draw a winner on Sunday 16 January as a way of saying thank you for reading, commenting and being part of my blogging life. I love it so much and it means a lot to me that you come back again and again.



82 thoughts on “Marking the First Year

  1. Pingback: Nice things « Chez Pinry

  2. Pingback: Ugly Sewing and Contest Winner « Bellsknits

  3. You have had a very busy year and it is lovely that you’ve now had time to stop and relax in your own home for a holiday. Long lazy summer days are such a treat.

  4. IΒ΄ve been reading for a long time now. I love your garden photos, especially after we havemoved into our new house, where we have our own garden. I may not be as “gardeny” like you, but the first thing I can learn, is how to use the lawnmower…

  5. Hi Bells. I’m a bit of a lurker here at your blog….well a lot of a lurker actually LOL I don’t comment often, but love reading your blog & all your ‘doings’!!

  6. Happy wordpress blogversary. Well done in the garden. You have a head start. Watch the fruit prices go through the roof in the coming months and weeks, so many have lost so much

  7. Pingback: Tiny Stitches « Bellsknits

  8. Happy Blogiversary! I love the beautiful photos of your knitting, your life, and your little family members. This time of year I especially love being able to read blogs like yours and know that it’s sunny and things are blooming in your part of the world, even as it’s dreary and cold here.

  9. Congratulations for 12 months on your new blog. Your
    knitting is what attracted me but its the special other things that
    make Bellsknits my very favourite blog. Your trip to visit the
    Aboriginal community was the highlight for 2010!

  10. I love your shawls the most!! – I can only knit
    scarves…(would love a shawl) I really can’t read patterns and
    wish I could….My Nan was a wonderful knitter (until Dementia
    claimed her memory of how to..) But sadly never taught me the nitty
    gritty of it all….Congratulations on a year!! Well

  11. It’s always a good knit when you can accomplish something that has given you problems. The sock pattern truly does not look like an intuitive knit but one that you need to pay attention to. Hope you are having more fun with it now!

  12. Bells, your blogging has been an inspiration to me ever since I found your space (don’t ask, I can’t remember). Thank you for sharing your triumphs, your struggles, your laughter… your whole life.

    Happy Blogiversary, and many many more to you!

  13. Happy Blogiversary! I enjoy reading your posts very much. You are so inspirational. Keep up the good work and congratulations!

  14. Time has flown, I must have been reading your blog for around 3 years now thanks to finding you through your Nigella blog with RoseRed.

    Whats the sock pattern? I have set myself a goal of 11 socks in 2011 so I am looking for some variety.

  15. I love reading your posts – it’s so fresh to watch our opposite seasons and I enjoy all of your endeavors! Thanks for sharing so much of your goings-on with all of us (even us lurkers!)

  16. That’s it? Leave a comment? Don’t we have to work harder?

    No, excellent.

    My New Years resolution is to slack off and stop setting myself so many goals. Once I realised we didn’t just have to knit 6 sock, but 6 specific socks I had to bow out because my sock-knitting-on-the -bus time is not conducive to any kind of fancy sock business.

    Look forward to seeing your socks though and to another year of marvellous, inspiring blogging!

  17. Bells, your holiday sounds idyllic! Can’t think of a better way of spending time than gardening and knitting. I’ve found both are things that don’t look relaxing or fun when you’re an outsider watching someone do them, but immersing yourself is a completely different experience. Yay for your recovered veggie garden! And as usual I’m looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful lace.

  18. Happy blogiversary! I love reading about your knitting and am particularly enjoying reading more of your ‘life’ posts too! Congrats again

  19. Your garden is looking really good Bells, I hope it yields bucketloads of fruit and veg.

    Hope you’re enjoying WordPress. I’ve had livejournal and blogspot blogs in the past and much prefer WP.

  20. Oh – you’ve started your Shur’tugal – and it’s looking lovely. I think I’m finally going to have to face up to beginning mine. Are you enjoying WordPress?

  21. Congrats on your anniversary! High postage here too, but you’ve already given me your gifts through your writing ~ Thank You! (love seeing the tender new lettuces while we’ve got snow falling!)

  22. Congrats on another year of blogging! I’m with the “no need
    to enter me” crowd, just wanted to mark it with you! Good luck with
    your transition back to work, too!

  23. I love your seedlings. A similar thing happened to us at the beginning of Summer with our veggie patch being over-run with weeds. We pulled them up (actually hubby did) and we planted new seedlings! They are now being harvested daily!
    Your sock pattern looks tricky!

  24. I’m usually one of the silent readers but always very happy to follow your life. Reading about things growing is particularly lovely for someone living in freezing Copenhagen. Happy anniversary!

  25. Wish I could be as productive as you on my holidays! I’ve had 3 weeks off (one interstate) and have only managed to feed the tomatoes and kill the weeds. The rest of the time has been spent on the couch in front of the telly knitting my nieces rainbow dress. Only about 20 rows to go!

  26. Wow! Look at all this bloggy love! You’re doing a beautiful thing here – with your knitting, your writing, your gardening and your aunty-ing. I’m glad to have met you in real life too. We should do that again sometime! Have a great second year!

  27. I’m only a newc0mer to your blog but I’ve enjoyed reading your reflections on life, and looking at your pretty pictures, and no doubt will continue to enjoy them throughout the year.

    Those at-home holidays that leave you feeling both relaxed and like you’ve achieved something are the best kind of holiday, in my opinion!

  28. Good to see the garden pictures – I got mine sorted over the holidays too – although the weeds are already mounting a counter-attack!

  29. Yay! You’re back. But ahhh… summer vacation sounds amazing. Love you, love the blog — but don’t enter me in the contest as I already won one and it wouldn’t be fair. I WOULD like to know that sock pattern as I’m now a bona fide sock knitter. πŸ˜‰ Well…almost. I just have to knit another inch in pattern and then do my cuff and of course the sewn bind off. But I’m well past the heels, so surely that counts, right! Proud of your chooks too for being so regular. What on earth will you do with all those eggs? Better share with the neighbors or your cholesterol will be through the roof. πŸ™‚ Happy contest everyone!

  30. Those sorts of holidays are dreamy aren’t they? I love them! Its funny, now I am back to blogging I have chosen blogger, I don’t know why, it just felt easier for me!

  31. Moving to WordPress was a happy event for me, too! πŸ™‚ Congrats!

    I’ll be honest – I’m a little envious of your lovely garden. Sigh. They’re saying we will have a snow storm this week that will dump between 12 and 18″ of snow. I’m so ready for summer. Gold star to you for getting so much meaningful stuff done on your vacation!

  32. Oh, your garden looks so lovely. Right now mine is buried under a foot of snow. I really enjoy reading your blog, and the pictures of Alice and your knitting are great. Happy Anniversary!

  33. Well. I feel a little like a creeper since I follow so many knitting blogs now they are the new facebook to me. I really really love yours, I’ve always wanted to visit Australia. I hope to study abroad there one day. It’s so cool it’s summer there now but winter here in North Carolina. πŸ™‚

    Anyways… Thanks for maintaining a wonderful blog. I do love reading it. even if i feel a little creepy doing so. haha

  34. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time off. Your knitting looks great!
    Here’s to another year of blogging–cheers!

  35. Congratulations on your anniversary. You and Shawn had a lovely and productive holiday. How fun to have fresh eggs every day!

    The shawl is just beautiful. I can see why you need to stay on top of it mentally. If that sock pattern challenged you, I’m sure I’d be completely stumped!

  36. I’ve been reading your blog for probably two years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented! This will draw me out. You’ve been a wonderful read all along. Happy new year!

  37. Love that blue yarn in the tea shawl! And those pink socks are gonna rock the casbah. (Don’t put my name in the hat, because, as has been mentioned, postage will eat you alive.)

  38. I’m a new reader, and in the States, so no need to enter me in the contest. I did want to let you know, however, that I am glad to have recently found your blog, and look forward to many more years of inspiration and beauty. Happy Blogiversary!

  39. I have a few beds in the yard that once yielded vegetables but have been woefully neglected. I think maybe this year, we’ll clean them out and sort them into growing places again. It does feel good to get some control, doesn’t it?

    Happy wordpressiversary! It was a quick year but a productive one, I think. I always wonder what’s wrong with me when everyone else is loving a pattern and I just don’t get it. It never occurs to me that it might be the pattern and I aren’t compatible.

  40. Thank you Bells for sharing all the wonderful little day to day delights of your life. I’m sure you are a very happy and contented person and bring much joy to others. Your knitting is quite amazing.

  41. No need to enter me into the contest (the idea of paying postage all the way from Australia makes me gasp a bit) but definitely enter my congrats into the bunch for another successful year of blogging!

  42. It seems so strange and yet wonderful to read about your garden right now. We have snow on the ground here. Your time off sounds wonderful. Happy blogiversary.

  43. Happy blogaversary – and keep on persevering :-). Don’t comment often but I want you to know that I DO read and enjoy every post. Cheers!

  44. happy blogiversary! it’s always such a joy to catch up with your thoughts and projects here. your holiday sounds wonderful, just love that feeling of drifting through the warm days. jx

  45. I do enjoy reading your blog Bells. Reading how your garden, deck, chooks, cooking and knitting go on their merry way and sometimes with bursts of attention always sounds so delightful and completely natural for you. 500 stitches, yikes, makes the Shur’tugals look pretty good I’d imagine, great colour too for both. Happy 2nd year.

  46. You probably don’t realise what an inspiration you are to people out here in blog land
    I have followed your blog for sometime now, I have bought books that you blogged about
    and found that the 2 that I did buy very interesting, and have done projects from them
    I enjoyed your stories of being an Aunty and of raising chickens and building decks, growing vegetables, knitting shawls, socks & cardigans, buying yarn and introducing me
    to yarns I have never heard
    All in all for me reading your blog is a very enjoyable & educational, so I look forward
    to the years to come of learning from you
    Thank you

  47. 500+! Phew! I love that blue/purple yarn, though. Your Shur-tugal’s are looking great, too. After a while, it becomes worth the hassle of those twisted damn left twists, doesn’t it? lol.

  48. Seeing your garden makes me very happy!! The shawl is coming along so very nicely and you have done such a great job , persevering with the socks!! Happy Blogging Year!!

  49. Mmmmm holidays. They are lovely aren’t they. Husby back at work on Monday after a few days off and so we’re planning something nice for tomorrow (hopefully – if it doesn’t rain!). Hope you are too!

    The sock looks really very good, works perfectly for that colour yarn too.

  50. Thank you for being such a blogster inspiration. I have learned a lot from reading your words and love to hear about Alice (no baby anymore) and the rest of your family. I look forward to another year of “Bells”.

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