Knitting In The Wild

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We have been walking through the morning hours of Autumn.  Miles of yarn and prints of dog paws, and shoes, side by side. More chaotically spaced actually, mine straight forward, destination ahead, focused on the rounds of lace, of sleeves, of precious warm cardigans, and Emma’s  prints with her own agenda, as the wild life is speaking to her and new smells are exciting her in zig-zag directions and renewed vigor giving her incentive to come up to the peak with me these days.

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Our walks journey through Autumn,  with the arrival of rain, we seem to be experiencing  a gradual awakening of our dormant selves,  as is with the succulent green mosses everywhere … our joy of joys.

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To the peak we have walked a few times this Autumn already.  On the ridge right before the peak, like a comfortable old bed,  there is a soft pine needle layer from an eerie forest of stick-like old trees composting on the jutting toothy rock beneath … it is so dreamy to walk through, I just had to hang my knitting on it and be silly.

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Everything is in its place, and life is good.

Yoking it in . . .

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The point of knitting a sweater when body and two sleeves join together , when all that is left is the yoke, then the sweater is nearly done. I call it ‘yoking it in’ and that is the best part of knitting a sweater, for it just magically comes together with relative speed!  This one is Miss Fifteen’s, and second of two Autumn Sweaters I do every year (the first one I knit, Miss Twelve’s, is already complete , and awaiting photos!)

I had joined all pieces, then set off for a hike with the sweater to knit on the stretches of dirt road, then to tuck away in large knitting bag worn handles over shoulders like a backpack, for the woods wandering trail-blazing section.  Trail blaze we did, and when we got back back after cross-country hiking off trail a ways, getting mighty dusty from dry loose forest soil, and as I was filthy I showered.

I then pulled out of the bag Miss Fifteen’s ecru-colored Autumn Sweater, it was littered with bits of duff and leaf… rather funny actually, and fortunately no staining bits or bugs. Now I’m indoors and showered and setting in to finish this pup ! I expect to finish it tomorrow , take some still photos soon thereafter, and then sigh a sigh of relief as I  be well ahead of the Autumnal Equinox this year to give my niece’s their sweaters with a grand photo shoot in the town of Calistoga toward the end of September.

This of course, means there’s plenty of time to get into some other design ideas I’ve been thinking about ! 🙂

In a row . . .

jenjoycedesign©hooksTarnished brass hooks on an old oak barrel stave, an artifact from attic, something my mother bought decades ago, and I remember it even then. Now, cut down to fit a new space, and hung again, the row of hooks hold felted wool nests of yarn & needles hanging with purpose midway fulfilled, rounds unfinished, in perpetual knitting motion on the trails which I walk, we walk, Emma and I.

One foot and one paw, in front of the other, we advance over the chaotic forest floor in unison, attempting to find a familiar path to stake. A knitting trail to rake aside the stones and the fallen branches from wind storms, to walk mornings and evenings, while knitting and smelling the wildlife’s potent presence, we go forth. These felted bags seem happy and purposeful, each of them filled with a different knitting project, they wait their turn as well-loved servants.

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As the summer wanes, the air brings quiet subtle twinges of Autumn, and my skin nearly feels the rain that will come two months from now.  Autumn is knit-walking season for me, when the forest has an aroma of spice the trails beckon us and knitting explodes into form. I am happy to say that I am finally getting to the hard work of the long-talked-about Knitting Trail.  Glimpses here and there, and everywhere  will be seen as the days shorten and the walks lengthen, and these bags hold secrets one day to be revealed, as will  sections of trail with the rustic forested sitting spots, glimpses to be shared here for you to gather and sit with me.

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Here & now, in the stale weeks left of summer, I try to maintain a sense of productivity.  I can nearly count the days until the Autumnal Equinox, as it always becomes a very longed-for event in my life, when I am once again as a giddy child. Six weeks and four days . . .

. . .and counting !

A Storm On The Way

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Emma and I were out for our morning walk but it was different today, it was deliciously foggy.   To end a seven-week-long warm dry spell of this winter so far, we are due to get hammered with a big storm tonight.  A storm which is absolutely longed for … so I figured we’d go out and take some photos in the drizzling fog and cooling air.  On the way up the ridge there was a pleasant surprise ~~ all the manzanita is peaking in blossom !

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One of the attractions of this time of year in Northern California mountains is the precious heart-shaped and very fragrant blossoming Arctostaphylos, or as we know it, manzanita. There are mainly two indigenous species which thrive side-by-side up on this mountain, and the most distinct difference is seen this time of year, when they blossom. One has pink blossoms, and the other white …

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Otherwise their form is very similar, but their leaves are also quite distinctive also. I just love to bury my face into a cluster of these sweet blossoms and inhale their fragrance. . .

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At the top of the ridge, Emma sniffed and I knitted as we meandered along the knife-edge where to the north-east is Napa Valley, and to the south-west is Sonoma Valley.  Just sniffing and knitting our way along.

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And then finally we reach the summit, and breathe in the cloud .

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We’re out a lot these days hiking & knitting, so we won’t mind staying indoors while enjoying the lashing rain forecast for the next few days.  I’ll be posting more as the tail end of winter bursts into action in the next weeks, on the mountain and on my needles!

Taking It In

002 (3)I’ve been knitting an insane amount lately.  This is a big part of my life, who I am slowly becoming, and I love how I’m involved in it.  Just now I was feverishly working a swatch for a new idea,  and I looked out the window to my beloved mist pouring over the ridge from the Pacific, and remembered that I promised myself to disengage after my last pattern (Penny Candy Winter)… to calm down and enjoy what is left of Autumn, and walk in it every single day. Well, today was one of those rare days I didn’t .  Up here in the California Highlands we’re getting rain, oh yes…

California Highlands… and now two months into Autumn in the mountains and we’re saturated in the mist and rain and the moss is vibrant and I am happy. So happy!  One month left of delicious Autumn to wander and watch the turning of the trees.

My Autumn project is to overhaul a few of my earlier patterns and so I feel at a restless in-between place presently. I’m finished with the last pattern overhaul & update of Dicey Highland Hats,  and now have a pause before starting the next big thing. I’m trying to be a good person and cook a nice quiche for dinner, while doing chores, and at the same time I just want to knit ! Knit!! Knit!!! But I must force myself to stop knitting, to quiet my mind and my racing ideas, and to look around me, because I find that the creative source does need to be rested and nurtured equally as much as it needs to be exercised and developed. Answers come in the void spaces most often, let the mist into the mind to obscure the sharpness, and to let my thoughts have a good rest.

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Knitting In The Wild

jenjoycedesign©knitting in the wildAnother glorious hike up to the ridge peak this morning. Shading the camera lens with knitting overlooking the ridge after ridge facing north-easterly.

Greeting the long shadows of morning as the sun’s rays shot through the pines on the crest of the ridge…

jenjoycedesign©019There was knitting the whole way, reknitting that is, of yoke of nieces’ Autumn sweater.

 Capturing the sun streaming through black oak leaves soon to fall …jenjoycedesign©003Greeted the Sleeping Princess (Mt Tamalpais) as she lay like rolling blue ocean waves in the distance…
jenjoycedesign©036And Mt. Diablo as we started up, a stones throw from the house… and you can see the yellow patches in the trees where there is Autumnal color starting.

jenjoycedesign©002At the rocky top,  another  view across the ridges which frame the upper Napa Valley …
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Most of all we enjoyed the contemplative early morning trek, with bright morning sun, mountain air, and knitting all going so perfectly together I think. Looking forward to another like it each day this Autumn, as we have been out nearly every single day . Turning of the season continues to be wonderful this way.  Life is good.

Knitting In Nature

019It rained again, and the moss is glowing !

We’ve continued our walks nearly everyday this Autumn.

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Out in the freshly rained-on moss, and romping around and smelling things.

( Emma tends to like to stick her whole head into tree caves…)

023The really remarkable thing is, that while we were walking in the woods, I was knitting the very colors of the moss on oak bark, and it took me by surprise how much I reflect the colors of my surroundings.

Presently knitting the sweater for this hat , in the colorway ‘moss on oak’…jenjoycedesign©green&grey

Knitting in nature is one of the things I love to do most of all.

Walking in Autumn

jenjoycedesign©out in AutumFirst, a lovely shot from our Autumn walk the last weekend.

And now just back from a walk, out rather late we went up the ridge a little ways, by the high vineyard, (um… which is sorely lacking a vineyard for the present)…

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Then we turned around , and went into the woods. Here , knitting poised on a log, and with not much progress from the last photo of it….

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Then we decided to explore and left the trail, began crawling through and over all sorts of things, collecting all sorts of burrs and stuff in our hair, to scout out new places.

 Oh look! Another huge mushroom growing from a dead tree!

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 And then….

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… we ended up at a rather tall henge-like rock out-cropping I did not recognize.

(I’ll take another photo of this place another time soon, in the mist, for affect).

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Seriously though, with different angles to the familiar places, I thought there for a few minutes we were lost. (not really that would be rather impossible) A glance easterly and I see Mt Diablo in the distance, a good bearing.

011Then I knew where we were exactly and that there’d be close by the old dilapidated bench from one of the abandoned old shacks nearby….

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Sure enough, after scrambling through a few bushes, there it was !

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A great little secret picnic & knitting spot, wouldn’t you say?

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Have you been out on any walks this Autumn yet?

Each Day In Autumn

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Emma and I have been out walking (and I knitting while walking) everyday this Autumn so far, and plan to walk everyday for the remainder of Autumn, bringing camera and sharing photos often here and celebrate the best time of year !  Harvest is in process, finished in this particular vineyard a stone’s throw from where we live. We passed it along our forest paths near by.  Then Emma spied a big yellow fungus !!!

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On through hilly & hollow lands we walk….

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And with fragrances abound, Emma follows her nose rapturously…jenjoycedesign©wandering2

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And just around this bend (from the opposite direction of last hike posted) we end up back home …

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First Morning of Autumn

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I know two posts in one day. Its just that I wanted to share with you all my first walk of Autumn.  We were out in the early hourse on this first morning of Autumn, knitting while hiking about the woods a bit, then hauling on up the ridge to the peak of the mountain (at 2600′ elevation.) There were beautiful views of the distant ridges along the way up.  Mt. Diablo in the distance, rather southerly (to the right behind the trees)…
009Then higher up, looking more westerly, a grand shot of Mt. Tamalpais,  named by the indigenous Native Americans meaning “Sleeping Princess” (did you know Mt Tam is where mountain-biking was invented?) …
011Then at the peak, overlooking Napa Valley, easterly, and the sun was already high …
019We went down our favorite well-trodden paths on the way home…
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035Then across the last oak wooded section before landing back home. It was a glorious walk this morning, and I have made progress on a little knitting too !

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 I hope your start of  Autumn (or Spring) is equally as happy as mine.

What are you up to?

A True Robin’s Egg Blue

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I just picked this up from the duff of the forest floor. I nearly stepped on it while knitting along my woods path. In the woods we have a lot of robins , year round, so occasionally one finds a little shell cast aside, just like this, a stark contrast of blue shade against brownish tones of the leaves on the ground. Had I a camera with me I would have done well to photograph it against its natural setting, but I didn’t, and so I collected my little prize into my knitting bag and brought it home to photograph on some white linen.

This color blue, a greenish blue, is such a beautiful color, and I have it now here as reference when examining hues, if I may be forgetting what it looks like. Let it etch into my color memory, for I want to find a way to knit this color!

Glimpses From The Knitting Trail

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A big granite rock stack leads from our door out into the woods.

Recently Emma had a birthday ! She is nine.  Every year on her birthday I take her for a long walk and follow her wherever she wants to go.  There was a rather hesitant beginning as she contemplated what was down the road…

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Emma’s 9th birthday walk.

Then after we walked all over the place, unexpected places she led me, and I followed without question.  As our walk ended she found herself mesmerized in the sun beams of the forest, a little spellbound perhaps. There’s lots to think about when one is Nine.

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Emma in woods.

For those of you who have been visiting Yarnings for any length of time, know about my Knitting Trail, I talked about a while ago in this post.    I am gradually putting it all together, this spot and that, through forest and wood, through hilly and hollow lands.

Such a beautiful warm spring day!

Some silly photos as I try in vain to get a portrait selfie photo of Emma & me, but Emma was reluctant …

on the Fairy Trail

And  a little knitting happened too …

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One of several rough-cut benches along the Knitting Trail.

Morning On The Knitting Trail

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Emma and I took off for a walk along the old road, and then on the knitting trail to visit the woods with the green moss which is now absolutely glowing from all the rain.

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I have to say, of the many oddities one can find in the woods, this was the most ! I intend to include it in a knitwear photo someday.
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Well, it’s back to my knitting loft, with a new design adventure and happy pots of tea, for the sky is greying and rain drops are already plopping down on the roof again.  Happiness is rain.  Lots and lots of rain.

((And tea with home-made shortbread.))

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New (Vineyard) Horizons

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I so wanted to show you this photo taken early today ! It was a windy and cold November morning as Emma and I walked over to our newest (hidden & secret) scenic location, which we discovered only last week from trail-blazing.  Here, this morning,  happy to greet the young vines, and a south-easterly horizon  with distant blue Mt Diablo’s double peak of 3,864 feet visible from where I stood — on a big tree stump, est. elevation of 2100 ft, on a slope facing  San Francisco Bay.   ( Note,  this is not the same vineyards wherein great devastation of historic vines is going on, but a different vineyard. )  By all means, click the photo, and see it full-sized !

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Ahem** I have nearly finished my fourth redesign of the project in natural shades of Jamiesons Spindrift. It is quite an embarrassment to think I was near done, over a week ago, then to have to start over, then over again, and well… it’s a sore subject… but a labor of love and true break-through for me in design, as well as expected set-backs. If I survive this week at all, I will have something to show for all of my determination. I am sure by now you’ve all guessed the theme to have something to do with vineyards.

A Knitting Trail

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Emma and I have  been working on our home trail in recent weeks.

 It is to be a knitting trail ! ! !

Our trail begins right next to Jeff’s workshop…

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And takes off into the woods, just follow Emma.

It goes upwards very quickly…

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It meanders along old deer-trodden paths ,

which Emma and I  have enhanced with our footsteps.

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It passes by tall firs,

oaks & bays,

madrones & maples…

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You will see my short rows of sticks on occasion,

they are trail markers in sections where the knitting trail goes one way,

while the deer may go another…

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Emma is charged with purpose as she surveys the forest, and the wildlife.

There is at least one mountain lion which lives in the area, sighted many times, and  I often wonder if it is the lion which she smells.  I think I would like to put some places to sit (and knit) along the way.  Just sit, knit,  and listen to the wildlife.

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Some small sections are getting the shovel treatment, like here at the trail-head.

 (Yes, that is our house, and my car, which I try to drive as little as possible)

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So you see, I have been working like an ox lately, for this is the time of year I love most to be outside toiling away, among the falling leaves of Autumn. There’ll be more photos later, as the Knitting Trail is honed to perfection !

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But hey ! Its the last day of October today, and that means it is Halloween!   For the occasion I thought I’d post a photo of something remarkably ominous from the woods!   The raven’s cultural and somewhat spooky  symbolism  is not to be debated, however here they are just a cheerful and welcomed presence, and flock about year round. They make themselves very comfortable, eating the berries in the native trees, and fruit & veggies from our garden, and pick from our compost pile too.  I think they are fascinating birds,  possessing a truly amazing intrigue and even sense of humor (they like to tease Emma every chance they get), and they are the stewards of these woods all the same.  Here is a photo I took last week, zoomed into the branches of an oak while this fellow and his mate were making deep throaty chortling & clucking conversation…
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Happy Halloween everyone !

(( Note:  I am delayed with knitting projects due to interruptions life tends to cause. ))

Golden

Autumn Scapes

Well,  good news has given me a sigh of relief,  and things regarding life on my mountain are not as grim as I had imagined (I talk about in this post the other week) .  Not all the vineyards are uprooted, and this one, perhaps my most walked, seeming like a comfortable nest over-looking the valley, appears to remain, though its devastation is probably only postponed to next Spring.  Most all of the vineyards are going to be replanted with new vines.  This golden landscape photo was taken last year at this time, at end of October. I just love Autumn !

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On another thought, I wasn’t going to post again until I had finished submission of the pattern which I’ve been discussing for a few weeks.  All I can say is its nearly ready, just a last-minute bout of design-insecurity seems to be my biggest obstacle.    🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse us,  Emma and I are ready to walk out in this Autumnal Wonderland !

Things In Trees

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I was out walking this morning , with Emma, knitting as I go.  I nearly stepped on this perfect little nest which was upright, in the middle of the path !  It must have been a sad loss for the birds who inhabited it, probably due to a marauding jay or raven or a lashing wind, which brought it to fall from the branches.

It was so fragile and dear and perfect, I couldn’t just walk on by. I put my knitting in my shoulder bag, and picked it up examining it closely as walked a while, with it very carefully perched in my cupped hand. Soon after I found some newly fallen acorns too, how lovely, which I popped inside the nest, looking like tree eggs of a sort.  As I walked from the oaks through the firs,  I noticed then some freshly fallen fir cones too, and picked a few of them up and put in my knitting bag. I tell you, now I feel it, I just know it’s coming, my favorite season of all is knocking at Summer’s door ~~ because things are beginning to fall out of trees!

Yet still a long wait through the hot & dry months before the first rains come, usually in October. But for now, the nest, acorns, and cones are a festive little Autumnal adornment to my loft, reminding me that not long from now is the Autumnal equinox !

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Summer Landscape In Morning

Its been deliciously foggy down in the valley in the mornings lately , typical of later summer and Autumn around here.  Emma and I set out early today, at 6:30 a.m. to get up to the peak and take some photos of the fog before the sun was too high. On the way up the ridge the light in the grass was just so entrapping ,  I couldn’t stop taking photo’s of Emma in the dried grass, she was just glowing !

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At the peak about 7 o’clock the sun was already high, I’m so glad we didn’t set off any later than we did !

First shot, facing east. . .

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However, the fog  was dense and packed like a snow-covered lake, like I wanted to see it.   In the next frame,  you can see a division between of two ridges in a darkening foreground (actually I see a third very slight sillhouette)… our house is between them, down further at  2000 feet elevation, but it is not visible from where I am photographing, at 2600 ft.  Its my guess the top of the fog must be around 1700 ft.

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Emma  surveys from the precipice at the top. . .

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On the way down, a meadow bordering to the west of tall forest, the dried grass still not gilded golden by the morning sun’s rays seems as lifeless  as you can imagine !

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Next is the whole early morning hike in a slideshow ~~  going up to the peak, then coming back down, with the last shot in our drive.  Arriving home from such an excursion before 8 o’clock in the morning  makes me feel so invigorated, and so I celebrated as I often do, with another cup of fresh coffee, buttered toast & tasty home-made jam !

Northern California In Winter

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It is one month into winter in Northern California.

The trees have been bare for only as long.  This photo was taken weeks ago, but I was waiting for the right time to post it.  It is a Blue Oak, there are many where we walk .

And walking is what Emma and I do a lot of these not-so-grey days of winter.  Last few days have been fair and I got some pink on my cheeks today, as we walked some new terrains under the noon-time sun !

Of course, I brought my knitting . . .

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The Lost Mitt

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It does happen then. All this talk about knit-walking, like it’s without consequence. Well, for the most part it is, however, I have tripped, and ‘descended clumsily’ into a fallen tree and scraped up my thumb bad enough. (That was about three weeks ago , and is just now healed nicely).  And I have dropped my yarn and it has unraveled as I walk on unaware for a ways,  sometimes a long ways, before I realize what has happened, then having to wind it back up while picking leaves and twigs and forest duff out of the yarn (very tweedy looking) ~~~ and this has happened countless times !  Oh, but this time, the most recent calamity, was that the other day (my birthday, I am certain) I misplaced a mit somewhere, maybe dropped along the way  . . . and lost it !

So this one pair of pin-striped fingerless mits, was to be my last pair I was going to allow myself to knit, of my mit-mania (um…we’ll see about that), and I’m merrily binding off the second of the pair and starting to chirp the joys of spring as it’s time for finish work ! Weaving in ends, soak in suds & dry. . . then wrap very cheerfull like and send off !  WAIT.   Um . . . but . . . where is the other mit?  Did I lose it ??? Not even panicked,  I search all my knit-walk satchels, then look about.  Mild panic, search the satchels again… at least 3 times, as if once isn’t enough. I mean I stick my hand in and grope disbelievingly,  repeatedly, and actually turn them inside out , as if I can’t feel a mit without doing so the first time.  I’m laughing.  Yet I’m starting to get impatient and swear at the same time, because I know exactly what happened, I probably dropped it ! Not laughing anymore, as I’m knowing full well there isn’t enough yarn to toss one together in the nick of time.   Still ,  I obligingly search the likely places in the house it might be. . . again . . . and no mit.  This was last night mind you, so I couldn’t go out looking for it !

Until this morning. This morning finally dawns, and after feeling the doom that I can’t make another, that it is forever lost,  and how am I going to deal , since I used up the last of one of the pin-stripe colors . . oh sheesh . . . must I dorkily make a mismatched pair????  Well, I searched those knitting bags again, my hands groping around without my mind connected, they just shuffle papers, lifting piles of crap on my desk table, lift pillows, blankets…  looking behind my sideboard,  under the sideboard . . .my hands are hoping for a stupid miracle that I covered them up, or pushed them off the furniture.  My hands are slaves to my disbelief and my reluctance to go out in 34F temperature to go ‘hiking’.  But, at last, Emma and I did go out and retrace our last walk.

This was our Lucky Day…. only a little less than a mile and we found it !

There it was !!!

There it was in the dirt road !!!!!

There it was in the dirt road in the dark woods, damp, shaking, barely alive !!!!!

It was lying so alone,  vulnerable, belly up, in the  middle of the dirt road, right next to a little fir tree snag that had fallen in a recent storm.  Ohhh…yyyeahh… I remember Emma’s leash getting tangled up when she jumped over it, and I remember having to put my knitting in the bag to help her get untangled.  Then we went on, and I carried on with the pin-stripes.,.. probably yanked out the yarn a little too hard.  If this little mit had a voice, I’m sure it would be thin and very high-pitched and calling out in sheer exhaustion ” Here I am, here I am…. oh you found me, where were you, why did you leave me??? I don’t think I could have survived another wild animal sniffing me over in the night . . .”   So anyway, the story ends happily. We have ‘er back, and the pair is reunited !!! Washed, rinsed, and the color has come back into her cheeks. In fact, I bet you can’t tell which one was lost, can you?

Ahhhhhh . . .  . . drying ! ! !

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((( Now these wee mits are somewhere in the air between here and Kelso.)))

:: giggles like a 10 year old ::

Fog & Moss

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Emma and I out exploring the mountain for a good long knit walk on Sunday morning . Observing moss dripping off of branches, devouring the old oaks.  So much fog and moisture from the coastal weather pounding this inland ridge which divides Sonoma and Napa counties, before sinking finally into the Napa valley.

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Close to the peak, we seek out our secret precipice . . .

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Emma scouts the ridge along the peak, for her usual treats . . .

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What is this bright blushing wooliness among the foggy forest  ?

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And the view , beyond the knitting, from the peak at 2600 feet !

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Long Shadows of January

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Out walking in the new year.

Long shadows cast in the piercing late morning light, vines and deciduous trees bare, a lovely wintery landscape in the mountains of Northern California.
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Jeff , Emma & I are out greeting the new year with cheer,  walking up and down watery rocky roads of the back country.  Bare trees and fresh grass bursting out from last year’s growth, and water springing out of the ground . . .

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Here Jeff watches a huge flock of doves explode noisily  into the air. . .

(Seems to me dogs rarely look up into the sky, but always into the bush !)

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Other things we saw :

lots of ice on the ground . . .

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deeply grooved erosion from water, in the mossy banked soft rock along the country road.

( We’ve had torrential downpours in the last weeks.)

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Whipping in the breeze, the colorful flags still flying in the meadow along the canyon precipice,

releasing prayers to the wind . . .

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First blossoms of winter !

the manzanita’s pink heart-shaped buds . . .

jenjoycedesign©manzanita-blossoms

A little bright wool resting on the grey bare vines !

jenjoycedesign©walking-project

Is this perhaps *moi* knitting while walking???   Two satchels slung to each side, holding two colors being knit into another ( yes still another) pin-striped fingerless mit. Even Jeff commented at the end of our hike how impressed he was that I was able to knit while walking over some of the terrain we just had . . .

jenjoycedesign©knit-walking

Well, I’ve had lots of practice in recent months !

Happy New Year All !!!

Seeing Red

Knitting again on this cardigan started last year, which went into hibernation due to other projects that came up, and quite frankly, was forgotten.  Now near completion, I am in a total state of agitation, as I have had to knit the left, then the right button bands over, then bind off again & again. Soon it will be finished, and I can show you, after I get it all blocked a second time and buttons sewn on of course.

In the meantime…

I’ll show you some photos from yesterday’s knit-walk.  I followed Emma down in the meadow above the canyon (coyote-ville), and to our surprise, Emma spotted something very curious flapping in the breeze ahead.

Closer and closer,  curiouser and curiouser !


Ah ha ! There has been someone who has been adorning the mountain with Tibetan Prayer Flags around here lately.   The Masked Flagger has struck again !  They are admittedly quite a spectacle of artistic beauty. (That is, until they become bleached by the sun and wind-whipped to shreds.)

Oh, and is this a little knitting growing on a vine trellis ?

Tweedy & Autumny

Finally the rain clouds have come and rained and everything is moist and the forest smells wonderfully spicey with Autumny smells.  We’ve had rain this week enough to soak the forest and give the moss a good drink and I just love rain ~~ just look at those clouds ! 

I went for a knitting walk with this blue lump of a sweater,  with about a half ball of yarn at the start, thinking I’d have plenty for a long walk. I managed to get all the way back to the house, and ran out of yarn *just* as I walked in through the door, just enough to splice on to another ball ~ I call this a grand knitting coincidence !

I’m almost at the section of the Michigan Winter Sweaters (thats two) where I must fuss about with a tedious new technique ~  the seamless ‘shirt yoke’  that I have never tried ~ which will involve knitting back and forth on a lopsided saddle shoulder which is wider on the back than the front, and knits itself into the body as it goes.  This horizontally eating up the end of the vertical stitches, is making me nervous, because I’ve never done a seamless saddle-shoulder, but sounds exciting all the same !   Bless Elizabeth Zimmerman for writing the instructions out so dearly, but still I am not at all confident, because  I really just  am not a very good reader-of-knitting-instructions… don’t be surprised if I come back here and calling for help in another post soon.

Knitting In The Wild

I have been knit-walking rather obsessively lately.  Some days I go out twice, and I am elated to say that as a result I am both knitting and walking an incredible amount more than before.  In fact, I just can’t ever see myself ever again idly walking the mornings away without my fingers making silly loops, one after another.  I know, actually rather weird when you think of it. So here are some photos from this morning…Nearby,  where Emma’s absolute favorite trail takes us, we greet the nearby mountain tops on the other side of a steep and narrow canyon …

We like to hop over to the canyon precipice to take a peek down into the abyss…

((  and to sniff at what the wild coyotes have been up to ! ))

Right at the precipice.  Lichen covered volcanic rock, and grass as dry as papyrus, until it rains, which it hasn’t yet.  We’re having our Northern Californian Indian Summer, where typically in October just after you feel the cool of Autumn, we get visited by the hot clear days for another week or two.

My temporary knit-walking bag,  an old rather small hip pack I dug up this morning from the ‘gear closet’.  I have been experimenting with all kinds of methods to hold the ball of yarn while I knit and walk ~  from stuffing it into various pockets, or inside the front of my shirt, or under my arm, or in one of Emma’s treat  pouches, to wearing one of my felted knitting bags slung over my shoulder.  I have yet to design a ‘ hiking knitting bag ‘ but this seems to do fine for this morning.


A  shot from one of the high vineyards, overlooking the SanFranciscoBay to the south,  however in the bright morning light, and camera’s focus, you can’t see any details in distance.

Is that a tweed sleeve hanging on a Cabernet trellis ?

Two sleeves done & dusted, two more to go, for Two Michigan Winter sweaters.  Then I can join them to the bodies and begin the Elizabeth Zimmerman seamless hybrid ‘shirt style’ yoke I’ve been so looking forward to settling into.

Mountain Knitting


Making really good progress with the ‘his & hers’ tweed pullovers.

 I am calling them  ” Michigan Winter “.

How could I already be nearly finished with the main body of two full-sized sweaters in one week?  I’ll tell you how, because Emma and I have been doing a lot of  walking this week, being sure to get in at least one walk a day, short or long, and well, I’ve taken my knitting along each time, and I tell you folks,  it adds up !

 Just as I’m plowing through these young homesteaders’ pullovers,  I myself am getting fit as a farmer, and Emma is delighted about all these hikes too, as we go slower, further, longer, and linger at delicious smells in the forest duff.

Autumn in Northern California brings the leaves falling late,

but the Madrones are always first to drop theirs, beginning in July !

I love the terra cotta tones of the leaves as they turn on the ground, before the first rain comes.

As we meander up the ridge, my favorite once bloomed in purple wild sweet peas look so pretty,

even as dried as parchment paper.


I sometimes have to fix a dropped stitch or untangle the yarn,

and Emma waits patiently in the golden grasses.


Here  we are up into the steep section of the climb, and if it were a clear day without foggy haze in the distance,  you’d see SanFranciscoBay, and the GoldenGateBridge beyond the hills…

Emma always finds a stick to befriend…

Approaching the top of the ridge, SonomaCountyLeft and NapaCountyRight….

Finally at the precipice of the peak, overlooking the valley below.

If you could see Emma’s right ear,  it is about touching where we came from. . .

. . . and now it’s time to go back home Emma.  We’ll come again soon… probably tomorrow.

Morning Walk & Knit


I’m going to go for a Walk & Knit , down this old logging road, as soon as I post this. Out my door, down this road, navigating over uneven rocky sections in road as I amble along,

… while  k n i t t i n g  ! ! !

Yes folks, this is my new habit that I am giddy about.  I’ve done it a few times already, and everytime out the door it seems I think ” I should have my knitting “.  Some habits take a while to form. So this morning is my official ritual beginning of a Morning Knit & Walk and I’ll post photos of the scenery occasionally here on Yarnings.   Odd? Well, not really, as I walk this road almost daily, as I do knit almost everyday too. I’m very excited to make something official of this, because it will not only ensure I walk more, longer even perhaps (in the case where I am anxious to get back home and do hand work ),   it will certainly help me accomplish more knitting, even if done at a slower pace  (but only slightly slower pace). Well, I am going to have to make myself a proper knitting pouch, something like an apron with a big double pocket (in case I am doing color work and I need to keep yarn balls separate) … perhaps I will zip together upon my return.

Actually, I noticed in my blog specs data, that it has been visited a couple of times on this post , and also noticed search terms ” knitting while walking ” and so I decided to investigate. I searched the same phrase, and I am surprised to find a many fellow Knitter Walkers out there in the world wide web, and also some material to be learned on the subject,  such as various  ‘knitting walking bags’ to be made or purchased !  I kid you not !!!  Is this nothing short of a revisitation to the old traditions of women like these, in this very popular photo of Shetland Peat Carriers of Olden Days ?

Hardy women knitting away while collecting peat for fuel , trying to eek out a living !

(I’ve wondered for some time, is that a big sheep ram off to the left, up the road???)  Well, I’ve got a tweed pullover I just cast on last night, so here I go, on with my hiking shoes, and one of my kitchen aprons will have to suffice for now !

*    *    *

Upon my return :  I have gotten out the door and walked the back roads near my house without having to tie on my kitchen apron, because I found one of Emma’s old treat pouches which clip on served excellently to hold the yarn.  There are areas where Emma must be on leash,  and the yarn kept getting caught into the retractable leash line  … funny… so I devised a technique to pull out enough yarn for about a row, and wrap it around my arm a few times,  unwinding as I knit.  It worked fine, no mistakes,  I didn’t trip, and I worked up a sweat !