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Blue raglan sleeve jumper

16 Jan

I used to pick knitting project that would challenge me, each new project I picked had a different element or a more challenging construction/technique, I was eager to learn. I’m still eager to gain more knowledge and try new things however I’m making more practical about (some of my) projects based on filling gaps in my wardrobe or using yarn I already have.

I knitted this jumper based on the yarn I had rather than the pattern. I’m so used to selecting a pattern first, particularly when knitting a garment. I still have almost a whole bag of cashsoft 4ply yarn I bought about 8 years ago in a sale. It seemed like a great idea, buying a garments worth of yarn at the time, but I haven’t found anything quite right to use it for. The yarn for my jumper was actually a gift, well half of it was. I was given 3 or 4 balls, not quite enough to do anything substantial with and so it had been in my stash for a few years. I actually ended up using it quite by accident. While visiting my LYS, Knit Nottingham, having gone in to buy a lighter weight cardigan pattern and 4ply yarn, I clocked the yarn I already had which sparked a conversation about it, and the revelation that it was soon to be discontinued. So I abandoned my initial ideas and bought the rest of the yarn, which would be enough for a garment.

The yarn is called Amalfi a DK weight, produced by Sirdar, 75% cotton & 25% Viscose, it’s nice and drappy and perfect for milder wintry days. The colour I used was an electric blue shade (capri 757) which has a variegated turquoise and bright green/yellow strand (possibly the viscose percentage) running through it. As the yarn itself had some texture I didn’t want to knit anything too detailed as it would get lost in the fabric so I opted for a simple jumper and added a straight forward ridged stripe.

I really enjoyed this knit, it was pretty quick (which is always satisfying). I did a proper tension square (washed it & everything), what I enjoyed most, although I roughly based it on the Brick pattern, was the mathematical challenge. I know this come as second nature to many. However as I mostly knit for pleasure and love following others patterns, it was a nice gentle challenge to measure, calculate & knit for a change.

One feature I did want to note, was the folded hem, a decision I came to with the help of Knit in Notts (knit group) after I realised a 1×1 rib just wasn’t working, it made the jumper look frumpy and awkward. The last “stripe” section I knitted on a needle size small than the rest of the jumper, then folded under and grafted in place. I REALLY enjoyed sewing the hem, I thought it’d be a long boring process but I found it rather relaxing. I now have a jumper that hangs as I’d hoped with no clinging.

It’s not the most ground breaking, interesting or exciting garment. However it fits, it suits me, I’ve worn it loads already having finished it at the beginning of November (in time to wear to the Nottingham Yarn Expo – though not all the ends were sewn in). I’m enjoying having a hand knitted jumper that I’m happy lounging around in. It was the perfect weigh for the mild December weather we had. What I’ve also found interesting is that, I’m not sure I would not have chosen this yarn myself, but I really like the finished jumper. It may have opened my mind a little regards yarn selection in the future.

blue raglan sleeved jumper - nettynot creates blog

One thing I always struggle with is posing for photographs in my handmade garments I’m not really a poser, I’m not naturally photogenic either. I used to resist ALL photos, however the older I get the less I care so much. However I look at past photos in my jumpers, cardigans or dresses and I’m always stand weirdly, grimace, or just look plain awkward or bored. I’m not vein or self conscious enough to keep chopping off my head in photos, which I have done many time before. So I decided to embrace my daft side…. This “pose” does at least remind me of that sense of accomplishment when you cast off a project, try it on and it fit you perfectly!

You can see more details about my jumper (if you’d like) in my ravelry projects here.

Thanks for reading.

Steph

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Make Nine 2019

2 Jan

I always like perusing everyone’s “makenine” instagram posts, in the past it has inspired additions to my favourites or even my queue on Ravelry. However I have never listed 9 makes for myself before. I don’t like the idea of putting that pressure on myself, creating a wonderful list of complicated inspiring garments that, let’s face it, I would have to spend every spare minute making to complete in a year.

However, I have decided to make a list this year to help keep my focus. 2018 was a year of knitting what I fancied, not finishing things before starting other projects, which has left me with a fair few WIP’s.

I am using my #makenine2019 as an opportunity to create a list of aims, made up for of WIP’s, knits I have already bought the yarn for, 2 sewing projects I have already bought the fabric for and a few projects I have been intending to do but as yet haven’t. AND do you know what, if I don’t do them all, it’s fine! No one will die, it won’t be the end of the world and I can make them in 2020 instead! However wouldn’t it be nice if I did complete them all….

Make Nine 2019

I have detailed them here as a reminder to myself (or if you’re interested) and so I can keep track of things.

(Top 3 left to right)
1. Crochet – this will be a new one for me, I haven’t ever crocheted a garment before, but I do love the look of this & it’s been a topic of discussion at Knit group!
Pattern is Granny Rocks Jumper by Iron Lamb
2. Socks! I have a pair to finish, and yarn for at least three more. I want to learn new technique and get the perfect fit!
3. My Maan shawl by Natasja Hornby an on going WIP, started in October 2017 that I really would like to finish!

(Middle 3 left to right)
4. Sewing; I have wanted to make a Moneta dress by Colette Patterns, for ages, I didn’t find time in 2018 despite buying (and washing) the fabric.
5. My Arboreal jumper by Jennifer Steingass was started on holiday back in February 2018, I knitted the colour work yoke and it have been hibernating ever since, for no other reason than getting distracted by other projects, though I did pick it up again over Christmas.
6. Another sewing project; as soon as Tilly & the Button released the Zadie dress I knew I wanted to make it, the style of the dress tends to suit my body shape well, though at the time my sewing ability was a little wobbly. So 2019 will be the year to tackle this.

(Bottom 3 left to right)
7. My summer wardrobe is missing a lighter weight, v-neck, 3/4 length sleeve cardigan (in a lovely berry-ish shade), ravelry searches have failed to reveal the ideal cardigan, so I may well make design my own.
8. Diesis by Alice Caetano, I fell in love with this jumper on the PomPom stand at Yarndale in 2017 and bought the magazine based on this design alone. However I’m yet to start and I’m I keep wondering whether I’ll get enough wear out of it, I imagine it’ll be very toastie.
9. Glenfiddich by Annamária Ötvös I bought this pattern for my Mum to knit me a cable cardigan for Christmas 2017, I’ve always found cables a bit frustrating. However since my Mum didn’t get on with the pattern and ended up knitting a different cardigan. I thought this would be the perfect time to bite the bullet and get to grip with cables. It is such a lovely cardigan, and one I can image getting a lot of wear out of. I have already have the yarn too!

I am quite sure I will veer of this path a little, I have given myself a get out of jail free card on number 8.  I have already been um-ing & ah-ing over this pattern for a while. I’m sure I’ll change my mind more than once about these projects throughout 2019. I will be interested to see how much of a detour I take when I look back this time next year!

Here’s to a creative and productive 2019.
Thanks for reading.
Steph

Hybrid Cardigan

30 Dec

Once I’d selected my fabric  I used to create my latest dress, I knew I’d want to make a cardigan too and I already had in mind the yarn & colour, which would match the teal flowers on the fabric brilliantly. The yarn I had in mind was the 4ply Bamboo cotton from Knit Nottingham, by King Cole. I’d already used the dk for my tee shirt and cross pockets cardigan, so knew it’d make a great summer garment.

So off to ravelry I went to figure how much yarn I’d need. I already knew the style I wanted, a fitted waist with a v-neck, maybe a slight peplem/or flare over the hips. Using these criteria I used the ever so useful filters on the pattern search and eventually came across this version of Kim Hargreaves Blossom cardigan (from her book Misty) by  Madhatter (project persil).

madhatter
Isn’t this stunning, I really liked her adaptions, getting rid of the faffy picots, and adding longer sleeves. I decided to create a similar version of this variation. I excitedly headed off to knit Nottingham to get my yarn only to discover the yarn is no longer available in 4ply (!!!).

Back to the drawing board slightly, the yarn was still available in dk, I checked there wasn’t anything else suitable in a 4ply before settling on the dk in the lovely opal colour I’d already set my heart on. I thought I’d have a go at making a similar style cardigan in dk weight.

Fabric and yarn - nettynot blog
I went back to rav and had another search and came across the fleurette jacket, while scanning through the various incarnations, all 126 of them, I spotted someone I knew (what are the chances). Rachel from my knit group had knitted this very same garment for her own wedding, before I’d ever met her (small world indeed) she’d made some lovely adaptions too including cables and a different lower section.

So I made up my mind. I was going to base the top half of the cardigan on the fleurette jacket, as I rather liked the construction of the sideways waist band, I also liked the plain stockinette on the top, though not a big fan of the lacy half. So for the bottom I was going to wing it and create my own peplum, inspired by the blossom cardigan.

I initially liked the way the pattern was written, it was very much written to tailor the fit and size as you’re knitting. I imagine this might be a little daunting to someone who isn’t a confident knitter or who isn’t familiar with negative ease. I feel I’ve already made enough mistakes and worked with this yarn before that I could predict how the garment might fit and knit accordingly. I have noticed from the finished projects on Ravelry that people have struggled with this. I was keen to get going so cast on straight away (abandoning all other WIP’s) I really liked how the waist band was knitted first, then stitches picked up to knit the top. I was making quick progress and then came to the set in sleeves. I’ve knitted at least two other garments with set in sleeves and don’t remember getting into a pickle. But I could not make any scene of the instructions here (quick Rav consultation and I found others had had the same issue). So I decided to research alternative ways and found Knitionary’s blog post about set in sleeves, which was a bit of a hallelujah moment for me. It’s so clearly explained and I will be referring back to this for future project I’m sure!

Teal Hybrid Cardigan - sleeve - nettynot creates

Teal is one of the trickiest colours to capture, it’s not this dull in real life!

I’m trying to get into the habit of updating my Ravelry project notes as I go, particularly if I have issues as I have found them so helpful when I’ve looked at other peoples project notes (and when I’ve revisited my own projects). Sometimes, as I just mentioned above, knowing I’m not the only one with the same issue. Or, no one else has a problem with this (it must be me – put project down, make tea, come back to it, spot the error of my ways and resume).

Teal Hybrid Cardigan - set in sleeves - nettynot creates

Again, the yarn is not this blue either!

Once the sleeves were set in I tackled the peplum edge. I purposely didn’t read the instruction for the 4ply blossom pattern as I didn’t want it to muddy the waters for me now that I was working in dk. I realised I needed to to do the button band first so that I could make my peplum edge meet at the front edge. Then I picked up all the stitches around the bottom and then increased as per first line of the fleurette jacket and then started winging it.

Teal Hybrid Cardigan - Peplum - nettynot creates

I worked on a long circular needle back and forth in garter stitch and made sure to make notes as I went as I’ve have to do the exact same thing, in reserve as I work round the edge of the cardigan. I initially increased to make a nice shaped curve at the front of the cardigan (this was the fiddliest part, I ripped it out a few time). I made 4 simple short row increases / decreases for the hips, on each side, and curved the edge at the end decreasing (following my increase notes from the start).

Teal Hybrid Cardigan - Blocking - nettynot creates

Teal Hybrid Cardigan - Jemdrew wedding - nettynot creates

A bit of summer day light – this is what the colour is really like. I need to work on my poses when showing off handmade garments…. it’s not wonky in real life!

Overall I’m really impressed with how it’s turned out, it goes really well with my dress too, just a shame it was too warm to wear it at the #jemdrew wedding (though did get a snap of me in it, though not the best photo). It is a bit of Frankenstein cardigan, but that’s what makes it special. I’m also impressed with myself. I finally feel I have a really good understanding of my abilities as a knitter (I’m generally not very good at admitting things like this as an introverted Brit) however this project has proved to me I can do this and I’m too bad at it either – it’s only taken 14 years. My only hope now is that in another 12 years my dressmaking will be as good, ha!

My ravelry project for my hybrid cardigan can be found here.
Thanks for reading
Steph

Side Note – I wrote this blog post back at the beginning of October, with the intention of getting a few good photos of me wearing the cardigan at another wedding in Oct (the lovely Eleanor & Dr Chris of Knit Nottingham fame). I did wear the cardigan, however I was having too much fun ceilidh-ing to remember to take a photo). Then I just got busy with other things and then when I looked back at my #2018bestnine on instagram I realised I hadn’t actually posted it – better late than never though!

Morning Echo Cardigan

29 May

I finished knitting this cardigan some time ago (last November to be precise… just in time to wear to the first Nottingham yarn expo (which was rather lovely – I got to go with many of the Knit in Notts, knit group members, which for several of them, their first knitting show).

morning echo cardigan - photos - nettynot

I was missing a navy cardigan from my wardrobe after loosing one a while ago (I accidentally left it on the tram). I wanted something fairly simple but with a little interest so I could wear it with lots of different things and not get bored knitting it. After an advanced Rav search (v-neck, raglan sleeves, dk, 1 colour) I chose Morning Echo by sweet paprika designs. It’s lovely lace edge detail and v neck shaping was perfect for my criteria. Knitted from the bottom up in the round, it was a nice quick start to the pattern. However when I got to the sleeves I decided to veer off the pattern path.

morning echo cardigan - blocking - nettynot

I much prefer to knit most things in the round and in one piece, it makes it easier to try on as you knit and less sewing up, however the sleeves for morning echo are knitted flat and then sewn in. I decided to do a provisional cast on for each sleeve before starting the raglan shaping in the body so that I could knit the whole top of the cardigan in one piece. I worked out how many dec there would have been on the edges of each piece and spread incorporated that in my re-design of the top. I ended up adding a few more rows into sleeve tops, I think we’re supposed to me more stretched, but I don’t think my alterations were have turned out too badly and the cardigan fits well, I’m really not much of a fan of sewing up awkward seams.

morning echo cardigan flat - nettynot

Other adjustments I made were knitting the hips a size larger and then adding more decreases so that I ended up with the right number of stitches for the second size at the waist, this worked well and the cardigan flares out over my wider hips and I now have a cardigan that fits my shoulder, bust & hips all at the same time which it rather wonderful!

Shoulder morning echo - Nettynot

I really liked the way the edging was incorporated up the sides and around the next band, however I really don’t like vague instructions in patterns, to finish the neck band the pattern states to knit until “…reaches centre back of neck when stretched…” stretched a bit? Stretched a lot…I don’t know? I realise why it’s been written this way, it will be different for each size and possibly vary with neck sizes/shapes, but a little guidance at least would have been appreciated. I knitted, grafted, sewed into place then unpicked, ripped back a bit, re-graphed, re-sewed 3 times in total, it hibernated for a week or so too as I’d found it so frustrating. I knitted a size 2 at the top and made each side of the neck band 17.5cm before graphing together, in the end.

Despite my frustrations, I did finish it and had a lot of wear out of it and I’m sure I’ll get s lot more wear too.

morning echo cardigan - button band - nettynot

Yarn was Patons diploma gold dk originally bought from my lys Knit Nottingham, though it has since been discontinued by the the shop.

Nettynot in Morning Echo cardigan

I really need to work on my posing, I usually look too serious, but mostly too awkward (I’m always envious of instaesque photos people post of casually not looking at the camera, yet looking cool & perfectly showing off their handmade garment – I look so unnatural in my poses)!

More cardigan details on Ravelry (nettynot).

Thanks for reading

Steph

Aqua Top

12 Sep

I love knitting, but I won’t lie, sometimes I get a little bored with big or time consuming projects. And although I try to finish one project before moving on to the next, sometimes I just have to stop, do a quick knit and then get back to it. Which is exactly what I did while I’ve been knitting Morning Echo (which is close to completion now).

Morning Echo WIP - Nettynot Blog

WIP – Morning Echo Cardigan

One great thing about knit group is you get to see other people’s finished projects which often inspire my makes which is exactly what happened here. After seeing Vanessa’s bright orange plain tee knitted in bamboo cotton, I really liked the neckline and short waist length and thought it’d look great over summer dresses. You can see Vanessa’s project on Ravelry here.


I picked a good summery colour (aqua) that I knew would go with several dresses I had and got cracking, I completed the knit in about 2 n half weeks, nice and satisfyingly quick. The front and back are knitting the same, then the sleeves, the pattern is straight forward, however I knitted the neck band in the round rather than flat as the pattern stated, much quicker!

King Cole Top - nettynot blog

I finished the top in time to wear it for Knit in Notts 10th Birthday party back on the 2nd if July (yes it’s taken me this long to get around to written this). The only issue I had with the top was it relaxed quite a bit during its first wear, and started to slouch off my shoulders, I had been warned this may happen by Vanessa (which she quite liked about the top) however I don’t have much in the way of a bust to help hold the top up.

Slouchy top - nettynot blog

However it was easily sorted, I ripped back the last 6 rows on the neck band and re- knitted them on 3mm (as opposed to the original 3.25mm) and cast off quite tightly and that has fix the issue and I’ve continued to wear it quite a bit. It’s great over my summer strappy dresses when it’s a bit overcast or breezey and I’ve not been too warm in it. I have also gone against my self imposed theory that no knitted jumpers or cardigans should have short sleeves (well there’s always got to be an exception & it is meant for summer).
Aqua Top - nettynot blog

I would definitely Knit this again, I’d perhaps make it a tad shorter and add a little more shaping into the waist as I have a short torso. Pattern info and yarn details are all on my ravelry page. Though is worth mentioning that the Pattern & Yarn only cost me £11 in total (fortunately I only needed 2 balls – I had about 60cm to spare), which is a great bargain of course from my wonderful LYS Knit Nottingham!

Thanks for reading!

Puffin Jumper

17 May

It’s been quite a while since I cast on my Puffin jumper (by Kate Davies – from Colours of Shetland), in fact it was on the train to Edinburgh for The Edinburgh Yarn Festive in 2016 and I finished it several months ago in February, in time to wear on holiday to Edinburgh (though not to EYF this time).

Puffin Sweater by Kate Davies

Chevrons - Puffin - nettynot blog

I’ve probably already worn my puffin jumper more times than several of my other hand knitted garments, I love it. Though I did have a few issues to sort out along the way.

almost done - short sleeves - nettynot blog
Mostly the sleeve length, I have knitted Kate Davies patterns before and never had an issue with sleeves and neither did I think she had particularly short arms when I met her at EYF last year. However I knitted my sleeves to the required 42cm (needs checking) and joined them into my body to knit the yoke fully trusting that all will be fine. However once I was finished and tried on the jumper my sleeves were way too short. 

So I had a little breather from it, knitted some mitts and a hat and then came back to it. I decided since I was going to have to rip back my sleeves anyway that I might as well add some extra detail so I incorporated some of the colourful chevrons to the sleeves too, just 1 pattern repeat. I added a total of 7cm on to my overall sleeve length, however I could really could have done with 1cm more, as the chevrons take up some length, however that’s down to my personal preference as the sleeves don’t actually look short. That said I am very pleased with my finished jumper and I’m sure it will remain a firm favourite.

Puffin jumper blocking - nettynot blog

me in puffin jumper - nettynot blog
I obviously miss-calculated something when I bought the yarn as I have more that enough yarn left to knit the entire jumper again and having used truly rich wool (sock yarn really) it was a complete bargain to knit! Which in my eye is a bit of a bonus and means I have enough yarn to knit something else.

You can see my Puffin jumper project on Ravelry here!
Thanks for reading!

New Year & Hedgehog Mitts

26 Jan

I haven’t blogged for a while, however I’m not feeling guilty about it or beating myself up for not keeping up with my ideal 1 blog post a month. I have been busy crafting; knitting, needle felting, sewing and much more. I have just been spending more time doing than documenting/reflecting in blog posts. I have been  posting the occasional Instagram WIP photos when I’m busy making and doing, still acts as a good reminder as what I’ve accomplished. That said there are finished project I do really want to share and I do still an enjoy blogging.

collage-of-recent-makes-nettynot-blog
I got quite a bit of knitting done in 2016 (unlike 2015 which I wrote about here). I have had a different approach to knitting this year. I’ve only had one larger project on the go at a time, and knitted several smaller things in between and along side. Sometimes for practical reasons, like not wanted to take a whole garment to knit club or just getting inspired by something.

stranded-knits-by-ann-kingstone-nettynot-blog

I started my hedgehog mitts after a spark of inspiration having treated myself to Ann Kingstone’s “Stranded Knits” book at Yarndale back in September. I fell in love with the Hedgerow Cardigan when saw the book at the first Yarndale but thought I’d never get around to knitting something that complicated, but I’m started to think it’s achievable (eek) it is stunning (though it  might end up being a 2018 project – once I’ve collected another yarn – so many colours) – isn’t it beautiful?!

 
stranded-knits-hedgerow-cardigan-nettynot-blog

But for now, needing new mitts and loving the fairisle Pleiades Mitts in stranded knits, I thought knit them as a good pause mid Puffin Sweater, however I decided to change the motif slightly.

pleiades-mitts-nettynot-blog

Taking the same hedgehogs design from my adapted paper dolls jumper and playing with different stripes. I also managed to knit these mitts using yarn entirely from my stash – always a bonus, and then I can feel less guilty for buying more yarn!

hedgehog-planning-nettynot-blog

hedgehog-mitts-nettynot-blog

I completed these back in October and I have been wearing them loads, which you can tell from the slight pilling that’s already occurred – ah well, you can be too precious about these things – they are very woolly & warm and there’s not much point in knotting things you aren’t going to wear.

hedgehog-mitt-details-nettynot-blog

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