Vineyard Rows Toque !

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My latest design, another Vineyard Rows accessory . . .

the Vineyard Rows Toque,

which I made allusion to in my previous post  All This Talk About Toque.

jenjoycedesign© 017 This design may actually lead to mittens & gloves, pullover  & cardigan eventually, but I can’t make any promises yet.   I am working with a new yarn  which is far easier to find This Side Of The Pond than the Jamiesons’ Spindrift Shetla:nd yarn. jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Toque detail

Vineyard Rows  Toque is  designed with 100% Peruvian Highlands Wool :

Cascade 220 fingering, in Jet, Charcoal, Silver & Natural.

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Back-story : Early last Autumn I was sad witness to  destruction of a very old vineyard very close by, which was a rich and important part of our lives here on the mountain,  and where Emma and I walked nearly every day.  When I made this post Seasonal ,  I was so shaken  seeing  the old vines  ripped right out of the soil, roots and all, and heaped in massive piles on top of plowed soil , never again to be pruned or picked.  All the familiar faces of the friendly workers to whom I’d often wave ‘Hola!’  vanished, as there were no vines to be tended.

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So I launched into my tribute to those vines, in my Vineyard Rows Collection.  There will be many designs in this collection I can only hope , the first being Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet in Jamieson’s Spindrift Shetland wool,  and now there is  Vineyard Rows Toque.

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The next time you see this toque it will be the pattern debut,  and  I will have  embroidered grapes in wine tones hanging from the grape vines,  just as the Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet has. But this is the unadorned version.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Toque

In the mean time  you can peruse more posts about vineyards  HERE.

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Vineyard Rows Tam

jenjoycedesign©high-vineyard Walking along the old mountain vineyards close by, I found inspiration for a design which I have named “Vineyard Rows”. A California Highlands Bonnet if there is to be one ! I chose four natural shades of Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift yarn, because I happen to love this black & white photo of the historic vineyard landscape I took a year ago. Near the highest vineyard knoll on the mountain perhaps, rows against an Autumn sky,  leaves blowing off of the vines as a storm was brewing… it was a walk to remember !   So I came up with this . . .

 

Vines of grape leaves wind about the wheel, in borders and peeries, along with interruptions of bold checked dicing.  To me this tam brings together California Wine Country with Scottish Highlands.  Embroidered grape clusters adorn the rambling  vines with French knots in wine tones, creating a spectacular and colorful needlework finish I think!

And on *moi*… straight up !

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I really went wild with the notion of the toorie and decided that a tam must have accessory options !  Why not an accessory for the accessory ~~ why not tie one on for the mood you’re in ?  Basic black, wine red, & marled toories !!!

 

But before I embroidered the grape clusters into the vines,

I took the hat Au Natural out into the woods…

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Against the moss . . .

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jenjoycedesign©me in tam 9

And lastly,  against a blush of colorful Autumn leaves, showing how the tam’s outer most rim is traditionally useful in shading from the sun.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows Tam 3

Well there you have it, my latest design of a tam named “Vineyard Rows”.  I have created this tam for all the lovely walks I’ve enjoyed in the beautiful aesthetic of these old vines ~~ this tam is in tribute to them.

Autumn Scapes

If you haven’t yet read a post I made about Knitting & Wine , it is the prelude to this design, as well as other posts and photographs of nearby vineyards, you may peruse in all  vineyard posts .

And folks …

Vineyard Rows pattern may be found here .

((as well as details on Ravelry here ))

New (Vineyard) Horizons

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I so wanted to show you this photo taken early today ! It was a windy and cold November morning as Emma and I walked over to our newest (hidden & secret) scenic location, which we discovered only last week from trail-blazing.  Here, this morning,  happy to greet the young vines, and a south-easterly horizon  with distant blue Mt Diablo’s double peak of 3,864 feet visible from where I stood — on a big tree stump, est. elevation of 2100 ft, on a slope facing  San Francisco Bay.   ( Note,  this is not the same vineyards wherein great devastation of historic vines is going on, but a different vineyard. )  By all means, click the photo, and see it full-sized !

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Ahem** I have nearly finished my fourth redesign of the project in natural shades of Jamiesons Spindrift. It is quite an embarrassment to think I was near done, over a week ago, then to have to start over, then over again, and well… it’s a sore subject… but a labor of love and true break-through for me in design, as well as expected set-backs. If I survive this week at all, I will have something to show for all of my determination. I am sure by now you’ve all guessed the theme to have something to do with vineyards.

Knitting… And Wine?

vintage Napa Valley travel poster

An ‘American Viticulture Area’ is a designated wine grape-growing region distinguishable by geographic features, and one of these areas exists right under my feet, as I live smack dab in the middle of an appellation which sits at the tail end of the Mayacamas Mountain Range, in Northern California. The boundaries of this appellation include twenty-five square miles, with a thousand acres, planted on thin volcanic soil, and on steep mountain faces, some as steep as thirty percent! The steepness of the angle gives the vineyards benefits of more direct sunlight and better drainage, and well, as you know, that steep and rugged terrain personally means nice walking for me. Knit-walking in particular.

The unique sense of place of the mountain appellation, with a contributing factor that some of the oldest mountain vineyards are dry-farmed (that means without irrigation, that the only water the vines receive in the dry season are by their deep roots) produces wines that are ‘typically powerful in structure’. For example, cabernet sauvignon grown on the mountain commonly shows “briary flavors, moderate to bold tannins and herbal, floral aromatics ” … which translates into laymen’s words as ” Brace yourself, but oh boy is it tasty! ”
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Near the Autumnal Equinox this year, at the beginning of chardonnay harvest, the mountain hosted its fourteenth annual Appellation Wine Tasting, and so it is, the grapes grown in this region are making wines that are gaining  world-wide recognition for their unique sense of terroir, and sought after for connoisseurs’ collections.  Might I add,  the vineyards nearby where for years I have enjoyed walking, their historic chardonnay & cabernet sauvignon vines had produced wines that placed in Paris blind tastings that along with other Napa Valley vintners, turned eyes of the world (you simply must see the film “Bottle Shock” to get this historic pivot point) .

In the more expansive Napa Valley, wine is exalted to levels beyond passion, thoroughly infused into the culture of the area, and lifestyles of our greater population. Here we are visited year-round by those who flock to immerse themselves in wine, and to pair it with five-star cuisine, simply put, this picturesque countryside of vines draws ’em in, and the wine has them spending money.

To drive Upvalley along Highway 29, and along many a back road of this county, one can’t throw a stone without hitting at least a couple of vintners’ mailboxes, and there are many to be passed along the drive of endless vine rows. One might see new & old stone wall facades along the roads to emulate old Italy & old France, but really, these California neighbors know their stuff !

In 1800’s vintners claimed stake of this fertile valley & volcanic mountains and never let go.  Why would they?  Just look at it !

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Now, you might be wondering what all this about a mountainous grape-growing region has to do with knitting ?   Well, actually. . . I can’t wait to show you ! 

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 A California Highlands Bonnet if there were to be one . . .

jenjoycedesign©vineyard-rows-grapes

 “Vineyard Rows”  Tam pattern is  HERE

and,

all posts about vineyards (including this one) are  here.

Golden

Autumn Scapes

Well,  good news has given me a sigh of relief,  and things regarding life on my mountain are not as grim as I had imagined (I talk about in this post the other week) .  Not all the vineyards are uprooted, and this one, perhaps my most walked, seeming like a comfortable nest over-looking the valley, appears to remain, though its devastation is probably only postponed to next Spring.  Most all of the vineyards are going to be replanted with new vines.  This golden landscape photo was taken last year at this time, at end of October. I just love Autumn !

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On another thought, I wasn’t going to post again until I had finished submission of the pattern which I’ve been discussing for a few weeks.  All I can say is its nearly ready, just a last-minute bout of design-insecurity seems to be my biggest obstacle.    🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse us,  Emma and I are ready to walk out in this Autumnal Wonderland !