Discover Your Life Beautiful…One Drawing At A Time

I can’t believe it! I am so so excited to finally have these 12 lessons to offer to you! Years ago, I wrote a lesson a week on my blog. I called it Draw Your Life Mini Lessons. The response was positive and several asked for the lessons in book form. Though I made a couple of attempts at that, it just didn’t seem like the right container for the lessons. At the beginning of this year, I got the idea to expand the lessons into an ebook and video course. It is now complete and available in my ETSY shop.

The self-guided course is now called Discover Your Life Beautiful, One Drawing At A Time. It is the same 12 Lessons compiled into a 64-page ebook instantly downloaded upon purchase. Each lesson has a password protected video to view which offers more discussion on that Lesson’s topic as well as a look inside my sketchbooks, filled over the last ten years. The course is equal parts inspiration and motivation, tips and techniques, as well as instruction for four different approaches to drawing. As you move through the lessons you will come full circle to Draw Up A Chair and begin again and again.

The course is a comprehensive approach to seeking out and finding beauty in your everyday life. Everything from creative blocks you may experience, to tons of ideas for creating pages in your sketchbook, plus instruction for drawing in such a way that you experience your life more fully.

Of all the creative endeavors I enjoy, this practice of drawing my life is at the center. From this daily habit, I’m enabled to see my life for the beauty that may be out in the open or hidden from view. It takes drawing to uncover it sometimes, and sketching it celebrates the life I’ve been granted.

The overall emphasis in this course is DRAWING AS A PRACTICE, NOT AS A PRODUCT. My desire is that in working through the lessons, you will experience a freedom to drawcument your life without any burden to do so in a certain way or to have a polished product. We find love and beauty in the activity of drawing…not necessarily in the finished sketch.

I offer this course to you for the reasonable price of $45. My hope is that anyone might feel they can begin this life-affirming activity of sketching and drawing their life.

I would love to hear from you as to how it’s going, should you choose to purchase the course and work through the lessons. Whether you are a beginner at sketching or a seasoned artist, you will find something in this course to encourage and inspire you!

Click Here to visit my ETSY shop to purchase.

Enjoy!

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

Sketchbook Chat!

SketchbookChat

I am excited to offer a new way to share my sketchbook with you! This is the first in a series of Sketchbook Chats where I will share with you anywhere from a few pages in my sketchbooks or a tour of a whole one (as you will see here). My aim is to inspire you to drawcument your life in a sketchbook as well!

For now, I am not planning on this being a regular thing as life will surely interrupt whatever weekly or monthly schedule I choose. I am purposing to make these little videos UNDER 10 minutes. Well, I’ve already gone over on that with this first one! But rest assured, they will certainly be short and sweet from here on! This one is longer as I wanted to share a Grand Tour of the sketchbook that includes my recent Stay-At-Home Pilgrimage which I posted daily over on APilgrimsDraw.wordpress.com.

Sketchbook Chat #1

Please share this video with others you think might enjoy it! And subscribe to my You Tube channel so you can receive each Chat as they are created.

Feel free to leave here in the comment section any questions you might have for me to answer in future Sketchbook Chats.

I do so hope this is inspiring and helpful to you!

Artfully yours,

Jennifer

P.S. Things I’m working on… a. shorter videos! b. not waving hands in front of sketchbook c. being sure to put lipstick on entire lips and not just part! lol.:)

Cast On

ThaliaCozy

Here’s where it all starts. Make a slip knot and begin.

Cast on a desired number of stitches and then work the rest of the piece from there.

There’s no way around it really. You have to cast on. Even if it’s only two stitches. Or two hundred. This is how we begin.

BriocheCastOn

Yet it can cause a good bit of consternation. Which cast on should I use? The pattern may or may not say. If I’m designing, I must consider which one will yield the desired edge both in stretch and in braid. For folks new to knitting, the cast on, once left behind for rows of knit and purl, is often forgotten when the next project is begun. How did I cast on? If I use Long Tail, then just how much yarn do I need to leave in order to have enough for the cast on? So many questions and uncertainties.

BigLeavesCiener

It is true also in drawing and painting. How shall I begin? Where do I start on the page? What medium will I start with? Do I fill the whole page? or only part of it? If I start here, will I have enough room for the subject? For some, this very beginning part can create such a storm of questions that paralysis sets in all too soon.

CrochetLoveBeginning

Yet for me, the beginning is perhaps the most exciting part. Two needles, or a hook, and some lovely yarn. A blank page and a pen. Such possibilities. Anticipation. A bit of chocolate helps!

Even if the initial idea gets frogged only a few rows into it, or the sketch needs to be started over again, the fun is in the diving in, the beginning, the start of something new. This is one of the many reasons I love making things. Each and every day I have an opportunity to start something fresh and new and exciting and different,  in yarn or paint, on needles or in a sketchbook, with a hook or with a canvas.

EmbroideryStart

Looking around at my studio right now I might have to admit to too many beginnings. I know I will finish them. I usually do. All in good time.

But right now, I just have to start a new crochet design that’s been banging around in my head. It all began with casting on another shoulder cozy (first photo) and in no more than four or five rows my fingers knew this yarn was wanting to be crocheted into something else entirely.

Ok. So here we go. Starting something new. Again.

Perhaps you can start something new today! I’d love to hear about it if you do!!

************

Notes on the above photos: First photo’s yarn has now been frogged and is being crocheted into a new vest design. Second photo is the start of a brioche cowl I have finished and plan on teaching in October (watch for details about the classes in my monthly Knitterly Arts Newsletter!) Third photo is a line drawing of a recent visit to our Ciener Botanical Gardens. Fourth photo is the beginning foundation chain and first rows in a recent crochet design I hope will be available in pattern soon! Fifth photo is my first foray into embroidering my own drawings. Should be fun!

Pointier Points & Other Weighty Matters

WashclothCraze

I mean, who really cares about whether the points on a knitted washcloth are pointier than previously knitted? I certainly don’t care one way or the other…but therein lies the fun of it all!

NailBitingEndHitchhiker

So, I finally finished my Hitchhiker Shawl, and oh what a nail-biting finish that was! Only about 2 1/2 inches of yarn left on the bind off! Just barely enough to weave in. But that’s all I needed! 🙂

OrangeWashcloth

At the same time, I had been merrily knitting washcloths  my latest obsession, and the thought occurred to me that I could, quite possibly, make the points on my washcloths just as pointy as the points on the Hitchhiker.

PointierPoints

Eureka! It worked! Using the clever little Kfb, turn, purl one, knit one, pass the purled stitch over, worked like a charm to add a bit of pointless pointiness  to the Almost Lost Washcloth. ‘Tis fun, no?

SocksFinish&Start

Other oddments I’ve enjoyed immensely of late are finishing socks…

SoccerfieldSocks

…turning cart heels at soccer games…

ToeExcitement

…the thrill of toe knitting (not to be confused with knitting with your toes)…

Tea&Shawl

…drinking tea and eating a cupcake in a new way whilst finishing the knitting of a shawl design (typing up pattern for offering on Etsy soon!)…

CircleVestBegins

…starting a crocheted circular vest…

CircleVestFini

…and finishing it in a few days time…

WOPSoapBag

…and working on a sweet little project I’ll tell you more about soon!

Pointless Pointiness and all manner of frivolity is very sustaining and enriching to one’s life!

I hope you have a bit of frivolity in your day today!

Yarned In!

WildHare1

I don’t know what comes over me! If there’s even the slightest prediction of snow accumulation above one inch, I seem to go into a trance. A yarn trance that is. Creative cogs in high gear, I pull down yarns from various sections of the house, putting them in my big white bowl to see how they get along with one another. It doesn’t make sense…I DO have several, in progress projects that could well be completed if I used the impending snow storm hours to finish them!! My Rhubarb Blanket is just inches away from being done! A pair of socks only needs the foot and toe parts to complete a whole pair! Hitchhiker Shawl languishes midway. Surely I could just sit and knit happily on any of these!!! But no…

WildHare2

Woolly ideas, like sheep dancing in my dreams, go traipsing through my head. Pattern books are pulled down off the shelf. Knit and crochet magazines get rifled through. Loose leaf printed patterns off the internet are looked at. Ravelry is scoured.

WildHare3

The search? Tunic. Vest. Cardigan? Not? As is typical for me, I cannot find just what I want. So I shift into an even deeper trance of making it up as I go. I know what I want. I see it in my head. Lots of colors. Bulky yarn leftovers. A warm, woolly something to knit in the coming snow storm…to wear in the days after.

WildHare4 Fair isle. Yes! Who better to guide me than Kristin Nicholas and her expert and marvelous book Color by Kristin. Stitch patterns and charts are poured over, some decided, some not. A desire to create as I go is much more satisfying than having it all planned out at the start. The snow will guide me. The colors and yarn will show the way. I have only to begin.

WildHare5

And so I do as the first flakes fall. No matter that we only get around 2″ and then some sleet and ice. But schools are closed. Everywhere is white. Snow means knitting. Hours and hours of knitting. Who cares that there are people in this house who need me to get up and go do things for them!? Sorry folks, if you need food or clean clothes…I’m “yarned in”! Quite literally, if you saw me sitting in my corner-of-the-studio chair, you would see me buried under piles of fluffy wool much like the snow falling down all around out the windows here. The only difference is that this fluffy stuff in my hands is sooo colorful!

It’s all bits of this and that. Leftovers from other projects. I feel certain they will be happy together…but I really won’t know until I knit them together. Fair Isle and bulky yarns are a bit tricky…keeping the floats loose enough is a challenge. But I don’t care. The snow trance has hold of me good, and I’m “yarned in”. Hemmed in by wools, size 13 round knitting needles, and a wonderful book from which to pick and choose all sorts of delicacies as I go.

WildHare6

I’m about half way finished! And it is now snowing again outside, two days after the first “storm” hit us. There is more predicted for the weekend. I think I’ll be yarned in for a few more days! I think I like that! But my family might not. They look over at me, roll their eyes and shrug their shoulders. Then they open the pantry to search for something to eat. 🙂

***P.S. You can follow my progress on Instagram, if you like! I’ve called this my Wild Hare Tunic! It’s a play on words, as in “wild hair” when you get a crazy idea and run with it.

*New Pattern!

AppComfPics

Finally!! I’ve added a new pattern to my Etsy Shop! It’s a sweater and sweater/vest I’ve been wanting to offer for quite some time. It just takes time to write a pattern properly, with all the information you want to offer so that others can be successful in making it.

Appalachian Comfort  A Beginner Sweater (with Sweater Vest option)

vestVersionAppComf

This pattern is perfect for beginning knitters!! Pass it along to any you may know, beginners or otherwise, who would like a simple project for fall comfort. It can be for any season, depending on the type of yarn you choose. I’m wanting to knit my next one in a yummy Noro yarn.

Here are some things you might like to know:

What You Need:

Bulky Weight Yarn :
For Size Small: 550 yds. Medium: 650 yds. Size Large: 850 yds.
(Shown in pic: Patagonia’s Araucania cotton, 105 yds. each)
Other suggestions: Noro Obi, Kama, Iro, Kogarashi, Plymouth Yarn Gina Chunky, Araucania “Tolten”.
Size 10, round or straight needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Interlocking Stitch Markers
Yarn Needle

*Instructions are written for sizes small, medium and large!

IMG_3090

The simplicity of this pattern makes it terrific for an on-the-go project where you don’t have complex charts and stitch patterns to follow. Yet I’ve written the pattern in such a way as to allow you to make it your own by adding various stitch patterns and securing the front in multiple ways.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend full of yarny goodness!

*Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My life is barreling in directions I’m unsure whether I really want to go. Our son is beginning his senior year of high school. Our oldest goes back for her junior year in college. Our youngest begins 7th grade.

Am I ready for this? I feel inside a fragility about it all. An uncertainty as to whether I am strong enough for all that lies ahead. I felt it teeter and bend towards tears last night as we left a Concert Choir concert, watching this son we love do what he loves, beginning the last year of his high school education. My husband felt it too and audibly recognized the ache in his heart. He said something about wondering if he could make it through this year. I added that it is not just this year but the next as well: the senior year, the summer before college, the moving them in, the first year of college-will they be ok?

And so I stand on the brink of two (at least), very full years. We take Catherine back this Thursday to college, on Monday Maddie begins 7th grade, William starts his senior year. Can I make it through this?

I’ve had a growing sense lately that I’ve been given two gifts (aside from my very dear friends) that will help me through. Two very tangible activities that have built into them, an ability to stabilize me, to bring comfort and healing, to give direction and solace, to literally knit together what has come unraveled. I know very well that a pen and sketchbook, a hank of yarn and needles, have no abilities in and of themselves. It’s just that something comes THROUGH them to me, something of benefit to me that goes beyond a final product of “painting” or “sweater”. I cannot explain it to you. It just is. And I am so very grateful for these two activities, these two art forms which speak volumes if only to me.

I will blog the journey as well, drawcumenting and knitting up the days that lie ahead. I’m so very grateful that you, dear reader, have come along with me on this journey too. I hope you’ll continue. I’m feeling more and more certain that Knitterly Arts best describes the path I’m on. Whether you knit or draw or both or none, I’m glad you’re here. And whatever you may be facing in your own life, let’s draw through them together and knit up the days ahead with joy and peace.

Fresh Start

KnitArtsPage

Have you ever wanted to take a new path for a while?

Have you ever wanted a fresh new page in your sketchbook? Or perhaps an entirely new sketchbook designated to a particular subject matter?

This is what’s been brewing in my creative mind and heart lately.

Change comes ever so slowly sometimes.

Flashes, glimpses of something new, something different come across the landscape of our minds. We aren’t sure where they are coming from, why they’re there, nor what we are to do about them.

But then it becomes clearer, little by little.

A new adventure.

Or perhaps revisiting an old one.

A new blog.

Drawings…yes. Writing…yes.  But with a focus on knitterly things.

You can read my thoughts about this new blog titled Knitterly Arts here!

There’s even a brief but fun Artist Statement here.

I’d love for you to “follow” me there! I may be on this adventure for quite some time.

I am still so very Drawn 2 Life! But yarny things have captured my attention and are drawing me there lately.

Come join the fun!

And let your friends know too!;)

Welcome All!

KnitArtsPage

I’m so glad you’re here! Thank you for visiting!

Embarking on a new adventure can be a bit scary, but I am filled with excitement as I have SOOO many ideas and plans for us here on Knitterly Arts.

Whether you are an avid knitter/crocheter, or a beginner, or just enjoy drawings and thoughts on life…

you’ll find something here to enjoy!

I have slurped over my posts on knitting and crocheting from my Drawn2Life blog.

Go ahead and browse around the pages at the top above the banner, or in the sidebar. Good stuff to read and explore there.

Be sure to click the “follow” button, and/or add this new blog to your Newsblur or Bloglovin’ list.

And if you know of friends you think would enjoy this blog, please share with them!

We will go on some yarn-filled adventures together!

We will draw! and live life! and go slow! and see all the beautiful knitterly connections in our lives!

So glad you’re joining me here!

How It All Begins

Di-VineBeginning

This is how an idea for a design begins. With a little sketch. A few notes. Just a beginning. You can see from this initial sketch and notes that a few things changed by the time my Di-Vine Yoga Socks Pattern was completed:

*I ended up using a yarn, slightly thicker than worsted weight…Aran? (The wrapper calls it worsted, but it is definitely a bit thicker than that!)

*I did not like ribbing, and instead used Garter stitch. It looked SO much better (to me:).

*Originally I thought about knitting small leaves, sewing them on, and then connecting them with a chain stitch vine. But my whole reason for creating my own Yoga Sock design was to have a QUICK knit. And having to knit 5 or so leaves, then sew them on, would not’ve been a quick knit!! So I settled on the chain stitch to be a continuous line, “drawing” the leaves as well as the vine. Just what I wanted.

I love the Paper App for the iPad. That’s where I sketched the above image. I have one “book” in the Paper App designated for Knit & Crochet design ideas. I love the simple tools and colors. It’s an awesome app for drawing, sketching, note-taking, etc. You should try it!!

Di-Vine Yoga Socks (Knit)

Di-Vine Yoga Socks (Knit)