Liz Corke Knit Design

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July 12, 2013

Not much has been happening this week I’m afraid! My mother-in-law is coming tonight so there’s been a lot of tidying and very little knitting this week. We did manage to get one knitting related thing done though.

WeFlying managed a photoshoot for three shawls on Tuesday evening. Evening isn’t really my favourite time for photo taking, mostly because of the golden hour. If you haven’t heard the term before, this is the period of time in the evening when the sun is getting low, and it casts a yellow glow across everything. Up here just now, the golden “hour” seems to start at six and go on till about 10 when the sun starts to go down!

As a result, I had to do a bit of fiddling with the photos to get the colours to come out properly and I think I managed quite well. The three shawls we shot were Flying without Wings (which you can see photos of in this post), Philotes (which will be the KAL, more details next week!) and Aoide (which you’ll see in August).

WingsI really like the location we used for these shots. It looks like it should be out somewhere really peaceful, but it’s actually on the banks of the River Dee and to my left in the photos where two dual carriage ways meet at one of the busy roundabouts in the city. It’s also a popular dog walking spot. The Flying without Wings photos are already up on Ravelry and will go up here in a couple of days. Check back in on Tuesday for more details on the KAL!

June 25, 2013

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!

July 31, 2012

I’m so excited this morning! My first pattern, Flying Without Wings, has just gone live on Ravelry. Officially my pattern test doesn’t finish till Friday, but six out of eight of my testers are done, and I just can’t wait any more! I’m really loving the process of designing and making my own patterns – although I really wish I had more time and hands to knit with! I’m working on my second design, but my third is already planned and I just need the time to finish number two before I can get with it and do all the maths and swatching. I really want to thank everyone who has made such helpful and supportive comments while I’ve been working on this! It means a lot to me.

Ravelry make it so easy to put up a patternKingfisher juvenile that my biggest problem was coming up with a name for my shop. I would have used Yarn Berry, but I found that there was a wordpress blog called Yarnberry as the source of another pattern, so I had to come up with something different. My Ravelry shop is called Kingfisher Knits. I like everything to be linked, so my blog will be changing very soon to be called Kingfisher Knits and be hosted on a new domain. Blogger should automatically forward you though so don’t worry about losing me! The photo was taken by imageprovider on flickr under a creative commons licence. Isn’t it gorgeous! I love kingfishers, and although you very rarely see them this far north I have seen a few around my uncle’s house near Glasgow. They’re so tiny and vibrant!

July 16, 2012

Year of Project days seem to be coming round very quickly at the moment. Last week was a funny week – full of busy days and do nothing days. Monday was our last day with my mother in law, Tuesday was a seven hour drive home, Wednesday was relaxing, Thursday and Friday were back to work, Saturday we were out all day helping out at the village Garden’s Open Weekend where my parents live, and Sunday was relaxing again. I got a fair bit of knitting done on Saturday since it wasn’t very busy and I was back up raffle ticket writer – for busy periods that never came. So I spent a good bit of time knitting and talking to the old ladies. Hopefully they were busier on Sunday.

I cast on Momijigari this week. It’s a bit of a relief to finally be doing something new after my never-ending projects. This one is a present for one of my friends. Her favourite colour is purple so it should go down well. I love how it’s turning out so far. The yarn is superwash merino and really soft. There’s a row of eyelets that you can’t see very well in the photo, and the yarn over loops down the side I’ll pick up later to do the edging. The construction is similar to Henslowe which makes sense since it’s by the same designer. I’m nearly halfway through the body, but I’m tempted to add in a few extra rows to make it a little longer but I’ll check my gauge first.

The Lacey Tunic is done at last. I’m really happy with it and with how it fitted. I’ve washed it since taking the photos and it was pretty much dry this morning – after about four days – so I haven’t had the chance to try it on again, but I’m hoping it hasn’t changed size at all. I just washed it and laid it out to dry, flipping it over a few times to help the drying along. I’m a little nervous of finding out if it still fits, but I’ll find out tonight. You can read a lot more about the tunic and my shawl on Friday’s post, I don’t want to make this one too long or repeat myself too much!

My Flying Without Wings shawl is completly done now. I reblocked it last week and it’s gone from 79″ long by 12″ deep to 74″ long to 16″ deep and I’m really happy with it now. I showed it off to my mum on Saturday, and she showed it off to her friends at the Open Gardens. Testing is also going well, two people have finished, two are ready to block and once the other four get a bit further along I’ll know when I can release the pattern – it should be around the end of the month though! The second and possibly final version of the pattern is done but I want to make sure there’s no mistakes – copy and paste is very helpful, but not when you forget to change the numbers.

This weeks plans are to keep going with Momijigari and hopefully finish the body. I’m going to cast on my New Era gloves – I tried to start them last week, but my gauge was off, so I’m going to add on a few stitches and hopefully that should sort the problem. I’m also hoping to get underway with Basil. I did start him this week, but I think I’m going to start again and go down another needle size. I’m working with two strands of DK held together so it’s hard to estimate the needle size and I’ve been avoiding swatching.

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Momijigari -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
First raglan – Blisco

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 acrylic – 137.4/8300 yards used! (I’m making serious hints to my husband about The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my birthday!)
Do more colour work!

July 13, 2012

It’s the week you’ve all (or a few of you anyway) have been waiting for. I’ve finished my Flying Without Wings Shawl, and my Lacey Tunic and I have photos! They aren’t the best photos ever but I think my photographer and I have worked out what the problems are – if something is folded over, he should help me fix it and not take the photo. We will need to take a few more photos of the shawl, hopefully on a nicer day when it’s not trying to drizzle on me!

Flying Without Wings is still being pattern tested but it should be ready by the end of the month. The deadline for finishing is the 3rd of August and I already have one tester ready to block. I had a lot of fun designing this shawl, and I already have a sketch, ready to become a design of a second. I used Rowan Pure Wool 4ply and it is really soft. I loved working with the yarn, but now that it’s been blocked twice, it’s amazing. I can’t believe it could have softened up so much, when it was already really soft to begin with. I used up a little over three skiens of yarn – about 590 yards work. I’m a tight knitter so I’m looking forward to finding out how much yarn my test knitters use. This is also my second shawl over 500m and my seventh shawl for the 12 in 2012 group on Rav.

One thing that I think was a mistake, was using green for my shawl. Since I was designing feathers and feathers are really an awful lot like leaves in shape, using green just increased their likeness to leaves. All in all though, I’m happy with it and how the three rows of feathers make up a wing. It has a huge cast on – 461 stitches! – but I love the length. After reblocking it’s 74″ long by 16″ deep, which is an improvement on 79″ long and 12″ deep. I’m about to hand it in for my OWL homework and hopefully get full points for Ravenclaw.

Next up is the Lacey Tunic. I really love how this has turned out. I used pretty much all 880 yards of the yarn in my stash. It’s Twilleys Freedom Sincere Organic Cotton and it is gorgeously soft. I was stuck for a long time on how to use up this yarn, so I’m glad I found this pattern. I knit pretty titghtly and my guage was way way off, but hopefully that also means that it’s less likely to grow during the day. As long as it grows downwards I’m not too worried either. I don’t have any new detail shots of this one, because it’s currently soaking wet and struggling to dry out. I’m really worried about washing it, so I decided to get it over with as quickly as possible. I’m not blocking it out, but leaving it flat on one of my mats to dry. I made a few changes to the pattern. One of the other projects on Ravelry suggested 6 rows between the moss stitch band and the bust increases, which I did, although I think short rows would have been better. I also changed the neckline to 8 rows of moss stitch – the first five rows I did with my  4mm needle, then two rows with a 3.5mm needle and the last row with a 3mm needle, before binding off with a 3.5mm needle. I didn’t want to have to decrease stitches, so I figured this was the easiest way to keep it neat and not ruffling at the corners. To finish off I used every scrap of yarn I had left and added six rows of moss stitch to the bottom weighing how much I had left every round.

I’m seriously thinking about doing a second Lacey Tunic for winter. Maybe with a wool and cotton mix. Next time I’d start with a band of moss stitch, definitely add in a bit more bust shaping, three quarter length sleeves and a proper cowl neck, and make a top that’s suitable for winter – or a cold day in summer, like we’re mostly having now.

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

July 12, 2012

I’ve done really badly with blogging this week! Partly it was because we were away at my in-laws, and I didn’t really get that much done anyway. Partly it was problems with photos and partly it was timing – I had nothing on the needles for WIP Wednesday yesterday. My husband tried to take photo’s of me wearing the shawl on Thursday, but I’d much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. It was really sunny for a change too, and I kept squinting or I had a really stupid expression on my face, or something was wrong! Wish us better luck tonight! I also wanted to reblock my shawl, since it wasn’t as deep as I liked. I did think it was 15″ deep, but it turned out my husband was “helping” and it was only 12″ deep. I blocked it out again last night and on the mats it measures 20″ at the middle so I’m happy that it’ll be deeper even if it does spring back a little. The points kept wanting to fold up too, so hopefully that will be helped with this second blocking. The shawl is represented in the photo by one of my left over skiens.

Peeking over at the back is my Lacey Tunic. It’s pretty much finished, I just need to get all the ends sewn in. There are a lot of ends! I’ll persevere and get it all done tonight and hopefully photographed too – you might be lucky and get a double FO Friday tomorrow. I finished the tunic with about 6″ of yarn left! I didn’t even try for a cowl neck, but I did add six rows of seed stitch to the bottom of the tunic, with careful weighing after each row to see if I could make it round again. I really love how it’s turned out. I’m petrified of washing it though, in case it doesn’t fit any more. It’s also 100% dk weight cotton, so it needs to dry flat and it’ll take forever, so photos first then washing, and I’m not going to block it, just lay it flat.

Also in the photo are my yellow and red for Basil the Boogie Woogie Brontosaurous. I’ve got two balls of each because Penelope turned out a little small, so I’m going to knit with double strands. It’s the first time I’ve done this so it should be interesting. The big grey ball will be New Era gloves. I tried to cast these on a few times today, but they weren’t working out for me. My gauge is too tight with the 4.5mm needles but the 5mm needles look too loose. So I’m going to add six stitches or so and see if that works out for me. The purple ball has been sitting around for ages and it’s time has finally come. It’s going to become a Momijigari for my friend. Her birthday is November, but I like to be ready early! You can also see some fabrics peeking out under the yarn. I’m really looking forward to doing things with them. So far my plans are the drawstring bags I was talking about a while ago – the plan is to make them reversable with a pocket on the inside. I’m also going to make a crochet hook case, like the needle case I made a little while ago, and a needle book for my sewing needles, because they are always disappearing!

July 6, 2012

I’m afraid this post will be a little shawl is disappointing for you. I finished my shawl on Wednesday night, and got it all pinned out just before one in the morning. I made quite a few changes right at the end – like adding in a few rows. I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s really long, although not quite as deep as I’d hoped. I was aiming for 75″ long, and my shawl is 79″ so I’m happy with that, and it’s 12″ deep. I think I could re-block it to be deeper though, so I’ll do that next week. Here’s the disappointing part – I don’t have any good photos of it yet! So you’ll have to wait to see it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some good photos over the weekend.

The Lacey Tunic is back on the needles and I’m about halfway through the left front. Other than that, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my weekend. I might start the New Era gloves that I bought yarn for last week or my husband requested Basil the Brontosaurus. There’s also the Momijigari shawl – I’ve had the ball of yarn sitting on my desk for weeks waiting. I’m also considering the Autumn Vines Beret. So I have plenty of options to take with me, plus a few balls of cotton that I could use for face cloths – I’ll have to check back over the prompts for the HPKCHC and see what I can make fit. I also got a load more fat quarters this week, so I’m thinking of more drawstring project bags, and maybe a crochet hook case like the needle case I made. I’m definitely going to make a needle book (for sewing needles) and we’ll see what else I can think of!

Have a great weekend everyone! Check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

July 4, 2012

Summer is turning out to be really miserable here – if it isn’t fog, it’s haar, and if it isn’t that it’s raining! Fingers crossed for my husband today – he’s trying to get a summer job (he’s a student the rest of the year) and he has an interview at 12!

On to the projects! These two will be finished very soon. It’s so exciting I just want to knit both all the time, but work and sleep both get in the way! My shawl is really close to being finished. I almost finished it last night but I decided there was just too much to do to stay up late and finish. I have 10-12 more short rows to do and then I need to work out how I’m finishing it. It will be blocked tonight, and then it’s going into pattern testing! I don’t know when I’ll be able to get good photos of it though. The weather is so miserable that outdoors isn’t an option just now and the forcast isn’t getting better. Maybe we’ll find some sun at the weekend.

The lacey tunic is tantalisingly close to being done. I forced myself to set this one aside until my shawl is finished, but I’m really excited to get it done too. I grafted the right front and back together last night and tried it on and it fits perfectly! The moss stitch band has ended up under my bust just where I wanted it. The arem hole is perfect, which is good because I was nervous about it. The length is exactly what I wanted. It’s my first fitted piece and I’m really excited that it’s going to fit! I need to knit the left front, graft it to the back, pick up and knit eight rows of moss stitch on each sleeve, then pick up and knit the cowl neck as much as I can. I might skip the cowl neck and change it to a moss stitch band like the a few other people have. I’m going to wait and see how much yarn I have left – I’m about to start my last skein.

I finished The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe last week, but I haven’t started anything new yet. I’m going to be good and choose something that’s already on my kindle, but I’m not sure what yet. I’ve got a few books that I got from the daily deals, or I might go on the fantasy kick that I was looking forward to a little while ago. I’ll see what I’m in the mood for at lunch time!

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

July 3, 2012

This week I swatched three times and I’ve learnt mostly that it doesn’t really matter which needle I use. There was less than half an inch difference between the 4.5mm needle and the 5mm needle and the same between the 5mm and the 5.5mm needle. What did make a difference was how I blocked it. I could focus on width or height or try to strike a balance between the two. So I’m going to keep going with the 4.5mm needles. The positive to this is that I don’t have to rip out what I’ve already done on the body and I prefer the way the fabric looks. If I think I need to I can always add in a few more rows after I’ve finished the short rows.

I really hope this will be finished very soon. I’m puting my Lacey Tunic to one side after I’ve kitchenered the front and back right sides together, and I’m going to try and push to get the shawl finished very soon. Ideally I want to finish it on Wednesday and get it blocked out and ready by Friday. We’re going down to my in-laws after work on Friday and I’d love to take the finished shawl with me. I’ve also finished the pattern. It’s just waiting for me to finish in case I need to make any last minute adjustments. Once they’re both done I’ll be able to hand in my OWL and I’ll be looking for pattern testers in the Free Pattern Testers group on Ravelry. I want to get it all finished so I can have testing done this month and hopefully get the pattern up on Ravelry in August.

June 27, 2012

We’re having a miserable summer so far this year. I really hope it picks up soon and the sun makes a reappearance. On the positive side, you can tell it is summer now because the light stays till 11 pm and is back by 3.30 in the morning. The window now has to stay closed at night. Being so close to the trees means the dawn chorus is very loud very early!

I’m still hard at work on my two everlasting projects. My Lacey Tunic sends me from terror to delight on a regular basis! I tried it on again last night and the fit is great, but at the same time I’m still not sure if I’ll have enough yarn to finish. I’ve just separated for the neck which is a quite exciting but does mean I have to do a lot of purling now. In a few rows I’ll be separating for the arm holes too. The pattern has you knit both fronts and the back at the same time with three balls of yarn, but I’m going to knit each one separately since by that point I don’t think I’ll have three balls of yarn anymore, and I can see myself getting muddled and knitting the wrong bit with the wrong ball. I’ve been following the instructions for the 2XL size because my gauge was so far off the pattern gauge so when I get to this line “Work even in St st until armhole measures 6[6.5, 7, 7.5, 8, 8.25, 8.5] inches, ending on a WS row.” I’ll have to remember to adjust for my size – I don’t need an 8.25″ armhole!

As far as my shawl goes, I’m back to swatching. I’ve never swatched so much in my life! This time I’m not sure if the body is going to be as big as I want it so I’m swatching garter stitch in different needle sizes, then blocking them to see how much they grow and what I’m happiest with. I’m enjoying the process but it’s also a bit stressful and I really wish there was a way to just see what it would looklike without having to knit it!

Last week I was on The Magician’s Nephew, and this week I’m on to the most famous of the Narnia books, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I really love how the books link together. Although I know both books really well, I love finding new little things in them that either work in the audio books I had or that I missed when I was younger.

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