St Andrews Harbour Socks

Come now fishermen of olden days, go with your nets out to the blues and greys of dawn.
Find me,  cast away,  and  draw me back in your nets of knotted flaxen twine, for I long to be caught and reeled back in to the world.  O’ to be born into the day once again!

jenjoycedesign© stack of socks

St Andrews Harbour in Scotland, is an historic fishing harbor inspiring a classic ensemble of fisherman gansey style socks, mitts, and tam.


Historic St Andrews Harbour, Fife, Scotland

Remember my series of fishermen neck gansey posts  from last year?

Well, I’ve returned, with ‘fishermens gansey for your feet’ …

jenjoycedesign© St-Andrews-Harbour-Socks 2

And for hands….

jenjoycedesign© buttonhole thumb mitts 2

There’s an option for kilt-hose style turned cuffs ~~ adorned with kilt flashes or ribbons tied beneath cuff and folded down, this variation resonates the Scottish Highlands!

Option for legwarmers, anklewarmers, & boot cuffs….

jenjoycedesign© ankle warmers boot cuffs

boot cuffs ~ ankle warmers

Alive O’ !!

A bonus gift included of “Petra’s St Andrews Harbour Tam” !

Because nearing the end of my pattern writing for the socks, my good & dear friend Petra had been busy  test-knitting the socks, but was also (secretly) adapting the sock pattern to a proper sea-worthy tam…


Thank you so much Petra for your tam contribution! ~ xx

So beautiful, easy to knit, and a Must Have! I am knitting one straight away ~~ but more on the tam knitting later.  For now I am working like a team of knitting fisher lassies to get all this pattern submitted and sorted out.


Happy Spring everyone!

I have pushed to have this ready on the Vernal Equinox and and shared in short series of fishermen posts, and at last here it is ~~ done & dusted!

Pattern found on Ravelry HERE. 

Washed ashore…

Wrecked fishing boat washed up on remote Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

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 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 ! 

blue things

jenjoycedesign© cappuccino and knitting
In the last weeks I’ve been  frequently knitting at the Oakville Grocery cafe to quell life’s blues.  Just a quiet little deli & espresso place on the highway with vineyard views in all directions,  and with picnic benches in the back where I can bathe in the morning winter sun while making progress toward the  finish of a new pattern.  And Emma and I are getting out a little bit for (mostly short) walks on the ridge.

In general,  we’re caught up ‘in the blues’ with one obstacle after another that the county is now presenting in order to rebuild, making life very stressful in the wake of the wildfire, and adding insult to injury.   Although it appears the walk up the ridge has lost it’s charm completely, I am trying to embrace it, hoping for better days ahead and the mysterious healing power of Spring.  Other blues:  An intensely blue sky over Oakville on Sunday.  A blue balloon descended from the sky, tangled in the woods,  omen-like.   My blue knitting bag hung on a burned branch while walking up the ridge.  Need I mention the blue knitting with cappuccino?   I would like to see some blue wildflowers soon. Oh but hey, the vernal equinox is only a week away!

The Textiles of Cusco 2


I am very much enjoying learning about Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and her life’s work establishing the Center of Traditional Textiles of Cusco , and keeping part of the past alive.  She has fought an important battle bringing  back the straying generation which nearly put an end to the skilled weavers of the Cusco region, and result has established institution and industry in Cusco,  while  bringing next generations back into the nest of tradition.    Nilda, you go girl!

I am deeply inspired by the imagery of the Andes mountains,  and of industry in spinning, weaving, and knitting  from the Cusco region.  It is obvious that I romanticize their more provincial lifestyle, although I do consider myself very lucky that I can set my feet into a degree of provincialism while at the same time choosing what I like from convenience of the modern world.  I know from my own that it is hard work refining a life in craft has nearly in itself become a novelty in the modern world.   A work ethic in craft is to me all consuming, as I savor and enjoy growing the goodness of making.

Here are a few short interview films about Nilda and her work…

I have found and purchased out one of Nilda’s  books and am looking forward to it arriving by mail, and of sharing it here forthcoming .  I am fascinated in  weaving, and the colors create from natural dyes (as well as natural un-dyed yarns) , but as I am committed to knitting, I hope the muse touches me and brings more ideas into the knit  design that I do.  More to come about my views of the richly exotic textile traditions in the nest of the Andes, so watch this space!

Read more about Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez…

 Nilda’s Wikipedia
Nilda’s books on Amazon
Interview with Cloth & Clay
Interview with World Strides
Smithsonian Folk Life Festival


The Textiles of Cusco

What do you get when you bring together a remote and rugged high mountain range, herds of soft downy llamas, alpacas, sheep, and an indigenous people who’s thirst for artfulness is apparent in all they do?   You get beautiful textiles steeped in ancient traditional, as in the Cusco region of Peru!

I’ve been watching this video over and over, fascinated in the weavings of the Cusco region, and life’s work of Nilda Callañaup Alvarez ,  while I knit and think about All Things Peruvian.  So much that I’m feeling a deep inward shift in this direction. But that is all for now, more to come later, on Nilda and Traditional Textiles of Cusco!

Soon I will have to put everything down to make my brother a chullo, which I knit nearly every year around his birthday, and I am giddy because this year I will get to knit one from my own design.

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News: I am happy to say that we got the quote from the building contractors, and we’ll manage to build our house again!  We will have to do some of the finish work ourselves, like flooring, and who knows what else, but that is nothing like when we built the whole house before. The timeline of starting date is still unknown, as is an estimated time of finish,  and I suppose everything is getting queued up for a fast and furious build sometime this upcoming spring.  I find it so difficult to blindly wait without knowing when I will go back home.   Anyway, the  very best-case scenario, if everything goes well, and which I am visualizing for dear life,  is that we could very possibly be moving back into our rebuilt house this …  coming …  Autumn … ?


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.

(not so) Grey Days

jenjoycedesign© Oakville-grocery2

Knitting while enjoying some amazing coffee, at the Oakville Grocery , once a very small-town grocery just a blink along Highway 29,  and now a roaring tourist stop with coffee bar & deli for those on their way upvalley.   For me it is just off the Oakville Grade, when I come down off the mountain, one of my ‘going out’ places,  and usually by myself.   Lots of being by myself lately, as my days are in limbo and I prefer to sit alone on one of the outside tables like this to knit and ponder with yarn and a coffee connoisseur’s cuppa.

Oh, but about the knitting.   I am in the midst of knitting a pile of prototypes, some made with Isager Tweed (previously posted in yarn tasting) , and some with other wonderful tweedy yarns, and I can only hope that I will surface with some evidence soon, nearer to the point when my pattern is ready.  I am in no rush and presently can not set a lot of expectations upon myself.  I am a snail in the race against nothing.

jenjoycedesign© tweed socks

tweed sock

I just felt like checking in, and  mention that it’s been like spring around here, and while I am under the impression that it is   suppose to be winter,   these oppressive blue skies and warm afternoons since late January are rather frightful.   I only  want nourishing rain  and dark grey skies.

Bring it on rain clouds …

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Most of you know that I have a deep intrigue in films about old mills, and traditions of textile crafts, and especially traditions of weaving.  Here is one I found that shows traditional Korean Ramie weaving.  It seems so like linen but processed completely different. I am so in awe of the older more simplistic methods. It seems the more simple, the more elegant the cloth …

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 …

Golden State (of being)


photo from archives: Fields Of Gold

A blissful golden sun-glow in the wild & wide open fields of late summer is signature to California, known as the Golden State.

I love when a storm is brewing and there is the quivering sort of gold from the vines…

photo from archives:  Seasonal

Golden shades throughout the Autumnal landscape …

jenjoycedesign© Autum Landscapes

photo from archives: November Chill

The sort of dried papery gold, from late summer wild peas…

photo from archives: Mountain Knitting

The magical and beautiful golden rays of sunrise in my kitchen…

photo from archives: Golden

But mostly…

photo from archives:  Summer Landscape In Morning

Golden fur of Emma’s, my favorite shade…

golden field

photo from archives: Walking In Autumn

So naturally, I would create my own woolly golden too.

jenjoycedesign© golden rolags

A kind of gold that brings together a color-saturated neutral with natural white,  amber & gold.

jenjoycedesign© golden2

This colorway sings of the mountain in June thru October ~~  it is my “Golden”.

jenjoycedesign© golden3

And here is how I made it …

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Techy stuff for Golden…


  • Layer color-saturated neutral batt again.
  • draw off rolags.

jenjoycedesign© rolags

  • Colorway blend:  ” Golden ” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles


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 …


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 3


photos in archives: Long Shadows Of January

Last and lightest color in my geological series is the ash layer from volcanic eruptions, and which show up a couple of feet down, seen mostly where there is water erosion in the ditches along side of some of the vineyard roads next door …
It is a stripey design of very light grey  to medium grey, depending whether it is wet or dry,  so “Ash” perfectly names the light grey color in my Geological colorways.

jenjoycedesign© ash rolags

The bulk of the color is silver — natural grey and natural white fleece —  so the range from a warm silver to a cool medium grey is up to the mood, and a thing which invites a lot of personal touch.

jenjoycedesign© rolags 2

In my three geological colors of  dark Shale,  medium Sandstone, and now light Ash, either natural grey or natural brown can be blended with natural white for the rock tones, because the distinguishing difference is dark-to-light variation more than it is color hue.

jenjoycedesign© 004

The other distinguishing feature of geological colors is that I’m using undyed natural colors for the all-over color, with a splash of the color-saturated neutral showing …

jenjoycedesign© 006

…   which by the way,   the  “color saturated neutral” (primary and/or secondary triad mix)  is the unifying element of ALL of my tweedy colorways !

Next time I will use less ratio of the color-saturated neutral, because when one is blending a light wool , like paint, the proportion of pigment actually is very little.  Also next time I will use more white in the mix to make the all-over color a lighter silver (noted below).   But for the sake of documenting my experiment, here’s what I did…

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Techy stuff for Ash…

  • 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 white with 15g natural grey,  lift batt. (Note: For lighter grey, blend more white, less grey)
  • Layer color-saturated neutral batt with white/grey batt alternately.
  • Lift batt, and for lighter grey layer again with 15g more white.
  • draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  ” Ash” .
  • 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



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

Into the mist …

jenjoycedesign© mist 3

Went for a stroll out in the drizzling rain,  and took a few photos into the veil of mist.  jenjoycedesign© mist2

The mist softens the blackened soil, but the grass is growing up through it in the open spaces now, hovering over and caressing the wound of the wildfire.

I am feeling a nearly unperceivable whispering heartbeat of optimism …

jenjoycedesign© mist

… as if life might still be good after all, in spite of itself.


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 …


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.


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


  • 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

Manzanita Blossom

photo from archives:  A Storm On The Way

The blossoms of the Arctostaphylos (manzanita) on the ridge trail of the mountain ~~ one with pink flowers, and one with white ~~ are the first blossoms arriving in winter!

pink blooming manzanita

pink blooming manzanita

Nestled side by side on the ridge, the two varieties are perfectly complimenting of each other, and as fragrant as they are breathtaking in beauty.

white blooming manzanita

white blooming manzanita

((You can read more about the manzanita in this post ))

Now looking at my latest tweed yarn colorway:  “manzanita blossom” …  it will be a pink, with a just a dusting of white.

jenjoycedesign© rolags

A blush of pink against rocky volcanic landscape is one of the most beautiful things in the mountain landscape, and I do think I found just the right shade ( although I wished I put a tiny bit more white in the last blending layer) …

jenjoycedesign© spun manzanita

A shy pink.

A pink which is the color of mid winter … pale and fresh.

jenjoycedesign© spun1

There in the pink is the saturated neutral too.

jenjoycedesign© spun

Now, let me show you how I do it…

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Techy stuff for Manzanita (pink)…

  •  Color Saturated Neutral recipe for approx 5g each of primary triad of blue, red, and yellow:  Blended thoroughly on blending board with 15g of white as many times as necessary to fully homogenize…

jenjoycedesign© primary neautral + white

  • With neutral-white mix, layer alternately with 5g each of Fuscia, Rose, and Flamingo Pinks, and 5-10g more white  (see Blending For Tweed Simplified)

jenjoycedesign© add pinks and white

  •  Lift batt, and layer again twice more.  (Note to improve: try last layering with another 5g white. to get more white ‘streaking’)
  • Draw off rolags.
  • Colorway blend:  “Manzanita blossom” .
  • 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!


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.

♣     ♣     ♣

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 !

♣     ♣     ♣

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