Back From The High Sierra.

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We three ~ Jeff, Emma, & me ~ went for a short & sweet trip to High Sierras over the weekend for our anniversary.  There was a little hiking, cooking, tea & coffee drinking, fishing & knitting, sniffing around…. and photos of it all.

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Restorative in many ways, as always, the alpine scenery soothed a yearning that only it can do. What is it about pitching a tent in the wilderness at high altitude to claim some spot in nature for a few days?
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Something about the fragile flowers
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and gnarled trees
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The granite everywhere and deep crystal clear blue lakes

Granite Lake

wide horizon of jagged ridges and expressive skies,

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Windy thunder & rain storms which suddenly take hold for a couple of hours in the afternoon,

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sending us for cover in our cozy tent to wait it out.
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Granite Lake in Mokelumne Wilderness was just what I craved.  Here with coffee & knitting, bundled up while the storm calmed down.

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Jeff got to fish a couple of times, though he didn’t get even one bite

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Then it was time for trail coffee & tea !!!

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We found that Emma was perfectly able to handle carrying a doggie pack and hike as she did once before, and it was as if her little arthritic limp of late almost disappeared completely. 072007

She is in top form !

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Most importantly, this trip to the Sierras was to celebrate a very important mark in our partnership,

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We all did well.  It was our first on this particular trail, and were so lucky to have Granite Lake all to ourselves, as it is an extremely populated lake only 3 miles from the trail-head. It is my theory that the forecast dramatic thunderstorms cleared the lake for us. We were prepared to hike cross-country (off-trail) to another lake for privacy, but had no need, it was a total stroke of luck.

One thing is for sure, we found that with only a 3 hour drive, we can be in the High Sierra and fish & knit & drink coffee at a granite bowl. It just doesn’t get any better than that ! Off we go back home, but we’ll be back . . .
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Off to the Sierras !

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The High Sierras beckon us this year on our anniversary. Last time we went, Jeff, Emma & I had a great time , it was in the Inyo National Forest of the High Sierras, on the McGee Pass trail, hovering around 10,000 – 12,000′ elevation. This  (slightly blurry) photo was taken while walking along a meadow on the trail, and it was in fact the last backpack trip I was on. Emma was a two-year-old packing puppy and that was seven years ago. Ages !

I can’t believe how long it’s been, and astonished at the pace life just races by.  Here is Emma waiting for me as we climbed over the pass, the rock in the trail so sharp she had to wear her boots.
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And just beneath the pass, resting a poor exhausted puppy Emma in the snow with Jeff looking a little impatient . . .
Jeff and Emma in snow,  beneath McGee Pass

That trip was a stunning one, a beauty for sure,  but I’m not feeling very confident in my packing abilities at all now.   Though Jeff has promised me that we will go slowly and not far, for if I am going to want to backpack regularly ~ again ~  it is important that Emma and I do not get whipped by the trek.  Emma is already a little bit limpy with onset arthritis, and I’m not much better, worried about carrying a pack for any distance.

But hey , the altitude & elements I can handle ! How can I not crave to sit and knit for hours with camp coffee by high mountain lakes such as these . . .

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Fact is, I can’t wait !!! But just to give perspective, here’s a photo of me taken around 1990, during very likely my first backpack trip, resting & reading in camp over a glacier-melt filled bowl far below in the backdrop ~ Lake Ana in Trinity Alps . . .
Trinity's 1990 Jennifer Lake Ana

So interesting that being in the really high mountains has been such a part of me for as long as I can remember.  Jeff and I are making a vow of sorts, to go regularly again, and this is a bit of a kick-start trek.  Well folks, its time for me to go pull out all of my packing gear and assemble things ~ knitting included ~ see you all on the flip-side. Sierra Nevada mountains, here we come.

Just Hanging Around Knitting . . .

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I’m pleased with myself for I indeed got the Dicey Highland Bonnet pattern updated yesterday to include the Dicey Highland Beret, and now I am squeezing in a quickie before I have to wind myself up to the max for the big Autumn Sweater Thing that I do every Autumnal Equinox for my nieces.

Backstory. Last Friday was the Independence Day holiday here, and we went on over to my brother’s  as there was quite the party happening in his little Appalachian-esque neighborhood. Well, there I am knitting, you know ‘on-the-go’ , with the knitting bag slung over my shoulder and knitting as I always do. My youngest niece, Miss Eleven-Years-Old  knows how to knit,  and is getting better, so I said “Lets get you some knitting ! ” … so we walked down to her house and raided her mom’s stash & needles, and found a darling knitting bag and we set her up to knit-on-the-go too. So there’s the two of us among the wild & crazy dancing & feasting folk outside, she and I knitting together  near the whole time, while walking about here and there with knitting satchels slung over our shoulders, swaying to the music … knit-dancing ! … and thoroughly enjoying our peaceful & productive selves ( stopping only to munch cake and other wonderful things ) . She got nearly half of a garter-stitch cotton dish cloth finished, and I made great progress on my hat band.  I knit until it was too dark to knit any longer, however, Miss Eleven carried on knitting into the darkness which totally killed me, her eyes like a hawk’s .

Backstory over. About the forthcoming big Autumn Thing, this year I’ve got some ideas, I may either come up with a whole new design from which I will write & submit a pattern, or, I’ll just add some sleeves to my Penny Candy Tee.  ((By the way, many folk have been making them, and I’ve been so proud !)) Whichever way I go, I must say, I better get cracking because it’s already first week over in July, and at the speed the seasons are going, I best not dawdle.

But I have a bee in my bonnet for the moment, about a wide and shaped band for a hat, and playing with some Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I’m on a roll.  I’ve got most of my big chores out of the way for the week, so looking forward to just hanging around knitting !

Dicey Beret !

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Beret

Hey, guess what !?

I have finally settled on a second shape for my Dicey pattern, the lesser voluminous  ~~ beret...

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A smart rascally sort of cap,  with a perky attitude.

It is a lot less hat, both in diameter and height, than the original Dicey Highland Bonnet .

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Done & dusted , and the Dicey Highland Bonnet  pattern is now updated to include the Highland Beret.

Two shape options in one pattern,  and two flourishes to choose from (the toorie or the i-cord loop)

Now available~~~  Dicey Bonnet & Beret ! 

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Frankly , I am so happyt to get this beret design outa my hair ,

and have you knitters out there knitting it ! :)

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Details of this project can be found on Ravelry HERE.

 

Its Only Knitting

I’ve been busy as a bee working away on my designs, coming up with new ones and further test-knitting my existing ones.  Add now tutorials.  I have gotten to the point in the whole knitting Thing where I really don’t have time or energy to put into anything which is not my own design.  I really can’t regret this , because whether or not I endeavor to write the design into a pattern, I’ve just come to face the fact that I have to make up for lost time.  I’ve embraced Indie Design, and am committed, and I’m ready for a lot of hard work ahead. The more I tell myself this the more I want to work like an ox towards succeeding. However, the elusive truth often escapes me, and that is ” Its only knitting. ”   A quote of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s used by over-zealous knitters everywhere.  Although it is ‘only knitting’ ,  I am practically ‘only knitting’. I have little chalkboards I’ve made which I’ve placed in prominent places of my work space ,  with lists or sage messages to give me perspective, and I use them to keep my focus clear wherever I turn.  Today’s brilliant message . . .

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Introducing Tips From The Table !

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Hi folks !  Remember this post  months and months ago?  Well, the table finally has made it’s way into a permanent feature of Yarnings !   You’ll see it up there , between the ‘My Own’ and ‘ My Patterns’ pages .  Please go see , and be sure to read my first tutorial intallment within  , all about ” Three -in-one swatching” .

I’m so excited it’s not even funny . . .

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Tips From The Table 

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Here is the table with tutorial in process, tripod set up, taken  from over the ledge of my work loft. It was a lot of work to get this tutorial done, but I really have wanted to do this for a long long time. I am so relieved, and there’s so many more idea’s I’ve had over the last years in knitting, now I have a place to talk & teach them all.

jenjoycedesign©Tips From The Table

Jamieson’s Dicey

jenjoycedesign©Jamiesons Dicey 4 I’ve been busy making some shaping improvements to my Dicey Highlands Bonnet design. Here knit with Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift 2ply wool yarn, with my new favorite diced band style using three colors. I think this particular one is more a man’s cap, and there is a particular Scottish fellow who may just have his name on it come Christmas. About the design elements.  I’ve come to the opinion that it should be blocked flat , with the diced band brim eased into flatness as well , instead of blocking it with faced-band standing up  . . .

jenjoycedesign©steam-flat The toorie is as before, one simply threads the ties of the toorie through the middle of the crown and ties it on . . .

jenjoycedesign©tie-on-toorie Simple & pure ,

strong & good mannered too . . .

jenjoycedesign©toorie-tied-on Such personality !

I am smitten already with this handsome creature . . .

jenjoycedesign©Jamiesons Dicey The confident,  all-natural, pragmatic sort . . .

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My Dicey pattern is already a year old, and now I am only just now studying it’s many facets  while trying out all kinds of yarns and test-knitting, for I honestly feel that the design is so deserving of every attention.  This pattern will be having extensive test-knit samples knit up by myself and some friends, and is undergoing an update soon.

jenjoycedesign©Jamiesons Dicey 3 I’m already casting on another , testing my new shaping ideas,  in a lively ensemble of colors… so watch this space ! :)

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Details on Ravelry HERE

Aches & Pains

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I use my hands a lot.  A whole heck of a lot, and also I do a lot of knitting, every day.  I don’t knit particularly fast, but I do knit a lot.  It’s only expected sooner or later  something in the mechanism of movement would start hurting.

I figure I can tame my thumb and teach my hands to move in different ways.  My left thumb, that most useful thing, moves in continual little pressing motions, and while I move a stitch to ‘feed’ into the right hand’s fingers looping the yarn, and when I transfer the knitting to be held by the left hand while I reach for more yarn, the left thumb has a light clamping action. It all adds up.

So  just for a short time so I can figure out what I’m doing, I’m wearing an elastic ‘bandage’ which keeps my left thumb from moving about much, so I must figure out other ways of doing things. For one, learning how to not feed the stitches so much , trusting that the stitches will make it over to the right hand without my bending and scooting so much with my thumb , and  I’m learning to take up my knitting with my right hand while my left reaches for more yarn.

Either warning or fact :  knitting excessively , whether for a past-time or production, eventually will cause ligament & muscle problems. Have you suffered injury from knitting in the past or are you presently beginning to ?  Then my advise to you is to learn more ergonomic methods right away, and to not think it will just go away without diligent retraining of your movements.

Bandaged but not shackled… I knit on , with a little help from Tiger Balm. Oh, and glucosamine & chondroiton supplements daily.

A True Robin’s Egg Blue

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I just picked this up from the duff of the forest floor. I nearly stepped on it while knitting along my woods path. In the woods we have a lot of robins , year round, so occasionally one finds a little shell cast aside, just like this, a stark contrast of blue shade against brownish tones of the leaves on the ground. Had I a camera with me I would have done well to photograph it against its natural setting, but I didn’t, and so I collected my little prize into my knitting bag and brought it home to photograph on some white linen.

This color blue, a greenish blue, is such a beautiful color, and I have it now here as reference when examining hues, if I may be forgetting what it looks like. Let it etch into my color memory, for I want to find a way to knit this color!

Otro Chulo

jenjoycedesign©008 Otro chulo (another chulo).  Chulo de Primavera ! (Chulo of Spring).  Here he is, just dry from a bath, so bashful in front of the camera. Ah !  Otro Chulo shows his nice color-work, what the heck , how nice, with his little legs sticking out right & left…

jenjoycedesign©005 Otro Chulo sits up a little more confidently, and sees the world around…

jenjoycedesign©006 Okay, now with legs outstretched, quite happy with himself,  begins to hum a little tune

(shhh listen…)

jenjoycedesign©002 About now Otro Chulo is feeling a little sassy, really winds it up for the camera…

tied up & twisted !

jenjoycedesign©blues-tassle But feeling already sleepy again , and dreaming of the day next week when he will stand proudly on my brother’s head ! A linen-cotton blend which is a perfect Faded Blues sort of theme for late Spring thru Summer ~~~  a hybrid style of Peruvian Chulo and  sherpa hat ~~~ my brother’s favorite whacky thing to wear.

jenjoycedesign©Chullo de Primavera Anyway, my brother is getting quite the collection of chulo hats which I have made him (you can see some of them  here ), but honestly I see no reason to stop, and I’m almost certain my brother would agree.

Refashioned

jenjoycedesign©linen-shirt-upcycle-back I took a big men’s blue check linen shirt I found at Goodwill Thrift shop a few months ago, for a couple of dollars, and this morning reconstructed it into a pretty shirt with details I have done so much I call them ‘signature’. I took my time before I cut with scissors because I really put a lot of thought into the details I wanted.

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Such as the cut off cuff hemmed with sleeve placket and then a button for show.

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This time I took some of the length cut off from the shirt and made a little detail sewn over pleats. (oops, I forgot to photograph the before photo), then added buttons.  I love it !

jenjoycedesign©linen-shirt-upcycle-detail (1) I also separated the felled seam at the bottom edge and rather hurriedly made a make-shift after-thought side seam placket, and decided to make the front shorter.

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Also I sewed the button placket down because I hate gaping button plackets on shirts. Voila ! Refashioned 100% linen summer shirt ! For two dollars !!! Did I already mention that I love it?

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A Vancouver Yarn Shop Experience

jenjoycedesign©Urban-YarnsI dropped in on Urban Yarns in  Vancouver BC this last weekend, being that we were visiting Jeff’s sister who lives very near.  I have not visited all that many yarn shops in my few travels, but those who know me, knew this visit was completely and totally necessary, so I was escorted to Urban Yarns, and found myself wandering about in a lovely yarn shop,  just a couple of blocks away from the home of my sister-in-law.

jenjoycedesign©urban-yarns-shopThere I took in  the atmosphere of a true Vancouver Yarn Experience.   I got to see & touch yarns I’ve long been curious about as well,  such as New Hampshire-made Harrisville Designs “Watershed” , “Highland” and “Shetland” yarns and of those there was a lot!  The Harrisville Design yarns recently was on my hunting list, but when there at Urban Yarns my mind went totally blank and I had Yarn Shop Freeze !  After wading through some other mainstream yarn shop brands, the lasting thought  to ponder before I left was . . .  ‘which yarn is the single-most Vancouver Experience’ ?

I was led to rather large display brands of Vancouver hand-dyed yarns, many which I could have chosen, but the most of the most  that I would take home with me (even though it is to be found in my own LYS) was a very Vancouver yarn ~~~ Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Lace.   Not a thrifty purchase, not by a mile, but it was ‘hand-dyed’ only down the street, and sold right there at Urban Yarns, right there on Highland Boulevard.

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I must regret one thing if not spending more money on more truly Vancouver yarns, and that is I did not have time or fore-thought to visit the place ‘just down the street’ where the Sweet Georgia Yarn people are busy hand-dying & skeining up their yarn.   However, Jeff did buy me a very luxurious gift of rabbity-soft 100g skein of Merino Silk Lace.  Here she is,  with her hair let down, sensually sprawled across a late afternoon sun beam . . .

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Can you imagine what aphrodesiacal state I have been flung into , with all of this ultra fine smokey grey silky yarn ?  I am now on a mission of discovery of who and what a knitter becomes when introduced to such delicate stuff,  765 lavish yards of slate grey merino/silk  lace yarn ~~  which by the way, I will be winding off into a ball soon, by hand, with only the help of the backs of two chairs.  On to new lace horizons!!!

Yarn Tasting : Four Sock Yarns

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I have sock yarn ‘on my brain’ and in recent many weeks have been trying different brands in a sort of comparison & contrast project ~~ in a Sock Yarn Tasting !  I even accidentally (well, almost) designed a new thing in the process of fiddling around with sock yarn (more on that later).  Although my Sock Yarn Tasting has been a great source of entertainment for myself, and I actually do feel a sense of earnestness to convey my thoughts on the matter .  At the very least, in the process of comparing I’ve settled on my favorites, and better yet, answered my curiosity as to why.

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I have knit On The Trail ,  a whole lot (it’s what I do) ,  also while waiting for pots to simmer & the kettle to boil, while watching tv, while talking on the phone, while reading, and even  sometimes in between sets at gigs, so my knitting is always hanging on the chair back.  So, while my hands have gotten a bit sore from all of this knitting, I am pleased with the small woolly mountain of knitteds which I am producing.  Soon I’ll be off to Vancouver for Jeff’s family reunion of sorts and you can be certain I’ll be packing up my menagerie of socks-in-progress to  take along, and excuse myself for being entrapped by the knitting while in others’ company,  returning hopefully with a pair or two to add to the growing stack of socks I am squirrelling away for the gift-giving holidays.

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I am  just am so filled with a sense of giddy & calm pride, as I have found knitting socks to be my meditation.  Ahem, okay, so here’s my observations so far of the superstars of sock yarn market which I am sampling : Madelinetosh “Tosh Sock” , Malabrigo “Sock”, Shibui “Sock” , and Sweet Georgia “Tough Love Sock”~~~ all knit up with my Penny Candy Socks pattern with size 2.75mm – US 2 circular needles (two of them).

As Shibui Sock & Madelinetosh Tosh Sock seem to me about the same thickness, I knit them together in stripes because they feel nearly identical in thickness,  though the Tosh Sock is a tiny bit more ‘firm’ , they are thicker, and even a bit fluffier.

jenjoycedesign©Thai Ginger Lime Chews

Ginger Lime Chews Penny Candy Socks, details on Ravelry HERE 

I observe that the fabric of Tosh Sock & Shibui Sock produced is more substantial, and would be great for a slightly thicker pair of socks but as this is so,  I might only wear these socks with the roomiest of my shoes. Great for hiking boots, great for Dansko Clogs which tend to fit a little roomy anyway. (Note to self: get another pair of Dansko Clogs !) but not so great for my dressier shoes.  Soft, plush, firm.

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jenjoycedesign©SweetGeaorgia-Tough-Love-sock-yarn

Next in the line-up, Sweet Georgia “Tough Love Sock”.  This yarn is indeed a tough yarn. So much in fact, that I suspect the slight lack  of elastic properties of the yarn effected the gauge, as the same number of stitches on same needles as I knit the others, the Sweet Georgia socks turned out really very large by comparison !  I stopped at one sock, not sure how to proceed, for these would indeed be tough socks and big enough for a man, I just couldn’t think of any men I’d like to give orangey red lace-bordered socks to.  No offense to you men who would love them,  I just wasn’t in the mood to make the second sock, so I will post the photo of the one.

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I think I might have to compensate with this yarn’s properties, to knit the next size smaller with them and see how that works. ((also notice that the two colors were so alike, melting into each other a little too much , that seeing the stripes was insanely difficult)).

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Finally, for the kind of socks that one would easily slip into one’s favorite shoes , that is, shoes worn regularly with store-bought socks, the finer fabric of Malabrigo’s fine fingering-weight  “Sock” wins out.  Mostly for it’s soft resilient and lovely elastic feel, but equally for the rich colors in each hand-dyed skein.  I have to say also that I have a real penchant for “oh so fine” knitting these days, and it’s fine-fingering weight that I seriously am in love with.

jenjoycedesign©Malabrigo ImpressionistSky y Aguas

My Penny Candy Socks and Pretty Little Things Gloves  are designed with Malabrigo, and I’m more than happy with the slightly delicate character of the fine fingering yarn with its superwash easy-care and softness of touch. In fact, I feel like hoarding every ‘solid’ color of Peruvian-made Malabrigo yarn, and happily knitting Penny Candy Socks  for everyone I know.

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Blueberry Gumballs Penny Candy Socks, details on Ravelry HERE

It is a goal of mine to knit for next holiday season, as there’ll be no hitting the shops in a bug-eyed panic to find something meaningful. Because basically, it can’t get much more meaningful than hand-knit socks knit fresh only months previously.

I’ll end this yarn tasting with more Malabrigo yarn on the needles, in murky green and clear blue.  This photo was taken early this morning, as the stripes began to colorplay . . .

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Socks in progress,  details on Ravelry HERE

 

Glimpses From The Knitting Trail

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A big granite rock stack leads from our door out into the woods.

Recently Emma had a birthday ! She is nine.  Every year on her birthday I take her for a long walk and follow her wherever she wants to go.  There was a rather hesitant beginning as she contemplated what was down the road…

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Emma’s 9th birthday walk.

Then after we walked all over the place, unexpected places she led me, and I followed without question.  As our walk ended she found herself mesmerized in the sun beams of the forest, a little spellbound perhaps. There’s lots to think about when one is Nine.

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Emma in woods.

For those of you who have been visiting Yarnings for any length of time, know about my Knitting Trail, I talked about a while ago in this post.    I am gradually putting it all together, this spot and that, through forest and wood, through hilly and hollow lands.   Also,  I am soon to wrap up my first official ‘Yarn Tasting’ of several sock yarn brands, and will be posting about that, but for now, here’s a little sock knitting of the morning…

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One of several rough-cut benches along the Knitting Trail.

Vineyard Rows Toque !

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My latest design, another Vineyard Rows accessory . . .

the Vineyard Rows Toque,

which I made allusion to in my previous post  All This Talk About Toque.

jenjoycedesign© 017 This design may actually lead to mittens & gloves, pullover  & cardigan eventually, but I can’t make any promises yet.   I am working with a new yarn  which is far easier to find This Side Of The Pond than the Jamiesons’ Spindrift Shetla:nd yarn. jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Toque detail

Vineyard Rows  Toque is  designed with 100% Peruvian Highlands Wool :

Cascade 220 fingering, in Jet, Charcoal, Silver & Natural.

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Back-story : Early last Autumn I was sad witness to  destruction of a very old vineyard very close by, which was a rich and important part of our lives here on the mountain,  and where Emma and I walked nearly every day.  When I made this post Seasonal ,  I was so shaken  seeing  the old vines  ripped right out of the soil, roots and all, and heaped in massive piles on top of plowed soil , never again to be pruned or picked.  All the familiar faces of the friendly workers to whom I’d often wave ‘Hola!’  vanished, as there were no vines to be tended.

jenjoycedesign©piles

So I launched into my tribute to those vines, in my Vineyard Rows Collection.  There will be many designs in this collection I can only hope , the first being Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet in Jamieson’s Spindrift Shetland wool,  and now there is  Vineyard Rows Toque.

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The next time you see this toque it will be the pattern debut,  and  I will have  embroidered grapes in wine tones hanging from the grape vines,  just as the Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet has. But this is the unadorned version.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Toque

In the mean time  you can peruse more posts about vineyards  HERE.

jenjoycedesign©high mountain vineyard

 

All This Talk About Toque

Sofonisba Anguissola -- Portrait of Phillip II of Spain

King Philip II of Spain, wearing the Spanish Tocado, late 1500s. Painting by Sofonisba Anguissola.

I have a thing about odd hats.   Looks like Spanish Renaissance sets the trend for my next design,  staid in its severity of  black, greys, and off-white.  A hat, straight up, with no brim ?   They were popular from the 13th to the 16th century in Europe, especially in France.  The fore-wearers of the modern knitted toque ,  or tuque,  it’s all there ~~ proof such a thing was actually stylish!   The Beanie is out folks. The Toque is IN.

Penny Candy Socks Redesign

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Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Fourteen.

I had been knitting these for a couple of weeks and rewriting now for two long days ~~~ finished !!!

The socks have been redesigned due to the fact that I wanted them to match the very recent

 Penny Candy Tee

… how sweet,  a tee & sock Spring Duo !

Its all over on  the Penny Candy Sock Pattern Page  . . .

and way more details than you need to know, over on Ravelry HERE

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Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Eleven.

A Humble Yarn

jenjoycedesign© Cascade-220-fingeringThis week, while at my LYS I fell in love with a new yarn.  As I held it I instantly knew  it’s potential. It comes in lovely 50g skeins, so I could really squish and caress, and yes, this stuff is amazing. Why didn’t I see it before? Because I was like a schoolgirl, with a schoolgirl crush on elite British wools, I guess that I had my eyes closed.

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Colors left to right : Natural, Doeskin, Charcoal, and Jet.

I bought four skeins for barely more than $20, and  brought them home in their cheery little orange paper bag.  It felt wonderful.  I showed it to Jeff , who is my scratchiness barometer (that is, he is an extreme case of  FOSW  ~~ fear of scratchy wool) and he was impressed with it !  So in recent days I have been thinking about my new find.   I have decided that as a developing designer, it is important that I am ‘yarn conscienscious’, yet not yarn elitist.  Well, in most cases.  That is, in most cases I will design something entirely for itself,  using a yarn that I feel compliments the design, and also that I feel is easily accessible, and easily affordable. ((Though , still,  there are those special design occasions to showcase beautiful specialty & heritage yarns, for which I am very happy to be elitist . . . lol )).

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Color : Natural

A challenge indeed. One of the reasons I have liked Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift, a  2ply fingering yarn, is because it is not expensive, but very affordable, considering it’s imported from the actual Shetland Isles.  However, I have learned by observation, that not everyone has easy access to this British wool , even though it is growing in popularity as the boundless community of the internet brings us knitters together globally.

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-doeskin

Color : Doeskin Heather

I am talking about a very popular yarn which I never noticed because I was maybe being a bit of a yarn snob. Yet at the same time, I developed this closet tendency to buy inexpensive yarn on-line. Strange indeed.  Though I adore the ease of my on-line purchases , I do happen to live up in the backwoods, and it’s not always cost-effective to drive to the next county to purchase exactly what I want.  I have had a yarn epiphany regarding this LYS exclusive . . .

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-charcoal

Color : Charcoal

I’m talking about Cascade 220 yarn folks, in fingering weight.  100% Peruvian Highland Wool.  50g skeins = 273 yards / 250 meters. 2 ply.  About $5 per skein.  What I have here is four neutral undyed colors in Jet, Charcoal, Doeskin, and Natural.

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-jet

Cascade 220 fingering : Jet

Striking resemblance to the yarns with which I created my Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet .

My Vineyard Rows bonnet (tam) however, will remain a Jamiesons Spindrift novelty , as it is inspired so much by Scottish Highlands that I believe the Scottish wool is completely perfect, but I will list the Cascade 220 fingering as an alternate yarn on it’s pattern pages.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows2

You can guess that the next up & coming thing I am working on , will be a Vineyard Rows design, and in the yarn which is beautiful yet humble and very likely at your own LYS.  I still have a crush on Virtual Yarns Hebridean and Jamiesons Of Shetland, but perhaps I’ll broaden my more local horizons , this side of The Pond.  I tell you, Peru really has it going on these days when it comes to yarn !

Highland Hats !

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows 1

Hats were the occasion this morning.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows3

We opened the cedar trunk with knitted hats, scarves, gloves, and sweaters . . .

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows2

 Niece Who Is Fourteen did a stellar job of giving new life to the rows of vines with deep red clusters of California Cabernet Sauvignon grapes . . .

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows6

and a fresh perspective to my Vineyard Rows California Highland Bonnet !

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows9

(( In case you haven’t yet seen, you can find details of Vineyard Rows on the pattern page HERE ))

Then,

modelled by youngest niece ,

jenjoycedesign©Dicey

we have a new look for Dicey Highland Bonnet too . . .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey3

Something about the charm of an Eleven Year Old . . .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey2

(( and you can find details about Dicey HERE ))

Oh, but that’s not all ! Last-not-least, a hat made by Lizzi from the actual Scottish Borders !

  (( I’ve not yet found occasion to bring out and photograph, until this very morning ))

. . . just adorable isn’t it Lizzi ?  A treasured gift for certain, which I think is just as ‘cute as eggs’ ! xx

jenjoycedesign©Lizzi's hat

We also got some great shots for the new & improved design of Penny Candy Socks, too, but I won’t show you until the pattern is all ready to go .  So watch this space !

Over-Dyed

jenjoycedesign©over dyed
My latest yarn play. I dyed a ton of yarn  ( details in previous post ) with a mind to knit them into an autumney-equinoxey sort of thing, but now I think not.  I’m calling this colorway ‘curry blend’, or maybe ‘marigolds’ .  Anyway,  I think it fitting for my recent post-pattern-writing crash,  to continue to chill out with a clean slate for a while.  Just knit socks, socks, and more socks, and not have anything big brewing beyond re-writing Penny Candy Socks pattern for the remainder of Spring.    Oh, just look at these cheerful balls of yarn perched , happily waiting for whatever comes.  I am very pleased with the dye this time !