A Colorful Knitted Cowl

One of my favorite times of day during the workweek is when I am able to settle down onto my cozy sofa in the evenings and pick up my knitting. Just picking up my pointy sticks immediately brings me to a place of meditative calm, a place where I hear the whispers of my deepest creative dreams. I love getting lost in the yarn-y world of color and texture.

One of my latest projects, a linen stitch neck cowl in oranges and browns, was inspired by Jane Thornley’s Winter Forest Evocative Guide.

A couple of summers ago, I shared some yummy batiked fabric here. To add extra texture to my cowl, I found myself ripping off thin strips of the “seed pod” fabric to add to my knitting. What a great idea, Jane!

This is a fabulous little piece that knits up easily and is perfect for jazzing up a solid colored shirt or sweater.

Next up: a feather and fan wrap whose colors speak of sea and sky.

What are you creating today?

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From My Studio

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I was so enchanted with knitting my first vest that I dove right into knitting a second one in a different colorway. Above is a photo of the back center ribbon yarn panel. I used Knit one, Crochet Too Tartelette yarn in the Rainforest colorway. Mmmm…

I’ve just completed the knitting and am now carefully weaving in each little yarn end, one at a time. While I love choosing my yarns and knitting them together in a free-form way, this weaving part seems very tedious to me. There is a soothing rhythm to it but it takes such an awfully long time to complete. It’s much like sanding polymer clay work. And, just like with that, it’s time to slow down and not be so impatient for the finished product.

I’d love to hear how others cope with this never ending task.

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With my first vest, I stayed with very similar colors as the original vest pattern. This is what drew me to it in the first place. Now I’ve branched off into a colorway that expresses me uniquely – muted, soft blues, greens and tans. I am so looking forward to wearing it. My first vest is going to be a gift for someone special.

The free-form knitting bug has bitten me quite deeply, taking over all of my free art time. I am enjoying myself so much in this luscious world of color and texture. So much so that I will eventually need to rouse myself out of this infatuation soon to get back to jewelry making for my show in November.

Not just yet though.

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I’ve started gathering a yarn stash for my next free-form project which I will be knitting in Taos, New Mexico. I’ve signed up to participate in a Jane Thornley workshop in September. More on that very soon…

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Last weekend during a visit to Lowe’s, I grabbed some paint chips in southwestern colors to help me in picking out my yarns.

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I’m also trying to decide what color to paint the kitchen in my new condo. After months of waiting, my closing is drawing near. I happened to put this fresh Oasis green yarn on top of my chips and was immediately enchanted by the color combo.

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While shopping in Joann Fabrics several days later, I came upon this beautiful fabric. Does that ever happen to you? I get a specific colorway on the brain and I keep seeing it everywhere! This will be perfect for some pillows.

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While browsing the internet one day, I came across 2 lovely blogs bursting with color and granny square crocheting – Lucy at Attic24 and Vanessa at do you mind if i knit. Oh, I remember granny squares! I’ve made many a blanket over the years with this sweet, old fashioned technique. In fact, carefully folded away in my closet is one of my children’s baby blankets in a rainbow of sherbert colors. Anyway, I started to think that quite possibly it was time for another granny square adventure so I found some very reasonably priced cotton yarn called Sonata at elann.com. A granny square blanket in greens, blues and purples would be just perfect for my bed in my new place.

My art world lately has been filled with yarn, yarn and more yarn. How about yours?

Studio Wednesday

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It felt good to be back for a full day in my studio today! My last full studio day was 3 weeks ago because of busyness with my jewelry show preparations and the holiday last week.

I’m thrilled to have recently received a commission to create a freeform peyote bracelet in a green, brown, gold, russet and salmon palette. Here are the seed beads and pearls I’ve chosen so far. This bracelet will be smaller in width than the last one.

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I have some other projects in the works, like finishing my beaded turquoise cab necklace and creating a fringey bracelet with my citrus cane slices. I’m also working on some crocheted and knitted holiday gifts. I can post photos closer to Christmas so I don’t give any secrets away right now.

I’ve been thinking about what kinds of new projects I’d like to play with after the holidays. I find myself captivated by the book, “Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet” by Mary Hettmansperger. Mary’s approach to manipulating metal and wire to create stunning pieces of jewelry resonates with my preference for creating in a freeform way. Her background in weaving and basketry brings a unique voice to these materials. I would like to try some of the projects in the book and see what I can create. Also calling to me are crocheting with wire, arashi shibori and making my own polymer clay beads for bead crocheting. I have many ideas floating around in my head and I’m looking forward to manifesting them in the New Year. Oh yes, I just got the book, “Masters: Art Quilts” out of the library and I am absolutely in love with the work of Cher Cartwright and her fabulous dyed fabric quilts. Grab a cup of tea and visit her website for an eye candy feast. Very inspiring!

12 months of beading

I am happy to present a year’s worth of beaded journal pages!

The first row (at the top, l to r) is June – September 2007, the second row October 2007- January 2008 and the third row February – May 2008.

When I finished my last page, I was so excited. When I look at this group shot, I am beyond excited and into jumping up and down ecstatic and really amazed that I actually did this.

I want to send a huge thank you and hug to my beady hero and mentor, the creator of the Beaded Journal Project, Robin Atkins. Her vision and inspiration has changed the lives of many artists through this amazing and wonderful project. I feel like my life has changed in an enormous way as I have learned much about myself through my beadwork and also to my commitment to stick with this project.

To all of my fellow BJP participants, bravo to one and all!

My last beaded journal page is done

Well, talk about getting down to the wire! With the 2008-09 Beaded Journal Project poised to begin tomorrow, I have completed my last page of the 2007-08 year, my November 2007 page. With my annual jewelry show in November, that whole month is dedicated to preparing for my show. Instead of creating my November page in December then, I was inspired to jump right into my December page at that time. So, November never got done until now. However, I always had what I wanted to create, a tribute page to my greyhound Buddy, in my mind. It was just a matter of getting the fabric paper to put in my printer, updating my printer cartridges and getting started on it.

I’m so glad to be finished with all of my pages. I feel a great sense of accomplishment even though I finished late. Now it is time to turn my sights to the new year and start on my first bracelet!

Fabulous Batik Fabric

I love the yummy fall colors of the batik fabric I recently purchased at Joann Fabric’s. Originally, I purchased it for my 2008 beaded journal pages but now I’m thinking of creating journal bracelets instead so I won’t need it for that. The one above on the right reminds me of Brian Froud’s fairy world.

Hmmmm, now what can I use all of this fabric for? Cloth art dolls?

Aren’t those seed pods in the fabric on the right just great?

When I was at the cutting station, I had the most interesting conversation with the sales clerk about the colors and patterns in these fabrics. I told her that I loved how your mind and imagination could play with the dots and swirls and see all sorts of interesting things in those patterns. It’s always changing everytime you look at it. She agreed and said that they all reminded her of dreams. That thought positively captivated me. Fabric dreams…