Liz Corke Knit Design
All 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 weeks – 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.
The 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 website, Ravelry, Craftsy, 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!
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.
I’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.
Working 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!
This year is racing by! It seems impossible that it’s the end of June already. I had flu last week, but I’m happy to report that this week I’m feeling much better – unfortunately my husband now has flu. I think the most effective way to cure flu is to give it to someone else – I caught mine from my dad, who started feeling better straight away!
Over the weekend I’ve managed to get ahead on my knitting. The shawl for the KAL is practically finished. I need to block it and get photos done this weekend, then I want to get it into testing asap. It’ll go up on Ravelry in a few weeks time for preorders. KAL participants will have a few weeks to preorder at a discount, then when the KAL starts the pattern will go back to full price – more details in a couple of weeks.
I also have another shawl with eight rows to finish tonight. I’m hoping to get it blocked along with the KAL one and do a double photoshoot so fingers crossed for good photography weather at the weekend! This one you won’t see until August or September so I won’t say too much about it now.
Orithyia will be out next week, probably on Tuesday. I’m really excited about this pattern. Testing has gone really smoothly and it’s pretty much ready to go! It’s a bit different from my other patterns because there’s no lace, but I hope you’ll love it anyway. It’s actually two patterns in one, and it’s a fantastic, relaxing knit.
I also started selling patterns on Patternfish this month. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Canadian company, set up to purely sell patterns. The patterns are a mix of indie designers and bigger designers/yarn companies. Gayle, who runs the site, is lovely and great to work with. All of my current patterns are up there, apart from Flying Without Wings.
I want to give Flying Without Wings a new photoshoot so I should probably block it and do a triple photoshoot this weekend! I want to redo the charts now I have charting software and redo the layout so that it’s more inline with my newer patterns. It sounds like I’m going to have a very busy weekend!
I bought a lot of yarn a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a photo of it all! I have eight shawls in various stages right now. One is finished, two are on the needles, three more are swatched and charted, one more is half swatched and waiting for some tweaks to the border, and the last one is in the final stages of design. If only I could knit faster I’d have loads to show you! All of the yarn in the photo is for these shawls – three of them are two colour shawls although I’m now not using two of the skeins. The shawl that’s finished and one of the ones on the needles are a two for one pattern and I should have just enough for both by swapping the main colour and contrast colour over for the second shawl.
Today I’m just going to tell you about the yarn for the finished and half finished shawl. It’s absolutely gorgeous! The yarn is fyberspates Rural Charm. It’s a 70% bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. I’ve used it once before on the large version of Anthousai, and I really love working with it. The silk gives it a gorgeous sheen and it’s really soft and light to work with – just what you want in a shawl!
The colours I’ve chosen are The Blues and Pebble. I think it’s probably obvious which is which! The various shades of blue aren’t quite so obvious in the finished shawl, but I still think it looks fantastic. Pebble is a gorgeous colour, mostly light grey with subtle hints of darker grey, blue and brown. Absolutely fantastic! Blue is my favourite colour, but I haven’t really used it in any designs up until now. Now though I have four blue shawls coming out! I’ll space them out with other colours so it doesn’t get too monochromatic for you.
I published my newest pattern last night, and I’m really excited about it. I’m afraid I don’t have a design postmortem for you right now, because I’ve misplaced my original test swatch. Hopefully I’ll find it by the end of the week!
The new pattern is called Shattered Stars. The name came about from the diamond motif. In Ancient Greece they believed that diamonds were pieces of star that had fallen to earth and shattered. When I designed the shawl it was with the idea of falling diamonds so this was the perfect blend between my design ideas and mythology for me!
The shawl is a crescent shape worked from the top down. It starts with small diamonds on a stockinette background, but as you work to the edge the diamonds get bigger and the shawl ends with a lacey border. I first had the idea for this shawl back in November last year and I really love how it’s turned out. Seeing it come to life and being knitted by other people is really exciting and is what I really love about designing!
During testing some problems were thrown up with my testers gauge being much bigger than mine and using more yarn than expected. I’ve reworked the yardage estimates now, and changed my recommended needle size for knitting the shawl, which should solve all these problems and make it a one skein project for everyone. Do check your gauge when you start though, to make sure you’ll have enough yarn to finish!
You can find the pattern here on my website, or on Ravelry and Craftsy! For the first fortnight (until May 14th) I’m offering 10% off the pattern price with the code: STARBLOG. Just enter the code on check out or follow this link. The discount code will work here on my website or on Ravelry, but unfortunately not on Craftsy.
I have to say that as a designer my biggest problem is naming my patterns. I’ve never been good at naming things from my Sims to my pets. My first two goldfish were named Fish and Chips! I’m not really sure why names cause such a problem for me. Maybe it’s because the name of a pattern, like the title of a book, is a way to capture the imagination of the reader. It needs to inspire and draw you in. There’s a lot of weight riding on the name and cover photo of a pattern when it pops up in a Ravelry search.
When I start working on a pattern, I give it a working title. Flying without Wings was Feathers for a couple of months. Storm Warning I’m sorry to say, went into testing as The Shawl with No Name. Anthousai – the most challenging to date – was Vines. I finished a shawl on Friday and I really want to send it off my tech editor asap. Its working title is Royal Diamonds, but a Rav search turns up 9 other patterns and I really want something a bit more unique, so I have to come up with a new name.
It probably took me two or three weeks to name Anthousai. I searched all sorts of things in the Rav database – it’s amazing how many things come up when you search vines, flowers or spring. I eventually went off and serched around on Wikipedia for a bit. I’ve always loved mythology and legends from all over the Ancient world. Anthousai is a Greek word that encompasses all the flower nymphs of Ancient Greece. In the end that turned out to be pretty perfect for what I wanted.
I set off along the same lines to try and find a name for Royal Diamonds, although unfortunately there’s no gods or goddesses of diamonds so I had to be a little more creative in my thinking. I was pretty impressed to find out that the link between diamonds and love goes back over three millennia. In Indian mythology the God Krishna gave the Goddess Radha a diamond as a love token, while in Ancient Greek/Roman mythology Eros/Cupid’s arrows were tipped with diamond. The Greeks also believed that diamonds were fragments of stars or the tears of the Gods. This did give me a couple of directions to go in, although all the Goddesses of the night and or stars have already been picked, and you can’t push things too far or the link between the name and the pattern becomes really tenuous.
Hopefully Royal Diamonds will have a new and final name soon. I have a few I’m thinking of just now. Tears of the Gods is one I like, but although it’s unique and there’s plenty of meaning packed in, I feel like it’s a bit long. Diamond Tipped, I really thought would be taken, so I was pretty thrilled to find this one doesn’t throw up any results. I really like this one so it could although it might take a bit of thought to link up the name and the pattern nicely in a couple of sentences. Shattered Stars is my third option. I also really like this name. It’s alliterative which is always a bonus, pulls in the Greek mythology and I think I can pull it into my pattern description without too much trouble.
I’m going to toss these around in my head for a bit, and see how they look written down in my pattern. If you have a favourite please let me know. Hopefully I’ll be releasing a new pattern with one of these names in a month’s time!
When Anthousai was test knitted I had two testers who were unfortunately unable to finish the test. So I’ve decided to give away two free copies to people who will knit it up and post projects on Ravelry.
The pattern has been tested and tech edited so there shouldn’t be any mistakes left (but please do let me know if you find any). There’s no time limit on this but I’d be greatful if you could finish in the next couple of months. You have a choice of the large or small size, written or charted instructions.
Good reviews are not compulsory – I’d prefer honest ones, but I love the pattern and I hope you will too. If you’re interested in a copy, please head over to my group and post on the thread here.
I’m afraid I’ve not had much to share recently. I’m knitting away hard on my two new patterns. One is a gif t for my friend so I have to have the sample finished and photographed in two weeks time! We’re also rearranging the house quite a bit at the moment. Our desks and computers have been upstairs in our spare room, but we’re making a new desk downstairs in our living room and puting a nice sofa bed upstairs so it’ll be a library/spare room. All of my books will be staying up there and most of my craft gear too, so it should be a nice relaxing room.
I want to diversify my blog a bit. There’s not much point my posting on WIP Wednesdays when I don’t have anything I can show you on the needles, but I don’t want to let the blog languish between new releases. I’m going to start blogging more about the other things that go on here hopefully.
My life isn’t that exciting – work, home, knit, repeat mostly, but I love baking and cooking so I’m going to try and post about new things I try in the kitchen. I also have a lot of cook books that I don’t use enough so this should give me a nudge in the right direction. I also occasionally do other crafts and I’ll be sharing them with you two – I made soap and candles as well as sewing monsters and making jewellery at Christmas.
I also want to put up so tutorials for techniques I use in my patterns, for example, beading for Storm Warning, or short rows and herring bone stitch that I’m using in one of my new patterns.
Yarn reviews are another thing I’d like to do. I love knitting with yarn from indie dyers and I’ll be sharing my experiences with you in the future, and hopefully introducing you to some new dyers.
I’ve been looking forward to this post for weeks! Some of you may already have seen it, but I released the pattern for Anthousai on Wednesday evening. It’s here on my website, on Ravelry and on Craftsy. If you missed in on Wednesday I did a “making of” post here.
I really love how this shawl has turned out. The idea did go through some minor rough spots but the end result is pretty much exactly what I dreamed of. I made the large version first and I have to say it feels pretty luxurious! Most of the design tweaks happened while I was working on this one – at one point I had to rip back at least 200 yards of knitting and redo the lead up to the border. The large version used just under 760 yards of yarn, which was a lot of knitting! It was definitely worth it though! I used Fyberspates Rural Charm for the large version. I really love this green!
For the small version I wanted another colour that would represent leaves, but I didn’t want another green. After a bit of looking around I found Eden Cottage Titus 4ply, in this gorgeous Autumn colourway. It was completely perfect for what I wanted. I have plans to get a few more photos done of the small version of the shawl – when we took the originals I think it was starting to get dark and a lot of the photos came out blurry. When I was working on this shawl, I did a lot of weighing my yarn to make sure I had enough to finish. I did bind off with about 2g of yarn left over. I really love how it turned out though and I think the size is perfect.
I love the shape of the shawls. The wings are nice and long which means you can wrap them round and it stays put pretty well. The large size is 170 cm long by 63.5 cm deep (67” long by 25” deep) while the small size is 126 cm long by 46 cm deep (49.5” long by 18” deep) and I really love this photo. I think it shows the different sizes pretty well! There’s loads more photos on my Ravelry page, and my website, but Craftsy only allows five photos, so check them out if you want!
Check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up to!
I’m so happy to be ready to show you my latest shawl! My original inspiration for the shawl was to have a leafy/vine motif climbing from the bottom edge up the spine of the shawl to the the centre of the neck. It didn’t take me long to find a lace pattern that I thought would be perfect, although there was a small problem that would need some work. The pattern I chose was Dayflower (aka Bellflower) lace. I swatched two repeats of it (I’m keeping the photos small because there’s going to be a lot of them! Just click to enlarge). The problem I had was that what I really wanted was the section in the middle – basically half of each of the repeats I swatched. I was really happy with how this turned out. It gave me exactly the look I was going for – nice and leafy/flowery.
My next step was to choose my shaping method. I’m not a fan of top down triangular shawls – I feel like to get the top edge long enough to wrap around nicely it has to be huge, so I decided to go for a semi-circular/crescent shaped shawl. There’s a few different ways to increase for a semi-circular
shawl. I ended up going with the one in the middle – two increases on each side on every right side row. I really love the way the shape turned out!
It was around this time I realised that my plan for a central spine with extra vines climbing up each side wasn’t going to work like this. The centre wasn’t mirrored so I had two choices – offset the lace in the centre so that the flowers were in the same place, or skip the central spine and have two mirrored vines. I was concerned that playing with the lace for the central spine might distort things, so I decided to cut it and just go for one on each side. I then had to work out how I was going to get the lace into my stockinette body. I liked the solution I’d come up with, although in the final I gave it a little tweak to make the transition a little smoother.
The border was my last challenge, I really wasn’t sure how I was going to work that out, so I swatched some more! I had to work out what size of gap to leave between the vines and how to make the vines and border merge together nicely. There was also the problem of making the two sides meet nicely in the centre of the shawl. Swatch helped me work out most of the kinks but some took a bit longer to work out.
I reversed my swatch of the centre on my final shawl and was much happier with the result. The point where the border of my shawl and the top of the shawl met gave me the most problems. I had a solution for the large shawl, but I perfected it on the small version and then went back and worked those changes into the larger one. I’m really happy with how it turned out!
The pattern will be up for sale later tonight – to get the first word of it, and maybe a little something extra, sign up for the newsletter, and while you’re waiting, check out what everyone’s been up to with WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!
A new package of yarn arrived for me yesterday from Dee at Posh Yarns. I love to buy yarn from Dee because she’s so friendly, the yarns are gorgeous and it always arrives really quickly. I don’t buy it very often though because sales go up on a Sunday night at 7pm and pretty much sell out instantly and I have a tendancy to forget! The dye runs are all one offs so if you see something you like get it asap. Luckily for me they had a couple of technical problems this week, and when I checked out the site on Monday I fell in love with a couple of yarns and had to have them! First up is Coppelia. This one is 100% merino in 50g skeins each 220 yards. It’s a gorgeous grey/pink/lilac and as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for my friend. I’ve already cast on and it’s going to be a second sample for my new design although I doubt I’ll get this one finished before testing starts.
The second yarn I have no plans for yet, but I just had to have it! I’ve been looking for a gorgeous red yarn for ages and this one is stunning. It photographs well too which is fantastic since I tend to have trouble with reds. This one is call Vivacious Lady and it’s a 55% wool/45% silk blend and is 440 yards too. It’s going to make an absolutely gorgeous shawl and I’m sure it’s going to inspire me!
Things are going to be busy next week so remember to come back and check in! On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my design process for Anthousai. I’ll be publishing the pattern on Wednesday or Thursday – sign up to my newletter or keep an eye on my twitter/facebook/ravelry group to get the first notice of it – and on Friday I’ll be blogging about the pattern for FO Friday. Hope to see you there!
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