Highway 29 & Pattern !

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My latest design “Highway 29” is named after the  main road running through Napa Valley from Napa to Calistoga. This old highway is dotted with wineries and famous restaurants enough to make you dizzy, plus some added hot-spots where we locals trek to frequently, beginning in the north end of the town of Napa getting sweet around Yountville, then Oakville, Rutherford, St Helena, and continuing clear on up to Calistoga.  As a local, coming down off the mountain from Oakville Grade when I am going upvalley, I often stop at the very unique Oakville Grocery , founded in 1881, just an old rural ‘backroads’ grocers of a bygone era,  is now a highly trafficked stop-off for locals & tourists alike, with an exceptional coffee bar & deli for drinks, gifts & goodies-to-go.  Until recently it doubled as the local post office, now it offers…. um…. wine tasting

I believe my nieces and I were talking about Oakville Grocery & Post being the inspiration of forthcoming Autumn design, and second in the Napa Valley Collection.

After Oakville you pass a bunch of wineries, and then of course, St Helena where I often knit-in-public or meet friends at  Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, as its the coffee shops I seem to be most familiar with, loving to knit and visit with friends.  After that it’s a stretch of countryside to Calistoga with places such as Bale Grist Mill, founded in 1846…

a working renovated grain mill which is popular for historic reenactment parties and has old-time live music often (one of the bands is my brother & sister-in-law, my nieces dad & mom) , offers tours & grinds corn to sell. It is in front of the entrance to the Bale Grist Mill where these photos were taken for Highway Halter, on the old wooden fence,

The favorite photo spot in recent couple of years for my nieces is Castello Di Amorosa, a medieval Tuscan castle transplanted stone-by-stone in recent decades…

Ah, but it is  here at ‘ The Castle ‘ where you’ll recognize the stone from merely the carriage house where we actually have many of our photo shoots…

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Right off of Hwy 29, this carriage house is at the entrance to the castle gate, erected more recently I think to use some left over stone & brick perhaps, and it houses the ground-keepers tools & provides a place for the chauffeurs to park, and I think some offices devoted to castle business. Here some shots from this spot…

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Passing more breathtaking scenery, one finally lands in Calistoga as if by accident.

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This is the town from which you may recognize many backdrops to my nieces & my photo shoots.  For example, the left on above photo is Brannans Restaurant,  and right across Lincoln Street is the mint-green bank building we have included many times…

But there are many photo memories of Calistoga and not enough room to post. Anyway, enough of all  of this Highway 29 – turned to- Memory Lane,  and all the treasures found along the way… and now it is time for Highway 29 Halter which I’ve just written a pattern for, and which my nieces do real justice to !     In previous post I talk about the significance of naming the latest design “Highway 29” ,   which really is a possibility to start a collection…. I mean, if I’m going to really go through with it… anyway, my nieces  seem to think we should.  If not the name-sake for the design will stand on its own. We will just have to see what comes.

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You can find the pattern for this design on Ravelry HERE .

… or click the Hwy 29 road sign to arrive at the pattern page.

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California Highway 29 road sign in Napa Valley

Summer Stripes

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Striped lace cowls in cool blues and warm pinks, knit in a lovely summery linen blend yarn that is draping and soft. I am very happy they’re finished, and just in time for them to go to my Canadian nieces for their birthdays …

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I love this pattern, a traditional lace motif called ‘feather & fan’  which is so easy it can be knit in my sleep. But these are the first striped versions of the pattern I’ve tried, and will try one more in stripes, with yarn mentioned on this post,  before the summer is over.

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As I dared myself to not make a peep until I finished these two, now there may be some chattiness!  On my knitting needles, I have still some promised summer knitting for my two beautiful California nieces (whom all of you are familiar with ~ presently Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen ), and then its looking into a stretch of who-knows-what-may-come for a quiet spell of imminent lazy & hot summer weeks.

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Pattern: my own Altitude Lace Cowl

Yarn: Classic Elite Firefly (posted previously)

Blue stripes project details on Ravelry  HERE,     and pink stripes project details HERE.

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Sweater Success !

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Spring sweater success!

We decided to photograph not in the town of Calistoga this time, but again at the castle.
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Late morning brought very bright sun and was very warm after weeks of cool rainy days.
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Oh, and great news is that my knitted tees seem to fit my nieces with absolute perfection!
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030.JPGThis year’s Spring Tee was not a new design, but a fun redesign for ‘four seasons of necklines’  option for my Calidez pullover pattern. Both made in size 32 with short sleeve  option, alternate style of yoke decrease, 2×2 rib, and knit with worsted-weight ( Malabrigo Rios) , using the gauge substitution chart included in the pattern.  I must say, I rather impressed myself once I saw the short-row low swooping necks become three dimensional!

Miss Thirteen has gained inches in height still again,  and now there’s no denying she is taller than Miss Sixteen.
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All in all, a perfect day for ‘capturing of photographical images’ with some really nice knitwear, made with custom favorite colors for my two wonderful nieces…

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Time goes swiftly,  and I’ll enjoy a short rest before coming up with plans for the next equinox sweater~~ but folks, this is just as good as it gets!
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To see all equinox sweaters over the last six years, click  HERE

Project details on Ravelry  HERE  and  HERE

 

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!

Tweedy

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What do I have here? Something very tweedy for Autumn! A set of my Tartan & Tweed  Tam & Mitts for an Autumn birthday gift, and a pretty nice ensemble of Autumney finds of local acorns and fir cones.

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I have used a lovely yarn of alpaca-wool blend called Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light, which I really love, and adorned not with a pompom or toorie, or beret loop ~~ but a Dorset Button.

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That is the news from my neck o’ the woods, and I’m roaring along rather productively on another mitt design, soon to be done & dusted with it.  I hope you are all having a wonderful Autumn and enjoying the turning of leaves and things to gold & rust, as I am. Its a slow turning in Northern California, but it is beginning!

Feather & Fan . . . and an e-book !

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Introducing Altitude “Lace”, the third of my series of three cowls designed for my Knitting @ Altitude group, with special consideration of  those beginners who are up for a challenge.

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“Feather & Fan” I believe is a colloquial name for a traditional lace motif, and I’ve borrowed it to design a very easy lace cowl, with naught but a knit stitch, a yarn-over, and a knit-2-together is all that is needed for making one ~~ you can do it ! 

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I must say something about this yarn too, got it over at the Local Yarn Shop in the sale ‘bin’ the other day, it is deliriously gorgeous (okay, so I guess I am a real ‘yarnie’ now)… Road To China  (made in Peru) which is 65% Baby alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere. I’ve never had the pleasure of such luxury, it is beautiful, and I’m keeping this prototype to wear all the time.

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That’s about it. I’m trying to figure out still how to assemble the e-book on Ravelry, but until I do I’ll just have them all sold separately, no harm in that.  You can find Altitude “Lace” on this site HERE , and on Ravelry HERE . . . .

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… and….

Edit In : I’ve now got my first e-book together ~~ Altitude Cowls !!!

Calidez

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Miss Twelve models Calidez

Introducing Calidez!  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.

I designed Calidez to be a most basic & versatile pullover, that hopefully I can see examples forthcoming from knitters and myself, of it’s many options from plain pullover , or with stripes, cable, rib, or lace panels, or even cardigan ‘afterthought’ option.

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Calidez is  shown on Miss Twelve in size 30″, the prototype and smallest of the bulky-weight size run, and looking a little like  “outgrown the sweater that auntie knit Christmas before last” …  but she carries it so well.

Please see the pattern page on this site HERE and on Ravelry HERE, and try out your version.

What can you do with Calidez?

Now, please go see Miss Fifteen posted on Altitude Cowl....

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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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Tartan & Tweed Tam: The Pattern

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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)

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Una Cosettina Pattern Rewrite

jenjoycedesign©Una Cosettina Half Mitt‘Una Cosettina’ has had a bit of an overhaul in recent winter weeks.  I have knit up several more variations on the original design from nearly a year ago. Now pattern has options to work lace up the back of the hand, (I so wanted to do this , and now it is done and I’m satisfied!) . You can  create a full lace gauntlet , or a sporty shorty little wisp of a mitt,  or anything in between.  Options to omit i-cord cast-on & bind-off and/or eyelet round, and skip straight to the lacework. To me a bounty of choices makes a good pattern and as much fun to wear as it is to knit as it is to write!

But frankly folks, this pattern is all about using that one-of-a-kind skein or ball you have. Perfect for those lovely singles of your own spindle-spun yarn or that lovely skein of luxury yarn you couldn’t resist buying from that great yarn shop you just visited. Maybe you discovered a ball of vintage yarn in your grandmother’s attic which narrowly escaped a pair of argyle socks in the 50’s, or that novelty yarn you bought from the 13th-Century wool mill while visiting the town of Biella in Italy.

Una Cosettina meets One-Skein-Project-itis and makes a stunningly beautiful friendship.
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This pattern can be found on Yarnings HERE,  and detailed on Ravelry HERE.

Highland Hats !

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Hats were the occasion this morning.

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We opened the cedar trunk with knitted hats, scarves, gloves, and sweaters . . .

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 Niece Who Is Fourteen did a stellar job of giving new life to the rows of vines with deep red clusters of California Cabernet Sauvignon grapes . . .

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and a fresh perspective to my Vineyard Rows California Highland Bonnet !

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(( In case you haven’t yet seen, you can find details of Vineyard Rows on the pattern page HERE ))

Then,

modelled by youngest niece ,

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we have a new look for Dicey Highland Bonnet too . . .

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Something about the charm of an Eleven Year Old . . .

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(( and you can find details about Dicey HERE ))

Oh, but that’s not all ! Last-not-least, a hat made by Lizzi from the actual Scottish Borders !

  (( I’ve not yet found occasion to bring out and photograph, until this very morning ))

. . . just adorable isn’t it Lizzi ?  A treasured gift for certain, which I think is just as ‘cute as eggs’ ! xx

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We also got some great shots for the new & improved design of Penny Candy Socks, too, but I won’t show you until the pattern is all ready to go .  So watch this space !

Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyDuo 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 . . jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTees Then we cross Lincoln and shoot against the terra cotta wall outside of Brannon’s Restaurant for our usual series of slightly goofy shots . . . .

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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…

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Last year’s addition , the ‘tree hugging’ shot outside of All Seasons Bistro,

now completes Four Corners, at the intersection of Washington & Lincoln Streets.

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-treeThen 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).

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-mural1 At the end of this post is a big long slideshow, I hope you watch it !

However, as this post is also a pattern debut,  I must say, some lovely detail photos were taken.

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Just look how lovely the neckline , with the scalloped neckline & mitered corners looks in these details . . .

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And just how the bottom icord edge with scalloped lace pattern works . . .

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The neck is just low enough in both the front and back. . .

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-detail 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 !!!

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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,095 and I want you to see the first photo taken of them, on this same bench wearing the first cardigans I knit for them!

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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 !

Renaissance of Hand-Drawn in Digital Era of Knitting

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.

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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.

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(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!!!

Pretty Little Things Socks ~ The Pattern

Words that describe these socks are ~ darling, dainty, delightful, durable.  More words are practical, comfortable & completely reminiscent of the bygone era of bobby socks. (I still have yet to make a fresh white pair, with powder blue or blush tones for contrast trim). They’re smart and tough too, evoking for me a very pretty tomboy girl of sixteen. Yes, definitely and understatedly pretty, from the frilly top down to the sturdy toe.

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And now . . . to celebrate !

I am offering a free gift of my new pattern to all who leave a comment below, and as it is my 7th pattern submitted so far, this offer will last for 7 days.  (Don’t be shy!)

 * * Day 7 ,  Oct. 23, 2013 ~~ will be the last day of promotional pattern give-away.* * 

 Thank you everybody for being a colossal support, I really feel I couldn’t have done it without your lovely comments & personal messages along the way ~~ xoxoxo!!!

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 Pretty Little Things Socks pattern on Yarnings  right HERE.

on Ravelry HERE

And if you fancy a gloves in a matching set, see   Pretty Little Things Gloves !!

Baby Penny Candy Socks: The Pattern

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Well, I did it ! I completed my commission for two baby gifts, and in doing so, I knit a pile of baby socks and refined the pattern for Baby Penny Candy Socks, which can be found in ‘My Patterns’  HERE .  I am so very relieved to have all finished, and ahead of schedule ! 🙂

I have included it (for no additional charge) with Penny Candy Socks Pattern but not knowing how to separately add the pattern to the one, as a duet, I have just copied and pasted the whole pattern to the end of the Penny Candy Socks pattern pdf.
If anybody has any advice as to how to keep them separate, but to allow them to be downloaded together, a two-for-one sort of thing, please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated !

Pattern details can also be viewed on pattern page on Ravelry HERE

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Penny Candy Socks ~ The Pattern

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Remember these?

Well, I’ve been crunching numbers for a few days, and though I’ve lacked actual test-knitting of all the sizes, they seem correct  to me from a mathematical perspective. Written in sizes from Little Kid to Big Kid, and I will be test-knitting all the sizes I haven’t already, as the summer blossoms and wilts, and intending to have a lot of fun doing so !

So folks, the Penny Candy Socks pattern can be found HERE , and less than one week into summer, which is pretty good, as my goal was to post them on the actual Summer Solstice. Not bad at all.

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Just a little hello from my sister-in-law Pam’s feet & her dog Peggy !

Penny Candy Socks & Peggy

Pin-Striped Sweater Tee ~ The Pattern

Pin-Striped Tee https://jenjoycedesign.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/a-well-mannered-sweater-tee/

click to go to post about this project

I just wanted to get over this hump and submit this pattern today, though I only decided to get down to it, and polish the draft at noon. Its now 4 o’ clock and Emma is quite gloomy because we haven’t walked since Wednesday, and that was two days ago.

Okay, so where is this pattern you might ask???

Why on my pattern page right up there in the patterns menu, or just click  right here

But also you can see it on Ravelry in my pattern store here.

So, whats all this exhausting business of knitting pattern prototypes, and writing patterns? I have had little rest, you’d think I’m obsessed ! ( I guess I can’t hide the fact very well. ) I am actually looking forward to posting about something mundane again, like a picture post of a lovely walk in the woods, or something from my garden (which is doing quite well, with more tomato plants than I’ve ever had before), or just some knitting related Object d’ Arte about the house. But for now, if you’ll excuse me, Emma and I have a walk to do !