Spring Sweaters 2017 (& Emma)

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Finally the Spring Sweaters are blocking to dry, and are awaiting my nieces!   (Emma is not drying, nor awaiting, but just is.)

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Emma

Knit from cotton-linen blend, these tees are from my Calidez pullover design (with short sleeves and ‘summer neckline’ options (details on Ravelry here & here)

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I’ve made a couple of monogrammed labels embroidered rather wonkily on pieces of old silk ties I collect.

Next week is Spring break, and I am meeting my nieces in Calistoga, and will bring back gobs of spectacular photos of them modeling these Spring Sweaters I am sure.

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But for now, Emma and I are just hanging out.

Everything in its place, and life is good.

moody monday

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Emma and I are moody.

When feeling under the weather (on the eve of a birthday)…make candy!

Emma wants some …

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( See her nose? )

 Honestly, I have not gone on a candy-making jag in years.  I used no recipe, just tossed ingredients ( about a cup of org. sugar, a bit more than half cube of salted butter, a glob of corn syrup, and a dash of cream) in a small saucepan over a low flame while cold-water testing until it was right. Poored in a buttered pyrex dish over a bed of chopped toasted almonds, then sprinkled more on top.  I ate a ton of it, it shook off the blues, and then I felt better.

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Oh, and knit something really amazing !!!  Anyway, the rest of it is just cozy, dark drizzling dank gorgeous wintery day, while drinking coffee, munching butter toffee and knitting. I will be home in my hermitage for the week just working on forthcoming design. 🙂

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Anniversary Socks

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March of this year Jeff and I have been married one year, and 21 years together, and I thought as an anniversary gift to Jeff, with whom I have backpacked the John Muir Trail many many miles, that I would design him trail socks !!  He seemed to be okay with the idea, however, he is very picky about scratchy woolly things and socks, and anything ‘gear’ related.  Made of super fine quality Merino-superwash & nylon sock yarn, in granite tones, the socks ended up very soft & completely not scratchy, and the nice cushioned heel, instep & toe are ultra comfortable in and outside of a boot.  Now  two & 1/2 months after our anniversary,  here is the final result ~~~ and he approves!

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Shown are Wild Wool Trail Socks, designed for and dedicated to Jeff.

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This is actually the first real pair for Jeff that I’ve made since releasing the pattern,  delivered a little belatedly.

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Incidentally, the last time we were in the Sierras in July 2014, it was for our 20th anniversary of being a couple, and we backpacked to Granite Lake in John Muir country, where the inspiration came to me…

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Well, it may have taken me a year and a half to ruminate this design from inspiration to finished pattern, but perhaps for good reason, for the timing of events involve a spooky coincidence of anniversaries! To start, our 20th anniversary in 2014 was 100 years after Muir’s death in 1914, this year is the centennial anniversary of America’s National Parks established August 1916, and lastly, I just happened to have submitted (unknowingly) the pattern on  John Muir’s birthday April 21st.

In forthcoming posts, I may go on with presenting you finished projects, both of my own and of other knitters,  so that we can have a bit of an extended tribute to John Muir.

Sock details on Ravelry HERE.

Lazy Hazy Dog Days Of Summer

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Well folks, we’re in the dog days of summer.  Such a funny expression…. ‘dog days’ … let me look it up.
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dog days
noun
  1. the hottest period of the year (reckoned in antiquity from the heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star).
    • a period of inactivity or sluggishness.
      “in August the baseball races are in the dog days”

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I can bet that Emma is as tired of them as I am.  Everything dry as parchment outside, and no rain in sight for another month.  Another month or longer !

This early morning we are pacing ourselves …
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At the very  least… er…most… there’s lots of knitting going on.
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How is your summer going? ( Or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

What are you up to?

Introducing Tips From The Table !

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Hi folks !  Remember this post  months and months ago?  Well, the table finally has made it’s way into a permanent feature of Yarnings !   You’ll see it up there , between the ‘My Own’ and ‘ My Patterns’ pages .  Please go see , and be sure to read my first tutorial intallment within  , all about ” Three -in-one swatching” .

I’m so excited it’s not even funny . . .

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Here is the table with tutorial in process, tripod set up, taken  from over the ledge of my work loft. It was a lot of work to get this tutorial done, but I really have wanted to do this for a long long time. I am so relieved, and there’s so many more idea’s I’ve had over the last years in knitting, now I have a place to talk & teach them all.

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Finishing

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Little piles of trimmed yarn from finish work makes as good of a place as any to put down a hot cup of coffee. (*) I happen to love saving all these little ends, and keep them in a place to use one day, like filling a pillow or something. I’m in the middle of steeking and knitting button bands on two cardigans. Two cardigans which will be given to my nieces around the Autumnal Equinox ~~ our little tradition.

These were my left-over yarn project gone ship-wrecked on the remote deserted island of Bad Planning (I try not to visit often, though I find myself stranded there without warning, still.)  The blue one was inspired by about six balls of left-over yarn I had from a project of last Autumn , and I thought to use it up for a lovely turquoisey cardigan for Niece Who Is Thirteen, thinking only another couple of skeins would do the trick (I was thinking a vest at the time, two or three designs ago…). Plus the same yarn in another colorway for Ten Year Old Niece. Long story, and three colorways later (**) I had to re-order two more balls of each along the way, then just before binding off at the neck I was groaning as I realized I *still* wouldn’t have enough yarn to do the bands. So one more… just one wee skein more of each color, will surely do the trick. Yeah, got the yarn a couple of days ago, now I’m finishing these cardigans , and will surely be finished by the Autumn Equinox next weekend.  Here’s to a fun week ahead of finishing !

(*)  Yes Lizzi, that is the wee Queen’s Jubilee cup you sent, which I use every single day. Heartbroken I will be the day it cracks.

(**) So what if I will have even more yarn left over from this project than I had before !!!

~~~~And now,

I wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH

to   ELIZABETH over at Island Time   for nominating me for this  . . . 

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Taking Yarn Stock : Hebridean 2ply

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Yarn. I have more yarn than I need, but still far less than many.  Here is Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2ply fanned out on the table.  I love this yarn, so now I’ve got all the colors, ordered over a couple of years , beginning back in 2009 when I fell in love with color work after buying Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting.  I will replenish as used, so there will always be enough of any one color to snatch up in the throes of creative impulse. As you can see, some have already gotten knit up…

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The camera never can give a totally color neutral eye, it always seems to favor one tone over others, and the greens & neutrals to the left are not very vivid. You can certainly see better representations of the colors on the Hebridean 2ply yarns page of their website.

Virtual Yarns sources premium quality pure, new British wool, then it is dyed in the wool and combined into the unique blends inspired by the natural environment of the Hebrides. I love that !

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Here is all the thirty-five colors , attached to their original labels, in one-yard lengths, optimal in versatility as far as shade card archives go.

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Note about the photo at the top of the page : It is the new table we just moved into the house from the workshop over the weekend! A project Jeff has been laboring over for months, the post & beam table, that which has made me seriously proud of him, he’s such an amazing artisan with wood!

((And yes, in case you’re wondering, that *is* Emma’s yellow football and  water dish.))