Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Plying tonight!

I don't often post in the week, but I had to pop in and show you the yarn I'm plying at the moment. It's the one that Florence was looking suitably bored at last weekend! She showed a lot more interest once she spotted a bowl with beads in it. I think she thought they were cat treats!! No such luck! I love the bowl; my parents brought it back from a holiday in Switzerland in the 1950's or 60's I think.

beaded yarn (1)

Needless to say, I had a little feline assistance again. Flo was lucky that she didn't end up with a bead or two plied onto her whiskers!! It's slow work adding beads to yarn as you ply - I'm using a crochet hook to add them singly - but I managed to get into quite a good rhythm and the bobbin is starting to fill up. More progress pics at the weekend. xxx

beaded yarn (3)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

In a big spin

I finally managed to fit in some time at the spinning wheel this week, ably assisted by Florence, who is fascinated by the whole spinning experience. Her favourite things to do are to sit on my lap as I spin, or to watch (and chase) the shadows created by the wheel spinning around. Anyhow, I managed to turn this ...

swap yarn and fibre (1)

into this ...

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (16)

The above photo shows the yarn pre-soaking. It's currently drying and then I will take a close look at it. It's going to be one of my entries into this year's spinning competition at Fibre East, so I want it to be the best I can possibly make it. I might put it through the wheel again to add a little more twist to the ply, as this was one of the things I was picked up on last year. I plied it on a higher ratio than usual too!

Here's a snapshot of Flo's contribution ...

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (4) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (2) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (5) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (12) 

plying tonight! Coast fibre for FE (7)

I have also spun up some more fibre ready for plying. I bought it at Fibre East two years ago, seduced by the colours. The colourway is called Northern Lights and it's like a dull rainbow, because the fibre is black BFL. Here's a little bit of the fibre so you can see what I mean.

Northern Lights fibre

My plan is to N-ply the single and add beads as I go. Knowing how time consuming this process is, I need to get a wiggle on if it's going to be done in time. I hope to spend some time on it next weekend as we have an extra day.

Northern Lights spun single (8)

Before I go, I must just share this photo of Florence with you - all the spinning had fair worn her out and she was ready for a snooze! Come back soon and hopefully I'll have a beaded yarn to show you! xxx

Northern Lights spun single (4)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Nice things!

A simple post today filled with nice things from this week. Enjoy!

1. Receiving some fibre from Marianne - the April instalment of her luxury fibre club. The colours were inspired by her recent trip to Paris when she viewed Monet's Water Lilies paintings. 

April 2015 luxury fibre club (4)

2. The first of our tulips opening out in the warm Spring sunshine.

garden April 2015 (8)

3. Hanging our rainbow glass wishing stick from Cornwall on a tree in the garden.

garden glass (2)

4. Enjoying the changing seasons during an early morning walk.

early morning walkl April 2015 (1)

5. Receiving a yarny prize from Rachel's blog - it's yarn to knit a pair of socks designed by Rachel Coopey, aka Coop Knits. Colourwork has been on my 'to do' list for some considerable time - I reckon this might well be the project to finally make me tackle it!

prize from Rachel (1)

© Rachel Coopey 2015.

6. Enjoying the vibrant floral displays at East Ruston Old Vicarage (and the tea and cake too!!)

East Ruston Old Vicarage April 2015 (18)

7. Chatting with Flo out in the garden. She loves to talk to us!

more April garden 2015 (4)

I hope your week has been full of nice things too. I'll be back with a knitting and spinning update soon! xxx

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Good things must end!

We left Cornwall at the crack of dawn on Friday and were back home in Norfolk before 2pm. Florence was very happy to be home from her cat hotel, and spent Friday night snuggled up to us on the bed. Since then, I have been busy catching up with school things. It's going to be a bit of a shock to the system going to work tomorrow!

I have finished another pair of socks - using some mini skeins that I bought at Fibre East last summer. The colours didn't blend in quite as smoothly as I'd hoped, especially the darker ones from the cuff down. I had hoped for more of a gradient effect. If I was to use them again, I would experiment with the overlap between the two colours a little more carefully. But Mr JK is very happy to have a new pair of socks, so all is well!

Five shades of blue socks (2)

Five shades of blue socks (4)

Talking of socks, my friend Diane sent me a photo of her finished socks in the week. I think she might be bitten by the sock bug as she has already ordered some more yarn for her next pair! Yay, a new sock knitter is born!

I am hoping to get some more spinning done in the coming weeks. I have entered the spinning competition at Fibre East again and still have three yarns to finish. The first is going to be a 2 ply yarn. The singles are spun and are sat waiting to be plied. Then I have an N-ply yarn to spin and also I am planning on entering a beaded yarn. I have until the end of May to get my entries sent, so I ought to have enough time. With any luck, next weekend I'll be showing you some 2 ply pink yarn! Wish me luck! xxx

pink handspun singles

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Final fling!

We awoke this morning to find a film crew setting up outside our cottage! Filming for the seventh series of Doc Martin is under way in the village. There were people in hi-vis jackets, people with walkie talkies and lots and lots of equipment! I watched from the upstairs window, but as I have only seen the odd episode, probably the only person I would recognise is Martin Clunes, and I didn't spot him! We had plans to go out of Port Isaac today, otherwise we might have hung around to watch the filming.

Cornwall 2015 day 7 (1)

We decided to revisit one of our favourite places in Cornwall, the Lost Gardens of Heligan. We have been there twice before - it really is a magical place to explore. Beautiful gardens, birdsong filling the air, peace and quiet. What more could you want? Definitely go there if you ever get the chance!

Lost Gardens of Heligan

There were lots of piglets sleeping in the sunshine. I love the expression on this little chap's face. I wonder what he was dreaming about?!

Cornwall 2015 day 7 R (29)

We drove back to the cottage via Wadebridge so that I could stock up with my favourite Granny Wobbly fudge. Then a final walk down to the harbour to say goodbye to Port Isaac. Tomorrow we will be driving back to Norfolk and I cannot wait to have cuddles with Flo. I do hope you have enjoyed my Cornish adventures, it's been great having your company. xxx

Cornwall 2015 day 7 (101)

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wall to wall sunshine

I know, it's getting a bit boring isn't it, all this sunny weather?! We had a lazy morning in Port Isaac before driving down to Watergate Bay. This area is very popular with surfers. Mr JK and I are not part of the water sports fraternity - we were there for lunch at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall. Before going in to eat, we took a look at the beach. There were loads of surfers and body boarders as well as people playing games, flying kites and just relaxing in the sun.

Cornwall 2015 day 6 (2)

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Our lunch was absolutely delicious and I can share our desserts with you. While Mr JK tucked into vanilla panna cotta with spiced plums and pine nut crumble, I polished off rhubarb and cinnamon cake with toffee sauce and clotted cream. Yum yum!

Fifteen Cornwall desserts

After lunch we had a quick stop off at Trerice, a National Trust property. It's a lovely Tudor house and has lots of hands on things for kids (and adults!) to have a go at.

Cornwall 2015 day 6 (20)

Cornwall 2015 day 6 (24)

Before I go, I promised you some knitting! Here are the stripy socks I started knitting last week when I was in Devon teaching my friend how to knit socks. They are very bright and colourful, I may have to knit myself another pair very soon! xxx

wide stripy socks  (4)

Sunny days

Hello again from Cornwall! We are enjoying the most wonderful weather this week. We certainly weren't expecting so much sunshine and the warm temperatures - I wish I had brought a sun hat and flip flops! Mustn't complain though, the temperatures will be back to 'normal' at the weekend when we are back home.

Yesterday we went down to St Ives; it really is a lovely town, full of winding narrow streets and interesting shops and galleries. How's this for a great street name?!

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (3)

I wanted to visit Poppy Treffry's shop - she is my free motion stitching heroine! We treated ourselves to a couple of mugs as well as a few other bits and bobs which I will share with you when I am back in Norfolk. We wandered up to Porthgwidden beach, an absolute gem with the cutest beach chalets you could imagine!

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (5)

Cornwall 2015 day 5 R (4)

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While we were enjoying a drink in the beach cafe, the manager, Joanne, noticed my Poppy Treffry bag and we started chatting. It turned out that the cafe and beach were the location for the photo shoot for Poppy's most recent catalogue. (You can read more about it here if you are interested.) We then spent some time relaxing in the sunshine. I even managed to fit in a few rows of knitting! I have finished a pair of socks and am halfway through my second pair as well as working on squares for my rainbow blanket. Photos soon, I promise! In the meantime, you'll have to make do with this one! A perfect spot for knitting.

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (21)

After checking tide times, we decided to go down to the south coast of the county to the village of Marazion - home of St Michael's Mount. Low tide was around 2pm, so we knew that we would be able to walk across the causeway over to the castle. At other times, boats take visitors and residents across.  About 30 people live on the island today, a lot less than the 300 plus islanders a couple of hundred years ago.

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (32)

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (37)

Walking up to the castle, I kept my eyes peeled for the Giant's heart - according to Cornish legend, the Mount was once home to a fearsome giant, Cormoran. He was slain by a local lad and his heart lies amongst the cobbles.

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (57)

I had last visited the castle almost 40 years ago, and couldn't remember anything about it! The setting is just stunning, I could drink in views like this all day long. 

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Cornwall 2015 day 5 (46)

Of course it would be rude to be in Cornwall and not partake in a cream tea. So that's exactly what Mr JK and I did afterwards, watching the tide come in at the end of the afternoon. Bliss! xxx

Cornwall 2015 day 5 (63)

Monday, 6 April 2015

More fun in Cornwall

Cornwall 2015 day 3 morning (20)

The weather here in Cornwall is glorious! Blue skies and sunshine. I even spent part of the day without my fleece! The forecast promises more of the same for the rest of the week; we feel very lucky!

Yesterday morning we went to the village of Boscastle and followed the coastal path along the side of the harbour and up around the headland. Breathtaking views, so I will just let the photos speak for themselves.

Cornwall 2015 day 3 morning (28) 

Cornwall 2015 day 3 morning (15)

Cornwall 2015 day 3 morning (17)

After a delicious lunch back at the cottage, we drove to Daymer Bay - an old childhood favourite. Many happy days were spent at this beach as a child. The beach is on the Camel Estuary, almost opposite Padstow and is now popular with surfers. The lovely little church of St Enodoc is behind the sand dunes at the back of the beach. It's a perfect spot to sit and while away an hour or so.

Cornwall 2015 day 3 afternoon (1)

Cornwall 2015 day 3 afternoon (3)

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Cornwall 2015 day 3 afternoon (26)

In the evening we went to a fabulous concert at St Endellion church - part of their annual Easter festival. We have another concert to look forward to later in the week. The highlight of the concert was the performance of Hungarian Dohnanyi's Piano Quintet. Well worth a listen to!

Today we walked along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow and back! The trail runs along a disused railway line following the course of the Camel river and estuary. We stopped en route for refreshments from 'Treats on Trikes' - tea and an apricot slice for me and coffee and a granola bar for Mr JK. No photos as we scoffed them down in a flash!! I managed to clock up more than 30,000 steps on my Fitbit which equates to over 14 miles! So the double scoop ice cream at Padstow was thoroughly deserved I reckon!

Cornwall 2015 day 4 (4)

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Cornwall 2015 day 4 R (3)

Tomorrow we shall be going down to the far south west of the county - visits to St Ives and St Michael's Mount, all being well. I do believe that there was mention of a cream tea too! xxx