norichan knits!

Time Flies

Noriko HoComment

So many things have happened in the past two months, and I can't believe that I haven't had a moment to update the blog about them!  It has been fairly busy, busy enough that I haven't had the energy to always knit in the evenings!  I always know that I've been working a bit too hard if I don't feel like knitting.  :o(  

However, I won't lie, it turns out that I can't NOT be crafty during my time away from work.  ;op  I have started the above crocheted blanket that I've decided to call Neutral Neon.  A few years back, when neon was first coming back into vogue, I bought a large amount of Plymouth Encore to make a blanket with.  I didn't have a definite plan, but knew I wanted to do a statement blanket with it.  I originally bought four colors:  dark grey, light grey, neon pink, and neon yellow.

At this point in time, I am hesitant to add the neon yellow in... but I can't decide because I clearly originally wanted to use it.  If I decide to use it, the yellow would alternate with the neon pink.  Maybe I should go with my current gut feeling and use just the three.  For the time being, it just "feels right."  

In other news, I had a pattern release in the Portland, OR metro area.  Frogger is a design I worked in conjunction with Pearl Fiber Arts and Fierce Fibers.  The mitt design is a slim fitting, flip top mitten pattern.  The yarn base is Lithe, and the colorway is a special edition colorway called "Cloudy with a Chance of Rainbows."  I loved working with this base, soft and luxurious, yet felt like it would hold up well over time.  

While I took a short break away from self publication designs (there are a few more things in the works that are super secret; can't wait to reveal them!), I am back to it!  Watch out here for test knit opportunities!  <3!  With this much time taken off, I've got waaaayy too many ideas, I just hope I have time to knit them up!!  

2016 in Review and 2017 Goals

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As someone who rarely keeps "New Year's Resolutions," I actually quite enjoy taking a look and seeing how I did.  It's very fulfilling to see whether or not I managed to uphold any of them (especially since I actually have to go search for them... so clearly, I forget them soon after making them) ;o)  So, without further ado, here were my 2016 resolutions:

1. I proved to myself last year that I could get at least six patterns published in one year (I had ten published in 2015!), and so why not continue that? While I could tell myself I want ten published patterns again, I hate the idea of pressuring myself to the point where I could burn out. I think six is a nice attainable number, giving me an extra month here or there for catching up, or taking a break, if it’s needed. :o)

Well, I went back and reviewed my patterns for 2016, and I ended up having a whopping fifteen patterns published this past year!  These include firsts such as:  first time published in Knitscene, first time published in knit.wear, first sweater pattern, first time modeling for a magazine (and I had two patterns in the issue, also!), and first time vending at a fiber festival (Chuck was designed specifically for the fair!).  I am thrilled and shocked to have had so many patterns come out.  I'm proud of the fact that I not only managed to make this goal, but to have surpassed it.  :oD  

2. Knit for fun, again.

Did I manage this?  Yes, and no.  I managed to have bursts of time where I was able to knit freely, but there were also bursts of time where I was unable to work on anything except for designs.  

3. Reclaim SO MANY needles and project bags.

Again... I feel like I did not accomplish this exact sentiment.  Did I finish some UFOs?  Yes.  Did I add right back to them?  Yes.  Soooo, while I did finish a bunch of projects (#theufoproject on Instagram), I did also start many and not finish those in 2016, as well.  In fact, from my rough estimate of 40 from last year, I may have actually bumped it up to closer to 50.  Eeks!  Definitely out of control!  

4. My last goal of the year is to reduce. It appears that I continue to move into smaller and smaller spaces, and yet I continue to hold onto many things because they “seem useful” or are somewhat sentimental.

This one seems funny because I have managed to move yet again into an even smaller space than the one I was talking about in Jan 2016.  Since 2016, I have, indeed managed to reduce down.  I hope to manage to reduce down a smidge more from here!  We fit into our small space, but if I could tame things down a bit more, then the place would not feel as cramped.  

So, what do I hope to achieve in this new year?  Let's take a look!

1.  Continue to design.  Ten designs my first year serious year of designing, and fifteen in my second year of designing is amazing.  Do I think I can keep up this trend, though?  Not really.  I aim to, once again, have six new patterns come out this year.  If I manage to surpass that again, then I'll be thrilled, but I definitely do not want to burn myself out with unrealistic goals.

2.  Seriously, let's get those UFOs under control!  When looking at projects that aren't new designs, then I will be looking at those UFOs.  Better watch out, UFOs!!  ;op

3.  Actually finish moving in.  In May 2016, we moved into a cute little condo that we love, but it's been hard to feel perfectly comfortable in, seeing as there are still boxes that we haven't finished unpacking.  Part of this is space.  Less space = less storage.  

In the past month, there has been significant shifts towards actually getting them out and finding places for all of our things.  The last few boxes are being real pests because we need to reconfigure pieces of our apartment to get them unpacked.  However, to be down to just the last few boxes has been a real undertaking that I'm not ashamed to say I'm proud of!  I'm going to make it a goal to continue this trend!  

Do I have other goals for the new year?  You betcha.  However, those three goals are the ones that I want to be held accountable for, so I'd love for you to keep me honest.  Feel free to poke at me and ask if I've picked up a UFO if I post about a new non-design that I've cast on for!  

Did you make any New Year's Resolutions?  Do you typically try to?  

Pattern Releases: Maclure, Nabesna, and Kaiyo!

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Hello!  And with that month-long of silence, I bring you... three new patterns!  :oD  All done in collaboration with some fun people!  

First up is Maclure!  Maclure is a part of Stranded Magazine's Cold Weather 2016 issue!  This ski bonnet is knit from the top down, and includes details like a folded over brim featuring a contrasting color!  I love it in the natural colors here, but I think it would also look amazing done up in bright neons!  The yarn used here was Imperial Yarn Columbia.  

Next up is Nabesna.  Nabesna is also a part of Stranded Magazine's Cold Weather issue (this online magazine is one to watch out for, a bit more information about them at the end of this blog post!).  The fun part of this cute little muff here is the thrums!  While muffs are super cute and cozy always, I just imagined how much cuter and squishier it would be if it were thrummed!  If you've never done thrums before, I'd highly recommend trying it, it's actually quite easy and a lot of fun. 

Those extra fiber-y bits inside keep your hands toasty, while the optional strap makes sure that you won't lose your muff while you're just hanging out.  :o)  Again, the natural colors makes this a great knit suitable for all coordinating clothes colors, but my brain wonders... what would this look like in black or dark brown and a rainbow of thrums sprinkling about?  :oD  The yarn used for this pattern is Bartlett Yarns 2-ply, and the thrums were using the same company's roving.

The last pattern release is Kaiyo, a combination poncho and cowl.  This pattern was designed for Yarnbox's Classic Box December 2016.  The yarn is a luscious merino, alpaca, milk blend by Feederbrook Farms called Milk and Honey.  It is available in the Yarnbox, as well as in my Ravelry downloads.  Enjoy!

A quick note here about Stranded Magazine.  Stranded was formed by Andi Satterlund, Erin Birnel, and Monica Kirby.  The magazine first released earlier this year (2016) and now has three issues live.  The patterns in the issues are only available in the magazine for 1 year, then the rights revert back to the designer and can be individually downloaded.  

I have to say that I've found each issue to be well curated so far, and I've loved the feature articles included (only available with the full magazine purchase)!  In addition to the knit patterns, you can find a feature on a variant craft, and a recipe.  It's been awhile since I've had a magazine that I was eager to see each issue release, but Stranded has currently filled that spot.  :o)

(Oh, and yes, that is me modeling the patterns found in the issue!  It was a lot of fun to not only have some patterns included, but also be more involved by modeling for them!  In addition, I think it inspired one of my best hair colors to date.)  ;o)  

WIP Wednesday: Hipstamatic and Marion

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I've taken some time off of designing for a bit here, and am working on some gift knitting and selfish/UFO knitting.  I'm attempting something a bit on the crazy side, but I'm hoping to knit up hats for all of my coworkers at the optometry office.  On the less crazy side, they will all be Hipstamatics.  I'm using a range of bulky weight yarns, and discovering just how different "bulky" really can be!!  Here's my current one in progress (with mystery bulky weight that has been sitting in the stash for awhile:

And my other project that I'm actively working on is Marion by Andi Satterlund.  My gauge is fairly far off, but I did some calculations that indicate that it will be just fine post blocking with some negative ease built in.  :o)  The yarn is Bumblebirch Forage in Fog.  This one I'm calling a UFO, even though it hasn't been sitting around as long as some others, but I started it in May, and then got distracted before I could finish it up.  

I can't wait to get this done and blocked to really show off the fun cables along the front!  Also, it's kinda the perfect weather these days around here to wear this over dresses.  I used to wear this one white cropped sweater with all my dresses, until one day, I finally had to admit that it just wasn't truly in great shape anymore.  I've been on the search for a replacement, when I finally decided that I had to just go ahead and make one (or maybe a bunch...).  I'm going to be so excited when this guy is completely off the needles!  :o)

What is everyone else working on?  Anyone else trying to get some Christmas knitting done?  

Let's Cowl-Along!!

Noriko HoComment

I've posted about this on my Ravelry group page, but I would like to talk more about it here!  First, let's get all the repetition done!  (This is a copy/paste of my Ravelry thread.)


"Fall is my favorite time of year, and I want to celebrate it with a fun Cowl-Along! I’ve come close to deciding that a good cowl is one of my favorite accessories. For some reason, there’s more gratification knitting one up than a scarf, I’m not worrying about what to do with the loose ends like a shawl, and I can continue wearing it at work when I’m very cold (unlike a hat).

With that, here are the rules of this Cowl-Along.
1) The pattern must be one of my cowls (Chocolate Chip CowlCunegondeAviaryMarisol CowlHideaway CowlBohemian Cowl (Knitted), or Bohemian Cowl (Crocheted).
2) Any picture of a WIP or FO in this thread put up between today (October 24th) and the end of Thanksgiving weekend (Sunday, November 27th) will qualify for a chance to win a prize! (However, they must be new projects started, at the earliest, today.) 
3) The grand prize will be chosen from pictures found within this thread that also have corresponding project pages linked to my pattern. So, please, post your pics (and if you can, hyperlink them) in here! I won’t know to search otherwise. ;o)

Important Dates:
Start: October 24th
End: November 27th
Early Prize Drawing: October 27th (b/c it’s my birthday!)

Prizes: 
Grand Prize: 1 Chuck Kit including: A hardcopy and e-copy of my newest pattern Chuck, enough yarn to make a pair of Chucks in Tell Tale Yarn Company Tidal Twinkle in the limited edition Toasted Pumpkin colorway, a stitch marker hand made by Ohmayzee, and two buttons; as well as your choice of 1 of my self published patterns. 

Other Prizes:

  • Early Prize Drawing: your choice of 1 of my self published patterns. To be eligible, please post a picture of either your WIP, FO, or even just the yarn and what pattern you plan on doing by the end of October 27th!
  • FOs Drawing: a copy of my entire Candide Knits Collection (CandideCunegondeMaggieMartinPangloss, plus one mystery new pattern!
  • WIPs Drawing: your choice of 1 of my self published patterns!

Fine print: all drawings will be chosen by random number generator based on qualifications. FO Drawing will only be chosen between pictures of FOs. WIPs will include any picture of WIPs, regardless of whether you finish by the deadline or not! Yes, you can enter multiple times with the same project, as long as there’s notable progress with each WIP shot! Grand Prize will be selected between my favorite pictures, WIP or FO, so be creative!"


Photo credit knitscene/Harper Point Photography

I will personally be doing an adjusted version of my Chocolate Chip Cowl!  I have enough yarn to do 2 more full length cowls, but I'm also going to be working one up that's roughly half the length to be a bit more snuggly around the neck!  That's the one I'll be starting up tonight.  

This is what happens when I pay attention to something other than the cat, when she wants attention... no ability to take pics of my cowl yarn and she chews the tag off.  ;op  Well, that's my current color scheme for my cowl!  

Which cowl do you want to knit on?  Any stash yarn for it, or will you go shopping for new yarn??  :o)

Inspirations, Make-up, Slow-Fashion "October", and WIPs

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I haven't had time to blog lately.  It's just been crazy busy here, what between two part time jobs, vending at my first fiber festival ever, fostering a dog, finding that sweetie a good home, etc etc etc... however, I just realized that despite all that, I still make room to keep designing.  I'd love to be able to push some of that into blogging, as I do always realize I miss it once I get back to it.  With that, I have come up with some "regular" topic posts to keep me pushing.  Each topic have variable amounts of lengths, so when I'm super busy, I can still post a quick little something.  

Those topics will likely change through time, but for now they are (if you haven't already guessed from the title of this post...):  Inspirations, Make-Up, Slow-Fashion "October" (I'll be writing about this in my own time, but the idea stems from the original Slow Fashion October), and WIPs.  

Today's piece will be inspiration.  What and why Chuck?  Oh, and btw, here's Chuck!  My latest design!!  My friend and talented indie dyer, Arianne from Tell Tale Yarn Co, shared a booth at Fiber Fusion last weekend.  It ended up being a blast!  I met a lot of people, got to browse through some fiber fun, and even met a therapeutic llama (who kissed me!).  For the fest, we teamed up and came up with these adorable kits.  

I used both her Windswept Worsted and Tidal Twinkle DK to come up with a fun convertible pattern.  My thought process for this pattern started with the nagging thought that if I decide to buy coffee to-go (and forgot my to-go mug at home), I end up with yet another paper sleeve that I need to recycle.  I have some friends who make and remember their reuseable knit ones, but I'm (sadly) not that person.  However, in the fall, I always toss a pair of mitts into my purse b/c my hands commonly get cold.  With that, it hit me that if I just made a pair of mitts that would double as a coffee warmer, then my problem is solved!

When Arianne's limited edition colorway, Toasted Pumpkin, came out... I was immediately into thoughts of the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte (of which I still need to try), and knew it was the perfect color to use for this endeavor.  The almost immediate other thought I had was of Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.  So, I knew I was incorporating chevrons somewhere into my design.  ;o)  Once the two thoughts merged, I actually immediately went to work and it was like magic.  Chuck is available as a ravelry download now!  

And watch out for more posts about these new topics!  I am very excited to get back to blogging!  :o)

Swap Gift!

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I joined a swap exchange on Ravelry, and am eagerly awaiting my swapee to get her gift!  However, I have received my gift and I'm bowled over by my gifter's generosity!  I'm in love with every single piece!  

It all arrived similar to this (only neater) and I pulled it out of the perfectly sized priority mail box.  My first reaction was, honestly, how did she find a reusable bag that fits so perfectly??  ;o)

I'm going to start off with the extras.  The perfectly sized bag in green and smaller matching pink bag are both from Namaste, and my swapner says she loves them.  I am super excited to try them out!  In addition, there's a really sweet project bag by my favorite project bag maker (Erin.Lane).  It is a special edition bag, so I'm feeling pretty honored.  Then, there's also the really awesome knitting and crochet themed coloring book by Franklin Habit!  So cute!  And something else I can use my coloring pencils on!  Lastly, I mentioned that Japanese sweets are probably my favorite type of sweets, and so she included a bag of assorted Japanese candies!  

And now the yarn.  Oh my goodness, the yarn choices couldn't have been more spot on!  A variety of weights and indie dyers!  Starting from the top:  Miss Babs Yowza Skein in Drunken Watermelon, Lotus Yarns Nirvana Sport in Grassroots, Madelinetosh Twist Light in Beach Bonfire, and Three Irish Girls Springvale DK in Everlasting Gobstopper!  If you've read my blog for a period of time, it may have been mentioned that the pink and green color combo is my favorite.  I love it, and I am very quick to comment that it reminds me of watermelons... so these choices are fantastic!  In addition, anything rainbow-y and I am a huge fan!  I'm super drooling and trying to figure out what the first instance that I can get knitting with these guys could possibly be!  :oD  

Black Sheep Gathering

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At the end of June, I went to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR.  It's a cute fiber festival that focuses on the animals, fiber mostly for spinning, and a small amount of yarn.  I went for one day with a couple of my friends.  :o)  It was so much fun, and I would love to go again, though it may not be a yearly event for me... It ended up being a longer drive than I originally expected.  >.<  Anyways, here are some pictures from the event.  

The animals were adorable, getting to hang out with friends (Marilyn, a local PDXer, and Ari, a Seattle-ite... and many more not pictured) was great, there were some amazing felted pieces of art there, a wall of handspun yarn (of many different breeds of sheep) then swatched for us to ogle over, and a new favorite shop (Stick + String)!  :oD

And, of course, the haul.  I couldn't resist getting one Stick + String's batts, so I nabbed the one I was eyeing all day (the gorgeous desert-y colored one), some black wool with a rainbow of sparkles from The Fiber Addict, and some natural colored wools (a wool sampler pack and Shetland/Alpaca) from Woolgathering.  I also got my very first Jenkins spindle, an Aegean.  Eeeeee, so excited!!

As far as the wool sampler pack goes, it contains 30 different breeds of sheep!  My friend, Marilyn, and I split a pack (full pack is 1oz/breed, so we now have 0.5oz/breed), and we will be spinning them up and will be putting up blog posts about our thoughts on each of them.  I'm very excited because I haven't even heard of some of these breeds!!  :oD 

Catching Up

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It's been a busy time filled with work, guests, and secret knitting.  Wishing I could share those projects with you guys, but can't until my contracts say I can!  So, guess I should take a look at some of the other things filling my time lately!

First up, soon after I last posted, one of my best friends came to visit.  I was so happy to get to visit with her, as we've been best friends since undergrad, and I haven't seen her in about 2 years!  We got in some site-seeing, hiking, and good food!  Has anyone ever been to Paseo?  I had seriously never been until her visit, and wow!  I need to go back stat!  Here we are on our hike:

Next up is #theufoproject (you can play along on Instagram, also, if you would like!) that I've started/been working on.  Once I managed to finish up my secret knitting, I had about a week free where I could work on "for fun" knitting.  I decided to work on UFOs, as that was a New Year's goal of mine, and I have barely made a dent yet!  I went hardcore for a full week, and am now back to designing again.  However, it was actually a lot of fun to see how far I could get with my projects.  I'm going to attempt to keep up at least one UFO while designing until I get to a reasonable number of UFO projects.  ;o)  

Here's some of my progress on them.  I knit about 9" more on my blanket (stalled out 6 or 7 years!), converted a failed hat design into a pair of successful designed mitts, sewed pieces of a purse together (that was 3-4 years old), and turned the heel on a pair of socks (also about 2-3 years old).  Whew!  I'm feeling pretty good about this!  

Now, let's talk a bit more about my new mitts!  These babies were knit using Tidal Twinkle dyed by Tell Tale Yarns.  They will be another addition to my Candide Knits Collection.  I will be needing testers for these mitts soon, so let me know if you'd like to be a tester!!  I also highly recommend the yarn used for the mitts, as it's super soft, and the bling is not too too bright, just enough to shimmer in the light and it just makes me happy.  In addition, the high twist makes this yarn very bouncy and durable.  Love it!  (I am currently working on a matching hat, also, as can be evidenced by that photo...)

Last thing I want to mention is my new pair of swanky glasses!  I'm in love with these guys, I think they're super adorable!  I was actually told that they were discontinued, and I couldn't have them... So, I was SO SURPRISED when the rep managed to find a single pair after searching around for me!  :oD  Oh, and, yes, that is a new hair color!  

Rainy Days in Seattle

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Second summer here in Seattle (though, just barely over a year of living here), and I'm still weirded out by how cool it still is and that it can still be routinely raining.  Today is one of those gray days.  The temperature is comfortable, not cold, but still cool.  Back in Austin, it's already up into the 90s, and in some ways I miss that.  While it's not fun days on end, like it typically is there, the warmth and sun out do remind you that it really is summer.  

However, these rainy days in the PNW aren't all gloom and doom.  I do feel like the knitting spirit is maybe not stronger here, but definitely more often found.  The weather probably has a lot to do with it, as it's cooler and milder here most of the year around.  The idea of "seasonal knitters" are fewer between.  

In addition, I am loving all the tea I can have out here without feeling like I'm being silly.  Today has been a good day for green tea.  And, yes, I have both a Chococat mug and a cat shaped mug.  ;op

These recent days have been filled with secret deadline knitting, and somehow my coffee table just exploded with knitting related things!  Does anyone else's living space look like this?  

Indie Dyers

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One of my favorite things about knitting is all of the different varieties of yarns out there.  I love a good work horse yarn (among my favorites in this category is Stonehedge Shepherd's Wool, so soft and comes in many colors!), but I also adore all that can be found in the indie dyers realm.  It becomes so interesting to see how different dyers can take a similar (or sometimes even the exact same) base, and then what colors they apply to it, what technique they're using to dye, variegated, solids, semi-solids, etc etc to create such different yarns.  

I've been designing or even just playing around with different indie dyers recently, and here are some of the projects I've been working on:

Here's a sneak peek to my next pattern release!  The hat (will be called Maggie) and cowl (Cunegonde) are both done with a yarn called Pendragyn DK by DragynKnyts.  The yarn is soft, and has a nice drape to it, especially for a 100% merino!  The hat is a direct match to Cunegonde, and I only used one skein for BOTH the cowl and hat (smaller sized cowl and M hat).  

There's a major chance that I'll be purchasing another skein of this, potentially in the exact same color (Libation) because someone (not a knitter) has already begged me to make her one of the hats.  I'm not arguing with having a reason to buy more of this yarn... ;op

This lovely sparkly DK is Tidal Twinkle, a heavier DK hand dyed by Tell Tale Yarn Co.  This is destined to become another hat design of mine, and I have to say, I'm quite taken with this yarn.  It is a bigger contrast that one might think to the Pendragyn, given that they are both DK and primarily merino.  However, this DK is a heavier DK than the Pendragyn, and it appears to have a higher ply count, which leads to a rounder yarn with more spring.  For a yarn that has such a delicate look (sparkles!), it holds up really well!  I know because I've ripped out my project four times already (hey, a designer just has to know when a pattern isn't going right...), and it's still looking really good!  :o)  All in all, this is a really awesomely soft yet still robust yarn with a bit of subtle glam.  Highly recommend!

Up next is something I've already talked about on the blog.  The Stitchjones Neon Collaboration that I'm doing with Cory of Indie.Knits and Ariel of Stariel Knits!  You're getting a tiny sneak peek of how that's going along.  :o)  The first of the collection, Torrance Mitts, has already come out, and the other patterns are zipping along; you'll hear more about these in the nearish future!  This indie dyer is known for "taking color to eleven," so we knew we were going in the right direction when we asked her to be our Neon Challenge dyer!  

The yarn used for this challenge is called Merino Sock, and I found it to be a very hardy, heavier sock weight.  I used US2 needles for my mitts (both patterns), and found the fabric to be firm.  I know a lot of people would use much smaller needles for their socks (I typically use a US1.5), but I might actually suggest US2s for socks with this yarn, even.  I can tell the high twist of this yarn will help with the long life of your items.  :o)  

If you can even remotely ignore that darling husky who rode the bus with me that particular morning, the yarn in this picture is Forage dyed by Bumblebirch.  This is a 100% merino worsted weight yarn.  It is very soft, and I think is going to make the most perfect Marion (by Andi Satterlund) ever.  I'm about 1/2way done with the cardi, and I'm pretty thrilled with it.  The only thing I've adjusted is the gauge, so far.  I found myself in the awkward place of being between sizes, and my st gauge was a bit tighter naturally, so I went with it.  It's turning out pretty much perfect because of that!  (Note:  this pattern relies heavily on row count.  My row gauge was actually spot on, but with tighter st gauge.  I'm doing the larger of the sizes I was between, and it's been working out well!).  

So, there we go.  That's been the majority of what I've been knitting on lately.  All indie dyed yarns, three of them 100% merino, the other still 80% merino, and yet all of them are knitting up differently, and all of them have their own unique look to them.  <3 that so much!  :oD

Hair Update

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I'm not sure how many of you saw my last post about the Evolution of My Hair, but feel free to click the link and catch up before swinging back here to see the updates.  ;o)  I am still dyeing my hair all sorts of colors, and have not gotten tired of all the fun combinations there are!  To not do too much overlap, I'll start off with the color I was when I moved to Seattle.  

Remember this color?  I loved it, and it was coincidentally, the perfect color to move to Seattle with!  I didn't realize that Seattle is considered "The Emerald City," so it was very serendipitous. While fun, I think I felt that it was a bit dark for the large amount of gray that I was encountering, and so I went back to blonde to brighten things up again!  :oD  

I was super happy with the blonde, but kept wondering if I could pull off the gray hair trend I was seeing everywhere.  At first I thought it was a silly thing, I'm going to go gray anyways... why do I want to go gray now?  But the more and more I saw, the more I wanted it!  

My stylist went heavy with the lavender and gray dye so that it would last longer and fade nicely.  I think this color faded the nicest out of all the colors I've ever gone before.

Despite roots, I love the contrast between the gray and roots!  Normally, I hate seeing the roots coming in, and here, I let it go maybe even a smidge longer than I should have.  But, once again, it was time for a change.  With my hair this light, I wanted pastels.  So many pastels.  

THIS many pastels!!  Definitely one of my more fun colors, I was amazed by my hair every time I looked in the mirror!  So.In.Love.  I came close to asking for the exact same thing, when it was time to update my hair, but instead I went with an old favorite.  

Did you guess it?  PINK!  Not quite as bright as the last few times, but definitely just as fun.  :o)  Once again, I forgot the troubles with going my favorite color means that I can't wear a good portion of my wardrobe or my lip colors, also!  So, I decided to go towards contrast colors again.  

 A tealy-blue (that's actually a bit lighter than this picture seems to indicate, but pretty close)!  I'm seriously digging this color right now.  I love how many different pieces of clothing this opens back up for me, not to mention lip colors.  :o)  I think this is the perfect color for the summery season.  

I'm giving it a two thumbs up rating!  ;o)  Also, I want to buy every color of these silly miniature poang chairs from IKEA and just sit in them all the time.  I can feel extra tall then!  I'm so excited for these hair colors.  One of these days I'll have to just do it picture only form from beginning to end.  How fun would that be??  :oD

Island Trip

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Local islands!  For the first time, I was able to drive a car onboard a ferry.  :op  I don't know why, but it was extra exciting.  Haha.  

It was a fun excursion to do while my mom was visiting.  Luckily, she also loves yarn, so while we did some sight seeing, we also got to check out a couple yarn stores!  

First up, we found a store called The Artful Ewe in Port Gamble.  We didn't realize that technically it was closed when we arrived.  We were about to turn around, when the owner showed up right behind us and allowed us in while she just happened to be there!  It was my first time in the shop and I was so impressed by the selection of yarn and fibers.  It appears that the owner dyes most of what is there, and I couldn't help but to buy a couple braids of beautiful fiber.  :o)

After that we made our way to Bainbridge and Churchmouse.  It was as adorable as ever, and after circling a number of times, I finally decided on what was coming home with me.  

I can't wait to get some time to use these pretties!  Squee!  :oD  

PDX Yarn Train!!

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Wow, has it really managed to be 3 weeks since the last update.  >.<  It's been a whirlwind of activity over here.  Some of which I'll finally be able to talk about soon.  But first off, I'd like to talk about one of the fun weekends I had earlier this month, when my mom visited.  :o)

There we are!  My mom is wearing one of the numerous Swirl sweaters she's made.  We are aboard Amtrak about to ride from Seattle to Portland for a yarn crawl!  This crawl is pretty big, there were 95 official registered people making the crawl!  I met some very fun people riding that train down, despite some drowsiness from having to get up before 6am to catch the train.  ;o)

We had joined a small group of people who have gone on this crawl before, and they had a gameplan going.  We started off at Twisted, where I always seem to end up drooling over the Quince and Co (especially since Seattle's nearest retailer seems to be Tolt, which isn't super close to me...) and also the Republic of Wool (pic below).  

After that we stopped for lunch, then headed over to Happy Knits.  Lunch was super yummy, and I felt that maybe I should have been a bit more adventurous with my meal, as everyone else's looked more exciting than my own.  However, it was still delish, so I shouldn't really complain.  

At Happy Knits, I was excited to see the two current issues of magazines that I have patterns in sitting out on display!  :oD  I did end up buying some things here, but that'll be in the wrap up photo at the end. 

Our next stop was Pearl Fiber Arts, which is a store near and dear to me.  For the crawl, Cindy had three trunk shows going!  She had Stacey of Thoroughly Thwacked (of whom I worked with for Paulette), Grace of Graces Cases (I love her bags and cases!  So cute, and very well made.), and Tim from Blind Coffee Roasters (yes, coffeeee!).  I actually used to go to a knit night with Cindy and Grace back when I lived out in the PDX area, and Stacey joined the group towards when I was leaving, so it was really great to see them all again!

It had been a pretty busy day, so we closed it down by getting some grub at Roxy's in downtown PDX.  

We did stay the night, so the next day we managed to stop in to Dublin Bay, where I managed to forget to take any pics... and then ran back to Twisted for a second purchase that we didn't want to miss out on, in the end.  All in all, it was pretty fun, then we headed back.  

Soooo, here are the total purchases!  Starting at the top:  some Madelinetosh that was on clearance at Happy Knits, Jamieson Spindrift in a bright pink that I plan on matching with a neutral at work, 4 Gumballs by Knitted Wit, Manos Alegria in this gorgeous neon variegate, Graces Cases bag, StitchJones Titanium Sock in Peacocky, Republic of Wool, Thoroughly Thwacked True, Black Trillium, Tell Tale Yarns Tidal Twinkle (DK sparkle yarn, what??), and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silky Victoria (enough to make a sweater, yay!).  Whew, it seems like even more yarn when it's laid out and broken down like that!  

This was a fun way to start my mom's visit.  Next round, I'll talk about the second mini yarn crawl we took, unofficially, the next day.  ;o)  

Pattern Release: Torrance!

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It's been a busy time here, and I'm super excited to announce Torrance has been officially released on Ravelry today!!  These mitts are special for me, for a number of reasons.  If you guys recall, I teamed up with two fantastic designers (Cory of Indie.Knits and Ariel of Stariel Knits) and a great indie dyer (Stitch Jones who takes color to eleven) to do a Neon Challenge!  

I felt honored to be included in the design challenge, and I was super excited about this particular one.  Neon sends me back to the early 90s when Lisa Frank was everywhere, and shows like Saved By the Bell had neon colored doodads floating across the screen during their theme song.  I have a soft spot for neon, and since it has crept back into the limelight for another short moment in time, I am taking full advantage of it!  :oD  

Ariel, Cory, and I have put together a collection of neon colored accessories that will be found as a collection on Ravelry.  You will be able to buy each pattern individually, or you can purchase the entire collection at a discount.  The collection begins with Torrance, and then we will release additional patterns over the course of the next month and half until all four patterns are out!  

When I first started, I was positive I was going to make fingerless mitts.  As I kept attempting different designs, I suddenly became inspired by the movie Bring it On and I've started calling my portion of the collection "Spirit Fingers."  ;op  Thus, the name of these mitts are Torrance, after Kirsten Dunst's character in the movie.  

Every pattern in the collection is knit with a special color designed for us by StitchJones and uses her Merino Sock (100% superwash merino; 410yds/100g).  Torrance does not use quite a full skein, and so I have a special pattern coming out in May to wrap up this collection that can be used to finish up the entire skein.  

I've seen some sneak peeks of the other patterns in this collection, and I'm very excited!  Stay tuned for more soon... 

Pattern Release: Heliconia!

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Here's another secret knitting project!  Heliconia is an oversized, lacy kimono style cardigan, that can be found in the Summer 2016 issue of Knitscene!  

It is knit in two pieces, then seamed together, and finished off with an i-cord bind off to give it a really put together look.  Heliconia is knit in Meadow (merino/llama/silk/linen blend), which was a lovely blend for this project.  Because it is such an oversized piece, there are only two sizes.  The measurements are measured flat across one side (instead of traditional bust circumference).  To choose a size, have someone measure you across while you have your arms outstretched, as that is roughly where garment will end up lying from side to side.  It has arm holes, but no actual sleeves.  

Heliconia also features a deep V in the back.  Optionally, you can sew ribbons to the top of the V at the back to help keep the shoulders from slipping, if you would like.  :o)

If you would like to find your copy of Knitscene Summer 2016, see below for some options:

- If you are local to Seattle, Fiber Gallery has their copies in already!  You can call to reserve one for yourself.  

- To purchase directly from Interweave:  http://www.interweavestore.com/knitscene-magazine-summber-2016-print-edition

Knit.Wear is back!

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And I'm in it!!  :oD  I've had to keep this one a secret for a good amount of time now... and it was SO HARD!  This is technically the first sweater I ever designed (with the magazine timeline, I actually designed and knit the sample two months before I even started Mayu!!), and I'm super in love with it!  Introducing my Douillet Sweater (cozy sweater)!

The sweater uses the ultra lovely Woolfolk Sno, a fingering weight merino (seriously the softest merino I've ever touched) that is two different color plies.  The marled effect is created simply by using the yarn.  It was knit up in three of their colors, but the dark green/black and navy/black colors are somewhat similar, so it's a subtle difference.  You could go more dramatic or more subtle, as shown.  

Douillet was inspired by the idea that cozy/comfy sweaters don't have to be shapeless.  The sweater is meant to be worn with positive ease, but has loooots of shaping in it!  The sleeves are a slightly closer fit than the rest of the sweater because the yarn is so soft and squishy that I couldn't help but have it hug the arms a little.  

A top down raglan, Douillet is also an easy knit that lets the yarn do the talking.  It is definitely tv or knit night knitting worthy.  In addition, the other knits in this welcome back issue of knit.wear are pretty amazing.  I can't wait to get my copy and start knitting on some of them!!  :oD  

If you're interested in getting a copy, here are a few options:

Locally, The Fiber Gallery has already received our copies!  Call in and have us hold you a copy!!  

If you aren't local and your LYS doesn't carry Interweave magazines, here are the direct links to order an ecopy or physical copy!

http://www.interweavestore.com/knitwear-springsummer-2016-digital-edition

http://www.interweavestore.com/knitwear-springsummer-2016

All photos were taken with permission by Harper Point Photography.

So Pink!

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I had a hard time deciding what color I wanted to go this time... so I went with my favorite, pink!  :o)  

People were still loving this hair, but I have to say... it has faded to mostly green, and my roots are super noticeable.  It was definitely time for an update again!  

Good times with bleaching.  She only bleached out the roots, so I looked a bit goofy once it was done.  As a side note, does anyone actually look good in this getup?  Hahaha!

Second round matching my lip color!  (that was starting to come off by this time b/c I scarfed down a bagel in between, ha!)  Second round looks like color already, but it's a toner that helps with getting some pinkish pigments in, as well as some gray, dusty undertone.  It was used to even out the green with the gnarly medium orange-yellow roots.  In addition, it is conditioner deposited, so it helps to condition the hair, too!

And after the rinse, ta-da!  I actually love it already!  :oD  I don't know what the color would've dried like, but it looks pretty cool like this.  One more step... just need to brighten up the color!

Oh yeah, definitely amp-ing up the color!  My hope was for a dusty medium pink, but the way these things go, it's usually better to go a bit darker/more intense than what you want b/c it'll last longer that way.  :o)  

I ended up taking this picture the day after, right towards the end of the wind storm going through Seattle!  Haha.  But it shows off the color pretty well.  :oD  The ends are almost exactly what I was hoping for, and the top is a bit brighter, but I love it, and as it washes out, I think it's going to hit the perfect shade.  My only problem now is that I can't figure out what lip colors to wear with this!  Every time I change hair colors, I have to rediscover my new "favorites" in make-up.  Ah well, small price to pay... ;op