A charcoal vest.

jenjoycedesign© charcoal-vest4

I have been working through unfinished projects since the beginning of the year and finally committed to this long hibernating one.  I bought the tweed yarn for it two and a half years ago when we were living in the tiny house in the charcoal forest , and at that particular time I felt urgency in knitting the same Calidez Cardigan to replace my lost original .  Everything was freshly burned, practically still smoking, loggers gone through and the landscape languishing.  I had knit 14″ of the sweater body before squirreling it away to hibernate while I worked on other things, as I shifted into Spring and new designs.  But March of this year, when I started it up again I found that I might not have enough yarn to finish the sweater,  realizing that either I didn’t buy enough, or used a ball of it on something along the way, and too much time had passed for me to remember.   So it was an easy decision to go ahead and knit the Calidez Vest instead, and then I rattled it off quick!  I am so glad I got this finished because I really am ready to mentally close the gate on that dreadful time.  Oh, but I couldn’t help myself finishing off the vest this morning with six “burned wood” buttons I found on Etsy . . .  : laughs : 

jenjoycedesign© charcoal-vest2

A totally off season finish as well,

I will fold this vest up and store it in the woolens dresser for at least 6 months if not longer. 

Did I say yet how happy I am to be finished with this project?

jenjoycedesign© charcoal-vest6

♣      ♣      ♣

Pattern: Calidez Vest (with high v-neck)

Yarn: Studio Donegal Aran Tweed in color 4801 “charcoal”

Project details on Ravelry

jenjoycedesign© charcoal-vest1

I got a new bag!

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 2

Well, you know what I mean,  I  made  a new bag. 

Knitted, then felted.

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 3

Just a perky large bag, big enough for me to put a whole sweater project into perhaps while I knit-walk for a little while, while knitting a body section . . . or whatever.

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 5

Shown on Abelene, a life-sized “woman thing”, this actually is the first prototype of three yarns held together, of three different colors, which in fact give even more of a texture visually, as well as a supremely thick and gorgeously rich color depth of felted fabric.

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 7

 Just two hot washes in the washer machine made this great thick plush wool bag from a big floppy giant one (( and wouldn’t  you know, how dumb was I to forget the before photo )) having shrunk at least 25% and weighing a little over 500g.  I cast on 100 sts and very gradually and randomly decreased throughout the body, attempting an improvised wedge shape,  with the turned-edge of the shaped bottom being only 80 sts.   I must say, I couldn’t be more pleased. 

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 4

Pattern: Maiya’kma 

Yarn: Wool Of The Andes worsted : colors garnet, brass, and amber for the rust, and varying changing shades of blues and greys for the blue. 

Project Details: on Ravelry here.

 

A sock novelty.

The socks mentioned in my last post are at last finished, and just in time for Jeff’s birthday, although that is purely by accident. 

I am seriously pleased with the plush fabric made from holding two fine merino soft sock yarns together, and using my usual 2.5mm needles. Its like the two yarns balance each other and fill all the stitch together so that it is nearly like thick chamois.  I really love the aesthetic of of these socks, and all basic simple knits.

Getting to know Jeff through the years, a man of an extraordinary and somewhat intimidating physical work ethic, (not hard to guess is only three generations from Amish roots), and yet he can not stand scratchy itchy wool, nay, but as said before, this merino chamois is something I am sure will stand the test. And these are very much mens boot socks, even too big for the large sized sock blockers, and they did not take forever because of the two yarns held together.

Jeff’s first impressions on me, the Amish ” plain & simple ” aesthetic, was at first a novelty, but over the years has seeped and settled into me, and become a quiet smile of contentment, void of the superfluous.  If this could be expressed in socks , it would be in this very pair, only enough ribbing to hold the socks on through the boot tongue, to get the work done of staying on the leg and no unnecessary immodest fancy work beyond that.

What I am saying technically, is the rib/cables are worked through until the gusset is finished decreasing, then continue to knit the rest of the sock in stockinette. I have not paused for a minute, as soon as Jeff’s socks were laid out to dry, I cast on another!

♥  ♥  ♥

Pattern: Walking With Emma (above shown in chart D) 

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, colors Granite and Midnight Heather

Project details on Ravelry Walking with Emma & Her Dad.

Brindle Beret & Gloves

This rustic tweedy ensemble tells a story of morning walks in the country, just come in from the cold foggy damp, and flung on to the nearest post as one urgently makes their way to the kitchen to put the kettle on!

My latest glove and beret set, a satisfying contribution to my drawer full of wintery woolens I have been busy making.

Basic beret & gloves are rather easy to knit if I may say so myself.

Oh, and a nifty way to attach a felted toorie (pom pom)

. . . just tie it on!

Both gloves and beret are featured in my latest pattern collection of basic & essential wintery accessories:

A Drawer Full of Winter

Details of these projects; yarns, sizes, all of that, can be found on Ravelry here and here.

in g(love) again

It is true, I’m in love again, with my just-knit gloves. A Valentine to myself, rustic, and lovingly imperfect. Not even dry yet, but as impatient in love that I am, I just had to photograph them, because the lighting beneath the sky window was ideal. The yarn is “unspun” that I made myself and which I talk about in last post , um, but embarrassingly I committed a cardinal error of yarn-making, and forgot to set the twist ((shhh… dont tell anybody!)) . . . therefore the energized wavy appearance.

These gloves will make another appearance, soon, with their head counterpart, which is only half-way finished. To me, gloves are an essential cool weather accessory . . . I love gloves!

The pattern of course, is my latest collection A Drawer Full of Winter,

Project details on here.

g(love)

I have just finished another pair of gloves from my new pattern collection and let me tell you, these are completely addictive ( and I must cast on for another immediately! ) This pattern collection is great for using up stash of many weights (gauge substitution for gloves from light worsted to very fine fingering weight) , this short cuffed pair was knit from dk weight, and used less than 40g of yarn. It was once a sock that never had its sock-mate knit, what they call “second sock syndrome” . . . so I put the lonely sock out of its misery.

Pattern: Drawer Full of Winter.

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed dk – color “Watery”

Ravelry details: HERE

All posts in this series

A drawer full of Winter.

In recent months I decided to make myself a drawer spilling over, full of knitted winter woolens for the cold days ahead, mostly in Isager Tweed (of which I happen to have recently hoarded). I explain at length in the previous post about the meaning behind this particular collection and introduced a pattern overhaul as I designed a few cowls, a plain & simple sock to add to my existing pattern set of hats & mitts. In its most recent overhauled form it is a five pattern collection of essential items, and I’ve named A Drawer Full Of Winter . After the last post I was about to let it go for a while, but as January was just getting started, the coldest month of the year, I knew I wasn’t finished, especially as I still didn’t own a pair of gloves. As I promised to update the collection whenever I wrote a new design to add to it, I have just this very minute have done. A new essential wardrobe item ~~ full fingered gloves~~ now added, done & dusted!

I am fascinated by gloves recently. I am in fact, smitten by the concept of a well knitted glove, how a truly good fitting glove allows one’s hand to articulate as if it had no glove on at all. I labored over the New Year while designing such a glove, which reflects every difference of each finger, and let me tell you, by taking such close study of my own fingers I never realized how each one is quite unique. I have observed that not all fingers are alike, thus not all knitted fingers should be alike, nor placed alike on the hand. The little finger is in fact knitted first, independent of the other three, more of the ‘ upper hand ‘ knitted, then the other three. And that is not even to mention the thumb! Oh the thumb, and its relation to its four counterparts, and the very relationship which creates a right and left essential fit. Oh , but the ring finger , middle finger, and index finger, are equally as different. I am telling you now, no finger is identical to the other of the hand, nor is it of the glove, this glove, my labor of love. Perhaps the biggest labor of knitterly love I have designed to date, and for such a simple thing. I find that I am quite absorbed into the simple essential things lately.

I’m feeling the long shadows of January, and my cozy winter woolens packing into their drawer, is a sight of comfort. Actually today is feeling quite lovely, on inauguration day, sunny and quiet after a couple of days of very strong gusting wind, and now I am letting my sails down for a short while, to let creative ideas build again, and let myself be kissed by a hopeful future.

Sweater Success!

Today we met at the castle for Autumn Sweaters 2020.

They are wearing my latest sweater design  Sol Inca,

 the “afterthought” pullover. 

The sweaters were so long in the making . . .

jenjoycedesign© sol inca at castle 16

and in the waiting even longer to get together . . .

then with so many tourists milling about the castle, we just made it quick.

Although fewer photos were taken, as usual my nieces were fabulous! 

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(click 1st image & see entire slideshow)  

out of autumn . . .

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks 5 (2)

I am not doing holiday knitting this year. . .

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks
but these are for a birthday coming up next week, my oldest niece will be 21!
I will give these lovely pair of  Walking With Emma socks  to her when I give both nieces  their sweaters  some time before the year is over,  when we will meet at the castle for a spontaneous photo shoot.

(( I can’t imagine being with them and not smothering them in hugs! ))

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks 4

So close to the winter solstice,  I go stepping out of autumn, walking with tender foot steps so I am careful not to wake nature from its much needed wintery slumber.  Waiting,  waiting,  waiting . . .  and staying creatively immersed and thoughtful while we get through another shelter-in-place for the remainder of the year.
Everybody, please stay home and stay well!
xx

two done . . .

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I am finally finished Autumn Sweaters 2020, two Sol Inca “after-thought” pullovers. Admittedly, I have struggled getting these finished this year, no question these are the most involved Autumn Sweaters I have knit for my nieces to date, but at last a celebratory end to all deadline knitting! I finished the first one last September, and its taken me this long to wait for yarn and knit the second. Next time you see these sweaters my nieces will be wearing them, and it likely wont be until later this month at the soonest. It is just as well because it is still a mild 50’s to 60’s in the December days, the real cold doesn’t come around until January and February in this part of the world, when it will get as cold as an average in the 40’s and 50’s , and sometimes in the 30’s in the day. With those temperatures, the grape vines are going into dormancy and Napa Valley is having a short nap, and by then my nieces might be happier to slip on these very heavy weight sweaters. And, if my nieces are more comfortable and cozy and not breaking out in a sweat, I shall be a happier auntie photographer . So maybe even better to wait until January.

I found a lovely detail was to over-dye some of the light grey with Yorkshire Tea, and it made a lovely tone of dark gold in the middle of the suns in the light grey sweater, and I must say I’m very pleased with with the ease of tea over-dye. And hey, do you notice the labels? I ordered labels some time in the summer, and I really like them, and what a simple polish it gives a finished sweater. Makes me dream a little, about selling a few hand-knits right from my blog here. What do you think? That about wraps it up for my deadline knitting, and as I am just working on new ideas for the rest of the weeks, I am going to brace myself for some cozy sheltering in while I get immersed into the next projects I have had on the back burner while I finished these colossal labors of love.

good-bye summer

jenjoycedesign© socks 2

Fresh off the needles ,  a very simple boot sock .

jenjoycedesign© socks 3

For my (almost) new walking boots . . .

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 5

Walking along my trails, going a little further up the ridge now,  making my way around, over and under  so many falling blackened trees, carrying the weight of that time almost three years ago, wishing to outgrow the sadness that lingers in the landscape,  however robust and magical is the resilience of nature!    Goodbye summer.

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 7

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 6

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 10

Tomorrow is the Autumnal equinox, and finally I will be walking into Autumn, a season which seems to be more forgiving of endings,  fresh and open for verdant return of moss, of life renewed from rain.  And on my bare feet I’ll be wearing the comfort of the season, new verdant green mossy boot socks, plush and double thick, two yarns held together merino socks that I cast on at the June Solstice, and knit slowly & purposefully all summer long, while oppressed by sweltering heat and choking smoke.  Soon the air will clear and crisp and be again glorious!

(Click 1st image below and see slideshow my walk from the afternoon. )

jenjoycedesignc2a9-socks-1

Pattern: Walking With Emma socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, charcoal and bamboo, held together throughout.

Project Details:  Solstice Socks  

A new thing, and a birthday!

jenjoycedesign© upcoming thing

I’ve been picking up the pace with the knitting in the last few days, ramping up for a new design. Here at the start, with many prototypes ahead yet to knit, and many winter hours spent in  pattern writing concentration, I’m going for it again. More to come, most definitely.

I am really astonished at how time speeds along. Tomorrow is the seventh birthday of Jenjoyce Design! That is, January 25th 2013, I submitted my first pattern to Ravelry, a free pattern, and new projects of it continue to get knit about the place. I have kept things moving forward with JJD very slow and steady, taking my time trying for the most artful and original designs that I can manage, and opting out of all the crazy marketing, video presence… etcetera … and have just stuck with the old-school blogging.  Wanting to rely only on myself, I choose to wear all the hats in the indie design process, keeping it modest and within my ability.  I suppose I have been doing well enough for a hermit knitter enjoying the quietude of her woods hermitage, I can’t really complain about anything, and have mountains of gratitude for everyone who has encouraged me, keeping up appearances in Jenjoyce Design Group on Ravelry, commenting here on my blog, and test knit the new designs ~~ you know who you are, and thank you!

((  Oh, and I am having a very brief pattern give-away celebration just for part of today over on Ravelry  here  in case you want to join in the celebration! Edit In: Now Closed))

This is what seven years looks like . . .

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In the beginning of Jenjoyce Design…

I’ve recently met in person a new follower of this blog,   and I was asked an interesting question ~~ what am I selling? Yarn? Even though it has seemed to me self evident all these years,  I’ve been contemplating about it since, whether it is maybe not so evident anymore.   I really never thought about this site being anything other than a blog, established 2010 (formally known as “Yarnings”) just to write about my creative projects, and life on the mountain, peppered with occasional philosophical musings, often including Emma (our dog) or Jeff (my partner), and loads of appearances by my nieces.

A little backstory:  I came on to WordPress just as craft blogging had rather glutted the cyber space almost ten years ago. I began a blog first set private for just me and some friends & family to read, then I bravely changed the settings to unlisted shortly after, so I could share the link with the broader craft blogging world, and not until I started to sell my first knitting patterns, in 2013, did I change the settings to public with the domain jenjoycedesign.com.  Originally my knitting was mostly about designing things for my young nieces, which was so amazing, and taking loads of photos of them, all which has been a colossally fun way to share time together and they’ve really gotten comfortable with modeling over the years (you see the photo shoots of them going back to the first sweaters in 2010 here in the archives  ,  but one must scroll pages back to see oldest posts). 

I guess now with so many platforms of social media, blogging does sound rather old school and maybe the whole thing about having a blog to document one’s creative endeavors can seem kind of self absorbed (especially when the author does not interact with the commentators) but I honestly gain massive inspiration from this blog, and incentive to come up with interesting things to do and write about!  Besides, I have been grateful for the followers; the chat in the comments has been grounding for me, and have always tried to engage with those few who appreciate what I’m putting out there.   Anyway this place has been and still is . . .  just a blog.

I have been doing okay selling patterns over on Ravelry.com , and my designs on my designer page there are constantly linking back to this blog for tutorials, deeper explanation & sharing of inspirational beginnings. As well, every design shown in the sidebars or up in the tabs ” My Patterns ” when clicked makes a bee line straight to the pattern page on Ravelry.

Through it all I have not yet gotten bit by the social media bug, and even though I have accounts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, the former two which WordPress automatically posts to in my settings, I am rarely on them. I fully intend to use these social media sites more effectively in the future,  but as yet I rarely author posts specifically on any of them.

So to answer this recent question I must say that it is only digital download knitwear patterns I sell, through Ravelry.com , but a lot of what I write here is in support of those designs I sell,  as tutorials, sharing process of making,  and interest cross-overs with the wider knitting (and even non-knitting) world.  Ravelry is great, really awesome actually, and the virtual knitting platform has helped me make a little money in recent few years, although I really do work very hard at it. It is pretty much all I do these days outside of my domestic work (regretfully I have not been playing music professionally for several years now). Oh, and on Ravelry I have a forum where I support the designs, and folks can get help or make knitterly chatter.

So what are all the yarn posts,  in Tweed Chronicles and Unspun,  that I’ve got up there in the tabs?  In these things I am not selling anything, but offering up for free, my trials and discoveries ~~ that is all.

jenjoycedesign© spinning in September 2

For the present  I don’t think selling yarn & knitting related objects in a virtual shop appeals to me ,  as so many top tier indie knitwear designers do, perhaps as a sort of mark of  legitimacy,  for in these recent two years of difficult transition I fear an online shop would end up a misfire, and a hassle of retail inventory of which I have not a single square foot of space or extra time for.  I keep thinking one day I will do a virtual shop here, but for now digital pattern downloads are great;  pure intellectual goods where I have had to learn to wear all the hats, from the designing, to writing, pattern tech editing & format design, photography, and lastly design promotion.  Okay, there is the buzz word – promotion –  and marketing. All in good time folks, in good time for sure, but I need to settle in my mind and in my new home, which is still not near finished, nor are we living in it yet, before I can grasp a solid approach with it.  I am still exploring how I want to go to do my best with Jenjoyce Design.

For now Ravelry sells my patterns for me with their huge data & customer base, and my pattern design page is slowly growing in numbers, but I am only one among the thousands of competitive indie knitwear designers on Ravelry, seemingly all so similarly climbing the popularity ladder.   I want to refine and distinguish my brand, and that is to write spinner friendly patterns (with extensive gauge charts in many sizes) and so there you have it, the reason for all the spinning tech posts. I am evolving in the direction of writing patterns for every kind of knitter, but even those who are spinners and have unique gauge issues, or those those thrifty knitters who want to use recycled or novelty yarn with no clue as to how to adapt gauges. This is why I am working like an ox presently spinning-to-knit the first sweater in decades, which you can read about in the series ” Spinning For A Project ” .

I will get back to posting about Knitting In The Wild when the wild places around here have become a little more accessible in the wake of the wildfire, and which I like to do especially at the turning of the seasons,  and also sharing my recipes, and Emma,  garden, and random philosophical musings as I love to do. My life and this blog is a work in progress, and as life pushes and pulls me along my way I unceasingly strive for a perspective of positivism.  

Meanwhile, I’ve been spinning up a storm with the recent big 500g Sweater Project, spending more and more time with my Ashford Traditional Wheel in the loft space of the new house.  Although the project is epic, I am learning a lot about spinning still, and then it will be already to knit up into something I’m designing just for it!

jenjoycedesign© spinning in September 3

Early morning spinning, in thoughtful repose.

Walking With Emma: A Pattern

jenjoycedesign© Walking-With-Emma 2

From The Archives:   January 2012 “Paws” 

On the eve of the Summer solstice I am celebrating fourteen years

of Walking With Emma.

jenjoycedesignc2a9-paws-2018

From The Archives: July 2018 “Out Walking”

And as Emma naps beside me at my feet,  I am enjoying coffee in the pause of a cool morning, putting finishing touches on the pattern pdf.  You see,  I have been knitting Ten At A Time socks with an impossible deadline to finish, and as the time for knitting lessens while the house rebuild work increases, I have jubilantly decided to put the pattern & photos together “as is”,  and get it submitted today.
jenjoycedesign© Walking With Emma ribbed

An ensemble I am naming “Walking With Emma”.

jenjoycedesign© WWE cabled variations

Eight socks, one pattern.

(( click image below for enlarged detail ))

Walking With Emma is a collection of classic cables & ribs.  If knit with a rustic wool they are the quintessence of country socks, and so befitting of wandering in the rural spaces, as I have with my dog Emma!   And if made with fine to very-fine yarn, these socks can be as elegant as any occasion could ask for.     Four classic cables in a progression of 1/1,  2/1,  and two variations of 2/2 cable cross, as well as four plain ribbed variations, making eight ways to knit a sock.  This is an epic sock pattern for me because not only do I give it four charts, but six sizes to fit men, women, teens & kids…. and…. the pattern includes a gauge substitution chart so that you can use several weights of your favorite yarns, from rustic hand-spun to fine fingering, and even lace weight!

Please go get the latest pattern and set yourself in motion walking (or sitting) while knitting one or two or three or more of this collection . . .

  pattern is live on Ravelry HERE.

In closing, I’d like to mention that Emma and I are still “walking together” as you can see posted over here,  and we will greet the Summer Solstice this way!  Please click through this epic slideshow and view some great photos I have taken over the years, out trail-making and walking with Emma in our mountain landscape …

 

The Road To China

A year and a half ago  I wrote a rather traditional feather & fan  lace motif into a simple cowl pattern to be available either  by itself or in an e-book collection of three cowls, and for this lace prototype I used yarn “Road To China Light”.   It was not meant to be by itself anything amazing or noteworthy, but it appears to have meandered its modest way into the Indie Designer Patterns on the Fibre Co. website. I am quite pleasantly surprised, and have excitedly come to spread the news first to Yarnings readers!

I must confess, this is a first for me, and it has brightened everything  on this drizzling cold mountain today.  So, I have decided to make myself another celebratory lace cowl with some more Fibre Co. Road to China Light yarn, and  I have been absolutely craving one in  greyish teal or plum…

Yarn weight: Sport   Skein weight: 50 g
Fibre:
65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere

Also, I am gifting this pattern (for a very limited time)  to anybody who would like to knit one along with me, in whatever yarn you desire…  

Edit In : Pattern give-away is closed. Thanks to those who joined in!   

I will be posting my lace cowl in whatever yummy color of Fibre Co. yarn I end up choosing and show progress reports on it in forthcoming posts , and I do honestly hope to see you & your project pop up over on Ravelry!

Buttons

jenjoycedesign© buttons.JPG

I’m going through my numerous button jars, sifting and splashing about, trying to decide which one to finish the latest vest…

 

I really love the wild cat-eye buttons in square one, but there are tragically only three, and the other vest I have decided should have the same buttons. Two vests and ten buttons. Choices left then are either the wood, or the metal & plastic in third square.  I’m thinking I’ll go with the warm natural wood for both vests (the other one v-neck, this will be the crew-neck option). Which by the way , should both be done while racing against the clock, by this weekend. My personal goal is to have the pattern up and running by next week for test-knitters, so if you are interested, please say so!

Meanwhile, last night there was a spectacular storm-brewing and wind kicking up amidst a fantastic colorful firey sunset, with fog rolling in from the Pacific coast…sunset

I am still fighting a horrible cold, but fortunately I can stay home and get lots accomplished  with the knitting, while keeping the wood stove crackling, as its suddenly dropped to low 40’s outside. The blustery cold Autumnal mountain weather has finally arrived!