casting on…

jenjoycedesign© big yarn

News is that Emma is on the mend from her surgery earlier this week. She got a bit of a tune-up at the vet while she was under anesthetic to remove a growth on her front leg, and before she woke up the vet did a quick dental, and trimmed her nails too.  Five more days of antibiotics,  nearly a week of the pain-reliever anti-inflammatory (which I may continue with, for her arthritis), and about ten more days of the annoying cone, then its back to normal. More news is that we are dealing with a bit of a mouse invasion and trying to get them ‘out’ is no easy task.

Another finished Whorl’d Piece …

jenjoycedesign© Whorl'd Piece in Inca Tweed

Its on to the next big thing, casting on for Autumn Sweaters for my nieces, in the above balls of yarn is  Berocco super-bulky yarn named “Peruvia Quick”.  The light blue will be a Calidez Cardigan for Miss Seventeen, and dark blue a Calidez Pullover for Miss Fourteen.  So that is that.

I am embracing the waning summer days, getting through the epic bone-dry season of often smoke-hazed blue sky, while fantasizing a verdant grey-skies wet summer climate elsewhere on the planet, like this…

Windows

Wishing everybody a wonderful last week(s) of summer vacation before going back to the school year routine ~ xx

June Into July

jenjoycedesign© pink.JPGChecking in from the hermitage. I’ve been knitting up a pile of rectangular shaped things, in various sizes, in pink and in grey, for what at first was to be one prototype turned out to be many,  although I am in the last stretch.  These have admittedly completely consumed my time but there is the possibility that this forthcoming ensemble will be one of my favorite designs to date, so well worth it. Let the hours and yarn and heat exhaust me to sweet slumber every night.

Here is a sneak peek of one of them pinned and drying …

jenjoycedesign© sneak peek 2.JPG
Meanwhile Emma and I have done very little walking, for the hot summer days have put us both into a trance, for me the memorable events being turning of rows from right side to wrong side and back again.  I am all over that fresh brewed cup of French Roast and I’m throwing stitches in a caffeine induced frenzy.

♣ ♣ ♣

Incidentally, another past-time of mine while knitting the lace shawls, is perusing old films on youtube about tweed-making, and here is one I discovered,  hope you enjoy it…

 

Mystery fair isle…

jenjoycedesign-mystery-fair-isle-detailI see no reason not to post a sneak preview at what I’ve been working very laboriously on, since its first mention back in this post.  Something which I have had to do a colossal amount of drawing,  of math, of experimentation, ripping out & knitting over.   Oh, right, that is called designing….

jenjoycedesign-fair-isle

I am so absorbed in this project that entire days are droning by, so still & quiet, with nothing but the ticking of the clock and Emma’s occasional rustling about, and then of course, very brief strolls in the cold winter outdoors.  Papers are strewn everywhere!  And I have been sitting in my knitting chair far too much in the last two weeks. Far too much. 

jenjoycedesign-mystery-fair-isle

None the less, I am very pleased with myself and am certain that any day now it will be all finished and I can celebrate by revealing what this is, my greatest knitting and design accomplishment  ever.  Until then, I hope you enjoy the mystery!

Spring about to be sprung…

Spring Tees 2016 footage

News from Northern California as the drops fall heavily is that another spring is on its way. Vernal Equinox this year is Sunday, March 20, in two weeks exactly, and therefore I have a goal. I am confident I will finish these, and feeling easy enough about it to share progress reports along the way.  Here they are, the straight-away torso sections of Spring Tee’s for Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen, in luxurious & soft worsted-weight Malabrigo Rios, (seriously beautiful yarn folks!) in colors Water Green and Bobby Blue. Pattern to be used ~ Calidez ~ and later updated to include this ‘lighter weight’ tee option  with lower a choice of swooping springy neckline with short-short sleeves… so yes,  you might say these are prototypes!  Watch this space as they grow before your eyes. Personally , I am charmed off my feet by them.

Sneak Peek

jenjoycedesign©F is for Finnegan

” f  ” is for Finnegan,

and also for ” fall ” .

jenjoycedesign©K is for Kid

. . . and ” e ” is for Eleanor.

but also for ” equinox “.

That’s not the end of it !  I must continue through this kid’s knitting delirium as I work steady towards the imminent pattern… as oh… there must be a pattern!  Yes, so I am casting on for one last, another, a test knit official for this kids’ pullover pattern,  and I hope to get ‘er ready to come out and play by the Autumn Equinox.  But these little pullovers are getting sent off to Jeff’s little g-kids right away, and you’ll have to excuse me for being a little quiet for a while, but I have got a lot of work to do so I can soon be   f-is-for- finished !

Autumn Sweaters 2015 . . . Done & Dusted !

jenjoycedesign©stack of pullovers

Holy cow, this is incredible if I may say so myself, that I’ve got both of my nieces’ Autumn 2015 Sweaters finished, and now waiting for the Equinox photos ~ over three weeks early. And as well,  the (green) prototype!   I feel like I can just put my feet up a little.

jenjoycedesign©Autumn Sweaters 2015

Size 32 in Dusty Grey for Miss Twelve, and size 34 in Ecru for Miss Fifteen.

These are samples of my  Calidez pattern which surfaced earlier in the month.  In fact this is the first time I wrote a pattern and knit a prototype (posted back in this post)  to actually keep while knitting the Equinox Sweaters for my nieces as ‘test-knits’ of that pattern. I tell you, this made it so much easier  to knit up my nieces sweaters, with all the decisions done ahead of time so I didn’t have to get strung out with improvising and mistakes along the way.  Apparently  I’m refining my method!

Now these sweaters will get tucked away for the remainder of the blistering hot last month of summer, and come out to have a stellar photo shoot in Calistoga around the Autumnal Equinox, so watch this space. And now I’m off to make a celebratory cup of coffee to relish a job done & dusted! .

And, for those interested in the technical knitterly stuff . . .

You may notice the two necklines look different and that is because they are ! In fact, I’m in the middle of rewriting the neck section of the pattern for an update, pending on the review it gets from test-knitters about the redesign,  and I’ve opened discussion about it on a forum thread on Ravelry …HERE )

Landscape With Pullover

jenjoycedesign©dryingHi folks. Now nearly two o’clock in the sun-drenched afternoon, and from where I am overlooks a very uneventful and washed-out, but beautiful blue sky, and heat-soaked deck plants, but most importantly a preview of ….(oh the ecstasy of finishing)… a pullover !!!  This very basic pullover represents about three week’s worth of near constant  pattern writing & testing with actual yarn, and now she dries in the sun after being washed . . .
jenjoycedesign©landscape-with-sweaterA landscape with knitting indeed, so excuse me now, but I must head on up with Emma for that ridge you see upwardly rising in the photo, we’ve been spending far too much time hung up with finish work today of reknitting necklines, and weaving in ends and grafting underarm stitches.  Gotta get ourselves hoofin’ .

(( Forthcoming~~ a dazzling finish photo and new pattern! ))

Snowmelt Tam & Toque Pattern Arrives!

At last I say goodbye to the snow which is melting at a rapid pace in the mountains of California. At least in the lower places. In the high Sierra, hard iced patches of snow remain through late summer.  Wildflowers in bloom, the most fragile variety, alpine beauty along the John Muir trail, and elsewhere. This design “Snowmelt” is in tribute to my love of the Sierra Mountain Range of my home of California.

jenjoycedesign©snowmelts

Profiles of three I’ve been immersed in for the month of April, designing first the tam (center), and then a ski hat version of it, first of which was too tall and narrow (to left of center), the second was just right (at right of center)

jenjoycedesign©The Snowmelt profiles!

Two great things came out of my designing Snowmelt. One is that I learned the art of making Dorset Buttons, and came up with my own style for Snowmelt Tam ~ and you can view my button-making tutorial HERE .  Also I learned how to duplicate stitch ~ you’ll find a tutorial for duplicate stitching the flowers for Snowmelt HERE.

Admittedly I have quite fallen in love with this alpine classic theme, and can only be happy to begin casting on more stitches the moment I post this, for more Snowmelt variations… I won’t even skip a beat !

Pattern page on Yarnings  HERE

Pattern page on Ravelry HERE

Autumn Ahead

jenjoycedesign©blue-cream-cardigan

A welcome sign to me is the first Big Leaf Maple leaves just beginning to fall, and I believe I saw a few on the road-side today, while driving up the mountain !  And it appears as though Autumn Cardigans are well on their way too !   I thought I’d be really thrifty and frugal (and prudent) to use up a pile of about six skeins of light turquoisey tweed left over from a project last October, and well, it only got me this far !  Blast.. that’s the last ball of that, right there on top, with only the body and one sleeve finished (minus yoke & second sleeve and button bands). So no problem, I’ve ordered more, 3 more skeins for Niece Of Thirteen’s cardigan.

Here is the yarn for  Niece Of Ten’s cardigan will be this deep coral pink with mossy green peeries… won’t that be fun?

jenjoycedesign©pink-and-green

On Becoming An Intentional Knitter

Here we have a keeper, finally, after the fifth start. The fifth.

More and more lately I find I must cast-on in a sequence of attempts before the project finally ‘finds its feet’.

Not a bad way, but it takes a lot of time.

Wanting to learn to be an Intentional Knitter I am considering laying down some guidelines for myself,  and not allowing myself to touch the needles until I have drawn out completely what I intend to knit, and mentally gone over each step.   Afterall, is my  knitting a means-to-an-end, or  merely a past-time ?

Wanting to speed things up ~ knit faster, cut corners, grow into my skin a bit more (a lot more) I’m going to have to just quit with the lazy ‘whatever happens will happen’ way of knit design.  I want, no, I need to create a system for myself by which I can go from concept to satisfaction of a finished knitted project. I need to:

1. Sketch and confirm the intention of what I want to make, regardless of skills I don’t yet know.

2. Assess the skills I need to learn, and have resources ready at hand to apply them.

3. Write as I go, take detailed notes (because I intend to learn the skill of pattern writing.)

4. Stay to the plan ! Do not stray  (the hardest part, as I am so squirrelly by nature).

5. Finish, and write the pattern, for the sake of practice.

These are my thoughts as to how to go about the knitting in the future. I’ve already started these Autumn Sweaters for my nieces, so I can at least follow steps 3, 4, and 5. This committing aspect of design, is not for pansies, and I find myself up against a limitation of doubting in my ability. I must go deep within myself and draw on determination and faith in my ability, and to have higher perspective when to stay on course, and when to make an edit ~ and there between is a very fine division.