Tag: Woolcount

I’ve not even reached the bank holiday Monday and I am beat! It has been a manic week. Monday and Tuesday where my last part time furlough days and I made use of them, painting some of the fences and the main gate, gardening, the never ending cleaning and tidying and sorting of the house, and on Friday after work if was IKEA for new armchairs and meatballs. That evening the sofa was taken apart, armchairs assembled and much laughter ensued about pretending to be cats in giant boxes…

Saturday was a dump run, rejigging the living room a bit then some Nerf at the local park with a set of friends. It’s amazing how easy you can maintain your 2 meter distance when wielding various blasters…

The big thing this week? Today I finally got to see Rabbie!!!! We met halfway in Cumbria at Lowther Castle and had an absolute ball. The Terrors got to see their favourite auntie and uncle and fur cousin, as well as run around the ruins of a castle and explore the fifty million things scattered around the grounds…Despite a tiny bit of drizzle, the weather held and even had us wriggling out of a few layers!

Back home now, Terrors are tuckered out on the new arm chairs and I’m putting my feet up for a well deserved cup of tea and a break.

I’m also rocking my newest complete pair of socks! A retake on Siobhan Crafts Halloween colourway – stripes instead of blocks – and once more using the pattern NO swatch, ANY yarn socks by Ida-Maria Tyyskä. Seriously can’t recommend this pattern enough – just about convinced one of my knitting friends to take the plunge into sock knitting using this recipe!

Anyhow, I am ready to hit the hay, so enjoy your long weekends and till next week, stay safe!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 64 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 3
Wool given to me – 21
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 8

Total – 864

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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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So last week, I very briefly mentioned that I had spun some dog hair. Allow me to go into a little bit more detail now. So, my work colleague who has now left has the most gorgeous collie, Holly:

And we had previously had a few conversations about my spinning and trying some interesting fibres, like reindeer, and how I wanted to try more types. She commented that her dog Holly had hair with a lot of the qualities I was speaking about – a good long staple, a fine crimp… And so:

This is 13 meters of pure, unblended, collie fur. I was given a ‘small’ quantity and was very pleased with the softness, staple and crimp. It spun beautifully, those due to the softness of it, I had to go quite slow compared to most sheep fleece. So, goal achieved, what do I do with it?

Knit a teeny tiny Holly of course! I very loosely followed the free pattern Small Sausage Dog by Amanda Berry – it was the smallest I could find and given I only had 13 meters…well, a bit of tweaking and voila, a collie! The white detailing is some white Jacobs fleece I have spun previously, and the brown eyes is some suffolk-texel fleece that I had dyed with fresh coffee grounds.

I have to say, I am super impressed with how this whole project has come out from start to finish. It’s not often that an experiment done completely on a whim with no planning actually works out!

I’m going to give the wool count here, and then finish off with some sad news, as I feel it’s more respectful that way.

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 21 (5 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 1
Wool handspun – 7 (3 this week)

Total – 882 (a net total of 2 down)

On a much sadder note, my eldest and very beloved cat Crumble crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday morning. She has always been a fighter and had a habit of defeating the odds. Going from an incredibly awful start, she was deemed too emotionally damaged to be rehomed, and so we took her in as our first and only foster fail. In October she was badly injured after going missing for two weeks, the vets didn’t expect her to survive but she did. And out of sheer stubbornness she got an extra four and a bit months of love and cuddles.

May she enjoy herself across the rainbow bridge, eating all the boiled eggs she wants and continuing to be Queen.

RIP Crumble.

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It’s been a quiet week for the most part, which is good, I don’t think we could all handle any more crazy! Though speaking of crazy…last night we did an early Burns Night celebration with the family on Skype. There was poetry readings, show and tell, gossip, laughter and general shenanigans.

My home sickness has been bad throughout lockdown. Typically I visit my family three to four times a year and a handful of the family visit me once or twice in return. This hasn’t happened. I’ve moped, and sulked, and played the ‘what if’ game but last night, I realised it had morphed, very slowly, to a sweet pang of nostalgia. A contented ‘this is good’ rather than a ‘I want more’. My friend from Australia told me at the start of the pandemic that this would happen and despite me disbelief at the time, yeah, it really does.

On a less sappy note, knitting! Penguins are plodding on their long march to December, my other big project is ticking away in the background but I know already it’ll soon be in hold so I can spin more wool for it, and a quick little knit was slipped in at the kids request:

Its the same free pattern (Snake Coil Cowl by Ariel Woods) that I knit previously my Felix – the terrors fell in love with this slow gradient wool and with the weather being so wet and soggy and things needing constantly washed and/or dried, it made sense for them to have a spare.

Hence my Sssleepy snake pun at the statrt. I am sleepy. I think the world is feeling the same so I won’t sit here and moan.

Not much else to report at the moment, so until next week, stay safe.

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 9 (2 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 3

Total – 891 (Back to last week’s total!)

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Hello all, I hope your surviving this current lockdown without too much crazy. This week has been a much quieter week for me, and a lot less stressful. As such, the urge to curl up and sleep, or perhaps just hibernate, has been calling me like a sirens song…

But alas, sleep is rarely an option.

In knitting news, I don’t have any small projects that I have finished to show you, so instead I will go into some more detail about my two big projects. One involves a lot of spinning as it’s a sizable item made from my handspun with a story behind it. But you’ll have to wait for more on that.

Instead I shall go into more detail on my other project. After knitting and putting together 60 Christmas tree wreaths decorations in under two weeks, I swore never again. So I have started on Christmas 2021 decorations now – if I knit between one and two a week, it will be done in time for the kids to give to their classmates. I work on this at work, between projects, when I should be spinning but am too tired to, and as my generic fidget now I have the pattern memorised.

So, third week of the year, I should have between three and six, right?

There’s 18. Either they’re breeding or I’m procrastinating. At this rate I’ll be starting Christmas decorations 2022 this year! Pattern is Christmas Tree Decorations by Alan Dart, and yes, I am aware they have no eyes, no one has agreed as to what colour they should be and until then, I’m not putting any on!

That’s all for this week, stay safe, and I’ll see you next week, unless I really do hibernate!

Wool Count

Starting total – 897

Wool used – 7 (1 this week)
Wool bought – 0
Wool given to me – 0
Wool gifted to others – 0
Wool handspun – 3 (hooray, I spun lots!)

Total – 893 (Up by two, but that’s because of the handspun, so as I stated in the first post for the year, it doesn’t count! Stash processed is stash processed!)

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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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(Pun courtesy of Engel)

I received a challenge from my frenemy Ed Skar (watch the ordo redactus at the end of episode two – the last ten minutes – and you’ll understand), and it went like this:

@foxymitts knit me an Escher XD

Not one to back down from a challenge, I begun my research. An Escher in this instance, is not the mathematician and artist, Escher, but a faction in a war game called Necromunda, part of the Warhammer 40K universe/franchise. A friend at work happened to have some source material I could skim through:

so much inspiration, so many ideas, but after much though and discussion, it was paired back to knitting an Escher gangers ‘little sister’. And here she is:

The body is based on the free pattern Babes’ Little Sister by 123fionadolls McDonald (wasn’t the name fitting?!) Oh, and here’s another photo from the other side:

And of course every lady needs a weapon suiting for the fine art of war:

(It was supposed to be a lasgun but came out a heavy stubber- what can I say? (Walk softly and carry a big gun. – Engel) I think girls look cute with oversized weapons! She does also have a more moderate sized dagger tucked into her overskirt)

I think I can safely say challenge complete!

In other news, not much spinning this week, though there are a few knitting things in the works. Crumble is almost entirely back to her old self, just need some more weight on her still, and that’s about all.

Oh. I should mention that last week, due to the current Covid restrictions, my grand plan to have a day trip and meet Rabbie half way were scrapped, and I had a sulk. A big sulk. My first proper sulk since the start of all this chaos. And Engel, bless him, got me a present. 15 miniskeins of the most awesome hand dyed yarn! One is in tropical fish colourways and the other is ‘adventure bike’ colours…which he has batted his eyelashes at in the hopes I will left my sock ban and make him another pair…after mine though!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 138 (2 this week)
Wool bought – 28
Wool given to me – 318 (Up 15 – thank you though Engel! I love them!!)
Wool gifted to others – 8
Wool handspun – 16

Total – 914 (up 13)

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Not going to lie, this is my favourite time of the year for me and the rest of us spooky loving folks! Despite this, I had a bit of a slump this past few weeks. Crumble had gone missing for two weeks and when she finally limped home she had a large chunk of flesh missing from the back of her leg and was terrifyingly skinny. Trip to the vets (something else that has been affected by Covid-19 – I have to drop her off and talk to the vet on the phone whilst sat in the car, surreal) and antibiotics and anti-inflammatory meds and double dinners and this week she’s getting back to being the Queen of the house. She’s still a shadow of her former self, but I can see that fierce little spark coming back.

As well as this, I’ve hit a slump at work. It’s the new normal. I don’t like it. Nothing is how it should be and everyday I keep thinking I’ve got it and I just haven’t. But a routine is being formed, and seeing other people returning to work and going through the same rollercoaster of emotions is actually reassuring.

And what else has Covid-19 and the lockdown restrictions affected? Halloween. No trick or treating. No house parties. No spooky disco at my little ones school (which was also the only event I actually volunteered to help with…)

Crumbles second vet trip and clean bill of health (wound still healing, but it’s clean and it’s already 1/4 the size it was) and seeing the kids ability to just accept whatever the world throws at them and keep going has inspired me to do the same.

We’ll get there. We will. It’ll be different but we’ll make it work.

And Halloween? I just get to go nuts on decorating and enjoying the spooky atmosphere with my little family unit! There’s even talk of a Skype party! So to get in the holiday spirit…

I still haven’t made my summer or autumn wreaths, but that can be done later, for now, let’s have Jack Skellington grinning at the world outside my window! I found a cross stitch chart that I based his head on. The bowtie I just winged. The cat head is ‘Kitty Cat Head’ by Sara Elizabeth Kellner from her book ‘Knits for Kitties’ and the pumpkins are a free pattern – Pumpkin Napkin Rings by Lily / Sugar’n Cream.

Till next week, stay safe guys!

Wool Count

Starting total – 704

Wool used – 125 (3 this week)
Wool bought – 28 (There was a ‘yarncident’ and I ‘accidentally’ bought an adorable hand dyed mini skeins set to make myself something cute! 10 mini skeins in total)
Wool given to me – 301
Wool gifted to others – 7
Wool handspun – 15 (4 have been used! 5 gifted)

Total – 910

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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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