I got a new bag!

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 2

Well, you know what I mean,  I  made  another bag. 

Knitted, then felted.

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 3

Just a perky large bag, big enough for me to put a whole sweater project into perhaps while I knit-walk for a little while, while knitting a body section . . . or whatever.

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Shown on Abelene, a life-sized “woman thing”, this actually is the first prototype of three yarns held together, of three different colors, which in fact give even more of a texture visually, as well as a supremely thick and gorgeously rich color depth of felted fabric.

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 Just two hot washes in the washer machine made this great thick plush wool bag from a big floppy giant one (( and wouldn’t  you know, how dumb was I to forget the before photo )) having shrunk at least 25% and weighing a little over 500g.  I cast on 100 sts and very gradually and randomly decreased throughout the body, attempting an improvised wedge shape,  with the turned-edge of the shaped bottom being only 80 sts.   I must say, I couldn’t be more pleased. 

jenjoycedesign© felted Maiya'kma large bag 4

Pattern: Maiya’kma 

Yarn: Wool Of The Andes worsted : colors garnet, brass, and amber for the rust, and varying changing shades of blues and greys for the blue. 

Project Details: on Ravelry here.

 

Brindle Beret & Gloves

This rustic tweedy ensemble tells a story of morning walks in the country, just come in from the cold foggy damp, and flung on to the nearest post as one urgently makes their way to the kitchen to put the kettle on!

My latest glove and beret set, a satisfying contribution to my drawer full of wintery woolens I have been busy making.

Basic beret & gloves are rather easy to knit if I may say so myself.

Oh, and a nifty way to attach a felted toorie (pom pom)

. . . just tie it on!

Both gloves and beret are featured in my latest pattern collection of basic & essential wintery accessories:

A Drawer Full of Winter

Details of these projects; yarns, sizes, all of that, can be found on Ravelry here and here.

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I have just finished another pair of gloves from my new pattern collection and let me tell you, these are completely addictive ( and I must cast on for another immediately! ) This pattern collection is great for using up stash of many weights (gauge substitution for gloves from light worsted to very fine fingering weight) , this short cuffed pair was knit from dk weight, and used less than 40g of yarn. It was once a sock that never had its sock-mate knit, what they call “second sock syndrome” . . . so I put the lonely sock out of its misery.

Pattern: Drawer Full of Winter.

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed dk – color “Watery”

Ravelry details: HERE

All posts in this series

A drawer full of Winter.

In recent months I decided to make myself a drawer spilling over, full of knitted winter woolens for the cold days ahead, mostly in Isager Tweed (of which I happen to have recently hoarded). I explain at length in the previous post about the meaning behind this particular collection and introduced a pattern overhaul as I designed a few cowls, a plain & simple sock to add to my existing pattern set of hats & mitts. In its most recent overhauled form it is a five pattern collection of essential items, and I’ve named A Drawer Full Of Winter . After the last post I was about to let it go for a while, but as January was just getting started, the coldest month of the year, I knew I wasn’t finished, especially as I still didn’t own a pair of gloves. As I promised to update the collection whenever I wrote a new design to add to it, I have just this very minute have done. A new essential wardrobe item ~~ full fingered gloves~~ now added, done & dusted!

I am fascinated by gloves recently. I am in fact, smitten by the concept of a well knitted glove, how a truly good fitting glove allows one’s hand to articulate as if it had no glove on at all. I labored over the New Year while designing such a glove, which reflects every difference of each finger, and let me tell you, by taking such close study of my own fingers I never realized how each one is quite unique. I have observed that not all fingers are alike, thus not all knitted fingers should be alike, nor placed alike on the hand. The little finger is in fact knitted first, independent of the other three, more of the ‘ upper hand ‘ knitted, then the other three. And that is not even to mention the thumb! Oh the thumb, and its relation to its four counterparts, and the very relationship which creates a right and left essential fit. Oh , but the ring finger , middle finger, and index finger, are equally as different. I am telling you now, no finger is identical to the other of the hand, nor is it of the glove, this glove, my labor of love. Perhaps the biggest labor of knitterly love I have designed to date, and for such a simple thing. I find that I am quite absorbed into the simple essential things lately.

I’m feeling the long shadows of January, and my cozy winter woolens packing into their drawer, is a sight of comfort. Actually today is feeling quite lovely, on inauguration day, sunny and quiet after a couple of days of very strong gusting wind, and now I am letting my sails down for a short while, to let creative ideas build again, and let myself be kissed by a hopeful future.

Sweater Success!

Today we met at the castle for Autumn Sweaters 2020.

They are wearing my latest sweater design  Sol Inca,

 the “afterthought” pullover. 

The sweaters were so long in the making . . .

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and in the waiting even longer to get together . . .

then with so many tourists milling about the castle, we just made it quick.

Although fewer photos were taken, as usual my nieces were fabulous! 

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(click 1st image & see entire slideshow)  

out of autumn . . .

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I am not doing holiday knitting this year. . .

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks
but these are for a birthday coming up next week, my oldest niece will be 21!
I will give these lovely pair of  Walking With Emma socks  to her when I give both nieces  their sweaters  some time before the year is over,  when we will meet at the castle for a spontaneous photo shoot.

(( I can’t imagine being with them and not smothering them in hugs! ))

jenjoycedesign© birthday socks 4

So close to the winter solstice,  I go stepping out of autumn, walking with tender foot steps so I am careful not to wake nature from its much needed wintery slumber.  Waiting,  waiting,  waiting . . .  and staying creatively immersed and thoughtful while we get through another shelter-in-place for the remainder of the year.
Everybody, please stay home and stay well!
xx

good-bye summer

jenjoycedesign© socks 2

Fresh off the needles ,  a very simple boot sock .

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For my (almost) new walking boots . . .

jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 5

Walking along my trails, going a little further up the ridge now,  making my way around, over and under  so many falling blackened trees, carrying the weight of that time almost three years ago, wishing to outgrow the sadness that lingers in the landscape,  however robust and magical is the resilience of nature!    Goodbye summer.

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jenjoycedesign© good-bye summer 6

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Tomorrow is the Autumnal equinox, and finally I will be walking into Autumn, a season which seems to be more forgiving of endings,  fresh and open for verdant return of moss, of life renewed from rain.  And on my bare feet I’ll be wearing the comfort of the season, new verdant green mossy boot socks, plush and double thick, two yarns held together merino socks that I cast on at the June Solstice, and knit slowly & purposefully all summer long, while oppressed by sweltering heat and choking smoke.  Soon the air will clear and crisp and be again glorious!

(Click 1st image below and see slideshow my walk from the afternoon. )

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Pattern: Walking With Emma socks

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll, charcoal and bamboo, held together throughout.

Project Details:  Solstice Socks  

yet another . . .

jenjoycedesign© felted basket bag with short handles

I’ve just finished yet another Maiya’ kma felted wool basket,  and with two short handles it is like a market bag.   I can’t believe how much fun they are to make and I can’t seem to stop myself.  It is truly amazing that such a stiff and rugged wool basket was transformed in two hot wash cycles from this . . .

jenjoycedesign© before felting

I really love this colorway by the way . . .

jenjoycedesign© felted basket bag detail

Here it is paired with the one in the previous post, and now they are a nesting pair!

They are ready for the post now for a birthday next week,  and I so do hope the postal service is on time!

jenjoycedesign© nesting baskets 10

Pattern:   Maiya’kma
Yarn:  Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes Worsted(two-held-together)
Details:  For larger here,  For smaller here.

And another.

jenjoycedesign© felted knitting bag 1

Second post of the day, I’m sheltering in and getting lots done.  Barely two days of knitting, and two hot wash cycles,  and I’ve got another perky little knitting bag!  Felted bags which I am in need of because I keep giving them away.  Crisp and damp just out of the spin cycle,  I’ve got nothing stuffed inside,  the stiffness of the thick fabric is holding its own because the two cycles of hot wash felting creates that much dense structure!   I love this chart in the pattern, and did two repeats.  Beautifully rich textured colors with two colors held together for background, as well as two for the motif, and the colors diffused into each other almost completely in the felting.

jenjoycedesign© felted knitting bag 4

Pattern:   Maiya’ kma  felted wool bag collection
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool Of The Andes Worsted

Another

jenjoycedesign© after felting bag
I am quite pleased that I’ve updated the Maiya’kma pattern to include a nice conventional square shaped flap . Here shown is the largest sizes tested and with the shaped bottom, and two straps.
jenjoycedesign© bag detail 2
Before felting,  with a girth of 44″  and nearly 400 grams of wool, having no particular shape, transformed dramatically with two hot wash cycles from floppy into a compact, crisp, thick sturdy bag of 30″ around . . . and is a bit amazing !
jenjoycedesign© before felting bag
Edged in i-cord all around, and with the floats in back of the color-work adding to the thickness of the felted fabric, it has made quite a dandy satchel, and with a gorgeous tweedy affect resulting from two yarns of different shades held together.  I will go more in depth on this ” tweedy ” affect in another post.
jenjoycedesign© bag detail 1
Detail of the button holes which are made by the i-cord edging simply free & detached for a few stitches.  Nearly the whole collection; four sizes of bag, with two of the smallest size baskets . . .
jenjoycedesign© Maiya' kma collection
There’s a quite a hoard o’ wool still left;  a lot of blue, some reds, pinks, and greens left in my Wool Of The Andes  stash.  I’m thinking next will be a few bags for spring perhaps in the colors of native wildflowers.  Indian Paintbrush, Clover , Lupine, Brodea, the flowers that the native tribes of the mountain would have enjoyed every spring. ( Please see Genius Of The Place)

Maiya’ kma  pattern is available HERE

 

The Genius Of The Place.

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A Pomo basket,  Wikipedia- Pomo

I have been trekking the mountain with knitting bag and baby steps (again).  There is no denying that to me the genius of the place is in the landscape’s past. A time not long ago which is so impressed by once indigenous people who lived here,  and who are so close in time relative to the existence of humans, that I nearly feel their presence like a faint breeze tickling the hairs on the back of my neck.

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Wappo Woman,  Wikipedia -Wappo

Then let me be blown through with the breezes of the past, feeling the presence of those who’s arrowheads I have found several of, and I will find my way with wool instead of water plants of the banks of the tidal Napa River.

jenjoycedesign© Maiya' Kma bags 2

Wool to make a sturdy practical thing.   Inspired by the local tribes which wandered Northern California ~~ the Wappo, Pomo and Lake Miwok have walked over the very saddle of the ridge and rested quite possibly where our house now stands, in the shade among Redwoods, Douglas Firs, and many species of Oaks. Two of three arrowheads I have found, I have posted on two occasions here  and here.

jenjoycedesign© felted two

felted in two cycles of a hot wash in machine

It is said that the Mayacamas mountain range where I live was named by the Wappo tribe “Maiya’ kma” said to mean “howling mountain lion”.  I live close to the border on the map between the Southern Wappo and the Pomo, and near the Miwok too, where the black glass obsidian volcanic rock comes from to make the arrowheads.  As I walk the contours of the mountain over the years I have come to understand the paths a bit, how the animal traffic goes, where the old roads that have grown over are, how the watershed goes and up at the top how the rock cuts up through the soil like teeth. Up there you can look to the east and see Napa Valley or to the west and see Sonoma Valley.

tribes of Napa, Lake County & Sonoma

The wildfire that came through here two years ago has created a lot of mess with the trees, but in a blink it will again be as before. I must be patient through the seasons, and understand the mountain as these hunter-gatherer, epic trekkers,  & basket weavers did.  Anyway, I am happy to be finding my way through the new bag designs, and the pattern is written, so soon will I be finished!

jenjoycedesign© felted two 2

See all posts with new projects of Maiya’ kma bags & baskets HERE. 

Foot steps, and paw steps.

jenjoycedesign© striped socks 1Wow, January is nearly over. So much is going on, with Spring really just around the corner! I have SO much I want to do, I’m feeling a little naturally overwhelmed, so I’m forcing myself to rein in too much excitement, and keep it to a dull roar.

jenjoycedesign© striped socks 2

Finished a pair of socks, in unexpectedly fun self-striping sock yarn I found at Michael’s Crafts, not believing it could be so beautiful of a colorway.  I’m really attracted to the ochre stripe, that deep mustard, next to the grey.  I think I’m ready for something mustard yellow & grey colorwork, which is a stellar color combo and yet perhaps already a bit tired in the fashionable trends, but I was never one to care about trends.

Pattern: Another pair in Walking With Emma, modified with rib chart A and stockinette leg.

Yarn: Kroy Sock Yarn in color 55102

♥    ♥    ♥

And speaking of Walking with Emma, she’s three months away from 15, indeed a very old girl.  She naps a lot of the day in her car cave, which is her very own hermitage & safe place of contemplation, complete with electric heating pad, and she tolerates being out of it only for short intervals.   With the help of a good harness, together we have four good paws and so she comes in for the morning , and again mid-afternoon, sometimes evening for a snack if she’s barking for something. Here she is just now finished with her home-cooked dinner.  Each day she’s still here is a good day, um, even if she is not squarely on her bed!

jenjoycedesign© Emma Jan 28, 2020

Sweater success at the castle!

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Autumn pullovers appear in the interesting castle nooks . . .
jenjoycedesign© castle 11

We met in Calistoga at the roastery for coffee while talking about things going on in our lives, and lucky for us it was an absolutely beautiful sunny winter day, so we hopped over to the castle to take our long waited for photo shoot, which went beyond Autumn into winter . . .

jenjoycedesign© castle 21

We got loads of photos against the stone,

and they modeled their Hillwalker Pullovers

sampled with Icelandic flare this year.

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jenjoycedesign© castle 23

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Just beautiful!   The two of them continue to captivate my interest in designing,  and honestly, it is ultimately for the three of us to have something together that grows and improves over time, with dedication and encouragement interwoven.  I feel so lucky to have these  young women in my life.

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jenjoycedesign© castle 17

After the photo shoot we went into the town of St Helena and enjoyed our traditional lunch at Villa Corona, and then parted ways.   Every minute delightful, the few hours spent together was for me the absolute cherry on top of the whole holiday!

( All posts Autumn sweaters 2019 here. )

For those of you who have been following my nieces here, in their Autumn Sweaters over the last decade, I’ll have you know that my eldest niece will be twenty years old tomorrow, and these are the tenth (pair of) Autumn sweaters that I have knit for them. They having begun their sweater-camera modeling when I first began my blog with the first Autumn Sweaters of 2010, a similar yoke style which I repeated this year . . .

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In front of Calistoga Roastery, Autumn 2010

This post has really brought on the holiday spirit of celebration for me; about craft and nurturing relationships. Having a lovely time and I’m so glad to share with you!

((Please click first image in mosaic and see the whole photo shoot!))

 

Knitters From The World

Hiyastricklust's Solstice Tam

photo by Hiyastricklust

From an enchanted coast in Denmark,  you might by chance see a lovely lady strolling the rocky Baltic Sea edge in a Solstice Lanterns Tam.  This is an outstanding knit of the design, as I am so very fond of the natural colorway of Hiyastricklust’s tam.  Hers is a great example of how the kaleidoscopic affect of the motifs alone are interesting enough, without making the lantern “lights” a focal point. It is a “lights out” version.

Hiyastricklust's Solstice Tam 2

photo by Hiyastricklust

Oh and is that really a thatched roof I see in the countryside there?   Utterly charmed lives some knitters have ~~ thank you Hiyastricklust, for your lovely artful knitting !

thankful

jenjoycedesign© Autumn Sweaters 2019.JPG

I am thankful for many things, but at the moment especially so that I finished these.  They are Hillwalker pullovers, with a simple Icelandic style colorwork “sketched” into the yoke,  an easy modification for which the simple circular yoke  is an excellent canvas.  So until the time on a late Autumn day when I will give them to my nieces,  they will waiting, tucked in nice & tidy.  Autumn Sweaters 2019 are done & dusted.

Almost

jenjoycedesign© tam scraps

Good morning !   My day was started early this morning finishing the last rounds of the tam, and doing all the finish work, and left with a minimal pile of trimmings for the birds’ nests , as I was able to carry the yarns upward as I went, making very little in the way of ends to weave in.  Now the tam is blocking to dry, inside-out, with many pins to shape it into a slightly taut disc, which later will be turned outside-out and steamed  ever so gently to set the fabric and soften the brim crease.

jenjoycedesign© blocking tam inside out

I have had so much enjoyment designing and knitting this tam that I’m thinking I need to allow myself another tam to design, you know,  just binge with it for a while.  Nevertheless  I am almost done with it, and as it has been quite warm lately,  I am hoping it will be dry and ready for a photo later today . . . and you know what that means?

In a blink this tam pattern will be ready to fly!

jenjoycedesign© blocking tam

Stranded on Fair Isle.

jenjoycedesign© blocking tam

I’ve been feeling like knitting design has taken a back seat for so long that it was becoming inconsequential to big things going on (so many big big things), so I decided to get focused again and design a tam during the week-long power outage in Napa last week. Here it is blocking inside-out on a blocking board drying into shape with a lot of pins. The motif is quite apropos to the power situation, but I won’t be showing it off right-side-out yet, as it is a test-knit to an upcoming pattern idea. That is, I am waiting for my order of Elemental Affects Shetland yarn to arrive for something heart-warming and cheerful for the holidays, but having wanted something to  ‘sketch’ the motif with, I dug into my yarn drawer and pulled out four balls of Jamiesons Spindrift to make a grey-scale version of the colorful holiday one forthcoming, but with a little bit of a sinister spin on it.  And that is all you get to know for now.

♥    ♥    ♥

Oh! And I’d like to mention that it was ten years ago about this time of year that I was becoming obsessed by Fair Isle colorwork,  having knit my first ever Fair Isle tam,  and so I decided to get stranded out in the colorwork rounds again after a two-year colorwork hiatus.  It has been thoroughly delightful and introspective!

Knitters From The World

Fishwives Shoal makes a beautiful appearance in the wild of Sweden,

with Halvyllet’s Fishwives Stola . . .

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photo by Halvyllet

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photo by Halvyllet

There are some absolutely fantastic finishes of some of Jenjoyce Designs showing up in the Ravelry FO’s feed, and this being one that has inspired me to make a new series of posts on my blog ” Knitters From The World”.  I so appreciate these exceptionally beautiful photos of the knitter in the wild, it touches my heart, thank you Halvyllet!

The Places I Walk

jenjoycedesign© places I walk 1

I was out early this morning walking, before I got a chance to get carried away with projects.  This Autumn I am recommitting to getting out and walking as I use to do,  since about the time when I first started this blog.  Each time I go out into the changing landscape I feel its healing influence in me as it ebbs back to health from the wildfire, the prolific growth on the branches and at the stumps of burned trees everywhere remind me of a vibrant desire for life, even though so many trees must give in to lifelessness.

jenjoycedesign© places I walk 3

I walk alone, without distraction,  listening to the grasses sway and the browning leaves shake in the breeze, and as I walk it feels like I am turning stones along the way,  seeing glimpses of my past, unavoidable as I’ve walked these very steps and places so many times before.  This landscape has seen lifetimes of people walking along here in the very same places, back to the indigenous race who’s arrowheads I have found, and sometimes it is as though I walk through time, feeling the ancient geography and the presence of walkers of an ancient time.  Or maybe I will feel happy Emma as a puppy in her explosive energy, or a friend I walked with once . . . all whispers in the wild.

jenjoycedesign© places I walk

Everyday I need to be out in the wild, knitting to keep my hands busy, but sensitive and pondering, ready to let tears fall if they want, or a new exciting idea take hold, whichever seems to be inevitable for the moment.   I am determined to see the landscape change to normal again, and it is what I consider to be the best thing for me, and when I get home I make a cup of coffee and get things done, and all the while I let myself be swept along by the knitted stitches, and that is as good as it gets.

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Two fast knits . . .

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Already it is that time cozy season of Autumn again, my absolute favorite time of the year.  Although much later in Autumn than I have always begun in the past, I’m talking about it being time to knit the Autumn sweaters for my nieces.  I have had the yarn for about a month, but life got in the way, and as I’m just now feeling settled a little bit after being in the new house for already a week, I have cast on.  Past the hoop of the body, I am not yet sure what pattern I’m going to knit.   I have had lots of ideas over the last two years for a new sweater design, but  have not felt settled enough to even think or rise up out of perpetual indecision.   For these two fast knits I’m considering a few different yoke shapings as they go along, and they should go really fast.

I might decide to knit two Hillwalkers, or two Calidez’s,  one of each,  or something entirely new.   Number one, is that I’m not putting any expectations on myself, especially as yesterday was the second anniversary of the wildfire, and the event  very much reminded me how trauma & stress really can change a person’s performance.  All I can say is ~~ we will see.   Finished with the ribbing, and now ready for a bunch o’ rounds of stockinette body, so I’ll be busy with it for some time.  And then I can do the same for the light grey one,  and then I will decide how to proceed.

jenjoycedesign© Autumn Sweaters 2019

Oh! And tomorrow I meet my youngest niece in Calistoga to celebrate her 17th birthday ~~ and that I truly can not believe !

Spinning for a Project – Part Two: “English Rose Tweed”

Part two of my series “Spinning for a Project” (see Part One) and second post of the day, this one being about designing the wool blend for the hand spun yarn, so eventually knit into a future project. A blend which I’m calling “English Rose Tweed” for the Malabrigo colorway’s namesake.  These are the wools I am blending all together to make 500g of yarn, the amount I forecast needing to knit a sweater.  (Note: So much of this fiber was a gift to me from “rescue spinners” after the wildfire, when I was given my Ashford Traditional wheel from L. ) When recently I thought to try the Malabrigo Nube roving, I chose “English Rose” and thought that I really wanted to try doing a blend with it with natural undyed roving.

jenjoycedesign© English Rose Tweed 7

I have weighed off each wool color into ten segments each, to put each together into ten 50g batches to do incrementally, but I wanted to share the recipe after the 1st blend, so I could refer to it for the rest of the batches, and so I could do a test spin-up on the first blending before proceeding.

From these…

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to these….

jenjoycedesign© English Rose Tweed 8

to these…

jenjoycedesign© English Rose Tweed 3rd blend

In the next post you will see these rolags all spun up!  I may not like the results after the first 50g test and add a color to continue, but stay tuned to find out if these are a keeper.  Also you can see all posts in my Spinning for A Project  series.

Okay, here’s what I did…

♣     ♣     ♣

Techy stuff for English Rose Tweed…

  •  I need 500g for a sweater project; using 113g Malabrigo Nube (roving) in English Rose colorway, along with 122 g of grey merino, 200g mixed brown & natural wool (unknown breed) and 65g white cormo.
  • 500g of wool blend divides into ten 50g batches, so using a gram scale,  I divided all into equal 10 segments.

Note: With hand-dyed braid of Malabrigo Nube “English Rose”, I decided to keep a consistent color ‘bookmatch’ by splitting the dyed braid along the length into 5 segments, then each of those long skinny segments more easily in half, folded end to end and pulled apart at center. Otherwise, pulling apart the dyed roving when full thickness it was seriously hard (being 100% Merino), and should never ever be considered to cut it.

  • Layered very thinly one color at a time, alternately.  using this technique: Blending for tweed simplified
  • Lifted batt, and sectioned into strips of four, to photograph the transition wool rolls.
  • I took the wool and layered again, then photographed rolls again.
  • Layered wool rolls once more and drew off rolags.
  • I’m naming this colorway blend ” English Rose Tweed “
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

(( Click 1st image in mosaic to go to slideshow with commentary. ))

 

Tweed Chronicles: Opalescent

jenjoycedesign© opalescent mix 1

From these pastel primary & secondary colors,

each one like mouthwatering fruity candy floss . . .

jenjoycedesign© pastel primary and secondary

into these fluffy rolls . . .

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Magically transforming,  while colors fuse

and melt into these opalescent silvery grey rolags  to spin !

jenjoycedesign© opalescent mix 13

I have been thinking about this mix for a year now, and finally was able to do it !   It is a pastel variation of my original recipe mix  Color Saturated Neutral”  , an experiment I did over a year ago.   I am amazed at how the colors just melt into each other , and these pale pastels washing out into a silvery opalescence ready for spinning.   This is how I did it . . .

♣     ♣     ♣

Techy stuff for Opalescent…

  •  Equal parts of pastel primary colors: pink, pale yellow, light blue — plus — pastel secondary colors: pale green, lavendar, pale orange.  These were 6g each, for a total of 36g.
  • Layered very thinly one color at a time, alternately.  using this technique: Blending for tweed simplified
  • Lifted batt, layered again, total of three times.

NOTE: Each time you blend the mix, the colors become less distinctive and magically the all-over color becomes nearly a neutral. These were blended 3 times, then a 4th before drawing out rolags.  Blend only once or twice for most colorful results, 3 or 4 times for very subtle and subdued ” neutral ” results.

  • Lifted bat, and sectioned into strips of about 3, layered again, loosely.
  • Drew off rolags.
  • I’m naming this colorway blend ” Opalescent ” .
  • See ALL color blending experiments & recipes archived in Tweed Chronicles

(( Click 1st image in mosaic to go to slideshow with commentary. ))

One + One = Spun

jenjoycedesign© skein in new loft

I have spun my latest blending experiment .

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She’s a real pastel beauty,

spun on my Ashford Traditional Wheel,

which I am having a wonderful reunion with after being separated from for over a year.
jenjoycedesign© spinning

That about wraps up the first One + One blending recipe,  although I think I could have gone for even more white neutral — that would have been (1 + 1) + 1, which is blending again with more white after blending one + one,  or  1 + 2  which is blending one part dyed roving, and two parts white at the first weighing of portions.  I think I will refine this recipe a little more, but for now, its on to the Tweed Chronicles recipe I’ve been dreaming about doing,  as I’ve got in my pale primary & secondary colors finally … and well, you know where I’m going with this !

Sox Box

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On the vernal equinox I found myself running over to Lolo’s, a great little thrift shop in St Helena, and I found  this nifty wooden thing.   I thought it especially nifty because the compartments can be put to use in a very knitterly way, and so it is now my official Sox Box !

A single pair of sturdy hand-made socks fits nicely in each compartment . . .jenjoycedesign© sox box 2

This is in fact, my latest pair of St Andrews Harbour Socks, from the March Into Spring KAL  that I’ve been posting about. I worked chart C over 60 stitches, and simply worked stockinette instead of the moss stitch. To me they look so like the knee-high socks I wore as a school girl.

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I did knit an awful lot of socks last year when I was making samples for St Andrews, but gave most of them away for holiday gifts. However,  I did keep two extra pairs for myself, so adding the latest finished pair with Miss Babs Northumbria sock yarn, I am ahead filling the Sox Box by three pair!

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Three compartments filled, and a dozen to go.

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 Yarn: Miss Babs Northumbria Fingering, in color of “Adobe”.

Pattern: St Andrews Harbour

Project details on Ravelry  here.

♣    ♣    ♣

Aside from sock knitting, we’re having a lot of Spring rain here, and its forecast to continue probably through the remainder of March. The surplus of water is a gift from the planet in our drought prone area, so I’m feeling somewhat rain-restored. Life is good.

Aria at the Castle.

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I met my niece . . . Miss Sixteen . . . at the castle yesterday,

so she could model my latest lace collection Aria With Variations.

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She was absolutely spectacular.     I think she has really has mastered what is essential in modeling,  having developed her character that is genuine and honest . . .

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So natural, with a hint of bashful, and a lot of charm.

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Here she is wearing Aria stole, in rose UnSpun 1100, in size 1,

and Variation One stole, in light grey UnSpun 880, in size 2.

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Really there needs to be nothing else said, because she in her lovely way, she says it all!

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( just click first image in mosaic to see the whole slideshow)

All posts in series Veils & Variations.

 

Aria With Variations: the pattern.

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Hi everyone, its me Abelene.    Jen has veiled me in her new lace that she’s been hinting about for weeks in her series of  veils & variations.

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The lace feels so lovely, so fine, I think I feel like what it must be like to be a bride, or a Shetlander, or an Estonian knitter, modeling as best as I can in the tiny house.

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About time she’s finished, because she is so exhausted of drawing and redrawing charts, doing math and wrestling mistakes, so she let me handle posting about the pattern.

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Did you know that Jen’s UnSpun is the reason she  felt compelled to write this pattern? She had just an overwhelming urge to make some really fine lace yarn after watching this video ,  and worked like an ox to get a bunch of really fine lace-weight out to some friends before the pattern was ready.   The UnSpun yarn is beginning to show up now around the far corners of the world and Jen feels its time to finish up and get the lace knitting going!

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Oh but did you notice the diamond motifs showing up in a couple of the videos in her series of veils & variations Goldberg Variations?  Jen tells me this was by pure chance and unplanned,  yet something makes her think that the diamonds must be a subliminal Bach Thing.

so here are those favorite Goldberg Variations highlights !


The pattern actually is three styles; a stole, a square hap shawl, and a cowl, all and each in four sizes!  You can see more information if you go see the pattern which is live now on Ravelry  HERE. Jen would really love it if you would join in on her pattern give-away in the spirit of Valentines, so I’m suppose to mention her post on her group over here , which is running just for a very short time, so that folks can get yarn and cast on for Valentines day!  I hope everyone is in a lace-knitting mood!

Last but not least, Jen is wildly looking forward to photographing youngest niece Miss Sixteen modeling Aria & Variations this weekend at the castle, which will make the pattern a real hit!

Ta ta,
Abelene

A work in progress.

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My ” Loft “. December 21, 2018

I’ve been pondering a lot lately about how much of my life feels like a work in progress.  Fortunately the house is ~ finally ~ in progress, but still I can’t even guess as to when it will be a finished thing. I just hope that we don’t move in and then take another several years finishing, like the … um… first time we built it. I recall sharing in this post, November 2012 when we finally put in the upstairs finished floor, and I finally gave my loft its finished paint coat. That folks, was nearly eight years after we had moved in!  When we moved in January 2005, the living room was still a work shop, yup, we were living among chop saws and rip saws, and the like.  I am so worried that this will be a repeat performance, but I know I should not worry, because it is a whole different experience this time around.

Now for a much easier thing, a knitting work in progress.

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I can at least force myself to think about stitches to distraction, even if it does border on a sometimes extreme perspective in life where knitting is my meditation, medication, and dedication  (oh, and revisiting Fishwives Shoal is proving to be quite the challenge!)  I am hoping to be finished with this by my birthday in a few weeks. It would be a great present to myself to have knit this special yarn bought back when,  this yarn that was among the few sentimental yarns I took with me when I fled the wildfire (although I brought none of my knitteds) and now I can finally make it into a knitted form.  When I consider all historic elements of this project ~~ this yarn, this design, and this room ~~ it really is quite fitting that I should put importance on this small stole, for it represents a sort of cycle, and coming around to the origin of things.

Check out the original stole I blocked in the original house loft room, the very same space as the the top photo is showing to be again some day…

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From the Archives: June Into July

I don’t know how I can manage to post the past & future photos of my loft together here without drawing tears (now that is progress!)  but the theme really is asking for it. This idea of accepting life to be a work in progress, and all we hold dear, for if we were not working in progress, how unchallenged & bored would we be.  Anyway, after the holidays now I finally have a quiet little recess to explore unfinished projects, big and small, but mostly pondering what that means, and how leaving things unfinished is not good for me. It feels great to seek out this historic yarn I took with me, and to have the opportunity to finish it at last, and to post these photos of the house being built and anticipating my creative space  coming together again.  The house will be done in a blink, and there’ll be me next year at this time thinking & worrying about other things.

Golden Fields Lace Pattern!

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Golden Fields Lace.

A tribute to the golden rolling hills of the landscape I live in.

oct-2-2016

Photo from archives: Fields of Gold

Wild Oat “glumes” (see Anatomy of a Grass) sway back and forth in a golden field of lace, waving & rippling along in the warm breeze…

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A traditional grains motif in an all-over pattern that is simple as it is beautiful, and so easy to knit!  Borders of garter stitch, soft scalloped edges at top and bottom, straight sides, and everything in between is from one simple Golden Fields chart.

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Photo from the archives: Out Walking In Autumn

Pattern includes three styles: Stole, cowl, and square shawl with four sizes each style!

Here Golden Fields is shown in stole.

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Photo from archives: Waning Summer

A few weeks back I did test-knit the cowl, and posted here . The cowl and stole will be really fun for me to knit over many times I think, especially with more samples of different Unspun yarns as I can come up with, as this one was knit with yarn I made and posted here.

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Pattern is now live on Ravelry HERE!

Now please go check it out and get started on your Golden Fields, just in time for a truly wonderful gift to yourself or a very deserving loved one for the holidays & beyond!

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Photo from the archives: Mountain Knitting

Abelene asked me if she could say something, so I will close with her note.

Hi everyone, its me Abelene!

It was a thrill to model Jen’s new lace design in my future house!  A thrill I tell you!  Jen carried me up a ladder to the second story under the rafters, and positioned me in a way where one only saw a small finished area in the house, but really there were tarps flapping and wind blowing through and it was so very cold but very very exciting!  Besides, I was bundled up warm in Golden Fields stole, so feeling no goosebumps. In the photo below,  Jen stepped back only about 6 feet, and you can see the mess and chaos of building, but it is coming along swiftly. Jen and I are both just over the moon.

Ta ta,
xx Abelene

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Sweater Success!

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Yesterday I met my nieces in Calistoga at the Roastery, we had a little catching up over coffee & tea, then they put on their new Hillwalker sweaters, and this time we headed straight down to the Castle in St Helena for the photo shoot.  They absolutely shone against the old hand-cut stone in their Autumn sweaters!

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A fabulous time, and the usual stellar results! Oh, and behind the scenes my nieces are now also my assistants as well as my models, doing a great job of stepping in to preen as needed… real professionals!  Click and check out these fun unexpected sneak shots…

Hillwalker pattern is available HERE.

But before you go, click on the first image in the mosaic, and view a much more extensive slide show of the whole photo shoot…

 

Hillwalker, and an anniversary.

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Introducing the Hillwalker sweater duo…

(and photographed with my walking stick!)

I have now finished both the pullover and the cardigan,

and that means Hillwalker is now two patterns for one download !

♣    ♣    ♣

Today is the one-year anniversary of the historic Northern California Firestorm  which burned through two counties and thousands of homes, including our own.  Such an anniversary of loss seems to be a time to test resilience, rising above hardship, and moving beyond the grief toward healing happier times. As I walk on the mountain,  I feel the loss, and regrowth in such an overwhelming way.

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There are so many dead trees, but surprisingly, there are many that are alive.

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A favorite Blue Oak, gone.

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Vineyards thriving.

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A favorite rocky meadow.

This Autumn comes as a relief, now I can focus on what is ahead, and what is new, fresh, and positive. Life is short, its over in a blink, and we have every ability to control our attitude.  I’ve learned one very important thing through the experience of this last year, and that is the only thing we can truly own is our attitude, and the accomplishments of  our mind.   The rest is just material & prone to ashes.

♣    ♣    ♣

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Northerly view over valley fog.

Sweet Sixteen and a new pattern!

 

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A little sooner than I expected,

but I am posting the first of a two-part pattern.

First part, the pullover…

and my younger niece who is now Sweet Sixteen!

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Miss Sixteen’s birthday pullover  in the new pattern Hillwalker.

We photographed in Calistoga yesterday …

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(( I love Miss Sixteen’s new hair cut! Don’t you? ))

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Oh, and look who is now driving!

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Driving off from the back lot of the roastery!

A stellar time with my niece and her mom at the Roastery on Sunday, with a quick photo shoot.  I am needing a little extra time to get the cardigan ready , so that will be part two, very soon. But for now, please go check out the new Hillwalker pattern live on Ravelry

Just flew off the needles!

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Lace + ribbing = a beautiful springy cowl!  I just finished my project in a cowl-along I’ve been knitting in recent week. I intentionally didn’t block it, being very pleased with the three dimensional waffled surface the merino lace yarn creates with the ribbed pattern & yarn-overs.

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It is a very easy modification of Double Cappuccino Legwarmers  , and I chose to work the ribbed lace with really big 6mm needles for a frothy open look,  so it grew in length fast, therefore naturally the patterning  was easy enough that I knit it entirely while walking up on the ridge over the last week!

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So downy soft, yet athletic from the ribbing, that I plan to eventually give it to a certain dancer, hoping it won’t fly off in the middle of her leaping across the stage,  I planned this to go with her mostly black dance wardrobe of course!

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This is the first of my start on gift knitting, for the holiday swiftly on its way.   So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the ridge for a hike while casting on for another !

Pattern: Modification from Double Cappuccino

Details: on Ravelry  here

 

Sweater Success !

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I didn’t make it all the way to Calistoga for the actual Lincoln Street locale, but we improvised in St Helena instead.  After meeting at St Helena Roastery, for coffee (please tell me you don’t notice the drop of chocolate syrup from Miss Fifteen’s mocha, spilled on her Lincoln Street before the photo shoot… lol!),  we then took the photos against the stone of the St Helena Catholic Church, then went to Lolo’s Consignment Shop. Lastly we had lunch at Villa Corona, and walked around the Main Street a while too. Absolutely colossally wonderful summer day spent together with my nieces!

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Now you can make your own Lincoln Street sleeveless …

and the pattern is available !

Details are HERE.

 

Azul

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Today I tripped over a jewel forgotten since the wildfire! Looking in my design computer files I discovered a partially written pattern, along with a few photos of a hat that I knit for my brothers birthday.  The pattern was almost finished except for a few details which needed doing, and so I spent most of yesterday finishing the pattern.  Wow, I am amazed. I did that?

It is an intensely colorful folksy chullo, and which I posted about way back here.   It one of my best colorwork pieces in my opinion, inspired by South American motifs, in four shades of blue, from very dark to very light, complete with tassels & knitted braid!  Intensely blue I tell you!  But it could be any other color as well, in four shades.

I think I’ll knit up another one of these!

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The design is completely my own colorwork motifs, and had originally some very poignant meaning,  and a series all in queue as I recall that much,  but of which now I can not remember (since the disruption of the wildfire),  only that there were some discussions with a long time writing friend of mine from Argentina who lectures on varied subjects of philosophy from time to time at a Seminary in a small town called Azul.

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Seminario de Azul

I therefore had named it at the time “Azul” .

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The actual knitted Azul chullo has long disappeared into my brother’s possession, but as I had detailed photos I was able to assemble the pattern. Voila!  (( There is-was a vest pattern in the works too, but that is another matter )).   For now, there is Azul Chullo. And as it is presently the middle of winter in Argentina,  I will make haste…

pattern is LIVE on Ravelry ~~~ HERE !

♣     ♣     ♣

Edit in: After discussing with Alejandro just now about what we may have been discussing at the time I designed this colorwork pattern, and as our topics of discussion often have reference to the Andes Mountains, and as I personally echo the sentiment of such a new title,  this chullo will now be officially named “Montañas Azules”,  meaning “Blue Mountains”,  as are the Andes of Argentina!

Mountains & harsh elements seem to be the thread which is woven into most of my life it seems, so I hope to pick up that series of the design in the near future to work it through. Forthcoming, perhaps more Azules.

Pour Yourself Into This!

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Hi everyone, its me Abelene!

I am giddy!   Since Jen has unpacked me she decided I get to model her newest & latest design, because it will be weeks away before she can photograph her nieces in them, and she wants to get the pattern out there while the Summer is still young so knitters can not only enjoy knitting one, but wearing one as well.   Backstory : Jen knitted a too-small Summer Thing  posted back here, and decided in the ridiculousness of the situation, to knit another much larger one for very tall Miss Fifteen.  Regardless, I have poured myself into that original “Lincoln Street”  ( a size 27″ — and I have a 36″ bust )   Jen says that’s eight inches negative ease. Whatever that means, but she nearly rolled her eyes worrying about how misrepresenting that may seem.   Jen says there’s an expression for such a fit, called ‘poured into’ , so I am poured into the pretty sleeveless summer thing, and I just feel grrrrreat in it!  ::squeal::    Um, but did you know I have a sort of … dream… that I was born as Audrey Hepburn instead of a dress form?  Yes, it is so.   I know, we ought to be grateful for what we have, but I just love her and the whole Paris thing.   And so here she is, my sweet demure fantasy human embodiment, and this is what Audrey has to say about this new design…

Audrey

Oh, but Jen also let me model the pink one , a much more acceptable fit of 32″, and that means, well, only four inches negative ease! Isn’t that something!

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Let me move to the side a little bit so you can see the shaping of the armscye.    That is the ‘arms eye’  Jen told me, a really old-fashioned dress-maker’s way of saying it but you can also just say arm hole. Yes, the hole that my arms, if I had them,  would go through, and make a sweet flirty summer top, which is really just so nice!  Jen has also included an option for lower neck than shown here, which she thinks she will knit up next.

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The back, which Jen tells me is the same as the front, only higher. All around, at any angle, this top just makes me feel like I should be having an iced cold pop-sickle while walking down Lincoln Street in Calistoga.  Go for the sizzle I say!

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I feel that this top is the classic of classics   and it feels absolutely delicious, and I think that everyone should have one!

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Jen points out that the sizes go to infinity, so big burly men can wear them,  as well as little kids too ( but I think I’d rather like to imagine being Audrey wearing one).

Jen says very soon,  when she finishes (a larger) Miss Fifteen’s Lincoln Street,  she will photograph them on the actual Lincoln Street in Calistoga, with the Darling Duo, later in the summer.  Lincoln Street is all ready for you to make one while the summer is young, and the pattern is now submitted and LIVE on Ravelry.   Jen would appreciate it if you made one, or at least went and checked it out over on Ravelry HERE. 

Ta ta for now,

Abelene

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street