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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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?!
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!!
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!
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!!
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!!
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