Our little spot.

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Introducing Emma’s and my walking lane, where we can still walk together.  It is only about a tenth of a mile long, and walking the length of it out and back five times it is a mile.
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It is our new private spot, where nobody is ever around but maybe occasional workers in the vineyard, and being so quiet it offers wonderful solitude, especially in the mornings.  It is a sort of base camp where I can park at one shady end, walk back and forth while working or knitting, and Emma can be with me, because since turning fourteen, she hangs out in the back of the car and watches.
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This little spot was a very over-grown access road for power lines which borders ours and a neighboring parcel, and is really quite secluded.  This is just one of those things I don’t know why I didn’t focus on earlier, but I’m glad I am now, for I can drive Emma down here every morning for our walk “together”  and afternoons too if its not too hot.
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While over the years Emma and I walked regularly up the ridge to the peak of the mountain and beyond, the wildfire destroyed so much that for sheer tree fall, walking up the ridge is impossible presently.  Also Jeff had recently got a heavy duty rechargeable battery operated dual line weed-whacker, and so now I can mow and maintain this little lane, and what is amazing is that on our property this is the only level spot.   Presently I am having to move quite a lot of rocks and battling wild black berries, but I’ll get there eventually.
jenjoycedesign© knitting lane 2I think I’ll officially name it Emma’s Lane. And here she this morning, hunkering down in her castle, watching me and keeping company while I work.
jenjoycedesign© knitting lane & Emma

Things going on . . .

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I am lifting my June 1st deadline for new sock pattern. It was merely a fun self-imposed goal which is clearly unrealistic at this point. I am glad to report that all things going on are incredibly exciting, although labor intensive, only least which is knitting ten-at-a-time socks. There will be eight socks in my forthcoming ensemble, which I’ve decided can happen any time because socks are not a seasonal thing. There are no Spring Tees this year either, but no guilt on me as I am so near to being able to move my new collected Tools Of The Trade into the loft room (ahead of house completion) that I am beside myself, nearly frozen with anticipation.  I will be taking some time refurbishing some antiques I collected, and sewing some things on my January Acquisition — a 1947 Singer sewing machine — needing to make a couple of curtains for the new house, start a quilt,  and generally get to making things.  In summary, the sock pattern will be ready when it wants to be. I’m taking my time and enjoying, and have had to balance the two aspects of my productive self; part of which is a lumbering old ox, and the other a spirited thoroughbred colt that wants to run. All aspects of life must be allowed to just be. That said, as in recent mornings lately, now I am off with Emma in the caboose, to garden on latest project, which is reviving an archaeological find of an old road in the woods near by,  to be a short but secret walking lane!

New Loft (( progress ))

jenjoycedesign© loft room progress 2 I have just been up to the house and its a lovely morning to photograph the new loft room progress, after the sheetrock has started. I am so pleased about this beautiful space, and I think it may even be more lovely than before, as there are a couple improvements made.  I am completely obsessed about this room, and work space to be!   ((click 1st image to go to slideshow))

Do you recognize that ledge, on which I took so many photos of knitted things and yarns? I just wanted to post these photos, but its time to get back to my frantic sock knitting, but thanks everybody for your comments, and I promise to be talkative again on the flipside of my sock-knitting May-nia.

Ten at a time . . . gussets.

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Ten at a time gussets have been knit.

Here is the pile of ten unique socks,  ready to knit the foot sections next . . .
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The gusset of a sock is a really the most fun part in my opinion, where all the chaos of the heel flap, turn, and picking up selvedge stitches is finished, and it brings the stitch count back to original, ready for a straight run to the toe.

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And it could not be more apropos that there are ten days left to May, including today, and to finish my ten socks and submit forthcoming sock pattern extravaganza by June 1st is my goal.  I am committed to this sock knitting “May”nia, and won’t be able to do much of anything else but knit these little dears and polish up the pattern.  I’ll be making my last ten-at-a-time post when I am ready for the toes, in the last days of May ~~ see you then!

A day of days!

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I’m in a robust mood this morning early,   a beautiful golden sunrise through the glistening air of recent days of rain.   Right now the forest is alive with promise!
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Ignore the charred black trunks, because what is going on beneath the surface is nothing less than a miracle.    I want to emulate the forest, and allow myself to sprout renewed growth from such a vibrant place within, the place of true life .  
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In the mood to step outside with camera and capture the moment, vivid as it can be; the wildlife stirring,   Emma napping quite oblivious to it,   the knitting trail ready to be worked & walked .    What a day of days! 
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A couple cups of rich strong French Roast and I am ready for the day!

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If good moods are contagious, I hope everyone out there is feeling the day as wonderful as this.

Meet the Feet & Hands!

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These sock and mitts blockers are outstanding in quality and workmanship, they are made from a woodworker from Ukraine, and I recommend them one-hundred percent if you’re looking to get some. They can be found on Etsy at Alex Workshop Design.   As for the mitt blockers, so lovely, and just look at the way the thumbs tie on so that you can slide the mitten or glove over the palm & fingers with ease, then slip the thumb in last.

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I am already envisioning my next glove design, and am pretty excited about my new blockers.  I felt purchasing some proper blockers to photograph my knitwear accessories was just bound to happen eventually.   Abelene is just over the moon about the new Feet & Hands by the way,  and just can’t wait until I dress them up with forthcoming socks, and future mitts & gloves!

♥    ♥    ♥

House Update Addendum

I am shifting gears for future Jenjoyce Design Studio Loft (a.k.a guest room, lol)  move-in date.  A lot of backstory, some of you have followed the details since the wildfire, but rather than get bogged down in that mire, I’d like to focus on the positives.  I long to be hyper productive as I remember I was two years ago at this time, with everything I needed at my fingertips, and know I will be again, as soon as I get my  crafty gear up to the house, even if it is woefully unfinished workspace, I know time flies and I can establish a new level of productivity.  Oh, the latest photos of  the loft . . .

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The subfloor still is not in place, but the roof is on and windows all in!  My old friends Light & Shadow are taking over the house already, playing their magic among the beams.

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As soon as the drywall for this room is finished, plastered & painted, I am moving my gear and the furniture I’ve collected for this space IN. Jeff agrees that is okay, so with fingers crossed that might be in June? Forget the final inspection sign-off and full move-in, as Jeff and I are left with a heap of work after our builders are finished with theirs, bumping the official house move-in until who knows when, as late as late Autumn. Jeff is so overwhelmed with his workload from his job and the house, so I really have to ease up on forecasting anything. All I can do is be positive about this one room, remain in good spirits and be ready to hit the ground running as they say.

Some photos from the archives of the original loft room . . .

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From the Archives: ” Objects de Arte

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From the Archives: ” My Knitting Companion

 My familiar old space back then, again soon to be, and I have decided it is good if I post often about the progress of The Loft, even if the rest of the house progress is going slow, so expect addendums to be more frequent.  I have far less stuff now, of course, and am visualizing the room to be kitted out with the essentials  only, and I’m so looking forward to seeing that develop minimally.

Signing off with a massive spring downpour of rain!

Ten at a time . . . heels.

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Socks knit ten at a time is the thing !     But I am a little embarrassed to admit my  collecting so many dpns for the project is rather excessive, but I’m invested in this ten-at-a-time conceptual thing.  All craziness is good, one does what one must in order to live.  For me, obsessive tendencies like this are just the norm.   Ten at a time heels, done.   Ten at a time gussets just waiting for me to post this and get to the pile.

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Meanwhile, something hand-made has arrived in the mail all the way from Ukraine, and  will make an appearance soon, when these ten socks are finished and ready to show off.

Jelly rolls, fat quarters & charm packs.

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This morning I got a bee in my bonnet! A little back-story is that I have been feeling down in the dumps lately, frozen in perpetual waiting for our house to be built, with the same old routine sitting a the table in front of the computer, plugged into Ravelry & podcasts galore, knitting in a frenzy, drinking coffee, drinking tea, eating who knows what, inside of a packed-to-the-gills tiny house. The tiny house is indeed packed but of really only normal things like a dish drainer of drying dishes, a few pair of shoes or pile of mail, or laundry basket, Emma’s things, not to mention all my knitting around. I have desperately needed something new going on to get me charged up about my life, and I realized that by the time we move into the rebuilt house it will be Autumn 2019.

Thinking about this now, it was Autumn 2009 that I got bit by the knitting bug in a serious way.   Just before that time I had gotten half way through making a king-size Amish style quilt, yet  shamefully only basted the layers together, never quilting it, and it got used that way on our bed until its demise in the wildfire, without ever sewing the binding on.  I guess I never finished it because I had gotten rather distracted with the new knitting thing that took over my life back then. Well it has been a full ten years coming up, that I’ve been knitting like mad. Sure,  I’ve sewn a few bits here and there and made some little things, but its been all-out knitting, day in and day out.  I am pretty confident that I will be knitting day in and day out for years to come, but I think its time I get involved in some new things too.  Deciding that I need to broaden my world, that new things will be good for me.

The second I made that decision I was off to Sonoma, to Broadway Quilts , determined to NOT come home indecisively empty-handed, choose an easy small quilt pattern, not in the least bit overwhelming,  and get kitted up with the fabrics called for, just something that I can piece together in tiny house.  Luckily everything seemed wonderfully appealing to me, and chose a simple throw size quilt pattern and a jelly roll packet of pretty soft solids in summery tones, with an off-white for background and sashing. If you want to know the truth, I learned a few more crafty words to add to my vocabulary; “jelly roll”, “charm pack”, and “fat quarter”.  Apparently before today I was not In The Know, but now I am ready to get involved.

And I hope that this is the beginning of a quest for new things!

A cause for celebration. . .

jenjoycedesign© roof.jpgA cause for celebration because the roof is finished!  Most of you out there have no idea what a difficult process it was to get to the point of being ready for the roofers to come, through the gusts of wind and rain,  all through winter and early spring, up here in the wild where everything is quite a bit more challenging.  But with a sigh in my heart I can now relax, and the next inspection can proceed with roof complete, ready for some serious action to begin in the weeks ahead ;  windows and sliding doors will all be in place, and the rooms will begin to take shape with drywall and upstairs subfloor too, covering the plumbing, electrical & mechanical chaos.  Soon the elements of the house’s layout & personality will be recaptured.

Meanwhile, it was utterly heartwarming to know that Emma is still a hit on my blog, and although she can’t walk very well, she is a stellar napper, and still keeps me company through the days. Thank you everybody who attended Emma’s little birthday celebratory post  last week, and for you who would like to take a peek in the archives, all posts Emma’s Birthday are here. 

Emma is Fourteen

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Emma is fourteen today!

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She is surprising us all how she is hanging in there . . .

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 . . . for another spring on the mountain . . .

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. . . for another May birthday . . .

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. . .  perhaps a few more months yet, to move into the new house with us . . .

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. . . she has lived beyond her breed’s life expectancy,  and our old girl is a real trooper!

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The three of us have lived in our shoebox  tiny  house for exactly a year now, although Emma has quite taken to wanting to be in ‘her car’ a lot of the time.  She being around has made it so much easier for us to get through this time.  I must accredit Emma’s incredible longevity to her extreme athletic youth, running all over the mountain chasing critters, in part to the wonderful veterinarians at Napa Small Animal , as well as the two raw eggs she gets every day,  a very good recipe for a healthy happy old dog.  Emma, we love you, and what a happy day it is indeed!

((click 1st photo in mosaic to see slideshow))