Fishy

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Listening to political news on NPR a lot these days while I knit, feeling a bit unsettled as trouble swims below the surface. However, here in my wooded hermitage there is no trouble, only this blithe little ball of yarn, in shade of dusty pink, that I made myself!  Um, well,  that is … I un-plied it myself !!   I ‘made’ it from a ball of Knit Pick’s Palette which is a 2-ply fingering weight of Peruvian wool,  while mending dozens of breaks from impossibly sticky teasing twists that were a frustrating occurrence of un-plying,  washing, and hang-drying to set the tension ~~ and then I finally got the whole ball of lace-weight here ready to go. Having tossed a few grams worth of knots, I have about 45 grams & 420 yards of some seriously fine lace single ply.

What is really fishy , is what is forthcoming!

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Hey There! (2)

Miss Fourteen is singing her heart out with all the great themes of teen-aged life! Well, of just being human actually.  Her singing and guitar playing are improving like they’re burning rocket fuel,  and she looks into the camera so brave and doe-eyed,  just can’t hold back the raw talent growing inside of her.  She’s been practicing & posting about one video per week on her channel, ( I’ve been posting most of them also over on the original Hey There Post ).  I particularly love this choice of covers,  oddly feeling the content to be so real and beautiful, showing an honest vulnerability, which is in my opinion a mark of true artistry. Art just  touches that sensitive nerve in us, doesn’t it?  But hey there! How about a round of applause all of you, for  our darling Miss Fourteen (who by the way, is going to be having a stellar photo shoot with her sister Miss Seventeen this coming Monday, b’cuz it’s summer vacation! Yeah!!

Colors of Cusco

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These handwovens are among some of the beautiful things brought back from Jeff’s trip to Machu Picchu, cloth woven at the Center For Traditional Textiles of Cusco (click and read more about the mission of the Center!)

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I find it intriguing and so endearing that these woven items have tags which include pictures, names & birth dates of the weavers!

jenjoycedesign© weaver Gregoria

jenjoycedesign© weaver Luciana

But I find it even more intriguing that these two weavers share the same birth year, and that this year is the very same as my own, and believe me, I seem to be the only one who finds this to be an uncommon coincidence. Oh, but just look at the weave, detail….

003 By the way, Jeff has come back fit as a fiddle,  and the three of them had a wonderful time.  I can’t believe it is now already two weeks since he was in the middle of the epic trek along the Camino Inca, and I was in a frenzy knitting, pattern writing, and submitting the designs ~~ so perfectly timed was the Camino Inca Chullo submitted when he arrived in Cusco, and the Camino Inca Ponchito when he was actually at Machu Picchu~~ like the ancient Incas, maybe, and the suns rays, I put so much significance in these events to be coinciding simultaneously.

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I have a photo shoot on the calendar for beginning of June with my nieces, where these latest Camino Inca ponchitos  will be modeled and I can’t wait to come back and show them off!

Camino Inca & Pattern #2

624x468Read about how the  textiles tradition is still alive & kicking in Peru.

Jeff boarded the plane in Cusco to Lima this morning and right about now is leaving Lima on his way back home.  He has had an amazing time walking the Camino Inca to Machu Picchu  and was with a great group of trekkers.  He texted me, and sent me this photo from his phone before having to leave. It is at a weavers shop, where they are making traditional Peruvian cloths…

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See the women in the lower right of the photo? I can see the simple way the pieces of cloth are sewn together to make a poncho sort of thing, worn as an outer garment.11167787204_112e122c85

Curious about the names of the Peruvian Dress, I found a great & interesting source which gives names to all the pieces of traditional clothing.  As an alternate, or in addition to the “Lliclla” , I do think my new design would look terrific with the Peruvian ensemble….

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Introducing Camino Inca Ponchito & Cowl!

(photo shoot of all Camino Inca ~ modeled HERE)

This design collection begins in previous post with Camino Inca Chullo and now this is the second in the collection.  One can make a simple straight cowl, or go for the more shapely ponchito….

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What is a “ponchito” you may be asking ? I like to think of it as a “little poncho” , just big enough to fit over shoulders, draping in warm folds to cuddle up to neck, but maybe one should think of it technically as a hybrid between a shawlette and cowl, all depending on which size is made. Here it is shown in smallest size;  35″ circumference at bottom, and 22″ circumference at top, and 11″ in length from bottom to top.  In my own colorwork with lovely bobbled bands it is rather sizzling I think…

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Edit In: The straight cowl for this design, is as basic as can be, with garter stitch edging… and here with colorway and no stripes between makes a clean playful edition!

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The design collection is still underway, with a photo shoot sceduled for kick off for my nieces’ summer vacation, when  I will be hopefully be finished with the whole Camino Inca collection.

Please come see the pattern HERE,

And please join in my promotional pattern release give-away ~~ in the spirit of Autumn in the Andes,  heading toward winter! Details on my Ravelry group HERE.

All posts related to ” Camino Inca ” designs HERE

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Camino Inca & Pattern #1

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The Camino  Inca,  also known as the “Inca Trail” or “trail to Machu Picchu”, is a road built by the Incan Empire long long ago, and much of it is still of original Incan construction and still traveled today!  Many of you already know that is what Jeff is gearing up to do as I post this….

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They are about to  embark on an epic trek along miles of these very poetic ancient stone roads….

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Jeff, his son & daughter are in and around Cusco Peru these last couple of days while acclimating before their big trek to Machu Picchu, and here is a photo just sent from Jeff’s phone, of a dyer’s booth of  natural dyes!  These are the signature color palette  of the Peruvian traditional textiles; crimsons, pinks, purple, gold & orange….

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And earlier, he sends a photo of a bright ensemble of some hats & bags from the market. Peruvians have made a solid industry around making & selling authentic handmade items for the tourists & trekkers who come from all corners of the world …

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I have been making a series of posts up to this one, starting from a few weeks ago leading up to this week, where I have timed it to submit my Camino Inca Designs ~ one by one~  while they are walking  the actual Camino Inca.   And  I have the first in the short series ready !

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It all began from my wanting to replicate an authentic Peruvian chullo my brother has had for decades (I talk about that in this post a few weeks ago) , but it grew and became an opportunity to design my own colorwork …

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as well as a  Mix-Your-Own with many Andean style motifs I have charted and included in the pattern ….

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And with many options, including Peruvian chullo embroidery & bling…  jenjoycedesign© Camino-Inca-Chulo4

and with a size to fit every head possible head …

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I also included a gauge substitution chart to adapt to fingering weight to bulky weight yarns. I felt the hat needed an option without earflaps and came up with a nice bobbled band (which incidentally Jeff called ‘the crown’) . Here is the Camino Inca ‘corona’ in a tiny size barely big enough for a couple of bands of colorwork , with a bobble top …

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I think I finally managed to round it all up and get ‘er running. Please come see the pattern HERE, and join in on the excitement & promotional pattern release give-away ~~ in the spirit of Autumn in the Andes, which it is, and heading toward winter! Details on my Ravelry group HERE.

All posts related to ” Camino Inca ” designs HERE

Emma is Twelve

Emma is twelve!

Amidst all the quiet commotion around here, Emma has turned twelve today!

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early morning, waiting to go to town

Her birthday present thus far has been a trip into town to visit Dr.Tracy (her favorite veterinarian) and got another blood panel test, which I’m sure will be as blue-ribbon results as a year ago. Tip top shape for a ‘tween’ German Shepherd with grey whiskers and a little arthritis, a good regimen of a lot of walks and naps!

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home from town

Well, just look at her here with her birthday presents from last year and the year before, Mr Raccoon and Mr Squirrel….

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The three of them seem to be having some kind of discussion, which I fear to disturb for they seem to be reaching some kind of consensus.

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Meeting appears to be adjourned….

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regardless of the uncertainties…

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the doubts…

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… its a go… they got it worked out,  and now on to other things!

Um, like more napping.

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Because Emma’s trip into town was an event to take in, and it being her twelfth birthday I let her ride up the mountain with all windows down! Oh the smells, pure heaven! I think she’s going to be fine for another birthday check-up next year. When Jeff returns from Peru (more on that later) we will have the celebratory ‘burger with hotdog candles cake’  with perhaps even another toy!

Edit in 5pm closing time : Vet called to tell me that Emma’s bloodwork came back blue-ribbon beautiful again! We’re just so happy here, for our healthy t’ween-aged Emma.

embellishments

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I have made many hats & many embellishments.  I’ve experimented for a while and learned some new techniques… and now just putting it all together. One of the signature ornaments for upcoming design is a well-groomed pompom attached to a nice plump i-cord.
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With all of these pompoms on i-cord,

I am reminding myself a little of Horton Hears A Who…

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Anyway, I have decided the best way to make pompoms involves some felting, and a lot of trimming, and last a good brushing with a rigid brow or mustache comb, as I am doing for these braid tassels…


Jeff is now in Cusco, and I have the whole thing planned to run with legs when he, his son & daughter begin their trek to Machu Picchu, and all the while I am working at this frantically most all of everyday.

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Hermit-ing out in the mountains with Emma, the cool has receded and the sun has finally arrived.  Everything in its place, and life is good.

Peru’s Dama de Bohemia

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Peruvian fashion designer Naty Muñoz  is a modern ” Andean Bohemian”.  She is a brilliant designer, for Vogue and beyond, and also an ethical designer working with organic fibers, much of which is alpaca, wool, and cotton. I love her work in this ensemble of colorful, embroidery & splashes of knitted bobbles, set against a breathy feathery downy white, quite frankly tickles a spot for me.

As I observe the traditional colors and textiles  of Peru , I am deeply moved by the mountainous landscape of the Andes being an intrinsic part of it all.  Though admittedly, my first observation I felt an awkward reaction to the bright colors, particularly of pinks & yellow-green, the explosions of fluffy pompoms, and seeming oddness of white laced through all of that color.  Fuzzy  and ultra feminine, but really I think this is just characteristic of Peruvian textiles … the ‘white thing’ … in relation to brazen color for me is so captivating.

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But now I think I am ‘getting’ it!  To me the white is altitude, snowy, ethereal, woolly & alpaca-ish, pure, cloud-like, and spiritual, the white is beneath, above, and supporting the colors of the folk textiles & clothing.

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So I am smitten,  as Naty Muñoz’s designs show so well,  by the magnificent Peruvian landscape, its traditional clothing of bright colors, the presence of cuddly alpacas, and find that all of it dazzles because of striking elemental snowy white!

Quite involved in lessons of color & texture for forthcoming knitwear pattern, as you can easily guess, and in metamorphosis  spurred by discovery of Peruvian colors, textures and even discovery of modern designers like Naty… muchas gracias por su inspiración!

Inca Thing

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This is a quick knit I’m letting fly on the needles before Jeff leaves to Cusco to romp the Inca Trail with his son & daughter in only a matter of days.  It is something he actually asked me to make, which is in itself a first! It is a cover for his Kindle.  Awww. So, in the middle of frantic manic knitting of chullos, and trying to reach a personal deadline,  I am just thinking of it as a one-eared version of just another chullo hat.   ♣♣♣♣   The days continue to be gloriously cool, and today fog is rolling over the ridge and cascading down the mountain misting over everything & evoking creativity with sometimes an internal unsettled agitation.   I think I will take this Inca thing, my knitting bag,  and go for a good knit-walk up the ridge with Emma.  We’ll  be back in no time and maybe I’ll have a finished  Kindle cover to post!
Edit in:  I walked & finished knitting,
then felted the kindle cover and here it is…
Cusco bound!
 Pattern: (adapted from forthcoming chulo pattern)
Yarn: Lambs Pride worsted weight in dark & light grey (excellent for felting!

Manic!

jenjoycedesign© chullo madness

Since writing about ‘ an old beloved brown thing ‘  I’ve been pulled into a vortex of unlikely colors;  of cochineal pinks & crimsons, madder reds, purples, citron yellow, and oranges too… all sorts of high altitude Andean colors I am not accustomed to.

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I find myself falling back into the safety of greys, of earthy tones and of muted undyed comfort.  I gotta bust out!  I didn’t realize how sensitive to color I really am, so I am struggling with my habitual knitting au natural , while trying to be influenced by the brazen & magnificent  color palettes of Peruvian textiles.   I am knitting through piles of these South American motifs while experiencing a sensory challenge with color.

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… soon to explode through the surface with a splash!

 (and of course, a pattern)

My favorite manic music of South America (although down in the temperate eastern coast from the Andes)… have a listen & maybe you can pick up some of my manic vibe…

Hey There!

Fans of my nieces, this is for you.

It is a lovely song sung by Miss Fourteen, who happens to be a seasoned folk festival attender & fiddle contest competitor, but only recently learned guitar. This is her very first you-tube post,  singing “Traveling Soldier” by the Dixie Chicks …

A colossal round of applause for our darling Miss Fourteen!

Edit in May 6, 2017:  Another singing video, and I think she is outstanding!

Edit in May 13:  This is becoming a regular thing.. a great thing!

Edit in: May 19

June 3, 2017

Footsteps 4

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool with Ripples Crafts

The days are blissful here on the mountain, with brief spells of sun transitioning back to grey & wintery.  Rain, fog and lingering cool air, as if the season doesn’t really want quite yet to get balmy yet (which I’m fine with), and I am rising above all that oppresses me!

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool Country Socks with Ripples Sock Yarn

Still, there are explosions of wildflowers beginning to bloom~~ lupine, clover, paintbrush, poppies, brodea, iris ~~ all heralding the Spring season,  regardless of the reluctant temperatures.

 

I have wrapped up a lot of epic knitting projects in recent weeks, while kicking off new big BIG design conceptions,  and yet more socks keep coming off the needles. These were such a pleasure, knit with such color that I couldn’t be the least bit gloomy when knitting them!

jenjoycedesign© cafe sock-knitting

I have been enjoying the cafe culture lately, here with my favorite afternoon treat outside on the patio, a cafe latte & and knitting upvalley, stopping off at St Helena Coffee Roastery on my way home from Calistoga last Friday, after photographing my nieces in their Spring Tees 2017

Pattern: Wild Wool Trail Socks in the ‘Country Sock’ variation.

Yarn: Ripples Crafts Hand-dyed Yarns, in   Reliable Sock, in “Assynt Storms” colorway. Note: I highly recommend this sock yarn, for it is really beautiful yarn to knit with, and dying is exceptional with no muddy spots, all pure blends of colors, sparkling, and with quick color transition.

Finer Details on Ravelry HERE.

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool Country Socks with Ripples Crafts Sock Yarn

 

Sweater Success!

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Spring tees photoshoot in Calistoga…. at the four corners.

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In front of Brannon’s…

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Over outside of Hydro Grill…

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Next to the red geraniums outside of All Seasons Bistro….

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Then my nieces Miss Seventeen & Miss Fourteen, were keen on visiting the old mural, although it seems to have faded somewhat in the bleaching hot Calistoga sun…

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Just walking up Lincoln Street having fun…

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Then we disappeared into thrift shop…

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And we didn’t buy a thing!

Then we called it a day, and that about wraps it up for Spring Tees 2017!

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Pattern:  Calidez with short sleeves and summer/spring hybrid neckline

Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin in colors “Raindrop” and “Pomegranate”

Spring Tee details on Ravelry here & here.

All Sweater Success posts of past and including this one here.

An old beloved brown thing…

jenjoycedesign© 'the original' from PeruMy brother has for decades worn this authentic Peruvian hat,  the Incan motifs have become signature shapes on his head, almost like fiberous tattoos…

jenjoycedesign© original detail 2

I am not sure where he got this beloved brown thing, but it is a cherished possession of his, and he lent it to me over a year ago asking if I might repair the moth holes (again) and… “maybe ‘add some color’ to it?” he asked.

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Made of alpaca, and badly moth-eaten since being repaired long ago, it has become a part of his life, and all of our lives, for as we know him, we know this hat.

jenjoycedesign© original detail

This favor asked of me to ‘fix it’ has apparently grown feet and evolved into a project of my trying not to entirely replicate the original, nay, but to design the Quintessential Brother Article, as he does actually wear these Peruvian style hats ( known in trend as a ‘chullo’) pretty much every day, tucking the ear flaps behind his ears. They are as he puts it, his ‘hair’.

Well folks, if you wonder where I am going with all of this back story, the thing is, I have begun the series of prototypes, and perfectly timed I might add,  for his birthday.

jenjoycedesign© birthday chullo 2017

Actually, I have made him so many of these, but still he is over the moon whenever I make him a new one.

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So, my scheming to create an authentic replica had changed to become something I should really call a design inspiration, more of an impression of the original.

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The design is in process, and a forthcoming pattern soon available!

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The pattern release will be aimed symbolically around a big trip Jeff is taking in May with his son & daughter to Machu Picchu in Peru, and so I have a lot of work to do until then!

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So here is the first in the series of prototypes ~~~ my brothers Birthday Chulo!

Pattern: forthcoming.

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios

Details: on Ravelry HERE.

Spring Sweaters 2017 (& Emma)

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Finally the Spring Sweaters are blocking to dry, and are awaiting my nieces!   (Emma is not drying, nor awaiting, but just is.)

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Emma

Knit from cotton-linen blend, these tees are from my Calidez pullover design (with short sleeves and ‘summer neckline’ options (details on Ravelry here & here)

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I’ve made a couple of monogrammed labels embroidered rather wonkily on pieces of old silk ties I collect.

Next week is Spring break, and I am meeting my nieces in Calistoga, and will bring back gobs of spectacular photos of them modeling these Spring Sweaters I am sure.

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But for now, Emma and I are just hanging out.

Everything in its place, and life is good.

Footsteps 3

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I am getting into a great rhythm of knit-trekking, and socks are best knit-trekking project there is. I talk about this in all posts labeled Footsteps, which is fast becoming my most posted category and and is all about socks knitted while walking… or mostly walking.

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The thing is, while getting more fit from all of this perpetual walking, I am knitting socks galore! I would like to start a local “Knit Fit” group, but way up here on the mountain, I am resolved to going at it solo.  Though I am curious, are there any other knit-trekkers out there? If so, please speak up.

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These socks were meant to be for myself, but in trying to use up all of the 53 grams of left-over sock yarn I had, wanting to use exactly what I had, no more, no less, and ripping back several times if necessary to knit either more, or less (only knitters really understand that).  In this case I knit the foot a smidge too long, and so I suppose they will fit Jeff’s daughter’s feet just perfectly.

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By the way, these socks in progress are seen in the last post at the peak !

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Pattern: my own  Wild Wool Trail Socks ( Plain Sock, with heel worked in heel stitch, and with short leg)

Yarn: 53 grams of Malabrigo Sock, in color Aguas.

Details on Ravelry HERE.

Casting on now for some socks quite colorful,  which you will see finished very shortly I am confident, probably about 15 miles from now I will be posting!

jenjoycedesign© Wild Wool & Ripples Yarn

Hope you are all enjoying the last day in March, here the intense wind seems to have subsided. Now it’s time for insect season!

A Hopeful Spring

From  this , to this…

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Just before harvest, a few years ago, a regionally famous mountain vineyard ‘next door’ was sold. The bordering woods, meadows,  and canyon cliffs,  as well as bumpy old connecting roads between the quiet & quaint old vineyard clearings  were my favorite places to walk with Emma, and we had to abandon it.  I go into more detail in this post, but I am trying to focus on the new replanted growth now.

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For an epic pause in the life of this mountain landscape there has been rattling machinery disking the earth, pounding great big steel things into the ground, deep trenching miles for drainage, electric conduit, irrigation, erecting a water tank the size of a house…. the usual sprawling construction project of a corporation taken over a couple of hundred acres with jeeps & four-wheelers buzzing about everywhere all of the time.

But now there is a calm.

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Eventually, and ever so gradually, nature softens the work of men, and this mountain vineyard is whispering of spring growth again.

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Since the original design “Vineyard Rows Tam” I have been off & on playing with a series of designs all conceived as tribute to the memory of the beautiful historic vines which were destroyed and the natural wildness of the place that I loved.  Onward. Early this last winter I designed Winemakers Waistcoat, honoring the history of California’s industry in wine, but most recently I have felt a sort of turning about of attitudes; away from a yearning tribute to the past, toward a hope for the future in this place, and maybe even that I sense the presence of the wilderness returning. At least a little bit.

My most recent design, as yet only one mitt, and no pattern yet written, expresses this with motifs of trellises and budding vines eager to branch and fill the expanse.  I am sharing with you my latest design a little prematurely, but what the heck…

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Trellis Mitts!

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The mitts design is an evolving prototype, but here it is nestled into an ensemble with the other two in my Vineyard Rows series.

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Just waving hello to everybody with this one mitt, as I immerse myself in a hopeful spring, and lots of knit-trekking up the mountain (yes, past the vineyard) on the way to the peak…

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I hope you are all enjoying this transformative season!

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The Road To China

A year and a half ago  I wrote a rather traditional feather & fan  lace motif into a simple cowl pattern to be available either  by itself or in an e-book collection of three cowls, and for this lace prototype I used yarn “Road To China Light”.   It was not meant to be by itself anything amazing or noteworthy, but it appears to have meandered its modest way into the Indie Designer Patterns on the Fibre Co. website. I am quite pleasantly surprised, and have excitedly come to spread the news first to Yarnings readers!

I must confess, this is a first for me, and it has brightened everything  on this drizzling cold mountain today.  So, I have decided to make myself another celebratory lace cowl with some more Fibre Co. Road to China Light yarn, and  I have been absolutely craving one in  greyish teal or plum…

Yarn weight: Sport   Skein weight: 50 g
Fibre:
65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere

Also, I am gifting this pattern (for a very limited time)  to anybody who would like to knit one along with me, in whatever yarn you desire…  

Edit In : Pattern give-away is closed. Thanks to those who joined in!   

I will be posting my lace cowl in whatever yummy color of Fibre Co. yarn I end up choosing and show progress reports on it in forthcoming posts , and I do honestly hope to see you & your project pop up over on Ravelry!

Foot Steps 2

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I have been making sock after sock while knit- trekking  down on the road,  as well as in the wooded trails with Emma who would rather go at a slower pace and sniff her way along. Her adorable grey-whiskery self, hopeful to discover a wonderful scent, ears perked in large German Shepherd ear-triangles, and with all senses focused ahead…. yet… soon easing into a slower happy & careless gait,  with limps that come and go,  so in these recent months I have slowed too, knitting while keeping her pace.

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In February I began to go down on the main road for  one or two additional long striding faster-paced walks in the week,  with my knitting my only companion.  Moving along on the much smoother asphalt in a ‘zone’  the miles seem short and the knitting seems fast, for one activity slightly distracts from the other.

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I feel that I may never stop knitting these socks while walking the miles, for this sock is perfectly trek worthy in more ways than one.  Easily memorized shaping steps; cuff, leg, ankle, heel & instep, heel turn, foot, and toe… not in the least boring, the steps keep the knitting engaging.

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Socks are small and a very portable  knitting project, and excellent for knit-trekking because they are such a symbiotic activity ~~ knitting them to wear & wearing them to knit!

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Pattern: My own  Wild Wool Trail Socks

Yarn:  Valley Yarns Charlemont which is 20% silk/ 60% Merino wool/20% nylon

Details on Ravelry HERE

Foot Steps

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Mid day sun streams through the canopy, and I am feeling the presence of vernal influences…

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The blissful places I have been missing for a while beckon to me…

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All winter we have had pelting rain storms one after another, and Northern California is officially declared over the drought while reservoir spillways gush furiously!

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Something about the approach of the equinox softens nature to a sweetness indescribable…

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So I will leave off and show you the latest I’ve made,

a pair of trail socks!

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 …with my recent discovery of the snugger heel stitch foot, these socks are now ready for adventure!

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Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn, in Merlot Heather and Navy

Pattern:  Wild Wool Trail Socks  , with recent update option of colossally snug heel stitch foot section, my pattern is now completely ‘dialed in’.

Project Details: on Ravelry HERE.

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