Liz Corke Knit Design

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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.

June 29, 2012

The sun has finally come out again after a week of rain, it’s Friday, and because it’s the end of the month, it’s our charity Friday and we can wear jeans to work. All in all this is a pretty good day! As an aside, we have a “casual Friday” policy at work, but there’s so many rules (no jeans, no trainers, no t-shirts with logos, no this, no that, no the next thing) that we may as well not have them!

This week’s FO is a little owl I made for Muggle Studies. He’s also part of my plan for a major destash of my acrylic yarn. The acrylic doesn’t want to be a blanket – it wants to be lots of squshy cuddly animals and monsters! I liked the pattern for the owl, but I made a couple of changes to it. I changed all the M1L to kfb on purpose because that was easier for me, and I missed a couple of “k all” rows because I didn’t read the start of the instructions properly. I also changed the eyes because my husband didn’t like the original ones. Instead I just knitted them in black and stitched them on as neatly as I could, which is apparently not very, with white all the way round. I’m pretty happy with how he turned out, and he’s sitting on my husbands speaker just now with a good view over the desk.

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

June 5, 2012

I’m being organised for once and writing this the night before. I’m really enjoying my four day weekend, and all being well we’re off for a walk in the woods today while we have the temporary loan of the car. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain!

I’ve used the extra time to get my third design swatch finished. I had to make a few changes as I went but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. I prefer the lacy top to the row of yarn over/k2togs I put on the other two, and I think the three stitch garter border works better too. I’m also happy with the number of rows that the lace needs. My original idea was for around forty rows of lace – the same as the Rocketship Shawl I knit recently. This pattern has 46 so I’m ok with that, although I may make slight adjustments to the length of the long feathers.

I think this third swatch is my favourite. It’s more like the wing I was aiming for I think with the long feathers then the smaller feathers. I was toying with the idea of a third row of even smaller feathers but I don’t want to make the lace too deep. I might chart it out and see what I think. By the 30th of June I need to have a rough chart of the lace done – this isn’t a problem since I’m doing the chart first then making adjustments as I go – and have knitted the lace border. So I really need to make a decision and swatch in the real yarn for the shawl. I’ll need to block it too and see how much it grows and use that to work out how many stitches to cast on for the right length of shawl. So my aim for this week is to have that swatch knitted and blocked and be ready to cast on for real!
May 29, 2012

I spoke too soon about teh weather yesterday! Mid morning it clouded over and although it’s still pretty warm the sun has left us for a while. Hopefully it’ll be back for the weekend, but I’ve also been hearing rumours of thunderstorms this week. Personally I love thunderstorms with plenty of lightning, so long as I’m warm and cosy at home and don’t have to go out in it, so fingers crossed any thunderstorms come later on in the evening.

Designing is a tricky thing I’ve discovered. I have made up the lace for myself, but it’s a very simple pattern and I know it’s not going to be unique. So far I’ve come up with two designs – one with a few rows of little feathers, and one with one row of long feathers. I’ve found some problems and some solutions. The biggest problem I have is that I keep coming up with new ideas! At some point I’m going to have to stop the ideas and just go for it! I really like the small feathers, and it’s also my husbands favourite, but I don’t like how long it is. The lace is just over 50 rows long. Really I was aiming for 30 to 40 rows of lace. I’m not really sure what to do about it, since I don’t really want to make the feathers smaller.

I did more experimenting on the large feather swatch. One side has a border of 3 garter stitches and the other only has 2 garter stitches and one stockinette. Between the middle and left feather I tried a garter column and between the middle and the right I tried a stockinette one. On the whole I like the 3 garter stitch border and the stockinette column best. I also tried out diamonds at the bottom to get the shape of the feather right and I prefer it a lot more than the bottom of the small feathers. I also tried continuing the feathers up through the garter stitch body. My husband likes it but I’m not sure.

Another thing I’m not sure about is the feather’s themselves. Most of the time I really like them, but sometimes I think they look too much like leaves. Its more of a problem with the smaller feathers than the long ones. I also wonder about making them asymetrical, like a birds flight feathers – thicker on one side than the other, and about combining the large and small feathers together, so I think that will be my next swatch. I’m supposed to have the lace border knitted and roughly charted by the end of June. Having it charted won’t be a problem since I’m charting each idea befor I knit it, but it does mean I need to make a decision about things soon. Once I decide a design I can swatch it in the really yarn for the shawl and start doing maths to see how long it needs to be. Hopefully by next week I’ll have a design decision!

May 25, 2012

The haar was in this morning when I woke up so everything was quite miserable here, but it’s all burned off now and it’s set to be another gorgeous day. I should probably explain that haar is a type of fog that comes in off the North Sea and seems to be unique to the East coast of Scotland. We live high enough up that we quite often miss the haar and we can look out the window from our sunny house and only see a wall of fog across the road. It can be a little surreal! I’ve linked the wikipedia page up there and the photo is pretty much exactly what happens – gorgeous sun on one side, thick fog on the other! I’ve also seen haar form a ring around a town and driven under it when it floated about 8 feet off the ground. It’s very strange stuff! Anyway, the weather forecast is fantastic for the next few days so I hope we aren’t using up all our summer too early.

On to my FO’s! I have a few for you today, since I don’t want to get too far behind on posting them. A couple have been on  my Year of Progress posts already. As I think I might (perhaps) have mentioned before, I’m really enjoying the Harry Potter House Cup. The first part of Quiddich this term is mini-socks. These are so cute, and really fast and easy to make. I went with a crochet pattern because I think for something like this it’s a lot less fiddly for me. I made one mini sock and one super mini sock with half the number of stitches and rows. They were a lot of fun and they’d be perfect for Christmas decorations.

Next up is a lacy dragonscale face cloth. I loved this pattern although for some reason I just could not get the third repeat right – I had to rip back to the same row three times because I missed three different yarn overs on three different tries! It was irritating to say the least! I have quite a bit of cotton that didn’t work out for a different project last year, but I love how it feels knitted and we need more face cloths in our house so I’m going to be making more – but I’ll probably use a different pattern for the next, it’s more fun that way!

Lastly, I’ve been trying entrelac. This was going to be a needle book, but it turned out a bit too wide and way too floppy. I could line it but I’m not sure how much it would help so I’m going to make a needlebook that matches my knitting needle case with some of the scraps. I turned this on into a glass cosy because it wasn’t big enough to be a blanket square, and turned it in for flying. I love the way it looks, but I can’t really say I enjoyed the process. I hate picking up stitches and my fingers got well and truely stabbed in the process!

Check out Tami’s for more FO Fridays!

May 22, 2012

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll probably know by now that I’m taking part in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. It’s a lot of fun and I’d reccomend it to anyone who needs inspriation for their crafting or who just wants to have a little fun with their projects. I’m just going to give you a quick outline of the Cup and then we’ll move on to the point! Basically every month you hand in at least one piece of homework to any of the classes. Since there’s eight classes with three different homework options you can pretty much make anything fit in somewhere. You can get points for your house (I’m in Ravenclaw) for six pieces of homework. So far I’ve handed in a shawl and a dish cloth and I need to take better photos of a face cloth and some entrelac that I’ve done for a couple more. On top of this there’s Detention – finish off a WIP a month and hand it in for points; Quiddich – the current challenge is for everyone in each house to make a pair of mini socks; Order of the Pheonix – “missions” that take between one and two months to finish, you can make pretty much anything fit in here with a little imagination; OWLs – projects that take between two and three months of work. There’s an OWL and a few options for every subject and I suspect it’s going to be a great way to keep motivated with a big project like a jumper; and finally there are NEWTs – two OWLs done at the same time over four months.

I dithered over doing an OWL for a while. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a second big project along side my Lacey Tunic. I really wanted to knit a shawl, but I seem to fly through shawls at a pretty fast rate just now so I had no idea how many would be reasonable – I’d probably have to do between 4 and 6 and I could see myself getting fed up with them pretty quickly if I did that. At the end of the second week I decided not to do an OWL this term and to just see how much I could knit each month and over three months and use that to work out what would be OWL worthy next term.

Having decided that, I suddenly became consumed with the idea of designing a shawl of my own. I’m not sure where the idea came from and right now I’m not convinced it’s a good one! But I handed in my proposal and had it accepted over the weekend so now I have to make it happen.

Astronomy
Option 3: Pattern Writing – Prove that you are light years ahead of your time and design, create, and produce a pattern of an object that only you can see at this stage. To successfully complete this O.W.L. Exam, you must produce both your finished item and a written pattern in a digital format (pdf, blog entry, etc.).

Name: Rylla
House (or NQFY / SoS): Ravenclaw
OWL and option: Astronomy Option 3
Project/Pattern(s): Flying without Wings
Proposed 50% Mark: The border designed and knitted and rough notes and chart completed
Sequence & Points of Consideration:
Dear Professors
I propose to design and knit a semi-circular or crescent shaped shawl with a garter stitch body and a lace edge. This is a style of shawl that I really enjoy knitting. The lace border I propose shall be symbolic of feathers. There are currently no shawls like this (that I can find) on Ravelry, but the idea has gripped me so I propose to design my own.
The shawl shall be knit from the bottom up starting with the lace border. The body of the shawl will be formed and shaped by short rows in garter stitch. It should be approximately 55 – 65 inches long I will be using some acrylic yarn that has been sitting around for ages when initially designing the lace. Once I am happy with the lace design I will swatch it again with my yarn for this shawl and then be ready to begin knitting the border. I will ensure that I take good notes during this stage. Knitting the body of the shawl should be uncomplicated. I will then use my notes to create both written and charted patterns for the shawl, and shall present them in pdf format.
Points of Consideration
I have only been knitting since January although I did start knooking in October last year.
I have never designed anything for knitting or crochet before.
I have made several cresent/half-circle shawls of the style I’m proposing before so I am confident on how the construction should work.
I will be designing my own lace from scratch.
The grid in the photo is hand drawn, but as soon as the printer is fed (ie, gets a new ink cartridge) I will be able to print girds off.
The yellow yarn in the photo is the yarn I will use for testing the lace. I have 696 yards of the Rowan Pure Wool 4 ply for the shawl, which should be plenty for a shawl of the style I’m proposing. I will use either a 4.5mm or 5mm needle but I have others should they seem appropriate.

I’ll be posting my progress as I go along, but right now I can tell you that leaves and feathers are very similar once turned into lace and I’m not quite sure how it’s going to turn out, but I have plans, sketches and a rough pattern already, I just need more time to knit it up and see how it looks in yarn rather than lines on paper.

April 2, 2012

I feel like I was quite lazy last week. I don’t really seem to have got a whole lot done, and I haven’t finished anything. I think it’s partly that my week was so short – I only worked two days, so I seem to be forgetting the start of the week when I was still on holiday, but at the same time I’m rarely as productive as I’d like to be. I’ve been doing a lot reading of recently too, mostly short stories although I finished the book I was reading too and all that has been eating into my knitting time a bit. Note to self – learn better time management!

Over on the right is the super cute duck my husband won for me from the grabby machines on Saturday. It was our last day of having the car before giving it back to my parents so we went down to the beach to the amusements before doing some shopping. He’s very kindly modeling the scarf I turned in for the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup just a few hours before the deadline. So I’ve managed to tick one tiny thing off my list, lol. The HPKCHC is taking a break for a month during which I’ll hopefully get sorted into a house, and next “term” I’ll have two more homeworks to hand in before the end of the first year of year of projects.

This week I’ve been pretty exclusively knitting my Rocketship Shawl. I’m about to start row 34 of 42 for the lace at the bottom, but I’m starting to find it a little tedious now. I was also a bit crow with it because all my knit to purl changes seemed to be loose and getting looser. So I removed all the stitchmarkers since they were at the point where I was having the problems, and now that the pattern is well established I don’t need them to work out where I am. I’m going to try to make sure that I tension that change a little tighter to normal, and hope that blocking will help to sort it out.

I’ve learnt a new technique with this shawl – doing bobbles. I actually find them quite annoying to do – knitting into a stitch four times, then turning and purling the stitches, then turning again and lifting them all over the first stitch. I think it’s mostly all the turning that I don’t like, because the shawl is pretty long anad it’s annoying to keep swinging it round and back again. Other that that I like how it’s going and hopefully I’ll get the border finished this week, then I’m just into the short row shaping to make the body of the shawl.

This week I need to get back to work on my Tubey since the weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse, and after last weeks summer temperatures, this week we’re being threatened with snow! I think I might change the sleeves on tubey to be ribbed like the body too but I’m dithering on that just now. And the Garter Ruffles Scarf that so many people loved last week hasn’t progressed at all so I’ll have to make more effort to get on with that. I’m nearly  at the halfway point and then the rows will start getting shorter and progress should speed up.

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
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