Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

A little catch up and another FO!

So, a while back I was ‘chatting’ with a fellow blogger about a jumper that she was drooling over (you can find her post here)

It turns out that she had only recently discovered the pattern but I’d already made the jumper and was planning another version

I meant to blog about it at the time, of course, especially since I knitted it in a week but somehow never quite got around to it

Well, I finished the second one last weekend so it’s almost the perfect time

The pattern is a lovely intarsia heart jumper by Martin Storey which was featured in an issue of Simply Knitting last winter

Here is my first one

DSCF2971 DSCF2973I love it and I wear it all the time but it is huge!

The pattern is designed to be oversize but, to be perfectly honest, when you’re a little bigger (and, yes, maybe a little sensitive about it) a jumper that’s over 10cm too big and knitted in chunky yarn is not going to be flattering

And now that I’ve lost a little weight, my poor heart jumper rarely leaves the house

So, I decided to knit my other jumper in the smallest size so it was a bit more fitted

I also decided that maybe another heart jumper was too… same-y and that the gorgeous silvery yarn I’d bought was perhaps more suited to a star motif (just a little obsessed with stars!)

So I re-designed it and here it is

DSCF2976 DSCF2975I love the colours and I’m mostly pleased with how the star turned out

However, I wore it to the hospital the other day and it felt a little tight and the sleeves a little shorter than I normally like

Having said that, I was really worked up about my appointment so perhaps just channelling my frustration

Speaking of which, I’ve been discharged! It’s been nearly two years since my treatment and the consultant is happy with progress so no more six-monthly trips to the clinic

Again, a very happy Vix

 

 

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A mostly monogamous month of knitting

A while ago my mum and I fell in love with this cardi in an issue of Simply KnittingDSCF2962

 

So, for the last month, I’ve been knitting almost constantly and almost monogamously (it was a surprise so I had to have a decoy project) to get it finished for my mum for her birthday.

I gave it to her tonight so she could choose her own buttons and I’ve sewn them on so she can wear it for our big shopping trip tomorrow.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been photographing well so I need to get some proper pics in daylight tomorrow. But for now, here it is before buttons

DSCF2959And a close up of the beautiful lace pattern

DSCF2956

 

It was a lot of fun to knit up and I only had a couple of issues with the decreases (always difficult with lace stitches) and the length of the sleeves (easily fixed and my own fault really)

I love it so much, I might need one for myself and my mum is really chuffed too.

More soon, we’re shopping for wedding dress fabric and honeymoon shawl supplies tomorrow so there will be lots to report. I’m so excited!

 

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Another call for help

Before I get started on all my catch-up posts, I’m afraid I need to ask for more advice

I’ve just finished a project and I had another one in mind (not one from my massive list but an entirely new one)

However, circumstances are conspiring against me to let me know that I’m in (almost) desperate need of a new cardigan

I’ve been standing in front of the mirror a lot lately thinking ‘I really like this outfit, what cardi can I wear?’

My new favourite cardi is a bought-knit black and white houndstooth that we actually bought for a sixties fancy dress party

However, there are certain outfits that it just won’t go with.

My second favourite cardi was obviously once my favourite since it looks about ten years older than it is and is now too big for me

This leaves me with two bought-knit cardis and my crochet sambuca jacket, all of which feature very open lace patterns so aren’t really suitable for the weather and my crochet spencer jacket

The spencer jacket, unfortunately, hasn’t really fared well with a lot of wear and, again, won’t suit a lot of outfits

So… the project that I had planned was a rather nice Fair Isle jumper from a recent issue of Simply Knitting

I’ve never had much luck with Fair Isle but I’d love to master it

I’ve scrapped the idea of the jumper in favour of a much more useful cardigan

But the question is, which cardigan?

I’m very tempted to adapt the jumper pattern so it’s a cardi instead and I’m mostly wondering if anyone has attempted such a thing

However, I also looked through my existing patterns and found a couple of lovely pieces so maybe I would adapt one of those to include a dash of Fair Isle

Let me know what you think and I’ll try to get some pics of the possibilities

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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!

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Crochet, crochet, crochet

Speaking of magazines, I got all excited the other day thinking that the publishers of Simply Knitting had brought out a new crochet magazine called Simply Crochet!

Unfortunately, it’s just a summer special and I’ve already got a couple of the patterns from a free supplement in Simply Knitting last summer.

I still bought it of course and I’m so glad I did!

I’m already working on one project (the ‘Day at the Beach’ Lilac Shawl), plan to crochet two of the ‘Cosy Cuddle’ baby blankets and have a renewed interest in the ‘Flirty Fans’ vest top (although, personally, I think it works out quite expensive).

I’m loving the way the shawl is worked, although there are loads of ends to weave in.

It’s made up of motifs but is unusual because you join them together as you go, which means no sewing up but lots of sewing in!

Because I’m making the medium size, my shawl will be made up of 105 motifs!

Since each one only takes about 10 minutes to crochet (yes, I’ve timed myself), it shouldn’t take too long

Here’s progress so far…

50 down, 55 to go!

This is definitely a project that will benefit from proper blocking!

I was also really excited to actually use the recommended yarn for a change. It’s made from Sirdar’s Simply Recycled Aran but I’m using the darker dusk (colour 32) instead of the chamomile (which is no longer listed on the website so perhaps unavailable)

The only problem so far is that I’m going to need an extra ball… Thankfully the shop had plenty of this dye lot so I think I’ll be ok.

The blankets are gifts for a friend who has a young daughter and a bump on the way. It’s still early days so they’re not urgent yet.

Apart from all that, the Cricket Jumper is still nowhere near completion (I still haven’t finished the back!) but the weather’s a little too nice to need it

I’ve bought yarn to make a blanket for Steven and I which I’m really excited about but, again, it will mean a lot of ends to weave in

The designing is still going well. I’ve designed and made a little toy based on a TV ad but I;m not sure about copyright so I’m waiting to hear back from them before publishing

The book idea is still in the pipeline but the designing slowed a little while I searched for a solution to a problem (hopefully all sorted now!)

One big problem I’m having is that my new job leaves me too little time to craft!

I just finished my second week and I was so tired last week, I didn’t do a stitch of anything for days

But, all in all, things are good and I’m actually thinking about designing a cardi to commemorate my time there – something inspired by the environment (sea, cliffs and plenty of flora and fauna!)

We’ll see…

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Obsessive, compulsive

It’s a well-known fact that crafters can be obsessive hoarders, the famous ‘yarn stash’ is a much written about topic and can be both a source of pride and frustration.

I’ve planned a post about it myself but a new obsession is clouding my brain… books and magazines!

I’ve always been a big reader but now I’m struggling to stop myself from buying any and every knitting and crochet book and magazine I come across.

Fortunately (for once) I’m a crafter on a budget so I have to rein myself in.

I’ve recently become tired of knitting magazines like Simply Knitting and Knit Today (too many tea cosies) in favour of more advanced magazines such as The Knitter and Knitting.

The problem I have is waiting a month between issues. So I sat down with all my latest copies and figured out that my three favourites (Inside Crochet, Knitting and The Knitter) all came out at different times so I could buy one a week for three weeks and not get too impatient.

Unfortunately, Inside Crochet isn’t very easy to find. I can’t get it in my hometown or my boyfriend’s hometown six miles away. I haven’t often found it in the major supermarkets we visit on a regular basis, which are around 20-25 miles away, or the large WHSmith in my local big shopping town (also 25 miles away)

I can usually find it in Woodbridge, which works out well since it’s one of my favourite places to visit. It’s only 15 miles away, an easy drive, easy parking, contains my favourite coffee shop, my favourite haberdashery shop and a lovely bookshop.

Well, the latest issue of Inside Crochet should have been out on the 30th of April but the WHSmith in Woodbridge haven’t even got an old issue or a gap for it!

Needless to say, it’s getting me down as I’m running out of options. I’ve looked everywhere I can think of. I was going to subscribe and hope I could still start with the latest issue but the website is, frankly, rubbish and tells me there are no printed copies of anything. On the Inside Crochet blog, they had details of a new digital version being released but that too is no more.

So, the options I’m left with are: go without; keep looking; telephone every newsagents in a thirty mile radius to try and find it; or order the digital version from Yudu and hope I can a) send it to my Kindle and b) enjoy it properly on said Kindle.

None of these options are thrilling me but the latest issue of Knitting was released today so I’ll just have to content myself with that for now…

I’d love to hear from anyone who knows Yudu better than I do, I’m not sure if I can return the magazine if it turns out to be too tricky

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