purple

If you’re serious about being a tourist in Oregon and not limiting yourself to the lovely town of Portland, I highly suggest you shuffle your self a car with some oomph and head west through the Cascades to the Oregon Coast. That’s right, the coast. Not the beach.

coast-morning-oregon (1)

The Oregon Coast is dotted with many coastal towns with a rich history that makes this state so unique. All the way north at the mouth of the Columbia River down to the Redwood National Forrest.  In these coastal towns you can easily find local crafts; everything from paintings, to woodwork, to glass and ceramics.

I’ve been rather lucky in that my in-laws are friends with the awesome Brian and Kate Johnstone of Nehalem Clay Works. My sister-in-law Meagan is a soil scientist and wrote up this awesome article last fall about the science of clay and had an chance to showcase the Johnstone’s work as well.  They gifted us a beautiful set of goblets for our wedding. AND IT WAS PURPLE. I mean how much more awesome can you get?

Last Christmas I was also gifted a purple yarn bowl made by local potter JamPDX. Mayhaps they were intrigued. Needless to say, the Johnstone’s are now making yarn bowls! These are truely unique as no two are alike: coastal themed, and come in earthy and ocean-inspired color ways.

Here’s the one I got 😀

Johnstone Yarn Bowl

Jonstone Yarn Bowl

Jonstone Yarn Bowl Jonstone Yarn Bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess a little bit of my Korean-ness shows in my choice of ceramics. I have a major soft spot for teal/seafoam colored glazes. I especially like the light green known as Kingfisher aka Celadon.

Last I heard, these yarn bowls are available at the Coastal Yarns shop in Cannon Beach. They even have a knit nite on Fridays! What’s not to love? Oregon is just the best! We’ve got legit yarn shops galore, serious artisan crafts, and a coast that all of us natives tend to brag about.

Now I have two yarn bowls. Wish I had more hands so that I could knit on more than one project at a time! Alas, the crafters dillema. XD

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Ok ok ok, first of all I have to say that I’ve never dyed my hair at a real professional salon and Erin did such a freakin’ fantastic job!!!!!!

There has been no dye transfer to my pillow, hands are not stained purple, hair doesn’t feel crispy, my “virgin scalp” (harhar) isn’t super itchy or flaking or otherwise feeling mega damaged, and IT MATCHES MAH GLASSES!!!!

Yes, I’ve used store box stuff. Yes, I’ve gone to a mall salon…ick…(they didn’t destroy my hair but the color never lasted very long and I never went wild with a dramatic dye job.)

SO.DUDESI’MSOFREAKINEXCITEDYOUHAVETOSEETHIS

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Ready to take down some Titans!

As most of you know, I have incredibly dark brown/black hair, my hair has natural dark dark dark brown highlights, and Tonie permed me back in October. With that all being said, I had to be bleached twice, as kind of expected, and only had the dye in for about 20 minutes….it may have been the full 30 minutes, but I wasn’t paying attention to the clock because it was burning so bad. But I wanted this color so bad!!

Transition photos:

#SQUEEE

 Totally worth the 5 hours and the stinging. TOTALLY WORTH IT. Face keeps smiling at nothing in particular and that’s the way I like it. XD

For upkeep I also purchased some fancy smancy shampoo and conditioner. Did you know you can buy shampoo and conditioner with colored toner in it? I totally didn’t know! And now you know.

Since I am a daily washer it is going to be interesting resisting going full blown shampoo the next few days. I’m going to try to wait as long as possible before the first wash of my newly dyed hair. And when I do wash, it will be with my new special shampoo and conditioner. Man, that word is awkward. Sh-aam-pooooooo…..

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I haven’t knitted a sweater all year and I’m feeling a serious itch. I’m in need of a nice, soft, squooshy covering that has enough going on that I won’t get bored knitting it, but not so much that it will take over my life. The majority of my knits so far this year have been cowls and shawls, so the pattern would also have to give enough lee-way for possibly wearing them in conjunction without turning me into a sweaty mess.

Pattern:

The result of my Ravelry search brought me to this little beauty: Paloma.

Bulky weight yarn: check.
Textured stitches: check.
Learn a new Technique: check.

Paloma is written by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails. I’ve made another sweater by her called Baileys Irish Cream. Unfortunately, I wore it too much in the winter/spring of 2014 and it felted/pilled because I didn’t use a superwash yarn (totally my bad). The patterns she writes are very clear and technically accurate.

Yarn:

I’ve been wanting to try a bulky weight pattern for a while, so finding a bulky weight yarn seemed like it would be easy. Except not. I knew I wanted superwash and I knew I wanted something pretty. What I don’t ever want is expensive, heavy, or acrylic. Knitpicks Biggo ended up breaking the tie. This is a 50% superwash and 50% nylon fluffy mix. It has a little bit of a fuzzy halo, but nothing unreasonable, so far. At 100 grams a skein as well, it feels like a light and fluffy newborn kitten.

Biggo - Iris Heather

The color I’m going with the Iris Heather. And so far it’s living up to my expectations. The example Paloma is a solid pinky/peach color, which is fine, but with the texture I wanted something with a bit more depth and feel of luxury. I want a sweater that people really can’t find in the store, but still in style.

Comparing the item to the colors show on the knitpicks website, it is more on the grey side than the purple side. But the heather and nylon give it almost an iridescent glow which I absolutely love!

Swatch:

Biggo - swatchIMG_1314

 
Pattern gauge is 3 stitches and 5 rows per 1″ in double seed stitch pattern on size 10.5 (6.5mm) needles. I measured slightly smaller than gauge using 10 (6.0mm) needles before wet blocking.

The pattern notes that gauge is very important especially when working with bulky weight yarns. Even the slightest bit too big and you’re going to end up with an over-sized garment. Luckly, I came in slightly under! Good enough.

Size:

As usual I will be making the smallest size possible: 36.5″ @ approx 900 yards. I still haven’t quite figured out if the 4″ of positive ease is a part of the pattern or if the model is wearing it that large on purpose. Either way 36.5″ is big on me to begin with. Biggo comes in 110 yard skeins. In addition to the one I purchased for testing, I need to buy 8 more.

Modifications:

Arm length – shorter arms = using less yarn! I will be shortening the arm length and maybe adding a thumb hole.

Shaping – The common theme I see from completed projects, even the example photographs, is that the backside arm hole is fluppy, baggy, and folds in a weird way. In all likelihood I think I will decrease one or two more stitches than called for at the arm hole area to 1 + give my shoulders more space and 2 + keep the back of the sweater from looking frumpy. Based on Thea’s notes though this may not be necessary. The look in the examples is with 4″ of positive ease where the smallest size gives only about 2-3″.

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