Rosanna & Cesar

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Rosanna and Cesar have come to visit!  We gathered up all sorts of knitwear, and went out into the darkening wintery woods, along the knitting trail. Rosanna is wearing the Calidez Vest I made for her birthday, while Cesar wears several of my recent Fishermens Neck Ganseys , as well as the yerbe matte (tea) .

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Cesar and Rosanna layer in a couple of Calidez Cardigans …

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Cesar wears my own  cardigan made of Studio Donegal’s  Aran Tweed ~~ posted here. Cesar commented how warm and nice the tweed wool felt against his skin ….

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I was so excited to have Rosanna and Cesar visit, and that they got to model this ensemble of recent designs, because they are both such naturals in front of a camera!  It couldn’t have been a better day, clear and cool, and it was a great time had by all, including Emma…

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come back again soon Rosanna and Cesar!

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Just done.

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I was eager to finish this Calidez Vest for Rosanna who is visiting soon, and will model it (yay, more woods photos forthcoming!) I have not steamed it yet, in attempt to disguise my uneven tension with purl & knit rows, but I’m not sure I will for it is a little rustic and bumpy, which I am certain will appeal to Rosanna.  What was crazy good luck is I happen to have these buttons in my button jar, an exact match, clueless as from where they came, but made my life easier today when I discovered I had them.

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This moss panels ribbing took me forever to get through, torturous and long, entirely improvised, but think I ought to feature it on Tips From The Table, because it is actually very unusual. Also, this vest is first sample I’ve done of this design in worsted weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca (color is “Lichen Mix”) and it is the first yet sample with the high-v-neck option.

I still am very preoccupied with the mystery  project mentioned in previous post,  but I tell you, I am knitting full tilt on it, in spite of the fact that I had to finish this vest, yes, yes, and also …. that I nearly cut off the tip of my left index finger last Monday with an axe  while splitting wood,  and it has set me back due to my finger being cocooned in a bandage since. What I have lost in speed I have made up with determination, and I must say my finger is healing very nicely. Jeff got me some nice gloves so that I won’t run out and split kindling wood (for the wood stove) bare-handed anymore!

In Calistoga today….

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It was pouring down rain most of the day, but fortunately late this morning it settled a bit and we got in some great shots of Miss Sixteen & Miss Fourteen modeling Calidez Vest.

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At the wall outside of Brannan’s on Lincoln and Washington…

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I burst with pride at how talented my nieces have become in front of the camera … as I strive to capture the ‘happy accident’ of the moment.

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(Oh, but they have had a bit of practice you know… )

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We also finally got Autumn’s Calidez Cardigan photographed !

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Don’t ask me why it didn’t occur to me to get a couple of shots with the garments buttoned up all the way…

( I become so distracted!)

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A lucky morning ( good hair day, good skin day ),  and a good day of expressions wonderfully sincere, honest, and artful poses.

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My favorite past-time most definitely, bar none, is hanging out with these smart & beautiful young women!

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Calidez Vest Pattern !

jenjoycedesign-calidez-vestI have worked like an ox to get this vest up and running before the holidays descend, and I think yesterday I never moved from my desk while immersed in a last-minute change, crunching numbers to augment the size range for this design for larger sizes in finer weight yarns… and I mean from dawn until dusk! 

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Calidez Vest with crew neck shaping

Today a frenzy of sewing on buttons (before the dark grey vest was even completely dry!) then photographing, and finally submitting it to Ravelry…  now I am just about ready to say its time for a walk out in the misty woods, for the rain has finally broken after two days of solid downpour.

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Calidez Vest with v-neck shaping

Feeling too exhausted to say much , except for the important things….

 Calidez Vest on Ravelry

…  and Calidez Vest in progress on previous posts here and here.

A classic vest for women, men, teens & kids (shown in bulky Icelandic) Calidez Vest is knit bottom up with seamless construction, and flat. Pattern includes a substitution chart for gauges 2.5 to 6.5 stitches to the inch, and has extensive size range from 60” to 25”. Vest has v-neck shaping, with options for crew and high v-neck shapes. Calidez Vest is suitable for for all ages & all year round, and is perfect for all kinds of fiber, yarn weights & especially your hand-spun !

 

Buttons

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I’m going through my numerous button jars, sifting and splashing about, trying to decide which one to finish the latest vest…

 

I really love the wild cat-eye buttons in square one, but there are tragically only three, and the other vest I have decided should have the same buttons. Two vests and ten buttons. Choices left then are either the wood, or the metal & plastic in third square.  I’m thinking I’ll go with the warm natural wood for both vests (the other one v-neck, this will be the crew-neck option). Which by the way , should both be done while racing against the clock, by this weekend. My personal goal is to have the pattern up and running by next week for test-knitters, so if you are interested, please say so!

Meanwhile, last night there was a spectacular storm-brewing and wind kicking up amidst a fantastic colorful firey sunset, with fog rolling in from the Pacific coast…sunset

I am still fighting a horrible cold, but fortunately I can stay home and get lots accomplished  with the knitting, while keeping the wood stove crackling, as its suddenly dropped to low 40’s outside. The blustery cold Autumnal mountain weather has finally arrived!

Yarn Tasting: Alafosslopi

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Istex Alafosslopi, an Icelandic bulky-weight yarn, and it also comes in worsted-weight called ‘Lopi Lite, or Lett Lopi’.   It is single ply, very rustic, and in a palette of beautiful colors , tweeds, as well as many natural fleece shades too.  I must say, it is not spendy in the least…which I like. I like a lot.  Like so many super rustic yarns like this, one wonders how it could ever feel good and natural against one’s own skin, then one becomes surprised after the blocking is done and all those woolly hairs just loosen into a beautiful halo, find their place in the fabric, become relaxed and compliant, ultimately  giving a light & springy feel with lovely drape. I wouldn’t call this yarn “soft” by any stretch of the imagination, nay, it is full-on wool, pure, and even old-world feeling, yet I am thinking it to be the perfect yarn to prototype my next design with.

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The next design in fact, which I think will be my magnum opus  of basic knitted wardrobe items… my  favorite of favorites… a cardigan vest!  This pattern will have some really good options (which I will save for its debut) , and will be perfectly suitable for men, women, & children alike. The third in my  Calidez designs, it will be compatible for sport-thru-bulky  weight yarns and any kind of fiber.   I can’t wait to be finished with these and show you!

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As you can see in the photo there has been some ripping out going on, that is because after I finished and blocked the vest, it was not right… it was nice, it was classic, but I  felt it necessary to re-proportion the shaping in the armhole and neck opening, to make it perfect according to my own idea of a perfect vest shape. So here I am, in the middle of the whole thing, knitting up two samples at once, knitting…. ripping out…knitting again: repeat.

I might add that I have come down with a nasty cold (I hardly ever get sick) from the stress of election and a general frenzy of Things Going On, but regardless, I am as happy as can be because my Knitting Track is proving to be a heavenly thing, and I am obsessed with it!   The  leveled sections are a work in progress, but it is all a wonderful path As It Is, and I see a hazy vision of something keenly interesting in its future.   Late yesterday I walked the wooded track while knitting the dark grey bit of the vest above for one and a half miles… it was an enchanting knit-walk five times around the wild shaped figure-eight in and about the tall trees at dusk. I felt like a knitting pixi.

In spite of my cold, I was out there this morning in the supremely gorgeous weather, digging, scraping, leveling & tamping a section of the trail in and around some massive Douglas Firs, while also moving quite a bit of stone from the earth.  While digging around I found an old Olypia beer can, with a pull tab which (after some research ) I discovered dates to early 70’s, which I imagine was discarded from a hunter, so I placed it on a rock near where I found it, along the trail.  The first archaeological find while creating the knitting track,  a crumpled up vintage aluminum beer can…lol!

Lots to do and life is good.