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Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 3

5 Nov

Palau de la Música Catalana

We popped in to this wonderful building for a bite to eat and a drink and were so impressed by the entrance and small section we saw ,and I really wanted to see the stained glass ceiling in real life, that we booked a tour for the following day. I must admit I know very little about music halls and they’re not somewhere I’ve ever spend much time. However I do have an appreciation for amazing buildings and this really way spectacular.


Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 2

4 Nov

Casa Batlló 
We headed to one of Gaudi’s impressive creations having been intrigued by the blurb in my guide book (yep properly tourist-ing it up) and I wasn’t disappointed. Inspired by nature there’s a fluidity to the rooms and space with wonderful rich wood and colourful detail.



I could have shared loads of photos here, however I wanted to remember some of the more subtle details, from the paving outside thee house also design by Gaudi and seen all over the city. I had to buy myself a coaster of the design, I just loved the clever way the same single hexagonal piece creates different shapes and patterns when tessellated.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

Patterns Everywhere : Barcelona part 1 

3 Nov

Everywhere I go I can’t help but spot patterns in everything, I’m sure I’m not the only one, my phone is full of snippets of walls, leaves, doors & floors. My latest holiday a few weeks ago was no different, Barcelona is full of wonderful patterns, tiles, mosaics & buildings so I thought I’d collate some of them together in a little blog post.

( I have now decided to split them in to s few posts I hadn’t realised quite how many photos I’d taken in 4 and a half days – over 500, the joys of a good camera phone).

Part 1 : Catedral de Barcelona

This really was a magnificent building with a huge amount of details in every part of the building and a good start to our holiday.

All photos are my own. Copyright Steph Gibbs.

3 years of blogging and a little treat!

18 Jul

According to a little notification that popped up from WordPress it’s my 3rd anniversary of blogging!
Whooh, it has made me ponder about what my blog means to me!

I started the blog as a way of keeping track of things I’ve made, days pottering out n about and a way of sharing what I’m up to. Although I have been a little quiet on the blog lately, it never means I’m not doing anything creative, it usually means the boring bits of life have got in the way! I have several projects on the go. As an avid knitter, there is always 1 if not 2 or 3 knitting project on needles at all times. I’m surrounded by beads at work all day, which inevitably sparks new ideas so I’ll be playing with beads in the evening trying things out. I’ve also got back into dress making recently, however spending an evening tracing and cutting out a pattern doesn’t make for enthralling reading. Once one of these many projects in the pipe line is complete I can assure you there will be more blog posts to follow.

My recent fabric purchases, ready for some dress making!

My recent fabric purchases, ready for some dress making!

I have terrible habbit of spending far too much time on pinterest (which I know many creative’s can relate to), it is great (don’t get me wrong – I love it ) but I am staring to resent it a little too, I get overwhelmed some time by the the new ideas it sparks. Before social media if I had an idea for something to make, I would usually just get stuck right in and if I needed inspiration or needed to know more about a technique I’d consult a book, now I head to the internet and before I know it an hour has gone and I have a million more ideas rattling around in my head. For example, I am about to start sewing the Lilou dress from Tilly and the Buttons ‘Love at First Stitch’ book (the toile is already cut out waiting). So I thought I’d have a look at a few finished examples on Pinterest and read a few blog posts to see if there’s any useful tips. I find it helpful to see other people results and see whether they made any alterations, but I also got sucked in, before I knew it I found another dress making pattern for a vintage style skirt I want to make, I rearranged some of my pinterest boards and created a new ‘to do list’ board – eeek!! That’s valuable creative time gone!! I need to get more disciplined!

I’ve gone slightly off tangent. Other things I love about my blog is that it keeps me connected to friends and family I don’t see very often. My Mum reads my blog (thanks Mum) as does my sister (providing I put an update on facebook – thanks Jo). I got a warm fuzzy feeling when chatting to an old uni friend about something I made and she said, “Is that the one I saw on your blog” (Thanks Mariam)!  That’s not to mention the complete strangers who comment on posts with compliments and feedback – I don’t want to sound all cheesy but it is just like having an extended collection of supportive friends (thanks everyone).

Hebden Bridge - Black Pit Lock, Rochdale Canal.

Hebden Bridge – Black Pit Lock, Rochdale Canal.

Another reason I started writing a blog was as a result of being inspired my other peoples blogs, I often just dip in and out of blogs, but some I read regularly just because they’re a joy to read. I recently took myself off to Hebden Bridge for the day (a detour on route to the Lake District), partly having read lovely posts about it over on the Mathilde heart Manech blog. I love reading what Lisa’s has to say, it’s so well written and cheerful. Another elegantly written blog is Modflowers, I’d love to be just half as eloquent as this colourfully vintage slice of the web is.

Tea and lovely cake at Mooch cafe Hebden Bridge.

Tea and lovely cake at Mooch cafe Hebden Bridge.

I must admit I get self conscious about my writing, especially when comparing myself to others (which I know one shouldn’t). I’ve re-read old posts of mine (that I had checked at the time) but see glaringly obvious typos and blunders and cringe. I am dyslesic dysleix dyslexic (It has always frustrated me that this word is so hard to spell!) It struggled in school, but I muddled through, and doing Fine Art at university meant there wasn’t quite so much emphasis on written work, which was a relief at the time. But I never thought I’d be writing for fun and enjoying it. It’s so much easier to write about something you’re passionate about, it all comes so easily. I probably have a lot more convoluted way of writing than most (I’m assume), I write a long (rambly) draft in word, leave it a while (ideally a day) heavily edit it, leave it again and then edit all the typos and incorrect words then post and hope for the best. I would love to know if all the amazing writers are so good that they confidently write straight to their blog with just a cursory glance to check it over, or whether they deliberate, check and re-check their work too.

As much as I doubt my writing abilities and wonder whether I’m driving people mad with my far from perfect text, I do feel I’m getting better and that can’t be a bad thing – here is to improving my  English at age 30! I guess you’re never too old to learn or improve!

One think I’ve being trying to do lately is make my posts more concise – I know not everyone has time to read essays – oops! Well I can’t win them all, that’s a future challenge to overcome.

If you’re still reading now, thank you and as a treat I thought I’d share recipe with you! My Gran used to make this when my sister and I visited, it was always in a shallow baking tray covered with a layer of melted chocolate. It became a firm favourite and my Mum used to make batches of it for our birthday parties too. It’s now my go to quick and easy treat to make when going to friends and it always goes down well, I made this batch early to day ahead of games night this evening.
Rice crispie cakes - Nettynot BlogRice Crispy Cakes – Equal quantities of Marshmallows, toffee and butter (I do 200g for a party & 100g for a small gathering). Melt in a large pan, take off the heat and pour in rice crispies; pour in a bit at a time mixing well until it’s less gloopy and fairly consistence. Tip into a large tray press down firmly, leave to set and then cut it up – SO easy and very tasty.

Thanks for reading!
Steph X

Relaxing times

22 Mar
The famous Ruskin's view in Kirkby Lonsdale.

The famous Ruskin’s view in Kirkby Lonsdale.

For the past week I have been in the Lake District, visiting my Parents. The week began with Mother’s day, followed the very next day by my Mum’s birthday, so this was the perfect week to visit. I often visit this time of year, but rarely for a whole week, often the weather is variable, but this time it’s been great, with bright sunny days (albeit with a few clouds and the odd small shower) it’s been making me really look forward to Spring getting into full bloom!

Hornsbarrow Farm - Nettynot Blog As I’m a regular visitor up here it’s easy for me to take the surroundings for granted.  So I decided to take advantage of the bright days and take a few photos.
Out n AboutThis week was all about relaxing and not doing too much, that said I have got a fair bit if knitting done, mostly secret projects (all will be revealed in good time) and I have now have pockets in my Bláithín cardigan.

Bláithín pockets - Nettynot Blog I’ve also been doing a bit of doodling (very therapeutic) with a future project in mind. I hope to have more to share on this soon. I do love a break from routine; it definitely helps get the creative ideas flowing and it’s given me an essential bit of time to get at least one of them started.
doodle - Nettynot BlogTilly  MaisieThough it has been great hanging out with these two silly and very hairy monsters I’m looking forward to getting home and seeing my slightly less mental Cat. Equally I’m a little sad that my break has gone by so fast and normality (and work) has to resume tomorrow, but I’ll be back soon enough!

Get it Done February – part 2

8 Feb

I’ve had a whole week of getting things done and it’s making a difference, it’s amazing what doing one small thing a day can achieve.

Get it Done – Day 2
I have gained many lovely embroideries all created by my very talented Gran. One in particular was destined for my bedroom wall. I really like the texture of the piece, it’s almost sculptural, with stitching into card and fabric. I had the perfect spot in mind yet it’s been waiting patiently down the side of my dresser for over a year for me to get it done.
Embroidery wall hangingI thought some command hooks and got it done! I thought the wavy structure would balance nicely with my vertically striped matte and metallic wall paper above my bed, and I think it looks great up, much better on the wall than on the floor!

Get it Done – Day 3
Getting started! I have been mentioning Kate Davies’ Bláithín pattern many times at knit group and here, on my blog, having got over the fear (well almost) of steeking with the sheep carousel tea cosy, I feel mentally prepared so then I just needed to get practically prepared. Balling up my lovely new yarn! I must admit I had some help here, the lovely Jem Weston & Eleanor Burke both voluntarily balled a skein for me too!
Balling YarnGet it Done – Day 4
A slightly boring one, I changed some light bulbs, this might seem a simple everyday sort of a task, however some of the bulbs in my kitchen are not your everyday sort and I have been meaning to take a dead one with me shopping to get some replacements (2 out of 4 have not worked for over a year). I eventually did it. My Kitchen is illuminated again!
Light Bulbs

Get it Done – Day 5
I cast on Bláithín – no procrastination for this project! I knitted my tension square (I want to get this project right since it will be my most expensive project to date) and cast on really to get going!

Get it Done – Day 6
Nottingham Light Night! This is an annual event that happens in Nottingham every year, which for one reason or another I have never been to. For quite some time I’ve wanted to make the most of what’s on my door step, so to speak, there’s often many events on in Nottingham, but I rarely go. I’m so glad I made it this one. I went with a few friends and although we didn’t get to see all of the events and experiences happening what we did see was pretty good.

Light NightWe didn’t make it on to the Big Wheel, maybe an experience for another evening.

Get it Done – Day 7
I’m pretty good at accumulating magazines and catalogues that I really don’t need to hang on to, so I decided to ruthlessly obliterate the pile! Rather than hanging on to the whole magazine for the sake of one project or article I just pulled out what I wanted and recycled the rest – this relatively trivial act made me feel pretty good and made my lounge seems  a lot less cluttered.
Magazine clear out

Get it Done – Day 8
Another seemingly minor task, I adjusted the one of my shelves in my kitchen cupboard. This has been one of those things that whenever I get anything out of the top of this cupboard I’ve thought I really ought to move the shelf down but was always in the middle of something when the idea struck. There was plenty of unused space on the bottom shelf, but whenever I got out a mixing bowl or jug I had to remove the whole pile to get at them.
Cupboard adjustmentIt’s daft that I hadn’t already done this. Another great reason why my getting something done every day is worth doing! So far so good, I do wonder whether I’ll run out of things by the end of the month.

Knitting Inspiration

5 Oct

I’m currently having a few days staying with my parents in the lovely Lake District (recharging my batteries), and I have inadvertently re-found my knitting Mojo. Not that I had lost it as such, it was just waning slightly. I haven’t finished a project in a while (except for some toe up socks) and I have several things I need to complete as well as many things I’d like to start. I have given myself a few targets to get things finished before I start other projects, which is sensible, but does dampen the knitting enthusiasm somewhat.

However yesterday I took the opportunity to visit Williams’ Wools in Kendal (even though I had no intention of buy anything). This cosy yet spacious and wonderful shop oozes yarn and inspiration. It’s a feast of colour and texture, with examples of many wonderfully constructed items to suit a whole host of customers.

Knitted item in Williams' Wool - Nettynot Blog

It also has one of the most fun and inventive shop window displays I’ve seen in a while, which happened to include several characters from my child hood. I’m a particular fan of Danger Mouse with a ‘Yarn Bomb’. I wasn’t able to fully capture a flying super ted and Dennis the Menace sat  knitting with Gnasher at his feet, not to mention a very well dressed Badger from wind in the willows and a charming Rupert the Bear.
of Williams' Wool - Nettynot BlogI knew immediately I was in great company, there were several examples of Kate Davies garments on display, including a wonderful version of Bláithín, for which I already have the pattern, it has been in my Ravelry queue since July 2012, but as yet I lack the yarn and courage to tackle what will be my most technically difficult knit. I took the opportunity to ask what yarn was used by the knitter and shop owner herself, she’d used Rowan Aran tweed.
Kate Davies Knits at Williams' Wools - Nettynot BlogI also shared my fear of steeking, something which has been scary topic of conversation at knit group lately. It turned out that Bláithín was only the lady’s second steeked project, the first being the Sheep carousel tea cosy, also by Kate Davies. This I thought was an excellent idea, having a smaller project, that you’re not so precious about to essentially have a practice with. Which is exactly what she had done – a very sensible lady! I have just bought the Sheep Carousel Pattern to do the very same. There are also several other techniques in this pattern I’m intrigued by so I feel it will be a very worthwhile exercise.
Sheep Carousel - Nettynot Blog

However adding yet another project into the mix doesn’t really help with the mounting pile of UFO’s not to mention the projects yet to be started. However I have now been inspired and regained my knitting drive!

A Plan!
Finishing my UFO’s!

  1. My Mood scarf knit along, has been abandoned for a while – I’m not looking forward to grafting the moss stitch ends of the cowl together.
  2. My Brick Jumper from a frogged cardigan. I feel out of love with this a bit, even thought I am enjoying knitting it and very much like the pattern I’ve incorporated. But there’s been a few trials and tribulations along the way.
  3. I have also started a simple ripple scarf using a lovely bright dk Noro yarn, which is my handy and easy project to take along to knit group if my current project isn’t suitable for pub knitting. This I don’t mind having as an on going UFO.
  4. Not so much an unfinished project but an un-started project is my Puffin jumper, by Kate Davies, which I have mentioned in previous blog posts. I love this and can’t wait to start, I have bought all the yarn, but told myself I had to finish my Brick jumper first.
    Top left, mood scarf, top right my Brick jumper, bottom left the Noro yarn for my ripple scarf and bottom right Kate Davies' Puffin Jumper.

    Top left, mood scarf, top right my Brick jumper, bottom left the Noro yarn for my ripple scarf and bottom right Kate Davies’ Puffin Jumper.

    So once this list has been tackled I will start on my Sheep Carousel tea cosy and my Bláithín, this alone will keep my momentum going, I’m quite sure!

    blaithin - Kate Davies

Although I didn’t get anything from Williams’ Wools it was well worth the visit for inspiration alone. Had I been in the market for buying anything yarn or knitting related I would have been spoilt for choice with a great range of yarn, knit pro needles (my favourite), buttons, books, patterns and every kind of gadget or accessories you can imagine. If you find yourself anywhere near Kendal I would highly recommend a visit! I will definitely be back next time I’m in this neck of the woods.

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