Liz Corke Knit Design

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June 22, 2012
It feels like ages since I’ve had a proper FO Friday for you! I’ve been working on a couple of big projects recently which provide lots for a Wednesday, but are not condusive to FO Fridays.

Penelope is finally finished. I got her handed in on Friday last week, but she needed to be handed in with out a face – black and white aren’t Ravenclaw colours – so I pinned up the bottom, took photos, put in the eyes, sewed up the last seam and then she sat until last night with no mouth! I didn’t really want to stick on a felt mouth for a couple of reasons. Firstly I don’t have any fabric glue, and secondly I’m not sure what her final destination will be, but I’m pretty sure at some point she may end up being played with by small children. Having had toys in my own childhood with parts that peeled off, I decided to avoid it with her. In the end I decided embroidering a mouth would be much easier than trying to stitch a felt one on neatly. I’m really happy with how the mouth turned out. I stuck her full of pins to try and get the mouth even first and I think it worked out pretty well.

I loved knitting this pattern! Everything was really clearly explained, and the tiny little bits were much easier than I expected – casting on four stitches then joining and knitting into the front and back of each stitch sounded pretty daunting but I got through it much easier than I expected. I would like her to be a little bigger next time, so I’m going to double up the yarn for the next pattern I work with. Expect to see plenty more monsters from me, they’re part of my plans to stash bust my acrylic this year!

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

April 18, 2012

Wednesdays are always a hopefully day for me, especially after lunch – half the week is gone and we’re closer to next weekend than the last one! I seem to have a much smaller collection of WIPs just now, because I finished my Rocketship Shawl last night. It’s huge and I love it. I’m blocking it when I get home tonight, although I’m not quite sure where I’m going to put it. I’m going to block this one gently, just enough to open out the lace nicely because I don’t really want it growing much bigger.

Tubey is causing me some problems, although it isn’t the patterns fault at all. I just think that the arm might be a bit tight around my shoulder, so I think the best thing to geo would be to add on another four or eight stitches for an extra rib or two. It’s definitely better to do that rather than have a whole finished jumper that I can’t wear because it doesn’t fit properly. I’m not going to rip out this sleeve yet though, I’m just going to cast on with another skien and that way I can compare the two sleeves and see what I think.

My Happy Lavender Scarf has finally come back out of hibernation. The pattern is called Favourite Scarf Ever but my project is named for the yarn I’m using Wendy Happy in Lavender because I haven’t decided if this will be my favourite ever scarf, lol. I really love this pattern for easy knitting but I do make an alarming number of mistakes when I’m not paying attention. Progress has actually gone backwards since Monday because I forgot the last yarn over and had to rip back a couple of rows.

The ball of yarn in the top photo is destined to becoming a Mezquita Shawl, and I’ll be casting that on as soon as I get home tonight. It’s a birthday present for one of my friends, and her birthday is in September so I’m giving myself plenty of time to get this one done! It’s a 368 stitch cast on though so I’m going to have to get plenty of stitch markers ready to help me count!

I finished Elantris on Sunday and I loved it. It was a bit predictable but I still loved the story and really liked all the characters. I have a couple more books by the same author (Brandon Sanderson) I plan to read next but first I’m indulging in a little more medieval murder. The Harper’s Quine is a little different to the ones I normally read – instead of being set in Oxford or Cambridge it’s set in Glasgow. There’s some Scots and a little Gaelic mixed in which I quite like because you can “hear” the way the character’s speak, although I am Scottish and used to the way the accents sound. I’m not sure it would work for everyone. This is the first book I’ve read by the author and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

April 16, 2012

I’ve been making loads of progress this week and I’m really happy with how everything is going. Yesterday I had the perfect afternoon, curled up in my chair, listening to music, reading and knitting away. I read about half my book and finished it – which means I get to buy a new book too! Altogether it was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

First up the Garter Ruffles Shawl is finished! I love this shawl. It’s a good length to wear either as a shawl or a scarf, and it’s warm, silky and squooshy, plus I love the colour. The crochet chain along the back did wonders to help the ruffles stand out, although the picture isn’t great and really doesn’t help you see them. It’s a really good easy pattern too.

Next up is the Rocketship Shawl. I am completely in love with this again! I’m on the short rows and it’s going perfectly. It’s easy and uncomplicated and I can read while I knit. I’ve put markers in where I do the wrap and turn so it’s super easy to remember when I’m turning. I knit the short row before + 4 more stitches each turn so I think I have 12 more short rows, then 2 more rows across everything and I’m done/ I’m really hoping to get this one finished and blocked by the weekend, since we’re seeing my parents then, and I like showing my mum what I’ve made!

Out of it’s long hibernation, my Happy Lavender scarf has woken up! I still really like this scarf, but it has to fit into a special place in my rotation. It isn’t a complicated pattern at all but I do need to count to four a lot, and if I’m not paying attention I have a tendancy to just knit straight over the yarn overs, so this is going to be easy TV watching knitting and definately not reading knitting! Everything from the last dark green stripe up is new, so I’ve done a good few inches.

I haven’t really done enough on my Tubey since Wednesday to be worth posting about. It’s still only a little longer than last week. I’ll get more done on it tomorrow hopefully during our D&D night, if I can finish the Rocketship Shawl tonight/tomorrow. I’ve wound the first of my gift yarns into a ball and it’s ready for me to cast on a Mezquita Shawl very soon.

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl – Got Yarn
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished
HPKCHC March – Finished
Garter Ruffles Scarf – Finished

April 13, 2012

At last I finally have knitted FO! It seems forever since I finished something I was knitting so I’m glad to get something off the needles at last. It’s also motivated me a bit to work on my Rocketship shawl and after finishing my Garter Ruffles scarf I managed four rows on it and I’m finished the annoying lace section!

I’m really happy with how this has come out. You can’t see the ruffles very well in the photos – the light wasn’t co-operating with us this morning. I haven’t measured it, but it’s as long as my arms stretch and a comfortable length for a scarf or a wrap. The silk/alpaca feels fantastically soft and really warm. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Andes and from the three skiens I had, I only have 2g left! I had just enough yarn to let me decrease down to the 14 stitches I needed and bind off. Before I started the shawl I had put 5g aside for the crochet chain which was just as well.

I did put in the crochet chain at the back, although I forgot to take a photo of it. It really helps to give the ruffles a bit more stability. I did it once with a 5 mm hook which gave me gorgeous ruffles but was too tight for the scarf and didn’t let it sit nicely so I pulled it out and did it again with a 7 mm hook which was perfect. I think this shawl will be perfect for spring and I’m going to love wearing it.

April 6, 2012

Easter is almost here at last! I haven’t got an easter egg yet – the one I really want is the new Eton Mess one from Thornton’s but it’s £15! So I’m hoping they’ll go on sale next week, lol. I’m still at work today, although most of the country is on holiday. We get our bank holidays as part of our annual leave entitlement so I prefer to save them for other times. Most of my office seems to feel the same way though so at least it’s still fairly busy here.

Another FO Friday has rolled around but I’m working on so many big projects this year that I feel like I never finish anything knitted anymore! It’s apparently been about three weeks since I finished Henslowe and nothing else is close to being finished. I have made something this week though – a drawstring project bag. I’m pretty happy with it and it was ridiculously easy. I normally keep my projects in plastic food bags when I’m travelling or just dropped into my knitting bag, but I wanted to be a bit more organised, plus it’s really easy to make a hole in the plastic bags, and trying to squeeze the air out before I seal them is annoying *laughs*

This was super simple to make. This is the fourth fat quarter that came in the pack I used for my needle case. I hadn’t used it at all, so I figured this would be a good way to use it. I just folded the top over to make the space for the cord and seamed that, them seamed the sides together, decided how deep I wanted it seamed the bottom, cut off the spare material at the bottom and turned it the right way around. All in all it probably took me about half an hour. It’s good to make something quick and easy sometimes! I also think my seams are getting straighter so I’ll have to keep practicing.

I’m definately going to make some more of these. For future ones, I think I might line them and put a pocket in for a crochet hook or spare needles if it needs two needle sizes or spare stitchmarkers and things along those lines. My husband also suggested making a see through pocket on the outside so I can put a label in to see what in each bag, which seems like a pretty good idea to me! I was also thinking these would make bretty good bags for the girls gifts for Christmas because I love giving them packaging they can reuse. First though I’ll have to get some more fabric! Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

March 28, 2012

I’m a bit behind this week because we were away on holiday, so this is a bumper post for Year of Projects, WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along! We had a great time over the weekend, although it was really busy, and we spent a lot of time travelling around to see people. I did manage to get some knitting done in the car on a couple of days though and got quite a lot done on Monday when we finally had a relaxing day! I’ve also been reading a fair bit, and I got side tracked into reading Spindle’s End. I’ll need to go back to Murder at Mansfield Park soon, but I wanted some easy reading for the car when it was too dark to knit.

So I’m going to start with Tubey. I haven’t really done very much to this at all this week. It’s been way too hot to think about knitting sweaters! But I’ve also been considering changing to 5mm needles. I’m not sure if the fabric feels too thick or not. So my plan is to find my 4.5mm needle swatch, make up a 5mm needle swatch, possibly both in the round, rather than flat swatches, and wash them, then make a decision. If it stays this hot though, I might swap to working on Blisco, since I’ll be making that in DK cotton, rather than Aran acrylic. Only problem is both sets of my 5mm needles have the next two projects on them!

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf, this one has been on the go for ages. This is a great pattern for knitting while talking! There’s nothing too complicated at all and all I need to keep track of is where to put the short rows and the kfb. I did make one mistake and put the short rows at the wrong side! I didn’t notice for quite a while and I really don’t want to rip back. It’s not too noticeable so I’m not going to take it out. I love the yarn, it’s so soft. I’m just over a third of the way through so far, so I need to keep working on it when I need some downtime.

Last up is the Rocketship Shawl. It was supposed to be the Usoa Shawl next but Tubey is on my 4.5mm needles! I changed what I was doing with this yarn. The yarn was originally going to be a Clematis Shawl but I wasn’t sure I wanted something so big, and starting at the bottom and going up to so many stitches was a bit off putting. So I started this one. I really love how it’s turning out so far. I started with 319 stitches so each row is pretty long, but I’m already nearly halfway through the lace pattern and then I’ll be on to short rows to shape the body of the shawl. I knitted most of this one on the seven hour drive back up from Manchester yesterday.

Spindle’s End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It’s set in the same world (as far as I can tell) as Pegasus and Beauty which I also read recently and Deerskin which is another book I have by the same author, Robin McKinley. The stories are all set in different kingdoms. The land where this one is set is saturated in magic, and the fairies are normal people who have some control over it, although they tend to be female. There are also magicians in the kingdom who study and try to force control over the magic and tend to be male. I’ve so far got to the point when Rosie is 20 years old, and the curse is due to kill her on her 21st birthday. She still doesn’t know she is the princess and I’m only halfway through the book, so I’m quite excited to see what’s coming next!

Here’s the up to date list:

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Slate Scarf – In progress
Garter Ruffles Scarf – In Progress
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl
3 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Clothes – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished

March 23, 2012

A very late post from me today! We’re away at my mother-in-law’s and we’ve had a very busy day of sleeping late and walking dogs. The weather’s been great so we have to take advantage of it, because being on the west coast it’s normally raining here when we come down. I have two things to show off today, first up is Henslowe which you might have seen on Monday in my Year of Projects post.

I really love this pattern. I do have a hard line around the body, and I think next time I’d do what a lot of people  suggested and do double yarn overs at the start of every row. The yarn is fantastic. It’s Stash Addict yarn and it’s gorgeous. It’s really smooth and the colours are great. I love the shades in it and I will definitely be getting more. I’m also really tempted to make a second slightly bigger Henslowe later.

Next up, I finished the case for my interchangeable needles. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I love the fabrics, which were part of the City Girl fat quarters bundle on The Fat Quarters. I made a couple of mistakes with the pattern, but I can live with them. I found the straight stitch setting this time, and I think I’m getting better at doing straight lines.

The little zip purse on the side is great for holding all the little things I keep losing, like my stitch markers and my tape measure. There’s plenty of space for more knitting needles too, so I have room to expand my set – or maybe that’s just an excuse! The purse is stitched into  the side seam of the case so there’s no chance of losing it.

The strap fits quite nicely although I’ve left a little slack in it so that it should be a good fit when the case is full of needles. I found it a lot simpler to make than I expected. I found the straight stitch setting, and I think my straight lines are getting better. As I said on Wednesday, the case is one I reverse engineered after seeing madbird’s cases. I couldn’t wait six weeks to get one, and I like to make things for myself and so I made my own.

Check out Tami’s for some awesome FO Fridays!

March 21, 2012

Another Wednesday has whipped around really quickly! I don’t know where the time’s gone, but it’s spring already. I’ve been busily working away and reading lots over the last week. I’m finished Pegasus, Beauty and a lot of short stories, as well as the more than 20 samples I have still to read. Henslowe is finished and blocked and I’ve got new projects on the go. So lets get started shall we?

First up is Tubey. So far there isn’t much to see. I’ve got a few inches done on the first sleeve and I like how it’s going so far. I plan on making a few changes to the pattern. I don’t like baggy sleeves so after I’ve got past the elbow I’m going to start working 3×1 rib so hopefully it’ll be nice and tight and not look odd. I only have three colours for my sweater, red, cream and black, and I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to do the stipes yet. I think I’m going to do several stripes of varying thickness in the cream and one thicker stripe of black. I’m pretty sure this sweater will take a while to do, but it’s nice easy knitting, and once I’ve got the sleeves and back done and the body started it should be just a lot of 3×1 rib. I’ve also started reading and knitting at the same time on the sleeve, and I’m finding it pretty easy so far. The Kindle definitely helps because I don’t have to try and prop pages open or turn the page.

Next up is a needle case for my interchangable needles. I’ve been meaning to make one of these for ages, and since I couldn’t find any knitting patterns I liked, and inspired by getting my sewing machine out last week I decided to sew one. I’m not using a pattern for this one either, but I was inspired by these ones made by madbird. Since they’d be coming all the way from America and take at least 6 weeks to get here, I couldn’t wait that long! I shoud get this finished tonight, and I’m pleased to say I’ve found how to change my sewing mackine to do straight stitch, although I couldn’t work out which foot I was supposed to use for the zipper.

This week I’m reading Murder at Mansfield Park. So far I’m having trouble getting into the book. I spotted it last week when it was one of the daily deals. It’s based on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, but a lot of the characters have been changed around. For example, Edmund is Mrs Norris’s stepson and is intended to marry Fanny. William is now the Bertram’s second son, although he’s been sent off to see just the same. The Prices have both been killed off and Fanny, now an only child, is a heiress. Fanny is also now the oldest and acts more like Maria in the original. Mary Crawford has had a complete personality reversal and Rushworth actually seems to have some brains. Henry Crawford is of course still there, but is now a lawyer and a professional “improver” and is at Mansfield Park to landscape it and Julia Bertram is now acting more like the original Fanny Price and is looked down on by her Aunt Norris. At the moment I’m mostly trying to get my head around the new roles and relationships between all the characters and wondering which of them will be the victim of the coming murder. I’m only on Chapter 5 so far, so hopefully it will pick up soon.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Ginny’s for more Yarn Alongs!

March 19, 2012

Another week on and Henslowe is finished! A glass of wine and my faourite new shows for the week were clearly what I needed to motivate me and I got the whole second half of the edging done in one go. I have to confess that I wasn’t completely happy with it when I finished because it still felt really small. I forgot to measure it before blocking though so I’m not sure how small it actually was. When I blocked it though, I got it to stretch out to 51″ wide, which is the exact length as the pattern states.

I’m really happy with the way it sits, although like other people have commented I do find theres a tight line around the body where the yarn overs are. If I make another Henslowe I’ll definitely do double yarn overs when I’m working on that part. I love the lacey border on the shawl, I think it’s fantastic and the yarn is gorgeous!

So having finished Hensloew I get to start something new! I’ve actually started two new projects this weekend and I’m going to be starting a third since we’re going on a tip and I want to have things to take with me. First up is my pin cushion. I’m adapting the Peyote Pincushion pattern to make it bigger and seamless. I really like this pattern, and I have the cutest butterfly button to go with it. I started in the yarn left over from my shawl, but it was going to be absolutely tiny in fingering yarn, so I’m using some of the left over yarn from Magrathea instead. I used a crochet cast on as a provisional cast on to try it out, and I followed the instructions for the base from the pattern. I’ve just picked up the provisional cast on again to start knitting the other half. I think I’m going to do some increases before I get into the pattern, because I think I’d like it to be a little bit wider. This should be a pretty fast knit and might even be done by Friday.

The next thing I cast on (barely) is Tubey. This will be my very first sweater, so hopefully everything will go smoothly. I’ve tinkered with this pattern a little too. Instead of knitting across the back first and then joining in the round for the first sleeve, before picking up the provisional cast on to do the second sleeve, I’m starting with the second sleeve and then I’ll knit across the back. I’m doing it this way because I want to make sure the sleeve fits and is a comfortable size before I’ve knit too much and have to frog back to the start to increase how many stitches I cast on. So far the pattern doesn’t look too hard, and I haven’t found anything that confuses me, so fingers crossed it will all go smoothly.

I’m also going to cast on the Usoa Shawl this week. I’m not looking forward to casting on for this shawl I have to confess. I have to cast on 216 stitches! There’s going to be a lot of counting and re-counting stitches for me I think. I’m really looking forward to this shawl though. It’s knit across from the top down, and the lace is knitted on at the same time, so each row will be faster than the one before. I’m making this one from my Drops Fable, that I bought last year for a different scarf that I ended up not liking, so hopefully things will go better this way. I was crocheting with it before so hopefully I’ll prefer it knitted. I’ve also come to the conclusion that there’s an awful lot of blue in my stash, so my aim is to branch out a little and buy myself more colours!

Here’s the up to date list:

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress
Slate Scarf – In progress
Garter Ruffles Scarf – In Progress
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Clematis – Fyberspates
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl
3 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Clothes – Drops Paris
Calorimetry – Have yarn
Needle Book – Trying out entrelac (leftovers of blanket yarn)
Scissor Case

Finished Things

Tote Bag – Finished
Windschief Hat – Finished
Snowbaby Hat – Finished
Skaði Fingerless Gloves – Finished
Lacey Crochet Scarf – Finished
Iris Crocheted Shawl – Finished
Shawl Collared Cowl – Finished
Urban Shells – Finished
Elise Shawl – Finished
Betula  Ring – Finished
Magrathea – Finished
Knit Bunnies x 7 – Finished
Realistic Octopus – Finished
Henslowe – Finished

March 9, 2012

Here we are again at Friday. Today is a very busy day for me. It’s my mum’s birthday, so after work we’re getting the train down to see them, and going out for dinnerthen staying the night. I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to a really nice little resturant just outside one of the villages locally, and at least one of my brother’s will be there. There’s also something nice for me coming in the post today. My husband bought me a Kindle! I’ve loved the idea of a kindle for a while, but I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to get one. I have a lot of books, but I haven’t been reading so much recently (since I started knitting!) but we got a little extra spending money recently and my husband decided he was going to get me one. So this weekends plans once we get home revolve around making a kindle cover – I couldn’t buy one of course! I’m going to be making an argyle sweater for it, although I’m going to have to tweak the pattern a bit since I have DK yarn not worsted. I’m also going to have to learn to read and knit at the same time!

On to the FO! This week I have a yarn bowl and the real star is my husband as he did most of the work for me. A few weeks ago I made a prototype yarn bowl and in the process discovered I have an allergy to Fimo which left my hands irritated and itchy for three or four days. So I made the mold for the bowl, the shape for the slit and glazed it and my husband did all the work actually making the bowl for me with the uncooked Fimo. Luckily cooked Fimo causes me no problems! We used Fimo Effects for the bowl in white marble, I think. The biggest challenge I had with the bowl was sitting quietly and letting him do the Fimo part in the way he thought was best and not interfering!

I love this bowl a lot. We made it on Saturday and since Sunday it’s been following me all over the house! I always liked the look of yarn bowls, but I didn’t realise how much difference it would really make to my knitting. It’s fantastic. My balled skiens are no longer jumping off desk (or sofa, or bed) and running away from me and the yarn flows so smoothly through the slit. I think I’ll have to turn all my skiens into balls just to give me more excuses to use it.

That’s it for me today – hopefully by next week Henslowe will be finished, but this weekend I won’t get to spend as much time on it as normal, because my Kindle cover must be ready by Monday so it can come to work with me! I’ve started working on the edging for Henlsowe now, knitting it on sideways, and it’s going really smoothly. I only started it last night and I’m already nearly a quarter of the way round. If you liked my shawl pin last week, I put a tutorial up for it yesterday and we took loads of progress pictures of the Fimo bowl last week, so I’ll be doing a tutorial for that this week too. Don’t forget to check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!