Liz Corke Knit Design

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April 18, 2012

Wednesdays are always a hopefully day for me, especially after lunch – half the week is gone and we’re closer to next weekend than the last one! I seem to have a much smaller collection of WIPs just now, because I finished my Rocketship Shawl last night. It’s huge and I love it. I’m blocking it when I get home tonight, although I’m not quite sure where I’m going to put it. I’m going to block this one gently, just enough to open out the lace nicely because I don’t really want it growing much bigger.

Tubey is causing me some problems, although it isn’t the patterns fault at all. I just think that the arm might be a bit tight around my shoulder, so I think the best thing to geo would be to add on another four or eight stitches for an extra rib or two. It’s definitely better to do that rather than have a whole finished jumper that I can’t wear because it doesn’t fit properly. I’m not going to rip out this sleeve yet though, I’m just going to cast on with another skien and that way I can compare the two sleeves and see what I think.

My Happy Lavender Scarf has finally come back out of hibernation. The pattern is called Favourite Scarf Ever but my project is named for the yarn I’m using Wendy Happy in Lavender because I haven’t decided if this will be my favourite ever scarf, lol. I really love this pattern for easy knitting but I do make an alarming number of mistakes when I’m not paying attention. Progress has actually gone backwards since Monday because I forgot the last yarn over and had to rip back a couple of rows.

The ball of yarn in the top photo is destined to becoming a Mezquita Shawl, and I’ll be casting that on as soon as I get home tonight. It’s a birthday present for one of my friends, and her birthday is in September so I’m giving myself plenty of time to get this one done! It’s a 368 stitch cast on though so I’m going to have to get plenty of stitch markers ready to help me count!

I finished Elantris on Sunday and I loved it. It was a bit predictable but I still loved the story and really liked all the characters. I have a couple more books by the same author (Brandon Sanderson) I plan to read next but first I’m indulging in a little more medieval murder. The Harper’s Quine is a little different to the ones I normally read – instead of being set in Oxford or Cambridge it’s set in Glasgow. There’s some Scots and a little Gaelic mixed in which I quite like because you can “hear” the way the character’s speak, although I am Scottish and used to the way the accents sound. I’m not sure it would work for everyone. This is the first book I’ve read by the author and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

April 11, 2012

It’s Wednesday and I’ve been working hard over the last week. It seems to be spring again this week, and I really hope the weather holds for a while this time. I’m still reading Elantris this week. I’m really enjoying how it’s going so far. I’m reaching a point when everything is getting quite tense and soon something will happen to trigger a big upheaval. It’s quite exciting and I need to find some more reading time this week! I would have got further through the book, but I got distracted during the Kindle sale and got myself a couple of Medieval murder stories whick I really enjoyed!

The Rocketship shawl is still coming along. I’ve only done a couple of rows since Monday’s post so I’ve done a close up photo of the pattern instead. Two more rows and the lace will be done, and another few rows after that there’ll be no more purling needed and everything should speed up nicely. I’m looking forward to getting on to the short rows and getting back to nice squishy garter stitch again – purling 318 stitches takes forever!

The Garter Ruffles Scarf is nearly done. I feel like I made a lot of progress with this one last night. I have 25 more repeats to do before I’m ready to bind off. The pattern for this one is really easy. Too easy to really be interesting but the yarn more than makes up for it. The silk and alpaca is just so soft and smooth that it’s fantastic to work with. After the bind off, I’m doing a crochet chain along the edge of the ruffle to help give it some structure since the silk drapes too well. I don’t think I’m going to block this one out like I would with lace. I might just soak it and lay it flat to dry to even out the garter stitch a little.

The jumper sleeve has been growing and I’m pretty happy with how it’s doing, but I haven’t had too much time on it this week. I’ve finally got a photo that looks pretty true to the colour. In most photos it seems to want to come out radioactive, but the sun was shining nicely this morning and I got a decent photo. I’m trying to be good just now, and resist casting on anything new until both the Garter Ruffles Scarf and the Rocketship shawl are done, and Tubey will become my easy knitting project I think. The only complicated bit coming up is picking up stitches after I’ve finished the back.

Check out Tami’s and Ginny’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Alongs.

April 9, 2012

Easter is almost over now, but while most people are relaxing on their bank holiday, I back at work again. Bank holidays don’t happen in our office! I hope everyone had a good Easter, we went down to my parents yesterday and had a good time, and saw my baby (aged 21) brother too. I also got quite a lot of knitting done so all in all it was a good day.

I’ve been busily working away at three things this week and I feel like I’ve got much more done this time. First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I’ve been doing about two rows a day this week and I’m finally past all the bobbles. I really hated doing them! The last four rows are pretty plain and shoud be fairly easy going and then I’ll be on to doing the short rows and that should be much easier and more fun. Once I’ve worked out how the short rows work that is. There’s a formula to repeat for each row, adding more stitches each time to make the curved shape so I’m just going to wait and work it out when I get there and I can see what I’m really doing.

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf. This one is coming along nicely and I’m really happy with it. I’m just about to add another ball of yarn so I’m now two thirds of the way through. I just have one ball of yarn to go, then because the silk and alpaca is so drapey I’m going to do a crochet chain along the edge of the ruffles to give them a little more support and help them stand out.

Last up is my jumper. I ripped out the sleeve I had done and now I’m making the sleeve up in 3×1 rib. I’m a lot happier with how it’s going now. The fabric feels left stiff and softer and I love the stretch in it. I just need a few more inches before I start adding in stripes of the cream and black. I haven’t decided how I’m going to do that yet. I think I’ll just work it out as I go! I also haven’t decided how I’m going to finish off the sleeves. Right now I’m thinking of making them three quarter length, and finishing with a couple of inches of 2×2 rib. I really like working on this one. It doesn’t really take any concentration and I can read while I do it. As long as I can keep on at a good speed, I might have a new jumper by next winter!

My Year of Projects Lists

To Do/In Progress


Garter Ruffles Scarf – In Progress
Hairpin Lace Blanket – In Progress
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
Momijigari
Mezquita Shawl – Got Yarn
2 x HPKCHC Homework
Face Cloths – 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
HPKCHC March – Finished

April 4, 2012

I have been busy this week and I’m pretty pleased with everything I’ve managed to get done. The weather was really strange yesterday – within ten minutes we’d go from gorgeous sunshine to strong winds and snow and then back to sunshine and it was bitterly cold. It seems to be much more normal for the time of year today though. It’s sunny and about as warm as it can be with the wind coming straight off the North Sea at the start of April.

First up is the Rocketship Shawl. I alternately love and hate this shawl! The yarn is fantastic though. It’s Fybrespate’s Scrumptious 4 ply which is somewhere between a sport and fingering weight, a 50/50 merino/silk blend, and the colour is fantastic but really hard to photograph well. The colourway is teal, and the colour shifts from dark blue to a blue-green. Currently I’m having issues with the knit to purl texture changes, and I’m really not enjoying doing the bobbles because they slow me down. I did come up with a solution to my knit/purl changes that I talked about yesterday and I only have two more rows with bobbles and the second row has half the bobbles the other row have, so I shall persevere. I did give this one a mini timeout yesterday though because I was feeling cross!

The Garter Ruffles Shawl is going on perfectly. I love this scarf a lot. We had our D&D night with my husbands friends last night and it’s the perfect project for something like that as the pattern is so simple and I can pick it up and put it down really easily at any point when it’s my turn. The yarn is so soft too, it just feels fantastic. I also reached the halfway point last night and started the decreases. I’m pretty excited about this one. Every fourth row it will get shorter and faster now. I probably won’t work on this one this week until next Tuesday, although I think I’ll take it to my parents on Sunday on the off chance that I have time to work on something – plus I like to show my mum what I’m working on!

Tubey has been restarted. I ripped everything out on Monday and decided to start again. I wasn’t really sure about the sleeves before, but now I have a plan that I’m happy with. The pattern has sleeves that are just plain tubes that flare out at the end. While I like the look of bell sleeves, I really don’t like wearing them. They just aren’t comfortable to me, so I’ve changed the sleeves to 3×1 ribbing to match the body and I’ll put some decreases in later to keep them tight. I’m also considering just making 3/4 length sleeves but I’ll worry about that when I get there. I’m leaving the bit across the back between the sleeves as plain stockinette.

I’ve just started a new book on my Kindle. I’m only 5 chapters in so far, but I’m enjoying it. I have to say that I really like it when Kindle books get the same cover as the real books, it just seems nicer! I’m reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. So far I’m really enjoying the book. We’ve met the three main characters and already I have a really good feel for them. Raoden was the prince of Arelon, but he’s been affected by the Shaod which has turned him in to an Elantrian. Elantrians used to be like gods, with magic and immortallity but now it is a curse and a kind of living death – injuries don’t feel and the pain is everlasting, so he is locked away in Elantris and forgotten by his people. Sarene is a princess of Teon. She was engaged to Raoden and has arrived in Arelon to discover she is his widow. She seems to have been trained as a diplomat but her new father, the King on her first meeting tells her to “go knit or whatever it is that women do”. I have a feeling she will have quite an impact on the court and I’m pretty sure some how she will find out what has happened to Raoden and between them they will try to find a cure. Hrathen is a high priest from Fjorden sent to convert the country of Arelon to his religion and take it over. I’m about to start his second chapter so I haven’t seen as much of him yet as I have of the other two. It’s going to be interesting to see how the story develops.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s and Ginny’s and see what everyone else is upto this week!

March 28, 2012

I’m a bit behind this week because we were away on holiday, so this is a bumper post for Year of Projects, WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along! We had a great time over the weekend, although it was really busy, and we spent a lot of time travelling around to see people. I did manage to get some knitting done in the car on a couple of days though and got quite a lot done on Monday when we finally had a relaxing day! I’ve also been reading a fair bit, and I got side tracked into reading Spindle’s End. I’ll need to go back to Murder at Mansfield Park soon, but I wanted some easy reading for the car when it was too dark to knit.

So I’m going to start with Tubey. I haven’t really done very much to this at all this week. It’s been way too hot to think about knitting sweaters! But I’ve also been considering changing to 5mm needles. I’m not sure if the fabric feels too thick or not. So my plan is to find my 4.5mm needle swatch, make up a 5mm needle swatch, possibly both in the round, rather than flat swatches, and wash them, then make a decision. If it stays this hot though, I might swap to working on Blisco, since I’ll be making that in DK cotton, rather than Aran acrylic. Only problem is both sets of my 5mm needles have the next two projects on them!

Next up is the Garter Ruffles Scarf, this one has been on the go for ages. This is a great pattern for knitting while talking! There’s nothing too complicated at all and all I need to keep track of is where to put the short rows and the kfb. I did make one mistake and put the short rows at the wrong side! I didn’t notice for quite a while and I really don’t want to rip back. It’s not too noticeable so I’m not going to take it out. I love the yarn, it’s so soft. I’m just over a third of the way through so far, so I need to keep working on it when I need some downtime.

Last up is the Rocketship Shawl. It was supposed to be the Usoa Shawl next but Tubey is on my 4.5mm needles! I changed what I was doing with this yarn. The yarn was originally going to be a Clematis Shawl but I wasn’t sure I wanted something so big, and starting at the bottom and going up to so many stitches was a bit off putting. So I started this one. I really love how it’s turning out so far. I started with 319 stitches so each row is pretty long, but I’m already nearly halfway through the lace pattern and then I’ll be on to short rows to shape the body of the shawl. I knitted most of this one on the seven hour drive back up from Manchester yesterday.

Spindle’s End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It’s set in the same world (as far as I can tell) as Pegasus and Beauty which I also read recently and Deerskin which is another book I have by the same author, Robin McKinley. The stories are all set in different kingdoms. The land where this one is set is saturated in magic, and the fairies are normal people who have some control over it, although they tend to be female. There are also magicians in the kingdom who study and try to force control over the magic and tend to be male. I’ve so far got to the point when Rosie is 20 years old, and the curse is due to kill her on her 21st birthday. She still doesn’t know she is the princess and I’m only halfway through the book, so I’m quite excited to see what’s coming next!

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
Rocketship Shawl – In Progress
Tubey – In Progress
Pin Cushion – In Progress
Blisco – Freedom Sincere
Usoa Shawl – Drops Fabel
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 21, 2012

Another Wednesday has whipped around really quickly! I don’t know where the time’s gone, but it’s spring already. I’ve been busily working away and reading lots over the last week. I’m finished Pegasus, Beauty and a lot of short stories, as well as the more than 20 samples I have still to read. Henslowe is finished and blocked and I’ve got new projects on the go. So lets get started shall we?

First up is Tubey. So far there isn’t much to see. I’ve got a few inches done on the first sleeve and I like how it’s going so far. I plan on making a few changes to the pattern. I don’t like baggy sleeves so after I’ve got past the elbow I’m going to start working 3×1 rib so hopefully it’ll be nice and tight and not look odd. I only have three colours for my sweater, red, cream and black, and I haven’t quite worked out how I’m going to do the stipes yet. I think I’m going to do several stripes of varying thickness in the cream and one thicker stripe of black. I’m pretty sure this sweater will take a while to do, but it’s nice easy knitting, and once I’ve got the sleeves and back done and the body started it should be just a lot of 3×1 rib. I’ve also started reading and knitting at the same time on the sleeve, and I’m finding it pretty easy so far. The Kindle definitely helps because I don’t have to try and prop pages open or turn the page.

Next up is a needle case for my interchangable needles. I’ve been meaning to make one of these for ages, and since I couldn’t find any knitting patterns I liked, and inspired by getting my sewing machine out last week I decided to sew one. I’m not using a pattern for this one either, but I was inspired by these ones made by madbird. Since they’d be coming all the way from America and take at least 6 weeks to get here, I couldn’t wait that long! I shoud get this finished tonight, and I’m pleased to say I’ve found how to change my sewing mackine to do straight stitch, although I couldn’t work out which foot I was supposed to use for the zipper.

This week I’m reading Murder at Mansfield Park. So far I’m having trouble getting into the book. I spotted it last week when it was one of the daily deals. It’s based on Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, but a lot of the characters have been changed around. For example, Edmund is Mrs Norris’s stepson and is intended to marry Fanny. William is now the Bertram’s second son, although he’s been sent off to see just the same. The Prices have both been killed off and Fanny, now an only child, is a heiress. Fanny is also now the oldest and acts more like Maria in the original. Mary Crawford has had a complete personality reversal and Rushworth actually seems to have some brains. Henry Crawford is of course still there, but is now a lawyer and a professional “improver” and is at Mansfield Park to landscape it and Julia Bertram is now acting more like the original Fanny Price and is looked down on by her Aunt Norris. At the moment I’m mostly trying to get my head around the new roles and relationships between all the characters and wondering which of them will be the victim of the coming murder. I’m only on Chapter 5 so far, so hopefully it will pick up soon.

Don’t forget to check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays and Ginny’s for more Yarn Alongs!

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