Sunday, 22 February 2015

Normal blogging service has resumed!

Here we are, Sunday evening already and half term is almost over. I have very much enjoyed the week off, pottering about each day. Of course I had great plans to get started on writing my school reports (hahaha!) but somehow I always managed to find something more appealing to do instead. So how did I spend my week? Apart from the sewing class at the start of the week, I had some fun with my spinning wheel. I have committed myself to entering some of the spinning competitions at Fibre East again this summer, so I need to get cracking. I chose a blend of merino and seacell in a pretty mix of pinks to get me started.

lipstick Coast handspun WIP (1)

I think that this will end up being a two ply yarn. I have read the comments that the judges wrote about my entry last year, and am aiming for slightly more twist in the singles. I'll keep you updated with my progress.

I have joined a KAL in the Tangled Yarn group on Ravelry. We are all knitting the Orza Pullover. The yarn is really lovely, soft shades in a mix of wool and cotton. The pattern is very detailed and you definitely need to pay attention. I'm not sure how much I will get done in the evenings once I'm back at  school! There are two different stitch patterns, one for the front and back and a second, more lacy one, for the sleeves. 

Orza KAL WIP (2)

Here's a progress photo. It doesn't look like that much, but I do have almost 300 stitches on the needles, plus it's a light fingering weight!! At the rate I am knitting, it'll be done for summer 2016!

Orza KAL WIP (3)

My Love Squared blanket has also been a distraction, and the second block has been finished. I am aiming for three blocks in each colour, plus a variety of striped ones too. I will need to see how far I can stretch out the yarn. The large blanket (let's face it, I need to knit a large blanket if I'm sharing it with Flo, not to mention Mr JK wanting a corner of it too!) has a total of 49 blocks, so there's a long way to go.

Love Squared blocks 1 and 2 WIP

I have done a fair bit of cooking as well, my favourites were these chocolate chip cookies from a Delia recipe. It's probably just as well that I'm back at school tomorrow, to save myself from munching my way through the whole lot! They are very good and VERY moreish! See you next week when I hope to have increased my block total for the blanket. xxx

chocolate chip cookies (2)

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Blanket Statement - according to Flo!

Meow meow everyone, Florence here. I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you all about some of the knitty goings on here recently. Now if you're a regular visitor, you'll know all about my love of yarn and woolly things in general. In particular, I have a 'thing' about resting on knitted objects. They are so cosy and comfortable, and if they are left lying around, it's like my Mum is inviting me to come and sit on them. I think it would be rude to ignore them, don't you?! Here's a quick reminder of some of my favourite items of bedding........

flo's new blankie (3)

Wurmy rainbow cushion (19)

Purple Sculling (11)

Pink Pony socks (2)

Coffee and Cream baby set 005

Flo helps with the sewing up! 004

Last year I was thrilled when Mum finally finished the 64 Crayons blanket; however my attempts to be the sole-occupier have been thwarted by human intervention!! 

64 Crayons WIP paws up from Flo 002

round 1 to Flo

mine, all mine! (2)

So when I heard rumours about a knitspot blanket club, my little heart soared! Mum was going to knit me my very own blanket! What a special cat am I?! The first instalment of the pattern was released on Tuesday, and Mum spent some time sorting out yarn and a project bag. This is a Super Spud bag, perfect for blankets, available from ThreeBagsFull. I hung around, all casual-like, to keep an eye on proceedings.

Love Squared - preparation (11)

I monitored progress yesterday evening from my spot on the sofa.

Flo monitors the blankie (2)

This morning, Mum had a big 'tah-dah'! moment. I must say I was a bit surprised, I hadn't expected her to finish it quite so quickly. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw what she was celebrating. I mean, take a look for yourself!

Comfort Me block 1 done! (5)

I tried to make an impressed face, but really - is she having a laugh?!

Comfort Me block 1 done! (14)

I did my best to lay down on it, honestly.

Comfort Me block 1 done! (12)

But there's no other way of putting it - it just ain't big enough!! Now are you going to tell her or am I?! Meow meow meow!  xxx

Comfort Me block 1 done! (2)

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

All sewn up

I am enjoying my half term holiday, although the days are going far too fast for my liking! Yesterday I went into Norwich and did a sewing class to learn how to make a cushion with buttons. I must say that the sewing machines are just top notch. They pretty much do everything for you! I chose a Scandinavian style fabric and added a green contrast band with fabric covered buttons to pick out some of the colours in the pattern. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

button cushion (2)

Here's a close up of the button band. I shall have to try the button hole maker on my machine now. I can remember using my Mum's old Singer machine and having to hand sew the button hole using blanket stitch on the rare occasions when I did some sewing years ago.

button cushion (3)

I am gradually replacing all our bought cushion covers with handmade ones - here's how the sofa is looking so far! There's still plenty of space on the other sofa.

button cushion (1)

I can now share with you properly the free motion embroidery I did a few weeks ago. I made a bag for my friend Michele. She was my swap partner in the ThreeBagsFull group on Ravelry, and is also bag maker and sewer extraordinaire of ThreeBagsFull on Etsy. I decided (rather rashly, given how fabulous Michele's sewing is!) that I wanted to sew something for Michele, and settled on an idea to use free motion embroidery so that it would be completely different from the bags Michele usually sews. I was thrilled with how it turned out and I learnt a lot about the placement of designs during the making process. There will definitely be more of this kind of sewing in my future!

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (6) 

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (5) 

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (1) 

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (13) 

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (7)

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (11) 

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (9)

free motion embroidery knitbits bag (8)

Come back soon and I'll show you what's keeping my knitting needles rather busy right now. xxx

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A week of casting on is nigh!

A quick post to wave hello at the start of half term. Although I have school reports to write, I am planning on lots of knitting, sewing and spinning to fill my days. On Tuesday, the pattern is released for the first instalment of the knitspot blanket club. I have been waiting for this club for about a year now, I cannot wait to get started. Today, I cast on for a sweater - there's a KAL in the Tangled Yarns group on Ravelry. I've not got far, so will share photos later in the week. While I've been waiting, another blanket has had a bit of attention. This one is the Roger That blanket, another knitspot pattern. I'm using some Cascade 220 yarn and have managed 2 of the 17 repeats. 

Roger That WIP (3)

I received a wonderful parcel from the USA yesterday. It was from the Valentine's Secret swap held in the ThreeBagsFull group. I was lucky enough to have David sending me some of his favourite things. As well as a gorgeous Tall Mia bag with a black cat print on it, there was a skein of his favourite yarn, some delicious dark chocolate with raspberries, some hand cream, kitty snips, gift cards and some extremely pretty stitch markers. 

TBF Valentine's swap (2)

Mr JK ran a personal best in the Valentine's 10K race today, so we celebrated with some homemade chocolate cake! It was really yummy, we could quite easily have scoffed the lot!! I'll see you later in the week with a progress report. xxx

chocolate cake mmmm! (1)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Thankfully no sting in the foot!

Despite being off work ill for most of last week, I barely picked up any knitting until Thursday. Up until that point, it was just too much effort! Since then, I have been whizzing away on a pair of socks, which have been in hibernation since the summer of 2013. The yarn is some I spun, made of 50% Blue Faced Leicester and 50% Ramie. Ramie is a plant fibre that comes from nettles! Thankfully, those nasty little stinging hairs have long gone and the fibre has quite a silky feel to it. Here's a reminder of how the fibre looked before spinning .......

Stinger stash (2)

I actually had two braids which I split and plied to produce some lovely colourful yarn!

Tour de Fleece 2013 Day 16 020

Tour de Fleece 2013 Day 20 007

One of the skeins seemed to be a little less tightly spun, so I hope that the socks will wear ok. I will have to try them and see what happens. I do have plenty of yarn left, should some emergency repairs or reinforcing be required. I made the most of the sunshine this afternoon and my resident photographer (aka Mr JK) did the honours.

Stinger handspun socks (3)

Stinger handspun socks (2)

Stinger handspun socks (5)

I'm counting down the days until half term now; I have a couple of 'big knits' starting during that week, so while I'm waiting, I'll carry on working on another snoozing project. See you soon for a real explosion of colour! xxx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Poorly sick

Just popping in, between coughing bouts, to share my finished pair of socks. I worked on them on and off during the week, and grafted the toe on Friday evening. They are a gift for Mr JK's cousin in Germany, so will sit in the present drawer until we next meet up.

plain vanilla socks no. 19 (1)

I am most irritated that I haven't done any knitting this weekend. A nasty virus has laid me low and it has been too much effort even to knit. I'm not going into work in the morning as I still feel pretty ropey, so perhaps I will feel like knitting a little tomorrow. I spent much of this morning lying on the sofa, wrapped up in layers of knitwear, topped off with the 69 Crayons blanket. I fully expected Flo to keep me company, and I would willingly have shared the blankie for a little feline company, but she gave me a wide berth. Needless to say, she soon made a cosy nest in said blanket later in the day.

not missing a trick (1)

We haven't had any real snow in our corner of England, and Mr JK spotted these snowdrops in the garden. I hope it's a sign that Spring really is on its way. I have had enough of the cold, wintry weather.

first snowdrops  of 2015 (1)

I'll make this short and sweet and leave you with a photo of Flo. She loves climbing trees and doing a spot of bird watching. There was a blue tit hopping about from branch to branch, teasing her, while she was up the tree. As long as she doesn't try to catch them, then all will be well. See you next week. xxx

Flo looks down on her territory (1)