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.

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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.

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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.

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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 . . .
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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 . . .

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We got loads of photos against the stone,

and they modeled their Hillwalker Pullovers

sampled with Icelandic flare this year.

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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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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.

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

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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.

jenjoycedesign© places I walk 4

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….

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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 !

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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.

jenjoycedesign, future loft room

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.

jenjoycedesign©out in Autum(archives)

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.

jenjoycedesign© golden fields stole 12

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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.

jenjoycedesign© golden fields stole 19
jenjoycedesign© golden fields stole 4

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

jenjoycedesign© behind the scene 2

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.

jenjoycedesign© Hillwalker Duo.JPG

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.

jenjoycedesign© October walk

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

jenjoycedesign© October walk 4

A favorite Blue Oak, gone.

jenjoycedesign© October walk 3

Vineyards thriving.

jenjoycedesign© October walk 2

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.

♣    ♣    ♣

jenjoycedesign© abelene 1

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!

jenjoycedesign© double-cappuccino-cowl2

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.

jenjoycedesign© double-cappuccino-cowl3

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!

jenjoycedesign© double-cappuccino-cowl

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!

jenjoycedesign© double-cappuccino-cowl1

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

jenjoycedesign©Azul chullo2

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!

jenjoycedesign©Azul detail

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.

Seminario De Azul

Seminario de Azul

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

jenjoycedesign©Azul chullo

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!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street by JJD

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!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless! 2

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.

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless square

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!

jenjoycedesign© Lincoln Street Sleeveless back

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

Nifty ankle socks!

jenjoycedesign© StAndrews Stroll 1

A fresh pair of St. Andrews Harbour socks !  I’ve been experimenting further with this fishermen gansey style, with a pair of short sporty ankle length socks.  I also wanted to test the pattern in fine fingering sock yarn, and I’m so happy because I am finding this pattern to be ultimately versatile.

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Note: The pattern is written for sport weight yarn for adult sizes (womens med to mens large) but I wanted to see what size would result knitting the main chart in fingering-weight sock yarn. I find that what is lacking in circumference ease, I made up in length with an extra repeat, as knitted fabric is so extremely pliable & stretchy in all directions, they fit snugly and beautifully, and the toes still have room to wiggle.

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Oh, I thought I’d mention that the yarn I used is Knit Picks Stroll in Dove Heather, and which I over-dyed with blue food coloring, resulting in a lovely variegated hand-dyed affect.  Also, Knit Picks Stroll is a superwash merino wool/nylon fine-fingering sock yarn, and is oh so soft, but also tends to get a little fuzzy, which is more noticeable in this photo…

jenjoycedesign© StAndrews Stroll 2.JPG

I knit the yarn with US2 [2.75mm] needles with about 8 sts = 1″, and I am sure that if knit with smaller needles, getting 9 – 10 sts = 1″ , that these socks — in the Chart A–  would be great for children. I am really happy with the experiment, and now I can confidently recommend this sock pattern for small sizes!

Pattern: St Andrews Harbour socks, in Chart A (56 stitches).

Size: Circ = 6.25″ flat, unstretched.  Height = 5″.  Foot length = 9″

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight sock yarn.

More details on Ravelry HERE.

 

Yarn Tasting: Kroy

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 5

I have knit up a pair of St Andrews Harbour socks

in a new yarn I’ve never tried,

and I’m smitten!

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 1
jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 3

This yarn was found quite unexpectedly in a maze of aisles , with shelves of acrylic yarns reaching nearly to the ceiling,

and I was so surprised to have to tame my yarn snobbery,  for this yarn was found at our local Michael’s Craft Store!

Modest little balls of Kroy …
jenjoycedesign© Kroy Sock yarn

Yes folks, the secret is out, the  yarn is Patons Kroy Sock; a washable wool & nylon 4ply sock yarn, and a surprisingly rustic feeling yarn, in a surprisingly rustic solid shade of “flax” …  (see my post  A Rustic Yarn to get the meaning ).   The confusing thing is that on the label it says “super fine fingering” , don’t let that fool you,  fine fingering weight is not at all what it is, this yarn is 166 yards per 50 gram ball, which equals 332 yards per 100g, definitely in the category of sport-weight. Other yarns with this same yardage are super popular Malabrigo “Arroyo” — which I believe would make the perfect soft sock for this design,  and Cascade 220 sport (not the superwash one) which was the yarn I knit the cover prototype of the pattern, and one of my all-time favorite yarns.     Kroy is sport-weight yarn,  ignore the label.

jenjoycedesign© Kroy St Andrews Socks 4.JPG

This pair of fishermens socks were knit with option to switch to stockinette after gusset decreases are finished, which makes a little less bulky in the shoe ( see Ravelry project details here)     Anyway, I think  I have found a really affordable  “vintage”  feeling  yarn for these fishermen socks;  the yarn is a bit rough at first, but as I knit it it feels better and more compliant, and I just know its going to soften a lot in the wash. Crazy, as I’m such a connoisseur of yarn, but it behaves very well, knits up very stretchy & brings out wool’s best elastic properties, and with great stitch definition.

Oh and the color ” Flax ” is ideal for a rustic old-fashioned look, and I bet the Fishermen of olden days would have loved a pair of socks made from this yarn. Will try the “Gentry Grey” soon, thinking these two colors are the only heathered solids in this yarn. Afterthought: Um… well, folks, I figure now that I can over-dye the Flax color, and have just bought 4 more balls and ideas rushing to the fore!

Un Chullo

jenjoycedesign© D's chullo 1

Another birthday chullo for my brother.  He just loves them so much, he wears them like hair.  For this birthday I chose to make an anniversary of last April’s Camino Inca Chullo pattern release, knitting from the pattern. This one samples the Incan wave motif, and I knit it up in some lovely soft Juniper Moon “Herriot” yarn, which is 100% undyed baby alpaca, and this baby is soft!    My brother likes the folk look of the ‘gnome’ crown, so I worked the option for slower decrease and it is just a bit gnome like…
jenjoycedesign© D's chullo 2

Its the tassels that my brother really loves, and with a brow/mustache comb that has needle-sharp brass teeth, I am able to comb through the pompom fringe and fluff up the fine hairs to a really fine furry puff …

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Voila!  I even tied on an extra bit of yarn to comb into a tassle at the tip of the earflap.

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This being the last of the deadline knitting, I am now able to spend some time experimenting with the traditional “mens”  chullo ~~ the varied regional methods of picot edges, and knit with needles traditionally made from  bicycle wheel spokes!     When time, opportunity & energy come together in the near future,  I will continue where I left off, and embark on a new chullo knitting adventure !    But for now I will leave you with an artful & inspiring short travel ad film  which gives glimpses of the wild landscape and colorful textiles of Peruvian Highlands that I have been so very drawn to …

 

Calidez Mitts & Hats !

jenjoycedesign© Calidez Mitts & Hat (2) (705x800)

I introduce to you Calidez Mitts & Hats!

jenjoycedesign© Calidez Hats (800x488)

A set of mitts & hats for women & men, girls & boys, meant to showcase hand-spun or odd ball of left over novelty yarn hanging about.

jenjoycedesign© Calidez Mitts

Pattern features the usual Calidez gauge substitution chart for 3.25st to 6 sts = 1”  thus making it an ideal pattern for handspun yarn!  Mitts have narrow & wide thumb gussets for great fit,   and… and…

jenjoycedesign© felted bobble (800x584)

… learn how to make a felted stuffed knitted bobble to top with!

Backstory: In recent posts I have been experimenting a lot with spinning rolags made from a blending board ~~ all blending board posts HERE ~~ and have discovered that the nature of this fun fiber blending art form, is small batches approx 40-100g.  So this pattern was designed with the fruits of the blending boards in mind… or  just any yarn you like!

Two patterns in one download:
Mitts= fingerless mitts, gauntlets, mittens
Hats = beanie (toque), and beret (tam)

More details on Ravelry  HERE

Also I would like to say that this posting of Calidez Mitts & Hats represents  the finish of a lot of work ~~ much of which was the discovery of blending boards! ~~  spinning ( oh yes, I fixed my wheel after a long hibernation), designing, and knitting.   All of this blending, spinning & knitterly fun will continue as my forthcoming holiday knitting, where I hope to promote the mitts & hats in the Autumn months forthcoming with a cheery little stash-busting Mitt & Hat-along! 

Whorl’d Piece

 jenjoycedesign© Whorl'd Piece

Whorl: wôrl, noun. 1. A pattern of spirals (synonyms: twirl, spiral, helix) 2. Historically a small wheel in a spinning wheel, or spindle.

Folks, I introduce to you my little design Whorl’d Piece. Yes, it is a play on the words and very much a hopeful idea for ‘world peace’. I have blogged about the inspiration behind this spinnerly design in this post “Spinning Hope For The Future” .
A cowl for men & women with interesting cables & bobbles whorl around against a background of a wide rib pattern.  Design was inspired by hand-spun from art fibers  blended on my blending board, often from which the spinner creates only one or two balls of like yarn…( and also the hope for world peace!  )   Perfect for using up those odd balls of stashed yarn in all weights!   Whorl’d Piece is knit in-the-round,  bottom up & seamless.  Includes gauge substitution chart, and options for Plain Rib Cowl.

Here is a sample of Whorl’d Piece made with two strands of stashed sock yarn held together, which by the way, is exceptionally soft & stretchy …

jenjoycedesign© Whorl'd Piece in blue

Whorl’d Piece can be found on Ravelry HERE.

 

Fishwives Lace Shoal

The-Fish-Wife

“The Fishwife” by Edward Charles Barnes

This painting caught my eye last winter, and so when the coast was clear in spring I dove into a lace designing frenzy.  For a while I have wanted to make a female counterpart to my Fishermens Neck Gansey, and so here it is finally ~~~ done & dusted!  Inspired by the painting, and in the same colorway as the painting …

 Fishwives Lace Shoal !

jenjoycedesign© small shawl & cowl together

Small shawl worn over medium cowl.

Fishwives Shoal  = shawl + stole.  ( Okay,  plus a cowl thrown in! )  A play on words, indeed. As many of you have been reading all the fishy posts  leading up to this one (especially Shoal or School?  will help you get the name of my new design).  Fish tails motifs with yarn-overs resembling splashes, and waves in-between create a beautiful lace pattern.  Three styles, and three sizes in each.

The Shawl  is square, and worn folded diagonally around neck double thick and tucked into corset, or just pin together.  This one shown in pink is the small shawl(ette) size,  while largest size, with diagonal of 64”, wraps around whole torso as a traditional Scottish hap does, and would also do nicely as a throw.

 


The Stole is just as a French neck & shoulder wrap, sized from wide scarf to full shoulder wrap.

jenjoycedesign© medium stole 1

Medium stole.

jenjoycedesign© medium stole back

Back of medium stole.

jenjoycedesign© medium stole wrapped

jenjoycedesign© small stole 3

Small stole.

The Cowl is simplest of the three styles, and knit in-the-round.

jenjoycedesign© medium cowl

Medium cowl

jenjoycedesign© medium cowl 3
But of all the three styles, I think I love most is to wear two of them together!

jenjoycedesign© small stole & cowl together 2

Small stole in rose, with medium cowl in natural white.

jenjoycedesign© small stole & cowl together

jenjoycedesign© med stole & small shawl

Medium stole in light grey, with small shawl in pink.

jenjoycedesign© med & small stoles

Medium stole in light grey, with small stole in rose.

Well that about wraps up an epic project. I will be laying low for a while, but soon back on another big idea I am sure.   ~~ Boat loads of thanks to Wendy from Ontario for her test-knitting and generous help with figuring things out! Thanks Wen! ~~xx

Details on Ravelry pattern page over HERE

 I will leave you now with some great old photos of a bygone era of real fishwives in their shawls…

Newhaven Fishwives early 1900s
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Old Photograph Scottish Fishwife St Andrews Scotland
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and another cheery post card, one of a Newhaven Fishwife!

old postcard NewHavenFishwife