Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Knitting and Stitching Show 2014: part two

Well, it’s a week after the event and I only now find myself with the time and inspiration to write… busy bee!

So, my mum and I went to the Show with our posh LYS Twist. We went with them last year as well and, again, had a great time.

I did suffer a few disappointments however and one came very early on.

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I’m currently obsessed with Edward’s Menagerie so the Toft stand was high on my list of must-sees.

It was actually the first one we came across as we walked into the hall. The stand looked amazing, the animals from the book were all there, fluffy alpaca goodies and the staff were crocheting.

My excitement was short lived, however, because the yarns were the same price as online and the only special offer they seemed to be running for the show was a free pom pom when you buy two balls of yarn for a hat.

I went away feeling very sad so I was glad to come across one of my favourite stands from last year – Stitch Witch

Mum and I bought loads from them last year and this year was no different, we came away with fabric, wadding and buttons and then made another purchase because Mum fell in love with an Advent calendar kit (and I decided I needed some bias binding)

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The two Halloween fabrics and the orange came from Stitch Witch and I bought the others later on at various stands.

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I’m not sure you can see them very well but I bought some sheep buttons and some festive lighting string.

The little sewing kit was a freebie for signing up for the Abakhan newsletter

I kicked myself when we found the Brother stand because I realised I’d forgotten to check the model number on my sewing machine and I wanted to look for a zipper foot.

I remembered it though and the man was really helpful talking me through how it worked (turns out that the machine actually came with a plastic zipper foot so now I’m pondering selling the other)

So good was the salesman in fact that Mum bought an overlocker! She’s been wanting one since the Sewing Bee and they had a good deal on for the show.

Another stand that was high on our list was Aceville publications. They publish some brilliant magazines, including Homemaker which is our current favourite.

We were both after subscriptions and we figured there would offers on at the Show so we waited impatiently.

We were not disappointed! As well as getting the first three issues for just £6, there were loads of freebies.

aceville

First, you get a goodie bag with an issue of one of their magazines (Mum went for Let’s Knit and I had Crafts Beautiful), two packets of yarn balls and needles, and a packet of felt. Then you get a choice of a Debbie Bliss pattern booklet with two skeins of yarn or a couple of kits… I think one was a knitted teddy

We went for the Debbie Bliss and Mum went home with my yarn as well because it was Winter Garden which is 20% silk so I won’t use it

Also on my list was Baa Ram Ewe but we didn’t find them until quite late on. I wanted to find them to get a book that I’ve seen, hoping it would be cheaper at the Show.

Unfortunately this was disappointment number two because they didn’t have it. Apparently it was a collaboration with Rowan and the stand at the Show was focussing on their Titus yarn.

We didn’t come away empty handed though because they had kits to make Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl. I’ve seen versions of this that I’m simply not keen on but the sample they’d knitted up was amazing.

We both bought the kits but with different colours and Mum bought a blanket pattern too.

baaramewe

I actually got more than we bargained for because I ended up with an extra mini skein!

When I finally decided to buy the needles I needed at the Show (again, I couldn’t find them any cheaper than online so I was reluctant) I bought one of the ones I need for another project and the ones I need for the shawl

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This is definitely my second best buy because I’ve already made so much more progress on the project than I was with straight needles (more on that another day)

I say second best because I bought some Stylecraft Special to finish off my fox (oh, I didn’t post did I?!) and I completed the crochet on the way home and sewed her together when I got home.

Turns out though that their Show price was still more than I can get the yarn for so I stopped at a single ball.

Last year, I kicked myself for not buying Woodland Knits when we saw it so we hunted down the stand (we couldn’t remember who it was but knew they had lots of Cath Kidston) and Mum bought it for me for xmas.

We both also bought the new Cath Kidston Sewing Book which comes with a brilliant kit for a sewing pouch.

I was surprised when I checked the list of stands to find that Sirdar didn’t have one. Turns out they were well represented by Black Sheep Wools who had literally two mounds of yarn for people to dig through.

My first thought was that I wanted to just jump into it and cosy up but I decided it might have been frowned upon.

I couldn’t resist a packet of Click DK in a yummy orange and I’ve decided what I’d like to make with it, I just need to find a pattern

And Mum and I went halves on a packet of Snuggly Kisses to make blankets for expectant friends

sirdar

I bought a few little odds and ends as well, ribbon and buttons and such ( you can see them in some of the above pics and in the main one below)

We had both set ourselves a budget and only blew it a little (not including Mum’s overlocker), we both got some gifts sorted and we both came away with some real treats so a good day all round

Now I just need the time to play with it all… I wonder if the sound of my sewing machine will disturb my sleeping husband…

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Cricket Jumper – finished!

I finally finished it! And have been wearing it ever since!

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I really love the way it turned out but it is definitely a little big.

So, the pattern came from Knitting magazine issue 101 from August last year.

I used Stylecraft Special in cream for the main and James C Brett Twinkle for the accent.

I think the overall effect is really nice, the style is very classic but the sparkle gives it that little extra something.

The yarns are both easy to work with and the pattern was fairly simple to follow.

Typically, though, there were some issues. The pattern placements for the sleeves have been written wrong so if you’re making this, check them first so you don’t have to rip out a row (as I did).

Apart from that and some minor confusion over increasing, all was fine.

I found the back quite a trial because the pattern isn’t challenging and cream DK has never been my favourite yarn. But when I eventually got started on the front, because I knew my row count, I skipped through it and finished it up in about three weeks.

I mentioned before that when I started (all those many months ago) I was a bit bigger than I am now so the jumper is a bit too big.

I was hoping that the rib pattern would help it to mould to my shape and I think it does but the pattern also means the fabric is quite bulky so it’s not a slimming as I would have liked.

Overall though, I’m a very happy Vix and I might even consider knitting this again… just not in cream!

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Love it!!

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A nice warm fuzzy to brighten my day

I’m not sure if I posted about my disappointment recently regarding a ball of Stylecraft Special (possibly my favourite yarn)

Anyway, you know how there are sometimes knots within a ball of yarn where two sections have been joined together?

Well I was merrily knitting my Cricket Jumper one day when I came across FOUR knots in half a ball.

Then another one before I finished the ball and picked up a new one.

I was so disappointed that I wrote a complaint letter to Stylecraft. I hadn’t necessarily expected to hear anything back but thought they should know.

Imagine my delight to see this on the doormat this morning

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Hello, warm fuzzy!

To prolong the excitement, I opened my regular mail first (not very exciting and vaguely confusing)

And then opened my parcel to find these

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Extra warm fuzzy

Unfortunately, I have no current need for two balls of cream DK (the question is, how did Stylecraft know I was working with cream DK? Or is it a bizarre coincidence?)

So, any ideas would be lovely

I think I’ll sustain my warm fuzzy by crafting in front of the telly for a while and maybe do some more chores later… maybe

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Crochet Zingy pattern

This is my first try at writing a crochet pattern so I really hope it works. Please let me know if you have any issues and I’ll try my hardest to work it out.

I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn in shade 1256 Jaffa, some oddments of white and black DK from my stash (for some of the eyes and noses) and black and white felt (for most of the eyes and noses)

Here goes:

For the body:

Using orange yarn and a 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Round 2: inc. around (12 sts)

Round 3: (dc, inc) around (18sts)

Round 4: (dc2, inc) around (24sts)

Round 5: (dc3, inc) around (30 sts)

Round 6: dc tbl around

Round 7: dc around

Round 8: (dc4, inc) around (36sts)

Round 9: dc around

Round 10: (inc, dc5) around (42sts)

Round 11: dc around

Round 12: dc around

Round 13: (dc5, dc2tog) around (36sts)

Round 14: dc around

Round 15: (dc2tog, dc4) around (30sts)

Round 16: (dc3, dc2tog) around (24sts)

Round 17: (inc, dc3) around (30sts)

Rounds 18 – 27: rep. rounds 7 – 16 (24sts after round 27)

Start stuffing your Zingy now and add a little more after each round (where possible)

Round 28: (dc2tog, dc2) around (18sts)

Round 29: (dc, dc2tog) four times, dc2tog to end (11sts)

Round 30: dc2tog (dc2tog, dc) three times (7sts)

Round 31: dc around

Round 32: dc2tog twice, dc3 (5sts)

For the eyes (make two):

Using white yarn and 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Inc around (12sts)

Cast off

Using black yarn and 3mm hook, ch3, ss to join and cast off

Attach the black pupil to the white and attach to your Zingy

For the nose:

Using black yarn and 3mm hook, ch2

Dc into 2nd ch

Cast off

Attach just below the eyes of your Zingy

To complete:

Tightly tie a length of orange yarn around the neck of your Zingy

For a Big Zingy:

Use a 4mm hook for the body and the whites of the eyes and a 3.5mm hook for the pupils and nose

For a Baby Zingy:

Using orange yarn and a 3.5mm hook, make a magic circle and dc6 into it

Round 2: inc. around (12 sts)

Round 3: (dc, inc) around (18sts)

Round 4: (dc2, inc) around (24sts)

Round 5: dc tbl around

Round 6: dc around

Round 7: (dc3, inc) around (30sts)

Round 8: (inc, dc4) around (36sts)

Round 9: dc around

Round 10: (dc2tog, dc4) around (30sts)

Round 11: (dc3, dc2tog) around (24sts)

Round 12: (dc2tog, dc2) around (18sts)

Round 13: (inc, dc2) around (24sts)

Rounds 14 – 19: rep. rounds 7 – 12 (18sts after round 19)

Start stuffing your Zingy now and add a little more after each round (where possible)

Round 20: (dc, dc2tog) four times, dc2tog to end (11sts)

Round 21: dc2tog (dc2tog, dc) three times (7sts)

Round 22: dc around

Round 23: dc2tog twice, dc3 (5sts)

 

I’m so excited to publish this, I just hope it works properly

 

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