Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Goodbye 2014 - and Hello 2015!

It's New Year's Eve, time for my look back at what I've made over the past year, and to see if I came close to keeping any of my knitting resolutions. It hasn't felt like a particularly productive year, but when I looked on Ravelry, I was astonished to see that I have completed around 50 separate projects in the last 12 months. Admittedly, many of them are teensy tiny ones, but even so, that's almost one a week! It's pretty impossible to pick a favourite, but if pushed, I think I would choose the block I knit as my contribution to a wedding blanket for my dear friend Kim. A group of around 30 knitters schemed and plotted in secret and the result was a beautiful wedding gift. Of course, Florence wanted in on the photo shoot! You can read the blog post Anne wrote about the blanket here and watch the YouTube film made when Anne gave the blanket to Kim here.

I'm really excited that Anne is releasing the pattern to knit this beautiful blanket in 2015. So if you fancy knitting your own version, why not join me? Sign ups are still open, and you can choose to knit it in one of the beautiful BareNaked yarns available from knitspot, or you could go pattern only. Take a look here, it would be great to have your company.

OK then, time to look at my knitting goals for 2014. How many of them did I achieve, I wonder?!

1. To knit from stash as much as possible. 
Although lots of yarn has appeared in my stash this year, the vast majority of it has come as gifts or through swaps. I did have a major splurge at Fibre East, but apart from that, not a lot else!! I'm feeling very virtuous, perhaps I need to treat myself to a skein or two before the year is out?!!

2. To spin more regularly and enter something into Fibre East or one of my local guild competitions. 
I haven't spun anywhere near as much as I had hoped to, but I did enter some skeins of handspun yarn in to the spinning competitions at Fibre East this year and was amazed to be awarded some prizes. The judges' comments were extremely helpful and I shall definitely be entering again next summer.

Fibre East 2014 day 2 (2)

3. To knit at least one jumper for myself.
I did finish two sweaters for myself - my mink and cashmere sweater that Flo wanted as a blankie for herself...........

sweater seaming step 1 003

...... and Vodka Lemonade, which I have worn endlessly this year.

Bank Holiday Monday 020

4. To carry on designing.
I have dabbled a little more with some designing, but nothing has been published yet. I have a cowl pattern in the pipeline.......

jk cowl (2) well as a pair of socks.

jk socks (4)

I also have a crochet pattern for a tape measure cosy!!

Tape measure cosy for Josee (1)

5. To try some colourwork.
Oh dear, yet another year has passed without me even getting close to achieving this goal. I think that I will have to look out for a class at Fibre East in the summer to give me a kick start. 

6. To finish the 64 Crayons blanket.
Yay, job done!! I cannot begin to tell you just how much I love this blanket. It's on the sofa in the lounge and everyone (including Flo!) wants a share.

64 Crayons done! (10)

mine, all mine! (2)

So what of 2015? I have the feeling that my goals will be pretty similar to previous years.

1. To knit from stash as much as possible.
2. To spin regularly and try to attend some guild meetings, as well as enter some handspun yarn into the spinning competitions at Fibre East.
3. To write up and publish my knitting and crochet patterns.
4. To try some colourwork!
5. To finish projects that are currently hibernating on Ravelry.
6. To improve my sewing skills.

So, that's almost it. Just enough time to say a huge thank you to you, for reading my blog. I do love reading your comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave me a message. I hope that 2015 is a happy and healthy year for you and your nearest and dearest. See you next year! xxx

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Goodness, it's been freezing here the past couple of days! I suppose it feels all the colder because we've had such a mild year, but the car has been iced up each morning and the temperatures have hovered just above freezing point for most of the day. I hope, for Mr JK's sake, that it's a little warmer come New Year's Day, as he will be off for a Park Run. We both went  on Christmas Day - him to run and me to cheer him on. He donned a Santa hat for the occasion, but some of the runners had really taken their outfits seriously. (I have forbidden Mr JK to even consider buying himself a morphsuit!!!) 

Despite being on holiday, I don't seem to have had a huge amount of time to do anything crafty. I had big plans to knit, sew, spin and crochet, but my efforts have been quite pitiful. I am trying to get some projects finished before starting anything new. It is so easy to be distracted by shiny, new projects!! 

The garden looked beautiful this morning, covered in ice. Flo accompanied me outside while I was snapping away, but complained the whole time that her paws had frostbite!!

on a cold and frosty morning (1)

on a cold and frosty morning (5)

on a cold and frosty morning (9)

on a cold and frosty morning (8)

on a cold and frosty morning (4)

on a cold and frosty morning (10)

on a cold and frosty morning (3)

on a cold and frosty morning (7)

I'll be blogging again tomorrow when I look back over 2014 and look forward to 2015. Hope you can pop in. Keep warm too! xxx

Friday, 26 December 2014

The second day of Christmas

Merry Christmas 2014

Meow meow all. Florence here! I hope you have all had a splendid Christmas Day. Mine was fabulous!  I went to sleep on Christmas Eve with my furry igloo all decked out........

Christmassy Flo 2014 (5)

I thought that I'd sniffed out which of the parcels was for me, but I was wrong!

festive Flo (5)

I got a really fun tin to keep my treats in. I have treats every night, just like my Mum and Dad, and I was just a teensy bit jealous that they have a tin for their treats; I wanted one too! So I dropped a few hints!! I also got a place mat for my dishes. I try not to make a mess when I eat, but this is going to keep my dining space lovely and clean. They are both brilliant gifts. Santa brought me three bags of cheesy treats! How did he know that was going to be the purrfect present for my tin? He's pretty clever, I reckon!

Christmassy Flo 2014 (6)

Christmassy Flo 2014 (1)

After I'd opened my presents, I had a lot of fun pouncing in the wrapping paper!

Christmassy Flo 2014 (7)

I didn't get my very own blankie, sadly, but I have spied some new yarn in the house which has definite snuggability potential. More of this at a later date. Right, I'm worn out and going for a snooze.  Meow meow meow! xxx

PS In case you are interested, this is what my Mum and Dad's treat tin looks like! And no, it's not full of cheesy treats!

Treats tin

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Flo Ho Ho!!

I think this one's for me! I can sniff out cheesy treats a mile off!! xxx

festive Flo (6)

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Busy, busy, busy!

Term finished on Friday after a hectic week of performances, carol singing and parties. I am so looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet. However, I haven't sat idle all weekend. On Saturday morning I went into Norwich to a sewing workshop. Last month I did a machine appliqué class, and decided to turn my work into a cushion cover. I went for a festive theme for my first project, I love how it turned out and it'll be fun getting this cushion out each Christmas.

Ho Ho Ho

Ho Ho Ho applique cushion (8)

Of course, Flo has had to test it out for squishability and has given it the paws up!

Ho Ho Ho applique cushion (2)

My head is whirling with ideas for other appliqué projects; hopefully I will get the chance to have a play over the coming days. I also turned my crazy patchwork block into a smaller cushion cover while I had the chance.

cushions! (2)

Mr JK and I have also been busy in the kitchen. Sausage rolls have become a bit of a Christmas tradition for us; we use Delia's recipe which makes really delicious ones. They're now in the freezer, ready for snacking. They are so moreish that it's far safer for them to be out of temptation's way. Otherwise, I fear that we would not be able to resist munching our way through them.

sausage rolls (3)

A batch of biscuits followed, using a recipe from Mr JK's German Oma. They too are rather moreish! I fear for my waistline this holiday!

Christmas biscuits

I also made a jar of lemon curd, using a scaled down version of this recipe. Using one egg and one lemon, there's plenty of lemon curd for one smallish jar. I plan on having some on Christmas morning with a croissant. Mmmmmmmmm!

lemon curd

Last but by no means least, today we baked some marzipan stollen. Last year's was a bit of a monster and threatened to take over the oven, so we divided the dough in half and made two smaller ones this time. Of course, we felt we had to taste it, so enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea this afternoon. It was delicious! If you fancy giving it a try, here's the recipe we used.

Christmas stollen (6)

Mr JK is working right up to Christmas Eve, so I am planning some crafting time over the next couple of days. I'll be back to share what I've been doing very soon. xxx

Advent week 4 2014 (2)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Guess who's fifty?!

Me!! I celebrated my 50th birthday this week. I cannot believe it, I still think that I'm in my 20's in my head, although looking in the mirror tells me otherwise!! I had a lovely day and Mr JK and Flo spoilt me rotten!

Guess who's 50?!

Yesterday morning we went for a walk through the woodland at Blickling Hall. It was a beautiful, but bitterly cold day. The ground was still covered in frost at lunchtime.

chilly December morning Blickling 2014 (1)

chilly December morning Blickling 2014 (3)

I finished my Halloween socks this weekend too. I love the self striping yarn. The colourway is called Leaky Cauldron and the yarn was gifted to me by a dear friend. I seem to have a bit of a thing for self striping yarns right now; I am itching to cast on another stripy pair!

Halloween Roxy socks (5)

I received two Christmas cards this week as part of the card swap in the ThreeBagsFull group on Ravelry. The gifts had to fit in the envelope with the card. My partners were very creative as you can see from the photos.

TBF Christmas card swap (1)

TBF Christmas card swap (2)

In case you're wondering, yes, that is Flo on the bookmark! Debby snuck a photo from my Flickr page and turned it into this special gift. I love it! Josee made me the little festive stocking brooch and I will be wearing it to school tomorrow. The swaps are such fun. I am lucky to belong to some great groups on Ravelry. 

One more week of school before I can start to unwind. It's a hectic one too with Christmas concerts, a trip to the pantomime and class parties to get through. I'll catch up with you again next weekend. xxx

Advent 2014 week 3 (1)