Tag: Spinning

Are cute fluffy sheep…

Even more awesome – it’s double sided! So it’s hanging in the window and high myself and passer bus get to see all the cute details!

A few things have led to this adorable creation – I’ve wanted to make a wreath for a while, just not sure what, and the repeated motif of rainbows during lockdown (I love it personally, it does help brighten an otherwise dull and stressful time, and the kids love counting them) all the beautiful flowers and of course all the fluffy sheep fleece I have recently acquired…

Well, it’s all melted into this creation. It’s definitely very ‘Spring’ with my choice of lambs and spring flowers but I don’t think it matters having that hanging up the window during a British summertime!

There’s not really a pattern for this – I winged the rainbow but the sheep (A Sheep’s Mug Mat by Joan Kosmachuk) and the cherry blossom (Everlasting Blossom by Claire Garland) are both free patterns, and the snowdrops and bluebells are both from the book ‘100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet’ by Leslie Stanfield.

In non knitting news I have been doing more spinning – one of which is a crazy creation of picked up sheep fluff and moulted reindeer hair! (We all went to a kids farm and I definitely had lots of fun! The kids had a ball, but I was in my element! I also got another two bags of alpaca but let’s not dwell on that!)

I’ve also been trying a lot of natural dying with quite varying results. Theres been two rounds of beetroot dying and one round of used coffee grounds. I’ll get photos of these on Instagram when they’re fully dried and I can get the light just right so the colours captured are true.

The lockdown restrictions have continued to ease – faster than I would like mind you – but it has made life a lot easier for the wee ones. We can go places now, and explore, and see people! But being sensible of course!

That’s all for now – the weather is nice today and I have lots of jobs and chores to be doing!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 69 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 11
Wool given to me – 296
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 10 (4 more!)

Total – 948 (it’s gone up by 1! I need to knit faster than spin I think…)

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Following on from last week’s Octocat, I have made something even bigger and better using the same pattern as a base.

Meet Cathulhu!

His body is based on the pattern Octopuss by Bethany Hendrickson and his wings are from Tarragon the Gentle Dragon by Knit-a- Zoo. Both are free patterns.

Cathilhu is a mash up between H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu and our fluffy feline overlords, cats. I actually have the Cathulhu core rulebooks to run RPGs as cats battling eldritch terrors…it’s all good fun!

Here he is with a mug for scale so you can see just how big he is!

As you can see, I’m a fan of Cathulhu!

In non knitting news I went to Wales yesterday with a friend to another friends who had managed to procure 70kgs of fleece. A few hours of sorting, identifying and bagging, and I have 8 lovely fleeces to add to the collection. Four are Romleys, three are Texel/Cheviot crosses and one could be either or but I need to properly lay it out to figure out which.

It’s the first time I’ve really been out properly since lockdown began, and socialised (maintaining social distancing of course, my friend in Wales is in the danger list so requires shielding) and I am exhausted from it!

Was a great day though! I am going to have to really ramp up the washing and carding and spinning of all this fleece though before Engel realises just quite how much I have!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 66 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 11
Wool given to me – 296
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 947 (it’s going to take years to get this down to a reasonable level… Good thing I love this hobby so much!)

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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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As mentioned area weeks ago, I’m trying to take up spinning and make my own wool. It’s slow going, mainly as I have a lot of fleece that needs washing and carding before I can try spinning, but it’s there.

One thing I need to do all this though is a drop spindle. Before going to the wool experience where I ended up picking up three, I organised a trade:


A beautiful, 3D printed drop spindle (this photo was taken before I attached the hook) in exchange for:

A little knitted replica of his recently deceased kitty, Minnie.

(Pattern used is Tortoiseshell Cat by Sally Muir and Joanna from the book Best in Show: Knit Your Own Cat)

Even though I used a pattern, the markings where all done by eye to match up, as best at I could with wool, the markings on the actual cat. I had six very cute reference photos for the job!

And even though I now have four drop spindles, this newest addition is just lovely to work with…well worth the effort! Though I don’t fancy trying to match Calico cat markings again any time soon!

In other news, I got a little table top loom for Felix, which has been surprisingly fun! She’s finished a bag on it, though I have yet to cut it off, and currently starting a wash cloth for her grandmama! Looks like creativity is running in the family! Photos will come soon once I’ve got them off the loom and all the ends weaved in.

That’s it for now, has been a very busy week at work and at home and an absolutely manic weekend with playdates, christenings and birthday parties all to attend…

Oh, and as I’ve had a few private enquiries regarding last week’s blog post, my sister’s brother in law survived the operation so it’s now just the long road to recovery. He’s not fully out of the woods yet, but definitely over the worst! And the knitted hugs went down well, and didn’t over step any boundaries, so very, very pleased with how it’s all worked out!

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 59 (1 used)
Wool bought – 16 (3 more, mentioned above)
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 660

Fleece bought/own – 13 lots, varying quantities…in process of being cleaned  (just three little bags left! The big fleeces have been washed!), carded and combined by sheep breed.

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The title of this post has definitely given the game away over the knit to show you this week!

This is made following the pattern Siberian Husky by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne from the book Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches.

The reason behind this cutie is based on the events that occurred the other week, which I mentioned in this blog post.

Short story: Engels motorbike died. Engels motorbike was revived temporarily. Person who helped revive motorbike also helped him find new replacement motorbike. New replacement motorbike is very, very nice. And called Meowzebub.

Said very lovely person also owns four huskies and a collie. I got lots of doggy cuddles that day. And as a thank you for helping us out for near enough a whole day at incredibly short notice, literally the night before, Engel suggested I make a replica of one of her huskies.

Isn’t he cute?

There may be the rest of the pack on its way eventually, I believe that’s in debate…

In other news, today was The Wool Experience! And my friends Sisterex and Charisobelle have convinced me to pick up spinning as a new hobby. Or to at least try it. So I went to get a little bit of sheep fluff and a drop spindle.

Yeah…

I now two whole fleeces, 5 little sample bags of different fleeces and 3 drop spindles. Sisterex also gave me three lots of commercial fluff I gave her the other year as it wound up in my stash by accident and Charisobelle also gave me three little bags of fluff in different washed stages so I could see the differences each step made and could practice on those for washing myself.

I think I need to learn this hobby, and get competent in it, pretty quick…

Oh, and I also picked up three skeins of undyed wool for me to have a play with my dyes some more…

Wool Count

Starting total – 576

Wool used – 56 (Still no change…)
Wool bought – 16 (3 more, mentioned above)
Wool given – 155
Wool gifted – 31

Total – 663 (It went up!)

Fleece bought/own – 13 lots, varying quantities…

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