norichan knits!

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Whoops

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When life gets busy, the blog goes first, it would appear. Some published patterns since the last post:

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Meet, Haruno, a pretty hat that makes for some simple colorwork. It’s done in fingering weight yarn (sample done with Cedar House Yarns Sapling Sock). Surprisingly fast to knit up, despite being done in fingering weight!

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Next up is Kimber. Kimber is the first of five hats that will be coming out, all based on the different members of Jem and the Holograms! I did go ahead and put the whole collection out on very extreme discount because currently only one of the five hats are out, so grab it if you’re interested now!

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I guess I went on a hat binge, because my next pattern to be released was Tomodachi! Tomodachi means friends in Japanese, and that’s how I felt about this hat. It is one of those hats that can be worked up in an evening in super bulky yarn, and when you need a quick gift, you can work this up for all of your friends!

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Wait, another hat?? Haha! Reiko is a fun, very slightly asymmetric hat with cables and broken ribbing. Despite it’s texture, I love it in variegated yarns, but it also looks good in semi solids and solids! It’s a DK weight yarn, and the original sample was worked up in Nanostichlab Kinetic DK!

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Finally! Something that’s not a hat. Haha! This here is Cacambo. I love Cacambo for a variety of reasons:

1) It is my first pattern that I’ve graded for nine bust sizes from between 27.5” - 62”.

2) I implemented the Pay what works model for this pattern. This model allows me to both charge an amount that better reflects the work put into each pattern I create, but also allows you to choose your price point and continue the accessibility of my patterns. To do this, there are coupon codes to adjust the cost listed in the description.

3) I have learned a variety of ways to wear a cropped top. High waisted skirts or pants, of course, but also over dresses, or even as a vest! Thank you to my test knitters that all found such cute ways to style their Cacambo.

Oof, that’s a lot! It’s definitely better if I update this more often so that I don’t end up having to compact everything, and get to talk about things in more details. Wish me luck on that! <3!


Fall Comforts

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This fall hit the PNW in a very abrupt way. I had mixed feelings about it, but it’s actually turned into a lovely fall. Cool mornings and evenings, mostly sunny days. Hard to complain about that. Not quite jacket weather here, yet, but definitely nippy enough to grab a shawl out the door.

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Speaking of shawls, I did publish a shawl this summer, that I really love! It’s called Steggie, and uses up scraps of your fingering weight yarns in it’s entirety! Yes, I’ve tried the scrap blankets, and yes, I know things like the helix hat and scrappy socks are there, as well…. but honestly, hats and socks just don’t use up enough yardage (I’ve got A LOT of scraps!), and I’ve started three different scrappy yarn blankets and finished none of them. So, there just had to be another pattern out there to help with this!

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Steggie actually has proven to be my kind of potato chip knitting. I can’t knit just one of them! As you can see here, I’ve finished up two Steggies, and working on my third!

Some general info on Steggie: it comes written in two sizes, the rainbow version the smaller size, the darker one the larger. Since all fingering weight yarns are not the same, I’ve approximated the yardage based on weight. These sizes will range between 840 - 1260 yds, but it is very easily adjusted to your preferred size. Lots of notes are included with this pattern on how to choose the next color, options to join your ends, and how to figure out how to start!

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In other news, a fun new website has just launched, and you can find a selection of my patterns there, as well! Swatch Warriors is an alternate site for finding patterns. The patterns here are curated to help reduce the noise potentially found other places. It’s very interesting because there are a number of patterns I’ve never seen before, but these are not necessarily brand new patterns!

Keep in mind that it did just launch, so there are a few kinks involved, still (it’s not great on mobile devices, just yet…), but on the computer, it’s a lot of fun to browse.

I’ve been busy cooking up some more fun stuff, so watch out soon for those to come!

Hello Long Neglected Blog-o-sphere

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'll be back shortly, friends!  :oD

Butterfly Wings

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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)

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

A New Month, a New Pattern!

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There's been a definite slowdown on my ability to get to writing on my blog, and began to realize that I was dreading coming back to write anything because it had been so long.  Then the longer time passes, and the more guilt I'd feel.  Gotta just rip off that bandaid!!  Here I am again!  :o)  

Earlier this month, I had another pattern release with Stranded Magazine, a lovely little online knitting magazine that is filled has a lot of insightful articles, recipes, and (of course) knitting patterns.  

Matira was inspired by nautical fashion (and maybe just a smidge from Sailor Moon...) and has bottom-up construction, with simple garter st detailing.  It is best sized at zero ease exactly.  There is a decent amount of shaping in this pattern, so here are a few ideas for choosing sizes if your measurements do not match.

If you are needing a smaller waist, instead of adding more shaping, I'd actually suggest choosing the size for your waist measurement and having a bit of negative ease in the bust.  For anyone wanting less shaping through the waist, try removing every other decrease and increase through the hip to bust sections, but still knit the zero ease for full bust size.  

In other news, I'm still slogging away on my new version of Paulette (a version that will accommodate fingering weight skeins that are closer to 420yds/100g vs 438yds/100g).  You may have seen some of those pics fly by on my Instagram feed, but it's b/c I just can't get enough of it!  Mechita is gorgeous yarn, and the Anniversario and Water Green colorways go so well together, it's like magic.  I really should pick up some of my languishing other projects/designs... but I just can't stop!  Luckily, I'm on the last section now, so I'll be forced to move on to a new project after that.  ;op

Time Flies

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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!!  

2016 in Review and 2017 Goals

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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:

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)

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  

2. Knit for fun, again.

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.  

3. Reclaim SO MANY needles and project bags.

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!  

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.

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?  

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?  

Let's Cowl-Along!!

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I've posted about this on my Ravelry group page, but I would like to talk more about it here!  First, let's get all the repetition done!  (This is a copy/paste of my Ravelry thread.)


"Fall is my favorite time of year, and I want to celebrate it with a fun Cowl-Along! I’ve come close to deciding that a good cowl is one of my favorite accessories. For some reason, there’s more gratification knitting one up than a scarf, I’m not worrying about what to do with the loose ends like a shawl, and I can continue wearing it at work when I’m very cold (unlike a hat).

With that, here are the rules of this Cowl-Along.
1) The pattern must be one of my cowls (Chocolate Chip CowlCunegondeAviaryMarisol CowlHideaway CowlBohemian Cowl (Knitted), or Bohemian Cowl (Crocheted).
2) Any picture of a WIP or FO in this thread put up between today (October 24th) and the end of Thanksgiving weekend (Sunday, November 27th) will qualify for a chance to win a prize! (However, they must be new projects started, at the earliest, today.) 
3) The grand prize will be chosen from pictures found within this thread that also have corresponding project pages linked to my pattern. So, please, post your pics (and if you can, hyperlink them) in here! I won’t know to search otherwise. ;o)

Important Dates:
Start: October 24th
End: November 27th
Early Prize Drawing: October 27th (b/c it’s my birthday!)

Prizes: 
Grand Prize: 1 Chuck Kit including: A hardcopy and e-copy of my newest pattern Chuck, enough yarn to make a pair of Chucks in Tell Tale Yarn Company Tidal Twinkle in the limited edition Toasted Pumpkin colorway, a stitch marker hand made by Ohmayzee, and two buttons; as well as your choice of 1 of my self published patterns. 

Other Prizes:

  • Early Prize Drawing: your choice of 1 of my self published patterns. To be eligible, please post a picture of either your WIP, FO, or even just the yarn and what pattern you plan on doing by the end of October 27th!
  • FOs Drawing: a copy of my entire Candide Knits Collection (CandideCunegondeMaggieMartinPangloss, plus one mystery new pattern!
  • WIPs Drawing: your choice of 1 of my self published patterns!

Fine print: all drawings will be chosen by random number generator based on qualifications. FO Drawing will only be chosen between pictures of FOs. WIPs will include any picture of WIPs, regardless of whether you finish by the deadline or not! Yes, you can enter multiple times with the same project, as long as there’s notable progress with each WIP shot! Grand Prize will be selected between my favorite pictures, WIP or FO, so be creative!"


Photo credit knitscene/Harper Point Photography

I will personally be doing an adjusted version of my Chocolate Chip Cowl!  I have enough yarn to do 2 more full length cowls, but I'm also going to be working one up that's roughly half the length to be a bit more snuggly around the neck!  That's the one I'll be starting up tonight.  

This is what happens when I pay attention to something other than the cat, when she wants attention... no ability to take pics of my cowl yarn and she chews the tag off.  ;op  Well, that's my current color scheme for my cowl!  

Which cowl do you want to knit on?  Any stash yarn for it, or will you go shopping for new yarn??  :o)

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

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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)

Catching Up

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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!  

Rainy Days in Seattle

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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?  

Pattern Release: Torrance!

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It's been a busy time here, and I'm super excited to announce Torrance has been officially released on Ravelry today!!  These mitts are special for me, for a number of reasons.  If you guys recall, I teamed up with two fantastic designers (Cory of Indie.Knits and Ariel of Stariel Knits) and a great indie dyer (Stitch Jones who takes color to eleven) to do a Neon Challenge!  

I felt honored to be included in the design challenge, and I was super excited about this particular one.  Neon sends me back to the early 90s when Lisa Frank was everywhere, and shows like Saved By the Bell had neon colored doodads floating across the screen during their theme song.  I have a soft spot for neon, and since it has crept back into the limelight for another short moment in time, I am taking full advantage of it!  :oD  

Ariel, Cory, and I have put together a collection of neon colored accessories that will be found as a collection on Ravelry.  You will be able to buy each pattern individually, or you can purchase the entire collection at a discount.  The collection begins with Torrance, and then we will release additional patterns over the course of the next month and half until all four patterns are out!  

When I first started, I was positive I was going to make fingerless mitts.  As I kept attempting different designs, I suddenly became inspired by the movie Bring it On and I've started calling my portion of the collection "Spirit Fingers."  ;op  Thus, the name of these mitts are Torrance, after Kirsten Dunst's character in the movie.  

Every pattern in the collection is knit with a special color designed for us by StitchJones and uses her Merino Sock (100% superwash merino; 410yds/100g).  Torrance does not use quite a full skein, and so I have a special pattern coming out in May to wrap up this collection that can be used to finish up the entire skein.  

I've seen some sneak peeks of the other patterns in this collection, and I'm very excited!  Stay tuned for more soon... 

Pattern Release: Heliconia!

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Here's another secret knitting project!  Heliconia is an oversized, lacy kimono style cardigan, that can be found in the Summer 2016 issue of Knitscene!  

It is knit in two pieces, then seamed together, and finished off with an i-cord bind off to give it a really put together look.  Heliconia is knit in Meadow (merino/llama/silk/linen blend), which was a lovely blend for this project.  Because it is such an oversized piece, there are only two sizes.  The measurements are measured flat across one side (instead of traditional bust circumference).  To choose a size, have someone measure you across while you have your arms outstretched, as that is roughly where garment will end up lying from side to side.  It has arm holes, but no actual sleeves.  

Heliconia also features a deep V in the back.  Optionally, you can sew ribbons to the top of the V at the back to help keep the shoulders from slipping, if you would like.  :o)

If you would like to find your copy of Knitscene Summer 2016, see below for some options:

- If you are local to Seattle, Fiber Gallery has their copies in already!  You can call to reserve one for yourself.  

- To purchase directly from Interweave:  http://www.interweavestore.com/knitscene-magazine-summber-2016-print-edition

Knit.Wear is back!

Noriko HoComment

And I'm in it!!  :oD  I've had to keep this one a secret for a good amount of time now... and it was SO HARD!  This is technically the first sweater I ever designed (with the magazine timeline, I actually designed and knit the sample two months before I even started Mayu!!), and I'm super in love with it!  Introducing my Douillet Sweater (cozy sweater)!

The sweater uses the ultra lovely Woolfolk Sno, a fingering weight merino (seriously the softest merino I've ever touched) that is two different color plies.  The marled effect is created simply by using the yarn.  It was knit up in three of their colors, but the dark green/black and navy/black colors are somewhat similar, so it's a subtle difference.  You could go more dramatic or more subtle, as shown.  

Douillet was inspired by the idea that cozy/comfy sweaters don't have to be shapeless.  The sweater is meant to be worn with positive ease, but has loooots of shaping in it!  The sleeves are a slightly closer fit than the rest of the sweater because the yarn is so soft and squishy that I couldn't help but have it hug the arms a little.  

A top down raglan, Douillet is also an easy knit that lets the yarn do the talking.  It is definitely tv or knit night knitting worthy.  In addition, the other knits in this welcome back issue of knit.wear are pretty amazing.  I can't wait to get my copy and start knitting on some of them!!  :oD  

If you're interested in getting a copy, here are a few options:

Locally, The Fiber Gallery has already received our copies!  Call in and have us hold you a copy!!  

If you aren't local and your LYS doesn't carry Interweave magazines, here are the direct links to order an ecopy or physical copy!

http://www.interweavestore.com/knitwear-springsummer-2016-digital-edition

http://www.interweavestore.com/knitwear-springsummer-2016

All photos were taken with permission by Harper Point Photography.

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)

Pattern Release, and Testing: Mayu!

Noriko HoComment

It took a bit longer than I was hoping to get Mayu fully formatted and everything, but Mayu is now ready and out!  Mayu has been fully tech edited, but I'd love a couple people testing it out for sizing purposes.  I'd love for people to be able to see what the different sizes fit like in different eases.  For that reason, I'm going to offer it out for free to testers for a limited amount of time.  You do have to contact me on Ravelry (rav id:  norichan) in order to qualify, and you have to be able to fit into my criteria for normal testing (it's not too difficult, but I do have a few qualifications).  :o)

Here are the pattern reqs:

Sizes:
Bust Circumference: 36 (39.75, 43.25, 47)” 91.5 (101, 110, 119.5) cm
Length: 22.75 (24, 25.25, 26.5)” 58 (61, 64, 67) cm

Gauge: 11 sts x 16 rows = 4” x 4” 10 cm x 10 cm, in st st, in the round on larger needles.

Materials: 
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Paloma Tweed (50% alpaca, 30% wool, 14% acrylic, 6% rayon; 71 yds/50 g) 
MC: 8 (9, 10, 11) skeins
CC: 3 (3, 3, 4) skeins

Needles: US 13 and 15 - 24” circular needle and DPNs. Or size to obtain gauge.

Notions: 
5 st markers (1 unique for beg of round m) 
cable needle
tapestry needle
scrap yarn (for holding sts)

As far as testing reqs go, you do need to be a member of Ravelry, have some projects on Ravelry with pictures, and be able to finish your project by the end of February.  I do ask for you to link your project to the Mayu project page, and post pictures of you (or whomever you prefer) modeling the sweater.  I would love it if you are able to say what your ease is, so that people have a good idea about how they might like to size their own Mayu!  I can't wait to see yours!  :oD  Please head here to sign up to test!  

Pattern Releases: Marika and Lady Olivia!

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Aaaahh!  This week has been a wonderful week.  For one thing, I finally got a day off after working 14 days in a row at my day jobs.  I also managed to bust out the pair of bulky weight slippers in the below post.  ;o)  I'll write a final review of the pattern and how I like the slippers in a later post... but after all of that, I had not one, but two patterns release this week!!  :oD

Here is Marika!  A fun and simple shawl done for Quince and Co's Scarves, Etc 5 Collection.  :oD  A mixture of garter stitch, and simple lace; it combines some of the best things for comfort knitting.  It is done in Owl, an alpaca and wool blend, that compliments the pattern beautifully.  

The Owl was such a pleasure to work with.  It is a somewhat new yarn for me, and I can't seem to get enough of it.  I love how the alpaca adds some depth to the color, which adds to the rustic feel it has.  I actually can't wait until I can get my hands on some more and knit myself a Marika for myself to enjoy!

And here is Lady Olivia, the third pattern in my Twelfth Knits collection.  This textured knit was a well needed thing for me this winter.  My pair of Rivolettos were just not keeping my hands warm enough!  While great for the spring and early fall (or winter in Austin), they just couldn't cut it for the colder climate in the Pacific NW.  Lady Olivia is a long worsted weight mitt that goes higher on the thumb and fingers for some extra warmth!  I made the ribbing extra long so that it could be folded back in case a bit of extra dexterity is needed.  ;o)  

These mitts take about 170 yds of worsted weight yarn (Shepherd's Wool Worsted used for sample), and US 7 [4.5mm] DPNs.  

And now for some more pretty knitting pics!  (All pics of Marika were taken by the lovely and talented Pam Allen.)