norichan knits!

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Rosencrantz (and Guildenstern)!

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I have been busy busy this past month, working on the finishing touches of not just one, but two secret patterns (will post a second blog post about the other not so secret anymore project shortly)!  :oD  This past "weekend" (May 17-21) marks the 12th annual LYS Tour of the North Puget Sound!  The theme of this year's event was "Stitch Two Together" and I had a lot of fun working on the pattern for The Fiber Gallery!  

Meet Rosencrantz!  Boat neck, fast knit, split hem... and all of it could be knit up within just a few days, easily!  The only techniques needed are:  knits, purls, picking up sts, and seaming.  Yes, seamed.  You could easily switch this to knitted in the round, if desired, but the seaming does allow you to play around with the depth of the underarm and neckline a lot more, in addition, the seamed sides means you can line up your stripes much easier (no jog on one side!).

Some actual details:  Rosencrantz uses three different colors of a sport weight yarn.  The suggested yarn is United (55% Wool, 45% Cotton; 251 yards / 50 grams).  I love this super fun gradient effect here, and, just like many of my other knits, this top is more complicated appearing than it actually is knit.  :oD  This top is definitely first garment worthy, for anyone feeling intimidated with knitting a top.  

Pictured here, Rosencrantz is worn with roughly 2" of negative ease across the full bust (meaning, the shirt is a smaller circumference around than my bust is by about 2").  I am recommending choosing a size of Rosencrantz that is somewhere between negative 2" (like how I'm wearing it) and positive 2" (where the shirt is a larger circumference at the bust than your fullest part of the bust).  If you are interested in seeing what that would look like, take a look at the following picture!

Cory is wearing her Guildenstern with 2" of positive ease.  You can see how that also changes how the sleeveless appearance, and creates a bit of a cap sleeve.  If you decide to knit up a Rosencrantz with positive ease, you will also get those cute cap sleeves as well!  (or check out my awesome friend's Rosencrantz done with 2" of positive ease, and a cool beachy ombre effect!!)

Cory and I had *so much fun* designing these sweet tees; our own variations on the same theme.  We were very pleased that the year we decided to do a collaboration the theme was "Stitch Two Together".  It was very appropriate and fitting (as are the names: great friends and great goofs those Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are!)... so much so that we may have hammed it up a bit for the photo shoot!  Here are some of my favorite outtakes below! 

I like to call this one "What's that?!"

I like to call this one "What's that?!"

"Quit monkeying around"

"Quit monkeying around"

"Deep contemplations"

"Deep contemplations"

"We could be rock stars"

"We could be rock stars"

"And that's all folks!" ;op

"And that's all folks!" ;op

Please leave a comment with your favorite caption below!  ;oD

Pastel Galaxy Hair!

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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)  

Styling Brights

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A while back, I posted a mini-interview with StitchJones and the amazing Neon Collaboration that Cory from Indie.Knits, Ariel of Stariel Knits, and I are doing.  All three of us were kids in the 90s, when neon was seen everywhere.  Anyone who was a kid in the 90s remembers Lisa Frank and all the bright dayglo clothing, accessories, and toys.  Well, neon has come back, and I couldn't be more thrilled.  :oD  

However, how does one wear neon without going overboard?  Is there an overboard?  From what we've discussed, we definitely have different ideas about this.  Here are a few of my thoughts.

Some people would probably say this outfit has too much brightness going on.  I think that this outfit works because the intensity of the two bright items differ, and the fact that they are contrasting colors allows this to work.  I actually love this combo so much, and bought these two items for the purpose of wearing together.  ;op

In this case, I felt that these bright red pants were so "in your face," that I decided I couldn't wear another bright on top, as well.  However, a statement top in neutral colors goes well, as it gives extra visual interest to go with the brights.  Another option, if you wanted to have less attention on the pants, would be to wear an oversized black, tan, or navy sweater.

This is the first outfit I'm showing that most people would likely feel more inclined to wear, if they were a bit more timid about wearing bright colors.  The outfit screamed 90s to me when I first saw these pieces in stores this year.  I couldn't not get them for nostalgia sake, and I love it.  However, the bright is toned down a ton with the jean skirt neutral, and the sweater (which is similar in color to the brighter tank, but definitely darker hued).  

A last great option, especially if you wanted to go as bright as visually possible, is to throw it on as an accessory!  A fun accessory is small enough to not overpower anything, but definitely adds visual interest and so, so cheerful!  

BTW, that hat is going live on this blog tomorrow.  Check back in, as it will be a free pattern that knits up super quick, so if you needed a few last minute gifts, you're in luck.  I started on this final sample (this is actually my third attempt to get it just right...) on Monday, and I have three samples done, already!  This sample was done with less than one skein of Madelinetosh Home in the colorway Fluoro Rose.  Two skeins were able to make one slouchy version, one beanie style, and one color blocked beanie style hat.  

Check out what Cory has to say about wearing brights here, and Ariel's thoughts here.  

Adding to the Collection

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I've already talked about my obsession with heart shaped sunglasses... Well, not too long after that, I actually added two more!  Haha.  

The new ones here are the top left (white with black polka dots) and middle left (multi colored).  The polka dot ones were a gift from the Erin.Lane swap I did!  The multi colored ones were a purchase from a little vintage store in Portland.  :o)  I'm loving both so much.  

Erin.Lane Bag Swap!

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So, last month I signed up to join a swap for my favorite project bag maker:  Erin.Lane.  I like a lot of project bag indie makers, but I've found that I go back to my Erin.Lane ones over and over again.  They're sturdy, lined, easy to cinch, come in cute fabrics, yet aren't too fussy, and a good price point.  :o)  I figured I couldn't go wrong with joining a swap, and then I'd get to collect goodies for someone else, too!!  

My partner hit it on the nose here!!  I love all the things she collected.  :oD  First, of course there's the bright and cheery Erin.Lane bag!  Then, of course, the hot pink Hedgehog Fibres sock yarn... which feels amazing!  I've never used this yarn before, though I've wanted to... I'm dying to try it now!!  The Enchanted Forest postcards are soooo cute, I will definitely be busting out my coloring pencils and pens for those!  And, the suns!  OMG, polka dot heart suns are totally the most amazing!!  Squeeeee!!!  As for the rest:  green felted ball (that my cat has already claimed as hers and is currently chasing around the house), green highlighter tape, little scissors, st markers in a cute little mini jar, and a knerd decal!  Even her note on the card is super adorable.  I <3 every bit!  

I hope my partner likes her stuff as well as I liked mine.  I forgot to take a pic of it, so hopefully I can pull a picture from her when she gets it!  Mine went out in the mail today...  :o)

New Glasses!!

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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!

Sunnies!

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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!  

Early Fall Fashion

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Fall weather is hitting hard here in Seattle.  It's drizzly and already in the 60s... Let me preface that this is my first fall back in the Pacific NW (and, yes, it will be going back up to the 70s next week), and I was out in Austin prior to this.  Austin is still in the mid to high 90s, currently, and likely will still be for a few more weeks.  I'm not quite ready for it (I'm much more a warm weather type of person), and so I'm looking for ways to extend my summer wardrobe.  

Here's a note, I don't own any of these pieces, and my style varies basically daily... so I wouldn't say these pics really represent my style, but are more representative of what I'd do with them, if I did want to wear them.  

This summer, the 90s came back, and I was thrilled!  Cropped tops, neon colors, plaid, etc etc.  I kept seeing nods back to my younger years, and I welcomed it!  I bought a couple cropped tops, and then proceeded to barely wear them.  Well, that got me thinking about how I need to get them into rotation before they're out of style again... and that got me thinking about layers.  Add a sweater, and you can keep warm, and cover up.  Swap those shorts for some jeans, and voila!  I loved pairing the flares with the cropped top, and those wedges complete the 90s look.  ;o)

This is a bit black heavy, which is atypical for me, but I discovered making a collage with very light colored things with a white background can be very difficult.  :op  Anyways, I own quite a number of dresses, most sleeveless and knee length or shorter.  They're typically my go-to item, and I will definitely continue wearing them into fall.  It was easier in Austin because fall feels just like summer everywhere else... so I'm going to be falling back to my favorite method of black leggings under ALL THE THINGS!  They're comfy, don't snag like tights, and are thicker and warmer than tights, also.  This time, I'd add the cardigan later on, when things got a bit colder.  And, when the time came, switching to boots would be an easy thing, also.  

Oh, and I'm not a very jewelry heavy sort of person... so, I just threw those in to round out the pictures, but isn't the cat ring adorable??  I love silly pieces like that.  Like fox shoes or cat dresses.  Maybe I own a few too many of things like that... pfffttt... what am I saying?  You can never own too many silly things, as long as they make you happy!  :oD  

Do you guys change wardrobes completely when the weather changes?  Or do you like to try to continue stretching out your summer pieces, as well? 

Lip Color

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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

Evolution of My Hair

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For those of you who only know me from reading... you may not know that I love having someone turn my jet black hair into fun and exciting other colors.  I know I'm already hearing objections to this because jet black hair is gorgeous, and bleaching your hair is so bad for it... but my stylist makes sure that my hair stays healthy, and I have had jet black hair all my life.  It's been fun to break away from that, even for a little bit.  :o)  Anyways, here's a rundown:

This picture is from high school.  All of the other pictures are from the past two-ish years, but this one is for reference.  Super long, black hair.  The waves are because I braided them while wet, and then took them out.  I actually have extremely straight hair.

So, a little bit of explanation.  From high school to now, I have donated my hair three times.  This final time, I said, you know what?  I really want to have some fun hair that I can't do when I'm trying to donate my hair (they don't accept chemically treated hair).  So, I went blonde!  Even though it's a bit more brassy than I was hoping for, my stylist, Meesh, did a FANTASTIC job!  I loved it from the get-go!  (Aug 2013)

We ended up going lighter and lighter each visit, and I maintained it by using a purple shampoo that helps keep the blonde color about once a week.  I actually quite liked it this way.  This was kinda what I was hoping for when I went in the first time.  But it's hard to lighten that much without damaging the hair all at once.  

I ended up loving the blonde, but wanted to shake it up some.  I went with some pastel pink tips that made me so happy.  I'd always loved the pastel colors in hair, but could never get them because my hair was so dark.  (Nov 2013)

I wasn't quite ready yet for changing up the color... so I went with a fun and short asymmetric cut!  :o)  The only trouble I had was that I had to actually style this cut, which isn't a common thing for me in the morning.  ;op (March 2014)

And here's the first iteration of bright that I went with!  While fun, I wasn't a huge fan of tomato red.  I ended up changing it the very next time I went in.  (June 2014)

Went with bright pink, and was so much happier!  As you can see, my hair is definitely still asymmetrical, but it's growing out.  Loved this one!  (July 2014)

Thought I'd try to tone it down a bit the next round.  Even longer hair, but a darker, almost natural color.  Not my natural color, by any means... but I think this color was actually in the natural hair color book.  Though, she may have added a tiny bit of plum in there to give me some extra fun.  ;o)  (Sept 2014)

Well, I just couldn't last.  The "natural" color bored me after a bit, and I had it overdyed with a magenta pink.  This is how it turned out, and I think it was great!  Also got the hair cleaned up... I'm almost back to a symmetrical cut, but not quite yet.  ;op   (Nov 2014)

Went completely purple to be able to cosplay.  I liked this one, but I was surprised by how much more the dye bled on things than any of the other colors I had tried before!  This time, my stylist cut my hair in a blunt bob, so I'm finally back to completely symmetric hair.  My character also has bangs, so I decided to go with full on bangs, instead of the wispy, side bangs.  (Jan 2015)

Some of you may recognize that cowl from here, but this time let's focus on one of my absolute favorite hair colors.  I needed to do the roots again, and wanted to go pink again, but realized that it wouldn't overdye the purple very well.  I asked if she could make it ombre, and she did it!  I think it looks great!  Here's another view of it.   (Feb 2015)

Which finally brings us to this last one!  Shock!  I didn't go pink again!  Kinda crazy, but one of my best friends sent a picture of this color, and I kinda fell in love.  Not only do I love it, but I'm thrilled that I can wear non-basic colors again!  If you couldn't tell, I love pinks, and so a vast majority of my wardrobe is pink.  I found I couldn't wear pinks or reds... or many purples very often with the pink hair or else it might clash.  This way, I'll be able to contrast instead!  (March 2015)

Wow, this ended up being a much longer post than I expected!  I hope it didn't drag on too much for you guys.  :o)  I am actually pretty surprised that I have had so many changes in my hair in 2.5 years!  Do you have a favorite?

Wendy's Lookbook - Ravelry Style

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Well, I know my last Ravelry related fashion posts were last week, but it turns out I have no clothes that are really the right color to do a posed post.  I was going to try to remedy that, but then I found this post!  Wendy is one of my favorite fashionistas, hailing from one of my old stomping grounds... California!  She's originally a Bay Area native (hey, me too!!) and now resides in the So-Cal area.  She is so well put together with her outfits, and I love how she isn't afraid to use patterns with patterns!  Her eye for detail is amazing, also.

I was idly browsing her blog when I stumbled upon this post.  While this was not meant to be a "Ravelry" outfit, I couldn't believe how appropriate her outfit was for the Ravelry theme anyways!  I hope you enjoy!
All pictures from Wendy's Lookbook

Ravelry - Going Out with Friends

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Outfit 1:  I'd wear an outfit like this out to dinner with friends or on a date with my boyfriend.  I can see this outfit being worn clubbing also, with a little more dramatic make-up.  If I had found it, I would have accented using silver jewelry instead of gold, but the crocheted earrings and bracelet was too cute as a reference to Rav that I couldn't help it!

Outfit 2:  Boho chic with a cute headband accessorizing this outfit.  It's hard to see, but a ball of yarn with needles charm is clipped into the latticework on the dress.  Very discreet craftiness that makes this outfit super fun.  I would love wearing this to the farmer's market, going shopping, or to the movies!

Outfit 3:  While I like the look of this outfit, it's not one I would personally wear.  I think if I did wear it, I'd take it out to lunches with co-workers on non-work days or maybe pair it with a large brimmed sun hat and wear it to have tea outside!  This one was the most subtle of all the outfits, and so I chose earrings that are molded to look like a miniature knitted piece.  Super adorable!

Again, I am still playing around with this site, and this time tried to make my own collage.  I hope to find a good style that suits me, but I have not do any sort of visual graphics, really... so this is a work in progress.  I just hope you enjoy them for now as I work through the kinks!
Ravelry - Going out with friends



Rebecca Minkoff boho dress / LnA tank dress / Skunkfunk dress / Valentino peep toe shoes, $665 / Minnetonka fringe sandals / Steve Madden ankle wrap sandals / Shoulder bag, $660 / Colorblock handbag / Tiffany & Co. clutch handbag / Post earrings / Crochet jewelry / Crochet jewelry / Mimco fine sterling silver jewelry, $15 / Diesel sunglasses / Deepa Gurnani beaded hair accessory, $62

A Nod to Ravelry

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This is the first of a set of outfits that I decided to try making based off of my favorite website:  Ravelry! Today's outfit is a casual outfit.

Those of you familiar with Ravelry and their color scheme will quickly recognize the use of colors with the shirt and pants.  You may even understand the nod to the Ravellenic Games with the bag (and that style bag being a great and simple project bag!)... I decided to tie it all together with comfy flats that are crocheted to complete the casual image painted here today.

For those of you not familiar with Ravelry, if you don't play with yarn or fiber in any way, I suppose this is just a fun casual outfit to enjoy then!  If you do play with yarn or fiber, please take a look at Ravelry for a whole new world of information and social networking with people who share your hobby!  :o)

Just so everyone knows, this is my first polyvore experiment, so I tried one of their templates.  I plan on working on it more, but really wanted to get started and see how it worked in the first place.  So, sorry for the "Weekend Getaway" that I could not alter.  But, hey, it kinda works.  Ravellenic Games start this weekend!  Good luck with all your projects crafty folks!!
A Nod to Ravelry



Sleeveless top / Skinny fit jeans, $85 / TOMS flat, $70 / Radley shopper handbag, $14

Polyvore/Fashion Posts

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Note:  this post is kinda boring.  Sorry!  This is sorta a "heads up" for a few of my future posts, and some disclosure that I wanted to make.

I have been seeing a lot of use of Polyvore lately on other blogs.  Namely:  b for bel and Console to Closet.  (Both blogs that I commonly frequent, love!)  I decided to try it out and inspired by b for bel's social media inspired fashion, I went with a nod to my favorite website:  Ravelry.

I have mixed feelings about using polyvore versus other methods, but for this non-web/graphic design oriented girl, it is much easier to use than finding images, cutting and pasting them into a program like Photoshop, then being sure to link to all of the sites to ensure I give credit to all.  I hope to be able to eventually do some of that sort of thing, but until then, I decided to go ahead and go with the easier option.

One of the reasons I have hesitations is because these are fashion pieces that are not modeled or if they are modeled are displayed with true models wearing them, not real people.  The other is that designer wear can certainly be expensive, and I would love to do outfits that are reasonably priced.  These are the two biggest reasons that I plan to also do other types of fashion posts.  For every "theme" I do, I will include a "modeled" post.  My "Ravelry Theme" is going to be my inspiration for the rest of this week.  So, I plan on finding clothes in my own wardrobe and show you how Ravelry can be interpreted in real life also.  The last thing that I hope to do is a "Thrift Store/Bargain Store" post every once in awhile.  These posts will try to help those of you on a budget figure out how to be inspired if you don't have the right clothes in your closet right this second!

And for sake of full clarification, the links are for me to feel that I am crediting the correct person for anything I may find.  This is my personal blog, not a blog for profit in any way.  So, whether they be links to purchase something (like the polyvore links for the clothes and accessories) or links to other people's websites for patterns, other blogs, etc... I have no personal affiliation with them, unless I say otherwise.  My intent is to explore new crafts, introduce people to things they may not have seen before, and share things that I find interesting with you.  I hope that you do enjoy these things, because I can't wait to create more themed outfits, "show off" my knitting/spinning/crochet projects, and share cool new things!  Thanks for making to the end of this looong post!  :o)