Long time no see!

IMG_20160808_084940

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!

IMG_8928.JPG

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.

d+r

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…

Advertisements

WIP Wednesday

I have two yarny projects on the go this week. One knit and one crochet! They are also the first two projects that will count towards my “28 by the time I’m 28” challenge 🙂

IMG_6793 (30%)

The knit one is another baby cardigan, blue again (though a different shade! Husbands choice this time!). I should finish it soon as I’m on the last chunk now, it’s my “We’re watching Hustle and I want to keep my hands busy.” project. With two baby cardigans on the go you may have guessed that I am expecting a baby! I’m due in early November and I’m trying to make as much as I can before it arrives!

My crochet project is a long running one. I have decided to make blankets for each of my three charges before I leave in September. Ideally they’ll be single bed sized but for now I’ll make each one 120cm x 120cm ish and if I finish all three in good time I’ll add the extra 60cm onto each at that point! Just to make sure that they are done!

So the one I am working on first is GC’s, it’s in rainbow colours as she’s also the owner of the Rainbow Stegosaurus and the Unicorn, so we’re following a theme.

IMG_6796 (30%)

Life goes on!

Everything has been quite busy recently, as is always the way!

We have yet another new rat, though this one has been loaned to us to keep our old boy company until he dies, we’re glad that we did go down this route as he is much much happier now, and the boy we’ve borrowed is lovely. His name is Ben, he’s a little younger than Howl and is extremely friendly and sweet.

Ben

Unfortunately, we discovered that Howl has a tumour on his manly parts a couple of weeks ago. Given his age and his constant respiratory problems it’s not something we will be having removed as if the operation doesn’t kill him it’ll cause him an unnecessary amount of stress for something that likely won’t prolong his life by much. At the moment it’s not bothering him what-so-ever and it’s stopped growing for now, so we’ll just keep monitoring and see how it goes. Right now he’s very chuffed to have a new friend and the only thing slowing him down is old age (and even that isn’t stopping him, it’s just making him a bit more clumsy!) But that’s the way it is with rats, tumours are a very common problem and deciding whether or not to have them removed is something you have to consider for each situation.

 

I’ve been crocheting quite a bit. I made a small collection of hats and squares for Woolly Hugs, I’d show you pictures but apparently my husband decided to delete them all as they were ‘really blurry’ -_- I do have one that I took on my phone though! A nice khaki hat!

IMAG0608

 

This has also been made recently…

IMAG0616

It’s actually a cocoon style hammock for my female rats, but the buttons, sock and Ashi’s mane got added because why not?!

I’ve been working on various other things, nothing big but all needing to be finished! I’ve also ordered the yarn I need to make a single bed sized blanket for one of my charges. I’m leaving my job in September, so I’m going to attempt to make each of my three charges a ripple blanket. I seem to have a rainbow themed going on with my previous gifts for GC (See the stegosaurus and unicorn) and she’s asked me for a rainbow blanket in the past, which made her easy. CC is quite chilled and has a pretty cool bedspread which has coloured camper vans so his blanket will match that but I have no clue what colours to use for SC. SC is 3, her favourite colours change every week and her bedroom is a very nice but quite muted coloured nursery still which will likely change in the next few years so I can’t tailor it to that. So I’m at a loss. I’ll work out what to do with her blanket later on!

I may have mentioned the two bags of Bonus DK before, basically a lot of acrylic yarn that I bought for toys a long time ago, before I discovered the wonder that is Stylecraft Special DK. I have been trying to get rid of this without much success, so I’ve given myself until the end of June to get rid of as much as possible and then it’s going to be donated, because I’m bored of it taking up space now! So any yarn-hungry projects you can think of, please spam me them!

So why have I given myself until the end of June? Well, because we’re slowly packing everything we want to take with us away. We are moving back to Essex in September as Nick has a job with Network Rail and will be based in London. We are hoping to stay with friends in July/August, so most of what we own will be slowly making it’s way to a charity shop, or to Essex, and we want to take as little as possible with us to our friend’s house.

And that’s pretty much caught you up on everything 🙂

Triceratops

resized_resized_IMG_1288

This cutie was for my middle charge, C, for Christmas. I’ve made a triceratops before, it was pink and had a lopsided top piece which I couldn’t correct for the life of me! This one almost ended up with a slight lean to it despite my knowing it would happen, but I managed to shift stuffing around to make it work thankfully! His nose horn points downward though, but by the point it was put on I really could not gather the energy to fix it, it would have delayed our leaving by at least 30 more minutes!

I don’t know if I’ve said this but I tend to do these dinos in the round as much as possible. I hate stitching up. To the extent that I even knit/crochet straight over something or struggle to put cozies over tight parts to avoid doing it.

FWIW, with the child who requested this dino in the first place, he first changed colours on me a couple of times, then we agreed on green/blue, then he asked to change again once I’d started and then I got asked a week before Christmas if it was too late to ask for a Y-wing fighter instead (Star Wars related I believe?!), yes C, yes it really is too late to ask for something entirely different I’m afraid! But it means I can get started on his birthday gift 7 months early… 😉

Ravelry Pattern Page: Triceratops from Knitted Dinosaurs Book
Ravelry Project Page: 
Nikki’s Triceratops (#02)
Time Spent on Triceratops:
25hrs

Snowman for R – My first toy

9 days since my last post! Not good. I’ve been busy at work and it’s been taking its toll on my energy levels really.

I though I’d share this though: This is my first toy, he was massively under-stuffed but I didn’t really pay much attention to that until I handed him over and the Mum was a bit confused! Nevertheless, my charge, R (aged 13mo at the time) loved him and the Mum clocked on when I told her.

snowman snowman1

The snowman was a learning experience, stuffing is harder than it seems and I still have issues with it to this day (usually one bit looks lumpy whilst the bit above it perfect, so you have to destroy all of the hard work!) I also couldn’t stuff him that much as I’d messed up the mattress stitch, making it really clumped together at the seams. It wasn’t noticeable until it was stuffed further than this! Which is why he was a skinny snowman!

She is 5 soon and still has him, so at least I know that they survive toddler-hood!