english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Knitbot Trail Jacket

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn

Having done very little knitting last year after a couple of dissatisfying projects, I had a really productive few months over Christmas and into the start of the new year. One of the projects I completed was this Trail Jacket, by Hannah Fettig (Knitbot). I finished it shortly before leaving for a trip to New York in February, and I bought and attached the buttons while on holiday. These pictures were taken a few days later while visiting the Museum of the Moving Image (see picture with muppet below!).

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn

I bought the pattern in 2016 and the yarn (West Yorkshire Spinners Croft Yarn in Boddam colourway) from BritYarn (RIP) in 2017, so I’m glad to finally bring the jacket to fruition. The yarn is aran weight and the pattern easy to follow so the jacket knits up really quickly.

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn

I don’t have much of a yarn stash. I have the odd ball brought back from a holiday, leftover odds and ends, and a few more substantial amounts of yarn bought for a project, such as this, which it has taken me longer than expected to get around to knitting. I’m hoping to work through those project-quantities of yarn this year, and then buy yarn as I’m ready to knit with it. We’ll see how I do. The same is NEVER going to happen with fabric/sewing patterns.

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn

My button placket isn’t the neatest (I had to position the buttons quite far across in order for them to sit centrally once fastened), but I know I’ll wear this jacket loads. I definitely wear knitted cardigans/jackets more than sweaters, since they can be worn as a layering piece year ’round. I really like the cropped sleeves (although inevitably they want to ride up when I put a coat on), and I love the specked ‘tweed’ effect of the Croft yarn, which is made with 100% Shetland Island wool.

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn

The next project I’ve started using my existing yarn stash is a hap in lace weight yarn so I’m expecting that one to take quite a bit longer than this jacket. Wish me luck in keeping on track!

Hannah Fettig Trail Jacket in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft yarn
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Opal Cardigans

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

Have you seen the newest pattern from Paprika Patterns, the Opal Cardigan? I really love the fabrics Lisa used for the samples pictured in the introductory blog post announcing the pattern.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

I was a pattern tester for the Opal Cardigan, and the two versions pictured here were made with the test version of the pattern. Lisa made a few changes to the final version of the pattern which it’s worth noting: slightly reducing ease, adjusting the angle of the front neckline, the height of the back neckline and raising the pockets.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

The pattern includes three length options. This first version pictured, in a blue ‘warm jersey’ from White Tree Fabrics, is View A, the shortest length. You can see that it is longer on me than on Lisa in the product photos, because I’m quite a bit shorter. I really like this slouchy length, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you want a hip-length cardigan and are also a shorty like me (I forget how tall I actually am, I think about 5’4).

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

One of my favourite things about the pattern is that each view has a different shaped pocket. I especially like the View A angled pockets.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

Before I made the knit version above, I made this black and white woven version with fabric from Barry’s. Obviously making a woven version of a knit pattern was not very useful for pattern testing purposes, but I couldn’t resist! This is View B, the mid-length option.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

I only made minor tweaks to the pattern to make it suitable for woven fabric – just extending the length of the cuffs and neck binding.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

The Opal Cardigan has no fastening so it’s a really quick project. I find it goes with anything and have been throwing mine on in the morning before leaving for the office. It’s perfect for slipping on and off as the heat fluctuates in our office!

If you fancy trying the pattern, there is currently 15% off until this Sunday, 14th February.

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan

Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan


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Hancock in Lyonesse

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Inspired by Gillian’s Better Pictures Project, and Katie’s guest post in particular, I photographed this recent knitting project indoors. However, I was paranoid the photos would be too dark (it was a grey day) so there is a mixture of indoor and outdoor photos below!

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

This is the Hancock pattern from Home & Away by Hannah Fettig, also known as Knitbot. I ordered the book straight after it was published (self published by Hannah) and love it. It contains eight cardigan/jumper patterns (plus one hat), which can be knitted flat or in the round. The book also contains some great general knitting tutorials, such as gauge, blocking, and weaving in ends. Plus it’s a beautiful book.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I knitted Hancock in the round, using the smallest pattern size. The yarn I used is Blacker Yarns Lyonesse 4-ply in colour Rose Quartz. Lyonesse is a blend of linen and Falkland Island Corriedale/Merino wool. Blacker Yarns refer to Lyonesse as their ‘summer range’, and the inclusion of linen in the yarn means it is lightweight and relatively summery. However I’m still wearing it this winter over long sleeve dresses / tops.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

You can see Hancock is relatively short (this is accurately shown in the pattern photos) and I considered lengthening it, but ultimately followed the pattern without any changes. I’ve found it the perfect length to pair with a dress or high waisted skirt or trousers, but it’s worth bearing in mind if/when knitting it.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

The pattern is an open cardigan without any fastenings. I’ve been intending to buy a shawl pin (as every knitter surely ends up knitting shawls, despite previously never knowing that you needed one!) and think that Hancock would also look good pinned closed when I want a bit of extra warmth.

Hancock is a straightforward knit, if relatively time consuming (at least for a slow knitter like me) due to the use of 4-ply yarn.

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I’m classing this as one of my #1year1outfit projects since it is made with a yarn produced by British mill Blacker Yarns, using Falkland wool (it’s unclear from the Blacker Yarns website where the linen was sourced). Given that my 2015 One Year One Outfit pledge already allowed me to use fibre from the entirely of the UK, I might be pushing it by also including Falkland wool. However, BritYarn’s definition of British includes overseas territories, and that’s good enough for me!

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

Hancock by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot

I’m just in the process of blocking another completed project from Home & Away which I’ll be blogging soon.

P.S. If you’re on Ravelry you can find me here.


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Oslo Cardigan Strike 2

I’m a bit slow posting this Oslo Cardigan, which was a Christmas present for my mom. Now that I’m back at work, Christmas feels ages ago. My first week back at work went very, very slowly, but no doubt I’ll be back to my normal routine soon.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

This is my second Oslo (which was one of the patterns included in the first issue of Seamwork). My first version, which I made for myself, was a test run, prior to making this for my mom. Both versions were made size small, in woven fabrics. The fabric used here is a lovely thick wool, from Barry’s Fabric. I bought all of the fabric left on the bolt, around 2.5 metres I think, so I’m hoping to squeeze a skirt out of what I have left.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I think the Olso pattern – although designed for knits – works really well with a thick woven. The result resembles a casual jacket more than a cardigan.

As with my first version, the only tweaks I made were leaving off the cuffs, and making a matching fabric belt.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I’ve had a bit of a wool-buying binge lately. I’ve pre-treated all of the wool fabrics, including this one, by shrinking them in the tumble-dryer. I placed the wool in the dryer on a high heat with two old towels that had been dampened with boiling water. I’ve used this method on both wool-blends and pure wools, such as this, and it’s worked perfectly every time.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

I took these photos on Christmas Eve, before wrapping the Oslo and giving it to my mom on Christmas day. Is it wrong that I’ve started to think about Christmas 2015 gifts? I seriously LOVE Christmas.

Maybe I’ll actually try making the Oslo in a knit next! And I really want to try the Manila leggings pattern from Seamwork issue 2.

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan

Black & White Wool Oslo Cardigan


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Wool-Blend Oslo Cardigan & Happy Christmas

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Happy Christmas! I hope everyone has been having a great Christmas Eve. I was going to make a new dress for Christmas day but hadn’t gotten around to it due to making gifts. I considered spending today flat-out dressmaking to get it done but decided it would be more fun to do a bit of everything. So instead, I finished making a few gifts, I baked muffins, played an episode of the Walking Dead game – festive zombies! – with Phil, watched Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, and I’m just about to start knitting a new jumper. I’d say that was a pretty perfect Christmas Eve:)

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

We will be driving to my mom and dad’s house to open our presents tomorrow morning. Although me and my brother have both moved out, we get together in the morning, with our parents and grandmothers, to open our gifts. I’m going to take the muffins I baked today so we can eat cake and chocolate for second breakfast whilst gift opening! My family will then all head to my aunt’s house for Christmas dinner this year.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I managed to make this Oslo Cardigan for myself this week, around gift sewing. This was actually a test version prior to a second Oslo I made as a Christmas gift. The Oslo cardigan is one of the patterns included in the first issue of Seamwork. The pattern is designed for knits but I ignored that and made it up in a wool-blend. Due to using a thick woven fabric, I went up a size (to a small) but there appears to be a fair bit of ease in the pattern so it has ended up fairly boxy. I’m fond of it though – despite the fact it is rather reminiscent of a dressing gown…

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

The only tweak I made to the Oslo pattern was to leave off the cuffs. I did make them but since they are designed to be made in a knit fabric with a bit of stretch they were too tight in a thick woven. I also decided to make a fabric belt to pull the cardigan in rather than adding buttons. The fabric frayed A LOT so I overlocked all of the seams.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I purchased this wool-blend fabric during the sewing meet-up in Paris. I bought it with the intention of using it for a Goldstream Peacoat for Phil but he rejected it! So I got to use it for me instead:) Before we left Paris, I made Phil choose an alternative fabric for his coat to avoid ending up with any more rejected fabric! I’ll be getting started on the Goldstream Peacoat after Christmas. I set myself the loose goal of sewing three new-to-me items of clothing this year – trousers, a swimsuit, and a coat. I managed the first two and I’m planning to make the coat before I return to work on the 05th January so I’d call that a success!

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

I’m going to try to squeeze in another film and some knitting this evening. I hope you all have a fantastic day tomorrow & get some nice crafty gifts.

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan

Blue Wool Blend Oslo Cardigan


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Better Late than Never Myrna Cardigan

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Sooo I started on this Myrna Cardigan by Andi Satterlund around May when Andi and Lauren announced their Outfit Along, and finally finished it at the beginning of August after the OAL deadline. I was a bit worried when I kept reading other bloggers saying it was a very quick project as I certainly wasn’t all that quick getting it finished!

It is only my second knitted clothing project (my first was my Owls jumper) so I’m not too concerned – I’m sure I’ll pick up speed with a few more projects under my belt. The other thing that slows me down is that I do most of my knitting while travelling. When I’m at home I tend to pick a sewing project. Most of this cardigan was knitted on planes and trains.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

It’s not perfect but I’m happy with it and the fit is fine. Phil is more of a perfectionist than me (which wouldn’t be hard as perfectionist isn’t a term I’d use about myself), and the first thing he said when I showed him the finished cardigan was that the buttons are wonky! Yeah, they are but they’re functional and life is too short in my opinion. On the plus side they have gold anchors on them:)

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

The wool used is the Women’s Institute brand wool now being sold in Hobby Craft stores, in Teal. The buttons are white with a gold anchor design and were purchased in the Birmingham Rag Market. The little necklace you can see in the picture below was a present to myself from Oliver Bonas.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund

To strengthen the button band I attached ribbon to the reverse using this tutorial by Lladybird. It’s worked really well to stop the cardigan front stretching out.

Myrna Cardigan Andi Satterlund