Liz Corke Knit Design
A 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.
I 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!
The 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!
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!
Right 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!
I 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 I’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 colours 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.
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!
When 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.
One 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.
The 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!
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, the 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.
The 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!
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 right 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!
My second skein of yarn arrived on Wednesday and 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!
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! I’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 I 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 design 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!
Friday is here! Only seven more hours till the weekend starts, and I have loads of plans for the weekend. Firstly though, I have a little moan because our internet isn’t working properly. The problem is really with the phone line – sometimes the dial tone will be all crackly so our internet is really slow, and other times it’s just gone and we have no internet at all! Fingers crossed we don’t lose internet completely over the weekend. The BT guy is coming on Monday to fix it, which is a relief because we’ve already been dealing with our dodgy internet for a week.
My plans for the weekend are much happier though! If the weather’s good we’ll take my new tripod out and get the last few photos of the shawl I finished last week done. I am going to be going over the shawl pattern and hopefully get it sent off to a tech editor. The shawl that I was blocking on Wednesday is have a rest just now, to see if the curling is going to get worse, but I’m hoping to get that back on the needles. Right now the top edge just wants to flop over and I think I can deal with that, so I’m just letting it relax to make sure it’s not going to decide to curl up completely. This one is going to be a gift for a friend, so I really want it to be perfect.
I’m also swatching another shawl. I came up with the design for this one a few months ago, and I’m really happy to get the chance to swatch it at last. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the perfect yarn for it over the weekend – right now, I’m thinking of looking for a nice red yarn for it. My new needles have finally arrived, and they are going to be really busy this weekend. I’ve ordered some 42″ chiagoo fixed circulars in 2.25 mm and 2.5 mm – perfect for magic loop! First I’m going to be casting on the cuffs for my fingerless gloves and then I’ll be starting some socks. This first pair are going to be for me – so mistakes won’t matter too much! I also really want to knit for my mum, but she isn’t really a scarf or shawl person, so I think socks might be the perfect answer for her. All the photos are of course of the yarn that will shortly be socks! I’m not linking up with Tami today, because I really haven’t finished anything.
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!
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