Liz Corke Knit Design

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June 25, 2013

This year is racing by! It seems impossible that it’s the end of June already. I had flu last week, but I’m happy to report that this week I’m feeling much better – unfortunately my husband now has flu. I think the most effective way to cure flu is to give it to someone else – I caught mine from my dad, who started feeling better straight away!

Over the weekend I’ve managed to get ahead on my knitting. The shawl for the KAL is practically finished. I need to block it and get photos done this weekend, then I want to get it into testing asap. It’ll go up on Ravelry in a few weeks time for preorders. KAL participants will have a few weeks to preorder at a discount, then when the KAL starts the pattern will go back to full price – more details in a couple of weeks.

I also have another shawl with eight rows to finish tonight. I’m hoping to get it blocked along with the KAL one and do a double photoshoot so fingers crossed for good photography weather at the weekend! This one you won’t see until August or September so I won’t say too much about it now.

Orithyia will be out next week, probably on Tuesday. I’m really excited about this pattern. Testing has gone really smoothly and it’s pretty much ready to go! It’s a bit different from my other patterns because there’s no lace, but I hope you’ll love it anyway. It’s actually two patterns in one, and it’s a fantastic, relaxing knit.

I also started selling patterns on Patternfish this month. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Canadian company, set up to purely sell patterns. The patterns are a mix of indie designers and bigger designers/yarn companies. Gayle, who runs the site, is lovely and great to work with. All of my current patterns are up there, apart from Flying Without Wings.

I want to give Flying Without Wings a new photoshoot so I should probably block it and do a triple photoshoot this weekend! I want to redo the charts now I have charting software and redo the layout so that it’s more inline with my newer patterns. It sounds like I’m going to have a very busy weekend!

June 18, 2013

I love to read. It’s pretty much my favourite thing to do and I’ve been obsessed with books from about the age of five. The spare room of our house has four bookcases in it, which isn’t enough for all my books and most of them are books I’ve had for well over a decade. A lot of my books are like old friends and every now and then I like to rediscover them.

I Kindle apphave to confess that I love reading so much, one of my first goals when I started knitting was to learn to read and knit at the same time. I can’t do it while knitting lace, but rest rows, stockinette and garter are all perfect for letting me read while I knit! I have to say too, as much as I love books, and I really do, my Kindle is my best friend when it comes to knitting and reading at the same time – I don’t have to worry about proping it up and not losing my page and turning the page couldn’t be easier!

My major love is fantasy books. They’re the best form of escapism I’ve ever found. But I also love murder mysteries – not the modern thrillers, but the Agatha Christie style or the ones set back in medieval times. Around this time of year though, I go looking for my old friends. I think it happens particularly around this time of year because when I was studying for exams I couldn’t read exciting new books – I’d never put them down! So I read the books I’d read for years – mostly books I’d been passed down from parents or grandparents, or sometimes picked up for pennies from a book stall.

One of my favourites is Anne of Green Gables. I’m not sure who I inherited this book from, but I love it, and it’s clearly been much loved by at least one person before me. I was completely delighted yesterday when I managed to find the entire collection of L. M. Montgomery’s books on Kindle, so that I know have the entire Anne collection, plus another of my favourites The Blue Castle, along with a whole host of new friends to get to know! I also got the whole Katy Did collection. Did you know there were five books, not just three? I certainly didn’t, so I have another two friends to meet!

June 12, 2013

I’m working on a new pattern just now and I’m really loving how it’s turning out. I’m using a lot of beads too and that reminded me about how I’ve been planning to post my beading tutorial for ages and never got round to it, so here it is!

You will need beads appropriate to the size of your yarn. I really like size 6/0 for fingering weight yarn. It sits nicely on the loop without rattling around. I really like Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads. There’s loads of colours and they are very regular in size so they all look even in your knitting. You also need (for this method) a small crochet hook. a 0.75mm steel hook works perfectly for 6/0 beads. This tutorial talks about purling because I like putting my beads on purl rows, but it’ll work just as well if you knit first.

Start by purling to the stitch where you will place the bead. Put a bead on your crochet hook.

Start by purling to the stitch where you will place the bead. Put a bead on your crochet hook.

Using the crochet hook, lift up the stitch and lift it off the needle.

Using the crochet hook, lift up the stitch and lift it off the needle.

Slip the bead from the crochet hook over the stitch.

Slip the bead from the crochet hook over the stitch.

Place the stitch back on the right needle.

Place the stitch back on the right hand needle.

Tighten the stitch back up.

Tighten the stitch back up.

Continue knitting the pattern.

Continue knitting the pattern.

If you’ve never tried beading before, give it a go. It’s a great way to glam up a simple pattern!

June 5, 2013

I hear those four words from my husband everytime I get a package in the post! Now that Orithyia is finished, I have another shawl on the needles. I’m really loving this one and I’m especially excited about it because I’ll be releasing it and having a KAL for the pattern. Interested? Head over to this thread on Ravelry and let me know what you think!

RightOMA Treacle Toffee now I’ll tell you that I’m using Old Maiden Aunt (OMA) merino/silk in Treacle Toffee and it’s a gorgeous warm brown. I’m completely smitten – this is my favourite shade of brown. I’m also pretty excited about the beads. Don’t they match gorgeously?

I’ve used OMA merino/silk before for Storm Warning, and I have another shawl on the needles using it too (more on that in a few weeks time). Beading projects aren’t great for travelling so I need a second for short trips! It has a pretty high silk content so knitting with it feels like a really luxury. It also stands up really well to wear. I have to confess though, one of my favourite things about buying yarn from Lilith is the mini pack of love hearts in the parcel!

June 3, 2013

I think I mentioned last week that my husband had finished uni and started his new job last week. Actually looking back, I didn’t mention his job, but he has one and he’s now a Junior Developer/Front Line Support (I think) at a software development company, and he’s very happy with it. As a result we now have a car again and at some point I should learn to drive! This opens up a whole world of possibilities for photo shoots!

UntilDuthie Park now, all of my photos have been done in Duthie Park, here in Aberdeen. While it’s a great park, and really close and convenient, it does have a few problems most notably the number of people who also think it’s a great park and who stare at what we’re doing as they walk past. I’m not particularly fond of having my photo taken and having an audience doesn’t help!

Now we have a car, a whole world of photo locations has opened up. I personally think the North East of Scotland has some of the best scenery out there – although since I was both born and brought up here, I might be a tiny bit biased! Some of my favourites are local to where I grew up, such as Drumtochty Forest. Others are places I visited a lot growing up such as a couple of beaches, pebbly at Stonehaven or sandy with cliffs at St Cyrus, or the many castles in the area – Crathes and Drum with gorgeous formal gardens and surrounded by woods, or Edzell Castle which is half fallen down.

Cairn O'MountYesterday we took our first trip out to a new location for a photo shoot. We went up the Cairn O’Mount where there are gorgeous views across the valley and smaller hills all the way to the sea. I grew up at the foot of these hills, and a lot of family holidays to the highlands started going over the pass. We had a gorgeous day for photos too – sunny, but with some cloud so things weren’t too bright, warm, and not too windy. I was able to edit the photos last night and send my pattern off for editing, so it should be ready at the end of the month after testing!