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!
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!
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!
I really wish I had something I could show you for a change! I feel like right now I’m just working on secret new designs, and things must get a bit boring for you. I did manage to get photos done at the weekend, although I want to go back out and get a few more as some of them weren’t quite right. I’ve bought a tripod for my camera and it arrived yesterday. I’m really looking forward to giving it an outing soon!
I’ve got another shawl design in progress and it’s currently just past the halfway mark. I blocked it last night so I could see how it looked properly and hopefully that will cure the stockinette from rolling up, or I may have to have a re-think. I have a pair of fingerless gloves I’m really keen to get on with, but I’m waiting for some new needles to arrive. I’ve ordered 2.25mm and 2.5mm needles and they’ll hopefully arrive this week.
I have to confess, that I’ve never really understood why people knit socks. I think they look really nice, but they weren’t something I was ever interested in doing. Until now. I seem to have an urge to try out sock knitting, so please leave me a suggestion of your favourite socks patterns to try out, and then I’ll have something to take photos of for you!
Reading wise, I’ve just started “The Woodcutter” by Kate Danley. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s a mix of all sorts of fairy tales, set in a world with twelve mortal kingdoms and a fairy wood. The Woodcutter is an ambassador between the mortals and the fae, and keeps the world in balance. Something has upset that balance and now things are going wrong in the Woods. It’s up to the Woodcutter to save the day. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the story develops!
The weather has been absolutely freezing up here recently. I think we’re in for a cold winter this year, which means plenty of opportunities for wearing cosy knits!
The cosy lacey tunic I’m working on hasn’t made much progress this week, no more that a row or two here and there. Most of my energy is being funneled into my shawl which I’m really hoping to finish soon. I have come to a dilema though. I’m not sure whether I whould rip back a bit and make it a slightly smaller one skein shawl, or continue going and let it be a big cosy shawl. The third option is to do both and offer two sizes, which I think is what I am leaning most towards right now. Let me know what you think!
My brother’s birthday present for me and my husband was John Lewis vouchers, so we went shopping yesterday and got this huge pile of yarn! The dark grey is for my husband. He’s getting a Basel hat, provided I can alter it a little to fit his 24″ head and he’s getting a pair of gloves, although I’m making them fingerless and possibly with a shorter cuff. The blue and light grey are for me. I’m making myself fingerless gloves and a hat too, but I’m working out my own colourwork pattern for them. I can’t find any hat patterns where I like both the pattern and the shape of the hat, so I’m taking matters into my own hands!
I’m reading again this week. I felt like I’d fallen out of the habit of reading, so to get myself back into it, I treated myself to a new book on the Kindle. I’m reading The Belgariad by David Eddings, and I’ve only just started the first book. I love this series and I’ve probably read it about five or six times in the last decade. It’s good to catch up with old friends from time to time.
It’s freezing here this week. I’m planning my winter knitting – new gloves (maybe fingerless for me) and hats for me and my husband. I’m going to have a look at cowl patterns too.
My shawl is causing me a few problems – I seem to make exactly the same mistakes every few rows which is just careless! My cosy tunic is going well though. I’m about halfway through the lace portion of the tunic. I have no idea how the fit is going though. I think once I’m done the lace I’m going to put it on a lifeline and block it. While my blocked gauge is just about perfect for the pattern, my knitted gauge is a good few stitches smaller, so there’s no use in trying it on like this.
I decided to combine my Year of Projects, WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along posts this week. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my designs that I can’t show you, so I decided to wait till I could be more interesting! I’m hoping for a special package in the post today. I have a set of KnitPro Interchangeable needles, which I really love using but they’re nickle plated and don’t react well with my skin. I don’t have a serious allergy – I’ve heard of some people that get itchy or numb hands and arms from their needles – but my needles do tarnish very quickly and feel sticky so I end up polishing them every day or two. I’ve ordered myself a Chiagoo 4mm fixed circular to try out. They’re stainless steel so shouldn’t cause me any problems, but I’ll let you know all about it when it gets here!
Steve still isn’t finished, but I’ve cast on something new. I’m knitting my monsters with 3.5mm needles and dk yarn at a very tight guage so that the stuffing doesn’t poke through and my shawl with 4mm needles and fingering weight yarn, so I’ve cast on something to give my hands a break. I’ve started my second lacey tunic in aran yarn. With the last one I went around and picked up the cast on stitches and added a moss stitch border which I really like, so this time I added the moss stitch border from the start. I also used a new (to me) cast on called the “Old Norwegian”. It’s a variant on the long tail cast on and I really like how it looks. I went up a couple of needle sizes for the cast on and it feels nice and stable yet stretchy.
I haven’t been reading much this week, but I did get a new book last week. It’s Cast On, Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor. I really love this book. The spiral binding is perfect for a craft book and saves you needing to prop it open, and the photos that guide you through the steps and really clear and easy to follow. This is, of course, where I learnt about the Old Norwegian cast on.
Wednesday is always a nice day – next weekend is finally closer than last weekend! My dad’s evening classes have just started again too, which means he’ll be coming to ours for his tea every second Wednesday. My mum is vegetarian so when he comes we try to make a point of having something nice and meaty that he wouldn’t normally get. Tonight we’re having pork chops and trying out a recipe from Lorraine’s Fast and Easy Food. I can’t find the recipe online, but I’ve been loving watching her show and it’s all on the iplayer. Mostly it involves coating the pork in fennel seeds before cooking.
I have a couple of things to show you this week. Steve has one arm and one leg. If he’s lucky he’ll get another of each by Friday, but it doesn’t seem likely right now. He has to be finished by Sunday though, or I can’t hand him in for a class. I think he’s going to be really cute! Before I sew him up, I want to add something heavy to the bottom of his body and see if that helps hold him up, so I’ll have to take a trip to Hobbycraft soon.
I’ve also done a swatch at last for my second lacey tunic. This time I’m doing it in Rowan Pure Wool Aran. The tunic is going to have three quarter or full length sleeves, and unlike the last one it’s going to have a cowl neck. When I knit the swatch I was getting 22 stitches to 4 inches. After washing it was down to 16 stitches to 4 inches. I need 18 stitches to 4 inches to get guage so we’ll see what it’s like when I get home and it’s dry! When I did this in DK I had to make the second biggest size because my gauge was so far off. Hopefully with this yarn I can get guage and save myself some stitches!
I haven’t been making much time for reading recently. I have one design I’m trying to get back to the point of casting on. Once I’ve done that I have a second design that I want to get swatching and send off for a magazine submission which is quite scary! A third idea has just trickled it’s way through to the front of my mind this morning too so I’ve been doing some sketches for that. Hopefully once I get on top of things again, I’ll have more time!
It’s a gorgeous sunny day today, but the mornings are definitely getting darker, and there’s a chill in the air – I think it’s going to be time to start making wram gear again very soon! It’s also my birthday, and I’m offering 10% off on my patterns on Ravelry today (and until 8am BST tomorrow). Use the code BDAY2012 at check out!
The last couple of days I’ve mostly been working on my shawl, so I don’t really have much I can show you. I have been working on Steve though. This is Sunday’s photo, but last night I finally got round to stitching up the bottom of his foot and I cast on his first arm. I think he’s going to be really cute with his dangly feet and hands. I did finally get new safety eyes, so I’m all set to make up my monsters when the knitting is finished. I’m going to sew Holly together tonight, so you should be able to see her on Friday.
As for what I’m reading, I’m not just now! I think I might treat myself to a new book on my Kindle today, so I’ll have a look at lunchtime and see what catches my eye. 🙂
I’m just back from having my wisdom tooth out. It wasn’t too bad while it was happening, but the tooth took a little bit of bone with it so I have a stitch to help it heal, antibiotics, and I’m chewing on a piece of gauze to try and stop the bleeding. I’m under orders to relax today, which sounds to me like I should spend the day knitting!
The first thing I’m going to do today is sew in the ends and put the buttons on the Young Einstein. The second thing I’m going to do is Holly’s second foot, and put her together. You can see her with her arms in the photo and I’ve finished the first foot since I took it. I’m not sure how all the sewing up is going to go. I’ll just have to figure it out as I go. After that I can do some work on my shawl. I finally came up with a swatch I’m happy with so I can start with my yummy Fyberspates yarn! I’ve just started a twitter account, LizCorke, and if you want to follow me, you might get some sneak peaks. If anyone has any blogger twitter apps they really like, let me know!
Just now I’m reading Northanger Abbey. I really love this book. The absurdity of all her suspicions and all the melodrama makes it a fun read, and I’m sure Jane Austen had fun writing it.
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