Liz Corke Knit Design

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August 6, 2015

aIMG_2475All the way back in February my brother-in-law got married. Clearly I had no choice but to knit a shawl to go with my dress – unfortunately I left the planning a little late so I had to come up with something I could knit very, very quickly, which and which wasn’t too complicated as I had to be able to knit while  watching my very active, troublesome and adorable eight month old baby! The result is Parvati – named after the Hindu Goddess of weddings. I love this shawl! The garter stitch is so warm and quick to knit up, and the lace makes a dramatic and glamourous contrast.

The original shawl for the wedding is knit in the steel grey and I got it done in just two cIMG_1649weeks – blocked it the night before we drove six hours, and sewed in the ends just hours before the wedding – check me out trying to sew in ends and keep my son out of the dogs bed at the same time. Next time I’ll try to be a bit more organised! I then went back a knit up the purple shawl using just one skein of yarn. It’s super easy to increase the size of the shawl and directions on how to do it are included in the pattern.

aIMG_2669_fixedThe purple shawl is knit in Fyberspates Scrumptious Sock which is unfortunately now discontinued, but Eden Cottage Titus 4ply, or any of your favourite fingering/sock weight yarns would be perfect for this. Pick your favourite colour and give it a go!

The pattern is already up on my websiteRavelryCraftsy, Loveknitting, and Patternfish. For the first few days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 11th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

June 30, 2015

eIMG_1845A little over a year ago I had a baby boy! This is the blanket I designed for him while I was pregnant – I was waiting for him to arrive to take photos and publish the pattern, but life happened and he’s now a very active and noisy toddler!

At the time I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl, so I designed this blanket to be unisex and brightly coloured as pastel baby colours aren’t my thing. It can be easily customised for any baby by changing the colour of the stripes, you can even increase (or reduce) the width, and/or number of stripes for a whole new look. As it’s knit from the center it’s really easy to increase the size of the blanket – just knit the center bigger before adding the stripes.

bIMG_1913Kashti is a great size for a baby blanket – it folds up nicely for the changing bag, fits nicely over a car seat for pram, and as your baby grows it makes a great play mat – it’s even perfect for playing peek-a-boo!

I used Eden Cottage Yarns for this blanket because I love the bright colours that Victoria produces – perfect for my bright rainbow blanket – and the natural undyed Bowland yarn is a gorgeous cream colour. The Bowland DK is perfect as the Bluefaced Leicester wool is lovely and soft for a baby, but stands up well to wear.

The pattern is already up on RavelryCraftsy, Loveknitting, and it’s waiting for approval on Patternfish so it should be up within a couple of days. We’re having (hopefully very) temporary issues with the pattern pages here on my website, but my husband (tame web designer) is working on fixing them asap! For the first few days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 5th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

Thanks to my awesome husband, the pattern pages are back up and working! Here’s the link: http://www.lizcorke.com/pattern/280411/

January 1, 2015

BrighdeA little later than planned, what with colds, flu and baby bronchiolitis, Christmas and visiting family, here is my latest pattern! Brighde is the Goddess of Spring and Summer – legend has it the Beira locks her up during the winter, and when she’s free we have spring and summer again! These gloves have been so long in the making – the left hand glove was knit last year while I was pregnant, and the photo shoot was done with my (at the time) five month old baby boy. Now he’s nearly seven months old and this is around the time that I knit the first glove last year! I’m lucky my gauge hadn’t changed.

 

IMG_1024I really love these gloves. I knew when I was reading the legends behind Beira that I would have to make a complimentary pattern for Brighde – in green for the spring. The main cable on these gloves is mirrored on each hand – something that I only remembered 20 rounds into the cable on the second glove, so I had pull my cable out and start over – oops!

IMG_0987The photoshoot for the gloves was a lot of fun. We went to the forest near our home where I grew up, and it was my baby’s first walk there. We had a a great time showing him trees and leaves, and he made sure the whole thing didn’t take too long by complaining whenever he felt we’d been in one place long enough. The hardest part was trying to choose the photos for the pattern pages – He’s so cute that I had a hard time limiting the photos with him in!

If you buy Brighde before 11.59pm on the 5th January, you’ll get an automatic 25% off the price on Ravelry/my website. On Loveknitting (see below) the price is lower to reflect the discount.


Due to new rules brought in by the EU all digital sales to customers in the EU must pay VAT to customers own country. Because of this new law, I will be selling patterns from Ravelry to EU members through the Loveknitting site. Your patterns will still be added to the Ravelry library and everything else should be fairly easy – you can still pay using paypal, or you can choose to use a credit card on the Loveknitting site. This won’t apply to those outside of the EU or to those in the UK as I don’t yet come close to the UK VAT threshold. My patterns are currently awaiting approval on the Loveknitting site and will hopefully be available in the next couple of days. For a much better explaination of what’s happening, check here!

November 17, 2014

Well everyone, the GiftAlong is back for 2014 and my hiatus is over! If you missed the GiftAlong last year and are wondering what I’m talking about, the GiftAlong is a huge craft-along supported by over 200 indie designers! The sale is currently on and won’t end until November 22nd at 7.59am GMT (November 21st at 11.59pm US – EST) and there’s 25% off 4 – 20 of each participating designers patterns with the code giftalong2014 – all of my patterns are included in the sale! Check out the GiftAlong Ravelry Group and join in for the chance to win hundreds of prizes!

Alex

Alex helping with a photoshoot!

So what have I been doing for the last many months? I’ve been enjoying my maternity leave with my gorgeous baby boy! Alex is 5 months old now, and we’ve also moved house, and I’m in the middle of setting up a jewellery business, so I’ve been busy, but not too busy to knit! My baby blanket pattern will be published very soon – it just needs photos and tech editing – big thanks to my testers who tested it back in May! I’ve also got a glove pattern that’s almost ready for testing – Alex helped me with the photoshoot at the weekend! And I have a shawl pattern to write up and a second one to knit – prepare to see lots from me in the next few months!

October 1, 2013

BeiraThis is my first fingerless glove pattern, just in time for winter. My inspiration for this one is a Scottish Goddess, The Cailleach, also known as Beira. She had a lot of roles, but the chief of them was as the Goddess of Winter, which she ruled over from her throne at the top of Ben Nevis. So, how better to stave off the winter cold than by keeping your hands warm? The cables are a traditional Bavarian pattern, but they also remind me of the celtic cables found throughout Scotland dating back centuries.

The cables have been designed to Thumb Detailmerge seamlessly into the ribbing on the cuffs at each end of the glove, and the cable pattern on the back of the hand is matched by the cable below and above the thumb. The thumb cable splits to make way for the thumb gusset with half the cable pattern up each side of the thumb. It merges back together again at the top of the thumb. This is my favourite feature of these gloves, I really love how it’s turned out!

Because the gloves are Beira Detailso stretchy, thanks to the twisted rib, these gloves will fit most women – my hands are a tiny bit under 6.75″ and my mum’s hands are 7.5″ around the knuckles and these gloves fit both of us comfortably! If you do want to adjust them for bigger or smaller hands, that’s really easy too – just add or subtract a few pairs of stitches to the palm and back of the hand.

One more special thing I love aboutBeira these mitts is the cast on. The Alternating Cast On is so amazingly stretchy I recommend it for all gloves, hats, sock, cuffs, and anything else that needs a stretchy cast on. If you want to try it out, you can find the photo-tutorial here!  The pattern is already up on RavelryCraftsy 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 few days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 4th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

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!

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!