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

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catching Up

Noriko HoComment

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!  

Indie Dyers

Noriko HoComment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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