Category Archives: Knitting

25Oct/17
The back of my new design Turning Leaves Shawl or Poncho available on etsy JiSTknits and Ravelry

Turning Leaves Shawl (slash) Poncho

Finally… finally… finally I’ve written and published the pattern for my Turning Leaves Shawl / Poncho!

Why did it take so long you might ask? Well. Let me tell you. Time truly flies, doesn’t it? When my full time job ended in July, I had hoped to have lots of time available to leisurely write knitting patterns but… nooooo…. not so much.

So it’s taken months and taken a very professional path including tech editing and test knitting… Voila!

Turning Leaves Shawl or Poncho pattern available at JiSTknits on etsy and Ravelry

And from the back where you truly see the design elements:

The back of my new design Turning Leaves Shawl or Poncho available on etsy JiSTknits and Ravelry

You can see that the leaves are knit on as a border from front to back and run in two different directions. The center leaf is worked over short rows, joining the two sides. The shawl turns into a poncho by sewing three buttons evenly spaced along the lower front of the shawl. Yarn over sections are used as button holes, eliminating the need to knit in button holes! Easy peasy!

Pattern details:

The pattern calls for DK weight yarn and US #8 knitting needles. It can be knit in worsted weight on a #8 or bulky (maybe go up to a #10 needle).  If you choose to use a lighter weight yarn such as fingering, a smaller needle would be appropriate – perhaps a #6. In this case, additional rows can be added for length in multiples of 18.

Where can you find it?

This pattern is available as a downloadable PDF, click here to view the pattern on Etsy… or click here to view the pattern on Ravelry!

Please feel free to link your project to the pattern page on Ravelry… I’d love to see photos of your work. And as always, be in touch with any questions or suggestion!

Happy Knitting!

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31Aug/17
Lime Cuff Bracelet, Wire Knit Cuff Bracelet, Swarovski Pearl Bracelet, Wire and Bead Cuff Bracelet, Wide green bracelet, knit wire jewelry by JiSTjewels on Etsy

Summer’s not over yet! Labor Day Sale

I’m participating in Etsy’s site-wide sale though Monday, September 4… Labor Day! Take 15% off any item in my JiSTjewels shop! No coupon code necessary

Here is a sampling of the items you might find…

ZigZag Dangle Earrings, Wire Wrap Earrings, Turquoise Earrings, teal drop earring, Geometric earring, Silver dangle earring, crystal jewelry at JiSTjewels on Etsy

ZigZag Dangle Earrings with faceted turquoise crystal beads

Emerald Green earrings, Hand Knit Wire Earrings, Kelly Green Glass Dangle Earrings, boho earrings, green wire knit jewelry, drop jewelry at JiSTjewels on Etsy

Glass nuggets encased in knit wire! Emerald green glass sparkles when light shines though it!

Lime Cuff Bracelet, Wire Knit Cuff Bracelet, Swarovski Pearl Bracelet, Wire and Bead Cuff Bracelet, Wide green bracelet, knit wire jewelry by JiSTjewels on Etsy

A fabulous lime wire knit cuff bracelet with assorted color Swarovski Crystal Pearls knit in by Jill Tarabar of JiSTjewels on Etsy

Magenta Drop Earrings, Wire Knit Drop Beads, Hand Knit Wire earrings, Geometric drop earrings, hot pink earrings, triangle drop earrings by Jill Tarabar for JiSTjewels on Etsy

Hot Pink and Fabulous! Hand knit wire with ceramic silver tone triangles. Very geometric, very cool.

04Aug/17
Hand knit chuppah for Jacob and Rachel's wedding in May of 2015

It is a tree of life…

Months ago (almost 2 years now actually) I mentioned a project that began with “I can do that” and proceeded to “what was I thinking?!” fairly quickly… knitting a chuppah for my son Jacob’s wedding.

Center square double tree of life chuppah for Jacob and Rachel's wedding in May of 2015

The center square complete and pinned to blocking boards.

Size. hmmm. 10′ x 10′? 12′ x 12′? How big should a chuppah be? Large enough for a bride and groom certainly plus the rabbi and two sets of parents and a small table to hold kiddush cup and more…

We determined that 10′ x 10′ would be a fine size for the roof of the chuppah… plus approximately 12″ draping down on all 4 sides to cover the wooden structure needed to hold it up. So, our chuppah project added up to a 12′ square. 12 foot square.

I chose a wool and nylon blend sock weight yarn in a natural or ivory color from elann.com which is literally machine washable. The yarn is smooth and knitted details show up beautifully. Now, how much yarn? Using the recommended gauge for sport weight yarn on size 6 needles, I calculated we would need approximately 14,500 yards of yarn. Thousand.  And math is not my strength. So I went ahead and ordered 90 skeins of yarn each with 163 yards totaling 14,670 yards!

This is a bit of the roof leaf and vine patterns blending into the leaf border which increased in size exponentially.

The yarn arrived and I cast-on 180 stitches to my US #6 needles. My plan was to first knit a center square depicting two strong intertwined trees. Once the square was complete, I would pick up stitches on all 4 sides and knit out from the middle in a vine and leaf pattern, increasing in the corners as you would for a shawl until I reached the 10′ goal – the width of the roof. From there, I switched the stitch to a series of  progressively larger leaves, placing beads along the leaf veins as I knit. Finally, I added beads to the bind-off edge as I knit each leaf to a point.

detail of the lace pattern with larger and larger leaves chuppah for jacob and rachels wedding in may 2015

The corners draped beautifully.

The center square, depicting 2 trees intertwined in the middle with cables and bobbles and branches and more cables burst off my needles but, of course I didn’t take the time to chart it as I knit, I just knit cabled and bobbled and branched until the square was complete. I’ve since gone back to try and graph it out but have had no luck. Once the center square was complete, I did map out the lace pattern and commit it to graph paper – so there’s that.

How long did this project take? A full 6 months of knitting every spare moment that I was not at work, eating or sleeping. By the end, I had so many stitches on my needles that I worked 4, 60″ double pointed needle sets – 3 holding stitches, and the 4th as my working needle. I timed each row to estimate how long it would take to finish… and would that be in time???!!! By the lastrow of leaves, each took an average of 2 1/2 hours to complete. I literally took days off from work to make this happen!

My calculations were a little off… I used only 65 of the 90 skeins of yarn purchased which amounted to 10,595 yards. I did mention math is not my strength!

And did I mention sitting for all those hours does not help you fit into the mother-of-the-groom dress?! No. It does not.

I finally finished knitting, just in time to ship the chuppah off to the florist in St. Louis where the wedding was held. As it turns out, the florist had poles made of birch trees that they usually covered with ribbon but for our chuppah and it’s natural tree theme, we asked that they leave the poles uncovered.

What do you think? Crazy, huh?

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14Aug/16
Skillshare course image knit a mobius with beads as taught by Jill Tarabar of JiSTknits

Learn From Me!

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!

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26Jan/15

They call me a Fearless Knitter

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?

18Aug/14

JiSTdesigns… Open for Business!

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!

01Feb/14

What was I thinking?

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!

06Jan/13

Front Page News!

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

13May/12

Simple Knit Triangle Shawl – Border #1

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!