Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

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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Current projects

I’m currently working on four projects: a crochet jacket for myself; a secret knitting project for my boyfriend; a quilted blanket that I’ve been working on for years; and a cross stitch that may well never get finished!

I started the blanket while I was at uni, always planning that it would be a project to pick up and put down as the fancy took me. Unfortunately, I rather fear that I’m going about it the wrong way which often stops me picking it up when I’m at a loose end.

The cross stitch is a large, fully stitched image called Woodland Enchantress by Dimensions. I started it several months ago but, having just completed another large cross stitch, decided it was time for a change. Looking at it now though, I’m excited to get started in earnest. It’s so beautiful and intricate and will certainly be a challenge.

The secret knitting project is a Union Jack Slipover (very much hoping my boyfriend can be put off from reading this blog!), knitted using the intarsia technique. I found the free pattern on the Coats Crafts website and fell in love with it. I was hoping it would be a nice surprise for him for Christmas but, with the other projects I had on, I didn’t manage to finish it so it remains a secret for another little while.

I’m really excited about my crochet jacket, a pattern from the book AUSTENtatious Crochet, but I’m already having a few issues with it. Showing it to my mum the other day, I noticed that the shoulder shaping on the back is different to the front/s… I’m not sure what to do about this so I’m continuing with the sleeves while I ponder the problem.

I was in love with the book from the first time I saw it but, I have to say, I’ve been disappointed. The piece I most wanted to make was Emma’s Hood but the pattern simply didn’t work for me. I tried and tried and eventually gave up after my fourth attempt. I even e-mailed the designer who was very helpful to begin with but seemed to lose interest when she realised that she perhaps couldn’t help me.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has succesfully made the hood or something else using the five star marguerite stitch or, indeed, anyone who has more experience of crochet than I do.

Having said that, I’d love to hear from anyone who shares my love of craft!

 

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