Knitting basic socks (part 2)

basic sock knittingKnitting socks is super fun. At least this is my favourite thing to knit! And yes it can involve many knitting needles, but this is nothing that you should be scared of! Although I get lots of people terrified when they see me knitting socks, knitting with 5 double ended needles is easer than you think! basic sock knittingLast year we talked about sock knitting and we learned (hopefully) to knit socks for adults (with pretty patterns!). This year I am making this learning process even simpler! No colour motive patterns, just pure sock knitting for kids. Yes, knitting socks in kids sizes is fast and easy way to learn. And if you have no kids than you can always donate or give it as a gift! But at least you will be doing same things over and over again (such a good way to learn!) instead of being stuck with one big sock. Click here for a full project. basic sock knittingOnce you have learned knitting basic socks, you can move on to knitting socks with pretty colourful patterns. Like these here! Although they all been added on Photoshop… basic sock knitting basic sock knitting basic sock knittingI hope you are feeling inspired and ready to knit some socks 😉

How to organise your knitting/crochet stuff (in little spaces)

How to organise knitting/crochet stuffIn the beginning of this year someone have asked me “How to keep all your knitting gear organised, needles, thread etc etc etc?”. Ha ha, you got me there! The pic above is exactly how my yarn looked like yesterday before I tidied it up for this post. Although I am proud to say that my needles and crochet hooks are organised nicely (at least current method is working for me for now). 
The thing is when you live in a small rented flat it is difficult to keep your yarn and needles organised. Like every crafter I dream about one day when I do have an actual craft room or a study at least! But for know small space is the reality and here are my few tips to keep organised in situations like this.
1. Make it as part of your deco! I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a minimal looking home that looks clinically pristine (unless this represents your personality). So if you are someone who knits/crochets why hide it? Yarn and needles can compliment your home!
I store my needles and crochet hooks in upcycled jars that are placed on the shelves. These go well with other jars stuffed with dried branches and other pretty stuff I find outdoors. If you have a large selection of needles and stuff then you can split them into jars according to their types and sizes and label them. I don’t have a large selection of needles so I sometimes just wrap my jars with wrapping paper and some ribbon. But when I do have lots and lots of needles then probably I am going to crochet around those jars and label them like this! I have seen some people storing their needles in rolls or pouches. I guess if you are constantly crafting on the move then this is great. But for me that would not work. I like to take only one project at the time when traveling so I only need one size needle/hook and some yarn that I just stuff in my handbag.
When it comes to yarn I keep it low (see the next tip). I only have one big basket that also sits there in the open (ok, not so open, because we have a very curious cat in the house). Because colourful yarn looks sooo pretty! I have a dream one day when I do actually open my dream cafe I will have a wall full of yarn! If you (unlike me) would like to keep your organised yarn stash in secret then here is a solution for you…You could sooo keep that in your secret closet!How to organise knitting/crochet stuff2. Keep it low, I mean your yarn stash! I never saw a point of keeping a large amount of yarn in the house. If I buy a yarn, I always try to think of what I am going to make with it. And even if I think of what to make I try to consider to giving unused yarn a chance!  3. Prioritise your yarn stash. Go through once in the while (it took me 15ming to reorganise my basket yesterday). See which yarns you are going to use one day (usually itsy-bitsy stuff) and separate that from the yarn you are working with now. Place those unused yarn balls at the bottom while leaving the “current” wool on top! 4. Keep records of your yarn stash! This is if you have lots of yarn and keeping them in many separate baskets, crates or boxes. In this case I would try recoding in a notebook or folder with little samples of yarn. I would record their name, colour, size, location (where it is stored) and how much of it you have left. If you prefer a more virtual organising system then you should definitely have a go with Ravelry! I did sign up but never used. But I heard good rumours that it lets you to take pics of your yarn and record it in same way as you would with the folder I mentioned here. I hope this has been useful!
Rasa xoxo

Sister hats!

Sister hats, knit and crochet pattern includedI was so super happy to get a sister last year! When you’re the only girl in your family getting a sister is a big deal. Sister hats, knit and crochet pattern includedSo when it came to deciding on what gift to give to Nicola a little lightbulb lit up and I started making these cute  pom-pom hats so that we would both have something matching(not identical though! That would be a bit weird..). I needed a good hat as my old one had had its days and Joni’s hats… well… they did not quite make a fashion statement. Sister hats, knit and crochet pattern includedUnfortunately we did  not have a chance to take a pic of us together with these hats, but we did spend a day shopping and while we shopped these hats were very useful for spotting each other in the crowd! Sister hats, knit and crochet pattern includedI hope you like these hats as much as we did. You can find the pattern and instructions for them here. Just so you are aware, you will need knitting, crochet and pom-pom making (real easy!) skills to complete this project.Sister hats, knit and crochet pattern includedGood Luck!
Rasa xoxo

Handmade gift idea for kids

Birthday gift idea for a childGiving gifts to kids is so fun and easy (I mean the toddler age)! I remember when my little brothers were still little. They used to be so excited about any toy I got for them. Those days are unfortunately over as I find it tricky to please those teenagers. Luckily last year I got a nephew-in-low and only yesterday he turned two!Monster sock knitting patternI love knitting socks, or any other circular knitting! This is why I knew I will knit these monster socks. This way it’s fun for me and hopefully it looks cute to Benjamin’s parents. Do you find these cute? If so, here is how you could make yours! Click here for detailed step-by-step sock DIYGift idea for kids!As for wrapping I nicked this idea from Pinterest. I used materials I had: graph paper from my A4 notebook, washi tape, used cake candles and a spare ribbon. I wish I had better pen to write with though. Gift idea for kids Birthday gift idea for kids + wrappingEnjoy gift giving!
Rasa xoxo

Things I look forward to in October

Autumn colours in the boxOctober may be uneventful, but there are plenty of things to look forward to… such as autumn itself! 🙂
1. AUTUMN is a beautiful season. Look at all the colours! And it’s not only orange, brown and yellow…. I love the combinations of pink, forest green, orange and cream. And lets not forget purple! I have been so inspired by it all that I have been painting last night like mad (and that does not happen very often). I love creating new patterns. New autumn pattern bellow is here for you to nick, use it to wrap a gift or put in on the wall ;-). Friendly Nettle autumn pattern2. KNITTING JUMPERS is almost my part time job. I took on three (yes, three) jumper knitting projects so far. But that’s quite enjoyable as I can do it while watching a movie or chatting with a friend! Here is my first cardigan in progress, can you guess what part it is? Yes, it’s a sleeve! Many more parts to go :-).Progress on my knitted cardigan3. DRINKING HOT DRINKS kind of goes with knitting. It’s important to keep yourself warm and all snuggled up while doing some crafty work! My favourite hot drink at the moment is spiced coffee (although I haven’t had any this year yet, but will make some soon!). It’s one of those drinks that is satisfying and not too fattening (minding my figure right now!). Click here for the recipe ;-).Spiced CoffeeHappy October!!!
Rasa xoxo

Autumn wardrobe inspiration

Good old days knitwear style First things first, happy happy first day of autumn! Aren’t you loving this? If you asked me this question 5 years ago I would ask what is there to like about autumn? I really disliked the cold wether (still do). But recently somehow I have learned to love autumn. I guess I have to thank my friend Vicki here, who claims to like all the seasons :-). I finally see what she means! Autumn brings rich amber colours, reminds you that there is Christmas to look forward to, inspires you with new wardrobe to wear and makes you to snuggle in comfortable chair with some knitting project + cup of hot chocolate. Yey, about the last bit! We (me, Vicki and her mum) are even thinking to knit together some day over Skype!
Anyhow, today I have been looking for some autumn wardrobe inspiration. This time I ditched Pinterest and browsed trough my old knitting books instead. I used to laugh at these old clothes styles thinking “who would actually wear these hideous looking sweaters?”. But now I have complete different outlook on them. I think the clothes can be quite wearable if only they were styled differently. I guess dieting were not an option those days ;-).
Good old days styleMy dream right now is to knit an autumn dress. But to be completely honest, this is one of my high sky dreams. To knit a dress in fine stitches would take forever considering I have three other jumper projects on the queue! Oh, well… I  still like dreaming about it and you never know what will happen in next few months… Good old days style knitted dressesOne thing I must note about old books, they are brilliant in explaining how to knit. There are so many things I have learned from them! They all have very clear illustrations and actual written pattern with no abbreviations! This is what I call straight forward knitting!good old days knitwear styleHope you enjoyed having a glimpse at my old (Lithuanian) kitting books 😉
Rasa xoxo

Knitted projects: from vision to reality

Planning knitted projects: from vision to realityIt’s this time of year when its getting chillier outside and you can’t wait to settle indoors for a cup of tea and a knitting project + the biscuits. I am getting in that mood already! I’ve started knitting a new cardigan for the winter ;-). I don’t know about you, but I love creating my own design, having a fashion degree really helps. For those who would love to progress to that level where you no longer need a written pattern to knit anything you like, I thought I would give you an insight into how I go about designing my own project. I am not promising this will turn you into a knitting master, but it should help you to work out where you could start to develop your skills. Maybe editing an existing pattern is a good place to start? Or maybe starting with the most basic project such as pillow case or a scarf? Anyhow, here is where I start when I want to knit something in specific.
1. YARN is usually an inspiration to me. When I feel like knitting I just browse what I have in my yarn basket, simply go shopping online, or in my local shop. I also check what amount I have and what can I possibly knit from it. So if I only have one yarn ball of a type, I would definitely not knit a sweater out of it! Sometimes, rarely I actually need to knit something specific such as socks for winter or a scarf as a gift.  Then I will decide on the design first and then will start browsing for yarn.Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality2. SKETCHING AND STITCH SAMPLING. At this stage I usually try out the yarn by knitting small samples of different stitches and sketch few drawings to decide on the actual design. Pinterest helps me a lot as an inspiration, but I never take an existing design, instead I take the features from many designs to create my own. For this particular design, I really liked this shape, but I have changed the front opening, the stitch pattern (planning to use Tunisian stitch) and sleeve shape.Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality3. PATTERN CUTTING is something I’ve learned at University (and a little bit before). So I guess imagining shapes in 3D becoming a garment is much much easer for me. But let me tell you, knitwear requires a very minimum of pattern cutting as yarn and the stretchy knit is very forgiving. Don’t be terrified of the pattern bellow, I am currently trying to achieve a very odd shape in this cardigan I am knitting by adding more rows of stitches on the sides (it’s quite a challenge for myself at this moment actually). Instead, think of basic sweater, it is essentially made out of few blocks that majority of you know how to knit!Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality4. GAUGE is a knitting term that refers to the number of stitches per cm/inch, not the size of the finished garment. This is very important to work out at the beginning before starting to knit an actual project. Gauge helps you to predict the size of your garments! The best way to work out your gauge is to knit a large enough piece of sample with your chosen yarn, needles and the stitch pattern. If you have more than one stitch pattern on your project (such as ribbing and garter stitch patterns for example), you should knit separate sample for each of them, because some stitches ‘pulls in’ more then others, fitting in more stitches in the cm/inch. Ribbing usually ‘pulls-in’ the most, however it is the stretchiest of them all! So to work out the gauge (preferably wash and dry the sample first) measure 5cm/2inch horizontally and count how many stitches fits in it. Repeat the same vertically and count how many rows fits in the 5cm/2inch gap. In my case (used ribbing sample) 5cm horizontally fits 9 sts and vertically it fits 8rows. Now we know that to knit 40cm wide ribbing we need to cast on 70 stitches (I rounded up from 72) and we need to knit 13 rows to get the ribbing 7 cm long. Making sense already?Planning knitted projects: from vision to reality5. WRITING A PATTERN is the last thing I do when designing my own knitted project. I sometimes even wait until I finish knitting the garment and see what worked out and what did not. You see, I never used to use a written pattern as the visual diagram were always my preference. But I know a lot of you love (and understand it better than me) written abbreviations, so I went out of my way to learn it so I can translate my patterns that way for you. I am still however in learning process with this, so please give me a shout if you see something is really not making sense 😉 Planning knitted projects: from vision to realityI hope this helps and good luck 😉
Rasa x

Knit your own Easter "Pigeon"

Knit your own Easter "pigeon"

Hey, do you remember this knitted bird decoration? I have been digging out some decorations for Easter and this is what I came across. This little birdie never goes out of fashion ;-).

The reason why I called it a “Pigeon” is because my friend Anna thought that the colours resembles it quite well! What do you think? Pigeons might not have a good reputation, they still look cute if you think about it.

Knit your own Easter "pigeon"

To knit your own “Pigeon” go here!

Knit your own Easter "pigeon"

Happy knitting!

Rasa xoxo

Last knitting group meeting in Tottenham


It’s have been really fun meeting everybody for knitting and cup of tea with a cake in our knitting get-togethers. This was quite an experience for me too! We have learned different methods of casting on, knitting and interesting new stitches. We shared tips and even books!

Sadly this is coming to the end as Friendly Nettle is on the move. But not for too long! In the new location there will be new faces and even more knitting and crafting fun! So watch this space for new events coming ;-).

 For now join us at our last knitting group meeting on 24th of March. For more details click here!



Hopefully see you soon 😉

Rasa xoxo