norichan knits!

indie dyer

Butterfly Wings

Noriko HoComment

What's this??  Two posts in a row? Who is this behind the keyboard?!  ;op  Well, I just couldn't talk about one pattern release, and then ignore the other, could I?  And, as always, here's hoping that I try to keep this blog more up to date because then I could write about more than just pattern releases.  

Without further ado, here is Butterfly Wings!  This fun shawl uses two colors of a heavy fingering weight yarn (pictured here it's knit up with Seattle Sky Dyeworks Mismated), and despite it's lots of fun texture, is 90% knits and purls.  There are also small amounts of increases, a few picked up sts, and one new technique to help create that fun bi-colored texture!  The technique is actually pretty darn easy, and allows you to create this look while only knitting with one color at a time!  

Mmmm... squoooshy texture!  (the quality of photo is not as good, as I was taking this one indoors... but it helps to see the texture up close!)

The fun shape actually offers versatility in wearing the shawl, in addition to lending itself to actually curving over your shoulders and staying (like a good shawl!).  I love wearing shawls slightly askew, and the nice this about this one is that when you do that, it almost looks like a large triangular shawl.  However, if you wore it straight across, you'd get something that almost resembles a poncho instead!  

Currently, Butterfly Wings is an exclusive pattern for The Nifty Knitter.  They will be selling kits on their website, shortly.  If you would like to be on a waitlist for it, contact them directly!  I know he's trying to get them in ASAP.  :oD  

I'll be posting Butterfly Wings as a indivudual, paid Ravelry pattern download on 8/22/2017.  Stay tuned, as there may be some fun surprises to be found then.  ;o)

Time Flies

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

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

WIP Wednesday: Hipstamatic and Marion

Noriko Ho2 Comments

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?  

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

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swap Gift!

Noriko Ho2 Comments

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

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

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

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

Black Sheep Gathering

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

Indie Dyers

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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