Liz Corke Knit Design

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July 31, 2012

I’m so excited this morning! My first pattern, Flying Without Wings, has just gone live on Ravelry. Officially my pattern test doesn’t finish till Friday, but six out of eight of my testers are done, and I just can’t wait any more! I’m really loving the process of designing and making my own patterns – although I really wish I had more time and hands to knit with! I’m working on my second design, but my third is already planned and I just need the time to finish number two before I can get with it and do all the maths and swatching. I really want to thank everyone who has made such helpful and supportive comments while I’ve been working on this! It means a lot to me.

Ravelry make it so easy to put up a patternKingfisher juvenile that my biggest problem was coming up with a name for my shop. I would have used Yarn Berry, but I found that there was a wordpress blog called Yarnberry as the source of another pattern, so I had to come up with something different. My Ravelry shop is called Kingfisher Knits. I like everything to be linked, so my blog will be changing very soon to be called Kingfisher Knits and be hosted on a new domain. Blogger should automatically forward you though so don’t worry about losing me! The photo was taken by imageprovider on flickr under a creative commons licence. Isn’t it gorgeous! I love kingfishers, and although you very rarely see them this far north I have seen a few around my uncle’s house near Glasgow. They’re so tiny and vibrant!

July 30, 2012

Four weeks finished already! This year is going to fly by! Momijigari is blocking at last, but I procrastinated all weekend and only got round to pinning it out last night. Hopefully it’ll be dry by the time I get home and photos can be done. It was one of the most awkward things I have ever blocked! I think the problem was mostly the difference between the amount of stretch in the horizontal and vertical garter stitch. Blocking wires are definitely on my wish list now, although I think I read something somewhere about using thread as blocking wires that I’ll have to look up.

My Ravellenics shawl is nicely underway. I’m really happy with how it looks so far, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you when it’s done. I want to keep it secret till then! I really love the yarn I’m using. It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and it’s so gorgeously soft and the colours are so gorgeous it’s a joy to work with. This is the skien I bought myself when I was buying yarn for my friends shawls. I was a bit stuck with what to go with it since I only have 400 yards, but I think this is the perfect way to get the best yardage from it and it’s showing off the skien  beautifully. I’m finding it really difficult to work out how long and deep the shawl will end up so I’m weighing and measuring compulsively! So far I’ve used up a quarter of my yarn and it’s 15″ long and 9.5″ deep so I know it’ll be over 30″ before blocking.

Last up I’ve cast on for Daphne and Delila. My Ravellenics Shawl uses bed and isn’t very portable so this will fill that gap. I am not a pink person. I bought the yarn mostly to balance out the colours in the blanket that will never be. So I’m doing pink and green stripes which is a combination I’ve seen quite a few people using recently and loved. I’ve got three stripes done on the first foot so far and I really like how it looks. Hopefully there’ll be a lot more to see on Wednesday!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
First raglan – Blisco

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up acrylic – 137.4/8300 yards used! (I’m making serious hints to my husband about The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my birthday!)
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Daphne and Delila
Ravellenics Shawl

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift

July 27, 2012

It’s a  beautiful sunny day, Friday, the last friday of the month so I can wear jeans, and I have loads to share with you because I couldn’t post yesterday. All in all, today is a good day!

First up is an FO! I did manage to finish Momijigari last night, just in time. I hadn’t actually finished the bind off when I took the photos but it’s all done now. The pattern suggested using a p2tog bind off so I did that, got about a quarter of the way round and decided it didn’t have enough stretch. I frogged it and started again with a 4.5 mm needle. This time I got over halfway before I decided it still didn’t have enough stretch and tinked back. The last time I used my normal bind off but in purl instead of knit. It’s an adapted version of Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, only doing the yarn over between every second stitch. I’m pretty sure I heard about it from Lynn over on Minding My Own Stitches, and it’s awesome! Stretchy but without the wrinkled edge I sometimes get with JSSBO.

I’ll show you more of the shawl next week. I’ve got plenty of time when I get home tonight to block the shawl before the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Next up is a new book I got this week – Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstien. It is fantastic! The photos are gorgeous and the patterns are all set out next to each stitch nice and clearly. I can’t remember right now if the lace patterns are charted too, and I don’t have the book to check, although I have a feeling they aren’t. Other than that though, this book is perfect! There’s a lot of stitches in it that can be used for a whole item and not just the edging and I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of this book – plus I got it new and used for £5 which is a pretty good deal. I’m really looking forward to using it properly.

And last but certainly not least, I went yarn shopping! One of my pattern testers introduced me to Posh Yarn, and it is gorgeous! It goes up for sale on Sunday nights and it sells quick! Of the two sock yarns I bought, one was gone in 10 minutes and the other was gone in under an hour. Strictly speaking I’m trying to reduce my stash, but I had only two skiens of sock yarn left – one I’m using tonight for Ravellenics, and the other is for my third friend’s shawl – so I was provided with the perfect excuse to get more! At the back is “Messing Around in Boats” it’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and I think this is definitely one of my favourite blends of fibre. This one is all for me – I have 880 yarns but I’m not sure yet what it will become. At the front is “Country Mouse“. The yarn base for this one is 80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere. It’s really soft and I love the colour. I have 800 yarns of this one, but it might not be for me. I offered to make my mother in law a shawl for her birthday/Christmas, and she said she’d love Flying Without Wings in gold or a neutral colour. This one isn’t really gold, but I’m going to take it with me in a couple of weeks and see if she likes it. If not I’m more than happy to turn it into something for myself! On top is “Minack Theater”. It’s a gorgeous silvery grey with lilac tones and my first lace weight. I’ve never knit with lace weight before so I’m a bit nervous but really excited to find a pattern for this one. It’s another 50/50 merino silk blend and I have 875 yards of this one.

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

July 25, 2012

Today, at last the sun has come out again. The last few days have been very warm, very humid and the sky has been solid grey from one side to the other, so this makes a nice change!

I’ve been making lots of progress with Momijigari and I’m really happy with how it’s going now I’m not being distracted with new ideas for my design all the time! I got the rest of the body finished on Monday night and got the nerve wracking bit over. The nerve wracking bit was making sure I had enough stitches to pick up for the border. I knew I had the right number of yarn over loops at the halfway point and I was very pleased to discover the second half had the right number too. The next row was mostly “yo, k1” which was also a little tricky, but I managed to spot the few times I missed yarn overs before I went too far.

I’m about halfway through the border now and the last row started to bring in the points on the garter stitch blocks. One of the things I really love about this shawl is the contrast between the vertical garter stitch lines and the horizontal ones. All that garter stitch makes it really stretchy too. I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out. It’s quite a fast pattern too, since I’ve only been working on it for just under two weeks now, and I’d have been faster if I hadn’t got distracted designing a shawl for Ravellenics. I might manage to finish it tonight, but if not I’ll definitely have it finished tomorrow night. If I can finish it tonight, you’ll get to see it on Friday!

I finished reading the Agatha Raisin omnibus last night which was a lot of fun. There’s another 16 books in the series so I’m going to look out for more sales on the kindle or see if I can pick up any in charity shops to get the rest. I’ve just started a new book called Austenland. I’ve had this book on my kindle since I first got it, nearly six months ago. I think it was either free or for under a pound. I’m really enjoying it so far. Jane Hayes is obsessed with Mr Darcy and her great-aunt has left her a three week holiday to Pembrook Park where she’ll spend her time living as if she was in a Jane Austen book. The plan is that this will get her over her obssession, but it never works out like that does it? Jane has just arrived so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story develops.

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

July 23, 2012

I had a great weekend and I hope you all did too! On Saturday my husband, parents, both brothers and my brother’s girlfriend all went out for dinner and had a great time. We hadn’t all been out together since my mum’s birthday in March so it was good to be able to sit down all together and chat.

I also got a good bit of knitting done. Momijigari has made good progress and it’s starting to speed up at last on the narrowing side. I’m hoping to get this finished by Friday so that I can focus on my Ravellenics project. Sideways shawls are about as close as I can get to knitting a scarf – doing the exact same thing over and over is a little uninspiring for me. I still have around 30 stitches left on the needle so I have over 100 rows to go before I start the border!

My next project is ready and waiting for Friday. I can’t start before then as it’s a project for Ravellenics which starts along with the Olympic Games. I’m really looking forward to starting this shawl. I’ve done a load of swatches and practiced beading. Working out the best place for the beads to go was interesting since I’ve never worked with beads before so I had to experiment to work out the best place for them. It’s a sideways shawl so I can get the best use from my yarn. I only have one skien with about 403 yards so I want to maximise the size of the shawl. The yarn I’ve been swatching with is some left overs from another shawl but it’s perfect with the beads!

The yarn I’m going to use is some that I’ve had waiting for the perfect project for a few months. I’m really hoping this shawl will live up to it. It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and it feels so soft. I got it from Old Maiden Aunt when I was buying yarn for my friend’s shawls – because the temptation was too much! I also went on a little yarn spending spree last night. I really love finding indie dyers on Ravelry and one of my test knitters introduced my to Posh Yarn. I bought my first skien of lace weight along with a few more skiens that I’ll show you when they arrive!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Momijigari – gift – In Progress
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
First raglan – Blisco

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up acrylic – 137.4/8300 yards used! (I’m making serious hints to my husband about The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my birthday!)
Do more colour work!

July 20, 2012

It’s Friday at last and I’m really looking forward to my lie-in tomorrow! Before we get on to todays FO, I just want to let you know that I tried on my lacey tunic again last week, and it was still a perfect fit! So I don’t have to worry about washing it any more. This weeks FO is a small thing that I’ve been meaning to make for ages – a needle book. My sewing needles always seem to be wondering off somewhere, and I’m sure they’re never where I left them, so hopefully this will help – or I’ll lose it and all my needles together! I’m not going to do a tutorial or anything, but here’s a rough guide to how I made mine.

I had some scraps left over from making my needle case and project bag that were just big enough to turn into my needle book. I cut the fabric to about 7″ by 5″. I put iron on interfacing on each piece of fabric and put the right sides together along with a piece of quite thick sew in interfacing and stitched around three and a bit sides – I wanted to make sure all the corners were sewn nicely. Then I clipped the corners and turned it the rightway round. I tucked the fabric in to the hole nicely and slipped the elastic into the hole, then I stitched around the whole thing again.

At this point I realised that it might have been better to sew the felt pages to the inside piece of fabric before I started puting it together, but it was really too late at that point – I wasn’t undoing everything I’d already done! My felt cutting skills are also a little wobbly so I’ll work on that in future. I stitched the pages in stright through the middle of the fabric, and found a cute button for the front. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. The interfacing has made it nice and semi-stiff and it should be able to stand up to a good amount of abuse.

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

July 18, 2012

I’m having trouble focusing on my projects this week. I had plans to start things and plans to do things, but I have so many other ideas that I flutter from one to another and can’t give any my full attention! I cast on for Momijigari last week. I really love the pattern so far and I’m just over halfway through the body of the shawl, but I’ve barely done anything since Sunday, so you’re getting Monday’s photo again, hopefully though, it’ll be new for most of you.

Last night I spent a couple of hours with my sewing machine – you’ll see the results on Friday! Having just finished my first shawl design, my head is full of ideas for more. I’m finding it very distracting. I have two different ideas just – one I’m going to put off till August, although I’ve made sketches and some notes for that. The other I started swatching last night. It’s going to be a sideways, single skien shawl, with a cable and lace edging, but I haven’t settled on a cable or lace pattern yet. I’m using some aran yarn that’s been sitting around for ages to swatch ideas. I seem to be fond of this shade of green!

I’m reading Agath Raisin and the Vicious Vet just now. I got the omnibus on the Kindle daily deals and this is the second book of four. The murder has happened, now Agatha just has to prove it was murder and work out who did. The books are a lot of fun and I’m really enjoying reading them.

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

July 16, 2012

Year of Project days seem to be coming round very quickly at the moment. Last week was a funny week – full of busy days and do nothing days. Monday was our last day with my mother in law, Tuesday was a seven hour drive home, Wednesday was relaxing, Thursday and Friday were back to work, Saturday we were out all day helping out at the village Garden’s Open Weekend where my parents live, and Sunday was relaxing again. I got a fair bit of knitting done on Saturday since it wasn’t very busy and I was back up raffle ticket writer – for busy periods that never came. So I spent a good bit of time knitting and talking to the old ladies. Hopefully they were busier on Sunday.

I cast on Momijigari this week. It’s a bit of a relief to finally be doing something new after my never-ending projects. This one is a present for one of my friends. Her favourite colour is purple so it should go down well. I love how it’s turning out so far. The yarn is superwash merino and really soft. There’s a row of eyelets that you can’t see very well in the photo, and the yarn over loops down the side I’ll pick up later to do the edging. The construction is similar to Henslowe which makes sense since it’s by the same designer. I’m nearly halfway through the body, but I’m tempted to add in a few extra rows to make it a little longer but I’ll check my gauge first.

The Lacey Tunic is done at last. I’m really happy with it and with how it fitted. I’ve washed it since taking the photos and it was pretty much dry this morning – after about four days – so I haven’t had the chance to try it on again, but I’m hoping it hasn’t changed size at all. I just washed it and laid it out to dry, flipping it over a few times to help the drying along. I’m a little nervous of finding out if it still fits, but I’ll find out tonight. You can read a lot more about the tunic and my shawl on Friday’s post, I don’t want to make this one too long or repeat myself too much!

My Flying Without Wings shawl is completly done now. I reblocked it last week and it’s gone from 79″ long by 12″ deep to 74″ long to 16″ deep and I’m really happy with it now. I showed it off to my mum on Saturday, and she showed it off to her friends at the Open Gardens. Testing is also going well, two people have finished, two are ready to block and once the other four get a bit further along I’ll know when I can release the pattern – it should be around the end of the month though! The second and possibly final version of the pattern is done but I want to make sure there’s no mistakes – copy and paste is very helpful, but not when you forget to change the numbers.

This weeks plans are to keep going with Momijigari and hopefully finish the body. I’m going to cast on my New Era gloves – I tried to start them last week, but my gauge was off, so I’m going to add on a few stitches and hopefully that should sort the problem. I’m also hoping to get underway with Basil. I did start him this week, but I think I’m going to start again and go down another needle size. I’m working with two strands of DK held together so it’s hard to estimate the needle size and I’ve been avoiding swatching.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Momijigari -gift
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
First raglan – Blisco

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up acrylic – 137.4/8300 yards used! (I’m making serious hints to my husband about The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my birthday!)
Do more colour work!

July 13, 2012

It’s the week you’ve all (or a few of you anyway) have been waiting for. I’ve finished my Flying Without Wings Shawl, and my Lacey Tunic and I have photos! They aren’t the best photos ever but I think my photographer and I have worked out what the problems are – if something is folded over, he should help me fix it and not take the photo. We will need to take a few more photos of the shawl, hopefully on a nicer day when it’s not trying to drizzle on me!

Flying Without Wings is still being pattern tested but it should be ready by the end of the month. The deadline for finishing is the 3rd of August and I already have one tester ready to block. I had a lot of fun designing this shawl, and I already have a sketch, ready to become a design of a second. I used Rowan Pure Wool 4ply and it is really soft. I loved working with the yarn, but now that it’s been blocked twice, it’s amazing. I can’t believe it could have softened up so much, when it was already really soft to begin with. I used up a little over three skiens of yarn – about 590 yards work. I’m a tight knitter so I’m looking forward to finding out how much yarn my test knitters use. This is also my second shawl over 500m and my seventh shawl for the 12 in 2012 group on Rav.

One thing that I think was a mistake, was using green for my shawl. Since I was designing feathers and feathers are really an awful lot like leaves in shape, using green just increased their likeness to leaves. All in all though, I’m happy with it and how the three rows of feathers make up a wing. It has a huge cast on – 461 stitches! – but I love the length. After reblocking it’s 74″ long by 16″ deep, which is an improvement on 79″ long and 12″ deep. I’m about to hand it in for my OWL homework and hopefully get full points for Ravenclaw.

Next up is the Lacey Tunic. I really love how this has turned out. I used pretty much all 880 yards of the yarn in my stash. It’s Twilleys Freedom Sincere Organic Cotton and it is gorgeously soft. I was stuck for a long time on how to use up this yarn, so I’m glad I found this pattern. I knit pretty titghtly and my guage was way way off, but hopefully that also means that it’s less likely to grow during the day. As long as it grows downwards I’m not too worried either. I don’t have any new detail shots of this one, because it’s currently soaking wet and struggling to dry out. I’m really worried about washing it, so I decided to get it over with as quickly as possible. I’m not blocking it out, but leaving it flat on one of my mats to dry. I made a few changes to the pattern. One of the other projects on Ravelry suggested 6 rows between the moss stitch band and the bust increases, which I did, although I think short rows would have been better. I also changed the neckline to 8 rows of moss stitch – the first five rows I did with my  4mm needle, then two rows with a 3.5mm needle and the last row with a 3mm needle, before binding off with a 3.5mm needle. I didn’t want to have to decrease stitches, so I figured this was the easiest way to keep it neat and not ruffling at the corners. To finish off I used every scrap of yarn I had left and added six rows of moss stitch to the bottom weighing how much I had left every round.

I’m seriously thinking about doing a second Lacey Tunic for winter. Maybe with a wool and cotton mix. Next time I’d start with a band of moss stitch, definitely add in a bit more bust shaping, three quarter length sleeves and a proper cowl neck, and make a top that’s suitable for winter – or a cold day in summer, like we’re mostly having now.

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

July 12, 2012

I’ve done really badly with blogging this week! Partly it was because we were away at my in-laws, and I didn’t really get that much done anyway. Partly it was problems with photos and partly it was timing – I had nothing on the needles for WIP Wednesday yesterday. My husband tried to take photo’s of me wearing the shawl on Thursday, but I’d much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. It was really sunny for a change too, and I kept squinting or I had a really stupid expression on my face, or something was wrong! Wish us better luck tonight! I also wanted to reblock my shawl, since it wasn’t as deep as I liked. I did think it was 15″ deep, but it turned out my husband was “helping” and it was only 12″ deep. I blocked it out again last night and on the mats it measures 20″ at the middle so I’m happy that it’ll be deeper even if it does spring back a little. The points kept wanting to fold up too, so hopefully that will be helped with this second blocking. The shawl is represented in the photo by one of my left over skiens.

Peeking over at the back is my Lacey Tunic. It’s pretty much finished, I just need to get all the ends sewn in. There are a lot of ends! I’ll persevere and get it all done tonight and hopefully photographed too – you might be lucky and get a double FO Friday tomorrow. I finished the tunic with about 6″ of yarn left! I didn’t even try for a cowl neck, but I did add six rows of seed stitch to the bottom of the tunic, with careful weighing after each row to see if I could make it round again. I really love how it’s turned out. I’m petrified of washing it though, in case it doesn’t fit any more. It’s also 100% dk weight cotton, so it needs to dry flat and it’ll take forever, so photos first then washing, and I’m not going to block it, just lay it flat.

Also in the photo are my yellow and red for Basil the Boogie Woogie Brontosaurous. I’ve got two balls of each because Penelope turned out a little small, so I’m going to knit with double strands. It’s the first time I’ve done this so it should be interesting. The big grey ball will be New Era gloves. I tried to cast these on a few times today, but they weren’t working out for me. My gauge is too tight with the 4.5mm needles but the 5mm needles look too loose. So I’m going to add six stitches or so and see if that works out for me. The purple ball has been sitting around for ages and it’s time has finally come. It’s going to become a Momijigari for my friend. Her birthday is November, but I like to be ready early! You can also see some fabrics peeking out under the yarn. I’m really looking forward to doing things with them. So far my plans are the drawstring bags I was talking about a while ago – the plan is to make them reversable with a pocket on the inside. I’m also going to make a crochet hook case, like the needle case I made a little while ago, and a needle book for my sewing needles, because they are always disappearing!