What's Aneeta NOT Knitting?
Aneeta is NOT knitting...dining chair covers! The grey is before and the pink is after (of course!) We've had these gorgeous Nathan dining chairs for a while now and have been humming and ha-ing over fabric all year. After endless discussions and decisions that I wasn't quite sure about, we found and bought this fabric in minutes at an outdoor market in Milton Keynes of all places. Beautiful, a bargain, and PINK!
Aneeta is NOT knitting...shirts! Here's what I learnt from my sewing class at Morley College. They taught me one, and I went mad at home with shirt after shirt after shirt...lucky Mr Knitting SOS! : )
Aneeta is NOT knitting...an overlocker! After using an overlocker for the first time a few months ago, I immediately put one on my Wish List...after thinking about it for ages and looking at various machines (that scared the life out of me) I finally bought a Janome overlocker from John Lewis. After a wrangle (getting it delivered and) rethreading it from white to black, I love it! I've already practiced lots with it and used it on my new dress. : )
After taking the Beginners Skirt class at Morley in the autumn I decided to sign up to Simple Tops. But when this looked too simple for my skills (which do need stretching as I can be lazy in that department!) I managed to talk my way onto the Intermediate Shirt course. My plan is to make a retro shirt for Mr Knitting SOS (who received the pattern and fabric for Christmas but will have to wait until summer for the finished shirt). The first term went well and I think I managed to keep up (which I was keen to do as the tutor did take a chance on me as I hadn't done a full year of the beginners' classes). I didn't touch a sewing machine until week 9 as the first couple of months were spent altering the paper pattern to make the fit spot on. But despite the slow pace, I really enjoyed learning new skills and the clever-bits of pattern adjusting...talk about maths-minefields! I thought knitting was techy(!)
After the first term I've cut out my pieces, sewn the yoke to the back (it's GORGEOUSLY neat!) and sewn the back to the front. Most excitingly I've also started on the collar.
The new terms starts on 10th April and I've already signed up and can't wait to get back to it. Being the swot and teachers pet that I am, I'm also repeating the work done in class at home on secondary fabric so that a) I have two shirts at the end of the process and b) so that I really remember everything I learn in class by doing it twice.
I'VE JUST BOUGHT AN OVERLOCKER!!!!! Please note the great excitement at Knitting SOS HQ. It should arrive tomorrow then, 'beware all fabric, you WILL be overlocked!' I'm looking forward to adding that extra finesse to my dressmaking.
September 2012 onwards
I've been wanting to take a class for many years now, but have always been too busy or have chickened out. Here's something you might not have guessed about me, for all my successful-new-knitters-created as a teacher, I am a TERRIBLE student! I'm nervous, afraid of making mistakes, and paranoid that I won't 'get it'. This harks back to my school days I guess as I was a pretty insecure kid and my memories of the classroom aren't great.
But I have wanted to improve my sewing skills for years now and having taken myself as far as I could get with books and the internet it finally got to the stage where I knew I needed more help to move my knowledge on, and I knew that it would be good for me (ugh don't you hate things that are good for you!) to 'step out of my comfort zone' and a few other cliches and actually be brave enough to become a 'student' again.
On occasion I have even gone as far as to book a sewing class but have come up with an excuse to cancel it! What a wimp I am and how much respect do I have for my knitting students! They are very brave to put themselves out into a situation where they have to admit ignorance and accept help. Learning as an adult is much harder than learning as a kid and one of the things I've learnt from 'learning' is that it takes guts!
In August 2012 I finally signed up to a Beginners Dressmaking class at Morley College in Lambeth. I chose the location because a friend was taking a different course there, and I also wanted something to force me out of my flat a bit further than the mile radius I pedal on my bicycle.
The course was a term of 'SKIRT'. I've made skirts before, but cobbled together with waistbands I would be ashamed to show my Mother and hand sewn zips that were held on by safety pins. With all the 'finishing techniques' I teach in knitting I do have the grace to blush at my sewing skills with fabric!
A term on, and one toile and two skirts under my belt I would like to report that I am pleased with my progress : ) A gold star for Miss Patel at facing my 'learning' fears and zooming ahead on my sewing skills! I can now:
- Sew in a waistband
- Attach a skirt lining
- Sew in invisible and visible zips
- Edge stitching, sink stitching and stay stitching
- And the most life changing of all...using an overlocker for the first time ever (that's going to be my first major purchase of 2013).
I so enjoyed myself that I've signed up for the Spring term...SHIRTS! Mr Knitting SOS is looking forward to having his shirts handmade from now on...well one this term at least. Watch this space for more updates on Not Knitting : )
Here's a photo of my amazing overlocking! Completely life-changing
: ) More pics of my skirt coming soon.
This is a hat I made for my young friend Woody in January (but I'm only just seeing the pics!) It's from the excellent tutorial I found online. I made it a tiny little bit bigger as Woody is a big lad, and used a dark turtle fabric for one side and a light 'zoo' fabric for the other. The fact that it's reversible means that he can update his look to suit his outfit! : ) As you can see he's rocking the guitar-hero look here!
As with most other pages (apart from Classes) on this website I've been a bit slack in updating so here's another round up of what I've been up to:
- Book editing : (
- South of France
- Lots and lots of balcony gardening!
I've been a bit lazy in updating this page for a while so here's a round-up of what Aneeta's NOT been knitting in the last 6 months!
- Cycle caps
- Balcony gardening
- Making meringues
- Trips to the seaside!
More pics coming soon!
September 2011. Aneeta is NOT knitting...quilting! Oven gloves, tea cosies and a very exciting patchwork kingsize quilt cover for my sooooo comfortable new bed. Sewing is the new knitting...you heard it here first! ; )
31st August 2011
Aneeta is knitting...not knitting, not knitting, nah nah nah nah nah naaaah! Just finished my book. 17 of the hardest months of my work life. Allergies to natural fibres. Death of my Father. The first deadline I've ever missed. But...DONE! Phew. I thought I wanted the moment marked by dancing girls and champagne, but instead found myself strangely peaceful and satisfied by tomato soup, last night's Eastenders and most bizarrely, a bit of knitting (non-book related of course).
Aneeta is NOT knitting photoshoots for the new book! It's not quite the glamour you might think a photoshoot is, but there were definitely some pretty models about and the ever glamourous photographer www.PeterSchiazza.com
Aneeta is NOT knitting...well I wish I wasn't knitting! Unfortunately I am up to my eyeballs in my second book. I hope to be finished by early August and with that and various photoshoots looming I am knitting, knitting, knitting!
Aneeta is NOT knitting Positivity!
I recently taught my young friend Adem about the Power of the Spoken Word and asked him to write one positive statement every day to send out into the universe. He's taken this idea and turned it into an amazing and inspirational blog. For more, please see:
He's called it 'Today Aneeta' and it is "Simply a daily dose of things to be thankful for or positive about in the world we currently occupy..."
Aneeta is NOT knitting...CCCHRRRRRIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSTTTMMAAAAASS!
I'm currently more Christmassy than Cliff Richard ; ) Or have I gone a bit overboard?
Aneeta is NOT knitting...Cakes With Bicycle Parking!
Aneeta is NOT knitting...lots of holidays! I seem to be going on 5 different holidays in the space of about six weeks:
- My Cool Parents for some of my Mum's home cooking and getting spoilt in a way only parents can spoil a girl.
- Hereford for camping in torrential rain and being woken up by kiddies and chickens.
- Secret Camping with the gang..what happens on Camp stays on Camp
- Edinburgh for fireworks by the amazing Pyrovision.
- Noo Yoik...yes I know..Lucky Me : )
- Sunny Dorset for more camping and a 100th birthday.
Phew...after all that, I'm kind of looking forward to October..writing a knitting book will seem like a rest!
1st August 2010
Aneeta is NOT knitting her 35th birthday. I LOVE my birthday and start planning the celebrations from the 2nd of May. This year was ace..cakes, champers, chums and dancing 'til all hours on a Sunday night : )
29th June 2010
Aneeta is NOT knitting THE SUMMER!!! Lots of time on my bicycle, balmy air, plans for visits to the seaside, planning for my birthday..all wrapped up in lots of work on my new book. Work..Play..Fun! : )
21st April 2010
Aneeta is NOT knitting reflexology! I was recently lucky enough to receive 6 free reflexology sessions. WOW! I have no idea of the technicalities, but the talented lady Nevres Niyazi at Re-Balance Therapies is definitely working some magic on me. We are working on my neck pains and recurring allergies - I'll know more after more sessions, but the relaxing effect is certainly a bonus, and hopefully there will be deeper benefits in the long run. Well recommended!
10th March 2010
Aneeta is NOT knitting Spring Flowers! I planted these in the dead of November and look..flowers. I Am Very Pleased : )
Aneeta is NOT knitting bicycle shaped gingerbread men...or something?! : )
Aneeta is NOT knitting a family holiday to Goa!
35c, beaches, sun...too hot for knitting : )
20th Dec 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting the Tower Hamlets Wheelers annual Christmas lights ride. A nice bimble around Tower Hamlets looking at all the mad lights people have put out to celebrate all things xmassy. One of our favourites is the cycling Santa : )
17th Nov 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting parathas! My first attempt without my Mum's beady eye on me. : )
17th Nov 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting Diwali sparklers!
24th October 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting bicycle-sparkly cake!
22nd September 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting a raft!
Last Sunday was the 3rd Annual Regent's Canal Raft Race. This is an event organised by my friend El in which we all get together and build rafts using household materials and then race these rafts on a stretch of the canal in Mile End.
My friend Owen (my secret weapon as he used to be a naval architect) built us a great vessel which turned out to be a modern day Titanic - looks very sea worthy, but let down by a girl who doesn't know how to paddle and scooped lots of water into the back compartment thus sinking The Good Ship Owe-N-Eeta.
Most fun I've had in ages!
1st Sept 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting a new bicycle wheel! And I built it myself - something only the most hardcore of cyclists do. With lots of help from the Tower Hamlets Wheelers - best bicycle group in London. : )
10th August 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting Swine Flu.
Boo hoo - that wasn't fun. In recovery now. I actually had to cancel a knitting class! That's the first time ever I've cancelled a class because of being ill. I can teach knitting under any duress, but I was very scared of infecting people
Better now...just very sleepy!
1st August 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting her birthday!
27th June 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting...tropical thunderstorms in Tower Hamlets!
26th June 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting...pedalloes! Yup, love em.
Here's me and my friend Caroline on the Serpentine, and one day...make sure I tell you a very funny story about my sister and I on a pedalo in Holland!
13th May 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting her Patchwork Quilt. I've been working on a handmade patchwork quilt since I was about 14 years old. Every year or so I go back to it and add more pieces. This long scale means that I can identify all the pieces of fabric going through my whole life. I almost hope I never finish it as it will be the end of a long journey that I've really loved. But I can see it gracing my bed and really making the room special some day. In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying the making.
11th May 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting Curry SOS! I taught the first of my Basics of Indian Cookery Classes yesterday and it went really well. Four lovely people learned how to make a full Indian meal, which we then sat down and enjoyed together. Check out the Classes Page for more dates.
25th April 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting the London Marathon! And is not running it either thank goodness. But Mr Vannen, the lovely and talented designer of the beautiful pink Knitting SOS website is running it. And possibly in less than 3 hours! Quite impressive I think...COME ON DAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
24th April 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting punctures. 4 this month! I'm off to get a kevlar back tyre.
6th April 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting a cycling weekend away.
40 miles on Saturday, cooked for 25 cyclists on Saturday night, cycled 45 miles Sunday. Need to sleep now.
13th March 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting darning!
Lately I seem to get lots of little faces looking at me with holes in their favourite jumpers/gloves/etc. I've developed a bit of a taste for darning these little apertures up to give garments a few more months of life. If you have something needs the kiss of life, let me know and we can have a go and a bit of Mend and Make Do as they seem to be calling it these days.
4th March 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting, but is very pleased with, her new purple shoes!
"Hello, my name's Aneeta and I'm a shoe addict."
Just one thing...if I ever tell you how much I paid for them, please don't tell my poor Mother! She couldn't handle it!
But they have made me ridiculously happy: purple, way too high a heel, a super over-indulgence...but cycle-able and they go with all my clothes!
26th Feb 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting cupcakes. Tuesday night was WI night and this month's activity was eating...I mean decorating cupcakes. I'm afraid more went into my mouth than was good for me, but here's what was left over. Deeelicious cakes courtesy of www.lavendarbakery.co.uk
5th Feb 09
Aneeta is NOT knitting a great fear of cycling in the snow...but is doing it anyway! (+1006 reads)
2nd Feb 09
Aneeta and her whole family are NOT knitting a Family Portrait! I've been planning this for ages as a present for my parents. It would have been a surprise present except that I can't keep a secret to save my life. January 2009 was both their 59th birthday's and their 35th wedding anniversary so I wanted to do something special. I booked a photograher (the amazing Peter Schiazza from Knitty Gritty fame) to come to their home (a feat of military coordination to get him, me and my sister to Bristol all at the same time!)
Of course...no one could have planned for the weather on Monday...SNOW! The photographer was stuck at the bottom of a snowy hill in a van that couldn't climb! We cancelled and replanned half a dozen times that day. All were disappointed, I wanted to write a cross letter to Mother Nature...but nothing could be done. Until...! A call to my sister cancelling her rehearsal in London (this meant we didn't need to rush back). A text from Pete saying the van had made it up the hill. And suddenly we're back on.
A quick rush to choose sari's and lever my Dad into a fancy shirt. Last minute changes when things didn't fit. Pete turning up just as it got dark with umbrellas, flashes, etc. And we're good to go!
The photo shoot went really well. My parent's were very pleased and smiled like top models. Seeta and I as glam as always ; )
11th Jan 09
Aneeta and her sister are NOT knitting a tango dress! My kid sister is a professional dancer in the field of Bharatnatyam and contemporary dance. Recently, to fill her pockets, she's taken the odd job in show dancing and tango. She's got a big corporate gig coming up performing a Strictly Come Dancing style piece of Argentine Tango and needed a dress. She must have been reading the above posts about my recent sewing escapades as she came to me to make it. And we just finished! Red, sparkly and very glam. A serious piece of engineering. Now fingers crossed that she doesn't fall out of it at a crucial moment.
(+ 909 reads)
30th Dec 08
Aneeta is NOT knitting embroidery! I'm preparing for the Embroider Your Own Jute Bag class on Sunday 8th February by sewing a sampler of some basic stitches I want to teach: cross stitch, chain stitch, embellishments and several others. I decided to make my sampler stylish as well as substantial...something to inspire us during the class. For more info, please see the Classes page. (+762 reads)
24th Dec 08
Aneeta and her Gran are NOT knitting a sari blouse. My Gran worked her whole life as a seamstress of Indian clothes. She's done this in three continents and is still at it at 88 years old. I always think she's one of the biggest influences on my creativity as when I was little, there were always scraps of gorgeous fabrics for me to play with and turn into dolls clothes (though I wasn't allowed to use her industrial Singer, I once did and sewed up my finger!) Anyway, as one of only 2 or 3 creatively inclined people in our extended family, and the one with most access to my Gran, she's always trying to pin me down to pass on her skill of sewing sari blouses (they are a feat of engineering believe me, and learning in 3 languages is...well...it's rocket science). But after a day where I couldn't escape (Christmas is spent with the family even if we don't celebrate), we achieved our goal! A sari blouse for my Mum. And I even went the extra mile and put in fancy puffed sleeves. Photos soon I promise.
22nd Oct 08
Aneeta is NOT knitting a red satin dress!
My long time knitting student Debbie came round yesterday and helped fulfill one of my wishes. I used to sew back in the day, but never very well. And I have a huge fear of my sewing machine - so much that I'd rather sew everything by hand. With my huge hate of shopping, I've wanted to make myself a Red Satin Wrap Dress (note the Capitals!) for ages. When I mentioned this to Debbie, she told me that whilst she couldn't knit until she met me, her mother had taught her to sew many years ago. And in an excellent example of peer learning, she came over and taught me how to make the dress of my dreams!
We worked together to make the pattern from an exisiting dress. Then she showed me how to professionally sew it all together. It's not quite finished - I'll be doing that today all by myself.
As well as many important technical skills, Debbie gave me a huge amount of confidence both in my old sewing machine (that my dad bought me when I was 12) and myself! I now have all sorts of glam dresses in my sights...watch this space. (+553 reads)
2nd Dec 08
Aneeta is NOT knitting library books. I've rediscovered my local library and recommend you do too! Watney Market Library in Tower Hamlets is a old school library (not one of the horrid, shiney Ideas Store types). In this Credit Crunch era, it's a great way to read all you want, without breaking the bank. (+679 reads)
11th Nov 08
Aneeta is NOT knitting the Women's Institute. I'm off to the WI college (Denman) for a meeting of the Education Committee (somehow being a knitting teacher qualifies me!) I've been a member of the WI for a couple of years now and really enjoy it. For your nearest WI, www.thewi.org.uk