FO Friday – Pink Hat

A little one this week. Here is the little pink hat that I finished up yesterday for Mum’s colleague:

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Ravelry Pattern Page: Easy Hat (knitted in the round)
Ravelry Project Page:
Nikki’s Pink Hat

I do love this pattern, it’s really simple, easy to knit up, very quick and very adaptable. This is the same pattern that I used for the Minion Hat in this post¬†and it comes in a variety of sizes, not just newborn. Which makes it perfect really! I’m going to use it to make a few hats for my baby too next week as I’ve been told to take some in my baby bag, which I haven’t even started yet!

I was going to add a little flower to this but I’ve discovered that half of my books are still at the MILs, including all of my flower books (of which I have many!) so we need to get to Ikea, buy our bookshelves and install them ASAP so that I can have my books back!

Mum says that her colleague loved it and commented on how tiny it was, I don’t think she quite realises how small they come out!

This is project number 4 out of 28 ūüôā

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WIP Wednesday (on Thursday)

I actually wrote this out yesterday and intended to post it with photos later on, then had a nice long nap and forgot to take the photos <<blush>> So, here it is, a day late!

Well I still have two projects on the go…. <<whispers>> but I may have added a third.

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The third project is actually just a little hat for my Mum’s colleague who is going on maternity leave at the end of this week. I have a load of pink Rialto (or “Fucking Debbie Bliss” as it has been christened in this house!), I’m not the biggest fan of pink to be entirely honest, but I was after some more reddish ones and just buying what was available to see what colour they were! Anyway, I digress, Mum’s colleague is having a little girl and is apparently big on pink, so I thought I’d run my stash down a little and make a little pink hat, maybe some mitts too if I get time.

Obviously I’m still working on my little Sherbet Ripple blanket and the jumper. The blanket has had no progress, I’m all crocheted out at the moment thanks to those ripple blankets and I’m really enjoying being back on the needles again. Though I am planning to crochet myself a relatively large basket soon as a WIP basket, probably out of two or three strands of DK, as I don’t have one and it may be nice to make one.

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The jumper now has a front. That’s kind of it really. I’ve made it a centimetre longer to cover a bit more of the back, I’m not sure if it’d be needed but I hate having a cold draft on my back so I wouldn’t want baby to¬†have it! And that’s it for now! Until next WIP Wednesday!

Mischief Mondays – Ben

After introducing you to my old boy, Howl, last week, I thought that we should go in age order. This week it’s Ben, he’s my other old boy (though not quite as fragile as Howl yet!)

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Ben came to us in March this year as a companion for Howl. When Howl’s brother died in November we decided to keep him as a lone rat as we didn’t think that he had very long left and didn’t want to stress him out further. Unfortunately, it was a mistake on our behalf. Howl was okay at first but¬†within a couple of months he was really starting to get down. So we asked for some advice on a local rat group, asked if our breeder/rescue had any old boys in to keep him company as a lovely woman who had actually offered Ben to us back in November got in touch again to say that he was still around, if we wanted to introduce the two. So we took her up on the kind offer and brought him home.

Ben and Howl hit it off immediately, which was a relief. They were in together from day 2 (day 1 being a day for us to suss Ben out and for him to suss us out!) and we haven’t looked back!

Ben is incredibly cheeky, a proper little Lad. Despite being neutered he is obsessed with the girls, he loves winding them up! He’s very friendly and sweet, I don’t think that he could hurt a fly! He is old, over 2 and a half now we think and he’s starting to lose some of his colouring and his fur is thinning as expected, but he’s doing okay mostly. He has a horrible respiratory infection that will not go away at the moment but we’re treating it and hopefully we can keep it under some semblance of control whilst he lives out the rest of his life.

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Mischief Mondays – Howl

I thought that I’d start the introductions with my old boy. Meet Howl.

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When he was younger and not so white!
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And now.

Howl was one of our first two rats, we’re 99% certain that he’s what we call a chinchilla variety, though it took us a long time to work that out! Our breeder worked it out after we told her which breeder we had got him from, apparently that breeder was known to be experimenting with chinchilla varieties, so it made sense.

We got him in late January 2014, which puts his birthday in mid-December 2013. We picked him up along with his brother, Haku, who sadly passed away at the end of an operation in November last year. We had booked two girls, who were to be named Sophie and Sen, but the breeder messed up, so we took the boys and went with the male counterpart names!

Howl is a funny old boy, neither he nor Haku ever liked cuddles, they were happy being shoulder rats though and loved free range time. He’s had respiratory issues his entire life so we all got to know our last vets very well!

He’s also only got one eye, that is because [we think] his brother poked it out in freak play fighting accident when they were 3 months old, apart from delaying his flying lessons somewhat it never stopped him, within six weeks he was jumping back and forth between mine and Nick shoulders again! He used to be able to clear half a meter very easily when he was smaller, potentially more!

Unfortunately Howl is very old and he is nearing the end of his life. He has Hind Leg Degeneration, which is very common in older rats, but it is reaching a point where he is struggling, so I see a last trip to the vet in the very near future for him, sadly. But he’s had a great life with us and we’ve really enjoyed his company over the past 2 years and 9 months!

WIP Wednesdays – 14/09/16

So, this week I am working on a new project and a¬†project I started a week or two ago. I’ve finally finished my tension squares for the Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, my gauge is well off the standard as it usually is! But it has meant that I can now get started on some simple patterns! Very exciting!

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My two current projects are a pram/car seat blanket for baby, it’s another ripple blanket though this one will be around 70cm by 90cm, and it’s made in Stylecraft Special DK, in the same colours as the blanket for my youngest charge, the Sherbet Blanket (as mentioned in this post). I’m using up the ball in each colour that didn’t get used for SC’s blanket.

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My second WIP¬†is a jumper for baby, this is being made from Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, which is a gorgeous merino wool. I managed to raid Tangled Yarns for a significant amount of it back in February/March time when they were selling it all off half price, my personal bank account still hasn’t fully recovered from that one! I’ve managed to offload 4 balls of it to my Mother-In-Law to make a jumper for baby¬†but apart from that I haven’t had a chance to touch it since then, so I’m enjoying using some!

This jumper is the Noah Sweater from What To Knit When You’re Expecting (Ravelry pattern page link), it’s a nice book but apparently it has a lot of errors, so always check the errata! I have also been told that the patterns knit up small, so I may frog it and recast on the next size up, just in case! I haven’t decided yet. If the weather carries on like this baby may not need a jumper for a while!

Mischief Mondays

So now that I have a bit more free time before baby is due in November,¬†I’m trying to get organised, part of that is keeping this blog up-to-date. I thought it’d be easier to do that if I built a routine, so today I’m going to post about my rats.

A group of rats is called a mischief. It’s quite apt too! They are extremely mischievous creatures! But that is why I’ve gone for Mischief Mondays. I currently have 9 rats, 5 girls and 4 boys, we are expecting that to dwindle quickly over the next year though as 5 of them are over 2 years old now. I will start with this:

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This is our brand spanking new cage. We got it on Friday and it’s a massive upgrade to what we’ve had in the past. For those not in the know, this is the Savic Royal Suite (or SRS as it’s commonly called), and it is often considered the creme de la creme of rat cages in the UK. We actually bought one second hand to refurbish in the summer, but unfortunately it was¬†beyond our capabilities and it was a¬†very¬†expensive mistake to have made. So, we bought a new one. It was massively pricey and our finances¬†are not happy with us, but being massive budget geeks we managed to move money between various other, non-essential purposes, such as the very hefty chunk we managed to save on our car insurance the week before last and our holiday savings that didn’t get spent whilst we were away in July, in order to fund it. I do not regret this purchase one iota. It’s a brilliantly sturdy cage that is going to last us a considerable amount of time as long as we look after it. Currently we have the boys in the top half and the girls in the bottom. Three of our four boys are neutered, so they will be introduced to the girls once the un-neutered boy passes away and we’ll open up the whole cage for the entire group.

Being 7 months pregnant it’s also a life saver having a cage that I can actually clean out and set up without help, because having to wait until both Nick and I are home and in the mood to clean out a cage was getting old, and for the next six months Nick is frequently going to be away for short periods, so being able to manage daily spot cleans without contorting uncomfortably to reach the back corners is wonderful!

I’ve added captions to the photos of the rats for easy identification, but I won’t post about each of them today, I’ll save that for¬†future Mischief Mondays!

Long time no see!

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It’s been three months since I last posted, to the day. I have been pretty busy in that time and, to be honest, I’ve been working on the same project that entire time, so I just haven’t bothered updating as it was moving so slowly due to a mix of procrastination and genuinely being bloody busy.

News and updates I suppose. I’ve started maternity leave officially. It’s going to be a bloody long one as baby isn’t due until early November! However we have had to relocate for Nick’s work, so we moved back to Essex on the 1st of September and my last working day was the 31st of August. Nick has to head up to Coventry for his training tomorrow, so I’m being abandoned for two weeks whilst that occurs, which suits me as I have a lot to be getting on with!

I completed all three blankets with two evenings¬†to spare. I’m really chuffed with them. All three are rainbow themed, GC (the eldest) has a standard bright rainbow, SC (the youngest) has what I’m calling a Sherbet Rainbow, which was more pastel colours, whilst CC (the middle) has a dark rainbow theme. They seemed to like them thankfully and I’m hoping that they will continue to do so! That’s 3/28 projects complete before I’m 28!

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For an idea of the size of these blankets, this was SC’s one on our double bed. This was over 150cm wide (whereas CC’s was 160cm+ and GC’s was just over 140cm IIRC). Unfortunately, I don’t have any wonderful photos of the blankets as the weather turned after I finished them on the Monday evening, I asked Nick to take them outside for me whilst I was at work on Tuesday whilst the sun was shining gloriously all day. He didn’t, so this is the best I have and the colours don’t show up at all, which is disappointing.

All three blankets were completed in Stylecraft Special DK and I used the Ripple Blanket tutorials over at Attic24 (Ripple Blanket Know-How and Neat Ripple Pattern).  Each blanket started with a 213 chain as recommended (though I got drastically different sizes!) and I only repeated each set of seven colours 6 times, I think that they ended up being about 120cm to 140cm high. They needed only just over one ball of each colour.

(Links to my Ravelry Project Pages for each blanket below)
The Standard Rainbow was made using: Matador; Spice; Sunshine; Kelly Green; Aster; Violet; and Plum.
The Sherbet Rainbow was made using: Pomegranate; Spice; Citron; Spring Green; Cloud Blue; Lavender; and Grape.
The Dark Rainbow was made using: Lipstick; Tomato; Mustard; Kelly Green; Petrol; Lobelia; and Emperor.

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In other news: in July we had two new little ratties join our mischief (which now makes 9!), two boys who we have called Rygel and D’Argo, the last of our Farscape themed names! D’Argo is the mismarked hooded black and Rygel is the tiny Himi/Siamese. Rygel is a runt but he hasn’t got the special needs that Ashi did and is fine with other rats thankfully, though he has seizured so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it was the ridiculous heat and not epilepsy, which is something that Ashi had. They were neutered on Tuesday so that they can eventually join the girls with Ben (who was neutered before we got him) once Howl passes away.

Howl seems to be going strong though! His tumour has stagnated in growth, his respi issues aren’t bothering him too much and despite the beginnings of Hind Leg Degeneration (common in old rats) he is still able to make his way around comfortably and happily. Ben is starting to show his age as well now and can’t seem to shake a nasty respiratory infection that keeps reoccurring, but given that he was over two when we got him that’s not surprising! One of our girls has a tumour as well which is growing steadily, it’s not at removal point yet but as she is now just¬†two we’re currently undecided on how to proceed with that one, we’ll have to see how it grows and how she is, she’s very happy at the moment though! It’s making us rethink whether we’ll get girls spayed in future though, two of the three female rescues we’ve had have developed tumours, our younger two breeder girls (who weren’t spayed, unlike our older two breeder girls) haven’t shown any signs of them yet but they are both under a year so we’ll have to wait and see for them.

For those in the rodent world, we also bought a second hand Savic Royal Suite, which ended up being too badly corroded to save (to my husband’s dismay, he’s seriously upset about it!), so we’ve succumbed and bought an SRS¬†brand new earlier today as our girls cage is currently being held together by fabric yarn O_O

I have also bought all of the yarn I am allowed to buy and am on stashbusting mode. Later this week I will be going through what I think is my entire stash (I think some is missing between moves but we’re not sure! I swear I had more chunky somewhere though!) so I’ll keep a running tally on here of what I have! It will help me with the 28 by 28 challenge anyway…