Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Lace Cardi – finished (part two)

So, you all know I’ve had problems with this pattern (see previous post – Problematic patterns)

But you also know I’m stubborn as a mule so I stuck with it, worked it out and finished my lovely cardi (see yesterday’s post – Lace Cardi – finished!)

I fell in love with this pattern instantly when I got the magazine (Inside Crochet issue 32) and had seen some lovely statement buttons that were just perfect.

So, the yarn and buttons were top of my birthday wish-list last year and Steven did a great job of choosing the colour.

When it came to casting on however, I had problems from the start.

My tension never matches the pattern but I kept coming out in between sizes and ended up needing to use a larger hook than I was comfortable with for 4ply yarn.

I think it works mostly because of the stitch pattern, if there were more trebles or fans or anything, I think it would look really bad.

Then, because the main piece is worked all-in-one, I was working on over 200 stitches. Or should have been. Because there were so many, I kept miscounting and ended up 30 stitches short.

I’d really struggled with the first few rows but the size seemed okay so I decided to make the best of it.

The next problem I had was joining the main piece and the sleeves since the pattern tells you to end with a DC row but then join with a DC row. This, however, was fairly easy to sort out.

I took out the last row on each piece and then joined them according to the pattern. Problem solved.

But then the rest of the pattern called for far too many rows. I pondered this one for a fair while.

Without completing the pattern, I had no idea what it was supposed to look like (no schematic) and the pattern gave no clue as to which of the sizes was shown in the picture (sometimes different sizes require different treatment).

I decided the simplest way to solve this problem was to make it up as I went along. Thankfully the stitch pattern is quick and easy so ripping it out isn’t really an issue (just irritating).

Looking at my notes, I thought the best place to start was to just work fewer rows before the shaping so the rows at the end were still the same.

It worked! First time!

I’ve decided the problem is that different sizes are apparently worked out using a formula and some pieces aren’t test crocheted in all sizes so no problems are flagged.

While I was really disappointed with the whole escapade (and the fact that I’ve got nearly two whole balls of yarn left!) I feel most let down by the magazine publishers and the designer.

I kept a constant eye out for errata and posted on the Inside Crochet facebook wall for help but I heard nothing.

Ravelry was no help either, there are four ‘projects’ listed under the pattern: one is mine; one the designers; one the magazines; and the last says that the crocheter isn’t really doing much these days.

I was also surprised to see that the designer had only used two balls of yarn to make the piece. I’ve used much less than two balls but the pattern instructed me to buy three (that pesky formula again?)

So, overall those six/seven words really do sum up my feelings about this piece but it’s made me very wary about printed patterns in general and Inside Crochet and Vicki Brown patterns in particular.

I’d love to hear thoughts on the subject. Have you or anyone you know tried this pattern? Or another one by Vicki Brown? Her designs are so lovely but after this, I’m just not sure


Lace Cardi – finished!

First off sorry for the delay in posting this update, things are bit crazy here at the moment.

Anyway, I think my feelings about this cardigan can be summed up in… six words – love the project, hate the pattern!

Although, after actually wearing the piece today, I don’t love it quite so much as I did (maybe seven words, add ‘mostly’ at the beginning!)

I’ve posted about the problems I had with the pattern but I eventually managed to figure things out, finished the cardi last week and left it to block



I hate blocking, mostly because I’m never quite convinced it works (maybe I’m doing it wrong?) I have this fear that I’ll remove the pins and the piece will instantly shrivel back to it’s pre-blocked state



But it worked out ok! It was still a little damp in places so I hung it up for a while to completely dry. Tried it on first of course



I’m a bit disappointed because it gapes a little at the front and is a bit tight on the arms and at the shoulders but overall I think it’s lovely

I wore it properly for the first time today

Wearing (1)Wearing (3)



I’m not sure how much it shows but the sleeves do shrink a little with wear (thank goodness I made them longer than recommended or they’d be ridiculous)

The button-holes and the buttons were a pain in the neck but I really love them

Wearing (2)


The button necklace was a gift from Steven, bought at a local craft fair on Saturday. Isn’t it pretty? It’s just a shame it covers the top button of the cardi but the colours are an amazing match.

I’ve got a lot to say about the dodgy pattern and how I fixed it but, since this post is already a little lengthy and it’s getting late, I’ll save that for another day.

Also, Steven took me to Hobbycraft today so I’ve got goodies to show off and a lot of upcoming projects to tell you about.

Just a little note: Steven’s now working nights so posts will be later in the day than I would like, I hope you all still manage to stop by for news


Lace Cardi – sneak peek


That’s right, it’s finished!
Just a sneak peek though because it needs major blocking and I’ll do a proper update in a couple of days


Problematic patterns

I’m being driven absolutely nuts lately by errors in knitting and crochet patterns! Does anyone else have this problem?!

I think the last project I completed that was free of any issues was in January. It’s not good.

And I’m not convinced these are misprints, some are simply bad maths and others… laziness maybe? Or inexperienced proof readers?

So the latest in this long line of problematic patterns is my beloved Lace Cardi.

The main body is worked in one piece to the armholes and fastened off. The sleeves are made separately and the three pieces are joined together simply by rejoining the yarn and continuing the pattern.

And therein lies the problem.

The pattern is a basic fishnet stitch with the button bands and faux side seams made of alternating rows of DC and TR.

The pattern instructs you to finish the first three sections on a DC row. But when you rejoin, you’re instructed to start with a DC row.

It doesn’t matter how I come at it, I can’t think it through. The fishnet pattern won’t work with two DC rows together. Nor will the buttonholes be correctly placed.

I also sat and worked out the row count for the next section and it’s working out far too big. And the picture shows fewer buttons than are (apparently) called for.

So I did the only thing I could think of… I asked for help from the experts.

More to the point, I posted my problem on the Inside Crochet facebook page.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard nothing from anybody, no experts, no fellow crocheters.

I’ve looked everywhere I can think of for any published errata but there’s nothing.

I’m so disappointed. This was a project that I was really excited about, all the more so because Steven bought me the yarn and beautiful buttons.

But people can’t even be bothered to respond.

I found the same with those crochet egg decorations (see previous post – Eggs-perimentation) I posted a comment on the corrections page for Inside Crochet issue three (the first one, anyway)

The comment was approved but nobody responded, apart from a fellow crocheter who had had the same problem.

Even when I commented back that I’d sorted it and offered my version of the pattern, nobody from the magazine responded.

Why is that do you think? Why approve the comment but do nothing to resolve the issue?

I’m starting to lose faith and it makes me really glad that I’m both stubborn and a bit of a smart-alec problem-solver!

So, if you know anyone who has made Vicki Brown’s South Sea cardigan from Inside Crochet I’d love to know how they did it.

Right now I’m thinking, rip out a row on each section so they finish on a TR row, join according to the pattern and work fewer rows from there before finishing the neck edging.

Any pointers? Anyone?


Lace Cardi growth spurt!

Lace Cardi growth spurt!

Remember yesterday’s pic of my Lace Cardi?
Check it out now, the first section’s finished!
(As is my Cricket Jumper – I’m just pondering blocking)

Leave a comment »

Progress report!

Wow, it’s been a crazy week. But the good news is that the pesky cricket jumper is very nearly finished and I might even get to wear it this weekend (it’s Steven’s birthday although we don’t have plans yet)

Of course, there are plenty of other projects still ongoing.

First and foremost, the African Flower Blanket…

What more can I say? I mentioned before that it’s far from finished but I’m using it anyway (see previous post – Simply Crochet magazine review)


It’s currently big enough to cover feet to waist and almost wide enough for two



Still not big enough to be really snuggly










Having said that, it’s doing a good job so far and, with the weather warming, it keeps slipping down the priority list.

Top priority on the crochet list is a bit of a beast.

I’ve been working on the lace cardi from Inside Crochet that Steven bought me the yarn for.

It’s been more than a little problematic but I’m making good progress now.



I can only manage about five rows an hour because I’m working on so many stitches. In fact, it’s almost as long as the AFB!



My main concern is the button band. It’s either my technique or the technique in general but the beginnings of my treble rows  always end up a bit… gappy I guess is a good word



But I can live with it. I think the finished cardi will be really lovely.

I’ve also got loads of projects lined up, awaiting tension swatches.



I was given some money for ‘easter’ so was able to buy some lovely yarn but I’m also using up some bits that were in my stash so happiness all ways round.

I was planning on starting the stripy jumper after I finished the Cricket Jumper but I think I’ll spend some time working on this cardi first (it’s sitting in my lap as we speak… or as I type I guess)

I better get back to it

1 Comment »