english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Lesley in John Arbon Merino

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

This is my second project from Home & Away by Hannah Fettig (Knitbot), the Lesley sweater. This pattern is the cover star of Home & Away, and the photos of it included in the book are stunning.

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

I loved the pattern as soon as I saw it. It’s a great basic which goes with everything. It’s also a straightforward knit, and thanks to the aran weight yarn, knits up really quickly. Kirsten knit her Lesley sweater in one week! I wasn’t that quick, but it didn’t take me much longer.

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

I received the yarn for my Lesley as a Christmas present from my Mom and Dad, it’s John Arbon Textiles’ organic Falklands Merino. It makes for a lovely soft sweater. I have one skein of yarn (plus a little bit) left over which I might use to make a hat – probably one of the gorgeous hats from the Autumn 2015 issue of Pom Pom. According to the patterns I won’t have quite enough yarn, but I’m going to chance it and see how I get on!

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

I’m wearing my sweater here with a Pianissimo scarf (also in a John Arbon yarn! This is Viola in the Fern colourway), and Stork Scissors by Birmingham-based Frilly Industries.

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

I swatched for this sweater on Christmas day, and would have started knitting but didn’t have the correct size circular needles for the ribbing – bad planning on my part. I went into Birmingham on Boxing Day to buy needles and cast on that evening. I was very happy with House of Fraser who were open and had the needles I needed – and not happy with John Lewis who were closed altogether. How is a person supposed to start their #boxingdaycaston!

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

These photos were taken out-and-about in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade (Gillian, I’m listening! #betterpicturesproject). It’s a beautiful arcade with great indie shops but you wouldn’t really know from these photos as you can’t see much of it – I blame the camera man;) One of the most enjoyable film screenings I ever attended was held in the Great Western Arcade as part of Flatpack Festival (p.s. if you’re local, this year’s festival starts 19th April). It was a screening of Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last!, it took place in March when it should have been warm enough for a screening in the arcade, but that day it was very cold and snowed. Note that the arcade is open to the outdoors at both ends. The organisers were fantastic and provided us each with a blanket and cup of tea, along with popcorn and chocolates. Such a fun evening.

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

I’m finishing up a few small knitting projects currently but looking forward to casting on another sweater/cardigan soon!

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn

Lesley by Hannah Fettig, Knitbot, In John Arbon Aran Yarn


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My First (Owls) Jumper

Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I finished my first jumper! Owls by Kate Davies. This is only my second ever knitting project and I wouldn’t have been brave enough to try a jumper (or anything else wearable) so quickly if not spurred on by Kat and Sabs’ knit-along.
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I actually think it was a good early knitting project as I learned TONS making this jumper. It was my first time using circular needles, knitting ribbing, cabling, etc., etc. When I started this project I was finding it difficult recognising individual rows and recognising the difference between the knit and purl side of a piece of knitting and now at the end I feel so much more confident. I’ve already jumped into my next knitting project – Andi Satterlund’s Myrna cardigan. I’d totally recommend Owls to other relative beginners.
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
I made a ton of mistakes of course. I spent quite a bit of time unpicking stitches and re-doing things (including re-doing one whole sleeve), but there were also errors I was too lazy to redo. In particular the bottom band… It was my first attempt at ribbing and it definitely isn’t ribbing! I was obviously feeling lazy that day as I left it be. I’d figured out ribbing by the time I got to the cuffs and neckline – I’m looking at the jumper as proof of the learning process:)
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper
The wool is an acrylic and I think the wool for the whole project cost less than £10. I decided not to attach button eyes to my owls. I bought 32 tiny buttons from Birmingham Rag Market but decided I liked it without. I’m looking forward to seeing the other Owls knit as part of the knit-along:) Ok, on to Myrna!
Handmade Kate Davies Owls Jumper