Category: Knitting

Have you ever needed to attack / defend yourself from hoards of knitted monsters?

Or perhaps your little (or large) viking needs an axe-essory to sharpen their day?

If yes, axe-ellent! You have come to the right place!

So, I had a commission to knit the tiny axe (four actually) I did for my Christmas decoration last year and…I hadn’t written the pattern down… Which in hindsight, was axe-tually a bad idea… and thus, I now present:

The little axe pattern! As always, free on the blog!

Aren’t they axe-orable?

(And yes, I am laying it on heavy with just ‘axe’ as the pun because if you list all the parts of an axe – bit, head, shaft, butt – you end up with innuendos, not puns, and I’m trying to keep it fairly clean here!)

In non knitting news, but spinning news, I have spun two balls of Romney fleece. Nice, soft, springy wool and more importantly, white in colour. Why? Felicity has a grand Viking related plan for a display she wants, and it involves nettles, hand spun wool, and lots and lots of natural dying materials… When this begins to come together I’ll be sure to share!

In non crafting news, Vikings last weekend, Vikings this weekend. You can tell we’re deep in the Viking season. Does mean that my crafting time is severely impacted, and also being used for very different crafts. Again, when it comes together, I’ll share!

That’s all for this post as I have a lot to do, nowhere near enough time, and despite being really excited about things behind the scenes, I could actually kind of do with a nap…

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 46 (Used 1)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 19
Wool given to me – 26
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 8 (up by 2)

Total – 863 (Net difference: +22 – creeping up, but that’s cause I’m using my fleece so…cant complain?)

Shed your cloak and take a seat be the fire, have a horn of mead (or tea) and settle down to an epic saga. Tonight I shall weave a tale of fearless warriors, a tapestry of adventure and intrigue…

So be prepared to shield yourself from the pillage of puns coming your way!

Last weekend was the first big viking event for us – myself, Inkling and Felix spent three days as vikings at the Birmingham Games Expo (Engel was on hand to child wrangle of necessary and as a civillian was mainly dispatched to get things for us – ah…so nice to have a thrall to ourselves). It was a raiding good time. There was much laughter (no slaughter), lots of learning (no looting), lots of sharing (nor pillaging) and explaining things to the public.

It was a fantastic plunder-cise for the kids, involved enough they got the feel of a proper show, but with so many vikings (142 approx) they could happily sit back and have quiet time away from the public.

Not that they wanted quiet, all they wanted to do was axe questions! We learned to make nettle cordage, Felix learned to blow a viking horn, Inkling learned to play hnefatafl. We learned about natural dying, and did loads of foraging. We even took part in a viking spa and learned about all the products they would make to ensure they were fighting fresh!

Dont be surprised if things relating to all these start cropping into the blog, it’s already become odin-ary for the kids to pop up with a bag of foraged leaves and things to start an epic natural dying display…

But I will worry about the tiny nettle baskets after I finish my shield. That’s gonna be a post in itself once it’s done…

But enough of this saga, let’s get to the good bit – the knitting!

(Credit to Timbercat here who was precariously balanced to provide more light to get this photo just right)

I was given this pattern, Shields & Axes by Amanda Berry, by one of the fellow vikings at my viking club and I knew I had to make the longship asap. I Keely needed to knit it like now. So I did. This project barged all the others out of its way, leaving them abandoned in it’s wake.

And I’m glad I did, even to me it’s rudderly oar-some. Keeping things above board, I managed to actually follow the pattern for this one. Sort of. Oar-most. I changed the sail colours and altered the shields to match my viking groups. The pattern also includes little (historically incorrect) vikings which, I wreck-en with a few tweaks, I could turn into all the members of the group…

But that will be a project ferry far into the future, as I am battening down the hatches to concentrate on a whole bunch of things to make and do right now. Don’t axe, I’ll just shield you from the chaos until it’s time to reveal it here in the blog!

So until next post, I raise a horn of mead (tea) and wish you safe adventures.

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 45 (No change)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 19
Wool given to me – 26
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 862 (Net difference: +21 – no change, which is better than it going up again…)

If you scroll through your history or tap into your short term memory terminals, you’ll remember how I warned you that I would end up with quite a bit of non knitting posts this year. Well, heres one.

Craft medium: Paint

Subject: Battletech

Subcategory: Geek

Clan Seafox

As many of you know, Engel loves wargames. 40k, Fallout and Battletech to name three.

He loves collecting them, playing them, building them…just not painting them.

I on the other hand will throw up a 404 error when confronted with a sea of grey plastic minis…

Bolan Defenders

With this in mind, I started to chip away at a bit at this sea of grey. And then found out that there was a Battletech tournament. With that, all projects on hold and the paint was out!

Comstar

The tournament has passed now, Engel placed an amazing…13 out of 15. Our friends Ratman (10th) and…a friend whose online user name I don’t actually know, placed third.

All my painted minis, and Engels rogue sombrero wearing Calculon

He had a good time, people complimented my painting and I had a very fun weekend with the terrors instead. And all my soft crafts where out in full! Needle felting, knitting, spinning, kumihimo, latch hook, oh it was glorious!

And with that, I can hear them calling for more attention. Apologies for the lack of puns, a bit hard to fit all the nuts and bolts in sometimes, and trying to do so was making my screws come loose!

Until next post, which I can guarantee will be glorious in it’s woolem finery, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 45 (Up by one!)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 19 (Up by 9)
Wool given to me – 26 (Up by 1)
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 862 (Net difference: +21)

Do your own sting!

Or in my case, look longingly at vintage daisy makers then cobble my own together…

But what has that to do with bees? Well, its un-bee-lievable that you asked, so lets stop bumbling and get to the knitting!

Another window wreath (I haven’t forgotten them!) And this one quite simple for the summer time. The bees I have knit before, and again they have proved a quick, easy-beesy, versatile knit. The pattern for them is Buzzy Bee Motif by Kippers Ning and its free – who doesn’t love a free-bee?

(And no, I won’t bee-hive myself, the bee puns will continue! I have a buzz-illion of them!)

Ahem. Here’s a close up of a bee-autiful bee…

One of the main reasons for wanting to make this wreath was, as mentioned at the bee-ginning of this post – after longingly looking at vintage daisy makers (I blame Retro Claude over on youtube) I decided to DIY one.

(Excuse the mess, I was buzzing about and clean forgot to take another photo before it disintegrated.)

After a few goes I was getting some pretty cute daisies. Then even cuter dandelions!

And that is the un-bee-lievably dull tale of why I was knitting bees. I’d say the ending stung, but it’s really cute and I love the placement of the bees and flowers. (Shout out to my fellow Valkyries Rabbie and OwlLady! Especially OwlLady for her patience with positioning the bee part of the wreath just right to give a crescent moon, and a slightly asymmetric look.)

In other news, first viking show of the season (for myself, there’s been a few before) has been and gone and I am buzzing with excitement for the next – Felix and Inkling will be coming along as proper little vikings!

Now to make sure they can properly yell ‘For Valhalla!’

Until next post, stay safe, and bee yourself!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 44 (Up by three!)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 19 (Up by 9)
Wool given to me – 26 (Up by 1)
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 863 (Net difference: +22)

Usually I’m a realist, but in this case I can transform myself.

Yeah, I know, what a bunch of beryllium baloney…

I can hear the Gears and Ratchets turning, but I imagine most of you will already know where this is going… So let’s transform and roll out!

Inkling is about to turn seven (I have no idea where the years have gone) and wants a few friends round for his birthday.

But what to make for a bunch of unruly Constructicons lest they transform into Devastator?

Well, coincidentally, Inklings birthday is also the 40 year anniversary of the classic Transformers Movie (that is no Mirage, the movie is older than me). The same movie Inkling has watched about a hundred times as a small child growing up.

When Engel ‘casually’ mentioned there was a cinema screening of that very same movie on his birthday…well, problem solved! But what to make?

Autobot hats! Cute, practical, great stash buster, and not a lot of sewing etc required. (This is my own basic intarsia hat pattern that lives in my head, just so you know.) But there’s something missing…

For one to stand and one to fall, we need a deception in the mix. And it’s hardly a Shockwave that Felix has claimed this one as hers!

In other news, viking events are picking up so expect to start seeing some of that creeping in!

I also, for full disclosure, had a very weak moment after being given 6 balls of gorgeous wool at an insanely good price, had to go and buy a further nine… Its an alpaca, yak and lambswool blend! Its like energon to a dinobot – me grimlock, grimlock like soft wool… But I have ploughed through a load of wool this week and used up loads of odds and ends and scraps in the hats and a few other projects!

Until next post, stay safe!

Has to be done: Bah weep gragnah weep nini bong!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 41 (Up by twelve!)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 19 (Up by 9)
Wool given to me – 25 (Up by 6)
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 865 (Net difference: +24)

My goal this year is to break even, it’s the best I can hope for at this rate…

Before I get into the knitting part of this blog, lets do the more sand-imental parts first.

El DiPablo was…very much a ‘Dune not disturb’ type of cat, but with a lot of perseverance, time, treats, patience, the spicy kitty started to accept that humans exist in his space, and they wanted to interact with him, not just throw food and walk away. Felix got the big breakthrough moment of being able to boop his nose with no consequence, just an ear flick of amusement. Or bemusement.

Eh, lets not sift sands on that one.

He is back home and actively engaging in play and wanting fussed, didn’t even take a full 24 hours of getting his pawprints back in his home turf.

Back to knitting and the reason behind these sand-sational puns!

A few weeks ago, some friends and myself went to watch dune. One of my friends who went was Spectral Phantom and much like myself, he enjoys a good pun. And the fact that spice and dice play into that…

“The dice must roll”

Its classic, its funny, and an idea began to worm its way into my mind then onto my needles…

When there is spice, there are sandworms. When there are spice dice (yes, Spectral Phantom also got inspired) there must be a sandworm dicebag.

This crazy dice bag is entirely out of my own head. I picked up the needles, looked at some sandworms, and just let the knitting flow… When it came to the mouth, I had already worked out that running a drawstring through it would give that rippling effect you see in movies etc. Problem was, how do I do a drawstring on a sandworm and make it look cohesive?

Well, when there is spice, there are sandworms, and where there are sandworms, there are Fremen riding those sandworms. And his little ropes and hooks could quite conveniently be the drawstring too. Its just all looped inside to draw in the right way.

I think I can safely say, this sandworm has thoroughly wormed its way into my favourite geeky dice bags. Will I be knitting more dice bags in my future? Well, does the desert have sand?

Until the next post, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 28 (Up by two!)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 10
Wool given to me – 19
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 862 (Net difference: +21)

Just bear with me on these puns, also, apologies for being tardi last week I was doing a massive amount of clearing out and I was knackered.

But two runs to the recycling center and two runs to charity shops later, and it’s looking good! There’s still more to do (there’s always more) but with a bit of shuffling, we have turned the wool-servatory into a cattery.

We have taken on a bit more than expected with Pablo, now named El DiPablo, as he is nearly entirely feral. Joys. But enough of that, let’s get on to some chaos!

Now, for those who work in labs, you will be aware of a certain kind of madness that settles in over the years. Perhaps naming the machinery, or being sure to sweet talk the equipment and give it a pat of encouragement before turning it on, or becoming aware of all the little critters that mess up your day…

I have worked with the pleasant lab fairies, the irritating gremlins in the delicate equipment, the annoying goblins that make a mess of your work station and leave unwashed beakers everywhere. I’ve had the more site specific creatures of mayhem like the Poultry-geists who move anything and everything they get their wings on, the metal pigeons that tap dance across samples, the crocodile that messes with the autoclave water valves, the guinea pigs in the extractor system… And at the very end of last week, it was revealed to me by a work colleague that she had clearly had tardigrades running amok in her SEM samples.

Yes. Tardigrades. Or waterbears. Or mosspigs.

But after the 20th time saying tardigrades with now multiple people, I had the absolute burning desire to knit one.

No, I needed to knit one. But what colour? And then, I saw it.

And with that, I abandoned all projects and went wool hunting in the wool-servatory.

Amazingly, there was a free pattern for this cutie on Ravelry – Water Bear (Tardigrade) by Luna Adelt, and, small world, she has knitted one of my axolotl patterns! Clearly the love of aquatic oddities is strong amongst us knitting nerds!

In other news, I have borrowed a drum carder from one of the vikes and hope to make good use of it over the coming days and get on top of my fleece stash. I also have some woad and weld seeds germinating so who knows, perhaps some natural dying will be featuring on here at some point in the coming months!

I frogged a project that was given to me unfinished along with someone’s stash years ago and have ended up with my wool count going up by 15, but I have also used some wool too. I’ve finished a few things as well and started a ton more, so the creativity is high in the house right now! Felix has been joining in with cross stitch and painting which has been really lovely. We both enjoy the content calm of crafting next to each other.

And with that, I bid you farewell and to stay safe. After one last photo because how could I resist recreating that amazing image I found?

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 26 (Up by four!)
Wool unaccounted for in my stash – 15
Wool bought – 10
Wool given to me – 19
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 864 (Net difference: +23)

This week, I have no knitted projects to share. One is finished, but I haven’t had a chance to get a good photo of it, and I’m over 70% on phase one of another.

Yes, you are being pun-alised with statistics on my knitting progress.

I have been doing a lot of painting at the moment – painting minis not pictures – and finished all the My little Scythe minis. Have my next set already lined up, just need the time to work on them.

And time is were I am falling short. Full time work, full time mum around said work, running and maintaining the house, all my hobbies plus more social things like vikings and gaming. I don’t want to give anything up, each is pun-derful in it’s own way (apart from cleaning, that’s pun-ishment), but yeah… I may actually see through my threat of posting non knitting things on here far more regularly.

So, I pose a question, should I stick to soft crafts (knitting, tablet weave, needle felt, sewing, braiding) or a bit of everything (painting, carving, whatever random things I get into).

The other thing that as of today is now going to eat a lot of my time is I am going to be looking after a colleagues cat for 5/6 days (it’s easier for me to have the cat here than the 40 minute drive there and back when there’s no traffic, at least once a day, every day, over that period of time…) so the wool-servatory / tribble rehoming center is getting gutted. Carefully gutted. I am already creating piles of things to be rehomed to others, but I suspect my wool count is going to go up as I dig through mine and Engels mountains of hobby related items…

So with that, I shall leave you all be until next post.

Oh! Did you all enjoy the pun-derful puns? Or was it pun-ishment? Let me know if they have groan on you at least!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 22 (Up by one!)
Wool bought – 10
Wool given to me – 19
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 853 (Net difference: +12)

The third and final hiss-terical dice bag for Reyth and my clawesome dice.

Drum roll…

I have knit Reyth their very own Sporran of Holding! (Pattern is based on Sporran by Nick Cox but I made quite a few tweaks).

Lets not crawl, or slither, along, and get to the bit I am most excited about with this project!

Above is a very rudimentary, make shift loom so that I could try a weaving style that has very much caught my fancy a while ago. There is a cloak style called the Vararfeldur, which came up during my Viking cloak search. You weave locks of sheep wool in amongst the warp and weft to create a fluffy texture.

I have been ignoring the urge to make a full cloak in this style, but when I decided to knit a sporran for Reyth…well, I couldn’t not jump at the chance to do a small version! Lessons have been learned, and I know what I would do for a larger scale version, so it was definitely worth doing this way. I wont go into detail, however, if I do this full scale, I will.

And here is a photo of Reyth, dice and dice bags. I have quite the crocodile grin looking at them all!

In non knitting news, it was the Viking Training Weekend just gone, and I am now a qualified Outdoor First Aider for the next three years. Not gonna lie, it was pretty traumatic, but as the instructor said, when things go wrong, they really go wrong, and the injured person doesn’t have time for their first aider to freeze and baulk.

I am, however, really not happy that I am now also the group tick remover. Nasty little things! Lets just hope no one gets them in the places given as an example…

And with that, I shall bid you farewell until the next post.

Stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 21 (Up by one!)
Wool bought – 10
Wool given to me – 19 (Up by 12 – wedding anniversary wool hunt, long may they last!)
Wool gifted to others – 2
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 854 (Net difference: +13)

Seriously, dont snake my word for it!

Heres Reyth with dice bag number two! I wanted to make a scale based dice bag the minute I saw the snake skin in the dice, and have them match to an extent. I did colour match initially but didn’t like the contrast I was getting, so went for a softer blue to edge the scales in.

The pattern itself is modified version of my standard dice bag pattern and Dragon Scales Cowl by Debbie West – a free Ravelry pattern – just tweaked the maths a little and voila, dice bag!

With that, I will slither on to other news – Felix’s room is back in order after a lot of help from my friends at the weekend, and all the other things that went wrong this month are back in some semblance of order. Long may it last!

Just a short post as its been a month. Year. The entirety of the 2020s?

Wool Count

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 20 (Up by one!)
Wool bought – 10
Wool given to me – 7
Wool gifted to others – 2 (up by one!)
Wool handspun – 6

Total – 843 (Net difference: +2)