Liz Corke Knit Design

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June 1, 2012

The sun is back and tomorrow is gala day in my parents village so we’re off down there tonight and hopefully we’ll be basking in the sun while we help man the stalls tomorrow. I hope everyone else has a great weekend planned. I have a four day weekend too so I’ll still be able to fit in lots of knitting time – which is just as well because my lace is disagreeing with me!

I just have a quick one today – another pair of mini socks. These are socks for gnomes, but I think they might make cute Christmas decorations. I haven’t done much crochet recently, but I really like it for small fast things. For me at least, I think crochetting a pair of mini socks is easier than knitting them, and I don’t really have any tiny knitting needles. One thing I can’t do so well with crochet is large flat stretches of fabric. I’m terrible at keeping my gauge and really I prefer knitted fabric anyway. I love crochet for small things that need a firm shape though.

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 25, 2012

The haar was in this morning when I woke up so everything was quite miserable here, but it’s all burned off now and it’s set to be another gorgeous day. I should probably explain that haar is a type of fog that comes in off the North Sea and seems to be unique to the East coast of Scotland. We live high enough up that we quite often miss the haar and we can look out the window from our sunny house and only see a wall of fog across the road. It can be a little surreal! I’ve linked the wikipedia page up there and the photo is pretty much exactly what happens – gorgeous sun on one side, thick fog on the other! I’ve also seen haar form a ring around a town and driven under it when it floated about 8 feet off the ground. It’s very strange stuff! Anyway, the weather forecast is fantastic for the next few days so I hope we aren’t using up all our summer too early.

On to my FO’s! I have a few for you today, since I don’t want to get too far behind on posting them. A couple have been on  my Year of Progress posts already. As I think I might (perhaps) have mentioned before, I’m really enjoying the Harry Potter House Cup. The first part of Quiddich this term is mini-socks. These are so cute, and really fast and easy to make. I went with a crochet pattern because I think for something like this it’s a lot less fiddly for me. I made one mini sock and one super mini sock with half the number of stitches and rows. They were a lot of fun and they’d be perfect for Christmas decorations.

Next up is a lacy dragonscale face cloth. I loved this pattern although for some reason I just could not get the third repeat right – I had to rip back to the same row three times because I missed three different yarn overs on three different tries! It was irritating to say the least! I have quite a bit of cotton that didn’t work out for a different project last year, but I love how it feels knitted and we need more face cloths in our house so I’m going to be making more – but I’ll probably use a different pattern for the next, it’s more fun that way!

Lastly, I’ve been trying entrelac. This was going to be a needle book, but it turned out a bit too wide and way too floppy. I could line it but I’m not sure how much it would help so I’m going to make a needlebook that matches my knitting needle case with some of the scraps. I turned this on into a glass cosy because it wasn’t big enough to be a blanket square, and turned it in for flying. I love the way it looks, but I can’t really say I enjoyed the process. I hate picking up stitches and my fingers got well and truely stabbed in the process!

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 11, 2012

I’m glad it’s finally Friday! I’m really looking forward to putting my feet up and relaxing tonight and after crawling around on the floor to block out my Nighlock shawl, I’ll get to cast on something new, although currently I have no idea what. I finished my Nightlock last night. The last few rows took forever! By the end each row was taking around an hour, but I persevered and I’m glad I got it finished. Now I have a load of ends to weave in and block the points out nicely – since right now they look like awkward ruffles.

For FO Friday this week, I have a Tunisian Crochet knit stitch dish cloth I made for the HPKCHC. The challenge was to use one craft – crochet – to make something that looked like it was made by another craft – knitting. I quite enjoyed the process, although I did find it a little awkward. I also did the yarn overs the wrong way round in a couple of places which I’m pretty sure is why I have some mistakes in it. That’s alright though and I’m sure the dishes won’t mind! The yarn is Granstudio Drops Paris, 100% cotton. I really liked working with it. I’ve heard a lot of people have problems working with cotton but this was really nice to work with. I have a lot of this yarn in various colours so I’ll be making quite a few more wash cloths.

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

February 20, 2012

Another week has been and gone already, and I imagine this week will pass even faster for me! I have three days at work, then a four day trip to London, which I’ve already mentioned quite a few times, and I’m really excited about! We’re going to see a few shows – Les Misérables on Thursday which I’ve wanted to see ever since I learnt to play the music on the piano about ten (or more!) years ago, Friday is Blood Brothers, and Saturday is Mousetrap – Agatha Christies play. I’m not sure what else we’re going to do, there’ll be two of us on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday another friend is joining us. The two girls I’m going with were my bridesmaids, and we don’t see each other too much these days, since I’m in Aberdeen and they are near Leeds, so I’m really excited about the trip.

I’m taking the train down and back which is a 7 hour trip each way, so I’ve cast on a couple of projects, and I’ll be getting a new book and an audiobook for the trip. And that brings me to what I’ve been knitting this week! First up is my finshed Magrathea. I really love this shawl! It’s so warm with the wool cotton mix and the yarn is so soft. It feels fantastic. The pattern was good and easy to follow, although I did occasionally have problems with missing yarn overs. Blocking didn’t go 100% as I intended. Most of it went well, but the second half of the border hasn’t held the points I tried to put in, so I think I’ll try reblocking the border tonight, and hopefully it’ll come out nicely second time. I’m planning to take Magrathea down to London with me, so I want to give it plenty of time to dry out before I go.

I’ve also been working away at Henslowe. I have ripped everything out once, because I realised I’d missed a yarn over back at the start. The yarn over’s are really important as you pick them up to make the border, so making sure I don’t miss any is important, and I’d hate to get to the end of the body, then realise the second row had a missing loop! The yarn is gorgeous. I love the way the colours are working up together, and with no pooling too. It feels really nice – soft but springy, although I imagine blocking will rduce the springyness a little.

I also cast on a couple of new projects, and come to the realisation I really need a second pair of 5mm needle tips! The first is the garter ruffles scarf. I’m making this one with Debbie Bliss Andes, which was the second yarn gift from my husband for Christmas! It feels gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to wearing this one. The pattern is pretty simple, it has a short repeat with short rows and an increase, so it should be perfect for the train. I wanted to make sure I was happy with the projects I’m taking with me, so I cast them on early. The second is a scarf with Patons Smoothie DK. I had planned to do Branching Out with this yarn, but I was having trouble getting the cast on right. It needs to be loose because you increase quite a lot of stitches at the start of the lace repeat, before decreasing again, but I kept casting on too tight and it wouldn’t stretch nicely. So instead I’m making Cream of Spinich. I really like this pattern. it’s got a nice simple repeat, and I love the texture of the passed over stitches. No photos of this one I’m afraid, I started it after I’d done the photo’s of the others.

Last but definitely not least is my crochet hairpin lace blanket. I finished another strip on Friday and got it all joined up. I like how it’s going so far, but I’m about to have my first real colour change. I think the colours will look ok together but only time will tell. The next colour is Sunshine. I’ve decided the blanket will probably find a home on our sofa, but I’m still going to make it big enough for a double bed, because that will give me more options later on – I wouldn’t want to end up wishing I’d made it bigger a year or two down the line!

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls


Other Things

February 7, 2012

Well, today is time for my first One a Day update, and I can safely say I’m on track! My aim is to do 50 – 100 loops a day, and last week I did 614 loops. I think that’s preety good going! Hopefully I can keep it up. I made my first strip 500 loops long, then took it through and laid it on the bed to find a length I was happy with. I decided the bast way to keep the loops from getting tangled was to do the up – like you would for the sides of the finished blanket, so I did that, which helped me to work out exactly how many loops I needed. The answer is 414! Which isn’t too bad. I’m going to keep aiming for 50 – 100 loops a day, and I’ll manage to finish at least one strip a week, so the blanket should keep growing nicely.
I made and finished a second strip at the weekend, and you can see what they’ll look like together. The black is going to be a border at each side, and the reddish brown is the first colour of the blanket. I’ve worked out that 30 more strips should make it a good size for our double bed, and if I want to make it wider I can always add extra black strips at each side. I want to keep joining the strips as I go, which should keep things neat and make it easy to see how I’m doing. So to do this, I wanted to plan the colours. I’m still not quite sure which I like best. I have one here that’s random – and that was hard to do! One is a rainbow, and the other four I made up from taking the colours from a colour wheel going round and round taking every third/fourth/etc colour. I need to see what my husband like best too, but what do you think?
Don’t forget to stop by Gingerbread Girl’s and see how everyone else is getting on!

February 1, 2012

Well, this week I’ve been busy, but I don’t have very much to show you. I cast on for a fingerless glove at the weekend, but the first one is finished now – although I still need to sew in ends and put a button on. It’ll be ready for you to see on Friday. I’m not going to cast on a second one until the weekend. Just now I’ve been working on my hairpin lace blanket. I’ve joined the One a Day group on Ravelry, with the aim of doing between 50 and 100 loops everyday. I got 75 done last night, so my total is now 375. The first two strips I want to make 500 loops long, so that I can see how many loops I really need and undo any loops I don’t need . It’s always better to have too many to begin with because it’s much easier to pull them out than add to them.
Magrathea is still in timeout for bad behaviour, so I pulled Genevieve back out of the bottom of my bag. If I want to be able to wear this one, I should probably get on with it while the weather’s still cold. This is an old photo, because I only did a few rows last night, and really it’s still just a rectangle. I’m very close to putting the sleeves on now  and then it should start to look more interesting. It isn’t the most exciting pattern to work on, since it’s just long stretches of the same stitch, but I’m determined to finish this one, and I just have to keep pushing myself to carry on.
To see what everyone else has been up to, check out Tami’s!

January 31, 2012

I’ve just joined the One a Day group, and this is my first post, so since there’s nothing to update, I’ll tell you what I’m working on. My big project is a blanket using hairpin lace. Hairpin lace is a really interesting technique which uses big loops of yarn held in place with single (double in UK terms) crochet stitches. It’s a really cool technique but it does take a bit of getting used to. You have a loom to hold the stitches and spend a lot of time swinging it round to form the loops, and feeding the crochet hook through from front to back. I made my own loom (although I can’t take credit for the design) using 5mm knitting needles and some bass wood with holes drilled through them. It was ridiculously fast and easy to make, with just one trip to the craft shop. I set my needles 3 inches apart because I don’t want to make the blanket too loose. I’d rather keep it tight and warmer.
I’m using a tutorial from Wee Folk Art to help me with my blanket! There are detailed photos of pretty much every step and it’s really easy to learn the technique. One thing I did do though, was start with a slip knot on my hook, and slip stitch to the first loop. I found it a much easier way to join my yarn. The tutorial uses aran yarn, but I’m using DK, do I had to figure out my own number of loops and sizing. I’m using a 4mm crochet hook and I’ve settled so far on between 400 and 500 loops on each side. I’m not sure how many strips I’ll need yet – I need to make at least two or three strips and then I can start figuring it out hopefully. I should have enough yarn for 44 strips, but hopefully I won’t need that many or it will take me forever! I’ve already done 300 loops for my first strip, and I’m aiming for between 50 and 100 loops per day, depending on what else I have going on. Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have almost finished my second strip and be joining them together!
Check out everyone else’s progress at Gingerbread Girl’s blog!

January 24, 2012

I decided that since I had lost all motivation for my Realta Blanket, I had to find another way to use up all the yarn I had for it. After looking around Ravelry for a while, I fell for Hairpin Lace. It’s a really nice tchniques, while being fairly simple, and it’s also feels different to crochet and knitting, so I hope I’m less likely to get bored with it!
I’m using this great tutorial to get started, although I find the way she shows of joining the yarn at the start quite awkward. Instead, I started with a slip knot on the hook, then slip stitched the first loop (I hope that makes sense, I’ll try to take photos when I start my next strip). I couldn’t find a loom here, but it was ridiculously easy to make my own. I got a strip of Basswood from the craft shop (modeling shops – especially railway ones will sell it too), cut two five inch pieces from it, then drilled 2 holes in each. I made my holes 5mm in diameter, and placed them 3 inches apart. I did have a pair of long knitting needles which claimed to be size 9 and should have been 5mm. However, they were thinner than 5mm and more importantly were very old, and very bent, so I could never get the loom to sit flat. So yesterday my husband bought me some new 5mm needles (mine are 40 cm long) and they fit perfectly. The fit with the holes is so tight that I don’t have any problem with the wood slipping.
I really like making this lace. It does feel a bit strange to begin with, but you quickly get in to a rhythm. Moving the hook from the front to the back is a bit awkward though, and I hope it will improve with more practice. I’m using DK yarn so I made the gap between the legs a bit smaller than the tutorial, and I’m using a 4mm hook to crochet the lace.
In the photo I have 60 loops and it doesn’t look very long! I think I want it to cover our bed, which is a double, although we have a king sized duvet, so it would have to be around that size, or I could make it into a throw for the sofa. I’m going to work on this strip and get the length I want, then count how many strips that is. Once I’ve made a second strip I’ll join the two of them together and then I’ll hopefull be able to work out how many strips I need, and be able to plan how I want to put them together. I have one skien each of 19 different colours, as well as 3 skiens of black, which should be plenty to make a big blanket!

January 20, 2012

I’m so glad it’s Friday at last! This is a very long week for me – it’s the first time I’ve worked a 5 day week in nearly two months and I’ve been missing the extra knitting time. This is also my 100th post on my blog! So I want to say thatnk you to everyone who reads and those who comment.
I haven’t finished anything I’ve been working on this week, but I have some stitch markers I made during the holidays to show you. Once I started I couldn’t stop, so there’s quite a few for you to see!

I made them with charms and beads, using some nylon coated wire and crimp beads to hold everything in place. I did four with earring clasps, for using on crochet. I made the loops using my 10 mm crochet hook as a guide, so I should be able to use them for most projects. Pretty much everything I used, other than the wire, were things I had in my jewellery making stash, from the last couple of years Christmas presents for friends. I don’t often wear jewellery, although I enjoy making it, so it was nice to make up these, as I know they’ll get plenty of use, and they were fun to do – so much fun that I made 16 just for knitting! I doubt I’ll ever have them all in use in one go.
For some yarny FO’s check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up to.

January 17, 2012

I was around May last year when I first started to play with yarn. I had just started using Google Reader, and one of the few things (those were the days!) on it was Craft. One day they posted  up this article, of a floral coaster. I thought it was gorgeous, and set about finding out more about crochet, and started with amigurumi. You can see more about how I started off my yarny journey here. I really enjoy crochet. I just can’t stick to one thing! Looking around on Ravelry I slowly got pulled in to the world of yarn, and got more adventurous with my crochet and did everything that caught my eye.
Looking around for a while, I found the knooking group. I thought this sounded really intreging and eventually decided to give it a go. If you haven’t heard of knooking before, basically, it’s knitting with a crochet hook.. You have a cord attached to your hook, which acts as your second needle, and you use your hook essentially as a needle, doing knit and purl stitches. You can make literally any knitting pattern this way, and it’s an awesome tool, especially for working in the round.
Now I’ve started knitting – properly with two needles – and I have to say, I feel a little bit guilty, because although I started out with crochet, then flirted with knooking, I think knitting is actually my favourite yarn craft, and I feel like I’m cheating on crochet! It’s not just my love for garter stitch (so soft, squishy and warm) or how soft the fabric is, or the neat little holes which make such amazing patterns in lace, all of that I can get with knooking – and knooking at least uses a hook, so that’s a bit more like crochet, even if you are making knitted fabric. It’s the way both of your hands work together, and the way your needles click I think that I love best. Really I think it reminds me of my Granny, and it feels very comfortable and “homey”.
In reality though, without crochet grabbing my attention, and knooking teaching me the basics, I don’t think I’d have got to the stage of knitting, which is quite special in it’s own right. Crochet was a gentle way to work, which helped me get used to holding yarn in one hand, my hook in the other, and get used to the idea of an even tension and gauge. Knooking  took it a step further, giving me a simple way to learn knit and purl stitches (again, since I did once learn to knit – badly –  as a teenager), and get used to the different movements, with a familiar tool. Knooking always gave me a safety line across the last row I had don, so dropping stitches was less of an issue – and if I did drop a stitch and have to pick it up again, I had my hook ready for it. The hook is really what makes it easier – all you have to do is catch the yarn in it and pull it back through the loop. You don’t have to slide it round the needle and off, and I think that’s what really made a difference. It made the learning process simpler.
Last week I got my first set of knitting needles. I went for circular needles, as you can use them for flat and round knitting, and I think they’re much easier to wield than long needles. I got a set of Knit Pro Nova Metal needles. I really love the Knit Pro interchangeable crochet hooks I have, and they came with a set of cords that fit my Nova Interchangeables too. I love these needles so much already, and it hasn’t even been a week yet! I love how smooth they are, the way they fit in my hand and the way they click together. While I still like and enjoy crochet, I’ve noticed more and more knitting patterns getting into my favourites and on to my Year of Projects list, and I think in the future knitting will be my favourite yarn craft.