Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Birthday treats!

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Hello again! Yes, I'm celebrating this week, as it's the 4th birthday of my blog. When I started it back in 2008, I didn't realise just how much enjoyment I was going to get from keeping a record of my knitting and other goings on in the josiekitten household! I quite enjoy looking back at old posts to see what I was getting up to! As a thank you to you, I'm having a little birthday giveaway. I've had a good rummage in my stash and found some lovely yarny prizes. Take a look!
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From left to right, a skein of Great Northern Yarns 100% yak, a skein of 100% superwash BFL yarn from HippTopCloud, two skeins of 100% British wool from Angels and Elephants and a skein of supermerino, bamboo and silk from Stroud Wool. Mmmmmmmmmm!
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is become a follower of my blog (if you're not already), and tell me about another blog that you like to visit. I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read. The giveaway is open to anyone and I'll post prizes worldwide! I'll leave the giveaway open until 9pm on Sunday and announce the winners early next week. Good luck!! xxx

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Busy needles

It feels like ages since I posted some finished knitting. So get ready to feast your eyes! Earlier in the summer holidays I spun up a braid of Teddy fibre, a gift from Marianne. I showed you the cowl I knit before going to Greece. I used the remainder of the yarn to knit a simple drop stitch scarf. It shows off the beautiful colour changes perfectly.
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The pattern is dead easy, and perfect for showing off the beauty of handspun yarns.

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I also finished my second Citron shawl, knit with a skein of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace yarn. This is a 60th birthday present for a friend, and I need to get it wrapped up and posted. I do like this pattern, even though the rows get a little tedious as the shawl gets bigger. I think it's worth it. I plan to knit a third one, beaded this time, for another friend.
Truly Scrumptious Citron (1)

I've finished another pair of plain vanilla socks for one of my Uni friends. This pair has some cotton in the yarn, so feels lovely and soft. They do seem a little big, so I might wash them and stick 'em in the tumble dryer for a bit. They will do as 'boot socks' anyway!

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My last finished knit for today is the project I undertook for the Ravellenics (knitting Olympics on Ravelry.) I entered it in a number of events - beads, lace, shawl, one skein and stash - and was so pleased with myself that I managed to finish it before the end of the Games. Sadly, I didn't have the technology  to post my completed project in the different events while we were in Greece, so missed out on the medals for my team, Team Knitspot. Never mind, I am super-happy with the shawl, and that's the most important thing! I knit it using some yarn that I handspun during the Tour de Fleece this year.

Sweet Georgia Panda

The pattern I chose is Wandering Thyme, currently only available to BareNakedKnitspot members. I love the shape of the shawl, and am so pleased with how it turned out. The yarn is a mix of merino and bamboo, so it drapes beautifully. I had thought that the beads were too inconspicious, but have since decided that I quite like their subtlety! What do you think?
Wandering Thyme (6)

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(Apologies for the creased top, I hadn't realised it was so bad until I saw the photos!!) I found the lace edging quite challenging and could only knit it during the day, when there were no distractions! But it was well worth it. I can see more beaded lacework in my future!
I am near to finishing my Color Affection, just the edging to go now. I also want to get cracking on my mink and cashmere cardigan. I put it aside for the summer, I just hope I can remember what I was doing all those weeks ago!
I am celebrating my Bloggiversary as The Woolly Adventures of  Knitting Kitty is 4 years old today! As a little thank you to you, my readers, I shall be having a giveaway later this week, so make sure you pop back! xxx

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Greece is the word!

The sunshine and heat of Greece seem a long time ago as I look outside now at cloudy skies. Mr JK and I had a wonderful break back on our favourite Greek island, Kos. It's ten years since we discovered the place, and we have been back pretty much every year since. The village is typically Greek, no big hotels, nightclubs or rowdy bars. Just simple tavernas and bars frequented by the villagers themselves. Accommodation is arranged through the local people, many of whom have become friends over the years. Perfect! We wanted a total chill out, and that is exactly what we got. Lazy days spent on the beach ..........
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...where this was my daily view!

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I took plenty of knitting for company (more of that in another post), and made good use of my latest ThreeBagsFull project bag. I made great progress on my Color Affection and hope to have it finished very soon.
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Each day we wandered around the harbour. Fishing boats go out daily, bringing in their catch for the tavernas.

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We watched this little boat being loaded up with bales of hay while we were eating lunch one day. They certainly managed to pack a lot on. I hope they had some help to unload them all at the other end.
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There are always families of cats living in the rocks down at the harbour. We befriended a lovely little family - dad, mum and seven - yes, seven - kittens! The mother cat was just delightful, so friendly and affectionate, and obviously a great mother to have seven surviving kittens. Although she was still feeding her offspring, the kittens had started to be weaned, and were eating cat biscuits and wet food, as well as fish that mum brought back for them from the daily catch. We visited them twice daily, giving them biscuits, cat food and fresh water. I would have loved to have brought one (or two!) back for Florence so she could have a little playmate.

Here are the seven kittens together, followed by several kitty pics.

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Dinner time, no table manners required!

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Mmmmmm, that was tasty!

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I'd like to be Florence's playmate!

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No, choose me! I can do a great 'cute' pose!!

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We did make a few films of the kittens. I'll upload one here, and if you're interested in seeing more, you ought to be able to see the rest of them on my YouTube channel.

As usual, the food was delicious. Ice cold Mythos beer on the first day was hard to beat!

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Olives, my favourite. Mr JK went for Olympic gold and managed to eat five this year, a new personal best for him!

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Plenty of tasty salads ......

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Olive paste on freshly baked bread, mmmmmmmmmm!

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Sardines for Mr JK!

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......... and a little furry sardine thief! This cat was hanging around one of our favourite tavernas, trying to steal a fish head or two! It was so funny when his paw suddenly appeared on the table!

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My favourite is saganaki cheese - it's fried and tastes just delicious! I try not to think too much about the calories!

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There were beautiful sunsets to admire on a daily basis .......

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Colourful Mediterranean blooms are everywhere ...

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Typically Greek scenes ......

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I'm sure that you're wondering how Florence was when we returned. Well, Flo has been banned from the cattery! They have refused to take her back, describing her as 'feral'! Poor little thing, she must hate it in there. She has decided that she's coming with us next time, the suitcase has plenty of room for her too! See you soon for a knitting update! xxx

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

And the winner is ......

blog winner (1)

....... Dawn! Well done to you! I'll pass your name on to Marianne and then you can talk to her about your favourite colourway.  The cases are packed, my holiday knitting is sorted away into its project bags and Mr JK and I are off to Greece for a break tomorrow. See you in a couple of weeks! xxx

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Monday, 6 August 2012

Snoopydog spins!

Good evening to you! Thanks for calling in. I've had a lovely day today with my good friend Snoopydog. You may remember back in April of last year when Snoops came up for a visit and a play around on my spinning wheel. She ended up buying herself a wheel, but hadn't really done much with it, being a little afraid of 'not getting it right'. I know that feeling very well, as it took me around a year to actually pluck up the courage to start spinning and not worry about what my yarn looked like. We started the day with a natter and a mug of tea, then before we knew it, it was lunch time! The chocolate cup cakes were rather yummy and gave us energy to tackle an afternoon of spinning.

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To start off with, Snoops practised on some undyed BFL, but before long, was ready to have a little play with some dyed fibre. The bobbin flew around while Oscar, the dog, lay ignored at Snoops' feet.

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I was really impressed with how fine the spun yarn was - I reckon it's going to ply up as a laceweight! Amazing for a new spinner. I can't wait to see the finished skein.

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I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of my fibre giveaway. You've not got very long to enter now, if you haven't already done so. See you tomorrow! xxx