Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Simply Recycled Aran Jumper – review

So what did you think of my SRA jumper?
I’m still a little unconvinced but I’ve already worn it loads (the weather here has turned and turned again!)
There are aspects that I absolutely love.
The yarn, as you know, is a favourite of mine. It’s a blend of recycled cotton and acrylic and comes in some lovely colours as well as being produced in both DK and aran (ooo, I wonder if they’ll start making a chunky version…) It can be a bit ‘splitty’ though so it’s sometimes worth rewinding the balls
I think what I love most is the combination of the wavy lace pattern and garter stitch
As with many lace patterns, it looks a lot more complicated than it is and it’s easy to get into the rhythm
However, this is also one of it’s downfalls because the pattern can become repetitive and, sometimes, a little dull
My main problem is my usual one and partly my own fault
I think the jumper is too baggy and the sleeves in particular seem huge!
Because, of course, I’ve done my usual trick of imagining myself as smaller than I am. I looked at the jumper in the picture and thought ‘oh it’s so lovely and so me’ forgetting that I’m a) taller than the average bear and b) not a size 10.
You’d think I’d learn but I don’t think it would cost the designers much to indicate the size of the jumper on the model and perhaps even have a pic or two of a larger size (this is why I love Ravelry)
And, of course, for the jumper to fit my bust, it has to drown me in other areas
Perhaps my next jumper (like my very first) should be fitted…

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Overwhelmed and under-enthused

So have you missed me? It might sound crazy but I’ve missed myself. I’ve been so bogged down with everything, I was too stressed to enjoy any one project or activity.

But I’m happy to say that I’m making good progress now and I’m definitely feeling the urge again (so to speak)

Last time I posted (almost a month ago, oopsie) I was working furiously on my Simply Recycled Aran jumper (SRAj) while Steven was working nights.

He wasn’t on nights for long but I made some really good progress and the back of the SRAj is now finished.

That’s as far as it goes though because I’ve put it aside to concentrate on some gifts, primarily xmas but the list is growing.

First on the list is a knitted Winnie the Pooh for my Nanny. I found the kit in one of my LYS and, after looking into it, found that it was quite ridiculously underpriced!

I then found a Tigger kit online which also has the stuffing and the teazel brush that you need to finish the effect so I bought that too. I have no idea who it’ll go to but there’s always a charity auction.

As well as the Pooh bear, I need to re-knit the cardi that I made her a few years ago. I somehow managed to use the wrong yarn (chunky instead of aran!) so it’s not a great fit.

I’d also decided to knit my mum a cardi and she recently bought some lovely unusual buttons so I had to let the cat out of the bag in case she wanted them on the cardi (or maybe I’m just really bad at keeping secrets)

Then… and this is huge… visiting another LYS to get supplies, the owner fell in love with my granny square bag (did I even remember to post about that?) and when her friend popped in for a visit showed it to her.

Long story short, I’m now working on my very first paid commission!

There’s a fairly quick turn around too because the bag is a gift for the owners birthday which is later this month!

So I’ve been working hard at that and my study and working five days a week (did I mention my new job?)

As well as trying to plan all my other projects (I was trying to make something to wear for my friends wedding this weekend but it just got too stressful)

Then… my aunt gave me a load of knitting patterns from a colleague’s aunt who had recently passed away.

Among the stash (it’s brilliant) is a booklet of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle jumpers!

My brother and I loved these when we were growing up and he happened to be round when I was looking through the patterns.

So his thirtieth birthday gift will be a TMNT jumper. He even helped me choose some yarn from my stash and I’m so excited about it!

Add to that all the little goodies that I’m hoping to sell and you’ve got one very busy, stressed-out Vix!

But, like I said, the lethargy is passing and I’m making some really good progress and I’m sure five-six hours in the car tomorrow will help too.

I’m just deleting all the old photos from my camera and I’ll be back soon with some new ones… once I figure out what I’ve already posted of course!

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Lilac Shawl – almost finished!

First of, apologies for my absence, I can’t believe it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post, especially since I’ve got a lot to say right now!

I was planning lots of updates on my shawl but I’ve been too tired and busy to try to blog much lately.

So, here is the finished shawl, before blocking

 

It’s quite big so it’s difficult to photograph properly and will be tricky to block

I think I’ve found a solution but it will take about two weeks (long story short, I’m not staying at home much these days so I plan to give it a quick handwash and block it out on my bed)

Like I said before, there were a lot of ends but I persevered and I’m really glad of it.

I think it helps that I have an occasion in mind where this shawl will be the perfect accessory.

Apart from all the ends to weave in, the main problem I had is that the yarn untwists and splits quite easily so extra care needs to be taken (especially when weaving in the ends!)

As usual, I changed the pattern slightly to make it easier for me to crochet, nothing major just a magic ring instead of a chain loop and working the joins later in the round.

All in all, I’m really chuffed with this piece – it’s made from a yarn that I love, no sewing up and quick to make.

I might even considering using this pattern for a certain big event that will happen in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future, although I’m always on the lookout for something a bit more special.

So, I’ll update again when the blocking process is complete and I’ve got plenty more posts lined up so I’ll be back very soon!

 

 

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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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