Liz Corke Knit Design

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May 30, 2012

I’ve been very busy since Sunday and there’s plenty going on. I’m making a second pair of mini socks, the first sock was finished last night and the second should be done tonight. They’ll be my last piece of homework for maximum points for Ravenclaw so they have to be handed in my Thursday night.

I’m also working away on a Lacey Tunic. I really love this pattern. it’s a pretty simple 20 stitch/12 row pattern and very easy to memorise. I’m making the second biggest size although really I want a medium sized one. My gauge is really small so fingers crossed that my maths is right! I’ve just done the first decrease and I’m going to put it on a lifeline after a few more decreases so I can try it on again. Other than a couple of hats and a pair of gloves it’s the first thing I’ve made that’s had to fit, and the first where gauge has actually mattered – hats and gloves are small enough that you can knit a few rows and see if they fit!

I’m also still working away at my shawl design. This is my latest one and I’m really happy with it on paper so it’s time to knit it up and see how it really looks! I have a double yarn over in this one so I’m a little worried about how it’ll look. You can see the other two designs in yesterday’s post, but if this one turns out well it’s probably going to be the one I go with. At the moment I’m enjoying coming up with designs, but soon I’m going to have to start doing maths and work out how to make the shawl a reasonable size.

This week I’ve been reading A Corpse at St Andrews Chapel but I’m very nearly finished it and I’m about to have to choose a new book. I’ve been enjoyig the story but it seems a little disjointed in some places. It’s written in the first person which is an interesting change for me since I don’t read many in that style.

As always check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

May 29, 2012

I spoke too soon about teh weather yesterday! Mid morning it clouded over and although it’s still pretty warm the sun has left us for a while. Hopefully it’ll be back for the weekend, but I’ve also been hearing rumours of thunderstorms this week. Personally I love thunderstorms with plenty of lightning, so long as I’m warm and cosy at home and don’t have to go out in it, so fingers crossed any thunderstorms come later on in the evening.

Designing is a tricky thing I’ve discovered. I have made up the lace for myself, but it’s a very simple pattern and I know it’s not going to be unique. So far I’ve come up with two designs – one with a few rows of little feathers, and one with one row of long feathers. I’ve found some problems and some solutions. The biggest problem I have is that I keep coming up with new ideas! At some point I’m going to have to stop the ideas and just go for it! I really like the small feathers, and it’s also my husbands favourite, but I don’t like how long it is. The lace is just over 50 rows long. Really I was aiming for 30 to 40 rows of lace. I’m not really sure what to do about it, since I don’t really want to make the feathers smaller.

I did more experimenting on the large feather swatch. One side has a border of 3 garter stitches and the other only has 2 garter stitches and one stockinette. Between the middle and left feather I tried a garter column and between the middle and the right I tried a stockinette one. On the whole I like the 3 garter stitch border and the stockinette column best. I also tried out diamonds at the bottom to get the shape of the feather right and I prefer it a lot more than the bottom of the small feathers. I also tried continuing the feathers up through the garter stitch body. My husband likes it but I’m not sure.

Another thing I’m not sure about is the feather’s themselves. Most of the time I really like them, but sometimes I think they look too much like leaves. Its more of a problem with the smaller feathers than the long ones. I also wonder about making them asymetrical, like a birds flight feathers – thicker on one side than the other, and about combining the large and small feathers together, so I think that will be my next swatch. I’m supposed to have the lace border knitted and roughly charted by the end of June. Having it charted won’t be a problem since I’m charting each idea befor I knit it, but it does mean I need to make a decision about things soon. Once I decide a design I can swatch it in the really yarn for the shawl and start doing maths to see how long it needs to be. Hopefully by next week I’ll have a design decision!

May 28, 2012

Scotland seems to be in the middle of summer just now. We’ve had gorgeous sun and practically no wind for nearly a week now. Hopefully it will last until next weekend, because Saturday is gala day in my parent’s village and we’re going down to help out, it’s also the bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Jubilee and for once I have the time off too.

The Bacchus Shawl and I have had another disagreement. This time I decided that I wasn’t sure if the yarn was soft enough for a shawl. I took the swatch I’d made and washed and blocked it, but it didn’t really soften up at all. I think I’m just going to frog it and try again later with different yarn. Right now it just doesn’t feel like this is meant to be, and I need the needles for my own design anyway. Speaking of which, the yellow at the bottom of the photo is a swatch from my shawl design. I have lots to talk about tomorrow!

I have finally been allowed to start my Lacey Tunic. I’m doing it as an Order of the Pheonix mission. Cast on was yesterday and the deadline for finishing is July 22nd so hopefully with motivation I’ll be able to get this finished and ready to wear before summer is over. I love how it is knitting up so far. I swatched a little while ago, and I’m making the 48″ size. My gauge was quite small and maths as well as other projects on Ravelry say this should work. I love the pattern so far. It’s really easy to memorise. The pattern only had written instructions for the lace so I charted it for myself since I find it easier to remember my place that way. I’ve done two repeats and it’s three inches long. Decreases start at four inches so half a repeat and I should be there. I did put it on a life line after the first repeat and it’s a good fit on my hips so it’s a promising start.

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Lacey Tunic – In Progress
Momijigari
1 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
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
Mezquita Shawl – Finished
Nightlock Shawl – Finished
Dragonscale Face Cloth – Finished
Tunisian Wash Cloth – Finished

May 25, 2012

The haar was in this morning when I woke up so everything was quite miserable here, but it’s all burned off now and it’s set to be another gorgeous day. I should probably explain that haar is a type of fog that comes in off the North Sea and seems to be unique to the East coast of Scotland. We live high enough up that we quite often miss the haar and we can look out the window from our sunny house and only see a wall of fog across the road. It can be a little surreal! I’ve linked the wikipedia page up there and the photo is pretty much exactly what happens – gorgeous sun on one side, thick fog on the other! I’ve also seen haar form a ring around a town and driven under it when it floated about 8 feet off the ground. It’s very strange stuff! Anyway, the weather forecast is fantastic for the next few days so I hope we aren’t using up all our summer too early.

On to my FO’s! I have a few for you today, since I don’t want to get too far behind on posting them. A couple have been on  my Year of Progress posts already. As I think I might (perhaps) have mentioned before, I’m really enjoying the Harry Potter House Cup. The first part of Quiddich this term is mini-socks. These are so cute, and really fast and easy to make. I went with a crochet pattern because I think for something like this it’s a lot less fiddly for me. I made one mini sock and one super mini sock with half the number of stitches and rows. They were a lot of fun and they’d be perfect for Christmas decorations.

Next up is a lacy dragonscale face cloth. I loved this pattern although for some reason I just could not get the third repeat right – I had to rip back to the same row three times because I missed three different yarn overs on three different tries! It was irritating to say the least! I have quite a bit of cotton that didn’t work out for a different project last year, but I love how it feels knitted and we need more face cloths in our house so I’m going to be making more – but I’ll probably use a different pattern for the next, it’s more fun that way!

Lastly, I’ve been trying entrelac. This was going to be a needle book, but it turned out a bit too wide and way too floppy. I could line it but I’m not sure how much it would help so I’m going to make a needlebook that matches my knitting needle case with some of the scraps. I turned this on into a glass cosy because it wasn’t big enough to be a blanket square, and turned it in for flying. I love the way it looks, but I can’t really say I enjoyed the process. I hate picking up stitches and my fingers got well and truely stabbed in the process!

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 23, 2012

Other than the fact that today is a gorgeous sunny day, and that if the weather keeps this up I’m going  to have to buy a thinner jacket, unless I can find one in the house somewhere I really don’t have much to report today. I made some mini socks for the HPKCHC Quidditch last night but I finished them both so they’ll come out on Friday.

Otherwise I’ve mostly been working on my shawl design. Which hasn’t really been going very well, since I’ve ripped out everything I’ve tried so far. I have the basic shape down and I’m happy with it, I’m just having problems getting a little more detail into my feathers. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check yesterday’s post here! I’m using this yellow acrylic yarn that’s been kicking around in my stash for a while for testing purposes. I need to put in a new lifeline before I do another try. I’d managed to put the old lifeline through the yarn in some places which was unhelpful.

I finished the last Alys and Gil Cunningham book yesterday so now I’m looking for a new book, but I haven’t quite decided what yet. A new Susanna Gregory book is coming out on the 7th of June and I’ve preordered it on my Kindle, which is really exciting – no waiting for the book to arrive, just download it as soon as it comes out! So I will of course want to be able to read that one as soon as it comes out. I need to find a book that will take me at most two weeks to read, so I’m not going to start the fantasy trilogy I was planning to read until after Murder by the Book is out and I’ve finished it. At lunch time I’ll have a look at what I’ve already got on my kindle and see what grabs my attention.

As always check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

May 22, 2012

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll probably know by now that I’m taking part in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. It’s a lot of fun and I’d reccomend it to anyone who needs inspriation for their crafting or who just wants to have a little fun with their projects. I’m just going to give you a quick outline of the Cup and then we’ll move on to the point! Basically every month you hand in at least one piece of homework to any of the classes. Since there’s eight classes with three different homework options you can pretty much make anything fit in somewhere. You can get points for your house (I’m in Ravenclaw) for six pieces of homework. So far I’ve handed in a shawl and a dish cloth and I need to take better photos of a face cloth and some entrelac that I’ve done for a couple more. On top of this there’s Detention – finish off a WIP a month and hand it in for points; Quiddich – the current challenge is for everyone in each house to make a pair of mini socks; Order of the Pheonix – “missions” that take between one and two months to finish, you can make pretty much anything fit in here with a little imagination; OWLs – projects that take between two and three months of work. There’s an OWL and a few options for every subject and I suspect it’s going to be a great way to keep motivated with a big project like a jumper; and finally there are NEWTs – two OWLs done at the same time over four months.

I dithered over doing an OWL for a while. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a second big project along side my Lacey Tunic. I really wanted to knit a shawl, but I seem to fly through shawls at a pretty fast rate just now so I had no idea how many would be reasonable – I’d probably have to do between 4 and 6 and I could see myself getting fed up with them pretty quickly if I did that. At the end of the second week I decided not to do an OWL this term and to just see how much I could knit each month and over three months and use that to work out what would be OWL worthy next term.

Having decided that, I suddenly became consumed with the idea of designing a shawl of my own. I’m not sure where the idea came from and right now I’m not convinced it’s a good one! But I handed in my proposal and had it accepted over the weekend so now I have to make it happen.

Astronomy
Option 3: Pattern Writing – Prove that you are light years ahead of your time and design, create, and produce a pattern of an object that only you can see at this stage. To successfully complete this O.W.L. Exam, you must produce both your finished item and a written pattern in a digital format (pdf, blog entry, etc.).

Name: Rylla
House (or NQFY / SoS): Ravenclaw
OWL and option: Astronomy Option 3
Project/Pattern(s): Flying without Wings
Proposed 50% Mark: The border designed and knitted and rough notes and chart completed
Sequence & Points of Consideration:
Dear Professors
I propose to design and knit a semi-circular or crescent shaped shawl with a garter stitch body and a lace edge. This is a style of shawl that I really enjoy knitting. The lace border I propose shall be symbolic of feathers. There are currently no shawls like this (that I can find) on Ravelry, but the idea has gripped me so I propose to design my own.
The shawl shall be knit from the bottom up starting with the lace border. The body of the shawl will be formed and shaped by short rows in garter stitch. It should be approximately 55 – 65 inches long I will be using some acrylic yarn that has been sitting around for ages when initially designing the lace. Once I am happy with the lace design I will swatch it again with my yarn for this shawl and then be ready to begin knitting the border. I will ensure that I take good notes during this stage. Knitting the body of the shawl should be uncomplicated. I will then use my notes to create both written and charted patterns for the shawl, and shall present them in pdf format.
Points of Consideration
I have only been knitting since January although I did start knooking in October last year.
I have never designed anything for knitting or crochet before.
I have made several cresent/half-circle shawls of the style I’m proposing before so I am confident on how the construction should work.
I will be designing my own lace from scratch.
The grid in the photo is hand drawn, but as soon as the printer is fed (ie, gets a new ink cartridge) I will be able to print girds off.
The yellow yarn in the photo is the yarn I will use for testing the lace. I have 696 yards of the Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply for the shawl, which should be plenty for a shawl of the style I’m proposing. I will use either a 4.5mm or 5mm needle but I have others should they seem appropriate.

I’ll be posting my progress as I go along, but right now I can tell you that leaves and feathers are very similar once turned into lace and I’m not quite sure how it’s going to turn out, but I have plans, sketches and a rough pattern already, I just need more time to knit it up and see how it looks in yarn rather than lines on paper.

May 21, 2012

Blogger seem to have upgraded their interface again over the weekend. I normally blog from work where we are still on IE 7. As a result, I can’t get the post page to work at work, so I’m going to have to get used to posting at home and scheduling my posts for the next morning. This might mean that my Year of Projects posts actually go out on a Sunday like everyone else’s though!

My Bacchus Shawl has made no progress. In fact it’s actually gone backwards. I wasn’t happy with how loose the knit looked on 5mm needles so I swatched it with my 4.5mm needles, decided I liked it better and started again. I’ve added in enough stitches for 3 more repeats to make up the difference in length so it’s taking even longer. I only just cast it on again yesterday and I’m about halfway through the first row. The photo is from last week since it really isn’t work taking another one at this point!
The first Year of Projects and the second is starting in July so I need to get my new list ready and do a summary post soon. If you’re interested in joining in, now’s a great time to! On Sunday I can finally start work on my Lacey Tunic. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m doing it as an “Order of the Pheonix” mission for the HPKCHC so I can’t cast on till the 27th. I’m also designing a shawl for another HPKCHC challenge, and I’m going to post updates about that on Tuesdays when I have something new to report.
My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Lacey Tunic – Swatched
Bacchus Shawl – In progress
Momijigari
1 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
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
Mezquita Shawl – Finished
Nightlock Shawl – Finished
Dragonscale Face Cloth – Finished
Tunisian Wash Cloth – Finished

May 18, 2012

Friday can’t come quickly enough this week. I’m glad it’s just a few hours until the weekend – my weekend starts at four o’clock, as soon as I leave work! For some reason I’ve just been feeling more tired and stress than normal this week, and I’m not sure why, so I’m going to use this weekend just to relax. A few of you might have seen my FO already since I  posted it on Monday for Year of Projects but I want to show it off again because I’m so completely in love with it. My Nightlock is finished!

I really love this shawl. It did look very strange when I first got it off the needles. it was small and crumpled and the spikes looked like ugly deformed little ruffles. After a good blocking though, it’s gone from ugly duckling to a swan and I’m delighted with it. I had it finished just in time on Saturday to be able to take it down to my parents with me and show it off to them.

The shawl is huge, just a bit longer than I can spread my arms, which has become my faourite length for a shawl. It gives me plenty to wrap around myself and it can be a scarf as well as a shawl. The pattern said I would need 400 yards of colour A (green) and 260 yards of colour B (silver) but I used 288 yards of green and 242 yards of silver, so I’m not really sure what happened there. The yarn is Knit Picks Palette and I love it. There are so many colours and it was a lot softer than I was expecting. I was a little worried that it might be itchy, but it hasn’t bothered me at all.

The pattern was excellent. It was really well written and pretty easy too. The spikes are formed really neatly with increases, although they also make the stitch count increase very quickly from 300 to 500+. The last few rows took me forever, and I didn’t enjoy sewing in all the ends! The ends had also started to felt before I started sewing them in but I did get to try splicing yarn together for the first time when I joined balls, which was a really nice neat join. I should work with pure wool more often!

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 17, 2012

I hate having doubts. To be fair I think everyone hates having doubts. For some reason just now, I just can’t seem to settle comfortably, and as a result it’s knocking me off balance. Normally my knitting can really relax me and help me not to focus on whatever else is going on or not as the case maybe – sometimes what isn’t going on is worse, since you can’t do anything about it. So when my knitting is part of what’s giving me doubts it’s especially annoying.

At least when it is my knitting I can take steps to improve things. My current problem is the Bacchus Shawl I posted yesterday. Ever since I started it on Monday I’ve been dithering back and forth about whether it was too loose or not. Using a 5mm needle with fingering yarn can go both ways in my experience. I don’t want to have to struggle to knit too tight either, and I already seem to be a tighter knitter than average for most of the patterns I’m working on. So far I’ve only done six rows so if I want to change my mind this is definitely the time to do it.

Last night I knitted up one repeat on 4.5 mm needles. I really like how it looks so tonight I have to knit up a full repeat on 5mm needles, see if I like the fabric and see what the difference in size is between the two. If I do decide to go for the 4.5 mm needles then I’ll probably add a few repeats in to the border to keep the length. I have nearly 100 yards more yarn than the pattern calls for and a tendancy to use less than the pattern needs so it shouldn’t be a problem. I am very glad that I had three skiens of yarn though, it gives me one for the shawl that I’ve started, one for the 4.5 mm swatch and one for the 5 mm swatch. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have made a decision and be ready to either carry on or start again.

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May 16, 2012

Today’s isn’t the most inspiring post I’m afraid as I finished a lot of things at the weekend and there will probably be spelling mistakes – for some reason my fingers aren’t going where they should this morning and I’m leaving out letters; putting in letters; swapping letters and in some cases all three! So if I don’t notice one and fix it, please excuse me!

I have just started work on a Bacchus Shawl. I’m using Drops Fabel yarn which has been in my stash for at least six months. I have a feeling it was originally going to be a lacey crochet scarf, but that I didn’t like the way the yarn looked with the huge hook. I was a little worried last night that it might be too loose for this shawl too, but on consideration I’m happy enough with it to continue and I’ll just make sure I’m careful when I block it. So far I’ve done three rows, but with 373 stitches, each row is going to take a while!

Hopefully it will turn out about the same size as my Rocketship shawl, which I’m still very much in love with. The patterns are the same style too – a lacey border to the bottom, which takes forever and short rows in garter stitch to make up the body which fly by really quickly. I really love this style of pattern and hopefully I’ll love the end result just as much.

On the reading front, I’ve just started the seventh Gil and Alys Cunningham Mystery and I think the victim was in the midst of dying of poison when I had to turn off my Kindle and get off the bus this morning. I’m looking forward to lunchtime so I can read more!

As always check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.