Tag Archives: challenge

Me Made May 2016 – round up!

1 Jun

This has been a great challenge, I set myself a few goals, some of which I’ve achieved, others I haven’t. However this challenge has got me sewing again (the fear has subsided) it has also made me re-assess my wardrobe.

MMMay16 Round up IG - Nettynot Blog

It wasn’t my intention to necessarily post a picture every day on IG (@nettynot) but I got into it, I enjoyed seeing everyone else so much that I thought why not (this is a little collage). It didn’t feel like a chore but I did put a little more thought into some of my outfits and I now know some of the areas of my wardrobe I need to improve. I want to make some more everyday dresses and skirts as well as more versatile and flattering cardigans.  I hope when I do this next year I’ll have less duplicate outfits and will feel/look less awkward being photographed (we’ll see).

Pink Mrs. Darcy Cardigan - Nettynot Blog

On old cardigan, the first garment I ever knitted – at least 8 years ago, has had a lot more wear recently as a result of MMMay16, a dark pinky-red colour it goes with loads of things and I love the brightness. It’s in a acrylic mohair yarn it’s very warm (too warm a lot of the time) but a slight breeze and it’s too cold as it’s such a loose knit. There’s a lot that I don’t like about this cardigan, I sewed the seams too firmly, they look neat, but the arm holes are too sung and it looks very strange when buttoned up and the sleeves are too short (but wearable with the cuffs folders back). But I’m still proud of it and I’m glad it got some more wear, though it’s likely to be worn less now the challenge is over and I’ll soon have another knitted cardigan….

Cross Pockets Progess - Nettynot Blog

I have made good progress on my cross pockets cardigan, though it’s not finished yet, it is much closer; sleeves to finish and then a little bit of sewing up, a block and it’s done. I have set myself a new target, I want to be able to wear it on 18th June which is worldwide Knit in Public day. I have also got carried away and been inspired by all the lovely knit wear that popped up on IG over May and I have just bought myself another Andi Satterlund pattern, Vianne. It’s lovely and this time a DK weight yarn which it a bit more appropriate for summer. I can’t wait to cast it on which has been me more incentive to get a wiggle on with my cross pockets.

Mini Blouse Progress - Nettynot Blog

I have also started a sewing class; because I can already sew and I know how to use a pattern I have struggled to find a course that aimed at my level, I can find loads of beginner classes so had temporarily given up my search then came across all things creative and found a class perfect for me. I can take along whatever project I want to work on and there’s a very knowledgeable tutor on hand to help you along the way. So I have been working on my Mini blouse, each week, a fair bit of progress has been made but it’s not quite there yet, one more week and I think it’ll be finished – this course has been great for me, it’s rebuilt my sewing confidence. There was a definite moment while working on this that had I been doing this at home on my own I’m sure the whole thing would have gone in the bin, but with help on hand, it wasn’t a problem and I just got on with it.

Sorbetto Tops - Nettynot Blog

I was saving my mini blouse to work on at me sewing class which is once a week, however as the sewing bug bit I felt the need to do some more sewing at home too. I had spotted several nice Sorbetto tops on IG so thought I’d investigate. I downloaded the pattern and made one straight away. Fortunately I already had enough fabric in my stash to make a couple of these. My practice one it a little large and also too short (I always have to shorten everyone by approximately 1’’ as I have a high waist and short torso) so I automatically did this, however it wasn’t needed. The second one I made I did a size smaller and longer version which fitted much better, I’m also keen to do more.

Refashion dress - Nettynot Blog

I have also fixed a skirt that was too big for me and completely refashion a once loved dress (I’ll post about the dress separately).

Coco Top - Nettynot Blog

I turned my unfinished Coco dress (which I’d deemed unflattering) into a top so that I could wear it, photographed on a lovely day up in Cumbria earlier in the month with a newly fished necklace too. I have tackled a few jewellery other items too, thought I got too carried away by sewing to do as much as I anticipated, but I don’t really mind about that, I was also aware of the over ambitious challenges I set myself.

Emery dress and Fabric - Nettynot Blog

I have also bought some lovely light weight denim fabric to make an Emery dress (which I can then wear any colour knitted cardigans over & it will work). I have had the pattern for a while and have been really inspired by the many variations I’ve seen on people’s blogs and on IG that I thought it was about time to get one with it. I had previously bought some ruby red polka dotty fabric for this pattern, it was only cheap so I thought this could  be my toile and just hope it’s wearable too (I hate putting all that effort into a toile to not be able to make use of it). So once Mini is finished this is my next project as well as making some simple skirts from my fabric stash.

I’m full of enthusiasm and inspiration which is wonderful and just what I needed. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Thanks for reading and feel free to post your blog link below if you also joined in – I’ve loved seeing everyone’s outfits!

Me Made May 2016

30 Apr

In May 2014 I was in awe of all the wonderful Me Made May photos popping up on Instagram, at the time I was very much of the opinion of “wow, I’d love to do that… but I don’t have enough handmade items, or the time to do it!” Then May 2015 came round and I there were lots more lovely handmade and inspiring outfits cropping up. However last year I thought, this time next year, maybe I’d join in…!

The knitters and sewers at Knit In Notts have spoken about it a few times with no real commitment being stated so when I saw that Jem Weston had shared her pledge on Instagram (@jemweston) last week it gave me the kick up the bum to also join in!

This is my pledge – stated over on  “So Zo…What do you know?” blog (the creator of the MMM challenge).

 ‘I, Steph Gibbs (nettynot.wordpress.com @nettynot on Instagram), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear a handmade garment, each day for the duration of May 2016, as well as finish some UFO’s!’

MMM16

I feel I need to remind myself that a challenge, which Me Made May is, should test me, if it’s too easy it’s not a challenge. I do not own enough items to wear a different handmade item every day, however I’m already looking forward to being more creative with my outfits. I intend to include garments that I’ve customised in some way too, as that’s always a useful skill and a nice way to rescue clothing or make then your own. I also hope that this challenge will make me more productive and think about how I’m using my time in the evenings, so I can be more efficient and finish some UFO’s.

I’m going to address a few different areas of my handmade wardrobe for this challenge….

Sewing – I’m going to look at all the handmade garments in my wardrobe, mostly skirts, that just require slight adjustments to make them wearable again.

Knitting – I’m going to wear more of my hand knitted garments, I have several that I don’t make the most of, which is madness when I think about the amount of time spent making them.

Jewellery – Almost all of my jewellery I have made myself (occupational hazard) and have so many necklaces and bracelets, yet I always wear the same few on rotation. So I’m going to wear more of the vast array I have (& maybe cull the items that I’m not going to wear again – it is the right time for a Spring clean after all).

There’s a few specific things that I’d like to do during May and this challenge (I am aware I’m being a little ambitious, but if I commit them to computer screen, they’re more likely to get done) and it’s not as though once May is over I’m not allowed to keep challenging myself, right?!

Mimi
I have already cut out all the pattern pieces (about 6 months ago) to make the Mimi blouse from Tilly and the Buttons – Love at first stitch book, I have suitable fabric that already washed n ready to go. I intend to complete this by the end of May!

Cross Pockets
I have brought the problematic Cross Pockets Cardigan out of hibernation and ripped it back to the waist ready to re-knit and hopefully fix the issues I had – I want to complete this by the end of May too!

Mini blouse fabric - Nettynot Blog

Coco
I stared a dress version of Coco last summer, however when it got to the trying on stage I realised it just wasn’t going to be a flattering fit. Disappointed and slightly annoyed with it, it has sat in a cupboard out of sight ever since. However that’s no reason why I can’t turn it into another Coco top, which again I’d like to achieve before the end of May.

Mending/Fixing
As well as fixing and adjusting any handmade items in my wardrobe that don’t fit I also intend to tackle my pie of broken jewellery/not quite finished jewellery.

I’m not a huge fan of a selfie (also I’m pretty rubbish at photographing myself) however I do endeavour to record at least some of my MMM16 progress over on Instagram (@nettynot) if you’d like to follow.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Lace Weight – trials and tribulations

10 Feb

I decided to tackle a new challenge over Christmas and I cast on the Anisoptera shawl by Petitchoufleur that I picked up at Yarndale, my first lace weight project.

Future knitting project - Nettynot Blog

I have discovered that although I do love knitting, I do not love all aspects of knitting. I do not like knitting in lace weight yarn – at all!! As I have been battling with this lace shawl, I have been contemplating why I do not like it and I have decided it’s just too delicate, too fine and too fiddly. I like my knitting more robust. I like to be able to see the structure and I’m so used to being able to read my knitting, which I have massively struggled with in lace. I enjoy discovering designers clever uses of different increases and decreased to great effect however I found myself wondering why I was bothering with a ssk, instead of a k2tog tbl when it really doesn’t look significantly different enough in such a loose knit. I also discovered a hatred for p2tog tbl (what a hideously awkward stitch – particularly in lace weight), each time I had to do these I felt myself getting more and more frustrated, when the main reason I knit, it to relax and produce something lovely.

Lace Knitting - Nettynot Blog

Not the best photo & it’s a bit crumpled – to be fair not my best knitting either!

My issues are no reflection on the pattern, which is really pretty with cleverly layered lace sections, it’s just not for me!

Having already committed to doing about a quarter of the shawl and having found it frustrating to follow the pattern, I know I went wrong somewhere; my row count didn’t match up at the end of the rows and I found myself saying “Duck it!” a lot (disclaimer: that might not have been the actual word used)! I wasn’t vaguely interested in figuring out what happened, where and how to fix it, very unlike me, in any other project I’ve have figured out what the problem was and sorted it even ripping back whole sections & garments to ensure they’re right. So having got to a convenient point to change tack (after the first lace chart), I decided from here I’m just going to wing it. Knit until it’s big enough or I have run out of yarn so I at least have a finished shawl/scarf to wear.

I wrote this post a little while ago (over the Christmas period), mainly to off load my frustrations – it worked I felt much better once I’d written about it, that and screwing up the pattern (I’m slightly ashamed about that – but it felt bloody brilliant at the time and a great stress reliever – we’ve all been there, right?) It was my intention to continue on with this project, I will someday – currently a bit fed up of it, so it has joined the few other WIP’s I have for now. It did however spur me on to pick my Blaithin cardigan back up (been in Aran weight yarn and much more my cup of tea). Good progress has been made and hopefully I’ll be sharing the finished garment with you soon.

Thanks for reading!

CROSS pockets cardigan

9 Sep The beginning of Cross Pockets - Nettynot Blog

Well I had hoped to be writing a blog post about my wonderful and FINISHED cross pockets cardigan, but the fact is, it’s not going well! I’ve got really fed up about it too, I really want it to be finished, it feels like I’ve been knitting it for so long. My friends Knit In Notts seem to be finishing things left right and centre since I cast this on, including Jem’s lovely Kaneshon Cardigan by Sarah Hatton and Eleanor and Toni’s onesies (aren’t they great), to name a few.

Knit Nottingham 5th Birthday - Nettynot BlogI know I don’t spend as much time as the others knitting, and it’s not a healthy thing to compare yourself to others, but honestly I’m just feeling jealous and frustrated. I have not finished anything that I’ve started yet this year and we’re in to September and that makes me a little sad. I had a disaster earlier this year with my Bláithín cardigan, which ended up being frogged and is now currently hibernating! This was due to me having unintentionally knitted almost the entire thing on the wrong sized needles *hand smacks forehead*! I will complete this someday, but I’m not ready to tackle it again yet.

Blaithin so far - Nettynot BlogThe beginning of Cross Pockets - Nettynot BlogI had been making good progress with the my Cross Packets cardigan, it’s constructed very cleverly and I was really enjoying learning new techniques. As a lot of processes were new to me I have followed the 8 page instructions to the T. But after the long I cord cast off, I decided to sew the pockets in place before knitting the sleeves, I was a little dubious as the inside of the pocket really didn’t look like it would fit and it didn’t, even pinning into place and sewing the top edge didn’t help, as you can see here, it looks baggy and awkward.

Odd cross pockets - nettynot blogSo now I’m left knowing I’m going to have to do some ripping back, urgh. I think the problem is that the lovely basket weave stitch on the edge of the pocket is quite firm and structured where as the moss stitch inside of the pockets it quite loose and the two aren’t matching up, despite having the same number of rows.

Cross pockets i cord cast off - nettynot blogI think what I’ll end up doing is ripping back the cast off I cord, and the decorative edging, so that the pocket front and inside are separated again and continue knitting the pocket front until the length matches up and just ignore how many rows there are. This seems like the sensible thing to do right? I think I’m also going to change the I cord Cast off, I will experiment first, but it is very time consuming and curls up a lot – I don’t want anything to detract from the lovely edging. So maybe just a simple straight forward cast off could work.

I need to discipline myself to ensure I finish this project before I start my next, as I’m very keen to cast on my Puffin jumper, for which I’ve had the yarn for, for a year or so. I might do something a little bit mad and set myself the challenge of completing the puffin in a month, just get myself back on track (and happier – I’m always happy when I’m being productive).

I also booked myself on to a knitting a workshop with the lovely Eleanor while I was at Knit Nottingham’s 5th Birthday party, I will be learning to do Entrelac knitting – something new and exciting to look forward to!
I apologise that this is not the most positive or up beat post, however writing about my knitting frustrations has helped alleviate the disappointment as well as give me a little perspective to how to solve the issues. Hopefully my next knitting related blog post will be full of finished items and accomplishments.

If anyone has any helpful suggestions, please share them with me.
Thanks for reading!

Get it Done February Finale

4 Mar

My February got off to a good start with a pledge to get stuff done, my productivity continued in the first and second weeks of February, however in the last part of February I was a bit here there, n everywhere. I had a week off work where I visited Friends and Family in London and The Lake District, so getting stuff done became more sporadic, however with a few extra days at home in between my trips away I did get several things DONE!

I finished my secret Patchwork project mentioned in my earlier “get it done” blog post, this project deserved a whole post of it’s own which you can see here.
Close up Quilt - Nettynot BlogI bought new fuses, not the most exciting purchase I know, but after having to pinch them out of lesser used items when they’ve blown in more useful items I thought it was about time to replace them, which means I have no excuse not to use the Wii Fit (I will use it again…someday!)
New Amps - Nettynot BlogI took the opportunity to do a bit of gardening, I have lots of lovely snowdrops growing in my garden at the moment, thanks to my Mum who planted them the week I moved in 6 years ago and they’re still doing well. They do struggle to grow through all my weeds – so I got rid of them. It was worth it, in just half an hour and two buckets full of weeds later all was tidy making the snowdrops stand out and the garden look loads better.
Snowdrops and Gardening - Nettynot BlogI have also bought several new house plants to brighten up my home including some cute little succulents for my newly decorated bathroom – I just need to find them some suitable pots. I was also given a grow your own poppy kit in a lovely colourful pot and I’ve now sewn the seeds – just waiting for a Poppy.

New Plants - Nettynot BlogEvery time the sun streams through my lounge window it’s been highlighting how filthy it is, making me think I really need to clean the windows (both inside and out) and I eventually did it – It’s make such a big difference! It’s lovely to get it done as spring is approaching and there’ll (hopefully) be even more sunlight coming through.

Clean Window - Nettynot BlogI know I have way too many knitting projects on the go, but one more can’t hurt, I’ve planned on knitting a new blanket for a while now after being inspired by a cushion cover I was shown by one of my regular workshop ladies where I work – a square pattern where you just knit 10 stitches, round in a spiral, this image on Pinterest illustrates it much better than my description. My intension is to use up some stash yarn (as well as some new yarn) and who doesn’t need more hand knitted blankets. I’ve not cast on yet, but I have rummaged through my stash and pulled out all appropriate colours.
Yarn for blanket - Nettynot BlogA little while ago I did a little decoupage project, covering a flowery decorative watering can (which was a little bit twee for my taste) with some lovely grey textural images, however I hadn’t got around to sealing the paper, which I’ve now done!

Decoupage - Nettynot BlogI have also started to tackle my bare wall in my lounge, I have been collecting up small picture frames for sometime, with the intention of having a wall full of framed postcards, prints and photos. For several years it’s just had some fabric in embroidery hoops and one other solitary picture hanging there. Now I’ve frames and hung 2 more pictures, a good start to growing the collection.
Picture wall - Nettynot BlogI’ve also turned some lovely glass leaf pendants I bought recently into a pair of earrings – possibly one of the simplest ways to make earrings (just add fishhooks) and in reality takes less than a minute to do, but getting around to these things is always the tricky part and highlights the true nature of why I set myself this challenge – getting stuff done!
Glass Leaf Earrings - Nettynot BlogI like the idea of setting myself a challenge of doing something everyday, I always start with good intentions, however it’s not always that practical, life and other commitments get in the way. It’s also easy to put too much pressure on myself with these things, but who’s going to count whether I’ve actually done 28 things… probably no one and in the end I have got lots of stuff done – whooh! The things I’ve done that have made the most impact on my life have been adjusting my kitchen shelf, (simple things…) and cleaning my window (exciting stuff). Going to Light night, making the small quilt and hanging a few more pictures in my living space have been my happier accomplishments.

Get it Done February – Part 3

16 Feb

The only thing I’m find tricky with this challenge is having enough time to “Get things Done”, though I am keeping up the momentum…

Get it Done – Day 9
Patchwork project – I’ve had an idea up my sleeve for a while, it will be a gift for someone so I can’t say too much at the moment, however what I can say is that all the fabric pieces got cut out!

Cutting fabricGet it Done – Day 10
I fixed a much loved bracelet, simple I know, however it has been waiting for me to re-string it for longer than I can remember. I bought the bracelet about 10 years ago for £1 at a car boot sale and it has been well worn, I was relieved when the elastic eventually went that I didn’t loose a single bead. Phew! It is wearable again 🙂

yellow bracelet
Get it Done – Day 11
Another little bit of DIY. I’ve had a sad shelf in my pantry/under the stairs cupboard, it gets a lot of use as it’s where the cat biscuits live and every time I push the lid back on the tin I can’t help putting quite a bit if pressure on the shelf at the same time. Gradually the top screws have been giving way and I thought it was about time I sorted it out! Now it’s sorted!
Shelf fixGet it Done – Day 12
Patchwork project continuation. I got on and I have sewn all my pieces together. Again I can’t share too much here, but I can assure you there will be a future blog post!

patchwork sewingGet it Done – Day 13
Seizing the moment! I have arranged and booked train tickets to see friends and family in London, making the most of a whole weeks holiday I have booked from work. I find London a bit frantic (& a little stressful to be honest), so it’s sometimes too easy for me to make excuses not to venture to these places on my own, but it’s going to happen!
LondonGet it Done – Day 14
I didn’t get a whole lot done today in the spirit of my February ‘get it done’ theme, but it was a full on day, working 9-6pm, out for dinner with friends and a trip to the cinema for some sing-a-long Grease action! Lots of silly giggling at all the dubious singing and fun added graphics it was an entertaining and feel good evening!
Grease sing a longGet it Done – Day 15
More patchwork – I got the top stitching of my secret patchwork sewing project done! I can’t wait to finish it, it has all been rather enjoyable and I can’t wait to share the finished article.

Get it Done February!

1 Feb

I’ve been finding it a little too easy to procrastinate lately, so I have decided to take action and give myself some much needed focus. Inspired by the ladies of The Bead Shop’s bead group, who challenge themselves each February, previously they have made a pair of earrings every day of the month and the discussions leading up to today has centred around ‘finish something February’.  So I’m going to get something done every day in February too, not just the usual everyday sort of stuff like washing up or cleaning, but those things it’s so easy to put off. As every creative person knows, whether it’s knitting, sewing or jewellery making we all have unfinished projects, so I hope to get some of these tick off the never ending to do list as well as do some of those jobs and projects I’ve been making excuses about getting done!

Get it Done – Day 1
Since I was inspired by bead group I thought it only right to start with a jewellery project. I bought these lovely beads at The Big Bead Show last year and so far they have spent 4 months sat in a box hidden away! The larger round flattish beads are Eagle Eye, subtly iridescent, grey beads and the tiny ones are 3mm matte haematite beads.

Lovely Beads - Nettynot Blog Post Given that the beads are so lovely I didn’t want to over complicate things with a fancy pattern, so I went for a simple strung necklace and I had enough beads, so I also made a matching bracelet and earrings! And all in an hours work!
Jewellery Set - Nettynot BlogI realise I’m bias, working at a bead shop, but making your own jewellery is so rewarding and can be so much more affordable too, even when you buy quality beads! I hope to get a bit more jewellery made and finished this month, so watch this space!

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