Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Catch up time

Hello again. Hope all is well in your part of the world. I thought that I'd better blog today, as Mr Josiekitten and I are off to London for the weekend, and I won't get a chance on Sunday. We had a day trip to London last year, and enjoyed it so much, that we've decided to spend the whole weekend there this time! We have lots of things planned - museums, galleries, a trip to the theatre and maybe, you never know, the chance to do a little bit of yarn shopping! Mr JK (bless him) has already Googled yarn shops in London, and found me Loop, so who am I to disappoint him! I'm sure we can squeeze in a visit. I'll report back next time.
I haven't yet started my Ripple blanket, as I can't make up my mind how big I want it to be. So, because I was desperate to get rippling, I've begun a Ripple scarf, using some mini-skeins from the Natural Dye Studio. I don't think I've got enough, as crochet seems to eat up the yarn as compared with knitting, but I'm having fun! So, what's a few more mini-skeins between friends?!

Just a little ripple WIP (1)

I've just finished the second ball of yarn on my Silk Garden 10 stitch blanket, and have matched up the next ball of yarn. I am definitely going to have to learn how to knit backwards, as I can see it getting pretty cumbersome, having to keep turning the knitting back and forth.

10 stitch blankie ball 2 WIP (1)

And talking of Silk Garden blankies, well done to those of you who spotted Henrycat getting delusions of grandeur this week. I caught him perched on top of the laundry basket, asleep on top of my Silk Garden Lizzy cardigan!! He did look comfy!

Henrycat's Silk Garden blankie (2)

He gave us a bit of a scare this week, and had an overnight stay at the vets, but I'm pleased to say that he is absolutely fine now, just one of his lives gone I think!

My stash of sock yarn has been enhanced by a visit to the Laughing Yaffle's website. Ali's yarns are absolutely beautiful. Vibrant colours just begging to be knitted. Go and take a look - I bet you won't be able to resist the temptation! I had to laugh, as my mate Snoopydog bought the exact same skein of yarn as me, on the left. (She had more self control than me tho', and managed to stop at one!)

Laughing Yaffle stash 007

Charlotte's birthday socks are coming along well, and they will be my project for the weekend. Nice and easy to pick up at odd moments. I've also been busy with my Valentine's swap, but it's a secret at the moment. I'll reveal all once my swappee has received her 'parcel of lurve'. See you next week!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

And the winner is ...................................

Hi there! Thanks so much to all of you who left me a message over the past week. I used a random number generator and the lucky winner was .........

And the winner is .......

........ Marie! Congratulations to you, and thanks again for all your lovely messages. The eagle eyed may have noticed 14 names in the draw. That's because Mrs Twins left me a message on Flickr, saying she'd been unable to leave a message on my blog, so I added her in too. Marie, please send me a message on Ravelry, or email me at josiekitten at hotmail dot com, and I'll get that skein of yarn in the post to you!

I've been busy all day today, marking sets of test papers, and I've hardly seen Mr JK! So please excuse the brief blog this evening. I'll be back very soon with more news and photos. In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of Henrycat. He's been dropping a few rather unsubtle hints about what he'd like his next blankie to be made from. See if you can guess, and I'll tell you if you're right next time. See you soon! xx

Henrycat's Silk Garden blankie (9)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

One hundred

One hundred 001

Hello there. I'm celebrating today - I'm making my 100th post! I can't quite believe it. I really enjoy my little escapes into Blogworld; Mr Josiekitten thinks me most odd that I want to share all my knitty goings on with people I don't 'know'. But you and I know that it's not like that, don't we? I get so much pleasure making posts, reading your messages, and visiting other blogs. So to celebrate, I'm having a little giveaway. Anyone leaving me a message between now and next Sunday 6pm will be entered into a draw to win some lovely, squishy yarn. It's a skein of HipKnits Merino sock yarn in lovely bright shades of pink and orange, perfect for brightening up these dull days. So what are you waiting for!

Ally Pally stash (20)

I've finished my wrist warmers, despite Henrycat lending a paw! He was most insistent that he sat on my lap for cuddles as you can see! He doesn't take no for an answer, and stays there, looking most uncomfortable, until he's had enough, and then moves alongside to sit on a piece of newspaper! It usually goes something like this........

Hey, make room for me here!

henrycat lends a paw (1)

This is comfy! I think I'll just settle down for a snoozle.

henrycat lends a paw (3)

Oh look, I think you've dropped a stitch!

henrycat lends a paw (2)

Anyway, here are the aforementioned wrist warmers in all their glory. I do like the pattern, even though I had to concentrate all the time with the cables, and could see me knitting them as presents for next Christmas. (Gasp! Have I really said that?!)

Rose's wrist warmers (2)

I'm haven't started my Ripple crochet blanket yet, the main reason being that I can't decide how big I want to make it! I'd love to make a really big one, to wrap round me and snuggle in, but can't quite get my head around a starting chain of over 200, with each row taking almost an hour to hook!!!! I'm going to just think about it this week, and get on with other projects. I've done a little bit more on my Katerina shawl (started way back last summer), and have got to the 'easy' 4 row main lace pattern. It's looking good, and I'm hoping to get it finished this year! I sing in a choir, and we often give concerts in extremely cold churches, so this is ideal for wrapping round me, whilst still looking elegant! (Elegant, me? That'll be the day! )

Manos silk blend shawl WIP

I hadn't realised until I looked at the photo quite how much the yarn has pooled. You can see it clearly with the pale pink colour near the bottom. I hope that pooling isn't going to become an issue, because I do love the pattern and the yarn. I'll keep you posted.

I've just signed up to take part in a Valentine's swap on the Phoenix Knitting Forums, so I'm off to take a browse through patterns on Ravelry to look for some 'hearty' inspiration. See you next time!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

One letter makes a big difference!

Hello there! I hope you're managing to keep warm during all this cold weather. Our woodburner is keeping the living room toasty warm, and so Mr Josiekitten and I are spending our evenings snuggled in there, with Henrycat of course! I had an extra day at home this week, not because of a 'snow' day, but a 'snot' day!! I woke up on Monday morning with a sore throat, and by the end of the day, I had a streaming cold. I felt so grotty on Tuesday, that I decided it would be better if I stayed home. Henrycat thought it was marvellous, and settled down with me for a duvet day! I didn't even feel much like knitting! (shock, horror!) Anyway, I was on a course today, and I'm back at school tomorrow, armed with a box of tissues and some lemsips!
Remember the 'must-do' project I told you about last time? Well, I've finished the first wrist warmer, and all being well, will get its partner done by the weekend. I love the pattern. It's called Rose's Wrist Warmers, and apparently is connected with Doctor Who, as the character Rose (played by Billie Piper I think) wore a pair like them in one episode (or maybe series - I don't know as I'm not a Doctor Who-ite!) I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK and it feels very luxurious.

cosy wrists WIP 002

I've also started a pair of socks for my friend Charlotte. I re-knitted a pair for her recently, and she loved them, so these will be for her birthday in February. Just a plain vanilla pair, in a Trekking yarn. I love the purples and blues, and am interested to see how the colours will work out.

Charlotte's birthday socks

Crochet is high on the agenda this year, so I was delighted to see that on the Phoenix Knitting Forums, there's a 'crochet-along' just starting to make an Attic24 -inspired Ripple blanket. So far, all I've done is my test piece, to check out the pattern, and I amazed myself by ending up in the right place at the right time, with the right number of stitches!

Ripple practise 1 001

I'm going to use some yarn that I bought in France last year. It's a mix of bamboo and wool, and feels lovely and soft. Just perfect for a blankie! I love the colours of the yarn. They remind me of the sea!

Nantes yarn haul 019

I'm off to get on with a bit of hooky business now. Pop back soon. It'll be my 100th post and there'll be something yarny on offer for one lucky reader! Byeeeee! (Atchoooooooo!!!)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A little touch of colour

Hello! It's still cold and snowy here in Norfolk, and quite frankly, I'm getting a bit fed up with it. The snow is a bit like having visitors to stay - you love it at first, but that feeling soon changes if they outstay their welcome! And despite most of the county having two 'snow' days, with schools closed, my school remained open, so I had to battle in, knowing that my good pal Snoopydog was at home, knitting!!! She's even blogged about it, just to rub salt into the wound!!

yet more snow jan 2010 004

Undeterred by the bitter winds coming from the Baltic states, Mr Josiekitten and I donned all our woollies and set off down to the town to pick up a few bits and pieces for the weekend. The sea was much rougher than last weekend, and we decided against a beach walk - it really was freezing cold!

yet more snow jan 2010 009

I popped into my LYS to pick up a couple of balls of yarn for a 'must-do' project. I've just started a pair of wrist warmers, after seeing a completed pair on the Phoenix Knitting Forums. The pattern is called Rose's Wrist Warmers, and looks lovely. The cables are making the knitting quite slow, so I won't post a photo until I've done a little more.

I've just finished a little project-ette, taking inspiration once again from Lucy at Attic24. I've made a Teeny Tiny Flower Posy brooch, using oddments of Rowan yarn left over from the Debbie Abrahams workshop. I'm not usually a broochy type of person, but loved this, and shall wear it on my jackets to bring a little touch of colour to the dull winter days.

teeny tiny flower brooch (2)

Cute, isn't it? Here's a closer look at my little crocheted posy. Lucy's instructions are so detailed, with lots of photos to help.

teeny tiny flower brooch (5)

My new buttons have come in very handy! Oh yes, I promised to show you my new button box. It came from John Lewis a couple of years ago, and was a Christmas gift from Mr JK. Inside the tin were a matching mug and coaster.

new button tin 003

My new buttons barely cover the bottom of it, so I am on the lookout for some more treasures! You can be sure I'll let you know if I find any! Enjoy your weekend, and I hope it's not too cold where you are!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Button goodies

Do you have a button box? I do. It was passed down to me by my Mum, who in turn, inherited it from her Mum. It's an old Bluebird Toffee tin, with paintings of old English castles on it.

Nannie's button box 001

Inside there's a family history told in buttons - from my Grandpa's shirts and Nannie's dresses, through to my Mum's blouses, and my school cardigans. (Mine were navy blue, what colour were yours?!) It's a little treasure chest that still gives me a thrill when I delve down deep, hoping to unearth a special button. The only trouble is, they're mostly a bit on the dull side. Take a peek inside..............

Nannie's button box 005

I'm hoping to make a quick crochet project in the next week or so, taking inspiration from Lucy at Attic 24 to make a flower brooch. I have the yarn all ready and waiting, left over from my Debbie Bliss Christmas tree square,

yarn for flower brooch

so I decided to treat myself to some new buttons. I remembered a stand that I'd seen both at Ally Pally and I Knit, where I'd been very tempted to buy lots of brightly coloured buttons. I unearthed the card I'd picked up, and hey presto, before I knew it, I'd bought not only a wonderful selection of buttons, but also some brooch pins. I got them from Knitting4Fun, and I have to say that the service was excellent. Ordered yesterday, arrived today! Just feast your eyes on all this lovely buttony goodness!

Buttony goodness

The weather forecast for tomorrow isn't that good, so if we have a snow day, you can guess what I'll be doing!

Edited to add: I've just found the perfect tin for my 'new' button box. I'll share it with you next time!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Whipping up a scarf

Hello there! Well, we are only 3 days into 2010, and already we've had snow. We awoke yesterday to a covering of snow, and it's been so cold since that it's still on the ground. Mr Josiekitten and I walked down to the beach for a breath of fresh air. It was gorgeous down there, walking along the snow-covered promenade, watching the seagulls.

Snowy January 2010

We stopped off for warming drinks - I had a hot chocolate and Mr JK had a whisky - before returning home. It was the perfect day for knitting, snuggled on the sofa in front of the woodburner. What to knit..........? I decided that I had to cast on the Cora scarf, using my much desired Rowan Colourscape yarn. It's a very simple cable pattern, and knitted up really quickly. Before I knew it, I'd used one skein, and I finished the scarf today. It goes really well with my gorgeous purple jacket, and I'm almost looking forward to some more cold days so that I can show it off!

Snowy days Cora scarf 002

The scarf is like one big plait of wool. The yarn is lovely, a bit Noro-esque in that you have to keep picking out little bits of stick, and you do have to be quite gentle with it, as it breaks quite easily. Having said that tho', the colours are gorgeous. Here's a closer look.

Snowy days Cora scarf 004

This scarf is actually my second finished item of 2010. You may remember I started a pair of socks for my friend Charlotte. I had hoped to finish them in 2009, to bring my sock total for the year to 24 pairs, but I didn't quite manage it, and ended up finishing them off on New Year's day. The yarn is really lovely to knit with. I don't have any in my stash at the moment, but I may well have soon!

Charlotte's perfect purple socks! 003

School starts again this week, so my knitting time will be cut dramatically. I need to sort out a project that I can carry about with me. I shall be delving into the sock yarn stash to choose some yarn. There's quite a lot of it, so I may be some time! See you soon (ish!)