Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 121: Knit original design in process

I am knitting without a pattern and documenting as I go. I should finish tomorrow or Monday. Pictures after the last day of my classes tomorrow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 121: I spent all day in class!

I don't have a product today....I spent Allllllll DAYYYYYYY in classes about knitting tricks, resizing and translating patterns, and superior finishing techniques. I understood much of it, but there was still quite a bit that went WAYYYYYY over my head! Still had fun, but my back is DONE for tonight. I am in bed now, and asleep in minutes!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 120: Fiber Fun

This is what I knitted using ONE ball of "Magic Ball" which has multiple types of fiber textures as well as a color.  It took me about two hours, and I didn't really use a this is my first free form knitting.  I started with 30 stitches cast on and then made a small section of braid by separating into three sections of 10 stitches each.  I rejoined them after overlapping and continued around using mostly knit with a few sections of other random stitches.  It is light and airy.....pretty and whimsical and fun, and I have more "Magic Ball" yarn to play with!  Yummy!  Included in the ball of yarn are sections of textured lumpy stuff.  It just adds to the fun of the whole thing!

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This is what is written on the packaging that came with my magic ball.....

"Enjoy this beautiful product knowing that you have brought hope into a South African community and that a percentage of our profits goes back to supporting education.  This mohair yarn comes from the fleece of Angora goats that are the descendants of a breed originally from Tibet and brought from Turkmenistan to Turkey, where the Turks reserved the rare and precious yarn for royalty.  In 1830, The Turks shipped a group of does and castrated bucks to South Africa, not knowing that one doe was pregnant and would give birth to a male kid.  Interbreeding with local breeds eventually resulted in a hardier Angora goat, and now South Africa produces 65% of the world's mohair.  This yarn was hand spun and dyed by women in South Africa under a job creation program that has offered opportunity in an economically depressed rural region with a 75% unemployment rate and little opportunity aside from hard labor in pineapple fields."

Learn more at:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 119: Fear Not

I am sensing from Day 1 of a 5 day knitting/fiber fest that I am not going to have time to blog least not today. I went to an evening kick-off event tonight and am now a twitter with ideas and inspiration with no spare energy to convey my joy with written word. I did make a quick pendant early in the day, and I will add its picture tomorrow morning.....I promise.

Until then, I am in bed knitting up a "magic ball" made by a lovely designer under her business title of "Be Sweet.". Follow this link to yummy yarn goodness!

Be Sweet: Creative Products with a Conscience

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 118: Wire Dragonflies

I was out and about a little bit today.  I went to The Bead Monkey to pick up a few more base beads for pendants like the one my mother taught me to make.  I took about three seconds looking at the 3mm Czech beads (which are the base size for the project EXACTLY like my mom's sample) and decided NO WAY!  Then I picked out a few strands of the 4mm ones like the ones pictured in yesterday's blog post.  I just don't do the weeeeeee little detail work like Mommy.  While I was waiting for the store to open, I saw a pretty little garland made from dragonflies hanging in the window of a store in the same area.  Upon returning home, I made some quick little dragonflies of my own.  I think I will perch them on my garden stakes when my outdoor plants actually get tall enough to need stakes =)  Come on, SPRING!

Linking up to one of my favorite parties called Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Days 116-117: Easter Knitting and Monday Beading

Although I didn't post yesterday in observance of Easter and time with family and friends we choose as our family, I did knit....I know, big surprise.  I have been working on squares for the upcoming week of knitting classes, and I have now done extras....just in case.  So here are my two latest squares worked over the course of the last two days.  The wool is a very thick lovely that was on sale at The Yarn Garage and I knit it with a pretty ribbon skein to give it some personality.  I went back to a favorite block pattern from the book working the square along the diagonal with increases and then decreases.  I love this look!

My mom was in town for Easter weekend and thus, beading was on the agenda.  She taught me how to make this quick little beaded pendant with crystal bi-cones on a right angle weave beaded base.  Quick and lovely!  I will likely make a pair of earrings to go with it soon!

I love linking to Debbie's Newbie Party on Mondays!  It is just a really nice way to meet other new bloggers instead of getting lost in the land of blogs that are in the thousands of followers and have a bazillion sponsors just lets me read and share with other simple blogs.  I lover it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 115: Knit Block, and actual signs of SPRING!

 Under the leaves in my gardens, I can find actual signs of the Spring that everyone else in Blogland seems to have already.  This is a Lenton Rose and is already in bloom underneath the leaves.  It is so pretty, and I find it extra amusing that the blooms may have come and gone before I ever clean the insulating leaf cover off of the gardens.  I dug for this one a big, and I am glad I did!
 Here are some baby daffodils that I planted several years back now, and they just force their way through the leaf cover.  It is nice not to have to go hunting for them while the kids are out hunting for eggs.
The kids colored eggs today, and for the first time with them, I blew out the eggs to use them for cooking instead of having a bunch of hard boiled eggs that I never got around to eating.  Each kid got to blow out one egg as I had visions of them spewing egg all over each other and the kitchen.  It seems also that my lungs aren't holding up to my absence from playing musical instruments.  I felt very poorly prepared for egg blowing.

Here is my last knit square in preparation for my class.  I didn't really follow a pattern for this one but rather mixed several patterns.  I did a few rows in seed stitch, a few rows in garter stitch, and more rows in stockinette stitch.  The holes come from knitting two stitches together and then following with a yarn over.

I am hoping for a nice Easter Sunday with family and friends.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 114: Cutting Soap and Blocking Knits

After yesterday's frustrations, I recovered my wits, and picked up my knits.  I finished my square with the swirl in it successfully and treated myself to cutting my newest batch of soap into bars.

I think this pattern is very cool!  I need to work on my multiple stick juggling and I suspect that I am doing something funky at the end of each needle.  Whatever it is, I did it consistently so I have nothing to compare it against.  Maybe I should try another swirl square today doing the corners a little differently.  More likely, I will just press on to another pattern.

As for soap, I thought I had one mold full of layers and one mold full of swirls.  Both molds ended up looking much the same.  I had swirly bars and layered bars from each mold, so I think I might need a soaping tutor to work it out.  Still, these are lovely!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 113: WHAT exactly do I need to do with that stick?

I have three times ripped out this pattern which is supposed to have a swirling pattern within a square knit block. I am having problems because I am supposed to start with two cast-on stitches on each of four double ended needles...then WHAT exactly am I supposed to do with that fifth stick that I know I need to use, but the pattern doesn't tell me how! I have pictures, but I am too frustrated to go deal with downloading pictures my avid readers will just have to wait.

This block may very well give me so much trouble that I may give up and move on.....I hate admitting defeat by an inanimate object.

Photos added Friday, April 22, 2011 at 12 noon

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 112: Knit Blocks with cables! This is code for FUN!

 WOOOO!  I finished two blocks today in between muscle spasms and dog fights.  My dogs were absolutely nuts today....running around and play fighting with tails wagging with joy!  I just don't get it, although, when I am around good friends we sometimes just razz each other raw while laughing the whole time.  I guess it is the same thing.

Anyhoooooo, I digress.  I find that the pattern of this one is difficult to see in the picture....I could explain what you should see, but that would be boring.  I used only scrap yarns from my shawl project and I hope to be able to get all four homework squares out of that material without running out early.  Hmmmm.  Cross your fingers!
 This is a close-up of the little cables that are on a knit 2/ purl 2 pattern.  Very simple for my first cable pattern (this IS the same pattern that I ripped out a few posts back, but I have conquered!).  Gosh, I just love LOVE LOVE this bamboo yarn!
On this picture, the pattern of ending cables in a staggered way and continuing up the block with plain K2P2....very subtle but interesting.

 This one is was sooooo fun.  After completing the simple cable cross-over above, I felt more confident to try one that had me storing stitches on little markers while knitting or purling.  I think it is classy!
Detail shot shows both the cables and the sheen on the yarn.....pretty pretty!  Two more blocks at minimum to be prepared for my knitting class in one week's time.  Plus, Mom is coming up for Easter weekend, and I have to be prepared to push my knitting aside and joyfully bead with Mom.  I have to finish ALL of my homework before getting to play!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 111: Project KNIT done....and on to other project KNITS

Detail pic of the crochet scallops
 I am finally done with my major knitting project of the last several days!  It has some major variations from the pattern.  I didn't seam it up as far as the pattern details thus giving the neckline a more cowl-like shape.  I also edged the neckline and the seam up the shoulder with a simple crochet scallop which I love!  If you look closely at the pictures, you will see markers reminding me of error sections yet to be cleverly disguised.  Now that I have finished this project, I can finally start preparing for my class that is about a week away.  10" knit squares on the way!  I must finish one almost every day, so look forward to yummy knit variations over the next week!
Bubbly Nature

Here are the two views.  Front and back are different, and it could be worn with the "side" as the new "front" as well.  There are no rules with this one.  It is light weight and very airy!  Love it for those slightly brisk Minnesota Spring days that we have been having.

I also made a massive (massive by my standards) batch of soap today.  I made a six pound batch of tea infused soap (using tea instead of straight water in the lye solution) and a two pound batch of my plain standard recipe.  Once I poured an even layer on the bottom of both molds with the tea infusion soap, I poured a layer of the basic plain recipe on top, leaving about half of the plain batch in reserve.  I added an essential oil that is reputed to help with inflamed skin and also some red colorant (which made the basic recipe appear more orange than usual, but hardly "red").  I then layered that on top of both molds.  I swirled one mold together lightly with a spatula, and the other I left layered only.  No exfoliating materials were added at all!  I can't wait to cut these and check out my first attempt at swirling!  Alas, I MUST wait....a couple of days at least!  Bah!  I am no good at patience.

As promised, here are some quick glimpses at goodies I picked up from the craft show this weekend.

 Here is a leather cuff that I spied and adored made by Mike Barnes at
 As the card says, these earrings are part of The Erica Zap Collection.  You can check out her website at  I know these are made by a gadget for uniformity in wire weave, but her designs are really cool.
This was probably my favorite find....from Nature's Creations at and it involved putting real leaves into a metal bath and coating them with metal. My beauty was put in a copper awesome!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 110: Not done but, CLOSE!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel folks....tomorrow just might be the day!  I hope to have it done, edged, and blocked for tomorrow's post.  Here is my progress!  ADMIRE IT, PLEASE!  =)

I will probably have to spend another day on it just creatively masking the crazy mistakes I have made, but the whole process has taught me sooooo much!  I have to admit, though, that I am chomping to get another project started.....discipline, Jerri, DISCIPLINE!  Finish finish FINISH!  Then I can play with new toys!

Here is a pic of the new cutie in my life....I wish I had made the hat!

I bought this bracelet, which has a cool pin on it which I will highlight tomorrow after I look up more info on the process of making the pin itself.  For now, just drool over the cool closure on the leather bracelet base.  I spent a bunch of time with hubby at the Craft Now expo downtown St. Paul yesterday.  We checked out tons of high quality craftsmanship and awesome creative ideas!  This was but one little trinket that I fell in love with.  More on that expo later as I found a bunch of new artists that I would like to do a post stay tuned for a list of great new artists' websites!  For now, bedtime.  Goodnight, blogland!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 109: Knit...what else is new?

Tomorrow I will post pictures of my knit progress....maybe, if it is a slow day, I will even be able to post the final product......ooooh, ahhhhh!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Days 107-108: When all Hell breaks loose....knit

I have spent yesterday and today with friends at for a new baby born and one fighting for a full and healthy life. I feel so helpless to be of any use to either when all I can really do is hug them, and be there sparingly, and knit. I have finished a mere two rows of knitting in two days, but I have loved my friends, and that matters more than anything else. I WILL finish this project eventually!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 106: The Journey

I was blog hopping this morning and happened upon a link to a link to an interesting party hosted by Modern Country Style challenging me to Define My Blog....interesting.  Check out the party and see what is up!  It is a neat process to define one's blog.  There are tons of craft blogs out there....which mine is at times, and I'd say it is probably predominantly crafty.  There are tons of tutorials from the teachers at heart to share their process....which I hope for mine to have in the future.  There are mommy blogs and family blogs, which mine has a smattering of, but I wouldn't say it is my driving source of inspiration.  So how do I define?

I finally settled on calling myself a "Journey" blog.  I write about wherever I am on any give day.  I am recovering from some pretty nasty health issues, and that is a journey. 

I left my music teaching job to spend more time on recovery, and I miss it....and that is a journey. 

I think that creation is a discipline in which I aspire to become more skilled, and that is a journey. 

I have family and friends that are family, and that too is a journey. 

I post my triumphs and failures.  I write about whatever is in my brain whether it be about my creative process or about where I think my creative process comes from.  So "Journey" it is, and I think that I am satisfied with that definition....Don't Stop Believin'.....yeah.

How do you define your blog?  Or for those that read my blog but don't have their you think my definition is accurate?  How would you define MY blog?  No holds barred!  Comment away!

I will spend the day with a friend on his own journey today....and I will continue my knit while there.  I am about to add another ball of yarn.....WAHOO!  Progress is being made!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 105: 12 inches later

After a day sitting around, I am 12 inches closer to finishing my shawl thingy with my loverly bamboo yarn. I will put up pictures tomorrow morning....several inches ago I made a vey large, VERY noticeable error, but not the unraveling kind. So it stays as I am in NO MOOD TO RIP IT OUT! I will soon be on to my third skein of white....maybe yet tonight as I am having problems sleeping. Ate Amanha, until tomorrow...

 Photo added 9:00 a.m. on Thursday April, 14, you see that BUMP IN THE ROAD!  That is the random purl row that I didn't notice on my knit side until inches makes me SOOOO SAD! and yet, it is where I am at right now....distracted, divided, navigating bumps in the road, so I left it.....reality and all!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 104: Mishmash....really I just don't want to do laundry

I worked on a lot of ideas that have been boppin' around in the noggin for a while.  I did some layered paper work in my altered book (pictured to the left) using some layering of commercialized scrapping stamps and some of my own drawing and freehand work.  Gosh, I just love that tissue paper with keys on it I got stuffed in a purse I received as a birthday gift.  I have been using it a lot in my layering lately.  My heron image is not immediately evident, but that is part of the fun of spotting wildlife.

I made some quick cards today as well as some glass tile pendants using the paper I made a few posts back.  I think the end result is well worth the hassle of making layered art paper.  I want to save my scrap paper batch for a while longer between projects so that I can make several pieces of paper at a time.  The mess is fun, but it is a really big mess.  I soak the paper in water since most of what I use for scrapping is card stock or double sided.  Then after slathering with goo (PPA-Perfect Paper Adhesive Matte Finish), it takes forever to dry out.  Very GOOOOOEY!
Linked up for Wow Us Wdnesdays at Saavy Southern Style.

Some "Just Because" Cards Using Made Art Paper
I used Diamond Glaze to adhere/protect the art paper on the back of these glass tiles to make pendants and pins.  These are my favorite glass tile pendants that I have made and it is TOTALLY because of the paper!  Feedback on these?  What do you think?

I picked up a very discounted tool with a coupon promotion thing at Michael's. I got a Martha Stewart punch that can be used anywhere on a piece of paper. I often make layouts with squares all over it, and this allows me to frame up several pictures of the same size very quickly. The top and bottom attache with a magnet, allowing you to move it anywhere on a large piece of paper instead of being limited to an edge. LOVE IT! It is my new FAVORITE tool! Martha Stewert has circles and squares with straight sides too, but I figured I figured I could replicate either of those pretty easily with tools I already scalloped edges for me! I used this lovely tool to frame up smaller parts of wildlife and scenery photos that I just didn't need full 4by6 sized images. It made for a nice border and accent to the larger photos of my people!

A view from the bottom of the tool.
Two of the pages I did today of a trip last summer