Tag Archives: knitting

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

Advertisements

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!

Steph

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).

madhatter
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
Steph

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!

Morning Echo Cardigan

29 May

I finished knitting this cardigan some time ago (last November to be precise… just in time to wear to the first Nottingham yarn expo (which was rather lovely – I got to go with many of the Knit in Notts, knit group members, which for several of them, their first knitting show).

morning echo cardigan - photos - nettynot

I was missing a navy cardigan from my wardrobe after loosing one a while ago (I accidentally left it on the tram). I wanted something fairly simple but with a little interest so I could wear it with lots of different things and not get bored knitting it. After an advanced Rav search (v-neck, raglan sleeves, dk, 1 colour) I chose Morning Echo by sweet paprika designs. It’s lovely lace edge detail and v neck shaping was perfect for my criteria. Knitted from the bottom up in the round, it was a nice quick start to the pattern. However when I got to the sleeves I decided to veer off the pattern path.

morning echo cardigan - blocking - nettynot

I much prefer to knit most things in the round and in one piece, it makes it easier to try on as you knit and less sewing up, however the sleeves for morning echo are knitted flat and then sewn in. I decided to do a provisional cast on for each sleeve before starting the raglan shaping in the body so that I could knit the whole top of the cardigan in one piece. I worked out how many dec there would have been on the edges of each piece and spread incorporated that in my re-design of the top. I ended up adding a few more rows into sleeve tops, I think we’re supposed to me more stretched, but I don’t think my alterations were have turned out too badly and the cardigan fits well, I’m really not much of a fan of sewing up awkward seams.

morning echo cardigan flat - nettynot

Other adjustments I made were knitting the hips a size larger and then adding more decreases so that I ended up with the right number of stitches for the second size at the waist, this worked well and the cardigan flares out over my wider hips and I now have a cardigan that fits my shoulder, bust & hips all at the same time which it rather wonderful!

Shoulder morning echo - Nettynot

I really liked the way the edging was incorporated up the sides and around the next band, however I really don’t like vague instructions in patterns, to finish the neck band the pattern states to knit until “…reaches centre back of neck when stretched…” stretched a bit? Stretched a lot…I don’t know? I realise why it’s been written this way, it will be different for each size and possibly vary with neck sizes/shapes, but a little guidance at least would have been appreciated. I knitted, grafted, sewed into place then unpicked, ripped back a bit, re-graphed, re-sewed 3 times in total, it hibernated for a week or so too as I’d found it so frustrating. I knitted a size 2 at the top and made each side of the neck band 17.5cm before graphing together, in the end.

Despite my frustrations, I did finish it and had a lot of wear out of it and I’m sure I’ll get s lot more wear too.

morning echo cardigan - button band - nettynot

Yarn was Patons diploma gold dk originally bought from my lys Knit Nottingham, though it has since been discontinued by the the shop.

Nettynot in Morning Echo cardigan

I really need to work on my posing, I usually look too serious, but mostly too awkward (I’m always envious of instaesque photos people post of casually not looking at the camera, yet looking cool & perfectly showing off their handmade garment – I look so unnatural in my poses)!

More cardigan details on Ravelry (nettynot).

Thanks for reading

Steph

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!

Puffin Jumper

17 May

It’s been quite a while since I cast on my Puffin jumper (by Kate Davies – from Colours of Shetland), in fact it was on the train to Edinburgh for The Edinburgh Yarn Festive in 2016 and I finished it several months ago in February, in time to wear on holiday to Edinburgh (though not to EYF this time).

Puffin Sweater by Kate Davies

Chevrons - Puffin - nettynot blog

I’ve probably already worn my puffin jumper more times than several of my other hand knitted garments, I love it. Though I did have a few issues to sort out along the way.

almost done - short sleeves - nettynot blog
Mostly the sleeve length, I have knitted Kate Davies patterns before and never had an issue with sleeves and neither did I think she had particularly short arms when I met her at EYF last year. However I knitted my sleeves to the required 42cm (needs checking) and joined them into my body to knit the yoke fully trusting that all will be fine. However once I was finished and tried on the jumper my sleeves were way too short. 

So I had a little breather from it, knitted some mitts and a hat and then came back to it. I decided since I was going to have to rip back my sleeves anyway that I might as well add some extra detail so I incorporated some of the colourful chevrons to the sleeves too, just 1 pattern repeat. I added a total of 7cm on to my overall sleeve length, however I could really could have done with 1cm more, as the chevrons take up some length, however that’s down to my personal preference as the sleeves don’t actually look short. That said I am very pleased with my finished jumper and I’m sure it will remain a firm favourite.

Puffin jumper blocking - nettynot blog

me in puffin jumper - nettynot blog
I obviously miss-calculated something when I bought the yarn as I have more that enough yarn left to knit the entire jumper again and having used truly rich wool (sock yarn really) it was a complete bargain to knit! Which in my eye is a bit of a bonus and means I have enough yarn to knit something else.

You can see my Puffin jumper project on Ravelry here!
Thanks for reading!

New Year & Hedgehog Mitts

26 Jan

I haven’t blogged for a while, however I’m not feeling guilty about it or beating myself up for not keeping up with my ideal 1 blog post a month. I have been busy crafting; knitting, needle felting, sewing and much more. I have just been spending more time doing than documenting/reflecting in blog posts. I have been  posting the occasional Instagram WIP photos when I’m busy making and doing, still acts as a good reminder as what I’ve accomplished. That said there are finished project I do really want to share and I do still an enjoy blogging.

collage-of-recent-makes-nettynot-blog
I got quite a bit of knitting done in 2016 (unlike 2015 which I wrote about here). I have had a different approach to knitting this year. I’ve only had one larger project on the go at a time, and knitted several smaller things in between and along side. Sometimes for practical reasons, like not wanted to take a whole garment to knit club or just getting inspired by something.

stranded-knits-by-ann-kingstone-nettynot-blog

I started my hedgehog mitts after a spark of inspiration having treated myself to Ann Kingstone’s “Stranded Knits” book at Yarndale back in September. I fell in love with the Hedgerow Cardigan when saw the book at the first Yarndale but thought I’d never get around to knitting something that complicated, but I’m started to think it’s achievable (eek) it is stunning (though it  might end up being a 2018 project – once I’ve collected another yarn – so many colours) – isn’t it beautiful?!

 
stranded-knits-hedgerow-cardigan-nettynot-blog

But for now, needing new mitts and loving the fairisle Pleiades Mitts in stranded knits, I thought knit them as a good pause mid Puffin Sweater, however I decided to change the motif slightly.

pleiades-mitts-nettynot-blog

Taking the same hedgehogs design from my adapted paper dolls jumper and playing with different stripes. I also managed to knit these mitts using yarn entirely from my stash – always a bonus, and then I can feel less guilty for buying more yarn!

hedgehog-planning-nettynot-blog

hedgehog-mitts-nettynot-blog

I completed these back in October and I have been wearing them loads, which you can tell from the slight pilling that’s already occurred – ah well, you can be too precious about these things – they are very woolly & warm and there’s not much point in knotting things you aren’t going to wear.

hedgehog-mitt-details-nettynot-blog

CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK

an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

Bead Mechanics

Geometric shapes made out of beads!

Make and Fable

Make & Fable is a UK based craft and creative lifestyle blog, a handmade jewellery line and host of creative workshops. Creativity you can wear, make and experience!

Knitigating Circumstances

Because knitting is excuse enough

Boys and Chicken's Sewing Adventure

Previously Boys and Chickens, I have created a new blog to share my sewing adventure as 2018 is they year I plan to teach myself to sew! There will also be bits of crochet and cooking too.

Clotho & Frigg

sewing and design

delightfultones

One girl's creative adventure.

livjaa

making things.