Working Wednesday #4

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . This is the current state of play with the projects I’ve worked on this week:

  • Golden spikes jumper: completed. But the unseasonably warm weather means it’s too warm to wear it yet! I’m a little unsure about the rather tight sleeves, but until it has been worn for a while, I won’t know whether I need to make some adjustments (i.e. knit new, wider sleeves).
  • The 4-ply Skeleton hat: completed. Pattern needs to be typed up.
  • Honeycomb cables socks: completed (and on my feet). An interesting project, but not one I will be repeating.
  • A snailvaark is underway. This is a gift that I have been intending to make for a few weeks. I’ve done the knitting for the shell, but it needs grafting. The body is not yet started.
  • I’ve been asked to make a turtle, but apart from finding a suitable pattern, I haven’t actually started on it yet.

Next week: a different colour?

So that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?




Stop and go

To amuse himself whilst I have been searching for string (a quest that may finally be over), Mr Snail has been animating one of my creations…

Not bad for a first go… I think we should expect more

Busy hands

Somehow, I haven’t managed to put fingers to keyboard for nearly three weeks. Although I haven’t been writing, I have been “doing”. So as a gentle return to blog posting, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been up to…

I’ve finished the hoodie – several times! First, I decided it was too short. So, I put a stripy border on it, but it looked like an afterthought (which, to be fair, it was). I unravelled that and worked a new border in the mixed yarn to match. All done and worn a couple of times before Sam decided to eat the wooden toggles off it when I left it on the bed. New glass toggles bought, and attached and I’m hoping that’s the last time I need to finish it! Of course, as soon as it was completed it for the final time the weather warmed up and it’s been in a cupboard since!

With the warmer weather and all the lovely space in the limery, I have been busy with seed sowing. The peppers, chillies and tomatoes planted earlier in the year are growing, but now there’s lots of pots and trays that we’re watching with avid interest for the first signs of green shoots. Amongst other things, I’ve planted melons, broad beans, coriander, oregano, parsley, courgettes, lettuces and mizuna. There are potatoes chitting and the perennials, including the passion fruit, are growing well. The sunny days have been accompanied by frosty nights, so only a little salad has been sown outside for the time being.

On the craft front, I’ve learned how to crochet star stitch and made a dishcloth to practise; I’m working on a pair of stripy socks; I’ve made another crochet snailvaark; I’ve made several mousevaarks from old socks and given several of them away as gifts; I’ve tested out a crochet pattern from my new friend, Danielle, at The Make It Shop; I’ve sourced jute for my crochet bird roosting pouch kits (on sale soon); and I continue to add a row here and there to the crochet sofa cover.

And then, I’ve also carried on with my letter writing – using real pen and paper. If you’d like a real letter from me, send me your postal address and I will write to you (can’t promise how soon though).

And then, I’ve been doing the laundry, because I’ve finally started sorting the vintage linen hankies and other bits and bobs I’ve been given. I’ve washed and ironed some of the handkerchiefs and I’m currently in the process of describing them and photographing them ready for listing on etsy. It’s very time-consuming, but I really want them to find homes where they will be treasured.

So what with all that and the swimming and working (yes, I still do that too!), the last few weeks have just slipped away…

However, more regular blogging will now resume!

The birth of a ‘vaark

With the immediate success of snailvaark, and the almost-as-immediate request from Danielle-inventor-of-the-mousevaark for a snailvaark of her own, I was carried along on a wave of creativity. This, in combination with the foul weather on Saturday lead to me and snailvaark #1 running a live ‘birth of a snailvaark’ on Twitter. What do you mean, you missed it? OK, I know Twitter isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so here is a look at how our day went…

First, we headed to the limery with a all the necessary materials:


I bet you’ve forgotten something!

And then I started on the shell:


This doesn’t look anything like my shell

The first half progressed quite quickly and I moved on to picking up the stitches for the second half:


Well that looks more promising

And by lunchtime the knitting was done


Are you sure it isn’t going to be a butterfly?

The next bit is tricky – grafting


Apparently snailvaark does not like needles

And inserting the skeleton… hang on, where is the skeleton?


So, no needles, but you’ll balance a skeleton on your nose?

Finally I was able to continue grafting, stuffing and inserting the pipe-cleaner skeleton


This looks complicated

And snailvaark found some new friends who were watching the Six Nations rugby:


‘Come on Wales!’ What do you mean ‘This is France-Italy’?

Finally, the shell was complete:


OK, this is the ‘snail’ but where’s the ‘vaark?

And I made a start on the body:


You begin with the nose

It grows


Apparently embryonic ‘vaarks wear jewellery!

and grows


A ‘vaark bust

Until it starts to be recognised by other ‘vaarks


‘Hello… I said HELLO’… oh, sorry, no ears yet

And after a while there’s a body and a separate ‘vaark bottom


We can rebuild him!

All the knitting and crochet is nearly done – we just need some ears


Can you see the family resemblance yet?

For a ‘vaark stand up. it needs a heavy bottom, so they are filled with rice. To avoid unfortunate, embarrassing accidents, a little bag is employed:


No, snailvaark, that is not a snack

It is inserted into the base of the ‘vaark


Not looking!

And once the base is attached, the shell can be stitched on and the button nose added:


Oh look, snailvaarks are born blind and deaf

Crochet ears and button eyes soon follow, and ‘voila’ there’s a finished snailvaark


A new ‘vaark is born


Welcome to my world!


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