Saturday, 11 August 2018

Virtual Fibre-East 2018

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I've volunteered at Fibre-East for several years now. It's the most local-to-me fibre event and I love it. It promotes everything that is great about British fibre and has things to interest every kind of fibre enthusiast. So I was very disappointed not to be going again this year due to my current health issues. I had allowed myself a small yarn budget too; yes, I know that my stash needs no enhancing at all, but it's nice to have a yarny souvenir or two to remember the weekend, isn't it?! So I was delighted when Allison, one of the key people running FE, offered to do a little shopping for me. Allison is famous amongst the FE team for her superb stealth shopping skills. No one ever sees her actually buying anything, yet each year she comes away with a bag or three bulging with yarn and fibre. So I knew that I was in the hands of a true professional. WhatsApp messages and photos went back and forth all weekend and these are the beauties that came home to live with me...

The glorious purple skein was picked out for me by Sarah, aka Babylonglegs. The sparkly rainbow yarn cake is from Dragon Hill Studio. The fibre is from John Arbon (who else?!) and the rainbow of mini skeins are from RiverKnits. I find it amazing that Becci's studio is on a narrowboat. I love them all and it was the perfect pick-me-up parcel to receive. Thank you so much Allison.

As part of my role being a Stylecraft Blogstar, I've written a post for the Stylecraft blog this month on how crafting has helped me deal with grief. Throughout the whole of 2018, Stylecraft are promoting Wellbeing through crafts. Do go and take a look through some of the blogposts about different aspects of fibre crafts and how they can help us to feel better. I know how much knitting and crochet help me to relax and unwind. I've just cast on a sock in my new sparkly rainbow yarn to see me through the numerous hospital visits I have ahead of me. A bit of waiting room knitting has got to be good for me! xxx

Sunday, 5 August 2018

In print

A while back, I was contacted by Let's Knit magazine to see if I would write a few words on knitting socks using a circular needle. They have started doing a page on common knitting problems and this month it was all about socks. I can still remember how scared I was knitting my first pair, and how the pattern seemed to make no sense at all! Now, more than 100 pairs later, I can pretty much knit them with my eyes shut! I was really proud to have been asked to contribute, even more so when I saw that another of the contributors was the amazing sock knitter Winwick Mum! 

I also wrote this month's Crochet 101 column in Crochet Now magazine - all about dealing with those pesky ends! I know only too well how easily ends can become 'an issue'! 

Thank you so much to everyone who has left a comment wishing me well with my health. I ended up in the acute medical unit at our local hospital for a day this week, so have managed to queue jump quite nicely as my appointment wasn't until mid-September. Really pleased that investigations have started so hopefully I will soon know what's going on and the best way to recover. In the meantime, I'm resting and spending my days knitting and crocheting. Can't be bad! xxx

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Thumb twiddling

My blood tests have shown that all is not right so I'm trying to keep myself busy whilst waiting for a hospital appointment but also having to rest as much as I can. I've stopped Googling things as it's very easy to read your symptoms into the worst case scenario, and I'm telling myself that if it was serious, they'd have seen me straight away. I'm hoping for a cancellation so that I can get the ball rolling to try and find out what's going on before school starts again. It's the first year since I started spinning when I haven't taken part in the Tour de Fleece - the reason being that I just haven't had the energy to do so. I've also had to pull out of volunteering at Fibre-East which was another disappointment. I do have a stealth shopper there though so will be cheering myself up with a little yarny treat or two! I'll share with you in due course, I promise!

I did have a day with the Stylecraft Blogstars recently which was really lovely. I shared a lift with Heather (The Patchwork Heart) which made it a lot easier for me. It was fabulous to see everyone once again and we were given a sneak preview of all the new yarns which will be released later this year. There are some really gorgeous things to come, I can promise you. I have to pinch myself sometimes that I'm lucky enough to be included amongst such an illustrious group! Here are a few photos from the day...

We all knitted or hooked a log cabin block or two as you can see from the photos - I'll tell you more about why in another blog post. Stylecraft have something rather exciting to announce!  As you can see, our goody bags were just mahoosive! Stylecraft are incredibly generous and treat us so well. I can share a few of those new yarns with you now as they were released earlier in the month. 

One of my favourite of Stylecraft's yarns, Batik has three new colours in the Batik Elements range. The yarn is 80% acrylic and 20% wool and has a lovely bounce to it. I'm looking forward to trying these mixed shades with some of the solid colours in the range. 

There are five new colours in the Life DK range too including two with gorgeous tweedy nepps. I love how these colours look together with the purples and mustard alongside the black and silver. Life DK is 25% wool and 75% acrylic. I'm picturing a snuggly blanket...

Special Aran with wool has three new tweedy colours in the range - I think these would make some cosy accessories, possibly with cables and bobbles. This yarn is 80% acrylic and 20% wool so washes well.

Finally, a new addition to the Life range with Life Changes. Again 25% wool and 75% acrylic, this range features more subtle and gradual yarn changes. I've seen it knit up and it is both beautiful and soft. 

I'm currently working on a design for the Stylecraft Blog Tour which begins in September. It features another new yarn which is gorgeous to work with and I'm really happy with how my design is working out so far. You'll have to wait awhile to see it though, as each of the Blogstars will be showcasing the yarn with a design. It could well be the best Blog Tour yet!

Hope you've been enjoying the weather - it's been a bit too hot for me so the rain today was a welcome sight. Have a good week and I'll be back soon to share a couple of bits of 'josiekitten in print'! xxx

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Bad blogger

I've been a very bad blogger, I'm sorry. I've been feeling a bit under the weather and having had an armful of blood taken, am waiting to find out more next week. Hopefully it's nothing too serious and just a touch of end-of -termitis. I haven't done much apart from some secret knitting so I don't even have anything terribly interesting to show you. I will share a few photos of my best furry nurse Flo to at least make your visit here today worthwhile. Hopefully I'll be back firing on all cylinders very soon. xxx

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Special yarn

Remember this?

And this?

And this? 

Well now I have this! 

I cannot tell you how excited and honoured I am to have a ball of yarn in a colourway that I have created. I absolutely love it and can't wait to share more photos with you as soon as I'm allowed to! In the meantime, you'll just have to make do with this little tease! xxx

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Happy socks means happy feet

I have a thing about rainbows. They are beautiful and have that promise of something a little magical. I have a thing about rainbow yarn too! I looked at my stash on Ravelry for confirmation of that and this is what I found...

I'm sure there's more! This, dear reader, is most likely just the tip of the rainbow iceberg! I just don't seem to be able to resist the lure of all those lovely colours in one skein of yarn. Whilst I wouldn't wear a rainbow jumper, having happy rainbow feet is quite a different matter. So it was a rainbow skein (well, a rainbow cake actually) that I picked out when I wanted something to knit on a recent bus trip. You may recall I blogged about it here

These socks were one of my chosen projects to accompany me to Greece and I had plenty of beach knitting time. 

I was quite impressed with my stripe-matching skills too! There's usually a bit of guesswork going on, or I'm often not too precious about having matchy matchy socks. But it all just seemed to work out fine.

These have been given away as a present and made their new owner very happy. Do you have a particular colourway of yarn that you're always drawn to? xxx