Knitting · Rabbits · Yarn

A good Friday

Today was a nice day.  I had some interesting conversations with my colleagues, I spent some time with my rabbits, I went to Marmalade and bought some yarn for the dresses for Betty Bunny, who I finished today (!) and well, I might have bought some other yarn to make a shawl for my niece.  As all these purchases are for her birthday presents, I don’t consider it a really bad breaking of the yarn buying ban! (This is me with the brakes on, I could be so much worse!) 

First up, the Noro Taiyo 4 ply I bought to make my niece a pink shawl.  She wears this one all the time when she isn’t in uniform and I knew she would like a pink one – and believe it or not I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash.  I love pink and I have very little of it!  Anyway a niece that chooses to wear hand knit all the time needs to be ENCOURAGED!



Gorgeous isn’t it?!

This evening when I got home I finished Betty Bunny: 

As soon as Sarah has finished her bunny (we’re doing a little KAL) then we’re going to decide which dress to knit for our bunnies!

Specially for Maxine, I thought I’d detail the yarn used so far… 

100% alpaca & Kidsilk haze for the body

Fiberspates for the shoes & face

Collinette sock yarn for the stripy pants

And for the dresses I have mostly Rowan wool cotton (including the photo below) but also some Excelana, some Artesano and Manos del Uruguay, as well as the ends of some I Knit or Dye sock yarn… 

Only the best Maxine 😉



I bought my bunnies a new toy today, a cardboard tunnel.  Flora, who is the brains of the outfit, wasn’t impressed, but my huge and sweet chinchilla lop cross Ollie was DELIGHTED with it, trying it out from every direction and really enjoying himself.  Here’s a few pictures of them taken at this time.  The first one cracks me up – just sums up Flo’s attitude. (She’s the white one.)



I’m so lucky to have these two, they are so funny and sweet! Needless to say Flora has not deigned to go into the tunnel yet!

Right, I’m off to cast on a Noro shawl using Martina Behm’s 22 Little Clouds pattern. 

PS: I started my blog two years ago today!

Knitting · Rabbits

Tuesday things

I am on the run down to finishing with my Sophora hat by Woolly Wormhead.  Just 20 rows to go. I originally started it as the MKAL in November but had to stop because of my knitting injury.  It’s a really lovely pattern and I’ve enjoyed it. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I quite like knitting on small circulars – they aren’t so heavy. 



Thank you for all your suggestions about how to deal with my coffee dunked bunny leg… I have to be honest and say that I just couldn’t bear to knowingly dunk 100% alpaca and Kidsilk Haze in coffee. Luckily it doesn’t seem to be obvious and The Snail of Happiness pointed out that bunnies are naturally different colours so it’s ok if this one is too! Here’s proof: 

As you can see Flora (the white one) looks like her ears and face have been dunked in coffee! Ollie is the most glorious shades of grey. (Frankly the best kind of shades of grey there is! 😉). I’ve just been out to give them a bedtime carrot crunchie and had some bunny kisses. 💜

Betty (as she is now to be called courtesy of Sewchet) should be finished by the weekend. 

Now to less lovely things. Thanks for asking about the interview. I’m afraid I didn’t get the job. I don’t mind as  it seems to me that  the job I thought I was applying for clearly wasn’t the job on offer. I have to be honest and say it wasn’t a good interview as I struggled with some of the questions asked. I’m not looking to justify my failure here but I did my research into the role and company really carefully and I know I was prepared for every item detailed on the job spec. I also read up on government policy in the area. However I wasn’t asked any questions about my own abilities but questions about risks to the industry; how I thought the company would need to adapt and so on: all knowledge based questions  They’d seen my CV and knew I was looking to move into a different area, not coming from within their industry. No questions about how I could cope with change or integrate or even how I would do the job. I could have learned the stuff they asked me but they couldn’t have had a strong idea of who I am. Just what I don’t know! They also said that my involvement in politics was a problem… My entire CV is politics based! If it was a problem then I’m surprised I got an interview! I’ve been offered feedback, which I’ve accepted and when that happens I will also feedback. 😉 So, onwards in the job search! And thank you all for being great friends. 💚

Knitting · Rabbits

Ollie & a little light knitting….

This young man has given my husband and I a real scare over the last few days.

2015/01/img_0814.jpg On Sunday I had a call in Tenerife from the woman the bunnies are boarding with while I’m away saying he desperately needed to go to the vet as he was ill and she couldn’t raise D and couldn’t take him herself as her husband was away with the car. I had to phone my sister and ask her to go round to my house and wake D up (he works nights and had left his phone downstairs) to get him to ring the rabbit lady up. That happened and D took Ollie to see our wonderful Polish vet who admitted him, hooked him up to a drip and took X-Rays of his inside. He was suffering from a condition called gut stasis, which is something rabbits get a lot. Normally it resolves itself but medical intervention can be required to ensure that they survive. The vet phoned D on Monday morning and said that she was happy with Ollie’s progress but she would be keeping him in until at least Tuesday as she wanted to be sure he was ok. Unless you’re a rabbit owner, you probably don’t know that with rabbits they’re either fine or seriously ill. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground! And as a rabbit owner you need to make sure your vet really understands how rabbits work – ours has kept pet rabbits and has done a course in rabbit medicine. (Yes, our rabbits have a different vet to our dog…!) Anyway, the good thing is he has survived! This was him last night at our house having a night in the kitchen. And yes, he is a big rabbit. Bigger than a cat….

2015/01/img_9498.jpg *sighs of relief all round* Now he is back at the rabbit rescue & boarding being reintroduced to Flora. Hopefully that goes ok….

Back in Tenerife, Mum went home yesterday and I have three days on my own before D and our friends join me for a week. I ploughed on with the Await shrug.

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This morning I kept going. The ric-rack lace and ribbing combination has been really inspiring and I have been sketching various garment possibilities as I worked on the last bit of ribbing! I’m never going to be a designer, but I think it might be a really fun challenge to take another pattern I like and reimagine it using different stitches.

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At lunchtime I finished the ribbing and cast off. I have done as much of this project as I can for now – I need to try it on my sister (with her eyes closed!) and work out how long the sleeve seams need to be – I can then finish it with the ribbed border that creates structure for the garment. I just LOVE the colours on this piece of knitting. And bizarrely, the colour that has predominated as I have been knitting is the butterscotch colour, which doesn’t even show in these photos!

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So, what can a girl do but cast on another shawl?! This is Lucille by Anniken Allis in Natali Stewart seacell and silk fingering weight.

2015/01/img_9505.jpg This one is also destined for my Mum. All my projects this holiday are destined to be gifts! It happens that I have never knitted a lace shawl for my Mum and she said she would like one just before I went to the Knitting and Stitching show last October. She can’t wear wool and I picked up this and the Indian Silk at the show with the idea of making her two different lace shawls this year, one for her birthday and one for Mother’s Day. I bought them both with me on holiday as I find shawls perfect holiday knitting – not that much yarn, easy to take around with you and you have time to concentrate on them. And if I can take home two finished shawls and a nearly finished shrug I will be super happy!

Anyway, think it is time to go for my daily walk! This was the sunset last night, hope it is as glorious tonight!

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CAL · Crochet · Dogs · Family & friends · Friends · Knitting · life · Mollie · Rabbits

Wingspan & other activities!

First version of Week 5’s square in the Scheepjeswol CAL.

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Working on Wingspan on Saturday…

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Mollie having a woogle…

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My sister and Dilly the spangold visited…

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Dilly, the Victoria Beckham of the spaniel world…

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More Wingspan…

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Sunday morning happiness…

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Possible startitis?

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I call Ollie my friend C’s godrabbit! We made time for a visit at lunchtime on Monday.

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Flora, who doesn’t do cuddles under any circumstances was baffled…

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More Wingspan in action…

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Transferred onto circulars as the single points were getting too heavy I got to lay it out for the first time!

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And Mollie on Tuesday breakfast time!

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And that is what we’ve been up to – craft & pet wise – in photos. 😉

Rabbits

Introducing Ollie

When my first rabbit Arnold died six months ago, we tried matching Flora up again very quickly with another male rabbit. It sort of worked and then they had a massive fight and she came home alone. Because our Flo is a tricky bunny, quite opinionated and stroppy, we were worried she might have to remain an only rabbit, which is not, of course the best way for rabbits to live. As we were due to go away last week I asked Mairwen from Cottontails Rescue (where Flora is from originally) if she would try matching her up again. She agreed and said she’d like to try her with a rather large young lad she had had in for a couple of months. It was love at first sight. She loves him and he adores her – she likes him much better than she liked Arnold too… Here he is:

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He’s a one year old lop x chinchilla and he weighs 4.5kgs! Definitely a cutie pie! His ears make me laugh as they stick out rather than flop down like full lop ears do.

CAL · Crochet · Rabbits

Tranquility

Ah the pleasure of a lazy Saturday morning. I’m intending to wear my dressing gown all day if I can get away with it. It’s been a busy week of ups and downs; I’ve travelled up to London twice (and twice more next week), learned new things, had to manage a mini crisis and done, for me, hardly any crafting! Need to get my time management sorted…

This is the view from my back door this morning.
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The garden is a bit overgrown but it’s looking happy after all the rain. My courgette has rather given up and I’m going to compost it, but one of the tomatoes is going red so maybe I might get one or two that aren’t tiny and green. I’ve decided next year I’m going to grow courgettes and maybe a squash of some variety rather than tomatoes. Mostly because I don’t like the smell of tomato plants… I’ve got a really nice man who runs a gardening company that does the big jobs in the garden and I’m going to talk to him about a raised bed. I’d like this to fit round a tunnel system I want to buy the bunnies, so probably a job for early next year.

And talking of bunnies, Flora is fine. She seems ok in herself and is eating as heartily as ever. It’s interesting, she’s always been the most opinionated rabbit, who likes to rearrange her environment, so we tended to blame her for things that happened. Like weeing in the hay tray or the corner of the hutch. Turns out she is entirely litter tray trained and only uses the litter tray. So she’s been unfairly blamed for years! We heard from the rabbit rescue yesterday that they currently have two lonely male bunnies who may be a suitable friend for her, a Rex and a Lop. I am determined she gets to pick and my choice doesn’t come into it, but I must admit I’d love a Lop! She goes to stay at the rescue from next Friday onwards for 6 days.

Today I am intending to do as little as possible. I’ve decided my CAL blanket is now big enough for my niece and am crocheting on a simple border. Pictures later! I’m then going to crochet a scarf for my middle stepson in these colours. image
He asked me to knit him a scarf earlier in the year because he lost the previous one I made him. As it was knit in pure wool on 3mm needles in a complicated twisted rib that took me ages and in a boring khaki green colour that drove me demented I was just *delighted* to hear that! So nice and easy crochet this time, with stash yarn. I like the way the grey, which will be the least used colour, lifts the black and multicoloured yarn. I think I’m going to crochet it longways, but I don’t know yet! I’ve got a new audio book and all day…!

Hope you’re all having a happy weekend. X

Knitting · Rabbits

Bits & pieces

I’ll get the sad stuff out the way first. Dear little Arnold died of a congenital condition, probably heart failure, brought on by being overbred or inbred (not sure which). The vet said it was like miniature pigs, they live half or a third of the life span of a regular pig because of the way they’re bred. It’s good to know but doesn’t make it any less sad. He’s been sent off to be cremated and then we’ll put him in the garden. We didn’t want to bury him because my friend did that with her rabbit and a fox or badger dug it up. Horrible and upsetting.

We now have to think about Flora, who came straight from her brothers and sisters to live with Arnold when she was 8 weeks old in May 2010 (she was in a rescue – the owners of her parents had had one unexpected litter, didn’t separate the parents and had another litter immediately afterwards, and then dumped the whole lot on the rescue…). Rabbits don’t like to be on their own so we need to find her a new friend. This seems a bit quick, but I’ve taken advice from our friend who runs the rabbit rescue and she said relatively quickly, so on the 13th when we go to a conference she’ll be going to the rescue and hopefully meet a lonely neutered male bun who needs a home! So hopefully we’ll be bringing two home on the 19th! Despite myself, that is something to look forward to.

This week I have discovered something about myself – grief does not engender a desire to craft as I haven’t done any knitting since Saturday and that is a LONG gap for me. Instead I read obsessively (Ngaio Marsh) or played games on my phone. However I’ve decided I will this evening and I’m going to crack on with Trillian 2 which is now officially too big to be carted round as a handbag project.

I mentioned before that I had decided to copy The Landrover Owners Wife and get a copy of the pattern she’s knitting for herself (read her post about it here) and make a version for my sister. The pattern arrived and I am BUSTING to cast on. But I am being firm with myself – I am saving it for my holiday to Exmouth in October when I plan to do NOTHING but knit. Plus I have other things to finish!

Rabbits

Rabbiting on

In the last few days Kathryn and I have exchanged comments about our rabbits. I have posted about Flora and Arnold before but not often. Here are a few pictures taken this morning after I’d cleaned their space and before they started to trash it again…

They’re outside rabbits. I’d intended Arnold, when we got him, to be a house rabbit but Mollie was terrified of him even though we did all the proper introductions and I was concerned she might do something to him. So we bought an extra large hutch & run and rescued Flora from our local rabbit rescue. We constantly change their environment so it’s stimulating and interesting for them (we strongly support the RWA’s ‘A Hutch Is Not Enough’ campaign). Next year I plan to buy a Runaround system to attach to the current bunny palace.

Anyway, today’s new item is a banana box, nice tough cardboard. Last week after my birthday we had 3 or 4 paper bags that I put herbs or veg at the bottom and stuffed hay on top, and they loved getting in the bags, tearing holes in them and so on.

This is our set-up; 3 storey hutch with a nice large run. Currently with Perspex cover on as its going to rain.
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It’s a box!
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Flora
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And little Arnold
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