Liz Corke Knit Design

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July 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

June 25, 2013

This year is racing by! It seems impossible that it’s the end of June already. I had flu last week, but I’m happy to report that this week I’m feeling much better – unfortunately my husband now has flu. I think the most effective way to cure flu is to give it to someone else – I caught mine from my dad, who started feeling better straight away!

Over the weekend I’ve managed to get ahead on my knitting. The shawl for the KAL is practically finished. I need to block it and get photos done this weekend, then I want to get it into testing asap. It’ll go up on Ravelry in a few weeks time for preorders. KAL participants will have a few weeks to preorder at a discount, then when the KAL starts the pattern will go back to full price – more details in a couple of weeks.

I also have another shawl with eight rows to finish tonight. I’m hoping to get it blocked along with the KAL one and do a double photoshoot so fingers crossed for good photography weather at the weekend! This one you won’t see until August or September so I won’t say too much about it now.

Orithyia will be out next week, probably on Tuesday. I’m really excited about this pattern. Testing has gone really smoothly and it’s pretty much ready to go! It’s a bit different from my other patterns because there’s no lace, but I hope you’ll love it anyway. It’s actually two patterns in one, and it’s a fantastic, relaxing knit.

I also started selling patterns on Patternfish this month. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a Canadian company, set up to purely sell patterns. The patterns are a mix of indie designers and bigger designers/yarn companies. Gayle, who runs the site, is lovely and great to work with. All of my current patterns are up there, apart from Flying Without Wings.

I want to give Flying Without Wings a new photoshoot so I should probably block it and do a triple photoshoot this weekend! I want to redo the charts now I have charting software and redo the layout so that it’s more inline with my newer patterns. It sounds like I’m going to have a very busy weekend!

June 3, 2013

I think I mentioned last week that my husband had finished uni and started his new job last week. Actually looking back, I didn’t mention his job, but he has one and he’s now a Junior Developer/Front Line Support (I think) at a software development company, and he’s very happy with it. As a result we now have a car again and at some point I should learn to drive! This opens up a whole world of possibilities for photo shoots!

UntilDuthie Park now, all of my photos have been done in Duthie Park, here in Aberdeen. While it’s a great park, and really close and convenient, it does have a few problems most notably the number of people who also think it’s a great park and who stare at what we’re doing as they walk past. I’m not particularly fond of having my photo taken and having an audience doesn’t help!

Now we have a car, a whole world of photo locations has opened up. I personally think the North East of Scotland has some of the best scenery out there – although since I was both born and brought up here, I might be a tiny bit biased! Some of my favourites are local to where I grew up, such as Drumtochty Forest. Others are places I visited a lot growing up such as a couple of beaches, pebbly at Stonehaven or sandy with cliffs at St Cyrus, or the many castles in the area – Crathes and Drum with gorgeous formal gardens and surrounded by woods, or Edzell Castle which is half fallen down.

Cairn O'MountYesterday we took our first trip out to a new location for a photo shoot. We went up the Cairn O’Mount where there are gorgeous views across the valley and smaller hills all the way to the sea. I grew up at the foot of these hills, and a lot of family holidays to the highlands started going over the pass. We had a gorgeous day for photos too – sunny, but with some cloud so things weren’t too bright, warm, and not too windy. I was able to edit the photos last night and send my pattern off for editing, so it should be ready at the end of the month after testing!

April 10, 2013

Light BoxLast June I showed you my homemade lightbox. Unfortunately it got some pretty rough use and eventually started to fall apart. We patched it up as best we could but eventually I decided that enough was enough and got a new one. I also got a couple of new very bright lamps since mine were quite awkward to set up and always cast a blueish tint on everything. I really love my new set up, although I need a bigger table to set up on!

Dark Light BoxThe light box is 80cm on each side, although it has a tendancy to squash down a bit. There is a panel for the front that can go on too, with a slit to take photos through. At some point when I was taking these photos I realised that my husband had unplugged one of the lamps without telling me and the one that was on was so bright I hadn’t noticed!

Test GlassSince this was a new toy I tested it out on a couple of things. I think before I take more photos with it, I need to iron the creases out of the backing sheet. It came with four different colour sheets – red, blue, black and white, although I expect only the white one will get much use. I’m pretty sure this one was taken with just one lamp on, but I could be wrong.

Anthousai CloseThe really cool thing about this light box is the way it folds down into a tiny case which makes storing it so much easier than my old one that floated around the house getting moved whenever it was in the way.
Since this is primarily for my knitting (and blogging) I figured I should test it out on something knitted. I really love how the colour came out. It’s really accurate. It’s also really easy to balance the colours when I come to editing. Everything is so much faster!

I’m working on a few other things right now. Shattered Stars is in testing. I have a new sideways shawl charted and I’ve hopefully worked out all the kinks now so knitting can go full steam ahead. I’ve ordered a load of new stitch dictionaries that have been giving me loads of ideas – two have arrived so far, three more are coming from America and Canada. When they’ve all arrived I’ll show them to you and talk about them a bit. One other thing I’m working on right now is swatches for shawl shaping. I’ve got two and a half done so far, and I’ll be sharing them with you and talking about how the shaping works, hopefully, next week.

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April 5, 2013

I love designing Anthousai Smallbut self publishing has a lot of challenges. My biggest challenge is photography. I really don’t like having my photo taken but I have to be my own model. My husband is pretty good about being pressed into service as a photographer, but trying to model and communicate to him what I want the photos to look like is tricky. As a result, my first photo shoot for Anthousai wasn’t the best. The large shawl went really well, but the small version had perfect photos except that the shawl was folded up or the shawl sat perfectly but was slightly out of focus, or everything else was fine, but the bottom of the shawl was cut off.

Anthousai SmallThe first thing we did to fix this problem was buy a tripod. I love my tripod! It’s fantastic both inside and out. I use it with my light box a lot and it really helps me to get sharper images on my close ups. It also really helps when we’re doing photos outside. We can set up the tripod, and that’s it! Super easy. Now we’re using the tripod we can use the rapid photo taking feature on the camera, so each pose gets five or six photos and means if I had a stupid expression on my face in one photo, I’ll probably have another that looks good!

Anthousai SmallShattered Stars has just gone into testing, and since we were doing a shoot for that, we used the oppertunity to reshoot Anthousai. I really love how the photos came out and the whole shoot went really smoothly in comparison. I do wish it would warm up though – having to take my jacket off in the freezing weather we’ve been having doesn’t make for a very comfortable model, but I managed not to shiver too much! I also got a new light box because my old one fell apart – I’ll show it to you next week.

June 15, 2012

I’m so glad it’s Friday at last! The weeks drag and the weekends fly by in a blur of knitting. I’ve only been working on Penelope the Monster this week so I’m looking forward to getting back to work on my other two projects. I only have one more foot to do and then put her together.

This week my husband has been helping me with a project. We’ve made a light box so I can take better photos. I love taking photos, but I have so many problems with lighting and things. Especially in winter when we only have 7 hours of daylight while I’m at work, but in summer the weather is really unreliable too so getting good daylight for photo’s is really difficult. I can remember how bad some of my photo’s over the winter were and I really want to be able to improve them! The box is made of 5 white foam boards taped together with masking tape. We considered trimming the two long sides but so far we’re finding them very useful for clipping the lamps to. It’s not 100% done – B&Q only had two of the lamps so we need to go back for a third, and we have some daylight bulbs hopefully in the post and on the way to us.

I really love the photos I can get with my new light box. You can see the comparison between the photo on Monday that was taken on the bed with whatever daylight we could get through the window – it was actually a very good day for taking photos that day! – and the other was in the light box a couple of days later. The light box one has much better colours and is a lot more true to life. I’m really looking forward to being able to take decent photos all year round – especially during winter!

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

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April 24, 2012

Photography is an interesting topic. I love taking photos but I don’t think I’m particularly good at it. There’s so many things to get right, like the right light and the right pose, that taking a perfect photo is a really tricky thing to do. Lucky for me the photo challenge isn’t about taking the perfect technical photo!

The Annual Teddy’s Stitch and Bitch Picnic

On Saturday I want with the Teddy Bears (and other animals) Stitch and Bitch on their annual picnic. Unforunately it was raining so the picnic had to be held inside. The busy workers from left to right are Mouse working on the Happy Lavender Scarf; Teddy (who I’ve had since I was a baby) who has just cast on a scarf; Gregory (the Alliance baby gryphon) who’s crocheting a cowl; Flopsy knitting up a storm on the Mezquita Shawl and Dilly the Duck who’s hard at work on Tubey. I guess that lets my secret out too – I don’t knit, I have lots of little friends who do it for me and let me take the credit!

I loved reading so many different posts about colour yesterday, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different photos today!