Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Project updates

Steven and I are off on holiday tomorrow, just a few days in Bath but I’m so excited!

Before we go, I thought I’d post a quick progress update.

Blocking my shawl seems to be going well. I keep forgetting to take pictures though so I’ll post more info on that later.

My Cricket Jumper is growing a little quicker than normal. I’ve finally finished the armhole shaping on the back (it was not fun) but still have a way to go yet.

I’ve also started work on a lovely crochet blanket for Steven and I (I think I mentioned it before…?)

It will involve a lot of repetition and weaving in of ends but each motif only takes about an hour so it should work up pretty quickly
















The pattern is the African Flower Blanket from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today magazine and I’m using up some leftover yarn but had to buy a couple of balls as well.

I was a bit worried that the brown was too dark but I think the cream evens it out and the overall border will also help to lighten it up.

I’m hoping to get quite a few motifs done while we’re away. So far, I’ve completed three (barring the ends) and done two more middles (just the yellow)

I might need a ‘travel project’ though because of all the colour changes involved so I’m also taking my leftover shawl yarn to try and make some gloves/mittens to go with it (either more Misty Morning Mitts or my own design to match the shawl motif)

Oh, and I finished another lacy collar!

This one was knitted on 4mm needles instead of the recommended 3.75 (I think) but I still had to add another scallop



























I’m really chuffed with this one too! It didn’t block quite as flat as the first one but I quite like the slight ruffle on the edge









I joined the extra scallop in a different way than the first one – instead of knitting it all and sewing it on, I knitted the two together by picking up a loop on the edge of the original collar and knitting it with the first/last stitch of the extra scallop









I think it’s worked well but, to be honest, sewing it on afterwards is probably easier










I’ve also bought the yarn to make my friend Clare a baby blanket and found the perfect pattern for a hat and cardi for her daughter who is currently 18months (it’s the same friend and daughter that I knitted the Bridesmaid’s Boleros for)

So the project list isn’t diminishing even though I’m making good progress

As well as all this, it’s my birthday next week and I’ve asked for lots of crafty goodies so I’m going to be a very busy, very happy girl!

Lastly, apologies for the lack of Travel Zingy updates, we’re all very tired but he comes everywhere with me and I expect lots of pictures to be taken this week so I might need to have a full week dedicated to ‘The Adventures of Travel Zingy’


Buttons, buttons everywhere!

I love buttons!

Which is odd, considering how much I hate sewing them on… but there you have it!

So, while deciding which crochet/knitted collar to make next, I sorted through my buttons to see if I had anything suitable (not that I mind going out to buy more buttons)

I hadn’t realised I’d accumulated so many, my little button tin is practically bursting!

Most of my collection is made up of spare garment buttons and I had a great time trying to work out which button went with which garment (I’ve still got no idea on some)

Here are a few pics…









All nice and neat in my button tin. The ones in the little bags are fabric buttons so I like to keep them separate

And because I like to make a mess…

… I tipped them all out!








And because I don’t like to be too unorganised, I laid out some of my favourites









Some are extra garment buttons, some I bought (either for projects or just because) and one I bought and then decorated myself (no prizes for guessing which one)

I love some of them so much, I’m actually trying to design projects around them… strange but true

Anyway, some of them will be handy for more detachable collars and I think some might be useful for my designing

Either way, a person can never have too many buttons and I’m sure I can find a use for them somewhere

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More detachable collars – finished!

I’m a little obsessed with detachable collars at the moment and I’ve got lots of different patterns to work from.

I’ve already blogged about my ‘vintage’ collar and I’m hoping to start on another one of those soon

I’ve also finished two crochet collars from the pattern on LuluLoves

The first is made from some left-over coral Kon Tiki (I can’t find it on the website any more so I guess it’s been discontinued…)









Of course, I altered it slightly so it was a bit longer but it’s a really lovely pattern and super quick to crochet up





The other is a wool or wool-blend yarn (I can’t remember what it’s called) that I bought years ago to make some dinky accessories (covered bangles I think)
















The stitch definition isn’t quite as good as the cotton-blend yarn (of course) but I still think it looks really lovely and I love the variegation of the yarn

Again, I plan to make some more of these, they crochet up in a couple of hours so they’re perfect for fillers-in

I’ve also got some more patterns for knitted collars (from the latest issue of Simply Knitting – August, issue 96) but they haven’t worked out so well so far

I tried out the lacy collar first, in a teal yarn to match a knitted jumper, but it ended up far too small









It’s knitted in two halves but even so, it would never have fit so I ripped it out to start again

I also wasn’t keen on the edge when I’d finished, it was supposed to be curved but looks too straight and a little messy









So, the plan now is to make up a couple of other collars while figuring out how to make this one bigger and a bit neater for my tastes.

It shouldn’t be too hard… maybe I’ll come up with a completely new pattern of my own

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‘Vintage’ Lacy Collar – finished!

I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I first discovered the book Knitting Vintage so, of course, it was the first thing I made when I eventually bought the book.

However, my first attempt wasn’t quite right. I’d decided to use 4-ply instead of DK mostly because I had so much left over from my Tuxedo Vest but I was also interested in a nicely delicate collar.

I think it looks great, even before blocking really and I love the button!

Unfortunately, it was far too tight and felt uncomfortable as well as looking very bad.

Before giving up on this one entirely, I decided to try and fix it. However, it sat waiting for said fix for a while before I finally got around to it

I decided the easiest way was simply to knit another scallop, add the garter stitch border and attach it to the existing collar, moving the button in the process.

And here it is (unblocked!)

I have to say, I think the join looks pretty damn good (especially considering it will probably be worn with the button at the back)

So, after blocking (possibly the first project I’ve ever blocked properly) it looks like this

I still think the join looks good and the edges have lost their distorting ruffle but the blocking actually brought to light a problem I hadn’t anticipated

Do you see it? The additional scallop is, for some inexplicable reason, smaller than the others

I have to say, though, I don’t care! I love this little gem and cannot wait to wear it!

Here’s a close up of the scallop detail

Love it, love it, love it! I will definitely be making more and I have a lovely pattern for a crochet collar (courtesy of Lulu Loves) and a few more patterns for plainer knitted collars from this months Simply Knitting

I’ll try not to make too many… no promises though!


Knitting Vintage book review

Knitting Vintage by Claire Montgomerie contains 30 patterns inspired by previous decades, from the twenties to the eighties, updated for modern living.

Montgomerie has also included some details about the eras and a mood board for each decade.

I’ve been eyeing this book up for ages (mostly because I wanted the Lacy Collar pattern) and was lucky enough to find it in a discount bookshop on a day that I had both a craving and the cash for some new goodies.

There are very few patterns in the book that I don’t like and a few in particular that I simply must make!

The problem is that the sizes don’t quite go up big enough. I’m a fairly standard UK size but the biggest in the book is generally 10cm too small!

After my initial disappointment, I’ve decided to view this as a challenge. After all, 10cm is a nice even amount and the size of a standard tension square so increasing the size should be fairly simple.

Figuring out the shaping will be a bit more tricky… but not impossible I think (especially with Custom Knits to help me – see yesterday’s post)

Another oddity I found was that some of the photographs show more than one piece of knitwear but are only attached to one pattern with the other appearing nowhere.

Compared to the joy of the actual patterns, though, this is a minor inconvenience.

I’d say the book is suitable even for beginners because there are some basic patterns and plenty of opportunities for learning and growth.

So, if you’re a fan of vintage and/or retro clothes or just looking for something a bit different, I’d definitely check this out.