Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Travel Zingy goes to Amsterdam

We’re back! And a lovely time was had by all – especially poor Travel Zingy who hasn’t been out much lately

Here he is on the ferry on the way over

DSCF2816 DSCF2818We booked an overnight crossing and a lovely outside cabin with a huge porthole window (shame about the people wandering about outside said window!)

Unfortunately this is one area that we didn’t plan very well, sailing overnight meant we arrived in Amsterdam late morning and had to carry our luggage around with us for several hours.

We had thought of it and both packed light but it was definitely a struggle so, after a coffee, we bought CanalBus tickets and spent the next few hours admiring the city from the water



Travel Zingy had a great time and so did we (although I may have slept through a little of it)

We decided to head to the hotel asap since we were both tired but didn’t feel like walking the 45 minutes so we hopped in a taxi. It was so strange being driven around on the wrong side of the road!



We stayed at the Westcord Art Hotel and I was so excited to see one of my favourite paintings as the headboard. The bed was truly massive, as you can see, but not very comfortable.

We spent a very chilled out evening at the hotel and, the next morning, headed back to the cafe we found for a big breakfast…

DSCF2835…and some crochet time!

Steven wanted to see a couple of the apparently world renowned markets so we’d set the day aside for some shopping.

While I was preparing for the trip, I (of course) checked if there were any yarn stores in the city centre.

Oddly enough, there were two right down the road from the lovely cafe! We found one straight away

DSCF2837 DSCF2839Unfortunately, it stocks mostly Rowan.

After we’d been to the markets, we trekked for ages to find another.

DSCF2844 DSCF2848 DSCF2847 DSCF2846 DSCF2845This one was pretty awesome but a little out of the way. There was a bigger range of yarns, focussing on natural fibres but, again, not much that I can’t get over here.

I did buy some lovely German (I think) eco cotton to make another Sambuca shrug

And isn’t the knitted bike cover just perfect for the store and the city?!

The window pic shows some shawl samples, including Earth and Sky by Stephen West which I recently became acquainted with thanks to a fellow blogger (check out her post here)

On Sunday, we visited the science museum, NEMO. The roof terrace was amazing although Travel Zingy didn’t much appreciate the view from the top

DSCF2854However, both he and Steven greatly enjoyed playing with the Lego

DSCF2865 DSCF2867And pouted when we had to leave

DSCF2868To be honest, we were both a little disappointed so we didn’t stay long.

The next day we treated ourselves to brunch at the beautiful Cafe Americain, an Art Nouveau and Art Deco Hotel and Cafe.

DSCF2878We’d read bad things about the service and were a little apprehensive because the place is a bit posher than we’re used to. But the service was pretty good and the food was amazing so no complaints from us!

Then it was off to the Van Gogh Museum, where I managed to crochet three rows of my top and we paid nearly 10euros for two average coffees (the coffees in Holland tend to be quite small so we cheated a little and got two coffees in one but were busted at the till!)

DSCF2880The next day we scoped out one of the other yarn shops on my KnitMap list since it was on our way. It had a strange name (The Otherist) and I’d read that they stocked mainly Manos del Uruguay yarn so we didn’t look hard for it previously. I normally steer clear of Manos since they use a lot of silk but I’d seen a lovely summery poncho pattern in a recent magazine that used Manos Serena which has no silk at all!

Unfortunately not only was the shop closed but it didn’t look at all like a yarn shop so I was quite disappointed.

And, all too soon, it was hometime. We had a Starbucks breakfast on the way out of the city

DSCF2883Rented an inside cabin for the trip so we could dump our bags

DSCF2884And had a yummy three course meal on the ferry

DSCF2886Unfortunately, along with our Dutch goodies, I’ve come home with a much nastier souvenir in the form of food poisoning. Steven felt pretty bad for a few days too so we’re guessing it was a dodgy pizza on day two

I’m feeling much better than I was but I’ve still had to call the doctor and phone in sick for tomorrow.

I guess I’ll have to console myself with crafts and yarn research/shopping

Oh and if it sounds like we didn’t do much, it’s because I’m mostly remembering through pictures at the moment and have left out anything with no TZ pics, for some reason I haven’t taken nearly as many as I normally would.

Anyone else got foreign yarn shop stories? Or memories of Amsterdam to share?













The Adventures of Travel Zingy – garden DIY







Travel Zingy’s been helping us lay a path in the garden!



Time for a tea break!


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The Adventures of Travel Zingy – Bath

We’re home! And a lovely (albeit rather exhausting) time was had by all!































































Thank goodnes Travel Zingy didn’t have to walk by himself!











Project updates

Steven and I are off on holiday tomorrow, just a few days in Bath but I’m so excited!

Before we go, I thought I’d post a quick progress update.

Blocking my shawl seems to be going well. I keep forgetting to take pictures though so I’ll post more info on that later.

My Cricket Jumper is growing a little quicker than normal. I’ve finally finished the armhole shaping on the back (it was not fun) but still have a way to go yet.

I’ve also started work on a lovely crochet blanket for Steven and I (I think I mentioned it before…?)

It will involve a lot of repetition and weaving in of ends but each motif only takes about an hour so it should work up pretty quickly
















The pattern is the African Flower Blanket from the July/August 2012 issue of Crochet Today magazine and I’m using up some leftover yarn but had to buy a couple of balls as well.

I was a bit worried that the brown was too dark but I think the cream evens it out and the overall border will also help to lighten it up.

I’m hoping to get quite a few motifs done while we’re away. So far, I’ve completed three (barring the ends) and done two more middles (just the yellow)

I might need a ‘travel project’ though because of all the colour changes involved so I’m also taking my leftover shawl yarn to try and make some gloves/mittens to go with it (either more Misty Morning Mitts or my own design to match the shawl motif)

Oh, and I finished another lacy collar!

This one was knitted on 4mm needles instead of the recommended 3.75 (I think) but I still had to add another scallop



























I’m really chuffed with this one too! It didn’t block quite as flat as the first one but I quite like the slight ruffle on the edge









I joined the extra scallop in a different way than the first one – instead of knitting it all and sewing it on, I knitted the two together by picking up a loop on the edge of the original collar and knitting it with the first/last stitch of the extra scallop









I think it’s worked well but, to be honest, sewing it on afterwards is probably easier










I’ve also bought the yarn to make my friend Clare a baby blanket and found the perfect pattern for a hat and cardi for her daughter who is currently 18months (it’s the same friend and daughter that I knitted the Bridesmaid’s Boleros for)

So the project list isn’t diminishing even though I’m making good progress

As well as all this, it’s my birthday next week and I’ve asked for lots of crafty goodies so I’m going to be a very busy, very happy girl!

Lastly, apologies for the lack of Travel Zingy updates, we’re all very tired but he comes everywhere with me and I expect lots of pictures to be taken this week so I might need to have a full week dedicated to ‘The Adventures of Travel Zingy’


Everyone loves Zingy!

What’s that snaking through my door?











It’s my army of Zingys! Lead by Travel Zingy, of course

Travel Zingy loves adventure and he always likes to lead the others. Next comes Big Zingy, he’ll protect them from any danger. Just Plain Zingy comes next, followed by Bookworm Zingy, the office crew and Baby Zingy bringing up the rear

Upstairs, downstairs











The Zingys love to get together. Some of the group love to sunbathe














Sometimes Dharma Zingy comes over to join the fun

But he enjoys his job so he’s often found out in his van

Baby Zingy is often left out of the fun but when he grows up, he wants to be a big strong flame, just like the others

Just Plain Zingy loves to show off

He always likes to be in the spotlight

But since he helps to provide the energy, I guess that’s ok

















Travel Zingy, what are you doing up there?

Oh dear, both of you, get down from there!

Now, like any Englishman, Just Plain Zingy loves a nice cup of tea











And like any Frenchman, he also loves a nice glass of wine (shame it’s not red though, huh Zingy?)

So, this Zingy is my very own pattern and I plan to post it as soon as I remember where I’ve written it down

Also, look out for ‘The Adventures of Travel Zingy’, we’ve been out and about on the tandem this week!