Jack the Jackalope, close relation to Jacob the deer! So close, I used the same pattern and more of the same first lot of handspun!
Like Jacob, I am really proud of this guy – and they’re looking great on the wall together! I have the urge to knit more heads now though!
In other news, I’ve been doing school knits, not much spinning, lots of work and a bit too much Animal Crossing. It’s just so addictive!
Short post this week as I’m ripping the house apart in preparation for Felix’s 7th birthday – due to Covid she isn’t having her usual class party, so we’re having a class mate of two round for a Switch party and one is staying for a sleepover. The house isn’t ready for this level of chaos!!!
Till next week, stay safe guys!
Starting total – 704
Wool used – 107 (5 this week) Wool bought – 18 Wool given to me – 301 Wool gifted to others – 7 Wool handspun – 15 (4 have been used! 5 gifted)
I’ll be starting this post by recounting a tale that goes back to the start of the third week of July when lockdown was beginning to be lifted. My little family unit of terrors met up with some good friends at Ash End House Children’s Farm. The sun was shining, the kids got to run around and see animals, I may have hugged a few sheep and it was a fantastic day that ended with ice cream. And two whole angora fleece. But that’s a different story.
Whilst we were wandering around the big field where the various animals were out chilling, we started to collect feathers for our good friend. Then random odds and ends of wool fleece that was stuck to fences etc. Then a good few handfuls of reindeer fur – the poor mite was mid moult and scratching at everything to help him shed, so I ‘helped’ and nabbed good few handfuls of incredibly soft but short hairs.
The challenge: can you spin reindeer? The answer is, if blended with the random wool scraps collected on that trip…
Yes. Yes you can. It may look like rough string, but that’s incredibly soft and squishy…and of course if I’ve made wool, I had to knit it!
Combined with some handspun Jacobs, there was just enough for two rather stocky sheep! One for me, and one for our good friends to mark the great day out.
And following from there, in my quest to reduce my wool stash, I was determined to finish every last bit of gold from the golden peaches and made these guys:
They’re plotting about what to do with that Jason fellow and his so called Argonauts…
All the sheep are made following the free pattern FellowSheep by Anna Hrachovec (also known as the wonderful creator of MochiMochi Land!)
Lastly, speaking of my wool stash, I used five this week, haven’t had a chance to spin any more and was pleased that it was going down a good bit for the first time in ages…then Engel brought home five balls of ‘plant fiber’ wools. Two hemp, two recycled cotton and one jute. The jute will be cat toys, the cotton probably wash clothes and the hemp is a very nice green similar to the one Felix wears as her school uniform…
Best get knitting I guess! Except…we got a Switch. And I got Animal crossing. My knitting time has taken a nose dive…
Starting total – 704
Wool used – 102 (5 this week) Wool bought – 18 Wool given to me – 301 (Up 5) Wool gifted to others – 7 Wool handspun – 15 (4 have been used! 5 gifted)
As Great Grandma’s (Engels side) 90th birthday was celebrated this week I decided it was a good time to show a special project I made for her.
In Chinese culture, peaches are eaten by the gods to bring immortality, so peaches, particularly golden peaches, are a symbol of longevity. So I knit quite a lot of peaches for the whole family. There is one giant peach for Great Grandma, and then the rest are in pairs. Five pairs of big peaches for the children, and thirteen pairs of little peaches for the adults. That’s thirty seven peaches.
I also knit five red bags for the children’s peaches to go in, as red is a lucky colour and based on my own children enjoying putting things in and out of bags, I figured the others would too!
The peaches are based on the free pattern georgia by peachcake knits and the bags are another free pattern Openwork Drawstring Pouch by Mary Schaefbauer. For those curious, that super shiny gold is Rico Design Creative Lamé – it’s not the nicest to knit with, but it gives a fantastic sparkle!
In spinning news, I spun five skeins – more to be revealed later though when I finish the contrast skeins. As they’re a gift I won’t be adding them to the final total as they’re not destined for my stash.
In non knitting news, it was my birthday this week and I got lots of nice presents, I’ve also started a new Cthulhu scenario and been having fun with that. It’s also the end of my second week at work and I am exhausted – it’s all very different from before! I’ll get used to the ‘New Normal’ but it’s a steep learning curve…
Till next week, keep safe!
Starting total – 704
Wool used – 97 (0 this week) Wool bought – 18 Wool given to me – 296 Wool gifted to others – 7 (4 balls to work colleague) Wool handspun – 15 (4 have been used! 5 gifted)
So, let’s begin at the beginning. Over a year ago, two crazy yarn friends convinced me to go to the wool experience and got me hooked on fleece. I bought a whole Jacobs fleece that day, and a bunch of samples. Then, a few weeks later, so just shy of a year ago, Engel bought me a spinning wheel. A few months later a hand carder followed suit because carding with brushes is hard and tiring and time consuming. Anyhow. I finally had the chance to take the spinning wheel apart, clean it, seal it and have Engel reassemble and service it during lockdown.
I also stained her as part of the sealing process, but as all the shops where closed I had to use what was on hand, which was ebony. She looks looks like something from a dark fairy tale and has subsequently been called Grimm. After the Brothers Grimm. Because I was told very firmly that all spinning wheels have names. It’s not just me that’s mad.
But I digress.
Jacob, who you will meet shortly, has been over a year in the making. The past few weeks I have spun the wool to make him:
(Look! My first three balls of handspun wool! All wound into pretty little cakes!)
And then I finally got to knit him.
Jacob isn’t just special because he’s knit from the very first wool I have spun, but also because he has a set of real Roe deer antlers that were still attached to a bit of skull that I have incorporated into the actual knitting. I will tell you now, knitting around antlers is a very tricky thing indeed! And pointy. He’s also very cute and practical with his coat hook.
So there you have it, my current knitting triumph. But wait! I have a second set of antlers, just in case anything went wrong with the first…and instill have some of my very first handspun left over…I think Jacob needs a friend, don’t you?
Oh, in non knitting news I went back to work this week. And it was boiling this week. I survived but I think I need a month to recover…it wasn’t the work exactly, it was being around people again, having to think and talk about things above that of a 6 year olds mind set…
Till next week!
Starting total – 704
Wool used – 97 (5 this week) Wool bought – 18 Wool given to me – 296 Wool gifted to others – 3 Wool handspun – 10 (4 have been used!)
Apologies for not posting last week, with lockdown easing I decided to do a trip up North to see the family (socially distant, of course) and then Greater Manchester went into lockdown while I was there and…yeah…fun times.
It was amazing though getting to see my family again. The home sickness was beginning to be unbearable as it’s been 10 months since my last visit! It should have been in April but…well, 2020 happened.
Shenanigans aside, I didn’t manage much knitting, and certainly no spinning (which I hope to rectify soon) but I can share this little project I had finished just in time to suprise my sister with!
For those long time readers, you may remember the first time I did Chaffys, based on those found in Jamie Smart’s book ‘Find Chaffy’. Well, he did a sequel, ‘Find chaffy Now’. Rabbie let slip to Felix that it existed so we got a copy and I was conned into making two sets of those.
Correction. Felix informed me I had to ‘finish the Chaffy family’…for her and auntie Rabbie…
So I did. And now you can all gaze upon each and every one…
And that’s it for today! Have a good weekend and stay safe!
Starting total – 704
Wool used – 92 (9 this week) Wool bought – 18 Wool given to me – 296 Wool gifted to others – 3 Wool handspun – 10 (3 have been used!)
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!
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…)
Following on from last week’s Octocat, I have made something even bigger and better using the same pattern as a base.
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!
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!)
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.
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?
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…)
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)
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…)