Liz Corke Knit Design

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February 8, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find it now:

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

December 19, 2017

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

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

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

October 30, 2017

I startedIMG_3367small designing Bestla when I needed a shawl for my best friend’s wedding and I had nothing that worked with my dress in my collection! The lace in the body of the shawl is a pattern I’ve been waiting years to use and I’m so happy to have finally found the perfect use for it. I had three weeks to knit the shawl originally, but it needed some refinements I didn’t have time to do before the wedding, so I’ve now knit Bestla three times, and I’ve loved it every time!

Bestla is written in two sizes for one or two skeins of fingering/4ply weight yarn and it’s super easy to change the size by working more or less repeats of the lace section. The shawl is a shallow crescent shape, with an elongated garter tab to eliminate the hump common in crescent shawls, a stockinette body, followed by a IMG_3448 smallwide lace section and finished with a delicate leaf border. It’s named after Bestla who was a Norse frost giantess and the mother of Odin.

The pattern is now available on Ravelry, Loveknitting and here on my website. I really hope you’ll enjoy knitting it as much as I have! Use the coupon code on Ravelry and my website BESTLABLOG for 20% off until the 5th Nov!

August 8, 2017

Sometimes we all need IMG_2567aan easy knit – when you’re watching a thrilling drama or chatting along at knit night – or in my case when I was pregnant/had a tiny baby! I love that the Ancient Greeks had a spirit dedicated to ease and simplicity, and this shawl is named for her – Apheleia.

Choose two contrasting colourways of your favourite yarn and jump straight in! Knitted all in garter stitch this deliciously squishy shawl will keep you warm whatever the weather. The crescent shape of the shawl keeps is nicely on your shoulders

This pattern has been a long time in the making and I’m really excited to be releasing it at last! You can find the pattern on Ravelry, Loveknitting and here on my website! If you buy in the next three days you’ll automatically get 50% off when you buy from my website and Ravelry.

I love to see the shawls (and gloves and blankets) you make from my patterns so please do link them on Ravelry or if you use Instagram, tag me (@lizcorke.knits)! You can also join me in my group on Ravelry – if there’s enough interest I would love to host a Knit Along (KAL) soon!

August 6, 2015

aIMG_2475All 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 cIMG_1649weeks – 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.

aIMG_2669_fixedThe 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 websiteRavelryCraftsy, 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!

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/

January 1, 2015

BrighdeA little later than planned, what with colds, flu and baby bronchiolitis, Christmas and visiting family, here is my latest pattern! Brighde is the Goddess of Spring and Summer – legend has it the Beira locks her up during the winter, and when she’s free we have spring and summer again! These gloves have been so long in the making – the left hand glove was knit last year while I was pregnant, and the photo shoot was done with my (at the time) five month old baby boy. Now he’s nearly seven months old and this is around the time that I knit the first glove last year! I’m lucky my gauge hadn’t changed.

 

IMG_1024I really love these gloves. I knew when I was reading the legends behind Beira that I would have to make a complimentary pattern for Brighde – in green for the spring. The main cable on these gloves is mirrored on each hand – something that I only remembered 20 rounds into the cable on the second glove, so I had pull my cable out and start over – oops!

IMG_0987The photoshoot for the gloves was a lot of fun. We went to the forest near our home where I grew up, and it was my baby’s first walk there. We had a a great time showing him trees and leaves, and he made sure the whole thing didn’t take too long by complaining whenever he felt we’d been in one place long enough. The hardest part was trying to choose the photos for the pattern pages – He’s so cute that I had a hard time limiting the photos with him in!

If you buy Brighde before 11.59pm on the 5th January, you’ll get an automatic 25% off the price on Ravelry/my website. On Loveknitting (see below) the price is lower to reflect the discount.


Due to new rules brought in by the EU all digital sales to customers in the EU must pay VAT to customers own country. Because of this new law, I will be selling patterns from Ravelry to EU members through the Loveknitting site. Your patterns will still be added to the Ravelry library and everything else should be fairly easy – you can still pay using paypal, or you can choose to use a credit card on the Loveknitting site. This won’t apply to those outside of the EU or to those in the UK as I don’t yet come close to the UK VAT threshold. My patterns are currently awaiting approval on the Loveknitting site and will hopefully be available in the next couple of days. For a much better explaination of what’s happening, check here!

October 1, 2013

BeiraThis is my first fingerless glove pattern, just in time for winter. My inspiration for this one is a Scottish Goddess, The Cailleach, also known as Beira. She had a lot of roles, but the chief of them was as the Goddess of Winter, which she ruled over from her throne at the top of Ben Nevis. So, how better to stave off the winter cold than by keeping your hands warm? The cables are a traditional Bavarian pattern, but they also remind me of the celtic cables found throughout Scotland dating back centuries.

The cables have been designed to Thumb Detailmerge seamlessly into the ribbing on the cuffs at each end of the glove, and the cable pattern on the back of the hand is matched by the cable below and above the thumb. The thumb cable splits to make way for the thumb gusset with half the cable pattern up each side of the thumb. It merges back together again at the top of the thumb. This is my favourite feature of these gloves, I really love how it’s turned out!

Because the gloves are Beira Detailso stretchy, thanks to the twisted rib, these gloves will fit most women – my hands are a tiny bit under 6.75″ and my mum’s hands are 7.5″ around the knuckles and these gloves fit both of us comfortably! If you do want to adjust them for bigger or smaller hands, that’s really easy too – just add or subtract a few pairs of stitches to the palm and back of the hand.

One more special thing I love aboutBeira these mitts is the cast on. The Alternating Cast On is so amazingly stretchy I recommend it for all gloves, hats, sock, cuffs, and anything else that needs a stretchy cast on. If you want to try it out, you can find the photo-tutorial here!  The pattern is already up on RavelryCraftsy and here on my website, and it’s waiting for approval on Patternfish so it should be up within a couple of days. For the first few days (until 11.59 pm UK time on the 4th) you can get 50% off if you buy it from Ravelry or my website, so don’t wait too long!

September 30, 2013

This is my absolute favourite cast on for anything that needs to stretch. I’m releasing a pattern for fingerless mitts tomorrow and I wanted to share this cast on with you all. It’s a variation on a long tail cast on, and this is how it works.

Alternating Cast On 1

1. Start by holding the yarn around your thumb and index finger. The ball
end should be round the thumb and the yarn tail round the index finger.

Alternating Cast On 2

2. Take the needle from the back of the hand under the yarn between your thumb and index finger and twist it through 180°.

Alternating Cast On 3

3. Take the needle tip under the yarn on your thumb.

Alternating Cast On 4

4. Next take the needle over, then under the yarn on your index finger.

Alternating Cast On 5

5. Bring the needle back through the thumb loop.

Alternating Cast On 6

6. Drop the yarn from your thumb and tighten the stitch.

Alternating Cast On 7

7. Pick up the yarn with your thumb, but this time it should go round the opposite way.

Alternating Cast On 8

8. Take the needle tip under the yarn on your thumb.

Alternating Cast On 9

9. Next take the needle over, then under the yarn on your index finger.

Alternating Cast On 10

10. Bring the needle back through the thumb loop, then drop the yarn from your thumb and tighten the stitch.

Alternating Cast On 11

Pick up the yarn as in step 2 and work from step 3 to 10 repeating until you have the required number of stitches. The stitches should be arranged neatly in pairs.

Once you’ve knit an inch or two of ribbing, test out how stretchy it is!

August 27, 2013

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWorking 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!