Liz Corke Knit Design

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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 17, 2012
It’s funny how time moves, sometimes it plods along at a normal rate, othertimes it flies by and you wonder what happened to all those plans you had, and sometimes it drags and seems to be taking forever to get anywhere! But one way or another, we always get to Friday and this week I’m ready to unveil Magrathea to you!

My new blocking mats arrived on Wednesday, a whole day earlier than expected, and for once they left the parcel with neighbours, which was good, since otherwise we have quite a walk to get it, and it’s an awkwardly sized parcel! The mats are wonderful. They lock together very nicely and easily, and they’re perfect for sticking pins into. My yoga mat was so thin I had to use at least three towels underneath to give the pins some grip, as the floor was far too hard for sticking pins in. Blocking Magrathea went pretty well, although the straight edge hasn’t spiked as much as I had hoped, so I might give the edge a second go. I really love Magrathea though!

The pattern was pretty easy, and I did eventually manage to memorise the lace border repeats. I don’t really why it took me so long – it was only eight rows, and four of them were purl/knit rows. The yarn is gorgeous. It is Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran, which is a wool/cotton mix. My husband got me two skiens for Christmas, and I got another two skiens (same colourway, luckily) in the sales to finish it off. I used about two and two thirds for the main body of the shawl, and almost the whole of the fourth skien for the lace border on the edge. All in all, I’m glad I stopped when I did, otherwise I might not have had enough yarn to finish! I forgot to measure it before I blocked it, but the size now is 175 cm x 33 cm at the widest point. It’s a great size for wrapping and it can either be worn as a scarf or a shawl, which gives me really nice flexibility.
The pattern was really good, and well written and wasn’t confusing at all. I also learnt Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which is a really nice bind off and I’d definitely use it again. The yarn is beautifully soft and really warm too. Hopefully I’ll get plenty of oppertunities to use it this spring and summer, and I’ll be taking it down to London with me next week.
From Tursday to Sunday next week I’m going to be in London with a couple of my best friends, having a great time and leaving my poor husband behind, so I’ll have loads to tell you when I get back. I do have some crafty plans for this week though, so I’ll be scheduling a post to go out next Friday, remember to come back and see me! Also if you visit regularly you might have noticed my blog has moved. I decided I prefered blogger to tumblr, so I’ve moved my blog over. Let me know what you think to the new design!

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else has been up to over on Tami’s!

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!

February 13, 2012

Here we are at another Monday, and another whole week till the weekend! It was sort of light on my way to work this morning, so it’s starting to feel like spring is actually on the way at last! I’m looking forward to warmer days soon. I’ve been pretty busy this week. We’ve got a new TV – a flat screen at last, instead of our old huge bulky one – so we rearranged the living room to give us more space now we can have the TV wall mounted. It’s opened the room out a lot and makes it feel a lot bigger.

This weekend the Hairpin lace has fallen behind a little, because I’ve got swept away with Magrathea! Magrathea is nearly done! I used around two and a half skiens of yarn to make the body, which was 17 repeats long. Then I joined the fourth skien right befor starting the lace border. I didn’t want to have to join a new skien during the lace, so I thought this way would be best – which didn’t work out because I found a large ugly knot and had to cut it out, but I managed to get the join in the middle of one of the diamonds, so it shouldn’t show too badly. I’ve only got a few more rows left to go, so hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the week and I’ll get it blocked.
The blanket has been going along fine, although it was very ignored yesterday, after I’d started working on the border of my scarf! I have the colours all planned out, so I know which strips I’m doing when. The third strip is underway and I quite like the colours so far, although the pink is very hard to photograph well! The true test will come after this strip, when I move into other colours, and start to get a feel for how the colours will look together. I chose this colour scheme by putting all of the colours into a colour wheel, then taking every third colour , round and round in circles. I have 19 colours, so using every third number let it go round nicely, moving the pattern over one colour every time I went round.

The most exciting thing about being nearly done with Magrathea, is that I can start thinking about what to cast on next! I’m off to London a week on Thursday. I’m going there and back by train, which is a seven hour journey each way! That’s 14 hours of knitting time, with no distractions! I’m going to treat myself to a new audio book for the trip, and I’ll work on a Garter Ruffles Scarf on the trip! I’ll be making it with the Debbie Bliss Andes yarn my husband gave me for Christmas – it’s replacing the two options I had in my list before, because it’ll make better use of the yarn. It should be uncomplicated enough not to give me any problems – important when I don’t know if I’ll be able to get internet access on the train – but the short rows will hopefully keep it interesting. As for the next week or so, I should be good and work on my Childhood Memories shawl, but it’s another crochet piece, and I’d really like to have some knitting on the go, along with the blanket which is crochet. I’ve also been longing to do something with my Stash Addict yarn for ages! the blues and greys are gorgeous, and some of my favourite colours. So, I’m going to give in to temptation and cast on for Henslowe.

The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

February 8, 2012

Well this week, I haven’t got too much done. I had a disasterous time with my second New Era glove, which you can read about here. They’ve been banished to the bookshelves for a while, until I can face frogging them – they could be there till autumn! I did manage to finish the hairpin lace strip I was working on last week, as well as a second one, but I haven’t started the third strip yet. I planned out a few different ideas for a blanket and you can see more about the blanket here. My husband chose the pattern he likes best – it’s the middle one on the left in this image, so I’ll be starting that tonight. You can see in the photo, that I’ve joined the first two blanket strips together – they are really easy to join, so I’m going to keep joining as I go. So far I think I need 32 strips, but if I’m joining as I go I can either stop early, or put in some more colours.
Last night I picked up Magrathea again. I’m really glad to be working on it again, and I’m going to resist casting on any large projects till I’ve got it done – everyone needs some instant gratification every now and then! I frogged back to where I’d missed a yarn over the last time, and I’ve done another repeat or so since then. I’d forgotten how soft the yarn I’m using is! It’s gorgeous and I’m loving working on it again. I’m being very careful now, and counting the lace every time I finish a row now, to make sure I’m up to the right place. I need to always have an even number of stitches, either 24, 26 or 28. As long as I can keep that right, everything else should follow on nicely.
I’m already starting to think about this years Christmas presents. For the girls/women I want to try and do as many handmade things as I can – and for the guys too, although they’re a lot harder! I have plans to try a lot of new things this year, like making soap, and I’ll definitely be blogging about them all. So this year I want to start early. I always put a small toy in the boxes I make up for friends and sisters (have a look here). Last year I made knit bunnies for everyone. This year I want to make something else cute! There’s a lot of cute patterns on ravelry like bunny nuggets, chubby chirps, owl puffs and monster chunks. Loads of things that would be prefect for using up the scraps of blanket yarn I’m sure I’ll have, and be cute and cheerful little gifts. So on weeks when I know I’m not going to have anything else finished, and I need a little instant gratification knitting, I’ll be testing out these patterns with scrap yarn in my stash! This week I’m going to make an out of yarn ball. One of my friends is having a baby this summer, and I think some of these in loads of colours would make great little baby toys!
Check out Tami’s to see what everyone else is working on!

January 23, 2012

Another week is over, and we seem to be getting through January quickly. It’s even still a bit light when I leave work now, so it feels like we’re on the way to spring. I’m starting to think about my birthday and Christmas presents for people this year. One thing I’m considering, is letting my best friends choose a few scarf or shawl patterns they like on Ravelry, then making it up for them in some gorgeous yarn. One of my friends is also having a baby, due on the 31st of July, so I’d like to have something ready for her when the baby arrives, so there might be a few more things on the list soon!
This week I’ve been working on my Magrathea. We bought a couple more skiens of yarn to make sure I have enough to finish it. The yarn was on sale in the shop, so I got two for the price of one which was a bonus! The pattern states you need 25% of your yarn to complete the lace border once you’ve reached the length you want. That means, I can use up to three skiens to make the rest of the shawl. I’ve just joined my second skien and I’ve done 8 pattern repeats. I think I probably want it around 16 repeats long, so hopefully I should have enough yarn for that, bearing in mind that each repeat uses up slightly more yarn as the body gets wider. Sorry for the awful photo – my desk isn’t big enough anymore, so I laid it out on the bed, but the lighting is terrible.
I also started out on a Long Nights Cowl, to use up my Drops Nepal yarn. Originally this yarn was going to be a Broomstick Lace Scarf, but I didn’t really like the way it felt when I crocheted it. I love it in garter stitch though, and it feels lovely and soft. I’ve just joined my second skien of yarn for this, and I think I’m around halfway through. I’m hoping that I won’t need to use my third skien of yarn, because I’d like to turn it into some fingerless gloves. There should be just enough in one skien to make a pair.
I’ve added a scissors case and a needle book to my list below, as they’re a couple of things I have missing from my knitting bag. I’ll probably make a case for my crochet hooks later too. My plan for these (and the pincushion) is to make them out of scraps and left over yarn.
I’ve also changed the realta blanket on the list. The idea of making 80+ hexagons, and even more squares and triangles for the blanket is just too boring and I can’t motivate myself to do it. Instead I’m going to be making a hairpin lace blanket – I expect it’ll probably still be boring, but I’m not going to need nearly so many strips – probably only 20-30, so hopefully it won’t be so tedious, and I love the joining method, so I won’t have to sew anything. Once I’ve made a couple of strips I should be able to work out how many I need for the whole blanket. I’ll definitely be blogging about hairpin lace later this week if you want to pop back.
Hope you all have a great week!
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

January 18, 2012

Well Wednesday is here again, and I’ve been doing very well with my blogging this week. I’ve had a post on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so today makes four in a row. I’m not sure what I’m going to post about tomorrow though! This week I’ve been quite busy. I’ve done a bit more on my Magrathea and I think it’s about a third of the length I want now. The thing I love about patterns like this, is that I can just keep going until it’s as long as I want. I have four skiens of yarn for this shawl, and the lace border at the end takes 25% of your yarn according to the pattern, so I can keep going until I’ve used up the other three skeins. I’m about to finish my first skien of yarn and I have the russian join all done and ready.
I also cast on a new small project this week. I was considering turning this yarn into fingerless gloves, but instead I’m making it into a Long Nights Cowl. The cowl looks gorgeous in the photos, although the instructions for assembling it look a bit strange. I’m hoping it’ll make more sense when I’ve reached that stage and I can try it out for myself. It find things often make more sense to me if I just try it instead of overthinking it.  I’m really enjoying the yarn for this project. It’s Drops Nepal which is a wool/alpaca blend and beautifully soft. It’s funny because I bought it originally for a crochet broomstick lace scarf and I wasn’t really keen on the feel of it then, but in garter stitch I love it. It’s surprising how differently crochet and knitting make yarn feel sometimes.
To see what everyone else has been upto this week, check out Tami’s!

January 16, 2012

It’s Sunday night and I’m being good and writing my blog post on time! I have no idea which week I’m on right now, I’ll have to count up sometime.. This week, I’ve been completely reworking my list. I still have some decisions to make, but for the most part the list is done. When I buy yarn, I usually buy it for a certain project. But sometimes they don’t work out, or I change my mind, and I currently have a yarn stash in two plastic boxes. Admittedly one box is completely full of yarn for my blanket (more on that later), but I also have quite a few other balls of yarn.
The new list is using as much of that yarn as I can. Most of it is scarves and shawls, which I love making, a couple of things I haven’t chosen patterns for. The blanket is really my biggest problem. I should be working on my realta blanket, but I haven’t done anything to it for ages. I think part of the problem is that the tiles for it are quite big and take a while to make, but at the same time they’re very repetitive. I love the look of the finished blankets, but I have no motivation to get there. I think what I need is either smaller blocks, or more variety, maybe both. I haven’t made a decision about the blanket yet. That’s this week’s challenge.
This week I’ve mostly been working on my Magrathea after finishing off my phone cosy (top photo) on Wednesday. I had a minor disaster where I had to take out a whole pattern repeat yesterday because I’d done something weird with one of my k2togs. I’m not really sure how many pattern repeats I’m going to do. The pattern is 25 repeats, but that’s for fingering yarn, not aran. I’m just going to keep going until I’m happy with the length. I love how soft it feels, and the garter stitch body is deliciously squishy! I’m also knitting it now, instead of knooking – but more on that next week – it deserves it’s own post!
So here’s my new list, with all my new projects and many removed.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things

January 11, 2012

It’s WIP Wednesday, and I’m back at work, so I’m getting back into my normal blogging routine again at last. During the holidays I started a couple of new projects. The first is Magrathea. The pattern is designed for fingering weight yarn, but I’m using some gorgeous aran weight yarn my husband got me for Christmas (I’ll be posting about all his yarny presents tomorrow). The yarn is Belle Organic Aran, which is a wool/cotton blend I fell for a while ago and it’s gorgeous. I have two balls of it, and I think I might need a third, but I love the way it’s working out so far. It feels so soft and snuggly! The pattern is great too. I love the border and the garter stitch body and it’s going pretty well so far.
I also started hooking Genevieve. It’s been on my Year of Projects list for a while now, and I decided the Christmas holidays were a good time to get started. The pattern is going well so far. It’s really clear and simple to adjust to your own measurements – I’m making mine longer than the original and with longer sleeves. I’m almost at the point where I can start addin in the sleeves. The pattern is worked flat all in one piece, then seamed up the sides and under the arms, then the edging is put on. The yarn for this one is Sirdar Supersoft Aran, which is quite nice, and affordable when you’re buying 8 balls of it!
Don’t forget to check out everyone else’s projects on Tami’s!

January 10, 2012

Oh dear. My blog has been very neglected during my holidays! I was having too much fun knitting, crocheting, playing games and visiting people. Unfortunately, the holidays are over now, and I’m back to work, and getting back into my normal routine. I didn’t manage to post my seven knit bunnies before the holidays, but I did get them all finished in time they were all named after plants (like Thistle and Bluebell) but I can’t remember all the names and went off in gift bags to their new owners along with lots of other crafty bits.
I did quite a bit of knooking and crocheting over the holidays, but I also did a lot of frogging, changing my mind and starting again, so I don’t have that much to show for the holidays. I started my Magrathea and I love it. I was originally going to do it with my gorgeous blue stash addict yarn, but I kept messing up the counting at the start and mixing up my yarn overs, so I started it again, but this time I used some new aran yarn instead of the fingering yarn. I love how it’s coming on so far. It’s going to be gorgeous and warm. Although, now I am left with 400 yards of gorgeous fingering yarn to use up in some way. I’m sure I can rise to the challenge though!
I got the yarn for my Genevieve just before Christmas, and I got my husband to measure me up and set to work. The pattern is actually really simple and seems really nicely written and adaptable. I’m making mine nice and long, with a longer back and sleeves than the original pattern, and I can seem this pattern being easy to change to any stitch. The yarn is quite nice to work with, and it’s working up pretty quickly so far. I did have a problem when I skipped a stitch and didn’t realise for four inches, then had to frog back, but other than that its been fine and as long as I can manage not to tighten my stitches it should be alright. I have a couple more inches to do for the back before putting the arms on, and then it’ll be three times as wide!
I haven’t actually gone through and revised my list yet, but I’m pretty sure a couple of things will be coming off and more going on too. For now though, I’ve updated the previous list to my current progress. I’m also working on a new phone sock that I’ll hopefully finish tonight and be ready to show off on Friday.
The Revised List

Scarves and Shawls

Amigurumi

Other Things