Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Off to the fair city of Dublin

Mr JK and I are off to Ireland tomorrow! After a couple of days in Dublin, we head out of the city to the Wicklow mountains where we have a cottage for the week. We will be returning to Dublin on Monday as Mr JK is running his first marathon that day. I have knitting packed, including a rather lovely skein of yarn that I was seduced by at IKnit Fandango earlier in the year. Flo has given it her seal of approval, so I shall have to be firm and keep it away from her clutches! See you in November! xxx

Kylebeg swatch (9)

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Another crazy nine patch cushion to celebrate Sew Saturday

I noticed that yesterday was Sew Saturday, an event created to celebrate independent fabric shops and haberdasheries. Although I didn't actually buy any fabric yesterday, I put to good use both the skills learnt from my most recent class at The Makeplace and the Liberty Tana Lawn pieces from Alice Caroline that I bought at Ally Pally last weekend. I have long loved Liberty Lawn, it feels so luxurious and comes in so many beautiful prints. I wanted to make another crazy nine patch cushion cover. My starting squares were slightly smaller than on my original cushion, dictated by the width of the fabric pieces so I ended up adding a border all the way around the cushion panel to make it 18" square. I absolutely love it and Mr JK thinks it's beautiful too! He did suggest taking it into the office to use on his chair there, but I was selectively deaf at that point!!!

sew saturday Liberty lawn patchwork cushion (2)

Here it is on the sofa, which looks rather messy! I have tidied it since seeing this photo.

sew saturday Liberty lawn patchwork cushion (7)

sew saturday Liberty lawn patchwork cushion (4)

Of course, Flo was keen to investigate this haven of squishiness and deemed it a perfectly acceptable alternative while she awaits the return of her Ripple Stitch cushion. That cat has good taste!

testing out the new cushion (5)

testing out the new cushion (7)

sew saturday Liberty lawn patchwork cushion (11)

testing out the new cushion (4)

Mr JK (also known as random number generator) picked poster number 4 for my tape measure cosy giveaway. Congratulations PixieFoxtrot, please email me with your details at josiekitten123 at gmail dot com or get in touch via Ravelry and I'll get your prize on its way to you. Thanks to all who entered and if you weren't the lucky winner, you can always hook yourself one using the pattern! Have a good week. I'll hope to pop in before we head off to Ireland on Thursday. Mr JK is running his first marathon in just over a week. xxx

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Ally Pally - finally!

Hello, hello! I meant to blog before today, but somehow never managed to find time before tiredness set in! So I am taking full advantage of a short staff meeting and Mr JK going to the gym after work to tell you about my trip to The Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally on Saturday.

Ally Pally 2015 (1)

I set off super early, taking an organised coach trip. I prefer this option as it's a door to door service. No need to struggle across London on the Tube with bag loads of yarn and other goodies! Saturdays are always busy at the show and I don't think this day was any exception. You just have to accept that in some of the aisles, it's stop and start all the way. I did my usual thing of starting at one side and systematically going up and down each row, making a note of anywhere I wanted to revisit. I was super-excited to visit the Stylecraft stand and see my cushion! The staff there were so friendly and despite being rushed off their feet dealing with customers, I was introduced to Annabelle, their sales director who spent some time chatting with me about the possibility of future collaborations! Very excited about that!! Flo was very relieved to hear that all is well with her cushion.

Ally Pally 2015 (9)

Some of the other designs made using the new yarn colours were also on display and the colours looked so striking together. Just in the few minutes I was chatting, the bins of the limited edition packs were refilled more than once.

Ally Pally 2015 (10)

As well as all the shopping opportunities, the thing I like about Ally Pally is the chance to look at some truly wonderful work from leading textile artists and students. I especially enjoyed looking at the exhibition of beautiful scarves by Sophie Digard. Such delicate designs, hard to capture in photos.

Ally Pally 2015 (13)

Ally Pally 2015 (14)

Another thing that caught my eye and definitely drew in the crowds was 'Kate's Plaice The Stitchmongers' featuring a fish counter filled to the gills with all kinds of knitted, crocheted and be-sequinned fish and shellfish. It really was amazing and I could have looked at it for ages. The attention to detail was quite astonishing.

Ally Pally 2015 (11)

Ally Pally 2015 (12)

So what did I buy, I hear you ask?! Well, it would have been rude to return home empty handed, wouldn't it?! I bought some Liberty Tana Lawn scraps from Alice Caroline to make another crazy patchwork cushion as well as a couple of fat quarters that caught my eye.

Ally Pally fabric

It's always a thrill to spot something new and this year I wasn't disappointed! Two lovely ladies from Daisy and Grace showed me their products and I bought a Christmas wall hanging to sew. It came in a beautifully packaged kit for the bargainous price of £12.50. Well worth the money. Pop over to their website and see what else they have on offer. Some of the little project bags are just delightful!

Daisy and Grace Christmas sewing kit

Yes, I did buy some yarn! I bought some more Stylecraft Special DK yarn to knit a blanket. You can see Florence eyeing it up already, drumming her paws waiting for it to be finished! Got to love that cat!

Stylecraft Special DK blankie haul (1)

I also bought some new to me yarn from a company called Yarn Stories. It is beautifully soft and squishy and I think I'm going to make a cowl from this little lot. They were also giving away free shade cards which was a nice touch. It's good to see the complete range of colours.

Yarn Stories haul

So all that's needed now is for my thumb and wrist to get a clean bill of health so that I can start using all these goodies! It is getting better thank goodness and I have been knitting a little bit. Socks are a no-go still as holding those tiny needles is rather uncomfortable, but 'normal' wooden knitting needles are ok for short bursts. Just don't tell my Occupational Therapist, ok?!! By the way, there's still time to enter my tape measure cosy giveway here. Back soon! xxx

Monday, 12 October 2015

Keep a tape measure cosy this winter!

Although I didn't get any knitting done last week, I did manage to do some yarn-related bits and bobs first thing in the morning while waiting for the kids to surface each day. Last year, I entered the Deramores Blog Awards with my tape measure cosy pattern. It didn't win, but I did get good feedback from people who made it after seeing the pattern on my blog. Following my Ripple Stitch Cushion pattern release a couple of weeks ago, I decided to have a go at writing it up as a 'proper' downloadable pattern. You can find it here, on Ravelry for free! Once I'd written the pattern, I wanted to give it a test run to check yardage, so I rustled up this pretty, sparkly tape measure cosy whilst catching up on the happenings of the Great British Bake Off final. 

tape measure cosy pattern test (2)

Now that I've checked the pattern, I'm offering this cosy as a little giveway prize. To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is leave me a message and tell me what your favourite knitting or crochet notion is. It would be lovely if you decided to become a follower of my blog too. I'll keep the giveway open until midnight next Saturday (October 17th) and will pick a winner by random number selector. I'll post it anywhere so please do enter. The winner will be announced next Sunday. So what are you waiting for?! Get commenting and you never know, it could be your post that gets picked! xxx

tape measure cosy pattern test (1)

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Magic View - Plant - Flower

I am catching up with things at home after a week away with school and a trip to Ally Pally yesterday, so I thought I'd share another of these Magic View posts with you. Today we're looking at photos classified as flowers. Enjoy! I'll be back in the week to tell you all about my day in London. xxx

East Ruston Old Vicarage 29 June 2013 026

Sizergh (5)

April 27 2014 garden (17)

summer blooms July 2014 (5)

Twinkletoes WIP (3)

Triple layer flower (1)

Sunday, 4 October 2015

All in a good cause

Dashing in to say hello before heading off for a week away with the kids at school. I really want to draw your attention to National Knitting Week which starts tomorrow, October 5th. UK Handknitting are looking for 1000 volunteers to commit to knitting just one item for charity this autumn. A new website should be launching very soon so check it out here. Despite the fact that I have decided that I need to be a more selfish knitter because my knitting time has been severely curtailed recently, I am determined to knit something. There are a huge number of charities who are grateful for knitted or crocheted items. All you have to do is follow this link, select your charity and get crafting. I have decided to knit a Twiddle Muff for dementia sufferers. A Twiddle Muff is a knitted hand muff with items such as beads, zips and ribbons added both inside and outside. They have been designed and developed to provide simple stimulation for restless hands and to promote increased brain stimulation in those suffering from dementia. It sounds like a really interesting thing to knit and helping others is great for that 'warm and fuzzy' feeling. So please sign up to and we can share our progress. Have a great week and I'll see you next weekend. I am super excited because my cushion will be part of a display on the Stylecraft stand at Ally Pally and I am going down on Saturday! Needless to say, Flo was none too happy when I packaged up 'her' cushion and is counting the days until it is returned! xxx