Sunday, 27 May 2012

Keep on Running!

Hello there! I'm a very proud josiekitten today. We have been in London for the weekend as Mr JK was running in his first ever race - the Bupa London 10km. Despite the heat (28 degrees Celsius or 82 degrees Fahrenheit), he completed the race in just over 90 minutes.

Bupa London 10km May 2012 (44)

The elite athletes ran at the start, including Mo Farah, the current world 5000m champion. He was on his last couple of km as Mr JK passed him at his 2km mark! There was a great atmosphere down the Mall. It's the route of the London Olympic marathon, so it was pretty special for the athletes taking part. Imagine the buzz you must get running down towards Buckingham Palace with the crowds clapping and cheering!

Bupa London 10km May 2012 (14)

In addition to the top athletes, there are plenty of fun runners, many of whom are raising money for charity. It is very inspiring and emotional to watch them pushing themselves for others. I spotted this trio in Dr Who garb - they must have been boiling!

Bupa London 10km May 2012 (114)

I even told Mr JK that I would quite like to run the race myself next year. Hmmmmmmmmm, we'll see whether I was just getting carried away in the heat of the moment. I'm not known at school for my sporting prowess! I'm not even sure that I have a pair of trainers!! Here is Mr JK's race medal. To me, it's worth just as much as an Olympic gold!

Bupa London 10km May 2012 (1)

On Saturday, we spent most of the day exploring some of London's finest museums - the Science museum and the V&A. I love the costume section there. I also managed to squeeze in a visit to Loop and bought three skeins of Juno Fibre Arts Alice sock yarn to knit a Color Affection shawl. I have finally succumbed to the lure of this gorgeous pattern. I decided to go with shades that would all blend in with each other. Here they are, snuggled inside their new home. It's a batik dragonflies bag from ThreeBagsFull, and was a gift from a dear knitting friend this week. I am hoping to get the yarn wound before we head off to Germany for a long weekend next week.

Colour Affection (1)

I shall see you after the Jubilee weekend. Have a great time! xxx

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Animal Antics

There have been some animal sightings in the josiekitten garden this week! Firstly, a rather rotund blue owl flew in. He didn't stay long  - he then flew on to school to become our new mascot!

Mr Hoot (3)

Of course, he wanted to meet Florence before he left. She wasn't overly impressed - I don't think she could give a hoot!!

Mr Hoot (1)

Secondly, a squirrel has discovered that we have a bird feeder, and with no trouble whatsoever, he nipped up the pole to survey things from his new vantage point.

squirrel antics (11)

It wasn't long before he started on the bird seed. I am amazed at the agility of these creatures.

squirrel antics (13)

I think he intends to come back until he's completely depleted the bird seed. Poor birds, we'll have to see what we can do to make their feeders more squirrel proof, as they're not getting a look-in at the moment!

squirrel antics (15)

Back to the knitting, I have finished another plain vanilla pair of socks for my friend Zena, so I'll be posting them off to her this week. I do hope she likes them. The yarn is machine washable, so perfect for new converts to handknit socks!

plain vanilla socks no7 (2)

The crochet ripple blanket is growing too. I think that I shall do a single crochet border around the edge in three different colours from the blanket, and finish it off with a picot edge if I can find out how to do it! I've seen a couple of very pretty ones on Ravelry with that sort of edging. You won't be surprised to hear that Florence continues to monitor its progress!

ripple blankie WIP (1)

We are off to London next weekend as Mr JK is running in the Bupa London 10km race. The course follows part of the London Olympic marathon route which is quite exciting. I'm hoping it will be dry so that I can find somewhere to sit and knit! See you soon! xxx

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Catching up

Hello again! I thought it was about time I showed you just what's been happening in my knitty-hooky world recently. The crochet ripple blanket is coming along nicely. I think that I will have enough yarn to do four colour repeats of all ten stripes, which should make it a useful size. I am going to need to buy some more yarn for the border. I can't quite decide what colours to get, so I'm going to browse a few finished blankets over on Ravelry for some inspiration. Progress is being closely monitored by Flo, you'll be pleased to hear!

ripple ripple WIP 004

I finished a pair of Roger socks for a friend. I've called them 'You'll never walk alone' since the recipient is an ardent Liverpool supporter. I used a Regia machine washable yarn as I don't think they'd get the handwashing treatment needed for some more luxurious sock yarns. I do like this pattern a lot, it fits very well and is easy to knit.

red rogers (2)

I've also been knitting away on a plain vanilla pair of socks and am on the heel flap of the second. I should have those to show you next time. Other knitting for another day includes my mink and cashmere cardigan (back, one sleeve and part of a front done) and a large cuddly owl which is going to become our school mascot. I've almost finished the body, ably assisted by 'you know who', who thinks that any yarn (especially lovely bulky yarn) belongs to her!

Flo assists with knitting (1)

At least she looked sorry when I finally extracted it - somewhat mangled - from her claws and jaws!! How could I stay cross with her?!!

sorry Flo (2)

I received a lovely parcel from my friend Cathy in Canada. We have been swapping yarn and fibre for two or three years now. She always manages to find me something unusual. The sock yarn is local to her, using some Canadian alpaca. I can't wait to turn it into some socks!

swap with Cathy May 2012 (1)

I also received my fibre from Picperfic's luxury fibre club. It's a mix of merino, cashmere and silk. The suggestion is to spin it as a single and then knit a Citron shawl. It would look beautiful with the gradual colour changes.

Esme Darling fibre (4)

I have been busy in the kitchen too - I made some focaccia bread using a recipe from the Hairy Bikers Great Bakeation. It tasted really nice and I shall definitely be making it again. I used genuine Italian olive oil from Jenny.

Hairy Bikers focaccia bread (2)

Last weekend I made a Bakewell tart using an old recipe of my Mum's. The pastry just melted in your mouth, it was really deeeeeeelish! (with custard of course!)  I'm making another pie today - chicken, ham and leek from the Hairy Bikers' pie book. I hope it's another winner! Here's last week's tart. Enjoy! xxx

Bakewell tart (2)

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Bring me sunshine

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 030

My goodness, what do we have here? Blue skies and sunshine! Yippee! Certainly cause for celebration in the josiekitten household. It's been such a gloomy few weeks, with the wettest April on record, and dull, miserable weather. So Mr JK and I wasted no time, and set out for a visit to one of our favourite gardens - the Old Vicarage at East Ruston. There is so much to see here, we never get bored. There are interesting archways and windows cut into hedges, drawing you deeper into the garden.
East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 025

These ferns looked stunning with the sun shining through them - they've almost uncurled themselves.

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 018

The topiary has been cut into shape. I wouldn't want it in my own garden, but here it just fits perfectly.

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 023

The bluebells were in full flower, a real reminder that spring is here (better late than never!) We have a few growing in our garden, although not all of them are blue. A few rogue pink ones seem to have crept in from somewhere!

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 004

This pathway always seems magical to me - you almost expect it to lead to a fairy glen. It's the kind of place I would have loved to play in as a child.

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 032

This alium is just about to burst into flower. I do like these blooms, so majestic.
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There are pots and tubs of flowers everywhere you look. These were some of my favourites, pink daisies.

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 050

And what do you do when you've been walking round for an hour or so? Enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake! Mmmmmmmmmm!

East Ruston Old Vicarage May 2012 059

Call back in again tomorrow, I've loads of yarny things to show you! xxx

Sunday, 6 May 2012

It was only a matter of time ....

It was only a matter of time before I started rippling! I have been a regular visitor over at Attic24 for a couple of years now, and did get as far as rippling myself a scarf. Inspired by Melissa's recent efforts, I am underway with some hooky business, crocheting a baby blanket for a friend. I'm using yarn from stash too - some Anny Blatt machine washable merino wool that I bought in Toulouse a couple of years ago.
ready, set, ripple! (2)

The only snag is, a certain little cat seems to think it's for her!! Although she has complained that it isn't very wide! Oh dear, perhaps I'd better make one for Flo once this is done!
ready, set, ripple! (6)