Liz Corke Knit Design

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December 2, 2013

BabyI’ve had a bit of a hiatus recently, but I promise there’s a really good reason for it. Over the last few weeks I’ve been so sick, tired and emotional that I couldn’t even look at my knitting needles, let alone try to focus on a design or pattern, but next June it should all be worthwhile! I finally picked up my needles again for the first time in about seven weeks yesterday, and I started knitting a Daphne and Delilah for the baby. I love Rebecca Danger’s monster patterns, they’re adorable, simple and easy to knit!

I admit that this is the second time I’ve started this pattern – I think the DK yarn I was using before was too thin, and I was getting a very small monster – and that was the mother, the baby monster would have been tiny! This time I went stash diving and I’m using Rowan Pure Wool Aran. I’m not 100% about the yarn – it’s gorgeous to knit with, and it is superwash, but I can’t help thinking that an acrylic blend might be better for a hard wearing toy. The colours I had were dark grey and red, and I’m not 100% sold on the combination, so I might end up making another monster but really I’m just enjoying knitting again for now!

I was halfway through a second fingerless mitt pattern to go with Beira – literally halfway through – when my hiatus started. The left mitt is done but I haven’t started the right hand one, the charts are done and the pattern’s laid out, but the written instructions aren’t done. So I’m going to get going with the right mitt soon and get the pattern finished and off for tech editing too. I hope to get this pattern and maybe one more mitt pattern done and published before the cold weather is over.

I have a few ideas for more designs too – a shawl or two and a baby blanket. I’ll have to intersperse new designs along with some unisex baby knitting over the next few months. I’ll try and blog more in the future – I’m sure I’ll have more to say about the baby and the patterns I’m knitting as well as my new designs. If you have any favourite baby knitting patterns, do let me know! The only one I have just now is Young Einstein as I knit it for a friend’s baby.

September 26, 2012

Wednesday is always a nice day – next weekend is finally closer than last weekend! My dad’s evening classes have just started again too, which means he’ll be coming to ours for his tea every second Wednesday. My mum is vegetarian so when he comes we try to make a point of having something nice and meaty that he wouldn’t normally get. Tonight we’re having pork chops and trying out a recipe from Lorraine’s Fast and Easy Food. I can’t find the recipe online, but I’ve been loving watching her show and it’s all on the iplayer. Mostly it involves coating the pork in fennel seeds before cooking.

I have a couple of things to show you this week. Steve has one arm and one leg. If he’s lucky he’ll get another of each by Friday, but it doesn’t seem likely right now. He has to be finished by Sunday though, or I can’t hand him in for a class. I think he’s going to be really cute! Before I sew him up, I want to add something heavy to the bottom of his body and see if that helps hold him up, so I’ll have to take a trip to Hobbycraft soon.

I’ve also done a swatch at last for my second lacey tunic. This time I’m doing it in Rowan Pure Wool Aran. The tunic is going to have three quarter or full length sleeves, and unlike the last one it’s going to have a cowl neck. When I knit the swatch I was getting 22 stitches to 4 inches. After washing it was down to 16 stitches to 4 inches. I need 18 stitches to 4 inches to get guage so we’ll see what it’s like when I get home and it’s dry! When I did this in DK I had to make the second biggest size because my gauge was so far off. Hopefully with this yarn I can get guage and save myself some stitches!

I haven’t been making much time for reading recently. I have one design I’m trying to get back to the point of casting on. Once I’ve done that I have a second design that I want to get swatching and send off for a magazine submission which is quite scary! A third idea has just trickled it’s way through to the front of my mind this morning too so I’ve been doing some sketches for that. Hopefully once I get on top of things again, I’ll have more time!

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

September 24, 2012

Well, this has been a pretty busy week for me, although I don’t have much knitting to show you. I’ve moved my blog again, sorry! Everything forwards you to here though, so you shouldn’t get lost (I hope!). I’ve decided that I’m just going to use my own name on my designs – which is what I was doing anyway – and that having to work Kingfisher Knits in complicated things for me, and why make things more complicated anyway? So the blog is now on blog.lizcorke.com and hopefully the website will be finished in a couple of weeks – it’s looking great so far! I’ve also got my facebook page up and running, so you can head over and like it, twitter is still running – if you’re on twitter, let me know – I need people to follow, and I’ve started up a Ravelry group here which desperately needs members!

Holly is finished! Isn’t she cute? I really like how she’s turned out, although it was tricky to get the feet on in the right place. She doesn’t balance very well either but that just adds character, as does the slightly off center tummy button! Poor Holly had pins in her bum to hold her up for the photos! I’m really happy with how she’s tuned out. Only six more monsters to go!

Steve has an arm now, to go with his body and single leg. It was too late last night to take photos though, so you’ll have to wait till Wednesday. Last week I mostly worked on my new design, until I realised that I’d completely forgotten about the symetry of it, and that it wasn’t going to work as I had it! I’ve started swatching a new idea, but then I ran out of the yarn I was using to swatch! Hopefully this week I’ll get the swatch done, the design redone, and get the shawl cast on again this week.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
Lacey Tunic

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up Stash – 137.4 yards used!
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Steve
Quentin
Daphne and Delilah
Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL

Finished Projects

Holly
Young Einstein
Momijigari – gift
Ravellenics Shawl

September 21, 2012

It’s a gorgeous sunny Friday, although still definitely chilly – maybe I should get going with that cowl design? The mornings are getting darker and so are the evenings, and soon the clocks will go back and I’ll lose all the light after work, then the light before work – all of which makes me very glad I have my light box now! I have another little confession to make. My blog (and eventual website) are now being hosted on www.lizcorke.com. I haven’t been very successful so far in working my name and Kingfisher Knits together, so I figure it’s easiest at this pont to just swap everything over to just use my name and keep things simple. Also my husband has had www.tomcorke.com (there’s nothing actually there) for years so now we have a matching set!

Moving on, Holly is finished! I only have six more monsters to go. I really love how she’s come out, although she doesn’t stand up very well – she has four pins in her bum to hold her up for the photos! I’m not sure who is getting this one yet, apart from the purple one going to my friend whose favourite colour is purple, I think I’ll just wait till they’re all done and see who I think should get each. Since there are two groups of three – my three friends, and my two sisters in law plus my brother in law’s girl friend, they’ll each get one of the three. My brother’s girlfriend will get which ever of the three I have the most fun making!

I love how Holly has turned out. Sewing the arms on and the bottom of the body up was easy, but getting the feet on was a bit tricky. I stitched the feet closed and sewed them to the body at the same time and to stop her falling over backwards I used one stitch to secure the tummy to the front of the feet. You can just about see it in the photo. I love the little tummy button, although I think I put mine about half a stitch off center – but that’s ok, it shows character! I think when I stuff the rest I’ll get some little stuffing beans to add weight to the bottom and hopefully help them to sit a bit better. They were designed as Christmas tree ornaments, so I don’t think their ability to sit up was a priority!

Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

September 19, 2012

It’s a gorgeous sunny day today, but the mornings are definitely getting darker, and there’s a chill in the air – I think it’s going to be time to start making wram gear again very soon! It’s also my birthday, and I’m offering 10% off on my patterns on Ravelry today (and until 8am BST tomorrow). Use the code BDAY2012 at check out!

The last couple of days I’ve mostly been working on my shawl, so I don’t really have much I can show you. I have been working on Steve though. This is Sunday’s photo, but last night I finally got round to stitching up the bottom of his foot and I cast on his first arm. I think he’s going to be really cute with his dangly feet and hands. I did finally get new safety eyes, so I’m all set to make up my monsters when the knitting is finished. I’m going to sew Holly together tonight, so you should be able to see her on Friday.

As for what I’m reading, I’m not just now! I think I might treat myself to a new book on my Kindle today, so I’ll have a look at lunchtime and see what catches my eye. 🙂

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

September 17, 2012

I have a very colourful post for you today. I had a friend over at the weekend, which influenced the knitting I could do – plain stockinette in the round is the best thing ever for social knitting, and I’m really glad I’ve learnt to knit without looking – it meant I could chat and watch Strictly Come Dancing at the same time as knitting!

First up, Young Eistein is finished! I really love how it’s turned out. Hopefully it’ll be a good fit with some growing room. I used Rowan Handknit Cotton, which is sold in the UK as DK, but is really much closer to a worsted weight. It’s really soft and it shouldn’t have any problems in the wash. I really like the shade of green too, although it’s been pretty hard to get right in photos! I have a bit of a thing for buttons but these airplanes are particularly cute! I also like that they don’t all point directly up, although that was the way they were sewn on. I think it might be the seed stitch bumps that change how they sit, but I really like the result.

Holly is pretty much finished, but she’s still in pieces. Her feet are tied around her neck so they don’t get lost. I’ll get her put together soon although I never really look forward to it. I try to leave the tails long enough that I can use them to sew the parts together. I’m not sure who’s going to get this one yet. I’ll probably wait until I’ve got all the rest finished and seen what colours they are.

Ivy was the next monster I started. I think though, that this monster will end up going to the friend that was over at the weekend because purple is her favourite colour, so I put the body on a couple of dpns so I could have the needles back for something else.  I really like this shade of purple. I think Ivy is going to have to wait until I’ve finished Steve now though. It’s easier to focus on one monster at a time!

Steve is going to be yellow. I cast him on on Saturday so I could work on him instead of Ivy while I was chatting and watching TV. I though that Steve would be made the same way as Quincy, with sock style feet, but he actually just uses knit increases to form the feet. I just need to kitchener stitch up the bottom of the foot and then I can move on to the next one.

My shawl plans are beginning to make sense at last so I’m hoping to get it all charted and cast on this week.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
Lacey Tunic

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up Stash – 137.4 yards used!
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Young Einstein
Holly
Quentin
Daphne and Delilah
Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift
Ravellenics Shawl

September 12, 2012

I’m just back from having my wisdom tooth out. It wasn’t too bad while it was happening, but the tooth took a little bit of bone with it so I have a stitch to help it heal, antibiotics, and I’m chewing on a piece of gauze to try and stop the bleeding. I’m under orders to relax today, which sounds to me like I should spend the day knitting!

The first thing I’m going to do today is sew in the ends and put the buttons on the Young Einstein. The second thing I’m going to do is Holly’s second foot, and put her together. You can see her with her arms in the photo and I’ve finished the first foot since I took it. I’m not sure how all the sewing up is going to go. I’ll just have to figure it out as I go. After that I can do some work on my shawl. I finally came up with a swatch I’m happy with so I can start with my yummy Fyberspates yarn! I’ve just started a twitter account, LizCorke, and if you want to follow me, you might get some sneak peaks. If anyone has any blogger twitter apps they really like, let me know!

Just now I’m reading Northanger Abbey. I really love this book. The absurdity of all her suspicions and all the melodrama makes it a fun read, and I’m sure Jane Austen had fun writing it.

September 10, 2012

Ten weeks gone already! I have no idea where the time is going, and I really don’t seem to be sticking to my list much at all, other than using up my stash for things. Oh well, there’s still plenty of time to go.

I got a good bit done this weekend. A lot of it was swatching for the new design, but I also got my husband working on my website, so I did a lot of sketching for that and I got some knitting done too. The Young Einstein cardigan is almost finished. I just need to finish sewing in all the very many ends, and sew on the buttons. I made a few adjustments. The instructions were to knit the collar 3″ – 4″ long, but I thought that would be huge for a baby this size, so I just stopped when I was happy. I also didn’t pick up stitches for the collar. I thought it looked way too loose when I was trying to pick up stitches from the cast on, so I undid the first two rows, picked up the stitches and went up from there.

I’ve also been working on my first Holly. The second arm is nearly finished now too, then it’s just two feet and done. These little monsters are pretty quick, so getting seven done by Christmas shouldn’t be too challenging. Next up is Ivy, then I’ll do Steve and go back to Holly. I love Rebecca Dangers patterns! They’re really nicely set out and easy to follow.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
Lacey Tunic

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up Stash – 137.4 yards used!
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Young Einstein
Holly
Quentin
Daphne and Delilah
Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift
Ravellenics Shawl

September 5, 2012

Ever had those days when there’s so many things you what to knit that you wish you could have more hands and do them all at once? I have so many things I want to do and can’t do them all at once. In the meantime though, I do have two projects to show you today.

First up is the Young Einstein cardigan. I really love this pattern! One of my favourite things about it is that the sizes are all colour coded, so instead of having to make sure I’m always following the third smallest size, I can just follow all the red numbers. I got pretty much the whole body done on Saturday, bu knitting tightly with cotton did put some strain on my left index finger so I put it aside for a couple of days. I was supposed to pick up stitches for the collar, but my cast on was quite loose and I really didn’t like how it looked, so I put in a lifeline a couple of rows down and cut the cast on and unraveled the first two rows. It was much easier to just pick up the stitches and knit up, and I think it looks much better too. I have about 5 inches of seed stitch to do for the collar, and then the sleeves shoud be easy. I have some really cute red airplane buttons for it when it’s done.

The other project on the needles is my first little monster. This one is going to be a Holly. I’m a bit further on now, well over halfway to having the body finished. Hopefully I’ll finish the body tomorrow and then the arms and legs will be pretty quick. Once I’ve finished the body I’ll be able to work out if the eyes I have are a good size and I can order lots more. I only have one set of eyes and about 10 monsters planned so I really need some more! The colours I’m picking are the first ones I grab when I look in my stash box, although I might change my mind and knit a rainbow of these monsters. I’m not going to be doing the hats and scarves and Stevie when I get to him will be a solid colour not stripey.

Right now I’m reading The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design which is packed full of tips and all sorts of useful information. I’ve just reached chapter 5, and although not everything in the book applies to what I’m doing (some is a bit more targetted at an American market, for example) I’m learning quite a bit from it.

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

August 27, 2012

Mondays are always so much effort! I love my weekend lie ins, and getting up early in the morning is not my favourite thing to do. I’m a night owl really, but if I get to work by eight I can go home at four and that is definitely worth it to me!

I still haven’t cast on for the baby cardigan. I must be a really tight knitter because I can never get guage. I got 22 stitches with my 4.5mm needles and 21 stitches with my 5mm needles. What I need is 20 stitches, and I really don’t want to go up another needle size because then I think it will be too tight. I’m going to wash the swatch, cross my fingers and hope that it loosens up for me. I’m aiming to get it finished by the 15th of September, because another friend will be able to take it down to the new mother for me, which would be better than posting it.

Quincy has one leg. I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out. It used a fraction less than one repeat, so his legs will be slightly miss-matching.I really like how the foot has turned out. It was a little tricky when I was picking up stitches on the heel, and I think I might have made a couple of mistakes but the stitch count was right all the time and there’s no stuffing showing through, so I’m happy with it. I think I might stuff the bottom half of his body a bit more and see if that can give him a little more shape. I think arms will help with that too. The face is still undecided though. He’s safety pinned together for now to make sure I don’t loose any parts!

I got some new yarn on Friday. It’s Fyberspates Rustic charm and absolutely gorgeous. The yarn is a Blue Faced Leicester/Cashmere/Silk blend and I’m really looking forward to knitting with it. It’s going to be my next shawl and the ideas for the design are rapidly changing and undergoing development in my head. This is going to be my OWL for the September – November HPKCHC term. It took me about three hours to turn the first skein into a center pull ball. I showed my husband a video of someone using a swift and a ball winder to make which he thought was pretty amazing, so I have a swift and a ball winder on the way for my birthday present! They’re coming from America but hopefully they’ll be here in the next three weeks. All the rest of my skeins can wait until then! I’m on a yarn diet for the next few months too now…

I’m starting to think about Christmas presents now. I’m doing mixed bags or boxes for the girls again, which is always a lot of fun. I’ve already got body sprays from the Body Shop for everyone – we went to the outlet store on the way back from our holiday and got them for about half price. My soap making book has just arrived at home so I’m looking forward to reading that later and making soap for everyone, and I’ve chosen the toys I’m going to make. Last year I made everyone a little knit bunny. This year I’m going to make Holly, Ivy and Steve. I’ve had the pattern a little while. It’s for sock yarn, but I’ll be using my acrylic dk stash. I think they’re super cute. I have two groups of three – three friends, and my two sisters in law, plus brother in laws girlfriend, so they’ll I’ll make all the monsters twice, then pick my favourite a third time for my brother’s girlfriend.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Buds of May
Colour Affection
Blue Jean Wrap
at least six more

Hats

Calorimetry
Autumn Vines Beret
Quick Cable Slouch Hat/Lotus Hat
Maybe a hat for my husband

Cowls

Two or three (or more) but no patterns picked yet

Vests

Vestpa (may change this one, since stockinette is not exciting)
Twisted stitch cables – Circe Vest
Cables –  Green Day

Jumpers/Tops

One with cables – maybe Collins or something similar.
One with stripes – Tubey
Lacey Tunic
Fingerless Gloves

A couple of pairs with cables – Swirling Gauntlets
New Era (I will get these right if it kills me!)

Extras

Use up cotton for face cloths – 88 yrds/574 yrds used!
Use up Stash – 137.4 yards used!
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Quentin
Daphne and Delilah
Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift
Ravellenics Shawl