Did you have a favorite here? Or how about in the other posts?
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!!
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:
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
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.
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!
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?
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!
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?
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
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
Working a lot, traveling, finding myself with more deadlines (most of them self placed pattern writing deadlines), etc has started to wear on me. So, I've found ways to create small challenges for myself to keep me motivated and staying positive. :o) Here are a few of the challenges that I have recently started.
We can start with the pretty challenge! At this year's Madrona Fiber Fest, I purchased this roving. It's super soft and so cool with the alpaca staying it's super dark color and silk becoming ultra intense in color! :oD I decided to drop spindle this fiber so I can really enjoy it. Because of the fiber content, I decided to spin from the fold (a technique I haven't tried in probably... 8 years!). I haven't gotten past that yellow tail you see there, but I'm enjoying it so far!
Next is the StitchJones Neon Design Challenge that I've blogged about in the past! I've figured out what I want to do, and I'm already 1/3 the way done! Can't show the design just yet, so you'll just have to trust that I'm really liking the results.
Oh and speaking of challenges... capturing that neon green is definitely a challenge!! That color above is not quite right... but I couldn't get the camera to get it just right. :op
The last challenge for the day is one that's actually really hard for me. It's downsizing my stuff. I have given myself an attainable feeling challenge of removing five items from my life each day I have off. That can be something like a book that I haven't tried to reread in years, a piece of clothing I am not excited to wear anymore, a tote bag I got for free but never use b/c I have better quality ones, or even a piece of junk mail that I should have recycled when it came in, but instead it went into a pile of "to be sorted." I am even counting a wrapper that I left on the coffee table instead of throwing out day of because it's still getting something that is cluttering my life, and getting it out.
This last challenge is hard for me because I will always find a reason that something is useful, sentimental, or "needed." However, with each move, I find myself in a smaller apartment, smaller closet, less storage space, etc. I need to be able to free myself of the things that I am not using so that I can actually get to the things I do want to use! I'm actually remarkably pleased with my results so far, and plan on continuing. One day, then it'll turn into having just what I need and then only removing things that are wasteful that have come in, like recycling ads. :o)
I've never been huge on New Year's Resolutions, as I have never been great at keeping them. However, last year, I made the decision to begin designing more wholeheartedly, and this time, it actually worked! With that in mind, here are a few thoughts I have:
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)
2. Knit for fun, again. I love designing, and do find it fun, but it's a different type of fun. There is a delight in knitting things that someone else has planned and just letting the pattern flow without second and triple guessing whether I did my math correctly or if that last row really, truly is as perfect as I initially thought it would look, etc. Last year I did manage to get some fun knitting in (like Seeds into Flowers above) and some gift knitting, as well... but I would love to be sure to get it in every month.
3. Reclaim SO MANY needles and project bags. I think I outnumber a good majority of knitters out there with number of UFOs. I probably have at least 40 UFOs in that box seen below, and it's very likely that I have yet another dozen or so scattered around the apartment (and let's not count any of my three scrappy blankets nor designs currently in progress). All of my UFOs can't possibly fit into even that ridiculously large IKEA container, and so I've decided that I'm definitely going to cull them down below 40. That has to be possible, right? ;o) Luckily, this doubles with #2!
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. Example of somewhat sentimental: a sweatshirt from my undergrad that would be fairly easily replaced, if I decided I wanted another, as I doubt UCLA is going to stop selling sweatshirts anytime soon.
As you can see in that last pic of UFOs, there are still boxes that are unpacked. This comes from simply not having the space to put everything. I feel like I'm still not moved in, and yet I've been in Seattle for quite awhile. While I know I'm never going to be a minimalist, it would be really nice to get rid of the unnecessary items and finalize the move-in. ;op
Do any of you guys do New Year's Resolutions? I'd love to hear about yours as well, if you do. :o)
So, first off, I'll apologize for the selfie only post. But it was the only way of tracking this journey on my own. :op I wasn't certain until the night before, but I decided that I was going to jump on the galaxy hair trend, but wasn't loving the darker colors. I wanted something brighter and cheerier! I wondered how I would look and how the hair would look with pastel colors.
Anyways, let's start with the before:
This is what my periwinkle-grey hair faded to. People were still complimenting me on it, but I was tired of the roots and the color was definitely getting old looking. Not to mention the ends needing some refreshment, as well.
Oh, but hey! There's my Handspun Hipstamatic that I cranked out over this past weekend. :o) The modifications for the bulkier yarn are on the project page.
Here goes nothing! Bleach bleach... I had already told my stylist what I wanted, and she came up with a couple pictures that I thought would be amazing, if it turned out right. :o)
All worries were appeased once I saw the dye on the hair. I was soooo psyched already! It looks amazing, even here. :oD
Post rinsing, cut, and dry. LOVE IT! I am not positive, but this might be my favorite hair color I've ever done! Hard to say, but for the time being, I'm sticking with it. If you missed it, here are some of the other colors I've ever been. I'll have to do an update on this post one of these days to add in the periwinkle-grey and this one, as well. :o)
There was a small fiber festival this past weekend in Seattle called Knit Fit. While there were some classes available, I did not partake. Instead I perused the vendor hall. There were a good number of amazing booths, and while I wish I could have supported everyone, my wallet did not agree with me. :'o( Even still, I feel like I got a lot of amazing things, and I'm very excited about it!
Clockwise from top: bright orange bag (Knit Fit bag that I won as a doorprize), green speckled yarn from Seattle Sky Dyeworks (worsted weight), purple needles are Signature DPNs in US 1.5 (my favorite size for my very first set of Signatures!), sunset colored roving is Targhee/Silk from Huckleberry Knits (this blend is a special blend that she asks the mill to make for her!), both the red ball and the cream colored skein are recycled cashmere, and lastly, the beauteous bag of minis from Three Fates Yarns (in my favorite color combo!!)! Oh wait, how could I forget?
This gorgeous pendant was made by a local ceramics artist who also does buttons, yarn bowls, and other pieces of jewelry. I fell in love with her work immediately. I had about 5 of her pendants in my hands at one point, but in the end, this was the one that I narrowed it down to. It makes me so happy, and I can see me getting some good use out of this necklace. :o)
So, in the end, despite smaller than some fiber festivals, there were a ton of high quality vendors there, and I am actually relieved that it wasn't larger. If it had been, I don't know what I would've done. I already had to hold back on many many other gorgeous yarns, fibers, and other crafts!!
I managed to make it down to Portland again. It's one of my favorite cities to navigate, and this time I managed to make it to places I've never been before. :o) While I've been many times to Hawthorne, there are always new little boutiques and food carts popping up. It was fun to get to some that I hadn't been to before.
My friend, Marilyn, and I went to Umai for lunch to get some ramen. It's a cute little cart area on Hawthorne; totally worth giving a try. :o)
Marilyn also got a Ramune, the famous Japanese drink with a marble holding the carbonation in. ;o)
The day was lovely, warm enough to truly enjoy, but cool enough to wear light sweaters. My perfect weather. It's going to be interesting as the weather continues to cool off here in the PNW. I hate wearing more than one long sleeve layer, so it looks like maybe some sweaters of various weights will be needed. I do have a plan to get a sweater pattern started up soonish. Hopefully, I finish that early enough to wear it in weather appropriate times!
While walking down the street, we found this display of heart shaped sunglasses!! I was so excited that I tried to get a shot where I could show that I was wearing my heart shaped sunnies at the same time, but that was hard to get. Haha.
We also checked out the Hawthorne location of Sloan, one of my favorite boutiques in Portland. I'd only ever been in the location on NW 23rd, but the Hawthorne location is also very nice, and fun to wander through. The staff there is so friendly, and very willing to help you find anything. Somehow they bring you dozens of outfits, despite being a small store.
I also made room for sushi, boba, and cupcakes while I was there. Ah, Portland, why are you so filled with delicious food?? Until next time...
Guess who *finally* got some fancy new glasses! :o) It only took... well, hmmm... four years? I actually don't have much of a prescription, so despite being surrounded by glasses at work, I usually don't wear glasses nor contacts. :op I finally caved and got myself a new pair that has just a very slight Rx in them for near work (I'm at a computer at optometry work all day, and commonly working on knitting otherwise!).
Aaaand here they are! Please excuse the poor lighting, and the quick selfie, but I was too excited to share my new (sometimes) look. :oD It's also interesting to see the big difference in hair color from when I first got it done (the current "Welcome" picture) till now. It really did mellow out into a pretty blue grey. I still love it, and so I think I'll probably get this color for another round, at the very least.
Oh right, back to the glasses. They are Barton Perreira frames in the Raquel shape. It turns out they have been discontinued, and we had one left in stock at my work, so I snagged them!! I <3 them!
I know I've been doing a lot of fashion posts lately... but I've also been doing a lot of secret knitting, also. Those projects are the hardest because I hate not being able to share what I've been doing lately!! But nevertheless, here's what I wanted to show you.
I had a realization that I've been starting a heart shaped sunglass collection, and that's mildly embarrassing! As embarrassed as I am, I keep thinking of all the different ones I could get! There are cute ones with polka dots, different colored ones, ones that have a rainbow mirror on the lenses... and they're all SO CUTE!!
When I try to reflect on my own personal style, I have a hard time truly determining it. I love so many different things... girlie, trendy, boho, cutesy, fitted, oversized, etc etc. However, I guess I can truly say that I have nailed my sunnies style: quirky and leaning towards hearts! I do have a few other pairs (mostly super out of style giant ones from the early 00s), but I rarely ever wear them anymore. I'm working on getting a nice, high quality pair from opto work, but I haven't found just the right pair yet. I hope they fit in nicely with these guys, once I do!
I'm pretty sure we've all been able to see that I love color. I've always loved color, bright color, pastel colors, and colors of all sorts. I'm more drawn to pinks and reds (as you possibly saw by the first colors I wanted to put in my hair and the pic below), but greens, blues, purples all are great, also! I'm a little less likely to go for yellows or oranges, but they have their time and place, as well. I think that comes more from my skin coloration, and the ability of a lot of yellows (and yellowy oranges and greens) to make my skin look more jaundiced than attractive. ;op But even then, I do like some shades of each.
When going to LYSs or fiber festivals, my friends will find the brightest pinks (especially pinks and greens together; similar to my Paulette, as seen below) and say "this is a Noriko yarn." It's interesting because as far back as I can remember, I have loved wearing colors, painting my nails, etc. However, it's only very recently (past few years) that I've grown to like lip color. I have always been an avid chap stick (though, maybe not chapstick brand) user, and in college I loved to go make up shopping and get neutral lip glosses with friends. One of my best friends will still send me lip gloss because she remembers how obsessed I was with it in undergrad.
In the past, lipstick has been a thing I've avoided. It was thick and drying... not to mention it reminded me of my aunts kissing me on the cheek and then having to rub the lipstick off. Haha. We've all had that experience, right? It's not fun having someone lick their finger and then rub your cheek furiously to get the color off. ;o) In addition, when I was a bit younger, I also feared that I looked too clown-like with my larger lips painted red. Nevertheless, the red lipstick "trend" or "classic look" is definitely a thing with Taylor Swift and other iconic ladies wearing various shades not just during red carpet events, but also out to lunch or coffee.
I think cosmetic companies must've heard the complaints of those of us who wanted that look, but didn't want the feel, because I've found a number of nice feeling/smelling/textured/non-drying formulations that also come out very highly pigmented. I haven't found a smudge-proof one, but I have found some that are fairly long lasting. Not only that, but I've conquered my fear of thinking I look clown-ish. Anyways, here is me not being scared of red lipstick:
These pics were quickly shot before heading out to a casual dinner. I actually love the second pic because I still don't exactly know what I was doing. Haha. :op Any hypothesis out there?
Oh, and also, my hair is fading out to a silver slowly, but surely! Loving it!! :oD
Sometimes I watch my cat and wonder how she views the world. Honestly, I'm pretty sure she thinks she's living a horrible life, but she's actually got it pretty sweet.
See, such a tough life. ;op
The trunk show at Pearl Fiber Arts was so much fun! I got to hang out with super creative people all weekend. We had spinners, other dyers, and of course, knitters coming in and out and hanging out with us.
Here's the spread. Super pretty stuff all around! And there's Paulette in a different color combination! :o) It looks great in the Menthol and Royal together, as well.
And here we are together! Along with the full spread! There's a chance I nabbed some more stuff to work with from Stacey. ;o) Expect more collaborative work with Thoroughly Thwacked in my future! We've got some big plans!!
This year, a bunch of crosswalks in Capitol Hill got a special paint treatment, coinciding with the Pride Parade! I had to go take a peek, so last weekend I stopped by. They are amazing!
I love it! I wish all crosswalks were like this! So much fun. :o)
I am so excited to announce some really big news! I am now employed! By two different, equally wonderful places! Drumroll please...
First up is The Fiber Gallery on Greenwood Ave! The Fiber Gallery is a sweet LYS not too far from where I live! It has an amazing selection of different yarns in all weights and types of fibers. They carry Berroco, Cascade, Hazel Knits, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Imperial Ranch, Habu, and many many more brands! In addition, they have a small needlepoint/cross stitch section, and a small spinning and weaving area also!
I have been working here for about a month now, and love it! I am working part time, and soon will be taking over some classes, as well! It's been a joy to work a dream job!
My other job is my routine day job. I will be joining Oculus Eyecare in South Lake Union as an associate optometrist! I have not started here routinely, but will be in July! I worked a couple fill in days here, and can say that the staff is top notch, the selection of glasses are amazing, and I love the feel of this office. How exciting to have a bright and beautiful place filled with happy staff and happy patients as my new workplace! I couldn't be more thrilled!
Once July starts rolling, I'll be busier... but I will still be designing, as well! I've got a couple fun announcements there coming soon, as well!!