Lupinus Albifrons

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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 . . .

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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.

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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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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 . . .

Nora’s Christmas Chulo

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One hat, knit for one twenty-month old Nora, for Christmas.

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Knit totally improvised,  over a couple of days, mostly during one Christmas party, and one long hike walking the hills.

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Now finished, and will send off in the mail. I love it, and I think she will too.  Made from one-hundred percent Peruvian alpaca yarn, who couldn’t?

Well anyway, this is the first of as many gifts as I can possibly knit up until Christmas, which will be all posted in succession.  Starting another immediately… something stripey & pepperminty.

Details on Ravelry here .

Knit Again

I am knitting, ripping, and knitting over (and over) the section of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s  Hybrid Shirt-Yoke Seamless Sweater variation.  The problem is not following the delightfully written instructions for it,  in  “Knitting Without Tears” (and which I talk about briefly in this post ) , but in my usual improvisation of the design , as one of the homesteaders asked for his to have a v-neck. The sweater design of the hybrid shirt yoke sweater of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s actually has a particular neck opening which results from the particular shirt yoke style, and it is not v-shaped in the least. So I have to figure out how to do it.  Wingin’ it again.  Never not improvising, which is exhilarating, but stressful .

Rip, rip , rip, knit again. Repeat.

I know eventually I will get it right, even though I seem to be losing confidence rather than gaining insight.  Jeff seems to be surprised to hear as he comes through the door home from work, that again I’ve ripped back.  ” No… not again ! ”

To him, my knitting must look like this … 
Two steps forward, and one step back.

But to me it feels like this

So I continue to knit & rip, and knit again…because I do know that only by doing this can I get ahead of the learning curve. Only by doing this an insane amount of times, can I truly understand how this all works…. even though at times I feel like a brainless knitting machine.

Oh hey !!!  “Knit Again”  brings something to mind I want to share. It occurred to me in my predicament to ~ finally ~ watch the foreign film that is all about this insane act of knitting and ripping, and knitting again.  “Wool 100% ”  by Mai Tominaga.  This film grasps it truly !  A very abstract film, and a bit nightmarish in imagery, but clean enough.  I highly recommend it for all foreign film loving knitters .

Alejandro’s Manos


I pulled out my bags of raw alpaca, and began spinning a few days prior.

The perfect choice of animal fiber for Alejandro’s gloves, he who frequently ski’s the snow of the Andes Mountains, in Patagonia.

Plying natural black with natural grey .

I used the basic charts from   Ann Budd ~ Handy Book of Patterns  as a guideline (especially since I was knitting with handspun and needed a custom gauge). However, I prefered a ‘left’ and a ‘right’ glove, so I had to somewhat re-invented the off-set thumb for myself ~a definite improvement .  I would enjoy publishing my own version of a glove pattern ~ soon ~ because I love making gloves now !