Friday, 22 August 2014

Late summer holiday......

........ to Ireland! We both love the Emerald Isle and are revisiting the west coast of County Cork. In the meantime, we're leaving this little person in charge chez josiekitten!! See you in a week or so, to be sure! xxx


Monday, 18 August 2014

Sew much fun!

I have been busy sewing as well as knitting and crocheting this holiday; I am not an experienced sewer (why does that word look sooooooo wrong?!) so I was delighted to discover that there is somewhere right on my doorstep that runs a wide variety of sewing classes. The Makeplace in Norwich is terrific - a wonderful, light and airy space in which to learn, with a 'bulging at the seams' fabric shop a couple of doors down the road. I've taken classes there before to learn needle felting and free motion machine stitching, and decided to take a couple of different classes over the summer holidays.

The first class was making a zipped bag. You all know just how much I like bags for keeping my projects in! Now a chance to make my own!! The first bag I made was the little one with the fun bird print fabric. I decided to use some ric-rac on one side (if I'd put it on the back as well, I'd have had to be super-careful about matching seams and patterns!) I actually made this bag when I took the class last year, but I left it so long before trying to make another bag, that I couldn't remember what to do!! So when I spotted that the class was running again, I jumped at the chance to book a place! This time I made the pink and green bird bag - I love this bold print, don't you? When I got home, I thought that it would be a good idea to make another bag straight away so that I'd remember what to do for future bags. After a few technical hitches, such as discovering that my sewing machine didn't have a zipper foot, and then not being able to fix it on without Mr JK's assistance, I sailed through the third bag, using a batik fabric. I've made this bag for my friend Diane to keep her crochet projects in.

sewn bags (1)

Here's a closer look at each of the bags .......

sewn bags (7)

sewn bags (6)

sewn bags (5)

sewn bags (4)

sewn bags (3)

sewn bags (2)

My head is already buzzing with possible fabric combinations for future bags after rummaging around in my small (but growing) stash of fabrics! Which of these do you like the best?!

Bag possibilities!

The other class that I took was a crazy patchwork class, designed to use up all kinds of oddments of fabric. After selecting a variety of fabric scraps, we set about fixing them to a backing panel, one piece at a time. It's a very clever way of doing patchwork, using a sewing machine. I used an overlocker to neaten the edges and will eventually turn my panel into the front of a cushion cover (I'll probably need to do another class for that!!)

crazy patchwork details (1)

I love how some of the different prints look together.......

crazy patchwork details (3)

crazy patchwork details (2)

There just aren't enough hours in the day to do all the crafty things I'd like. Roll on retirement!!! xxx

Sunday, 17 August 2014

All coloured in!

My 64 Crayon blanket is finished at long last!! I checked on my Ravelry page and I actually started it on January 1st 2013, so it's been a long time in the making. It was a skein of Noro yarn that got me back into knitting again and I have been acquiring balls of Noro Silk Garden for the last few years. Some have come as souvenirs from as far afield as Canada and Dublin! This pattern was the perfect way to use them all up and show off the beautiful colours of the yarn. I ended up knitting 4 narrow strips and 3 wide strips. I did a crochet border once I'd put all the strips together - 4 rounds of double crochet, and I'm happy with the way it finishes the blanket off. So without further ado, let me present to you my gorgeous 64 Crayons blanket!

64 Crayons done! (14)

I bet you're wondering where Flo is aren't you?! She's not normally one to miss out on a photo opportunity with a blanket, but she was fast asleep inside her furry igloo and didn't even notice that I was outside! (The light patches on the blanket are where the sunlight was coming through the leaves on the tree behind the bench!)

64 Crayons done! (11)

64 Crayons done! (12)

Here are some of my favourite colour combinations............

64 Crayons colour schemes

I cannot begin to tell you just how much I love this blanket! It is going to live on the sofa in the living room. I reckon I'm going to have to fight Mr JK and Flo for it tho'!! It'll be the perfect blanket for snuggling under this autumn. I might just be willing to share! xxx

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ends in sight!

64 Crayons ends in sight!

I have a mini-mountain of Silk Garden ends which can only mean one thing - 64 Crayons is finished!! Woo hoo! Call back soon to see just how beautiful this blanket is. xxx

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Playing hooky down in Devon

Oh I've had such a lovely weekend! I went down to Devon to stay with an old friend from my time at University and we spent our days visiting National Trust properties, dodging the downpours and having some yarny fun with crochet hooks! 

The first property we visited was Knightshayes, a Victorian Gothic house. The house was built by the Amory family, whose ancestors invented the mechanised bobbin lace making machine. In fact, the factory was moved down from Loughborough to Tiverton in 1816 after it was destroyed by Luddites, and many of the factory workers walked from Loughborough to Devon to continue working for the family. 

Devon Aug 2014 (6)

Devon Aug 2014 (4)

Devon Aug 2014 (17)

There were beautiful gardens to explore as well as woodland to walk through. The walled garden was enormous, and bursting with produce.

Devon Aug 2014 (22)

Devon Aug 2014 (23)

The other property we visited was Killerton. As well as the house and grounds, there's a costume collection there and I spotted this knitted wedding dress!

Devon Aug 2014 (39)

The National Trust had worked with local schools on a project connected with World War 1, finding out about the impact of the Great War on villagers and there was a very moving display of poppies made by the children, each one remembering a villager killed during that time. Quite shocking to see the number of dead from just four small villages in Devon.

Devon Aug 2014 (43)

In between times, I taught Diane how to crochet! We both knitted while we were at Uni, but she had never tried crocheting before. Well, she was a natural and managed to master the basic stitches to produce some flowers and granny squares. Ta dah!! By the time I got back home to Norfolk, she'd emailed me a photo of her next square!! I love the fact that I've taught someone a new craft to enjoy.

Devon Aug 2014  crochet(29)

Devon Aug 2014  crochet(34)

And of course, I didn't let you down! We enjoyed a delicious cream tea on Sunday afternoon - freshly baked scones, Devonshire clotted cream and blackcurrant curd from the National Trust shop. It's really yummy and I'm going to call in at our local NT shop to buy a pot for Mr JK's birthday tea on Sunday! xxx

Devon Aug 2014 (46)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Blooming marvellous!

Just popping in to share a very quick project with you. I'm off to Devon tomorrow to stay with an old Uni friend, Diane, and she's asked me to teach her to crochet. I have already directed her towards Attic24 - Lucy's crochet tutorials are excellent for both beginners and more experienced crocheters - and Diane has taken a fancy to the triple layer flowers. So I thought it best to have a go at making one myself first. I'm really pleased with the flower, I might well add a brooch fastening to the back. I'll let you know how we get on. 

Triple layer flower (2)

Triple layer flower (3)

Triple layer flower (1)

The Japanese anemones are in flower at the moment. They are scattered in patches all around the garden, giving little splashes of pink. Just lovely. See you after the weekend, I'm hoping that a cream tea will be on the agenda at some point! xxx

summer flowers  Aug 2014 (7)

summer flowers  Aug 2014 (3)

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Go Big or Go Home!

.............. that's a saying that my friend Kim is very fond of. So with that in mind, I have given myself an ambitious target list of projects to work on over the holidays. I thought I'd share them all with you now, and then in September I can revisit this list to see how I've done! (The notes I have next to each item were made at the start of the holidays; I have made some progress on some of these now!)

1. Gabriola socks - half a sock knitted
2. crochet ripple baby blanket - 2 repeats of the colour sequence done
3. Twig and Leaf shawl - 1 pattern repeat done
4. 64 Crayons blanket - needs edging
5. test knit sock - to start
6. Pueperium cardigan - to start
7. Simple baby hat - to start
8. plain vanilla socks for a friend's daughter - to start
9. socks for Monika for when we go to Germany in September - to start
10. socks for Hermi - to start
11. socks for Coral - to start
12. podster mitts for Muriel - to start
13. swap gift for Kat - to start
14. swap gift for Kim - to start
15. swap gift for Julie - to start
16. Purple Passion club shawl - to start
17. September Morn sweater - to start

Each project is in its own bag, ready and waiting! I'm off to Devon for the weekend so will need to pick out a suitable project for some train knitting. I'll report back soon on my progress. xxx