Liz Corke Knit Design

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February 8, 2018

I’m so happy to be showing you these mitts at last! They were so much fun to knit. I thought today I’d give you a quick rundown on the design process and how this pattern came to be.

IMG_3960smallIt always starts with a sketch in my book. I’m not sure what the inspiration was, but I sketched out the outline of the mitts and scribbled down some details about the pattern. You can see that originally the idea was for the cable to move from the outside of the hand towards the thumb, but when I got a little further through the process I switched it so it travels to the little finger. I picked up the most amazing yarn for this pattern – Eden Cottage Yarns Hayton 4ply – super soft thanks to the merino and luxurious cashmere with a little nylon for toughness – perfect for these hard working mitts.

IMG_3934bThe next stage was choosing the cable and that took ages! I had a couple of swatches with many different options on each, but eventually I made a choice. This is the point where the gauge swatch and the pattern writing begins! Luckily for me, my gauge came out the same as for Nicnevin so I got a shortcut on the maths and could jump straight into the charting. I always chart out my pattern on the computer before I start knitting – then I can save it as a pdf and have it handy on my phone at all times.

IMG_instaThis is where the real fun begins – the knitting! I have to fit in knitting whenever I can in the quiet parts of the day – mostly if we’re having cuddle time on the sofa and once my kids are in bed. At one point I planned to make this into fingerless gloves instead of mitts, but having done the left hand I wasn’t satisfied with the finger placement, so with the right hand I just separated the pinky to help hold the glove in place on that side. You can skip this step if you like! Having ripped out the fingers on the left hand, I procrastinated for a week or two on redoing the cuff!

IMG_3940smallAfter knitting the right hand, it was pattern writing time! First I had to grade the gloves into a larger size and decide how I was going to present the charts. I like to keep my charts to as few pages as possible, so it was a little bit of a challenge to fit each hand onto just one page. Stitchmastery takes the charts I’ve made and gives me written patterns, which is a nice shortcut, however the written instructions it gives me are nowhere near publishable! I have to go through and consolidate things like: (K tbl, p) x 8, (k tbl, p) 4 times, (k tbl, p) x 4, into (K1 tbl, p1) 16 times and then put in the repeats for the large size. With each glove having more than 70 rounds, it took me about a week to get this stage ready to be tech edited!

IMG_3905smallTech editing is always a little nerve wracking – you send off your new baby and hope it doesn’t come back with too many red marks! I always send off my pattern in the best state I can get it to, but there was no chance of getting this one back error free! After I make the fixes from the first round of tech editing, I get testers for the pattern. This is always super fun! I love to see my patterns being knit by other people. My testers were really helpful – picking up a few errors that had slipped through the net, and suggesting other little improvements. One notable change was that a tester couldn’t find a video for the cast-on I’d specified, so I went through my cast-ons book, found another name for the same cast-on and then I found loads of videos for the Estonian Cast-On. During the testing process I usually find time and good weather for a photoshoot.

IMG_3899smallOnce testing is done and I stop getting suggestions from my testers, I make sure all the errors are fixed, incorporate the suggestions I like and send the pattern back to Jo for a final review. Finally it’s time for setting up my Ravelry and LoveKnitting pages, drafting my newsletter and blog, and getting all my social media announcements ready. My husband sets up the page on my website, and once our kids are in bed I can finally hit publish, and send everything out!

You can find it now:

There’s 20% off on my website and Ravelry until the 12th February at midnight UK time – no code needed! Want to see what I’m working on now? Check out my instagram account for sneak peeks! Or sign up to my newsletter to hear about my new releases (and get an exclusive discount!) just enter you email address on the right!

August 8, 2017

Sometimes we all need IMG_2567aan easy knit – when you’re watching a thrilling drama or chatting along at knit night – or in my case when I was pregnant/had a tiny baby! I love that the Ancient Greeks had a spirit dedicated to ease and simplicity, and this shawl is named for her – Apheleia.

Choose two contrasting colourways of your favourite yarn and jump straight in! Knitted all in garter stitch this deliciously squishy shawl will keep you warm whatever the weather. The crescent shape of the shawl keeps is nicely on your shoulders

This pattern has been a long time in the making and I’m really excited to be releasing it at last! You can find the pattern on Ravelry, Loveknitting and here on my website! If you buy in the next three days you’ll automatically get 50% off when you buy from my website and Ravelry.

I love to see the shawls (and gloves and blankets) you make from my patterns so please do link them on Ravelry or if you use Instagram, tag me (@lizcorke.knits)! You can also join me in my group on Ravelry – if there’s enough interest I would love to host a Knit Along (KAL) soon!

January 1, 2015

BrighdeA little later than planned, what with colds, flu and baby bronchiolitis, Christmas and visiting family, here is my latest pattern! Brighde is the Goddess of Spring and Summer – legend has it the Beira locks her up during the winter, and when she’s free we have spring and summer again! These gloves have been so long in the making – the left hand glove was knit last year while I was pregnant, and the photo shoot was done with my (at the time) five month old baby boy. Now he’s nearly seven months old and this is around the time that I knit the first glove last year! I’m lucky my gauge hadn’t changed.


IMG_1024I really love these gloves. I knew when I was reading the legends behind Beira that I would have to make a complimentary pattern for Brighde – in green for the spring. The main cable on these gloves is mirrored on each hand – something that I only remembered 20 rounds into the cable on the second glove, so I had pull my cable out and start over – oops!

IMG_0987The photoshoot for the gloves was a lot of fun. We went to the forest near our home where I grew up, and it was my baby’s first walk there. We had a a great time showing him trees and leaves, and he made sure the whole thing didn’t take too long by complaining whenever he felt we’d been in one place long enough. The hardest part was trying to choose the photos for the pattern pages – He’s so cute that I had a hard time limiting the photos with him in!

If you buy Brighde before 11.59pm on the 5th January, you’ll get an automatic 25% off the price on Ravelry/my website. On Loveknitting (see below) the price is lower to reflect the discount.

Due to new rules brought in by the EU all digital sales to customers in the EU must pay VAT to customers own country. Because of this new law, I will be selling patterns from Ravelry to EU members through the Loveknitting site. Your patterns will still be added to the Ravelry library and everything else should be fairly easy – you can still pay using paypal, or you can choose to use a credit card on the Loveknitting site. This won’t apply to those outside of the EU or to those in the UK as I don’t yet come close to the UK VAT threshold. My patterns are currently awaiting approval on the Loveknitting site and will hopefully be available in the next couple of days. For a much better explaination of what’s happening, check here!

June 5, 2013

I hear those four words from my husband everytime I get a package in the post! Now that Orithyia is finished, I have another shawl on the needles. I’m really loving this one and I’m especially excited about it because I’ll be releasing it and having a KAL for the pattern. Interested? Head over to this thread on Ravelry and let me know what you think!

RightOMA Treacle Toffee now I’ll tell you that I’m using Old Maiden Aunt (OMA) merino/silk in Treacle Toffee and it’s a gorgeous warm brown. I’m completely smitten – this is my favourite shade of brown. I’m also pretty excited about the beads. Don’t they match gorgeously?

I’ve used OMA merino/silk before for Storm Warning, and I have another shawl on the needles using it too (more on that in a few weeks time). Beading projects aren’t great for travelling so I need a second for short trips! It has a pretty high silk content so knitting with it feels like a really luxury. It also stands up really well to wear. I have to confess though, one of my favourite things about buying yarn from Lilith is the mini pack of love hearts in the parcel!

May 29, 2013

IMuch Yarn! bought a lot of yarn a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a photo of it all! I have eight shawls in various stages right now. One is finished, two are on the needles, three more are swatched and charted, one more is half swatched and waiting for some tweaks to the border, and the last one is in the final stages of design. If only I could knit faster I’d have loads to show you! All of the yarn in the photo is for these shawls – three of them are two colour shawls although I’m now not using two of the skeins. The shawl that’s finished and one of the ones on the needles are a two for one pattern and I should have just enough for both by swapping the main colour and contrast colour over for the second shawl.

Today Fyberspates RCI’m just going to tell you about the yarn for the finished and half finished shawl. It’s absolutely gorgeous! The yarn is fyberspates Rural Charm. It’s a 70% bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. I’ve used it once before on the large version of Anthousai, and I really love working with it. The silk gives it a gorgeous sheen and it’s really soft and light to work with – just what you want in a shawl!

The Fyberspates RCcolours I’ve chosen are The Blues and Pebble. I think it’s probably obvious which is which! The various shades of blue aren’t quite so obvious in the finished shawl, but I still think it looks fantastic. Pebble is a gorgeous colour, mostly light grey with subtle hints of darker grey, blue and brown. Absolutely fantastic! Blue is my favourite colour, but I haven’t really used it in any designs up until now. Now though I have four blue shawls coming out! I’ll space them out with other colours so it doesn’t get too monochromatic for you.

April 17, 2013

I have to say that I think *touch wood* spring might be here! Although I made the decision to wear my spring jacket at last this morning so I’m prepared for snow this afternoon. I hope the weather’s improving where you are too!

CoppeliaWhen we’re knitting we have three big choices to make. Choice of needles is generally the most expensive and most permanent of these. The next two are choices we make over and over again. The choice of pattern and the choice of yarn. I think both of these are really personal choices so I want to talk about why I choose the yarns I do for my designs.

DamsonOne of the biggest choices for me is who to buy from. I really love to buy my yarn from indy and hand dyers. I also choose to buy from British dyers most of the time, partly because I like to support British people and partly because it’s much easier not to worry about long postage times and customs fees! I want to support people who are trying to make a living doing something they love, especially since I’d love to do the same eventually!

The other thing I love about buying from indy dyers is the fantastic range of colours that they create. Practically any colour you can imagine can be found somewhere out there. I love the slight variation and depth the colours have too. Semi-solids are a lot more interesting to my mind than solid colours too.

ShawlsThe dyers I shop from most often are Old Maiden Aunt who is the most local to me. She has a fantastic range of colour ways, fibre blends and yarn weights and as a fantastic plus she always puts a mini pack of lovehearts in the parcel! Posh Yarns have a really exciting set up. The week’s yarn goes online on a Friday and you can browse and see what you’d like. On Sunday the yarn goes on sale – it’s best to be there and waiting at the right time to make sure you don’t miss out! I think all of their colourways are one offs, but I’ve got some gorgeous yarns from them. Fybrespates is the third I buy from a lot. They have a massive range of yarns and colours and they are all gorgeous. They’re the largest hand dyer I buy from – a small company rather than an indy dyer. Eden Cottage Yarns is the most recent one I’ve found, but I really love her yarns and I’ve used them for the last two of my designs.

If you have any favourite dyers, let me know! I love finding new dyers and I’d love to expand my stash too. My shawl yarn stash is looking a little thin. I’ve scattered some yarn photos through this post. The group of four are for my next shawls. There’s a theme and possibly an e-book there – see if you can guess what it is!

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February 22, 2013

A new package of yarn arrived for me yesterday from Dee at Posh Yarns. I love to buy yarn from Dee because she’s so friendly, Coppeliathe yarns are gorgeous and it always arrives really quickly. I don’t buy it very often though because sales go up on a Sunday night at 7pm and pretty much sell out instantly and I have a tendancy to forget! The dye runs are all one offs so if you see something you like get it asap.  Luckily for me they had a couple of technical problems this week, and when I checked out the site on Monday I fell in love with a couple of yarns and had to have them! First up is Coppelia. This one is 100% merino in 50g skeins each 220 yards. It’s a gorgeous grey/pink/lilac and as soon as I saw it I knew it was perfect for my friend. I’ve already cast on and it’s going to be a second sample for my new design although I doubt I’ll get this one finished before testing starts.

Vivacious LadyThe second yarn I have no plans for yet, but I just had to have it! I’ve been looking for a gorgeous red yarn for ages and this one is stunning. It photographs well too which is fantastic since I tend to have trouble with reds. This one is call Vivacious Lady and it’s a 55% wool/45% silk blend and is 440 yards too. It’s going to make an absolutely gorgeous shawl and I’m sure it’s going to inspire me!

Things are going to be busy next week so remember to come back and check in! On Wednesday I’ll be posting about my design process for Anthousai. I’ll be publishing the pattern on Wednesday or Thursday – sign up to my newletter or keep an eye on my twitter/facebook/ravelry group to get the first notice of it – and on Friday I’ll be blogging about the pattern for FO Friday. Hope to see you there!

February 13, 2013

Wednesday again! I have to confess that I haven’t really done any more on my sock this week. I have got a lot of projects on the go though! I’m keeping them all under wraps, but I thought that you might like to see the yarns I’m working with. I have a great variety of colours for a change! At the top is my stripey sock yarn. I really need to get my sock going again, but it’s on to the cuff now, which just isn’t as exciting as the rest of the the sock was! I’ll get it going again soon. It’s good relaxation knitting when I don’t want to focus on something else – k1, p1 rib round and round and up the cuff.

I’ll do the rest from left to Yarnsright since that seems logical. First is a gorgeously soft merino/nylon/cashmere blend in a really nice light tan from Posh Yarn. This one is a gift for my mother in law. She already knows what she’s getting, but I’m making a few adaptations to it, so I’m keeping it under wraps! Next up is the shawl I’m making for a friend. This one will be the next pattern that’s ready for publishing. It’s another sideways shawl, and I’m on to the decreases, so it should be speeding up and hurrying to the end. The yellow is cotton yarn that I’m making into a face cloth. This is another of my designs. The pattern for this one is going to be free – kind of like a sample of my pattern writing style. Last up is the yarn I showed you on Friday. I really love this yarn from Eden Cottage, it’s a dream to work with – soft and silky. This one is a shawl pattern I came up with months ago, and I’m really enjoying knitting it at last!

In my lunchtimes just now, I’m reading “The Complete Father Brown” by G. K. Chesterton. Father Brown was made into a TV show and shown on the BBC a few weeks ago, and that reminded me that I had this book on my kindle. I’m enjoying it, although the style of writing is a bit rambling. One of the stories fits more or less perfectly into my half hour for lunch which is perfect!

Check out what everyone’s been up to with WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!

February 8, 2013

My second skein of yarn arrived on Wednesday Damsonand I really love it! It’s Eden Cottage Titus 4 Ply which is a gorgeous 30% silk/70% merino blend. I’ve already used this yarn in the autumn colourway for my Anthousai shawl and I really love working with it. This colourway is Damson, and it’s gorgeous. It’s also really tricky to photograph well! The colour is a really nice dark purple with hints of blue and red. I’ve already started knitting a new design and even though it’s only 30 rows in, I really love how it’s going.

This weekend I’m hoping to get more done on the shawl I showed you on Wednesday. It’s a sideways shawl and I’m onto the decreases now so it should be going faster with every repeat I do. I want to do a couple of phototutorials for this one too, so I might get them done this weekend if my photographer (aka husband) can be persuaded to help.

My Anthousai test seems to be going well and the pattern is off with my fantastic tech editor, so I’m really hopeful about getting the pattern published at the end of the month. I don’t really have much to do for this one any more apart from hoping for the weather to improve so that I can get on with the last few photos I want.

Have a great weekend everyone!

February 6, 2013

It’s Wednesday again, and I have something to show you at last! I’ve had a fairly productive week. Firstly I ripped out my fingerless gloves again. I’m going to cast on again with eight less stitches and hopefully that will give me the fit I want. One of the challenges I’ve got is that my hands are pretty tiny – 6.5″ around the knuckles so I’m going to have to work out how to grade the pattern for larger (normal!) sizes. Hopefully I’ll get it right this time!

I also cast on my first ever sock! Spice SockI’m making Spice Man socks, and I really like the pattern. I thought that toe up would be a good way to go to make sure I got a sock that fits. I definitely made a good choice. My guage was a bit off so I needed to add in some extra rows to the gusset to get a good fit. I’ve just started the ribbed cuff and then it’ll be on to sock number two. The yarn I’m using is Regia Snowflake, and I really like how it looks, although next time I think I’m going to pick some brighter, more exciting colours.

I also finished the swatch Fyberspates AubergineI was working on, and solved all the kinks in the pattern, so I got busy ordering yarn. I fell in love with two different yarns for this one, so I got both. I’m sure I’ll find an alternative for the one I don’t use! One, a gorgeous purple from Eden Cottage will hopefully arrive today, and the other arrived yesterday. It’s Fybrespates Scrumptious Sock in Aubergine and it is so amazingly soft. It’s going to be a dream to work with. It’s 55% Superwash Merino/45% Silk and the shine is fantastic. I’m sure I’ve said so before, but Merino/Silk really is my favourite fibre blend for shawls! I’ll show you the Eden Cottage one when it get’s here, and let you know which I’ve picked to use first.

Lastly, the other shawl designSneaky Peak I’m working on is back on the needles. The top edge does flop over, but it doesn’t seem to have any inclination to roll up tight so I’m happy and I really love the drape of the shawl. I’m giving you a little sneak peak of this one – as you can see there’s a lot of stockinette!  This shawl uses 4.5mm needles and they feel like monsters after using 2.5mm needles for my sock. I want to get this done and off my needles quite soon, because I need the needles for another project, and because I have so many projects on the go, it’s starting to be overwhelming!

Check out what everyone’s been up to with WIP Wednesday and Yarn Along with Tami and Ginny!