Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Normal service will now resume

Wow, has it really been a month?! Ooopsie.

I can only apologise and explain that I have been studying for my exams and any ‘free’ time went to serious chilling and crafting.

However, exams are over (yay!) and I’ve done quite a lot of crafting to catch you all up on

First, a quick list

  • the friday night in cardi has it’s buttons and was completed just in time for warmer weather
  • crafting for FolkEast has begun in earnest and this year the tent will be huge so the decorations are suitably impressive
  • I’ve learnt several new techniques in both knitting and crochet
  • I’ve nearly finished my first pair of ‘proper’ knitted socks
  • I’ve been yarn buying… quite a lot actually
  • work on the house and garden is ongoing though slower than we’d hoped
  • lovely hubby bought me my first hand dyed yarn and I’ve made up a nice little shrug pattern that shows it off rather nicely
  • I’ve got tons more projects planned (knit, crochet, and sewn!)
  • I finished the Lace Leaf KAL and loved it

I’m sure there was more but never mind

I hope to post pics etc over the next couple of weeks so come back soon

I’m off to finish my second sock!

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Super simple cushion covers

I’m sure I’m not the only one to have discovered this trick but I was so amazed at how quick and easy these cushion covers are to make that I just had to share it with you!

First off, make sure you’ve got a full width of fabric because this means beautiful secure edges without having to sew a decent hem (mostly, I’ll explain later)

As you can see, one edge is patterned all the way to the edge – this is the edge to keep on view CushionCovers (2)

Measure your cushion and cut the fabric to about the same size, when you’ve sewn up the cushion will be nicely snug in the cover

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Lay your strip of fabric wrong side down and fold in the edge to be seen

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Next, fold in the edge not to be seen and measure to make sure your cover is the right size and shape

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Securely pin both edges and sew up.

Because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I sewed up one edge and then measured again to make sure the next seam went in the right place

Trim the edges with pinking shears

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Turn right side out and iron

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Ta-da!!

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Unfortunately, my second cushion wasn’t nearly so simple because the fabric was wider than necessary

However, this needn’t be an issue. Measure and trim a piece, remembering to keep the patterned edge of the fabric. Roughly sew a hem on the cut edge and repeat steps above, again remembering to keep the nice fabric edge as your edge to be seen

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Wait for it… ta-da!

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Comfy craft room now and I think they look pretty great together

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All in all, I spent about two hours creating these lovelies and that includes time to hang out some laundry, have a chat with my mummy, make a couple of cuppas and cry over the width issue

I’m sew happy (sorry I resisted once, I couldn’t do it again!)

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Crafty progress – a very good week

Despite being both poorly and busy, I’ve made a lot of crafty progress this week.

I cried off knitting group on Monday night to stay at home with hubby and my cough and sew up my Giselle cardi (I still haven’t gotten around to blocking it though)

On Tuesday night, I went with a friend to a WI talk on silver clay jewellery. It was really fascinating and only slightly ruined by a coughing fit that sent me outside to really let it out without disturbing people.

I’ve finally finished the granny square centres for a friends bag and am making good progress on the second and third rounds

Just in case that’s nonsense – the granny squares are multicoloured and I tend to do one colour (instead of one square) at a time, four centres of one colour followed by four centres of another colour and any second rounds and so on. When they’re all finished, they get a fourth and final round of the main colour before joining, lining and finishing.

I’ve also managed to resist the lure of my Cascade 220 and finally swatch and cast on a cardi for my Nanny. Progress is slow because my cold-fuddled brain can’t deal with the heavy cabling, especially after a busy day.

I’m making some good progress on a secret xmas project or two and today managed to sew some really simple cushion covers for my craft room!

So, watch out for some yummy FO pics, maybe a tutorial on the cushion covers and a couple of sob stories along the way

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GBBO love

I’m so excited that the Great British Bake Off is back!

Last week, it inspired me to bake a yummy swiss roll. Which subsequently went wrong so I had to make a battenburg as well. Said battenburg also went wrong.

But they both tasted really good so it doesn’t much matter.

In fact, hubby loved the swiss roll so much that I made another today for my birthday tomorrow!

I also used my cake pop mould for the first time… maybe let’s not talk about it just yet (until the disappointment and hilarity have died down a little)

Today’s Bake Off is making me drool over florentines and seriously contemplate buying a Mary Berry cookbook

In other crafty news, I’m working on some lovely crochet projects, have almost finished my latest knitted jumper, have done some serious sewing and am expecting some crafty gifts tomorrow so there will be lots of news to come later in the week

Oh, and I haven’t shared one of my biggest ventures yet so look out for that one

And, of course, I’ve been so busy I haven’t said much about the wedding yet either so I think I’ve got a long night of post scheduling ahead

Enjoy the Bake Off!

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We got married!

And I have a few pictures to share with you all (many thanks to our good friends Mark and Jacqueline for supplying said photographs)

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I’m not sure why I look so confused but it’s a good pic for showing my beautiful dress (made by my beautiful Mummy) and Steven’s matching tie (made by me!)

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One of the centrepieces, for those of you who haven’t realised we had a bicycle thing going on. We also put different versions of Scrabble on the tables because we played it on our first dateStevens & Vicky Wedding 053And we left on a vintage Vista Duo, lovingly restored by my hubby. Oh and you can see my knitted watch and my crochet capelet (both made by myself for the day)

Hope you like them, further details will follow, I just need to collect some more photos

And, of course, there’s the honeymoon to talk about!

 

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Sewing progress

Just a few quick pics today (it’s almost time for The Apprentice!)

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This is the first practice piece, I started by sewing a square in the middle and then a double hem along one edge (sorry the pics aren’t great, I had to turn the flash off so the stitches would show up)

Not bad for a first attempt though, right?

Next I had to practice sewing onto a piece of crochet, which was ok but had to be sewn crochet side up so it was difficult to guide the piece properly.

This practice piece was used more than once and, as such, was unsuitable for photographing

So, here is a finished notebook (mine/practice)


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Again, this was sewn crochet side up so the stitching is far from perfect

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However, my stitching genius came up with an amazing solution – pin a piece of greaseproof paper on the other side of the crochet and then you can sew it fabric side up and guide the stitching along the lining!

It works like a charm and Mum’s notebook looks much better

DSCF2727 DSCF2728 DSCF2729 DSCF2730Still not perfect but she was really pleased with it so I’m really happy too.

Right, that took longer than planned so I’m off for telly and more crochet (and maybe some wine…)

 

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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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The Great British Sewing Bee

Did anyone else see this awesome new show?! The first episode just finished and I love love loved it
It’s on BBC2 at 8pm on Tuesdays (I thought it was on every day this week so I’m actually really gutted now)
As the name suggests, it follows a similar pattern to the Bake Off (sorry, pun not intended!) with three tasks completed over a couple of days
This week they had to: make an A-line skirt from a pattern; alter a shop bought t-shirt; and make a day dress. And all tasks are time limited, can you imagine making a skirt from scratch in less than an afternoon
It’s almost inspiring me to learn to sew properly
And even better than all that? I completed a whole pattern repeat on the first sleeve of the cricket jumper

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Look Mum, no ends!

I finally got around to weaving in the ends of my finished blanket motifs! Which means I can finally crochet up some more…

I think I’ll weave in the ends as I go this time though, 53 in a single sitting was hard going!

Hmmm, which is the front and which is the back?

I’m pretty sure that’s the back. Looks good though, don’t you think?

I’m also thinking that sewing them together row by row instead of all together at the end will be a good idea so look out for more pics soon

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Current projects

I’m currently working on four projects: a crochet jacket for myself; a secret knitting project for my boyfriend; a quilted blanket that I’ve been working on for years; and a cross stitch that may well never get finished!

I started the blanket while I was at uni, always planning that it would be a project to pick up and put down as the fancy took me. Unfortunately, I rather fear that I’m going about it the wrong way which often stops me picking it up when I’m at a loose end.

The cross stitch is a large, fully stitched image called Woodland Enchantress by Dimensions. I started it several months ago but, having just completed another large cross stitch, decided it was time for a change. Looking at it now though, I’m excited to get started in earnest. It’s so beautiful and intricate and will certainly be a challenge.

The secret knitting project is a Union Jack Slipover (very much hoping my boyfriend can be put off from reading this blog!), knitted using the intarsia technique. I found the free pattern on the Coats Crafts website and fell in love with it. I was hoping it would be a nice surprise for him for Christmas but, with the other projects I had on, I didn’t manage to finish it so it remains a secret for another little while.

I’m really excited about my crochet jacket, a pattern from the book AUSTENtatious Crochet, but I’m already having a few issues with it. Showing it to my mum the other day, I noticed that the shoulder shaping on the back is different to the front/s… I’m not sure what to do about this so I’m continuing with the sleeves while I ponder the problem.

I was in love with the book from the first time I saw it but, I have to say, I’ve been disappointed. The piece I most wanted to make was Emma’s Hood but the pattern simply didn’t work for me. I tried and tried and eventually gave up after my fourth attempt. I even e-mailed the designer who was very helpful to begin with but seemed to lose interest when she realised that she perhaps couldn’t help me.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has succesfully made the hood or something else using the five star marguerite stitch or, indeed, anyone who has more experience of crochet than I do.

Having said that, I’d love to hear from anyone who shares my love of craft!

 

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