Tag: Engel

This week’s blog title definitely has two meanings. The fun one is to do with my most recently completed knitting project, the other…

Last week, lockdown fatigue had really, really set in. It was literally at the point where I felt like I was just dragging myself through each day, one day after the other after the other…the mantra of ‘Just keep going, just keep going’ playing in my head.

But the restrictions here have begun to ease, last Sunday our little family went an hour and a half down south to meet up with our friends and their parents dog and we had an amazing day at their local reservoir/water park – there was lots of new scenery, big play parks, a tiny train…it was amazing.

And exhausting. I am not a sociable creature by habit, but we are a sociable species, and finally getting that social contact…yeah, I was tired.

So this low followed by this exhausting high led to their being no blog post last week. As such, we are having not just one, or two, but three finished products to show off!

These are made following the free pattern 19 Fishes on a Mitten by Magdalena Svanberg, except I added extra length so there’s 24 on these.

The idea of this whole set came into being after Engel bought be some of Siobhan Crafts hand dyed mini skeins all based on fish, I looked at them and knew they had to be made into a gift for Rabbie. She did marine biology at university, she does diving still, and her love of all things that live in the seas, oceans, rivers and lakes is astounding.

This crazy bright creation follows Alternating Current by Alex Tinsley from the book ‘Doomsday Knits’ – I followed the pattern pretty much except I used 3.5mm needles rather than the recommended 5mm due to the wool weight.

Another reason Rabbie deserves all the cosy warm Knits’ is that she feels cold. Painfully feels it. I often joke she’s a lizard, but I do feel for her. So this satisfies my mother like instinct to swaddle her in all the hand Knits!

Another free pattern, Fishies by Jackie Ziegler – I was determined to use every scrap of this wool!

This weekend I’m seeing the same friends I saw last week, only they’re driving up to us. I’m excited about this, but no where near as much as the fact that I am finally allowed to see my sis again! Next week we’re meeting up and I can’t wait to give her all these warm and cuddly things I have made, and let her know everyone she wears them that she’s appreciated and how much I miss her.

This pandemic has taught me a lot of things. I am a much stronger person than I ever thought I would be, I am capable of being a teacher, a mum, a wife, a friend, a sister, an entertainer, a crafter, a story teller, a games master, and more than I could list in here. It’s also taught me that I can’t survive alone. I can be a mother and a wife, but I need the husband and father. I can be a sister, a daughter, but I need family. I can be a friend, but I need them too. When presented with the unknown, I fill it with as much as I can to make it seem less scary, and I burn out because of it. But most importantly:

All any of us can do really, is to just keep swimming. We’ll get there, wherever there is.

Till next week, take care.

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 63 (13 this fortnight)
Wool bought – 3 (needed more black DK)
Wool given to me – 21
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 8

Total – 865

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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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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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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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Despite my best wishes and hopes, the start of 2021 was far more eventful than I wanted. That said, it wasn’t all bad!

The worst part was that, as I suspected, we’ve been put into lockdown again. So no school for the terrors, but unlike last time, I’m not on furlough. Cue many sleepless nights, much stressing and general feelings of despair. But, it all worked out. Both myself and Engel have been deemed as critical workers and we have secured places for both Terrors at school and nursery.

On a better, eventful note, I was surprised by a review video of my knitted Escher Ganger!

You can watch it here!

More eventful news, I won a toy pattern and two sweater patterns through the Wild Knitting challenge! I am really looking forward to doing some knitting for me, but I really need to reduce the stash before I can justify buying two sweater quantities of wool! I’m working on it, managed to burn through 6 balls this week!

In less eventful news, I have managed some spinning for one of my big projects, been plodding away at my year long project and finished a quick little one for Engel just last night which I will share now!

It’s Snorlax! Engel demanded that he get a Pokémon hat after Felix’s Eevee hat and Inklings Meowth hat, so I asked the kids what Pokémon I should knit for him and within three seconds, the answer was Snorlax!

Now the kids are demanding I should make one for me, but there are just so many choices… Gengar? Wooloo? Purrserker?

Till next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 6
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 0

Total – 891

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Good riddance 2020, roll on 2021, may it be a pleasant and uninteresting year!

Amongst the pre new year clean up, the post Christmas toy playing, the snowball fights, sledging and snow trolls I have managed to squeak in one quick last finished knitted object!

A little mat with a pair of hops on it, using bits of cotton I had on hand. It has three shades of purple for the background as I knew I wouldn’t have had enough to do the whole thing with any one shade.

Here’s a close up of the hops.

But why this knit with this design? Because Engel. I got him a number of empty kegs and a dispenser for his Christmas to make bottling up the homebrew that bit faster and easier. So hops for beer and a mat because the dispenser drips a little after initial use before the pressure settles and it’s all good. Here is it in action:

And that’s really all to say this week. I’ve got a big project on the needles which I am still spinning wool for (spun two this week, need to do the next colour now), a multiple small item project that will be done here and there between projects for probably the whole year, and an idea brewing that I am debating whether or not I should knit it. There is also the very long to knit list that needs working through!

So keep safe till next week!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

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

Total – 897

The wool count has been recent as I do every year, usually I aim to get 100 balls out of stash, which I have done, but stash in was much higher. This year I aim to simply have more out than in, not including handspun, as that is just turning fleece stash into a usable form!

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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…

Wool Count

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)

Total – 923

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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!

Wool Count

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!)

Total – 927

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After the success of Rabbies Unbirthday I couldn’t resist making just one more Alice in Wonderland inspired knit…

It’s a pencil bird!!! The body is based on the free pattern Songbird by Sara Elizabeth Kellner, and the head is one of the Mochimochi pencils I knitted the other week.

I am somewhat smitten with him! Though he will be making his way up North to join his friend hammerbird.

And please note the home grown cauliflower! The garden is brimming with all sorts of vegetables just about nearly ready to eat…

In other knitting news I have a somewhat bigger project on the needles, more next week, and have had the opportunity to try helical knitting – again, more next week.

I have also finally managed to get spinning! The wheel Engel got me for my birthday needed a good clean, wax and oil. I finally had the time to do all that over the course of two weeks of lockdown and have finally, finally gotten to play with her! First attempt spinning is hard, as are all new skills, but very satisfactory. And the wool may be clumpy and uneven, but I have just the project in mind…when I finally spin enough to actually ply and then knit…

In non knitting news…not a lot. I’m still on furlough. The gardens coming along great. Engels dentistry nightmare is finally over after I had to dig around in there and pull out eleven chunks of shattered tooth…

So yeah, ticking along…

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 56 (3 this week!!!)
Wool bought – 7
Wool given – 8
Wool gifted – 0

Total – 662

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During lockdown I have been tutoring my niece with her English and it’s not been easy. One of the optional Covid-19 activities her school set was to write a short story of 500 words beginning with one of four sentences you were given.

So to make things a bit more fun, I made it into a family competition. With prizes! Sadly her parents didn’t even bother but the rest of the family did, so that was something. We each read our story out loud (over Skype) and my niece picked the winner.

So first, the participation prizes!

Petite Pencil by Anna Hrachovec from her book “Knitting Mochimochi”

I made sure to make plenty!

And the main prize? This beauty!

Arthur by Anna Hrachovec from her book “Huge and Huggable Mochimochi”

In other knitting news, I’m still working through the Christmas knits! And despite all this knitting, I haven’t finished any whole balls of wool!

In non knitting news, Engel has been having issues with a tooth that got pulled – twice – by two different emergency dentists and they’ve made a mess of it. Note to everyone DIY dentistry is not pleasant or recommended. But after pulling 10 shards of tooth of varying sizes out of the hole, cleaning it out and landing it, it is finally beginning to heal! Hooray!

Till next week!

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