Sunday, 8 January 2012

First and last, and a giveaway too!

Hello! Thanks for calling in. It's been a wild-weather type week here in the UK, with some extremely strong winds in different parts of the country. We battened down the hatches and survived unscathed, unlike some poor folk. The Christmas and New Year celebrations all seem rather distant now, and although the days are getting longer, warmer times still feel a l-o-n-g way off. I was listening on the radio to a discussion this week - apparently more than 7% of the UK population suffer from SAD or winter blues. That's a huge number of people. I don't know about you, but I need little things to look forward to - perhaps a nice meal, a squishy parcel in the post, a day out or some of my favourite chocolate to nibble on. Of course knitting is a great mood enhancer too. Just deciding to start a new project, browsing for patterns, rummaging through stash ....... all these things are guaranteed to bring a smile to my face.
I started a new project right at the end of 2011, and it flew off my needles! It's the Fallberry scarf from Knitspot (who else?!) knit using a skein of Natural Dye Studio Angel DK yarn. I made it for a friend who should be receiving it in the post any time now. I know she reads my blog from time to time, so I won't say any more and spoil the surprise!
Fallberry scarf 009
You have already had a look at the first project that came off the needles this year - my handspun Fartlek hat. I have worn it a couple of times and it has kept my head lovely and toasty warm. It's currently being blocked, but here's another look at it in action last weekend!
Handspun Fartlek  (1)
This photo shows the decreases on the crown really clearly. I love how the colour changes on the yarn turned out too. That's one of the advantages of Navajo-plying yarn - it keeps the colour changes separate, rather than getting a barber pole striped effect.
Handspun Fartlek  (5)
I wanted to sort out a couple of projects for my school knitting club. I decided to choose two pretty quick knits this time, although I have a feeling that the kids will want to knit more than one!! We shall be making friendship bracelets and bendy snakes. I've just stocked up on buttons and googly eyes!! So far I have 24 children signed up, some returning knitters and 6 or 7 new ones! So I shall pair up a new knitter with a confident knitter for the first couple of weeks.
Spring term knitting club
I currently have another pair of vanilla socks on the go - they are knitting up very quickly, so I should be able to show you a finished pair next time. I need to make myself NOT knit them at home though, as I am neglecting my meatier knits for the easy 'no-brainer' knitting!
I have done some spinning this year too - I spun up the Twinkle fibre from Picperfic. I had great ideas about being able to spin enough to knit me a pair of socks, but I am still way off that! I am hoping that my LYS is going to run an intermediate spinners class. I need to get to know my wheel better to have more control over the sort of yarn I spin! It's all a bit haphazard still!
Twinkle handspun
It'll make a nice blankie for Flo, no doubt! Talking of Flo, she has found a new place to sleep - on the spare bed! I caught her snoozing last week and she looked up rather guiltily - before carrying on with her nap! She's up there now I think!
  Innocent Flo (1)
I have had a couple of parcels this week. The first was my long-awaited December yarn from the Fall in Full Color club. I really thought that the yarn had got lost somewhere in the Christmas post, so was thrilled when it landed on my doormat. I couldn't keep my nose out of the spoiler thread in the Clubhouse so knew it was some mink and cashmere yarn from Great Northern Yarns, but I was longing to see the colourway for myself. It is called Rhododendron and is just GORGEOUS!!!!! I have managed to secure a second skein by swapping with Kyrie, and would dearly love to get my hands on enough to knit a cardigan. Just how warm and snuggly would that be?!
FIFC Great Northern Yarns Dec yarn (2)
My second parcel was a belated Christmas gift from my dear knitting pal, Snoopydog. I laughed when I opened the parcel, as it was a cute little owl bag from Three Bags Full. Snoops and I have the uncanny knack of being on the same wavelength when it comes to giving presents. I had bought her a knitting bag from the same shop too!!
owl bag (1)
The present was delayed because the first bag(s) - I pluralise here as Snoops bought one for herself at the same time (as did I!!! hahaha!) - see what I mean about great minds?! - got damaged in the post. Luckily Michele is such a sweetie that she remade the bags in superquick time and resent them! The owl bead is just perfect!
owl bag (3)
I don't know about you, but all this cold weather makes me long for hearty puddings - basically any pudding that you can serve with custard is pretty much guaranteed to get my tummy rumbling. Sticky toffee pudding is my absolute favourite, but I love crumbles and pies too. Last weekend Mr JK made a rice pudding, and oh, it was good! I love the skin on the top, don't you?! Here's a photo - all you need is your own spoon!!
Mmmmmm - rice pudding! (2)
I'm celebrating here too - just before the New Year, I noticed that my blog had gained its 100th follower! (I'm now up to 102!) I'm thrilled that there are so many of you lovely folk who want to read about my yarny ramblings. So as a thank you, I'm giving you the chance to win one of two woolly prizes - a skein of sock yarn from one of my favourite dyers, Laughing Yaffle, or three balls of Louisa Harding Kimono yarn. There'll probably be some chocolate thrown in too!!
100 followers giveaway (1)
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is become a follower of my blog (if you aren't already!) and leave me a message by the end of next Saturday (Jan 14th). I'll choose the winners using a random number generator and announce them next Sunday. I'm happy to post the prizes worldwide, so what are you waiting for?! Have a great week and see you soon! xx


SusieT said...

Congratulations on reaching a 100 followers.Your friend is a very lucky lady to receive such a beautiful scarf. I already follow you but would like to be entered into your very generous giveaway.Thankyou Sue.

Saphy said...

well done on getting to the magic 100. I would love to be part of your giveaway. (I now want rice pudding)

Merchy said...

Congrats on your 100 followers!
Beautiful things you are showing us today indeed!
I have been following you for a while, could you count me in please?

Vanessa said...

Congrats on reaching 100 followers! I do read you via google reader, though. Your rice pudding looks very different from the one my mom used to make.

(I'm out in the USA, are you willing to ship internationally if the winner lives abroad?)

Clicky Needles said...

I'd like to be entered please. Well done on making 100!

pip said...

Congrats on 100 followers and Happy New Year :)

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

Well done on breaking the 100 mark! Your scarf is absolutely gorgeous and your friend is so very lucky to have someone like you to make such a treasure for her.

I admit to stumbling in here from your post on Ravelry but I've made myself #103. Thank you for the giveaway and I look forward to reading more.

GirlAnachronismE said...

Congratulations on reaching 100,, that's amazing. Also, you have now made me want rice pudding really badly! And i love your handspun yarn as usual, the colours are gorgeous.

May I please be entered for your giveaway as well?

joy said...

hi there, congratulations on 100 followers, I love th yarn that you are offering to give away, please put my name in the hat.
best wishes,

Anonymous said...

congratulations to you!! 100 followers is amazing and very well-deserved!! i follow you through my google reader, so i don't know if that counts or not :)

love those projects you picked for your knitting club! and oh my, i wish i had a way to taste that pudding - it looks so tasty!!

Jo said...

Flo is so pretty, her fur is beautiful, so silky. I love the scarf, someone is in for a wonderful surprise. I'd love to be included in the giveaway please, I love Laughing Yaffle yarn.

Stitched Together said...

Your cat has the same expression that mine does whenever I disturb her sleep a mixture of guilt and disgust.

What a lovely way to celebrate your followers, please count me in!

Inthesky said...

I have only just found you and I am glad I have. I think I may be follower 106 so congrats on the followers. I love your hat the yarn is very pretty.

Kat Jorgensen said...

That Flo gets cuter every time I see her. Our Ben loves to sleep in the spare room and he clearly has staked it out as his own.

Your projects and knitting are just beautiful, as always. : )

snoopydog said...

HOORAY!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Come on folks come and follow me too, then I catch up!!!!
LOVE the scarf. It's such a pretty colour and the pattern is lovely.
Soooo, you had a bag too, now did you? We're as babd as each other ;-)
Have a great week, my pal! RosX

Lynne said...

Congrats on 100 followers! :) Your Fallberry Scarf is beautiful, I hope your friend loves it.

I do like the decreases on your hat, I always think there's something very pleasing about the symmetrical decreases on a hat, they just look so neat.

I LOVE the bracelets and the wee snakes, good luck with the classes! The purple yarn is GORGEOUS, and I love the wee owl.

I would like to be in your giveaway, thank you for the opportunity. :)

Jenny said...

Lovely scarf and very well displayed, I recently photographed one of mine just in a heap, must try harder. Love to be in for the giveaway, if I don't win any yarn could I have the cat please, in fact could I have the cat instead of the yarn.

Annette said...

Glad I found your blog! I think I'm #107! Beautiful scarf. :)

Polarpurplebear said...

Well done - 100 followers is fab!! I've been reading your blog for a while now and love looking at your projects - you also share my love of purple! Would love to enter your giveaway,

Lynn said...

Hi there, I love your blog, and would love the chance to win some laughing yaffle wool, their wool is fabulous (plus you mentioned the magic word - chocolate)

Helsie said...

Congratulations! 100 followers is terrific.

Typstatting said...

Wow 100 followers you have done well. Would love to be entered in your lovely giveaway!

Petersson13 said...

Hello Josie Kitten,
I have been reading for a while, but didn't know you could 'follow'! Seems like I am a beginner in my IT skills as well as my knitting.
Love reading your blog - glad more than 100 other people do too. And your new hat is fabulous- lovely spring colours to keep away the winter storms.
best wishes Rachel

Northern Monkey said...

Congratulations on 100 followers :)

The fallberry scarf is very pretty, it's such a lovely stitch pattern. I really must finish off my mitts!

Also that rice pudding looks absolutely delicious, I can almost taste it!

Owl bags are the best project bags, I have three project bags (this does not make me any more capable of only having 3 WIPS!) and they all have owls on them :)

Stadtwaldvogel said...

Hi Helen, the scarf is gorgeous! Don't be disappointed about the yardage of your handspun yarn. You can knit a lovely pair of socks with thick handspun yarn, too! And the advantage is: The socks will be knitted even faster! I think I have never managed to spin 400m/100g. I always end with much more or much less yardage.
Have a good week!
Yours, Julia

Fluzz said...

try that again, stupid blogger losing my comment.

Congrats on the 102 followers :D

I wouldn't mind entering myself in the chance to win yarny goodness.

Denise said...

Omgosh,that rice pudding looks just like my mam used to make, the skin looks perfect :-) I follow your blog with a link on my side menu but I clicked on the google follow, so you have me registered :-) would love a chance at winning some yarn, this year I'm knitting for me!

Puppet Lady said...

Congratuations on reaching 100 followers - now you have one more! You rice pudding looks yummy - unfortunately my OH doesn't like it, so I hardly evr make it!

pinkundine said...

So much beautiful stuff to comment on in one post! I adore the scarf, may have to make one of those myself. The Twinkle fibre looks amazing, so bright and cheery. And I love the way the colours came out in your hat.

Congrats on 100 followers (of which I am one!) and thank you for such a fab giveaway. I'd love to try Laughing Yaffle yarn (after seeing your socks made from it, I think), so I am crossing my fingers for that!

Christine65 said...

Such a lovely scarf. I wish you hadn't shown a picture of the Laughing Yaffle yarn though - I haven't bought from her in ages!!

Spinthrift said...

Congratulations on reaching a century.

Your school projects look great - I might try something similar with my club. Can most of your children cast on & off by themselves?

lorraine said...

im jealous of that project bag..i love owls! congrats on a 100+ followers :)

corazon said...

Congratulations on 100 followers.
I'd like to win one of the beautiful yarn....:-)
I really like the pattern of your scarf.

gill said...

Congratulations on 100 followers! I'm your newest!
I know what you mean about puds! we had jam roly poly last night and it's rice pudding tonight!

Doodlywhatsits said...

Well done on all your followers, make that plus 1 because I've just followed you too :-)

kathy said...

Congrats on your 100 followers I found you from damn, knit and blast it's blog. I saw you were a follower and thought I would pop by. Love the scarf you have just made. Thanks for the chance to win in your generous giveaway
Kathy x

Madeleine said...

Gorgeous kitty and fabulous knits. Congrats on reaching the 100+ followers mark. Wowee!