Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Shawl blocking




The edges of my daybreak are still a little curly and I didn’t have enough pins to give it a really smooth finish
Still love it though
Here they are being modelled by the lovely Fliss





(Fliss is also wearing my practice tie for the wedding!)
There are definitely issues with the row ends on both shawls but they’re beautiful and cozy so who cares
I’ve already got another planned and it’s lace so maybe some more effective blocking tools are required…


Honeymoon on my mind!

Oh my very goodness, somehow, in less than three weeks, I have managed to finish my honeymoon shawl!

I was fairly convinced that this project would be one to keep me occupied for a couple of months while doing other wedding-related things and working and studying and other crafts etc etc…

But the stitch pattern is so easy and works up so quickly that it’s already done

Here it is!

DSCF2986I’m still pondering whether to block it or not but since I’ve still got three months, it’s a decision that can wait

Here’s a close up of the centre

DSCF2988And the edging

DSCF2989And finally, the fascinating garter tab construction

DSCF2993I love it, there are simply no other words

You can find the Ravelry page for the pattern here and my project page links to it.

I’ve used the recommended Cascade 220 in two of the three recommended colours, substituting the yellow for a burnt orange.

I thought about using the yellow but had really set my heart on a nice orange so when I found the yellow was unavailable (possibly discontinued) the decision was easy.

The only problem I had with the pattern was that I have no idea what M1L and M1R mean so I used a simple YO instead and I’m really chuffed with the result.

The pattern is really simply written and pretty cheap as well so perfect for a first shawl or even a beginner knitter.

I definitely indulged on the yarn, it’s not at all what I would normally buy but I was pretty happy that it would fit in with my stance on animal rights (some wool farms, particularly Australian wool farms, do not treat their sheep well so I tend to avoid it in favour of plant fibres)

The price was also a little more than I would normally spend but I decided that, for my honeymoon, it would be a nice treat

And it certainly was that. The yarn is beautifully soft and doesn’t easily split as it twists through your fingers. The colours are very rich and the range available is incredible.

My other indulgence was the needle. As a rule, I don’t get on well with circular needles so I wanted to treat myself to a… ‘posher’ needle in the hopes that the quality would improve the experience. I went for a 100cm, 7mm KnitPro Symfonie

Again, I was not disappointed. The wooden needle is soft, smooth and warm (very important in my chilly seaside flat!), the wire straightens out better than the Pony needles I’m used to, and the transition between needle and wire is nowhere near as difficult as the Ponys

I did skimp a little on the stitch markers. Again, as a rule, I hate stitch markers but I think I was using the wrong kind for this type of project so I invested a couple of quid on some new ones (I couldn’t really justify £5 on stitch markers, nor could I decide which ones I liked best) and they actually worked really well

All in all, a very happy Vix

On the subject of my impending honeymoon, we’re asking for recommendations on sights to see while we’re away.

Wait, did I mention that we’re travelling the US for three weeks?!

We fly into New York and out of San Francisco but so far all our destinations seem to clustered on the coasts so we need some recommendations for the middle bits!

Here’s a list of things that we love: walking; water (sea, river, stream, waterfall, we’re not fussy); movies (I like to visit filming locations and we’d both appreciate an outdoor cinema experience); a bit of adventure; being off the beaten track.

Also, any yarn/craft store recommendations are appreciated since I have an idea to crochet a beautiful blanket while we’re travelling and when we get home and hope to buy some scrummy yarn while we’re away.

Apologies if this post was a bit lengthy, excitement makes me babble!






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Shawl supplies

I’m sure I’ve mentioned my new obsession with knitted shawls…

But did I mention my struggle to buy supplies? We went to London last weekend and I failed to even find the circular needle required for my chosen pattern. The shop that I knew sold the required yarn (I’m actually using the recommended yarn in two of three recommended colours!) was too out of the way to get to with our limited time and the department stores we went to (Liberty and John Lewis) only seemed to stock Rowan.

So I ordered the yarn over dinner (it may have been an alcohol-fuelled impulse purchase) and hunted for a snazzy needle and stitch markers.

Since it’s a project for honeymoon, I want it to be special so I ordered my first ever KnitPro Symfonie needle and managed to get some yummy stitch markers from the same company with free postage!

Everything turned up last week



Even looking at the pictures gives me a little thrill

I’ve just finished winding the first colour into a ball (by hand – is there anything more beautiful? Or exhausting?)

So, the question now becomes, do I start to knit or wind the others?

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My first foray into shawl knitting…

…has been pretty disastrous so far!
After seeing some lovely shawls on other blogs, I’ve become obsessed with knitting one for myself and the lace cardi I knitted for mum has reawakened my love of lace knitting
So I decided to knit myself a lovely shawl for our honeymoon (four months left!)
After trawling Ravelry and struggling to get a feel for the patterns, I decided to go through my pattern stash so I could get a better idea of the stitch patterns and processes involved. I didn’t find that many but I fell in love with a few so researched them further and decided on one from an issue of Knit magazine (now Yarnwise) However, the Ravelry project page highlighted some issues with the magazine pattern with a note to email the designer for an updated version. Which I did and received a very speedy email back with the pattern attached.
However, after trying to swatch the pattern I ran into more issues since there were problems with the written pattern and I don’t like working from a chart (must remember to email the designer)
So I went back to the drawing board. The other two patterns I loved were less than ideal since one was crochet and the other was chunky. Then I found some more magazines put aside because I planned on making one of the projects and rediscovered another gorgeous pattern. I still couldn’t make it work
So I’ve ended up going back to the first pattern that I fell in love with on Ravelry -the mareeka shawl by Brian Smith
I’ve searched in and I love the pattern, being more textured than lacy, it’s a much easier knit. However, it’s also reminded me of my hatred of stitch markers!
Anyway, I planned to buy all my supplies in London yesterday. I love the colours of the shawl so decided to use the recommended yarn in similar colours (I think the yellow is discontinued and I’d set my heart on orange) and I need a 7mm circular needle and decided to treat myself to some snazzy stitch markers so I wouldn’t hate them quite so much.
Turns out Loop is a bit out of the way for a time-limited trip and John Lewis and Liberty’s didn’t have any suitable yarn so I came away with nothing.
Not too much of a problem since you can order from Loop online so the yarn will hopefully be here by next weekend (just in time for hospital appointment next Monday)
The needles should be fairly easy too, from one of my local yarn stores but stitch markers are a lot more tricky.
I’ve been trawling Etsy for about an hour but I can’t decide which ones I like best! I’m only looking at UK sellers so the postage costs are cheaper and they arrive more quickly but there’s still so much choice
I think I need a fruit tea and some more time to ponder…
Wish me luck (and patience)