Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

SO2017 – February

I’m at it again and loving it! Socks are just sooo satisfying – quick to knit, pretty, useful

Some say they’re pointless because they’re never seen but I say pooh pooh (also, I have a baby and baby groups tend to be shoes off affairs!)

Anyway, here are my February lovelies

YinYang Kitty Socks

Aren’t they fun? I don’t think the variegated yarn is the best for these but I needed to use it because I love it so much 

In fact, I’m still sorely tempted to frog the crochet socks made from this and knit the yarn into something nicer

In other news, work on my lovely lace shawl has stalled because it’s too too fiddly and sloooow. But I’ve already got another pattern lined up for after I finish my other current WIP – a lovely cardi in hand dyed 4ply. 

Th ose are both knitting (hence the one at a time approach) but I’ve also got some crochet projects waiting to be swatched and started

But for now, I’m trapped under a feeding, sleeping baby with no crafts within reach so I guess I’ll read for a while…

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2016 sock obsession review

I’ve finally managed to ponder my 2016 socks and write up a review.

In total, I made 15 3/8 pairs  using 13 patterns, 10 of which were new to me and two my own design. I’ve tried several new indie dyed yarns including a new to me blend (yak – rather feltable) and one new to me commercial yarn.

I’ve certainly learnt a lot along the way, not just patterns and techniques but my own preferences.

I always preferred toe up socks because I found them easier to judge the fit but now that I’ve made several cuff down pairs and fought with a stretchy cast off, I’ve definitely revised and reversed my preference.

Similarly, I’ve always preferred to err on the larger side of sizing because I hate too tight socks but hand-knit socks definitely need a touch of negative ease.

The one problem I haven’t managed to overcome is fitting the heel of crochet socks – my two pairs of Cluster F**ks are fine but my Step by Step socks are a frankly hideous fit and actually hurt if they’re not in the right position (I’m gutted, it’s one of my favourite colourways).

The obsession certainly hasn’t abated and the challenge has been rather fun.

I will, of course, be continuing work on those pesky August gifites (I finished the first sock yesterday!) and I’ve bought myself some mini circular needles so you never know, perhaps there’ll be a 2017 sock challenge…!

January – Moss Check test knit
February – Cluster F**ks
March – Sea Steps
April – Regia lace
May – This Way Please test knit
June – Sport Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset Heel
Posey
Baby Booties x3
July – Riverflow test knit
August – unfinished secret gifties
September – more Cluster F**ks
October – Step by Step
November – own design
December – own design for baby

I’ve linked to my Rav project pages, which link to the pattern pages.

I’m rather proud of myself

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Sock obsession – August

My first fail but for the best of reasons.

All things considered, I have made fair progress on these secret sockies.

There is some stranded colour work after the cuff ribbing and I’ve not done much before (all previous attempts have been a bit iffy!) so it was slow going for a while, all the more so because I have a new tiny person to look after and require extra food and naps myself.

I’m now onto the ‘textured’ leg but I’m not loving it yet.

I did think about casting on the second sock to get all the colour work out of the way but it’s not as easy with knitted socks as it is with crochet socks so perhaps not.

And, on that note, I’ll get back to it since Little Miss is sleeping

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Beat the Bump – hospital edition

Wow, I’ve barely touched any yarn since Baby arrived! Hardly surprising I suppose and I find that I don’t care much (although the urge to knit socks is getting pretty bad)

Anyway, we were admitted to hospital for induction on Wednesday morning. On the way, I cast on a simple garter stitch shawl using the yarn I bought in Iceland.

Upon arrival, we were told that the wards were busy and they needed us to wait.

And wait we did… for eleven hours!

Needless to say I got a fair bit done

It was quite funny at times because the staff kept getting distracted by it and asking me questions.

And the reaction when people saw the changing bag and shawl that my mum made us was incredible!

I don’t expect to get much done in the next little while but I’ll try to update as and when.

For now though, I’m just enjoying cuddles with my beautiful daughter *massive contented sigh*

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Beat the Bump – baby cardigans

Oh dear, I was convinced I’d already posted about my love of this pattern but I can’t find it so it’s possible I imagined it… or probably wrote it out but didn’t post it…

Anyway, a while back I fell in love with a cute little knitted baby cardi pattern. Free, top down, seamless – three of my favourite things.

I made two in 4ply cotton, followed by another for my brother and sister-in-law (I can’t find the pictures!)

However, with a July baby, I figured we wouldn’t need much newborn knitwear and then I found some hand-dyed rainbow DK cotton yarn in my stash…

Do you see where I’m going?

I finished knitting the yellow one ages ago but was resisting sewing the buttons on.

The red one, however, I started and finished after my due date. Including buttons and washing (while I re-washed my split back tank top)

I still love them but I think I need a new pattern, five of the same thing might be my limit!

The pattern is Linnie by Justyna Lorkowska and I used Stylecraft Cotton Classique for the main parts.

Hopefully soon we’ll have Baby here so I can make something gender specific!!

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Beat the Bump – split back tank top

This one was an absolute saga and is actually one of the new tops I mentioned last month.

The first attempt went hideously wrong!

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Too long, too baggy, massive armholes – I was not happy.

The pattern tells you to machine wash and dry the top to shrink it but, because I used a different yarn, it made zero difference.

Everyone reckoned it was fine but I hated it, particularly when paired with my ever decreasing wardrobe (it might have worked with jeans but I grew out of those)

There was only one thing for it – frog it and reknit!

I love the pattern and I love the yarn but I was never going to wear it in it’s original incarnation so it had to go.

Instead of fighting with a new tension swatch, I carefully measured the top and did some silly maths to work out which size I needed to make so it would fit nicely and then worked fewer rows to shorten it.

Unfortunately, bump is now truly massive so the top looks a bit snug and short.

And the tension looks majorly squiffy (I think because the yarn hadn’t been relaxed) so it will definitely benefit from another wash.

When I was looking for advice on the original, someone suggested wearing it with the split at the front

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It will certainly make feeding easy and I have seen some tops like this so definitely a possibility.

Obviously, one for layering either way.

I love the style so I might be convinced to make another one, particularly if I need some mindless knitting after Baby comes.

The pattern is Split Back Tank by Allison Griffith and I used Bergere de France Coton Fifty (and much less than the pattern called for)

 

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Beat the Bump – nursing jewellery

Nursing jewellery seems to be a contentious issue, particularly the chunky necklaces that are said to keep baby amused while feeding.

But, they seemed like a fun super speedy make and being a crafter meant I could personalise them (there were a lot of comments online about ‘hideous plastic beads’)

Nothing too strenuous or spectacular but they’re pretty and will, hopefully, be useful.

The original plan for the necklace was to have a large bead in the centre with smaller and smaller ones either side but the range of beads available wasn’t quite what I’d hoped so I decided to just use one size.

Then, I found some amazing ideas on Pinterest and further tweaked my original plan to include different designs and some plain beads.

Apparently this type of nursing necklace is also good for teething tots but we’ll see about that one.

The bracelet (designed to help keep track of which side baby needs to feed on) is a super simple i-cord.

I was going to elasticate it so I could just slip it off and on but it works quite nicely just sewn up.

Being cotton, it might not last long and, let’s face it, there is every possibility that I’ll forget to swap it.

I found another idea on Pinterest for a funky clip that you pop on your bra so I might investigate that further too.

Thinking about it, I’ve got another necklace that might make a nice nursing accessory but I haven’t got a picture (most of my jewellery has been packed away to make room for baby things). It was my own design though and I was rather chuffed with the result.

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Sock obsession – July

I finished my July socks, yay!

Riverflow socks

These were another test knit for the lovely Rebecca Milton and we were both on a deadline so I made sure to finish up some other WIPs before I got the pattern so I could give them my full attention.

I have to say, I absolutely loved these! The pattern is easy to memorise but adds that little bit of interest so it’s not just plain knitting.

And, for once, I had no issues with the sizing for my massive size eight feet.

Isn’t the yarn scrummy too? I bought it at the Ickworth Wool Fair earlier this year (I think I forgot to blog about it…) and it’s called Mini Rainbows by The Knitting Swede (to be honest, I’m amazed I can remember that!)

Next up: a gifty pair of socks which I probably won’t post much about until the new year because I’m not sure if the recipient reads the blog.

To be honest, I think I’ll cast these on sooner rather than later, just in case.

Oh and while we’re on the subject, Baby is now four days late so I’ve invented a new game called ‘Beat the Bump’ where I’m trying to finish a load of projects before s/he gets here. Any day now, I’m going to start cheating and making dishcloths or something to rack up my total because the little tyke is showing no signs of moving out!

Wish me luck and contractions!!

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Sock obsession – June (part 2)

Saturday

11am – swatching and sizing (with Jurassic Park)
11:30 – relearning the Turkish cast-on
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12:10 – toe done, time for a cuppa
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12:55 – 15 rows done and you can see the full cycle of colours
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1:35 – continuing the foot (with The Lost World)
1:45 – okay, I spent ten minutes eating biscuits!
3:15 – foot done and on to the gusset
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3:35 – continuing the gusset (with Jurassic Park 3)
4:05 – gusset done, time for my favourite part!
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4:25 – super speedy heel turn and I’m on to the leg
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4:45 – time to get hubby up
7:10 – fed, tidied and hubby waved off
continuing the leg (with Jurassic World)
8pm – progress is rather slower this evening, I blame the chocolate orange!
8:20 – time for the rib, I think
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9:05 – the cast off is too tight but I’ve not got the energy to fix it tonight
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9:10 – casting on the second sock (with A Lonely Place to Die)
9:50 – toe done, time for more snacks
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10:45 – ten rows done, bedtime!
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Sunday

10:55am – continuing second sock foot (with Pirates of the Caribbean 1)
11:50 – 20 rows done, time for a cuppa
12:30 – another 15 rows and it’s lunchtime
1pm – must resist the biscuits
1:20 – foot done, on to the gusset (after some biscuits)
1:35 – too many biscuits, a wee and a film change later…
2:25 – gusset done, heel turn time!
2:40 – heel done! Time for a cuppa and the leg
4pm – continuing the leg (with Pirates of the Caribbean 3)
4:15 – on to the rib
4:40 – ribbing done, just need to figure out the cast off. Anyway, time to wake hubby
5:10 – quick play with casting off
5:30 – yarn over cast off looks okay (it’s frilly!) but it loosens the rib too much. I’ve undone the first sock to try again
6pm – tried a k2tog cast off and it’s much better so I’ll taking out the other

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to knit a pair of socks in a weekend!

There are some bits that I’m not quite happy with. The cast off, for a start, was a nightmare. I had to un-cast-off both socks and rejoin my yarn (neither fun nor helpful). I’m not sure if it’s the rejoining or just the nature of the yarn but the cuffs don’t match and I worked really hard to cast on at the same point in the colour change so the socks would match.
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I also managed to twist my second cast on, I admit I wasn’t watching the tutorial at the time but I’m still not sure how it happened… oh, I hope it doesn’t unravel!
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The top one has the boo-boo but I don’t think it’s too noticeable…

So, today I’m back onto knitting my non-maternity top (and doing the chores that I didn’t do on Friday – yes, I put my knitting first!)

Oh, the pattern is Sport Weight Toe-Up Socks With Gusset Heel by Wendy Johnson and the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Goldfinch (I love their yarns!)

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Sock obsession – June (part 1)

Ok, so I haven’t actually started June’s socks yet but I have both an excuse and a plan.
Bump is massively expanding so I’ve been racing to make some tops that will see me through the next five weeks and beyond, rather than buying a load of maternity wear (this theory also applies to the two new dresses I bought myself last week).
More on those later, two are done and another very nearly.
So here’s the plan: step one – spend today frantically knitting my top while catching up on some chores; step two – hide the top at bedtime regardless of it’s status; step three – spend the whole weekend knitting socks (hence catching up on chores and hiding the top).
Sounds simple enough but so far this morning I’ve managed to get dressed and eat breakfast so not much progress.
Better get my butt in gear and do something useful! Oh look a cup of tea…

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