Inklings arrival

Hi all,

As promised, a bit more of an explanation as to my last post.

When Felix was born, there was complications. Lots. End result, emergency c-section. With Inkling, because of prior complications, we knew he would have to be a planned c-section.

Due to complications during my pregnancy the consultants decided that Inkling​ wouldn’t be removed at the previously planned 39 weeks, but two weeks early, with less than a weeks notice and some horrible, horrible steroid shots…

Ok…problem. Engels parents who were going to look after Felix for us, where on holiday that week. My family are 300 miles away and have their own commitments.

Panic. Panic. Panic.

Time to bank in on the good favours of others!

Thankfully, two people really helped us out, and as thank you gifts (and severe nerves/nesting energy) I whipped up these guys:

‘Octopus’ by Hansi Singh from her book ‘Amigurimi Knits’, you may recall this is the pattern used for Inklings first knitted toy – the blue ringed octopus.

Seemed fitting, and they went down a treat, as did the Thank you cards Felix made, and cat pompom keyrings she made (though Engel had to get the glue gun out once she was in bed as PVA does not hold pompoms together at all…)

And that’s the story, in a nut shell, not much on the details but some things are best left unshared!

Inkling is doing really well by the way, and we’re all happy at home, though very tired!

In other knitting news, I have a large project still on the needles but progress…yeah…that’s down to a crawl…ah well, I have an adorable, happy, whole little family to enjoy in, I think I’ll just go and enjoy them some more before I pick the needles back up…

On that note, blog posts for the foreseeable future are probably gonna be sporadic, will try to keep to my every Sunday update, but I make no promises.

Wool count!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 48 (5 this week! Don’t expect to see so many used again any time soon!)
Wool bought – 33
Wool given – 49
Wool gifted – 59

Total – 625

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From the archives – Jean Greenhowe

Things have gotten a little bit manic here this past week – mixture of life not going as planned and taking on a few too many knitting projects which kind of got bigger and bigger…

More on that though when said projects are finished! So this weeks post is another ‘from the archives’ which is better than a ‘nothing to see here’ post at least!

Rather than picking a broad theme, like pineapples or tea cosies, I’m going for a designer here as I have made a lot of her things over the years. The majority before I started to document my various knitting successes and fails. Here is what I do have photos of though!

McIntosh the dog! Another pair can be seen on this post here.

The brontosaurus from Little Men and Monsters pattern – I’ve made them all, but only have photos of this one.

And here’s ‘Panda’.

And ‘Piglet’.

And ‘Koala’ (A butchered version can be found in this post where I turned it into a snuggly)

And lastly, a butchered version of the last three to make something a bit more unique – a little red bat!

Thats all now!

Wool count!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 43 (2 this week!)
Wool bought – 33
Wool given – 49
Wool gifted – 59

Total – 630

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Of Cake and Tribbles

Happy local yarn shop day! And happy free comic book day! I did both, so I have a stack of free comics to peruse and there may have been some wool purchased…but it’s part of a karmic balance I did earlier on!

However, let us first start with the cake part of this post:

Engel is diabetic, so can’t have sugar and we’ve explained this to Felix a few times now, but the other night, after eating all her dinner, she got a post dinner treat, as did Engel and I.

She then clicked that we were all eating the same thing, to which we explained that this was sugar free, therefore daddy could have it too. This led on to explaining about ‘special chocolate’ and ‘special jelly’ etc (in this instance, it was sugar free jelly)

So Felix asked about special cake, to which we had to then explain it was hard to buy as not many companies made it, and fewer shops stocked such items.

After thinking for a bit, Felix asked me if we could make one. So we did. (Not the ‘now’ she demanded which was ten minutes before bed, but one was made at seven the following morning!)

Cake recipe used: sugar free spiced carrot cake

Frosting used: sugar free butter cream icing

I have it on good authority that it was very tasty, Engel is currently hoarding it like a dragon with a stack of treasure…

Alright, on to the tribbles part of the post!

Over the years, I’ve compared my wool stash to tribbles a few times, even made some comics about it:

Just realised that these are over five years old…I don’t draw anymore, but if you want to look at more terrible but amusing doodles of mine they’re on my extinct Deviantart drawing account (I have two, one for knitting and one for drawing)

Anyhow…I joined a stash busting group on Ravelry, joked about my wool/tribbles collection, decided to pattern search tribble (why not) and discovered Tribble by Abigail – 1870pearl. Its a knitted scrubber. Here’s mine:

So seeing as I’m sure my wool stash is actually part tribble, I figured I’d make a tribble out of it and, if it proved useful, I’d make a small hoard.

If it’s a wash out (ha, see what I did there?) Then I’d throw it in the washing machine and Felix can have it for her toy kitchen.

Win-win!

They bred.

So, those wool purchased and karmic wool stash switch I mentioned at the start of the blog?

I had Sisterix over for a play date (her terror is a year older than Felix, so they had a ball, and we had a wooly playdate too, and both the other halves talked computers, so they had fun. Three playdates in all!) I had a good look at her stash a few weeks ago, and a demonstration of her knitting machine, and a look at all her crocheted toys!

I adore her crocheted Vlad the bat! (Pattern is lalylala VLAD the vampire bat by Lydia Tresselt)

So this time, she got to look at my stash and…well, with the size of it, we didn’t get much further than that. After a bit of thought, I pointed her in the direction of my cotton which I barely/rarely use and my good stash karma began!

It made me laugh, her partner kept asking how much swag she was bringing back. First one carrier bag, then another and then I just went and got a giant IKEA bag. I think he may have been a little speechless by the point…

Now after my little trip out today, my karma balance stands at being ten less balls than I started. I gave up 43, and came home with 33. And seeing the deals that were available, I could easily have walked away with three times that…

So, wool count!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 41 (2 this week!)
Wool bought – 33
Wool given – 49
Wool gifted – 59

Total – 632

I’m never going to get to 600 at this rate…ah well, I’ll console myself by cuddling my new wool purchases!

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Cat hand puppet

Something that appeared shortly after Felix was born was a very old cat hand puppet. Turns out, this puppet was given to Engel when he himself was tiny. There was three apparently, two natural coloured and a green one, but as far as anyone can determine, there’s now just the one left.

As such, I was asked to create a few more, ones that could be taken out without fear of losing the last, original puppet. After some discussion, it was decided it didn’t have to be the exact same pattern, just close to it.

Couldn’t find anything so I dug out my notepad and set to work recreating the cat hand puppet. But since I hate sewing, it was going to be knit in the round. And have the ears incorporated into the actual head. and the tail would be made from picked up stitches to cut down even more on sewing.

Took three versions, but I give you: Cat hand puppets!

The original is on the right, mine is on the left.

And a better photo of my version, which you can get as a free pattern!

I’m looking forward to seeing more cat hand puppets out there!

Interestingly, the original appears to be knit on 3.25mm needles and with three strands of embroidery cotton. Front, back and each ear (fronts and backs) are all knit separately and sewn together, with a little looped tail. It really would have been a labour of love to make. Mine is a chunkier (4mm) and simpler version, so that many can be made to replace the inevitably lost ones.

I actually really enjoyed getting to have a good look at someone elses old, old project, and recreating the pattern – if even only very loosely in this case. In future, I’d like to do it again, but produce a true recreation. We’ll have to see if time will allow and if inspiration strikes though!

Till next week, enjoy the cuteness for now!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 39 (3 this week!)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 49
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 644

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From the archives: Felix knits

It’s another from the archives!

I noticed a while ago looking through the blog that almost none of the knitting I did for Felix when she was proper tiny actually got posted. I don’t know if it was because I was busy, the sleep deprivation or that I thought I would only post toys not baby knits, but they were never blogged.

Sorting through all the baby things for Inkling (baby number 2) I took the opportunity to photograph and reminisce over them. So without further ado:

A mini version of Cat-Ears Hat by Donna Druchunas from the book ‘Kitty Knits: Projects for cats and their people’

An adorable and geeky creation that was a combination of the free pattern Mummy’s Little Dalek Jumper (Doctor Who) by ABitterKnitter and Pinafore Dress by Nikki Van De Car from ‘What To Knit The Toddler Years’

Knitted using the free pattern ‘Baby Sachiko Kimono Sweater‘ by Erika Flory. I used the same wool as her kitty blanket so that they would match… So cute!

Knitted using the free pattern Little Garter Cardi by Ragga Eiríksdóttir – Felix chose the wool and the buttons, and yes, it is sparkly! Unfortunately I chose to make a bigger size so she hasn’t been able to actually wear it yet, but soon, soon she’ll grow into it!

Yet another free pattern, Child’s Lamb Costume by Margot Stevens, I made it for last Easter, again, in a larger size so it drowned her. Still too big for Christmas. This Easter? Too warm so she wouldn’t even humour me. I will get her in it at some point! I will!

It’s not all old knits this post though, I whipped up a pair of Toy Hammocks by Eileen Casey (free pattern, very quick and easy, only thing I did different was work from the bottom up)

Felix has officially moved into her new room and I needed more places to store her cuddly toy collection! The reason for knitting the pattern bottom up was I had the perfect coloured wool to make the toy hammocks with, but it was fingering weight sock yarn, and I had two balls, which had to be held double. So I was playing yarn chicken again.

I won this time, with literally an inch of wool to spare.

Go me!

Hopefully I’ll have something more exciting to show you all next week, I do have a little something cute in the pipeline…

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 36 (4 this week!)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 49
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 647 (I’m finally below the starting total!!!!!)

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Sarcophacat

First of all, Happy Easter for all those who celebrate it – for me it’s an excuse for lots of yummy chocolate!

So, onto the post. I was given the Super-Scary Mochimochi book for mother’s day (it’s awesome) as I’ve been making quite a few Anna Hrachovecs patterns lately. Like a little child I looked through it going I’ll make myself this one then this one and, oh, I need at least three of those…

Then the following conversation took place:

Engel: It’s been a while since you made me something
Me: It’s only been a few months.
Engel: Feels longer…
Me: Look, I’ll check Ravelry and get you an exact date. (Cue frantic typing) Ah. I made you armwarmers last.
Engel: Much appreciated armwarmers.
Me: In December 2015.
Engel: (somehow holding up the Super-Scary Mochimochi book that had been on my lap mere  a seconds before, on the sarcophacat page) Can i haz?
Me: Let’s go pick out some wool…

Here’s the finished result (Felix helped wrapped him, all the while telling me I was going to make her a smaller one, in blue)

And here it is naked! Couldn’t resist a photo of the actual knitted item. Unlike the pattern I was made to knit him legs – both Engel and Felix insisted the extra limbs were necessary because ‘How else will he walk?’

It’s a mummified cat!

Which, by the way, should not be casually mentioned when knitting at work to fellow colleagues who now think I’m insane rather than just a little mad.

But come on, who doesn’t want a cute mummified cat? It’s proven a useful teaching aid about the process of mummification and canopic jars to Felix!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 32 (Just one this week – I’ve been very busy with work and getting Felix’s new room sorted out so the baby can have her old one)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 49 (Felix felt I needed a treat, so she and daddy got me three balls of wool, aww!)
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 651 (Just one more to use up to get back to the starting total!!!!!)

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3 Tiny Ducks…

Went swimming one day, over the hills and far away, mama duck said ‘quack quack come back’ but they were all eaten by a crocodile…Wait a second…

Look! There’s that pesky crocodile again!

I gave in and knit Felix those ducks she wanted to keep her crocodile ‘company’ in the pond. The crocodile number has increased as well, there’s two helping control livestock…

For those curious, I tweaked the free Tiny Chickens by Anna Hrachovec to make these guys. Easy to do, just lots of colour changes!

Speaking of colour changes…

Yeah…I know I said I was 99% sure I would never make another, what with the 156 colour changes but…I did. This is my second Elmer the Elephant now, and again, it’s made using the ‘Eddie the Elephant’ pattern by Ann Franklin from the May 2015 edition of ‘Love Knitting for Baby’s. Engel came up with a method for working out the colour changes so they are more uniform but still rather random, does it look any better or more like Elmer?

Felix had a friend’s birthday coming up (it was on Saturday) and I know the gran is particularly fond of my knitted toys so…Yeah. One cuddly toy and Elmer the Elephant treasury and sorted!

Though this time, I really am sure I won’t be making more.

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 31 (2 more since last post)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 49 (Felix felt I needed a treat, so she and daddy got me three balls of wool, aww!)
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 652 (Curses! I’ll never get back to my starting total at this rate!!!!!)

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Ni! Ni!

As mentioned last post, everything got put on hold so I could whip up a knight costume for Felix with just six evenings to do it in.

(Super short version: Felix school having Royal Banquet, gave a weeks notice, Felix chose knight from options of knight, prince or princess, unable to find costume Friday, decided to make one)

So did I do it? Do the knights of Ni say Ni?

All the knitted parts are free knitting patterns:

Helmet by Geraldine Allemand

Knitted Chainmail Hauberk for a Young Knight by Kara Shallenberg

Knitted Lace Belt by Anna Waites

The sword was made by Engel, painted and tinfoiled by Felix, and the sheild was made by me, painted and decorated by Felix. Never show a three year old a Google search on knights sheilds – she wanted to do them all! Settled on four colours, split into quarters with bats on it (thank goodness for bulk buying post Halloween craft packs) and little red bead eyes.

The Royal Banquet was a success, as far as I could get out of Felix (getting information from three year olds is like getting blood out of a stone, unless it’s a secret, in which case they’ll tell everyone! Prime example: Mummy! I got you a mother’s day present! It’s a surprise! It’s chocolate oranges!)

She was the only girl dressed as a knight, all the rest were princesses, and all bar one boy was a knight, the one boy who wasn’t came in his uniform and was apparently very sad, so Felix gave him a hug.

Engel did however teach her that knights say “Ni!”… Sometimes I question his parenting skills​…

After all that excitement I did manage to finish another project and mostly done another, but I’ll go over those next week as I am pretty exhausted from a rather fun packed weekend!

Till next week.

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 29 (2 more since last post)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 46
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 651 (So, so close to getting back to that starting total!)

 

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From the archives: Sackboy

Hi all,

Long story short:

Recieved a letter from Felix’s nursery class Thursday evening saying they were having a ‘royal banquet’ and encouraged the children to dress as princesses, princes or knights that following Thursday.

I looked at Felix, she looked at me, I hesitated then began the question ‘What would you -’

‘A knight! And I can save dragons!’

Ok. Went to the shops Friday. Nothing. Checked Amazon, lots of knight costumes but Felix sized? Nope.

Start the countdown, it’s time to make a knight costume with…six evenings in total to do it? Three left as of now?

All projects on hold, and its another ‘from the archives!’ for all of you! This time round: Sackboy. I imagine most people have played, or at least have seen Little Big Planet being played. Sackboy is the star of the show.

In 2009 when this pattern came out, Engel was games testing Little Big Planet, and I thought it would be cute for him to have one.

Pattern is Sackboy by Alan Dart – and came with a simply knitting magazine back in 2009.

I later made him a trenchcoat and shotgun, unfortunately never photographed, when I realised the abuse the poor guy was getting at Engels work. It seems people who test games, hate the games they test.

Oh well.

I’ve made a dozen or so plain ones, but also two more fun versions:

Dr Who – based on the 10th doctor, played by Tom Baker, and that scarf! I actually made a 1/20th to scale version of it for this little guy.

And lastly, a ninja!

Cause ninjas are awesome.

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 27 (2 since last post)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 46
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 653 (So, so close to getting back to that starting total!)

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Magic Mittens, St Gertrude’s and that pesky crocodile again!

Let’s start with that pesky crocodile!

Photographic evidence of him prowling around the farms livestock… Felix has actually been having a ball playing with him as part of her farm, though she now insists that I need to knit some tiny ducks to keep him company in the pond.

Company, eh? More like snacks…

Anyhow, cuteness aside, I just finished another little project:

A pair of ‘magic mittens’ – I’ll get to the story in a moment, details first. The mitten pattern is a free Ravelry download called The World’s Simplest Mittens by tincanknits – and it’s true to its name.  There’s schematics for different sizes of mittens in all different weights, and it’s clear and concise. Definitely a keeper of a pattern. The elephant chart itself is from another free pattern – Elephant Hat – Child Size by Kathleen Taylor.

Story time now. My bosses little one, and Felix’s ‘best friend’ has really bad eczema. And of course, it itches. As a sufferer of eczema myself, I know just how hard it is not to scratch. She’s three. She wakes up looking like she’s been butchered in the mornings from scratching so much.

So, Magic Mittens it is! Lightweight cotton mittens in the colours she picked out with an animal of her choosing on them, and ties that can be double knitted so she won’t be able to pull the blasted things off.

I was made to wear wooly mittens as a child. In summer. These are a much kinder alternative! Fingers crossed they’ll help – if she can stop scratching long enough for her cream to work…

And last but not least: St Gertrude’s Day.

On March 17th, also known as St Patrick’s Day, it happens to be St Gertrude’s Day too. She is the patron saint of cats, gardeners and mental health. When we fostered cats, as we never knew their actual ages let alone dates of birth, it became habit to celebrate all the cats birthday on St Gertrude’s Day. This year, even though we know Dashi’s birthday, we still don’t know Crumble’s (we reckon she’s getting on for eight years old now!) so the tradition continues.

Felix was particularly happy to help celebrate the cats birthday, there was presents and special cat came too – tuna cake with salmon paste ‘frosting’.

I personally think yuck, but Engel happily ate one of the spares and went on the prowl for more. Not that the cats lefts much in the end!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 25 (1 since last post)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 46
Wool gifted – 16

Total – 655 (So close to getting back to that starting total!)

 

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