This is Octocat, the mascot for GitHub, a software version control provider.

I don’t know quite what that is either, but Engel wanted it, and playfully pointed out that it has been a year or so since I last knit something for him… (he isn’t counting the slippers he stole, seeing as he stole them, they weren’t made for him.) So I relented and…

Not a bad likeness, eh? He’s based on the free pattern Octopuss by Bethany Hendrickson. You can’t see it so well in this photo, but he has suckers on his tentacles!

Here he is chilling at Engels work – there’s no one in his office at the moment so I like to think it’s keeping him company at least!

In other knitting news, my spinning is coming along! Engel jokes every time I ply my singles together I level up – when I finished plying balls 5 & 6, I could literally hear the Final Fantasy VII level up mysic…

So as you can guess, I’ve added to the wool stash, and decreased the fluff stash. That balances out, right? Course it does. And I was super good and gave three balls of my stash away this week to a pair of my friends who want to try knitting as something to help with the lockdown monotomy. (Lockdown is lifting, yes, but my friends and myself are being very cautious and treating life as if in still full lockdown for the most part.)

So yeah, the wool count was looking good, even more so after using 6 balls of wool this week. And then Ratman (a Nerf friend of mine) who does IT for a hospice, told me they were chucking out all the wool in the little charity shop they have, and the little cafe too where they encouraged people previously to craft whilst waiting on loved ones. Now, Mrs Ratman knits, so I figured once she had her share there wouldn’t be that much left, so yeah, I’ll take it, can’t have good wool just thrown in the bin.

283 balls.

Yes, that’s not a typo, 283 balls from 10g to 500g have been added to my stash. And on top of that, 5 more from a different friend who wants me to make him a dice bag with them…and keep the leftovers as payment…

Want to see the damage in numbers?

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 63 (6 this week)
Wool bought – 11
Wool given to me – 296 (up 288)
Wool gifted to others – 3 (Up 3!)
Wool handspun – 6 (Up 4!)

Total – 950 (it’s gone up, a lot…not had this much in my stash for a few years…)

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Literally!

This is based on the pattern Charlie’s Checkers by Sophia Minakais – the only changes in made was the choice of colours and adding details to make the pieces ladybirds and bumblebees!

And the bag. I decided I wanted to give helical knitting a try – and it worked. It gives the effects of single coloured stripes but your actually working all the colours at once across the round, and the stripes spiral up the bag.

It’s supposed to be a great way of using up scrap wool in hats and things, which I may try at some point.

Another thing I’ve been trying is my spinning wheel. I managed to fill two bobbins and ply them together to make two balls of my own handspun wool! I’ve also just finished filling a third bobbin to make even more!

My wool is bumpy, and goes thick to thin, but it’s my wool! And by the second bobbin I could see a marked improvement with my drafting. I have a project lines up to use it, but need to do a few more colours first – all shall be revealed in time!

In non Knitting news not a lot has happened apart from dying from the heat. I don’t like it above 20C, and to have several days of near and over 30C has just about killed me.

But it has rained! And it’s cooled down! And I am so very happy!

On that note, I shall leave you with just one last photo from my checker board photo shoot as it sums up my knitting attempts to a T.

(That’s Outbreaks paw btw)

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 57 (Just 1 this week)
Wool bought – 11 (Up by 4 – they were half price and colours I use a lot!)
Wool given – 8
Wool gifted – 0
Wool handspun – 2 (New category!!!!)

Total – 667 (this is going to go up a fair bit as I work through all my sheep fleece…)

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After the success of Rabbies Unbirthday I couldn’t resist making just one more Alice in Wonderland inspired knit…

It’s a pencil bird!!! The body is based on the free pattern Songbird by Sara Elizabeth Kellner, and the head is one of the Mochimochi pencils I knitted the other week.

I am somewhat smitten with him! Though he will be making his way up North to join his friend hammerbird.

And please note the home grown cauliflower! The garden is brimming with all sorts of vegetables just about nearly ready to eat…

In other knitting news I have a somewhat bigger project on the needles, more next week, and have had the opportunity to try helical knitting – again, more next week.

I have also finally managed to get spinning! The wheel Engel got me for my birthday needed a good clean, wax and oil. I finally had the time to do all that over the course of two weeks of lockdown and have finally, finally gotten to play with her! First attempt spinning is hard, as are all new skills, but very satisfactory. And the wool may be clumpy and uneven, but I have just the project in mind…when I finally spin enough to actually ply and then knit…

In non knitting news…not a lot. I’m still on furlough. The gardens coming along great. Engels dentistry nightmare is finally over after I had to dig around in there and pull out eleven chunks of shattered tooth…

So yeah, ticking along…

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 56 (3 this week!!!)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 8
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 662

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To who?

To Rabbie!

This unbirthday cake, inspired by the one given to Alice in Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland, is based on the free pattern Wedding Cake by Helena Keighley

“Now, statistics prove, prove that you’ve one birthday

Imagine, just one birthday every year

Ah, but there are three hundred and sixty four unbirthdays!

Precisely why we’re gathered here to cheer”

So just why are we celebrating Rabbies unbirthday? Because she’s been going above and beyond this entire lockdown – helping family, friends, neighbours. Working a new crazy shift to help keep the countrys clean water flowing. Tutoring my niece in two subjects, phoning our mum every day, checking in on all of us regularly to make sure that we’re all ok, and also to tell us that it’s ok to not be ok.

She even went and donated blood the other day – as Engel said, she’s not so much burning the candle at both ends as putting a blow torch to it. So her husband decided that she was going to have a day off, be pampered and reminded that she is important too, that we all love her for being her.

Hence the unbirthday cake from me, and because I couldn’t resist…

A hammer bird! again inspired by Disney’s animated Alice in Wonderland, and based on the free pattern Songbird by Sara Elizabeth Kellner.

Take care and stay safe – and if you need a treat, remember, it’s your unbirthday too!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 53 (7 this week!!!)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 8
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 665

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During lockdown I have been tutoring my niece with her English and it’s not been easy. One of the optional Covid-19 activities her school set was to write a short story of 500 words beginning with one of four sentences you were given.

So to make things a bit more fun, I made it into a family competition. With prizes! Sadly her parents didn’t even bother but the rest of the family did, so that was something. We each read our story out loud (over Skype) and my niece picked the winner.

So first, the participation prizes!

Petite Pencil by Anna Hrachovec from her book “Knitting Mochimochi”

I made sure to make plenty!

And the main prize? This beauty!

Arthur by Anna Hrachovec from her book “Huge and Huggable Mochimochi”

In other knitting news, I’m still working through the Christmas knits! And despite all this knitting, I haven’t finished any whole balls of wool!

In non knitting news, Engel has been having issues with a tooth that got pulled – twice – by two different emergency dentists and they’ve made a mess of it. Note to everyone DIY dentistry is not pleasant or recommended. But after pulling 10 shards of tooth of varying sizes out of the hole, cleaning it out and landing it, it is finally beginning to heal! Hooray!

Till next week!

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The 1984 quotes are still going strong! This one is about repair. Why?

Because of this cutie. (Demi Octopus by Jennifer Wang – the octopus itself is the free pattern).

One of my work colleagues has a favourite hat. But it had been worn that much it had developed a hole. He showed me it, asking for options and after going over what I could realistically do, including the dreaded darning, he decided to have a little fun with it.

The octopus is deliberately almost exactly the colour of the hat for he wants people to have to do a double take.

This conversation took place the day before lockdown started and was the first finished project of lockdown for myself. I’ve held off and held off on posting this as I wanted to give it to him before showing it off to the world, but as I am potentially be furloughed for another two months…

(I have offered to post it to him, but with the hot weather he is happy to wait for now until we see each other in person)I have had to resist the urge to knit a dozen more of these cuties I’ll be honest!!!

In other knitting news, I have been knitting more Christmas gifts and also a secret project. More on that next week.

In non knitting news, I have finished tearing up and redoing the garden! Apart from painting the fences. And cutting the grass. But the actual hard part is all done! Woo hoo!!!

What to tackle next…

Hope your all staying safe and enjoying the hot weather (I myself am fighting with the cats to get a spot on the cold slate floor in the kitchen as I don’t enjoy the heat…)

\no wool count this week as nothing has gone up or down despite the sheer amount of knitting I have done lately!

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This week and last I have been knitting Christmas gifts. Yes. Christmas gifts. I always say I won’t do them then change my mind in December and rush, rush, rush. Seeing as I am in the limbo of lockdown, I figured I would start now.

There is one gift I can show you though…

Inklings birthday was on Monday, and like most three year old boys, he is obsessed with Paw Patrol, and Zuma is his favourite. So I knit him Zuma as part of his present. I used the free pattern Dexter the Labrador by Amanda Berry. The pup tag I just winged, but I feel it came out well!

It was a very quiet celebration this year, again because of lockdown, but at three he doesn’t understand what he missed, which was a blessing really. I suspect I was more upset than anyone else as I didn’t get to see my family from up North. Twice now this year and lockdown. Twice!

Anyhow, back to Christmas gift knitting – I’ll try and fit a few things in that I can show you or else it’ll be a rather dull couple of weeks blog post wise!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 46 (7 this week!!!)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 8 (Engel brought two home today as a little pick me up as he noticed the home sickness was setting in)
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 672

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A short post today, for tomorrow we’re having a little party for Inkling who will be turning three on Monday. Engel couldn’t get the day off work so we moved his celebrations forward by a day – not that he’ll notice mind!

Its not going to be a big thing, we asked him what he wanted for a cake and what he would like for a special birthday dinner, and if he wanted to do anything in particular in the house. He wanted cupcakes (so he could lick off the frosting) Daddys pink roast beef (rare beef), and to play Paw Patrol. Oh, and balloons. But we can manage all that at least and still follow our lockdown procdures.

A lot of people gave mentioned lockdown fatigue, I certainly reached a point a few weeks ago where i just wanted life to go back to normal, this week though has been hard as I just want my family near me – I suspect its due in part to cancelling my Easter trip up North, and Inklings birthday when I would have them come visit.

Two missed chances. Two missed occasions.

All because of…

The Fearsome coronavirus ball (free pattern by Tamara Kulikova) I couldn’t resist knitting this cutie – though it has been getting thrown around the house far more than t has been admired! At least i dont have to worry abouyt the fishtank breaking when this bounces off it!

Alright, enough waffling, I have presents to get knitting – more on that next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 39 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 8 (Engel brought two home today as a little pick me up as he noticed the home sickness was setting in)
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 679

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Not quite, but Yesterday the 8th of May, marked the 75th anniversary of VE day.

A little history: Victory in Europe Day is the day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945, marking the end of World War II in Europe.

And for this big event I had knitted a whole bunch of poppies. That were never used as the event was cancelled due to Covid-19. (Pattern used was the free pattern knit flat, no-sew poppy by Suzanne Resaul)

But life continues, and my mum asked me to knit up a few baby things for a colleague who was expecting her own “little ray of sunshine” so with that to go on I made these:

Does anyone else think it screams sunshine? Managed all these in a day and posted them the following. Which was good as the little ray of sunshine arrived yesterday, 4 weeks early!

Patterns used are ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Sun’ by Sarah Keen from her book “100 little knits” and ‘Beautiful Bootees’ by Sue Whiting from the book “Cute knits for baby feet”.

I shall leave you all there, not much has really happened here apart from baking and playing and home schooling and child wrangling and adventuring and gardening…oh, and I dyed some wool and some fluff for spinning…

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 36 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 6
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 680

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There ARE heroes!

These are based on the free pattern Nurse Mates by Esther Braithwaite and are made for family and friends who are nurses. I feel though that all those in healthcare should be given congratulations – though there’s no way in could make them all a little toy!

In other knitting news, I did something I have never done before – I steeked! For those confused, it’s when you knit an object in the round, secure it, then cut it up the middle to create a cardigan or some such.

Yes. You CUT the knitting. With scissors.

I was driven to this madness as I was knitting myself ‘Forager’ from ‘Doomsday knits’ with a slow change variegated yarn. But as it’s asymmetric, every piece had a different number of stitches, making matching the colour changes impossible.

So steek I did.

The steeking process…

The finished object! I am very pleased with it.

In non knitting news, still in lockdown. I have cracked sourdough bread (hooray) and more or less finished the bulk of ripping up and sorting the front garden (double hooray) but as always there’s plenty more to do, on top of the day to day homeschooling, child wrangling, cleaning and tidying and kitten cuddling…

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 35 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 6
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 681

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