As I mentioned at the star-t of the year, I’m doing a lot of non knitting crafts at the moment, so content may be a bit scarce. The thing is though, I quite enjoy coming up with various sunny puns to inflict upon you all, and I like the routine of having a little time to look back and reflect.

Although a lot of my posts do come across as cut and sun.

Ok, ok, I’ll get on to it. I don’t have knitting to share this week, I have however picked up a project I started a few years ago – my window wreaths. I want to have one for every month of the year, and January is one of my missing ones. I had lots of possible ideas, and a few maybes and possibilities but…

It was a proper frosty morning, I was corralling the terrors to the car, when Felix just slammed on the breaks and went, ‘look Mummy, it’s so pretty’.

So I did, and we all just paused and spent longer than we should admiring the intricate crystal of ice and frost, trapped in a spiders web, glistening and sparkling in the artificial light if the house.

It is not as beautiful, or intricate as that spiders web, but I think I caught the sparkles and simplicity of it all. The kids both very much love this wreath, and even when I had just started the web part, where enthusiastically picking out beads to be ‘caught’ in it.

Now to decide what my February wreath should look like…

Its been a very quiet week, both this and last, as I’m recovering at the moment. Just about back in my feet though and itching to get cracking on with all my projects – to which there are many, many, many…

And with that, I bid you farewell. Stay safe, take care, and my next post should be back to its more normal knitting chaos.

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 2
Wool bought – 2 (Yep, I know, but there are just certain wools I need in my stash that I use all the time, and black DK is one of those)
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 0

Total – 841 (Net difference: 0)

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Now I know I said I was gonna take root and leaf things for a bit, but I had to branch out from that plan and share this completed project!

Now I know that was a lot of acorny puns all in a row, but I am a devotree to puns!

Oak-y, before I get a sap in the face, on to the knitting!

Every year when I put up our tree, I say it needs a tree skirt, but I’ll make it later. Then I forget. And I put up the tree and go ‘I did say I was going to make a tree skirt…’, then I forget…

Ten years I have done this now and enough was enough. This Christmas I would knit the tree skirt so next Christmas it’s ready for the tree.

So I did. This is more or less knit using Christmas at Hogwarts Tree Skirt by Susanna IC from the book “Knitting Magic: More Patterns From Hogwarts & Beyond”. The original is all white, which is lovely, but I wanted colour. So coloured cables I added. And coloured trees. And fluffy owls. But I had to do this across six repeats.

Never. Again.

Was it worth it? Looking at these cute owls, definitely.

And all the additional beads and sequins for sparkle?

Yeah. It was worth it. The kids love it, and have been wearing it like a caplet, so I think for next year, it might help add that little touch to help bring forth the festive spirit.

Knitting aside, it’s been a quiet start to the year. Things are getting done that have taken years to actually get to, which is helping with a lot of the stress that’s been going on. Hopefully once all that’s behind us, we can emerge like little seedlings in the spring, and bloom into…umm…hmm.

I would definitely not describe any of us as flowers, but calling us weeds seems a tad mean… Let’s go thistles. Nice, tough, hardy thistles, with a beauty in their own right. Just be warned, we prick!

And after that tangent, I shall bid you farewell. Until the next post, stay safe, and if anyone has any better ideas about what kind of flowers can be used as a description for us, or better yet, yourselves, let me know!

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 2
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 0

Total – 839 (Net difference: -2)

This should increase soon as 1) I need more black acrylic DK for some toy’s and 2) I’ve dusted off the wheel and started spinning again. I must remember how soothing to the soul spinning is…

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Not gonna lie, 2023 was a hard year. 2024 hasn’t gotten off to a purrfect start either. There’s been a death in the wider family and its very much caused us all to go to ground.

I did manage a trip up North though, and first footed Rabbies door on New Years Day. And whilst quiet, it was a good visit. Both my terrors now have their own Viking kit and I have so much hand sewing to be getting on with its purr-etty insane…but so worth it as they look so cute!!!

But hand sewing doesn’t really lend much content to the blog, which is my next point, its gonna be pretty quiet on here for a little bit. Partly due to content and partly due to the desire to hide under a blanket and try this whole new year thing again at some point in February. Maybe. March looks pretty promising…

Modified version of Kitten Mittens by Marna Gilligan from her book Cat Knits. Made to match my cowl and one day I will make the matching hat too. Purr-omise.

One thing that I will be continuing into 2024, is the puns. I have a feline that a few groans have resounded at that, but I love them, they’re just purr-fect for a little bit of humour!

In other news, poor OwlLady and Timbercat made the fatal mistake of deciding to help me organise and recount my wool stash. I don’t know who was more horrified at the sheer quantity of wool, but I unearthed a few treasures I had forgotten which I am looking forward to using. Soon hopefully. Maybe. More importantly, my total came to 30 less than what I thought I had! Some did sneak off though in OwlLadys bag…and one in Timbercats…

So with that, I shall present my new wool count totals! Stay safe, and may you have the 2024 you desire!

Starting total – 841

Wool used – 0
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 0

Total – 841 (Net difference: 0)

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The question being, what was the Christmas knit for 2023?

A bearded axe (the best kind) to represent joining a viking reenactment group!

Ended up knitting this one up sharpish this morning as the year has officially got away from me. I’m gonna let it run and focus on 2024 when I get there. I know for many of us, it’s been a bit of a year.

But, focusing on the positive, my terrors are happily crafting away, the tree is up and festooned in hand made ornaments, indigestion from too much good food is on the horizon and we have The Nightmare Before Christmas playing away in the background.

It was the most festive I could manage…

Just a short post today, to wish everyone a good festive season no matter what you celebrate. Also keeping it light on the puns as I’m having to be sharp about how easy it is to slide into innuendos when it comes to axes.

To be blunt, or perhaps get to the point, shaft, head, rack, butt are all axe and axe throwing terms…

So, with that fun aside, have a quiet and restful end to 2023, and try and get some rest to prepare for whatever 2024 decides to throw at us next.

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 62 (+3)
Wool bought – 44 (+20)
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 871 (Net difference: -9)

Yeah, I really fell off the sheep this year. Going to have to keep it an a tight reign for next year, or else I’ll have to consider culling it…

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First, my apologies for not being around much again, its been a bit crazy at the moment and I’ve been juggling perhaps two or brie things more than I should…

Second, I’m going to let you in on a squeak-rat, the puns are about to get cheesy.

So, to set your mind at cheese, there is knitting in this post, promise, and its to do with Cheese Day. My workplace has a tradition where rather than a formal Christmas lunch together, we bring in cheese, crackers, meats, olives etc and, to quote, ‘Celebrate Baby Cheese-us’.

Last year I knit tiny Christmas tree decoration sized mice, this year I had the cheddar idea of knitting…

Rats! Rats! And more rats! (Free knitting pattern Flat Rat by Susan Glinert Stevens, I have converted mine to knit as one piece from the nose down).

This was un-brie-lievably fun. I got to use up loads of little scraps, as well as a few small balls of wool, and had the little squeakers running amock on actual Cheese Day.

I did try and keep my plan a squeak-rat, but ended up sharing with my Valkyries (knitting coven No2) and Rabbie requested I knit her little versions of her dairy departed pet rats Darktan and Peaches. And my friend OwlLady declared my scrap rat as Patches and hers:

It was a gouda time in all, and I am pleased to have done it. I smashed my goal of 10 rats with a whopping 17, 14 of which made it to cheese day and all of which were claimed in the name of Baby Cheesus… Next year, I think I’ll have the feta idea of aiming a bit smaller.

And with that, I bid you fair well and to stay safe!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 59 (+6)
Wool bought – 44 (+20)
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 874 (Net difference: -6)

I should not be left unattended in a wool shop when there is a sale on my favourite jumper wool…

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Gourd you believe it, this is the last of the boo-tiful spooky season knits to share (until next year) with you all. All’s bats are off on guessing the theme!

This all started, out of the boo, when my friend OwlLady gave me a handful of mochimochi teeny tiny ghosts. They were fa-boo-lous by themselves, but after recieving some spook-tacular kumihimo braid from Timbercat, I just new it would need a few additions…

First of all, I enrolled my gourd-geous assistant Felix to needlefelt me some pumpkins. She’s definitely the pumpkin of my eye when she’s stabbing fleece furiously with a sharp needle… This is actually fleece dyed with beetroot from a few summers ago, and some nettle dyed fleece from last year.

Then after that, I whipped up some bats that practically flew off the needles and added them to the garland. Pattern used is a free Ravelry one, Bat by Linda Dawkins, which I have used quite a few times.

But alas, Halloween has passed and I never had the time to add more. That’s how it ghost though. Until next year. But what to knit? Cats? Witches? Witches hats? Broomsticks? Cauldrons? So many ideas!!!

Until next time, stay safe!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 53 (+1)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 860 (Net difference: -20)

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So I have knuckled down and tibia honest with you all, it’s paid off.

I received a commission for a skeleton cat, and tooth be told, I was really looking forward to this one. The final toy is knit loosely following the free pattern grisig the cat by Julia Weiss. Tweaking was done, details added and a lot of colour changing. I did have to go back to the jawing board a few times in this one, but he was done in good time.

In other crafting news, I have narrowed down the to do list so I can focus on things one at a time. There is spinning to be done to finish some wool to nalbind myself a basket. There is a bag strap on the tablet weaving loom, mostly to work on my tension before a fun pattern, which when finished, will be used with some fabric to make some bags. I have a Hedeby braid on the marudai for Felix’s viking kit (she’s mostly working on the braid herself but I am helping) and I have finished braid to sew to my kit. Theres also a pile of mending to be done…Oh, and miniatures to paint – Sea fox clan battletech mechs first, then a list of other things to work on after, including a 28mm scale Tudor house.

It looks worse typed out than it does in my head…

In non knitting news, life has been manic. Like break neck speed manic. Hoping for a quiet weekend to catch my breath and all the things that have been put to one side until ‘later’. The mending pile falls into this category…

Anyhow, I’ll leave you with one last photo and until next week, stay safe!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 52 (+1)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 861 (Net difference: -18)

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Ah, Halloween, the most wonderful time of the fear. (Yes, I got a pun in the title and one in the first sentence, I know every trick (and treat) in the book for eerie-sistible puns!) Its been a clawsome Halloween for me this year – the decorations where up on the first of October, giving the house that spooky festive feel…and to start with a scream, there was a sneaky trip to Alton Towers with my good fiend Timbercat. We had timed it just right for all the Scarefest decorations and also got on all the big rides, twice! This was swiftly followed by what was going to mark the highlight of Spooktober:

Disneyland Paris, with Rabbie, at the start of the Halloween season!

(I highly recommend reading Rabbies blogpost on this one as she summarised things really nicely.)

Our journey there was a string of cat-astrophes, and I definitely felt like we were cursed at one point, but we made it. And not gonna lie, when I walked through those gates and saw those boo-tiful pumpkins, I may have cried tears of relief and joy…

But before I spin any more yarns, let me show you the point of this tail:

Not only did we rock our Cheshire Cat Disney bounding outfits the whole time we were there, not only did we get loads of paw-some compliments from staff, characters and other tourists alike, but guys, look, we got to meet the cat himself, the one and only, The Cheshire Cat!!!

To clarify just why this is crazy clawsome – he’s not a usual character, and they only brought him out for a few days, so it was a complete fluke in regards to him even being there! Was it worth waiting for an hour in the queue?

Yes, yes it was.

There were wild meet and greets – and a few job offers too for this pair of ghouls. Gaston offered us to be his wenches, Cruella her newest fashion designers, The Evil Queen her new tailors, and Maleficent, well, she thought we would make great mousers. We survived meeting the Queen of Hearts with our heads intact, made it to the Avenger Academy and bantered with Thor, but sadly Lok only gave us a regal wave… There were the rides (we did them all, and the good ones twice), and some incredibly good food. Although Rabbie did not look amused at my black ice cream! I suspect she felt it was more trick than treat…

Fangs for the crazy adventure, Rabbie, it was a howling good time.

When we got back, there was much spooky crafting, axe throwing with work, then it was time to get the family party startled with Halloween festivities in Stockport and then the Manchester Halloweekend the next day.

The whole thing was a graveyard smash (the monster mash).

I am looking forward to slowing down a little this month, and try and focus on just one craft at a time to make some visible progress. And as Rabbie commented last week, to just enjoy the process start to finish.

And with that note, until next time, stay safe, and if it’s your cup of witches brew, stay spooky!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 51 (+1)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 862 (Net difference: -17)

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I’m back!

Its been a quiet few weeks, not really had much desire to craft, but also picking at multiple knitting projects and multiple differents crafts. How many crafts, I hear you axe?

Nalbinding, tablet weaving, braiding, needle felting, spinning wool (drop spindle and spinning wheel), painting miniatures and sewing.

Turns out, if you only put a little bit of time into lots of things, nothing actually gets finished…

But enough of that, let’s get a handle on the knitting situation and hope the next knit is to your liking, lest he get the chop!

This is Yumyan Hammerpaw, leader of the Timbercat in the show ‘Kipo and the age of Wonderbeasts’. He also bears a striking resemblance to one of my friends (whom I have been referring to as Timbercat on here) – he always wears plaid shirts, loves axes, loves cats more, and has a thick bushy beard that obviously means he’s a fluffy cat.

Completely logical, don’t axe any questions.

So, last year, I knit the plaid dice bag for his birthday, and seeing as he’s made me loads of viking braid, I decided this year to go a bit bigger and knit him a mini Yumyan. So, drum roll….

I kind of based two patterns together – Kitty’s Knit Klub and Lumberjack Beaver both by Alan Dart. I also made a number of tweaks and changes to make him just so – like loop stitch which I cut and brushed out to make super fluffy.

And with that, I am going to try and grab a few minutes to rel-axe before chaos begins again!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 50 (+2)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 17
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 863 (Net difference: -16)

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Another fibre related Viking post, and the last one for a while I should think. We will get back to our regular knitting schedule, promise! Just after I weave in a few loose ends!

This week, its all about braids. Hedeby braids to be exact. You would have seen one when I was showing off my new distaff that Engel made me, but this time round, we were going for lots of high contrast colours!

Long story short, lest it turn into a yarn, I have blue hair. The Vikings did not. I wear a headscarf and usually a bonnet or a hood too. Someone who used to have pink hair advised putting a braid with blue in it on my headscarf, so if my hair peeked out any…

And here is my headscarf, with all three edges trimmed with blue, green and orange braid. The way the Hedeby braid is woven, with its six strands, it creates these pretty interlocking V’s which shows off the colour nicely. I managed just shy of two meters in…about 8/9 hours.

However. I love the colour red. And my over kirtle is red. Which makes me high status, so I need a lot of ‘bling’. Viking blind is pretty woven trim, lots of glass beads (the more colourful and eclectic the better, they were absolute magpies, and of course, lots of silver jewellery). I cant do glass work. Or silver work. But I can do braids.

I just needed a LOT of braid. Enough to trim my whole kit plus extra for hood and/or bonnet.

And this is where we go from ancient Britain to ancient Japan, as they have a method of braiding called kumihimo. Now, my friend Timbercat has currently got my marudai and my bobbins, and traditionally their patterns are worked in eights…but…

Turns out, Timbercat speaks to the Marudai like I speak to my knitting needles. After being shown the Hedeby braid, he had a play, had a think, and within 12 hours had produced 12 meters of braid. And a kumihimo pattern for anyone wishing to recreate their own Hedeby braid in the same fashion (I’ll share it below).

I have trimmed my kit. I have double trimmed my sleeves.

I have a good chunk of braid left. Still need to do my hood and my bonnet, but I also have the remnants of my own braid, so I’ll be tinkering away with that in the background.

…anyone think he’ll mind if I ask for more, but different colours so I have more options to play with?

In non knitting news, sadly, the time for Poppy to cross the rainbow bridge is very near. Friday to be exact. I’ll be dropping offline for a little bit till my little family unit feels a bit more like themselves again.

And with that, take care, stay safe, and if you have a pet, give it a hug from me.

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 48 (+1)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 17 (+2, payment from OwlLady from chipping away at my stash)
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 865 (Net difference: -14)

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