Knitting on a bridge…

jenjoycedesign© knitting on a bridge!

Jeff has built a bridge from logs he salvaged from the loggers’ waste, and he hoisted them cross across the small gully which heads over to the garden in now what I am calling “the path of least resistance” with planks nailed to the top from old boards, it is an excellent & rustic installment to the woods and I am super pleased with it!    I helped only minimally, as I did the original “wedding bridge” which was burned in the wildfire.  A new bridge & my sooty knitting trail has of this morning been improved inexpressibly for the better!  Emma inspected & approved…

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There eventually will be builders at work making their presence felt in my quiet seclusion, and this lovely little bridge continues me my private trail out to the garden without having to walk up the road  to the house where the chaos will be going on, and down to the garden from there.  Planning ahead brilliantly!  A short-cut to the garden, a bridge to bliss, a bridge across difficult terrain, so metaphorical.  The garden is life, and inspires me in its quiet little way with bees bobbing about, fluttering butterflies, and small little birds bathing in various bowls and cups sitting about, as well as a fat wild dove flocks bombing about on occasion… tall seedy foxgloves still standing through the perpetual heat.  I chase away the drought with my series of old-timey sprinklers, sitting beside them in the mist as I soak in the moist air and knit. It is a very rustic & secluded spot of calm, where one is really fairly hidden away.

I am trying to settle into a productive life of a busy recluse, and I have been thinking about  things. Post trauma disorder has changed things a bit.  I will very likely never get over that day of wildfire, for at that time forward  is etched into the rhythm of how I experience life, and its injury as much a part of me now as anything could be.  That blink of time when I hurriedly drove off in my car with Emma,  my mandolin, recordings of my music compositions, a small box of photos, and a few clothes, my computer, and a tote full of my needles & favorite yarns to keep me busy in the days following — while instantly regretting other things which I forgot, so much from my life.  Those things which seemed to define me were suddenly gone, especially those rooms, spaces which were integral to my happiness.

But let me tell you how I’ve been thinking about things,  about feeling glad and comfortable with realizing that the only real thing I can ever own, and the only thing which defines me,  are my accomplishments. So that is why I strive to live the busy life of a hermit in newly built hermitage, and the rooms will be far less cluttered and intriguingly sparse, so that I can build on my accomplishments.  My family, and short list of close friends will allow me this reclusive life.     I would like to add that I appreciate all of my pen friends from around the globe with whom I have kept company and shared my days in a more secluded way, I am ever so immensely grateful to my knitting fraternity!

♥  ♥  ♥

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Things going on…

Hunkering down here, as things are happening.   Here’s the news:

Miss Eighteen has left for college. Yup, finally flew the nest. She’ll be settling in with a load of classes and finding a job, and all of those events of college life. There’ll be fewer photo shoots with her, sadly, but when she comes home for holidays, we’ll be sure to get one in! Meanwhile I’ll be sending her knitteds in the mail, and hopefully Miss Fifteen will carry on modelling solo for as long as I can come up with something new.

We signed on officially with our construction company and met down at the county building department over a week ago, so the building plans are in process, rebuilding will start soon.  However, I can’t give you anything but a hopeful “soon”, the plans are not through the office. Maybe foundation will begin before the end of August?

Miss Fifteen’s big summer musical production “Mary Poppins”  for which I had an epic wait until it was over before getting to do our Lincoln Street photo shoot, has already fallen back buried under weeks of past tense. Sigh. Life just shoots along like a bullet, doesn’t it?

Oh, but hey!!! I’ve been knitting up a new prototype of something that I have been immersed with math and percentages on a principle of twelfths, something that I dreamed up hazily nearly a year ago but which I haven’t had the right time to explore. Finally,  I am really enjoy knitting its first sample, and so relieved and pleased that its working out nicely. I am really pleased with this idea!

Okay, now the not so fun things. For those of you who don’t want to know, read no further.   Continue reading

Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 40-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 38-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 18 -

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 53-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 12 -

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 32-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 50-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 34-

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 27-

I didn’t make it all the way to Calistoga for the actual Lincoln Street locale, but we improvised in St Helena instead.  After meeting at St Helena Roastery, for coffee (please tell me you don’t notice the drop of chocolate syrup from Miss Fifteen’s mocha, spilled on her Lincoln Street before the photo shoot… lol!),  we then took the photos against the stone of the St Helena Catholic Church, then went to Lolo’s Consignment Shop. Lastly we had lunch at Villa Corona, and walked around the Main Street a while too. Absolutely colossally wonderful summer day spent together with my nieces!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street 44

Now you can make your own Lincoln Street sleeveless …

and the pattern is available !

Details are HERE.

 

Cafe Knitting

jenjoycedesign© knitting-at-oakville-grocery

Over the weekend I visited the Oakville Grocery for a pause of knitting and a cup of artisan dark roast coffee, and was lucky to get my favorite bench in the shade outside.  Here nearly finished with the last of the  Lincoln Street sleeveless tops I have been knitting for weeks, and having had to knit Miss Fifteen’s over a second time.  It is perfect timing for Miss Fifteen was in a big summer musical production of Mary Poppins,  rehearsing six weeks out of her summer vacation, and the show was this last weekend.  The performance was great, but now that its over, this means finally we can have our long-awaited Summer photo shoot, so next post you will see them on the actual Lincoln Street modelling the design I released earlier this month.

But after this photo shoot, the days are few before Miss Eighteen leaves for college, and things will just be changing like crazy. We might get our foundation to the house started this Autumn as well, but still all of that is up in the air.  I will be distracting myself while ascending again into another pattern writing frenzy,  one which I have been anxious to get to for several months.  It will involve a lot of knitting while walking through the late summer, up early chasing the morning dew as it evaporates into the droning heat of August.  And so I guess these few blissful morning pauses of coffee at the Oakville Grocery must be savored as they come. I hope you all are finding your moments of bliss too!

Azul

jenjoycedesign©Azul chullo2

Today I tripped over a jewel forgotten since the wildfire! Looking in my design computer files I discovered a partially written pattern, along with a few photos of a hat that I knit for my brothers birthday.  The pattern was almost finished except for a few details which needed doing, and so I spent most of yesterday finishing the pattern.  Wow, I am amazed. I did that?

It is an intensely colorful folksy chullo, and which I posted about way back here.   It one of my best colorwork pieces in my opinion, inspired by South American motifs, in four shades of blue, from very dark to very light, complete with tassels & knitted braid!  Intensely blue I tell you!  But it could be any other color as well, in four shades.

I think I’ll knit up another one of these!

jenjoycedesign©Azul detail

The design is completely my own colorwork motifs, and had originally some very poignant meaning,  and a series all in queue as I recall that much,  but of which now I can not remember (since the disruption of the wildfire),  only that there were some discussions with a long time writing friend of mine from Argentina who lectures on varied subjects of philosophy from time to time at a Seminary in a small town called Azul.

Seminario De Azul

Seminario de Azul

I therefore had named it at the time “Azul” .

jenjoycedesign©Azul chullo

The actual knitted Azul chullo has long disappeared into my brother’s possession, but as I had detailed photos I was able to assemble the pattern. Voila!  (( There is-was a vest pattern in the works too, but that is another matter )).   For now, there is Azul Chullo. And as it is presently the middle of winter in Argentina,  I will make haste…

pattern is LIVE on Ravelry ~~~ HERE !

♣     ♣     ♣

Edit in: After discussing with Alejandro just now about what we may have been discussing at the time I designed this colorwork pattern, and as our topics of discussion often have reference to the Andes Mountains, and as I personally echo the sentiment of such a new title,  this chullo will now be officially named “Montañas Azules”,  meaning “Blue Mountains”,  as are the Andes of Argentina!

Mountains & harsh elements seem to be the thread which is woven into most of my life it seems, so I hope to pick up that series of the design in the near future to work it through. Forthcoming, perhaps more Azules.

A fishy retrospect…

One year ago we were frantically knitting Fishwives Shawls & Stoles!   That is, myself and my dear friend Wendy were both  stealth knitting a pile of shawls and stoles to test all variations of the pattern Fishwives Shoal,  discussing shape, style, and yardage for three sizes of three styles of the design, and just having so much fun with the fish tails, splashes & waves.

I knitted while I researched about shoals ….

… and about a not-so-glamorous side of the fishwives work …

… about “April Fish Day” in France….

… getting to know my new dress form …

Discovering one of my favorite bands I’ve ever heard, from the Hebrides, The Lochies!!!

Folks, that design has got to be the highlight of my whole designing experience yet, and you Wen, were with me in spirit, knitting way over there in Ontario Canada.   In fact, I would like to give special mention of gratitude to Wendy,  who is so very kind and generous to have helped me, tirelessly test knitting just about every one of my designs, and who made great camaraderie while I designed my earlier patterns, up to date with my most recent ones  ~~ thank you Wen,  thank you friend of friends!

Sweet are the memories of my house during that time, dying yarn, knitting, blocking a big stole on the bed in my loft, and the old captains chair with several of my finished works waiting, unplying a ball of Knit Picks Palette to get a ball of fine laceweight to test pattern with …  and I think I am in the mood to finally cast on for an anniversary stole , as I really had enjoyed it so much.  Having lost all to the wildfire in the following October, I must have the medium grey stole again! My favorite of the three was the stole, this one…

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So I am going to cast on this weekend , while between designs. Will you join me? Fishwives Shoal series can be found HERE, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you’ll see them all, from first concept, as it modulated and became such a fishy frolic.  See you on the flip-side, with my Grey Stole 2, modeled on Abelene 2!

hillwalking

jenjoycedesign© from peak 3

As of this week (today is Thursday) I have (again) begun a hillwalking regimen.  I have also opened an Instagram account to post photos from my walks, an experiment I guess.  This morning I took this one from the peak of the mountain, which is about 1.5 miles from my house upward on the ridge, in fact, if you were to imagine it, our place is just behind a lower ridge, in the middle of the photo.   Why I need to document my walks is rather evident in my thinking, that by sharing with the wide world web, somehow I will gain a degree of needed incentive to post & share a kind of process of the returning landscape, and of my mental & physical health, all seemingly fragile since the wildfire. How I will document as of yet is not completely clear, but engagement is the answer! More on that later, but we will see.

Up on the ridge, now nine months since the ‘historical’ Napa-Sonoma wildfire of October 2018, nature’s black hand is only beginning to lift a little. Through the veil of charred tree branches, one can see spectacular views, as always, but those charred barren branches will be there for a long time. There is grass on the lower part of the ridge, and an incredible amount of sprouting going on for many of the trees and shrubs.  I’ve decided that is really what I am documenting ~~ the vigor of the landscape.

jenjoycedesign© blue oak

Sadly, some trees haven’t a new shoot or green showing signs of life, as my favorite Blue Oak, at the start of the walk on the ridge.

I haven’ t yet figured out how to use Instagram ( from my laptop), but in time I hope to get it going.  Social media is not my forte, and I can’t figure out the hashtag thing,  as I am far too Old School for any of it. But I am slowly progressing, determined, and with baby steps.    I should mention that all my posts from this blog automatically post on Facebook and Twitter ( as I do not personally Facebook & Twitter to post),  but I don’t know yet how to auto post Instagram, (from my PC) but I will post on Instagram regardless of blog post… okay? I’m sure I’ll get it going after a few experiments. Any tips from any season Instagrammers much appreciated, and please follow me if you’re on Instagram,  I’ll see you there!

Edit In : Hey, I figured out how to post on Instagram!! Really old school, but it works, this is how:  1. I take photo with my phone or Nikon camera    2.  send by gmail to myself if by phone, or upload to my PC if by Nikon ( I’d like to add that as I really can’t see the image at all well on my phone’s tiny screen, nor do I have the necessary thumb-index finger movements very practiced, so I much prefer to photograph with my Nikon, just that the phone is nicely portable in my little knitting bag)    3.  I then can edit on PC large screen, with a mouse    4.  send edited photo to myself via gmail   4. on my phone I open that message and download the photo from gmail to gallery, then   5.  post.     LOL, right?  Really pleased I figured out a method!

Pour Yourself Into This!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street by JJD

Hi everyone, its me Abelene!

I am giddy!   Since Jen has unpacked me she decided I get to model her newest & latest design, because it will be weeks away before she can photograph her nieces in them, and she wants to get the pattern out there while the Summer is still young so knitters can not only enjoy knitting one, but wearing one as well.   Backstory : Jen knitted a too-small Summer Thing  posted back here, and decided in the ridiculousness of the situation, to knit another much larger one for very tall Miss Fifteen.  Regardless, I have poured myself into that original “Lincoln Street”  ( a size 27″ — and I have a 36″ bust )   Jen says that’s eight inches negative ease. Whatever that means, but she nearly rolled her eyes worrying about how misrepresenting that may seem.   Jen says there’s an expression for such a fit, called ‘poured into’ , so I am poured into the pretty sleeveless summer thing, and I just feel grrrrreat in it!  ::squeal::    Um, but did you know I have a sort of … dream… that I was born as Audrey Hepburn instead of a dress form?  Yes, it is so.   I know, we ought to be grateful for what we have, but I just love her and the whole Paris thing.   And so here she is, my sweet demure fantasy human embodiment, and this is what Audrey has to say about this new design…

Audrey

Oh, but Jen also let me model the pink one , a much more acceptable fit of 32″, and that means, well, only four inches negative ease! Isn’t that something!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless! 2

Let me move to the side a little bit so you can see the shaping of the armscye.    That is the ‘arms eye’  Jen told me, a really old-fashioned dress-maker’s way of saying it but you can also just say arm hole. Yes, the hole that my arms, if I had them,  would go through, and make a sweet flirty summer top, which is really just so nice!  Jen has also included an option for lower neck than shown here, which she thinks she will knit up next.

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless square

The back, which Jen tells me is the same as the front, only higher. All around, at any angle, this top just makes me feel like I should be having an iced cold pop-sickle while walking down Lincoln Street in Calistoga.  Go for the sizzle I say!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless back

I feel that this top is the classic of classics   and it feels absolutely delicious, and I think that everyone should have one!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless detail 5

Jen points out that the sizes go to infinity, so big burly men can wear them,  as well as little kids too, but I think I’d rather like to imagine being Marilyn wearing one…

Marilyn

And some very important  wise words from Michele,  who seems to live brilliantly beyond the need of sleeves…

Michele

I personally could not agree more!  This is a thing that Jen speaks of a lot to me, about not having what a person does not love, but that is another story.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a wardrobe of only cherished things you love to wear?

And wouldn’t it be even greater if you made … some… or most of them?

Jen says very soon,  when she finishes (a larger) Miss Fifteen’s Lincoln Street,  she will photograph them on the actual Lincoln Street in Calistoga, with the Darling Duo, later in the summer.  Lincoln Street is all ready for you to make one while the summer is young, and the pattern is now submitted and LIVE on Ravelry.   Jen would appreciate it if you made one, or at least went and checked it out over on Ravelry HERE. 

Ta ta for now,

Abelene

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street

Posted from Hamburg…

jenjoycedesign© Petra's-Fishwives-Tee
Hi everybody,  its me Abelene.

Look here what  the post lady brought Jen!  All the way from Hamburg Germany to Napa California, in transit all the way through the summers solstice, and finally landed here just now.   Jen was SO EXCITED to get this parcel from Petra, she immediately ran into the shed where I’ve been held captive in my box,  up in the rafters,  since she moved up into her charcoal forest, and assembled me with a happy mood.   Now, I am just as excited as she is, because she is letting *moi* debut Petra’s gorgeous piece of work!

::claps wildly::

Where is Jen at this moment?

She is , of course, to tears with overwhelm, while making a grateful & delicious cup of coffee, (something she and Petra have a mutual fondness for & discuss often)  and Jen asked me to say something about remembering   Fishwives Lace Shoal ,  and say that  this cotton tee has been made into a most beautiful flattering tee modification of Fishwives lace motif as one could possibly design, and so Jen and I are totally & completely smitten with it!

Jen also wants me to say this:   Did you know that Petra is an outstanding designer?  Not just a little bit , but a lot bit, and a really talented expert knitter!!!    Petra is responsible for designing  St Andrews Tam  which Jen considers a generous collaboration of Petra’s,   for she is all around a generous, kind, and brilliantly talented woman whom Jen can never show enough gratitude for all she has test-knit and brought into existence exciting modifications of many of Jen’s patterns.

Oh, but how about some more details of Petra’s Fishwives Tee…

jenjoycedesign© Petra's Fishwives Tee detail2

A repeat on the sleeve, and tiny increases down the side

jenjoycedesign© Petra's Fishwives Tee detail4

The fish tails …  splashes …  and waves !

Petra has made this A-line tee in fine cotton yarn, with tiny needles, um, so a brain of a dress form like me can not even grasp how many stitches that would work out to be.  But every one of those tiny stitches delivers Petra’s gigantic spirit, strength, and warmth into Jen’s life.  A lot of stitches indeed.  Well,  nearly midnight in Germany, already Petra has long put down her school books and breaking from her study,  and is probably fast asleep, so I am going to say  ta ta for now, and let Jen send this post.

Many many many thanks Petra!!!

xx Abelene und Jen

A Summer Thing

jenjoycedesign© summer-thing-one

A little something for hot days, for summer is most definitely here, with spells of high heat and endless blue skies. I’ve decided to make as many of these test-knits of forthcoming pattern as I can before mid-July. The Summer Thing hanging on the bathroom door of the Tiny House is knitted in yarn talked about in a recent post, and now after finishing Summer Thing One, I must say that it has all the crisp freshness of pure linen, but enough cotton to soften before having to wash twenty times.   I’m already casting on for the second, in light blush…

jenjoycedesign© next-summer-thing

As these are such fast jobs of knitting, and now that I’ve got the pattern all worked out, there’ll possibly be a couple more… so watch this space!

♣     ♣     ♣

Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a little poll, and ask whether or not anybody noticed I changed the old blog name from “Yarnings” to ” Jenjoyce Design”.   I am not sure I like the change, as the old somewhat nonsense title became the mark of identity of my blog. Please tell me what you think in comments below, I would be grateful.

Yarn Tasting: Berroco Remix Light

jenjoycedesign© berroco-remix

I’ve been doing yarn tastings back to back,  and here I am trying out a delicious faux silky cottony very tweedy yarn that makes a downy fabric unmatched.  Wait, did I say faux?  I did, because typical is the surprise whenever I read acrylic or nylon in the fiber ingredients, I am always left wondering if it is going to hold up to the visual and tactile test of a yarn snob. Well, this is the second time in three yarn tastings that I’ve been surprised at the possibilities for synthetic fiber.  Yarn snobbery in check.

jenjoycedesign© yarn tasting-berroco remix

From the shelves of the local yarn shop home to the stairway of our Tiny House,  is Berroco Remix Light, its claim to fame being made of 100% recycled fibers!  It called out to me “cotton  & silk ” while I was looking for something new to try, and one of the those typical days I didn’t have my glasses with me, so the label was fuzzy,  and as I looked at other DK weight yarns I kept going back to it.     It won out in the totally light-as-down, attractive, nubby, silky … beautiful to the touch.  I mean I could practically imagine silk cocoons winding off, paired with freshly carded bolls of cotton harvest, and in so many dreamy heathery tweedy colors, the shelves seemed well stocked with it.  I am not kidding, my mind saw the words ‘cotton’ and ‘silk’ ( and a tad bit of linen) in the label, and the rest was blurry, too blurry to care.   I bought two balls, brought them home, made coffee and hunkered down to cast on.

jenjoycedesign© yarn tasting-berroco remix 2

But just before casting on I studied the label for gauge and noticed clearly the label must be wrong.   What … really?    30% nylon, and 24% acrylic?    Did I buy synthetic yarn?    Again, my taming of yarn snobbery, and I am learning that one can’t judge yarn by its label entirely, the knitting must be the test.   I am knitting this yarn to gauge, just as the label suggests, and the ball just won’t shrink…  the yardage is absolutely unending!  I could have made a much bigger size than I did,  as I have the body nearly done and have only used half a ball it seems. Okay, that’s me, surrendering to the beneficent will of the universe, testing my judgmental ways and teaching me to be humble.

jenjoycedesign© yarn tasting-berroco remix detail

And I really do love the frothy texture & fluffy nibs of what I think is the silk component. This yarn is beautiful,  however, I do think it seems more like fingering weight, but it says DK weight, so what the heck. I think Remix will be excellent for the fluffy light-weight  ‘ easy care ‘  walking sweater I am experimenting with.

Berroco Remix Light Specifics:  Made in France of “100% recycled fibers”.   30% Nylon, 27% Cotton,  24% Acrylic,  10% Silk, and 9% Linen.    DK/3 weight, 100 gram ball with 432 yards/400 meters.   Construction is two plies and wonderfully nubby with many flecks of different colors.   Shown in color ” light almond “.  $12.50 per ball , a huge value, and I am knitting true to gauge of 5.5 sts & 8 rows as suggested with US5 – 3.75mm needles.

♣     ♣    ♣

In closing I’ll add that in the wake of the wildfire eight months ago now, the loggers are blowing through the area like a tornado, falling big Redwoods & Douglas Firs everywhere around, and turning the forest soil into dust with the massive excavators, leaving behind a real colossal mess of unusable timber.  And although I’m sure harvesting the dying  trees is the right thing to do, we have chosen not to on our comparatively modest piece of woods, mostly because I could not bear having excavators come in and churn up the soil in what is the woodland where my Knitting Trail is, and also because many of the trees are clearly not dead in their crowns.   We will deal with the Douglas Firs survival at their own pace, some which may live and many which in their decomposing state will become habitat for the insects, woodpeckers, and myriad other living beings… and yet they will very likely stand upright for another ten years before falling.  Not wishing to meet face to face with logging trucks on our narrow road, I choose to stay home, and get things done…mostly designing frenzy, which means a lot of knitting, and ripping out, and re-knitting.

Meanwhile, I have taken to the ridge again!!! I have abandoned my knitting trail for it is lost in the chaos of noise and chain saws close by,  and so there’s me trekking up the mountain once again while knitting. Enjoying being up at the peak of the mountain several times a week now, and overlooking what is the treat of treats in panoramic views at 2600 feet elevation. Oh how I missed that while I was six months away, and oh how friendly is the pace of nature reseeding the grasses and bringing the landscape swiftly back.  I am doing much better today than a week ago, and making excellent progress on a percentage system design which I can not wait to show you.   Until then, enjoy the Summer Solstice creeping up later this week!

College Bound!

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I swiped this photo of  Miss Eighteen from her mom’s facebook page.   It was taken in her garden, right before graduating highschool on June 1st.  I’m so proud of her !!!   And I know all of you are too, especially those of you who have been following my nieces on my blog since  she was ten.  Soon to fly the nest, our Miss Eighteen is ready for the world,  she’s college bound,  and she’s going to rock!

Yarn Tasting: Lindy Chain

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I’m finally up to rattling off a couple of knitted somethings for my nieces this summer.  Wanting to use linen for these, I thought I would try with some linen blend yarn I’ve had my eye on for a while  ~~  Knit Picks Lindy Chain .

This yarn is a chain of a super fine single, rather than plied, 70% linen/30% pima cotton, fingering weight, and 180 yards to 50g ball.  Crisp, attentive, not rascally, but soft, and I feel like the pima cotton element is making it easier on my fingers too.   I’ve done acres of knitting the  hem with 2.75mm needles, and graduated to 3.25mm for the stockinette.  I got three balls in each color for two sleeveless items, but let me tell you, as this yarn is not wool, I have no bearing as to how yardage and weight work together for a garment, this is me navigating the sea of unknown.

Hey, did you know that Miss Eighteen is leaving for college this summer? This won’t be the last of the darling duo, not by a long shot, but I did want to send Miss Eighteen off with a recent sweater success fresh in her thoughts, as we did miss the Vernal Equinox Spring Tee due to my incessant moving about.  So I’m giving myself until mid July to finish two linen summery things. Counting down. Stay tuned.

Afternoon Light

jenjoycedesign© wild native brodea flower 2

Wildflowers lingering in the whitening grass.

My favorites are the tall wobbly blue Brodea,  and the dainty fragile wild roses, absolutely everywhere!

jenjoycedesign© native wild rose 2

The cheerful wild peas climbing up the garden fence…

jenjoycedesign© wild pea on garden fence

Yesterday walking about with Emma,

capturing just a few of the woodland wildflowers in the late afternoon sun .

jenjoycedesign© wild native flower in question

Quite a different mood & light cast from Early Light that very same day.

jenjoycedesign© brodea flowers

Brodea in small little gatherings , as they wobble in the breeze in unison.

jenjoycedesign© wild native Japanese lanterns

Everywhere these plump yellow-green shy flowers with their faces always cast down.

jenjoycedesign© Emma in May

Life is good, and everything in its place.

jenjoycedesign© Emma 1

Early Light

jenjoycedesign© light & shadow 2

Large patches of trees not burned in their crowns, giving a flooding sense of hope.

This morning as I was taking pen into hand to write my morning journal entry,  I noticed a warm orange glow cast from the sunrise, and giving an intense beauty into the forest. Early morning light sure does give me perspective, and so I grabbed my camera and just looked about.

jenjoycedesign© light & shadow 1.JPG

My life hasn’t felt very photogenic lately,  so capturing these images suddenly lifts me a little.  It seems always less the subject, and nearly all the light, which makes or breaks a photograph.   And as I have been feeling so overwhelmed with being uprooted during this crazy shuffling about, now seven & 1/2 months since the wildfire, this morning’s sunrise brings a delicate understanding of how both expectation & impatience are troubling me.

As I write this a very big and ominously black raven lands just outside the picture window, on the roof of the little shed next to Tiny House, and seems to be inspecting something. I love the ravens, I am so happy they weren’t away long. The wildlife is indeed more scarce since the fire, but seems to be slowly populating this lonely wood. I have felt thrown out of synchronization with the wild for what is half a year before we moved our Tiny House up here, and I realize this morning that I missed out on a full half rotation around the sun, from 10th of October last year to the 1st of May, being away from this place.  That is a long time for a hermit (merely a soft kind word for agoraphobic) .  I must just … b r e a t h e….. now back up on the mountain. Breathe it in!   This month of May has been such work learning to live and operate inside of a small space. A really small space, and still doing without so much that makes the experience more like camping … as though my ‘real life’ is still on hold.

But life is not on hold,  must forget how life once seemed, and open my eyes to the reality of being here, and now, and this could be as good as it gets.  Still , my knitting design which has been seriously ergonomically tampered with,  nothing in a neat orderly space, but in boxes, here and there, is going to hibernate a spell while we go through more harrowing experience with the demands of the county, which in the end may prove an ironic and impossible situation for rebuilding.

I strive to be happy for what I have.   Namely, my charcoal forest, and sense of place…. the ones I love, and this Tiny House.    I guess I just need more time, figuring my way forward, thinking about what matters. Life is so short, and I feel each day which slips by that even the rhythm of work of my knitting design has become distortingly hazy.   I find I am caught in a sort of reflection of life up to the fire, and am wanting to set in motion the way forward, but frozen peering into that reflection.

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Early morning reflection from window of tiny house.

Life is difficult often, but good,  and everything in its place.

 

A tint of wild rose.

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Along my knitting trail, explosions of new growth in the charcoal forest, and an occasional over-dyed skein drying from the branches.

A few weeks back, only a couple of days after we moved into our new Tiny House,  I dyed this sock yarn with food coloring. My favorite shade of rose inspired by the old-fashioned roses in my garden …

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But perhaps mostly,  the dusty rose of my tea pot .

Jens tea pot

I was going to make this whole experiment into a dying tutorial, and had taken down the steps, but thought to wait how it turned out.   At the dying stage, the experiment was working beautifully, having gone from two balls of Patons Kroy in color Linen ( in this post recently) , to what I was trying for ;  a dusty grey rose tinted slightly variegated overdyed yarn.

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The yarn came out exquisitely.  So I decided to knit the socks.   It took a few weeks, and now here are the results, of um, their good side

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Unfortunately , I am not impressed with this dye, not at all.  Because although the yarn may have been dyed to near perfection, and even though I used vinegar to fix, as I suspected the food coloring would not last… which it did not… in the first wash, there are blotchy patches of fade, showing the tan shade of linen beneath, after drying in the sun, on the faded side …

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So its back to my favorite Jacquard Acid Dye if I am ever to dye again at all.    Dying is such a hazardous hobby, and I really was hoping I could rely on food coloring, but that was wishful thinking.

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A lot of work to put into knitting these beautiful Fishermen Socks  only to have the dye leech out. But with very little yarn left over, I am really happy of the knitting itself, which was very enjoyable, and I fear I am thoroughly addicted to knitting these St Andrews Harbour socks , piles of them, and may just keep on knitting them for the forthcoming winter holiday gift season.

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This pair will not be worthy of gift giving next winter holiday, but they will be most excellent hard wearing boot socks for my LLBean gardening boots, and what I was thinking of back in this post , of roses captured in socks!

Pattern:  St Andrews Harbour 

Yarn:  Patons Kroy Sock, color ” Linen “, overdyed with food coloring, five parts red to one part blue.

Ravelry details here.

 

Nifty ankle socks!

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A fresh pair of St. Andrews Harbour socks !  I’ve been experimenting further with this fishermen gansey style, with a pair of short sporty ankle length socks.  I also wanted to test the pattern in fine fingering sock yarn, and I’m so happy because I am finding this pattern to be ultimately versatile.

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Note: The pattern is written for sport weight yarn for adult sizes (womens med to mens large) but I wanted to see what size would result knitting the main chart in fingering-weight sock yarn. I find that what is lacking in circumference ease, I made up in length with an extra repeat, as knitted fabric is so extremely pliable & stretchy in all directions, they fit snugly and beautifully, and the toes still have room to wiggle.

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Oh, I thought I’d mention that the yarn I used is Knit Picks Stroll in Dove Heather, and which I over-dyed with blue food coloring, resulting in a lovely variegated hand-dyed affect.  Also, Knit Picks Stroll is a superwash merino wool/nylon fine-fingering sock yarn, and is oh so soft, but also tends to get a little fuzzy, which is more noticeable in this photo…

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I knit the yarn with US2 [2.75mm] needles with about 8 sts = 1″, and I am sure that if knit with smaller needles, getting 9 – 10 sts = 1″ , that these socks — in the Chart A–  would be great for children. I am really happy with the experiment, and now I can confidently recommend this sock pattern for small sizes!

Pattern: St Andrews Harbour socks, in Chart A (56 stitches).

Size: Circ = 6.25″ flat, unstretched.  Height = 5″.  Foot length = 9″

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight sock yarn.

More details on Ravelry HERE.

 

Back home, in the Charcoal Forest . . .

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Do you know what day it is today?

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It is Emma’s birthday!

She is thirteen!!

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Woof !!!  :: shake ::

She is wearing just her sock now,  and finally her inflatable collar & cone seem to be phasing out more because her old surgery wound which very mysteriously un-healed in the last six months, is beginning to heal again.  I don’t know about you, but I really do think its stress related.   Which brings me to mention we have moved back up to our Charcoal Forest! We are now living in a Tiny House which arrived April 30th, and what an unbelievable ordeal it was to get it up here !!!     All I can say is that we three are exhausted and recovering from a load of stress,  but ever so grateful that we are home.

jenjoycedesign© Emma 13th BD back home

Emma’s office

Since it is Emma’s birthday, I will give her a belly rub and a pat on the head from all of you!  I had really meant to brush her up nice before her portrait shot, but did not happen, therefore the birthday girl is looking a bit scruffy & ungroomed.  I thought in honor of her birthday I’d link to all Emma posts here.

♣     ♣     ♣

Now home,  with a sense of belonging to a place, and I feel a great release of stress and sadness,  so I will close this post as my old signature use to be,  by saying even with all of its trials & tribulations…

Life is good.

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