Liz Corke Knit Design

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July 26, 2013

For a change I’m knitting things I can show you, because I’m not knitting my own designs. I’m doing research just now. My next design (aiming for it to be ready in October/November) will be fingerless mitts/gloves, so I’m practicing by knitting other peoples patterns and getting a feel for what I like – that’s why there’s just one glove for each pattern, I might or might not knit the second one later!

I started off biased towards fingering weight gloves, New Eraand I’m still biased towards them I think. I have small hands and thicker yarn weights make my hands too bulky and make me feel clumsy. However, I started by knitting another New Era. If you’ve stuck with my blog over the last year and a bit you’ll know that I knit one of these before, then knit a second with the wrong needle and ended up with a glove I couldn’t squeeze my hand in to. I’m not sure where that pair has ended up, so I made a new one. I really love the stretch you get with the twisted rib, I’m hoping if my design is stretchy enough it can fit most women without me needing to grade it!

Chillworth Fingerless MittsSecond up was the Chilworth Mittens pattern. I really love the off centre cable on this one. Cables are just about my favourite design features for mitts and gloves – as I’m making these for winter, lace just won’t do! I also think I prefer the stockinette palm over the twisted rib one, but I may be influenced by the yarn weight too – more experimentation is needed! The purl stitches on either side of the cable also give this glove a lot more stretch than I was expecting.

Third is the Quilted Lattice Mitts. I really love the stitch pattern on these, Quilted Lattice Mittsbut I had my doubts from the start about the number of stitches I was being told to cast on with my fingering weight yarn and 2.25mm needles! As I expected the glove is pretty tight! However I didn’t check my gauge and I think the main difference is in the yarns – mine seems much thinner. While I could have started again and added in a couple of repeats to make the glove bigger, I decided just to continue as I was since my aim isn’t wearable gloves it’s to try out different patterns. I’m hoping that blocking might loosen them up enough too. One thing that makes this pattern interesting is the way the thumb gusset is handled – instead of always increasing at the outside of the gusset, this pattern always increases along the central stitch of the gusset. I haven’t got far enough yet to decide whether I prefer this or the other method but I feel this might make for a neater edge around the gusset.

There’s two more on my list to make. His and Her’s Gloves is the most important of these, since last winter I His Yarnmight have promised to make a pair for my husband! I’ve dug the yarn back out of my stash so I’m ready to start these soon. I’m going to be making them as fingerless gloves for him, with the fingered bits only going as far as the first knuckle.The other is Translated. I really love the twisted stitch cables on these – so much infact that I was inspired to buy three books of German twisted stitch patterns, that I’m really hoping will arrive in the post very soon. The other interesting thing about these is the textured palm and thumb. I’ll be using them to help me decide if I prefer a textured, ribbed or plain palm on my own gloves.

So I’m busy trying different things, working out what Translated YarnI like and don’t like, mixing it all up, and you’ll see what I come up with in a few months time! One thing I can tell you though, is that I’ll definately be including instructions for making them either fingerless mitts, or gloves as I think some people prefer each style. I also need to work on my technique for picking up stitches neatly for the top of the tumb gussets, and if I can persuade my husband to help me with the photos, I’ll have a photo tutorial soon for the best stretchy cast on I’ve found. I’ve been using it on all these gloves and I love it!

July 17, 2013

PhilotesThe KAL is nearly here! Philotes is now available for preorders on Ravelry only. If you buy the pattern before the 1st August you’ll get the front page, the photo tutorial for beading (just like the one I posted here a month or two ago) and you get 50% off the price! On the 1st August I’ll upload the pattern and you’ll get the update emailed to you and in your Ravelry account and the KAL will officially begin! Hop over to this thread and read more about the KAL – there’s a prize for one lucky winner!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhilotes is named for the Ancient Greek spirit of friendship and I think it would make a fantastic gift or you could make it from that extra special skien and treat yourself! It is knit sideways with optional beading, a zigzag lace border, tightly braided cable, and a soft and warm garter stitch body. The size of the shawl is easily adjustable depending on the amount of yarn you have.

Philotes Close UpWhen I decided that I wanted to host a KAL I wanted to come up with something a little different and looking at my other patterns, the most popular one by a long way is Storm Warning. So a sideways knit definately seemed like a good way to go. The best thing about a sideways shawl is you can use any amount and any weight of yarn – it’s really flexible. Other similarities include the beads and a cable separating the lace from the garter body.

I have to confess, I get horribly bored knitting scarves. Doing the same thing over and over doesn’t really work for me! The cables, lace, beads and increases/decreases all keep me interested in knitting and help me power on to the end. If you like scarves though, you can easily turn this pattern into one – just cast on a few extra stitches at the start so it’s as wide as you want your scarf, then knit skipping all the increases/decreases!

July 12, 2013

Not much has been happening this week I’m afraid! My mother-in-law is coming tonight so there’s been a lot of tidying and very little knitting this week. We did manage to get one knitting related thing done though.

WeFlying managed a photoshoot for three shawls on Tuesday evening. Evening isn’t really my favourite time for photo taking, mostly because of the golden hour. If you haven’t heard the term before, this is the period of time in the evening when the sun is getting low, and it casts a yellow glow across everything. Up here just now, the golden “hour” seems to start at six and go on till about 10 when the sun starts to go down!

As a result, I had to do a bit of fiddling with the photos to get the colours to come out properly and I think I managed quite well. The three shawls we shot were Flying without Wings (which you can see photos of in this post), Philotes (which will be the KAL, more details next week!) and Aoide (which you’ll see in August).

WingsI really like the location we used for these shots. It looks like it should be out somewhere really peaceful, but it’s actually on the banks of the River Dee and to my left in the photos where two dual carriage ways meet at one of the busy roundabouts in the city. It’s also a popular dog walking spot. The Flying without Wings photos are already up on Ravelry and will go up here in a couple of days. Check back in on Tuesday for more details on the KAL!

July 2, 2013

Orithyia - ZigZagMy latest pattern has just been published. It’s called Orithyia (pronounced or-ith-ee-a) after the Ancient Greek Goddess of cold mountain winds. I really love using Greek names, although it’s a little tricky sometimes to come up with pronounceable ones with the meaning I want. Orithyia is a bit of a departure from my normal style of shawl as there’s no lace at all, but I really love it.

The shawl is heart shaped, so it has a lovely point which works so well with the stripes but the top edge is a crescent and as a result it sits really well on your shoulders and around your neck. I like it and find it a lot easier to wear than the traditional flat topped triangle. You also get two edgings in one pattern, the fun zigzag, or the elegantly simple edging.

Orithyia - PlainOrithyia is fantastic car/TV knitting and is a really quick knit – I finished two of these in two weeks and right now I’m contemplating a third possibly in black and silver so I can wear it with anything in my wardrobe. I got two shawls out of the skeins I had by swapping the main and contrast colours over so it’s a great way to get the most out of your yarn too, or make one to use up left overs from other skiens like some of my testers did.