Category: Knitting

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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A few weeks ago it was finally time. My first viking event. I had my kit (thank you Rabbie!), my lucky dragon (thank you again!), a handy leather pouch perfect for my inhaler and even a pair of historically accurate shoes.

I had to sock it up, or admit de-feet, and nalbind myself a pair of socks. Going from a round coaster like shape, to a sock, was quite the jump, but I think it was a sock-cess.

i managed not to sock-umb to the siren call of SSS (second sock syndrome) and with a fair bit of effort, my feet where ready for the show!

Having that thick, plush material makes the shoes so much more comfortable. I didn’t realise just how much support modern shoes gave to even the soles of your feet.

Alright, that’s all for toe-night, a short post as it’s been a bit of a long week. I shall leave you with a close up of the Oslo stitch, one of many, many nalbinding stitches, and it’s lovely plump texture.

Until next week, stay safe!

(No wool count this week as no changes)

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Through shear force of will, I am avoiding the Viking puns today and opting for braid and wool ones instead.

So, wool you believe it, another Viking craft post!

Cutting a long story short, I was attending my first Viking event the other weekend at Ushaw and as I was demonstrating the drop spindle, I decided quite last minute that I could really do with a distaff so I could carry my fleece and not get it dirty.

I needed this for Sunday, and only thought about it the Friday before…

Much googling later, much batting of eyelashes and much foraging for the perfect stick…Engel relented and carved me one that was relatively close enough to one found in the Oseberg Ship Burial and voila!

(I know, I know, I’m not trying to fleece you, I will explain what a distaff is in a minute)

All that was needed was to wrap my fleece on the distaff and dress it. But ribbon isn’t exactly historically accurate so…6 stranded braid, as found in several burial sites, to the rescue.

For this, I used my own handspun fleece – white Shetland, beetroot dyed white Jacob fleece and beetroot dyed brown Jacob fleece.

Want to see the finished result?

As you can see, a distaff is a stick that’s carved with various dips and notches that allows combed fleece to be wrapped around it and then secured in place. This allows you to walk and spin with ease, and also to keep your clean combed fleece safe when not in use. At the event (after much fawning over my newly acquired distaff) I was told that depending on how it was tied, would dictate the marital status of the woman using the distaff. Its something to look into before my next event, and potentially have a good laugh over!

In less bright news, and to be open and honest and not pulling wool over anyone eyes, we got the results back from the vet about Poppy. Sadly its a very aggressive cancer, and with her age…we’ve opted for palliative care until the time comes that her quality of life deteriates and we’ll have her cross the rainbow bridge.

That’s all for this week, until next post, stay safe, and cuddle a beloved pet.

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 47 (+2)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 15
Wool gifted to others – 8 (I was demonstrating acid dying, and also helping fluff out a friends stash)
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 865 (Net difference: -15!!!!)

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Yep. That’s me. Acting the joule. At my watts end… Ohm well, onto the knitting!

This probably wont shock you, but this week’s knit is based on electronics. In fact, one certain electronic device…

Meet Little Miss MOSFET. Joule have to be heartless not to admit she isn’t cute! Unless doing so would amp your style, of course.

So, what sparked this, I hear you ask? One of the senior engineers in my team runs a group for female engineers at my work – by proxy I am also included. It covers a lot of things from woman’s health to helping build soft skills like confidence with public speaking and leadership. There is also a yearly event which promotes health and wellbeing within the company.

This engineer was informed last thing Wednesday that she had a table for the event which was happening the following Tuesday…which seeing as it’s a group effort and there’s a weekend and everyone has lives outside of work… Left very little time.

I put together a leaflet, and some colouring sheets and supplied crayons just to get conversation going and, on Friday night, decided the table needed something more so whipped up Little Miss MOSFET.

She went down a treat, and got a lot of attention, which meant people looking at the leaflets and asking questions, so it was a success in my book.

Thats it for this week as it’s been a week – semi emergency vet trip for our eldest cat as we found a lump on the edge of her mouth. Managed the biopsy by having two of us pin her down, so now it’s the dreaded wait.

That’s a heads up in case I drop offline for a bit, despite having two viking related things I want to share with you all.

Until the next post, stay safe, take care, and look after yourselves.

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 45 (+3)
Wool bought – 24
Wool given to me – 15
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 872 (Net difference: -8!!!!)

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As frequent readers will know, I have recently joined a viking group. I immediately dived into battle, picked up a few crafts, and swiftly became a member. Only thing was…it was all very quick, and being invited to re enactments is kind of hard with no kit…

But Rabbie came to the rescue! And for my birthday, made me a full outfit complete with Munin, my very own dragon, because as she put it, ‘all vikings need a dragon!’

The only thing I was missing was a belt…but that’s something my wool crafts can handle.

After a lot of research I settled on the Skjoldehamn Belt – a 24 yarn, 12 strand braided belt found with a female peat bog body from Skjoldehamn in Northern Norway. The ends of the belt are decorated with tasseled wrapped cords and add a splash of colour. So…

I dug out a good deal of stash and found this beautiful loose spun single ply wool which I also happened to have a bunch of beetroot dyed fleece that matched… After spinning some of that up. I had 24 strands and tied them up as above. As you can see, Munin inspected my work closely.

She also carefully checked the braid once I finished and got it off the chair. For 12 strands, it’s surprisingly easier than I expected to braid.

I had lots of fun with the coloured wraps, and used up lots of tail ends of wool – some hand spun, some not, some natural dyed, some not.

And the finished piece, but before I finished unweaving and fluffing those tassels.

I think it compliments the outfit perfectly, but let’s be real, Munin is most definitely the star here!

A huge thank you again for Rabbie, you have worked miracles with a bundle of linen and a tight deadline! For this heroic feat, I’m sure there a slot reserved for you in Valhalla!

And with that, take care till next post, where hopefully I will have finished frantically nalbinding myself some socks!

(No wool count as no change)

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So fur, so good on the puns! I have stopped paw-crastinating and finally finished the Cheshire cat accessories!

At last, I have sewn the ears onto the hat and they are just clawsome. The matching cowls are a paw-dorable touch in my opinion!

But wait, there’s more! You all saw the arm warmers the other week, well, on top of those, the hat and the cowl, oh, and the jumper…

Slippers! I did paw-romise that I would wrap Rabbie up, from head to toe, or should that be paw? Regardless, she’s gonna be snug and warm even in the hotel room!

Haven’t decided just what to start next as my main knitting project – I may work on the owls in the background and work on some viking accessories for the absolutely gorgeous viking ensemble Rabbie has made me! This just shows the mock up of the kirtle and my under kirtle, I have my paws on the whole lot and take my word on it, it’s beautiful.

Now then, I think I have a skjoldehamn belt to start…

Until next post, stay safe, take care, and get crafting!

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 42 (+8)
Wool bought – 24 (+2 – I needed something quite specific for my nalbinding endeavours!)
Wool given to me – 15
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 875 (Net difference: -5)

Its a miracle guys! I have finally gone below my starting wool count!!!!

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But hey, no harm, no fowl, right?

Without any feather ado, allow me to introduce Riley.

This was knit following Parrot by Susie Johns from her book “Knitted Pets: A Collection of Playful Pets to Knit From Scratch” – although I had to grey scale the red macaw into an African grey parrot…

Nest up, I will tell you the tail of Riley. I GM Call of Cthuhlu, and I run it as an open world, sandbox type thing where players can do as they please, and eventually plot and monsters and mayhem will find them, willing or not. One of my players decided to go to an animal shelter and get a familiar.

They picked an African grey parrot.

I gave them Riley. She has more sass and character in one wing than some of my players characters have in their whole being, and despite her very distracting chatter, she was loved and hated by all.

There was just one thing missing…

Riley needed a physical body, and a character sheet, and she got both. Last session was a hoot.

I like to think that even though I am a cruel and wicked GM, that I spoil my players occasionally…

In other news, vikings is going good – I’m officially a member of the group, and even got to pick my viking name. Looking forward to getting my kirtle (thank you Rabbie! Your awesome!) and getting the chance to do some shows. They’re very happy I can use a drop spindle as not many of them can, although I will be doing more nalbinding once I spin the wool for it, and hopefully be able to start showing you some finished items that aren’t essentially coasters.

Life is still…being a lot, but it’s getting better and getting there. Just waiting for some more things to nudge into place and get sorted and hopefully my plate will be significantly less overflowing.

Till next post, stay safe.

Starting total – 880

Wool used – 34 (+5)
Wool bought – 22 (+5 it was a long day and I saw some wool just singing in a charity shop, wanting a new home…)
Wool given to me – 15
Wool gifted to others – 3
Wool handspun – 2

Total – 881 (Net difference: +1)

Still so very close…

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