Monday, 21 June 2010

Normal service has resumed

Me again! Fingers crossed that Flickr is behaving itself now. Did you take a look at all those luvverly buttons yesterday? There are some really glorious colour combinations there. Too much choice! Talking of buttons, do you remember the button necklace Mr JK bought for me in Cornwall? It came from Button Love, and after a bit of searching, I discovered Alison's website. I emailed her a photo of the necklace and asked her if she could possibly make me some earrings to match. I was thrilled when she said 'no problem' and even more delighted when these arrived last week ........

button love

Aren't they great? Alison was worried because they weren't a matching pair (she very rarely gets two matching ceramic buttons), but I wasn't worried at all. Look how well they go with the necklace .....

button love (3)

I've been working on my crochet bag this week in between school reports, and have now finished all the squares. The next task is sewing it all together. I love the bright, zingy colours!

sunny summery bag WIP

It's rather an unusual shape when it's all sewn up so it will be an interesting job lining it. I'll have a look in my local fabric shop this week to find something fun. They have a really good selection there, so it shouldn't be too hard. Then, I'll be able to try out my New Sewing Machine! You remember I promised myself one once my reports were done and dusted. Well, they almost are, and Mr JK told me that I deserved it! I'm waiting for some comments to put on from a colleague, and I just need to read them through. So they are as good as done!! I had to turf Henrycat off his chair to put the box on it - you can see from the look on his face that he wasn't impressed!

sewing machine! (3)

My Jaywalker socks have grown too. I knit them (a little too enthusiastially it turned out) to and from Norwich this weekend, and then realised that I'd made the leg too long. I ended up having to frog about 10 rows! Never mind, the heel flap is underway now.

Jaywalkers WIP (2)

I bought some yarn whilst I was in John Lewis. A group of us on the Phoenix Knitting Forum are knitting squares for Knit a Square. I didn 't really have any yarn suitable as I wanted to use a yarn with a high(ish) wool content for safety reasons. So I settled on 4 balls of Patons Diploma. I hadn't realised quite how patriotic my colour choice was until I saw all the balls together! I'm sure that they will make some lovely cheery squares for this great cause.

DK yarn for blankie squares (2)

I also bought a skein of yarn from Squirrel. She was trying to destash, so how could I not come to her aid?! It's from The Yarn Yard, and it's extremely bright and squishable!

yarnyard stash

I've just signed up for two swaps - the first one is on the Phoenix Knitting Forum, and is called 'Afternoon Teatime Treats'. I've already got a few ideas about what I'm going to make. The second swap will be my first on Ravelry, and I'm really hoping that my swap partner will be overseas, so that we can exchange some new yarns. The parcel has to include one or two skeins of yarn, a pattern, a handmade item of some kind, a summer-inspired recipe and some other small gifts. I don't know who my partner is yet, but once I do, you can be sure I'll be doing a bit of detective work on Ravelry to find out all I can about her! Watch this space!

I won't be blogging until after the weekend, as Mr JK and I are heading down to London after work on Friday. Depending on the weather, we thought we might head to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew on Saturday. On Sunday, we are going to Hyde Park for the Hard Rock Calling festival. Paul McCartney is the headline act, along with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Crowded House and Elvis Costello. I was planning a day of knitting in the sunshine, listening to the music, but have discovered this evening that no chairs are allowed into the arena - standing only! I can't say that I'm looking forward to 7 plus hours of standing but Mr JK has been desperate to see Macca for years! I shall try my best to take some sort of knitting in with me. Just hope that they don't count knitting needles as offensive weapons! Have a good week, whatever you're doing! xxx

Sunday, 20 June 2010


GRRRRRRRR!!!!! I have so much to share with you, and I'm having real problems with Flickr this evening. It's really, really s - l - o - w ! And when I finally manage to upload some photos, I can't see them properly or get to resize them. Rude words! Never mind, I will just make this a brief post tonight, and try again tomorrow. You might remember when I was in Cornwall last month, I found some ceramic buttons on sale in a National Trust shop. I have done a little bit of detective work on the Internet, and discovered a whole world of wonderful buttony goodness. I just want them all!!!! Look at these hearts! And how about the squares and oblongs? Maybe you're looking for round buttons? They make other shapes too! There's also a lovely pebble range. I'm almost too scared to get in touch and find out how much they cost (I paid £1 per button at the NT), just in case I get a severe attack of buttonitis and it runs out of control. Just looking sets my heart beating faster! I shall love you and leave you for now, and go and gaze at those buttons again! See you soon.
ETA - Oh yes, I did get myself a sewing machine! Big smiles and cartwheels (in my head at least!)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

In need of some instant gratification

Hello there. It's that time in the school year that pretty much every teacher I know dreads - report time! The deadline for mine to be done by is looming fast, and I've spent the weekend working on them in bursts! As a reward, I knitted a little in between completed subjects. I've been working pretty diligently on my Katerina shawl, and have completed 3 sections. Now all that remains to be done is 160 rows of the main lace pattern (40 repeats!)

Katerina 2 WIP

It's not very exciting knitting if I'm honest. Each row of 127 stitches takes quite a while to complete, and I'm not seeing it grow quick enough! So, something more instantly gratifying was required. I like having a pair of socks on the go - a portable project, so I rummaged around in my stash and dug out some yarn I bought in Germany last summer. It decided that it wanted to become Jaywalkers, so I duly cast on. I knitted most of it last night when Mr JK and I went to spend an intimate evening with Rick Wakeman. He was performing nearby, and it was a most entertaining evening. He really is the most incredibly talented pianist, and a very good storyteller too. He had us all in stitches (me quite literally!) with tales of his days touring with Yes. If you've ever heard Cat Stevens' version of 'Morning has Broken', Rick is playing the piano on that too.

need to knit Jaywalker WIP (1)

But even this lovely sock wasn't enough! I needed something even more instant! I've had in my favourites on Ravelry a crocheted cotton bag, and I bought some yarn for it several months ago when it was going cheap in Kemps! It's made from 16 squares sewn together in a rather intriguing way. Squares - perfect! They grow nice and quickly, so it's easy to sit back and feel a sense of achievement! The pattern is called Inga's Haekelbeutel, and it's going to make a perfect summery bag. I've done three squares so far, and love how the yarn is working out.

sunny summer bag WIP

If I finish my reports before next weekend, I'm heading into Norwich to treat myself to a sewing machine. Pop back next week to see if I've managed it! Have a good week Bye! xx

Sunday, 6 June 2010

No place like home

Hello again! Back home from Cormwall, washing done, Henrycat collected from his pussycat hotel, relaxing before the onslaught of the final half term! We had a lovely last day in Cornwall. The day started in Wadebridge, where I just had to call in at Granny Wobbly's fudge shop for some delicious maple and walnut crumbly fudge! We then headed off on the Camel Trail, where we visited Camel Valley wines. Mr JK is rather partial to a glass of red, so he bought a couple of bottles (and a pinot noir vine!). The vines did look quite majestic, basking in the sunshine.

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After that, we went along the Camel Estuary, enjoying the views across to Rock and Daymer Bay. It's one of my favourite parts of Cornwall, associated with lots of happy childhood memories.

Camel Estuary

We popped into Padstow where Mr JK bought me a necklace that I'd spotted when we were there on Wednesday evening. I love it, and am hoping that I'm going to be able to contact the designer to see if she can make me some earrings to match. Do you like it?

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We've been so lucky with the weather this week. Most of the time it's been warm and sunny, and even the small amount of rain didn't stop us getting out and about. I smiled when I looked at my feet and saw my 'virtual flipflops'! (Jenny, this photo's specially for you!!)

virtual flipflops 001

We had the perfect end to our week when we went back to Port Isaac on Friday evening to listen to the shanty group, Fisherman's Friends. They have become quite famous over the last couple of months, but still perform each week for charity in the harbour. The crowds were gathering as we arrived. It was a lovely setting, with the sun going down, the tide coming in and a few sea gulls flying overhead.

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We set off from Cornwall back to Norfolk early yesterday morning, and had a very good journey - just over 7 hours driving/knitting time! I've been working on my Katerina shawl in Manos Silk Blend this week, and have finished the first half. It's made in two halves and then grafted together, and I'm hoping to have it finished in time to enter this year in our local summer show. Here's how it's looking .......

Katerina WIP

Have a good week, whatever you're doing! xx

Thursday, 3 June 2010

In search of the perfect pasty!

We've had an action packed two days here in Cornwall. Yesterday we visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Wow! It was absolutely fantastic, and a place that I'd definitely return to. There is so much to see, from a truly impressive walled vegetable garden, to woodlands .....

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......and a sub-tropical Jungle.

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Even though there were lots of visitors, the gardens are so big that it never felt crowded. There are some lovely sculptures to be spotted, hidden in the woods. My favourite was the sleeping Mud Maiden.

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Afterwards, we drove down to the little fishing village of Mevagissey. It's another picture postcard place.

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Lots of little streets, packed full of arty, crafty goodies! It would be sooooooooo easy to spend lots of money very quickly! I did find a little bead shop, The Bead Store, and bought a few tubes of beads. I will learn to knit with beads this year!

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Last night, we had supper at Rick Stein's cafe - the most informal of his dining establishments. I had a cod fishcake with watercress to start, followed by a tomato and feta tart with caramelised onions and basil, and to finish, summer pudding and ice cream. It really was very nice food, and pretty reasonably priced.

Today, we headed down to the south west tip of England, to Land's End. It is pretty commercialised, but the coastline is spectacular - rugged coastline.

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After that, we drove round the coast to St Ives. It was packed with holidaymakers, making the most of the sun!

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We asked a local where to find the best Cornish pasties in town, and weren't disappointed! We ate them overlooking the beach, keeping a beady eye on the watching seagulls! I wasn't going to share my pastie with anyone!

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We then drove to Mousehole, a driver's nightmare, full of narrow, twisting lanes, and tiny cottages all packed in on top of each other higgledy piggledy!

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Mousehole is famous for the legend of Tom Bawcock, a local fisherman, who braved terrible storms to catch fish for the starving villagers. The result was Star Gazy Pie, eaten on Tom Bawcock's Eve (December 23rd). The fish heads poke through the top of the pie, looking upwards to the skies!
We ended the day at Marazion. The tide was out, so we were able to walk across the causeway over to St Michael's Mount.

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Tomorrow is our last day! I'm hoping that we will wake up to a sky like today's! Have a good day, wherever you are. Hope the sun is shining for you too!

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Gardens of delight

Hello again. Hope you're having a good week. I certainly am! Mr JK and I are having a truly fabulous holiday here in Cornwall. We decided to head to the Eden Project yesterday, as the weather wasn't great. We set off early to try and beat the crowds, and spent a most enjoyable time wandering through the biomes. There is so much to see, both inside and out, and luckily, by the time we came out of the biomes, the sun was out!

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We then headed up onto the North coast, to Padstow. Every other shop claimed to be selling the best pasties in Cornwall! There were lots of fish and chip shops too, from the upmarket Rick Stein's ........

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..... to the more down to earth!!!

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I just had to try the local ice cream. The main difficulty was deciding what flavour to have. Eventually, I settled for chunky chocolate, with clotted cream on the top! It was rather yummy!

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I ate my ice cream overlooking the harbour. The whole place was buzzing with activity. A bit too busy for me, if I'm honest.

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Later in the evening, we went to an old childhood favourite - Daymer Bay. It was my family's favourite beach, and seeing it again brought back many happy memories.

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Afterwards we walked to St Enodoc's church, nestled in the dunes behind the beach, and saw the gravestone of John Betjeman.

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You can look out across the bay and watch the sunset. A perfect end to a perfect day!

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A breath of fresh air!

Hello again. It's raining here at the moment, so I thought that I'd take the opportunity to have a little chat. We had a lovely day yesterday, out and about on the North Cornwall coast. Although it wasn't particularly sunny, more importantly, it didn't rain! We started off visiting Boscastle. It's hard to imagine that in 2004, the village was devastated by a flash flood. All the damage has been repaired, and the harbour is as lovely as before.

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We then called in at Tintagel, reputed to be the birthplace of King Arthur, before ending the day at Port Isaac. Port Isaac is a really lovely fishing village, with winding lanes leading down to the working harbour. It's where TV's Doc Martin was filmed, and is also the home of the SeaShanty singers, Fisherman's Friends. We're hoping to return there on Friday evening to hear them singing. I also had my (first!) cream tea in Port Isaac, and it was deeeeeeeeelicious! Going, going, scone!

Cream tea!

I finished my pink girly socks, and they almost match. There was a join in the yarn, and I had to wind on to get to the correct colour section. Still, nobody's going to be looking that closely at my feet!

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At the Old Post Office in Tintagel, there was a basket of locally made ceramic buttons. I couldn't resist! I just need to find a perfect project for each of them now!

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We are off to The Eden Project today, and maybe we'll call in at Padstow later. The rain is moving east, so it should be clear mid morning. And the sun is due to shine, shine shine for the rest of the week. Yippee!