norichan knits!

FO

Hello Long Neglected Blog-o-sphere

Noriko HoComment

Hello!!  So much has happened since I have last posted.  Where can I start?  I suppose the easiest thing to do is to start with what is fresh in my mind.  I've had a number of publications since the last post here, but my most recent finished pattern is actually a crochet one!  I now have two crochet shawl patterns available, and hope to continue designing in crochet.  Despite its constant comparison to knitting, the two are actually quite different, and it has been interesting to see those differences emerge, even in designing.

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Here is the more recent publication:  King Louie.  This pattern is easier than it may appear, comprised of mostly double crochet stitches!  It uses two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Alegria.  

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The last knitted pattern I released was Twitterpated.  This pattern is fantastic for 1 full skein of yarn plus as many different mini skeins as you'd like!  This is a really fun knit.  I normally hate working up a scarf, but the fun shape and the stripes really help you keep going.  :oD

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This here is my next design in line to be published.  I'm about to send this along to my test knitters, then tech editor!  This shawl will be called Steggie, and is a true scraps-busting shawl.  This sample here is 21 different fingering weight scrap colors, and just about all of them were used until they ran out!  (Of course, I could not help having leftovers from the bind off.) Keep an eye here and on Ravelry for the release!  :oD

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If you have been following me on Instagram, then you already know about #theufoproject!  This is a gentle KAL where from May 1-July 31st, I am working solely on either UFOs or designs.  My UFOs are very much so out of line, and so, I'd like to tame that down a bit.  I started The UFO Project on May 1st, and by the end of the month, these are what I was able to accomplish!  There are 4 shawls, 1 sweater, and 1 sock (yes, I'm counting the just one sock as an accomplishment!  I'm also counting dealing with UFOs (i.e. - frogging projects), and on that front, I have frogged 7 single or partial single socks and 2 hats!  Adding all that up, that would be 15 projects lighter.

You'd think I'd be close to done then, but no... I have counted a whopping 39 more projects left for me to deal with in the next couple months.  Whomp whomp.  But hey, I still feel really good about where I am!  Fifteen less projects to hold myself accountable for really is an accomplishment.  Looking forward, the projects remaining will take a bit more work (though, I do think there's at least 1 or 2 more that I'd be willing to frog instead of continue), so I don't expect to have quite as much to show for it.  If I could somehow get under 25 projects, that would be over half of the projects I started off with, and I think I'd call that an overwhelming success!  Let's make that my goal here.  

I'll be back shortly, friends!  :oD

Blue Christmas

Noriko HoComment

I'm travelling for the holidays, and this year, I decided to bring a spinning project that I had from years back.  

These were two small samples I got from various places, and I decided to combine them to stretch out the yardage and weight I could get out of them.  :o)  I had roughly double the weight of lighter blue than the darker, so I decided to do a simple three ply with two strands of the lighter blue and one of the darker.  

I also spun them on the thin side to, again, stretch out the yardage.  I thought that the final product would end up being a fingering weight, but it is appearing that it is still a lace weight.  Of course, after it's bath, it may fluff up.  I'm actually hoping for it!  :o)

Here it is in a skein!!  Squee!  It's pre-bath still, and some areas I'm thinking might fluff up, but others seem like they'll still be lace weight after the bath.  I shall see in a bit.  

And here's the close up!  The color of the other picture is definitely closer, but this one does a good job of showing off the variation in the intensity of the darker blue.  :o) I, foolishly, left my niddy noddy home, and so I'll have to wait until I get back to measure my yardage.  

As it is, it looks like I'll be knitting for the rest of the Christmas traveling.  I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  :oD  

Cat Being a Cat

Noriko Ho2 Comments

Is it just me, or do cats just know the most inopportune times to get in the way?  I finally finished my Seeds to Flowers shawl, and pinned it out to block.  She didn't bother me at all the entire time... then when it came to taking pictures of it, that's when she decided she had to investigate...

Apparently, while I was out and about, she kept trying to lay on top of the shawl as it was drying, also.  Why, I couldn't say... Ah well.  She's lucky she's cute.  ;o)  

Finished Shawl

Noriko HoComment

So, I actually finished this guy about a week ago, but Thoroughly Thwacked has finally gotten her shipment of yarn in, so I can start testing!  I'll be putting more details about it up in my Ravelry group on Monday.  For now, here are a couple pics of the final shawl!

I'll get dimensions and whatnot taken soon.  It's so hard when there is very little clear space here still.  Yeah... the apartment is still a wreck with boxes and stuff everywhere.  We're still trying to figure out where it makes sense to put things... :o/  However, I can say that the shawl is a nice medium size.  Not too big, not too small.  :o)  

If you have any interest in testing, please join my Rav group so you can watch out for the all call.  :oD

Candide

Noriko HoComment

My newest hat pattern has been released!  A little late for the awesome spring weather we've been getting recently, here in Seattle... but that's what happens when you do a cross country move.  

I'm loving Candide and how different it can look with different color combinations!  All of my testers have been getting compliments on their hats, and have been getting requests for more.  :oD  I think that's the greatest thing a designer can ever hear.  

Some details:

Yarns used:  Cascade Heritage (or similar fingering weight) and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (or similar light DK/sport weight).  150-220 yds of fingering and 70-110 yds of DK/sport

Needles:  US 6 and US 8 - 16" circs and US 8 DPNs

Gauge:  20 sts/4" stockinette st, while holding one strand each of the Heritage and Silky Wool.

Sizes:  18" (20", 22")

Some general notes about the pattern.  Many of my testers had some troubles obtaining gauge when using a heavier DK weight yarn.  The Silky Wool is listed as a DK weight, but it does seem to behave a lot like a sport weight.  Since it's a hat, there is some give with the gauge, so don't be too particular about it.  Even the testers who missed gauge ended up loving their hats!  :o)  

It's a simple pattern, but can obtain completely different results.  Check out some of my tester's versions!  One of them even used scrap yarns to make a rainbow effect.  I'm loving it.  :o)  

Oh, and yes, this hat is named after the simple optimist that is the protagonist of the Voltaire novel Candide.  ;o)  

Need Testers for Candide Hat

Noriko HoComment

I have my next new pattern ready for testing!  

I'm in love with this hat!  It's such an easy knit, but by using some simple tricks with yarns, it comes out seeming much more sophisticated.  Kinda like the protagonist of Candide.  ;o)  A bit of a simpleton, but wanting to be more.  This is the first of a set of knits that will all feature a different character from Candide.  Well, here are the details:

Yarn used: 
Cascade Heritage (in 5681 Limestone) - fingering weight. Used for smallest size: 38g = 167yds. This is an exact amount, and I would err on having more than this.
Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (in 05 Lava) - considered a DK, but appears to be a very light DK. Either sport or DK would be fine, if you can get gauge. Used for the smallest size: 22g = 85yds. This is an exact amount and I would err on having more than this.

Needles: 
US 6 - 16”circ 
US 8 - 16”circ and dpns. 
Or size to obtain gauge.

Gauge:
20sts = 4” with both yarns held double on larger needle, in the round. Gauge was the same blocked and unblocked for me. :o)

This hat will come in a predicted 3 sizes. 18” (20”, 22”). Child/Teen (Small adult, Large adult). Exact sizes of hat: 17.5” (19”, 21”)

Testing will be performed in my ravelry group, here.  

Done!

Noriko HoComment

While I finished this hat on March 1st, life had other plans for me than taking a picture to prove that it was done.  ;o)  

I knew the variegated yarn was going to hide the pattern a good amount, but I didn't care.  And I still don't!  I love this hat, it's so comfy.  

Pattern:  Consummate V's Hat (free Ravelry dl)

Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios in Candombe

Pattern Release: Rivoletto Mitts

Noriko HoComment

Here is my latest pattern for self publish, Rivoletto Mitts!  I love these mitts, and I hope you enjoy them, also.  

These mitts are great because they actually fit a huge range of hand sizes.  :oD  They are only about 5" circumference, unstretched, but they are so stretchy that they will actually fit up to 8" circumference after stretching.  A lot of friends in my knitting group were shocked when they were able to fit into these mitts because they look so small when sitting on the table.  

So, I did do a gauge swatch for these mitts.  Since ribbing is so hard to measure, completely unstretched most people's gauges seem the same in ribbing, but when you "lightly stretch" how much is "lightly stretched"?  I decided to do the easiest thing and do a flat swatch in stockinette stitch.  Due to the stretchy nature of this pattern, gauge is not a huge issue.  The only concern would be the difference in yardage.  If you are concerned at all, then doing a gauge swatch to see if you are within reason is a good idea.  

Rivoletto Mitts are now available for purchase on Ravelry here.  

Aviary Cowl

Noriko HoComment

Just blown away by the release of this collection of "scarves."  Scarves used lightly, as in anything that will wrap around the neck.  :o)  Quince and Co have really outdone themselves this time.  This was one of my "secret" knits.  I've had to keep this one under wraps since November!  I've been dying to share it with you guys, and now I can!

Aviary Cowl (click the picture to be taken to the Ravelry page), is made with Quince and Co Tern (75/25 Wool/Silk) using 2 skeins each color (4 skeins total).  I loved using this yarn, it is so squishable and just comfortable!  It was a dream to knit with, and I have actually already bought more so I can make Aviary in a different color combo!

Aviary was created when I had a daydream about a cowl that was two-sided.  I wanted one side to be solid to keep it nice and cozy, but the other side had to be a little more fun.  Not only that, but I wanted to have some color play.  I loved the idea of a mesh to keep the pattern feeling organic and fun, but not too fussy.  I absolutely love how the mesh allows the other side's color to peek through!  I think the colors chosen here work very well, neutral and can go with just about anything.  However, I also imagine how fun this would be in some bolder colors, or what about one light and one dark?

I'm most excited about the fact that this is available in physical format!  While I love the versatility of digital copies, there is just something that I love about flipping through a book.  I also love all of the other patterns in the collection.  I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and get to knit some of the other designs!  :oD 

I will be doing a KAL for this cowl in the fall.  Things are just so busy right now that there's no way I'd be able to handle my current design load, my day job, a move (yes, I am moving soon... more on that in another post), and moderating a KAL.  I have a feeling, by the time I'm done with my move, it'll be close to summer, and it just wouldn't feel right knitting this then.  So, fall it is!  :o)

Can't wait?  Please go ahead and CO now!  Share your color combinations and projects with me in my ravelry group!  I'd love to see which colors you chose!  

FO: Code: Armonika Cowl

norichanComment
Drumroll please!  Ta-da!  It's all done!  This is January's MegaKAL selection.
My Armonika
Pattern:  Code: Armonika Cowl by Rutast Design
Yarn:  StitchJones Yarnageddon 2012 (?)  500 yds of luscious 50/50 merino silk single ply!!  

I was a little worried as I kept knitting this that it would actually be too long.  In the end, I have a cowl with a circumference of 52" and width of about 9".  I think this is a great size!  With that much width, it needs a bit of extra length to be able to comfortably wrap it around your neck.
  Here you can see it wrapped double.  I think it looks pretty snuggly, if I do say so myself.  :o)

And in this last picture, you can see how much yarn I have leftover.  Tape measure there for size comparison.  I might've gotten another row or two in there, but I was really out of steam by this time.  I had already knit 7 extra repeats (4 rows each, so 28 extra rows past what I wanted to), just to try to use up as much yarn as I could.

I'm going to wrap it up, and save it for Christmas.  I hope the desired recipient is going to like it!  And with this, I'm already done with my first gift of the year!  I always say I'm going to make my gifts early, and not stress in December... every year, I fail and end up making 3 gifts in December.  :op  Let's see how well I prep for this upcoming year.

OctoMitts

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My OctoMitts
Pattern:  OctoMitts by SpillyJane
Yarn:  Louet Gems Fingering (blue), Crystal Palace Silky Panda (pink), and StitchJones Titanium Sock (in Celadon).

Notes about the yarn:  I didn't even use up an entire skein of the Gems with these mitts.  And the pink and green were small scraps I had lying around.  These mitts make great leftovers projects!

I am absolutely in love with SpillyJane designs!  They're so cute and quirky.  I wish I could buy them all, but I know that's a bit too much.  As it is, I have 3 of them already, and these were the first that I actually decided to make.  Once I started the pattern, it was quite easy, and now I'm hooked on colorwork.  Enough so that I am working on a couple colorwork designs myself now... ;op

I only have a couple qualms about the pattern, and these are just personal preferences.  The first is the afterthought thumb.  While this is an easy method that doesn't disrupt the pattern of the mitt, I am not in love with how it skews the palm of the mitt to the side when they are being worn.  I would much rather have had a thumb gusset, myself.  The second is also personal preference, but I feel the length of the fingerless version of the mitt is a wee bit short.  They only make it up to our knuckles, and I'm used to them going up just a tiny bit more.  I could have made them longer, but I followed the pattern exactly this time, as it was my first time trying them out.

Below picture shows both sides.  I messed up on the palm a few times, which you may or may not notice.  ;op  I think it just adds character, though.  :o)  Amie seemed to really like them, so that's definitely the more important aspect of this knit!
 All in all, I think this was a successful knit, with a very cute result.  Can't wait to try out another one of SpillyJane's amazing designs.  They're rather addictive... I couldn't stop knitting on these once I started!  :oD  Two thumbs up for a great pattern!

Windschief

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My Windschief
Pattern:  Windschief by Stephen West
Yarn:  KnitPicks Swish Worsted

Ah, Stephen West.  The prolific designer has a ton of great patterns available.  I, honestly, cannot say that I am the biggest fan of his stuff... but I will admit that some of his patterns are hip, yet classic at the same time.  I personally like his older work better, and this is where we find this hat.

This hat was made for my brother (though, modeled by Bret).  He requested a hat for Christmas.  I ended up making him two hats, but (of course) I forgot to take any pictures of the other hat.  He seemed to like both hats a lot.  He wore both of them around while I was there, and his girlfriend made a point of telling me that he loves them.  So, I'm pretty happy here!

The pattern is rather straight forward.  Simple language, and easy to follow.  My only complaint is that the cowl and hat actually have the exact same pattern (CO and everything) until the end.  I would think many people would prefer a looser cowl, if only to get it over your head without messing up your hair and everything.

Happy Hippos!

norichanComment
My Project
Pattern:  Feet Eaters by Anna Hrachovec
Yarn:  Berroco Vintage (blue), and Cascade 220 Superwash (red and white).  I did use up almost 2 balls of the blue, and the red took most of 1 ball of Cascade.  The whites can be done easily with just scraps of yarn.

I honestly don't know how I feel about this pattern.  They did come out looking right, but everything about making them felt cobbled together.  It didn't feel like it could possibly come out looking right, yet it did.  Is that a good thing?  Maybe?

Well, here are some of my big notes.  The original sole is not thick enough, in my opinion.  It is knit with the yarn held double, but still feels a bit floppy.  My dad has a tendency to eat through his slippers quickly, so I thought I'd go ahead and make a second sole.  My second sole is removable, and so can be replaced, if he wears through them.  The ears are the same size for all 3 sizes.  This means they seem a little tiny for the largest size, IMHO.  The same can be said about the teeth, but each size uses a different number of teeth, so that is adjusted for there.

My last aside is that I"m terrible at embroidery!  Maybe especially so on knitted fabric.  Not a single one of my eyes looks even remotely like another.  :o/  Oh well.  My dad said they were very warm, and so it looks like they are good for their purpose.  :o)

Cascading Cables Mitts

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My Mitts
Pattern:  Cascading Cables Mitts and Mittens
Yarn:  Princess by Classic Elite (now discontinued)

Yay, I can finally post about my holiday projects!!!  Here are my first ones...

I don't think I can say how much I love this pattern!!  They're super cute, pretty easy flow of the pattern, and knit up very quickly!  Glowing glowing compliments, highly recommend!

This was a Christmas present for my friend Sarah who is a writer living in New Jersey.  The long length of these mitts will help keep her warm, but she needs her fingers free so she can type away!  I knit these in September as the beginning of my present making spree.  :o)  They are now mailed off, and she should have them already.  I hope they keep her warm in these cold months.

For those interested on the other side, they are ribbed along the arm, but plain stockinette for the hands.

Diagonal

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My Diagonal
Pattern:  Diagonal
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Tosh Sock

Yes, this was another test knit.  I love doing them, they help me stay on task and actually FINISH something instead of becoming bored and getting a case of start-itis.  ;op

This designer was another doll to work with.  She is very enthusiastic, and open to questions and working with you.  The pattern was just too fun an idea to pass up.  I also had a bunch of this yarn from a time when I thought a long sleeved cabled sweater would look great in an entirely BRIGHT almost neon colored yarn.  I ended up frogging that early in, and still have an extra skein of this stuff after knitting this AND giving away one skein... Luckily, I do love the color, and what's wrong with having an extra skein of sock?  :o)

What's not to love about this pattern?  Loose gauge, dropping stitches on purpose, few fun pleats... Well... how about this:
It is utterly shapeless on the other side.  :o/  I was VERY disappointed with this once it was done and tried on.  The designer suggests a decent amount of positive ease to help the pleats fit just right.  While testing she was suggesting 6"+ or so of positive ease, so I jumped right on in.  In the end, it swallows me whole and looks like I'm wearing someone else's piece of clothing.

I haven't worn it once, and not because of weather reasons.  I have positioned it out, and by adding pleats to the front along the collar and closing in some of the large boatneck, and using a belt, it does become a cute top.  I just haven't been enthused about doing more sewing.  The debate now comes for me to decide if I want to try to gift this along or play around with it some more to get it to work for me.  For now, it goes into the "not quite finished, but done with knitting" pile to be dealt with at a later date.

For those of you on the fence about knitting.  The designer now only suggests a 4" positive ease, and it does knit up fairly quickly and was a fun knit (and great "tv" knitting).  So, I'm not trying to dissuade you at all.  I'm only mentioning what happened in my particular case.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's a quick peek at the back (yes, there are still some dropped stitch accents on the back too!):

Baby Harvest

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My Harvest
Pattern:  Harvest

This is my friend's bebe who commonly accompanies my friend to knit night.  When I saw this adorable cardigan, I had to make her one.  The bright red of the cardigan really suits the nature of this little one.  Super adorable, super large personality with a little bit of spitfire.  I chose the wool ease for parental ease.

This free pattern is a great one for either a beginner sweater or for those more experienced.  There's very little seaming (as in, just the ones under the arm), and she has great diagrams to explain how the sweater is constructed.  The pattern comes in sizes from infant all the way to 58" chest!  This pattern is coming highly recommended by me for a quick and easy knit with great directions.
See ya later!

sideKick

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My sideKick
Pattern:  sideKick
Yarn:  Louet Gems Sportweight

Here's one of the hair colors that has been since my last post.  And this photo was taken in my new condo!  The chair I'm sitting in was purchased specifically for the place.  I love it!  :oD

Now, on to the pattern.  This, as many of my knits are, was a test knit.  It was clearly written, and the designer was very open to suggestions and advice; I liked working with her a lot.  The pattern came out lovely.  I knit the 38" bust which gives me a little bit of positive ease, which I've been liking lately.  Easy and relaxed style.

While I had no troubles with the knitting of the project, I did have some issues with the final fit.  For instance, take a look at this:
Ok, so, maybe this isn't the best picture to illustrate my problem... but if you would take a look at the underarms:  there is a LOT of extra fabric there.  I feel like it all bunches up in the underarm area.  Definitely a tank top underneath ONLY sweater.  I don't like feeling a lot of bulk with my clothing, so wearing a t-shirt or anything will not work for me.  The other issue I had with this pattern is that there is no shaping done on the body of the sweater at all.  If I were to do it again, I probably would add a bit of shaping at the waist to help with the feminine feel of the overall appearance.  Since this was a test, I did not do so.

Despite these issues, I do really like the way it turned out, and look forward to wearing it when the weather starts to cool off a bit more here.  (I'm still in Texas, it won't be cool until November at the earliest.)  My boyfriend stated that this is probably his favorite sweater I've ever made myself, and with that kind of compliment, I do recommend this pattern to anyone who is trying to decide.  I would just recommend either adding shaping at the waist, or a bit of negative ease to help with the fit, and possibly pick up a few less sts for the underarms.  :o)

FO: Havelock Cowl

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I am a process knitter... so when I get bored with something, it usually gets thrown in with the rest of the UFOs and is not seen for months (sometimes years!).  But every once in awhile I get around to actually finishing something.  :oD  Here's my Havelock Cowl:
Yarn:  StitchJones Eco Art Handpainted Eco Wool
Needles:  US 10 circs

It's a fun and simple pattern that comes out beautifully!  Also is a fairly quick knit for anyone looking for something for gifting.  This one is going to be a gift, actually.  Luckily, I don't believe that person checks my blog anyways.  ;o)

Chrysanthemum Baby Headband (For Adults too!)

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Tested this beautiful headband for someone on Ravelry.  I think it came out super cute!  Took the pics while moving, so not the greatest, so there's your warning.  At least the headband looks amazing!  I think it works great in variegated, but also in solids.  I chose to not use decorations, but it'd look super adorable with a flower or other decorative piece as she has it demonstrated on her page.

YES!  Another project completed!!  Now, to make some headway into this sweater I'm testing and this shawl I had hoped would be designed by now and ready for testing.  Hmmm... unpacking sure does eat into your time, doesn't it?  Well, better get back to it then!!  

Picture post! FOs!!

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Modeled pics of Raiu.
Front
Back (showing the slight racer back effect)


Shawls:
Gossamer by Kitman Figueroa
Yarn:  Knitpicks Palette
Larissa (which I did as a test knit awhile back, but never took pics of.  Now I can't find the pattern on Ravelry, so I don't know what happened...)
Yarn:  Baah LaJolla
Basic feather and fan shawl.
Yarn:  Mountain Colors Bearfoot.