A Summer Thing

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A little something for hot days, for summer is most definitely here, with spells of high heat and endless blue skies. I’ve decided to make as many of these test-knits of forthcoming pattern as I can before mid-July. The Summer Thing hanging on the bathroom door of the Tiny House is knitted in yarn talked about in a recent post, and now after finishing Summer Thing One, I must say that it has all the crisp freshness of pure linen, but enough cotton to soften before having to wash twenty times.   I’m already casting on for the second, in light blush…

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As these are such fast jobs of knitting, and now that I’ve got the pattern all worked out, there’ll possibly be a couple more… so watch this space!

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Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a little poll, and ask whether or not anybody noticed I changed the old blog name from “Yarnings” to ” Jenjoyce Design”.   I am not sure I like the change, as the old somewhat nonsense title became the mark of identity of my blog. Please tell me what you think in comments below, I would be grateful.

Yarn Tasting: Lindy Chain

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I’m finally up to rattling off a couple of knitted somethings for my nieces this summer.  Wanting to use linen for these, I thought I would try with some linen blend yarn I’ve had my eye on for a while  ~~  Knit Picks Lindy Chain .

This yarn is a chain of a super fine single, rather than plied, 70% linen/30% pima cotton, fingering weight, and 180 yards to 50g ball.  Crisp, attentive, not rascally, but soft, and I feel like the pima cotton element is making it easier on my fingers too.   I’ve done acres of knitting the  hem with 2.75mm needles, and graduated to 3.25mm for the stockinette.  I got three balls in each color for two sleeveless items, but let me tell you, as this yarn is not wool, I have no bearing as to how yardage and weight work together for a garment, this is me navigating the sea of unknown.

Hey, did you know that Miss Eighteen is leaving for college this summer? This won’t be the last of the darling duo, not by a long shot, but I did want to send Miss Eighteen off with a recent sweater success fresh in her thoughts, as we did miss the Vernal Equinox Spring Tee due to my incessant moving about.  So I’m giving myself until mid July to finish two linen summery things. Counting down. Stay tuned.

Highway 29 & Pattern !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

California Highway 29 sign

California Highway 29 road sign in Napa Valley

Summer Stripes (2)

jenjoycedesign© Altitude Lace with Rowan Revive 2

In a post in June, I shared my new yarn to taste, Rowan “Revive”, a DK weight yarn made from recycled clothing that is made from silk, cotton, and viscose.

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Here it is now knit up into an Altitude Lace Cowl  and it looks quite lovely.

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Stripes in sand & peach tones, barely contrasting, for a perfect neck wrap to wear with natural linen clothing,  I am going to keep this one for myself.

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But can I be honest?  I feel this yarn is a bit heavy, what I would expect from a cotton based yarn, but there’s a slight toughness to the feel, maybe also having 3 plies,  each with 3 finer plies.   Actually, this yarn  may just be a great candidate for a sweater, or to unspin, for the single plies of this yarn are all unique and truly lovely and tweeded with bits of recycled fibers. I really do like the yarn a lot.

So this closes my jaunt of  Summer knitting ~~  it is difficult to believe we’re already well into July! Although the hottest months are still to come, its time I begin to direct my thinking ahead to Autumnal ideas, and back to my un-spinning experiments which I abruptly paused, and of course, some non-knitting events going on too (mostly home improvement sorts of labor, which is not near as fun as knitting, admittedly).

Summer Stripes was certainly enjoyable taste of new summery yarns, and I must say I have made a couple new favorites!

Details for this project are on Ravelry HERE

 

Summer Stripes

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Striped lace cowls in cool blues and warm pinks, knit in a lovely summery linen blend yarn that is draping and soft. I am very happy they’re finished, and just in time for them to go to my Canadian nieces for their birthdays …

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I love this pattern, a traditional lace motif called ‘feather & fan’  which is so easy it can be knit in my sleep. But these are the first striped versions of the pattern I’ve tried, and will try one more in stripes, with yarn mentioned on this post,  before the summer is over.

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As I dared myself to not make a peep until I finished these two, now there may be some chattiness!  On my knitting needles, I have still some promised summer knitting for my two beautiful California nieces (whom all of you are familiar with ~ presently Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen ), and then its looking into a stretch of who-knows-what-may-come for a quiet spell of imminent lazy & hot summer weeks.

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Pattern: my own Altitude Lace Cowl

Yarn: Classic Elite Firefly (posted previously)

Blue stripes project details on Ravelry  HERE,     and pink stripes project details HERE.

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The Last Of Spring

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It is already the last stretch of Spring, and forthcoming is a little duo for summer!  One in dark teal, and one in light teal, in Cascade Ultra Pima cotton yarn,to test my latest design, a summer top idea that I’ve been working on.

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Other things going on, I will splash on to this post, as I am worried I don’t share enough non-knitting things here in general. So, here,  a mountain woodland garden…

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Where in I try to grow things which are sometimes a challenge, but this season, doing well enough.

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Blossoming leeks,

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my greens bed protected from the harsh sun beneath their sun-bonnet,   grapes exploding into clusters fattening,  beans beginning to climb, nearly 4′ high tomato plants, apples beginning to blush and swell, and very shy slow-growing zucchini…

Um….jeans ripening  in the sun?

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Well, not really, just foolin’ around!  Thats about it for this post, and I surely hope to have made the two halter tops by the next post, sometime around the solstice, which will be June 20! 

How are your last weeks of spring coming along?

Penny Candy Socks ~ The Pattern

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Remember these?

Well, I’ve been crunching numbers for a few days, and though I’ve lacked actual test-knitting of all the sizes, they seem correct  to me from a mathematical perspective. Written in sizes from Little Kid to Big Kid, and I will be test-knitting all the sizes I haven’t already, as the summer blossoms and wilts, and intending to have a lot of fun doing so !

So folks, the Penny Candy Socks pattern can be found HERE , and less than one week into summer, which is pretty good, as my goal was to post them on the actual Summer Solstice. Not bad at all.

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Just a little hello from my sister-in-law Pam’s feet & her dog Peggy !

Penny Candy Socks & Peggy