Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

2016 sock obsession review

I’ve finally managed to ponder my 2016 socks and write up a review.

In total, I made 15 3/8 pairs  using 13 patterns, 10 of which were new to me and two my own design. I’ve tried several new indie dyed yarns including a new to me blend (yak – rather feltable) and one new to me commercial yarn.

I’ve certainly learnt a lot along the way, not just patterns and techniques but my own preferences.

I always preferred toe up socks because I found them easier to judge the fit but now that I’ve made several cuff down pairs and fought with a stretchy cast off, I’ve definitely revised and reversed my preference.

Similarly, I’ve always preferred to err on the larger side of sizing because I hate too tight socks but hand-knit socks definitely need a touch of negative ease.

The one problem I haven’t managed to overcome is fitting the heel of crochet socks – my two pairs of Cluster F**ks are fine but my Step by Step socks are a frankly hideous fit and actually hurt if they’re not in the right position (I’m gutted, it’s one of my favourite colourways).

The obsession certainly hasn’t abated and the challenge has been rather fun.

I will, of course, be continuing work on those pesky August gifites (I finished the first sock yesterday!) and I’ve bought myself some mini circular needles so you never know, perhaps there’ll be a 2017 sock challenge…!

January – Moss Check test knit
February – Cluster F**ks
March – Sea Steps
April – Regia lace
May – This Way Please test knit
June – Sport Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset Heel
Posey
Baby Booties x3
July – Riverflow test knit
August – unfinished secret gifties
September – more Cluster F**ks
October – Step by Step
November – own design
December – own design for baby

I’ve linked to my Rav project pages, which link to the pattern pages.

I’m rather proud of myself

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Slipper obsessed – me?!

Heck yeah!

Here’s my second pair, with more pattern tweaking and a lovely bow!

orangeslippers

I was trying to use up some yummy orange yarn but there wasn’t actually enough, hence the two/three-tone.

The pattern is one I found on Ravelry (pattern page here) but it did require some alterations… mostly down to my big ol’ clown feet I think!

My tension was spot on but by the time I’d finished one slipper it was tiny, it fit my foot and was comfy on the toes but didn’t come up far enough on the heel or the front of my foot so it kept falling off

All I did on the first pair was to add a few extra rows (you can see a quick pic here) but they still didn’t fit hugely well so I added straps to keep them on.

With the second pair, I experimented further and added more rows with further shaping and I think they’re actually better than the first pair

So much so that I’m making more and seriously considering them as xmas gifts.

I think the pattern is translated from Japanese and uses US terms so it takes a while to tune in.

I also found that I had to reverse the shaping to make the second slipper (according to Ravelry, I wasn’t the only one) but the pattern doesn’t mention this.

However, what I love most is how customisable they are. The pattern recommends using DK yarn doubled up which means a whole realm of colour combos or keep it simple with a plain chunky.

And the embellishments! I have such plans for the next pair… watch this space

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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)

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Stressful times and new adventures

Wow, last week was hard going! And this one isn’t shaping up to be much better although this afternoon is turning out a lot better than I thought.

Thankfully Steven’s back on days (YAY!), unfortunately he’s still doing 12 hour days, six days a week… but it is better… mostly

Anyway, I’m trying really hard not to dwell on the rubbish so we’ll get down to crafty business

I’m learning to sew!

Now, I’ve always been surprisingly good at hand sewing (mostly because I’m a perfectionist I think). But, with the exception of a fairly disastrous pencil case that I made in middle school, I’d never used a sewing machine.

Until a couple of weeks ago that is. Steven bought me (us?) the machine on our last trip to Hobbycraft and I’m already getting a bit obsessed.

The main reason I wanted one was a single project that I thought would make excellent xmas gifts (more on that tomorrow)

And then I started the granny square handbag and thought it was just all the more reason to need one.

So now I’m almost hunting for patterns that involve knitting/crochet AND sewing because I’m loving it so much and, after a few false starts, I think I’m getting quite good.

I’ll try and get some pics of progress so far and do another update tomorrow.

I’ve also bought some patterns to make crochet shoes! And I’m talking SHOE shoes and not indoor slipper shoes.

I’m having to combine two patterns because of the materials involved but I’m very excited and just waiting for a day to dedicate to this latest adventure.

I have a few concerns mostly about size but I think they’ll be easier to figure out as I go.

Oh and some of you may have noticed the new additions on the right?! I’m really getting into both Etsy and Ravelry so I thought I’d link to my accounts (I opened my Etsy shop yesterday with a single crochet watch but hopefully it will grow!)

Hope you all have a lovely crafty evening, I’m off out to pester my sewing genius (aka Mummy)

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