Welcome to the world of net noir

My efforts in netmaking have been fraught with difficulties recently. Loose knots, slipping threads, and snagged loops mostly. So frustrating that I might have felt like tearing my hair out, but for the fact that, even at times like this, net making can be so absorbing (some might call it addictive) that I’d probably only have wanted to make more netting out of it. Imagine that: a real hair net.

Altogether: Eugh!

After a few tests to find what I was doing wrong (answer: not much, but enough πŸ™‚ ) today went much better. I used some fine crochet cotton that Shana bought a few weeks ago, and I managed a good length of netting. I started in red, did a few rows of increases up to about Β thirteen or fourteen meshes, switched to pink, then changed back to red for the final rows of decreases. Shana is now using it as a decorative drape over a mirror.

Halfway through making the net, I noticed some rather pretty patterns on the table below my work. I called to Shana to bring the camera over. It seems that even though I was making a red and pink net, I was also making a shadow net. A little piece of netting magic of which I had, until that moment, been unaware. Shana’s pictures are quite atmospheric, even slightly spooky. ‘A bit like film noir,’ I suggested. But then we decided it was even better: net noir!

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Skelly hammock

In recent weeks I’ve enjoyed learning a little about how to make nets. However, I’m at a loss as to what to do with them sometimes. After all, there are only so many net shopping bags you can use at any one time, and because of our non-aquatic lifestyle here at landlocked Waffle Towers we have little use for dip nets, trawl nets, lobster nets or any nets of those ilks.

So that left only one option…

Make a net hammock for dear old Ezra.

You know, the Ezra!

So I rustled up a biggish square net from some old brown twine, and then bashed a couple of hooks into the ceiling of our North Wing. Ezra looks dead chuffed, doesn’t he? Clearly, he has not yet spotted Emu on the chair below. How does that old song go?

‘There may be trouble ahead…’

A bag hath appeared!

Well, I finally did it. Today I finished making my first net bag. I chose the basic design, whereby you thread some cordage through most of the side meshes and tie off to gather up the sides. Then you have to do more or less the same to the meshes on the short ends in order to create some sort of rudimentary handle.

To tie the sides I used some of the gold Aran yarn that had caused me problems at the weekend. It’s like a kind of netmaker’s revenge: troublesome yarn, you shall be useful!

As the pictures below prove, the bag is big enough and tough enough to hold a loaf of bread, some fresh air, or even a chocolate mousse.

Er, did I say ‘mousse’?

chocolatemoose2

Excuse my error πŸ™‚

A net hath appeared!

No idea where those blog post titles come from. They just spring straight out of my head like instant inspiration πŸ™‚

This post’s title is a bit misleading though. It makes me sound sort of surprised, as if a net came into being where once was naught. Whereas, in reality (ah, I remember reality…) I’ve been working on this particular net for at least a couple of days.

The material wasn’t that important. It was just to try something bigger than small sample pieces. I chose to do a flat rectangular panel comprising thirty rows of eight meshes, and at first I picked some gold Aran acrylic yarn from our six-foot-tall luxury plastic storage bins on wheels, which we have chosen to name ‘Acrylic Heights’.

All was going well until the later stages (row 25 or thereabouts) when the piece was so long that it was off the edge of the dining room table. I flipped the work over, did row 26, and then found it had somehow formed itself into a golden Gordian knot.

I was most dismayed.

Attempts at remedial work on Monday morning failed miserably. Only on Tuesday did I sort of rescue it. By threading through some lengths of hemp cordage, I turned it into a small golden acrylic net bag.

Today though, was grocery day, and Shana had ordered some string. This afternoon I started making my eight-by-thirty net panel again in exactly the same way as before. I started with what us netmakers call a chain, which gets your first two rows done. Then I transferred the first row loops onto a snap keyring, picked up the second row, and started netting. With a break for our evening meal, all was finished before 7pm. As a mesh gauge, I used a green plastic ruler, the first time I’ve actually used a rigid gauge (up till now I’ve bee using assorted sizes of heavy duty cardboard). String by Sainsbury’s was also much easier to work with than that dastardly acrylic.

Tomorrow, after a few simple design considerations, I hope to convert today’s efforts into a net bag. Watch this space for exclusive pics πŸ™‚

A hammock for Barbie

My prowess in the art of making nets is increasing every day. I have now managed (with no errors) to create a hammock for Shana’s Barbie doll.

Don’t ask…

On second thoughts, ask away πŸ™‚

Anyway, for the technically minded, I used an appropriate pink shade of cotton yarn, plus of course the netting needles that arrived over the weekend (big thank you to Shana for ordering them) and which have made netting so much easier. And last but by no means least, a mesh stick fashioned from a cut out bit of an old cat food box. Well, I can’t be high-tech all the time, can I?

The hammock started with two rows of six meshes and then increased by one on every row up until twelve. Then I did four or five rows of twelve meshes, before decreasing in ones back down to a final couple of rows of six.

My next netting project may be a bit smaller. I was thinking of a hairnet for Barbie. To go with the hair rollers. Because I think the Ena Sharples look would suit her to a t πŸ™‚