Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

A little catch up and another FO!

So, a while back I was ‘chatting’ with a fellow blogger about a jumper that she was drooling over (you can find her post here)

It turns out that she had only recently discovered the pattern but I’d already made the jumper and was planning another version

I meant to blog about it at the time, of course, especially since I knitted it in a week but somehow never quite got around to it

Well, I finished the second one last weekend so it’s almost the perfect time

The pattern is a lovely intarsia heart jumper by Martin Storey which was featured in an issue of Simply Knitting last winter

Here is my first one

DSCF2971 DSCF2973I love it and I wear it all the time but it is huge!

The pattern is designed to be oversize but, to be perfectly honest, when you’re a little bigger (and, yes, maybe a little sensitive about it) a jumper that’s over 10cm too big and knitted in chunky yarn is not going to be flattering

And now that I’ve lost a little weight, my poor heart jumper rarely leaves the house

So, I decided to knit my other jumper in the smallest size so it was a bit more fitted

I also decided that maybe another heart jumper was too… same-y and that the gorgeous silvery yarn I’d bought was perhaps more suited to a star motif (just a little obsessed with stars!)

So I re-designed it and here it is

DSCF2976 DSCF2975I love the colours and I’m mostly pleased with how the star turned out

However, I wore it to the hospital the other day and it felt a little tight and the sleeves a little shorter than I normally like

Having said that, I was really worked up about my appointment so perhaps just channelling my frustration

Speaking of which, I’ve been discharged! It’s been nearly two years since my treatment and the consultant is happy with progress so no more six-monthly trips to the clinic

Again, a very happy Vix

 

 

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A Yuletide/Birthday knitting miracle!

Is anyone else really struggling with the fact that it’s Xmas Eve tomorrow?!

Anyway, apologies for my prolonged absence, I’ve been frantically knitting for a few weeks trying desperately to finish my brother’s birthday jumper (see original post here)

The excellent, miraculous news is that I managed to finish and block it before his birthday lunch yesterday!

Here it is in the final stage of blocking

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I hate to sound big-headed but I’m so chuffed with how it turned out and I think it looks amazing!

Here’s a close-up of the intarsia

DSCF2918And a view of the back…

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The embroidery was one of the most difficult parts but I think it turned out really well

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Here it is folded carefully and ready to be wrapped yesterday morning

And being tried on by the birthday boy a few hours later

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He was really chuffed with it too and had (apparently) forgotten all about it

The only problem I really had was the neck, which turned out far too tight so I had to leave the edge unsewn. But it looks surprisingly good I think

I’m so pleased with how it turned out that I might go on the hunt for another challenging piece of colourwork… when I’ve finished some more projects of course since I didn’t manage to start, let alone finish, any planned xmas gifts…

 

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Union Jack Slipover – finished!!

I didn’t manage to finish for Steven’s birthday but it was only a week late so I’m happy enough.

And here he is wearing it!

And the back

And, of course, he made me try it on too

I have to say, I’m really pleased with it but I do think the pattern is a little off. The Union Jack is by no means central so I think the front looks a little off.

It was super fun to knit though! It’s the first time in ages that I’ve learnt a new knitting technique and, once you get in the swing of things, it knits up really quickly. So, although it’s essentially stocking stitch, it wasn’t at all boring to knit up.

The main problem I had was sewing in all the loose ends

I hate sewing in ends and the front was even worse! Thankfully, it’s easy to do because of the twists caused by the colour changes.

The sewing up and finishing was really easy and quick (thanks to the lack of sleeves) and I think the end result looks really good

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve used half of the yarn I bought for the project so I’ve got loads left over (maybe enough for one of my own..?)

I’m planning a post on yarn stashes at a later date but I really hate having a substantial amount left over

Anyway, I’ve also finished another pair of Misty Morning Mitts (slightly shorter and in yellow Simply Recycled) and my Mina’s Tuxedo Vest (finished post to follow), started a new knitting project (a cricket style jumper for myself that should take a few weeks) and started work on one of the crochet unicorns for my cousin

I’m also pondering a book idea so there’ll be a lot of designing going on… wish me luck

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Current and planned projects

I can’t believe how much I’ve achieved since I started this blog and since my Sew much to do… post. It’s been about three months since I started so I thought it was time for an update.

Of the four projects I mentioned, only one is finished! Another is growing slowly and the other two are still sitting in the same state as before.

In Sew much to do… I talked about designing a little bag using the new techniques I’d been learning. This, too, has been put aside in favour of a different design project (more on that later)

The clip frame purse I talked about is still unfinished and will probably remain so.

I’ve also given up on the idea of making things to sell (for now at least). It’s going to take a lot of time and effore and there’s just too much else to do.

However, in the midst of all this failure, there has been much success!

Among the list of completed projects is ‘Twinkle’ the unicorn, one full Sambuca jacket and two Sambuca shrugs, two bridesmaids boleros, three pairs of Misty Morning Mitts, a chakra neckerchief, a tea cosy, three mug cosies… I’m sure there must be more but I can’t remember them all.

Right now, I’m actively working on four projects, I know FOUR! But there is a very good reason…

So, project number one is my first ever design project. I won’t go into too much detail because I want to blog about it in detail later. I don’t work on it constantly for a few reasons: first, I want to get it right, which means thinking it through properly; secondly, I’m working with lightweight yarn so tension squares take a while; and third, my eye can’t quite stand the intricate work for too long (just another eye-related annoyance!)

Project number two is Mina’s Tuxedo Vest, it had to be put aside to work on the bridesmaid’s boleros and, to be perfectly honest, isn’t much fun to knit. It now acts as a facade so my boyfriend doesn’t know what I’m really knitting during the day.

Which brings us to project number three: the Union Jack Slipover. Unfortunately, it’s not growing as quickly as it needs to, especially with everything else going on. And his birthday is next week! Eeeek!

Project number four is a novelty doorstop. I like to be working on a knitting and crochet project at the same time so I’ve been carrying this around for weeks, crocheting in the car etc. Now it’s time for the finishing touches so look out for pictures later in the week (hopefully)

I’ve also got a long list of planned projects, including: two more crochet unicorns for young cousins; a knitted cricket jumper; maybe something for me to wear to the wedding next month; another pair of Misty Morning Mitts (I just can’t resist that Simply Recycled yarn); a twenties-inspired crochet top; and anything else that takes my fancy along the way!

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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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Future projects

So, having only finished my jacket yesterday, I’ve already started a new project!

It’s a very cute but simple tea cosy from December’s Knit Today magazine (issue 67), although I’m altering it a little by knitting it in one piece instead of two and using different yarn and colours (leftovers from my last two crochet projects)

I suspect it will only take a day or two to finish (lovely warm tea by Monday!) so I need to start thinking about another new project…

Or do I?

I have to admit that I keep forgetting about my existing projects. As well as those I mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve found a crochet bag missing it’s lining and it’s handles and remembered that my Kindle cover really needs to be replaced (the other one is a bit too loose and slightly wonky).

So, maybe it would be more sensible (not to mention cheaper) to finish one or two of them first…

This will mean having two active projects on the go at once because I’m still working on that secret project for my boyfriend.

It’s a tricky choice. As much as I love cross stitch, knitting and crochet are so much easier to pick up and put down as well being quicker to finish.

But maybe it’s time for a change.

So how do you work? Lots of projects on the go at once? Or carefully finishing one before planning and starting another?

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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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