Liz Corke Knit Design

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November 17, 2014

Well everyone, the GiftAlong is back for 2014 and my hiatus is over! If you missed the GiftAlong last year and are wondering what I’m talking about, the GiftAlong is a huge craft-along supported by over 200 indie designers! The sale is currently on and won’t end until November 22nd at 7.59am GMT (November 21st at 11.59pm US – EST) and there’s 25% off 4 – 20 of each participating designers patterns with the code giftalong2014 – all of my patterns are included in the sale! Check out the GiftAlong Ravelry Group and join in for the chance to win hundreds of prizes!

Alex

Alex helping with a photoshoot!

So what have I been doing for the last many months? I’ve been enjoying my maternity leave with my gorgeous baby boy! Alex is 5 months old now, and we’ve also moved house, and I’m in the middle of setting up a jewellery business, so I’ve been busy, but not too busy to knit! My baby blanket pattern will be published very soon – it just needs photos and tech editing – big thanks to my testers who tested it back in May! I’ve also got a glove pattern that’s almost ready for testing – Alex helped me with the photoshoot at the weekend! And I have a shawl pattern to write up and a second one to knit – prepare to see lots from me in the next few months!

August 28, 2012

I’m pretty excited today because last night I released my second design, Storm Warning! I gave you a couple of teasers of this one earlier in the month under the temporary name of “Ravellenics Shawl”. It seemed to take me forever to find a name that I liked and that I felt fitted it, as well as being fairly unique. Names are not my strong point!

I knitted this shawl with a gorgeous skien of Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Silk. I only had 400 yards and needed something really gorgeous for it, and someway to get the most out of my yarn without worrying about running out. Sideways shawls let you use up almost every yard which sounded perfect to me! I’ve been wanting to try beading for ages too and cables are one of my favourite features in knitting so it all came together as Storm Warning without too much hair pulling!

My first difficulty was to choose a cable that I liked the look of and there are a lot of cable patterns out there! I wanted something more complicated than a simple twist, but not something too chunky and heavy. Once I’d chosen a cable, I could work out how long my pattern repeats would be, and I designed a lace pattern to go with it. I wanted my lace to give shape to the edge, rather than just being flat, so I decided to use a series of increases and bind offs. Bead placement was the next problem. I experimented with a few different ways of placing them on the stitch and found something I liked. I decided to place the beads as I went rather than prestringing them as I was concerned about rubbing the yarn too much.

The pattern is both written and charted. I wanted to make sure I had everyone covered with their favourite way to read the pattern, but I was stumped for a little while before I worked out how I wanted to chart a pattern that was constantly growing on one side and shrinking on the other. I also included a photo tutorial for the beading so that anyone can give it a go!

And that brings us to the important part – the giveaway! I’m giving away one pattern for free to one lucky winner. You don’t need to have a Ravelry account, but I will need a working email address I can send the pattern to. The pattern will be gifted through Ravelry. The usual rights apply – the pattern must not be sold, or given away, etc – what you do with the finished shawl however is up to you! To enter post a comment telling me what yarn you would use to make this shawl – it can be yarn you have in your stash or your dream yarn, it’s up to you! Please do make sure I have someway of contacting you if you win! The winner will be picked by random number generator on the 4th of September – that’s exactly one week!

August 15, 2012

It feels like ages since I’ve blogged! I missed Sunday/Monday’s Year of Projects post too, so I’m combining it with todays WIP and Yarn Along post. It’s probably going to be a long one today! We went down to my parents on Sunday to give the car back after our holiday, but before we did that, we went to Duthie Park and did a quick photo shoot. My Flying Without Wings pattern now has much nicer photos, and we got some photos of my Ravellenics Shawl which I got finished on Saturday night. Sunday night was given over to writing the pattern for “The Shawl with No Name” as it’s now known – hopefully a name will spring in to my mind before the testing finishes! And then all I wanted to do was spend sometime knitting something else, so I put off posting till today, when I’m finally (unfortunately) back to work.

I finally cast on for the Dandelion on a Meadow mystery KAL on Monday, but I decided that I couldn’t stand the yarn I was using for it. I was using Knit Picks Palette, which I’ve used before and liked. This time though it felt like the yarn was sticking to my fingers and felt quite scratchy. I swatched one repeat of the pattern, but I also felt like the yarn was too dark to show the pattern nicely without strong lighting to show up the knit and purls. So I’ve cast on again with Rowan Pure Wool, and I’m happier with how it’s going this time. If you don’t want to see the pattern, then scroll past the next paragraph!

I really love this pattern so far. I’m going to keep the swatch and use it every time a new clue comes out. That way I’ll know any tricky stitches that are coming up and can see what I’m about to do. I really love the wrapped stitches at the top and the texture it produces, and the eyelets on either side of it make it stand out really nicely. I think the silvery grey will show up the pattern much better in normal day light – rather than my nicely exposed light box!

Daphne hasn’t made any progress recently so I think I’m going to have to do a big push on her once I get caught up on the mystry KAL. One of my friends finally had her baby on Sunday – he was 12 days late in the end, so I’m thinking of making a Young Einstein for him in a 6 month or so size, so he can grow into it and hopefully get more use out of it in winter.

Reading wise, I’ve gone on a Jane Austen kick. I finished Lady Susan and I think the next one I read will be Northanger Abbey because I haven’t read it for ages!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – 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!
Do more colour work!

In Progress

Daphne and Delilah
Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift
Ravellenics Shawl

August 5, 2012

I’m posting on Sunday for a change, because we’re away for a few days next week. I have to write and schedule Fridays FO post too, but there won’t be one for Wednesday because it’ll just be a copy of this! We’re hoping for good weather while we’re away, the last couple of times we’ve had loads of rain.

I’m hopefully going to be casting on for a Mystery Shawl this week. I’m joining in Lily Go’s Dandelion on a Meadow Mystery KAL, so if you don’t want to see photos let me know, and I’ll just put links to the photos in my posts! I really love her designs, but I’ve never taken part in a mystery KAL before. I decided to go for this one because it’s a bottom up crescent shaped  shawl which are my favourite style to knit. I have some nice dark brown Knit Picks Palette yarn just waiting in my stash for me to have the time.

My Ravellenics Shawl is still making progress and I’m over halfway through now. I love how it’s going! at the half way mark it was 24″ long which was exactly what I was aiming for. The shawl should wrap round and overlap nicely without needing to be blocked too much. I really just want to block the lacy edge so that it sits nicely, without flattening or distorting the cable pattern. The beads mean this won’t be the easiest project to work on next week because of the beads and I won’t be able to work on it in the car at all, but I should still have time to finish it when I get back before the end of the Olympics.

Daphne is still going well although slowly because I’m only working on her right before bed. She’ll probably be my car knitting project tomorrow with nice easy stripes. I haven’t got round to buying more safety eyes yet, but I’ll have to do that before I can finish Delilah the baby pocket monster.

I also (just in case you haven’t read my blog this week) published my first pattern, Flying Without Wings, this week and I changed my blog’s name to Kingfisher Knits. There was already a Yarnberry linked as the source for another pattern on Ravelry so I wanted to change to something unique – plus I love kingfishers and it’s a nicely alliterative title!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – 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!

In Progress

Daphne and Delilah
Ravellenics Shawl

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift

August 3, 2012

Today is gorgeously sunny and the international market is in town. They set up shop in the street in front of my office, which means I can go there at lunch time, get food and have a good browse. They’ve never had yarn yet, although someone does sell knitted baby clothes, but I’m still hopeful that one day yarn will appear!

I have photos of Momijigari to show you today. I really love how it’s turned out although it’s the most awkward thing I’ve ever tried to block! I think the problems came from the two directions of garter stitch – the body wanted to stretch a long way sideways and the border wanted to stretch a long way down, but stretching in the other direction for each was really awkward and I had to keep undoing and redoing it to get it all sitting nicely. I’m really tempted to get blocking wires if they’ll make life easier!

The yarn I used for this is superwash 4 ply merino from Old Maiden Aunt in the bramble colourway and really soft. Purple is my friend’s favourite colour and this will be her birthday present, so I wanted to use yarn that wouldn’t be hurt if it went through the washing machine. Her birthday isn’t until November so I’m going to fold it up nicely and keep it safe until the next time I see her after that. Hopefully she’ll like it, if not I may have to keep it! It’s pretty skinny so it’s a good size to be worn as a scarf as well as a shawl so she’ll have options and she does wear scarves alot.

The pattern is really good and clear, just like Henslowe and I really enjoyed working on it. The yarn over loops make picking up stitches really easy and the only time I really had problems was with the blocking. I did use a bit less yarn than I exxpected, but that’s pretty normal from me. Instead of 400 – 410 yards I used 360, but it still blocked out to reach my whole arm span. I seem to be a pretty tight knitter because I always use less than the pattern calls for, or maybe the patterns are just very generous on their yarn required. I have two more birthday shawls to make, one for September and the other for November so I’ll get started on the September one very soon. The other are going to be sideways shawls with the border knitted on at the same time, so they’ll be really easy and hopefully fly off the needles!

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

I’ve also just realised this is my 200th post!

July 30, 2012

Four weeks finished already! This year is going to fly by! Momijigari is blocking at last, but I procrastinated all weekend and only got round to pinning it out last night. Hopefully it’ll be dry by the time I get home and photos can be done. It was one of the most awkward things I have ever blocked! I think the problem was mostly the difference between the amount of stretch in the horizontal and vertical garter stitch. Blocking wires are definitely on my wish list now, although I think I read something somewhere about using thread as blocking wires that I’ll have to look up.

My Ravellenics shawl is nicely underway. I’m really happy with how it looks so far, and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you when it’s done. I want to keep it secret till then! I really love the yarn I’m using. It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and it’s so gorgeously soft and the colours are so gorgeous it’s a joy to work with. This is the skien I bought myself when I was buying yarn for my friends shawls. I was a bit stuck with what to go with it since I only have 400 yards, but I think this is the perfect way to get the best yardage from it and it’s showing off the skien  beautifully. I’m finding it really difficult to work out how long and deep the shawl will end up so I’m weighing and measuring compulsively! So far I’ve used up a quarter of my yarn and it’s 15″ long and 9.5″ deep so I know it’ll be over 30″ before blocking.

Last up I’ve cast on for Daphne and Delila. My Ravellenics Shawl uses bed and isn’t very portable so this will fill that gap. I am not a pink person. I bought the yarn mostly to balance out the colours in the blanket that will never be. So I’m doing pink and green stripes which is a combination I’ve seen quite a few people using recently and loved. I’ve got three stripes done on the first foot so far and I really like how it looks. Hopefully there’ll be a lot more to see on Wednesday!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – 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!

In Progress

Daphne and Delila
Ravellenics Shawl

Finished Projects

Momijigari – gift

July 27, 2012

It’s a  beautiful sunny day, Friday, the last friday of the month so I can wear jeans, and I have loads to share with you because I couldn’t post yesterday. All in all, today is a good day!

First up is an FO! I did manage to finish Momijigari last night, just in time. I hadn’t actually finished the bind off when I took the photos but it’s all done now. The pattern suggested using a p2tog bind off so I did that, got about a quarter of the way round and decided it didn’t have enough stretch. I frogged it and started again with a 4.5 mm needle. This time I got over halfway before I decided it still didn’t have enough stretch and tinked back. The last time I used my normal bind off but in purl instead of knit. It’s an adapted version of Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, only doing the yarn over between every second stitch. I’m pretty sure I heard about it from Lynn over on Minding My Own Stitches, and it’s awesome! Stretchy but without the wrinkled edge I sometimes get with JSSBO.

I’ll show you more of the shawl next week. I’ve got plenty of time when I get home tonight to block the shawl before the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Next up is a new book I got this week – Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstien. It is fantastic! The photos are gorgeous and the patterns are all set out next to each stitch nice and clearly. I can’t remember right now if the lace patterns are charted too, and I don’t have the book to check, although I have a feeling they aren’t. Other than that though, this book is perfect! There’s a lot of stitches in it that can be used for a whole item and not just the edging and I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of this book – plus I got it new and used for £5 which is a pretty good deal. I’m really looking forward to using it properly.

And last but certainly not least, I went yarn shopping! One of my pattern testers introduced me to Posh Yarn, and it is gorgeous! It goes up for sale on Sunday nights and it sells quick! Of the two sock yarns I bought, one was gone in 10 minutes and the other was gone in under an hour. Strictly speaking I’m trying to reduce my stash, but I had only two skiens of sock yarn left – one I’m using tonight for Ravellenics, and the other is for my third friend’s shawl – so I was provided with the perfect excuse to get more! At the back is “Messing Around in Boats” it’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and I think this is definitely one of my favourite blends of fibre. This one is all for me – I have 880 yarns but I’m not sure yet what it will become. At the front is “Country Mouse“. The yarn base for this one is 80% merino 10% nylon 10% cashmere. It’s really soft and I love the colour. I have 800 yarns of this one, but it might not be for me. I offered to make my mother in law a shawl for her birthday/Christmas, and she said she’d love Flying Without Wings in gold or a neutral colour. This one isn’t really gold, but I’m going to take it with me in a couple of weeks and see if she likes it. If not I’m more than happy to turn it into something for myself! On top is “Minack Theater”. It’s a gorgeous silvery grey with lilac tones and my first lace weight. I’ve never knit with lace weight before so I’m a bit nervous but really excited to find a pattern for this one. It’s another 50/50 merino silk blend and I have 875 yards of this one.

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

July 25, 2012

Today, at last the sun has come out again. The last few days have been very warm, very humid and the sky has been solid grey from one side to the other, so this makes a nice change!

I’ve been making lots of progress with Momijigari and I’m really happy with how it’s going now I’m not being distracted with new ideas for my design all the time! I got the rest of the body finished on Monday night and got the nerve wracking bit over. The nerve wracking bit was making sure I had enough stitches to pick up for the border. I knew I had the right number of yarn over loops at the halfway point and I was very pleased to discover the second half had the right number too. The next row was mostly “yo, k1” which was also a little tricky, but I managed to spot the few times I missed yarn overs before I went too far.

I’m about halfway through the border now and the last row started to bring in the points on the garter stitch blocks. One of the things I really love about this shawl is the contrast between the vertical garter stitch lines and the horizontal ones. All that garter stitch makes it really stretchy too. I’m looking forward to seeing how it blocks out. It’s quite a fast pattern too, since I’ve only been working on it for just under two weeks now, and I’d have been faster if I hadn’t got distracted designing a shawl for Ravellenics. I might manage to finish it tonight, but if not I’ll definitely have it finished tomorrow night. If I can finish it tonight, you’ll get to see it on Friday!

I finished reading the Agatha Raisin omnibus last night which was a lot of fun. There’s another 16 books in the series so I’m going to look out for more sales on the kindle or see if I can pick up any in charity shops to get the rest. I’ve just started a new book called Austenland. I’ve had this book on my kindle since I first got it, nearly six months ago. I think it was either free or for under a pound. I’m really enjoying it so far. Jane Hayes is obsessed with Mr Darcy and her great-aunt has left her a three week holiday to Pembrook Park where she’ll spend her time living as if she was in a Jane Austen book. The plan is that this will get her over her obssession, but it never works out like that does it? Jane has just arrived so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story develops.

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

July 23, 2012

I had a great weekend and I hope you all did too! On Saturday my husband, parents, both brothers and my brother’s girlfriend all went out for dinner and had a great time. We hadn’t all been out together since my mum’s birthday in March so it was good to be able to sit down all together and chat.

I also got a good bit of knitting done. Momijigari has made good progress and it’s starting to speed up at last on the narrowing side. I’m hoping to get this finished by Friday so that I can focus on my Ravellenics project. Sideways shawls are about as close as I can get to knitting a scarf – doing the exact same thing over and over is a little uninspiring for me. I still have around 30 stitches left on the needle so I have over 100 rows to go before I start the border!

My next project is ready and waiting for Friday. I can’t start before then as it’s a project for Ravellenics which starts along with the Olympic Games. I’m really looking forward to starting this shawl. I’ve done a load of swatches and practiced beading. Working out the best place for the beads to go was interesting since I’ve never worked with beads before so I had to experiment to work out the best place for them. It’s a sideways shawl so I can get the best use from my yarn. I only have one skien with about 403 yards so I want to maximise the size of the shawl. The yarn I’ve been swatching with is some left overs from another shawl but it’s perfect with the beads!

The yarn I’m going to use is some that I’ve had waiting for the perfect project for a few months. I’m really hoping this shawl will live up to it. It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and it feels so soft. I got it from Old Maiden Aunt when I was buying yarn for my friend’s shawls – because the temptation was too much! I also went on a little yarn spending spree last night. I really love finding indie dyers on Ravelry and one of my test knitters introduced my to Posh Yarn. I bought my first skien of lace weight along with a few more skiens that I’ll show you when they arrive!

Year of Projects Lists 2012-13

Shawls

Semele
Laodice – gift
Momijigari – gift – In Progress
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.