Friday, 22 May 2015

Heading off to the sun


Mr JK and I are off to the Greek island of Kos tomorrow and I cannot wait! Flo led us a merry dance in her attempt to avoid going to her cat hotel, but she is there now, safe and sound! I am hoping that there will be plenty of this ....


Greece May 2014 253


I am sure we will find a cat family to adopt for the week too and we have plenty of supplies to keep them wined and dined! See you in a week. xxx

Sunday, 17 May 2015

I Knit Fandango


Yesterday my dear friend Snoopydog and I set off bright and early to spend the day at IKnit Fandango in London. It has been some time since IKnit held a yarny event. We last went back in 2009. But when we spotted that it was happening, an impromptu trip to London was in order. We decided to walk from Liverpool Street to the Royal Horticultural Halls near Westminster. It was a beautiful day and there's always so much to see along the Embankment. 


iKnit Fandango 2015 (95)


The Royal Horticultural Halls was the perfect venue - light and airy, so you were able to clearly see the colours of the yarn. Almost overcome by the yarn fumes, we began our first look round the stands.  We usually take this tack, making a note of anything special we want to buy or stands to revisit. It was lovely to meet up with some old favourite like Jon and co. from Easyknits. It is so easy to be seduced by all the beautiful skeins on their stand. Wollmeise had also made the journey over from Germany, bringing along their 'imperfect' skeins to sell. There wasn't the scrum that we had witnessed back at Knit Nation, but the stand had a steady stream of visitors, some buying skeins by the bag load! The crowds came and went, but it was never unbearable, and it was pretty easy to see everything. Do you want to take a look around? Silly question, of course you do!!


IKnit Fandango 2

IKnit Fandango 1


So what did I buy?! I think that I was pretty restrained, but I kept the thought of Fibre East in 2 month's time at the back of my mind! I bought two skeins of Wollmeise - one called Regenbogen for some rainbow stripy socks and a skein of purple gorgeousness which has 20% cashmere. From Easyknits I bought a skein of DK yarn - I just couldn't resist the colours. A knitting themed coaster for my craft room and a book of sock patterns from Rachel Coopey completed my purchases. 


iKnit Fandango haul (4)


I'm off now to squish my new skeins and plan some beach knitting for our trip to Greece next week. xxx

Monday, 11 May 2015

Preparing for Fibre East


Hello! Apologies for not appearing yesterday but I was having huge issues trying to upload photos to Flickr. It just didn't want to play nicely! Anyhow, I have managed to get some of my pictures online to share with you. 

With Fibre East just over two months away, I knew I had to get myself organised with the spinning competition. I rashly ticked 7 boxes on the entry form some months ago and put the form to one side, telling myself I had plenty of time! Of course I have done some spinning since then, but not enough! I had hoped to spin up all new yarns and then knit them, but got  distracted by sewing! So the garments I am entering are all knit from handspun from longer ago. I'm sure that'll be ok! My three skeins of handspun yarn are, from left to right, a handspun skein from prepared tops, a skein of handspun fancy yarn and a skein of multicoloured yarn to show the advantage of Navajo plying.


getting ready for Fibre East 2015 (2)


I am entering three shawls - one in fine handspun - it's not that fine, so I hope it will pass muster! The pattern is knitspot's Wandering Thyme and I added beads to it. (right)  The second is a shawl in any other weight of yarn and the pattern is another knitspot one, Les Abeilles. (left)


getting ready for Fibre East 2015 (3)


The third shawl, my Citron, is a garment incorporating colour made from handspun yarn.


getting ready for Fibre East 2015 (1)



Lastly, a cowl with cables which I hope will fit the category criteria for a garment incorporating texture, made from handspun. It's another knitspot pattern (do you spot a pattern here?!), the Carlsbad cowl


getting ready for Fibre East 2015 (5)


I just need to get the labels done and will get them in the post this week. The closing date for entries to be received is the end of May, but Mr JK and I will be in Greece then! (Hurrah!)

Besides spinning, I have been busy with the sewing machine and sewed another little bag. I love the speech bubble lining, don't you? This one is a gift, I hope the recipient likes it!


speech bubbles bag (1)


Mr JK's sock has grown; I hope to get it finished in the next couple of days so I can get its partner cast on ready for some train knitting. I think I already told you that Snoopydog and I are off to London for iKnit Fandango. I don't have anything specific that I want to buy (I know, since when has that stopped me?!!) although I am looking for a special skein for a present.


Mr JK's Stollberg sock WIP


Flo was a little under the weather last week, and I had to wash her furry igloo! (Enough said, no further details needed, eh?!) So of course, it smells 'different' and she has avoided it like the plague ever since. In an attempt to entice her back, I used the lining as a cushion when I was spinning and then put it on the floor. The lure of a cushion was too great, and she tried to get comfortable on it, eventually using it as a pillow! No sign of her using it back in the igloo yet, but hopefully this week!


Flo gets used to her cushion again (4) 

Flo gets used to her cushion again (6) 

Flo gets used to her cushion again (10)


The garden continues to bloom - those irises I showed you last week are now out in full force and look quite magnificent in the border. I wonder what will be flowering next week? See you next weekend when I'll be back to give you the low down on what Snoops and I got up to! xxx


May garden in bloom 2015 (7)



Monday, 4 May 2015

Bank Holiday weekend snapshot


A lovely long weekend, now sadly almost over. Here's a flavour of what went on chez josiekitten.

Friday - the promise of three days off work. Yay! I started a pair of plain vanilla socks for Mr JK. Well, what else could I do when he told me that he loves wearing handknit socks!! The yarn has been in my stash for some time; chosen by Mr JK when we were in Germany.


Mr JK's Stollberg socks (1)


Saturday - a sewing class in Norwich learning how to apply piping to a cushion. These photos are some practice pieces before the real thing.


cushion making - piping (12) 

cushion making - piping (13) 

cushion making - piping (4)


My cushion is now on the sofa with no prizes for guessing who has taken a shine to it!


Flo likes the new cushion with piping (5)


Sewing was followed by lunch with Snoopydog where we planned a yarny trip to London to iKnit Fandango in a fortnight. Can't wait! (Of course we had tea and cake too!!)

Sunday - not the best start to the day as I stood in the pouring rain in Kings Lynn. Mr JK was running the Grand East Anglia Run and  luckily for me, ran a personal best so I didn't have to get too wet!!


GEAR 2015 (3)


Knitting some more of my Orza jumper. I have lost a bit of my knitting mojo as far as this project is concerned because I think it is going to be far too big for me, but I cannot bring myself to start again. It is meant to be loose fitting, so perhaps all is not lost.


Orza WIP (1)


Monday - taking a look in the garden to see what's now in bloom. The irises are just beginning to open. They are one of my most favourite flowers, especially the purple ones, so a happy discovery!


May garden 2015 (7)


Sewing myself a little bag, using some fabric left over from a cushion. I added a pocket inside too. I am getting a little faster at cutting out and piecing together. I still don't like zips very much!!


star bag (2)

star bag (4)

star bag (1)


Baking some St Clement's Curd Muffins - recipe here. I made a small jar of lemon curd first using one egg and 2 small lemons. They were really nice and I think I will be experimenting with the recipe to see what else I could use as an alternative to lemon curd.


St Clements curd muffins (3)


A walk through the woods at Blickling Hall to see the stunning displays of bluebells. A carpet of purply blue as far as the eye could see!


Blickling Park May Day 2015 (12)


There was a field of oil seed rape just bursting with vibrant yellow. How could anyone fail to be happy seeing this?


Blickling woods May 2015 (12)

Blickling Park May Day 2015 (28)


I do hope that you have had a lovely weekend too. See you soon. xxx

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The 'Two Good Reads' Tag


Two good reads tag


I was surprised and pleased to discover that Jenny over at My Life in Flip Flops nominated my blog as part of the 'Two Good Reads' tag. Although we have never met, I think that if we did, we'd get along famously, chatting with our knitting over a pot of Yorkshire tea. I have to nominate two blogs that I enjoy reading, so here goes.

My first is a relatively new discovery for me, Tales from the Riverbank. It's a lovely mix of crafting, food, travel and snippets of everyday life and is well worth a visit. VeggieMummy, the blog's author, sews some beautiful patchwork and is currently baking her way through a bread recipe book. I wait each week to see the loaf of the week!

My second is Rachel at My Life in Knitwear. Rachel is a technical editor and designer and her blog is always an interesting read. Thanks to her blog, I have visited some great exhibitions in London as well as learning about North Yorkshire and her father's life as a shepherd.

If VeggieMummy and Rachel wish to take part in this blog tag, they have to:
  1. Copy the tag logo from the top of this post;
  2. Link back to the person who tagged them; and 
  3. Write a post recommending two blogs they enjoy reading and tag their recommended bloggers to do the same.
I look forward to discovering some new blogs to read. xxx

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Plying tonight!


I don't often post in the week, but I had to pop in and show you the yarn I'm plying at the moment. It's the one that Florence was looking suitably bored at last weekend! She showed a lot more interest once she spotted a bowl with beads in it. I think she thought they were cat treats!! No such luck! I love the bowl; my parents brought it back from a holiday in Switzerland in the 1950's or 60's I think.


beaded yarn (1)


Needless to say, I had a little feline assistance again. Flo was lucky that she didn't end up with a bead or two plied onto her whiskers!! It's slow work adding beads to yarn as you ply - I'm using a crochet hook to add them singly - but I managed to get into quite a good rhythm and the bobbin is starting to fill up. More progress pics at the weekend. xxx


beaded yarn (3)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

In a big spin


I finally managed to fit in some time at the spinning wheel this week, ably assisted by Florence, who is fascinated by the whole spinning experience. Her favourite things to do are to sit on my lap as I spin, or to watch (and chase) the shadows created by the wheel spinning around. Anyhow, I managed to turn this ...


swap yarn and fibre (1)


into this ...


plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (16)


The above photo shows the yarn pre-soaking. It's currently drying and then I will take a close look at it. It's going to be one of my entries into this year's spinning competition at Fibre East, so I want it to be the best I can possibly make it. I might put it through the wheel again to add a little more twist to the ply, as this was one of the things I was picked up on last year. I plied it on a higher ratio than usual too!

Here's a snapshot of Flo's contribution ...


plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (4) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (2) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (5) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (12) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (7)


I have also spun up some more fibre ready for plying. I bought it at Fibre East two years ago, seduced by the colours. The colourway is called Northern Lights and it's like a dull rainbow, because the fibre is black BFL. Here's a little bit of the fibre so you can see what I mean.


Northern Lights fibre


My plan is to N-ply the single and add beads as I go. Knowing how time consuming this process is, I need to get a wiggle on if it's going to be done in time. I hope to spend some time on it next weekend as we have an extra day.


Northern Lights spun single (8)


Before I go, I must just share this photo of Florence with you - all the spinning had fair worn her out and she was ready for a snooze! Come back soon and hopefully I'll have a beaded yarn to show you! xxx


Northern Lights spun single (4)