I have finished second fingerless mitts design in series of three ~~ the Altitude Lace Mitts, which make a lovely set with Altitdue Lace Cowl ! (Going to make this post short & sweet and get on with last mitts of the series.)
” f ” is for Finnegan,
and also for ” fall ” .
. . . 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 !
What do the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Altitude Ridges have in common?
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”. . .
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 !
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 !
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.
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.
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…
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 . . .
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.
I finally got to have my long-waited photo shoot with my nieces for my April design Snowmelt.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
Oh, and there are options in yarn weights, and well,
how could I not include a straight-sided toque option?
I really think this tam is my best yet, and I hope you knit it !
(matching Mitts pattern HERE)
Lately even though it’s spring-like here I am in winter mind.
There has emerged a mitten version of Tartan & Tweed Mitts…
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 !
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).
But then when the colors play in, it’s magic ! These in Malabrigo Arroyo…
Some really interesting variations of chart are now included …
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.
That is, part of a castle, more the entrance of the castle. A gothic brick & stone building at the gate of the Castello di Amorosa.
Which was actually quite perfect, for nobody was about and we could just be creative with the knitwear. . .
We did actually drive up to the castle, but there were hundreds of people swarming about, and that was less than ideal for photographing. But we did get a shot of Miss Fifteen standing through the sky window of my car, with the castle in the background …
It was a GREAT discovering this new favorite photo place, all three of us were very taken by the gothic feel of iron & brick & stone & arched windows, and all agreed it should be the new design image for us. Modelled in photos are holiday & birthday presents from me; a pair of Una Cosettina mitts and accompanying infinity scarves “Una Cosettina Sciarpa Infinita” which is all upcoming… we just had to give ‘er a test run here at the castle today !
Here are a few more of the shots…
I 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…
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!
Hats on !
Before 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.
Maya is wearing Vineyard Rows Tam.
There was a few moments of a brilliant sunbeam, and Molly models
wintery white with powder blues of
Rosanna in the recent infinity scarf I’ve been designing and making lots of lately…
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 “
Then we found a fabulously mossy tree log on a very steep slope . . .
and a Dicey Highland Hat
Rosanna in the Vineyard Rows Tam and Molly in the Vineyard Rows Toque .
(Toque not yet written into a pattern, but soon!)
Then hilariously Molly began to slide off of the wet moss . . .
… 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.
Another Dicey Highland Hat . . .
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 (although fuzzy in low light of the forest) … of the Bohemian Raven Goths!
Thank you Molly, Maya & Rosanna, for wonderful knitwear photoshoot on the knitting trail! xx
There are three yarns held together for this blue cowl, yarns from this post here.
I also am reworking these…
Tartan & Tweed Mitts which I am busy making several different ones so that in the new year I will be updating the pattern to include more weights of yarn and size ranges. These are made from some Cascade Sport Superwash which was gift yarn from Carol (hello & thank you Carol… xx 🙂 )
Oh , the joys of hand-made gifts. I can never get over it… the high I feel when I am finished with yet another. The pile is growing quite a bit, and thankfully I still have 12 days to make. Everyone, how are you doing with your hand-made gifts?
Here is a first ! My first cowl ever knit, and I’m rather sure it’s actually a design in-process. I’ve held three strands of murky shades of Malabrigo Sock yarn together and knit them using US 11 – 8mm needles to make this cowl , um, kitchener grafted at the two ends which disguised itself rather nicely I might say. It is a very simple lace repeat design , though difficult to see, yarn is plush & thick with two lace pattern repeats. The colors’ variegations play with each other nicely making a very subtle earthy overall, but with specks of clearer colors jump out …
and oh , I didn’t use circulars for it, but my mother’s retro blue anodized aluminum straights and let me tell you, it was nice to hike along knitting with straight needles for a change.
Another knitted gift done & dusted !
For some time I’ve been wanting to put together this third straight-sided shape to add to the bonnet & beret shapes of my Dicey Highland Hats pattern ~~ I’m calling it the “Dicey Highland Cap”. Now have it done & dusted, and pattern is updated to include it ! All that is needed is a bit of fun with my nieces and a photo shoot for all three shapes, when they come this weekend to visit.
Speaking of Highlands, here, the California Highlands is having a lovely slow turning of Autumn, alternately misty & cool and bouncing back up to clear warm days. Now we expect some rain and it will glue down all the lovely maple & oak leaves which have fluttered to the ground. I’m looking forward to some lashing blustering rain!!! For now we’re still out walking every day, at least once !
Was just out on the trail knit-walking and overlooking this …
my Penny Candy Winter !
My nieces, their mom, and I met at the Calistoga Roastery as we usually do for these occasions, and then the girls and I skipped on over to the wall outside of Brannon’s for just a few some up-to-date shots.
My nieces and I were full of giggles this morning, and the sun was bright, and the November air cool. Perfect conditions for Autumn photo shoot.
Look at the photo closely below, you’ll see Miss Fourteen’s shadow on the wall next to Miss Twelve.. a mysteriously goofy shot as we were trying really hard to be seriously artful, and in the end it was just quite hilarious. I love those unpredictable photos which tumble into the camera lens by accident.
You can find this pattern available on Yarnings right HERE,
or on Ravelry over HERE.
I haven’t even shown you the photos from Miss Twelve’s birthday yet, modelling Penny Candy Hat along with her sweater over HERE ! But that was before the sweaters were reworked (compare these photos with those from a month ago back on this post , when after posting I decided the yokes were a little too long, by about 2 inches.
Continue on and enjoy the rest of the photos in a slideshow …
Well folks, my smug happiness at being done ahead of the equinox for these sweaters did not last long. In the post two weeks ago of my nieces modelling in Calistoga their new sweaters clearly shows how way off I was on the mark. I thought they were just accidentally ‘big’ and ‘tunic length’. What I did not know, and what I know very well now, is that one doesn’t arbitrarily decide to knit so many decrease rounds because it ‘looks good’… no, I’ve learned the hard way (as usual) that these things are mathematical considerations, not entirely artistic. Yoke shaping is math. This is the difficult fact I’ve had to learn, and have been working with sharpened pencil , calculator and reams of paper in the last week, after it came to me a little over a week ago, in the early morning hours before waking, just why those sweaters were hanging on my nieces. I had to ask for the sweaters back, meet their mom Patricia in St. Helena yesterday, and there is no more hiding my head in the sand. I’ve ripped back now, and am going to make it right.
So, I have redesigned a theoretic yoke , and now I am going to test knit my redesign of last two weeks by knitting the yokes of the Autumn sweaters over again from the sleeve join. Fingers crossed, wish me luck.
I’ve been quite busy with these sweaters since July.
This Autumn I have designed a Winter version of last Spring’s design, because to my amazement it was so well received, I just couldn’t resist making another Penny Candy design for cold weather. It has some unique features that are different from the tee, but I won’t go into the details until the pattern comes out.
These are two longer ‘tunic’ examples of Penny Candy Winter.
One thing I’m a little embarrassed about is that it seems that Miss Fourteen has ‘shrunk’ a little in the last year, from training so much with her school’s cross-country & track team, and I somehow anticipated her needing more room for a winter pullover, so I apparently made it a bit on the ‘too’ big side.
While Miss Eleven has grown even more since I last saw her last August, and wearing her pullover with not much room to grow into. She’s grown inches and inches this year, and doesn’t seem to be stopping, and already passing me up in height !
We flounced around Calistoga in the late morning, seeking out our usual spots, hoping for shade, but missing it for the most part. The ‘four corners’ on Lincoln & Washington streets, then the mural of Old Town Calistoga. One thing, it was incredibly HOT while taking these photos, in case you can’t imagine, it was probably in the 80’s easy at 11:30, when we finished.
Miss Eleven is modelling the Penny Candy Winter in it’s signature stripes & lace in four colors, whiles Miss Fourteen models the basic solids version. I’ve been working on the pattern like an ox through all the summer it seems, and I am very close to finishing, so I thought it a good thing to show you the photos from this morning.
You can see the rest of this morning’s note-worthy photos in the slideshow …
Click image below to see all Sweater Successes past .
I’m ecstatic for two reasons. For one, the Autumnal Equinox has turned, and two, both sweaters I set out to design & knit by the equinox are done & dusted! I did have to reknit an awful lot too. This is all you get to see of them for now, but we have the date set with my nieces to give them these and they will model them and we will have a boatload of fun with a photo shoot in Calistoga, and then you’ll get to see photos galore of them. Then sometime in October I will buckle down get the pattern done & dusted too. But for now, just a happy chirpy sort of pleased-with-myself post on the first day of Autumn.
Autumn Sweater Sneak Preview
One down, the most colorful for youngest Niece of Eleven, which is now finished. I basically knit this critter twice! This Autumn’s sweaters will be a relative of Penny Candy Tee. It is in worsted-weight yarn and construction is altogether different enough to warrant a whole different design . Backstory: I knit this one up to the underarms somewhere in the first week of August, thinking I was ahead of the game, to have two Autumn sweaters designed and knit for the traditional Autumnal Equinox sweater photo shoot. Way ahead. Um… small detail… youngest niece grew like a rampant ninja weed all spring & summer, and when they came for a mid-summer visit a few weeks back, I slipped it over her to try on and to my horror it was already way too fitted, with not much room for this Slipover to be slipped over anything.
I just couldn’t carry on with it, so ripped that out, knit over to underarms. Knit one sleeve half-way, but didn’t like the cuff and knit over, and finished two sleeves finally. Joined at the yoke and was going to go entirely circular, knit all the way up to the lace yoke section, decided it was going to be floppy as heck, ripped back to armholes. Decided to do raglan , and a wide decreasing lace neckline, but it was too wide and lacy (therefore see-thru), and also discovered where I missed a decrease on one corner down near the armhole… ripped out the whole yoke back to the mistake, and reknit the raglan decreases, though higher. Finally, the lace neckline! Okay, so too wide, ripped ripped back and knit over narrower, i-cord cast-off too loose, ripped back did over again. There you have it. I knit it twice I figured. I can’t believe I went and showed off one without the other, so uncharacteristic of me, as the two sweaters always make an appearance togethr. However, I just felt like I needed to cheer up Yarnings a bit, and feel some sort of reward in Show & Tell, as I am just in the middle of such a knitting grind.
The good news is that I practically wrote the pattern with that one, so IF & WHEN I ever get around to writing the official pattern, it won’t be such a bear. I am honestly hoping I can get it together by November, but Christmas knitting kind of gets in the way too… so I’ll try my best. Oh, and Eldest Niece of Fourteen’s will only be in two colors , subtle wintery colors, and will rattle off like quick. It will be nothing short of a miracle if I get these done by the Autumnal Equinox, but I am going for it!
when you asked me what is the paradigmatic mountain of Patagonia, I did not hesitate in giving you the answer: Chaltén, the blue smoking mountain. In the last trench of the Andes range, Chaltén raises like a magnificent tower transmitting majesty and ferociousness. It is the main summit of a range that has the shape of a croissant opening onto the East.
The mountain, also called Fitz Roy in memory of the British sailor that explored the Patagonian coast with Darwin, is one of the most challenging peaks in the world, with vertical slippery slabs constantly hit by the icy winds of the South Pacific Ocean. These winds bring about the rare aeolic phenomenon that makes its top always appear as it was surrounded by clouds, which give the mountain the smoking volcano look its name is derived from.
In the rare occasions of good weather, its massive granite structure turns rose hue at sunrise. During the day, if it is not hidden behind the clouds, its image reflects on the Lagoon of the Three. By nightfall, the clouds usually thin out and wisp around its peak.
Mount Chaltén is certainly one of the most emblematic places of Patagonia, for its magesty and its wilderness.
* * *
Since before the recent June Solstice (that’s winter solstice in Argentina) I’ve been working on designing a beret that I now present, and that I’m naming ” Chaltén “. As my dear and wonderful Argentine friend, professor, and naturalist Alejandro has taught me so many things about Patagonia, from the spectacular Andes Mountains to the wildlife & botany of the place, to the history of the Welsh settlements in Chubut. ( I mustn’t forget that I’ve also learned much about the making & drinking of Yerbe Mate , having many different kinds in my cupboard, sent to me by Alejandro. ) It was in fact , a daunting etherial image of Chaltén which being etched in my mind from a dream, which was the force of curiosity to bring us to meet (on an internet pen-pal site, nearly four years ago, as I wanted to meet a Patagonian to write to).
Thank you Alejandro ~~ this Chaltén Beret is dedicated to our many letters over the years, our story we are writing, your kindness, and all that you have taught me ! And thank you , thank you for the letter about Chaltén which I so wanted to have in this debut post. xx Jen
* * *
Here is the pattern prototype, knit with Jamiesons Spindrift , and embellished with dos chuflines (two tassels) . . .
Chaltén’s snowy white teeth seem to leap toward the sky, shrouded by mist and blueish atmosphere ~~ here is my knitted interpretation of Chaltén in a colorwork beret. Colorwork motifs inspired by “Guarda Pampa” patterns, symbols of Patagonia, profiles of peaks of the Andes Range and reflections of them in the mountain lakes. The Argentine gauchos (shepherds & cattlemen) adopted some elements of the Mapuche design and incorporated them in their Ponchos and other fabric pieces, reinforcing regional identities of the provincial groups of Gauchos, almost along the lines of Tartans in Scotland.
And a second, the first prototype, knit in Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply I had in my stash … embellished with a single chuflín (tassel)
Chaltén beret features a unique two-inch-wide shaped colorwork faced band, comprising of two mirrored shaped stockinette layers, a crown of concentric decreases and second colorwork motif just above the rim. Finished with Andean Folk style tassels known colloquially by Patagonians as chuflines ( much of yesterday was spent photographing for a tutorial on making these , which will debut with the pattern , a ‘chuflín-making’ tutorial on my Tips From The Table tutorial page.) And here is my own very sketchy hand-drawn schematic . Measurement A is diameter, measures 10-10.5 inches laying flat. B is depth, measures 8 – 8.5 inches when folded into quarters. C is circumference of band, measures 20 inches.
Chau ! In the near future I will be augmenting “Chaltén Beret” with a straight-sided ski hat version, the “Chaltén Skier” … it will be so re-loco … I am looking forward to designing it ! (( Note: All who purchase the pattern will recieve updates when the ski hat is augmented into the pattern. )) I have decided to make the debut of Chaltén Beret in two installments, this first being more informative and about the inspiration behind the design, and the second, featuring my nieces modelling (which I’m going to do this afternoon !) .. and also presenting the pattern. So watch this space, Chaltén Beret pattern arrives this week!
Edit in next day: Introducing the pattern & photo shoot presentation of this design, you must see ! 🙂
I’ve been busy as a bee working away on my designs, coming up with new ones and further test-knitting my existing ones. Add now tutorials. I have gotten to the point in the whole knitting Thing where I really don’t have time or energy to put into anything which is not my own design. I really can’t regret this , because whether or not I endeavor to write the design into a pattern, I’ve just come to face the fact that I have to make up for lost time. I’ve embraced Indie Design, and am committed to wear ‘all of the hats’ in the job, and I’m ready for a lot of hard work ahead. The more I tell myself this the more I want to work like an ox towards succeeding. However, the elusive truth often escapes me, and that is ” Its only knitting. ” A quote of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s used by over-zealous knitters everywhere. Although it is ‘only knitting’ , I am practically ‘only knitting’. I have little chalkboards I’ve made which I’ve placed in prominent places of my work space , with lists or sage messages to give me perspective, and I use them to keep my focus clear wherever I turn. Today’s brilliant message . . .
I’ve been busy making some shaping improvements to my Dicey Highlands Bonnet design. Here knit with Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift 2ply wool yarn, with my new favorite diced band style using three colors. I think this particular one is more a man’s cap, and there is a particular Scottish fellow who may just have his name on it come Christmas. About the design elements. I’ve come to the opinion that it should be blocked flat , with the diced band brim eased into flatness as well , instead of blocking it with faced-band standing up . . .
strong & good mannered too . . .
I am smitten already with this handsome creature . . .
My Dicey pattern is already a year old, and now I am only just now studying it’s many facets while trying out all kinds of yarns and test-knitting, for I honestly feel that the design is so deserving of every attention. This pattern will be having extensive test-knit samples knit up by myself and some friends, and is undergoing an update soon.
* * *
Details on Ravelry HERE
My latest design, another Vineyard Rows accessory . . .
the Vineyard Rows Toque,
which I made allusion to in my previous post All This Talk About Toque.
This design may actually lead to mittens & gloves, pullover & cardigan eventually, but I can’t make any promises yet. I am working with a new yarn which is far easier to find This Side Of The Pond than the Jamiesons’ Spindrift Shetla:nd yarn.
Vineyard Rows Toque is designed with 100% Peruvian Highlands Wool :
Cascade 220 fingering, in Jet, Charcoal, Silver & Natural.
Back-story : Early last Autumn I was sad witness to destruction of a very old vineyard very close by, which was a rich and important part of our lives here on the mountain, and where Emma and I walked nearly every day. When I made this post Seasonal , I was so shaken seeing the old vines ripped right out of the soil, roots and all, and heaped in massive piles on top of plowed soil , never again to be pruned or picked. All the familiar faces of the friendly workers to whom I’d often wave ‘Hola!’ vanished, as there were no vines to be tended.
So I launched into my tribute to those vines, in my Vineyard Rows Collection. There will be many designs in this collection I can only hope , the first being Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet in Jamieson’s Spindrift Shetland wool, and now there is Vineyard Rows Toque.
The next time you see this toque it will be the pattern debut, and I will have embroidered grapes in wine tones hanging from the grape vines, just as the Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet has. But this is the unadorned version.
In the mean time you can peruse more posts about vineyards HERE.
I had been knitting these for a couple of weeks and rewriting now for two long days ~~~ finished !!!
The socks have been redesigned due to the fact that I wanted them to match the very recent
… how sweet, a tee & sock Spring Duo !
Its all over on the Penny Candy Sock Pattern Page . . .
and way more details than you need to know, over on Ravelry HERE
The skies were perfect blue & sunny, and we had a terrific time for photographing Spring Tees 2014 ! This year, the design Penny Candy Tee has made it all the way to a published design, and I managed to get it all up and available in time to post the pattern ~~ right over HERE. What a crescendo, happy beautiful faces, and stellar lighting, with charm that just blew my socks off. I couldn’t believe my eyes, how much these girls have learned in the skills of modelling knitwear for their auntie. I am even getting a little teary just thinking about it. But on with the show !
The first always to be photographed is the mint green bank building of Old Town Calistoga . . Then we cross Lincoln and shoot against the terra cotta wall outside of Brannon’s Restaurant for our usual series of slightly goofy shots . . . .
Then we go to the corner outside of Hydro Grill.
People were having breakfast inside
watching us through the window seemed intrigued at what was going on just outside…
Last year’s addition , the ‘tree hugging’ shot outside of All Seasons Bistro,
now completes Four Corners, at the intersection of Washington & Lincoln Streets.
Then we make our way to the big mural of Old Town Calistoga ! The same poses are great because one can really see how the girls have grown in the years that I’ve been knitting for them (and blogging about it).
However, as this post is also a pattern debut, I must say, some lovely detail photos were taken.
Just look how lovely the neckline , with the scalloped neckline & mitered corners looks in these details . . .
And just how the bottom icord edge with scalloped lace pattern works . . .
The neck is just low enough in both the front and back. . .
Friends & Knitters, you can find the pattern over on it’s own page Penny Candy Tee Pattern page , here on Yarnings. or on Ravelry HERE Plenty to peruse, but, before you click off this page, the best is waiting next in this little slideshow !!!
Thank you girls, you’re the one’s who made me into the knitter I am, and if it weren’t for you, there’d be no Yarnings. Here on this bench outside of Calistoga Roastery, we closed for the day, and I want you to see the first photo taken of them, on this same bench wearing the first cardigans I knit for them!
All posts of the Penny Candy Tee in progress HERE
Edit In : I have rounded up most of the photos of my nieces here in Yarnings over the last four years. From present retrospect back to the first sweaters I knit for them in March 2010 . Simply click : Sweater Success !
I have been observing, watching, studying the migration behavior of modern knitting. Lately, I have been ecstatic to spot a new trend of the hand-drawn illustrations in a few popular indie designers’ patterns. I usually don’t link to others’ blogs, but I really would like to bring forth one of my favorite indie designers’ recent post about illustrating knitting, and how this particular post really helps ‘open the door’ for a new trend in my thinking.
I am only too happy to see a renaissance in the hand-drawn illustrations. Mother of Modern Knitting Elizabeth Zimmerman who published many books, and well before the age of digital and knitting programs, drew the most unassuming, endearing, and unsophisticated sketches for her tutorial illustrations and schematic diagrams.
If EZ’s endorsement of hand-drawn is my reference point of A , and the popular indie designers whom I admire who’s more refined artwork of the hand-drawn schematics as a point B, then I most surely have room to discover how my own drawing ability can develop in my own pattern writing. Grass Roots is making a come-back. About time !
I’ll make this short and sweet, and just show you something I put together in a few minutes yesterday. It has the unpolished & rustic affect I long for , using pen & pencil out of the pencil jar next to the phone ~~~ the whole point of it is to *not* look too symmetric.
(Ofcourse, text for the references” A, B, & C ” will be included in the actual pattern) It is a simple and purposefully ‘sketchy’ illustrated schematic of my Penny Candy Tee, which the pattern will in fact , be finished soon, after photos taken of my nieces modelling in Calistoga. Having for a time decided to be among the ranks of indie designers who go at it the old-fashioned way, I am so happy to have found my feet now, and to enjoy this renaissance of the hand-drawn illustrations, now I feel I can really run with it!!!
Well friends, I’ve finished up Tee One, which is also the prototype for Penny Candy Tee, and here she is slung over a chair back , just to show off how well the fabric drapes. This flavor ” Licorice Vanilla ” is for Niece Who Is Fourteen . . . sultry greys and creams, and a classic ensemble of colors suits her perfectly. Perfectly!
The pattern is already well on it’s way but I am being childishly impatient not to wait until it is ready before I show it off.
The fact that this design has moderate waist shaping is indeed a milestone for me!
Also, I figured out a clever way to work short-rows at the back of the neck, and miter the centered lacework too, though admittedly, a bit of improvisation is necessary.
I think the winning feature of this design, is that the scalloped bottom edge of the lace motif is so sturdy & stubborn and the fabric of the stockinette (sock yarn on big needles) is so lightweight & sheer … that the stripes completely yield to the lace’s personality!
Best of all , the steep raglan shaping is well-complimented by the stripes . . .
This lightweight springtime knit folds up into practically nothing. . .
I am going to go be busier than a beehive and finish Tee Two. Stash yarns in a mix of different yarn brands will do nicely… orange, peach, and rusty red are fav colors of Niece Who Is Eleven ! I’ve got the Calistoga photo session with my nieces already marked on the calendar for two weeks from today, so there’s no letting up until then. I will probably do some lovely still photos and show off Tee Two coming up soon as I race the clock, so watch this space!
Una Cosettina, or ‘ A Little Something’ is the name of these half-mitts, designed especially for Oropa 1ply yarn, which is made with wool from sheep which have roamed the foothills of Alps of Northern Italy for perhaps a thousand years. Who knows for sure? But, there is an age-old mill in Biella which uses much the same processing methods as of long ago , and which make the wool from these Old-World sheep into yarn. Oropa 1ply is a rustic heritage yarn as rugged as the mountain terrain it comes from. Truly Oropa yarn is nothing less than a timeless treasure.
((Lots of information about The Wool Box at bottom of page))
We have a pattern friends !!!
The design incorporates my own edging which I will simply call my ‘eyelet edging’, a cast-on and bind-off’ , having elements of i-cord, rib, and lace all in one.
Shown in Pearl Grey & Natural Oropa 1ply, sturdy & feminine, these half-mitts will keep your hands toasty warm, while letting the spring breezes through from it’s open lace-work. A feminine take on riding gloves of olden days perhaps, slightly bell-shaped , stylish, and ready to make a spectacular conversation piece when people ask about them.
The photos show both sizes, and two slightly different cast-on eyelet edgings at the beginning of cuff, the end result in pattern, is slightly again different, combining both. (it was just a matter of changing one round of rib, into knit stitch).
In the weeks ahead this very same pattern is undergoing translation into Italian, and it will then become available to purchase in kit form with the very same Oropa 1ply yarn as you see in photo. As soon as I have any information to the kit being ready, I will post in celebration of a job well done collaboratively , having a sense of place from both Northern California, and Northern Italy.
Meanwhile I will have this pattern for sale along with my other designs, which you will find on Yarnings over it’s pattern page HERE
and on Ravelry HERE
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Thank you Bonnie, for asking me if I would like to design una cosettina (a little something) for The Wool Box, because I most certainly and thoroughly enjoyed it ! May only ever the warm & soft breezes of spring blow through your lace ~~ Ciao.
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Now, for a little more information about The Wool Box !
You may read a little bit about Some info on The Wool Box and then check out the English translated websites that Volunteer English-speaking Ambassador to The Wool Box , Bonnie, as created on Ravelry HERE and on Facebook HERE.
You can read more about “The New History of Italian Wool” from Bonnie’s blog called “Wool In Italy” . . . on her post HERE .
If you would like to contact The Wool Box directly (in Italy), below are links Bonnie has provided me:
My first pattern submission was a year ago today, on Robert Burns Day, and what a day to remember ! It was quite a frantic and generally surreal day where , as I remember it, I had no clue at the beginning of the day that I would submit a pattern, and with much help from my near & dear friends, I just bit the bullet and did it! Since then, I’ve had a pretty busy year immersing myself in learning more about knitting, how to communicate ideas & design through writing, and submit a knitting pattern. I am still learning. I must say, I’ve enjoyed the socks off of myself! Here’s a little ensemble of EVERYBODY’s finished projects of my designs to date (including my own), in my exciting first year of designing. Take note : I will be now editing and updating most of my earlier patterns, so look out in the coming weeks for the updates. Also, apologies for the other day when preparing this post, instead of clicking ‘save draft’ I clicked ‘publish’ and sent out notifications for a post not up yet… uhg…goof!) Lastly, if you have a finished project of one of my patterns, and it’s not here, please let me know , and I’ll insert it ~ Thank you everyone who has been with me on this journey (you know who you are xx!)
The ‘boot leg’ photo will have to be another time. In fact, these leg warmers are named “Double Cappuccino” because whenever we have our Equinox sweater photos, they always, without fail, begin at Calistoga Roastery. That, and they really do remind me of a whip-topped yummy drink. Until the next time at the roastery , I was lucky to squeeze in this little photo shoot before our visit was up and my nieces had to leave back home.
Double Cappuccino Leg Warmers have a frothed milk quality with an ever-so-slightly asymmetrical lace pattern in ribbing, and is such a speedy and uncomplicated knit. ((proof : I made these while hiking)) Knit with sport-weight natural undyed superwash sock yarn, achieving just the right light airy quality from knitting on US 4 – 3.50 mm needles. Tasty !
My niece in her infinite good taste, chose to adorn the upper rib with cute little buttons . . .
Which makes these warm to the eyes as well as to the touch !
Calistoga Coffee Roastery is the first stop with all of our modeling of Equinox Sweaters, so it will be the first design (and kick-off) of my ~~ Calistoga Collection !
Double Cappuccino pattern on Ravelry HERE
Pattern page for Double Cappuccino on Yarnings HERE
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Now, I can’t leave it at that , because *both* of my lovely nieces participated in our little impromptu knit-wear photo shoot of this morning. Here is my adorable eleven-year-old niece in the “Ruffles” scarf I made her for Christmas.
or double wrapped and tied for a very pretty affect.
Is she not the most photogenic kid ever?
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Ruffles details on Ravelry HERE
Free How-To instructions for Ruffles Scarf HERE.
Red sky at night; shepherds delight !
This photo was taken from the same spot as the photo in previous post ‘blue dawn’. In one day, the sky went from an awe-inspiring blue dawn to a rather surreal orange-red & blue sunset, making it quite a lucky day with the camera ! Usually I’m not so lucky. These clouds were like fresh blended fluffy bats of wool just off of the carder, hanging there for a long time into twilight. So, what about a blue dawn and an orange-red dusk? I am finding that the very thing I’m knitting is expressed so well by an Autumn sky photographed a few days ago…
Though the red is definitely subdued in the photo, it is at least suggestive of a ‘red sky at night ‘, knitted in Malabrigo sock yarn which I bought at my local yarn shop Yarns On First while browsing their beautiful yarns recently, in colors ” Botticelli Red ” and ” Impressionist Sky ” . Wouldn’t you say the sky in above photo is perfect model for an impressionist painting?
What pattern you see here actually, is Pretty Little Things gloves in the works, yes, sisters of Pretty Little Things (PLT) socks . These little charmers are taking their sweet time, and I’m giving them all the time they need, though I did want to show you what I’m working on at least. Happy, fun, and challenging are gloves !
Walking along the old mountain vineyards close by, I found inspiration for a design which I have named “Vineyard Rows”. A California Highlands Bonnet if there is to be one ! I chose four natural shades of Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift yarn, because I happen to love this black & white photo of the historic vineyard landscape I took a year ago. Near the highest vineyard knoll on the mountain perhaps, rows against an Autumn sky, leaves blowing off of the vines as a storm was brewing… it was a walk to remember ! So I came up with this . . .
Vines of grape leaves wind about the wheel, in borders and peeries, along with interruptions of bold checked dicing. To me this tam brings together California Wine Country with Scottish Highlands. Embroidered grape clusters adorn the rambling vines with French knots in wine tones, creating a spectacular and colorful needlework finish I think!
And on *moi*… straight up !
I really went wild with the notion of the toorie and decided that a tam must have accessory options ! Why not an accessory for the accessory ~~ why not tie one on for the mood you’re in ? Basic black, wine red, & marled toories !!!
But before I embroidered the grape clusters into the vines,
I took the hat Au Natural out into the woods…
Against the moss . . .
And lastly, against a blush of colorful Autumn leaves, showing how the tam’s outer most rim is traditionally useful in shading from the sun.
Well there you have it, my latest design of a tam named “Vineyard Rows”. I have created this tam for all the lovely walks I’ve enjoyed in the beautiful aesthetic of these old vines ~~ this tam is in tribute to them.
And folks …
Vineyard Rows pattern may be found here .
((as well as details on Ravelry here ))