Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign©Sweater-Success-Autumn-2013

Last Sunday we met in Calistoga to photograph the latest Autumn Cardigans !  It threatened to rain, but we got lucky and made it to our favorite sweater-modelling nooks in the town, with only a few drizzly drops to freshen things up.  Above, on the corner of Lincoln & Washington Streets,  outside of Bella Tootsie Shoes , this historical mint-green building is the back-drop for nearly every cover photo of Autumn & Spring Sweaters, for four years running.

  This time, we added a tree to our usual spots . . .

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Among several places, our favorite & final destination for photos is always the big mural across from Calistoga Coffee Roastery, so fun and theatrical, with two enormous walls lining both sides of a narrow alley, depicting Historical Calistoga. The mural has become our number one sweater photo shoot of all time.

jenjoycedesign©mural

There are a few other must-shoot spots , which you can see in the slideshow below, but it all starts outside of the Calistoga Coffee Roastery, where we meet for a coffee & chai, I give them their sweaters (always a surprise) , then we go out and start shooting photos.  One can see my two nieces grow up over the years, on this very bench.

Compare with three years ago ~  Autumn Sweaters 2010 .

jenjoycedesign©coffee-roastery

Demonstrated is the inside of the simple color stranding…

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. . . showing the elasticity of stranding , which I achieved by weaving floats more often than what is considered ‘traditional’.

jenjoycedesign©detail-of-elasticity

All in all, I was delighted to see how well the cardigans fit. This time I designed with a lower relaxed neck-line, but the blue one especially flirts with the shoulder a bit much and likes to fall off in a charmingly casual way, and because ( ahem ) the cuffs are too big, the result is that the sleeves are swallowing my niece’s hands!  I did the whole photo shoot without even noticing my niece’s hands missing in many of the poses… LOL !  I was confident because the actual sweaters measured to specifications (yes, the sleeves too) and so I did not expect it.  I am getting one of those blushing light-bulb moments where I understand better the relationship between neck-lines and sleeves.

Next visit, in a couple of weeks I will simply ‘take in’ the cuffs of blue cardigan with applied i-cord at the edge of the sleeves, and I think that will do the trick as there’ll still be some growing room in the length, but they’ll not slip over her hands.  No problem with my younger niece’s fit, she’s growing like a weed right now anyway !

So folks,  here’s the rest of the shots in a slideshow !

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In case you might be interested, you may have some fun looking through posts of past years nieces’ sweater shoots around the same spots in the town of Calistoga  HERE

All posts of this project HERE

General details of this project on Ravelry HERE

Autumn Cardigans Arrive !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autumn-cardigans(2)

Posted on the actual Autumnal Equinox,  officially it occured locally at 1:44 a.m. today.  I am a passionate yearner for Autumn, the cooling temperatures and moist air I waited for all summer long.  Its here . . . Autumn has arrived !   And so have the cardigans !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autum-cardigans

In a celebration of the season, I gleefully post the Autumn cardigans I’ve knit for my nieces over the summer (all posts here).   First, the one for eldest niece who is Thirteen, who’s eyes match exactly the colorway of her cardigan ~~ light turquoise & oyster shell . . .

jenjoycedesign©turquoics-cardigan

And this time I embroidered little name labels for them, on bits of calico print I had about.

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And next, for one who is Ten , a real live mermaid who likes to dress in coral & sea moss . . .

jenjoycedesign©coral-cardigan

And her name label . . .

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And I happen to have more than enough shell buttons saved up for both, and didn’t have to buy any!

However, in the case of the coral/moss cardigan,  the camera  definitely favored the red tones and would not ‘see’ the richness of the green, and so it looks much more muted than it really is ( as shown in this post HERE.)  Odd thing about light and cameras, some color matches just won’t show up as with the human eye.  You’ll just have to take my word, that the warm slightly terra cotta pink and moss green are lovely together.

In the weeks ahead we are planning the seasonal photo shoot in Calistoga ((crossing fingers it will cool significantly and not be an Indian Summer heat-wave to torture heavy tweed-wearing nieces)) so you’ll just have to sit tight until then. In the mean-time, here are the cheerful & colorful still-life photos, patiently awaiting the beautiful girls they will adorn.

jenjoycedesign©nierces'-Autumn-cardigans-2013

Finishing

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Little piles of trimmed yarn from finish work makes as good of a place as any to put down a hot cup of coffee. (*) I happen to love saving all these little ends, and keep them in a place to use one day, like filling a pillow or something. I’m in the middle of steeking and knitting button bands on two cardigans. Two cardigans which will be given to my nieces around the Autumnal Equinox ~~ our little tradition.

These were my left-over yarn project gone ship-wrecked on the remote deserted island of Bad Planning (I try not to visit often, though I find myself stranded there without warning, still.)  The blue one was inspired by about six balls of left-over yarn I had from a project of last Autumn , and I thought to use it up for a lovely turquoisey cardigan for Niece Who Is Thirteen, thinking only another couple of skeins would do the trick (I was thinking a vest at the time, two or three designs ago…). Plus the same yarn in another colorway for Ten Year Old Niece. Long story, and three colorways later (**) I had to re-order two more balls of each along the way, then just before binding off at the neck I was groaning as I realized I *still* wouldn’t have enough yarn to do the bands. So one more… just one wee skein more of each color, will surely do the trick. Yeah, got the yarn a couple of days ago, now I’m finishing these cardigans , and will surely be finished by the Autumn Equinox next weekend.  Here’s to a fun week ahead of finishing !

(*)  Yes Lizzi, that is the wee Queen’s Jubilee cup you sent, which I use every single day. Heartbroken I will be the day it cracks.

(**) So what if I will have even more yarn left over from this project than I had before !!!

~~~~And now,

I wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH

to   ELIZABETH over at Island Time   for nominating me for this  . . . 

one_lovely_blog_award

Autumn Ahead

jenjoycedesign©blue-cream-cardigan

A welcome sign to me is the first Big Leaf Maple leaves just beginning to fall, and I believe I saw a few on the road-side today, while driving up the mountain !  And it appears as though Autumn Cardigans are well on their way too !   I thought I’d be really thrifty and frugal (and prudent) to use up a pile of about six skeins of light turquoisey tweed left over from a project last October, and well, it only got me this far !  Blast.. that’s the last ball of that, right there on top, with only the body and one sleeve finished (minus yoke & second sleeve and button bands). So no problem, I’ve ordered more, 3 more skeins for Niece Of Thirteen’s cardigan.

Here is the yarn for  Niece Of Ten’s cardigan will be this deep coral pink with mossy green peeries… won’t that be fun?

jenjoycedesign©pink-and-green

Prudence

jenjoycedesign©peerie-border
Third time is a charm as they say ! Well, as to be expected, my early start on my nieces’ Autumnal Sweaters has now become a late start. First I thought I’d use up a huge pile of yarn left over from a project last year, as it happens to be the perfect color for Niece Who Is Thirteen, who’s eyes are the very same milky aqua.  Elation!  I set to work knitting  very deep wide ribs for a vest, and I knitted it for two days. Somewhere along the way I fell into throes of indecision and … blast ! … it was suddenly horribly wrong.

I ripped it all out.

Okay, so changing gears again, and with a very bad clutch, I had ordered some more of the same tweed yarn but in different colors, for Niece Who Is Ten , and in a completely different knitting mood I set to stranding two colors in stockinette stitch,  sketching in an improvisational way I always have liked to do in the past.  Seeming to be fun and colorful,  I knitted for two days.  It was fine outside of the fact that the combination of colors eventually started to melt into each other, be very muted and soft,  which is very *moi* , but so completely mismatched for the spirit of  Kid Of Ten.

Ripped it out.

Back to the Blue Tweed.  A new vision came to me of a full cardigan but with just two stripes on cuffs and bottom, knit in plain stockinette stitch. As I knit on I just couldn’t stomach the second stripe, and then the voice of  a simple 4-stitch repeat peerie just spoke to me from the ethers (I have a fondness for this particular peerie ) … so here , now, two days into knitting a third time.  Prudently,  I’ve established a simple stripe & peerie border to be the total decorative feature of the Cardigans To Be , outside of the very flecked tweed texture, which is in itself rather busy and well stands alone.

It seems that so often, with almost everything, I have learned that to temper my impulses with *prudence* gives me the most personal satisfaction.  Played-down & modest is my new aesthetic.  So I am naming this cardigan “Prudence” , to well mark the lesson I have learned.

Prudence : Caution with regard to practical matters; discretion; economy; frugality.

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So it’s a muggy and slightly less than a glaringly bright  sunny day, and I’ve just given Emma a bath ! She was only minimally tortured ~ it was over before long ~ and she is now surrendering to the task of drying into a fluff.  Here is a photo of her in her post-bath ambivolence…

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As I drafted the above about prudent knitting, two days ago, I am now almost ready to start sleeves and so I’m making a fresh pot of tea .  Irish Breakfast Tea.  In the static quiet vacuum of the afternoon,  I feel compelled to ask, hoping I will make contact with All Who Read Yarnings ~~~ What are you all up to?