Learn From Me!

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Years ago, I taught an Intro to Stained Glass class through our local adult ed program. This weekly course was fun as I was able to share my knowledge with adult students eager to learn a new skill. It was rather exhausting though as I needed to carry crates of glass, tools and supplies back and forth each week.

I recently took a leap of faith and jumped back in to the teaching mode. I’ve recorded my first video lessons for Skillshare.com, and awesome website that allows folks with some knowledge to share those skills with folks who are curious and anxious to learn. The class is set up in “bite-sized” chunks… short videos that you can watch over and over.

Skillshare classes are designed to be project-based, so my first class introduces the skills needed to knit a Mobius Infinity Cowl! You only really need to know how to complete a knit stitch. The class will cover these 3 additional skills:

  • Provisional Crochet Cast-on
  • Adding Beads as you knit
  • Kitchener Stitch

Skillshare is a subscription-based website which allows you to view unlimited video classes with membership. Click here to register for my class and get 3 months of Skillshare Premium for only $0.99 for unlimited access to this and thousands of online classes. Also included in my written pattern for a Mobius Cowl which you can also find in my JiSTknits Etsy Shop.

Here is the introduction video… Let me know what you think!

Balanced Asymmetry

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stained glass clear texture window created by Jill Tarabar for her home in southeastern pennsylvaniaDuring a recent home redecorating project, we widened the doorway between our living room and dining room in order to allow light to flow through and give each room a more open feel. As part of the project, we created a space specifically for a stained glass window. The window adds a little separation between the rooms whole still allowing light to flow from the brighter dining room into the north facing living room.

I’ve always been fascinated by the play of geometric shapes and the challenge of designing balanced asymmetry. The exposed top and side edges of the window are irregular in shape, allowing the circle and line design to flow naturally.

To create the window, I used a variety of clear texture glass mixed with clear circle bevels ranging in size from 2” to 6”. The largest circle measures 12” in diameter. We debated adding color but settled on all clear with black backed foil and black patina.

The window measures 28” wide by 56” tall and is mounted in the space on the bottom and wall side in 1” oak framing that is painted to match the wood trim. A small loop and hook hold the top edge in place.

All in all… one of my most challenging and rewarding projects! What do you think?

The window divides our living room from dining room and compliments other geometric artwork in our home

close up of some of the circles including bevels that have been cut to fit specific shapes

large stained glass window that I created for my home in early 2016

They call me a Fearless Knitter

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And this is why…

What is the most challenging project you’ve ever thought about knitting? A sweater with shaping and sleeves? A lace shawl? A handbag?

I’ve started a project that is huge in so many ways… It’s really big… and really important!

I’m knitting a Chuppah cover for the wedding of my son and his wonderful fiancé!

For those of you who don’t know, a Chuppah is the structure under which a Jewish bride and groom wed. Often a simple fabric covering provided by a synagogue, florist or the wedding venue, in our case it will be a combination of hand knit cables, lace, bobbles and beads!

As you can imagine, it will need to be large. Not only do the bride and groom stand under the chuppah but also the rabbi and cantor, and sometimes even the parents of the bride and groom! We’re talking 8′ x 8′ minimum for the “roof” and then at least another 12″ draping down around all 4 sides…. that’s 10 ft. by 10 ft. of knitted fabric! Yikes!

Step 1: How much yarn will it take to knit a 10′ x 10′ (or more) square?

ShipFREE Cyber Monday thru Dec. 14th!

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December… De-summerJiSTdesigns offers free shipping from Cyber Monday (Dec. 1) through  ill-timed summer vacation ending on Sunday, Dec. 14

What happens when you plan a vacation… your summer vacation… for the first week in December? Free shipping, that’s what!

Yes. My vacation is ill-timed for an artist selling online, but it has been planned for over a year and (yeah!) it’s here!

So beginning on Cyber Monday, December 1 through Sunday, December 14, I’m offering FREE domestic shipping on any items purchased in either of my etsy shops.

Shop JiSTknits on Etsy!  Shop JiSTglass on Etsy!

Please be aware that all items purchased (after Dec. 3) will ship on Monday, December 15.

If you are interested in a Chanukah Menorah, please do purchase before December 3 to insure delivery before Chanukah begins!

Thank you and Happy De-summer!

JiSTdesigns… Open for Business!

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Take a look at my hand knit wire bracelets, necklaces and earrings! What do you think?

I’m having fun creating one of a kind jewelry items, many with glass or fused glass elements. There is more to come so stick around!

Little by little it all will come together…

Taking it to the Streets!

Gallery

This gallery contains 18 photos.

We’re taking it to the streets… Main Street in Lansdale, PA that is! Saturday, June 7, 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm is Lansdale Day, a juried festival of fine artists and selected artisans sponsored by the Rotary Club of North … Continue reading

What was I thinking?

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lime chartreuse turquoise squares hand knit wire dangle necklace at JiSTknits on etsy.comI’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year.

I’ve learned that 3 shops on Etsy – in addition to a full time day job, family and life – are just too much for me to handle right now… And that it’s ok to let go…

For this reason, I’ve decided to place my third shop, JiSTwireKnits, on semi-permanent vacation.

Antique Brass cuff bracelet hand knit wire with cherry jasper beads and a bar clasp available at JiSTknits on etsy.comOver the course of the next few weeks, most of the wire knit jewelry that is currently available in that shop, will be moved to one of my two original shops – JiSTknits and JiSTglass. Items that are knit of wire and may feature beads, will land in JiSTknits and those with a bit of a stained glass element will be available in JiSTglass.

gold glass nugget knit wire necklace from JiSTknitsJewelry on Etsy – and in the retail world for that matter – is a very competitive segment. The online shop never really gained traction, although I’ve had modest success with my work at area craft shows. Maybe jewelry is too personal an item to sell simply through photographs and description. Who knows.

So, that being said, please do visit JiSTknits and JiSTglass… and let me know what you think!

An Extraordinary Discovery

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The Chicago Bean in Millennium ParkHave you ever spent time in a new place, wandering aimlessly from your hotel with a vague destination in mind only to come across something extraordinary that you wouldn’t have expected?

My husband, Marty and I spent a weekend last fall in Chicago – I attended Vogue Knitting Live which was amazing in itself, and he arranged a business trip to keep me company. Saturday afternoon, after my knitting classes were over, we set out from our hotel in search of lunch and to see some of the sites along the way.

Our first discovery was The Cloud Gate, AKA “The Bean” in Millennium Park. As you approach this enormous sculpture, you notice the brilliant reflection of the sky, the city and the people walking around it. As you get closer, the images multiply and absorb your like no other…

We continued walking – we do a lot of walking when we are exploring a new place – to the Navy Pier for lunch. We followed a young couple who looked like they knew where they were going… after a couple of backtracks, twists and turns, we reached the pier and learned just how windy the windy city could be!

Navy Pier Chicago against the beautiful blue skyThe day was beautiful but very brisk. We walked along the pier with the wind in our faces, shivering but in awe of the beautiful blue sky and interesting scenery.

Stopping for lunch on the pier, we spoke with our waitress about the area, the people and the pier. She mentioned a Stained Glass Museum which immediately peaked my interest… Stained Glass museum on the Navy Pier? Ok…?

After lunch we decided to walk down the indoor walkway to stay a little warmer. We left the restaurant, turned right and…

Holy copper foil Batman!

An original Tiffany window on display at Navy Pier ChicagoModern… Abstract… Religious Iconology… Tiffany!  Beautiful.

The Stained Glass Museum is a free exhibit which lines the interior hallway of the Navy Pier. It is organized by genre and artist… and magnificent! Enjoy!

Stained_Glass_Judaica_Chicago Stained_Glass_Judaica_Chicago_2 Stained_Glass_geometric_Chicago Stained_Glass_Franklin_Chicago Stained_Glass_Chicago_Tiffany_1 Stained_Glass_Chicago_Tiffany_2 Stained_Glass_Chicago_found_objects Stained_Glass_Chicago_2 Stained_Glass_Chicago_1 clear_bevel_window_chicago

and of course, because we are in Chicago… Michael Jordan!Michael Jordan Stained Glass Window at the Stained Glass Museum in Chicago

Stained_Glass_Mosaic_Chicago

Front Page News!

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One of my items, a wonderfully warm hand knit cowl, landed on the front page of Etsy on New Year’s Day as part of this wonderful treasury by Janet of BlueMagpieDesign. Thank you Janety!

‘A Bluer Shade Of Pale.’ by BlueMagpieDesign


Watercolor Flowers Art Print…

$20.00

Little Grandma Earrings in D…

$20.00

nature photo pale blue winte…

$25.00

Denim Blue Wrap Bracelet Gra…

$46.00

Pale blue stud earrings, bei…

$31.00

25% Off Holiday Sale, Pale B…

$18.75

Vintage blue blouse with cho…

$34.00

Carl Sagan pale blue dot // …

$15.00

Hand Knit Pale Blue to Denim…

$28.00

Santorini Beaded Bracelet. F…

$47.00

Brown blue jeans atyle uniqu…

$24.00

Double Book Style Photo Fram…

$30.00

Lace necklace with pale blue…

$17.25

Pale Blue Lotus/ Fruit/ Brea…

$72.00

Dusk blue daisy earrings big…

$10.00

Chevron Pillow Covers Light …

$30.00

Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Simple Knit Triangle Shawl – Border #1

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This periwinkle blue shawl has a wide ruffle knitted at the bottom. It is 100% cotton and available in my etsy shop.

One of the easiest borders to add to your Simple Knit Triangle Shawl base is a ruffle.  Hot right now, the ruffle adds a feminine touch to any knit garment.  It does take a little patience as you will end up with more stitches on your needle that you ever thought possible!

Step 1:  Complete your Simple Knit Triangle Shawl to your desired length…. 12″to 18″ from center for a scarf/capelet, 24″ to 30″ for a shawl/poncho.  This measurement is from the back neck center stitch to your needle.  The actual width of your shawl is twice that measurement. The blue shawl measures approx. 26″ and used approx. 200 yards of yarn.

measuring the top edge of the triangle shawlAs we continue, always maintain the two stitch garter plus yarn over edge on both sides.  Discontinue center increases.

Step 2 (decorative optional row): On the next right side row, k 2, slip marker (sl m), yo, *(knit two together, yo) across to marker, ending with a yo at marker, sl m, k2. Next row (WS): k2, sl m, purl to marker, sl m, k2.

Add an optional row of eyelets for interest and to maintain design element

This row of eyelets carries through as a design element.

Step 3: This is where things get interesting! Change to a 36″ – 40″ circular needle of the same needle size. Next row (RS): k2, sl m, yo, knit in front and back of each stitch across to marker, yo, sl m, k2.  You have now virtually doubled the stitches on your needle!  If necessary, change to longer double pointed needle of the same size and stockinette stitch the next 4 rows being sure to maintain your garter stitch/yarn over border.

Step 4:  Get ready to double your stitches again!  Seriously! Next row (RS): k2, sl m, yo, knit in front and back of each stitch across to marker, yo, sl m, k2. Continue in stockinette stitch for an inch to 5 inches depending upon the width of the ruffle you prefer.  The blue ruffle measures 4 inches from the bottom of the decorative eyelet row to this point.

Eyelets at the lower edge help to discourage curling

Step 5: In order to discourage the stockinette stitch ruffle from curling as stockinette stitch is inclined to do,  I added another eyelet row (rs) and three rows of garter stitch. Bind off all stitches loosely knitwise. The ruffle of this shawl used an additional 500 yards of yarn.

Step 6: Sew in all loose ends.

Voila!  A triangle shawl with knitted on ruffle!  Enjoy!

Click here for a printable pdf on Ravelry!