Liz Corke Knit Design

Show cart
January 31, 2012

I’ve just joined the One a Day group, and this is my first post, so since there’s nothing to update, I’ll tell you what I’m working on. My big project is a blanket using hairpin lace. Hairpin lace is a really interesting technique which uses big loops of yarn held in place with single (double in UK terms) crochet stitches. It’s a really cool technique but it does take a bit of getting used to. You have a loom to hold the stitches and spend a lot of time swinging it round to form the loops, and feeding the crochet hook through from front to back. I made my own loom (although I can’t take credit for the design) using 5mm knitting needles and some bass wood with holes drilled through them. It was ridiculously fast and easy to make, with just one trip to the craft shop. I set my needles 3 inches apart because I don’t want to make the blanket too loose. I’d rather keep it tight and warmer.
I’m using a tutorial from Wee Folk Art to help me with my blanket! There are detailed photos of pretty much every step and it’s really easy to learn the technique. One thing I did do though, was start with a slip knot on my hook, and slip stitch to the first loop. I found it a much easier way to join my yarn. The tutorial uses aran yarn, but I’m using DK, do I had to figure out my own number of loops and sizing. I’m using a 4mm crochet hook and I’ve settled so far on between 400 and 500 loops on each side. I’m not sure how many strips I’ll need yet – I need to make at least two or three strips and then I can start figuring it out hopefully. I should have enough yarn for 44 strips, but hopefully I won’t need that many or it will take me forever! I’ve already done 300 loops for my first strip, and I’m aiming for between 50 and 100 loops per day, depending on what else I have going on. Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have almost finished my second strip and be joining them together!
Check out everyone else’s progress at Gingerbread Girl’s blog!

January 30, 2012

For a second time, I’ve lost my whole post when I pressed submit. I’m going to have to go back to writing these in notepad and copying them over. I can’t believe how fast January has gone. I’m still not used to it being 2012 and we’re almost in February! I think I’ve made pretty good progress this week, although I have had a falling out with Magrathea. I kept missing one yarn over, and not realising it until the next lace row. After ripping two rows out three times, and having to pick my stitches back up thne sort out the twisted ones, I was fed up! This weekend I also needed my 5mm needles for something new I’ve cast on, so Magrathea is having a week off, and hopefully we’ll work things out!
I managed to got my Long Nights Cowl finished last week, and I’ve been wearing it every day since. It’s fantastic and so warm. I waited half an hour for a bus this morning and by the time it turned up, my neck was the only part of me still warm! I used up two skiens of the Drops Nepal yarn I had. I couldn’t get gauge  – I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern – I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more. I really liked this pattern, it was so simple and fast to make, but it is a great cowl. It would make perfect gift knitting I think.
I still had one skien of Drops Nepal after finishing my cowl, so I cast on a pair of New Era fingerless gloves. I’ve been using the magic loop technique to knit them, and it’s so easy! So far this pattern is going really well. I seem to be knitting tighter doing it in the round, so when I started with a 4.5 mm needle I couldn’t get my hand through the loop, even thoughmy hand is smaller than the pattern. I borrowed the 5mm needles from Magrathea and everything is fine now. The first glove is a little tight, but I’m sure it will stretch out with a little wear. I’m as far as the band at the top now, and everything has been going smoothly. It’s my first pair of knit gloves so I’m a little worried about picking up the stitches for the thumb. I’m a little worried it’ll be too tight, or too loose and holey. I’m just going to hope for the best though, and not over think it.
My Hairpin Lace blanket has been going quite well. I now have 300 loops on the loom, and I’ve worked out each strip needs to have between 400 and 500 loops to be long enough for our bed. I figure it’s best for the first couple to be too long – then If I want to I can rip back some of the loops easily. If the strips are too short they’ll be harder to fix. So far it looks like I’ll be able to get at least two strips from each skien of yarn and since I have 19 coloured skiens, plus three black ones, I’m sure I’ll hae more than enough yarn for my blanket. Once I’ve got the second strip done, I’ll start joining them together and hopefully be able to work out how many strips I’ll need. I’ll also be able to plan how I want the colours to go. I don’t think I want to do rainbow stripes, I’d rather mix up the colours a bit. Since I want to be able to join the strips as I go, some planning is definitely needed. I’ve joined the One-a-Day group on Ravelry so I’ll be posting about it again tomorrow. I’m aiming at between 50 and 100 loops per day, which should be enough to keep it going nicely, while still giving me plenty of time to work on other things.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls


Other Things

January 27, 2012

I already wrote this all out once, but then Tumblr had a fit, and everything disappeared, so here we go again! I have an FO to show you this week, as I finished my Long Nights Cowl on Wednesday! It was actually really easy to finish – instead of binding off like normal, you bind off a couple of stitches at each end, then whip stitch the live stitches to near the start, to make it into a tube. It works really well and looks really neat too. Another thing that you can’t really see from the photos on Ravelry is that it has a mobius twist that you put in right before sewing it up. The cowl is super warm! Its definitely the warmest cowl I’ve made this winter and it was just in time since we’e hit another cold patch. The cowl hugs your neck really close so that no drafts can get down, and unfolded it’s long enough to keep your face warm too.
This was a really easy knit. The yarn I used was Drops Nepal, which is a wool/alpaca blend and was really nice and pretty easy to work with, except that stitches kept wanting to jump off my needles. I think wood might have been better for the yarn, or maybe that’s just and excuse for me to get some Symfonie needles for my interchangable circulars! I couldn’t get gauge  – I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern – I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more.
Check out what everyone else has been doing this week over on Tami’s!

January 24, 2012

I decided that since I had lost all motivation for my Realta Blanket, I had to find another way to use up all the yarn I had for it. After looking around Ravelry for a while, I fell for Hairpin Lace. It’s a really nice tchniques, while being fairly simple, and it’s also feels different to crochet and knitting, so I hope I’m less likely to get bored with it!
I’m using this great tutorial to get started, although I find the way she shows of joining the yarn at the start quite awkward. Instead, I started with a slip knot on the hook, then slip stitched the first loop (I hope that makes sense, I’ll try to take photos when I start my next strip). I couldn’t find a loom here, but it was ridiculously easy to make my own. I got a strip of Basswood from the craft shop (modeling shops – especially railway ones will sell it too), cut two five inch pieces from it, then drilled 2 holes in each. I made my holes 5mm in diameter, and placed them 3 inches apart. I did have a pair of long knitting needles which claimed to be size 9 and should have been 5mm. However, they were thinner than 5mm and more importantly were very old, and very bent, so I could never get the loom to sit flat. So yesterday my husband bought me some new 5mm needles (mine are 40 cm long) and they fit perfectly. The fit with the holes is so tight that I don’t have any problem with the wood slipping.
I really like making this lace. It does feel a bit strange to begin with, but you quickly get in to a rhythm. Moving the hook from the front to the back is a bit awkward though, and I hope it will improve with more practice. I’m using DK yarn so I made the gap between the legs a bit smaller than the tutorial, and I’m using a 4mm hook to crochet the lace.
In the photo I have 60 loops and it doesn’t look very long! I think I want it to cover our bed, which is a double, although we have a king sized duvet, so it would have to be around that size, or I could make it into a throw for the sofa. I’m going to work on this strip and get the length I want, then count how many strips that is. Once I’ve made a second strip I’ll join the two of them together and then I’ll hopefull be able to work out how many strips I need, and be able to plan how I want to put them together. I have one skien each of 19 different colours, as well as 3 skiens of black, which should be plenty to make a big blanket!

January 23, 2012

Another week is over, and we seem to be getting through January quickly. It’s even still a bit light when I leave work now, so it feels like we’re on the way to spring. I’m starting to think about my birthday and Christmas presents for people this year. One thing I’m considering, is letting my best friends choose a few scarf or shawl patterns they like on Ravelry, then making it up for them in some gorgeous yarn. One of my friends is also having a baby, due on the 31st of July, so I’d like to have something ready for her when the baby arrives, so there might be a few more things on the list soon!
This week I’ve been working on my Magrathea. We bought a couple more skiens of yarn to make sure I have enough to finish it. The yarn was on sale in the shop, so I got two for the price of one which was a bonus! The pattern states you need 25% of your yarn to complete the lace border once you’ve reached the length you want. That means, I can use up to three skiens to make the rest of the shawl. I’ve just joined my second skien and I’ve done 8 pattern repeats. I think I probably want it around 16 repeats long, so hopefully I should have enough yarn for that, bearing in mind that each repeat uses up slightly more yarn as the body gets wider. Sorry for the awful photo – my desk isn’t big enough anymore, so I laid it out on the bed, but the lighting is terrible.
I also started out on a Long Nights Cowl, to use up my Drops Nepal yarn. Originally this yarn was going to be a Broomstick Lace Scarf, but I didn’t really like the way it felt when I crocheted it. I love it in garter stitch though, and it feels lovely and soft. I’ve just joined my second skien of yarn for this, and I think I’m around halfway through. I’m hoping that I won’t need to use my third skien of yarn, because I’d like to turn it into some fingerless gloves. There should be just enough in one skien to make a pair.
I’ve added a scissors case and a needle book to my list below, as they’re a couple of things I have missing from my knitting bag. I’ll probably make a case for my crochet hooks later too. My plan for these (and the pincushion) is to make them out of scraps and left over yarn.
I’ve also changed the realta blanket on the list. The idea of making 80+ hexagons, and even more squares and triangles for the blanket is just too boring and I can’t motivate myself to do it. Instead I’m going to be making a hairpin lace blanket – I expect it’ll probably still be boring, but I’m not going to need nearly so many strips – probably only 20-30, so hopefully it won’t be so tedious, and I love the joining method, so I won’t have to sew anything. Once I’ve made a couple of strips I should be able to work out how many I need for the whole blanket. I’ll definitely be blogging about hairpin lace later this week if you want to pop back.
Hope you all have a great week!
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls


Other Things

January 20, 2012

I’m so glad it’s Friday at last! This is a very long week for me – it’s the first time I’ve worked a 5 day week in nearly two months and I’ve been missing the extra knitting time. This is also my 100th post on my blog! So I want to say thatnk you to everyone who reads and those who comment.
I haven’t finished anything I’ve been working on this week, but I have some stitch markers I made during the holidays to show you. Once I started I couldn’t stop, so there’s quite a few for you to see!

I made them with charms and beads, using some nylon coated wire and crimp beads to hold everything in place. I did four with earring clasps, for using on crochet. I made the loops using my 10 mm crochet hook as a guide, so I should be able to use them for most projects. Pretty much everything I used, other than the wire, were things I had in my jewellery making stash, from the last couple of years Christmas presents for friends. I don’t often wear jewellery, although I enjoy making it, so it was nice to make up these, as I know they’ll get plenty of use, and they were fun to do – so much fun that I made 16 just for knitting! I doubt I’ll ever have them all in use in one go.
For some yarny FO’s check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up to.

January 18, 2012

Well Wednesday is here again, and I’ve been doing very well with my blogging this week. I’ve had a post on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so today makes four in a row. I’m not sure what I’m going to post about tomorrow though! This week I’ve been quite busy. I’ve done a bit more on my Magrathea and I think it’s about a third of the length I want now. The thing I love about patterns like this, is that I can just keep going until it’s as long as I want. I have four skiens of yarn for this shawl, and the lace border at the end takes 25% of your yarn according to the pattern, so I can keep going until I’ve used up the other three skeins. I’m about to finish my first skien of yarn and I have the russian join all done and ready.
I also cast on a new small project this week. I was considering turning this yarn into fingerless gloves, but instead I’m making it into a Long Nights Cowl. The cowl looks gorgeous in the photos, although the instructions for assembling it look a bit strange. I’m hoping it’ll make more sense when I’ve reached that stage and I can try it out for myself. It find things often make more sense to me if I just try it instead of overthinking it.  I’m really enjoying the yarn for this project. It’s Drops Nepal which is a wool/alpaca blend and beautifully soft. It’s funny because I bought it originally for a crochet broomstick lace scarf and I wasn’t really keen on the feel of it then, but in garter stitch I love it. It’s surprising how differently crochet and knitting make yarn feel sometimes.
To see what everyone else has been upto this week, check out Tami’s!

January 17, 2012

I was around May last year when I first started to play with yarn. I had just started using Google Reader, and one of the few things (those were the days!) on it was Craft. One day they posted  up this article, of a floral coaster. I thought it was gorgeous, and set about finding out more about crochet, and started with amigurumi. You can see more about how I started off my yarny journey here. I really enjoy crochet. I just can’t stick to one thing! Looking around on Ravelry I slowly got pulled in to the world of yarn, and got more adventurous with my crochet and did everything that caught my eye.
Looking around for a while, I found the knooking group. I thought this sounded really intreging and eventually decided to give it a go. If you haven’t heard of knooking before, basically, it’s knitting with a crochet hook.. You have a cord attached to your hook, which acts as your second needle, and you use your hook essentially as a needle, doing knit and purl stitches. You can make literally any knitting pattern this way, and it’s an awesome tool, especially for working in the round.
Now I’ve started knitting – properly with two needles – and I have to say, I feel a little bit guilty, because although I started out with crochet, then flirted with knooking, I think knitting is actually my favourite yarn craft, and I feel like I’m cheating on crochet! It’s not just my love for garter stitch (so soft, squishy and warm) or how soft the fabric is, or the neat little holes which make such amazing patterns in lace, all of that I can get with knooking – and knooking at least uses a hook, so that’s a bit more like crochet, even if you are making knitted fabric. It’s the way both of your hands work together, and the way your needles click I think that I love best. Really I think it reminds me of my Granny, and it feels very comfortable and “homey”.
In reality though, without crochet grabbing my attention, and knooking teaching me the basics, I don’t think I’d have got to the stage of knitting, which is quite special in it’s own right. Crochet was a gentle way to work, which helped me get used to holding yarn in one hand, my hook in the other, and get used to the idea of an even tension and gauge. Knooking  took it a step further, giving me a simple way to learn knit and purl stitches (again, since I did once learn to knit – badly –  as a teenager), and get used to the different movements, with a familiar tool. Knooking always gave me a safety line across the last row I had don, so dropping stitches was less of an issue – and if I did drop a stitch and have to pick it up again, I had my hook ready for it. The hook is really what makes it easier – all you have to do is catch the yarn in it and pull it back through the loop. You don’t have to slide it round the needle and off, and I think that’s what really made a difference. It made the learning process simpler.
Last week I got my first set of knitting needles. I went for circular needles, as you can use them for flat and round knitting, and I think they’re much easier to wield than long needles. I got a set of Knit Pro Nova Metal needles. I really love the Knit Pro interchangeable crochet hooks I have, and they came with a set of cords that fit my Nova Interchangeables too. I love these needles so much already, and it hasn’t even been a week yet! I love how smooth they are, the way they fit in my hand and the way they click together. While I still like and enjoy crochet, I’ve noticed more and more knitting patterns getting into my favourites and on to my Year of Projects list, and I think in the future knitting will be my favourite yarn craft.

January 16, 2012

This is the post I was supposed to do last week, about what my husband got me for Christmas. He is quite awesome, and this will probably be a pretty photo heavy post! My main present was a gorgeous knitting bag. It’s huge and I can fit a lot of yarn in it, which is awesome. It has long pockets which are perfect for my crochet hooks, a couple of small pockets and two big pockets. There’s room for my knooking hooks, crochet hooks, tape measure, stitch markers, patterns, safety pins, cable needles, mini scales, lots of yarn and now my knitting needles too. The bottom is also removeable too, so I can remove it for cleaning, and it’s solid so it can hold itself up nicely.

I love my bag and it comes around the whole house with me. I always have everything I need just within reach – or at least I will once I get a pair of scissors and a needle case for my bag. I also got some Debbie Bliss Andes, which is gorgeous silk/alpaca yarn in a fantastic red colour, and some Rowan Belle Organic Aran, which is a wool/cotton blend, which is one of my favourites, in my favourite colour.

It’s Sunday night and I’m being good and writing my blog post on time! I have no idea which week I’m on right now, I’ll have to count up sometime.. This week, I’ve been completely reworking my list. I still have some decisions to make, but for the most part the list is done. When I buy yarn, I usually buy it for a certain project. But sometimes they don’t work out, or I change my mind, and I currently have a yarn stash in two plastic boxes. Admittedly one box is completely full of yarn for my blanket (more on that later), but I also have quite a few other balls of yarn.
The new list is using as much of that yarn as I can. Most of it is scarves and shawls, which I love making, a couple of things I haven’t chosen patterns for. The blanket is really my biggest problem. I should be working on my realta blanket, but I haven’t done anything to it for ages. I think part of the problem is that the tiles for it are quite big and take a while to make, but at the same time they’re very repetitive. I love the look of the finished blankets, but I have no motivation to get there. I think what I need is either smaller blocks, or more variety, maybe both. I haven’t made a decision about the blanket yet. That’s this week’s challenge.
This week I’ve mostly been working on my Magrathea after finishing off my phone cosy (top photo) on Wednesday. I had a minor disaster where I had to take out a whole pattern repeat yesterday because I’d done something weird with one of my k2togs. I’m not really sure how many pattern repeats I’m going to do. The pattern is 25 repeats, but that’s for fingering yarn, not aran. I’m just going to keep going until I’m happy with the length. I love how soft it feels, and the garter stitch body is deliciously squishy! I’m also knitting it now, instead of knooking – but more on that next week – it deserves it’s own post!
So here’s my new list, with all my new projects and many removed.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls


Other Things