Tag Archives: knit nottingham

My Yarndale Uniform

7 Jan

Reflecting back on my Make 9 for 2019 made me realise I hadn’t shared any photos of my finished yarndale uniform*. Which is actually one of the few projects I intended to do & actually did, allowing me to tick “Berry cardigan” off my list!

I have always enjoyed seeing everyone’s Yarndale uniform projects collected together in previous years, however this was the first year I joined in.

I liked the knitting pattern selected, the feather and fan texture on the bottom did it for me, but the cardigan as a whole wasn’t my cup of tea so I decided to adapt it quite a bit.

My initial plan was to make it shorter, fitted on the waist and continue the feather and fan pattern up the whole body and have plain sleeves. Which I did to a certain extent…

I knitted the whole cardigan in one piece and incorporate the shaping into the sides; I cast on the size that would fit my hips and planned to decrease enough stitches by the time I got to the waist to go down a couple of sizes. This took a little bit of thinking, ripping back and head scratching/discussion at Knit group, (the latter is always useful). Helping me decided to just decrease the width of one pattern repeat over the hips and not try and keep it in pattern as that was causing me too much of a headache – I really liked the result.

Once I’d knitted past the waist and split for the fronts and back, I discovered I didn’t have enough stitches to do the v-neck and arm hole decreasing as I’d planned, but then had a mini light bulb moment and moved the neckline decreases to the side of one pattern repeat allowing me to continue the pattern up the front. I kept the garter stitch row of the feather and fan pattern to kind of keep it in pattern and I think it worked.

I much prefer knitting sleeves top down, as it’s much easier to adapt as you go, so I used Knitionary’s very useful tutorial, particularly for me on this occasion it was a sensible approach as it was looking like I’d not get my full sleeves knitted in time for Yarndale so I just cast off, wore it to the show and then later ripped back the cuff and re-knitted the sleeves longer.

It looks ok with 3/4 length sleeves however as someone who permanently has cold hands I like my cardigan sleeves full length especially in a dk weigh one that I’ll be wearing though the winter.

Looking a little tired, coming to the end of Yarndale. Thanks for the photo Jem Weston

I was really surprised by how many people complimented me on my cardigan at yarndale and asked for the pattern where I had to accompany my response with “though it bares very little resemblance to the actual pattern now”.

The finished garment isn’t perfect (the fit around the top of my arms isn’t the best), however I don’t mind, I learnt stuff & enjoyed having to flex some brain cells to make my adaptions and since finishing the sleeves (again) in November I’ve worn it a lot, which is always a good sign!

Yarn is Sirdar No.1, pattern is King Cole 5365 both bought from Knit Nottingham I have also listing the project on my Ravelry page here.

Isn’t this a happy bunch, all wearing their own version of the Yarndale uniform!

*Where customers from Knit Nottingham vote on a knitting & Crochet pattern to create and wear to Yarndale.

Simple Knitting as an effective break

5 Feb Textures of Be Simple Shawl using hand dyed yarn

Sometimes simple is what I want, especially after a long, fiddling or slightly frustrating knit. I chose to knit the Be Simple shawl after I’d completed my Puffin Jumper. It hadn’t been difficult as such but there was a bit of faffing regards lengthening the sleeves at the end, which you can read about in a previous post.

Yarn dyed by Knit Nottingham

I also needed something that I could keep knitting until I ran out of yarn, as the lovely Eleanor of Knit Nottingham gifted me one of her first batch of hand dyed yarns, it was a 4ply (Cotton/wool blend, we think, neither of us could quite remember after the fact), but that didn’t matter, Eleanor had used colours she thought I’d like & it had turned out wonderfully!

Textures of Be Simple Shawl using hand dyed yarn

A mixture of grey turquoise and blue, it knitted up nicely with colours pooling and striping, I’m curious as to how the yarn would have worked in a pair of socks, though at the time I was not back into knitting socks. The shawl was a simple and enjoyable knit and I love the end result. for some time I had felt each new knitting project I selected had to be more complex and intricate from my previous one to challenge myself and improve and learn. I still like to challenge myself, but I also like to relax and just knit something from time to time, and that’s ok!

Be Simple Shawl knitted by Nettynot

Still looking and feeling a bit awkward in photos – at least a shawl is easy to model 😛 

I’d finished my be simple scarf/shawl at the wrong time of year, just as it was nicely warming before summer, so it got put away ready for Autumn, which actually is lovely to do, it’s like a little gift to your future self. It turned out to be the perfect indoor scarf to wear at work which can be rather chilly being in a beautiful Victorian building.

be simple shawl- knitting - nettynot creates

I wouldn’t hesitate to knit another simple shawl for a relaxing project and I’d definitely knit more of Eleanor’s yarn, I’ll just have to be fast, she usually just dyes yarn for special shop events and if you’re not there when doors open you might miss out!

(Since writing this I have started knitting sock again and managed to buy more of Eleanor’s yarn at the shop Birthday event)!

Lovely new Yarn from Knit Nottingham - Nettynot Blog

Thanks for reading!


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.


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).

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

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!

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!

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

Knitting in the bag!

20 May

For a while now I’ve had the idea of creating my own knitting bag, with ‘Knit in Notts’ on and had intended to turn a drawing I did back when I set up the group into a printable logo. However my original drawing was a bit tiny (drawn on A5) and didn’t scan very well. I thought it’ll fine I’ll draw it again, however my heart really wasn’t in it, I knew it would be the same. But it gave me the perfect excuse to create something new!

Knit in Notts - design development - nettynot blogUsing inspiration from the original, I wanted to draw lots of knitting – it was very therapeutic doodling hundreds of knitted stitches (even if I have been told I’m mad). I then sketched “knit in Notts” and with the help of Photoshop I layered the two together and I had my design.  I started wondered whether anyone else at knitting would like a bag too, so I asked around at the group and got immediate yes’ (whooh!) Everyone at knit group loves a bit of teal, we often joke it’s the official Knit group colour – so colour choice was an easy one. Here is the result!!!

Knit in Notts - Knitting bag - Nettynot BlogI’m very happy and proud to carry my Knit in Notts bag around with me and I’m pleased to say they went down very well an knitting last night.

Our lovely social knitting group is almost 8 years old (29th May to be precise)! This is somewhat of a big deal to me. 8 years ago I was a bright eyed, eager, shy and rather anxious 22 year old. Setting up this knitting group was a hurdle I purposely challenged myself with, I would be putting myself into situations I would ordinarily avoid – meeting new people – eek! I’m sure many knitters I’ve met through the group in recent years wouldn’t have any idea of what a nervous wreck I was back at the start. I’ve gained a huge amount of confidence through putting myself out there, so to speak, and wanting the group to be a success, has made me engage people in conversation, which may seem like an everyday easy task but it wasn’t for me, it now comes quite naturally to me. I can’t credit setting Knit in Notts up entirely for the relatively anxiety free, sociable being that I am now. However a lot of contributing factors relate back to it in some way or another, whether it’s through the friends I’ve made or the confidence I’ve gained which in turn translates through into other aspects of my life. Having that social constant in my life is wonderful, not to mention sharing the love of knitting.

I written blog posts about knitting and the group before, so rather than repeating myself (and save some of you from having to read it again) you can see them here https://nettynot.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/knit-in-notts/  I also wrote some tips for beginner knitters here https://nettynot.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/my-tips-for-a-beginner-knitter/

My bags are available to buy locally, in Nottingham, from Eleanor at Knit Nottingham. If you’re interested in purchasing one, but live further afield feel free to get in contact.
Update – they’re also available from the Knit Nottingham website here!

Thanks for reading!

All drawing and designs in this post are original and my own. Please do not copy or reproduce them.
Copyright – Steph Gibbs (Nettynot) 2015.

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

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).


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!

Knit in Notts

9 Jun

Back in the beginning of 2007, having graduated the previous year, started a new job and generally having had reality hit me in the face – for the first time ever my whole life wasn’t revolving around some form of education. With college & uni come the inevitable friends you make who have similar interests and I found myself not knowing many people in this city I’d decided was going to be my home. I had started knitting again while at university, having not done any since I was a small child. I’d enjoyed some very sociable evenings knitting & watching films with friends as poor students, so I decided to join a knitting group. Having failed to find a knitting group in Nottingham, I thought why not start one myself! So I did & in May of 2007 the first ever ‘Knit In Notts’ meeting happened at Lee Rosy’s tea on Tuesday the 29th May 2007.

For that first ever knit group I was so excited & nervous (being quite shy & convinced no one would turn up) I roped a few friends and colleagues into joining me for the first few weeks (so I wasn’t sat on my own) but soon word spread & I had new people coming along each week & those I’d coaxed to come along at the beginning were happily returning each week with no coaxing involved! Whoo, it was a success!

Original illustration by Nettynot for the launch of Knit in Notts in 2007

I’d put flyers & posters up in various places and soon I had loads of people coming. Here’s an illustration I created to use on the flyers – I wanted something simple, to the point & that could be printed in black & white (to keep the costs down). I was very pleased with how it turned out & once scanned into my computer I’ve used it for all Knit In Notts events and it has turned into a great little logo for us! One occasion it was used for was the posters & flyers for a whole week of events I set up for 2008’s national knitting week! Yes I may have gone overboard with an event every day of the week, however it was great fun to organise and we had loads of people get involved – it was wonderful. By far the most popular events were the knit & roast dinner as well as film & knit. You can see on the poster below all the events.
Knit in Notts presents National knitting week - a week of event from 2008

When I first started up the group I was keen to get everyone involved and did quite a few different events to encourage people to knit & shake off the notion that knitting is just for Grannies. Not long ago I used to get very strange looks while knitting on a train or in public, these days it doesn’t happen so much I know people talk about a resurgence in craft and from a personal level it is really noticeable & I think it’s great!

I have got so much out of knitting over the years I have learn so much from fellow knitters (& crochet-ers) than I could ever learn from books or YouTube. My knitting skills have improved loads (I’d never knitted a garment before starting the group) and now I’ve knitted all sorts of wonderful items. Woolly things aside I have gained confidence by making myself speak to new people and organise events. Most importantly to me I’ve made some great friends through knitting, friends I believe will be friends for life – all brought together through a love of knitting – isn’t that great!

We had a great little party last year to celebrate 5 years of knit in Notts with plenty of cake, knitting, silly games (including knitting themed pass the parcel) and wonderful people! Check out my knitting geek cakes I made for the occasion. You can also see a little video of the birthday cake moment on Knit Nottingham’s blog written by the lovely & brill Eleanor!

Knitting geek cupcakes made for Knit in Notts 5th Birthday by Nettynot

One knitting event that happens annually is World Wide Knit in Public Day (this year it’s a whole week) we’re organising a knitting picnic in the park this year. There are events happening all over the world, you can see if there’s an event near you on the official WWKIP website. We’re making it a casual affair, meeting in the Arboretum, for knitting, nibbling & nattering! Why not find out more here & join in the fun, even if you don’t knit, we’ll have plenty of spare yarn & needles, providing you with the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

We’re still meeting every week, in a new venue, The Broadway Cinema’s mezz bar & cafe where we have a little more space plus massive & wonderful windows which are always useful for more complicated knits! You can join us on facebook & join us for knitting every week!

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