Category: Updates

Happy new year everyone! May it be happier and healthier than last year!

Since my last post, I finished up three projects – a snake hat for Felix, a cosie for the in-laws and a teeny tiny knitted jumper, as I keep getting asked by someone to make them a jumper and, no, just no.

The tea cosie is based on the free pattern Mug and French Press Jacket by MK Carroll, as you can see in the photo, it’s a glass teapot with a very, very short spout and I figured having the bottom covered was better than the top!

The jumper is made following the free pattern Mini Sweater Ornament with Cables by Emily5446 – very cute, very well written pattern and I have a jumper that’s about 4 cm tall!

As for 2020, I have finished my first project just yesterday! Maleficent!

This pattern is based on Dragons by King Cole Ltd – though I had to tweak it a fair bit and add a lot of extra details to turn it into Maleficent! The reason for this is that every year I knit a Christmas decoration, and for 2019 I planned to knit a Mickey mouse head to mark our first proper family holiday to Disneyland Paris!

Except Felix told me no, I had to knit Maleficent. I argued that I wouldn’t get all the detail into an ornament, to which I was told not to make an ornament, but a dragon big enough to sit on top of the tree!

Engels oh so helpful in put to this was ”if you knit an even bigger one it could sit under the tree and guard the presents!”

So Maleficent it was, and at a hefty 60cm long she’ll either be taking the whole top of the tree, or hoarding the presents beneath – we’ll have to wait till next year to find out!

Till next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 2
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 0
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 702

I feel I had best explain why my wool count has gotten so much bigger – I was given quite a few balls for Christmas (Inkling gave me two yellow balls and informed me that one was a digger and the other a bulldozer, hmm, I suspect he’s learning from Felix) and I ripped out a few old finished projects that weren’t being used, so that wool has gone back into the wool stash. I also bought four balls of bright orange in order to make a project I have planned! This year, I really do hope to finish with 600 or less!

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As the title says, socks!

Socks!

Socks!!

Yeah…I went a little sock mad…I blame Rabbie. She came down for the rather soggy doggy day and the night before her visit mentioned wellies, so Felix wanted her cat welly socks.

Then Engel rubbed it in that he had cat welly socks.

So cat welly socks for me jumped the knitting queue! All of the above socks resulted from this rather rash decision I’m afraid to admit! All of them are based on the pattern I used for Engel’s cat socks – Quick Kilt Hose by Jessica Correa but I tweaked the needle sizes and stitch numbers to get a better fit.

The first pair came out a smidge small, but a perfect fit for the MIL, so I removed the cuff and off those went to her. Second pair came out purr-fect and I finally got my cat welly socks!

But I had a bit of wool left, and Rabbie has the same size of feet as me, though they’re slowly being crippled by arthritis, and she really deserved a bit of TLC and a thank you for pulling out all the stops to make the soggy doggy weekend work…

So the striped pair practically fell off the needles for her! Not that she needs real wool socks in this sudden heat…

Oh well, winter is never far off in this country!

In non knitting news, the website gallery page is finally updated so you can see my 10+ years of finished projects that were actually photographed and recorded. Engel has his new bike, and she’s a beauty, so that’s one disaster nicely squared off, and we’ve had a busy weekend with the local village festival yesterday and nerfing today. I ache, badly, but it’s my own fault for throwing myself down grassy hills and into sandy bunkers to try and pick off the other team and not get hit…

Till next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 56 (No change…)
Wool bought – 13
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 660 (No change…)

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Well, motorbikes. Which is what I’ll start on then I’ll get to the butterflies.

On Friday, Engels motorbike died. We knew that she had begun to slowly mechanically deteriorate, as all things do with wear and tear and the lovely state of British roads. She was a work horse of a motorbike and did a 40 mile round commute everyday in sun, sleet and snow. So when she died, Engel was left in a rather awkward predicament or requiring a motorbike to commute to work, as he cant feasibly get there via public transport, as fast as possible but with no actual savings to get one.

Yesterday (Saturday) we called upon a few favours and managed to get someone with motorbike know how to, firstly, breathe a few more last breaths into the old motorbike, and then go with Engel to kick some tyres and find a replacement. It was a long day, and I ended up driving for a total of 4 hours (but there was lots of doggy cuddles, four huskies and a collie!), but a new lovely lady of a motorbike was found and we just have to get Engels poor workhorse of a motorbike to last a few more days until everything is in place to get the new one.

Not going into any great details, but I now have a motorbike to pay off, so I’m officially reopening commissions – since Felix was born I’ve pretty much only been making things upon request for  friends and family (and work colleagues, as Yorrick is proof of) but as of now, anyone can request one. Full details on the commissions page.

I’m curious to see what requests get made, I’ve had quite a few interesting ones in the past – life sized knitted recreations of peoples pets, items from games or movies, a knitted womb that would double as a purse… (that last one wasn’t made in the end, after it was explained to me that it was going to be a ‘congratulations on your hysterectomy’ gift, I didn’t feel it would go down well and I do like to think I have a pretty dark sense of humour)

Now, onto the butterflies!

Felix has asked for a ‘mini beasts’ birthday this year (for those wondering what a mini beast is, its now the ‘correct’ term for creepy crawlies, insects, bugs etc – schools didn’t feel it fair on the insects to cast a negative light on them by calling them creepy). Her birthday isn’t until September but I figured that insects would make nice, small, travel sized knits.

So I started with butterflies…

Using the pattern Common Blue Butterfly by Lesley Stanfield from her book 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet

I made a lot of butterflies.

But they were so good for using up scraps…

And using my hand dyed wool…

Oh, and I needed moths too!

After realising there was about 50, or maybe more, of the things I decided I had to make myself stop and choose a new insect for travel knitting. When I finish with that one, I’ll do another post like this one!

I’m going to go and get back to knitting some socks now (a very ‘normal’ knit for me I must say!) and working out which husky pattern to cast on next as a thank you for the motorbike friend…

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 56 (8 this week!!)
Wool bought – 13
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 660

 

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I admit, I just love the word commonsensical, but it summarises this past knit I’ve been saving, as well as what I currently have on the needles.

Yep, commonsensical means practical, and in this case that means arm warmers, which given the current awful weather is very practical indeed!

Pattern used is a free one: Fingerless Gloves “Leaves” by Valentina Georgieva and the reason behind it is also relatively straightforward.

During the last visit from my mum, she dug out and commented on how I had so many lovely pairs of armwarmers, perhaps I could part with a few?

No chance. I politely declined and instead offered to make her a pair. Another pair.’ I’ve previously made her three pairs and she’s ‘borrowed’ another pair, so she isn’t lacking in them!

In non knitting news, this weekend Rabbie and Missy came to visit and we went to a very soggy dog fest. My sister summarises the whole thing perfectly on her blog, so I suggest those curious go there and read it!

After all the soggy doggy cuddles and countless loads of laundry, I’m exhausted, so going to call this post quits, but not before the wool count!

I’m so happy the total keeps going down!

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 48 (2 this week!!)
Wool bought – 13
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 668

 

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Heatwave.

Any hope of revival?

More thunderstorms.

Please?

You may have noticed that my last three posts all mentioned the hot weather – I don’t cope well with the heat, Engel less so, Felix less than that and poor Inkling is a degree off melting into an actual puddle.

There has been some respite the past two days with small thunderstorms, but it’s not been enough to let us catch up on sleep and recharge.

And I may have given myself a cold by dancing in the rain, every time it has rained these last few days.

Yes. I’ve been out there, hopping and skipping and cheering.

I’m beyond caring what the neighbors think.

So, why am I telling you all this? Because the heat has actually killed my desire to knit. I’ve been focusing more on reading my Achtung Cthulhu scenario and source books, as well as joining in on the highly competitive crossword and soduko solving antics at work.

I’m not kidding either. It’s getting cut throat – someone had managed to get the crossword done before morning break and there was nearly a mutiny over it. Subsequently at least three copies of the newspaper are now present in the breakout area each morning, to give everyone a chance…

So. No knitting to show this week. Or an updated wool count.

Apologies all, hopefully the cooler weather will get me back to knitting again and I’ll have something to show next week!

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Let’s start with Biggles.

What does a fictional fighter pilot from the first world war have tondo with knitting we ask? Well…

Our whole little family were at the big local duck pond and, whilst playing in the new play park, Engel spotted a kid (18 month old?) wearing a crocheted aviator hat complete with goggles and immediately demanded that I make one like it for Inkling…

Obviously, knitted rather than crochet!

So after much pattern hunting and googling and thinking and a bit of luck, this happened:

Its based on the free pattern Chemo Earflap Hat by Gabriella Henry, and incorporates another free pattern Knit Sleep Mask by Elizabeth Martin as well as a lot of i-cord…

When put on Inkling, Engels eyes literally lit up and he pointed and went ‘Biggles!’ he has been referring to him as Biggles since, and the aviator hat as ‘Biggles hat’…

All I’ll say on the matter is that Inkling looks adorable in the hat, even more so than Bun-Bun (the toy rabbit).

In other knitting news, I was dropping Felix off at the childminders and spotted that the cot from the dolls house was broken on the side, seeing as I was planning on digging out the glue gun anyway to fix my rabbits paw (it’s a real rabbit foot, but it’s on a pin, not an actual living animal) I offered to fix it and bring it back.

The thing is…I just couldn’t return it with no bedding…

No pattern for this, just rectangles knitted from scraps…the childminders was happy to see it returned with bedding, but I suspect she thinks I’m even more mad than before…

Let’s see…we also celebrated Burns Night this week with our Australian friends and their little one (much fun was had by all, even if I did confused them all with kilts and Scottish poetry) and there was haggis, neeps and tatties and I decided to make a cranachan too – though seeing as Engel has trained Felix to shout ‘release the Cranachan!’ this may not have been such a wise idea…

In return, our Australian friends invited us over for Australia Day where there was lamingtons and pavlova (there was a heated debate over if pavlova was an Aussie or Kiwi invention) and a certain knitted Drop Bear photo bombed all the photos!

It’s been a good, but exhausting week!

Till next post, take care!

Starting total – 622

Wool used – 7 (2 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 1
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 616

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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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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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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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I don’t know if a lot of people feel the same way, but 2016 was cursed. My family was hit pretty hard, there’s been death, terminal illness and long term ill health. I won’t go into detail on those.

One I will speak of however is Salem, he died in Engels arms on the 21st of December.

(Picking a photo of him just now brought the tears back)

Despite the rest of the menagerie (2 more cats, 2 tarantulas, 1 snake, 3 fish, small child) the house feels a little empty. Explaining death to a 3 year old, whilst an important lesson, was not a delightful experience. I’d have rather gone over where babies come from with her again! (Yep, had that talk a few months ago as well)

So here’s to 2017 being a better year. Fingers crossed.

In knitting news, just one complete project to show:

It’s the last knitted thing for my neice to be, over in America. It’s based on the pattern Little Daisy Cardigan by Sublime Yarns – I made the garter at the bottom deeper and used two colours. Also knit numerous prices together rather than separately to be sewn together afterwards.

Got a more fun, but giant, project on the needles at the moment – more on that when it’s finished!

Lastly, as it’s a new year, I get to reset my wool count and start again – hopefully I’ll have a bit more restraint this year and not buy so much!

Starting total – 650

Wool used – 6
Wool bought – 0
Wool given – 0

Total – 644

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