*New Shawl Pattern!

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I absolutely love shawls! I love wearing them and knitting them, crocheting them and designing them! Here’s a new one I’ve just uploaded to my Etsy Shop for any who would like to make this colorful shawl.

S&RShawlBack This shawl is knitted from the top down to the tip of the triangle, alternating colors to create stripes.

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Then eyelet rows become the perfect way to weave ribbons through the shawl.

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It is then topped off with a wide-ribbed “ruffle” and a picot bind off edge.

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A perfect pattern for a beginner-intermediate knitter!

Click Here to read more about the pattern and to purchase.

Are you on Ravelry? I am as Drawn2Knit! Let’s be friends there and knit together!

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Healing and Knitting

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An alternate title to this post could be:

What I Forgot That I Knew

Sometimes that’s the way of it…I forget things that I’ve known so well. Knitting reminds me that things take time. And this week in particular, I’ve been reminded that healing takes time. Healing of any kind takes lots of time. Major surgery is no exception.

Yet, I’ve been impatient. Each day I’m looking for huge strides in my recuperation process. I’m wanting my pain levels to drop way down. I’m wanting to be able to move around as gingerly as I did before surgery. I’m wanting to be able to walk in my neighborhood as far as I used to do. I, at least, wanted to be significantly “better” when my family returns from the beach tonight. Though there are certainly small improvements that show I’m headed in the right direction, I’m not as healed up as I had hoped.

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I’m not an especially fast knitter, compared to some I’ve seen, especially those who continental knit. I was taught the good ole American way, throwing the yarn over each time. I do know how to continental knit and I use it for two stranded knitting and at other times when I have the itch. But I love the way I learned. Perhaps it’s like a Southern Drawl. That lilting, slow way of speech that is so enchanting…knitting by throwing your yarn, allows me to enjoy the process, even if it may be a tad slow.

I’m trying to relax into the process of healing. That sounds like an oxymoron: “trying” (applying effort) to “relax” into the pain and discomfort. Golly, it’s hard work. But knitting and drawing keep me sane. So do friends and family who have come to visit with me this week. They have been a delightful distraction from the discomfort of healing.

The above drawing is of a new shawl on my needles. I am inspired by Paula Emmons-Fuessle’s Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl and I’m setting about to create as many versions of it as I can envision. I’m really taking this pattern into whole different directions, but the basic “canvas” of her recipe is there. This one is striping two balls of yarn, one solid, one variegated and then knitting only with the variegated for a while. In this section of the shawl I’m adding eyelet rows in which I’ll weave ribbons. Then I’ll finish it off with a ruffle of some kind and a bit of the solid color I’ve reserved for the end.

My mind wants to think: Maybe by the end of this shawl I’ll be significantly better! But I’ll not do that to myself…I must allow my healing to take its own course, no matter how many shawls may need to be knitted in the course of it all!

***Note on Book in above photo: How Georgia Became O’Keefe by Karen Karbo is a gift from a friend. Though I am only on chapter 3, it is proving to be a wonderful read! Fascinating insight into this artist’s life and work. The way Karbo writes makes me want to read ALL the other books she has written on famous women: Katherine Hepburn, Coco Chanel, and Julia Child.

Adventure Shawl

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Millicent loves this shawl! I can’t say I blame her.

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I started it before the recent “knitting adventure.”

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Packed it for the travels. You see it there at #2. Macy is standing on the lime green for the ruffle. I did not get that far while in hospital.

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But I actually felt well enough to knit quite a few rows on it! I think that’s pretty good…considering.

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Came home to knit more on the shawl as I recuperate.

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Even just looking at it in process, brightened my days.

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I got very excited starting the ruffle…oh what a color!

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Yum! Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn and Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool for the ruffle.

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This shawl seems to look great in various places in my home.

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I haven’t blocked it yet…someday…

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Oh the color….

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The shawl can just sit in a crumpled heap and look fabulous. It’s the yarn and super pattern combination! A winner!

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My yarn projects are never quite complete without drawing them. Millicent wanted in on this one.:)

Dreaming in Yarn

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Recuperating from major surgery affords one a lot of time to think and dream. In between the bouts of discomfort and the fog of pain meds, ideas drift through my hopeful head.

Shawls and capelets to knit and crochet, drawings and paintings of knitterly things seem to waft through the air as I convalesce.

I’ve taken to sketching them all down in my journal…who knows which ones might become reality one day?

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I’m nearly finished with my second Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl! Only a few more rows of this spectacular lime green and I’ll show you the result. This one, however, is not a magic cake of leftover sock yarns, like the pattern calls for and which I made last time. I simply chose a ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn, which stripes the yummy colors on its own. I have a few other variations to Paula Emmons-Fuessle’s wonderful pattern that I’d like to try. It’s one of those super patterns that inspires many variations…you’re getting so much for the price of the one pattern.

I’m also nearing the end of the European Pillow Sham crochet covers. I’ll share this with you as well.

However, these dreamy yarn ideas are begging to have a go and it may need to be sooner rather than later!

We shall see.

In the meantime, I’ll keep dreaming…

Adventure

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I’m headed off on an adventure tomorrow. Not exactly the kind of adventure either you or I would want to go on, but adventure nonetheless:

*There is travel involved.

*I’m packing a suitcase.

*There will be new experiences.

*I will meet new people.

*I will return different than I was before.

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This kind of adventure feels like jumping off a high precipice into a world of unknown. No, I’m not going to Paris. 🙁 Though, with the  money that this adventure will require, I could probably take several trips to Paris. But I digress.

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I do not plan on blogging about this adventure, but I have planned a couple of yarny posts for you along the way. I will show you, however, my Paris Box, filled with goodies I’m taking on this trip:

1. Current sock knitting. I’m loving this Red Heart Sock Yarn with Aloe!!

2. Perfect, easy summer knitting: Another Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl yet without the fingering weight yarns wound together. I’m using Noro’s Silk Garden Sock Yarn, which is a DK weight yarn. (Remember this “one” lonely ball of yarn?) I’m knitting Paula Emons-Fuessle’s shawl with size 8 needles and the yummy lime Silky Wool cake is for the ruffle.

3. A new, recycled sketch journal given to me by the wonderful faculty and staff at the school where I’ve been teaching art.

4. A few comforting reminders for the stay. (Thank you Kay and Sheri!)

5. Macy. Who always cheers me. And cheers me on in creating the very best out of any situation. If you’d like to get to know Macy a bit better, check out these posts here, here, here and here. Thank you Ellen!

Thank you all, for your continued presence with me here in blogland. This adventure will continue knitting together a new life for me, and I look forward to all that will come of it in the future!

Knitting Under the Radar

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During the entire Art Show preparation time, from beginning of January to last week, I have been knitting. A lot. It always surprises me, every year, when busy full times hit, that I keep on knitting unaware of how the few rows here, some stitches there are adding up. I’ll be sharing just a few of the begun-and-completed projects from the last two months. This first one comes with many links for those of you who love to knit. Or, if you’re wanting to learn, perhaps it might inspire you to take up some needles and yarn. 🙂

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(On the yarn winder is the scrumptious Noro red I used for the ruffle on the edge. Surely every artist has a yarn winder attached to their drawing table?)

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I first saw/heard about this shawl on the blog of a favorite knit designer, Susan B. Anderson. She made one for herself, showed her pics of it in progress, and I drooled. The cool thing was that it used leftover sock yarns, wound into a “cake” using a yarn winder, joining the leftover bits using a very cool “Double Knot” technique. Susan directed us to Paula Emmons-Fuessle, the designer of this shawl, her pattern, and website too. I purchased the pattern, received a yarn winder for Christmas, learned the double knot technique from this video (Paula directs you to this one), and off I went. Paula’s pattern gives you a terrific way of remembering this technique and is worth the price of the pattern just for this! This is a very easy pattern! It’s your basic triangular shawl in stockinette, switching it up to garter whenever you like, adding any variation of “ruffle” you would like. (Paula’s pattern gives you several options for the ruffle.)

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I also discovered that Paula, known as Prairie Piper on Ravelry, has a podcast. I am new to the whole world of knitting podcasts. These are really awesome listening (or watching) segments, perfect for listening to whilst knitting! I’ve listened to several different ones, and thus far, Paula’s is my favorite! She is a bagpipist (is that a word?), she loves to walk and observe nature, and of course, is an awesome knitter and designer. I’ve actually knitted designs of hers before without really knowing who she was. I’m glad I’ve discovered her podcast! Here’s a link to her podcast/blog, and to her spot on Ravelry. You’ll enjoy getting to know her and her designs.

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The shawl was addictive to knit! It was much like reading a book whose chapters end with a hook: I just couldn’t wait to begin the next leftover yarn color, to see how it would look! I think I made mine a bit bigger than Paula’s, due to having so many leftovers. But then I stopped and realized I could hang onto the rest for my next Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl! I will surely knit this one again, and soon!

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Of course, I love drawing the finished knitted pieces. The reference photo was a bit of a funny pic as I purposely didn’t get my entire head in the photo. Two reasons: one, it was taken early morning before showering and “fixing” my hair! Two, I wanted the photo to concentrate on the SHAWL and not on me so much. And I do not particularly like photos/drawings of people with their whole heads chopped off.

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This morning I woke with the added image of the balls of yarn coming out of my head. I liked how the knitting needles looked like either antennae or chopsticks seen in hair sometimes. Just for fun. Knit. Then draw the knitting. Now THAT is fun!

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The Cherry Grove Shawlette

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While I was knitting the Holden Shawlette this summer, I was also designing a shawlette, one to crochet.  I loved how the Holden Shawlette designer, Mindy Wilkes, was inspired by the waves of the ocean, having grown up going to Holden Beach here in NC.  The idea for my crocheted shawl came while I was at Oak Island with my family this summer, but the bulk of the crocheting was done while at Cherry Grove a couple of weeks later.  My husband and I went to Cherry Grove, SC in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely time just the two of us (which hadn’t happened in recent years due to Maddie’s Type 1 Diabetes).

Anyhow…as I walked along the beach with Randy, I tried to study the waves that were breaking on the beach.  It seemed that they started some ways out after a long patch of solid water, then there was a bubbly, foamy bit where the waves were breaking. This was followed by more solid water, then some more bubbly foamy bits, over and over until the waves reached the sand. I tried to mimic this in the crocheted shawlette. I say “shawlette” since it is petite, like the Holden Shawlette, and is perfect for summer days.  However, I always include at least one Variation on a Theme in my patterns, giving you options for crocheting (or knitting) other versions of the same pattern.

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Instead of using fingering weight yarn (ONLY ONE BALL OF SOCK YARN FOR THIS!),  you could substitute DK  or Worsted Weight Yarn to achieve a larger, heavier shawl for fall and winter.  I absolutely adore being able to use one pattern for several different versions!  This makes the money you pay for a pattern, go farther!

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The Cherry Grove Shawlette would make the perfect gift for someone this Christmas, or for their birthday, or for yourself for any occasion.  Or maybe just for leaping beside the ocean, like Genevieve here.  Though it may appear complicated, this pattern uses simple crochet stitches! You’ll love working the solid single crochets and watching the bubbly, foamy bits come to life!

Here’s the link to the pattern for purchase in  my Etsy Shoppe! Please share this post with anyone you know who might love to make this shawl! Genevieve would be so glad you did! 😉

Knitting Thoughts

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This post is looooonnngg overdue. The shawl has been finished for weeks now, and is off to a dear friend (shhhh…:) Perhaps you’d like a peek inside the random mind of a knitter while she knits.

Project in hand is the Holden Shawlette designed by Mindy Wilkes. Here’s what she says in the description of the design:

“When I was a little girl, our family always vacationed in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I always loved the way the waves “danced” as they broke onto the shore. While on vacation in Holden Beach, North Carolina, I fell in love with the little waves all over again. Inspired by the waves, the Holden Shawlette is a simple but elegant little shawl.”

I thought this would be the perfect project to take along with me to our annual beach trip on Oak Island which is right next to Holden Beach. I wrote down some of my thoughts as I knitted:

…this is the coolest beginning to a pattern…love the concept…

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…oh I do love stockinette…meditative…Knit a row…Purl a row…Knit a row…Purl a row…Golly I love these colors!…

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…Whoever it is behind Noro yarns is an artist for sure!…Mmmm that beautiful turquoise blue…oh and look how it gives way to the seafoam color…And then the pale mauve…ooohh…

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…I love hearing the ocean as I knit…Should I be out here knitting?…It might get sand and salt in it…Well, that’s as it should be, it being named after Holden Beach…which is just a few miles from where I am on Oak Island…

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…OK, let the lacework begin…I don’t typically knit lace…but she (the designer) said it was easy to memorize…Here’s hoping…So far, so good…This is gonna be pretty…like she said…the waves of the ocean…

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…I wonder what we’re having for dinner?…It’s Rich and Cathy’s night…they weren’t sure what to make…Oh no!…I think I’ve missed something somewhere…Gotta UN-knit and back up to the stitch I skipped…Okay…got that fixed… Off we go again…Um… What’s happening here?…Oh crikey…Not again…I don’t think I actually fixed that row…Better fix it now before it becomes a mess…Right…Back on track…

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…Can’t wait to see it completed…But slow down Jen…Enjoy each stitch…especially while you’re here at the beach…

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…It’s the perfect setting of sight and sound to go with this shawl…Love how knitting is like that.

This shawl has inspired me to try designing one in crochet–to try to emulate the waves that lap up on the shore. I’m working on typing it up and offering the pattern in my Etsy Shoppe. I’ll let you know when it’s ready! 🙂

Resurrection Shawl

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When I received the diagnosis that I had Ulcerative Colitis, and the medicines that were intended to put it into remission, I had such hope of recovery! I wanted to make something through the recovery period that would be a part of  my healing and then represent God’s faithfulness to me as I wrapped it around me.  The above drawing is what I sketched out as I envisioned this shawl. I was also asking my Father that I might be well enough to wear it on Easter Sunday. I drew this in mid March.

As events played out, I was unable to wear this Easter Sunday. I had my colon removal surgery on Good Friday and was in the hospital on Easter. I couldn’t knit during the three weeks I was there, too many pic lines and iv’s going in and out to make it a comfortable endeavor. But when I got home, I began, very slowly to continue work on what I was calling my Resurrection Shawl.  Here are some pics of different views of it. I have been so pleased with how it turned out. Crocheted flowers appliquéd onto a loosely knitted simple shawl. I used all kinds of things to knit with: lace, ribbon, and all sorts of colors and textures of yarn. A few things changed from the original sketch. It was so fun to see it come to life.

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And this past Sunday, I felt well enough to go to church and sit with my church family to worship. I wore my Resurrection Shawl as a testimony to my Heavenly Father’s faithfulness to carry me through a rather horrendous ordeal. He is still carrying me…knitting me together one day at a time. 🙂

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**I am beginning the process of combining my three blogs into one. It may take a while, but you will start to see some changes here at Drawn2Life as other Pages are added, and blog posts are slurped in.  I’m very excited to have all my creative loves under one roof! Like the tagline I recently changed at the top: “Drawing, Knitting, Illustration, Crochet…it’s all Life, it’s all Good!”

Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf

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If I told you I wasn’t a huge fan of knitting lace, please don’t judge too quickly.  I know, I know…perhaps I’m not a “real” knitter, but it isn’t that I don’t adore the LOOK of lace.  So many of the popular patterns today are these gorgeous shawls either knitted entirely in an intricate lace pattern, or the edging is lacework.  I just don’t enjoy being chained to the pattern, row by row having to read, follow, check, make sure I’m on the right row.  And UN-knitting a row of lacework you’ve knitted incorrectly is the worst. So, for me, I love simple knitting.

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Yet, when simple knitting and a bit of lace go together…THAT’s really fun! So I’m passing the fun on to you with instructions to knit a two-row stitch pattern I came across several years ago.  This is the second scarf I’ve made using this two-row repeat pattern.  Yes, that’s it! Only two rows you have to remember, and really, it’s only ONE ROW!  The second row is purling across. How much easier could you get for a pretty, lacy, ripply look!

I have made it into a FREE pattern, writing it so that you can use just about any weight yarn you’d like to! I love knitting the same pattern in all different yarn weights…you wind up with such different looks using the same stitch pattern.  I’ve also added in my Variations on a Theme section, the instructions for making this into a shawl!!  I can’t wait to try that!

The first pic above is my latest Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf I knitted with what I had leftover from a vest I made (this accounts for why it’s a bit short in length).  The yarn is Noro Silk Garden Lite, a favorite yarn typically knitted with a size 6 or 7 needle.  This pattern relies on you knitting with needles at least two sizes larger than what is recommended on the label. I used size 10 needles for this.

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This version of the same scarf is one I knitted a few years ago and I wear with my green coat.  I do wish I could tell you what yarn it is.  But it’s the same gauge as Silk Garden Lite and I used size 10 needles with it as well.  My next Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf will be using a chunky weight yarn and see how that turns out. 🙂

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I hope you enjoy the Easy-Peasy Lace Scarf pattern as much as I have. Click those highlighted words to download a PDF of it.  You may even have time to knit one or two of these before Christmas if you’re in need of a last-minute gift!