Liz Corke Knit Design

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June 29, 2012

The sun has finally come out again after a week of rain, it’s Friday, and because it’s the end of the month, it’s our charity Friday and we can wear jeans to work. All in all this is a pretty good day! As an aside, we have a “casual Friday” policy at work, but there’s so many rules (no jeans, no trainers, no t-shirts with logos, no this, no that, no the next thing) that we may as well not have them!

This week’s FO is a little owl I made for Muggle Studies. He’s also part of my plan for a major destash of my acrylic yarn. The acrylic doesn’t want to be a blanket – it wants to be lots of squshy cuddly animals and monsters! I liked the pattern for the owl, but I made a couple of changes to it. I changed all the M1L to kfb on purpose because that was easier for me, and I missed a couple of “k all” rows because I didn’t read the start of the instructions properly. I also changed the eyes because my husband didn’t like the original ones. Instead I just knitted them in black and stitched them on as neatly as I could, which is apparently not very, with white all the way round. I’m pretty happy with how he turned out, and he’s sitting on my husbands speaker just now with a good view over the desk.

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

June 27, 2012

We’re having a miserable summer so far this year. I really hope it picks up soon and the sun makes a reappearance. On the positive side, you can tell it is summer now because the light stays till 11 pm and is back by 3.30 in the morning. The window now has to stay closed at night. Being so close to the trees means the dawn chorus is very loud very early!

I’m still hard at work on my two everlasting projects. My Lacey Tunic sends me from terror to delight on a regular basis! I tried it on again last night and the fit is great, but at the same time I’m still not sure if I’ll have enough yarn to finish. I’ve just separated for the neck which is a quite exciting but does mean I have to do a lot of purling now. In a few rows I’ll be separating for the arm holes too. The pattern has you knit both fronts and the back at the same time with three balls of yarn, but I’m going to knit each one separately since by that point I don’t think I’ll have three balls of yarn anymore, and I can see myself getting muddled and knitting the wrong bit with the wrong ball. I’ve been following the instructions for the 2XL size because my gauge was so far off the pattern gauge so when I get to this line “Work even in St st until armhole measures 6[6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.25, 8.5] inches, ending on a WS row.” I’ll have to remember to adjust for my size – I don’t need an 8.25″ armhole!

As far as my shawl goes, I’m back to swatching. I’ve never swatched so much in my life! This time I’m not sure if the body is going to be as big as I want it so I’m swatching garter stitch in different needle sizes, then blocking them to see how much they grow and what I’m happiest with. I’m enjoying the process but it’s also a bit stressful and I really wish there was a way to just see what it would looklike without having to knit it!

Last week I was on The Magician’s Nephew, and this week I’m on to the most famous of the Narnia books, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I really love how the books link together. Although I know both books really well, I love finding new little things in them that either work in the audio books I had or that I missed when I was younger.

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

June 26, 2012

I finished the border of my shawl last weekend as I told you. Last week I got started knitting the garter stitch body of the shawl, but I’ve stalled. I’m not sure about the body. The garter stitch is great and I love the squishyness of it. That isn’t the problem. I’m just not sure that the body will be enough to balance out the shawl. So I’m knitting up swatches. One with the 4.5 mm needles I used on the rest and I’ll knit one uip with my 5mm needles. I’ll block them side by side and see how much bigger they get when I block them. Hopefully that’ll help me decide if they’re going to be as big as I want or if I need to add in some rows.

This is the last week of June and OWLS can be handed in any time in July. I’ve typed up a draft of the pattern already and drawn out the chart nicely. So I’m going to aim to finish around the second week of July. It should give me plenty of time to finish without feeling rushed – as well as working on my Lacey Tunic. After that I’ll be looking for a few pattern testers and then I plan to publish the pattern, which is quite exciting.

June 25, 2012

Next Sunday is the first day of the second year of projects, so this must be the last post of this years! I’ve really enjoyed working through my list this year, and I’ve definitely learnt a lot – like how to knit, lol! I changed my list a lot last year, so this year I’m going to try to stick to my list more. I’m also going to make my list a bit more vague and give myself space to choose some patterns later.

There’s just time to show you what I’ve been working on this week, before we get on to next year’s list. I’ve been working pretty hard on my Lacey Tunic this week. I want to get to the the body finished before the end of the month, so that I’d just have to get the cowl neck and the sleeves done before I hand it in. I’m really nervous about it! I’ve tried it on and it fits nicely so far, fingers crossed the rest will work out. I’m also not sure I have enough yarn to finish it. The colourway I have has been discontinued and I can’t find anyone with the same colourway that’s willing to sell it. So my plan is to trim it with white if I’m a little short and I can change the cowl neck if I need to as well.

I had serious issuses this weekend when I tried to settle on something to knit quickly for my HPKCHC homework this month. I cast on three or four different things, but this is all that has survived. It will become a little squish owl – hopefully at a very rapid rate! I think I might change the eyes and just make the circles completely white with safety eyes. I’m skipping the fair isle on this one to get it done faster, but I think I’ll make more of these later and try out different patterns on them.

My new list is nearly ready. I have 6 shawls on it, with space fore six more. I love making shawls so I’m leaving plenty of room for more. I might try designing more after this one is finished too, because I’ve really enjoyed doing it so far. Hats – three hats plus calorimetry are on my list, but I might add in another for my husband. The cowl list only has one on it so far, but I’m leaving space for at least two more on this list. I have three vests chosen. I wear them all the time over my shirts for work and I’d like to make a few for myself. They’ll also be perfect for Phoenix projects for the house cup. I have three jumpers on the list too. Tubey and Blisco are both making a reappearance and the third I’m considering is Collins but I haven’t decided yet as it involves lots of seaming and I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet. At least three pairs of fingerless gloves will be making an appearance, including New Era which were also on this year’s list. On top of this I’ll be stash busting – I’m going to aim to use up the rest of my cotton for wash cloths. I’m also scrapping any attempts to make a blanket. I’ve tried and I’ve failed and I have no motivation! So I’m going to use up as much of the acrylic as I can. Expect to see it turning into teddies and monsters! By next week the list shold be finalised and posted!

June 22, 2012
It feels like ages since I’ve had a proper FO Friday for you! I’ve been working on a couple of big projects recently which provide lots for a Wednesday, but are not condusive to FO Fridays.

Penelope is finally finished. I got her handed in on Friday last week, but she needed to be handed in with out a face – black and white aren’t Ravenclaw colours – so I pinned up the bottom, took photos, put in the eyes, sewed up the last seam and then she sat until last night with no mouth! I didn’t really want to stick on a felt mouth for a couple of reasons. Firstly I don’t have any fabric glue, and secondly I’m not sure what her final destination will be, but I’m pretty sure at some point she may end up being played with by small children. Having had toys in my own childhood with parts that peeled off, I decided to avoid it with her. In the end I decided embroidering a mouth would be much easier than trying to stitch a felt one on neatly. I’m really happy with how the mouth turned out. I stuck her full of pins to try and get the mouth even first and I think it worked out pretty well.

I loved knitting this pattern! Everything was really clearly explained, and the tiny little bits were much easier than I expected – casting on four stitches then joining and knitting into the front and back of each stitch sounded pretty daunting but I got through it much easier than I expected. I would like her to be a little bigger next time, so I’m going to double up the yarn for the next pattern I work with. Expect to see plenty more monsters from me, they’re part of my plans to stash bust my acrylic this year!

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

June 20, 2012

The sun has come out again at last and it feels like we might actually get a summer soon. I’m glad to see the sun back after having grey skies for so long, and I’ll have to get my husband to cut the grass while it stays nice! It’s the local Highland Games on Saturday, so we’re going down again to help my parents out on the church stall – and do everything possible to avoid doing a shift in the tea tent! Usually from where we’re set up we can see the highland dancing and some of the throwing events like the hammer and caber tossing, and then we take it in turns to go around and see what else is going on. As we’ll be helping to set up and to take everything down again, it’s going to be a long day!

I’ve been hard at work this week. Penelope still needs a mouth – I don’t have any fabric glue so I’m deciding between sewing on a felt mouth or embroidering one on her. My shawl is on to the body at last but I don’t think that will take too long to knit up so I’ve set it aside for just now. I’m getting ready to start writing the pattern, so if there’s anything you particularly like or don’t like about patterns you’ve used please let me know. I’m doing both charted and written instructions.

Most of my effort since the weekend has been going into my Lacey Tunic and I’ve finally reached the moss stitch band. The pattern calls it seed stitch, but I’ve always known it as moss stitch. The stitch is the same though so it doesn’t really matter. I seem to have lost a stitch somewhere. I think I must have done an extra k2tog somewhere because I checked several times for a dropped stitch and didn’t find any sign of one. It means that I have an odd number of stitches which makes the moss stitch much nicer because I don’t have a bit at the start of the round with two knits or purls together. After the moss stitch band comes the exciting part. I’m quite nervous about it having never made a top before so I hope it all goes smoothly. I think I might have to add in some extra short rows to keep the moss stitch band under my bust where I want it, which also makes me worry I’ll run out of yarn.

This week I’ve gone back to my childhood and I’m reading The Magician’s Nephew – the first of the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis. I have to confess that I’ve never actually read them before but I did have them on audio book and listened to the tapes at least a hundred times while I was growing up.

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

June 19, 2012
This weekend I reached the 50% mark on my shawl. That was “border designed and knitted and rough notes and chart completed”. I had the chart done before I started knitting – it seemed easier for me to chart out what I wanted to try first. It was also much faster to chart out what I wanted to try and then knit it, and it saved me from forgetting what I’d done. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out so far and my maths seems to be working so far – I had exactly the number of stitches left after the border that I had calculated on. I’ve done lots of maths – or at least I came up with a forumla and let excel do the maths – and the rest of the shawl should also work out according to plan. I’m really tempted to put it on a lifeline so I can see how long it is so far – the length is making me a little nervous. I have it on my longest cable but it still needs to bunch up all over the place so I have no idea how big it’ll be before blocking.
Knitting the body of the shawl will be really easy and should be fairly quick so I’ve set it aside just now while I get more work done on my Lacey Tunic. The next big challenge is working out how to display and set out the pattern. I’m going to have a look through the patterns I have and work out what it is I like or dislike about them. If you have any suggestions please let me know!
June 18, 2012

Last week was very busy but I got Penelope finished in time to be handed in on Friday. She doesn’t have a mouth yet – I don’t have any fabric glue and I don’t think I want to stick a felt mouth on anyway, but I haven’t decided what to do instead. I’ll have to come up with something by Friday or I’ll have nothing to post. My shawl has also made loads of projects so I’m looking forward to telling you about it and how it’s going tomorrow.

The back on the needles at last. It’s been nearly a week since I last worked on it but I’ve done the last decrease now. I’m adding another inch of the pattern on and then doing the moss stitch band. The next bit has me a bit worried, since this is my first top, and I think I may have to add in some extra shaping or even short rows. I forsee a lot of trying on and testing in my future!

This week I went back and had a look over my lists for the past year. The list I started with bares no resemblance what so ever to what I’ve ended up with. In the course of the year 74 different patterns have been on my list! One of the biggest changes was that my original list was all crochet – I couldn’t knit this time last year and I’d only just learnt to crochet. Now my list is pretty much all knitting patterns – I really prefer crochet just for small things, like20120618120937 amigurumi. There’s also a few things that have been on my list and taken off because the yarn didn’t work out, but some of them will be making a comeback for next years list. Somethings were directly swapped as opposed to just vanishing off the list – usually it was a different pattern for the same yarn in those cases. For example the Freedom Sincere Cotton I bought last year was originally for the Organic Stole, but I was having serious tension issues so it was swapped for a Capped Sleeved Wrap, then I had trouble with gauge so it got set aside for a while and was supposed to become a Cap Sleeved Top but then I learnt to knit so it was swapped for Blisco until I realised I didn’t have quite enough yarn for the size I needed, so it became a Lacey Tunic – five patterns for one lot of yarn! So with all of this, I made a nice pie chart for you to display it better. I think I did pretty well to finish 20 things this year (the seven knit bunnies count as one, and the two face cloths I’ve finished count as in progress since they’re about using up all the cotton), but next year I’m going to aim for more!

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
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
1 x HPKCHC Homework – Penelope – Finished

June 15, 2012

I’m so glad it’s Friday at last! The weeks drag and the weekends fly by in a blur of knitting. I’ve only been working on Penelope the Monster this week so I’m looking forward to getting back to work on my other two projects. I only have one more foot to do and then put her together.

This week my husband has been helping me with a project. We’ve made a light box so I can take better photos. I love taking photos, but I have so many problems with lighting and things. Especially in winter when we only have 7 hours of daylight while I’m at work, but in summer the weather is really unreliable too so getting good daylight for photo’s is really difficult. I can remember how bad some of my photo’s over the winter were and I really want to be able to improve them! The box is made of 5 white foam boards taped together with masking tape. We considered trimming the two long sides but so far we’re finding them very useful for clipping the lamps to. It’s not 100% done – B&Q only had two of the lamps so we need to go back for a third, and we have some daylight bulbs hopefully in the post and on the way to us.

I really love the photos I can get with my new light box. You can see the comparison between the photo on Monday that was taken on the bed with whatever daylight we could get through the window – it was actually a very good day for taking photos that day! – and the other was in the light box a couple of days later. The light box one has much better colours and is a lot more true to life. I’m really looking forward to being able to take decent photos all year round – especially during winter!

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

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June 13, 2012

Weeks seem to be rushing past at an alarming rate. I can’t believe we’re nearly halfway through June already, and the year is just rushing by. It’s not been very warm or sunny here recently which is a shame. I hope summer hasn’t passed us by already in the heat wave a couple of weeks ago. British weather is unreliable to say the least!

I’ve got loads on the needles this week. I’m making Penelope the Empathetic Monster in Ravenclaw colours for Quidditch, so I need to finish her by 8 am on Saturday – The House Cup runs deadlines on American time. I finished the first arm last night after I took the photo, so I have one arm, two feet, two ears and one eye to do before bed on Friday night. I think I’ll manage to get it done in time. Now I’m on to the small parts they go much faster. I was struggling with the tiny cast ons to begin with, but I’m getting the hang of it now, and I’m really looking forward to making more Rebecca Danger monsters and other animals soon.

Next up, the shawl I’m designing is going pretty well and I’m really happy with how it’s going so far. I’m keeping the design a secret for now though, so you’ll have to wait until the pattern is ready for the big reveal. For now I’ll have fun taking arty shots for you, that don’t show much of anything! I’m using Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply for the shawl and I love it. It feels really soft to knit with, and it knits up beautifully.

The Lacey Tunic is off the needles and on a lifeline. I need to get knitting it again soon, but first I need to finish Penelope. I’m really happy with how it’s turning out and the size is perfect so far. I only have one or two more decreases for the pattern, but I’m going to have to add on some extra rows to make it the length I want. I want it to be about 14″ long before the seed stitch band.

I’m reading Murder by the Book by Susanna Gregory. I got it a day early which was really excited and it was downloaded and ready for me to read by lunchtime – my Kindle’s battery had died when I got on the bus! I really love how the story is going – full of murder, mystery and intrigue!

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