Christmas

Mousey Update

Lots of people have been asking for an update on my little pet fancy mouse, Acacia. Last week we believed that she was suffering with mites but as the week has gone on we have begun to doubt this as the treatment hasn’t worked and, despite not treating her sister, Cloud has not had any symptoms at all. Our mice are nearly 17 months old which is pretty elderly (most mice only live around 12 – 18 months with a few making it to their second birthday). Older mice are very prone to illness and our poor little Acacia has developed a sensitivity to protein in her diet. Just recently they have been receiving a lot of mealworms and sunflower seeds as treats and this can cause ‘hot spots’; incredibly itchy patches on the back of the neck.

Mr B has done some research and Acacia has been moved into a separate ‘hospital tank’ which is quite sad as this has resulted in Cloud being left on her own as well. Her diet has been simplified down to freshly cooked brown rice. Apparently rice or oats are a good basic diet as they are nutritious and allergies are incredibly rare. With the aid of Johnsons Tea Tree Cream she is, perhaps, starting to show some improvement. We’re having to make special efforts to ensure they socialise together for a bit each day as I’m concerned that integrating them back into the same cage might cause fights – but we’ll have to see what happens. In the meantime, things are moving slowly. The plan is to start mixing our own mouse food and introduce new ingredients to Acacia one at a time so we can judge what she might be sensitive to. I’ll try to remember to keep updating folks here as I know people have been worried.

In knitting news, this week I took my market stall to Coldharbour Mill‘s Christmas Fayre and Steam Day. Coldharbour Mill is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK. They have an amazing display of spinning machines and steam engines. It’s one of my favourite places to visit – I work there a lot in my other guise as part of Flotsam the Fool’s Circus Workshops. I had an amazing day meeting lots of interesting and friendly people. I do hope that every one is happy with their purchases. I made a Rainbow Unicorn to be the highlight of my stall – he’ll be available to buy at my Etsy Shop very soon.

I have finished the Rabbit and the Lamb and posted them off to America. The customer bought the Alpaca last month and is planning on giving all four Fuzzy animals to her daughter for Christmas. It’s yet another case of having to wait and see what the final recipient thinks of her gifts. I’m very impatient – I really hope she likes them.

In the meantime I have also made a funky Owl Tea Bag Hat. I love this hat, I have one of my own although mine was one of my first attempts at doing any colourwork and I have to smile when I look at it now as I can see what I did wrong. I didn’t use the Intarsia technique, I stranded the yarn across the back which wouldn’t have been so bad except, for some reason, I wrapped it round every stitch resulting in the face being all bunched up. I love it anyway! It reminds me how far I’ve come, and, a hat’s a hat, it keeps my head warm! This hat was made ultimately for a friend of a friend. She is apparently an expert on owls, she writes nature columns in the paper and is publishing a book on owls in February. I hope she’s wearing my hat when she’s doing her signings!! Although I think she’ll have trouble identifying the species.

Owl Hat

My final finished project for this week is a hippopotamus! I sold a fox last month and the customer immediately came back and asked if I could make a hippo. I have wanted to make some wild/safari animals so I jumped at the opportunity to create this pattern. I’m quite pleased with the final result – hopefully the customer will be too!

Hippo

This week I’m working on creating a Staffordshire Bull Terrier for a customer who wants a toy version of her pet dog as a gift for her son. I have only ever made Border Collies before so it has proven to be a bit of a challenge. Even with a Staffie pattern sorted I’ve been struggling to get the markings right. I have all the pieces made, although I might need to redo a leg or two, but I’m hoping to sew it and stuff it today. Wish me luck!

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