Author: Roxy

As I type this, curled on the sofa, sipping lemon and ginger tea and nibbling at my chocolate easter egg, I can say for certain that I needed this long weekend.

Its been a relaxed one, playing with the kids, doing crafts and reading and playing games, and with lockdown easing, been able too see people at the park and talk to them without that sense of guilt hanging over me…

We’ve had local Easter Trails and today I made a little indoor easter egg hunt that the kids demolished through in less time than I took to set it up…the weather has been good and it actually feels like spring, with changes just on the horizon, and that feeling of positivity beginning to creep in.

I also finished an impulse knit – sort of – in five days given that it had a weeks deadline, so I’m pretty pleased. I want to eventually have a wreath for the window for every month, and last year managed a spring wreath, two Halloween wreaths and a Remembrance wreath. Easter was definitely one of the ones to make, and last week I decided to just go ahead and make it.

Its an eclectic mix of patterns, all free, there’s Springtime Wreath, Daffodils, Small Knitted Dogwood Blossoms (which I tweaked the colours of to make Periwinkles), Forget-me-nots, a cute pair of Square bunnies and of course, the Easter Egg.

Its bright, its colourful, its silly, it used a ton of little scraps, and its what I needed.

So I hope your all having a great weekend, regardless of whether you participate in the chocolate goodness and silliness of Easter like I do, and that your keeping safe. Till next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 40 (5 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 8

Total – 864

(Squee! If I keep this up, I will be able to justify buying two sweaters quantities of yarn that I really want for a pair of projects!)

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Last year Engel decided I needed a little treat and so picked up some of the beautiful hand dyed yarn over at Siobhan Crafts – and he selected the limited edition Halloween set of mini skeins in sock weight yarn.

(He also picked up a tropical fish set and an adventure bike set – the former will be a gift for Rabbies once I settle on a pattern and the latter is wishful thinking of socks for himself… Which I will probably relent to…)

So, without further ado…

Socks! And better yet, socks for me! So squishy and cosy and I have enough left over to make myself a second pair! The pattern used is a free one and one I highly recommend for those who are new to sock knitting and more importantly don’t like knitting a gauge swatch! Its the NO swatch, ANY yarn socks by Ida-Maria Tyyskä. Expect more socks using this particular pattern in the future!

In other news its a week until Easter, I have no idea where the time has gone this year at all! It feels like just a blink but also forever…but soon, hopefully, with luck, we’ll be out of lockdown enough and can start doing all the fun things again that we’ve all been missing…

Besides wishful thinking, there’s not been much but work and as I am on part time furlough, a big stab at the various large jobs that need doing about the house and garden…

Oh. And Rusty. A stray tom cat that’s been trying to move in. We have a microchip reading cat flap, and after finding him in the house for the third time, managed to figure out how he was doing it. Outbreak, our little lady, hears him calling at the cat flap, goes over, unlocks it with her chip and then let’s him in…

I wouldn’t mind so much, but he’s not fixed, and so sprays. So Operation: Messenger Cat began! I managed to collar him, as in put as collar on him, and a note asking his owners if he was on medication or had any allergies…

The next day, I for a knock on my door and found myself speaking to one of Rusty’s lodgers. It seems my house isn’t the only house he’s breaking into. In fact, theres about five. I also found out about his actual owner – after Rusty took to wandering they decided that since he left the house, he wasn’t welcome back, and washed their hands of him.

So he was effectively abandoned meaning…what to do? I got in touch with the local cat charity and explained the situation and tomorrow will be Operation: Cat Catch as they are kindly going to have him neutered as they can’t have a stray cat fathering kittens and being a nuisance. He’ll get fixed, chipped and as long as either myself or his many lodgers agree to ensure he’s kept fed, watered and sheltered, that’s it, he’s good to continue being as free spirit.

I wonder if the cat shelter needs anything knitted for them, I haven’t chosen my good deed yet for this year…

Until next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 35 (10 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 8

Total – 869

(I know a lot has been used this week, I’ll tell you why – I’m working on an Easter wreath and using up all those tiny odds and ends I have!)

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Have you ever had an idea, inspiration, slowly brewing and building in the back of your mind until you have to create it, unleash it, and let it free?

That’s exactly what happened to me during a family discussion on WhatsApp initiated by my niece regarding her school art project. To pretend to receive a commission, noting what it was and from whom, and then to create it. She wanted to do a sea shell crown but couldn’t think why it would be commissioned.

Eventually it was decided that a theatre was having a production of The Little Mermaid and that’s why they wanted a sea shell crown. Myself and Rabbie where keen for her to scrap the shell idea as another girl in her class had declared that as her project, and felt she could do something similar, with a Scottish twist, perhaps with Selkies…

For those who don’t know, Selkies are a mythical Scottish creature that is a seal who can remove her seal skin to take on the form of a human. As you can imagine there are many tales surrounding that premise, and it was the seal cloak that myself and Rabbie felt would make a great project for my neice.

She stuck with the sea shell crown, but this idea about Selkies and seals and the crashing cold waves along the Scottish coast stuck in my head. And then it began to grow. And change. And form into an idea that just had to be created.

And so, I present the Selkie Shawl:

The centre is meitered squares in varying shades of brown, to represent the different rocks and shale and pebbles of the Scottish coast. Surrounding this is the crashing waves, leading out to slowly calmer sea, and trimmed in a border called Old Shale, that looks like cockle shells and originates from the Scottish isles.

It’s huge, when I blocked it I found that it just kept growing and growing. I stopped at the width you can see in the photo above, but could easily have squeaked out another foot. However, all the wool in this is made from fleece I dyed with natural dyes (coffee and beetroot for the warmer browns and oranges, purple kale from my sister’s garden for the grey blue) and I didn’t trust my own spinning skills to withstand that much pressure!

And so there it is, an idea born from a conversation that evolved and grew into something else entirely. It took six months from conversation to completion, with only four months of actually working on it. First, I had to spin the wool, which I am very slow at, then I let it just do as it wished on the needles. As it grew I had to spin more wool. And more wool. Whilst doing this, I was also working on numerous other projects as I wanted to work in this only when the desire to do so came about.

The shawl has been finished for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to share it until I could get some photos of it where the land met water. Ideally I wanted to go up to Scotland, and with my family, go to one of the less tame Scottish coasts…but lockdown hasn’t allowed that, and so, a local reservoir had to suffice!

That’s all for this week, until next, stay safe.

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So…many…penguins…

No, really, there’s a lot of penguins. The last thread of the last penguin has literally been tucked in and this blog is getting updated. So, I mentioned previously that after getting caught out at Christmas just gone, I wasn’t going to try and knit 60 things in 12 days again. So I knit the 60 things as my first big at work and between projects knit…so it took three months, but there is 60 penguins.

(There is actually 61, but Engel pinched one to give to his boss who is obsessed with penguins apparently…)

In other knitting news, my big handspun project is blocked and I love it, and I do have generic in the garden photos of it but…I can do better. Photo wise. Hopefully next week for the big reveal!

In non knitting news, a friend is running a 40K RPG and despite the fact I am not a good player, I am playing it. It’s different. But I have a cyber mastiff called Fluffy. I have also started a big Cthulhu campaign and, if it wasn’t for my letting them spend luck to fudge their own rolls…well, total party kill ten minutes in and a player got eaten by the big bad monster…they are all now suitably paranoid!

I also decided to rip my living room apart, go through everything with a fine tooth comb, rearrange it, and put it all back together. I ache. Moving all my RPG books near killed me…

I hope everyone else managed at least a few smiles this week, and until next, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 25 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 7

Total – 878

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Now, I will admit that I love magic. The kind that leaves you pondering just how they managed to do that, was it an illusion? A slip of the hand? Mind control? My brother in law does a lot of magic, and I personally think he’s amazing at it. Both the terrors are convinced that he’s a wizard, and he wears that title with pride.

So when he asked me to knit a teeny tiny bear, no taller than 6cm, in burgundy, well, how could I refuse?

And here he is, safely up in Scotland nestled amongst a variety of magic tricks! I knit him following the pattern Teddy Bear by Sarah Keen from her book 100 Little Knitted Projects.

I cannot wait to see him in a magic show! Will he disappear? Reappear? Transform?!

In other knitting news, I finished the huge hand spun project I’ve been working on. It’s been blocked and is ready for a photoshoot, the only problem is that when I came up with the concept, I had a certain type of location in mind to photograph it…but with lockdown/ covid/ the plague…well, I can’t get there. Even something remotely similar…

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out…

In regards to the rest of life, I finished off the current Cthulhu campaign and if it wasn’t for the fact I let players spend their luck to fudge their dice rolls…well…they all died. Repeatedly. In various fashions. But with barely any to spare they did manage to limp home victorious!

Its been a hard week this week with all our routines being out of sorts, and not having Crumble to give me my evening cuddles and bedtime snuggles… But we’re getting there, wherever there is.

Just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and take life one day at a time I think!

So until next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 24 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 7

Total – 879

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So last week, I very briefly mentioned that I had spun some dog hair. Allow me to go into a little bit more detail now. So, my work colleague who has now left has the most gorgeous collie, Holly:

And we had previously had a few conversations about my spinning and trying some interesting fibres, like reindeer, and how I wanted to try more types. She commented that her dog Holly had hair with a lot of the qualities I was speaking about – a good long staple, a fine crimp… And so:

This is 13 meters of pure, unblended, collie fur. I was given a ‘small’ quantity and was very pleased with the softness, staple and crimp. It spun beautifully, those due to the softness of it, I had to go quite slow compared to most sheep fleece. So, goal achieved, what do I do with it?

Knit a teeny tiny Holly of course! I very loosely followed the free pattern Small Sausage Dog by Amanda Berry – it was the smallest I could find and given I only had 13 meters…well, a bit of tweaking and voila, a collie! The white detailing is some white Jacobs fleece I have spun previously, and the brown eyes is some suffolk-texel fleece that I had dyed with fresh coffee grounds.

I have to say, I am super impressed with how this whole project has come out from start to finish. It’s not often that an experiment done completely on a whim with no planning actually works out!

I’m going to give the wool count here, and then finish off with some sad news, as I feel it’s more respectful that way.

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 21 (5 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 7 (3 this week)

Total – 882 (a net total of 2 down)

On a much sadder note, my eldest and very beloved cat Crumble crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday morning. She has always been a fighter and had a habit of defeating the odds. Going from an incredibly awful start, she was deemed too emotionally damaged to be rehomed, and so we took her in as our first and only foster fail. In October she was badly injured after going missing for two weeks, the vets didn’t expect her to survive but she did. And out of sheer stubbornness she got an extra four and a bit months of love and cuddles.

May she enjoy herself across the rainbow bridge, eating all the boiled eggs she wants and continuing to be Queen.

RIP Crumble.

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It’s been an interesting week, half term and being in furlough for half a week meant I got up to a lot of mischief with the kids. Well, as much as you can given the current time of plague.

There’s been baking, bike rides, dancing, colouring and painting, building dens and other activities. Between this, I managed a little spinning (need more for my big project, it’s eating the handspun!) and a bit of penguin knitting. Yes, they are still marching.

I do however have one new knit to show, a little good bye and good luck gift for a colleague whom I’ve worked with on and off for eight years…

This is Cat in a Life Preserver by Anna Hrachovec, in this case, the black cat is for the fact that she gave me the loveable kitty Dashie, the life preserver as it’s joked that when it rains we need them for our work, and a little four leaf clover for good luck.

I left that in her desk and in exchange, she left me a bag of her collies hair, which I had mentioned I wanted to try and spin. And I have. But more on that next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 16 (2 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 4

Total – 884

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The weather has been bitterly cold as of late, to the point the duck pond near us has completely frozen over. As such, I have been going through our stock of tea like crazy!

It’s been a quiet week all told. Work is quiet, so much so near all of us are on part time furlough – feels strange only doing three day weeks but I imagine I will quickly enjoy it! It will also give me a chance to do all those jobs round the house I have put off all winter, as it’s been too cold or wet…

Chinese New year, usually a big occasion, was also quiet. Felix, upon seeing her red envelope, was initially excited, before stating “Oh, it’s lockdown. There won’t be the dragon parade or dancing lions”. After speaking with Rabbie, it was decided that if there is no official dragon parade, then we will have our own! It’s amazing what Engel can produce with cardboard, fabric and a glue gun! The kids decorated his creation, and with some red fabric, we had our own parade!

It was chaos, and there was more falling over laughing than parading, but it was so nice to hear laughter! There was also Skype calls with both Engels family, and my own, and it was actually really nice.

Felix’s best friends birthday is today, and we arranged a small meeting at the park to exchange presents and let the kids fun around. The cold kept the visit short, and we all welcomed hot showers, fluffy pyjamas and tea when we got in!

Which leads me to this week’s knitting news – part of the gift given today!

A striped butterfly hat and a tiny cup and saucer with milk and a biscuit. The latter part of that gift was actually a request she had given me three times so I figured her birthday was the perfect time to cave and make her it!

The pattern for the cup and saucer is Teacup and Saucer by Sarah Keen from her book ‘100 Little Knitted Projects’ and the cookie is a free mochimochi land pattern!

That’s all for this week, until next, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 14 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 4

Total – 887

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So Inkling has taken to watching a show in Netflix called Gabby’s Dollhouse, which is very much cats, cats cats! His favourite character is MerCat:

Yes, she’s a cat mermaid, or a purrmaid? He likes her best as she’s A) Pretty and B) a scientist like mummy. Too cute! So when he asked if I could make him one…how could I refuse? I modified the free pattern My Little Purrmaid by Myka Watson to create:

Inklings very own MerCat!

In other knitting news, the penguins are still matching in to 60 of them, and my other big project is in time out whilst I work out the maths for the border…

No spinning and not much else happening, lockdown is still on so between that and the poor weather, we’ve not managed much here other than some baking, kids craft and playing games of all descriptions! Oh, speaking of games, I now have two Cthulhu groups – double the death and double the insanity, loving it!

Till next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 13 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 4

Total – 888

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Remember how I mentioned that I was going to have to knit a few more Pokémon hats? Well the terrors took the decision out of my hands and demanded a set of hats that matched their cuddly Pokémon toys.

So without further ado I present…

We have Inklings Espeon on the left and Felix’s Umbreon on the right, with the matching hat/toy. These are two of the evolution choices for Eevee, which I knitted a hat version of previously…

With a bit of luck, that will be the last hat for a while. Unless I knit myself one. Still debating just which one mind…

It’s a short list this week as I have been really under the weather – it’s not the plague! But I have definitely lost my enthusiasm and energy this week. On top of finishing those hats off, I did manage to spin and ply the ball of wool I needed to keep working on my other big project – hopefully I can reveal that soon!

So until next week, keep safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 12 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 4 (1 this week)

Total – 889 (Back to last week’s total!)

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