norichan knits!

pattern release

Fall Comforts

Noriko HoComment

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

Noriko HoComment

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

A New Month, a New Pattern!

Noriko HoComment

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

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)  

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.

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 Release: Cunegonde!

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Cunegonde is up!!  Like it's namesake, this cowl is beautiful, but a nice and easy knit.  It was designed with beginner lace knitters in mind, and so the lace portion is not challenging but still fun for more experienced knitters.  

The cowl itself comes in two sizes, a small and large, and is designed for both a DK or a worsted weight yarn.  The gorgeous yarns the pattern calls for are from DragynKnyts, an indie dyer out of Portland.  The PendragynDK is 100% sw merino, and comes in large 330yd skeins!  A single skein is able to make one of the larger cowls, or a smaller cowl and matching hat.  The Wyvern (worsted weight) is also 100% sw merino, and one skein of those is a whopping 470yds!  That is enough to make a larger sized cowl, and matching hat!  The hat pattern will be out shortly.  :o)  

As this is part of my Candide Knits collection, if you were to buy Candide and Cunegonde together, an automatic discount will be applied and the two patterns together will be $7.50 (no code needed).  Prior purchases will apply.  :o)  

Extra bonus.  With the PendragynDK, you could knit a smaller sized Cunegonde, and have enough leftover to make up a Candide, as well!  The nice part is that Candide would match, but because of it's dual color it wouldn't be a perfectly matchy match sort of way, if you aren't into that sort of thing.  :oD  Enjoy!  

Introducing: Viola and Cesario!

Noriko HoComment

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  

Pattern Release: Paulette!

Noriko HoComment

Yay, I'm so excited to be releasing Paulette today on Ravelry!  Happy day!  :oD  

Paulette is a textural shawl that is knit top down.  I loved playing with the stripes and colors.  The name Paulette originally comes from the character on Legally Blonde.  I don't know why, but the shawl reminded me of her as I was watching it.  Maybe it's because she starts off very meek and by the end of the movie, she's bloomed into a confident woman.  My shawl starts off with a garter tab, and opens up by planting little individual flowers and soon grows to be a trellis garden.  Maybe I'm stretching my imagination there, but the name stuck either way.  ;op

Paulette was knit using two skeins (one skein of each color) of Thoroughly Thwacked's Vixen.  The yarn blocks beautifully, and creates such a great drape!  I'm super in love with it now.  :oD  I definitely hope to use it again in the future.  

Find out more about this shawl on the pattern page.  It is now ready for purchase!


Secret Pattern Release!

Noriko Ho2 Comments

It's my pleasure to announce that my latest secret knit is now available to share with you!  It is the Gehry Wrap done for Unique Sheep's yarn club!  It is a club exclusive for now, and won't be available for individual purchase until December, unfortunately. 

A bit of details... It is knit up in Unique Sheep's Marici, which is a 100% silk lace weight.  :o)  The wrap is asymmetrical and uses simple stitch patterns along with short rows to create it's fun shape.  It was inspired by Frank Gehry's post modern architecture, in particular, this piece

Candide

Noriko HoComment

My newest hat pattern has been released!  A little late for the awesome spring weather we've been getting recently, here in Seattle... but that's what happens when you do a cross country move.  

I'm loving Candide and how different it can look with different color combinations!  All of my testers have been getting compliments on their hats, and have been getting requests for more.  :oD  I think that's the greatest thing a designer can ever hear.  

Some details:

Yarns used:  Cascade Heritage (or similar fingering weight) and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (or similar light DK/sport weight).  150-220 yds of fingering and 70-110 yds of DK/sport

Needles:  US 6 and US 8 - 16" circs and US 8 DPNs

Gauge:  20 sts/4" stockinette st, while holding one strand each of the Heritage and Silky Wool.

Sizes:  18" (20", 22")

Some general notes about the pattern.  Many of my testers had some troubles obtaining gauge when using a heavier DK weight yarn.  The Silky Wool is listed as a DK weight, but it does seem to behave a lot like a sport weight.  Since it's a hat, there is some give with the gauge, so don't be too particular about it.  Even the testers who missed gauge ended up loving their hats!  :o)  

It's a simple pattern, but can obtain completely different results.  Check out some of my tester's versions!  One of them even used scrap yarns to make a rainbow effect.  I'm loving it.  :o)  

Oh, and yes, this hat is named after the simple optimist that is the protagonist of the Voltaire novel Candide.  ;o)  

Pattern Release: Rivoletto Mitts

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Here is my latest pattern for self publish, Rivoletto Mitts!  I love these mitts, and I hope you enjoy them, also.  

These mitts are great because they actually fit a huge range of hand sizes.  :oD  They are only about 5" circumference, unstretched, but they are so stretchy that they will actually fit up to 8" circumference after stretching.  A lot of friends in my knitting group were shocked when they were able to fit into these mitts because they look so small when sitting on the table.  

So, I did do a gauge swatch for these mitts.  Since ribbing is so hard to measure, completely unstretched most people's gauges seem the same in ribbing, but when you "lightly stretch" how much is "lightly stretched"?  I decided to do the easiest thing and do a flat swatch in stockinette stitch.  Due to the stretchy nature of this pattern, gauge is not a huge issue.  The only concern would be the difference in yardage.  If you are concerned at all, then doing a gauge swatch to see if you are within reason is a good idea.  

Rivoletto Mitts are now available for purchase on Ravelry here.  

Aviary Cowl

Noriko HoComment

Just blown away by the release of this collection of "scarves."  Scarves used lightly, as in anything that will wrap around the neck.  :o)  Quince and Co have really outdone themselves this time.  This was one of my "secret" knits.  I've had to keep this one under wraps since November!  I've been dying to share it with you guys, and now I can!

Aviary Cowl (click the picture to be taken to the Ravelry page), is made with Quince and Co Tern (75/25 Wool/Silk) using 2 skeins each color (4 skeins total).  I loved using this yarn, it is so squishable and just comfortable!  It was a dream to knit with, and I have actually already bought more so I can make Aviary in a different color combo!

Aviary was created when I had a daydream about a cowl that was two-sided.  I wanted one side to be solid to keep it nice and cozy, but the other side had to be a little more fun.  Not only that, but I wanted to have some color play.  I loved the idea of a mesh to keep the pattern feeling organic and fun, but not too fussy.  I absolutely love how the mesh allows the other side's color to peek through!  I think the colors chosen here work very well, neutral and can go with just about anything.  However, I also imagine how fun this would be in some bolder colors, or what about one light and one dark?

I'm most excited about the fact that this is available in physical format!  While I love the versatility of digital copies, there is just something that I love about flipping through a book.  I also love all of the other patterns in the collection.  I can't wait to get my hands on a copy and get to knit some of the other designs!  :oD 

I will be doing a KAL for this cowl in the fall.  Things are just so busy right now that there's no way I'd be able to handle my current design load, my day job, a move (yes, I am moving soon... more on that in another post), and moderating a KAL.  I have a feeling, by the time I'm done with my move, it'll be close to summer, and it just wouldn't feel right knitting this then.  So, fall it is!  :o)

Can't wait?  Please go ahead and CO now!  Share your color combinations and projects with me in my ravelry group!  I'd love to see which colors you chose!