Liz Corke Knit Design
I’m so happy to be ready to show you my latest shawl! My original inspiration for the shawl was to have a leafy/vine motif climbing from the bottom edge up the spine of the shawl to the the centre of the neck. It didn’t take me long to find a lace pattern that I thought would be perfect, although there was a small problem that would need some work. The pattern I chose was Dayflower (aka Bellflower) lace. I swatched two repeats of it (I’m keeping the photos small because there’s going to be a lot of them! Just click to enlarge). The problem I had was that what I really wanted was the section in the middle – basically half of each of the repeats I swatched. I was really happy with how this turned out. It gave me exactly the look I was going for – nice and leafy/flowery.
My next step was to choose my shaping method. I’m not a fan of top down triangular shawls – I feel like to get the top edge long enough to wrap around nicely it has to be huge, so I decided to go for a semi-circular/crescent shaped shawl. There’s a few different ways to increase for a semi-circular
shawl. I ended up going with the one in the middle – two increases on each side on every right side row. I really love the way the shape turned out!
It was around this time I realised that my plan for a central spine with extra vines climbing up each side wasn’t going to work like this. The centre wasn’t mirrored so I had two choices – offset the lace in the centre so that the flowers were in the same place, or skip the central spine and have two mirrored vines. I was concerned that playing with the lace for the central spine might distort things, so I decided to cut it and just go for one on each side. I then had to work out how I was going to get the lace into my stockinette body. I liked the solution I’d come up with, although in the final I gave it a little tweak to make the transition a little smoother.
The border was my last challenge, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to work that out, so I swatched some more! I had to work out what size of gap to leave between the vines and how to make the vines and border merge together nicely. There was also the problem of making the two sides meet nicely in the centre of the shawl. Swatch helped me work out most of the kinks but some took a bit longer to work out.
I reversed my swatch of the centre on my final shawl and was much happier with the result. The point where the border of my shawl and the top of the shawl met gave me the most problems. I had a solution for the large shawl, but I perfected it on the small version and then went back and worked those changes into the larger one. I’m really happy with how it turned out!
The pattern will be up for sale later tonight – to get the first word of it, and maybe a little something extra, sign up for the newsletter, and while you’re waiting, check out what everyone’s been up to with WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!
A new package of yarn arrived for me yesterday from Dee at Posh Yarns. I love to buy yarn from Dee because she’s so friendly, the yarns are gorgeous and it always arrives really quickly. I don’t buy it very often though because sales go up on a Sunday night at 7pm and pretty much sell out instantly and I have a tendancy to forget! The dye runs are all one offs so if you see something you like get it asap. Luckily for me they had a couple of technical problems this week, and when I checked out the site on Monday I fell in love with a couple of yarns and had to have them! First up is Coppelia. This one is 100% merino in 50g skeins each 220 yards. It’s a gorgeous grey/pink/lilac and as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for my friend. I’ve already cast on and it’s going to be a second sample for my new design although I doubt I’ll get this one finished before testing starts.
The second yarn I have no plans for yet, but I just had to have it! I’ve been looking for a gorgeous red yarn for ages and this one is stunning. It photographs well too which is fantastic since I tend to have trouble with reds. This one is call Vivacious Lady and it’s a 55% wool/45% silk blend and is 440 yards too. It’s going to make an absolutely gorgeous shawl and I’m sure it’s going to inspire me!
Things are going to be busy next week so remember to come back and check in! On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my design process for Anthousai. I’ll be publishing the pattern on Wednesday or Thursday – sign up to my newletter or keep an eye on my twitter/facebook/ravelry group to get the first notice of it – and on Friday I’ll be blogging about the pattern for FO Friday. Hope to see you there!
It’s a very wet and miserable Wednesday over here today! But I’ve been making loads of progress with my knitting which is really exciting. My latest design is off the needles and I love it – although I’m about to cast on another one for my friend because I saw the most perfect yarn for her the other day. It hasn’t arrived yet, or I’d have a photo for you but it’s a gorgeous soft pinky grey. Plus the prototype has a couple of errors, so I’m keeping it for me. I’m hopefully going to get the new one into testing next week so if you’re interested feel free to stalk my group. Hopefully I’ll have come up with a name for it by then!
Anthousai is very nearly ready for publishing! The first of my testers posted her finished shawl this morning which was really exciting for me. One of my favourite things about designing is seeing what everyone else makes from my patterns. I’m going to dig out all my swatches and progress shots and next Wednesday I’ll tell you how I came up with the idea and set about it, then next Friday I’ll have a FO post for you at last. If you want to be the first to know when my pattern is up, follow my facebook, twitter, Ravelry group or sign up for the newsletter!
My sock has a shocking lack of progress recently – the cuff isn’t as exciting as the rest! The facecloth hasn’t made much progress either, but my new shawl design is going well and I’m really excited about it. I’m doing so maky shawls right now, I decided to get an extra pair of 4mm needle tips and two more 30″ cables for my set.
I have a new shawl idea buzzing around in my head, but I really need to find some time to sit down with my stitch dictionaries to help it develope. I only have three right now, but I’d love to get more, so if you have a favourite stitch book please let me know!
Wednesday again! I have to confess that I haven’t really done any more on my sock this week. I have got a lot of projects on the go though! I’m keeping them all under wraps, but I thought that you might like to see the yarns I’m working with. I have a great variety of colours for a change! At the top is my stripey sock yarn. I really need to get my sock going again, but it’s on to the cuff now, which just isn’t as exciting as the rest of the the sock was! I’ll get it going again soon. It’s good relaxation knitting when I don’t want to focus on something else – k1, p1 rib round and round and up the cuff.
I’ll do the rest from left to right since that seems logical. First is a gorgeously soft merino/nylon/cashmere blend in a really nice light tan from Posh Yarn. This one is a gift for my mother in law. She already knows what she’s getting, but I’m making a few adaptations to it, so I’m keeping it under wraps! Next up is the shawl I’m making for a friend. This one will be the next pattern that’s ready for publishing. It’s another sideways shawl, and I’m on to the decreases, so it should be speeding up and hurrying to the end. The yellow is cotton yarn that I’m making into a face cloth. This is another of my designs. The pattern for this one is going to be free – kind of like a sample of my pattern writing style. Last up is the yarn I showed you on Friday. I really love this yarn from Eden Cottage, it’s a dream to work with – soft and silky. This one is a shawl pattern I came up with months ago, and I’m really enjoying knitting it at last!
In my lunchtimes just now, I’m reading “The Complete Father Brown” by G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown was made into a TV show and shown on the BBC a few weeks ago, and that reminded me that I had this book on my kindle. I’m enjoying it, although the style of writing is a bit rambling. One of the stories fits more or less perfectly into my half hour for lunch which is perfect!
My second skein of yarn arrived on Wednesday and I really love it! It’s Eden Cottage Titus 4 Ply which is a gorgeous 30% silk/70% merino blend. I’ve already used this yarn in the autumn colourway for my Anthousai shawl and I really love working with it. This colourway is Damson, and it’s gorgeous. It’s also really tricky to photograph well! The colour is a really nice dark purple with hints of blue and red. I’ve already started knitting a new design and even though it’s only 30 rows in, I really love how it’s going.
This weekend I’m hoping to get more done on the shawl I showed you on Wednesday. It’s a sideways shawl and I’m onto the decreases now so it should be going faster with every repeat I do. I want to do a couple of phototutorials for this one too, so I might get them done this weekend if my photographer (aka husband) can be persuaded to help.
My Anthousai test seems to be going well and the pattern is off with my fantastic tech editor, so I’m really hopeful about getting the pattern published at the end of the month. I don’t really have much to do for this one any more apart from hoping for the weather to improve so that I can get on with the last few photos I want.
Have a great weekend everyone!
It’s Wednesday again, and I have something to show you at last! I’ve had a fairly productive week. Firstly I ripped out my fingerless gloves again. I’m going to cast on again with eight less stitches and hopefully that will give me the fit I want. One of the challenges I’ve got is that my hands are pretty tiny – 6.5″ around the knuckles so I’m going to have to work out how to grade the pattern for larger (normal!) sizes. Hopefully I’ll get it right this time!
I also cast on my first ever sock! I’m making Spice Man socks, and I really like the pattern. I thought that toe up would be a good way to go to make sure I got a sock that fits. I definitely made a good choice. My guage was a bit off so I needed to add in some extra rows to the gusset to get a good fit. I’ve just started the ribbed cuff and then it’ll be on to sock number two. The yarn I’m using is Regia Snowflake, and I really like how it looks, although next time I think I’m going to pick some brighter, more exciting colours.
I also finished the swatch I was working on, and solved all the kinks in the pattern, so I got busy ordering yarn. I fell in love with two different yarns for this one, so I got both. I’m sure I’ll find an alternative for the one I don’t use! One, a gorgeous purple from Eden Cottage will hopefully arrive today, and the other arrived yesterday. It’s Fybrespates Scrumptious Sock in Aubergine and it is so amazingly soft. It’s going to be a dream to work with. It’s 55% Superwash Merino/45% Silk and the shine is fantastic. I’m sure I’ve said so before, but Merino/Silk really is my favourite fibre blend for shawls! I’ll show you the Eden Cottage one when it get’s here, and let you know which I’ve picked to use first.
Lastly, the other shawl design I’m working on is back on the needles. The top edge does flop over, but it doesn’t seem to have any inclination to roll up tight so I’m happy and I really love the drape of the shawl. I’m giving you a little sneak peak of this one – as you can see there’s a lot of stockinette! This shawl uses 4.5mm needles and they feel like monsters after using 2.5mm needles for my sock. I want to get this done and off my needles quite soon, because I need the needles for another project, and because I have so many projects on the go, it’s starting to be overwhelming!
Friday is here! Only seven more hours till the weekend starts, and I have loads of plans for the weekend. Firstly though, I have a little moan because our internet isn’t working properly. The problem is really with the phone line – sometimes the dial tone will be all crackly so our internet is really slow, and other times it’s just gone and we have no internet at all! Fingers crossed we don’t lose internet completely over the weekend. The BT guy is coming on Monday to fix it, which is a relief because we’ve already been dealing with our dodgy internet for a week.
My plans for the weekend are much happier though! If the weather’s good we’ll take my new tripod out and get the last few photos of the shawl I finished last week done. I am going to be going over the shawl pattern and hopefully get it sent off to a tech editor. The shawl that I was blocking on Wednesday is have a rest just now, to see if the curling is going to get worse, but I’m hoping to get that back on the needles. Right now the top edge just wants to flop over and I think I can deal with that, so I’m just letting it relax to make sure it’s not going to decide to curl up completely. This one is going to be a gift for a friend, so I really want it to be perfect.
I’m also swatching another shawl. I came up with the design for this one a few months ago, and I’m really happy to get the chance to swatch it at last. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the perfect yarn for it over the weekend – right now, I’m thinking of looking for a nice red yarn for it. My new needles have finally arrived, and they are going to be really busy this weekend. I’ve ordered some 42″ chiagoo fixed circulars in 2.25 mm and 2.5 mm – perfect for magic loop! First I’m going to be casting on the cuffs for my fingerless gloves and then I’ll be starting some socks. This first pair are going to be for me – so mistakes won’t matter too much! I also really want to knit for my mum, but she isn’t really a scarf or shawl person, so I think socks might be the perfect answer for her. All the photos are of course of the yarn that will shortly be socks! I’m not linking up with Tami today, because I really haven’t finished anything.
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