Liz Corke Knit Design

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April 30, 2012

Last week was Knit and Crochet Blog week, which was a lot of fun. I didn’t get one up yesterday because firstly I’m not great at posting at the weekend – hence why this post always happens on a Monday, and secondly I wasn’t feeling great yesterday so I had a nap which took the whole afternoon!  I really enjoyed blog week, but now I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal blogging routine.

I finished knitting the Mezquita Shawl for my friend last week. It just needs to be blocked and have the ends woven in which I’ll do this week. The Harry Potter House Cup starts tomorrow, so I’ll be handing this in for detention. I’m really looking forward to this term, and hopefully I’ll be motivated to get a lot done. I’ve been sorted into Ravenclaw, which is my favourite house, so I’ll be trying to hand in things from my Year of Projects list for as many classes as possible.

This is a swatch for the Lacey Tunic. I really want to make a top of some sort, but Tubey and I have had quite a few disagreements recently so I’m putting it to one side until about September. I was originally going to use this yarn for Blisco but I don’t think I have enough yarn for it – not enough that I’m confident about it anyway. So I’m nearly ready to cast on for this one. The gauge swatch below is definitely not on gauge. Instead of 18 stitches in 4 inches I have 24. I also have a 34″ chest so instead of making the 36″ chest size I’m making the 48″ chest size and what with my tighter gauge and the fact it’s a couple of stitches smaller, it should be a nice fit. Hopefully. I’ve checked other projects on Ravelry and its worked out for other people with the same problems so that gives me confidence. Once it gets long enough I’ll try it on and I can always leave out some of the decreases if I need to.

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Mezquita Shawl – In Progress
Lacey Tunic – Swatched
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished
HPKCHC March – Finished
Garter Ruffles Scarf – Finished
Rocketship Shawl – Finished

April 28, 2012

I’ve only been knittinga few months so there’s a few techniques I know and a lot I want to learn still! I make a lot of shawls so I’ve had a good bit of practice with lace, and I’m really happy and quite confident with lace now. I’ve also done a few projects with stranded knitting. Its a technique I really like, but I need to improve on. I made a Snowbaby hat, which I love and actually tensioned really well, but a couple of the other projects I’ve done since I’ve pulled a little too tight, so that’s something I want to work on in the future and I’d also like to try some with more colours.

Photo by Jaydot

One new technique I’d really like to try is entrelac. I’m not sure what attracts me to it, I think it’s partly that it’s just so different to everything else I’ve seen. If I ever finish the blanket I’m supposed to be working on I have plans to make a small needle book from the left overs. It I like how it works out, then I can make something bigger afterwards, but I think a needle book will be a good size to test the technique and maybe that way I’ll actually be able to find a needle when I need to weave in ends!

Photo by Trisdot

Something else I’d like to try is double knitting.  I think it looks really interesting although I don’t really have an idea for learning this one. Maybe I should make House bookmarks to celebrate the new House Cup term starting or The Prettiest Hot Pad Ever (TPHPE) looks like it could be a lot of fun, and this Swing Flowers scarf is stunning. This is definitely something I want to try out soon!

I’m going to put all of these techniques and more on to my Year of Projects list for year two or try them out sooner if they fit my homework for the Harry Potter House Cup. Yesterday’s blog week posts were awesome! I think it was my favourite day so far. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s posts today and leaning about new techniques.

April 27, 2012

I have to confess that I had no idea what to write about today for the “Something a Bit Different” post today. I wracked my mind and threw out many ideas that I just couldn’t do. As I sat thinking and getting no where, a surprising thing happened. One of my knitting needles jumped up, and told me this story to tell you! So get yourself a nice cuppa and get comfy. I think this is going to be a long post!


cartoon1Once, not so long ago nor so very far away, there was a pair of twins. They lived in a big soft house with lots of their friends, who were all also twins. When they weren’t busy they spent their time tucked together in sleeping bags hanging round the walls and when they were at work the two were tied together with a strong cord and knitted for hours. It was hard for them to talk to each other while they worked but they could usually manage a couple of words in passing. Normally they were very good and well behaved but sometimes they would be naughty and then they would push stitches off and drop them. All in all the twins were happy with their life, knitting with soft silky yarns and sleeping in their little home. One day though, it all went wrong.

cartoon2The twins had just finished work on a very large shawl. They were pleased with what they’d done and were looking forward to having a good rest tucked up in their sleeping bag. They had been let off their cord and were just waiting to be put away when suddenly there was a loud bag and the table shook. One of the twins found himself rolling towards the edge of the table and couldn’t do anything to save himself. He fell to the floor and banged his tip. At that point he lost consciousness and didn’t know anything else for hours.When he finally opened his eyes, everything was dark and he was alone.

cartoon3The poor lonely twin was scared. He had never been alone before and he had no idea what this dark place was. All he knew was that he had to get back to his twin. He tried to get up but very soon he banged his still aching tip against the roof. “Ouch!” he yelped. “I guess I’ll have to roll again.” He set off stopping every now and then when he got too dizzy, until he crashed into something hard. It was far longer than he was and taller that the roof. It was a dead end. With a heavy sigh he set off again rolling the other way. He only had two options so this must be the right way.

cartoon4Eventually he saw a dim light ahead of him. It wasn’t much but there was enough to make out the legs of the table he had fallen from. “Hello! Hello?” he yelled, but no one answered from the table. Feeling very alone he sat down to cry and think how he could get back to his twin. He thought about everything he knew about the place from when The Knitter carried him around. He knew that normally he lived in a room with big whirring machines that made a lot of noise. Sometimes he was taken to another room nearby with a big soft flat thing but he knew that wasn’t where he was now. Now he was in the room with the big talking, flat thing on the wall and the really long chair. To get here The Knitter brought him down the big mountain and through a small room. Finally he had a plan. He had to follow the pat back to the room with the big, noisy, whirring machines. The first thing to do was to find the small room.

cartoon5Looking around he could see a thin, bright strip of light at floor level. He ran quickly over to it. If he was careful he should be able to squeeze through in to the light place. He took a deep breath and pushing his arms through in front of him and with a lot of squeezing, squirming and wriggling he forced himself panting through the tiny gap. He lay where he’d landed, panting until he got his breath back. When he finally had the energy to look around he could see that he was at the bottom of the mountain.

cartoon6There were two steps above him and each was more than twice his height. He needed something he could climb up. Something like a ladder. He knew about ladders – they were what happened when he or his twin were naughty and dropped a stitch and The Knitter didn’t notice until it was too late. Looking around all he could see were pieces of paper on the floor. Could he use them to make a ladder? He quickly gathered up all the pieces of paper he could see on the floor and rolled them up as tight as he could manage into tubes. The two longest pieces reached nearly to the top of the step. High enough that he’d be able to scramble over the top. Now he needed to make the rungs. He used his tip to make holes through the long pieces of paper and pushed the shorter bits through. It was perfect!

cartoon7The lost needle lent his ladder against the first step and started to climb. At the top of the ladder he had to heave himself up on to the step and pull the ladder up after himself. Just one more step and he’d be at the top, then he could find his twin. He climbed the ladder again and heaved himself over the top. It didn’t look right some how. He was on a small square plateau, but there were no doors. He looked up. Stretching above him was the true mountain. The steps went on forever! It was going to take him all night to get up there. He groaned as he went back to the edge of the step and pulled his ladder up.

cartoon8Finally, just as the light started to turn the shadows grey instead of black, he dragged himself over the last step. He was exhausted, but he was nearly there and his twin was waiting for him. There were three doors ahead of him. The first was wide open and had a light on. The floor was very white and he could see a strange, hard, uncomfortable looking chair in there. That wasn’t the right room at all. As he got closer to the second closed door he could hear The Knitter’s husband snoring behind it. It was be the room with the flat, soft place. That only left the third room. The door stood a little ajar and it was still very dark inside.

cartoon9As he crept slowly through the door, he knew the big whirring machines were asleep. The room was filled with a strange blue light. The needle was very nearly home. He thought hard as he moved further into the room. Sometimes he knew The Knitter remembered to put his home into a big bag, but most of the time she left it sitting on the desk so he should probably try and get up there first. The desk was a long way up. How would he ever get up there? The ladder he had made wouldn’t even reach a quarter of the way up.

cartoon10Suddenly he heard a loud, annoying noise which was cut off sharply. The Knitter was waking up! Looking around he could see the arm of The Knitter’s chair was just touching the desk. He could get up that way. Luckily for him, The Knitter had left a blanket sitting on her chair too. The needle dashed over to it and hastily scurried up it as quickly as he could. He was nearly there! The murmur of sleepy voices could be heard through the wall now. He scrambled up on to the arm of the chair, dashed along it and threw himself on to the desk just as the door opened.

cartoon11“Where ever did you get to?” The Knitter asked as she picked him up, “I thought I’d lost you somewhere downstairs.” The knitting needle sighed happily as he found himself being tucked into his sleeping bag, next to his twin again at last.


I hope you enjoyed my story. I’m really excited to see what all of you have come up with!

April 26, 2012

When I first read the prompt for today’s topic I really didn’t think that my knitting habits changed from month to month and I though that I wouldn’t really have anything to write about and would have to use my wild card today but looking through my projects on Ravelry I was pleased to discover I was wrong. Although I haven’t quite been doing yarny crafts for a year, there’s already a pattern developing.

The first few months I was purely a crocheter and I mostly did everything I could get my hands on. I made amigurumi, scarves, a cowl, a bag and a couple of shawls. I used everything from bulky yarn to fingering and I used all sorts of fiber, from acrylic to pure silk. There really wasn’t any pattern here for anyone to see. I was just getting into the swing of things and finding out what I liked.

By the time we were starting to get into autumn and the weather was getting colder I stared to form a pattern. I started buying more aran and bulky weight yarns and more wool and wool blend yarns. I made four cowls, two hats (one each for me and my husband) and a pair of fingerless gloves as well as a few half pairs. In January I made a shawl in aran weight instead of fingering to be warmer for the winter and finished off the season by casting on a shawl in DK weight before the weather to a sudden turn and we felt like we were in summer.

When the Feburary heat wave arrived my crafting changed quite dramatically. Cowls, gloves and hats all made an abrupt disappeance from my queue and I moved back to making fingering wieght shawls. Since February I’ve finished three fingering weight shawls, as well as a DK one which was the last hang over from my winter crafting. I was trying to work on a jumper and a blanket, but as the days get warmer my enthusiasm gets left and I think they may need to be set aside for September when the colder days come and I want to knit with my aran weight yarns again. My queue and Year of Projects list leading up to July are filled with shawls, and dishclothes and although I’m looking forward to more cowls and fingerless gloves, hats and a jumper in the autumn, I’m happy to be doing some lighter weight crafting while the weather (hopefully) warms up and the days are long.

Yesterday’s heros post were fantastic with a great range of ideas from everyone. I’m really looking forward to everyone’s posts today, and I’m desperately trying to come up with a good idea for tomorrow’s post!

April 25, 2012

Today is all about your knitting or crochet heros. I think todays posts are going to be really interesting and inspiring, and I’m really looking forward to finding out who everyone admires. For some people I guess designers will be their heros and for others family members and friends maybe the ones who got them started and inspired them.

I haven’t really got to grips yet with the designers of the yarn world. I know a few names but I don’t follow their new releases or own their books, I haven’t been knitting long enough to have got a grip on who ‘s who or what they specialise in, or who suits my taste best. Both of my grannies and my mother knit, but I don’t really remember seeing any of them do it and certainally wasn’t taught by any of them. I do love to show my mum what I’ve finished though and to talk about things with her!

I have a lot of heros, none of whom I have ever met. My heros are the other bloggers out there. The ones who I follow in my google reader or see every week on WIP Wednesday, FO Friday or the Year of Projects group. I’m inspired by seeing what everyone has been working on, and seeing the finished objects grow out of the weeks of works in progress. Knitters who have been knitting for decades give me the encouragement to see what I could become in the future. Brand new knitters are even more inspiring in their perseverance and progress. Beyond all of that, the feeling of community is amazing. That so many different people from so many different backgrounds can all come together to share their love of a craft and help each other out when it’s needed, comiserate over frogging and celebrate the triumphs is almost a kind of magic. So I want to say thanks to all of you. Happy Knit and Crochet Blog Week everyone!

April 24, 2012

Photography is an interesting topic. I love taking photos but I don’t think I’m particularly good at it. There’s so many things to get right, like the right light and the right pose, that taking a perfect photo is a really tricky thing to do. Lucky for me the photo challenge isn’t about taking the perfect technical photo!

The Annual Teddy’s Stitch and Bitch Picnic

On Saturday I want with the Teddy Bears (and other animals) Stitch and Bitch on their annual picnic. Unforunately it was raining so the picnic had to be held inside. The busy workers from left to right are Mouse working on the Happy Lavender Scarf; Teddy (who I’ve had since I was a baby) who has just cast on a scarf; Gregory (the Alliance baby gryphon) who’s crocheting a cowl; Flopsy knitting up a storm on the Mezquita Shawl and Dilly the Duck who’s hard at work on Tubey. I guess that lets my secret out too – I don’t knit, I have lots of little friends who do it for me and let me take the credit!

I loved reading so many different posts about colour yesterday, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different photos today!

April 23, 2012

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week has started! Today’s topic is colour lovers and I can pretty conclusively state that blue is my favourite colour. Out of all the non-stuffed toy things I’ve made for myself six are blue, two are red, four are brown (to match my winter coat!), one is grey, one is silver and one is white.

When you look at my stash it gets even more obvious how much I love blue – almost all the yarn I’ve bought for myself is blue with the exception of the yarn for Tubey (because they didn’t have any blue) and the brown I bought to make a cardigan (I left most of those skiens out of the photo). Hopefully you can see the picture clearly enough, but you will need to enlarge it to read the text I think. Doing this has actually been very educational for me. I need to buy more colours!


stash


Although I love the colour blue, I don’t actually wear blue any more than I do any other colour. What I’d really love is to have a range of scarves and shawls in a rainbow of colours so once I’ve destashed a bit I’m going to give myself permission to buy more yarn in more colours! Another thing I’ve learnt is how much yarn I really have (not counting the yarn for my blanket) and that I need to go looking for some more one skien projects to destash my left overs. So when I’m making my Year of Projects list for next year my focus will be using up leftovers and knitting with a bigger range of colours!

April 22, 2012

This should be a short post today – I’ve been very busy but not on many projects. I finished my Rocketship Shawl this week and I love it. I’m really happy with how the lace pattern came out and the length is great, it makes it really versatile. The yarn is merino/silk and its so soft and warm to wear. I got to show it off to my parents today and they really liked it too. My mum doesn’t knit any more but she used to and I like being able to talk to her about what I’ve been doing.

The other thing I’ve been working on is my  Mezquita Shawl. This is going to be a birthday present for one of my friends. Her birthday is in September but I want to be organised and not panic so I’m making things well in advance. The lace border was really easy for this one – it was practically the same as the Happy Lavender Shawl I’m doing. I’ve already finished the border and I’m getting through the short rows pretty fast so this should be done very soon.

Here’s the lists!

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Mezquita Shawl – In Progress
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished
HPKCHC March – Finished
Garter Ruffles Scarf – Finished
Rocketship Shawl – Finished

April 20, 2012

My Rocketship Shawl is finished! I think this maybe the fastest I’ve ever done a shawl as it took me less than a month. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with this one – I loved the start of the lace, I had problems with loose ribbing, I hated the bobbles, I loved the short rows and I found a dropped stitch after it was bound off and blocked! Now that’s all done though, I love it completely.

The yarn is Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 Ply Sport Superwash and it is a gorgeous yarn to work with. It’s a wool/silk blend and it’s beautifully soft and fantastically warm. The yarn isn’t quite sport weight, but it’s a bit heavier than fingering weight. It was really nice to work with and wasn’t splitty, had no knots or other defects, didn’t bleed and the colour is fantastic. The colourway is teal and it varies from dark green to bright blue in different light.

The shawl is perfect either as a wrap or as a scarf. Done in fingering weight it scrunches up nicely so that it wraps around your neck with out being bulky and awkward. It’s the longest I’ve made so far and reaches to my knees when it’s draped around my shoulders.I really like the row of yarn overs before the body starts and my favourite detail in the lace is the cable twist in the center leaf. I’m looking forward to wearing this a fair bit this summer.

Check out Tami’s for more Fo Fridays!

April 19, 2012

Panorama_Shawl
I love alliteration, so I’m pretty pleased with todays title! The Rocketship shawl is blocked and it was already pretty much dry when I got up this morning. I asked my husband to get a photo of it for me (he’s much taller and had more chance of fitting it all in in one go) but he couldn’t get it non-blurry so instead he took lots of photos and made it into a panorama for me! I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s really long, I’ve never needed four blocking mats before but I like the length of it.

There’s one tiny problem with it. The pink pin that’s floating around in the middle of the border is holding on to a stitch I dropped a long way back! I’m going to have to rescue it and sew it in when I get home. I can pick up three or four rows to close up the hole that’s appeared, and then I think I’ll have to use a spare bit of yarn to sew it in at the back. Wish me luck, hopefully it’ll work out well. I really happy right now that the bobble didn’t fall out, rescuing that would have been a real challenge!

My parents were over on Skye last week having a holiday and my dad found this awesome book for me. In the end he had to buy two copies because after showing it to my mum, he had to get it for her as well! I’ve always loved celtic art and knotwork, and this book is packed with tips, guides and even templates. It starts off with how to draw knotwork and borders, and how to add stylaised animals into them. Next up is calligraphy and illuminated lettering, and then my faourite part, the jewellery section. Mostly it shows you how to make knotted and woven hewellery with cord, but I’m tempted to give it a go with wire too. Then it goes on to papercraft – decorated boxes and cards and finishes up with glass painting! All in all it’s a pretty comprehensive collection of crafts and techniques and I’m really looking forward to getting started with some of the projects.

Next week is Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, and I’m really looking forward too it! I need to be super organised next week, though to get through it all. I’ll have to make sure I get my Year of Projects update out on Sunday for a change – Sunday is also the open day at the park where my parents live and we’re going down to help like usual so it’ll be a very busy day for me! Monday is Colour Lovers – I know what I’m doing for this one, because I was thinking of making a post about it when I heard the topics! Tuesday is the photo contest, so fingers crossed for nice weather for me so I can get my photo done at the weekend – I have a great idea for this one. Wednesday is about Knitting or Crochet Heros and although this one was a little challenging I think I know what I’m going to write about for it. Thursday is a Knitter For All Seasons, which shouldn’t be too hard although for some reason my mind is blank. Friday is the real challenge – to do something different, like a wordless post, a video blog or sketch – I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this one and hoping I get struck with inspiration soon! Saturday and Sunday are Improving Your Skill Set and Crafting Balance which I have plans for. So if you haven’t already, check out Eskimmi’s blog for more details and think about joining us. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and there’s always a chance of winning a prize!