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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?  

A Four(ish) Day Project

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I met up with a friend over coffee a little bit ago, and she had brought a handspun Hipstamatic to show me!  It was sooooo gorgeous, that I had to try it myself.  She had been ecstatic to tell me that it had taken her about 2 days to make all together.  From then on, I became obsessed with the idea of handspinning and knitting my own bulky weight yarn and knitting up yet another Hipstamatic.  

I haven't been able to spin a consistent bulky weight ply... well, ever, but I really wasn't concerned for consistency for this project.  I wanted fun and funky, and so thick and thin was exactly what I was looking for!  I spun up each single in 1 day each (allowing them to rest overnight before plying).  

I used the super easy method of winding each ply onto a toilet paper core, then plying off of those.  As you can see, I misjudged things, and I had a good amount more of one ply leftover, so I ended up Andean plying the remaining amount.  This took one more day, and then I let it rest overnight, as well, before washing and thwacking.  

I wish I had a decent picture of the yarn itself prior to knitting up, but I can't seem to find the pics I took of it.  The final yarn was so fun and still extremely thick and thin!  I had roughly 70yds, which I knit up exactly as the pattern called for.  The knitting I did over the course of a day, idly knitting off and on all day.  So, all the work of making this hat took about four days, but I did end up taking about a week off between spinning the yarn, and actually knitting it up.  

What you see in that picture is actually every last bit of yarn I spun up.  The hat is pretty much a beanie size for me, and super soft and comfy.  And sparkly.  So sparkly!  I'm a bit surprised that I didn't focus on the sparkly part this entire post.  ;o)  I will try to get a modeled shot soon!  

A few details:  fiber came in the form of a lightly processed batt (fibers were aligned, but I would probably guess they were only run through once, and the fibers were super sticky, like the lanolin hadn't been washed out completely, and had aged mildly).  The fiber content claims to have been a bit over 2oz of merino and angelina.  My coworker thinks it looks like Elsa, and I've decided that I like that.  :o)

Teaching at Gauge Knits

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I can't believe how quickly time has passed by this month!  In fact, I just realized that I need to prep for the classes that I will be teaching at Gauge Knits!  Gauge is one of my favorite LYS in Austin, Tx.  I used to frequent them quite often.  ;o)  Last year, in April, I did a class with them for Aviary, and it was a blast!  I am *so excited* to be getting to teach again this year; this year, it's not just one class, but two!  

I will be there Feb 6 and 7 (so close!!), and will be doing a project classes for Marika and Viola on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.  If you are local to Austin, I'd love to see you there!  Please learn more here.  

For the Marika Class, I will be talking a bit about my inspiration for the shawl, as well as help you get started on your shawl.  This lace panel is very simple, and this could easily be a first time lace project!  I will also teach you how to get a nice and clean edging on garter stitch.  :o)  This shawl, as mentioned before, is the perfect comfort knitting.  Ideal for this time of year, and I hope everyone enjoys making it along with me.  

For the Viola Class, there are a number of skills I can help you obtain.  While, I would encourage you to be comfortable with doing cables already, I can definitely help you learn how to do cables for the first time!  In addition, this is a charted pattern, and so if learning how to read charts is something you'd like to learn, that could be a fun, new technique, as well!  Lastly, I will be teaching how to make this hat by doing a cabled swatch done in the round.  This was definitely something that took me awhile to learn (heck, learning that swatching was important to do was a skill that took me a number of years), and so I can't wait to help everyone learn this skill.  This class is really filled with all the arsenals that you will need to take on this hat!  :o)

I'm excited to see familiar faces and new ones, too!  As always, I'm also super psyched about getting great food, and getting together with friends from my last home.  I'm betting for a good number of food related instagram posts in the not too far future.  ;op  

2015 in Patterns

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This year was a big one for me.  This was the year I really decided to buckle down and get serious about designing patterns.  So, despite working full time and then later two part time jobs, I still found the time to design on the side.  Sometimes I was definitely overwhelmed with deadlines, responsibilities, and whatnot, but I can honestly say that I can't see it any other way now.  I love designing, and plan on continuing.  :o)

My last pattern had been Consummate V's, which is a free pattern I put out for my birthday in October 2013.  My New Year's resolution of 2014 was that I was going to put out at least 1 pattern a season (4 patterns total) over the course of 2014.  I figured it was a very minimal goal, with lots of room for growth.  When it hit around October 2014, and I hadn't put out a single pattern, I really sat down to think.  That's when I decided that I would get serious and have the same goal of at least 4 patterns, but hoping more for about 6 patterns to come out in 2015.  

While January came and went, February started me off with a bang!  That Fall when I was pondering how I'd let so much time slip by, I stumbled upon an all call from Quince and Co for their Scarves, Etc collection.  I was SO SURPRISED when they loved my Aviary pattern.  It was such an honor to be able to design with their yarns as my first pattern of 2015.  :oD

My next pattern was Rivoletto Mitts in March.  The idea for them came from years previous, when I had entered and won a mitts design contest with A Verb for Keeping Warm.  I never managed to write up that exact pattern, but I made a few minor changes to the basic pattern idea, and came up with Rivoletto.  I am actually even more pleased with Rivoletto than I was with the original mitts.  I suppose it was good to wait those additional years of experience!

In April came Candide, my simple hat pattern that maybe seems a bit more complex than it really is.  Knit out of one of my favorite yarns, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and Cascade Heritage, Candide was a lot of fun to work up.  What was more rewarding was when one of my testers told me that her teenage daughter had commandeered her hat and requested more.  I think that is one of the best compliments I'd ever gotten!  

A surprise pattern came out in June with my Gehry Wrap, a pattern I did for Unique Sheep's yarn club.  While the 100% lace weight silk creates a gorgeous drape and a very elegant shawl, I can also see it in other fibers as well.  The rights have been given back to me, and now Gehry Shawl is now available for download in my pattern store on Ravelry.  :o)

In July came a pattern that is near and dear to my heart.  Paulette came out as a collaboration with Thoroughly Thwacked.  Her Vixen yarn was a dream to work with, and the final shawl came out even better than my initial sketches.  :oD  It was a fun experiment to work hand in hand with an indie dyer, and I can say for certain that there will be more designs with Thoroughly Thwacked yarns, as well as other indie dyers in the future!

Viola and Cesario came out in September as a set of hats that will become a part of my Twelfth Knits collection.  Over the next year I will be adding more patterns to the Twelfth Knits collection, I hope you enjoy seeing it grow.  As I tend to sometimes be a bit corny, I will say that I'm planning on having these pieces be mostly cabled work as I feel the cables symbolize the twisted roads that some of the characters' paths took them.  Yikes, maybe that was too corny, even for me!  ;o)  

My favorite month is October for many reasons:  birthday month, typically some of the best weather during the year, and this year was even more exciting with the publication of Around the Block Legwarmers in the darling collection Charmed:  Whimsical Knitted Accessories.  After seeing the full collection, I couldn't believe that I was included in this collection!  So many cute patterns in the booklet, and I still am waiting for some free time to knit up a few of them.  :o)

I talked with DragynKnyts about using some of her yarns to design with, as I have been loving her semi-solids.  Her variegates are also lovely, but there's something very special with the way her semi-solids come out.  I proposed the idea of Cunegonde, and she jumped on board with it.  This cowl is interesting because it comes in two sizes, and done in either PendragynDK or Wyvern worsted.  Due to the double sized skeins, even the longer cowl lengths can be done with a single skein.  This cowl is the second piece to my Candide Collection that, similar to the characters of Candide, will be comprised of patterns that look more complex than they truly are.

This month has been crazy busy with gift knitting and trying to get a ton of designs all together ready for testing.  Despite that, I couldn't get Hipstamatic out of my head.  I absolutely had to get this free pattern together and so I put everything on hold in order to get the samples together and the pattern written up.  In the end, I couldn't stop knitting them, and I have knit up four so far, and every time I see more chunky/bulky weight yarn I just want to knit up another.  My next one is definitely going to have a pompom!  :oD

My goal was 4-6 patterns, and I managed to get seven self published patterns and three more publications with Quince & Co, Unique Sheep, and Knit Picks!  I have some more big plans for 2016, and I will give a little hint:  2016 is going to be the year that I start dabbling into garments.  ;o)  Stay tuned for some test knits to happen soon...

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)  

Hipstamatic

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Here's a new pattern for you guys!  It's been knit up in Madelinetosh Home, and it's perfect for quick knitting.  :o)  I was able to knit up the slouchy hat in just a single evening hanging out with my knit night peeps, and the beanie style is even quicker!  If you're needing some last minute gifts, this free pattern would be perfect!  

More details:

The hat is super simple, so a beginner knitter would be able to work up one of these, but it also makes great tv or social knitting for those more experienced knitters.  

Materials needed:  1 skein of Madelinetosh Home, US 11 - 16" circular needle and US 11 set of DPNs, stitch marker, and tapestry needle (for weaving in ends).  

The sample hats were knit up with the colorways Fluoro Rose (slouchy style) and Fog (beanie style).  The leftovers were enough to make up a color block beanie, as well!  (However, beware, as I did use up all the yarn!)

Download your free copy of Hipstamatic here!  Please post your versions on Ravelry here!  I can't wait to see them!  :oD

Download Hipstamatic.pdf

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.  

Current Projects

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Man, it's gotten to be busy over here.  Lots of knitting happening right now.  I've got holiday knitting in full swing, and only about five designs in progress.  I'd love to get one of my tests started up Dec 1st, so it'd be dandy to wrap at least one of them up soon!!  Unfortunately, holiday knitting has taken over a bit, as I'm celebrating Christmas early with my family over Thanksgiving.  True to my nature... I'm leaving it till the very last minute, and I've still got to finish them up.  :o/  Wish me luck, I guess!!

Well, let's start with the projects that I can actually show you.  :o)  Here's a bulky weight sweater that I'm hoping to get tested mid to late Dec for release in late January.  The yarn is Paloma Tweed by Debbie Bliss, and I'm loving the drape and squish factor here!!  It's a cable plied yarn, so it's also very lightweight for a bulky.  It's warm but doesn't make me feel like I'm dragged down by how heavy it is.  

In actuality, I'm not done with this sample.  However, I still need to work out the DK version of this hat, so it's not quite ready for testing.  :o)  It is the matching hat to Cunegonde, of which I'm currently calling Maggie.

Last thing to show, this very moment, are some fingerless mitts done up with only 3 Unicorn Tails!  They can be done with any fingering weight minis, as well.  I'm excited to say that one mitt has been completed, and I am working on the second one, so hopefully, they will also be ready for testing in the semi near future.  :o)  

In addition to these guys, I've got two more designs on the needles right now... so now the question is, spread out the testing or do it all at once??  ;op  I think I'm more likely to spread them out, actually.  It is easier for me to keep track of changes if they're done one or two, max, at a time.  Please watch out for tests on my Ravelry Forum: Norichan Knits!  :o)  

Oh, and if you're interested... the other two designs I'm currently working on will both me fingerless mitts, as well.  One in a single color of fingering weight, and one in a single color of worsted weight.  :o)

Introducing: Viola and Cesario!

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These hats were supposed to come out two weeks ago, but life sometimes has a way of just saying "no" to things.  >.<  Still, I'm glad that things are more back to normal, and that I was able to get these hats up on Ravelry.  :o)  

Yes, Viola and Cesario are named after the characters of the same name from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.  I do realize that technically, Viola's true twin is Sebastian, but I felt that Viola and Cesario made a better match for these hats.  Don't worry, though, I have a few more plans set aside for the future for some of the other characters in Twelfth Night.  In fact, I have already created a discount for purchasing both hat patterns, as they are both going to be in my Twelfth Knits collection as the patterns start to be released throughout the next year.  :o)  No code necessary, just add both hats to your cart, and the discount will be taken automatically.  The discount will be good for previous purchases, also, so if you're just feeling one of the hats for now, the discount will be honored if you ever decide to purchase the other later.  

I think my favorite pictures always end up being the outtake photos.  ;op  So, here are a few of those for you guys.

Where am I even looking in that last picture??  Ah, well.  Whatever it was, I've already forgotten about it.  :op