Sunday, 30 June 2013

Tour de Fleece Day 2

A touch of al fresco spinning was in order today, making the most of the sunshine! See you tomorrow. xxx
Tour de Fleece day 2 001 (3)

Tour de Fleece Day 1

This year's Tour has kind of crept up on me! I'm spinning for Team Superfleece again; it's a fun and friendly group of spinners on Ravelry. There's no pressure at all, so it's perfect for me. I'm starting off with this gorgeous braid of Wylie fibre - a mix of 60% Polwarth, 20% yak and 20% mulberry silk. It was February's fibre club offering from Marianne over at Fluff-n-Stuff. I love the colourway, it's called Be Mine. I'm trying to spin it as fine as I can with the aim of producing a laceweight yarn with enough yardage to knit this month's pattern from BareNakedKnitspot. It's a gorgeous crescent shaped shawl. I really like this shape and find it very wearable.
2013 stash  (6)

I started spinning this fibre about a month ago, but school reports and trips got in the way, and I only finished spinning half of it. You can see how it turned out in the last photo below. So I started the second half yesterday (Day 1). I haven't got very far, but aim to get more spinning done today. It's lovely and sunny here, so I might take the wheel out into the garden for some al fresco spinning. I'll be back later with a report on Day 2. xxx
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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Enjoying the peace and quiet

Oh it's so good to be back home again!! The children had a great time last week; luckily the weather was pretty good and they were kept busy with all sorts of activities. I came back home completely worn out. It is exhausting being on duty 24/7! I have been relishing my personal space and the peace and quiet. It's incredible just how noisy 25 children can be at meal times!! I did manage to get a little knitting done, mostly on the bus journeys. I also knit a few rows while the children were canoeing. I've finished the first sock now. The yarn is gorgeous - the angora adds a little touch of luxury.

sanity sock WIP (2)

I don't think I ever showed you the swap parcel I received recently. It was in the ThreeBagsFull group on Ravelry. We swapped a midi sized bag along with some goodies. My partner was Anne and she sent me a really fun bird print bag, a skein of yarn, some chocolate, a shawl pin and a mini yarn skein keyring. If you'd like to take part in one of these swaps in the future, come along and join in our group. We have a couple of fun swaps planned before the end of the year.
3BF swap with Anne (2)

We have had some quite beautiful poppies blooming in the garden over the past couple of weeks. Sadly the wet and windy weather this weekend has pretty much finished them off, but they did look magnificent!

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June blooms 2013 (3)
The Tour de Fleece starts next weekend, so I hope to be spinning every day. I'm in a couple of teams on Ravelry, but we aren't competitive at all. It's just for fun! I'm not going to set myself any goals this time round, other than to spin as much as possible.
Well, I shall love you and leave you for today. Before I go, I must just share the pudding that Mr JK had waiting for me when I got home on Friday - homemade steamed syrup sponge and custard. Mmmmmmm, it tasted so yummy! xxx
steamed syrup sponge and custard

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Knitting for sanity

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I am taking my class on a trip tomorrow. We are going to Derbyshire for the week. I have chocolate and just as important, I have yarn. Think of me sat outside the bedrooms, knitting a pair of socks, repeating ad nauseum 'go back to bed'!! See you in a week. xxx

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A little touch of luxury

My dear friend Kim gave me a delicious ball of luxury for my birthday last year - a ball of 50% silk and 50% qiviuk. Qiviuk comes from the underbelly of the Arctic Muskox and apparently it is the most expensive wool in the world. (I have to tell you at this point that Mr JK very kindly offered me his belly hair as an alternative, but I politely declined!!) The colourway she picked out for me was Iced Violet, it's a beautiful shade of pale purple with greyish hints.
2012 stash boost (12)

What to knit?! I tried a cowl to begin with, but it was rather floppy and I didn't think it would stay put around my neck. So after a little search, I found the perfect pattern - Plain Jhayne mitts. Except I decided that mine wouldn't be quite so plain because I was going to add some beads to make them extra special. I had some purple beads left over from the beaded Citron shawl I knit, and they were a great match with the yarn. What can I say about the mitts? Quite honestly, I don't think that I have ever felt yarn quite so soft and light as this, I know that they are going to keep my hands lovely and warm next winter. I might just have to have them threaded through my coat sleeves on ribbon so I don't lose them!! Have a good week! xxx

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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Good things too must end......

Back to work tomorrow!! I really would like another week off to chill, but sadly that's not to be!! Never mind, I shall be counting down the weeks until the summer holidays. Seven and a half weeks to go!! I don't seem to have achieved a great deal during this holiday. I had good intentions of sorting out box loads of paperwork that currently reside in the craft room, but I always managed to find something else more interesting in there to distract me.
I did finish my Tidal Sands cowl, using a skein of BareNakedYarns Breakfast Blend fingering. I really can't say enough good things about this yarn. It knits up to give a cosy, cushy fabric which feels very luxurious. I used one skein to knit this, in the colourway 'Burnt Toast'. It really feels delicious and is going to be a staple in my wardrobe in the autumn. Flo is rather partial to the yarn too, and helped with the blocking!
Flo helps with blocking (2)

The cowl is reversible and very straightforward to knit. I love how the waves on the knitting remind me of the ripples left on the beach after the tide has gone out.
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Holkham Feb 2012 008

And the answer is NO, Florence. You may NOT have a blanket knit from this yarn!

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I've just finished some test knitting and will share that with you once the pattern has been released. My dear friend Snoopydog came to visit this week and took lots of photos of the finished knits. It was great to catch up. We are planning to go to Fibre East together in the summer. I've also picked up a pair of beaded mitts, that I started knitting a month or so ago. They are knit with the most gorgeous yarn I have ever felt and will be extremely luxurious. I hope to finish them this week.
I don't think I showed you the most recent projects from my school knitting group. We knit little owls and cats and the children are keen to take them home. The pattern has worked very well, and I'm wondering how I might be able to adapt it to make other animals in the future.

Owls and cats

We had a busy day in the garden yesterday potting up some of our ceramic pots with summer bedding plants. Although the garden is absolutely beautiful, it's nice to be putting a little bit of ourselves in there too. Mr JK is growing his veggies in pots this year. We'll see how that works before deciding on whether or not to have a separate vegetable plot in the future.

June garden

Mr JK and I went for an early morning walk today. It was just beautiful to be out walking through the country lanes. We are planning on making this a regular activity in a bid to increase our levels of exercise. And with scenery like this, it's not going to be a chore! See you soon. xxx
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Early morning summer walk June 2013 001
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