Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Another call for help

Before I get started on all my catch-up posts, I’m afraid I need to ask for more advice

I’ve just finished a project and I had another one in mind (not one from my massive list but an entirely new one)

However, circumstances are conspiring against me to let me know that I’m in (almost) desperate need of a new cardigan

I’ve been standing in front of the mirror a lot lately thinking ‘I really like this outfit, what cardi can I wear?’

My new favourite cardi is a bought-knit black and white houndstooth that we actually bought for a sixties fancy dress party

However, there are certain outfits that it just won’t go with.

My second favourite cardi was obviously once my favourite since it looks about ten years older than it is and is now too big for me

This leaves me with two bought-knit cardis and my crochet sambuca jacket, all of which feature very open lace patterns so aren’t really suitable for the weather and my crochet spencer jacket

The spencer jacket, unfortunately, hasn’t really fared well with a lot of wear and, again, won’t suit a lot of outfits

So… the project that I had planned was a rather nice Fair Isle jumper from a recent issue of Simply Knitting

I’ve never had much luck with Fair Isle but I’d love to master it

I’ve scrapped the idea of the jumper in favour of a much more useful cardigan

But the question is, which cardigan?

I’m very tempted to adapt the jumper pattern so it’s a cardi instead and I’m mostly wondering if anyone has attempted such a thing

However, I also looked through my existing patterns and found a couple of lovely pieces so maybe I would adapt one of those to include a dash of Fair Isle

Let me know what you think and I’ll try to get some pics of the possibilities

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Tension headache

Apologies for not posting yesterday as promised, I had a rather traumatic morning having tests at the hospital and wasn’t feeling my best (I’m still feeling a little fuzzy and very tired but trying to keep busy)

So, I’ve never been one for tension swatches, I’m simply too impatient to spend the time knitting a piece that’s essentially useless.

However, after several disastrous projects that can probably be traced back to tension, I’ve finally learnt my lesson. Hence, being so excited about finishing a swatch on Sunday

Unfortunately, I spent a large portion of this morning knitting more swatches!

The rules of swatching:

  • using the recommended needle size, cast on the recommended number of stitches plus 10
  • working in your stitch pattern, work the recommended number of rows plus 10
  • using a hard, flat surface and a rigid ruler, measure 10cm across the rows and stitches and count them up (some people mark out 10cm with pins and then count but I tend to just count along the ruler
  • measure in more than one place to double (and triple) check
  • if you have too few stitches, try again with smaller needles
  • if you have too many, use larger needles
  • a general rule of thumb is to go up or down by one size but this might not work so persevere until you’ve got it

So, my pattern states ’22sts and 28rows = 4″ (10cm) in Twisted Stockinette stitch (Twisted st st) using larger needles’ (3.75mm)

Initially, I didn’t knit a swatch. I meant to, but just started the vest out of habit.

It soon became clear that the piece was too small and, measuring my stitches, I appeared to have 26sts to 10cm.

Being the big, brave girl that I am, I took it all out and knitted a swatch using 4mm needles. I cast on 32sts and worked 38rows.

It didn’t take too long and I was strangely proud of myself. So I was really disappointed to discover that I still had 26sts to 10cm!

Again, I took it out (I can’t see the point of keeping them) and tried again with 4.5mm needles. I was feeling pretty frustrated so I measured the stitch count after eight rows and I still had too many!

I switched up to 5mm needles but carried on knitting the swatch, worked 10 rows and measured again. It finally seemed to be working!

So, again, I took it all out and started again with the 5mm needles. I knitted the whole swatch in a couple of hours and, although my row count is still a little off, I’m finally happy with my tension.

My concern now is knitting 4-ply yarn with 5mm needles as it creates a very loose, open weave.

So, I waited for a second opinion before casting on for my vest (Mum’s helpful like that) We think it’ll be okay and I figure it’s worth a try since I’ve bought the yarn.

The most irritating part is that I’ve also bought new needles that I don’t need now but I’m hoping to swap them for some more goodies.

I’m also hoping the vest won’t take long to knit up so I can start experimenting with the collar (see Mina’s Tuxedo Vest – help!)

I’ll post pictures of my progress

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Mina’s Tuxedo Vest – help!

I’ve recently started knitting Mina’s Tuxedo Vest from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard (book review to follow shortly)

I really love the concept and have been looking to buy something similar for ages.

The problem I’m having is that I don’t much like the collar on either version in the book.

So, I have two decisions to make. First of all, do I finish the vest as a cardigan or a jumper? This is the more immediate but simpler choice and I’m leaning towards cardigan.

Second, how on earth do I finish the collar?! My options are fairly limitless, it’s just a question of figuring out what will look the best and how best to achieve it…

I’m rather struggling to visualise my options so I’d love some help and advice

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Chunky yarn yardage – help!

So, going through my yarn stash the other day I found some chunky yarn that I bought for a project that I never even started (typical crafter, I know!)

I’d really like to use it to crochet a granny square blanket (or similar)

The problem is, I’ve got no idea how far the yarn will go and I can’t get any more because I bought it at a craft show.

So my question is, how big of a blanket can I crochet with around 524yards/480metres of chunky yarn?

Alternatively, where can I find the calculations or a website that will calculate it for me?

Any ideas or alternative suggestions are appreciated

Thanks

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