An old beloved brown thing…

jenjoycedesign© 'the original' from PeruMy brother has for decades worn this authentic Peruvian hat,  the Incan motifs have become signature shapes on his head, almost like fiberous tattoos…

jenjoycedesign© original detail 2

I am not sure where he got this beloved brown thing, but it is a cherished possession of his, and he lent it to me over a year ago asking if I might repair the moth holes (again) and… “maybe ‘add some color’ to it?” he asked.

jenjoycedesign© repairs

Made of alpaca, and badly moth-eaten since being repaired long ago, it has become a part of his life, and all of our lives, for as we know him, we know this hat.

jenjoycedesign© original detail

This favor asked of me to ‘fix it’ has apparently grown feet and evolved into a project of my trying not to entirely replicate the original, nay, but to design the Quintessential Brother Article, as he does actually wear these Peruvian style hats ( known in trend as a ‘chullo’) pretty much every day, tucking the ear flaps behind his ears. They are as he puts it, his ‘hair’.

Well folks, if you wonder where I am going with all of this back story, the thing is, I have begun the series of prototypes, and perfectly timed I might add,  for his birthday.

jenjoycedesign© birthday chullo 2017

Actually, I have made him so many of these, but still he is over the moon whenever I make him a new one.

jenjoycedesign© 009

So, my scheming to create an authentic replica had changed to become something I should really call a design inspiration, more of an impression of the original.

jenjoycedesign© 021

The design is in process, and a forthcoming pattern soon available!

jenjoycedesign© 022

The pattern release will be aimed symbolically around a big trip Jeff is taking in May with his son & daughter to Machu Picchu in Peru, and so I have a lot of work to do until then!

jenjoycedesign© detail (2)

So here is the first in the series of prototypes ~~~ my brothers Birthday Chulo!

Pattern: forthcoming.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios

Details: on Ravelry HERE.

Otro Chulo

jenjoycedesign©008 Otro chulo (another chulo).  Chulo de Primavera ! (Chulo of Spring).  Here he is, just dry from a bath, so bashful in front of the camera. Ah !  Otro Chulo shows his nice color-work, what the heck , how nice, with his little legs sticking out right & left…

jenjoycedesign©005 Otro Chulo sits up a little more confidently, and sees the world around…

jenjoycedesign©006 Okay, now with legs outstretched, quite happy with himself,  begins to hum a little tune

(shhh listen…)

jenjoycedesign©002 About now Otro Chulo is feeling a little sassy, really winds it up for the camera…

tied up & twisted !

jenjoycedesign©blues-tassle But feeling already sleepy again , and dreaming of the day next week when he will stand proudly on my brother’s head ! A linen-cotton blend which is a perfect Faded Blues sort of theme for late Spring thru Summer ~~~  a hybrid style of Peruvian Chulo and  sherpa hat ~~~ my brother’s favorite whacky thing to wear.

jenjoycedesign©Chullo de Primavera Anyway, my brother is getting quite the collection of chulo hats which I have made him (you can see some of them  here ), but honestly I see no reason to stop, and I’m almost certain my brother would agree.

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 . . .

jenjoycedesign©chullo1

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 . . .

jenjoycedesign©braid-yarn

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. . .

jenjoycedesign©chullo2

Braid finishes being made on both ear flaps . . .

(the purple really pops in this photo below !)

jenjoycedesign©ear-flap-finish

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 . . .

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Lupine of Northern California

jenjoycedesign©lupine
The other day I took this photograph while knit-walking , the fields bursting with wildflowers, always the first being the blue-ish purple and green lupine.
So it inspired the colorway of this chullo hat (which I’m knitting for my brother’s birthday, as he is a chullo fiend) I am delighted how rich the tones are with my over-dyed green yarn from last autumn, and the blue & purple work together. . .

jenjoycedesign©chullo

Happy Easter holiday everyone !

jenjoycedesign©leaf-bud

Hang-Dried

Chulo madness.

I have knit, ripped, knit again, washed and ( hang ) dried in the sun

 ( you know, the way Patagonians do it)

 … Un Chulo.


Now knitting another, quite colorful one, which makes

dos chullos.

( In fact , it has so much color that a little black and white feels soothing)

Plus the one I knit over here

tres chullos.

Mountains Of Alpaca

I am face-to-face with a mountain of natural colors , just off the line,  washed & hung-dried skeins of handspun alpaca, spun up from raw loose alpaca locks I have acquired from three different friends of mine who raise alpacas .  Three !  

This Wind-Off  launches the beginning of knitting for the second April Birthday Project , which is the  Andean chullo / Himalayan sherpa  hat, and for which last week  I began spinning my alpaca stash  .  My brother loves these hats, has a bit of a collection , and for whom I intend to take the design for a twist of a sort, sherpa chullo and  which I want to be a pleasant mix borrowing design from  Andean, Himalayan, and Fair Isle ,  this project calls for alpaca, handspun, in order to give it the touch of stylish authenticity.

I thought alpaca would be the perfect fiber.

During the spinning of the alpaca, a couple things developed.

One,  I really enjoy spinning alpaca, whether raw and weedy or in fine roving.  I have in fact, dyed some and am going to spin up a couple of skeins for the  mother of Nora  , who has delightedly become a knitter !

Alright, item number two.  An amazing thing happened,  similarly to when I posted ” What do I have in common with these women? ”  a short time ago,  marvelling in the acquired skill of double tasking while knitting, well, I have found that I can double task while spinning too ! Even more difficult.  The yarn turned out rather more  “rustic”  than if I were watching with hawk eyes, all the fibers going into the draft, but no, I wanted to read up on my new edition of Textisles and became adept fairly quickly at reading -while – spinning.

*    *    *

Edit :   Here is the almost-finished product, as I’m running out the door, photographed in bad lighting … was in a rush. I didn’t have a chance to edge it and put tassles on . 😦   I’ll have to add them later….

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.