Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of the Year

Well, while I am attempting to finish some more crafting before the end of the year, I don't think it will all be done. If I take my wheel to Scotland with me then perhaps it will.

So, here's my year in crafting. I've made over 32 things including 12 yarns! Most of the spinning was towards the beginning of the year when my wheel was new and I wasn't really feeling the knitting vibe. Since I joined Nerd Wars the crafting has picked up pace, with 16 of the 32 items being created since September 1st.

2011 Crafting Collage

and missing from there?
My honeymoon shawl...

Elise Shawl

A great year for crafting, can 2012 be better? I hope so!

Friday, December 23, 2011

More Crafting!

So, I've photographed and uploaded some more of my projects!

First up, a crocheted bow tie!


Pattern:Crocheted Bow Tie by Craftzine
Yarn: James C. Brett Pure Merino - red.
Hook: 4mm
Modifications: None, but if I did it again I'd make the neckband a lot smaller! I have to tie it in a knot at the back to resize it due to the stretch of the yarn!
Verdict: Well, not a bad pattern, but doesn't take into account the stretch. Maybe in cotton it would be fine.

A Washcloth (here's hoping that the recipient doesn't read my blog!)


Pattern:Starfish Dishcloths by Coats and Clark
Yarn: various
Hook: 4.5mm (I think)
Modifications: None really. Didn't do the crab stitch edge.
Verdict: Good. The crochet is a nice texture and the pattern is pretty!

and a soap saver bag


Pattern:Pickin' Knits Spiral Soap Saver
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton (I think)
Hook: 4.5mm (I think)
Modifications: It's finer yarn and a smaller hook than recommended, but no other changes really!
Verdict: Good. The crochet is a nice texture for a scrubby.

I can't believe it's almost Christmas already! It's quite nice that we have a Saturday as Christmas Eve, a whole day of no plans for me and hubby.
Well, I say no plans. I have a bag to felt, some spinning and knitting to do, and I'd love to get through some more of hubby's prezzie. It's no way going to be finished on Christmas morning, but I'll be able to knit on it when he can see after Christmas so there's a good chance he'll have it before the New Year.

So, There may be another post after Christmas with some nice knited things.
Or not.
We will see.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Knitting owls, and Chickens.

Well, I'm still knitting! I've had a nice week so far, though the weight loss isn't really on track right now everything else is going well!

So, Still being inspired by Nerd Wars, I have two items for you today (and when I get the pictures uploaded I'll have some more!)

The first is this cute little stuffed toy

Owl Donation

Pattern: Owl Puffs by Jenna Krupar (Rav link)
Yarn: Random Leftovers
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: Used buttons for eyes
Verdict: Cute! Ideally I would have used a firmer gauge. Also, it's quite small, so perhaps extra increases and extra rows for a bigger owl. But still, cute!

And the second is this lovely tie which I knitted for my hubby while watching the Buffy season 1 and 2 box sets.

knitted tie

Pattern: Knit Necktie by Lion Brand Yarn
Yarn: Pure North Ronaldsay Wool (from woolfest a couple of years ago)
Needles: 5mm
Modifications: cast on less stitches for a skinnier tie. Also, cast on an odd number so all rows begin k1, p1... makes the moss stitch easier!
Verdict: Great! I'm really pleased with how it looks, and hubby likes it too!

I have also completed a small bag, a bowtie and I've cast on for the re-knit of the Klingon sweater. All being well it will be more successful this time.
I also hope to complete hubby's Christmas present and some spinning I have on the wheel. I've no idea what I'll knit after that though!

January will be a month off in Nerd Wars, so I'm free to knit whatever I like! Not that I haven't knitted things I've wanted to knit over the past few months, but...

In other news, the chickens are well.

Buffy's first egg

Buffy, the older of the three, laid her first egg on December 9th. She's laid 4 days out of 5 since then, so lots of lovely eggs now starting to be available. We had a lovely flan type thingy made with the first four eggs yesterday for lunch and it was very nice. Looking forward to my Christmas Morning eggs and bacon.
They all seem quite happy too. We let them out in the garden for the first time at the end of November

Buffy and the girls

They seemed to really like it! We let them out for an hour last Sunday too, and they all spent the full hour hiding behing the shed. While this made me quite nervous that they would either accidentally get into the paddock out the back or else into next door through the hedge, they didn't bother about that! They all came back to the house for bedtime like good little hens. I'm getting more relaxed about letting them out in the garden to free range, though probably only when we're in. I'm looking forward to the summer when we'll be able to let them out after work for a few hours!

Well, that's all for now. I'll show you my other crafting when the photos are up!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

No WIP left behind

Yes, it's December.
In fact, it has been December for almost a week.

Cue working out what I've made in the past year and whether I feel like it's "enough", and also reviewing my "goals" from last year.
I didn't really set any proper goals, but on the 4th of January I included a list of things I planned and hoped for in 2011 (I've re-worded some of them!)

Get Married!
Have an amazing honeymoon!
Get chickens!Buffy the Worm Slayer
Yarn and Knitting!Where to begin? There'll be a knitting in 2011 post later...
Spinning Wheel!New (to me) Wheel!
Gym in the garage!
Join ZumbaNot my thing!
Lose weight at slimming world
Move roles at workWoo!
Have an Excellent year!Well, I think so :)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Nerd Wars Round 2 is over!

And I haven't blogged about it once. Shame on me.

Well, that does mean that I have quite a lot of finished things to share with you.

The challenges this time were more challenging (and the round three ones are REALLY hard!) but I eventually came up with something for every one of the six challenges.

I made a square on the diagonal which I've donated to an AIDS Orphans charity...


Pattern: cast on 3, increase by kfb 2nd stitch every row until sides are desired length, knit 2 rows, decrease by k2tog every row until 3 sts remain, cast off.
Yarn: leftover Karaoke and leftover Cascade 220
Needles: 4.5mm
Modifications: n/a
Charity link: Knit a Square

I made a snowflake, which will be a tree ornament for me.


Pattern: Snowflake 11 from Chez Crochet
Yarn: 4ply baby wool
Hook: 4mm
Modifications: I changed the final round slightly for ease, but can't really explain it!
Verdict: Once it's starched it will be fab!

And I made a heart (Spock's heart, so it's green)

Nerd Wars - Spock's Heart

Pattern: Baby Hearts (Rav link only)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton (lime)
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: None!
Verdict: Nice pattern, would be fab stuffed with lavender or similar.

And I made this shawl.

Semi Circular Shawl

Pattern: Mizzle (Rav link only)
Yarn: Orkney Angora St Magnus D.K. (pink), Sublime Yarns Angora Merino (brownish)
Needles: 5mm
Modifications: Didn't do the garter ridges, otherwise knit as written.
Verdict: It's fab. It needs blocking, then I'll know if it's big enough!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Sorry I’ve been slack in updating the blog. Between the chickens, Nerd Wars knitting, and life generally, I’ve been a little bit busy!

However, last month I did complete two further items (well, three) for Nerd Wars, and I’ve submitted some yarn I spun for this month too. So let’s start with a little finished items display!

Baby Hats
These were for the colourtastic challenge, simple but effective:

Baby Hats Baby Hats

Pattern: Basic Baby Hat
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton (white and lime), King Cole Bamboo (blue and brown)
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: None! I knit one newborn and one 0-3month sizes
Verdict: Nice pattern, ends up with a nice enough hat. Basic, simple, quick – and most important sweet!

This was for the “best dressed nerds” challenge!

Cowl Headband

Pattern: Easy Neckwarmer Headband
Yarn: Llama yarn my mum brought back from America!
Needles: 5mm
Modifications: None!
Verdict: I like it! It’s actually a bit loose for a headband for me, as I don’t have a lot of hair. I’m considering running a strand around one end and pulling it tight for a hat. But for now, it’s a good neckwarmer! It needs a bath too, hopefully that will soften the yarn a bit!

And then for this round of the tournament:
For the “nerd culture” topic we have to make something related to another nerdery. I picked Doctor Who, and made some Yarn which reminds me of the Sixth doctor. It’s called LCARS after the Star Trek information panels.


Felt Studio Wensleydale LCARS


Felt Studio Wensleydale LCARS

Fiber: Felt Studio UK Wensleydale
Colourway: Multi
Spun using: Ashford Traveller, middle ratio
Spin direction: Z (wheel turning anticlockwise, spin to the left)
Plying type/direction: 3ply, Navajo, S-plied (wheel turning clockwise, spin to the right)
Yarn Stats: ~100g / 117yds (approx. DK)
Verdict: I took some merino I was spinning off the wheel to begin this. I expected to spend a couple of days on it, but in reality I spun the yarn in an afternoon. (woo!) I decided to aim for a slightly thicker yarn, partly because I wanted a quicker project and partly because the fibre felt better when I did that. The colours in this braid were fantastic, so I knew I had to Navajo ply from the beginning. The result is a lovely slow stripe passing through the colours in a really pretty way. It’s lovely smooshy yarn too. Now I just have to figure out what to knit with it! (a recurring theme with handspun, I find)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cop Out

I want to post again today, but I don't have much to share.
The chickens are all well (we think) and we're still waiting for our first egg.
I've frogged the Nerd Wars tank top, and I'll be reknitting that (probably in round 2 of Nerd Wars!) and I've also frogged the cowl I started and I've cast on a new one with the same yarn.

I have made a wordle of the last month of posts on my blog, here it is.

Wordle: Tsuki's World
(clicky linky to see bigger)

Monday, October 24, 2011


A few days ago I posted about our new chicken run which we assembled in the garden.

On Friday we visited a nice couple who had quite a lot of chickens. They had quite a few breeds there, and they were all interested, perky and generally fun.
I wanted to have three chickens (the house could probably take four large hens, but I don't want to test that right now!) so we were considering which three breeds to go for.

The most friendly and docile chickens were the Gingernut Rangers. These are a cross breed of chicken, the product of a Rhode Island Red and a Light Sussex. They're chickens which look like chickens. The one we picked - well, she picked us. She was scratching around and pecking my wellies, and hubby picked her up easily.


We've called her Buffy, she seems to be in charge (even though she's the smaller of the three - she is also the oldest)

A close second were the light Sussex hens. They were a bit more wary of us, but the owners were able to pick up our favourite quite quickly.


This one is Willow. She's a bit nervous of the camera noise that my iPhone was making! She settled into the run quite quickly. She doesn't seem to be the brightest of the three chickens though!

Finally we were originally thinking about getting an amber star. However, while we were there I fell in love with the Maran X that they had. We think they were Maran x Rhode Island, so she should be a similar temperament to Buffy, but maybe a bit more flightly. She's a beautiful colour, grey-blue, with a black hood.


And the perfect name for this one: Faith.
I'm sorry about the picture quality of Faith, she wasn't keen on having her photo taken, and so she's a bit blurry. She's also so dark coloured that the iPhone couldn't cope with her in those light levels!

We had put fresh newspaper and sawdust down for them on Friday, which we found they had made a right mess of, so we put fresh bedding down for them today. I think this is probably because they've been cooped up (quite literally) in the coop. Now that they have the run to wander in, they shouldn't mess the coop up quite so much.

While hubby was making lunch, I took them the end and innards from the pepper we had. They went absolutely mad for it! They also loved the mealworms we gave them to encourage them out of the coop!

I'm really excited to have chickens. It's been a dream of mine for a while. Hopefully when we get a bit more used to them we might be able to consider getting some rescue hens.
First things first though, we need to build them an extra run.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Voyager Tank - Complete!

So, I submitted my Voyager Tank Top (well, sleeveless cardigan) for team unity in Nerd Wars! Yey!

Voyager Tank

Pattern: “Uffington” from the Scrumptious Collection Volume 1
Yarn: RYC Cashmerino Chunky
Needles: 6mm and 5mm (I didn’t have any 5.5mm circs)
Modifications: None!
Verdict: The pattern itself is well written, and the garment came out to the size it should have. I got the correct gauge with the yarn I was using. Everything went as it should, with just one problem:
The tank top and I are not the same shape.

It’s hard to see from these pictures, but I’ll try to explain…

Voyager Tank

The shoulders of the top are the right shape and size for me, I’m happy with the proportions here. But there is a bit of looseness on the back below the arm shaping.
I chose to knit the 12-14 size, on account of my bust (in a bra) being 37 inches – which is in the pattern’s range for that size. However, I think that rather more of the 37 inches are on the front of me than the back. I should have considered that when knitting this one, and maybe made a smaller size on the back and a larger size on the front.

The waist shaping isn’t right, but I’ll come to that in a moment…

Voyager Tank

I didn’t do such a good job of picking up for the front button bands. This means that the neckline isn’t properly square. I’m not totally sure how I would rectify it, probably needed to pick up another stitch at the top there, or leave one hanging from the rib or something.

Also, the button band and buttonhole band are pulling in way more than I would like. I think I should have picked up more stitches than I did, especially considering that I was using a needle which is 0.5mm smaller than recommended.

The next two issues are really the same issue combined. I have quite a long torso, and my natural waist is quite low. You can imagine how much fun this makes buying clothes in regular shops. Anyway, I digress.
I knitted the top as written. What I should have done is lengthened the body by between 2 and 4 inches (see where the pale orange top comes on the pic of the back, that’s really my minimum top length) and moved the waist shaping accordingly. Of course, had I done that then the circumference of the bottom ribbing might not have been several inches too wide either.

Anyway, I’m not comfortable with the top, so I will not be wearing it. This means that I have two options:
1. Find someone who is the same shape as the top and give it to them.
2. Frog the whole top (sewn in buttons, woven in ends, seams and button bands and all) and re-knit.
I’m currently thinking about re-knitting it. As a tank top rather than a cardigan!
You see, I love the square neck, the pattern up the back, the shape of the shoulders. I just don’t love the fit around the bottom part, and I’m pretty sure I can modify it in such a way that this will work.
I think that the problems I’ve had with the fit are entirely down to the shape of me, which is a shame!

Of course, having read Ysolda’s book, I should have seen this coming.

Still, knitting the whole thing only took me about three weeks which is much quicker than any of my other sweaters. I think I can reknit it in the same sort of timescales. Especially if I do a sweater version, because that will mean no button/buttonhole bands!

I can also learn from the other mistake I made while knitting this garment: slipped stitches on the edge do not help if you will be picking up stitches for a button band. On socks it’s a real help, I don’t know why it’s different for a sweater, but I found that the slipped stitches made me want to pick up a lot less stitches. Not good. But they did help with the sides which needed seaming. (That said, I might take the controversial approach of knitting it in the round, if my cable is long enough! Save on seams!)

Completed, submitted, going to be frogged.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chicken Run!

At the weekend we built the chicken run.
It's from Steve Fisher Woodworking near Selby. Not the most communicative, but great quality as far as I can see!

Chicken Run

I've ordered feeders, drinkers, food, grit, treats and the like.
It's all very exciting.

We're going to view some chickens on Friday, all being well. Also near Selby. (Who knew that Selby would be the Chicken Capital of the East Riding!?) We're hoping to get three different breeds because being able to tell the difference in the eggs means we'll know if one of them is not pulling her weight unwell. I've got an idea for names for them too, but I'll share that when I'm sure that they look like their names.


On the knitting front, the buttons arrived and I finished all the knitting. I just have to weave in the ends and then sew on the buttons. Last night I didn't fancy weaving in the ends...


so I left it for this evening.
I'm not sure it's going to help.
But I can't wear it without weaving in the ends. And I can't submit it for Nerd Wars either.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Yes, I’ve been a slack blogger lately. This is largely because I’ve been concentrating on knitting for Nerd Wars, and this weekend, sorting out the chicken run!

What have I been knitting for Nerd Wars? Well, while the front and back of my “tank top” were blocking

Voyager Vest - blocking

I quickly knit a little wash cloth. It’s turned out rather smaller than I would have hoped, but it looks rather good.

Trekkie Cloth

Pattern: Baby Trekkie Wash Cloth from Wilderness Witch Knits
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton (white)
Needles: 4mm
Modifications: None!
Verdict: Pretty cool, and perfect for Nerd Wars! I don’t think this cotton is very good for wash cloths, it’s quite thin for Aran weight. It is really soft though, and would be fab for baby garments I think!

I’m anticipating finishing the “tank top” any time now, I have the two arm cuffs to knit and buttons to add and it will be done. I’ve ordered some buttons online; they should be on their way soon I hope. I’m excited to be able to wear it!
It would have been finished this weekend, but I got distracted with the chicken run, with felting some slippers for hubby, with cooking and generally faffing around!
I could use a long sleeved t-shirt to wear underneath it though. Maybe I’ll have to go shopping!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Feelin’ hot hot hot!

Well, this weekend just gone was lovely, weather wise! It’s very odd that it’s October, and in the north of England we decided to have a barbecue.

Now, if you’d told me back in September (which was both chilly and rainy) that we’d be barbecuing on the 1st October, I would have laughed at you.

But there we were.

October Barbecue??

I had a lovely morning sitting outside in the sun knitting (No, I’m not preggers, that dress just isn’t very flattering)

Cast On - Nerd Wars!

And what was I knitting?

Cast On - Nerd Wars!

My first Nerd Wars project, of course! This is going to be cool! (Well, actually I expect it to be warm, it’s knit in RYC cashsoft chunky. I love this yarn so much!)

Sadly, this means that I’ve pretty much stopped work on my other projects. I think I’ll easily get it finished in the time, so I can work on other things. I plan to do so tonight at knitting group when I will knit on super-secret-gift-for-hubby.
Of course, while hubby is around, I don’t knit on that, so it’s not progressing as quickly as I would like.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go Team!


I have my team assignment for Nerd Wars!


I’m quite excited about it. In three days I will know what the possible challenges are, and then I can get crafting!

I’m over half way through the singles of the Vampire Rock merino, so it’s unlikely that it will be spun and plied by the 1st, but you never know! I’ll keep working on it.

I’m looking forward to seeing the ravatars of other Nerd Wars competitors too; there have been some really creative ones in the forums so far.

X all the Y

I have been enjoying the meme known as X all the Y.

The original can be seen at hyperbole and a half

It’s really struck home with me, this simple but effective way of communicating how you feel about performing a task. Break it down into an easily repeated message.

I didn’t realise that it had become a “snowclone” (I had to look that up!) until I was kindly linked to this meme about Star Wars , and then I was hooked.

I’ve been finding many things fit into the X all the Y! and X all the Y? templates.

And so, I proudly present, my first meme snowclone.


When I started my new job, as a business analyst, this is how I felt
But sometimes, when it’s all getting too much and I’d rather go home and knit, I feel more like