Liz Corke Knit Design

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February 8, 2018

I’m so happy to be showing you these mitts at last! They were so much fun to knit. I thought today I’d give you a quick rundown on the design process and how this pattern came to be.

IMG_3960smallIt always starts with a sketch in my book. I’m not sure what the inspiration was, but I sketched out the outline of the mitts and scribbled down some details about the pattern. You can see that originally the idea was for the cable to move from the outside of the hand towards the thumb, but when I got a little further through the process I switched it so it travels to the little finger. I picked up the most amazing yarn for this pattern – Eden Cottage Yarns Hayton 4ply – super soft thanks to the merino and luxurious cashmere with a little nylon for toughness – perfect for these hard working mitts.

IMG_3934bThe next stage was choosing the cable and that took ages! I had a couple of swatches with many different options on each, but eventually I made a choice. This is the point where the gauge swatch and the pattern writing begins! Luckily for me, my gauge came out the same as for Nicnevin so I got a shortcut on the maths and could jump straight into the charting. I always chart out my pattern on the computer before I start knitting – then I can save it as a pdf and have it handy on my phone at all times.

IMG_instaThis is where the real fun begins – the knitting! I have to fit in knitting whenever I can in the quiet parts of the day – mostly if we’re having cuddle time on the sofa and once my kids are in bed. At one point I planned to make this into fingerless gloves instead of mitts, but having done the left hand I wasn’t satisfied with the finger placement, so with the right hand I just separated the pinky to help hold the glove in place on that side. You can skip this step if you like! Having ripped out the fingers on the left hand, I procrastinated for a week or two on redoing the cuff!

IMG_3940smallAfter knitting the right hand, it was pattern writing time! First I had to grade the gloves into a larger size and decide how I was going to present the charts. I like to keep my charts to as few pages as possible, so it was a little bit of a challenge to fit each hand onto just one page. Stitchmastery takes the charts I’ve made and gives me written patterns, which is a nice shortcut, however the written instructions it gives me are nowhere near publishable! I have to go through and consolidate things like: (K tbl, p) x 8, (k tbl, p) 4 times, (k tbl, p) x 4, into (K1 tbl, p1) 16 times and then put in the repeats for the large size. With each glove having more than 70 rounds, it took me about a week to get this stage ready to be tech edited!

IMG_3905smallTech editing is always a little nerve wracking – you send off your new baby and hope it doesn’t come back with too many red marks! I always send off my pattern in the best state I can get it to, but there was no chance of getting this one back error free! After I make the fixes from the first round of tech editing, I get testers for the pattern. This is always super fun! I love to see my patterns being knit by other people. My testers were really helpful – picking up a few errors that had slipped through the net, and suggesting other little improvements. One notable change was that a tester couldn’t find a video for the cast-on I’d specified, so I went through my cast-ons book, found another name for the same cast-on and then I found loads of videos for the Estonian Cast-On. During the testing process I usually find time and good weather for a photoshoot.

IMG_3899smallOnce testing is done and I stop getting suggestions from my testers, I make sure all the errors are fixed, incorporate the suggestions I like and send the pattern back to Jo for a final review. Finally it’s time for setting up my Ravelry and LoveKnitting pages, drafting my newsletter and blog, and getting all my social media announcements ready. My husband sets up the page on my website, and once our kids are in bed I can finally hit publish, and send everything out!

You can find it now:

There’s 20% off on my website and Ravelry until the 12th February at midnight UK time – no code needed! Want to see what I’m working on now? Check out my instagram account for sneak peeks! Or sign up to my newsletter to hear about my new releases (and get an exclusive discount!) just enter you email address on the right!

December 19, 2017

News1Ripples in the Mist is my first (and second!) cowl pattern! I had the idea for a cabled cowl with a bandana point a couple of months ago and here it is, ready for you to knit as well. The cable pattern in this cowl is super soft and cosy – unfortunately the day we did our photoshoot was -5°C outside, and as a coat would have hidden the details I wanted to show off, I had to stand around with no coat on, trying to look like I wasn’t freezing – hopefully I succeeded!

IMG_3636 blogWhile my original design was for a bandana pointed cowl, I’ve also included a pattern for a cowl that just has a straight edge at the bottom. This pattern uses less than 100g of DK weight yarn and is great for those specials skeins you’ve been hoarding. This is a super quick knit, and if you buy now you could get one or two knitted up before Christmas, especially if you’re in search of any last minute Christmas presents!

News2This photo on the right is probably my favourite photo from the whole shoot. I was watching my daughter exploring our new garden for the first time, and I love the expression my husband caught. The pattern is now available on my website, Ravelry and LoveKnitting. You’ll get an automatic 20% off at checkout on my website and Ravelry until the 26th December – so don’t wait too long to buy!

September 5, 2017

blog1Do you have a problem with too many WIP? Nicnevin was the Goddess of witches and in Fife it was believed she would steal unfinished knitting projects on New Years Eve – so get these done in plenty of time! This is the third pattern in my trio of Celtic Goddess fingerless mitts. Like Beira and Brighde, this has an asymmetrical cable on the back of the hand, matched by a smaller cable than starts under the thumb, splits to move up either side of the thumb gusset, and rejoins at the top. The super stretchy twisted rib means the glove will fit most people!

Blog2We did the photoshoot for Nicnevin on Saturday and had a lot of fun. It was a great return to this part of the design process! My co-model wasn’t always co-operative but she did have a lot of fun shouting “run, run!” as she sprinted off, and she’s so adorable it’s easy to forgive her! We had so many great shots I’ve had a hard time choosing which ones to use which is the best sort of problem to have!

 

This series has taken me a lot longer to finish blog3than I ever intended but I’m so happy to be publishing the third pattern at long last! It’s definitely one of my favourites! I am currently contemplating releasing the three patterns as an e-book, with an extra (optional) step on making them into fingerless gloves instead of mitts. If it’s something you’d be interested in, let me know – I’d love an excuse to knit them again! You can find Nicnevin here, on my website, on Ravelry and on Loveknitting.

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!

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!

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!

October 2, 2011

The idea behind year of projects is to make a list of patterns, like all the patterns in a book, or a selection from many places, like Ravelry, and to work through those
patterns in the course of a year. It’s about setting a goal and working towards it. Really though, there are no rules. Lists can (and have) changed and for myself at least, the adventure is more about seeing what I create by the end of a year of yarn crafting, and as a result my list is slightly all over the place! I have goals and targets (and I’ve already completed some) but some change frequently. This week I decided instead of making scarves as Christmas presents (when I suddenly realised I have no idea if anyone has wool allergies or sensitivities and if my sisters-in-law are anything like my husband, they will, and the fact that the first scarf took me a month) I’ve taken the scarves off my list and they’re getting clutch/make up bags instead. My list though is about to go through another huge change because I’ve learnt to knit (or knook) with my crochet hook and I’m loving it. So of course, I need to make room for some small knitting projects too.
I’m aiming to start blogging more this week, and put up a post everyday or so if I can manage it, so since my life isn’t very exciting, I’ve come up with a loose schedule of things to blog. Monday is for new things – hooks, yarn, patterns, books, whatever I have that’s new. Since I got a load of new things last week, I’m set for a little while for Mondays! Tuesdays I’m not sure about. I’ll see if I can come up with something this week. Wednesdays and Fridays are of course for WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays. Thursday is going to be for knooking, at least for the the first few weeks. Hopefully my blog will be more interesting than just three posts a week.
So what have I been doing this week? I’ve been working on adapting the Skaði Fingerless Gloves to fit my hands in fingering weight yarn with a 3mm hook. It’s pretty slow going I have to say, and I haven’t made much progress since Wednesday, but I’m determined to complete them. I love the way the bamboo yarn feels so soft and smooth, I think it’s rapidly becoming my favourite fibre! It’s a bit of a shame that the colour runs are so short, but as the rows build up I’m enjoying seeing the random patterns they form.
I’ve also been working on my first knitting project, Hearts on Her Sleeve Arm Warmers. I’m four rows away from the thumb split on the left glove and it’s going really well. I had a minor breakthrough last night when I suddenly realised how to read the cabling symbols on the chart and stopped needed to check them all the time! The ribbing is great for getting a good fit and I’m really happy with how it’s been going so far. There’s definitely going to be more knitting projects in my future. The top photo is how it looks as I’m working on it, inside out, and this photo is obviously the right way round. I have to resist the temptation to keep turning it around as I’m working on it to see how it’s doing.
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

This has been a long post this week! Well done if you got to the bottom and have a great crafty week everyone!