Spring Sweaters 2017 (& Emma)

jenjoycedesign© Emma & sweaters 2.JPG

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

jenjoycedesign© blocking 2

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)

jenjoycedesign© sweaters & Emma.JPG

jenjoycedesign© blocking

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.

jenjoycedesign© Emma 3

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

Everything in its place, and life is good.

Tee Two

jenjoycedesign©Penny-Candy-Tee two Well knitters & friends out there… I am emerging from my knitting woodshed, now with not one, but two Spring Tees in my holster ! I am going to be doing a lot of (photo) shooting in Calistoga this coming weekend with my beautiful & adorable nieces modelling! A second knit of my latest design ~~ Penny Candy Tee ~~ prototype in  previous post, but this one is a little different. Not four colors , but three, and it is not shaped (for an eleven-year-old, c’mon…) and, I used up some left over stash Malabrigo Sock yarn for the lace, which is… um… quite a bit finer than the yarn of the rest. Not enough to get worried over.   And just like the original in last post, the lacework  is the feature of the design, an unlikely pairing with stripes, but hey, they get along wonderfully ! No fights in the playground yet . . . jenjoycedesign©ruffly

jenjoycedesign©detail Waiting patiently

now , for their girls to sweetly adorn,

I’ve got them folded away from distracting last-minute changes.

jenjoycedesign©ready&waiting

  This sign I have had propped up on my spinning wheel by my knitting loft door, well, I’m so pleased that what seemed a daunting task a month ago when I hadn’t even started them,  is now….

done & dusted !

jenjoycedesign©check! As I am presently working like a pair of oxen writing the pattern for Penny Candy Tee, that will be coming up next, for Spring knitting ! Details found on Ravelry HERE

Penny Candy Tee !

jenjoycedesign©drape

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!

jenjoycedesign©back-lit 2

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.

jenjoycedesign©shaping-detail

The fact that this design has moderate waist shaping is indeed a milestone for me!

jenjoycedesign©waist-shaping

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.

jenjoycedesign©short-rows-detail

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!

jenjoycedesign©lace-detail

Shown with the bottom folded up to meet the back neck.

Best of all , the steep raglan shaping is well-complimented by the stripes . . .

jenjoycedesign© Penny-Candy-Tee-detail

This lightweight springtime knit folds up into practically nothing. . .

jenjoycedesign©folded

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!

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Off The Needles

jenjoycedesign©off-the-needles !

. . . Two weeks later.

I realize this post is nearly identical to the previous one, but March is half through, and warming up, and had this little tee gone as expected, I’d have been finished last week. No complaints, though designing rarely is smooth and without challenge.  Ripped back in a drastic way a couple times changing course. Tee One for Niece Who Is Fourteen is just now off the needles, ready to weave in all the ends, kitchener graft the underarms, and wash & block. I will only have time to breathe a big sigh of relief, and not skip a beat… on to Tee Two for Niece Who Is Eleven. Sweaters in my life always come in two’s. 🙂 LOVE IT ! Too much fun for just one person ! Will I… must I … can I possibly … have both of them ready for the equinox???   Stay tuned…

Sweater Success !


Sunday I met my nieces in Calistoga , beneath the snow-capped Mt.St Helena. Weather permitted, but just.  I photographed them modelling  their new sweaters  in and about the interesting nooks in Calistoga ~ our favorite being the mural of Old Town Calistoga ~ and among some colorful walls of the buildings.

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Then afterward, as is our tradition,

 icecream cones…

because modelling is hard work !

 

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Detailed in Ravelry here.

Spring Sweater Tee’s Finished

Finally finished with another epic sweater duet for my two nieces, which started back in January in this post.

Done and dusted !

I’ve been experimenting putting the rather crisp charm labels in the back near the bottom band.

Time for the Spring Sweater Tees to arrive into the arms of my smiling nieces tomorrow,

 as they’ve been waiting patiently since January.

It has been raining all day, and weather will undoubtedly *not* give us a daffodils-and-blue sky photo session.

It will be cold, it may even snow

(insert disappointment here)

… but that’s okay.

I will take photos of them regardless and then post here very soon. Stay tuned !

(((Oh, and this is my second post of the day, crazy obsessed with this business of knitting and sewing on charm labels !

 Have I gone crazy ?)))

Endless Yards


Starting a new thing ~ for Nora. Soon it will be her 1st birthday !

Emma wants to inspect my nieces’ *unfinished* Spring Sweater Tee’s …

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Coming up next ~  something for a newborn too, and if there’s enough, another little thing for  Nora’s birthday.  Then hopefully by the Vernal Equinox,  I will have used up the six 100-gram hanks of hand-painted fingering yarn !
Winding off a gazillion yards of very fine yarn !

Winding Off

Taking literally hours to wind off the 100g skeins of fingering weight yarn, 6 skeins at 462 yards each, and in the time I’ve done this, my creative ungenius has been tangled in the briar. I have changed course three times; first thinking “what was I thinking buying fingering weight for two spring sweaters to knit by the end of March ?!”  I then derailed and set the yarn aside, consider returning, buy new DK weight or …. or what the hell.

Then I decided that I can get past this obstacle.  I thought it a brainstorm of genius to just ‘duh’,  double up the yarn and go double-knitting style.  I then knit up a swatch. Big diappointment, whereas a yarn which is too fine to knit up a sweater, when double’d up becomes too thick. Frustration sets in, derailing again, and all right before bed (after a previous night staying up late for a Burns Supper in Yountville).

I decided once more to give my original intention a better chance,  wondering “can I really knit off two  six-plus-stitches-per-inch sweaters for each of my two nieces by the Vernal Equinox???  I rationalized in another ‘duh’ moment, that not only will they be springy  little sweater tee’s,  that means no sleeves, saving me nearly half the knitting time.   The brilliance was coming back into my vision, remembering loose gauge , light, feathery fabric ~ what I call seasonal gauging ~  so why not swatch on size #6 needles for fingering weight?  Nice, it could work.

Then I begin to realize that a sleeveless seamless yoke type sweater is really already a complete ‘sweater tee’ on it’s own , just add arm bands, and I might get away with not even havign to graft at the underarm join! Rapturous epiphanies of all these corners cut, I went to bed with edgings of a very light and airy sweater tee , and dreamed through the night about vikkel braid stitches and i-cords and even picot turned edges.

I’m back on the using singles , and winding off skeins.  I will cast on this morning for sure, mark my words, and I will let these little spring tee’s be what they want to be. 

Kids Love Stripes


It’s time for me to begin designing what I will knit for my nieces’ Vernal Equinox 2012 sweaters.   I’m thinking definitely  seamless-yoke construction (as I am a hopeless addict) , definitely short-sleeved, but wool, as they must be cozy but not too cozy, for warming-yet-coolish spring days .  They must be rugged, so I bought sock yarn, because the key word for the use of these sweaters is ‘play’.

I was fully expecting to design a stranded-color in the yoke with something decorative and showy, but the truth is, I want my nieces to actually wear and really love them.  So I’m changing my course.  I think bright, energized, and fashionably predictable is more their taste, and not my ‘downplayed artsy exotic traditional’.  I chose colors which are not only the colors they asked for ~one will be turquoise with pink , and the other purple with light green~ but they are supposedly hand-painted varigated style yarns  which will make them more intriguing all around.  I am remembering what a great hit their last sweaters were Autumn 2011  indeed very stripey, and well, why not  go with what works, and do another pair. Okay, decided !

 Actually I’m quite relieved I’ve just been let off the hook to design and incorporate through a series of yoke decreases, a motif of some significance to each of them,  because the hard reality that exists is I have bought fingering weight yarn (what was I thinking… um… light fabric for hot afternoons in the playground, breathable and loosely gauged? ) to knit up with #3 or #4 needles, and I’ll have a zillion stitches per inch.  No stranding, nope, just straight color changes at the row. Can you just feel my sigh of relief ?

I’ve bought for each sweater, in KnitPicks “Tonal” ~ two 100g skeins of the main color and one 100g skein of a contrast, so the stripe pattern ought to be two-to-one, or there about. ( I’m planning on having yarn leftover).  As always, the sweaters ‘ will be what they want to be’ (my motto since learning to knit in the 80’s).  I am ready,  the way to proceed is now nailed, and I shall cast on today after knitting a gauge swatch.