Sunday, 21 November 2010

Busy stirring

Hello to you! Thanks for calling in. Can you guess what we've been up to?

stir up Sunday (3)

It's Stir-Up Sunday today, so there's been lots of activity in the josiekitten kitchen. The kitchen is rather steamy at the moment, as our Christmas pudding has to cook away for 8 hours! I'm on 'topping up water' duty while Mr JK is out in the garden. There's nothing nicer than making your own pudding. We use Delia Smith's recipe, and it's never failed us! Not too heavy, with delicious fruits and spices. I can't wait to try some on Christmas day. I always have custard with mine, but Mr JK is far more sophisticated and prefers a large dollop of brandy butter!
The veggies are coming to an end for the year, and today Mr JK has dug up the last of the carrots and swede, as well as picked the cabbages, and salvaged a baby butternut squash! We still have parsnips and sprouts outside, ready and waiting for Christmas day.

end of year veggies (3)

Just look at these carrots - they are going to become mashed carrot and swede before the day is out!

end of year veggies (4)

The tomato plants have been fabulous this year, and this little lot were picked this morning. They won't last long!

end of year veggies (1)

I received a wonderful parcel this week from my swap partner Jean. We both belong to the 'Awesome Swappers' group on Ravelry, and found ourselves paired up together for the Christmas swap. We both sat down to open them at the same time - me in Norfolk and Jean in France, listening to The Archers! It was lots of fun, knowing that there was some synchronised parcel opening going on! We'd both been doing a little bit of snooping and detective work to find out a little bit more about each other, and I have to say that Jean's parcel was spot on!

Awesome Christmas swap 003

Where to start? Well, the knitted item was a beautiful scarf in a 30:70 cashmere and merino mix. The pattern is based on Cinnamon Grace (Ravelry link), and I have hardly taken it off since Friday evening! (apart from to sleep and shower, naturally!!!) I love the way it drapes, and can certainly see me knitting this scarf as a perfect present scarf.

Awesome swap goodies (1)

Jean had noticed that I've just started spinning, so she sent me some alpaca fibre along with a merino top that she'd dyed herself. I love the colours.

Awesome swap goodies (3)

Jean also sent me a skein of 100% BFL sock yarn, again dyed by her. Mr JK has taken rather too much interest in it for my liking, so I can see it becoming a pair of socks for him. I shouldn't complain I suppose, as he has come a long way from only wanting black socks (which I refuse to knit for him!)

Awesome swap goodies (4)

Jean also noticed that I keep favouriting lacy shawls on Ravelry, and to help me along, sent me the pattern to make Adamas together with a scarily long skein of silk and merino laceweight yarn! There's 1400 metres of it, so I'm hoping that the Christmas fairy (aka Mr JK) will have taken my rather unsubtle hints and a swift will be sitting under the tree on Christmas morning! I've done my best - left the leaflet on his desk, highlighted and marked 'this one'! I've already seen a couple of finished shawls, with added beads, so you never know, this may just be the project for me! Also in the package was a little ribbon pinboard and some rather gorgeous soap. So a lovely parcel, I think you'll agree! In case you're curious, here's what I sent to Jean .....

Christmas swap parcel (4)

You can read more about it on her blog. I enjoy this group, and am already looking forward to the next swap in the Spring.

Not a lot of knitting to show you this week, although my needles haven't been still - positively smoking actually. I'm trying to finish off some of the projects that have been hanging around for a long time, before starting anything new. I have two projects currently being blocked, plus three more almost done. With a bit of luck, I should be able to show you next time. But, I have got two Innocent Smoothie hats to show you. I spotted these little hats last weekend when Mr JK and I were out and about. Needless to say, he made himself scarce whilst I was taking the photos!

Innocent Smoothie hats 2010 JS 006

Wouldn't it be amazing to spot one of your own hats on a bottle?! What are the chances I wonder? I didn't see any of the '2010 Baby Stripes' collection! Anyway, Hat of the Week for week 2 is a little purple cabled number, modelled by Betty, and Belinda is wearing week 3's shocking pink stripes!

Hat of the week 2 and 3

Don't forget that you still have plenty of time to leave me a comment to win some yarn. I'm really enjoying all your blog recommendations - thank you! Have a lovely week, whatever you're doing! xxx


Florrie said...

I love all the spicy aromas in the kitchen when christmas puds and cakes are being made......fantastic haul of veg from your garden.
I've been on ravelry for a while but must admit to not making good use of the site, time to get back on there and explore. Love your swap items.
florrie x

snoopydog said...

Lovely veggies and cute little hats!!!! The pud smells grand!! Love all the goodies in your swap parcel. Have a great week! Rosx

Ozzy Blackbeard said...

Hello! The crimbo pud and vegetables look fab, I sort of lost interest in my garden this year, maybe it will come back to me next year.

Your things from the swap are gorgeous, I love the pink shawl. I may have to have a look at it on Ravelry!

I was in Sainsbury's last week and forgot to look for the wee hats. I haven't done my hat for this week yet, I'll do it tomorrow. I like your cabled one, I might copy it!

melissa said...

gorgeous veggies and a wonderful swap - sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend over there!