Highway 29 & Pattern !

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My latest design “Highway 29” is named after the  main road running through Napa Valley from Napa to Calistoga. This old highway is dotted with wineries and famous restaurants enough to make you dizzy, plus some added hot-spots where we locals trek to frequently, beginning in the north end of the town of Napa getting sweet around Yountville, then Oakville, Rutherford, St Helena, and continuing clear on up to Calistoga.  As a local, coming down off the mountain from Oakville Grade when I am going upvalley, I often stop at the very unique Oakville Grocery , founded in 1881, just an old rural ‘backroads’ grocers of a bygone era,  is now a highly trafficked stop-off for locals & tourists alike, with an exceptional coffee bar & deli for drinks, gifts & goodies-to-go.  Until recently it doubled as the local post office, now it offers…. um…. wine tasting

I believe my nieces and I were talking about Oakville Grocery & Post being the inspiration of forthcoming Autumn design, and second in the Napa Valley Collection.

After Oakville you pass a bunch of wineries, and then of course, St Helena where I often knit-in-public or meet friends at  Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, as its the coffee shops I seem to be most familiar with, loving to knit and visit with friends.  After that it’s a stretch of countryside to Calistoga with places such as Bale Grist Mill, founded in 1846…

a working renovated grain mill which is popular for historic reenactment parties and has old-time live music often (one of the bands is my brother & sister-in-law, my nieces dad & mom) , offers tours & grinds corn to sell. It is in front of the entrance to the Bale Grist Mill where these photos were taken for Highway Halter, on the old wooden fence,

The favorite photo spot in recent couple of years for my nieces is Castello Di Amorosa, a medieval Tuscan castle transplanted stone-by-stone in recent decades…

Ah, but it is  here at ‘ The Castle ‘ where you’ll recognize the stone from merely the carriage house where we actually have many of our photo shoots…

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Right off of Hwy 29, this carriage house is at the entrance to the castle gate, erected more recently I think to use some left over stone & brick perhaps, and it houses the ground-keepers tools & provides a place for the chauffeurs to park, and I think some offices devoted to castle business. Here some shots from this spot…

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Passing more breathtaking scenery, one finally lands in Calistoga as if by accident.

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This is the town from which you may recognize many backdrops to my nieces & my photo shoots.  For example, the left on above photo is Brannans Restaurant,  and right across Lincoln Street is the mint-green bank building we have included many times…

But there are many photo memories of Calistoga and not enough room to post. Anyway, enough of all  of this Highway 29 – turned to- Memory Lane,  and all the treasures found along the way… and now it is time for Highway 29 Halter which I’ve just written a pattern for, and which my nieces do real justice to !     In previous post I talk about the significance of naming the latest design “Highway 29” ,   which really is a possibility to start a collection…. I mean, if I’m going to really go through with it… anyway, my nieces  seem to think we should.  If not the name-sake for the design will stand on its own. We will just have to see what comes.

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You can find the pattern for this design on Ravelry HERE .

… or click the Hwy 29 road sign to arrive at the pattern page.

California Highway 29 sign

California Highway 29 road sign in Napa Valley

Sweater Success !

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A very bright but chilly November morning, in the usual places we photographed, the ‘four corners’ of Lincoln & Washington Streets in Calistoga. This year, things are quite different all around.
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First of all, what normally would have been the actual time of equinox, the infamous and devastating wildfire of Lake County held things off for two months. But here we are, back to our familiar places. . .

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Other things about this year, as predicted, Miss Twelve is now Miss Thirteen, and has grown so tall that she is now beginning to tower over everybody, including her ‘big sister’, Miss Fifteen (but very soon-to-be-sixteen!).

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Miss Thirteen is now in Middle School, and on the volleyball team (they smashed all the other teams and came in first for the season!) and Miss Fifteen is excelling in cross-country running 3rd year in a row, and about to go to the post-season competitions ~~  and about to get her drivers license too!

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Since all is going well with them, I’ll get back to the business of the sweaters . . .

These two being modeled are samples of Calidez.
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I knit these Autumn Sweaters as I did the prototype, in Cascade 120 superwash ~~ extremely lofty and poofy yarn~~ and these pullovers knit up at lightening speed being bulky-weight yarn, and the instant impression from my nieces was ‘oh they’re soooo soft ‘.  So I recommend this yarn if one wants a ridiculously soft but still pure wool experience.

And then . . . 

after the photo shoot we went on a book-buying spree for Miss Thirteen’s birthday !
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I think this Autumn Sweater design for my nieces is up to par and is deserving of the usual title of  ‘Sweater Success!’   Now, those of you who are new to this blog,  you must see Sweater Successes past, go HERE and be sure to scroll all the way down~~ to 2010!

Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyDuo The skies were perfect blue & sunny, and we had a terrific time for photographing Spring Tees 2014 !  This year, the design Penny Candy Tee has made it all the way to a published design, and I managed to get it all up and available in time to post the pattern ~~ right over HERE. What a crescendo, happy beautiful faces, and stellar lighting, with charm that just blew my socks off.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, how much these girls have learned in the skills of modelling knitwear for their auntie. I am even getting a little teary just thinking about it.  But on with the show !

The first always to be photographed is the mint green bank building of Old Town Calistoga . . jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTees Then we cross Lincoln and shoot against the terra cotta wall outside of Brannon’s Restaurant for our usual series of slightly goofy shots . . . .

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Then we go to the corner outside of Hydro Grill.

People were having breakfast inside

watching us through the window seemed intrigued at what was going on just outside…

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Last year’s addition , the ‘tree hugging’ shot outside of All Seasons Bistro,

now completes Four Corners, at the intersection of Washington & Lincoln Streets.

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-treeThen we make our way to the big mural of Old Town Calistoga ! The same poses are great because one can really see how the girls have grown in the years that I’ve been knitting for them (and blogging about it).

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-mural1 At the end of this post is a big long slideshow, I hope you watch it !

However, as this post is also a pattern debut,  I must say, some lovely detail photos were taken.

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Just look how lovely the neckline , with the scalloped neckline & mitered corners looks in these details . . .

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And just how the bottom icord edge with scalloped lace pattern works . . .

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The neck is just low enough in both the front and back. . .

jenjoycedesign©PennyCandyTee-detail Friends & Knitters, you can find the pattern over on it’s own page Penny Candy Tee Pattern page , here on Yarnings. or on Ravelry HERE Plenty to peruse, but, before you click off this page, the best is waiting next in this little slideshow !!!

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Thank you girls, you’re the one’s who made me into the knitter I am, and if it weren’t for you, there’d be no Yarnings. Here on this bench outside of Calistoga Roastery, we closed for the day,095 and I want you to see the first photo taken of them, on this same bench wearing the first cardigans I knit for them!

September 2010

All posts of the Penny Candy Tee in progress HERE

Edit In :  I have rounded up most of the photos of my nieces here in Yarnings over the last four years.  From present retrospect back to the first sweaters I knit for them in March 2010 .  Simply click  :  Sweater Success !

This Corner

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Any of you who has visited this blog has seen a photo of this corner. It stands out in Calistoga , the angular & tall historic bank building from the old town, and where my nieces model their latest sweaters I’ve designed & knit for them on the Autumnal & Vernal Equinoxes for four years running.

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The building is the most striking pale fresh minty green, and which is now Bella Tootsie Shoes, but right next door is the Upvalley Vintners where my duo-mate and I perform music frequently. You can see it, there on the left edge in the photo with my nieces above, and the mint green bank building is in the background of the photo below.
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Well, we had a gig in Calistoga last night at Upvalley Vintners (the place was hopping!) and let me tell you how surreal to be hauling sound gear past that very spot my nieces pose for the camera twice a year, and it got me thinking, how spring will be here in a blink! It is time for me to begin sketching ideas already. I walked past this corner carrying mic stands and mandolin last night, wondering what the forthcoming Spring design will be. I tell you, it was a most evocative moment of my evening.

You can read up on us more on our website,  over here.

Sweater Success !

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Last Sunday we met in Calistoga to photograph the latest Autumn Cardigans !  It threatened to rain, but we got lucky and made it to our favorite sweater-modelling nooks in the town, with only a few drizzly drops to freshen things up.  Above, on the corner of Lincoln & Washington Streets,  outside of Bella Tootsie Shoes , this historical mint-green building is the back-drop for nearly every cover photo of Autumn & Spring Sweaters, for four years running.

  This time, we added a tree to our usual spots . . .

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Among several places, our favorite & final destination for photos is always the big mural across from Calistoga Coffee Roastery, so fun and theatrical, with two enormous walls lining both sides of a narrow alley, depicting Historical Calistoga. The mural has become our number one sweater photo shoot of all time.

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There are a few other must-shoot spots , which you can see in the slideshow below, but it all starts outside of the Calistoga Coffee Roastery, where we meet for a coffee & chai, I give them their sweaters (always a surprise) , then we go out and start shooting photos.  One can see my two nieces grow up over the years, on this very bench.

Compare with three years ago ~  Autumn Sweaters 2010 .

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Demonstrated is the inside of the simple color stranding…

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. . . showing the elasticity of stranding , which I achieved by weaving floats more often than what is considered ‘traditional’.

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All in all, I was delighted to see how well the cardigans fit. This time I designed with a lower relaxed neck-line, but the blue one especially flirts with the shoulder a bit much and likes to fall off in a charmingly casual way, and because ( ahem ) the cuffs are too big, the result is that the sleeves are swallowing my niece’s hands!  I did the whole photo shoot without even noticing my niece’s hands missing in many of the poses… LOL !  I was confident because the actual sweaters measured to specifications (yes, the sleeves too) and so I did not expect it.  I am getting one of those blushing light-bulb moments where I understand better the relationship between neck-lines and sleeves.

Next visit, in a couple of weeks I will simply ‘take in’ the cuffs of blue cardigan with applied i-cord at the edge of the sleeves, and I think that will do the trick as there’ll still be some growing room in the length, but they’ll not slip over her hands.  No problem with my younger niece’s fit, she’s growing like a weed right now anyway !

So folks,  here’s the rest of the shots in a slideshow !

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In case you might be interested, you may have some fun looking through posts of past years nieces’ sweater shoots around the same spots in the town of Calistoga  HERE

All posts of this project HERE

General details of this project on Ravelry HERE

Sweater Success !

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This Spring’s sweater tees are once again a success and my nieces made them into a photo sensation !!!  Chasing the bright morning light around the town of Calistoga, we sought out our favorite spots.   The corner of Lincoln and Washington streets, with the intriguing minty blue-green building which is Bella Tootsie Shoe Shop, and our ‘cover photo’ signature most every time.

A close-up of one of the sweater tee detail, lighting just right so that you can see the single-row pin-striping of two colors alternating, and the raglan decreases through the ribbed neck band, with cord bind-off  …

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Such fine pin-stripes of light green & light blue, and light purple & smokey grey aren’t even visible unless one is up-close.  Even just a couple of feet away, the colors melt into one another, creating a perfect blend , as these two sisters do . . .

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The mural off of Lincoln Street is our essential destination in every photo shoot !

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We enjoyed just hanging about in town too, always bustling with folk from the whole Napa Valley and beyond . . .

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There was the mandatory ice-cream ~ raspberry sorbet & strawberry cheesecake ~ which is always the last shot I get before the camera protests with no memory left !

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A few more photos tucked away into a little slide show of the best shots.

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More, still-life photos of these tees HERE
Detailed on Ravelry HERE

Autumn Sweater Success !!!

(  Autumn Sweaters 2011 in same location click here  )

My nieces in their new Autumn Sweaters.  We photographed in the same colorful Calistoga nooks we seek out each time we do the Equinox Sweaters.  In front of Calistoga Coffee Roastery, in front of the mint-green building on the corner of Lincoln and Washington streets, against the terra-cotta painted wall outside Brannon’s restaurant, and the best, the most amazing painted mural in the alley across  Lincoln from the coffee roastery ! These places just never get old, and they will be the back drop every time we photograph the Equinox Sweaters.

” Happiness is a new sweater knit especially for me ! “

Sweater success !

Luckily they fit, and luckily the yarn which I over-dyed became colors they both approved of !  Oh, and can you believe we were having a major heat wave of the Indian Summer?  I wanted to get the pictures taken before it got too hot,  and the unrelenting sun was bleaching bright, and nipping at our heels the whole way. . .

Autumn Sweaters 2012

(( Compare with two years ago ~ click for  Autumn Sweaters 2010 ))

And now, for a slideshow of the fun sweater frolick we had in Calistoga . . .

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 You may see all posts on the progress of the Autumn 2012 sweaters by clicking  here

Knitting details about sweaters are posted over on Ravelry here.

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Met my sister-in-law in Calistoga today.  It was roasting hot too !!!  In fact, we are having upper 90 degree temperatures nearly all this week , especially in Calistoga , the hottest town in summer in the Napa Valley !   You wanna know what is very odd about this post?

Meeting for   c o f f e e   

and giving of   w o o l   s o c k s

in the middle of a California   A u g u s t .

No matter, because the Calistoga Roastery is one of the most bohemian nouveau places in the Napa Valley, and we always meet there when there’s something knitted to give.  Oh,  such as these sweaters .

Patricia loves her new wool socks,

and that makes it worth every tiny stitch !

And, as we do absolutely everytime we get together, she and I scour’d the local thrift shops.

I got to add to my collection of antique wooden hangers with the old businesses printed on them of cleaners and dye works.   Dye works?

 ( click the photo and notice a 3 digit phone number! )

Sweater Success !


Sunday I met my nieces in Calistoga , beneath the snow-capped Mt.St Helena. Weather permitted, but just.  I photographed them modelling  their new sweaters  in and about the interesting nooks in Calistoga ~ our favorite being the mural of Old Town Calistoga ~ and among some colorful walls of the buildings.

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Then afterward, as is our tradition,

 icecream cones…

because modelling is hard work !

 

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Detailed in Ravelry here.

“Mostly Green” & “Mostly Blue” Pullovers


We met in Calistoga for Our Little Tradition of sweater gifting & photo shoot. This time a seriously awesome feature ~ right next to the Calistoga Coffee Roastery where we usually meet was this amazing alley way, with newly painted murals on each side ! Here my adorable, clever, and theatrical nieces seemed to step into a netherworld of characters and places of long ago. We then always always always get icecream, our tradition for four equinoxes running ! I hope you enjoy the little slideshow of them posing in front of the murals while wearing their sweaters for the first time, each very delighted.

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Fare thee well  sweaters,  I’m happy to give you to your new happy homes. You were fun to knit, we thought…