Stitching Old & (almost) New Together

004I was given a handful of really old collars by my girlfriend almost a year ago (thank you Sorcha!) and finally I have decided to put them to use, and started by performing stitch-work surgery to one of my favorite thrift shop finds, a linen jacket shirt with a ruffle at the bottom and big shell buttons. First I took the top button off, turned in and stitched down the high narrow collarless shirt to the dimensions of the lacework collar…
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Then I pinned the hem of the collar  just inside the edge of the shirt…

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Then simply whip-stitched the two things together and then turned the collar out, without ironing,  so it has that lofty personality of the collar…. and voila !

004The thing is , these few antique collars have cast a magic spell on me as I am in love with the -old-fashioned ritual of hand-stitching on a hand-made collar on to not-so-new clothing.  I just can’t imagine what might blossom from this seed, except that with this old collar I now have …

” Something Old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. “

outfit for wedding

Hey! I’m getting married tomorrow!

A Frolick On The Knitting Trail

043Ready , set ….

Hats on !
045Before setting out into the woods on my Knitting Trail, Maya, Molly & Rosanna chose three hats each out of my chest of knitted pattern prototypes, plus other bits, then we set out with Emma leading & me in the back with the camera.
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Maya is wearing Vineyard Rows Tam.

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 There was a few moments of a brilliant sunbeam, and Molly models

wintery white with powder blues  of

the Chalten Beret  and Tartan & Tweed Mitts

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Rosanna in the recent infinity scarf I’ve been designing and making lots of lately…

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… which will soon be available in pattern form.087

S w i t c h i n g

                          t h e m

       o u t . . .

goofingly striving for the essence of ” bohemian  raven goth “

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Then we found a fabulously mossy tree log on a very steep slope . . .

and a Dicey Highland Hat

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  Rosanna in the Vineyard Rows Tam and Molly in the Vineyard Rows Toque .

(Toque not yet written into a pattern, but soon!)

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 Then hilariously  Molly began to slide off  of the wet moss . . .

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… and no end to my demands while taking still another photo as we tried to cover trail …

and so a twenty minute trail walk turned to fifty.

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 Another Dicey Highland Hat . . .

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We really had a great time, and for me this was the absolute highlight of the whole holiday family get-together, though it lasted less than an hour.  I couldn’t be happier with the many great shots (although fuzzy in low light of the forest) … of the Bohemian Raven Goths!

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Thank you Molly, Maya & Rosanna, for wonderful knitwear photoshoot on the knitting trail! xx

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Maya in Penny Candy Hat

In The Kitchen

jenjoycedesign©noodle-making As I mentioned in previous post, my nieces came for a visit for a couple of days.  We mostly ‘chillaxed’ around together with our EDC’s (electronic devices of choice: iphone, kindle, laptop) but with plenty of time in the kitchen, just the way the last days of summer vacation should be spent, after a very busy one they had.  Both nieces had a busy summer, but Miss Eleven had and an incredible growth spurt ~~ and this visit was special, as for the first and last time, we are all three the same height !

Two days, one night, and four times we flung flour. jenjoycedesign©making-noodles The first time was making noodles (flour & egg) for upon their arrival they were good and hungry and I had some home-made chicken soup all ready for their expert noodle work.  By the way, Miss Fourteen could easily win a chicken-noodle-soup-eating contest … hands down! jenjoycedesign©bakers Second time, made Amish moon pies ( flour & butter) with apple filling I had made ahead of time waiting in the freezer , and came to life good & proper with their very experienced moon-pie-making magic touch.  How many moon pies did I personally eat? Don’t ask, I lost count! jenjoycedesign©making-moon-pies jenjoycedesign©moon-pies! Third time, pizza for dinner (flour & yeast) which means of course, pizza dough… and lots more flour (sorry , no photo of pizza) .  Fourth time, next day repeat noodle making for to finish off the chicken soup. Thats about it, a whirl-wind couple of days flinging flour and exhausting relaxation.  We three girls thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and that’s certain.

What totally killed me was in our last hour before I had to bring them back to Calistoga to meet their mom,  Miss Eleven says ” Lets bake something ! ”  Can you believe that? C’mon kid ! She cracks me up. Anyway,  we will leave you with our humble little noodle recipe . . .

jenjoycedesign©moon-pies

~ My Niece’s Way of Noodle-Making ~

Crack one egg into bowl. Add a pinch of salt, and maybe pepper and other herbs & flavors ‘to taste’~ whatever strikes your fancy. Add flour and stir with fork until ball forms. Add only enough flour to keep very moist wad of dough so that you can pick it up with your hands, the rest of the flour will be added from well-floured hands and surface. Break off small chunks and roll out with your hands. When all rolled out, into a pan of rapidly boiling water, or chicken broth, or soup, add all noodles quickly and at once,  Stir , then let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Eat and savor the hand-made goodness.

Chaltén

Mount Chaltén

Dear Jen,
when you asked me what is the paradigmatic mountain of Patagonia, I did not hesitate in giving you the answer: Chaltén, the blue smoking mountain. In the last trench of the Andes range, Chaltén raises like a magnificent tower transmitting majesty and ferociousness. It is the main summit of a range that has the shape of a croissant opening onto the East.
The mountain, also called Fitz Roy in memory of the British sailor that explored the Patagonian coast with Darwin, is one of the most challenging peaks in the world, with vertical slippery slabs constantly hit by the icy winds of the South Pacific Ocean. These winds bring about the rare aeolic phenomenon that makes its top always appear as it was surrounded by clouds, which give the mountain the smoking volcano look its name is derived from.
In the rare occasions of good weather, its massive granite structure turns rose hue at sunrise. During the day, if it is not hidden behind the clouds, its image reflects on the Lagoon of the Three. By nightfall, the clouds usually thin out and wisp around its peak.
Mount Chaltén is certainly one of the most emblematic places of Patagonia, for its magesty and its wilderness.
Alejandro

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Since before the recent June Solstice (that’s winter solstice in Argentina) I’ve been working on designing a beret that I now present, and that I’m naming ” Chaltén “.  As my dear and wonderful Argentine friend, professor, and naturalist Alejandro has taught me so many things about Patagonia, from the spectacular Andes Mountains to the wildlife & botany of the place, to the history of the Welsh settlements in Chubut. ( I mustn’t forget that I’ve also learned much about the making & drinking of Yerbe Mate , having many different kinds in my cupboard, sent to me by Alejandro. ) It was in fact , a daunting etherial image of Chaltén which being etched in my mind from a dream,  which was the force of curiosity to bring us to meet (on an internet pen-pal site, nearly four years ago, as I wanted to meet a Patagonian to write to).

Thank you Alejandro ~~ this Chaltén Beret is dedicated to our many letters over the years, our story we are writing, your kindness, and all that you have taught me ! And thank you , thank you for the letter about Chaltén which I so wanted to have in this debut post.  xx Jen 

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Here is the pattern prototype, knit with Jamiesons Spindrift , and embellished with dos chuflines (two tassels) . . .

Chaltén’s  snowy white teeth seem to leap toward the sky, shrouded by mist and blueish atmosphere ~~ here is my knitted interpretation of Chaltén in a colorwork beret.  Colorwork motifs inspired by “Guarda Pampa” patterns, symbols of Patagonia, profiles of  peaks of the Andes Range and reflections of them in the mountain lakes. The Argentine gauchos (shepherds & cattlemen)  adopted some elements of the Mapuche design and incorporated them in their Ponchos and other fabric pieces, reinforcing regional identities of the provincial groups of Gauchos, almost along the lines of Tartans in Scotland.

guarda pampa

example of guarda pampa design

And a second, the first prototype, knit in Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I had in my stash … embellished with a single chuflín (tassel)

Chaltén beret features a unique two-inch-wide shaped colorwork faced band, comprising of two mirrored shaped stockinette layers, a crown of concentric decreases and second colorwork motif just above the rim.  Finished with Andean Folk style tassels known colloquially by Patagonians as chuflines ( much of yesterday was spent photographing for a tutorial on making these , which will debut with the pattern , a ‘chuflín-making’ tutorial on my Tips From The Table tutorial page.)  And here is my own very sketchy hand-drawn schematic .  Measurement A is diameter, measures 10-10.5 inches laying flat.  B is depth, measures 8 – 8.5 inches when folded into quarters.  C is circumference of band, measures 20 inches.

Chaltén schematic

click image to enlarge

Chau !  In the near future I will be augmenting “Chaltén  Beret” with a straight-sided ski hat version, the “Chaltén Skier” … it will be so re-loco … I am looking forward to designing it ! ((  Note: All who purchase the pattern will recieve updates  when the ski hat is augmented into the pattern. ))  I have decided to make the debut of Chaltén Beret in two installments, this first being more informative and about the inspiration behind the design, and the second, featuring my nieces modelling (which I’m going to do this afternoon !) .. and also presenting the pattern.  So watch this space, Chaltén Beret pattern arrives this week!

Edit in next day:  Introducing the pattern & photo shoot presentation of this design, you must see ! 🙂

jenjoycedesign©Chaltén Berets

Read about Mount Chaltén in Wikipedia 

Fitz Roy

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 !

One-And-A-Half Days

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Dazzled by the spirit of the holiday, and all that I’ve been busy with.

I can’t believe this pile of gifts I made . . .

((  My heart is about to burst with pride that I sure turned around when I thought I could only manage the kitty   which got sent off over two weeks ago, and the felted bag which went to Mexico with Jeff. ))

Since then I really went into making overdrive.

jenjoycedesign©hand-made-gifts

All of my hand-made Christmas gifts are finished,   as of yesterday,  and tucked under the tree,  waiting for family to gather.  I hate to seem all smug & self-satisfied, but now that I am finished, I can’t help but just be elated, and enjoy myself !!!  This folks, is not something that happens every Christmas, as I am usually always making up into Christmas Day itself, and beyond.  But this year…. I just put my nose to the grindstone and did it.

( Interesting lights photo at top of page was accidentally shot while I was moving in front of our Christmas tree. )

Sending out loads of love and encouragement to all those elves busy still making, hoping all gets finished and that you may too relax ! ~~ xx.

Knitting Hysteria

I have already let myself off the hook that I am not obliging to knit more gifts by the big two-five deadline, as I had last year, and the year before. Besides, I already shipped off one to Nora, who will meet her knitted kitty on that special morning before too long. Well done enough, for this year I figure. Yet I am falling asleep and waking with great worry of not meeting deadlines. I suspect it’s more that I’m ramping up my energy at the starting gate of the New Year, and expectations set upon myself of all that I want to accomplish. About now I need to have a little bit of a distraction by way of eggnog or Irish Coffee, or just good ol’ mug of hot cocoa will do, and get to it with the Christmas cheer, because it’s less than three weeks from today, and to add, I’ve got two Christmas gigs back to back in the next two days to get past. Question: How does a frigid frozen-pipes December happen only eight weeks from  blistering hot Indian Summer?  Answer: A phenomenon called Northern California ! The woodstove is in full roar now, as the mercury is dropping. Anyway, One just can’t complain about hearing Dean Martin holiday albums too early while about town,  I guess. Or maybe One can. It is rather cheery, I’ll admit.  Speaking of Christmas , today the mailbox was packed with goodies sent from afar.  First gift of the season to enter the house, a rather large (book shaped) package from my sweet designer buddy in the North of Scotland ! (Yes, Kelly, it came ! I will be very good and not peek 🙂  … I promise !)

jenjoycedesign©package

 In the meantime I am working on these prototype Pretty Little Things gloves  . . .

jenjoycedesign©gloves

Oh, and there’s a couple of other Must-Not-Mention Knitting Prospects loitering on the sidelines of my conscience too. My hands are in use constantly by the way ~~ if they’re not playing mandolin, or working outside (yeah, like on my knitting trail!) … then they are knitting…. even  while I walk about the mountain with Emma.  My hands are feeling a little sore these days, from a lot of use.  I’m hoping you might all come from the shadows and collectively rope & tie me into a comfortable chair and bring me some hot Irish coffee with gobs of whipped cream, and a give me a much needed hand massage?  Would that be too much to ask? 🙂

Kitty

jenjoycedesign©kitty
This *possibly may be*  the only gift I plan on knitting for the holidays this year. I started with a Louisa Harding pattern, a very simple pattern indeed, thinking for a first-time toy knitting, I couldn’t go wrong.  Ah, but I couldn’t help myself from changing it all around… so this is a very modified version.  I used up some left over pima cotton boucle yarn from her baby blanket I made almost 3 years ago, and stuffed it with a bit of wool fleece I had in my loft closet…not bad for a first toy , eh?  Kitty is purring and ready to go to Nora for Christmas!

I was up against a decision just before Nora’s kitty was finished:  1. Spend from now until xmas knitting gifts, or 2. Design fun new things!  Though in recent years not my first choice, but gifts can always be bought , so  I am choosing to work on new ideas through the holidays instead. ::sigh of relief::  ((however, this doesn’t prevent me from giving away my prototypes…lol)

Coming up: Another something to add to the ” Vineyard Rows” ensemble, as well as another thing from a ways back… in blue !

Molly in Montreal !

Remember Molly’s Montreal back in this post ?
jenjoycedesign©Molly's Montreal Tee (1)

Well, I just got word from Molly , and photos of her wearing her “Montreal”  !

 Just look how lovely  !!!

jenjoycedesign©Molly's Montreal Tee (2)

Beautiful Molly shows off my modified version of the sporty original Pin-Striped Sweater Tee marvelously . . .

jenjoycedesign©Molly's Montreal (2)

Modifications  were to crop the waist, and lengthen the sleeves by simply continuing the pin-stripe pattern from the provisional cast-on before ribbing for the cuff, with no decreasing except for at the underarm gusset (that gusset part still needs a bit of tweaking).  Shall I modify the pattern I am wondering, to include this variation?

 Above all . . .

jenjoycedesign©Molly in Montreal (tee)

Always ask for exactly what you prefer in life Molly, because most times really good things happen as a result. I thank you so much for asking if I could make your tee with longer sleeves and shorter waist, because I believe I love it most of all this way and will make one just like it for myself ~~~ xoxo from your Auntish !!

A Cheerful Teapot

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Meet my new cheerful little teapot, nearly the color of golden honey, or milky tea, or marigolds.

This morning I was over at Morrie’s house. She has quite the collection of tea and teapots, the most adorable little ones too. We had an impromptu ‘tasting’ of three teas,  not because of any reason other than  I wanted to use all three of her littlest cuties that happened to be within arms reach, and because there were all these bags of tea everywhere, we pulled out of kitchen crevasses while looking for the Earl Grey.

Then  I spread out my latest knitteds on Morrie’s kitchen table, and we discussed sock formulas and then she showed me her latest black Shetland raw fleece and we buried our noses into it while both agreeing it was the finest and very sweet smelling! We flipped pages in knitting books, fondled yarnish things, and we infused each other with ideas as the tea infused in the pots. And so it is . After having come back from Black Sheep Gathering with fleeces to show me, she was a bit preoccupied about  ‘ observing process ‘ over ‘ processing observation ‘.  I can just hang with someone like that !

So anyway, I wanted to show you my teapot, my very first teapot ever I can remember having, strangely.  It is a three or four-cupper, and I got it for $2 down town at the thrift shop on the way home from Morrie’s,  and the loose tea stays nicely at the bottom while I pour the tea out ~~~  it just doesn’t get any better than that !  I’m having my first cup of tea (Irish Breakfast) from it right now.

I think I will make some shortbread to go with ! 

Inside-Out

I’m not a fast knitter.  I’m a plodder really, though I get the job done in good time.  ” Slow and steady wins the race ” I always say.

Well, there’s news !  I am going to be travelling to Vancouver BC this coming week, for some days.  The event is a Ninetieth Birthday party held in honor of my father-in-law, and… and well… I purposely held off thinking about this travelling thing, because really, I am so adverse to travel ~~ ( those who know me , can attest to the extreme, to get me over the county line is a big spree !) ~~ so I put it out of my mind the weeks coming up to it, in order to not brew and stew and work myself into a terrible state. Now it’s the week of said travel, and I can’t any longer put it out of my mind, especially as I am immersed in a last-minute knitting project that will hopefully be finished for the Man Of Honor during the visit.

You see, I want something to knit while I’m there . . . something mindless, like rib or stocking stitch of something . . . nothing too big, or two small . . . something that will keep me calm among the numbers of folk for the time I will be there (okay, two days , three nights , three mornings… you bet I have counted!) …. something very portable, and lastly, something that can be finished there.  Mind you, these are all wonderful people, intelligent and jovial and downright interesting people, yet I need my knitting to keep  ‘sat at the table’ with them, to best Have A Good Time. This hermit gets plucked from her hermitage and needs tranquilizers ! Stitches are my drug of choice. Stitches keep me calm, composed, and confident in the presence of others.

Okay, back-story out of the way. So I’ve thought and thought, which sort of knitting can I be doing in constant motion , as if there is a deadline, and have a decent excuse to be doing so? Well, something for the Birthday Fellow of course !  But, well, the Birthday Fellow lives in a near desert climate, so well, knitted hat, scarf, gloves, or even a vest, are not something he could appreciate. He gave away his sweaters decades ago.  However, there’s always socks! Everybody wears socks, right?  Socks are the gift to beat all gifts, and I am determined to make him a pair !

One problem,  I only know top down sock knitting , (have only knit three pairs ; two pair in succession finished last year at this time,  these  and  these  , also a pair of  kilt hose  I knit two years ago) and this is going to be difficult.  I must have the tricky business of the heel flap & turn, and gusset decreases, and toe decreases, and intolerable Kitchener stitch out of the way.  How can I make this work?

After some thought, I’ve come to a conclusion !!!

Inside-out sock knitting !  I don’t know if its been done much with socks, but I figured out how to provisional cast-on just above the heel flap, knit two rows of 2/2 rib, and get down to business of knitting the foot section  ~~~ two at a time, separately, on two circular needles each~~~ then mount the live loops of the provisional cast-on back on to needles, and knit the leg up (later)  .  Yup ! This is it!!!  This is my answer to a very complex quandary.  Here I am,  on Monday, just into the gusset decreases. I’m confident that by my departure on Thursday morning, I will be through with the whole foot, and when I am a midst the crowd , I can take out my ‘very important knitting ‘ and just smile and K2P2, engaged with the company of others, until it’s time to top it off with a big red stripe !  I am prepared for this trip with the perfect plan.   Here are the two critters in progress (I know, I’ve been on a grey & red kick lately) …

inside-out , two-at-a-time, sock knitting

I’m improvising from three different sock patterns, and using some stash sock yarn, in colors ‘jackrabbit heather’ and ‘firecracker red’ . (That bright yellow-green is the provisional cast-on crochet work which will get unravelled and removed when put on to the needles going the other way (ankle up) when I’m there.  My father in law will like them I think . I hope.

Well, it’s a beautiful morning up here on the mountain, the birds in full chorus, the sun high in blue sky already, but with a cool breeze, and I’m off for a good knit-walk to rattle off some rows on these socks !

Lupinus Albifrons

jenjoycedesign©chullo-detail3
Lupinus Albifrons.  Known as  just ‘ lupine ‘, it is one of the more populated native wildflowers of Northern California, and in April fills the mountain meadows, between grape vines in the rows, and trail-sides with deep blue & purple variegation.  A small woody shrub when mature, however, where grass is mowed annually (as in the vineyard rows here on the mountain)  and where seed is planted from the wind, you’ll see it popping up everywhere as young single stemmed flowers . . .

jenjoycedesign©luipins-albafrons
I luckily had just the perfect yarn handy when I became inspired from my walk of last week.  I had a bunch of green which I over-dyed from grey wool which  perfectly illustrates the ‘silvery’ grey-green leaves of the plant. The rich deep blue and purple played illusive games however with the camera, which wasn’t able to distinguish the two, and both came out as blue tones in most of the photos. But here it is , un chullo, for my brother’s birthday tomorrow!

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I absolutely go wild photographing still-life knitteds ~~ its just one of the things I love doing, in every light possible , which enables me to make an assemblage of photos that catches different tones and characteristics  of the yarns and knitted shapes . . .

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The detail with which I experimented for the first time on this chullo hat, was to add a running crocheted chain just inside the typically chullo-esque double-crocheted edge, to neaten up the edge.

jenjoycedesign©crocheted-chain-inside-edge

I love to make my chullo hats a bit of a hybrid with gnome hats by decreasing into a point, then finishing with a braid extending off of the top . . .

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They blossom into a hat with a lot of character and playful whimsy . . .

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The crocheted edges  tame the curling tendency of the stockinette stitch. . .

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Braid finishes being made on both ear flaps . . .

(the purple really pops in this photo below !)

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jenjoycedesign©ear-flap-braid

Un chullo,  inspired from the lupine flowers  in the fields of Northern California.  To be given to my brother tomorrow, and there could be nobody more appreciative than he, who wears them everyday , and who is also a botanical wizard !

jenjoycedesign©finished !

NOTE :  I have taken notes as I knit this one, so if anybody is interested, I could assemble a pattern of sorts from it.

Details on Ravelry HERE

Well, I’m off to walk the mountain with Emma, but I will leave you with a little slide show of the early morning walk of last weekend, from which this chullo’s lupine photos were taken . . .

A Package Arrived!

I have recieved a gift package from Scottish Highlands ! In fact, I think this package was mailed about the same time that my package (of alpaca mitts and home-made shortbread) was mailed to Kelly , the winner of my little give-away the other week.   Our two packages crossed in flight,  and I just now have picked myself up off of the floor, being that I was completely bowled over by the generosity from Kelly,  in the way of a pile of treats from the Highlands of Bonnie Scotland.

And I do mean a pile .

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Some darling wee coasters (already stained with tea rings from my afternoon tea while studying cookbooks )  and postcards, depicting old castles nestled into Scottish landscapes,  and most sweetly,  two yarn cakes from Kelly’s personal stash, of lovely Hebridean 3-ply yarn in the ‘pebble beach’ colorway.

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Oh but wait… as if two cakes of Scottish Hebridean yarn wasn’t plenty on it’s own, there’s more !  Some ‘cakes’ of Scottish soap . . .

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and ~~~ Scottish cookbooks !!!!

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Nay, not one. . .but two !!!

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And right on time, because I’ve been having a real hankerin’ for some Cullen Skink lately !

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And just look at these adorable wrapped cakes called ” sair heidies ” !!!

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I’ll be trying the recipes in these Scottish cook books, beginning today.  I believe me sair heidie is for want of one of these wee wrapped cakes, with my afternoon tea this weekend, perhaps tomorrow,  on an Easter Sunday ( I wonder if I can use wool in place of kitchen twine?)

Ah, but the yarn which arrived in this package, well, it got me thinking.

Since now I’m happy owner of a couple of skeins of some Hebridean 3-ply Virtual Yarns in ‘pebble beach’ colorway…   (see all those colors? Yes, do click the photo) . . .

Pebble-Beach-3ply-Skein, Virtual Yarns

. . . perhaps this is a great incentive to swatch for my first Alice Starmore sweater? Since buying her book “Fishermans Sweaters” a couple of years back, I’ve had one on my mind to knit.  In particular , since acquiring the book, I’ve dreamed of knitting miles of cables and moss stitch diamonds in deep navy tones in this design , and more recently I’ve pondered the idea of substituting her Hebridean 3ply for her Scottish Fleet yarn in one of the fisherman designs.

 However my thoughts have now refined to a more feminine style of ‘fisherman sweater’ style, perhaps an Alice Starmore sweater for myself. I just took a look at her designs for which she uses her Hebridean 3ply yarn, and so now I’ve got my eye on this one~~~

a sweater she calls  Scalpay .

 ((I really do just love shawl collars ))

What do you think? 

*   *    *

Thank you so very much Kelly,   for all of the treats from the your  Scottish Highlands ~~ they’ve become food for thought, as well as for my tummy !   Maybe the Hebridean 3ply yarn you sent will launch me into a knitting diversion,  for I’ve wanted to try for some time, my first Alice Starmore Design. . . just maybe ?

But it’s off to the kitchen for now, because I’ve got a sair heidie thinking about all these knitterly possibilities…. and I’m going to take some pantry inventory and prepare myself for some real Scottish cooking !!! xx !

A Birthday Satchel

jenjoycedesign©felted-satchel

What do I have here ?  A knitted & felted satchel of course. (Yes, knit almost entirely while walking.) It is a birthday present for my sister-in-law Patricia.  In mere minutes I’m going to drive up to St. Helena to meet at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, where we will have our cafe latte’s and I will give it to her.  Afterward we always hit our favorite thrift shop ’round the corner.  Actually,  this satchel is completely reversible.

Happy Birthday Patricia !

jenjoycedesign©inside-out

Mini Mitts For Nora

jenjoycedesign©Mini-Mitts

Tiny and bright.  Too cute for words.

Miniature version of the Pin-Striped Fingerless Mitts

For Little Nora (who will soon be two!)

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I knit these little things pretty darned tight on the very skinny #0 needles… so there’s some ‘laddering’ going down the middle of the mitts. I love the affect of the variegated yarn too.

jenjoycedesign©Mini-Mitts2

Roastery

Met my sister-in-law in Calistoga today.  It was roasting hot too !!!  In fact, we are having upper 90 degree temperatures nearly all this week , especially in Calistoga , the hottest town in summer in the Napa Valley !   You wanna know what is very odd about this post?

Meeting for   c o f f e e   

and giving of   w o o l   s o c k s

in the middle of a California   A u g u s t .

No matter, because the Calistoga Roastery is one of the most bohemian nouveau places in the Napa Valley, and we always meet there when there’s something knitted to give.  Oh,  such as these sweaters .

Patricia loves her new wool socks,

and that makes it worth every tiny stitch !

And, as we do absolutely everytime we get together, she and I scour’d the local thrift shops.

I got to add to my collection of antique wooden hangers with the old businesses printed on them of cleaners and dye works.   Dye works?

 ( click the photo and notice a 3 digit phone number! )