Liz Corke Knit Design

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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/

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

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 13, 2012

Here we are at another Monday, and another whole week till the weekend! It was sort of light on my way to work this morning, so it’s starting to feel like spring is actually on the way at last! I’m looking forward to warmer days soon. I’ve been pretty busy this week. We’ve got a new TV – a flat screen at last, instead of our old huge bulky one – so we rearranged the living room to give us more space now we can have the TV wall mounted. It’s opened the room out a lot and makes it feel a lot bigger.

This weekend the Hairpin lace has fallen behind a little, because I’ve got swept away with Magrathea! Magrathea is nearly done! I used around two and a half skiens of yarn to make the body, which was 17 repeats long. Then I joined the fourth skien right befor starting the lace border. I didn’t want to have to join a new skien during the lace, so I thought this way would be best – which didn’t work out because I found a large ugly knot and had to cut it out, but I managed to get the join in the middle of one of the diamonds, so it shouldn’t show too badly. I’ve only got a few more rows left to go, so hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the week and I’ll get it blocked.
The blanket has been going along fine, although it was very ignored yesterday, after I’d started working on the border of my scarf! I have the colours all planned out, so I know which strips I’m doing when. The third strip is underway and I quite like the colours so far, although the pink is very hard to photograph well! The true test will come after this strip, when I move into other colours, and start to get a feel for how the colours will look together. I chose this colour scheme by putting all of the colours into a colour wheel, then taking every third colour , round and round in circles. I have 19 colours, so using every third number let it go round nicely, moving the pattern over one colour every time I went round.

The most exciting thing about being nearly done with Magrathea, is that I can start thinking about what to cast on next! I’m off to London a week on Thursday. I’m going there and back by train, which is a seven hour journey each way! That’s 14 hours of knitting time, with no distractions! I’m going to treat myself to a new audio book for the trip, and I’ll work on a Garter Ruffles Scarf on the trip! I’ll be making it with the Debbie Bliss Andes yarn my husband gave me for Christmas – it’s replacing the two options I had in my list before, because it’ll make better use of the yarn. It should be uncomplicated enough not to give me any problems – important when I don’t know if I’ll be able to get internet access on the train – but the short rows will hopefully keep it interesting. As for the next week or so, I should be good and work on my Childhood Memories shawl, but it’s another crochet piece, and I’d really like to have some knitting on the go, along with the blanket which is crochet. I’ve also been longing to do something with my Stash Addict yarn for ages! the blues and greys are gorgeous, and some of my favourite colours. So, I’m going to give in to temptation and cast on for Henslowe.

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

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 6, 2012

Well, this weekend has not been the most successful one for me, knitting wise. I started the weekend looking forward to making my second glove. In fact I was looking forward to starting so much, that I forgot I’d swapped to my 4.5mm tips for the thumb of the last pair, and didn’t swap back to my 5mm tips. I did discover the mistake eventually. But only after I’d finished all of the glove and started on the thumb. So I put them down in disgust on Saturday night and haven’t looked at them since! I’d be tempted to wear the glove and hope it stretched out over time, but the thumb hole is just too small and tight – even just trying the glove on for a couple of minutes I had a red mark around my thumb, so I don’t think that will work. Really I should frog it and start again, but right now I’m just going to ignore them for a while, lol. The next time I make gloves, I think I’ll make both at the same time – that way if I make a mistake like that, at least it will be a matching pair of mistakes!
I did make some good progress this weekend though, with my Hairpin lace blanket. I finished the first strip on Wednesday I think. I worked out that I needed 414 loops for each strip which isn’t too bad. I joined the One a Day group on Ravelry with this as my project, and I’m aiming to do 50-100 loops a day. I managed 75 on Thursday and Friday, 50 on Saturday, and then I decided I just wanted to get it finished and I did 214 on Sunday! I got the two strips crocheted together, and I think I need 30 more strips to make it a good size to cover the bed. I’m going to have one strip of black on each side, so if I need to make it wider later I’ll just add black strips. I have 19 different colours so it’s less than two strips of each colour which should be manageable. Once I’ve made the strips, I’m going to add them straight away, to save the loops getting tangled or anything like that. I’m also doing up the unjoined side for the same reason. Because I’m joining them as I go, I need to make sure I do the colours in an order I’m happy with, so I’m not starting a new strip straight away. My plan is to take proper photos of all the balls of yarn then plan out my colour scheme on the computer. So far, I love how the strips look, and they’re really easy and pretty quick to join together.
And that’s pretty much it for this week. I’m looking forward to getting on with Magrathea again, so it’ll be pulled out of the bottom of my bag tonight. I’m going to try not to cast on anything new until Magrathea is done and try and get through my WIP that way. It could be a struggle!
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

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 30, 2012

For a second time, I’ve lost my whole post when I pressed submit. I’m going to have to go back to writing these in notepad and copying them over. I can’t believe how fast January has gone. I’m still not used to it being 2012 and we’re almost in February! I think I’ve made pretty good progress this week, although I have had a falling out with Magrathea. I kept missing one yarn over, and not realising it until the next lace row. After ripping two rows out three times, and having to pick my stitches back up thne sort out the twisted ones, I was fed up! This weekend I also needed my 5mm needles for something new I’ve cast on, so Magrathea is having a week off, and hopefully we’ll work things out!
I managed to got my Long Nights Cowl finished last week, and I’ve been wearing it every day since. It’s fantastic and so warm. I waited half an hour for a bus this morning and by the time it turned up, my neck was the only part of me still warm! I used up two skiens of the Drops Nepal yarn I had. I couldn’t get gauge  – I had 4 stitches in an inch instead of 3, so I just made my cowl an extra ten stitches wide, so it finished up the same size. I didn’t want to go up a needle size as I wanted to keep the fabric tight and warm. I also didn’t make mine as long as the pattern – I stopped at 21 inches, with just the right amount of yarn to do the two bind off rows and whip stitch the rest of the live stitches around and not enough for a single row more. I really liked this pattern, it was so simple and fast to make, but it is a great cowl. It would make perfect gift knitting I think.
I still had one skien of Drops Nepal after finishing my cowl, so I cast on a pair of New Era fingerless gloves. I’ve been using the magic loop technique to knit them, and it’s so easy! So far this pattern is going really well. I seem to be knitting tighter doing it in the round, so when I started with a 4.5 mm needle I couldn’t get my hand through the loop, even thoughmy hand is smaller than the pattern. I borrowed the 5mm needles from Magrathea and everything is fine now. The first glove is a little tight, but I’m sure it will stretch out with a little wear. I’m as far as the band at the top now, and everything has been going smoothly. It’s my first pair of knit gloves so I’m a little worried about picking up the stitches for the thumb. I’m a little worried it’ll be too tight, or too loose and holey. I’m just going to hope for the best though, and not over think it.
My Hairpin Lace blanket has been going quite well. I now have 300 loops on the loom, and I’ve worked out each strip needs to have between 400 and 500 loops to be long enough for our bed. I figure it’s best for the first couple to be too long – then If I want to I can rip back some of the loops easily. If the strips are too short they’ll be harder to fix. So far it looks like I’ll be able to get at least two strips from each skien of yarn and since I have 19 coloured skiens, plus three black ones, I’m sure I’ll hae more than enough yarn for my blanket. Once I’ve got the second strip done, I’ll start joining them together and hopefully be able to work out how many strips I’ll need. I’ll also be able to plan how I want the colours to go. I don’t think I want to do rainbow stripes, I’d rather mix up the colours a bit. Since I want to be able to join the strips as I go, some planning is definitely needed. I’ve joined the One-a-Day group on Ravelry so I’ll be posting about it again tomorrow. I’m aiming at between 50 and 100 loops per day, which should be enough to keep it going nicely, while still giving me plenty of time to work on other things.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

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!

August 28, 2011



So here we are again, another Sunday and another Year of Projects update. This week I have been pretty productive. I finished my iris crochet shawl and started did some more on the elise shawl. I only did a couple more rows though as my hook has been annoying me. It’s plastic, which I admit has a tenancy to annoy me anyway because I feel like my yarn is sticking to it some how. This one also has a flat bit where the size is written (like most do) and the edge between the round bit and the flat bit lewis catching on my yarn. We’re of to a bbq today so hopefully I’ll have time to go into the craft shop before we get on the train and see if they have any other brands. The shop I normally goes to only has pony brand hooks which are cheap and handy, but not as computable for me as the single Boye hook I have. It’s my birthday soon though, and I’m asking for a set of nice foods to replace them – at which point I’m tempting to see if I can adapt the pony ones to try knooking…
I also was very good yesterday and made another octagon for my blanket! I have to say that whenever I finish one and it’s the same size as the others I’ve made, it’s quite a relief! Once I’ve finished doing all the main colour groups I’ll try too blur them and do blue and purple and green and yellow, etc. I’m really enjoying the pattern and I nearly have it memorised although taking a week off didn’t help me. I do have a very long way to go now still and I’m not expecting to finish it this year.