I wasn’t going to post for a while,
but this morning it is so beautifully cool and foggy, and I feel totally revived from it!
Knitting a new lace design.
Life is good.
Jeff has built a bridge from logs he salvaged from the loggers’ waste, and he hoisted them cross across the small gully which heads over to the garden in now what I am calling “the path of least resistance” with planks nailed to the top from old boards, it is an excellent & rustic installment to the woods and I am super pleased with it! I helped only minimally, as I did the original “wedding bridge” which was burned in the wildfire. A new bridge & my sooty knitting trail has of this morning been improved inexpressibly for the better! Emma inspected & approved…
There eventually will be builders at work making their presence felt in my quiet seclusion, and this lovely little bridge continues me my private trail out to the garden without having to walk up the road to the house where the chaos will be going on, and down to the garden from there. Planning ahead brilliantly! A short-cut to the garden, a bridge to bliss, a bridge across difficult terrain, so metaphorical. The garden is life, and inspires me in its quiet little way with bees bobbing about, fluttering butterflies, and small little birds bathing in various bowls and cups sitting about, as well as a fat wild dove flocks bombing about on occasion… tall seedy foxgloves still standing through the perpetual heat. I chase away the drought with my series of old-timey sprinklers, sitting beside them in the mist as I soak in the moist air and knit. It is a very rustic & secluded spot of calm, where one is really fairly hidden away.
I am trying to settle into a productive life of a busy recluse, and I have been thinking about things. Post trauma disorder has changed things a bit. I will very likely never get over that day of wildfire, for at that time forward is etched into the rhythm of how I experience life, and its injury as much a part of me now as anything could be. That blink of time when I hurriedly drove off in my car with Emma, my mandolin, recordings of my music compositions, a small box of photos, and a few clothes, my computer, and a tote full of my needles & favorite yarns to keep me busy in the days following — while instantly regretting other things which I forgot, so much from my life. Those things which seemed to define me were suddenly gone, especially those rooms, spaces which were integral to my happiness.
But let me tell you how I’ve been thinking about things, about feeling glad and comfortable with realizing that the only real thing I can ever own, and the only thing which defines me, are my accomplishments. So that is why I strive to live the busy life of a hermit in newly built hermitage, and the rooms will be far less cluttered and intriguingly sparse, so that I can build on my accomplishments. My family, and short list of close friends will allow me this reclusive life. I would like to add that I appreciate all of my pen friends from around the globe with whom I have kept company and shared my days in a more secluded way, I am ever so immensely grateful to my knitting fraternity!
♥ ♥ ♥
Hunkering down here, as things are happening. Here’s the news:
Miss Eighteen has left for college. Yup, finally flew the nest. She’ll be settling in with a load of classes and finding a job, and all of those events of college life. There’ll be fewer photo shoots with her, sadly, but when she comes home for holidays, we’ll be sure to get one in! Meanwhile I’ll be sending her knitteds in the mail, and hopefully Miss Fifteen will carry on modelling solo for as long as I can come up with something new.
We signed on officially with our construction company and met down at the county building department over a week ago, so the building plans are in process, rebuilding will start soon. However, I can’t give you anything but a hopeful “soon”, the plans are not through the office. Maybe foundation will begin before the end of August?
Hi everyone, its me Abelene!
I am giddy! Since Jen has unpacked me she decided I get to model her newest & latest design, because it will be weeks away before she can photograph her nieces in them, and she wants to get the pattern out there while the Summer is still young so knitters can not only enjoy knitting one, but wearing one as well. Backstory : Jen knitted a too-small Summer Thing posted back here, and decided in the ridiculousness of the situation, to knit another much larger one for very tall Miss Fifteen. Regardless, I have poured myself into that original “Lincoln Street” ( a size 27″ — and I have a 36″ bust ) Jen says that’s eight inches negative ease. Whatever that means, but she nearly rolled her eyes worrying about how misrepresenting that may seem. Jen says there’s an expression for such a fit, called ‘poured into’ , so I am poured into the pretty sleeveless summer thing, and I just feel grrrrreat in it! ::squeal:: Um, but did you know I have a sort of … dream… that I was born as Audrey Hepburn instead of a dress form? Yes, it is so. I know, we ought to be grateful for what we have, but I just love her and the whole Paris thing. And so here she is, my sweet demure fantasy human embodiment, and this is what Audrey has to say about this new design…
Oh, but Jen also let me model the pink one , a much more acceptable fit of 32″, and that means, well, only four inches negative ease! Isn’t that something!
Let me move to the side a little bit so you can see the shaping of the armscye. That is the ‘arms eye’ Jen told me, a really old-fashioned dress-maker’s way of saying it but you can also just say arm hole. Yes, the hole that my arms, if I had them, would go through, and make a sweet flirty summer top, which is really just so nice! Jen has also included an option for lower neck than shown here, which she thinks she will knit up next.
The back, which Jen tells me is the same as the front, only higher. All around, at any angle, this top just makes me feel like I should be having an iced cold pop-sickle while walking down Lincoln Street in Calistoga. Go for the sizzle I say!
I feel that this top is the classic of classics and it feels absolutely delicious, and I think that everyone should have one!
Jen points out that the sizes go to infinity, so big burly men can wear them, as well as little kids too ( but I think I’d rather like to imagine being Audrey wearing one).
Jen says very soon, when she finishes (a larger) Miss Fifteen’s Lincoln Street, she will photograph them on the actual Lincoln Street in Calistoga, with the Darling Duo, later in the summer. Lincoln Street is all ready for you to make one while the summer is young, and the pattern is now submitted and LIVE on Ravelry. Jen would appreciate it if you made one, or at least went and checked it out over on Ravelry HERE.
Ta ta for now,
Hi everybody, its me Abelene.
Look here what the post lady brought Jen! All the way from Hamburg Germany to Napa California, in transit all the way through the summers solstice, and finally landed here just now. Jen was SO EXCITED to get this parcel from Petra, she immediately ran into the shed where I’ve been held captive in my box, up in the rafters, since she moved up into her charcoal forest, and assembled me with a happy mood. Now, I am just as excited as she is, because she is letting *moi* debut Petra’s gorgeous piece of work!
Where is Jen at this moment?
She is , of course, to tears with overwhelm, while making a grateful & delicious cup of coffee, (something she and Petra have a mutual fondness for & discuss often) and Jen asked me to say something about remembering Fishwives Lace Shoal , and say that this cotton tee has been made into a most beautiful flattering tee modification of Fishwives lace motif as one could possibly design, and so Jen and I are totally & completely smitten with it!
Jen also wants me to say this: Did you know that Petra is an outstanding designer? Not just a little bit , but a lot bit, and a really talented expert knitter!!! Petra is responsible for designing St Andrews Tam which Jen considers a generous collaboration of Petra’s, for she is all around a generous, kind, and brilliantly talented woman whom Jen can never show enough gratitude for all she has test-knit and brought into existence exciting modifications of many of Jen’s patterns.
Oh, but how about some more details of Petra’s Fishwives Tee…
Petra has made this A-line tee in fine cotton yarn, with tiny needles, um, so a brain of a dress form like me can not even grasp how many stitches that would work out to be. But every one of those tiny stitches delivers Petra’s gigantic spirit, strength, and warmth into Jen’s life. A lot of stitches indeed. Well, nearly midnight in Germany, already Petra has long put down her school books and breaking from her study, and is probably fast asleep, so I am going to say ta ta for now, and let Jen send this post.
Many many many thanks Petra!!!
xx Abelene und Jen
A little something for hot days, for summer is most definitely here, with spells of high heat and endless blue skies. I’ve decided to make as many of these test-knits of forthcoming pattern as I can before mid-July. The Summer Thing hanging on the bathroom door of the Tiny House is knitted in yarn talked about in a recent post, and now after finishing Summer Thing One, I must say that it has all the crisp freshness of pure linen, but enough cotton to soften before having to wash twenty times. I’m already casting on for the second, in light blush…
As these are such fast jobs of knitting, and now that I’ve got the pattern all worked out, there’ll possibly be a couple more… so watch this space!
♣ ♣ ♣
Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a little poll, and ask whether or not anybody noticed I changed the old blog name from “Yarnings” to ” Jenjoyce Design”. I am not sure I like the change, as the old somewhat nonsense title became the mark of identity of my blog. Please tell me what you think in comments below, I would be grateful.
I’m finally up to rattling off a couple of knitted somethings for my nieces this summer. Wanting to use linen for these, I thought I would try with some linen blend yarn I’ve had my eye on for a while ~~ Knit Picks Lindy Chain .
This yarn is a chain of a super fine single, rather than plied, 70% linen/30% pima cotton, fingering weight, and 180 yards to 50g ball. Crisp, attentive, not rascally, but soft, and I feel like the pima cotton element is making it easier on my fingers too. I’ve done acres of knitting the hem with 2.75mm needles, and graduated to 3.25mm for the stockinette. I got three balls in each color for two sleeveless items, but let me tell you, as this yarn is not wool, I have no bearing as to how yardage and weight work together for a garment, this is me navigating the sea of unknown.
Hey, did you know that Miss Eighteen is leaving for college this summer? This won’t be the last of the darling duo, not by a long shot, but I did want to send Miss Eighteen off with a recent sweater success fresh in her thoughts, as we did miss the Vernal Equinox Spring Tee due to my incessant moving about. So I’m giving myself until mid July to finish two linen summery things. Counting down. Stay tuned.
This morning as I was taking pen into hand to write my morning journal entry, I noticed a warm orange glow cast from the sunrise, and giving an intense beauty into the forest. Early morning light sure does give me perspective, and so I grabbed my camera and just looked about.
My life hasn’t felt very photogenic lately, so capturing these images suddenly lifts me a little. It seems always less the subject, and nearly all the light, which makes or breaks a photograph. And as I have been feeling so overwhelmed with being uprooted during this crazy shuffling about, now seven & 1/2 months since the wildfire, this morning’s sunrise brings a delicate understanding of how both expectation & impatience are troubling me.
As I write this a very big and ominously black raven lands just outside the picture window, on the roof of the little shed next to Tiny House, and seems to be inspecting something. I love the ravens, I am so happy they weren’t away long. The wildlife is indeed more scarce since the fire, but seems to be slowly populating this lonely wood. I have felt thrown out of synchronization with the wild for what is half a year before we moved our Tiny House up here, and I realize this morning that I missed out on a full half rotation around the sun, from 10th of October last year to the 1st of May, being away from this place. That is a long time for a hermit (merely a soft kind word for agoraphobic) . I must just … b r e a t h e….. now back up on the mountain. Breathe it in! This month of May has been such work learning to live and operate inside of a small space. A really small space, and still doing without so much that makes the experience more like camping … as though my ‘real life’ is still on hold.
But life is not on hold, must forget how life once seemed, and open my eyes to the reality of being here, and now, and this could be as good as it gets. Still , my knitting design which has been seriously ergonomically tampered with, nothing in a neat orderly space, but in boxes, here and there, is going to hibernate a spell while we go through more harrowing experience with the demands of the county, which in the end may prove an ironic and impossible situation for rebuilding.
I strive to be happy for what I have. Namely, my charcoal forest, and sense of place…. the ones I love, and this Tiny House. I guess I just need more time, figuring my way forward, thinking about what matters. Life is so short, and I feel each day which slips by that even the rhythm of work of my knitting design has become distortingly hazy. I find I am caught in a sort of reflection of life up to the fire, and am wanting to set in motion the way forward, but frozen peering into that reflection.
Life is difficult often, but good, and everything in its place.
A few weeks back, only a couple of days after we moved into our new Tiny House, I dyed this sock yarn with food coloring. My favorite shade of rose inspired by the old-fashioned roses in my garden …
But perhaps mostly, the dusty rose of my tea pot .
I was going to make this whole experiment into a dying tutorial, and had taken down the steps, but thought to wait how it turned out. At the dying stage, the experiment was working beautifully, having gone from two balls of Patons Kroy in color Linen ( in this post recently) , to what I was trying for ; a dusty grey rose tinted slightly variegated overdyed yarn.
The yarn came out exquisitely. So I decided to knit the socks. It took a few weeks, and now here are the results, of um, their good side …
Unfortunately , I am not impressed with this dye, not at all. Because although the yarn may have been dyed to near perfection, and even though I used vinegar to fix, as I suspected the food coloring would not last… which it did not… in the first wash, there are blotchy patches of fade, showing the tan shade of linen beneath, after drying in the sun, on the faded side …
So its back to my favorite Jacquard Acid Dye if I am ever to dye again at all. Dying is such a hazardous hobby, and I really was hoping I could rely on food coloring, but that was wishful thinking.
A lot of work to put into knitting these beautiful Fishermen Socks only to have the dye leech out. But with very little yarn left over, I am really happy of the knitting itself, which was very enjoyable, and I fear I am thoroughly addicted to knitting these St Andrews Harbour socks , piles of them, and may just keep on knitting them for the forthcoming winter holiday gift season.
This pair will not be worthy of gift giving next winter holiday, but they will be most excellent hard wearing boot socks for my LLBean gardening boots, and what I was thinking of back in this post , of roses captured in socks!
Pattern: St Andrews Harbour
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock, color ” Linen “, overdyed with food coloring, five parts red to one part blue.
Ravelry details here.
Greetings from our Tiny House in the Charcoal Forest! Our Tiny House arrived here at the beginning of May, and now we have fully nested back in our charcoal forest. It was a major ordeal hauling it up the mountain with … Continue reading
Do you know what day it is today?
It is Emma’s birthday!
She is thirteen!!
She is wearing just her sock now, and finally her inflatable collar & cone seem to be phasing out more because her old surgery wound which very mysteriously un-healed in the last six months, is beginning to heal again. I don’t know about you, but I really do think its stress related. Which brings me to mention we have moved back up to our Charcoal Forest! We are now living in a Tiny House which arrived April 30th, and what an unbelievable ordeal it was to get it up here !!! All I can say is that we three are exhausted and recovering from a load of stress, but ever so grateful that we are home.
Since it is Emma’s birthday, I will give her a belly rub and a pat on the head from all of you! I had really meant to brush her up nice before her portrait shot, but did not happen, therefore the birthday girl is looking a bit scruffy & ungroomed. I thought in honor of her birthday I’d link to all Emma posts here.
♣ ♣ ♣
Now home, with a sense of belonging to a place, and I feel a great release of stress and sadness, so I will close this post as my old signature use to be, by saying even with all of its trials & tribulations…
Life is good.