Badger Makes

I made a thing


Making things is my thing.
I’m very much hooked on knitting, but I taught myself to crochet a few years ago and it’s something that I can take or leave, it’s fiddly and I don’t care much for how crochet fabric looks in garments. But, it’s amazing for making toys and bags and things like that.

So when m’husband and I joined the twitter exodus for Mastodon I remembered seeing a crochet pattern for a mammoth, and yes I know that they weren’t the same thing, but close enough for a toy made of yarn…

A month of fiddle-arseing around and counting rounds and putting off the making up (because it’s my least favourite part of any project, I finished off the yet unnamed mastodon for m’husband.

I may make another sometime, but right now I have my eyes on a badger pattern that is making my fingers itch.

Badger Writes

What’s the deal with all the badger stuff?

Badger was the first online identity I chose back in the 90’s when we were first getting online and the internet was an adventure, and it’s pretty much stuck with me over the last 30 years.

Way back in the ancient mists of time when I was a mere slip of a lad, I wasn’t like other boys. I read obsessively, I never really had the knack for making or keeping friends and other kids baffled me. One of the books I was obsessed with was The Wind in the Willows (something to pick up later, but I think this may have been the seeds of my vague affinity for the interwar period/aesthetic). I loved the book, but I identified most with Mr Badger. Toad was fun, but alarming, Ratty far too sporty and far too like those boys who I liked but who were unattainable to me, Mole sweet but dim, but Badger, well Badger was a gruff kindly, loner sort, but open to pleasant company. The description of his home sang to me, (oddly much in the same way Bag End did when I discovered The Hobbit in my early teens)

The floor was well-worn red brick, and on the wide hearth burnt a fire of logs, between two attractive chimney-corners tucked away in the wall, well out of any suspicion of draught. A couple of high-backed settles, facing each other on either side of the fire, gave further sitting accommodations for the sociably disposed

The ruddy brick floor smiled up at the smoky ceiling; the oaken settles, shiny with long wear, exchanged cheerful glances with each other; plates on the dresser grinned at pots on the shelf, and the merry firelight flickered and played over everything without distinction.

Wind in the Willows, chapter IV Mr Badger

How those words spoke to the future middle aged man in my preteen heart I have no idea, but that idea of home has stayed with me my entire life. And as I sit writing this, a wood fire burns in the grate, soft classical music plays in the background, the dog lies asleep on the sofa and I’m sipping hot Yorkshire tea, so somehow, something of Mr Badger and his home lives on in my daily life, and the nature of him sits in my heart and identity.

So that’s what all the badger stuff is about, all that and there is something that I can’t help but love about the cuddly vicious little bastards, and of course there is this.

Badger Bakes

Holiday baking

Tis the season and all that stuff.
When we became parents to our infuriating and amazing sons we’ve tried to make Christmas special for them, but we’ve slimmed down as the boys got older and their interests moved away from family games and movies to hanging out with their friends online, playing games and chatting and working on projects, which is great because kids should grow up and away.

This year my baking was at its most slimmed down, almost austere in it’s simplicity. I asked the family what they wanted and baked accordingly.

I made buns/rolls (from the Subway Bread recipe that I use) for leftover sandwiches (younger spawns favourite Christmas food)

A pile of soft white leftover sandwich rolls

But the hit of Christmas day were the Yorkshire puddings.

I’ve never had much luck with them and actually don’t like them that much, so gave up trying to make them. But, this week I just happened across a discussion on Reddit where a chef (who hates them, but makes hundreds a week) gave a beautifully sweary breakdown of how to make the perfect Yorkshires. So I gave it a go and the kids loved them, in fact managed to finish off all I made on Christmas day.

So I think I’ll be making more of the “bland pillowy bastards” for my family on a regular basis. Thank you sweary chef from England.

Sweary Yorkshire Puddings
Badger Makes

Knitting and me

I’m a knitter. 
A man who knits, not that that is a strange thing anymore, well not among the knitting community. Occasionally a journalist will find out about a bright young thing (like Tom Daley) who is also a talented knitter and suddenly gasps all around there are men who *gasp* knit! 

Anyway, I love to knit, it is my mindfulness practice. I used to think that I was a project knitter, but I think I’m actually a process knitter, the actual production of the fabric is so much more important to me than the outcome, even if the outcome is nice to wear.

So I’ll be using this new blog to talk about my knitting projects and processes with lot of nice photos that I take to post on Mastodon for the attention it gives.  

Currently on the needles:

St Brigid by Alice Starmore

I recently completed the back, this is it drying after blocking.
There will be a St Brigid page when I get around to it with more photos

Badger Writes

A new approach and a new blog

Years ago, before the billionaires became billionaires from buying out everything and subsuming every way we communicated, I blogged. It never mattered if I was read, it was mainly a way for me to share my thoughts on a page, more of a personal journal than anything else.

I got involved with different green living/ downshifting fora, and got to know some great people, then Facebook arrived and ate up everything, exchanging thoughts and ideas and experiences became more about fulfilling a childish desire to show off and that showing off was rewarded and I indulged in that for quite a few years.  

Now all of that (Facebook, Twitter etc) is crumbling, and what was social media is being exposed as really just manipulation and sales, and people are leaving. I left and joined Mastodon, I discovered the Fediverse and it was a reminder of how much joy I had in the early internet, actual discovery of new things, BlogRolls and links and nothing curated by algorithms.  

So here I am again, 16 years later, older, in a different country and trying with this blog to recapture something of how I felt all those years ago on that exciting new internet.

So this is just really for me, a journal, photos of things I made or enjoyed or saw, ideas I had, shower thoughts and memes that made me chuckle.