Tag Archives: Digger

Digger is finished!

I have been working on my Digger project for more than a year, following the death of my beloved labrador friend. There’s way more information in the original blog post about this.

Rest in Peace, Digger.
Rest in Peace, Digger.

Digger Toy

The pattern is “Perfect Pups, Labrador Retriever” by Alan Dart and I chose the pattern and bought the yarn the day that I found out that Digger had gone. This was part of the day when JS took me on the fateful trip to Mudchute City Farm. I wanted yarn that matched Digger’s colour particularly well – and Debbie Bliss Amalfi was the one!

Pieces for Digger. More yellow in RL.
Pieces for Digger. More yellow in RL.

I cast on in July 2012, managed to about half of the body, and gave up. The yarn, although lovely, doesn’t have a lot of give in it and after a few days of knitting my hands were aching! It hurt so much that I didn’t want to carry on. Fast forward a bit to May 2013, having moved to Devon, and wanting to finish up the projects in my WIP basket before I carried on casting on new things. I decided to give the yarn another go, unravelled what I had done already, and within a few weeks I had finished knitting!

Just awaiting eyes...
Just awaiting eyes…

My first ever purchase from Etsy was the eyes for Digger, from Vietnam. I was quite desperate to finish him by this point, as you can probably imagine, and I thought that I may be able to do so within a few weeks. Unfortunately, it took two months for the eyes to reach me – by this point I had moved to London and was not around to collect them! Wonder-Mum sent them to me, they arrived two weeks ago, and within three days Digger was done.

Eyes, which caused a lot of fuss!
Eyes, which caused a lot of fuss!

Sewing him up was one of the harder things I had to do. This pattern is not fantastically easy if you have not made a complex toy before – which I hadn’t. I am unhappy with the position of the fateful eyes – so much so that I am considering taking his head off and re-knitting it. I also made his eye sockets a bit dark, as well as his muzzle. What do you think?

Close up of Digger, without ears or a nose!
Close up of Digger, without ears or a nose!
Digger nearly finished, enjoying the atmospheric lighting.
Digger nearly finished, enjoying the atmospheric lighting.
Digger hanging out with Skinny Liz.
Digger hanging out with Skinny Liz.
Digger is complete!
Digger is complete!

While we are on the subject of dogs, check out the new member of the family, belonging to JS’ sister and husband. His name is Boris, he is absolutely gorgeous, and I have toothmarks in my hands! He makes me want one!

JS high-fiving Boris!
JS high-fiving Boris!
PUPPY
PUPPY
Me and puppy Boris!
Me and puppy Boris!

Much love,

Corrie xx

PS the Knitted Cats and Kittens giveaway finishes in five days. Enter now if you haven’t already!

m4s0n501
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Digger, Kittylow and yet more camping.

After another busy week, I bring you the sum total of my knitting efforts – Digger has been knitted and stuffed, the kittylow is off the needles but has yet to be sewn together, and I’m off to another wet and windy field!

I am once again tutoring for Shooting Roots – we will be making puppets and I’m quite excited about the whole thing. I had loads of material scraps I was going to take along, but I forgot to pack them/couldn’t fit a mouse in my car once I was done packing! Such is life…anyway, I will be back on Tuesday, so you’ll have a WIP Wednesday post next week and silence until then.

If you miss me *so* much that you can’t bear the silence, I do have some things in the pipeline for the Plutonium Muffins Facebook page, so head on over here to check it out.

Digger

I ordered some eyes for Digger from Vietnam. I used Etsy and I’m not so impressed with the customer service thing of the actual site. I didn’t get any notification as to whether or not they had been shipped, and after a week and a half of wondering where they were I got my act together and checked – well, they had been shipped, but weren’t going to arrive for another two weeks. Heeeeere's Digger!

I would have just gone into a shop in London if I’d known – the only reason I ordered them online was because I wanted to get Digger finished before I went to Towersey! Anyway, he’s as far gone as I can get him – here’s a hilarious exploded view of body-parts.

Digger without a head for interest's sake.

Kittylow

Despite not being able to get much work done on the kitty pillow for most of the last week, my grans and I had three days of hanging out before I left Devon for good, and most of that was either spent unpicking one of Wonder-Gran’s knitting projects (just don’t ask) or knitting on the pillow. Wonder-Mum and I then had a work/TV/wine session on my last night and I ended up with a few more ends to sew in, the seaming to do and stuffing the dear thing.

Kittylow, nearly finished.

I’m looking forward to having it on my bed!

That’s all from me for now – a rather belated WIP Wednesday post as I was on the road all day yesterday, ferrying a car-load of camping equipment, Super-Granny and my knitting across the country! From September things will calm down – just a new job to look forward to…

Much love,

Corrie xx

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August Resolutions & July Recap

I seem to be getting slightly worse at setting my resolutions on time, but that’s OK, because here you go for my August Resolutions and recaps on July.

Just in case you’re new around here or haven’t set checked out this group before, go have look at the group on Ravelry called “Resolutions Monthly“. We are fairly active, motivating and a generally nice bunch, but more voices are always appreciated. I know it has helped a lot of the members, so here is the shout-out!

July Recap

My three resolutions in July were:

  1. Finish the baby blanket
  2. Finish the Luxury Gloves
  3. Lose a dress size

I finished my baby blanket last week, which was amazing. It was a hard project, but definitely worth it. I’ve sewn in the ends etc, but it still needs to be washed and blocked. Blocking won’t make too much difference but it’s currently a nice off-white colour. Not good.

I finished the luxury gloves basically the day after I set the resolutions. This was a Good Result for me.

Luxury-Gloves-Reading

I lost some weight – but not a dress size. I’m not too disappointed, I’ve had other things on my mind with the move and so on.

August Resolutions

So this month I intend to do the following:

  1. Finish Digger
  2. Spin my purple roving with the drop spindle
  3. Make significant progress on kittylow

If you read my previous post on WIPs, you’ll have noticed that these are the three main projects I’m working on at the moment. I know we are nearly at the middle of August already, but I have made significant progress on Digger and haven’t really touched the other two projects…oops!

Digger is nearly ready to be assembled!

I’m hoping to finish sewing up Digger before next week, although I still need some safety eyes for him which I haven’t purchased yet, and then put some serious work into the other two. The drop spindle is a key element in finishing up the roving, as my spinning wheel is packed for the move already.

Kittylow in the first stages of stitching.

Tonight I’m going to my last knit and natter at Hulu, and I’m alternating between excitement and devastation. I’m extremely excited to be going back to London…but I’m very sad that I only got to be with this wonderful group of people for such a short amount of time, and I will be back to visit them in the future!

Purple-Roving

That’s it from me for today – it counts as a WIP Wednesday post too, hurrah! You can go check out more posts with Tami and Ginny, just click the links at the bottom.

Much love,

Corrie xx WIP Wednesday's with Tami's Amis

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Sidmouth Folk Festival & some news for you

I’m back from a brief holiday to Sidmouth Folk Festival. You guys hadn’t even realised I’d left, had you?! This blog post is, as a result, a lot less knitting related than normal, and I’m going to use it to catch you up to what is going to be happening around here over the next few weeks.

Sidmouth Folk Festival

JS and I have attended folk festivals for several years together, and this year we have been roped into tutoring with an organisation known as Shooting Roots. We’ve participated in Shooting Roots activities in the past, so heading on down to Sidmouth Folk Festival for a week of tutoring people on how to play folk music (JS) and how to make a band out of junk (me), was a pleasant change to a well-known theme. Morris Dancing in Sidmouth, wearing my delightful Shooting Roots t-shirt.

We had fun – I made a sort of drum thing that made the loudest noise, and a rainstick, and JS implemented jumping into a performance. We made some great friends, we did a lot of shouting and being generally loud and energetic, and we had a lot of fun! I am still reserved on the issue of camping in the rain, and will be buying a camper van as soon as the bank account says yes!

Dog-Sitting and Moving

For the next two weeks I’m dog-sitting in Devon, while trying to work out the best way to get all my knitting and spinning equipment to London. I’ve moved all the things I need to survive already (except the bread-maker, which I forgot about) and now I need the things I am going to require to live. I’m not sure how I’m going to do it – I think I’m going to have to persuade my strong man to rent a van for me…we shall see what happens!

The dog is called Alfie. He requires a lot of walking, barks at phantoms while we are watching horror films (terrifying!) and is very sweet. Here is he hiding from the phantoms after he’d scared the living daylight out of me!

Alfie is terrified by phantoms!

Towersey Village Festival

From Wednesday 21st to Tuesday 27th of August, I’ll be either preparing for, at, or recovering from tutoring with Shooting Roots at Towersey Village Festival. I’ve talked about this at length before – you can expect another radio silence from me, enforced by lack of power supplies and my computer having no residual battery life!

do have things planned for Plutonium Muffins in the mean-time. I have an exciting giveaway to launch, and I will be driving forward resolutions, as I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit this month and I need to jump back on it again. Watch this space! I would love you to leave feedback if you’re a silent reader who never says hello – I’ve met a lot of people recently who have said “I read your blog but am too scared to leave a comment”.

Digger is nearly ready to be assembled!

Why are you scared?! Pop in and say hi, or you can also head over to Facebook, Twitter or Ravelry. I love chatting, so don’t be shy!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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I’ve moved…again…some WIPS.

Don’t worry, I’m even more sick of the number of times that I’ve moved this year than you are of hearing about it! JS and I have moved to a lovely, gorgeous flat in Finsbury Park, London, which we shall be in for two years with two nice doctor men that we met at Uni…sort of, it’s a long story.

View from our new flat!

This is why I’ve been so quiet. I haven’t really been able to do much knitting (although I did finish the baby blanket! It’s in our bathroom at the moment waiting to be washed). There is so much to tell you though…

WIPS

Digger

About a year ago I started a project dedicated to Digger, my beloved old labrador. I picked it up again – it was the last WIP languishing in my WIP basket and I’ve been steaming along with it. I have finished the body and most of the head in just under three days, and I absolutely love it.

Pieces for Digger. More yellow in RL.

The pattern is “Labrador Retriever”  by Alan Dart. I love his style, and the pattern is a breeze. If you would like to try it, you have to know how to increase and decrease, mainly. I’m using K2tog, P2tog, KFB and PFB as my main methods, with a few slipped stitch decreases thrown in where I think they are necessary.

I’m using Debbie Bliss Amalfi, which is a blend with silk in it. I chose it because it matched Digger’s colouring – but once knitted up it forms this incredibly drapey, gorgeous fabric that I would love to have a jumper out of. I will be buying more. The main colour is more yellow than this picture shows, camera colours weren’t playing today.

Kittlylow

When JS and I first moved into a flat together, it was no pets allowed. We didn’t really count Archie…but JS promised me we would have a cat when we got to our next one. Well. The flat is a penthouse apartment, with no access for a cat to roam outside, which I hate the thought of, so no pets for us. I’ve been on a mission to stash-bust some of my old acrylic yarns, so I’ve started “Cat Cushion” by Rita Taylor. I will have a cat!

Spinning

I’ve also started spinning again – I bought a new, miniature spindle and plan to take it to a folk festival with me next week. I’m using some purple roving that I won from the Campaign for Wool. I’m not good with a spindle, but my spinning wheel is still inaccessible because of the move, so things can only get better!

Spinning purple roving and mini spindle.

More excitingly – the Handweavers Studio is literally a two minute walk away from me and I went to visit today. Aside from literal BAGS of roving which nearly blew my mind, they also do spinning lessons – so I’ve booked in for September 29th! I think it will make a big difference to my spinning, as I will just be a bit more confident and know if all my self-taught things are GOOD or bad. I can’t wait.

Anyway, I’d best go because we are off on holiday tomorrow and I need to pack! I’m putting PLENTY of yarn and roving in!

Much love,

Corrie xx

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Wholesome yarn goodness (and some new needles…)

Don’t tell JS…but I bought some more yarn and needles. Before you all look at me accusingly (I know I have a huge stash), it was necessary! Way back when, or about two weeks ago, I said that I was going to be knitting some mittens for TJB and Sleepy.

Sideways

I’m well into the mittens for TJB, which were the pattern “Sideways“. I’m knitting them with a gorgeous yarn, which has got the most mesmerising colours in it. The colourway is “Ultimate Mix” in Patons Colourful Twist – the mittens will match the “It Looks Like The Sea” Hatthat I made for him last year, as it’s from the second ball I bought for that project.

"It Looks Like the Sea" Hat
“It Looks Like the Sea” Hat
Sideways and Colourful Twist
Sideways and Colourful Twist

I only have half of one of these to go before I need to sew up and finish, so I had to start thinking about my next project.

Something Floral

Sleepy chose “Something Floral” for his mittens, and he chose some Artesano Superwash colours that he wanted me to do them in. However, Tommy and I have come down to Devon for a mini-break with my family* and stopped at Hulu, a yarn shop in Modbury, to have a browse. Oh. My. Goodness. I should not have gone in. Vicky has got the most amazing lace-weight and four-ply skeins that were hand-painted in Chile.

Aracunia hand-painted yarn. Beautiful.
Aracunia hand-painted yarn. Beautiful.

My fingers were absolutely itching to buy them – but after a lovely fondle, I decided I couldn’t afford it. I made my way out with some in-the-leftovers-bin Debbie Bliss slightly-more-than-four-ply that was in the colours Sleepy wanted, and some bamboo 2.25 mm dpns to replace my horrible aluminium ones which are bent and disgusting.

Today's haul.
Today’s haul.

The Debbie Bliss find was serendipitous. I was about to leave without any (shock, horror) but then I noticed the bargain bin…the yarn is the perfect colour, slightly more than the required weight (which is good as Sleepy has big hands) and it’s also Fairtrade and ecological. Ideal!

So, a successful day of shopping and driving (seven hours!), and Tommy and I have already been for a walk on the beach, had his bone stolen by Jet, one of my labradors** and are now staring out into the sunset while blogging! What a life.

Mist rising over Kent as we left early this morning.
Mist rising over Kent as we left early this morning.
Tommy is ready to get out at a pit-stop.
Tommy is ready to get out at a pit-stop.
We've arrived! Hurrah, beach!
We’ve arrived! Hurrah, beach!
View from the balcony.
View from the balcony.

Is there a skein of yarn that you would absolutely love to get your hands on?

Much love,

Corrie xx

Notes

* We had a family death over the weekend. I say this merely so you understand if I seem slightly less buoyant than usual.

** Jet and Digger are the dogs I grew up with. My gorgeous Digger was sent over the rainbow bridge over the summer, but Jet is fighting fit.

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Time to Spin!

It’s been a while — I’ve just moved house and am now commuting four hours a day, as well as trying to organise all of our (huge amount) of stuff. Eek. I’m so sorry for not having written for a while. I am a bad, bad Corrie.

Now, on to the main topic of the blog.

JS and I went to the Mudchute City Farm the other week, after finding out the news about Digger. He wanted me to get totally distracted, and it totally worked! I had a fabulous time, and saw plenty of animals!

While we were there, I noticed a huuuuge pile of fleeces that had been recently shorn and put into a store-room. I decided to email them and see if they were willing to part with them. After a number of long email discussions and some research on my part, I have been shipped two fleeces of Oxford Down shearling sheep.

I am incredibly excited. I have never spun before, but I’ve looked up how to make myself a drop spindle, how to wash the yarn and where to go from there. It may take me a while to get anywhere — but I’ve got the time and I’m really looking forward to it!

An Oxford Downs lamb at the farm <3
An Oxford Downs lamb at the farm <3

I’ve written myself a procedure for what to do once I’ve got the fleeces — I will post it soon and get some thoughts on it from more experienced spinners, then follow-up with a revised set once I’ve actually tried them out! I’m not going to have time to do it for a while, with the move, but I’m getting very excited…

Does anybody have any hints for me before I finalise my procedure doc?

Much love,

Corrie xx

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For Digger

My dog, my Kerrowmoor Gold Digger, my companion through teenagehood, died on Friday the 29th of June. Last week. Do you have any idea how strange it feels or sounds to type that?

Digger in his bed
Digger in his bed

As soon as I found out, I wanted to write a poem. I’ve been struggling with forms and styles ever since. I used to be much better at poetry, but it has been a while. The most simple was the one I liked the most. It’s a haiku.

Kerrowmoor gold dog
His final rest, the last dream
Goodbye, my Digger

Digger at the beach, getting to be an old dog
Digger at the beach, getting to be an old dog

My second reaction was that I wanted to make something. JS and I jumped out of bed (I found out early on Saturday morning) and went to John Lewis in Oxford Street. I bought 4 balls of yellow yarn that matched Digger’s colour exactly – and it was only £30 (with some grey and orange) as there was a sale on.

Playing with him as a young dog
Playing with him as a young dog

It’s taken me a few days to cast-on, although I found the pattern at around 9.30 on Saturday morning. I only did it yesterday, as I’ve been reading my boss’ wifes book “A Golden Age” and trying to get to a point where I can think about Digger without feeling a bone-aching sadness. I’m there. Almost.

We have lift-off! Cast on with Debbie Bliss Amalfi in golden labrador
We have lift-off! Cast on with Debbie Bliss Amalfi in golden labrador
The yarn that will cause this to be a labour of love.
The yarn that will cause this to be a labour of love.

So anyway, the casting-on has happened. We are all good on that front. I think I’m going to hate this yarn. It is Debbie Bliss “Amalfi” and is 70% cotton, 15% viscose, 10% linen and 5% silk. It has NO stretch. My hands hurt already, and I’ve only done two inches.

Chewing on a bone
Chewing on a bone

When I told Wonder-Mum about it, she said she would give me his collar and tag, which means the Digger will go home to Devon, and I want to get it done fairly soon. I’d like to do it before I go home next.

Sleeping in his favourite position
Sleeping in his favourite position

I’ll keep you updated on it, as always. I’m plotting my next big project. Can’t choose between finishing Draco for Grumpy, or making myself a shawl. What do you think?

Much love,

Corrie

Making new friends on Dartmoor
Making new friends on Dartmoor
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The Blanket is Finished!

On Sunday night, I finished the BDCH KAL dogs blanket. Hurrah! Download the pattern here.

Folded up and ready to go.
Folded up and ready to go.
Opened up and glorious.
Opened up and glorious.
Close-Up of the Paws.
Close-Up of the Paws.

It was good timing. My dog, a beautiful and amazing labrador with the biggest heart – and head! – I’ve ever known, laid down for his final sleep with my dad and his vet by his side on Friday night.

I spent much of the day on Saturday being highly emotional, and well-looked after by JS. There was no progress on the knitting front, though I did buy some golden yarn to make a stuffed toy. We are going to put Digger’s collar and tag on that.

Rest in Peace, Digger.
Rest in Peace, Digger.

Anyway, back to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Now that the blanket is finished, we are going to take it in by hand and meet some of the dogs there. I’ll probably do it on Saturday morning, before we go down to Kent.

Sarah also finished hers, and has already posted it off. I’m so excited about it. I hope you’ve enjoyed following us. If we’ve tempted anyone else to get involved, I encourage it whole-heartedly. It’s one of the best projects I’ve ever done.

What should I work on next?

Much love,

Corrie xx

PS Things at work are getting busy again, so I might cut down on my blogging schedule. I know how many times I’ve said that in the past, so we will see what happens.

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