Spring Sweaters 2017 (& Emma)

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

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Emma

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

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

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

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

Everything in its place, and life is good.

In Calistoga today….

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It was pouring down rain most of the day, but fortunately late this morning it settled a bit and we got in some great shots of Miss Sixteen & Miss Fourteen modeling Calidez Vest.

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At the wall outside of Brannan’s on Lincoln and Washington…

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I burst with pride at how talented my nieces have become in front of the camera … as I strive to capture the ‘happy accident’ of the moment.

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(Oh, but they have had a bit of practice you know… )

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We also finally got Autumn’s Calidez Cardigan photographed !

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Don’t ask me why it didn’t occur to me to get a couple of shots with the garments buttoned up all the way…

( I become so distracted!)

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A lucky morning ( good hair day, good skin day ),  and a good day of expressions wonderfully sincere, honest, and artful poses.

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My favorite past-time most definitely, bar none, is hanging out with these smart & beautiful young women!

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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.

California Highway 29 sign

California Highway 29 road sign in Napa Valley

Highway 29

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Well folks, I was full of doubt about how the halters would work out , and I’ve been working on them for about a month, starting clear back from this post.  I knit and reworked several times from the original.  But, this morning I was transcended from any doubt when my beautiful nieces breathed life into them, I must say, I was completely taken by surprise~~swept off my own feet even!

Yesterday we met in Calistoga, at the Roastery  early in the morning, and talked over our chai & lattes, and after warning my nieces that this design is surely not to fit or even look good, they finally disappeared into the ladies room to change into them, and emerged, beaming with relief as much as my own, and they actually loved them!

((Oh, and not like it needs mentioning, but have you noticed how Miss Thirteen has completely over-taken Miss Sixteen in height!))

We excitedly cruised Highway 29 coming back from Calistoga toward Napa, trying to race the sun before it got too high and hot, stopping at Castello de Amorosa, and then looking for very ‘California’ looking places along side the highway on the way back, we stopped to photograph from the roadside, on the old lichen covered wooden fence at Bale Grist Mill,  and on the stone wall and in the vines of V Madrone Winery.

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Here it is, Highway 29 Halter, Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen are very excited about this design and think its the best yet!

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We decided to name this (yes ‘we’ , apparently they are as keen now on being a part of the design naming as I am) design after the main highway which ambles up northwest  of the Napa Valley, and furthermore, it could possibly be the first of a collection.  So here is Number One from Napa Valley Collection…. “Highway 29”.

The pattern is practically written already, so in the interim of showing off the photo shoot and presenting the pattern, will be a day or so of last minute pattern assembling.

 

See you with pattern and all the intricate knitting details next…

California Highway 29 sign

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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Wee Hearts in St Helena

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I finally got to schedule some time with my busy nieces, and we finally got to photograph the latest knitwear, and luck had it that at the moment we started, so did the rain. None the less,  we had a lovely time shooting  while cozied up in warm knitteds, beneath a single cramped corner of an overhang in the entryway to the rather gothic church on Oak Street. Good times had!

New patterns are Wee Hearts (mitts forthcoming!),  Lace Cowl & Lace Mitts, Ridges Cowl & Ridges Mitts, Twists Cowl & Twists Mitts.

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!

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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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 !

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I finally got to have my long-waited photo shoot with my nieces for my April design Snowmelt.

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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

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A Mountain of Tartan & Tweed

jenjoycedesign©motherlode of Tartan & Tweed!Folks, I’m coming up for air, lost somewhere in this mountainous pile…this mother-lode of hats & mitts…this Tartan & Tweed design.  I have just (ahem…) updated (maybe the fourth time?) Tartan & Tweed Mitts again, this time to include the full mitten option.  Okay, so I’m done & dusted with mitt & mittens, Tartan & Tweed for the hands is now behind me.

Now it’s Tartan & Tweed for the head.  

I’ve been working like an ox designing, knitting prototypes, and now writing patterns and making charts, for the classic tam & accompanying toque (beanie).  Had a lovely photo shoot with my nieces modeling last weekend at the castle, our new favorite place. Here are some previews…

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The tam is moderately swagging, like a proper tam, and toque is straight-up.

Forthcoming very soon, Tartan & Tweed Tam & Toque pattern debut !

Look Here !

10480221_10152798987194280_8443825277110571724_nI’m so proud of my eldest niece! On November 12th, competing in a season final, the CMC cross-country race against 114 girls Varsity Level (thats freshmen to senior grades) our very own Miss Fourteen came in 19th ! Now, as one of the top three girls from her school, she goes to compete in the post-season NCS race. Yay!!

Penny Candy Winter !

jenjoycedesign©penny-candy-winter-duoIt’s here, finally, after redesign & re-knit of the yokes, and this morning re-photographing of…

my Penny Candy Winter !

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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Autumn Sweaters Done & Dusted !

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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.

1st Place !

1st place x-country meet Sept 6, 2014

My Fourteen-Year-Old Niece is a running superstar !!! Here she is today, having won first place in junior varsity for her school, in an invitational meet of over sixty schools participating. She raced the 2-mile cross-country and I am so proud of her. She is my super duper model and an absolutely killer runner !!!!

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Autumn Sweater News Flash : One down, the most colorful for youngest niece & blocking right now. Casting on a more subtle colorway  for the Running Superstar’s tonight!  It will be nothing short of a miracle if I get these done by the Autumnal Equinox, but I am going for it.

In The Kitchen

jenjoycedesign©noodle-making As I mentioned in previous post, my nieces came for a visit for a couple of days.  We mostly ‘chillaxed’ around together with our EDC’s (electronic devices of choice: iphone, kindle, laptop) but with plenty of time in the kitchen, just the way the last days of summer vacation should be spent, after a very busy one they had.  Both nieces had a busy summer, but Miss Eleven had and an incredible growth spurt ~~ and this visit was special, as for the first and last time, we are all three the same height !

Two days, one night, and four times we flung flour. jenjoycedesign©making-noodles The first time was making noodles (flour & egg) for upon their arrival they were good and hungry and I had some home-made chicken soup all ready for their expert noodle work.  By the way, Miss Fourteen could easily win a chicken-noodle-soup-eating contest … hands down! jenjoycedesign©bakers Second time, made Amish moon pies ( flour & butter) with apple filling I had made ahead of time waiting in the freezer , and came to life good & proper with their very experienced moon-pie-making magic touch.  How many moon pies did I personally eat? Don’t ask, I lost count! jenjoycedesign©making-moon-pies jenjoycedesign©moon-pies! Third time, pizza for dinner (flour & yeast) which means of course, pizza dough… and lots more flour (sorry , no photo of pizza) .  Fourth time, next day repeat noodle making for to finish off the chicken soup. Thats about it, a whirl-wind couple of days flinging flour and exhausting relaxation.  We three girls thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and that’s certain.

What totally killed me was in our last hour before I had to bring them back to Calistoga to meet their mom,  Miss Eleven says ” Lets bake something ! ”  Can you believe that? C’mon kid ! She cracks me up. Anyway,  we will leave you with our humble little noodle recipe . . .

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~ My Niece’s Way of Noodle-Making ~

Crack one egg into bowl. Add a pinch of salt, and maybe pepper and other herbs & flavors ‘to taste’~ whatever strikes your fancy. Add flour and stir with fork until ball forms. Add only enough flour to keep very moist wad of dough so that you can pick it up with your hands, the rest of the flour will be added from well-floured hands and surface. Break off small chunks and roll out with your hands. When all rolled out, into a pan of rapidly boiling water, or chicken broth, or soup, add all noodles quickly and at once,  Stir , then let simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Eat and savor the hand-made goodness.

Penny Candy Socks Redesign

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Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Fourteen.

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

 Penny Candy Tee

… 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

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Penny Candy Socks modelled by Niece Who Is Eleven.

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 . . .

051 (2) Last not least , the back shoulder, and short rows.

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!

September 2010

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 !