Sunday, 29 September 2013

A hard day's night!

Remember last week, when I said I had a new project to share with you which was going to be a high pressure knit? Well, here it is! Meet the Beatles!

Meet the Beatles!

The Fab Four are going to be part of a birthday gift for a dear friend in Germany. He is a complete Beatles fan, so Mr JK and I thought they would be perfect for him. I spotted the pattern in the summer holidays and ordered the book, only for it to go astray. Finally the replacement copy arrived along with the yarn last week. Having looked more closely at the patterns, there is no way that I am going to be able to have them all knit up by the time we visit Wolfgang in four weeks time. So they will become a longer term project and I shall try to do a little work on them each week. I have cast on John Lennon and will report back on progress in due course!
In the meantime, my knitting needles have not been completely idle. I have made a start on the next wide strip in my 64 Crayons blanket. It's easy knitting when my brain can't cope with anything  more complicated!

64 crayons WIP (5)

I am also halfway through knitting a pair of socks. The Roger sock is my favourite sock pattern, it's a really great fit.
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I also unearthed a sock that I started some time over the summer. I spun up some fibre and decided to see how it would look knit up as socks. So far, so good! I still have to ply the yarn for the other sock!

handspun sock

I also received two swap parcels this week. The first was from Judy in Indiana and was part of a bag and knitting notions swap in the ThreeBagsFull group on Ravelry. We agreed to swap a skein of yarn in addition to the bag and notions. I love the cherry red colour of the yarn she picked out for me.

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Judy's cat Timothy sent Flo some of his favourite treats and madam couldn't wait to get her paws on them! (She also sent some treats to Timothy, I hope he likes them!)

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The second parcel was part of a fibre swap in the Fluff-n-Stuff group on Ravelry. Stephanie sent me a braid of Stinger fibre (it's called Stinger because some of the fibre comes from nettles!) and three extremely decadent bars of chocolate. We are having a spin-along in October so with any luck I ought to get this spun up. It's a semi-solid mix of beautiful teals and blues.
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Mr JK and I are still walking every day and I am very surprised by how much I am enjoying it. The mornings are dark now when we leave the house, but when you get rewarded with a view like this, it's easy to keep going!

sunrise 28.9 (2)

Florence has taken up residence in her furry igloo now that it's getting a little chillier. She really is such a darling, we love her to bits! See you next time. xxx
sleepy flo (3)

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Alpaca SOS!

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I don't know about you, but I'm rather fond of knitting with alpaca yarn. It gives the finished knits a wonderful halo and it's so warm. The animals themselves are seriously cute too, aren't they? So I was very shocked to read recently about what's been happening in Peru. There have been terrible snow storms following an already very harsh winter. Three feet of snow fell in a short space of time, destroying houses, cutting off farmers and starving and freezing to death thousands of alpacas. There are reports that up to a quarter of a million alpacas have died. Not only that, but many thousands of people are homeless, or unable to heat their homes, since their fuel is alpaca dung. Obviously this is an absolute disaster for the local people, who rely on earning a living through their flock of alpacas. You can read a lot more about the situation here. Loveknitting are working with a charity called Practical Action to try and help the alpaca farmers and communities that have been devastated by this disaster. I'm going to get my thinking hat on too and see if I can come up with a way to help. Watch this space!! xxx
woolly related

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Not enough hours in a day!

Well, that's what I think anyway! The start of the school year has been really busy. Factor in Mr JK's and my efforts to try and improve our fitness and I barely seem to have sat down on the sofa in the evening before it's time for bed! If you remember, I told you that we have both got a Fitbit. In essence, it's a posh pedometer, but it counts steps, flights of stairs, very active minutes, miles walked and calories used as well as monitoring your sleep. It automatically syncs to a computer, and it is addictive. We find ourselves trying to reach our daily targets, and going out for another walk if we are low on steps for the day. You can link with other Fitbit friends to spur each other on too!
Last weekend we were away in Germany visiting family. We had a great time, although it was sadly cakeless!!! I am ashamed to say that I didn't take a single photo while we were there either. Must do better!
However, I do have a couple of finished knits to show you. Firstly, a pair of plain vanilla socks for my friend Charlotte. She loves hand knit socks, so I was happy to knit her a pair using an easy wash Regia yarn. This is a pretty self striping one that's been sat in my stash just waiting for a worthy recipient! They were an easy holiday knit.

Charlotte's socks (1)

I also finished test knitting a hat pattern for knitspot. This pattern incorporates my favourite sock pattern on the brim (the Roger sock) with a slouchy tam. I like the button detail too. Mine was knit using Plucky Feet in the colourway 'Well Preserved'. It's going to be very well used on our early morning walks now that it's starting to feel a little chilly first thing. (See if you can spot Miss Flo in the photo below!)
Beam me up Scotty!

I received a lovely squishy parcel in the post this week. I was lucky enough to win a sock giveaway in the knitspot group on Ravelry. Agnes, one of the moderators in the group, sent me a beautifully knit pair of socks in Posh sparkly yarn. Not only that, she also included a skein of Shalimar Breathless DK yarn which Mr JK has his eyes on for a hat!

socks from Agnes (2)

I love the gift tag that Agnes fixed on the socks. Here, take a closer look!

socks from Agnes (3)
socks from Agnes (1)

I shall have to ask Agnes where she got them from, they would be perfect for finishing off hand knit gifts.
I've made a start on the next strip of my 64 Crayons blanket, and I have a pair of socks on the go, as well as two sweaters. One is so close to being finished, I need a boot up the backside to get it done so I can wear it this winter! I really don't like all the sewing up but shall have to make myself get on with it. It will be worth it in the end!
The garden is still looking wonderful. It's been so nice to see things emerging each week. The previous owners were obviously very keen gardeners, and it's been planted for year round colour.

September garden (2)

I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive  to start a special project which I need to have finished in the next 5 weeks! I'll tell you all about it next time. Have a good week! xx

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Colouring in

Sometimes you just need a spot of no-brainer comfort knitting, to ease yourself back into the working world. That's exactly what's happened to me this week, with the start of the new school term. I picked up my 64 Crayons blanket, and have been knitting away on a strip. Beautiful stripes of Noro yarn, with some unexpectedly pleasing colour combinations.
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I have now finished three of the strips - two narrow and one wide. I thought it was about time I saw how they looked side by side.

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Of course someone else thinks it's for her - we'll just humour her for the moment, shall we?!

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I have my next two balls picked out and shall start a wide strip this evening. It's starting to feel just a touch autumnal in the evenings, and the idea of snuggling on the sofa with a cosy blanket is rather appealing! xxx

colouring in 009

Monday, 2 September 2013

Some things just don't change!

Well here I am, back from Greece! We had a wonderful time. We've been going back to the same village on the island of Kos every year since 2002 and it's just as magical now as it was the first time. Sunshine, soft golden sand, clear blue seas, delicious food, cats and kittens, knitting, reading, Scrabble........... I'm just going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

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My head is still very much in holiday mode which is rather a shame as school starts again tomorrow!! But it's been a great summer and I seem to have done loads. I'll be back soon to share some knitting with you. xxx