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’

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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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Sambuca Jacket – finished! (plus some more Misty Morning Mitts!)

I’m so glad to finally get a chance to write this post! I finished my jacket last week but have been so poorly over the weekend that I haven’t had the brainpower to write or the energy to pick up a needle or a hook!

Thankfully, I started feeling a bit better on Saturday so I’ve got a new project underway and some lovely pics to share with you

The whole cardigan is stitched in this gorgeous shell stitch, worked over three rows

I actually used a bikini fastener for mine, I couldn’t find any ‘sweater fasteners’ and a button looked too uneven for my liking

The jacket is designed to be slightly cropped but I had to stitch significantly more rows to get it to a length I was happy with. The beauty with a top down design is that you can try on as you go to make it the perfect length.

The design in the magazine also has a double crochet edging all the way around but I loved the scalloped bottom edge so much that I left it and just edged the front and the cuffs.

Once again, my mum loves it! And she was super impressed when I told her that one ball would make a sleeveless cropped shrug (guess what my latest project is?!)

I recently discovered James C Brett‘s Twinkle (I think it might be new), a 96% acrylic yarn with a twist of sparkly polyester. I decided to go with black, it’s not a colour I wear often and it goes with everything so it’s perfect when you’re working on a budget.

I worked out the yardage according to the pattern and bought four balls, hoping to have some left over to stitch some more Misty Morning Mitts (coming up in a mo) However… I ended up with one ball unstarted and another barely used!

I’m always a litttle irritated when this happens (there’s that ugly budget again) but Mum decided she’d like one in black so it’s worked out perfectly and Mum’s shrug is already nearing completion.

So… I loved the Misty Morning Mitts so much, I decided to stitch another pair but to make them really dinky to go with the sparkly yarn. I like to think of them as Evening Misty Morning Mitts

 Keeping warm – wearing one whilst stitching the other

After stitching the first pair, I mentioned that I thought the pattern was written wrong. A few rows into these, they looked completely wrong, the pattern was looking more like a rib than it really should so I decreased by a stitch so I was working on 29 instead of 30 (for some reason, I never had 31 like the pattern stated)

This was a bit more difficult to stitch but looks more like the pattern in the magazine so I guess the others are wrong after all – fortunately Mum and I love them so it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately, I think the pattern gets a little lost in the black yarn but in the right light they look great and they look really lovely on!

I think I might need another pair, the Twinkle yarn comes in a lovely purple……

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Chakra Neckerchief and Misty Morning Mitts – finished!

The neckerchief is started using an adjustable ring (one of many new techniques I’ve been learning!) and is stitched simply using treble crochet and chain stitches.

I changed it a little from the pattern: I struggled with the instructions for the second row ( I think they might be wrong); I stitched my neckerchief in DK instead of 4-ply (this was a mistake on my part, maybe my yarn stash needs a bit more organisation); I left out the beaded border; and I added a knot on one corner to use as a fastener.

I really enjoyed learning the adjustable ring technique but I was a bit put out that the magazine didn’t offer any guidance on it. The pattern is supposed to be suitable for beginners but it’s not a technique I’d heard of so I had to search online for some help.

Thankfully, I discovered an amazingly helpful website that had an article describing the technique with lots of handy pictures (check out www.crochetme.com for this technique and more!)

I did find the whole thing a little repetitive but it grows so quickly, it was a pleasure to crochet.

On one of my many trips to my local haberdashery shops, I discovered Sirdar’s Simply Recycled yarn (it was on sale so nice and cheap but in short supply – I only got two balls)

It’s very me, I love cotton yarns and to discover one that’s recycled just made my day!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a project in mind so I ended up with needles for a planned knitting project but no yarn, a hook for a planned crochet project but no yarn and two balls of lovely yarn with no planned project at all!

Fortunately, I discovered that the Misty Morning Mitts pattern is crocheted in DK so off I went.

Again, though, I had all kinds of issues with the pattern. The foundation chain is very different than I’m used to, in order to create the picot edge, so I had to experiment a little there. I also got confused when the pattern told me to decrease to 30sts and then said that the special stitch pattern is always worked over on odd number of stitches!

But, stubborn as I am, I persevered. I’m not convinced the stitch pattern looks like it should but I love them and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can show them off!

Again, I altered the pattern a little as I wanted the mitts a bit longer at the top so they covered my knuckles instead of just grazing them.

My mum loved them so much, she wants a pair! She’s chosen Stylecraft Twirl for hers and likes the length of mine so I’ll be crocheting another pair soon enough.

I’m also hoping to have some yarn left over from my other current project to use for another, shorter pair.

Both of these patterns are from February’s Inside Crochet (issue 26) and my other current project is the Sambuca Jacket from the same.

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