not your average zoe

life, love and knitting

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tadaa! knitted puppet

As usual (I love that I wrote that, it’s merely a 2 year tradition), Stepson and I made boxes for Operation Shoebox to send across the world as a parcel of love for those in need.  He chose a 10-14year old boy, and I prepared a box for a 5-9year old girl.

As part of my box I knitted up a pattern from their site, a puppet in the vague shape of a teddy bear, and tadaa! Here it is!

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Have you completed any projects recently?



Ad fontes

Today I have the privilege of working with Pia from Noget Uldent!

New summer #hair, thanks to my lovely mum!

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Isn’t she just beautiful?  She’s written us a guest post all about her need to “do” and, sister, I’m with ya…

So here we go.  Enjoy!  (and if you do, make sure to pop over to her blog and tell her so)


Here’s something you may or may not know about me: I like doing things from scratch. I’m willing to go a step back in any process at least once and thankfully I found a man just as odd as me. This translates into our cooking, breads and pastas are all made from scratch, as is pretty much anything else that goes on in our kitchen.

The 2014 Jelly Making is now officially done! We got 2ltr. Juice and 11 glasses..

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#rhubarb crumble.. Nom nom

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It translates to my field of study as well, as a theology student, I labour over Old Testament Hebrew, New Testament Greek and the Latin of the church fathers, to words that have in a sense become a lifestyle for me: ad fontes and it doesn’t stop there.

#knitting waves and studying 1 Timothy in Greek… #knistagram #knittersofinstagram

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In a pursuit of a more natural, simple and in many ways minimalistic life, I’m on a lifelong journey  towards becoming an old-fashioned generalist, instead of the prevailing specialists of our day and age. As knitters (or crocheters and weavers) we have the almost magical ability to make cloth. This skill allows us to clothe ourselves and our loved ones, in a way that is off limits to those not in the know. Once upon a time, this was a valuable skill, a skill everyone possessed, a life securing skill. Today it’s a recreational activity, but valuable nonetheless. Knitting allows us to take a step back, in creating our own clothes we are in a sense liberated.

Knitting is, however, only the first step back in a long sequence guiding us back to the animal or the plant. Spinning is the next step, then comes preparing the fibre ourselves, harvesting the fibre and finally raising the fibre. Every one of these steps allows us a closer connectivity to the land and  speaking as the theology student I am, to our creator.

The worst part of #spinning #yarn is the 24h or so wait before you should #ply…

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With every step mastered comes a sense of empowerment and joy. As we move ever closer to the source we make the circle of our activities smaller. We gain control over how our fibre is raised and processed, we gain the knowledge to pass on to the next generation and I fully believe we gain a deeper appreciation for our crafts.

It can be challenging to take the next step back and your journey will be different than mine that much I’m sure of. We live in a world where we don’t have to do everything ourselves and if you don’t enjoy spinning, then please don’t do it. After all it is in deed a recreational activity we are talking about here, you and yours will be clothed no matter what. I do, however, strongly encourage you to look at where you are in you fibre journey and find out what the next step back for you would be. Now that you’ve gained that awareness, then please take the leap and try it hands on. You may find that your love of your craft just just rose to a unexpected new level.

Enjoying a #spinning break from all the studying 🙂

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So now it’s your turn.  Share in the comments where you are and what the next step back towards the source is for you!

A happy #brunch monster

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Thanks Pia!

Please note that all photos are Pia’s from her Instagram account and I just picked the pretty ones I felt fitted – I hold no personal copyright for them, nor do I claim to.

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Knitting and making list

My mind is whirring with creative projects at the moment those for family (as dictated on the family holiday), those for friends having babies, and Christmas gifts.  Not to mention a few for actual ME!

So my brain doesn’t pop and I can orgainse my thoughts I have had to make a list (yippee!).  It means I now have 3 knitting projects for my in-laws alongside 6 Christmas projects for them.  I also have 4 baby projects (2 on the needles), 18 tree decoration gifts, the blanket squares I mentioned before that need sewing up, 5 Christmas presents I hope to knit, and 2 December birthday presents.  –ahem–

So to combat all this, I’ve decided to share some of the projects I lOvE and want to do the second 1.1.15 hits!

First we have the leaving cowl.  I already have some amazing grey SkeinQueen yarn lined up for this:


The “I’ll never finish, not afford the yarn” project, by Yellocosmo

The “I love the yellow” cardigan, by the amazing Georgie Hallam



and finally (for now) the amazing hap blanket by knitting legend in her own lifetime Ysolda Teague,

because who doesn’t need 12 blankets (yes I’ve made 11…)


What are you lusting over at the moment?

Please note I do not own the copyright for any of these pictures.  I have lovingly slurped the photos from Ravelry, and clicking on the images above should take you to the Ravelry pattern pages.


WIP Wednesday – blanket

Since about April/May my knitting group and I (at my request) have been making 8″ squares out of acrylic to form a lap blanket for a Retirement home.

This was triggered by my being donated 2 bin liners full of acrylic by a daughter-in-law whose mother-in-law had been a crafter, and had just gone into a home.

Husband spent a happy (?) time photographing the completed squares – next step would be for me to sew them together!






























summer of bunting

I love Vero – tweet her @vero – and her pattern for making a bunting penant.  So much so that I have now made 2 strings of my own, and contributed to the Skein Queen Surprise bunting too.

I made the first and showed you earlier this summer, but here it is again:


bunting for a baby girl.

Then my niece saw it and my yarn and spent a happy half hour (that’s ages for a 5 years and 1 week year old!) picking colours for her bunting from my stash.  Then asked me to make it… [PS I’m one of those people that has their stash about them, stash is for petting, stash is for life.  Not to be caged in plastic boxes….].  I added the stripes to the orange all on my own (*blush* why thank you!) to mingle the patterned penants and add extra colour… and stop boredom…. and use up stash…

So here we are!


Some of the multiple reasons for loving this pattern:

  • it’s free
  • it’s portable
  • it’s not a complicated pattern so I can knit the penants at knitting meet ups without goofing up.
  • it’s not socks which seems to be a popular choice for porable projects
  • it is stash-busting
  • it is postable

I hope she likes it – she loves pink, but I didn’t have any that coordinated in stash, and I just wanted to make a £0 outlay gift for her (ok, I spent £2.80 on postage).  August for supply teachers is a l-e-e-e-a-n time.

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Summer 2014 in photos, Week 3

More smoothies;





a trip to the vet;


more knitting;



including teaching my week-away-from-5-at-the-time niece how to knit! [Did not make her, she begged!]



time non holidaywith my inlaws,








The rabbit got lots of love, and coped admirably! [probably due to the amount of kale/lettuce/carrot they fed him]


listening to my audiobooks from the library,

volunteering for this summer’s Reading challenge at the Library,

and finally getting new carpet to finish the hall/stairs/landing!