In the pink.

jenjoycedesign© over-dye

Sipping iced coffee & knitting next to an open window enjoying a very warm breeze wafting through, and listening to a cacophony of birds’ song.  I suppose it is a perfect spring day and I’m feeling utterly in the pink!   What is going on here is over-dying to change a cool ice pink in fingering-weight yarn to a slightly warmer tone…

jenjoycedesign© over-dye

Four skeins overdyed & drying on the line among the oak trees,  on a very warm  June afternoon.  Personally, pink is not my favorite color to wear,  although when you see forthcoming design mentioned in previously posted ‘Fishy’, you will get the Pink Thing.  Yes, and then you will see.  Note that the yarn that I un-plied in Fishy post was far too fine to design with, after all , but it will be very nice to sample the forthcoming design in a finer form.  

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I hope you are all enjoying your June, and for my nieces school is out for the summer, and we finally have a date to have a photo shoot  of them modeling the Camino Inca designs … so watch this space!

Foot Steps 2

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool Trail Socks 019

I have been making sock after sock while knit- trekking  down on the road,  as well as in the wooded trails with Emma who would rather go at a slower pace and sniff her way along. Her adorable grey-whiskery self, hopeful to discover a wonderful scent, ears perked in large German Shepherd ear-triangles, and with all senses focused ahead…. yet… soon easing into a slower happy & careless gait,  with limps that come and go,  so in these recent months I have slowed too, knitting while keeping her pace.

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool Trail Socks 016

In February I began to go down on the main road for  one or two additional long striding faster-paced walks in the week,  with my knitting my only companion.  Moving along on the much smoother asphalt in a ‘zone’  the miles seem short and the knitting seems fast, for one activity slightly distracts from the other.

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool Trail Socks 008

I feel that I may never stop knitting these socks while walking the miles, for this sock is perfectly trek worthy in more ways than one.  Easily memorized shaping steps; cuff, leg, ankle, heel & instep, heel turn, foot, and toe… not in the least boring, the steps keep the knitting engaging.

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Socks are small and a very portable  knitting project, and excellent for knit-trekking because they are such a symbiotic activity ~~ knitting them to wear & wearing them to knit!

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Pattern: My own  Wild Wool Trail Socks

Yarn:  Valley Yarns Charlemont which is 20% silk/ 60% Merino wool/20% nylon

Details on Ravelry HERE

Foot Steps

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Mid day sun streams through the canopy, and I am feeling the presence of vernal influences…

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The blissful places I have been missing for a while beckon to me…

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All winter we have had pelting rain storms one after another, and Northern California is officially declared over the drought while reservoir spillways gush furiously!

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Something about the approach of the equinox softens nature to a sweetness indescribable…

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So I will leave off and show you the latest I’ve made,

a pair of trail socks!

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 …with my recent discovery of the snugger heel stitch foot, these socks are now ready for adventure!

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Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn, in Merlot Heather and Navy

Pattern:  Wild Wool Trail Socks  , with recent update option of colossally snug heel stitch foot section, my pattern is now completely ‘dialed in’.

Project Details: on Ravelry HERE.

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Calidez Cardigan & Donegal Aran Tweed

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At last, my very own cardigan, and it is so special because it is from a wool I’ve wanted to knit forever, and in a pattern which I designed to be my favorite sweater recipe. . .

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Calidez Cardigan knit up in Donegal Aran Tweed!

I made it with Autumn neckline.  The pattern has four seasons of necklines in case you weren’t aware:  winter=full yoke depth,  autumn=3/4, spring=1/2, summer=very low. . .

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I had so many choices to color match buttons because of all the flecks of tweed in the yarn, but in the end, I only had more shell buttons, but I will find some more, in russet and change them out later.

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When it came down to it, I am purely smitten.  Donegal Aran Tweed knits up beautifully and has a real ‘slinky’ feel to it when knit up at  3.25 sts to the inch, although I was so tempted to try a smaller needle size, I chose the larger, appealing to a drapier cardigan, however, because of the fact, it is very stretchy and a wee bit baggy, but like in a good way. Next I will try a slightly firmer cardigan fabric, as well as make a size smaller. I still can’t decide what color to go with for my next, and I do think it will have to be a Soft Donegal,  and I am thinking to go wild, and get this color.

Well folks, that’s it for today, posting from very rainy Mt Veeder!  I couldn’t be happier than with a just-finished cardigan to wear, and you can see details of this project on Ravelry here.

Everything in it’s place, and life is good. Oh, and I’ve been enjoying listening to some beautiful Irish pipes while knitting Irish Wool . . .


Many Socks

jenjoycedesign© object d'yarn

Continuing in the same vein as my previous posts Part One &  Part Two , about my love of John Muir’s High Country, wild woolly beasts that live on the granite, my new design inspired by High Sierras, in tribute to John Muir, and dedicated to my husband Jeff…

jenjoycedesign© object d' yarn

I now settle into navigating my energy level out of the manic invention, and into the staid level of production the task of making many socks.  From large brush strokes, to small precise ones. Already have 3 pairs of the trail socks on the needles for Jeff (one trail, one country, one plain), and now I’m also queuing up for a pair of socks each for Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen !

jenjoycedesign© Charlemont Sock Yarn

These will be the Ankle Sock variation in the pattern, with just the cuff going into the corrugated ribbing;  one pair cream with grey contrast, the other pair grey with cream contrast ~~ fun!  Trying out a lovely blend of 60%  Fine Merino Superwash – 20% Mulberry Silk, and 20% nylon (not getting brand specific here), 440 yards to 100grams = fine fingering weight.

As both of my nieces are runners now, I believe the ankle sock may just be a stellar running sock, and am happy for them to test these. Two more pairs of socks for Springtime, coming up!

Twists

jenjoycedesign© Twists Mitts

Yesterday and today I made myself one of my most recent designs,

a pair of   Twists Mitts  to match the colorway of my favorite walking shirt…

I thought the result was pretty successful, and I love the yarn (Berocco Ultra Alpaca).  The shirt is an old wool thrift shop find from a few years ago, and I have worn just about every day 7 months out of the year. Anyway, I have been knitting up these mitts recently, trying different yarns and colors. I’m very happy with this simple & very rustic design with cables that almost seem asymmetric and give affect of deep waves which create amazing warmth.

I hope you try knitting yourself a pair to see for yourself how fun these are to make and how amazingly warm they are!

 

 

Thank You ~ 2015

jenjoycedesign©Altitude Mitts Lace (square)

Altitude Mitts “Lace”

jenjoycedesign©Altitude Ridges Mitts (square)

Altitude Mitts “Ridges”

jenjoycedesign©Altitude Twists Mitts !

Altitude Mitts “Twists”

jenjoycedesign©Altitude Lace

Altitude Cowl “Lace”

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Altitude Cowl “Ridges”

jenjoycedesign©Altitude Cowl

Altitude Cowl “Twists”

Tartan & Tweed Tam

Tartan & Tweed Tam

Tartan & Tweed Mitts

Tartan & Tweed Mitts

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Mitts 3

Snowmelt Mitts

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Snowmelt Tam & Toque

jenjoycedesign©Calidez

Calidez

Una Cosettina Mitts

Una Cosettina Mitts

2015 has been by far the busiest year for me in the three years I’ve been designing and redesigning, while learning to write a better pattern in my opinion. I rather impressed myself at how much I can accomplish when I pace myself  24/7, and I’ve laid it all out to see just what I have done this year. However, I must say that I have decided to abort mission with my recent attempt to design a steeked cardigan for Snowmelt, as hinted to in my last post, for my thumb is acting up and feeling rather sore. A soreness left over from my musical gigging days perhaps, but all this knitting huge amounts of fine yarn has certainly not helped. I refuse to admit I have the ‘a’ word, but its worrying me a lot. I’m drinking ginger tea like crazy, determined to manage my sore thumb. Then of course, with the new year comes a clean slate for new designs, which is encouraging. I am looking forward immensely to this coming year in good health and just want to say….

Happy New Year to everyone!

Sweater Success !

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A very bright but chilly November morning, in the usual places we photographed, the ‘four corners’ of Lincoln & Washington Streets in Calistoga. This year, things are quite different all around.
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First of all, what normally would have been the actual time of equinox, the infamous and devastating wildfire of Lake County held things off for two months. But here we are, back to our familiar places. . .

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Other things about this year, as predicted, Miss Twelve is now Miss Thirteen, and has grown so tall that she is now beginning to tower over everybody, including her ‘big sister’, Miss Fifteen (but very soon-to-be-sixteen!).

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Miss Thirteen is now in Middle School, and on the volleyball team (they smashed all the other teams and came in first for the season!) and Miss Fifteen is excelling in cross-country running 3rd year in a row, and about to go to the post-season competitions ~~  and about to get her drivers license too!

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Since all is going well with them, I’ll get back to the business of the sweaters . . .

These two being modeled are samples of Calidez.
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I knit these Autumn Sweaters as I did the prototype, in Cascade 120 superwash ~~ extremely lofty and poofy yarn~~ and these pullovers knit up at lightening speed being bulky-weight yarn, and the instant impression from my nieces was ‘oh they’re soooo soft ‘.  So I recommend this yarn if one wants a ridiculously soft but still pure wool experience.

And then . . . 

after the photo shoot we went on a book-buying spree for Miss Thirteen’s birthday !
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I think this Autumn Sweater design for my nieces is up to par and is deserving of the usual title of  ‘Sweater Success!’   Now, those of you who are new to this blog,  you must see Sweater Successes past, go HERE and be sure to scroll all the way down~~ to 2010!

Sneak Peek

jenjoycedesign©F is for Finnegan

” f  ” is for Finnegan,

and also for ” fall ” .

jenjoycedesign©K is for Kid

. . . and ” e ” is for Eleanor.

but also for ” equinox “.

That’s not the end of it !  I must continue through this kid’s knitting delirium as I work steady towards the imminent pattern… as oh… there must be a pattern!  Yes, so I am casting on for one last, another, a test knit official for this kids’ pullover pattern,  and I hope to get ‘er ready to come out and play by the Autumn Equinox.  But these little pullovers are getting sent off to Jeff’s little g-kids right away, and you’ll have to excuse me for being a little quiet for a while, but I have got a lot of work to do so I can soon be   f-is-for- finished !

Ridges

the Blue Ridge Mountains

What do the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Altitude Ridges have in common?


jenjoycedesign©Ridges Cowl 2

Well, here is my latest little ‘weekend knit’ and second in series of three which will be my “Altitude Cowls”, the original named “Twists”, which is all knit stitches with some occasional twists from cabling, a truly beautiful step-up for a beginner who is encouraged by a little challenge.  (Altitude Cowls created for up & coming Knitting @ Altitude Group.)

and now this one “Ridges”. . .

jenjoycedesign©Ridges Cowl

which is a beautiful affect of a very timeless chevron motif of knit & purl stitches. Two kinds of stitches make a deeply textured waving undulating plush thing, which begs to be knit then wrapped around one’s neck all winter long !

jenjoycedesign©Ridges Cowl 3

Soon to be ready is Altitude #3, and then a photoshoot of my nieces modelling!  It just doesn’t get any better than that 🙂

Altitude Twists: A cowl with very basic cabling using a single knit stitch throughout. That is all. Bulky yarn makes it a real instant gratification project.

 Altitude Ridges:  A timeless chevron texture from two stitches used, knit & purl. Just two, and in worsted-weight yarn.

And now forthcoming. . .

 Altitude in something traditional and most basic lace !

Pattern page for Altitude Twists HERE, and on  Ravelry HERE.

Altitude Cowl

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Miss Fifteen modelling my very recent “Altitude Cowl”

My nieces and I had a double-design photo shoot in St.Helena last week in the scorching heat of a late July morning, for Altitude Cowl and for Calidez.  At ten o’clock the mercury rising up into the 80’s, proves that my nieces are really quite good at the modelling thing after all.

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So Altitude Cowl was designed to be a very easy knit for beginner knitter , for teaching in my Knitting @ Altitude group that is soon-to-be-forming (so excited!). Actually , this one is first in a series of easy cowls, this one being ‘twists’.  The next will add to make the pattern my first official e-book, and it will grow from there to hopefully a handful of easy cowls.

Please see details of the pattern page on this site  HERE , or on Ravelry HERE

It can be worn tossed on over the head, or folded and pinned. It is a very showy deeply textured cowl that is ‘all about the yarn and the twists’ and I hope you try it!

Now please go see Miss Twelve in Calidez

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Forthcoming

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First, a simple pullover, and I made the smallest size in the size run to test, so what-do-ya-know... it actually fits… (but barely) the very tall Miss Twelve!

Second,  with an extra skein & a half which was left over from the pullover, I designed a very simple but very showy cowl,  modeled here by Miss Fifteen . . .

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Both girls donned these bulky puffy warm knitteds in the scorching hot Northern California summer temperature, even already at ten-thirty in the morning in St Helena.  But the photos are spectacular for me to put finishing touches on the two patterns coming up very shortly, just need some combing over. Luckily I don’t have a lot else going on this week so I can get them done & dusted.  Then it will be time to knit my nieces their Autumn Sweaters based on this pattern, so watch this space for forthcoming All Things Pullovers & Cowls.

Snow Melted !

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam & Toque (2)
I finally got to have my long-waited photo shoot with my nieces for my April design Snowmelt.

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam (3)

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam (2)

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Toque

Stunning beauties are my nieces Miss Fifteen & Miss Twelve, and brave, because although the mercury was already rising to near 80F at 10 o’clock in the morning, they donned these wintery outfits with wool. What a great time in St Helena, some shots against the gothic Catholic church, while their mom shopped at the church thrift shop next door.   I’m so lucky to have them to model for me, and I don’t think there is anything I enjoy more than being with them. Oh, maybe add a fresh new design knitted up, the camera, and then a nice lunch out as we did today.

A few more smiles before posting this morning’s photo adventure…

Snowmelt Tam & Toque pattern on Yarnings HERE,

and on Ravelery HERE

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam detail

Snowmelt Gaiters Sneak Preview

Candee Gaiters old poster advert

I found this advertisement when I was researching ‘gaiters’, used once upon a time in a street-smart fashion. Though the word ‘gaiters’ is only mentioned in Candee’s advert, it is the window display of shoes & gaiters which is telling. So commonplace once were gaiters, that the only thing better to improve upon them I guess, was complete rubbers to go over your shoes.

Historically gaiters were used for riding and street-wear, and yet we know them more modernly for alpine trail & snow use. This clever over-shoe accessory has kept ankles warm and shoes dry for centuries. Also known historically as Spatterdashes ( also ‘spats’) made of wool and buttoned up the side, either long knee-length or just above the ankles at the lower calf.  I have a treat for you, I just happen to have handy a real pair of antique gaiters or spats, which I found ages ago in a antiques barn sale, made with sturdy felted wool, complete with their celluloid buttons & fancy buttoning hook. I use to actually be able to wear these, and muddied them a few times. 

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So folks, what does all this have to do with knitting I bet you’re wondering?

Well, I have designed a purely fashionable simple knitted ‘gaiter’, with Snowmelt flower garland motifs, perfectly accommodating of modern womens’ ankles… and so here I present what it is that I’ve been working away on.

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Gaiter

Snowmelt Gaiters are worked in-the-round,  colorwork stranded with spots of duplicate stitch, as is Snowmelt tam & toque, and a spray of smaller 1/2″ hand-made dorset style buttons & icord loops within the edgeing.  I think quite all-around dandy!

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt gaiter, tam & toque

I’m just a few days away from submitting the pattern, and finishing another pair which is longer , higher up the calf,  and in a granite grey background color , more representing of John Muir country after the snow is melted, rather than the snowy natural white.

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Gaiters

Snowmelt Tam & Toque Pattern Arrives!

At last I say goodbye to the snow which is melting at a rapid pace in the mountains of California. At least in the lower places. In the high Sierra, hard iced patches of snow remain through late summer.  Wildflowers in bloom, the most fragile variety, alpine beauty along the John Muir trail, and elsewhere. This design “Snowmelt” is in tribute to my love of the Sierra Mountain Range of my home of California.

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Profiles of three I’ve been immersed in for the month of April, designing first the tam (center), and then a ski hat version of it, first of which was too tall and narrow (to left of center), the second was just right (at right of center)

jenjoycedesign©The Snowmelt profiles!

Two great things came out of my designing Snowmelt. One is that I learned the art of making Dorset Buttons, and came up with my own style for Snowmelt Tam ~ and you can view my button-making tutorial HERE .  Also I learned how to duplicate stitch ~ you’ll find a tutorial for duplicate stitching the flowers for Snowmelt HERE.

Admittedly I have quite fallen in love with this alpine classic theme, and can only be happy to begin casting on more stitches the moment I post this, for more Snowmelt variations… I won’t even skip a beat !

Pattern page on Yarnings  HERE

Pattern page on Ravelry HERE

Tartan & Tweed Tam: The Pattern

jenjoycedesign©Tartan & Tweed Tams

Well folks, the pattern has been submitted,

and I am happy to finally show you the bunch of lovely photographs taken last month at our castle, modeling the design.

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This tam design is a little different, looking a little like a tweed cloth cap but also like a conventional tam.  Personally I think I’ve finally found my best-yet tam shape, and am excited to run with it.

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 Oh, and there are options in yarn weights, and well,

how could I not include a straight-sided toque option?

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I really think this tam is my best yet, and I hope you knit it !

Available for download w/ details on pattern page HERE & on Ravelry HERE

(matching Mitts pattern HERE)

jenjoycedesign©tam&mittens

February Spring

jenjoycedesign©fruit blossomsSpring has spring in winter’s second month. From hard wood emerges the most delicate of things!

And the meadows are bursting with wild mustard flowers…
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Lately even though it’s spring-like here I am in winter mind.

There has emerged a mitten version of Tartan & Tweed Mitts…

jenjoycedesign©tartan & tweed mitten

This  means that there will be still another update made to the pattern while I’m in the throes of pattern redesign. I just never can tell if there is still more to come. Which there was.

Mittens & Fingerless Mitts to be photographed on my lovely nieces this coming weekend, so watch this space !

Tartan & Tweed Redesigned !

jenjoycedesign©Man Tartan & Tweed Mitts  (2)
I am so glad to be finished with this redesign.  And so glad to introduce my new Tartan & Tweed Mitts!  One size adjustable with gauge to fit Men’s Large down to Kid Size. Here they are modeled by Jeff in Men’s Large…

… you can’t easily distinguish the colors, there’s grey, blue, and green. I very intentionally knit with colors of weathered Fraser tartan (um…they are Outlander mitts!), these in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light (sport/DK) which this wool-fearing man seems to be quite okay with.

I’ve been feverishly knitting these mitts in several popular yarns, more Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light with a slightly tighter gauge to fit me, women’s small to medium,  in lovely greys…

I think the different tones of greys best shows the different contrasts in value, without the color distraction. Here is examples of the medium stripe (top), lightest stripe (middle) , and darkest stripe (bottom).

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But then when the colors play in, it’s magic !   These in Malabrigo Arroyo…

Some really interesting variations of chart are now included …

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And remember these?
jenjoycedesign©mini T&T mitts

The ” itty bitty mitties ” are miniature Tartan & Tweeds in sock yarn knit up in tiny US 1 needles, made for Nora last Christmas, who is only three. Oh! I almost forgot to mention, I have condensed the original pattern , that was in Shetland fingering yarns and 4 sizes, and included it at the end of the ‘new’ pattern. So that should be fun, and you should have a full plate of knitting options !
So folks, I’m kicking off this redesign with a promotion….

Edit in February 5 : PROMOTION ENDED.

Yarn Scapes

jenjoycedesign©Rowan Felted TweedI am loving the new year so far, and the varied yarn-scape through which I am setting out to wander indulgently. Rowan greets me on this sunny January day, a nice tall stack of Felted Tweed, just look how substantial and tasteful the three tweedy colors look ! I just can’t wait to begin throwing stitches. Yarn tasting of the classic (though often spendy) yarn  is one of my New Year resolutions by the way, this is my first purchase of Rowan yarns, and I want to well-familiarize myself with their yarns in 2015.  Add Isager as one of the LYS lines, and a few local boutique yarns.

And only just days ago I had undertaken a very fastidious project, a rather inventive rendition of Una Cosettina Mitts.  With a photographic opportunity ahead (tomorrow) I hurried through the knitting and finished in two days,  involving these two yarns ; Isager Alpaca-Merino 2, and Shibui Silk Cloud…

003held together to make these . . .

alpaca & silk & wool mitts for Natalie

I am quite pleased with them, and so will Miss Fifteen I am certain.

((  Warning: Half mitts made of dangerously fuzzy & soft yarns,

one could trip & injure themselves from the distraction of wearing them. ))

Tomorrow morning, my nieces and I have a little photo shoot for their knitted holiday bounty,

so watch this space!

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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And Molly models wintery white with powder blues of Chalten Beret ..
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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.

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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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 Hillariously . . . then  Molly began to slide off  . . .

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 Maya in the original Dicey Bonnet, a distracted Emma, Molly in Chalten, & Rosanna in Penny Candy Hat.

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 There was a few moments of a brilliant sunbeam ….

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Rosanna balanced gracefully against a fallen tree . . .

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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 but I have to choose just some of them, though I just about died to discover how fuzzy the photos were in the low light of the forest. It seems I still have to learn how to use the camera’s settings for different lighting ~~ a New Year resolution!

148Thank you Molly, Maya & Rosanna, for wonderful knitwear photoshoot on the knitting trail! xx

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Maya in Penny Candy Hat