Fourteen Days . . .

jenjoycedesign©ribbon-candy-scarf
I am sharing all that I am ‘making’ through the holidays (and other noteworthy things going on).  Fourteen days left, and three hand-made gifts finished, with several more to go. A scarf much like ‘ribbon candy’ in wintergreen and licorice, made from some old yarn I can’t even remember what it is. Here, a quite roomy felted satchel made of stashed tweed wool o’ the Andes, and which has two thick 5-stitch icord straps.  The very artful steel cut & welded ‘coat’ hanger my brother made. It is a daffodil bulb,  and is mounted right at the doorway.

jenjoycedesign©felted-bag

Now, the Lovers Of Wildlife out there , you absolutely *must* see this ~~~ the pair of ravens which perch often right near our house, these are photos taken from upstairs bedroom window, literally 30 feet away from where I stood in the house (I zoomed in).  First you see Mr. Raven lone on a branch surveying his domaine, then his mate busying herself ripping some dead bark off of a dead oak branch, then she flew to him and they cuddled a while while they prattled loudly to each other, it was amazing to see such big handsome birds be so affectionate. (click first image in mosaic to go to slideshow).

They didn’t seem to mind me at all standing there photographing & admiring them. I am so grateful & lucky to live here in these woods with the ravens!

Sweater Success !

jenjoycedesign©Sweater-Success-Autumn-2013

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

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

jenjoycedesign©tree-hug

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

jenjoycedesign©mural

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

Compare with three years ago ~  Autumn Sweaters 2010 .

jenjoycedesign©coffee-roastery

Demonstrated is the inside of the simple color stranding…

jenjoycedesign©inside-detail

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

jenjoycedesign©detail-of-elasticity

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

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

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

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

All posts of this project HERE

General details of this project on Ravelry HERE

Autumn Cardigans Arrive !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autumn-cardigans(2)

Posted on the actual Autumnal Equinox,  officially it occured locally at 1:44 a.m. today.  I am a passionate yearner for Autumn, the cooling temperatures and moist air I waited for all summer long.  Its here . . . Autumn has arrived !   And so have the cardigans !

jenjoycedesign©nieces-Autum-cardigans

In a celebration of the season, I gleefully post the Autumn cardigans I’ve knit for my nieces over the summer (all posts here).   First, the one for eldest niece who is Thirteen, who’s eyes match exactly the colorway of her cardigan ~~ light turquoise & oyster shell . . .

jenjoycedesign©turquoics-cardigan

And this time I embroidered little name labels for them, on bits of calico print I had about.

jenjoycedesign©name1

And next, for one who is Ten , a real live mermaid who likes to dress in coral & sea moss . . .

jenjoycedesign©coral-cardigan

And her name label . . .

jenjoycedesign©name2

And I happen to have more than enough shell buttons saved up for both, and didn’t have to buy any!

However, in the case of the coral/moss cardigan,  the camera  definitely favored the red tones and would not ‘see’ the richness of the green, and so it looks much more muted than it really is ( as shown in this post HERE.)  Odd thing about light and cameras, some color matches just won’t show up as with the human eye.  You’ll just have to take my word, that the warm slightly terra cotta pink and moss green are lovely together.

In the weeks ahead we are planning the seasonal photo shoot in Calistoga ((crossing fingers it will cool significantly and not be an Indian Summer heat-wave to torture heavy tweed-wearing nieces)) so you’ll just have to sit tight until then. In the mean-time, here are the cheerful & colorful still-life photos, patiently awaiting the beautiful girls they will adorn.

jenjoycedesign©nierces'-Autumn-cardigans-2013

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