Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Owl-ing with laughter

Sorry about the pun in the title but these goodies really do make me giggle

A while ago, I bought my first ever copy of Mollie Makes, mostly because I fell in love with the mittens on the cover

OwlWW

 

(I have to point out that I have sneakily borrowed this image from the Mollie Makes website, click on it to head over there)

Now, I don’t normally buy magazines like this because I’m primarily a yarn crafter and, while I enjoy other crafts, general craft mags like this just can’t satisfy my craving for patterns!

But I just couldn’t resist this.

Never one to be too traditional, I decided to use some of the chunky yarn that I was given by a friend (check out How do you stash yours?)

And here are the finished articles

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I also made a pair for my mum as a late xmas/early birthday gift. Again, not too traditional as they were pink!

I’m so impressed with this pattern, it’s a really genius way to use cables to create something different.

I’m also a big fan of cabled rib and I think it really gives these mittens an extra dimension.

The pattern is pretty easy to follow although I think there could be more guidance on reversing the shapings, to make the pattern more beginner-friendly

For anyone who struggled here’s what I did:

Follow the pattern up to row 26. On row 27, work the pattern but replace the ‘p1, k4, inc1, k11’ with p1, k11, inc1, k4

Do the same on row 31 (p1, k11, inc1, k5) and row 36 (p1, k8, slip6 onto stitch holder, cast on an extra three, k8)

I don’t think I’ve stopped wearing mine since I finished them. I can even drive in them so they’re really useful this time of year.

I’m really big on owls and loving that they’re so in fashion right now.

I also thought they were brilliant fun to knit.

So… I designed some ear muffs to match.

Steven and I love walking along the beach but I suffer dreadfully with ear ache and ordinary ear muffs are too rigid (they hurt my ears).

Ear warmer bands are quite in at the moment as well but I was worried that these would also be a bit tight.

I remembered that in one of my many knitting books, I’ve got a pattern for a pair of sequinned ear muffs that tie under the chin.

So using these as my inspiration, I began to experiment.

I don’t want to bore you with too many details so here’s the finished result

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I will admit that (depending on my mood) I sometimes feel a little silly – they’re a bit Little House on the Prairie but they can also be tied behind the head

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Looks a bit better, don’t you think?

They’re a bit unpolished at the edges but I’m pretty chuffed I have to admit

What do you think? I wonder if I should redo them as a band instead…

Also, is it worth publishing the pattern?

Oh, I bought the latest issue of CrossStitcher magazine today, they’ve got an owl themed article with lots of lovely patterns… where’s that aida?

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Crochet Zingy pattern

This is my first try at writing a crochet pattern so I really hope it works. Please let me know if you have any issues and I’ll try my hardest to work it out.

I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in shade 1256 Jaffa, some oddments of white and black DK from my stash (for some of the eyes and noses) and black and white felt (for most of the eyes and noses)

Here goes:

For the body:

Using orange yarn and a 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Round 2: inc. around (12 sts)

Round 3: (dc, inc) around (18sts)

Round 4: (dc2, inc) around (24sts)

Round 5: (dc3, inc) around (30 sts)

Round 6: dc tbl around

Round 7: dc around

Round 8: (dc4, inc) around (36sts)

Round 9: dc around

Round 10: (inc, dc5) around (42sts)

Round 11: dc around

Round 12: dc around

Round 13: (dc5, dc2tog) around (36sts)

Round 14: dc around

Round 15: (dc2tog, dc4) around (30sts)

Round 16: (dc3, dc2tog) around (24sts)

Round 17: (inc, dc3) around (30sts)

Rounds 18 – 27: rep. rounds 7 – 16 (24sts after round 27)

Start stuffing your Zingy now and add a little more after each round (where possible)

Round 28: (dc2tog, dc2) around (18sts)

Round 29: (dc, dc2tog) four times, dc2tog to end (11sts)

Round 30: dc2tog (dc2tog, dc) three times (7sts)

Round 31: dc around

Round 32: dc2tog twice, dc3 (5sts)

For the eyes (make two):

Using white yarn and 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Inc around (12sts)

Cast off

Using black yarn and 3mm hook, ch3, ss to join and cast off

Attach the black pupil to the white and attach to your Zingy

For the nose:

Using black yarn and 3mm hook, ch2

Dc into 2nd ch

Cast off

Attach just below the eyes of your Zingy

To complete:

Tightly tie a length of orange yarn around the neck of your Zingy

For a Big Zingy:

Use a 4mm hook for the body and the whites of the eyes and a 3.5mm hook for the pupils and nose

For a Baby Zingy:

Using orange yarn and a 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Round 2: inc. around (12 sts)

Round 3: (dc, inc) around (18sts)

Round 4: (dc2, inc) around (24sts)

Round 5: dc tbl around

Round 6: dc around

Round 7: (dc3, inc) around (30sts)

Round 8: (inc, dc4) around (36sts)

Round 9: dc around

Round 10: (dc2tog, dc4) around (30sts)

Round 11: (dc3, dc2tog) around (24sts)

Round 12: (dc2tog, dc2) around (18sts)

Round 13: (inc, dc2) around (24sts)

Rounds 14 – 19: rep. rounds 7 – 12 (18sts after round 19)

Start stuffing your Zingy now and add a little more after each round (where possible)

Round 20: (dc, dc2tog) four times, dc2tog to end (11sts)

Round 21: dc2tog (dc2tog, dc) three times (7sts)

Round 22: dc around

Round 23: dc2tog twice, dc3 (5sts)

 

I’m so excited to publish this, I just hope it works properly

 

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Union Jack Slipover – advice needed!

I’ve mentioned briefly that I’m working on a secret project for my boyfriend, Steven (see Current Projects) although ‘working on’ might be a bit strong becasue the project has been sitting (hidden) for months.

It all started in the summer when I somehow found a free pattern for an intarsia Union Jack Slipover, Steven and I both like Union Jacks and I wanted to try intarsia since I’m rubbish at Fair Isle.

For those of you who don’t know, intarsia and Fair Isle are colour-working techniques. Fair Isle tends to be used for smaller patterns as the yarn is carried across the back of the work. Intarsia uses extra balls or bobbins of yarn to work blocks of colour. Both have their pros and cons but I haven’t mastered Fair Isle and I wanted to get some colour-work under my belt

So, I thought I’d have a go at this project, the yarn requirements were small, it involved a new technique and would make a lovely gift for my beloved other half.

I started knitting when I was in bed poorly and made some amazing progress. I finished the back fairly quickly… and then stopped.

I’d made a fatal mistake. While I was feeling poorly and insecure, I’d mentioned it to Steven (it wasn’t just an off-the-cuff remark, we’d seen something similar in a shop and were talking about it) and he didn’t seem very impressed with the idea.

He tried to reassure me (‘he’ll love it because I knitted it’) but I lost my interest in the project. At the time, the back wasn’t quite finished so I pretended I wasn’t going to carry on with it and finished it rather slowly.

The other issue is the jumper that I actually did finish for him. He loves it but I hate it! I’m not sure what happened but it looks really baggy and shapeless on him (I’m a bit worried the same will happen with the slipover but I think I can make it work) and the collar doesn’t quite sit right.

The first problem is probably tension related and the second could be solved by blocking (two of my biggest problems, mostly stemming from my impatience.

Back to the slipover, my issue now is: do I finish it, do I turn it into something else or do I give it up as a bad job and find him something else?

I’m really pleased with how it looks (although I think the red is a little too bright) and I’ve worked really hard on it so I’m not keen on option three

Option two could acually be more work than finishing it so I’m not keen on that either

If I’d knitted the front instead of the back (I’ve never quite worked out why all patterns start with the back) I’d probably knit the back plain and be quite satisfied but I can’t do that now

So, I guess I’ve just answered my own question… I suppose I’m more looking for reassurance so let me know what you think

Not bad for a first attempt, right?

Well, his birthday is this month so I guess I should get started on that front. Wish me luck!!

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Unicorn stuffed toy – finished!

I’m a firm believer that every car needs both a name and a mascot (it’s all Mum’s fault, really) so, having recently acquired my new (and first!) car, these things were paramount in my mind. Especially as I needed some extra luck for a long journey to an interview.

For some reason, I decided I’d like a unicorn but I completely forgot to look for one the last time I went shopping.

Fortunately, I’m a crafter!

I spent some time searching online for a free knitting or crochet pattern and found one that was perfect (huge thanks to Dawn Toussaint and you can download the pattern here)

I had some leftover yarn and made-do with a 4mm hook instead of the recommended 3.75mm.

I do think her head looks a little lop-sided but she’s still rather cute

She didn’t sit very well on the dashboard so I had to resort to velcro (that was probably the most difficult part!)

I’ve just had another look at the different sites that link to this pattern and there are a lot of photos on ravelry.com that I hadn’t seen. As a result, my unicorn is lacking some of the design aspects – I only gave her a small mane but the sample shown has a huge one all down the back of the head. I also missed out the frill around the tail.

Since, my unicorn sits on my dash, this isn’t an issue and I really love how she looks.

I named her Twinkle but I suspect this is mainly because I’ve recently been stitching with James C Brett’s Twinkle yarn so the word was floating around my head!

I highly recommend this pattern to anyone who loves unicorns and crochet. I particularly loved how the separate pieces were joined together – I hate sewing up toys but the pieces in this pattern are joined together as you crochet so this was brilliant.

 

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