Liz Corke Knit Design

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May 18, 2012

Friday can’t come quickly enough this week. I’m glad it’s just a few hours until the weekend – my weekend starts at four o’clock, as soon as I leave work! For some reason I’ve just been feeling more tired and stress than normal this week, and I’m not sure why, so I’m going to use this weekend just to relax. A few of you might have seen my FO already since I  posted it on Monday for Year of Projects but I want to show it off again because I’m so completely in love with it. My Nightlock is finished!

I really love this shawl. It did look very strange when I first got it off the needles. it was small and crumpled and the spikes looked like ugly deformed little ruffles. After a good blocking though, it’s gone from ugly duckling to a swan and I’m delighted with it. I had it finished just in time on Saturday to be able to take it down to my parents with me and show it off to them.

The shawl is huge, just a bit longer than I can spread my arms, which has become my faourite length for a shawl. It gives me plenty to wrap around myself and it can be a scarf as well as a shawl. The pattern said I would need 400 yards of colour A (green) and 260 yards of colour B (silver) but I used 288 yards of green and 242 yards of silver, so I’m not really sure what happened there. The yarn is Knit Picks Palette and I love it. There are so many colours and it was a lot softer than I was expecting. I was a little worried that it might be itchy, but it hasn’t bothered me at all.

The pattern was excellent. It was really well written and pretty easy too. The spikes are formed really neatly with increases, although they also make the stitch count increase very quickly from 300 to 500+. The last few rows took me forever, and I didn’t enjoy sewing in all the ends! The ends had also started to felt before I started sewing them in but I did get to try splicing yarn together for the first time when I joined balls, which was a really nice neat join. I should work with pure wool more often!

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 14, 2012

The weeks seem to be rolling by so fast this year! May is already well underway and it sometimes feels like summer is just around the corner – and then it rains and seems more like winter again. We were at my parents on Saturday and the swallows were starting to fix up their nest. They nest at the front door where we can see them sitting in their nest and see the babies sticking their heads out to be fed which is really cute, and when the swallows come home it’s one of the first signs that summer really is on it’s way.

I’ve been very busy on the knitting front this week. I finished my Nightlock Shawl on Thursday and managed to get it blocked and the ends sewn in in time to show it off to my parents on Saturday. Five hundred stitches in the last few rows were nearly the end of me! It took forever to go back and forth. Every second row started off increasing by four stitches, but as soon as the spikes started there were 22 stitches new stitches in every increase row so it got a lot bigger very quickly towards the end.

I really love the shawl. The length is perfect for wrapping round my shoulders nicely and it’s deep enough to be comfortably warm. The yarn is Knit Picks Pallet and it’s really soft – softer than I expected in fact. It’s really nice and warm and I love the way the colours work together. I had another problem, like my rocketship shawl, where I found a dropped stitch after I’d blocked it, but I managed to pick it up nicely and save it.

I’ve finally tried entrelac. I like the results but I wasn’t that keen on the process. I find picking up stitches really awkward, so it was probably really good practice for me! The yarn I used was the left overs from my Snowbaby hat a while ago. I’m going to turn this into a needle book. I have felt to sew in for the pages and I’ll probably crochet a loop for a button to keep it closed. I’m always losing my needles so hopefully I can be good and put them back in here and keep track of them!

I’ve also made a face cloth. This one has a seed stitch border and the lace pattern is Dragonscale I really liked the pattern, although I had a lot of problems at the end of the third repeat when I kept missing different yarn overs and ended up ripping back at least three times. I really like the cloth and I think it’ll be a great addition to our bathroom, where we definitely need more face cloths.

Since I finished the shawl on Thursday, the face cloth on Saturday and the entrelac last night, I don’t actually have anything else I’ve made progress on. I am about to set to work with my Drops Fabel yarn. I’ve had the yarn since last year sometime. I was going to make it into a Usoa Shawl, but I really prefer the long cresent shawls I’ve been making recently to the triangular ones I’ve made before, so it’s going to become a Bacchus Shawl instead and hopefully I’ll be casting on tonight.

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Needle Book – Nearly done
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Lacey Tunic – Swatched
Bacchus Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
1 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – Drops Paris – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Calorimetry – Have 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
Rocketship Shawl – Finished
Mezquita Shawl – Finished
Nightlock Shawl – Finished
Dragonscale Face Cloth – Finished
Tunisian Wash Cloth – Finished

May 9, 2012

It’s a gorgeous sunny day today and for once you could believe it really is spring and summer might actually be coming. Already it’s still light at 9 o’clock at night, and we’re starting to get our pay off for the 6/7 hours of daylight in winter.

Nightlock is getting along pretty well. I’m on to the stripes at the end now, leading up to the bind off. I love the yarn still and the shawl already feels really warm, but each row takes so long now! The row count for the last row is over 500 stitches and it feels like I’m nearly there. If I can get the knitting finished tonight then I should have it blocked and ready for Friday, but if I can’t get it on the blocking mats tonight, then you’ll have to wait till next Friday to see it! Hopefully it will only need a gentle blocking, but I’ll have to see what size it is when I’m finished.

I’m still reading the same series of books as I was last week – medieval murder mystery in and around Glasgow. Most of my reading time is during my lunchtimes at work just now, so I’m getting through them slowly but steadily. I’m looking forward to having a fantasy kick once I’m done with the Gil and Alys Cunningham mysteries.

As always check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

April 22, 2012

This should be a short post today – I’ve been very busy but not on many projects. I finished my Rocketship Shawl this week and I love it. I’m really happy with how the lace pattern came out and the length is great, it makes it really versatile. The yarn is merino/silk and its so soft and warm to wear. I got to show it off to my parents today and they really liked it too. My mum doesn’t knit any more but she used to and I like being able to talk to her about what I’ve been doing.

The other thing I’ve been working on is my  Mezquita Shawl. This is going to be a birthday present for one of my friends. Her birthday is in September but I want to be organised and not panic so I’m making things well in advance. The lace border was really easy for this one – it was practically the same as the Happy Lavender Shawl I’m doing. I’ve already finished the border and I’m getting through the short rows pretty fast so this should be done very soon.

Here’s the lists!

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Happy Lavender Scarf – In Progress
Mezquita Shawl – In Progress
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
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
Rocketship Shawl – Finished

April 20, 2012

My Rocketship Shawl is finished! I think this maybe the fastest I’ve ever done a shawl as it took me less than a month. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with this one – I loved the start of the lace, I had problems with loose ribbing, I hated the bobbles, I loved the short rows and I found a dropped stitch after it was bound off and blocked! Now that’s all done though, I love it completely.

The yarn is Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 Ply Sport Superwash and it is a gorgeous yarn to work with. It’s a wool/silk blend and it’s beautifully soft and fantastically warm. The yarn isn’t quite sport weight, but it’s a bit heavier than fingering weight. It was really nice to work with and wasn’t splitty, had no knots or other defects, didn’t bleed and the colour is fantastic. The colourway is teal and it varies from dark green to bright blue in different light.

The shawl is perfect either as a wrap or as a scarf. Done in fingering weight it scrunches up nicely so that it wraps around your neck with out being bulky and awkward. It’s the longest I’ve made so far and reaches to my knees when it’s draped around my shoulders.I really like the row of yarn overs before the body starts and my favourite detail in the lace is the cable twist in the center leaf. I’m looking forward to wearing this a fair bit this summer.

Check out Tami’s for more Fo Fridays!

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 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 9, 2012

Easter is almost over now, but while most people are relaxing on their bank holiday, I back at work again. Bank holidays don’t happen in our office! I hope everyone had a good Easter, we went down to my parents yesterday and had a good time, and saw my baby (aged 21) brother too. I also got quite a lot of knitting done so all in all it was a good day.

I’ve been busily working away at three things this week and I feel like I’ve got much more done this time. First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I’ve been doing about two rows a day this week and I’m finally past all the bobbles. I really hated doing them! The last four rows are pretty plain and shoud be fairly easy going and then I’ll be on to doing the short rows and that should be much easier and more fun. Once I’ve worked out how the short rows work that is. There’s a formula to repeat for each row, adding more stitches each time to make the curved shape so I’m just going to wait and work it out when I get there and I can see what I’m really doing.

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf. This one is coming along nicely and I’m really happy with it. I’m just about to add another ball of yarn so I’m now two thirds of the way through. I just have one ball of yarn to go, then because the silk and alpaca is so drapey I’m going to do a crochet chain along the edge of the ruffles to give them a little more support and help them stand out.

Last up is my jumper. I ripped out the sleeve I had done and now I’m making the sleeve up in 3×1 rib. I’m a lot happier with how it’s going now. The fabric feels left stiff and softer and I love the stretch in it. I just need a few more inches before I start adding in stripes of the cream and black. I haven’t decided how I’m going to do that yet. I think I’ll just work it out as I go! I also haven’t decided how I’m going to finish off the sleeves. Right now I’m thinking of making them three quarter length, and finishing with a couple of inches of 2×2 rib. I really like working on this one. It doesn’t really take any concentration and I can read while I do it. As long as I can keep on at a good speed, I might have a new jumper by next winter!

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/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 – 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

April 4, 2012

I have been busy this week and I’m pretty pleased with everything I’ve managed to get done. The weather was really strange yesterday – within ten minutes we’d go from gorgeous sunshine to strong winds and snow and then back to sunshine and it was bitterly cold. It seems to be much more normal for the time of year today though. It’s sunny and about as warm as it can be with the wind coming straight off the North Sea at the start of April.

First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I alternately love and hate this shawl! The yarn is fantastic though. It’s Fybrespate’s Scrumptious 4 ply which is somewhere between a sport and fingering weight, a 50/50 merino/silk blend, and the colour is fantastic but really hard to photograph well. The colourway is teal, and the colour shifts from dark blue to a blue-green. Currently I’m having issues with the knit to purl texture changes, and I’m really not enjoying doing the bobbles because they slow me down. I did come up with a solution to my knit/purl changes that I talked about yesterday and I only have two more rows with bobbles and the second row has half the bobbles the other row have, so I shall persevere. I did give this one a mini timeout yesterday though because I was feeling cross!

The Garter Ruffles Shawl is going on perfectly. I love this scarf a lot. We had our D&D night with my husbands friends last night and it’s the perfect project for something like that as the pattern is so simple and I can pick it up and put it down really easily at any point when it’s my turn. The yarn is so soft too, it just feels fantastic. I also reached the halfway point last night and started the decreases. I’m pretty excited about this one. Every fourth row it will get shorter and faster now. I probably won’t work on this one this week until next Tuesday, although I think I’ll take it to my parents on Sunday on the off chance that I have time to work on something – plus I like to show my mum what I’m working on!

Tubey has been restarted. I ripped everything out on Monday and decided to start again. I wasn’t really sure about the sleeves before, but now I have a plan that I’m happy with. The pattern has sleeves that are just plain tubes that flare out at the end. While I like the look of bell sleeves, I really don’t like wearing them. They just aren’t comfortable to me, so I’ve changed the sleeves to 3×1 ribbing to match the body and I’ll put some decreases in later to keep them tight. I’m also considering just making 3/4 length sleeves but I’ll worry about that when I get there. I’m leaving the bit across the back between the sleeves as plain stockinette.

I’ve just started a new book on my Kindle. I’m only 5 chapters in so far, but I’m enjoying it. I have to say that I really like it when Kindle books get the same cover as the real books, it just seems nicer! I’m reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. So far I’m really enjoying the book. We’ve met the three main characters and already I have a really good feel for them. Raoden was the prince of Arelon, but he’s been affected by the Shaod which has turned him in to an Elantrian. Elantrians used to be like gods, with magic and immortallity but now it is a curse and a kind of living death – injuries don’t feel and the pain is everlasting, so he is locked away in Elantris and forgotten by his people. Sarene is a princess of Teon. She was engaged to Raoden and has arrived in Arelon to discover she is his widow. She seems to have been trained as a diplomat but her new father, the King on her first meeting tells her to “go knit or whatever it is that women do”. I have a feeling she will have quite an impact on the court and I’m pretty sure some how she will find out what has happened to Raoden and between them they will try to find a cure. Hrathen is a high priest from Fjorden sent to convert the country of Arelon to his religion and take it over. I’m about to start his second chapter so I haven’t seen as much of him yet as I have of the other two. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story develops.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s and Ginny’s and see what everyone else is upto this week!

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