Liz Corke Knit Design

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March 23, 2012

A very late post from me today! We’re away at my mother-in-law’s and we’ve had a very busy day of sleeping late and walking dogs. The weather’s been great so we have to take advantage of it, because being on the west coast it’s normally raining here when we come down. I have two things to show off today, first up is Henslowe which you might have seen on Monday in my Year of Projects post.

I really love this pattern. I do have a hard line around the body, and I think next time I’d do what a lot of people  suggested and do double yarn overs at the start of every row. The yarn is fantastic. It’s Stash Addict yarn and it’s gorgeous. It’s really smooth and the colours are great. I love the shades in it and I will definitely be getting more. I’m also really tempted to make a second slightly bigger Henslowe later.

Next up, I finished the case for my interchangeable needles. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I love the fabrics, which were part of the City Girl fat quarters bundle on The Fat Quarters. I made a couple of mistakes with the pattern, but I can live with them. I found the straight stitch setting this time, and I think I’m getting better at doing straight lines.

The little zip purse on the side is great for holding all the little things I keep losing, like my stitch markers and my tape measure. There’s plenty of space for more knitting needles too, so I have room to expand my set – or maybe that’s just an excuse! The purse is stitched into  the side seam of the case so there’s no chance of losing it.

The strap fits quite nicely although I’ve left a little slack in it so that it should be a good fit when the case is full of needles. I found it a lot simpler to make than I expected. I found the straight stitch setting, and I think my straight lines are getting better. As I said on Wednesday, the case is one I reverse engineered after seeing madbird’s cases. I couldn’t wait six weeks to get one, and I like to make things for myself and so I made my own.

Check out Tami’s for some awesome FO Fridays!

March 19, 2012

Another week on and Henslowe is finished! A glass of wine and my faourite new shows for the week were clearly what I needed to motivate me and I got the whole second half of the edging done in one go. I have to confess that I wasn’t completely happy with it when I finished because it still felt really small. I forgot to measure it before blocking though so I’m not sure how small it actually was. When I blocked it though, I got it to stretch out to 51″ wide, which is the exact length as the pattern states.

I’m really happy with the way it sits, although like other people have commented I do find theres a tight line around the body where the yarn overs are. If I make another Henslowe I’ll definitely do double yarn overs when I’m working on that part. I love the lacey border on the shawl, I think it’s fantastic and the yarn is gorgeous!

So having finished Hensloew I get to start something new! I’ve actually started two new projects this weekend and I’m going to be starting a third since we’re going on a tip and I want to have things to take with me. First up is my pin cushion. I’m adapting the Peyote Pincushion pattern to make it bigger and seamless. I really like this pattern, and I have the cutest butterfly button to go with it. I started in the yarn left over from my shawl, but it was going to be absolutely tiny in fingering yarn, so I’m using some of the left over yarn from Magrathea instead. I used a crochet cast on as a provisional cast on to try it out, and I followed the instructions for the base from the pattern. I’ve just picked up the provisional cast on again to start knitting the other half. I think I’m going to do some increases before I get into the pattern, because I think I’d like it to be a little bit wider. This should be a pretty fast knit and might even be done by Friday.

The next thing I cast on (barely) is Tubey. This will be my very first sweater, so hopefully everything will go smoothly. I’ve tinkered with this pattern a little too. Instead of knitting across the back first and then joining in the round for the first sleeve, before picking up the provisional cast on to do the second sleeve, I’m starting with the second sleeve and then I’ll knit across the back. I’m doing it this way because I want to make sure the sleeve fits and is a comfortable size before I’ve knit too much and have to frog back to the start to increase how many stitches I cast on. So far the pattern doesn’t look too hard, and I haven’t found anything that confuses me, so fingers crossed it will all go smoothly.

I’m also going to cast on the Usoa Shawl this week. I’m not looking forward to casting on for this shawl I have to confess. I have to cast on 216 stitches! There’s going to be a lot of counting and re-counting stitches for me I think. I’m really looking forward to this shawl though. It’s knit across from the top down, and the lace is knitted on at the same time, so each row will be faster than the one before. I’m making this one from my Drops Fable, that I bought last year for a different scarf that I ended up not liking, so hopefully things will go better this way. I was crocheting with it before so hopefully I’ll prefer it knitted. I’ve also come to the conclusion that there’s an awful lot of blue in my stash, so my aim is to branch out a little and buy myself more colours!

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
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Clematis – Fyberspates
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

March 7, 2012

Well it’s Wednesday and I’ve been getting a lot done, but I’ve only really been working on Henslowe for the past week – it’s nearly finished and it’s getting exciting! I find that the closer I get to finishing something, the more I practice “project monogomy” *laughs*. The garter stitch body is finished, and the lace section is practically done – I just have 2 rows of garter stitch to finish off the fourth Roman stripe, then 4 more rows of garter stitch and then I’ll be on to the edging. The edging is knit on sideways which will be another first for me.

I love how the pattern has gone so far – the pattern is really well written and easy to read. Each part is really easy to memorise too, and the only challenge so far has been making sure I don’t forget a yarn over. Only one thing is bothering me just now, and that is the width of the shawl. It is currently 33″ wide and while it goes around my shoulders it doesn’t meet in the middle yet. I do have six more rows to do, plus casting on another 7 stitches for the sideways edging, so I’m sure it will a good bit grow a bit wider. And then of course blocking will also help. My biggest worry about it is that I think my bind off might be a little bit tight. I think if I did it again I would use Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, I think.

Tonight, before I get back to work on Henslowe, I’m going to make a new shawl pin, like the one I showed you on Friday, taking loads of photos for a tutorial that will hopefully go up tomorrow. Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is working on over on Tami’s!

March 5, 2012

Time seems to be flying by this year! We’re already in March and there’s only four months of the Year of Projects left. I’m looking forward to continuing next year though! I joined a new group on Ravelry in the last week too – 12 shawls in 2012, which does pretty much what it says – the aim is to complete 12 shawls this year. I’ve already finished one, Magrathea, and posted it to the group and Henslowe is well on the way too. I have more shawls in my list, but I’ll probably rearrange my list a bit too.

And speaking of Henslowe, I’ve done a lot of work on this one this week! The garter stitch body is done, I learnt to do the suspended bind off which wasn’t too complicated and was quite neat although I did drop my stitches a few times. Picking up the stitches round the side went really smoothly, and I’ve completed two repeats of the Roman Stripe pattern with no problems.

I’m being super careful with my yarn overs on this shawl, I don’t want to have to rip back like I did on Magrathea! I’m stopping every half row when I’m doing yarn overs to make sure I have all the yarn over’s in – at least that way I’ll only need to rip back half a row if I miss one, not two rows when I realise my count has gone wrong. I really like how it’s looking so far. I think I should have plenty of yarn to do all four of the Roman Stripes – some people have cut it down to three to make sure they had enough yarn, but from my maths and looking round the helpful projects, I think I’ll be fine.

The only other thing I’ve been working on just now is my silk Garter Ruffles Scarf. I haven’t done every much on it, as Henslowe is exciting and taking up a lot of my time. This scarf is perfect for when I’m feeling  a little tired though, since there’s nothing complicated in it – just an increase and a short row to keep it interesting. I’m nearly a third of the way through it so far. Once I’ve finished Henslowe, I might try to resist the urge to cast on something new and get this one finished, I could really do with having one of my sets of 5mm needles free again – they seem to be the ones I want for everything!

The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 29, 2012

Wednesday has come quickly this week. I have a four day week this week, so this is only my second day of work. I did do a Year of Projects update yesterday, but I’ve managed to get quite a bit done on two of my projects so I have something for you to see. On Tuesdays we’re playing D&D with some of my husband’s friends over skype – so this works out to around four hours of knitting time with small interruptions when it’s my turn!

I didn’t do anything on my Slate Scarf last night, but you can see what I got done while I was away on yesterday’s YoP post here. Henslowe is getting along at a good rate, and I’ve got quite a few more rows done. The lighting in the photo is dodgy, sorry, but you can see where I’ve got 34 loops down the side. I’m on 42 loops on that side now, and I hope to have the body of the shawl done by the weekend. At the moment I think it looks a little small, but I’m sure once the border is on and I block it it’ll probably stretch out quite a bit. At the moment I’d guess it’s about shoulder width on me – although I don’t have it here so I can’t test.

The Garter Ruffles Scarf grew quite a lot last night. I’m using a locking stitch marker now, and you can see I’ve put it over the last increase stitch. It’s making my life much easier since I can easily see where I did my last increase, I’m not loosing track of whether I should be doing one or not. There’s just a hint of ruffling in it just now. I think it’s because it’s gorgeously drapy silk that the ruffles aren’t showing so well, but the pattern suggests doing a crochet chain along the edge of the short rows to tighten things up if the ruffles don’t show well, and I think that shuold solve any problems with it. I’ve put aside about 6g of yarn for the crochet chain later – the pattern reccommended 5g, but I like to be on the safe side. I love working on this scarf – the silk feels heavenly when it’s sliding through my fingers!

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s to see everyone else’s WIP!

February 28, 2012

I’ve got horribly behind with my blogs and blogging again! While I was in London I had data turned off on my phone to save the battery, and now I have 245 blogs to read! I was so busy getting packed on Wednesday night too, so I didn’t have time to write my FO Friday post in advance either. But London was fantastic, although really hot! I spent most of my time going around in just a tank top and carrying Magrathea around with me. Magrathea was perfect. Nice and warm if we were walking in the shadows a lot. My feet have just about recovered now from all the walking we did! The shows were fantastic, all of them, although especially Les Mis which I’ve been dying to see for years, and The Mousetrap was a lot of fun. I did better than my friends and managed to guess one character’s secret, although none of us guessed the murderer!

I managed to get some knitting done on the way down on the train – and I wasn’t the only one knitting either. On the way back though the train was really busy and it was a bit aof a squeeze so I didn’t try. I got a good bit done on the Slate Scarf. This pattern is great for easy knitting without too much concentration, although I’m finding the yarn a little bit splittty which is annoying. My new needles did arrive in time, so I restarted this one on Wednesday before I packed it, and I like it better now, 5.5mm was just a bit too loose.

The Garter Ruffles Scarf actually defeated me! You do an increase every second row, and I could never remember which row I was on, which was pretty awkward! I’m going to be using a removeable marker now so I can put it over the increase stitch and hopefully remember where I’ve got too. I like this pattern, and the yarn, being a silk/alpaca blend, feels fantastic! I’m enjoying working on this one so I’m hoping to get a lot more done soon. The silk does seem quite loose though, so I think I’m definitely going to have to use a crochet chain when I’m finished to help the ruffles stand out nicely, but I like the way the chain looks anyway.

I should really have written this post yesterday, but here’s the reason I didn’t. I was having too much fun knitting Henslowe! I’m up to 40 loops on on side now which is about 79 or 80 rows. When I get to 50 rows, I’ll count the other side. I need 52 loops on each side so I can pick up 104 loops to start the border. I discovered this weekend that one of my friends knits! Although she mostly sticks to stockinette stitch scarves, I showed her the other things I had with me, like my cowl and my phone sock, and showed her Ravelry so hopefully she’ll get hooked *laughs*. She’s put me under strict instructions to have Henslowe ready for the next time I see her, which should be the end of March, so I need to get on with this one.

That’s about it for my progress this week, so here’s my list again:

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 20, 2012

Another week has been and gone already, and I imagine this week will pass even faster for me! I have three days at work, then a four day trip to London, which I’ve already mentioned quite a few times, and I’m really excited about! We’re going to see a few shows – Les Misérables on Thursday which I’ve wanted to see ever since I learnt to play the music on the piano about ten (or more!) years ago, Friday is Blood Brothers, and Saturday is Mousetrap – Agatha Christies play. I’m not sure what else we’re going to do, there’ll be two of us on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday another friend is joining us. The two girls I’m going with were my bridesmaids, and we don’t see each other too much these days, since I’m in Aberdeen and they are near Leeds, so I’m really excited about the trip.

I’m taking the train down and back which is a 7 hour trip each way, so I’ve cast on a couple of projects, and I’ll be getting a new book and an audiobook for the trip. And that brings me to what I’ve been knitting this week! First up is my finshed Magrathea. I really love this shawl! It’s so warm with the wool cotton mix and the yarn is so soft. It feels fantastic. The pattern was good and easy to follow, although I did occasionally have problems with missing yarn overs. Blocking didn’t go 100% as I intended. Most of it went well, but the second half of the border hasn’t held the points I tried to put in, so I think I’ll try reblocking the border tonight, and hopefully it’ll come out nicely second time. I’m planning to take Magrathea down to London with me, so I want to give it plenty of time to dry out before I go.

I’ve also been working away at Henslowe. I have ripped everything out once, because I realised I’d missed a yarn over back at the start. The yarn over’s are really important as you pick them up to make the border, so making sure I don’t miss any is important, and I’d hate to get to the end of the body, then realise the second row had a missing loop! The yarn is gorgeous. I love the way the colours are working up together, and with no pooling too. It feels really nice – soft but springy, although I imagine blocking will rduce the springyness a little.

I also cast on a couple of new projects, and come to the realisation I really need a second pair of 5mm needle tips! The first is the garter ruffles scarf. I’m making this one with Debbie Bliss Andes, which was the second yarn gift from my husband for Christmas! It feels gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to wearing this one. The pattern is pretty simple, it has a short repeat with short rows and an increase, so it should be perfect for the train. I wanted to make sure I was happy with the projects I’m taking with me, so I cast them on early. The second is a scarf with Patons Smoothie DK. I had planned to do Branching Out with this yarn, but I was having trouble getting the cast on right. It needs to be loose because you increase quite a lot of stitches at the start of the lace repeat, before decreasing again, but I kept casting on too tight and it wouldn’t stretch nicely. So instead I’m making Cream of Spinich. I really like this pattern. it’s got a nice simple repeat, and I love the texture of the passed over stitches. No photos of this one I’m afraid, I started it after I’d done the photo’s of the others.

Last but definitely not least is my crochet hairpin lace blanket. I finished another strip on Friday and got it all joined up. I like how it’s going so far, but I’m about to have my first real colour change. I think the colours will look ok together but only time will tell. The next colour is Sunshine. I’ve decided the blanket will probably find a home on our sofa, but I’m still going to make it big enough for a double bed, because that will give me more options later on – I wouldn’t want to end up wishing I’d made it bigger a year or two down the line!

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 15, 2012

Well Wednesday is here and I have a new project to show you! I finally finished off the lace edge for Magrathea and it’s ready to be blocked! I have some new blocking mats – the interlocking ones on the way, but I don’t think they’ll come before tomorrow, or Friday, and I really want to get Magrathea blocked so I’ll probably  get out spare towels and my yoga mat and use them tonight. My yoga mat is too thin to hold the pins so I have to put a couple of towels under it, which is why I decided to get some new mats – plus my yoga mat isn’t wide enough for big shawls. The bind off edge of Magrathea is going to take a bit of blocking to give it the same nice spikey edge as the other side. I’m really excited to see this one done, and I’m planning to take it down to London with me next week. Here’s a photo of the nearly finished lace for you.

I let my hairpin lace blanket fall by the wayside a little last week, because I was so keen to get on with Magrathea this week. But I picked it back up yesterday, and I’m currently on 250 loops on my third strip. It should be finished and joined up by the weekend if everything goes to plan.

And last night I cast on something new! I’m finally getting to use my stash addict yarn and it is gorgeous! I love the colours and the way they sit together, and the Blue faced leciester yarn is lovely and soft. I’m never used BFL before, and I really like it. I’ve cast on for Henslowe. It looks beautiful in the photos and hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard. It will be the first crescent shaped shawl I’ve done and so far it’s going well. I’m using 3.5 mm needles which are tiny! the only in my right hand is fine, but holding the one in my left feels a little awkward.  I think it’s partly the change from 5mm to 3.5mm and I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon.

Check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays!