Monday, 28 July 2014

Fibre East 2014

What a weekend!! Absolutely bloomin' brilliant!! Snoopydog and I set off nice and early on Saturday for our 2 hour drive to Ampthill near Bedford - home of Fibre East. With sunshine and hot weather forecast, we were feeling relaxed and in holiday mood as we approached the venue. I'd read in the Fibre East Ravelry group about the yarn bombing that had gone on, and the bunting and other knitted objects guiding us in looked amazing.

Fibre East 2014 (2)

A huge knitted arrow, in case you were in any doubt of which direction you should be heading!

Fibre East 2014 (6)

The whole event was so well organised, with loads of space for all the vendors. It was incredibly hot, especially in the halls. I don't know how the stall holders managed; I was melting at times!! Each hall or marquee was named after a different breed of sheep, and fun painted signs told you where you were.

Fibre East 2014 day 2 (9)

There was a fantastic range of vendors there - and a lot more than last year I think! It certainly felt much bigger. So there was something for everyone, no matter what your yarny interest. Looking back through my photos, what makes the most impact is colour, colour, colour! I think it's best if I just show you!

Fibre East 2014 1

Fibre East 2014 2

Fibre East 2014 3

Fibre East 2014 4

Fibre East 2014 5

There were plenty of natural colours too, just to rest your eyes for a moment!

Fibre East 2014 6

It won't come as any surprise to you to know that I made several (ahem!) purchases! I went with a budget which I more or less stuck to, and came back with a surprisingly large haul. Quite a few of the skeins are earmarked as gifts for friends or to be knitted into something for a gift, but I did manage to end up buying more for myself this time than at Woolfest. Here's a glimpse of everything I bought ..........

Fibre East goodies (9)

I'll be back again soon to share my purchases with you in more detail. Plus I have loads to tell you about the fabulous spinning class I took at Fibre East. See you very soon! xxx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 21

Another wonderful day packed with all kinds of yarny treats! As it's the last day of the Tour de Fleece, I wanted to share with you a sneak preview of my spinning class at Fibre East. Totally brilliant, I have learnt so much!

Fibre East 2014 day 2 (47)

Fibre East 2014 day 2 (42)

See you tomorrow for a bumper blog all about Fibre East! xxx

PS The kitten done good!!!

Fibre East 2014 day 2 (2)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 20

Snoopydog and I have had a fabulous day at Fibre East. I'll blog all about it on Monday. Just wanted to share my finished singles in readiness for tomorrow's class with Sarah Anderson. Can't. Wait. xxx

Tour de Fleece Day 20

Friday, 25 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 19

It's the eve of Fibre East. Tomorrow Snoopydog and I are going for a day of yarny fun and I cannot wait! I am returning to Fibre East on Sunday because I am taking a spinning class with Sarah Anderson in the afternoon. The class is all about improving your Navajo plying and I know that I am going to learn loads. It was through watching Sarah's YourTube video on N-plying that I took my first baby steps to learn this method. If you've never watched it and you are a spinner, I can thoroughly recommend it. 

Anyhow, I had an email from Sarah this morning suggesting that although we shall be spinning some singles to N-ply during the class, if we had a bobbin with singles that we didn't mind using for practising, then it would be good to bring that along too. As the only bobbins I have with singles are the two remaining from my spinning so far in the Tour and I'm not sure I want to use them for practising, I decided to spin something from my stash. I rummaged deep and pulled out some BFL that Beki sent me in one of our swaps. I still have a tiny bit left to spin and will do so tomorrow when I get back home from Fibre East. See you tomorrow! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 19 (1)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 19 (2)

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 18

My first bobbin is plied, soaked and skeined! I have about 180 metres of sport-weight yarn and I absolutely love it! The fibre was an absolute delight to spin and the colours that Chris at Briar Rose Fibers uses are stunning. If you'd like some fibre like this, pop over to Chris's website. I bet you don't come away empty handed!!

Anyhow, here's how my skein is looking.............

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 18 (7)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 18 (9)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 18 (10)

I have two more bobbins to ply - one contains more bluey-green singles and less purple and the other is more like this one I think. I have this pattern in mind, or something similar. I think I will probably have to do a fair bit of maths to get the sizing right, but I just love the stripiness (is that a real word?!) of the cardigan. I have been playing with different coloured skeins in my stash to see the effects of the various colours next to my handspun. I have a favourite combination, I wonder if it's the same as yours. Please let me know your choice! Back to plying again tomorrow! xxx

stripy cardigan options

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 17

Oh there is some serious yarn lurve going on chez josiekitten this evening. I have plied up almost all the first bobbin and I am so, so happy with how the yarn looks. I have N-plied the yarn to keep the colours separate and you can see just how beautiful they are from the photos. I am wondering if the yarn might work for this cardigan. The next dilemma is what contrast colour to use - any suggestions? xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 17 (2)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 17 (3)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 17 (10)

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 17 (6)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 16

I have three lovely plump bobbins of singles, and plying has begun. The light was too bad for photos this evening, so you'll have to make do with a 'before' photo. Yarn tomorrow, I promise! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day  16(1)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Rest Day 2

Another rest day in the Tour, so a break from spinning for me! Time to fill you in on what else has been going on. And the truth is, not much! It's the end of term on Wednesday and I've been really busy trying to get everything done and dusted at school. What with that and spinning, the knitting seems to have been sat on the back burner recently. I have done a few rows of the crochet ripple blanket that I'm making for our friends in Germany. Their first grandchild is due in early August, so this will be a priority as soon as the holidays start. I am planning on 6 repeats plus a border. 

crochet ripple for Julia and Henrik WIP (2)

crochet ripple for Julia and Henrik WIP (1)

The garden is still looking wonderful, despite the rather stormy weather we've been experiencing over the past few days. The Echinacea is in bloom looking rather elegant. Also our hydrangeas are covered in flowers this year.

summer blooms July 2014 (1)

summer blooms July 2014 (6)

I received my first club yarn from the Knitspot Purple Passion club - it's a laceweight cotton yarn, entirely natural and purple. I had no idea that cotton grew in that colour - apparently it's very rare. I look forward to knitting with it over the summer.

Purple Passion yarn July on purple (1)

Purple Passion yarn July (3)

Back to spinning tomorrow - I've finished the spinning and have three bobbins ready for plying! And I have the treat of Fibre East to look forward to at the weekend. I'm going with Snoopydog, it's going to be fun! xxx

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 15

I am so close to finishing my braid of BFL - only a couple of lengths to go. Then the plying fun can begin! I have a couple of patterns bubbling away in the back of my mind. I'll just have to wait and see how the finished yarn turns out! Call back soon to see! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 15(1)

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 14

Two bobbins done, one to go!

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 14 (5)

Of course I was able to rely on Florence for quality control! More tomorrow, I hope! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 14 (3)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 13

I managed to fit in a little more spinning today and am enjoying the colour changes in this yarn. I am hoping for a bumper spinning weekend; you never know, I might even get all the fibre spun up. I am very curious to see how it looks once it's plied. xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 13

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 12

A minuscule amount of spinning today, I'm afraid. I've been busy writing a big report for school and finally got it submitted late today, breathing a huge sigh of relief and ticking it off my 'must do before the end of term' list! I should have more 'me' time tomorrrow. xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 12

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 11

Back to the spinning today with a huge smile on my face. I discovered that I have won a prize in the Ravelry group that I am spinning with - Briar Rose Fibers. A whopping great $40 certificate for fibre or yarn from Briar Rose Fibers. What to choose? In the meantime, my second bobbin is starting to fill up with more of the same! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 11

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Rest Day 1

It's a rest day in the Tour today, so no spinning for me. Instead, a chance to catch up with what else I have been doing since the Tour began.

School is crazy busy, with lots of deadlines to be met before the end of term next week. I feel totally drained and cannot wait for the holidays to start! I have plenty of plans for knitting, spinning and sewing to keep me busy over the 6 week break. More of that in a future post.........

In the meantime, I have started knitting a new pair of socks. The pattern is Gabriola, designed by one of my Ravelry friends, Kim and she came up with the pattern to cope with 'busy' yarns. With that in mind, I rummaged through my stash and picked out a skein that I bought way back at Knit Nation in 2010. I fell in love with its bright colours and it has sat in my stash since then, waiting for the perfect pattern to come along.

KnitNation purchases 2010 020

I wound the yarn into a lovely, colourful yarn cake - the colourway is called Summer Bunting - and it makes me feel very happy every time I look at it.

Gabriola socks WIP (2)

The pattern is easy to memorise and grows fast. It almost knits itself! I've reached the heel flap already - look! The yarn has decided to stripe, which I wasn't expecting, but I do like it!

Gabriola socks 1 WIP (1)

I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first squishy parcel from knitspot's Purple Passion club. Pattern release is on Thursday and I hope to have the yarn all ready to cast on as a weekend treat. We have been having a little swapping fun in the Purple Passion clubhouse over on Ravelry. I received my package from Donna last week and it was filled with lovely things.

Purple Passion swap with Donna 001

Donna sent me two beautiful skeins of yarn from Spirit Trail, some exceedingly yummy Reese's Pieces (now sadly long gone!) as well as some purple buttons and an ebony shawl pin. Flo wasn't left out either with a fun purple mouse to chase around.

Purple Passion swap with Donna 003

I've been busy baking at the weekends - chocolate brownies mmmmmmmmmmmm!

mmmm homemade chocolate brownies (4)

and banana and peanut butter muffins (they were meant to have Reese's Pieces in them too, but Mr JK and I were piglets!)

banana and peanut butter muffins (3)

Before I go, I must share a new find with you. My friend Carie has just opened an Etsy shop selling stitch markers. I received my order from the USA in super-quick time and I just love them. She has just restocked her shop again, so why not pop over and take a look. See you tomorow! xxx

Carie's stitch markers

Monday, 14 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 10

I have filled the first bobbin with my Briar Rose Fibers Blue Faced Leicester. I love the colours and I think that I am going to Navajo-ply the singles so that I can keep the beautiful colours separate. 

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 10 (5)

I had my dear little furry assistant helping out too - that is until she started sticking her paw out to bat the roving!  At that point, she was unceremoniously deposited on the floor! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 10 (2)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 9

I managed to get a little spinning done this afternoon; the bag of roving is getting smaller and the bobbin is getting fuller. I think this little lot is going to keep me busy for the rest of this week. I am itching to see how it looks once it's plied! With any luck, I should get this bobbin filled tomorrow. Will I be able to resist the temptation to ply it straight away?! xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 Day 9 (2)

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tour de Fleece Day 8

Not as much spinning as I'd hoped today as our day managed to get filled up with other jobs. However, I am really enjoying spinning this beautiful fibre. It is a soft as a cloud and drafts so easily. I am thinking that I might N-ply the singles to try to preserve some of the colour changes. Otherwise, I fear that it might look rather subdued once plied. I have no idea what yardage to expect; hopefully enough for an infinity scarf and mitts.

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 8 (2)

I have my next section of fibre ready and waiting for tomorrow. Aren't the colours just magical? xxx

Tour de Fleece 2014 day 8 (3)