Tag Archives: hand knit

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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Knit in Public Week!

19 Jun

It’s World Wide knit in Public Day this week! Yes it does some a little confusing, I’m sure it used to just be a day but now it has taken over a whole week, but I’m not complaining!  Knit in Public day (or KIP for short) is a great excuse to get all your knitting friends together and take over somewhere public and embrace your hobby and ignore all those clever folk passing by who shout out “knock us up a jumper would you…I’ll be back in an hour…” if only!

Last year Knit in Public day!

Last year’s Knit in Public day!

For the past few years we, Knit in Notts combined with a fair few Knit Nottingham customers, have set up camp in Nottingham’s very nice Arboretum, off Waverly street, and had a picnic and the same will be happening this Sunday, June 22nd. So if you’re local to Nottingham why not join us, find out more here. If you’re not so local why not check out other KIP’s happening near you on the official website www.wwkipday.com or their facebook page.

What will you be knitting in Public?

I’m going to be taking all 3 of my unfinished knitting projects with me….
My Brick Jumper, from a frogged cardigan – it’s been half knitted and re-knitted already and has been having a little hibernation.

Brick jumper - nettynot blog
 My mood scarf, I’ve got a little behind recently but I’ve been taking note of my mood colour each day so that it’ll still be a true mood scarf (actually a snood). It’s not too late to join in with the scarf along check out Jem Weston’s blog for the (loose) guide!

mood scarf along - nettynot blog
My latest project, toe up socks, started as a holiday project a few weeks ago. I wanted to challenge myself, so chose something I’ve not done before…magic cast on, heel shaping, stretchy bind off…. I’m also now a little bit in love with self striping yarn!

toe-up socks - nettynot blog

Mood Scarf-along

27 Mar

The very talented and lovely Jem Weston has launched a knit along mood Scarf over on her blog. Practically everyone at Knit in Notts is joining in with the mood scarf with lots of variations being discussed. Considering it starts on Sunday I thought I better get my yarn together, I had intended to use some of my stash yarn, but I didn’t have 3 different yarns in appropriate colours or weights (such a shame – I just had to buy more), so I popped in to Knit Nottingham after work this evening and picked up 3 new great colours.

Yarn for Jem Weston's Scarf-along Nettynot blog

I’ve stolen Jem’s colour interpretations here (I’m sure she won’t mind)!
All my yarn is Cottonsoft by King Cole DK the colours are:
Turquoise (Jade) = Happy, excited, positive.
Grey (Silver) = Calm, content, okay.
Berry (Wine) = Sad, angry, upset, worried.

I’m looking forward to getting started, though I am slightly concerned I’m going to end up just knitting my scarf into a pretty pattern instead of going with my true mood, however I’m going to give it a good go. I can’t wait to see how different everyone’s scarves are going to look, I’ve already seen some of the colour combinations as Jem has shared them on her facebook page and I know that some are being crocheted and I love Jem’s idea of doing an asymmetric scarf. I’m going to make mine into a snood in moss stitch so my stripes a will hopefully blend into one another slightly.

Why not join in yourself, you can find Jem’s blog post introducing the knitting along here and keep up with the progress over on her facebook page here.

Knitting Discipline

22 Jan

Having finished my Mum’s Christmas Jumper I can now return to my previous project that has been in hibernation since the beginning of Nov. I am about 95% through knitting the colour affection shawl, it really is a labour of love and it was an ideal project to knit over late summer last year as it wasn’t too bulky, I even took it on Holiday to France with me. However I am only 5cm away from finishing it but it it sooooo long now (approximately 450 stitch on each row) it is feeling like a never ending project.

Colour affection shawl - almost complete

Almost finished Colour Affection Shawl

So at Knit in Notts last night I had great fun discussing what my next project will be, to help spur me on to finish. I have a few things I would like to do, having just finished a jumper which I couldn’t keep, I’d quite like to knit a selfish jumper, and I have been intending to knit Kate Davies Puffin jumper from her wonderful book Colours of Shetland.

Kate Davies Stunning Design

Kate Davies Stunning Design

I have even already selected the colours in my local yarn shop, Knit Nottingham. I just need to go pick up the yarn now. However I don’t think I can bring myself to cast on another 4ply project just yet.

My colour Combination, navy being the main boby colour.

My colour Combination, navy being the main body colour.

So my interim project is something knitted in a thicker double knit yarn that I actually started over Christmas. I frogged a cardigan I knitted years ago, that I just don’t wear the shape wasn’t great on me. The yarn was lovely Rowan silky tweed, so worth turning into something else. I only had 6 skeins (8 would have been ideal) so I bought two extra balls of yarn in another colour with the intention of knitting a jumper with some stripes, to help the yarn go further.

frogged cardigan yarn
I selected a dark red to go with the charcoal grey tweedy yarn, however I soon realised  when I began adding the stripes the red was an error, I was probably influenced a little too heavily by the festive season as the jumper was just screaming CHRISTMAS and I didn’t want to be restricted by when I could sensibly wear it (without felling a little silly). So I opted for using the left over cream yarn from my Mum’s jumper instead. I’m sure my family thought I was mad, having witnessed me frog a cardigan followed two days later by the beginnings of a new jumper. However if you know it’s not right or that you won’t wear it it’s best to make the decision quickly and get going again straight away. Which I did, though I didn’t get very far, but at least I got it started & that’s the important thing.

Beginning of Brick Jumper 2

I am following a lovely simple Brick jumper pattern  by Clare Lee, which is a free download on ravelry.

Clare's lovely simple, round neck, Raglan sleeved, top down jumper.

Clare’s lovely simple, round neck, Raglan sleeved, top down jumper.

I am going to add stripes around the top and possibly on the sleeves, with a little touch of fair isle, this is a doodle of the pattern, it should give a slight wavy effect  on the stripe and with having an extra row of alternate coloured stitches all the way across, it will hopefully soften the edge of the stripes.

Gotta love squared paper of knitting doodles & plotting.

Gotta love squared paper of knitting doodles & plotting.

However I am having to be disciplined and not dive straight into knitting the  jumper even though I’m itching to do so (especially since it is already cast on), I AM going to finished the my colour affection shawl first. Watch this space…

My Tips for a Beginner Knitter

21 Oct

At this time of year, when the evenings are getting darker and people are thinking about taking up a cosy indoor pursuit, we get a few more new knitters turn up to our knitting group Knit in Notts. So I thought about what useful information I could pass on to a beginner knitter.

There are so many useful resources out there but sometimes it can be daunting knowing where to start, so here a few pointers from a knitter who not so long ago was also a beginner.

1. Hopefully you’re lucky enough to have a LYS (Local yarn shop), a bit if knitters lingo for your there, my local yarn shop, Knit Nottingham, has a great range of yarn & very knowledgeable staff. You will often find that your LYS will run workshops or would be more than happy to teach you to knit. If you’re unsure of a pattern or yarn, your LYS owner should be a great person to ask advice from – I still do now.

2. Blogs – there are so many talented knitters out here on the world wide web & many of them share their successes & failures for all to see. Not every knitting project you start will end up how you anticipated & it’s comforting knowing you’re not the only one who has knitting miss-haps! Here’s just a few I read…
katedaviesdesigns.com This lady is my fave hand knit designer, I love the way she writes her patterns.
knitthehellout.com I love seeing projects in progress & reading about the ups & downs along the way.
knit-nottingham.blogspot.co.uk Basically the diary of a LYS owner

knit nottingham

3. Ravelry – a great online community for knitters & crocheters – this website can bit a little baffling for a novice knitter, however as soon as you get your bearings it really is a wonderful place. It is always my first port of call when I’m looking for a new project, with very helpful search facilities for narrowing down the possibilities. Once I’ve found a pattern I like to see all the different variations people have already knitted, seeing finished projects on all different shaped & sized people also helps me decide whether a finished garment will actually suit my body shape (always good to avoid that horrible moment when you realise the garment you’ve spent so long creating looks terrible on when it’s finished).

Ravelry

4. Knit Club – if you have a local knitting club, you will find a whole wealth of experience and knowledge which, knowing knitters, they will happy share with you and help any beginners in their midst. Not to mention it is a great way to meet like minded people and create new friends. If you haven’t got a local knitting club why not read my previous blog post about how I set up Knit in Notts, which has now being going for over 6 years.

5. A basic knitting book (although can seem old fashioned in a digital age), however having a go to book with all the knitting abbreviations you’d ever need is wonderful. You can’t always rely on always having enough battery or internet connection to get the right webpage up! My handy, small, go to book is Field Guide to Knitting by Jackie Pawlowski, which as well as having basic terminology has basic lovely stitched with great photos.

field guide to knitting

6. Knitting help.com & you tube – if you have no one on hand to help you in person, using the internet to find videos of specific techniques (casting on, casting off, increase etc) is a great way of learning. I find watching someone else is the best way for things to sink in, especially if you can pause & re-play as many times as you need to.

7. Pinterest – great for keeping a record of videos & tutorials of technique you’ve used & may well want to look back at. There are also loads of great patterns on Pinterest, why not go pin crazy (I do) I certainly will not get around to knitting all of the 100’s of thing on my knitting board & some of them I perhaps don’t know how I would. However even as a beginner, you can keep going back to your board of knits & as your skills grow you can browse though and think ‘oh I know what that stitch is’ or ‘Ah so that’s ‘intarsia’ and it is always good to have projects to aspire to create.

Pinterst knitting board

8. Pick the right first project! Everyone almost always chooses a scarf, however when you’re new to something it’s good to be able to see your progress as it’s easy to get impatient wanting to see the finished results and scarves can take a while. Simple hand warmers are often a great first project (knitted square, sewn up with a hole left for your thumb), they’re small & manageable, plus you should end up with a useful wearable item that spurs you on to starting your next project.

I hope my list is useful to any potential new knitters out there. If you have any additional helpful hints & tips feel free to add them as a comment below this post. Happy knitting!

Reminiscent Knitting

20 Oct

My most recent blog got me thinking about when I first started knitting and how I loved absorbing information about everything from patterns to yarn & techniques!
first knitting attempts
The first piece of knitting I did was when I was 7ish. Like many people I remember my Gran teaching me during the school holidays & she also gave me my first pair of knitting needles and I still have the piece of knitting. I had intended to knit a scarf – possibly for a teddy or doll, I don’t quite remember – so it shouldn’t have taken too long. Inevitably my young attention span didn’t last long and I got bored, for some reason instead of knitting one long piece to make a scarf I knitted several small squares that I ended up sewing together. The piece of knitting had no practical use at all, however I have kept it all these years, I just can’t bring myself to part with it.

I suspect I drove my Mum mad at the time as I kept forgetting how to cast on & off, but I dare say it all contributed to how easily I picked knitting back up over 10 years later. You can see by this photo – the finished piece wasn’t very big.
knitting with mug
The reason I had for knitting again is far from the usual ‘a friend was having a baby’ reason. During my Fine Art Degree I was working on a project about textures, having seen so many fantastic trees in the Californian national parks on a recent holiday, knitting and yarn were the perfect medium to re-create some of the wonderful surfaces. So I picked up some cheap knitting needles & yarn and started knitting again. Without my Gran or Mum on hand to help me cast on & refresh my memory I turned to the internet & re-taught myself with the help of you tube & a wonderful website, complete with videos. Knittinghelp.com even back 8 years ago had great clips and straight forward information, now it’s a slightly glossier but it’s still just as great, with free basic videos as well as premium more technical paid video tutorials.

Flying February

21 Feb

February so far has been a busy month & it’s not yet over. I have been on my good friend, Amy’s hen party last weekend, we had a great time at Sherwood Forest Center Parcs. One of the highlights for me was painting pottery, it was very relaxing (the only point of the weekend where we all fell silent – concentrating). Most of us painted coasters – nice small & practical items.

The lovely Amy went for a striking motif in subtle colours.

  The lovely Amy went for a striking motif in subtle colours.

Jem went for a wonderful bold & cheerful spotty design - I can't believe she did all the spots by eye.

Jem went for a wonderful bold & cheerful spotty design – I can’t believe she did all the spots by eye.

I went free-hand with dots & lines, sticking with 3 colours.

I went free-hand with dots & lines, sticking with 3 , it’s such a nice little memento of the weekend.

I’m just about caught up on sleep after one busy weekend & I’m already getting stuck into organising my stock for the Vintage & craft-fair I’m doing, on 3rd March at Wollaton park community hall, my first of 2013 and a perfect opportunity to make some lovely spring items & gifts in time for Mothers Day (don’t forget it’s 10th March).

Having creative friends is lovely, they help inspire you and they’re great for bouncing ideas off. It also means you’re there to help when they need it & you don’t feel bad when you need the favour returned – wonderful stuff!

In a previous post I mentioned helping out my friend with a small photo shoot at Wollaton Park, I can now reveal the end result. Jem Weston’s wonderful fairisle hat & mittens pattern created for Stash Fine Yarn, created in lovely Rowan felted tweed! I love the design (the squirrels are so cute & the colours are great) & fortunately Jem got the hat & mittens back in time to wear at the hen do!

Amazing fairisle Hat & Mitts, designed & modelled by Jem Weston for Stash fine yarn & photographed by me (Steph Gibbs) :)

Amazing fairisle Hat & Mitts, designed & modelled by Jem Weston for Stash fine yarn & photographed by me (Steph Gibbs) 🙂

Not only do I have creative friends, I also have very creative and talented colleagues at The Bead Shop, I spotted an update on facebook from Emma Ruth Jones’ about her latest creations & couldn’t resist this one…

I love this sweet little birdy, Emma has a few different coloured birds, including mint, perfect for spring summer, but I do love grey - it goes with almost everything!

I love this sweet little birdy, Emma has a few different coloured birds, including mint, perfect for spring summer, but I do love grey – it goes with almost everything! Thanks Emma!

Right, back to the crafting now, I just wanted to mention one other thing; on my way home from work today I needed a few small metal hooks for something I’m experimenting with at the moment, so I visited my favourite market stall, Aladdin’s Cave (& it really is). It is one of those places you pop in for one thing, spend ages looking around & buy more than you went in for, this little pile of treats only cost a whopping £2.99, absolute bargain!

BEST market stall ever! Aladdin's cave, Victoria Market, Nottingham!

BEST market stall ever! Aladdin’s cave, Victoria Market, Nottingham!

So now I’m off to go cut some paper up with my new fancy scissors & feel like a big kid!

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