A drawer full of Winter.

In recent months I decided to make myself a drawer spilling over, full of knitted winter woolens for the cold days ahead, mostly in Isager Tweed (of which I happen to have recently hoarded). I explain at length in the previous post about the meaning behind this particular collection and introduced a pattern overhaul as I designed a few cowls, a plain & simple sock to add to my existing pattern set of hats & mitts. In its most recent overhauled form it is a five pattern collection of essential items, and I’ve named A Drawer Full Of Winter . After the last post I was about to let it go for a while, but as January was just getting started, the coldest month of the year, I knew I wasn’t finished, especially as I still didn’t own a pair of gloves. As I promised to update the collection whenever I wrote a new design to add to it, I have just this very minute have done. A new essential wardrobe item ~~ full fingered gloves~~ now added, done & dusted!

I am fascinated by gloves recently. I am in fact, smitten by the concept of a well knitted glove, how a truly good fitting glove allows one’s hand to articulate as if it had no glove on at all. I labored over the New Year while designing such a glove, which reflects every difference of each finger, and let me tell you, by taking such close study of my own fingers I never realized how each one is quite unique. I have observed that not all fingers are alike, thus not all knitted fingers should be alike, nor placed alike on the hand. The little finger is in fact knitted first, independent of the other three, more of the ‘ upper hand ‘ knitted, then the other three. And that is not even to mention the thumb! Oh the thumb, and its relation to its four counterparts, and the very relationship which creates a right and left essential fit. Oh , but the ring finger , middle finger, and index finger, are equally as different. I am telling you now, no finger is identical to the other of the hand, nor is it of the glove, this glove, my labor of love. Perhaps the biggest labor of knitterly love I have designed to date, and for such a simple thing. I find that I am quite absorbed into the simple essential things lately.

I’m feeling the long shadows of January, and my cozy winter woolens packing into their drawer, is a sight of comfort. Actually today is feeling quite lovely, on inauguration day, sunny and quiet after a couple of days of very strong gusting wind, and now I am letting my sails down for a short while, to let creative ideas build again, and let myself be kissed by a hopeful future.

A fresh and new year.

jenjoycedesign© A-Drawer-Full-of-Winter

I have been working on some lovely and meaningful projects recently, and am really rather excited to start posting a new mini series all about a re-do of an older pattern, and I’ve made a good start in the series, so get yourself comfortable, and read on for this is a much longer post than usual!

Since sometime in October I had made a realization which led me to actually overhaul an older pattern; rewriting, reknitting prototypes, and just having a wonderful time enjoying the last whispers of the year while out taking short walks  (while knitting them) and I hope to be sharing more glimpses of incoming finished knitteds over the remainder of winter.  You see,  I have been in need of a drawer full of wintery woolens , and at that point in early Autumn I decided it was time to put the chisel to the stone so to speak, and begin the work making myself a dresser drawer full of cowls, fingerless mitts, gloves, hats, in many weights of luxury & tweedy favorite yarns (oh, like Isager Irish Tweed, for one) and even my own handspun. It is really a matter of transforming a drawer full of tweed, into a drawer full of warm cozy knitted things, how fun is that! 

jenjoycedesign© A-Drawer-Full-of-Winter 4

Backstory: In the summer of 2017  I had become smitten with my blending board and was creating some incredibly rustic handspun, finding I needed a pattern that was adaptable to many gauges of handspun for basic hats & mitts.  The end result was that I wrote my pattern Calidez Hats & Mitts . That was just before the wildfire, and so of course I don’t have any of these prototypes anymore, nor any basic warm woolens at all, and I’ve gone through two more winters since not having even a basic knitted hat, cowl, or mitts to bundle up while I go out for walks in the winter landscape.  Presently I am knitting through the winter season and have managed thus far a good start. I’ve designed a couple of more to add to the collection, and knit these for myself:

A basic beret . . .

Two cowls . . .

And a pair of plain & simple socks I have been rather discrete about for a while. . . 

 Backstory on the socks: I had made a good start with these back in  “Unspun, revisited” , when I separated the plies a ball of worsted-weight Soft Donegal Tweed yarn left over from a sweater I knit for my niece.  Having then two balls of fingering weight tweedy yarn, I knit this plain & simple sock prototype .   Anyway, I think that a basic sock pattern which can be knit toe-up or cuff-down is a good one to have, and yet I wasn’t sure I wanted to write Plain & Simple Sock and submit it all by itself, so I decided to just add it in the Drawer Full of Winter collection, which has the usual colossal size-run , gauge substitution charts, and ideas for making a bunch of things from mini tree ornament socks to plush house socks ~~ voila, perfect fit! Most importantly I felt there is a niche for a super easy dual-directional sock, especially for those instances where, say a bit of precious handspun off the spindle,  must be worked flowingly from toe to cuff,  in the most efficient yarn-conserving way.  This is that sock.   

Rebuilding my seasonal wardrobe has been the inspiration born of necessity, and as I slowly build my drawer full of winter woolens, I am also building the pattern collection, having updated it to the present date and changed the name to  A Drawer Full of Winter .  The collection now includes four patterns in one download, in four categories :    (a drawer full of) Hats,  (a drawer full of) Mitts,  (a drawer full of) Cowls, and (a drawer full of) Socks, and, as I continue to develop my own Drawer Full, I will further augment the patterns to include more options, simply updating as I go.   

In closing, I’ll mention that I as I have been building a drawer full of winter,  Jeff has taken the sum of his due three vacation weeks at the last of the year to work on house-building projects, mainly to finish up the last of the window trim, and since we moved in he’s been working on this project diligently, but saving the most difficult trim for last. Living with ladders, tools, long levels, boxes of screws, pipe clamps, air compressor, and nail guns sitting about the house is really what I’m use to, now the second house-building in our lives, even over a year being back moved in,  but these recent weeks it has involved scaffolding and moving around the dining table in order to get to the sky windows, and it doesn’t ruffle my feathers in the least.  All the door and window trim is now finished, and I must say what a great finish carpenter he is, and how the rebuilt house seems nearly as beautiful as the original, maybe even more so in some ways. I never thought I’d say that, but the trim was Jeff’s most artful work I’ve ever seen, and so I am proud to think he’s done even a better and second time more experienced job of it.  A short pause, and then the next big task will be the flooring. 

Here & now , transitioning from a very dark 2020 into a much brighter 2021 ~~ have a wonderful happy new year everyone!