Category Archives: hamsters


Thank you to everyone for the kind words on my bag, they were greatly appreciated.

I am feeling really good today and put it down to my new diet. I had a really really busy day yesterday as I was in university all day. Yet although having a lie in today (and expecting to have to spend the day in bed) I just couldn’t lie around doing nothing. I felt I had to get up and do stuff. So if i feel like this every week, Saturday will officially be Craft day. I can do uni work on Sunday and Monday and have Saturday solely for knitting and sewing.

To make things better the Six Nations has started, so I get 3 rugby matches a weekend to watch. My plans for this Saturday are:

Finish Miss Bean for my Hot Cocoa Swap pal

Start the body of Cobblestone for Karl

Work on my Carpet bag Well worth looking at the one’s that Lisa (shop owner) links to. They are amazing and the reason I chose to make this pattern.

Karl has just popped out to Tesco’s but when he gets back I’m going to see if he can take some pictures of me modelling my finished Central Park Hoodie. I wore it to uni yesterday and although it was a really cold day, I was nicely snug. I love weather like that as I get to wrap up in handknits and not be cold. I was really wearing the hand knits yesterday, I had 4 hand knits on: Foliage hat, Clapotis scarf (knit with the oh-so-soft Malabrigo), Monkey socks (knit with Fleece Artist Seawool, from my Monkey Swap pal) and my Central Park Hoodie. I did notice however that I am lacking in some handknit mittens. I have some orange and brown DK yarn that I am thinking of using for the Squirrel & Oak mittens from Hello Yarn.

We have new additions to the family too, yesterday we got two female roborovski hamsters. Haven’t got any pictures yet, but we will be adding to their cage tomorrow (we didn’t want to overwhelm then with huge cage at first, so let them settle into a just the base unit for a couple of day) so photos should be posted then. They are so sweet and Karl and I both came up with the same names for them. I had thought of Sugar and Spice but decided to let Karl choose the names, as I came up with the names for the gerbils, and whilst walking to bus stop last night he said, “shall we call then Sugar and Spice?”

Ok, back to Miss Bean and the Rugby – perfect!

feeling better


Thank-you to everyone that sent me well wishes, I’ve a couple of good days lately so fingers crossed!

I have been busy with the knitting and sewing though, my tank top just needs the side seams seaming, I started a baby jacket for a swap pal’s baby which just needs the arms sewn in (do you sense I hate seaming) and have started a new sock with some alpaca sock yarn from a swap pal. On the sewing front, I have made a lovely pink bag, which I think I will gift to my swap pal to use as a small project bag. I was unsure if I was going to gift this when I started to make it as I hadn’t made this pattern before and wasn’t sure how it would turn out – but I am pleased with the result.

We have a strange hamster situation going on, last night Karl went to get Mr Bob out to put him in our new hamster toy (a hamster playpen – so simple, yet so genius) and he appeared dead. It was late so Karl put him back in his cage, and was planning on burying him today.  Karl went back to the cage today to get Mr Bob ready for burial, but although he is unresponsive, he just doesn’t look dead. He is still soft and floppy (unlike prevous dead hamsters who look dead and are very hard and stiff) and just doesn’t look like other dead hamsters – we are wondering if he is in hibernation. We’ve put him in a much warmer room and will leave him overnight – if he is still unresponsive but soft and not looking dead tomorrow, I think I will pop to the vet to ask them. There are so many stories of hiberbating hamsters being buried that I don’t want to risk it. If we hadn’t have seen other dead hamsters we probably wouldn’t be worrying but he just looks wrong for a dead hamster.

I hope to take some photos of the wips and fo’s tomorrow and post them

and the winner is….


  There are three winners to announce
1st prize – the names chosen for our Chinese hamsters
2nd prize – the names I really really wanted them to be called but Karl wasn’t so keen, but as I loved the names so much I’m giving a prize
3rd prize – random prize draw winner

1st prize goes to Adee and the hamsters are now called

Itchy & Scratchy

Karl is a HUGE Simpson’s fan, well done!

2nd prize goes to Rosie for suggesting Bam & Boo
I loved this idea, as it has the oriental theme as well as a knitting theme. I’ve knit with a bamboo blend once but the yarn was so so soft.

3rd prize (drawn from my notions case, I was going to use a hamster ball but they were in the cupboard and all my dyeing was in the way) goes to Sophie.

Hamster Drawing, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

I will e-mail you all in turn to let you know what of the the prizes is still available. 1st place gets 1st choice etc.

well done to everyone, we’ve had great fun looking at your suggestions!

Animals, contest and toys!


Lots has been happening here but I’ve been so tired that I haven’t had the energy to blog about it all. A couple of days after Rufus died we lost another hamster. We are not bad owners I promise, he was 2 and half and died very suddenly. Literally one minute we saw him running around the cage about an hour later went to go give the hamsters some veg and he was dead. It was a real shock. Our other Roboroski hamster (his brother) is very frail and loosing his hair (although seems fine in himself, is eating fine and still runs on his wheel like a maniac) and we have been keeping an eye on him as he is so frail, but the his brother appeared perfectly fine.

Friday I had to go to the sorting office to pick up a parcel I had to pay customs on (some Lanaset dyes, can’t wait to give them a go) and this means walking past the pet store – not a safe thing to do with Karl, especially on pay day! We have four new additions to our family – 2 Chinese hamsters and 2 gerbils. We have named the gerbils Sooty and Sweep. Sooty is a ginger colour (just the puppet) and Sweep is black. We have yet to name the Chinese Hamsters – this is where you dear readers come in. I’m going to set a contest – choose names for our 2 new Chinese hamsters. I will post pictures tomorrow as need Karl to hold them whilst I snap. Karl and I will choose the winner (which will be our favourite name) but I will also choose a runner up randomly – so everyone is in with a chance, regardless of mine and Karl’s name preference. So, you want to know what you can win – I will post pictures of sock yarn from my stash you can choose from tomorrow, or if you don’t fancy any of that, you can choose something from my shop (at any update, the prize won’t have a time limit) or I will dye something specially for you.

To enter all you need to do is leave your answer in a comment to over the next 7 days. I will announce the winners 12th September.

Although I’ve been tired I have been knitting, in fact I have some FOs (again will post pictures tomorrow.) I finished the Lola Bunny and This Little Piggy, and have cast on for the Pirate Panda. I have also cast on the Hoodie for Harvey. Its going to take a while but I have until xmas so no rush.

I joined the Rugby World Cup knitalong over on Raverly and my project is the Deep V Argyle Vest. I’m hoping to complete it during the tournament. It is easy enough to do whilst watching TV but complicated enough to keep my attention. I also joined the 3rd round of the Monkey Sock Swap – I love knitting this pattern and am looking forward to deciding which yarn to use etc.

I have my appointment the first of my tests in London, my 24hr blood pressure monitor will be fitted on 17th Sept at 1130. I’m strangely excited about this as I get to visit Stash Yarns. In the past my regular check-up appointments have always fallen during their summer holiday, but this time they will be open. I think I may have to do some retail therapy.


Our rescue hamster Rufus passed away last night 😦 He took a turn for the worst yesterday afternoon, and was really weak and beginning to look poorly, we knew it was touch and go whether he would last the weekend and it appears he passed away in his sleep over night. We knew little of his history when we took him in but wanted to make up for the appalling treatment he had had from his previous owners. I like to think that he enjoyed his short time with us and it helped to make up for his mistreatment earlier on. This has in know way put us off adopting rescue hamsters, and I am glad that is was us that took him in and not a small child who’s first pet he may have been. Our only concern is that he had extremely bad diarrhoea yesterday and hamsters are prone to a condition called wet tail which is highly contagious (although only passed on through direct contact). We will be keeping a close eye on the others over the next few days as we had them all out in their balls on Friday.

On another sad note a friend of my mum’s passed away last night too, she had been suffering from cancer for a while but after her last course of chemo was told she had another few years left. She made it to her birthday (a few weeks ago) and then seemed to go down hill rapidly. I like to think that Rufus is somewhere with her keeping her company.

Recently many knitters have been complaining of startitis and the inability to settle on one project, this seems to have reached me now. I can’t seem to find a project that embraces me fully. I cast on the minisweater/boobholder and have been knitting on that fine hoping to wear it to London on Wednesday, but still don’t feel the love for the knitting, its all about the finished object. I’ve lost my sock mojo for the moment too. I’m trying to find a project that encompasses my attention fully and where the knitting is as important as the outcome. I also want to find an project that holds my attention and allows me to be fully immersed in it, to take to London on Wednesday. Last year I had a really really long wait to see the doctor at the hospital and I was wanting something that will allow me to immerse myself in knitting and a) make the time not seem so long and b) take my attention of the consult to come. I’m a pretty impatient person and get really antsy about waiting for things, which can’t be good the blood pressure, which is the main thing they test for when they see me. They take my blood pressure in both my arms and try to take it in both legs but this can prove a mammoth task. I have quite a large circumference around my thighs, they often have to connect two blood pressure cuffs together to get a reading and my calf are almost triangular, causing the top part of the cuff to inflate to a good pressure but the bottom part still to low in pressure but as they increase the pressure even more the cuff rips open. It is actually quite amusing to see how each different doctor tries to over come these hurdles every year without saying out right “I’m sorry Miss Copeman your legs are just too big”.

Susan from I’m knitting as fast as I can is having a 50% sale on her lace patterns for her birthday. I had two of the three so indulged and just got the third (Mountain Stream Scarf). I’m hoping that this small challenging project will be the perfect antidote to hours in the waiting room. Waiting to see the doctor can be stressful and emotional in many ways. There are always some very sick people there which would normally not upset me that much (i’m become accustomed to it through working in hospitals for 7+ years) but because I am there a patient and not a member of staff it has an effect on me. It can also be quite liberating in a way as it does make me realise how lucky I am; i lead a reasonably normal life and have never really had my heart condition stop me doing what I wanted (except getting a tattoo and several piercings, and with my phobia needles I doubt I would have had the courage anyway) and still doesn’t really. This mix of emotions, along with the stress of not knowing the consult (which is usually followed with great relief that all is fine, well, it had been for the past 3 years but only time will tell this year) makes this day tiring not only physically but also emotionally.

I have a busy day tomorrow get the yarn and roving purchased from the shop packaged up and then its off to the post office. I also have to order some more yarn blanks and plan the next dyeing session. I have already have some BFL roving coming but my keep some of that for myself as it is supposed to be a great learning fibre and I only have merino roving to go with my drop spindle. I will probably just get another 400g of both merino and wool/nylon sock yarn and dye up some different colours. Once I have a gallery of colours I will then be able to take custom orders, but for the time being I’ll just dye them and list them on etsy.

I’d better go I have a lace scarf to cast on and my fave program to watch.

H is for hamsters


Hamsters, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

We love our hamsters and have had quite a few over the past four years.
Our now gone but still loved hamsters are:
Buffy and Faith (Russian Dwarves)
Bubble and Squeak (Winter Whites)
Pepper (Syrian)
Mrs Bob (Russian Dwarf)

Our present spoiless:
Mr Magoo (Roboroski)
Little ‘un (Roboroski)
Mr Bob (Russian Dwarf)
Dangles (Syrian)
Rufus (Long-haired Syrian)

The photos show a selection of our past and present little furries along with some of their great Rotastak cages.

I missed a few days of blogging this meme due to tiredness (what’s new) so have skipped a few letters to catch up.

Introducing Rufus


Rufus, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

We decided we fancied getting another hamster so took a trip to the pet store where we discovered they now have small animals to adopt from Wood Green Animal Shelter. Sitting in a little cage was Rufus. He was abandoned outside a public toilet 😦 and we realised that we had just had to take him home. He is the sweetest friendliest hamster and oh so cute! We are not sure of his age but he is very active and loves his ball. It is hard to believe that people can be so cruel and mean. I understand that due to circumstances people need to have animals rehomed but there is no excuse for just abandoning them.

Unfortunately Mrs Bobs babies didn’t survive – we …


Unfortunately Mrs Bobs babies didn’t survive – we are not sure why but in her infinite wisdom she ate them. I know it gross but is actually quite common. We believe it is probably because she was such a young mother that she couldn’t look after them. Although we didn’t intially plan on breeding her and Mr Bob we have decided that in the new year we will probably try again. We did however complain to the pet store that i bough them from saying how we bought them as two males and they gave us a FREE cage, and not just any old cage any cage we wanted – after some deliberation we went for the Rotastak Creepy Castle. We already have one of these with two of our roborovski’s in, but as we already had all the other rotastaks they had Karl chose the Creepy Castle (probably because parts of it glow in the dark)

I have been busy knitting my Xmas gifts. I completed the second of my stepdads bed socks and also managed to finish my mums hat. I also completed another two washcloths. FO pictures soon.

So whats left:

  • gloves for mum (to match hat and scarf)
  • Sock for stepdad (father and son socks form IK Fall 06)
  • Second bed sock for mum
  • Washcloths
  • Lavender bathbombs

I can’t see it being a problem as I can knit up until xmas eve, what is worrying me however is that the yarn for my Shetland Shawl will arrive very soon and it is going to take alot of willpower to not cast on and knit that instead.

I received an e-mail today saying that the Sock Hop yarn I ordered has been despatched. I can’t wait for it to arrive. I plan on using two of the skeins to make a pair of RPMs.

Whilst reading socks-for-mum I learnt about Stranded – the colorwork challenge. I had been thinking about learning colorwork as one of my new years resolutions and this is just the help I need. I joined up right away. I am looking for a simple beginners pattern, something small like socks, mittens or a hat. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I have my eye on the Fiesta Mittens and I love all of these Red Bird Knits socks. I found the Red Bird Knits website today, they have the most wonderful sock patterns. Talking of colourwork there is lovely free pattern for a hat over on brooklyntweed. This is definetely on my to-do list.

The rain appears to have quitened down now so I shall try to get some sleep before Uni tomorrow and 3hrs of genetics. I feel a LARGE eggnog latte with extra shot being needed.

Hamster Babies & Books


I was planning on a nice photoladen post today but…the hamster appears to have gone into labour, so now is not the best time to start with the flash photography. However, I did find this here and it seemed kinda interesting.

1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end.
4. Tag!

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald – on to read list
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee on to read list
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (this sounds so good too)
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (movie soon too!)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) – J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien (lort trilogy though)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
1984 – George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) – J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – on to read list
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) – J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) – J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) – J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson (i own it and have lent it to 2 of my friends. i still haven’t though)
The Secret History – Donna Tartt

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) – J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – on to read list
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) – Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides – read 1/3 then lost the book and never got back to it
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – on to read list
The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Unberable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland

The Nature of Blood – Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules -Ed. David Sedaris
I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb
Empire Falls – Richard Russo
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley – Adam Cohen & Elizabeth Taylor
Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

Anna Karenin – Leo Tolstoy
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Highest Tide – Jim Lynch
44 Scotland Street- Alexander Mcall Smith

I didn’t realise how many books I had read, although I average a novel a fortnight it always surprises when I actually think about the amount of books of I have read, especially as there is probably twice as many again that I just haven’t had the time or opportunity to read.

Tomorrow I plan to make my first batch of handmade soap, and I have ordered the ingredients to make bath bombs too. All the females in my family will be receiving lavender soap, lavender bath bomb and a purple washcloth. Luckily I won’t see then until after xmas as the soap will only just be cured in time for xmas. Oh well, lets hope it will be worth the wait.

I’m off to go see what exactly is happening in the hamster cage.