Liz Corke Knit Design

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August 27, 2013

My new pattern is ready and I’m so excited to share it with you all at last! Like most of my other shawls it’s name is Greek. Aoide was the Titan muse of song and I love the name. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to design a shawl for her and here it is. I wonder if that makes her the muse of knitting pattern designers? She certainly inspired me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m completely in love with this one. The stockinette section is a really nice, relaxing knit perfect for the car or when you’re watching TV (and we all need one of those sometimes!) and the lace gives is a lovely feminine finish. This is another heart-shaped shawl – I’m not a fan of triangular shawls because I find they have to be huge to give me the wingspan I want for wrapping around nicely, but I love heart and crescent shaped shawls. If you’re careful to weigh your yarn before you start and after you finish, you should be able to get two shawls out of your yarn by swapping the main and contrast colours over.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorking out the maths for this one was a little tricky – I had to find the point where the stripes worked out evenly finishing on a contrast stripe, get enough stitches for the lace panel and not let the shawl get ridiculously big, but I got it figured out in the end as you can see! There were a couple of other challenges – the transition between the stockinette and lace was a little awkward in my swatches (as the yarn overs stretched back in to the stockinette) but the eyelet row was the perfect solution for that and tied in with the eyelet row at the end to pull everything together beautifully. The other challenge was working out the increases along the spine so that they worked nicely with the lace panel. I’m delighted with how it all came together!

The pattern is already up on Ravelry, Craftsy and here on my website, and it’s waiting for approval on Patternfish so it should be up within a couple of days. For the first two days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 29th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

August 15, 2013

If you tried to get on to the website at the weekend and couldn’t, I’m really sorry. Our old web hosting is having some problems just now, so we’ve moved our hosting somewhere new and hopefully won’t have any more problems. Luckily we have automatic backups of the site so we were able to get everything back up and where it should be without any problems! Some more updates before we get on to the main post – Philotes is now available on my website, Craftsy and Patternfish. The KAL is on and doesn’t finish until September 30th, so there’s plenty of time to come over and join the fun! I finished knitting the practice gloves I was telling you about a few weeks ago, and I’ll be blogging about them again soon to let you know what I liked (and didn’t) and I have a new pattern coming out at the end of the month so if you want to be the first to hear about it, sign up to my newsletter in the sidebar.

Philotes LayoutSomething I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks is redoing the layout for my patterns. While I like my current layout, I think it can be improved. There’s a lot to consider when puting together a pattern layout and one I hadn’t really thought about before is page size. In the UK and Europe we use A4 paper for most things. What I hadn’t thought about was that in the US and Canada Letter paper is the most common paper size. As this is slightly shorter than A4 I’m not sure how well my patterns print on letter paper. They may be a bit squashed vertically or may be missing the top and bottom of the page. However a letter sized page printed on A4 paper is likely to either be stretched vertically or have a little extra white at the top and bottom. Of the four options, laying out for letter size and printing on A4 with a little extra white space at the top and bottom is definately the best and is something I need to experiment with.

After paper size there’s loads of other things to consider – how many photos to include, font size, one column or two on a page, schematics (do people want them for accessories?). I’ve got a series of polls going in my Ravelry group here and I’m trying to find out what most people like. One of the biggest challenges is that fully written instructions for lace take up a lot of space just for one row. I want to please the most people I can, so please let me know what you think! If you have any great loves or pet hates I haven’t covered let me know them too!

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August 1, 2013

A year ago today I posted my first pattern on Ravelry! Today I have six patterns for sale, one about to start testing, two shawls charted and awaiting knitting, and my first non-shawl pattern waiting to hit the needles, as well as ideas for another four shawls and more coming. I’ve also set up my Ravelry group, website, newsletter, Twitter, Facebook page and I’m about to run my first KAL. I love designing and although it’s no where near the point at which I could consider it even a part time job, it’s something I want to continue to grow and expand. Over the last year I’ve sold 486 patterns across Ravelry, Craftsy and Patternfish so this seems like the perfect time to have a look at them.

Storm WarningStorm Warning has been everyone’s favourite over the last year! I was pretty stunned by how popular it was right off the mark. I really love this shawl and I still wear mine a lot. In particular it get’s a lot of use as a scarf in winter. I knit this one for the Ravellenics last year, and it was my first time using beads.

PhilotesPhilotes has been the second most popular and no one even has the pattern yet! Tomorrow a KAL is starting for this pattern and you can still get 50% off until midnight tonight if you’d like to join in. I’ll be sending the patten to everyone tonight before I go to bed. This is my first KAL and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s more beads, lace and cables here, inspired by Storm Warning, this pattern is a little more complex. I can see it being one of my favourite accessories this winter – the brown matches my winter coat!

Shattered StarsShattered Stars comes next in the popularity ranks. I love this shawl. I had the original idea back in November and it seemed to take forever before I could get it ready for publication – mostly because Anthousai took me so long! I had a lot of fun with this shawl and I’ve worn it a lot this summer. Coming up with the perfect name was a challenge too – I had to avoid naming it “Diamond Something” because practically every name was taken, so I did a lot of digging in to the mythology behind diamonds. It’s a perfect shawl for sudden breezes and air conditioning in summer.

Anthousai - LargeAnthousai and Flying without Wings are practically tied for fourth place. Flying without Wings was the pattern that started it all for me. I learnt a lot from this pattern – from designing my own lace to working out the maths for the short rows. I’ve learnt even more from the patterns that came after. Anthousai was possibly the most challenging pattern I’ve designed so far. So challenging in fact it was banished to time out for at least a month around Christmas time. There’s two sizes for this one. Although the full size shawl is my favourite, and I love it for dressing up and going out, the smaller version does get more wear as it doubles as a nice size scarf.

Orithyia - ZigzagOrithyia is coming along at the end. These are actually the shawls that have had the most wear from me this summer! They’re just the right size and they’re really easy to grab on the way out the door and very easy to wear. My favourite way to wear them is with the point down one shoulder and arm and the ends folded or knotted on the other side. I’ve also worn them as a wrap around my waist when it was too warm to wear over my shoulders and I didn’t want to carry them. I’m going to make a few more of these in different colours so I have one for every outfit! It’s also a really quick knit. I’m also contempating getting hold of some mini skeins and making one with a rainbow border.

Let me know what your favourite is!