Just Hanging Around Knitting . . .

jenjoycedesign©azul-band

I’m pleased with myself for I indeed got the Dicey Highland Bonnet pattern updated yesterday to include the Dicey Highland Beret, and now I am squeezing in a quickie before I have to wind myself up to the max for the big Autumn Sweater Thing that I do every Autumnal Equinox for my nieces.

Backstory. Last Friday was the Independence Day holiday here, and we went on over to my brother’s  as there was quite the party happening in his little Appalachian-esque neighborhood. Well, there I am knitting, you know ‘on-the-go’ , with the knitting bag slung over my shoulder and knitting as I always do. My youngest niece, Miss Eleven-Years-Old  knows how to knit,  and is getting better, so I said “Lets get you some knitting ! ” … so we walked down to her house and raided her mom’s stash & needles, and found a darling knitting bag and we set her up to knit-on-the-go too. So there’s the two of us among the wild & crazy dancing & feasting folk outside, she and I knitting together  near the whole time, while walking about here and there with knitting satchels slung over our shoulders, swaying to the music … knit-dancing ! … and thoroughly enjoying our peaceful & productive selves ( stopping only to munch cake and other wonderful things ) . She got nearly half of a garter-stitch cotton dish cloth finished, and I made great progress on my hat band.  I knit until it was too dark to knit any longer, however, Miss Eleven carried on knitting into the darkness which totally killed me, her eyes like a hawk’s .

Backstory over. About the forthcoming big Autumn Thing, this year I’ve got some ideas, I may either come up with a whole new design from which I will write & submit a pattern, or, I’ll just add some sleeves to my Penny Candy Tee.  ((By the way, many folk have been making them, and I’ve been so proud !)) Whichever way I go, I must say, I better get cracking because it’s already first week over in July, and at the speed the seasons are going, I best not dawdle.

But I have a bee in my bonnet for the moment, about a wide and shaped band for a hat, and playing with some Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I’m on a roll.  I’ve got most of my big chores out of the way for the week, so looking forward to just hanging around knitting !

Vineyard Rows Tam

jenjoycedesign©high-vineyard Walking along the old mountain vineyards close by, I found inspiration for a design which I have named “Vineyard Rows”. A California Highlands Bonnet if there is to be one ! I chose four natural shades of Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift yarn, because I happen to love this black & white photo of the historic vineyard landscape I took a year ago. Near the highest vineyard knoll on the mountain perhaps, rows against an Autumn sky,  leaves blowing off of the vines as a storm was brewing… it was a walk to remember !   So I came up with this . . .

 

Vines of grape leaves wind about the wheel, in borders and peeries, along with interruptions of bold checked dicing.  To me this tam brings together California Wine Country with Scottish Highlands.  Embroidered grape clusters adorn the rambling  vines with French knots in wine tones, creating a spectacular and colorful needlework finish I think!

And on *moi*… straight up !

Jenjoycedesign

I really went wild with the notion of the toorie and decided that a tam must have accessory options !  Why not an accessory for the accessory ~~ why not tie one on for the mood you’re in ?  Basic black, wine red, & marled toories !!!

 

But before I embroidered the grape clusters into the vines,

I took the hat Au Natural out into the woods…

jenjoycedesign©tam in woods

Against the moss . . .

jenjoycedesign©me in tam 6 jenjoycedesign©me in tam 8

jenjoycedesign©me in tam 9

And lastly,  against a blush of colorful Autumn leaves, showing how the tam’s outer most rim is traditionally useful in shading from the sun.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Tam 3

Well there you have it, my latest design of a tam named “Vineyard Rows”.  I have created this tam for all the lovely walks I’ve enjoyed in the beautiful aesthetic of these old vines ~~ this tam is in tribute to them.

Autumn Scapes

If you haven’t yet read a post I made about Knitting & Wine , it is the prelude to this design, as well as other posts and photographs of nearby vineyards, you may peruse in all  vineyard posts .

And folks …

Vineyard Rows pattern may be found here .

((as well as details on Ravelry here ))

Really Red Tam !

jenjoycedesign©tam

I am very proud to finally show you the tam  I made !!!   It goes in a set with my  Really Red Cardigan.  I had knit the tam before the holiday gift-knitting crunch set in, then put it aside to be photographed after the new year.  New year … check.  Photographed…. check.

I am over the moon about having this particular cardigan & tam ensemble finished because only a couple of months ago ~ after having hibernated well over a year~ the cardigan was doomed to die a tragic death of getting unraveled out of existence !  After much persuasion from a friend,  I committed & cut the steek,  finished the cardigan, then surprisingly soon after, decided to knit up this tam to go with!   Maybe it was meant to have waited until now, as the rains of the season has made the moss so verdant ~~~ and just look at how well the moss sings praise to the red wool !

I improvised the cardigan yoke motifs into a simple 8-point tam, and being that it’s sport weight yarn and not fingering, it’s a slight bit larger and floppier in contrast to the ones I’ve knit up with finer gauge yarn.  I think  it’s ‘ Tam O’ Shanter-esque ‘ personality, with wider brim, is actually a look I really am drawn towards.  Very old-world Scottish in my thinking.

jenjoycedesign©Red-Fairisle-tam

If you look closely , you can see the same moss stitch rib with vikkel braid edging on the tam that the cardigan has got . . .


. . . as well as an applied cord edging (to snug up the band), raised double decreases , and a beret loop flourish.  I am pleased with its wider-brimmed shape and I feel it is pretty darned smart!

A birds-eye view of the wheel . . .

jenjoycedesign©tam-wheel
There is a bit of a coincidence, that the red in the colorway is called “garnet heather”

. . .well, because garnet is my birth-stone .

jenjoycedesign©red-tam-set
. . . and today is my birthday !

* *   * *   * *

Details found on Ravelry here.

A Wee Sherpa Hat

Emma and I have been busy.

Recently I visited an old friend in this post and decided it was time for me to do more totally improv hats again. I am very interested in using up bits of stash yarn , perfecting these hats ! My brother is wild about these and well, his birthday is in April.  But this little hat for little   I decided yesterday afternoon to make for a present, as the one for who it is made is two months old and I’m attending a party for her tomorrow.  This wee hat is first in a series of “Sherpa Neuveau” hats I will knit up lots in the foreseen future… my brother’s to be next.

Here it is, inside out.

In nice dappled light on the piano, angled so you can see the relief of the purl rows

I’m very satisfied with my improvising, though the crocheted edge is done badly (I don’t crochet,  I improv’d that too, I was trying to tame the curling ear flaps !

It’s quite a cute little hat, perfect for a 2month baby-sized head. The colors don’t seem as vivid in the photographs as they are in person ( I need to get the hang of lighting in photography). The light purple and green backgrounds are alpaca , with little filled in color from various wool and wool blends I have hanging around. Adorable I might say myself.

Refining Details

This cardigan is the second sweater that I’ve bordered my signature rib with a  vikkel braid stitch.  I only say ‘signature rib’ not because I had anything to do with inventing,  but it is a hybrid rib & moss stitch edging I made up for myself  after some experimentation, and which I love so much that I don’t see any end to using.  In particular,  the bound-off edge I use matches it perfectly, or mirrors the vikkel, making the rib nicely bordered by a braid on both sides.  With the addition of the vikkel braid stitch, I feel my edging style is symmetric, pleasing , and finished.


The vikkel works so well as a transition between the ‘body’ and the ‘edge’ because it seems to cover up a sometimes awkward and messy decrease row transitioning into the rib band that seamless yoke sweaters tend to have. Next time I may try two rows of vikkel braid stitch. Or three !

The finish of the two short seems at the join of the body and arms, has become a matter of finer finishings for me. I always do a rough job of sewing seams from raw bound-off edges, but I do love the grafting idea, so I just transfer the stitches onto two short needles (or scrap yarn, or stitch holder) instead of binding off, so they’re all ready to graft together with no hassle. In fact, I think next time I will graft first thing so I’m not having to knit the whole yoke with the hardware hanging out of the armpits. Get it over and done with!

Each time I do this grafting thing to bring the tiny seam together at the ‘arm pit’, I get better ( that is in theory, unless there’s a bit of a time lapse between the last, which in this case, may have been too long).

Practice makes perfect and I’m observing that once the stitches are taken off the needle and grafted together, that trying to take them apart to do over is courting disaster. So, rather than doing the grafting over, I’ll just leave it looking messy and smoosh out the bulky grafted seams when I wash and block.

Fair Isle Waistcoat Revisited

Oh yes, and this one too, brought forth from the back burner, from the beginning of May.

I have since sorted out the pattern improvisation disaster from the beginning, in this post of several months back ~ here . I’m really enjoying how the colors are working, and how the pattern borders are beginning to contrast from the previous border. So fun!

Selbu Moderne

I LOVED KNITTING THIS !!!! This tam was a free pattern I found on Ravelry.com , here.    When I saw that sweet wall-paper pattern, it became instantly a must-do for me who wanted to learn how motifs can seamlessly work in an all-around pattern, up and down.  I really enjoyed it !

I still have yet to add a beret loop at the top in the middle, as I really think it needs something to finish it off, don’t you?  When and if I ever give it to someone, I will put on a more personalized accent.

The yarn I used was Knit Picks “Palette” that I had in my stash, which is a fingering weight yarn , and thus it knit up so fine that it is a very small tam, say for a child-sized head.  I think the pattern followed needs a sport weight or DK to fit an adult sized head .  Oops. I just will keep it in my cedar chest until the right ‘child’ happens to come by.

Falling in Love with Fair Isle.

My first tammy ~ and my own design !   This little tam I made for my girlfriends’ birthday, last year in September .  It’s significance is huge because  it launched a sort of knitting rennaisance in my life.  I had been for the first time become aware of traditional Fair Isle knitting, and had just checked out in the library a heap of books on the subject, including a few of Alice Starmore’s .  I have just bought my first knitting book,  the reprint of Alice Starmore’s  “FairIsle Knitting”.  In the years before this project I hardly knit much, save for a flurry of projects in my first years of spinning, however, in all the years not knitting,  I yearned and yearned.  Yearning has became the word which best expresses my feeling about knitting (when I was not knitting), and from which I entitle this blog  ‘Yarnings’ . This here little Tam O’ Shanter was my first stranded color knitting ever, and it has lured me down a one-way road into  yarn and needles and  designing the next Autumn or Spring sweaters for my nieces. Knitting has  grown in a very short time into a passion which has overtaken all else.

I used the charts provided in Alice Starmore’s “Book of Fair Isle Knitting”  which are for the most part, traditional motifs.  I used Jamiesons Shetland Spindrift yarn ~ so light and fluffy, I absolutely fell in love with Shetland wool !



Finest yarn I knit to date.  Ever !