My Own Personal Unicorn

I’ve had the house to myself for most of the day, so I finished a project that has been hanging around since last Christmas. It’s a rather sweet needle felted unicorn, made from a kit I received as a gift. It was my first attempt at needle felting.

To a point, these kits are a bit of a cheat. If you were making this from scratch you’d make a skeleton or armature and needle felt over that, but this kit came with a polystyrene base, so it was just a case of making the legs and ears, covering the body/head shape and felting it all together. The instructions were not great: a sheet of tiny photographs and no explanatory text. Once I’d worked out what to do, I found there’s something very satisfying about wielding that felting needle, especially if you are in a bad mood. I did learn that getting carried away has its drawbacks however. If you miss it really hurts. Also, those needles break really easily.

The most fiddly part was the unicorn’s horn. This involved twisting some of the purple fibres and a white thread around a short piece of pipe cleaner and securing it with hot glue. I went for a more free-flowing mane and tail than the one on the box illustration, so they don’t look that similar. You finish it off with embroidered eyelashes. I love putting the eye on a toy or animal. I always take a lot of care getting the placement right – it seems to be the most important thing that brings it to life. I rather like it!

When I’d finished I looked out the window and there were seven collared doves in one of the trees in our garden. They usually seem to gather when it’s stormy to shelter from the weather. These three looked particularly cosy with their feathers all fluffed up.

I didn’t stay in the house all day: I nipped out to pick son up from Alnmouth Golf Club at Foxton and parked up with my knitting while I waited for him. I had a great view over the golf course towards Coquet Island. Being Mum’s Taxi does sometimes have its compensations!

Back home, Unicorn is now sitting in pride of place. I need to think of a suitable name for him/her. Any suggestions?

What a Difference a Week Makes

How the weather has changed since I posted this time last week in the same place. The rain has stopped and the temperature has dropped. While K walked the dog I put my knitting on a picnic table while I took photos – It was freezing, so I was soon back in the car to get on with my knitting before my fingers got numb.

The body of the poncho cape has grown and I’m really enjoying putting the different blue tones together. I’ve just joined in the turquoise colour you can see on the left – it is an oddment left over from the Valdres Sweater. The number of stitches is increasing rapidly, so I’m about to change to circular needles. You can see how this needle is absolutely crammed.

Last week’s breakers have washed up loads of kelp, The sea is a lot calmer now and it’s so good to have sunshine and blue sky. Coquet Island was clearly visible this week now the rain and fog have gone. The island is an important nesting site for the Roseate Tern – one of our rarest breeding seabirds. Other species breed there too, notably the Puffin.

Even though it was only about 2pm, the sun was very low in the sky, but then it is December. It made the Aln Estuary look beautiful.

I really do knit by the sea!

a spot of seaside knitting today.

It finally stopped raining so I joined K and the dog at Alnmouth today. I’m not good at walking on sand so decided to take a few pics for the blog. I love to sit and watch the sea (sometimes knitting at the same time). The view changes so rapidly. The carpark at Alnmouth overlooks the beach so it’s a perfect vantage point. We love it in the winter as there are fewer picnickers (Buddy the labrador is very greedy).

The sea was rough today and the tide was in. Usually there is a good view of Coquet Island from here but the weather was too murky to see it.

Tank traps from WWII

The waves have washed a lot of sand away and the old tank traps are easy to see here. These concrete cubes are found at lots of places along this coast – they were defences against enemy landing craft, left over from World War Two. Today some children were having fun climbing on them. In summer they are a great place to dry wet swimming towels, but nobody was venturing into the water today!

I’m on the next stage of the stash busting blues project, having done lots of maths last night to work out the transition from the collar to the body and the shaping increases for the next part of the pattern. It’s pretty straightforward for the rest of it if all goes to plan, so it was bliss to just be mesmerised by the waves and get on with my knitting!