Sheepish

jenjoycedesign©sheepyA sheepish little guy as he is without his clothing ! That’s because I am suffering from a bout of thumb tendinitis right after finishing him, and having a little knitting rest before starting on his little vest. Then again, he looks quite fine for a 3-month old without anything on, just in case I don’t get the vest made in time, don’t you think? He only stands about eight inches, just right for a little Nap Mate. Pattern is “James the Galway Sheep”  by Janice Anderson, and an adorable design I must say, even without rose accessory and fair-isle vest ;)

Done & dusted (almost) ~~ one sheepy little chap for one special newborn baby for Christmas.

Gift Making

jenjoycedesign©blue cowlAnother cowl of the design I am working on for gifts.  The cowl would normally get a steam press just to help open up all that lacework, but since the fuzzy mohair is knitted in I decided against it.

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There are three yarns held together for this blue cowl,  yarns from this post here.

I also am reworking these…

jenjoycedesign©Tartan & Tweed half-mitts

Tartan & Tweed Mitts which I am busy making several different ones so that in the new year I will be updating the pattern to include more weights of yarn and size ranges. These are made from some Cascade Sport Superwash which was gift yarn from Carol (hello & thank you Carol… xx :) )

Oh , the joys of hand-made gifts. I can never get over it… the high I feel when I am finished with yet another. The pile is growing quite a bit, and thankfully I still have 12 days to make. Everyone, how are you doing with your hand-made gifts?

Foggy

jenjoycedesign©blue oaks in fogI was out walking this afternoon and the fog was just floating in and around everything ,

it was a beautiful late Autumn landscape.
jenjoycedesign©douglas firs in fog

Oh how the last of the leaves are stubbornly hanging on to their twigs,

and they land sometimes seeming reluctantly so …
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Tomorrow a huge rain storm is on it’s way, to hit in the night and thrash for a couple of days.  I have a hill-walking date in the morning with a friend, and we’ll go come hell or high-water!

On the knitting front, all is going well, more photos in days ahead of finished happy endings of knitterly things, bathed in wintery light of day, but for now, a sneak peek of what appears to be a candy roll of some tasty tartan & tweedy thing…

jenjoycedesign©T&T roll

First Cowl Ever!

jenjoycedesign©malabrigo cowlHere is a first ! My first cowl ever knit, and I’m rather sure it’s actually a design in-process.  I’ve held three strands of murky shades of Malabrigo Sock yarn together and knit them using US 11 – 8mm needles to make this cowl , um, kitchener grafted at the two ends which disguised itself rather nicely I might say.   It is a very simple lace repeat design , though difficult to see, yarn is plush & thick with two lace pattern repeats.  The colors’ variegations play with each other nicely making a very subtle earthy overall, but with specks of clearer colors jump out …

jenjoycedesign©malabrigo cowl 2

and oh , I didn’t use circulars for it, but my mother’s retro blue anodized aluminum straights and let me tell you, it was nice to hike along knitting with straight needles for a change.

Another knitted gift done & dusted !

jenjoycedesign©green varigateds

A Tall Stack

jenjoycedesign©stack of Dicey Caps

.. of Scottish Caps !

Above photographed folded, and with toories not tied on in order to show how one might have several colors handy & tie on for the occasion.  The original Dicey Cap, making it’s pattern debut  back in this post,   knit with Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift in natural color “Shaela” .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap Shaela

And  one in Jamiesons  natural  “Sholmit” ( which I think may be my favorite grey of all Spindrift greys.)

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap (Sholmit)

And one in Jamiesons natural color “Shetland Black”

( more of a brown black, and has lots of lovely flecks of grey in it.)

jenjoycedesign©Dicey cap Shetland Black

So there you have it, a stack of Dicey Highland Caps ready to be wrapped & stashed under the tree, three weeks ahead of Christmas. How is your gift-making coming along ?
jenjoycedesign©Dicey CapDicey Highland Cap Pattern is HERE.

itty bitty mitties

jenjoycedesign©mini T&T mittsYup folks, here they are, a tiny scale of a mitt from my Tartan & Tweed I’m redesigning & overhauling , and they’re made of Malabrigo Sock yarn. Great stash-bust project.  Aren’t they so cute?  (admittedly, they are a little bumpy and could use a steam pressing). This is also the kick-start of the Christmas gift-making, and so we’ve got one little item checked off the list. (( shhh…. no names will be mentioned, as these are all surprises.))

Winding Up

jenjoycedesign©windingI’m winding off yarn, while winding up creatively, and gathering colorways of skinny yarn culled from my growing baskets & drawers, to knit ‘held together’ into fluffy cowls. Like this one in blue. Two shades of Malabrigo Sock and one skein of Shibui Silk Cloud…jenjoycedesign©blue comboMy official Rest From Knitting continues through the weekend as I am basically doing the prep work to the knitting, and cleaning and organizing my space(s) too, paying close attention to the somewhat random beginnings of the next process.

Taking It In

002 (3)I’ve been knitting an insane amount lately.  This is a big part of my life, and I love how I’m involved in it.  Just now I was feverishly working a swatch for a new idea,  and I looked out the window to my beloved mist pouring over the ridge from the Pacific, and remembered that I promised myself to disengage after my last pattern (Penny Candy Winter)… to calm down and enjoy what is left of Autumn, and walk in it every single day. Well, today was one of those rare days I didn’t .  Up here in the California Highlands we’re getting rain, oh yes…

California Highlands… and now two months into Autumn in the mountains and we’re saturated in the mist and rain and the moss is vibrant and I am happy.  One month left of Autumn to wander and watch the turning of the trees.

My Autumn project is to overhaul a few of my earlier patterns (less than two years old), and so I feel at a restless in-between place presently. I’m finished with the last pattern overhaul & update of Dicey Highland Hats,  and now have a pause before starting the next big thing. I’m trying to cook a nice quiche for dinner, while doing chores, and at the same time I just want to knit !  But I must force myself to stop knitting, to quiet my mind and my racing ideas, and to look around me, because I find that the creative source does need to be rested and nurtured equally as much as it needs to be exercised and developed.

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Dicey Highland Hats !

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Capjenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap 2There are three shapes now, and all modeled together here in one ensemble. First of the three, the latest shape added to the pattern and gaining in popularity,  the Dicey Highland Cap (mentioned over in this post)  with or without a toorie (that is the felted wee pom pom) . . .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap (no toorie)2 jenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap (no toorie)Next, the original shape,  the Dicey Highland Bonnet which was shaped with dramatic swag and swagger to emulate the traditional Scottish Highland bonnets . . .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Bonnet 3jenjoycedesign©Dicey Bonnet jenjoycedesign©Dicey Bonnet 2

And last, the Dicey Highland Beret,  finished with an i-cord beret loop, and all together much more modest and a bit less voluminous than the bonnet . . .

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Beret

So there you have it.  The pattern is complete with the three shapes: Bonnet , Beret, and Cap.  If you would like to try to knit up maybe one or two (or three or four) of them for Christmas gifts like I am,  you can find the pattern available, once again, over HERE .

And after all the photo shooting, we settled into making a quick batch of raspberry moon pies for my nieces to take home, as is our tradition.

moon pies

Look Here !

10480221_10152798987194280_8443825277110571724_nI’m so proud of my eldest niece! On November 12th, competing in a season final, the CMC cross-country race against 114 girls Varsity Level (thats freshmen to senior grades) our very own Miss Fourteen came in 19th ! Now, as one of the top three girls from her school, she goes to compete in the post-season NCS race. Yay!!

Dicey Highland Cap !

jenjoycedesign©Dicey Cap

For some time I’ve been wanting to put together this third straight-sided shape to add to the bonnet & beret shapes of my Dicey Highland Hats pattern ~~ I’m calling it the  “Dicey Highland Cap”. Now have it done & dusted, and pattern is updated to include it !  All that is needed is a bit of fun with my nieces and a photo shoot for all three shapes, when they come this weekend to visit.

Speaking of Highlands, here, the California Highlands is having  a lovely slow turning of Autumn,  alternately misty & cool and bouncing back up to clear warm days.   Now we expect some rain and it will glue down all the lovely maple & oak leaves which have fluttered to the ground. I’m looking forward to some lashing blustering rain!!!  For now we’re still out walking every day, at least once !

Was just out on the trail knit-walking and  overlooking this …

jenjoycedesign©turning

Penny Candy Winter !

jenjoycedesign©penny-candy-winter-duoIt’s here, finally, after redesign & re-knit of the yokes, and this morning re-photographing of…

my Penny Candy Winter !

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My nieces, their mom, and I met at the Calistoga Roastery as we usually do for these occasions, and then the girls and I skipped on over to the wall outside of Brannon’s for just a few some up-to-date shots.

jenjoycedesign©penny-candy-stripes

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My nieces and I were full of giggles this morning, and the sun was bright, and the November air cool. Perfect conditions for Autumn photo shoot.

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Look at the photo closely below, you’ll see Miss Fourteen’s shadow on the wall next to Miss Twelve.. a mysteriously goofy shot as we were trying really hard to be seriously artful, and in the end it was just quite hilarious. I love those unpredictable photos which tumble into the camera lens by accident.

jenjoycedesign©funny

You can find this pattern available on Yarnings right HERE,

or on Ravelry over HERE.

I haven’t even shown you the photos from Miss Twelve’s birthday yet, modelling Penny Candy Hat along with her sweater over HERE  !  But that was before the sweaters were reworked (compare these photos with those from a month ago back on this post , when after posting I decided the yokes were a little too long, by about 2 inches.

Continue on and enjoy the rest of the photos in a slideshow …

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Knitting In The Wild

jenjoycedesign©knitting in the wildAnother glorious hike up to the ridge peak this morning. Shading the camera lens with knitting overlooking the ridge after ridge facing north-easterly.

Greeting the long shadows of morning as the sun’s rays shot through the pines on the crest of the ridge…

jenjoycedesign©019There was knitting the whole way, reknitting that is, of yoke of nieces’ Autumn sweater.

 Capturing the sun streaming through black oak leaves soon to fall …jenjoycedesign©003Greeted the Sleeping Princess (Mt Tamalpais) as she lay like rolling blue ocean waves in the distance…
jenjoycedesign©036And Mt. Diablo as we started up, a stones throw from the house… and you can see the yellow patches in the trees where there is Autumnal color starting.

jenjoycedesign©002At the rocky top,  another  view across the ridges which frame the upper Napa Valley …
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Most of all we enjoyed the contemplative early morning trek, with bright morning sun, mountain air, and knitting all going so perfectly together I think. Looking forward to another like it each day this Autumn, as we have been out nearly every single day . Turning of the season continues to be wonderful this way.  Life is good.

Yoke Redesign

jenjoycedesign©yoke-redesign

Well folks, my smug happiness at being done ahead of the equinox for these sweaters did not last long.  In the post two weeks ago of my nieces modelling in Calistoga their new sweaters clearly shows how way off I was on the mark. I thought they were just accidentally ‘big’  and ‘tunic length’.  What I did not know, and what I know very well now, is that one doesn’t arbitrarily decide to knit so many decrease rounds because it ‘looks good’… no, I’ve learned the hard way (as usual) that these things are mathematical considerations, not entirely artistic. Yoke shaping is math. This is the difficult fact I’ve had to learn, and have been working with sharpened pencil , calculator and reams of paper in the last week, after it came to me a little over a week ago, in the early morning hours before waking, just why those sweaters were hanging on my nieces. I had to ask for the sweaters back, meet their mom Patricia in St. Helena yesterday, and there is no more hiding my head in the sand. I’ve ripped back now, and am going to make it right.

So,  I have redesigned a theoretic yoke , and now I am going to test knit my redesign of last two weeks by knitting the yokes of the Autumn sweaters over again from the sleeve join.  Fingers crossed, wish me luck.

Knitting In Nature

019It rained again, and the moss is glowing !

We’ve continued our walks nearly everyday this Autumn.

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Out in the freshly rained-on moss, and romping around and smelling things.

( Emma tends to like to stick her whole head into tree caves…)

023The really remarkable thing is, that while we were walking in the woods, I was knitting the very colors of the moss on oak bark, and it took me by surprise how much I reflect the colors of my surroundings.

Presently knitting the sweater for this hat , in the colorway ‘moss on oak’…jenjoycedesign©green&grey

Knitting in nature is one of the things I love to do most of all.

Penny Candy Hat

jenjoycedesign©green&grey

Mossy green & grey is my thing lately. But whereas before I was unsure I’d like this colorway for a Penny Candy Winter pullover, now that I did the ‘hat test’ I am utterly certain I LOVE the colorway, and enough to knit a whole sweater with it!   Boy oh boy does that colorway tickle a spot for me, evoking rich growth of moss on the trunks of the Black Oaks & Firs all around the woods where I live.

Oh, did I mention that I submitted the Penny Candy Hat pattern ? No ? It must have totally slipped my mind !  You can find the pattern on Yarnings HERE and on Ravelry HERE .  Penny Candy Hat was designed to be a gauge test for the upcoming pattern Penny Candy Winter pullover , but now I am thinking it’s just lovely as a hat pattern sold all by itself.

This little blue striped one I’ve made for someone who is turning Twelve this coming week , and which I will show off modeled on her birthday.  Besides lace band, and lot of fun stripes, to match her sweater, it has a pinto toorie !

jenjoycedesign©birthday hat for Miss Twelve And in case you don’t know what a ‘toorie’ is, well, I’ve also made a tutorial on how to make them on my Tips From The Table ~   “Making a pom pom & a toorie”

Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign©010Here they are folks, my beautiful nieces in their Autumn sweaters.
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I’ve been quite busy with these sweaters since July.

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This Autumn I have designed a Winter version of last Spring’s design, because to my amazement it was so well received, I just couldn’t resist making another Penny Candy design for cold weather.  It has some unique features that are different from the tee, but I won’t go into the details until the pattern comes out.

These are two longer ‘tunic’ examples of Penny Candy Winter.

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One thing I’m a little embarrassed about is that it seems that Miss Fourteen has ‘shrunk’ a little in the last year, from training so much with her school’s cross-country & track team, and I somehow anticipated her needing more room for a winter pullover, so I apparently made it a bit on the ‘too’ big side.

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 While Miss Eleven has grown even more since I last saw her last August, and wearing her pullover with not much room to grow into.  She’s grown inches and inches this year, and doesn’t seem to be stopping, and already passing me up in height !

jenjoycedesign©027We flounced around Calistoga in the late morning, seeking out our usual spots, hoping for shade, but missing it for the most part. The ‘four corners’ on Lincoln & Washington streets, then the mural of Old Town Calistoga.  One thing, it was incredibly HOT while taking these photos, in case you can’t imagine, it was probably in the 80’s easy at 11:30, when we finished.
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 Miss Eleven is modelling the Penny Candy Winter in it’s signature stripes & lace in four colors, whiles Miss Fourteen models the basic solids version.  I’ve been working on the pattern like an ox through all the summer it seems, and I am very close to finishing, so I thought it a good thing to show you the photos from this morning.
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You can see the rest of this morning’s note-worthy photos in the slideshow …

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Click image below to see all Sweater Successes past .

September 2010

Walking in Autumn

jenjoycedesign©out in AutumFirst, a lovely shot from our Autumn walk the last weekend.

And now just back from a walk, out rather late we went up the ridge a little ways, by the high vineyard, (um… which is sorely lacking a vineyard for the present)…

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Then we turned around , and went into the woods. Here , knitting poised on a log, and with not much progress from the last photo of it….

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Then we decided to explore and left the trail, began crawling through and over all sorts of things, collecting all sorts of burrs and stuff in our hair, to scout out new places.

 Oh look! Another huge mushroom growing from a dead tree!

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 And then….

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… we ended up at a rather tall henge-like rock out-cropping I did not recognize.

(I’ll take another photo of this place another time soon, in the mist, for affect).

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Seriously though, with different angles to the familiar places, I thought there for a few minutes we were lost. (not really that would be rather impossible) A glance easterly and I see Mt Diablo in the distance, a good bearing.

011Then I knew where we were exactly and that there’d be close by the old dilapidated bench from one of the abandoned old shacks nearby….

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Sure enough, after scrambling through a few bushes, there it was !

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A great little secret picnic & knitting spot, wouldn’t you say?

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Have you been out on any walks this Autumn yet?

Each Day In Autumn

jenjoycedesign©vineyard after harvest

Emma and I have been out walking (and I knitting while walking) everyday this Autumn so far, and plan to walk everyday for the remainder of Autumn, bringing camera and sharing photos often here and celebrate the best time of year !  Harvest is in process, finished in this particular vineyard a stone’s throw from where we live. We passed it along our forest paths near by.  Then Emma spied a big yellow fungus !!!

jenjoycedesign©fungus

jenjoycedesign©fungus in woods

On through hilly & hollow lands we walk….

jenjoycedesign©Wandering

And with fragrances abound, Emma follows her nose rapturously…jenjoycedesign©wandering2

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And just around this bend (from the opposite direction of last hike posted) we end up back home …

jenjoycedesign©almost home

First Morning of Autumn

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knitting at the peak

I know two posts in one day. Its just that I wanted to share with you all my first walk of Autumn.  We were out in the early hourse on this first morning of Autumn, knitting while hiking about the woods a bit, then hauling on up the ridge to the peak of the mountain (at 2600′ elevation.) There were beautiful views of the distant ridges along the way up.  Mt. Diablo in the distance, rather southerly (to the right behind the trees)…
009Then higher up, looking more westerly, a grand shot of Mt. Tamalpais,  named by the indigenous Native Americans meaning “Sleeping Princess” (did you know Mt Tam is where mountain-biking was invented?) …
011Then at the peak, overlooking Napa Valley, easterly, and the sun was already high …
019We went down our favorite well-trodden paths on the way home…
026and our favorite short-cut deer trails…

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035Then across the last oak wooded section before landing back home. It was a glorious walk this morning, and I have made progress on a little knitting too !

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 I hope your start of  Autumn (or Spring) is equally as happy as mine.

What are you up to?