Liz Corke Knit Design

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October 10, 2012

It’s freezing here this week. I’m planning my winter knitting – new gloves (maybe fingerless for me) and hats for me and my husband. I’m going to have a look at cowl patterns too.

My shawl is causing me a few problems – I seem to make exactly the same mistakes every few rows which is just careless! My cosy tunic is going well though. I’m about halfway through the lace portion of the tunic. I have no idea how the fit is going though. I think once I’m done the lace I’m going to put it on a lifeline and block it. While my blocked gauge is just about perfect for the pattern, my knitted gauge is a good few stitches smaller, so there’s no use in trying it on like this.

This is my Year of Projects update again, as well as WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!

October 3, 2012

I decided to combine my Year of Projects, WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along posts this week. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my designs that I can’t show you, so I decided to wait till I could be more interesting! I’m hoping for a special package in the post today. I have a set of KnitPro Interchangeable needles, which I really love using but they’re nickle plated and don’t react well with my skin. I don’t have a serious allergy – I’ve heard of some people that get itchy or numb hands and arms from their needles – but my needles do tarnish very quickly and feel sticky so I end up polishing them every day or two. I’ve ordered myself a Chiagoo 4mm fixed circular to try out. They’re stainless steel so shouldn’t cause me any problems, but I’ll let you know all about it when it gets here!

Steve still isn’t finished, but I’ve cast on something new. I’m knitting my monsters with 3.5mm needles and dk yarn at a very tight guage so that the stuffing doesn’t poke through and my shawl with 4mm needles and fingering weight yarn, so I’ve cast on something to give my hands a break. I’ve started my second lacey tunic in aran yarn. With the last one I went around and picked up the cast on stitches and added a moss stitch border which I really like, so this time I added the moss stitch border from the start. I also used a new (to me) cast on called the “Old Norwegian”. It’s a variant on the long tail cast on and I really like how it looks. I went up a couple of needle sizes for the cast on and it feels nice and stable yet stretchy.

I haven’t been reading much this week, but I did get a new book last week. It’s Cast On, Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor. I really love this book. The spiral binding is perfect for a craft book and saves you needing to prop it open, and the photos that guide you through the steps and really clear and easy to follow. This is, of course, where I learnt about the Old Norwegian cast on.

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

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.

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 9, 2012

We’re away this week and we forgot to take the camera cable with us, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to put up with a photoless post today. I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made this week. I’ve finished the shawl I’m designing and it’s already in testing on Rav.

Most of my effort this week is going into my Lacey Tunic. It’s almost there. I have one sleeve to do, and then the neckline and it’s done. I’m giving up on the cowl I think, and just doing a seed stitch border. I really like how it looks on and it’s a great fit. I’m tempted to make a second one with three quarter length sleeves for autumn/spring – with more yarn so I can have the cowl neck. It’s the biggest problem with knitting from stash!

I have loads of plans for this month. My husband is getting a Basil the Brontosaurous, which fits nicely into potions, and I’m doing my New Era gloves again, which are a perfect fit for another class. I think I’m going to do the Momijigari this month as well, if I can fit it in. So not much progress with my list yet, but this week I should be able to get started.

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 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 2, 2012

Here we are at the start of a new Year (of Projects). I’m really looking forward to this year. I’ve got some plans and targets that I’m making part of my list but I’m likely to change patterns at points! I’ve built in some bigger projects that I should be able to do as OWL projects and Order of the Phoenix missions as well as smaller projects I might be able to fit in as class projects. I love making shawls too so I’m leaving plenty of space for them this year – I’m already taking part in 12 shawls in 2012 and I plan to take part in 13 shawls in 2013 too (assuming it’s still going then) and I think I’d like to try designing more shawls of my own.

First though a progress report. The Lacey Tunic is making more progress. The right front is done and the back is about halfway through. The pattern had you knit the left front, back and front with three balls of yarn (four once you reach the neck shaping on the back) but since I only had two full skiens and a fraction of a third I chose to knit them separately, which is just as well as the little ball ran out before I finished the right front. So I knit the right front, measured and counted the rows so I know how many to do for the other parts. I’m still fluctuating widley from confidence that I’ll have enough yarn to all consuming fear that I won’t. I havev 15g left of the current ball and one more skien left. 65g all together. I’m actually pretty sure I don’t have enough to finish it as the pattern is so my plan is to finish the back (over halfway done already), finish the left front, then I’ll do the sleeves which is just eight rows of moss stitch to make it look nice. The pattern then calls for picking up stitches for the cowl and knitting 8 inches so I’ll just knit until I run out of yarn, or if I really don’t have enough for that, I’ll do a few rows of moss stitch to finish off the neck line instead. At least I’m usinging up a good amount of stash yarn that I’ve had for ages! I can handed in between 8th and 22nd and I have many hours in the car at the weekend, so hopefully this will be finished really soon.

The new list is more of a formula. I plan to do at least twelve shawls, at least three hats, a few cowls, three vests (tank tops), three jumpers (sweaters), several pairs of fingerless gloves, and then use up the rest of my cotton and acrylic. Some of the patterns I’m currently interested in are in the lists but I reserve the right to change them at any time!

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!

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.