knitting construction kits by nikki gabriel…
Posted in fashion, handmade, pia's photos August 15th, 2011 by pia

This winter I’ve had the time to do some knitting, something I haven’t done in years. I’m not an experienced knitter by any means – I know the basics, I can knit simple shapes (such as squares and rectangles)… the idea of making a piece with curved edges, patterns or with multiple yarns is an adventure I’m not quite ready for.

To my delight, talented knitwear and textile designer Nikki Gabriel has come up with something fabulous for beginners and advanced knitters alike: a unique series of knitting patterns that are designed to be made in stages by simple knitting shapes. Called Construction kits, Nikki has cleverly designed 3 in total so far, and each kit comes complete with instructions for making a number of super stylish garments –  from simple scarves to vests, sweaters, and cardigans…

“Each shape is simple to knit and like a building block system, you can begin with a one-ball of wool construction; your first block. Knit one ball creating a garment; then add another knitted shape with two balls of wool building on the first garment. So begins your construction.”

I’ve been working on Construction No. 3 which is based on just one knitting shape – a square. In this kit, you have 7 garments to build on – a shrug (which consists of 3 squares), a sweater, a sweater with sleeves, bolero, cardigan, jumper and jumper with cape. Each garment is a stage built on the previous one. I decided to make the cardigan, which builds on the shrug and bolero, knitting 9 squares in total…

Nikki has also designed her own yarn called “Wooli” – a delicious mix of recycled factory fibre remnants like wool, alpaca, silk, and cashmere. The result is a wonderful mix of thick, lush yarn that feels soft and warm, and comes in colours ‘greige’, ‘burgundy’, grey and black. I used the black yarn to knit my cardigan as you can see below…

I’m so happy with the result. Creating the garment has been a lot of fun, and I love the way the garment feels to wear – it’s so warm and cozy.  This is a project that can easily be done over a weekend, or a series of weeknights  – for me each square only took about an hour, but if you’re an experienced knitter I’m sure it would take you no time. My cardigan is going to get a lot of wear for the rest of winter and into spring when there is still a chill in the air. Now, I can’t wait to make myself another garment… next up I’m thinking the bolero from kit no. 2 will be perfect for the months to come.


+ To purchase a Nikki Gabriel Construction kit, click here.

+ To purchase Wooli and Nikki’s ebonised knitting needles made from recycled Rimu in New Zealand, click here. And for more info on Nikki and her creations, click here or to read her blog, click here.

Thank you dear Nikki for allowing me share your beautiful work here in the (blog)house.


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  1. Maria @ Scandifoodie says

    Hey that’s perfect Pia! I’m just knitting new socks at the moment (I only ever knit socks, scarves and mittens). I think this could definitely be a good addition to my knitting repertoire 😉

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  2. eva vercauteren says

    Knitting patterns for clothes always looks so discouraging, so I’m a big fan of this idea!

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  3. Tara Bradford says

    Lovely, Pia! Have been wondering what you were up to, as you’ve been so quiet. Sounds like you’re settling into life in Sydney. x

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  4. Ana says

    Wow. This is perfection.

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  5. Jane says

    These look terrific! I love the colour you chose. I’ve only just discovered how great shrugs look.

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  6. Jenni Booth says

    Well done Pia on finishing the cardigan!! And well done Nikki on a great idea! Knitting is so hot right now!!!
    xx Jen

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  7. Belinda says

    I am really inspired by this. Your cardigan looks great!

    I find making my own clothes so rewarding, but I have never been very confident with knitting. I think the fact that it is make in squares and can be done a bit at a time makes it less daunting for a beginner knitter. Nice one!

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  8. Miranda says

    Pia, it looks so cosy and warm. I like the fibre. I could use a cardigan like that here. Even now during summer nights.

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  9. Jay says

    This is great! I have tried knitting soooo many times but have never fully gotten the hang of it. I am better at crochetting.

    These patterns look great. I’d loveeeee to knit a sweater at some point.

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  10. Brittany says

    how very cool! it’s such a clever idea. 🙂

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  11. Vanessa Joie says

    beautiful! that’s such a great idea. I might attempt one myself.

    August 15th, 2011 | #

  12. Rosa's Picks says

    What a fabulous idea!! And I love that big bulky yarn…

    August 16th, 2011 | #

  13. Jenni says

    That all looks so amazing, I’m so pleased that knitting patterns are getting less old fashioned and there are so many great knitwear designers out there. I wish that there were more sewing patterns following suit.

    August 16th, 2011 | #

  14. mady says

    this is gorgeous pia, perfect for me… hope you are well. mady x

    August 17th, 2011 | #

  15. Melissa says

    After a super-long knitting hiatus, this makes me want to pick up my needles again!

    August 17th, 2011 | #

  16. Sharolyn says

    Dear Pia, thanks for introducing me to Nikki. I have been wanting to learn to knit since moving from Brisbane to Canada – a great hobby for the cooler months. This seems the perfect way to start. I think I will request this kit as a Christmas gift or just treat myself.

    August 17th, 2011 | #

  17. cheryl warrick says

    Pia, Love this post. Make me want to pull out my knitting needles…it will be cold soon.

    August 18th, 2011 | #

  18. Rohan says

    When I was a kid I used to knit. And in Australia that’s taboo. Everyone expects you to play sport or bash things. I opted for knitting. All I could do though was make scarves, that no one would wear, so I gave up. But at least I know I can do it!

    August 18th, 2011 | #

  19. cristina says

    Thanks for posting ! Beautiful- can’t wait to order a kit and some yarn !

    August 19th, 2011 | #

  20. hena tayeb says

    Wow Pia, that looks awesome. Wish I knew how to knit or had the time to learn how to.. one day.. maybe

    August 19th, 2011 | #

  21. business card design says

    Hi Pia! I find that cardigan really wonderful! You are such a talented lady. This is like some branded cardigans that I am seeing in the malls. It really looks expensive if you’re going to sell it.

    August 24th, 2011 | #

  22. patrice longmire says

    What a great idea, and a great way to improve your knitting skills. I love the way your cardigan turned out. I am on my way to place my order right now. Thank’s for the inspiration. Happy knitting.

    August 25th, 2011 | #

  23. StillTraveller says

    Wow you did good for someone who doesn’t knit a great deal. It should be really satisfying to wear that cardi. I’m going to have to track down a kit myself!

    August 26th, 2011 | #

  24. Ann Marie says

    incredible! i was just thinking this morning that it’s time to start knitting again as Fall is just around the corner. I love this idea.

    August 26th, 2011 | #

  25. Laura says

    Clever! I guess it’s a wonderful idea for an original gift!
    Love from Rome.

    August 27th, 2011 | #

  26. Sandrine says

    Your blog is very nice and I love your pictures ! they are great 🙂

    August 27th, 2011 | #

  27. flo says

    so cosy
    nice post!

    September 2nd, 2011 | #

  28. lucinda Keller says

    I love it! And I’ve only gone in a straight line (making a scarf) so I am loving this! It’s so cute!

    September 4th, 2011 | #

  29. Leisl says

    Hooray! Another knitter! Those patterns are a special kind of awesome.

    September 6th, 2011 | #

  30. Maureen says

    Hi Pia,
    I just spend the last 3,5 hours reading your inspiring blog and listening to your beautiful piano piece (for your Uncle Ron, nr.7). I’m from Amsterdam, but now I live in Switzerland, Paris has my heart and Australia is my nr. one country to go to, soon, so reading along about life, your books, your lovely aunt Joyce’s trip to Paris, I just wanted you to know how lovely your blog is!
    Thanks and have a good rest of the week,

    (oh, and the knitting looks good! thanks for the link, will look into it)

    September 15th, 2011 | #

  31. Ingrid says

    Hej Pia, lovely cardigan construction!

    September 23rd, 2011 | #

  32. haley says

    I want this pattern so bad! But I don’t have the money for oversees shipping right now 🙁

    September 6th, 2012 | #

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