Yarn Tasting: Kroy

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 5

I have knit up a pair of St Andrews Harbour socks

in a new yarn I’ve never tried,

and I’m smitten!

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 1
jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 3

This yarn was found quite unexpectedly in a maze of aisles , with shelves of acrylic yarns reaching nearly to the ceiling,

and I was so surprised to have to tame my yarn snobbery,  for this yarn was found at our local Michael’s Craft Store!

Modest little balls of Kroy …
jenjoycedesign© Kroy Sock yarn

Yes folks, the secret is out, the  yarn is Patons Kroy Sock; a washable wool & nylon 4ply sock yarn, and a surprisingly rustic feeling yarn, in a surprisingly rustic solid shade of “flax” …  (see my post  A Rustic Yarn to get the meaning ).   The confusing thing is that on the label it says “super fine fingering” , don’t let that fool you,  fine fingering weight is not at all what it is, this yarn is 166 yards per 50 gram ball, which equals 332 yards per 100g, definitely in the category of sport-weight. Other yarns with this same yardage are super popular Malabrigo “Arroyo” — which I believe would make the perfect soft sock for this design,  and Cascade 220 sport (not the superwash one) which was the yarn I knit the cover prototype of the pattern, and one of my all-time favorite yarns.     Kroy is sport-weight yarn,  ignore the label.

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 4.JPG

This pair of fishermens socks were knit with option to switch to stockinette after gusset decreases are finished, which makes a little less bulky in the shoe ( see Ravelry project details here)     Anyway, I think  I have found a really affordable  “vintage”  feeling  yarn for these fishermen socks;  the yarn is a bit rough at first, but as I knit it it feels better and more compliant, and I just know its going to soften a lot in the wash. Crazy, as I’m such a connoisseur of yarn, but it behaves very well, knits up very stretchy & brings out wool’s best elastic properties, and with great stitch definition.

Oh and the color ” Flax ” is ideal for a rustic old-fashioned look, and I bet the Fishermen of olden days would have loved a pair of socks made from this yarn. Will try the “Gentry Grey” soon, thinking these two colors are the only heathered solids in this yarn. Afterthought: Um… well, folks, I figure now that I can over-dye the Flax color, and have just bought 4 more balls and ideas rushing to the fore!

Un Chullo

jenjoycedesign© D's chullo 1

Another birthday chullo for my brother.  He just loves them so much, he wears them like hair.  For this birthday I chose to make an anniversary of last April’s Camino Inca Chullo pattern release, knitting from the pattern. This one samples the Incan wave motif, and I knit it up in some lovely soft Juniper Moon “Herriot” yarn, which is 100% undyed baby alpaca, and this baby is soft!    My brother likes the folk look of the ‘gnome’ crown, so I worked the option for slower decrease and it is just a bit gnome like…
jenjoycedesign© D's chullo 2

Its the tassels that my brother really loves, and with a brow/mustache comb that has needle-sharp brass teeth, I am able to comb through the pompom fringe and fluff up the fine hairs to a really fine furry puff …

jenjoycedesign© eyebrow comb

Voila!  I even tied on an extra bit of yarn to comb into a tassle at the tip of the earflap.

jenjoycedesign© D's chullo 3

This being the last of the deadline knitting, I am now able to spend some time experimenting with the traditional “mens”  chullo ~~ the varied regional methods of picot edges, and knit with needles traditionally made from  bicycle wheel spokes!     When time, opportunity & energy come together in the near future,  I will continue where I left off, and embark on a new chullo knitting adventure !    But for now I will leave you with an artful & inspiring short travel ad film  which gives glimpses of the wild landscape and colorful textiles of Peruvian Highlands that I have been so very drawn to …

 

From within a garden gate…

gardening in the rain2

I am hopeful and ready to cultivate something verdant and lush,  a wonderful secret garden, a tonic for a feeling of well-being and happiness wherein the garden fence I can be a caretaker of living things and feel at home, a place out under the sky where the nameless meadowy wild flowers and grasses thrive along side vines of berries, succulent sedums, herbs, foxglove, sturdy fruit trees.  All together keeping time of the seasons together under the showers, and the comforting shade skips around in a merry frolic with the suns rays.     In wet months miners lettuce explodes in edible clusters,  and somewhere near,  maybe a lucky mushroom pops up…

“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.”  A. A. Milne

Foraging about in a garden, a secret garden, the kind only a few people visit (namely myself) … with a lovely and nice gate to keep the world out and the magic in. Garden gates utterly fascinate me right now… check out this beauty…

garden gate

The garden is  like a favorite room in a house.  In mornings of April through October there’s me holding a watering hose in one hand and cup of coffee in the other, with knitting bag slung across my shoulders. I am dreaming a thriving green oasis from within my Charcoal Forest, and garden with walls of pink jasmine (just planted, six plants!) to vine and cover the lower fence, and shield from vision the blackest of burn,  and the apple trees trying to shake off the scorched leaves of last Autumn’s wildfire as their new leaves are determined to emerge soon,  very soon, they must, because I just see them in my mind!

“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” Sigmund Freud

A place to go, to work hard and get dirt beneath my nails, a  place where  the soul meets life, and the worries of the world are forgotten. My thoughts these days are of knitting, and of a garden with knitting trail made new.   

Petra’s Tam

jenjoycedesign© StAndrews-Harbour-tam1

Pattern:  St Andrews Harbour (Petra’s Tam)

Yarn:  Alice Starmore’s Hebridean 3ply, in Golden Plover

Details on Ravelry: here

It was a lovely knit!   I do recommend the tam in this pattern “set”, for it is so fetching,  sporty, awesomely sea-worthy, and a totally essential accessory of one’s outdoor wardrobe.  This one is made from worsted weight yarn, and it is a bit fashionably floppy, however, knit with finer yarn such as sport weight, it would be just right. If done in Starmore yarn, I would do better to suggest  Starmore’s Hebridean 2ply.   I want to knit another one or two from my handspun yarn, talked about in Tweed Chronicles  which has so much meaning through a time of upheaval as was my obsession in the months right after the wildfire. So on to the next!

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Meanwhile, I’ve composed a little letter to all of you who follow Yarnings, a new category on Yarnings, entitled “Letter from the editor” ,  to let you know what is going on with us during this time of epic change.

Dear Everybody ~

On to new adventures, and news on every page!    First, our stay at our first holding place did not last long, the landlords want to move back in, and that’s fine, because I’ve longed with a great ache in my heart to live back up on the mountain in my charcoal forest.  Second, the county administration and engineers are making our getting a permit to (re)build hugely difficult and drawn out, adding insult to injury. I don’t really want to talk about details, but we have no real timeline as to when we will be rebuilding, or what we will be rebuilding,  or when we will be living up there in our rebuilt house.  So the original post I made right after the wildfire in October entitled  “Ten Acres ….”   written two days after evacuating our house, flames still smoldering, is now ringing in the rafters as we are in process of getting a Tiny House to park a few hundred yards away from the building site,   nestled right near the trail head to my knitting track in fact.    If I can try to be optimistic, I will tell you that this pleases me a lot, if choices are dreary and few right now, shifting around from city rentals, and not being able to walk in the woods properly has been detrimental to my attitude,  and mental as well as physical health.   Also Emma has been to the vet and back many times in the last months, her wound from her surgery last summer (posted here) never healed properly, and she is cheerily going day to day from stitches to staples, from cone to inflatable collar, but aside from all of that seems to be in good health.    Meanwhile  Jeff has suddenly been laid low from the stress of the whole ordeal of the county, the moving out (again) that he’s caught a bad bug and its developed into pneumonia, but worry not, he is of heroic constitution and never sick, and now on antibiotics will get well soon.    As for me, I’ve thrown my back out and hobbling around, on pain killers,  feeling taped together at best.  Oh, but finally I managed to get a hold of some 90tpi carding cloth, and finally made another jumbo carding & blending board to replace the original , left behind in the wildfire,  (colossal thanks to Adele for lending me your Ashford Blending board these past months! xoxo)  … and so I am ready to get back into tweed-making, visualizing a tiny space in the Tiny House to be my new creative “loft” space.  In fact, I plan on moving into the Tiny House with a good and positive attitude and stop feeling sorry for myself so much.    Years ago we stayed in a treehouse,  (posted here), and I enjoyed myself immensely tucked away up in a nest in the trees,  knitting the hours away, a knitting retreat of retreats! I want to make this new Tiny House feel like that retreat did, and I am visualizing constant knitting & walking, as well as constant gardening.  The garden was the one thing that (mostly) did not burn in the wildfire, so I want to be near it to nurture it and water, and make it an oasis where I can go be with living growing things, and to realize how great it is just to wake to another day.      Wish us luck, and I’ll keep you posted

~~ xxJen   ( aka ‘ the editor ‘ )

Washed ashore…

washed-ashore-2

Washed ashore.

A poignant pause in a short series of sea fishing posts,    reeling in sentiment for those fishermen who fight the sea,  in love with the sea,

yet inevitably helpless in the incidences where the water, weather, and sea creatures dominate with harsh indifference.

sea-monster-edinburgh-1600's

Sea monster ready to swallow up ship and crew — drawing 1600’s.

” Humanity is always fallible, through every man individually or a crew collectively, (there is) a break in the chain of watch-keeping or good navigation, and there comes tragedy. Going to sea against those elements to take home that resource can never remain safe ” — as heard in previous post from Unknown Fisherman.

 Fishermen Fact:    In the face of tragedy, the fishermen gansey (guernsey) or sweater, its varied patterns on brave & broad shouldered men such as these, is a marker of identity…

“Each gansey has a unique pattern which varied from village to village and from family to family. If there was a shipwreck or accident the bodies washed up on the shore could be identified by their gansey as being from a particular village and family. In this way the fisherman could be returned to their family for burial”… read more

The sea is a dangerous place, and fishermen have had to work within its raw and elemental  nature for as long as they’ve taken harvest from it,  from centuries past to present.   The sporting Fishermens Gansey as we know today,  has survived its original purpose of rugged & essential gear, knit by mothers, wives, and sweethearts, to keep their fishermen warm and safe against the elements as well as they could…

But even so, the fishermens gansey has come into the spotlight of fashion as a genuinely attractive style of knitwear, and knitters have appreciated the cables, moss stitch and purl textures for generations already. As I have also been smitten by those timeless textures,  at last I am bringing the spirit of the sea into a small collection of rugged and sea worthy accessories that I’ve been working on this winter like a team of fisher lassies …

Alive O’ !

jenjoycedesign© pile of knitting

A fresh catch ready to be sorted & groomed for photos (and with pattern forthcoming),  saluting the iconic woollen fishermen gansey, in an assortment of knitteds that every fisherman or fisherwoman, should never be without ! 

Finding

jenjoycedesign© sunrise

After losing most of my things in the wildfire,   I am scouting again.

jenjoycedesign© drain

  Earlier this week I found this retro beauty in a local consignment shop of antique & vintage objects,   and we picked it up this morning.

jenjoycedesign© sunrise 1

A bathtub is not a delicate or graceful object, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to find one  while out scouting in the thrift & antique shops,  but the utmost in useful things in my opinion, something of daily life, and lifestyle.   I can’t express just how gratified it makes me feel to begin to find pieces of a home again,  which is in so many ways my identity.

jenjoycedesign© sunrise 2

This goes especially for used things,  sturdy and elegant old-fashioned  things that have already endured decades of use. I love, love, love old things, and am ready and eager to bring them into our new house, which likely won’t be any sooner than a year, but I can begin finding now.  We will have at least saved a fortune snatching up this one, and not waiting until later to buy new.

jenjoycedesign© sunrise 4

I suppose I am like so many other Nesters, completely taken in by the beauty of a utilitarian thing like an old bath tub.

jenjoycedesign© sunrise 12

My new finding does have me feeling pleased with myself,  even though for now it will have to stand patiently  next to a big window in our holding place, and I think it will come in handy as a giant yarn bowl, or laundry basket, until  eventually  the new house is built.

jenjoycedesign© sunrise 11

Frustrations over painfully slow rebuilding aside, and nature’s cruel black hand is far from getting use to, but admittedly life is seeming to feel good again as this particular finding brings my focus forward to what might be.

Yarn Tasting: An Irish Tweed

jenjoycedesign© Irish Tweed 2

My new wool love is Isager Tweed,   made in Ireland and the most gorgeous commercial tweed yarn I’ve seen in my local yarn shop to date. Ever since Rowan discontinued their Fine Tweed yarn, I was not sure how to improvise a substitution for a rustic multi-color tweed single ply.

What is it about tweed that is just so utterly  sensual,  timeless,  and tasteful?

jenjoycedesign© Irish Tweed 3

Isager Tweed in Navy and Winter Grey

It must be color variegation which happens only when yarn is spun from pre-dyed fibers,  blended together so that those little explosions of random ~~ sometimes quirky,  sometimes quiet ~~ contrasting color flecks just pop out, and make the visual as well as tactile texture very distinctive.

jenjoycedesign© Isager Irish Tweed

Ireland and the British Isles have been for centuries steeped in the wool mill industry,  its countryside once peppered with countless woollen mills during the Industrial Age, but in modern times there are only a handful of the old mills still producing, for major yarn companies (like Isager) as well as a growing number of indie knitwear designers who wish to have their own mill spun label.

jenjoycedesign© Irish Tweed

The yarn is fingering to fine-fingering weight,  a blend of wool and mohair , in a beautifully rustic single ply.  It has a very subtle coarseness ,  I am guessing from the goat hair,  which gives it an old world feel and ever so like handspun with slight thick and thin variation in the yarn,   but at the same time it is soft to the touch from being mostly a downy breed of wool to balance out and gives it a very versatile feel.   Even though I am deeply involved in the spinning of my own tweed,  and I actually aspire to produce a single ply tweed much like this yarn, but if hand-spun isn’t handy,  I can’t go wrong with the real Irish spun.  I must say how lovely it is that my local yarn shop has this great yarn, and in the best colors too.

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Oh! I found yet another wool film in the “Hands” series about how to make a Donegal spinning wheel!   I hope you enjoy it as much as I have …

The color of moss…

photo from archives: Knitting In Nature

Moss is the most complicated color in nature that I can think of.  Here in the mountains of Northern California, it is dormant through the dry season (most of the year if not half) during which it shrivels and turns an olive green to brown color. When the rains come, it is fat full of water, it glistens with nearly neon golden tips and has every shade of green present, plus a few other colors in there too …

jenjoycedesign©moss-dripping

photo from archives: Fog & Moss

I could never really quite figure out if real moss in nature is a warm or cool green, so I figure I’d just layer and layer and layer the colors until it seemed right,  improvising as I went along …

jenjoycedesign© moss rolags!

which spun up to be as complex of a green in yarn form as I thought it should be …

jenjoycedesign© moss 3

but I do think in hindsight I should have added more dark green, which I didn’t have any of,  so if I did, I would have added in the greens.

Anyway, this is how I did my ” moss “…

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Techy stuff for Moss…

  • Lift color saturated neutral batt, layer alternately with 5g each of grass green, leaf green, and olive green. 
  • Lift batt, layer alternately again with 5g each of grass green and mustard yellow.
  • Lift batt, layer alternately again with 5g each of grass green and mallard teal. (I think next time I will blend in more Mallard teal, perhaps along with the yellow in previous step).
  • Layer again on blending board and draw off rolags.
  • Improvement for next time: Add more mallard (teal) with yellow,  as well as a dark green.
  • Colorway blend:  ” Moss” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

 

Geological 2

jenjoycedesign© paws at the peak
photo from archives: Paws

In previous geological post I created a woolly colorway of Sandstone.   Second in my geological series of the mountain, and underfoot quite a lot, is shale.   A refresher of a quote from a reliable local vintners’ source, they who take the geology of this appellation very seriously…

Mount Veeder is primarily an island of ancient seabed, pushed up in the mountain’s formation five million years ago.  This is the only Napa Valley appellation that can claim this unique geologic phenomenon. While the rest of Napa Valley was covered in volcanic ash 1 million years ago during the eruption of Mount Saint Helena to the north, Mount Veeder received just a sprinkling. Within the marine soils lies a complex tapestry of fractured shale, sandstone, volcanic (ash) dust, and other various constituents.  — From Mt Veeder Appellation

 

shale

This rock I have seen in some places mounded up into nearly hill-sized formations which I suspect to be left behind by an ancient volcanic upheaval.  Hard and a bit brittle, this broken shale is generally dark charcoal grey,  although sometimes a medium grey.

jenjoycedesign© 031

To achieve this color I use colors from the color-saturated neutral, blended with undyed wool shades of  natural black and natural grey.

jenjoycedesign© 013

And as natural black and brown fleeces are amazingly varied in breed and color, so can be this shale colorway, ranging from medium grey to almost black, just as the rock is.

jenjoycedesign© 026

Stay tuned for geologcial 3,  which will be a woolly colorway of yet another geological composite.   Very pleased with the charcoal/black in my  tweedy palette, I give you the recipe I have written for “Shale” …

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Techy stuff for Shale…

  • Began with Primary & Secondary Neutral recipe using approx 2.5g each of green, purple, and orange  AND  blue, red, and yellow, (or alternately 5g each of primary or secondary triad colors) blended thoroughly on blending board (see Blending For Tweed Simplified) ,lift batt, set aside.
  • Layer 15g natural black with 15g natural grey,  lift batt.

Note: This blend is 50/50 black and grey. For darker color blend more black and less grey, and for lighter blend more grey, and less black.

  • Layer color-saturated neutral batt with black/grey batt alternately.
  • Lift batt, layer again.   Layer once more for a more homogenized result, or go on to next step.
  • draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  ” Shale” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

Geological

jenjoycedesign© paws at the peak

photo from archives: Paws

Inspired by the rock forms of the mountain, I have created three more colors in my palette, introduced in three parts.  But first, let me borrow a quote from a reliable local vintners’ source, they who take the geology of this appellation very seriously…

Mount Veeder is primarily an island of ancient seabed, pushed up in the mountain’s formation five million years ago. This is the only Napa Valley appellation that can claim this unique geologic phenomenon. While the rest of Napa Valley was covered in volcanic ash 1 million years ago during the eruption of Mount Saint Helena to the north, Mount Veeder received just a sprinkling. Within the marine soils lies a complex tapestry of fractured shale, sandstone, volcanic (ash) dust, and other various constituents.  — From Mt Veeder Appellation

In my observation the most prevalent of these three mentioned geological rock forms must be sandstone, ranging from a dull tan, to a rusty brown and sometimes sparkles with colors, sandstone is the color of everywhere …SandstoneEspecially at the summit of the mountain these rocks are of rather large proportion, and an outstanding geological feature.   Sandstone, with color-saturated neutral base, so like the true rock form created from a composite of many grains of colorful sand, blended with natural white and natural brown wool …

005

The nice thing is, using natural brown fleece, there is quite a variation of color, and as I blended with natural white, even more of variation of natural values & hues can be accomplished.   Just as the rock itself is so varied in color, the Sandstone colorway is too…

jenjoycedesign© 020

jenjoycedesign© sandstone spun

Next , in Geological 2, I will produce a woolly colorway of another popular rockform, but as yet, I am waiting for my wool to come in the mail!     Until then, here’s how I made “Sandstone”  …

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Techy stuff for Sandstone…

  • Began with Primary & Secondary Neutral recipe using approx 2.5g each of green, purple, and orange, blue, red, and yellow, (or alternately 5g each of primary or secondary triad colors) blended thoroughly on blending board (see Blending For Tweed Simplified)  Note: for a more dramatic tweed, with gobs of color splashing through, blend only once , then continue.

001

  • Lift color-saturated neutral batt, set aside, and blend 7.5g each of natural brown, and natural white.

002

  • Combine layer of color neutral with brown…
  • Lift batt, layer alternately with 7.5g each more of natural brown, and natural white.  Note: In second blending, for a browner tone, continue with only brown, omitting the white, and for a creamier beige tone,  omit the brown.
  • Draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  ” Sandstone” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

Energy and essence.

Emma & Squirrel

This Christmas Emma got a new squeaking squirrel, since her old squirrel and all of her other toys were all left behind in the fire.  Now with a new squirrel love,  everything is in it’s right place.   The calendar is racing to a close, and I am fairly excited about what is around the corner now.   I go up to the mountain every day if I can to walk a little while, and to go into the garden which is for the most part is still there, to sit and write, sketch ideas, and wonder about the best that might yet be to come.  Pondering colors, palette & writing blending recipes,  and thinking about the landscape, and how our lives will resume there in a different house in the future.

Recently I have been posting from the archives Knitting In The Wild , as I  look  to find the origin of colors for my Tweed Chronicles, but I am also finding in there one of my biggest passions of life  ~~ being out in nature.  There in the wild I am finding the tap root of it all.  It is the landscape that is my true sense of energy and essence ,  who I was and who I strive to become.  From the wild comes a pure sense of myself, and I realize I must continue going there as if I never left … to find new growth & new meaning in the contours, flora and fauna of the mountain, and to feel as a shepherd of something necessary while in it.

Yesterday while re-establishing my knitting trail I observed gopher holes bursting through what seems a cracked brittle thin shell of burned top soil, pushing up through it beautiful creamy soil from  beneath, so like life bursting out of an egg shell.   I feel what is beneath the surface, what is still there wanting to shake off the soot of the fire and resume living.  I watched a black raven surveying the territory, having come back from wherever it fled, I don’t know, and I heard a woodpecker too, tapping through the charcoal bark to find food.  The wildlife is showing up now, on time, finding its way back to beckon me to return.   So I am showing up too.

Tweed News: I am totally and completely immersed in my tweed blending and spinning. Being my own micro mill is pretty much what excites me these days, and I feel I am making headway on my personal palette. More to come, very soon to post my next forthcoming, after it gets spun up.  But for now, I leave you with yet another Tweed Film I have found, as these old films so inspire me!

Clover

jenjoycedesign© wild-red-clover

photo in archives: A Walk Among Wildflowers

There is absolutely nothing that I can think of as red in the wild landscape as the crimson clover which grows abundant in the meadows nearby on the mountain, the meadows where Emma and I have walked countless times, and forefront of my mind when I think of a name for the colorway of red. Wild, herbaceous gobs of crimson, are the trifolium incarnatum  flowers.

jenjoycedesign© red clover rolags

Crimson is the color I am trying to grasp.

jenjoycedesign© red clover spinning

It needs a little improvement for next time (perhaps more red)

jenjoycedesign© red clover spun 2

But this is it ~~~  my crimson clover .

jenjoycedesign© red clover spun

I am looking forward to six months from now when the wildflowers will hopefully have returned from the burned topsoil, as the grass has already … shy little green sprouts everywhere !  Tomorrow morning is the winter solstice, and I am glad to see it finally come, and to see pass my huge disappointment of  once favored ( oh how fickle of a season) Autumn.    Winter come, o’ please be gentle, cast your sleepy spell on the landscape, and clean up the blackened death from the wildfire, soften it with rain and bring back the wildflowers and the moss, so that the landscape may wake anew with spring growth, restored and resilient and colorful.    Autumn,  to you I bid good bye.

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Techy stuff for Red Clover…

  • Lift neutral batt, layer alternately with 5g each of ruby red and rose pink.
  • Lift batt, layer alternately with 5g (or more) of red.
  • Draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  “Red Clover” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

 

the color of fog …

March's entrance

photo from archives: Shades Of Fog

Fog is a huge part of life on the mountain, for me, and I just love the fog show …

jenjoycedesign© fog Jan 2015

fog in January, 2015

I love to watch it pour over the ridge from the Pacific, fluid and volatile, and into the valley,  or splashing up from it.  I also love it just thickly hovering about …

jenjoycedesign©blue oaks in fog

photo from archives:  Foggy

So naturally, my next tweed endeavor must capture the color of fog !

jenjoycedesign© fog white

It is my basic white,  well,  a near white, where like fog, you see faint color of images behind …

 

Just a tiny bit of the color-saturated neutral to start, then blended several times with increasing amount of white wool, so you’ll see flecks of blue, red and yellow upon close inspection.

jenjoycedesign© 018

I really am enjoying developing a personal hand-spun color palette, and see no end to my combing wool in different combinations, racing obsessively from blending board to the spinning wheel, grabbing my camera to photograph, wash, dry, wind on swift, photogragh again …

jenjoycedesign© fog 5

… then on to the next !

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Techy stuff for Fog (white)…

  •  Color Saturated Neutral recipe for approx 10-15% base, primary triad of blue, red, and yellow:  Blended thoroughly on blending board.   Note: for a more dramatic tweed, with gobs of color splashing through, blend only once , then continue.
  • Starting with white, layer alternately with neutral (see Blending For Tweed Simplified)
  •  Lift batt, divide as needed and layer again and again with more white, repeatedly fully hemogenized, more or fewer times until white/neutral values balance as desired.
  • Draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  “Fog” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

Madrone

(photo from archives Whisper In The Woods)

What I miss most right now,  are the madrones , Arbutus Menziesii, a unique kind of tree native to the California Coast and mountain ranges, with an interesting rusty orange bark that sheds in papery sheets…

Madrones have an indescribable color if ever you were to witness, it turning at first shed a bright green, which changes in a matter of days to a greyish orange, then to browner rust.

by the window

( photo from archives…  Gone Wild)

Among the madrones is a wonderful place to be;  hidden,  enchanting,  and ever-so-quiet, and kept company right outside of the window where I loved to write, knit, or spin.    I have tried to capture my madrones, blending color after color,  overdoing the layers, but eventually I think I found close to the indescribable.  A bit too much orange I think, but I have made notes of how to improve my next blending experiment.

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Meanwhile Emma seems to be perfectly happy in her new napping places…

Emma

I take her up nearly everyday to the woods, the place where the house was ~~ will be again~~ (which is as of last weekend a nice freshly excavated dirt area) , and she loves to sniff the air while riding in the back of the car with the windows down, and bark at the cows or horses she see’s along the way. I spoil her a lot these days, and we love our trip up the mountain to the ‘house’ …  we meander as before, and I am knit-walking again!

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Techy stuff  for Madrone …

  • Added 10g each of cinnamon, rose, and amber, layered again.
  • Lift batt, and layered again.  Too pink,  so decided to add 5g  of amber.
  • Not brown enough, so added 5g Hazelnut, and layered to have a bit of brown streaking in the spin.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • Colorway of blend “Madrone”
  • Note of improvement:  Next time more red instead of the amber step, and more brown on last blend.
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chroniclesjenjoycedesign©woods

 

Spinning by a window …

jenjoycedesign© spinning by a window

Spinning by a window  …
jenjoycedesign© spinning Wild Flaxlight flooding in to  unwind my shadowy worries.

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I cast my mind to a warm landscape of wild flax …

 hoping to find the colors of the flowers in the wool blend …

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I have been doing a lot of fiber blending,  and a little spinning too, which is for now easing me slowly back into creative mood.

jenjoycedesign© spun

( and am so grateful to “L” for the gift of a beautiful Ashford Traditional spinning wheel!)

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In closing,  FEMA clean-up crews have been working rapidly in Napa & Sonoma counties since the wildfire of October, and by the end of December, maybe a clean slate for us? Impossible to forecast the rebuilding ahead,  for now I find the cozy window here my joy of the afternoon.

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Techy stuff  for my Wild Flax Blue …

  •  2 g each of primary colors (6g tot) , for a base of color-saturated neutral ,  see this post; blend thoroughly on blending board 3 times Total 6g.    Note: for a more dramatic tweed, with gobs of color splashing through, blend only once , then continue.
  • 6g cornflower blue, layer very thinly one color at a time, with neutral base. Tot 12g.
  • Lift batt, layered again with 2g each of white, light green, teal. Tot 18g.

( I was trying to get more blended base, with a ‘dusting’ of brilliant blue on the last blend…)

  • Lift batt, and layered again with 2g  of cornflower blue. Tot 20g.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • Colorway of blend “Wild Flax Blue”
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

Color Saturated Neutral

jenjoycedesign© spun
I have successfully made a color saturated neutral.

Nested in a mountain of other neutral tones, you don’t see it right away,

   but look at where I started …

jenjoycedesign© primary & secondary mix
Primary and secondary colors all in exact equal amounts …

carded three times on the blending board  …

then drawn out into tasty wool sausages !
jenjoycedesign© rolags

If you check out my Primary triad blend here ,  I’ll say that the secondary triad blend experiment was much the same, nearly indistinguishable from the primary , and theoretically should be the same for any color triad on the color wheel .  Tertiary triads too, and lighter values of the triads; as light blue for blue, pink for red, aqua for teal, peach for orange, etc.

In this experiment,  I used two triads together ;  primary + secondary ,  for my ultimate color-saturated neutral, and I must say this blend was really fun to spin … the colors are all there. 

jenjoycedesign© spun detail

I’ve got my color-saturated-neutral base recipe, a base for my own color palette of ‘slightly earthy heathers’ , as I’ve never been drawn to vivid hues when buying yarns.  From a color-saturated neutral I can base everything, light or dark, and with color intensity varying.  I’m looking forward to developing more recipes ~~ watch this space!

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Techy stuff …

  • Equal amounts of each of primary: red, yellow, and blue , and/or secondary: purple, orange and green.
  • Layered very thinly one color at a time, alternately.  I mean really a lot of thin layers … using  this technique,
  • Lifted batt, layered again, total of three times.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  “Color Saturated Neutral” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

 

The color of sea grass …

Pacific-coast-grass

I am deep into the study of color saturated neutrals.

jenjoycedesign© rolags 4

What is a color saturated neutral? Well, when I blend equal amounts of the primary colors together, the affect is at first glance, a seemingly dull clay color ,  as I posted previously about HERE.

In this experiment I added to the primary triad mix, one secondary color – green,    integrating all of the colors on the blending board with this technique ,  bringing the whole color balance leaning a little bit toward the green … a weathered sea grass green.

jenjoycedesign© primaries + green

primary colors + 1 secondary (green)

jenjoycedesign© first batt

first blended batt

jenjoycedesign© second batt

second blended batt

I then added some un-dyed natural white to give it some texture and depth.

jenjoycedesign© third batt + white

third blended batt, adding white

Colorway reminds me of the pampas grasses which grow along the Pacific coast.

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While enjoying some spinning on my Ashford Traditional wheel (( a resonating gratitude to  “L” who wishes not to be mentioned ))   I have decided that perhaps Tweed Chronicles is a new love which causes only happiness …

jenjoycedesign© spun 3

And the studying of color is making me look deeper into the surface,  and imagine how the colors are found the same way in nature.

Next I am pairing primaries with secondaries, and finding super color saturation in what is an alarmingly gorgeous & complex neutral. Watch this space!

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Techy stuff …

  •  5g each of (near primary) red, yellow, and blue — plus green,  merino roving = 20g.
  • Layered very thinly one color at a time, alternately.  using this technique: Blending for tweed simplified
  • Lifted batt, layered again, total of three times. Lifted bat, and sectioned into strips of about 3.
  • With 15g white cormo roving, divided into 3 sections.
  • Layered very thinly white, then color blend, alternately.
  • Lifted batt, and layered again, loosely.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • I’m naming this colorway blend ” Pacific Coast Grass ” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

 

color

jenjoycedesign© tweed1

Back into Tweed Chronicles I have found once again rhythm in myself, perhaps a melody too. I have been thinking about the color wheel, and the basics I learned decades ago, and so I am applying it now to natural fiber ~~~ easy enough!

jenjoycedesign© tweed4

In fact, my whole color blending Tweed Chronicles has little to do with wool breeds and fibers,  almost nothing to do with spinning technique ( I am only a fair spinner)  …  but nearly all pure color theory, and blending technique.   I am a colorist perhaps, above all.

jenjoycedesign© tweed5

I am merely attempting to relive the high points of discovery that must have happened with folk centuries ago in the tweed mills, of a bygone era. I am all about the bygone era I think, feeling that deep tap root into human creativity that runs timeless and wild.

jenjoycedesign© tweed spun

Putting the primary colors together in a kind of color triad, is something that normally I would never do, for I am not in the least fond of primary colors, or even secondary.  But the complex blends of colors are made of of the basic colors, and so I am working with the  primaries & secondaries in a tweed experiment that I hope works just as I am conceiving it in my mind, as I lose myself to sleep at night, dreaming the magic of heathered tones.

jenjoycedesign© tweed spun 3 detail

The best time of day is when the sun shines through the window bright enough to bring to life the best work of my imagination. Couple that with a delicious cup of coffee, and who would want anything more of the morning?

jenjoycedesign© tweed7

Well now, its off to the charity shops to see if I can find some good chairs!   Aside from this recent color blending euphoria, I am feeling a bit too tender and not wanting to cooperate with the holidays this year.   Scotty, beam me to January.

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Techy stuff of what I did …

  •  5g each of (near primary) red, yellow, and blue dyed merino roving = 15g.
  • Layered on blending board very thinly one color at a time, alternately.  I mean really a lot of thin layers … using technique Blending for tweed simplified.
  • Lifted batt, layered again a second time, then a third. Lifted bat, and sectioned into strips of about 5 or 6.
  • With 15g white cormo roving, divided in as many sections as the color blend.
  • Layered very thinly white, then color blend, alternately.
  • Lifted batt, and layered again twice.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • I’m naming this colorway blend ” Primary Triad + white”.
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

Lingering question of the day:  Which one of you generous people sent me all of the Cormo wool? Was it Laurie? Rose? Adele? Lynette? (I am so sorry I lost track, but I’ve been rather hollow in my head!) From the bottom of my heart~~ thank you~~ it is absolutely dreamy!!!!

i heart tweed

jenjoycedesign© hearts3In this holding place where I have been living a short while, there has been left behind this little grouping of hearts in a line.    It makes me think about … (how could it not?) … what I love.

jenjoycedesign© hearts2

 I love, love, love knitting  … oh yes!

And I love designing knitwear & writing patterns …

and stitching & spinning  …

jenjoycedesign© hearts1But I have come to see that I most definitely love right now, color blending of fiber !   Enough feeling sorry for myself while not doing the things I love.     Some good local people have given me for my own, a spinning wheel & loads of fiber.

jenjoycedesign© heart

I have at loan until I can make my previous jumbo blending board to specs again, an Ashford blending board which is doing the trick for my setting everything into motion.  I have bought some colors, and am presently in a learning curve, how to do it on different equipment and a different creative space  …  and I’ve already gotten knee-deep into a new unpredictable tweedy blend to spin on my new wheel.

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Next will be a new post in Tweed Chronicles,  because I have decided that presently what I enjoy most of all is color blending with fiber ~~~ especially unpredictable color blends.

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I LOVE TWEED !!!

Artful

jenjoycedesign© new artful spaces

There is a whole different gait about me in this holding place.

jenjoycedesign© finished

Seeking out new photogenic sweet spots …

I look and look in this new place, and think there is nowhere artful …

jenjoycedesign© Autumn sweaters finished

 Then the sun only needs to fall a little and the angles of glowing light reveal it to me …

There are the same warm light and shadow like old friends …

Coming to visit for the afternoon.

jenjoycedesign© new things 1

Come friends, and sit at the table, and I will make tea in my new teapot. I am so glad you are not lost, but found again and again …

and every day.

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Oh, and the Autumn sweaters are finally finished. The sweaters were one of the few things I took with me when the fire came.  (( Thank you so very much Wendy for the buttons! ))  I hope to get them to my nieces soon, and experience their beautiful form & faces, and  those familiar places of Calistoga  … soon.

Fresh

jenjoycedesign© new space

Fresh. Clean. Beginnings.

jenjoycedesign© new place

In a new place, a space to explore, and lay-about.

jenjoycedesign© new lay-abouts

Emma and I are sleuthing out comfort in this transition, doing alright but not brilliantly, as can be expected. I have not knit,  nor have I walked very much to speak of.    Life upside-down brings different perspectives for certain,   and as I find myself upside-down,   well then I am resolved to learning new angles on form and experience.    Its okay, I have no complaints  ….  except that I miss my home terribly and to have to wait for it to be rebuilt is something I can not embrace just yet.

We’re fine otherwise, and are contemplating a far more minimalist life-style.

I am so grateful for the flurry of  pattern sales from you supporters out there (the post Recovering) and those of you who gave to me loving good thoughts & prayers.  A few things which managed to come to us by gift from friends have been shaping this holding place, and it feels just a teensy bit homier now ~~ thank you!

Abelene Two just just arrived at the door   …  just in time to inspire me to knit something to drape on her lovely form.  And I still am grateful for cups of truly delicious fresh coffee.

Thank you to all of you who have left heart-full notes during & in the wake of the wildfire. Please forgive my silence, and please know that I am so very much appreciating your words, in a wordless time. Thank you.