norichan knits!

shawl

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)

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

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  

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.)

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...

Cat Being a Cat

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Is it just me, or do cats just know the most inopportune times to get in the way?  I finally finished my Seeds to Flowers shawl, and pinned it out to block.  She didn't bother me at all the entire time... then when it came to taking pictures of it, that's when she decided she had to investigate...

Apparently, while I was out and about, she kept trying to lay on top of the shawl as it was drying, also.  Why, I couldn't say... Ah well.  She's lucky she's cute.  ;o)  

Visiting

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This weekend I went to my hometown in California.  My brother and I planned a secret trip to surprise my parents.  It turned out to be a big success, and we all had a good time.  We went to a great Japanese restaurant, then got some homemade flautas made by my mom on Sunday, and a chicken katsu curry udon made by my dad on Monday!  A great weekend for food and visiting.  :o)  In the end, I forgot to take pictures... so you'll have to settle for this progress pic of my shawl.  

Here's a pic demonstrating the lace coming along.

I liked this angle because it shows off the textured pattern nicely.  No other reason for adding this pic.  ;op

A little further...

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Here's another shot of my shawl.  It's very slow going (despite my goals) due to my final move happening, and obtaining all our stuff.  Unpacking has been an exhausting ordeal, and so I haven't gotten as far as I'd like.  

Tomorrow we're going to go attempt to purchase a few items that we can really use to help organize this place, get to seriously go grocery shopping, and unpack some more.  I'm hoping the pattern is ready for testing by May 8th.  Wish me luck!