Tag Archives: Finished Project

Maan Shawl

17 Apr Maan Shawl - knitted by Nettyn

I started knitting my Mann shawl back in Oct 2017. I had fallen for the striking pattern on Moon struck Knits (Natasja Hornby) instgram feed and was intrigued by the technique used when. I had not come across mosaic work before (or certainly not realised if I had), so I headed to Ravelry to discover more about the pattern and see everyone’s completed shawls and in particular see what colour had been used to together. I’m not a fan on brown and beige or anything too subtle, especially in an accessory. So the colours used in the sample for the pattern did nothing for me – which is why the ravelry project page is SOOOO great!

Maan Shawl knitting Pattern

The finished projects that stood out for me, were the bold monochrome with a pop of bright contrast. I really liked a navy, white and red combination similar to this one https://www.ravelry.com/projects/lismete/maan . I had also seen a lovely version with a bright teal in (& we know I love teal). So I sort of had these potential colours in mind when I headed to Knit Nottingham. I very much trust the knowledge of the wonderful staff at my LYS Knit Nottingham, I usually have a bit of an idea of which yarn I might choose, but then get steered towards something I’d not considered, which is a great thing – they really know their stock and know what will and won’t work for almost everything! At the time they’d not long had the new Luxury Merino yarn produced by King Cole. The range of colours is really good, I had decided already on black and pale grey/white for the mosaic sections, so just needed to decide of the bright contrast colour, the red in the range for a little bright for me and the Zoe suggested the mustard yellow (!) Not something I can wear on it’s own (it does not suit me) however as the main colour in this pattern is worked pretty well, though we also decided to swap the white for cream as it was a much better tone all together.

Yarn selection for Maan Shawl - Nettynot creates

I realise that in my brief write up of my project experience a lot has been dedicated to yarn selection. I momentarily thought I should edit a lot out. However I find that selecting your yarn, finding the right fibre for the project and the picking colours is actually a really important and rather exciting part of the process so I am leaving it in! I also feel incredibly fortunate to have local knowledgeable (& wonderful) people on hand to guide me though the yarn buying process. Expertise, passion and knowledge is totally underrated by too many people. (Thank you Eleanor & Zoe)!

Back to the pattern; I loved every element of this pattern, it provided me with lots of new techniques and stitches (St. John’s worth stitch, creates a lovely texture). Even the corrugated rib, which I have done before, but not in this way was interesting. This is a prime example of the kind or project I like to push my learning and challenge myself a bit more. Balancing this with simple knits (as I mentioned in my previous blog post) keeps me excited about knitting and learning.

Stitch textures - Maan Shawl - nettynot creates

I did however stumble at one point during the pattern. I got incredibly frustrated with myself and ripped back a few rows several times as something wasn’t making sense to me. What I’ve learnt to do when things aren’t going well is head to ravelry and look at the comments on the project to see if there’s any mention the issues I’ve experience. If not it is usually down to me misreading things. Which was exactly the case here. I am fully aware that I approach things a little differently; I have dyslexia, which I recently read described as a learning difference rather than learning difficultly. Both are accurate, though the former definitely describes how I feel about it most of the time and the frustration I feel when people want me to do things a certain way (just because that’s how they do them – I’m going off tangent), maybe I’ll come back to this topic in another blog post.

Maan Shawl - knitted by Nettynot

Other than misreading a row in the instructions (which I figured out after by zooming in on images of other people finished projects on Rav & my shawl spending some quality time in the WIP pile). The garter stitch edge had, up to a certain point, been made up of alternating 2 row repeats of each colour, however after the first mosaic section it had 4 rows of the same colour and my mind and hands would not compute this and I kept convincing myself I’d done something wrong. It’s not the first time & it won’t be the last time I’ve done somethign like this & got frustrated. But as soon as the penny droped I fixed my knitting and relaxed back into it.

I did find one aspect incredibly frustrating about the pattern rather than the project. I understand why it was done this way; having written many patterns before, albeit beading patterns, I know it is very laborious when sections are repeated and how to approach diaplying this can be tricky. However I do believe there is a good way to do this and a not so good way. This pattern has several repeated sections, the instructions (to paraphrase) said repeat section CAT, in section CAT it tells go to section DOG… then your on to Section MOUSE where is tells you to repeat section RABBIT and so on….this is all without any page numbers. Needless to say the process induced many big sighs and it was not surprising that I got myself muddled on more than one occasion! In a 8 page pattern which does include page numbers I do not think it’s unreasonable to help the reader of the pattern navigate it easily. What’s wrong with a simple “repeat section CAT on page 2”,  and then repeat steps 1-5 of section DOG from page 1 etc… small rant over!

Complete Maan Shawl - spread over 3 seater sofa - Nettynot creates

That said, I absolutely love my finished shawl, I did make one minor adjustment and that was to remove some of the stripe repeats to make the over all shawl smaller – though it does still stretch across a 3 seater sofa!

Maan Shawl in front of York Minster - nettynot creates

I have worn it lots, I finished it in time for a trip to York back in the beginning of March, our Air BnB host complimented me on it and was amazed to hear I’d knitted it myself, which is always wonderful feeling and went on to say that her partner would have been gutted to miss seeing it as he’d recently got into knitting!

Blocking Maan Shawl - Nettynot Creates

I had a little worried when I cast off as it was quite thick and rigid, however I gave it a good soak in Eucalan wool wash (available from Knit Nottingham), blocked it and was super soft and cosy once it dried. I had unintentionally swapped to a larger needle size half way though, the shawl had a long hibernation period just after I completed the first mosaic section because I wanted to knit other things and I borrowed the needles for something else. I then made the assumption when I picked it back up that, as I was knitting with DK yarn, that I’d been using 4mm needle when I’d actually been using 3.75mm. However I think it’s done me a favour, it’s more drappy now and no one would ever know (unless you’re reading this!)

Thanks for reading!
Steph

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Miette – A finished Project!

31 Dec Darts and eyelet detail Miette - Nettynot Blog

The significance of finishing this cardigan it quite great for me, it is the only garment I have completed in 2015! I’m a little sad about that, only because it’s not a sign that I’ve been too busy, but that I had two garment fails/hiccups, which I have mentioned in previous post. I have done a few smaller projects in between, a panda hat for a friends baby and a lazy lace cowl. But my knitting output has been rather disappointing. So in October determined to turn things around by the end of the year I decided to knit (and complete) a cardigan.

I’ve fancied a shorter cardigan for a while now. I wear a lot of dresses that are fitted at the waist, but I usually wear them with a generic shop bought longer cardigan which rests on my larger hips hiding my waist anyway. Once I saw Jem Weston’s finished Captivate cardigan earlier in the year, which is such a flattering fit, I knew I needed a nice shorter cardigan.

I’ve pinned the Miette cardigan in to my knitting board on Pinterest a couple of times in different guises so decided that’d be the one. After a quick visit to my LYS (Knit Nottingham) I was set and cast on that night. The pattern is written by an American designed Andi Satterlund, for worsted weight yarn which can be a bit tricky as it’s not quite as easily substituted for aran. I went for King Cole Merino Blend Aran and felt fairly confident I could make it work (there’s a few more details over on my Ravelry page).

Eyelet detail on Miette Cradigan - Nettynot Blog

The simple eyelet details around the edge of the cardigan are really effective, easy to follow and added a bit of interest while knitting, which I really enjoyed, especially how quickly it grew. The only challenge I faced was the fact that the tension didn’t quite match up, my knitting was about the right number of stitched but too few rows, so I couldn’t really go up a needle size, however I decided it’d probably be alright as I have a short torso anyway. The only slight issue I had was once I’d separated the sleeves and knitted a few rows, I was able to try it on for the first time and it was a bit snug under the arms, so I ripped it back to above the arms and added a few more rows before separating the sleeves again.

Sleeve increase detail on Miette - Nettynot Blog

This in theory worked and deepened the arm holes enough to be comfortable, but it did make the sleeve increases look a little strange, which if I was to knit it again I would rectify by graduating the increases slightly, however I’m still happy with the result.

Darts and eyelet detail Miette - Nettynot Blog

I really liked the clever darts on the front of the garment and they make a nice feature, though I was a little worried they’d make the cardigan too big in front for me, but I it was fine and makes for a much more flattering and figure hugging fit. I went for longer sleeves as it’s quite a warm yarn and I prefer long sleeves and once I blocked it the yarn relaxed beautifully.

Miette - Back of Cardigan - Nettynot BlogFinished Miette - Nettynot Blog

Now I just need to work on my posing – I never know where to look and how to stand – maybe I can practice with some more finished garments in 2016.

Thanks for Reading!
Steph x

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