Snow Melted !

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam & Toque (2)
I finally got to have my long-waited photo shoot with my nieces for my April design Snowmelt.

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam (3)

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam (2)

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Toque

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

jenjoycedesign©Snowmelt Tam detail

Snowmelt Tam & Toque Pattern Arrives!

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.

jenjoycedesign©snowmelts

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)

jenjoycedesign©The Snowmelt profiles!

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

A New Design

jenjoycedesign©new designI am back and with renewed zeal to create !  Having two huge events happen right at the same time last month, one the happiest I could imagine and today being one-month anniversary of it, while the other a reactionary event of the crappiest that I’d do well to let be forgot, and so, well, I’ve been very distracted and just about flat-lined with the knitting as of late.

But great news is that I woke today nearly bursting with ideas and I simply must show and tell about the latest design exploding out of my head, or I shall die!  It surfaces from sentiments of weather, and cheerful spring emerging with spring-like motifs (about to start in on the colorwork chart just now) and so my knitting is feeling an urge to pounce, and I am absolutely just yearning for more hours in my day.

Dorset Buttons

jenjoycedesign©Dorset Buttons
Here I present (finally) my best work thus far making Dorset Buttons. They are not my invention, nay, but an old-as-the-hills needle craft technique of a sort of tapestry wrapping of yarn or thread around rings, and spokes inside the rings, which once upon a time were made of real bone. I have for a long time wanted to experiment with them, and now I’ve nearly had my fill, yet,  I just want to make more because they are so fascinating and addictive !

These are made of a rustic heathered 2ply pure wool, Jamiesons of Shetland Spindrift , and I think they resemble petite four cakes a little. Or marzipan. I have enjoyed building up the centers in mine, the ‘hub’, especially here are two smaller ones, 1/2″ in diameter.

jenjoycedesign©mini-dorset-buttons

Medium sizes. 3/4″ , in one, two, and three colors.

jenjoycedesign©dorset-buttons

I have some rings which are 1″ and I am tempted to carry on , and on, and on, but I must stop this frivolous past-time of winding yarn around rings, even if I am merely striving to perfect a most simple and practical style, I must bring this all to it’s fruition now, and present my own tutorial on these.  Why?  Well because you’ll be seeing these buttons on more designs of mine which are in the working.

For now, I have begun to view these little things as the basis for artful button making and the answer to quandary of the hand-knit sweater faced with the task of hunting for just-the-right buttons. Never again will I have to settle for less than a perfect match.

plastic rings

Edit In:  I have made a tutorial on my own variation of a Dorset Button, which can be viewed in my Tips From The Table HERE