Monday, December 31, 2007

Red Freeform Netted Cuff

Red Freeform Netted Cuff, originally uploaded by vickijensen.


I have been so addicted to spinning and knitting the past few months, that I decided to do some beadwork again, for a slight change in creativity. I am working on this freeform netted cuff, challenging myself to use red, which is a color I have never used in my work before. I had to add some areas of black here and there for interest and contrast. Part of the closure is on the left, which will hold a peyote toggle. I would love some feedback on the progress.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Yarn made from recycled Saris

Recycled Saris yarn, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I found this treasure in my favorite yarn store and bought it as part of a present to myself for the holidays. It is so pretty. wound up in a ball like this. My plan is to hold a fine purple mohair yarn with it as I knit a drop stitch scarf. Check back next week for the progress of my scarf. As usual, I have several projects going at once. With a 4 day weekend ahead of me, I hope to get one or two of those UFOs completed!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My 2007 Winter Sweater Is Finished!

2007 Winter Sweater, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I did it! I got my sweater done in time to wear it for Christmas. It is very nice and warm and will coordinate with numerous colors of tops. Now I am setting myself a goal to get all UFOs completed before I begin new project. We'll see how long that goal lasts. LOL!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Secret Santa Gift

Hand Dyed Nylon Roving, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted! I have been so busy with work, finishing my winter sweater, knitting a pair of mittens for a little girl I know and getting ready for the holidays.

Anyway, I wanted to share with you what my Secret Santa gave me - some beautiful hand dyed nylon roving. I know, you are probably saying, nylon? Well, I wish you could feel this fiber! It feels like the softest of cashmeres - oh, so nice! I can't wait to try spinning it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Teal handspun

Teal handspun, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I decided to free up one of my bobbins, in preparation for spinning the olive-rust-purple roving for my other sock. Here is 3 1/2 ounces of 2 ply yarn, which has 190 yarns in the skein. I'm not quite sure what I will knit with this, so for right now it goes in my stash.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Handspun Handknit Sock

Handspun Handknit Sock, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is my completed sock. It fits perfectly!!! I tried the Star Toe for the first time and really like the way it finished off my sock. Now it's time to spin and knit this sock's "fraternal twin". LOL!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Start of sock

Start of sock, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here's the beginning of my sock, with another inch to go before I start the heel flap and foot. Check back soon for the completed sock.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gauge for Socks

Gauge for Socks, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I am so excited!!! I knit this swatch to check my gauge for my first pair of hand-dyed, hand spun socks. I ended up deciding to use 6 stitches per inch, knit on size 5 needles. I love the way the yarn is going to self-stripe!

I made lots of progress on my Winter Sweater this week too. I sewed the shoulder seams and picked up and knitted the front band. I am still hoping to get it finished to wear on Thanskgiving, but if not, I will wear it on Christmas.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Detail of 1st skein of handspun

I received the new plastic drive band for my spinning wheel this week and spent this afternoon mounting and fine-tuning the size to my wheel. Then I finished the second bobbin of singles and plied the two together to get this yarn. I love it! I can't wait to start knitting with it now. The skein is approximately 120 yards of two-ply yarn to knit one sock with.

My Winter Sweater is coming along nicely. I have both fronts, the back and half of one sleeve finished. My goal is to have it completed so that I can wear it on Thanksgiving day.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sock Yarn - 1st bobbin

Sock Yarn - 1st bobbin, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I got my first bobbin spun, using half of the roving that has long repeats of the three colors. I decided that I would spin one skein for one of the socks and then work on the second skein while the first skein was drying. Well, I ran into a snag. My drive belt broke, while spinning the second bobbin that has shorter repeats of color. Now I have to wait until later this week to get another belt in order to finish this project. So, I will get back to knitting on my Winter Sweater, with a goal to finish the back today and possibly sew the should seams.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Merino Roving for Sock Yarn

Merino Roving for Sock Yarn, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I recently dyed this Merino Roving to spin some sock yarn, after being inspired by the article by Janet Laidman in the Summer 2007 issue of Spin-Off. Her article focused on a way to make your own self-striping yarn. So I chose my favorite three colors: olive green, rust and purple and am ready to give this a try. The weather here today is awful - lots of rain and high winds, so it is a perfect day to get some spinning done.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hand-Dyed Yarns

Hand-Dyed Yarns, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

In preparation for some hand stitching I plan to do on some of my felt pieces, I spent some time dyeing wool yarns. I prepared three different wool skeins to go in the dye bath together: 3 ply Paternayan crewel yarn, grey 3 ply wool and white 3 ply wool. I chose 30 colors from my WashFast Acid Dye Notebook. Each set of three yarns went into a small plastic dyebath, where I could dye 10 at a time in a boiling water bath. Ultimately I ended up with 90 skeins of color to work with!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Winter Sweater

Winter Sweater, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

I was a bad girl! I discovered a new yarn store in my area called Eva's Yarn Shop. Eva is a wonderful store owner and has an incredible selection of yarns!!! Well, as I walked around the store drooling, I came across this huge bin of hand-dyed yarns from Schaefer Yarns. I spotted this color palette and immediately fell in love, even though I can dye my own yarns. It is 100% wool in a slub yarn and knits up beautifully. I found a pattern for a cardigan style jacket in an old issue of Interweave Knits that was a perfect match for this yarn. Over the weekend I knit one front and currently I have half of the other front done. Even though I have several unfinished knitting and spinning projects, I am on a mission to complete this sweater from start to finish (especially when one of my employees threatened to steal it from me, if I didn't finish it). LOL!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Finished Sock

Finished Sock, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is my first sock! I have not washed and blocked it yet, but it fits very well. I plan to get the other matching sock done within the next week.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Knitting

Sock - Beginning, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is the beginning of my new pair of socks. This superwash yarn is Regia Landscape from the Kaffe Fassett Signature Sock Collection. These yarns are self-striping and come in a yummy selection of colors. This palette is called "Earth" and I purchased it from WEBS. Check back later this week for the completed sock .

Thursday, September 27, 2007

First Bobbin of Handspun

First Bobbin, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

Here is my first two ounces of handspun on my new spinning wheel. I plan to spin another two ounces, then ply them together for a yarn to knit into a pair of herringbone lace socks, using a pattern in Ann Budd's book, Getting Started Knitting Socks.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Spiral Scarf

Here is the new scarf and a detail that I just finished, using a pattern from
It is knit from my hand-dyed yarn, using an 8 step gradation of WashFast Acid Dyes.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Birthday Present to Myself

Kromski Minstrel, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

After a long period of soul searching on what I really love to do in my studio, I came to the conclusion that I will always have a passion for beadwork, knitting and working with wool. I have tried numerous projects of working with cloth, but it is usually short-lived, bringing me back to one of the three hobbies above. So for this year's birthday, I decided that I would buy myself a spinning wheel to spin my own yarns to knit with. I taught myself to spin in the late 70's, first buying a Country Craftsman wheel and later an Ashford. With today's numerous selections in wheels, I finally decided on the Kromski Minstrel. The Kromski wheels are made in Poland and imported by New Voyager. I knew I wanted a double treadle wheel, but also wanted a wheel that was beautifully designed. The Minstrel was a perfect choice.

I bought the unfinished model, so I could select my own color finish. I chose an Early American stain and followed that with two coats of tung oil satin finish. I love the way it turned out. The wheel was also very easy to assemble. It has 4 ratios, depending upon the size yarn I want to spin and it treadles very smoothly. Spinning is very relaxing for me, and I look forward to the hours ahead, turning my hand-dyed wool and alpaca in yarns for my knitting. Next weekend, I am planning on dyeing wool roving to spin yarn for a pair of socks, based on one of the articles in the Summer 2007 issue of Spin-Off. Stay tuned for more on this project.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Freeform Netting

Freeform Netting_1, originally uploaded by vickijensen.
This is the beginning to my new freeform netted bracelet. I did a beaded bezel for the Swarovski rivoli and will embellish the surface of the finished bracelet with both that and faceted Swarovski donuts that are shown. Check back later this week for the finished bracelet.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Vacation in Acadia National Park

Mister Robin, originally uploaded by vickijensen.

This small robin was one of the highlights from my recent vacation to visit Mt. Acadia National Park. My sister and I went to Birdsacre - a rehabilitation refuge for injured birds. We saw lots of birds of prey there, but this robin was the most special. We could hear him in this tree, making lots of chatter. Then he flew down, trying to land on my sister's head. It turns out that the staff had recently released him into the wild, hoping he would survive on his own. Due to his human interactions, he just loved following us! Toward the end of our visit through the refuge, all of a sudden he saw us again and came and landed on my shoulder. While he just sat there, squawking in my ear, I yelled for my sister to come and get a picture of us! I will post that picture as soon as I receive it from her.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Last week, I went on vacation and attended QSDS (Quilt Surface Design Symposium) in Columbus, OH. I studied with Fran Skiles for the week, discovering numerous techniques for my mixed media textiles. I love the combination of fabric and paper and collage! This new body of work will not be quilts, but textiles that hang from the wall. Some of them are more solid than others, lending themselves to being similar to canvas paintings.

The imagery I am using deals with not only my passion for bird watching, but with the nest being a very important symbol for "the home" - a place of safety, security, sanctuary, love, and family. I hope to discover additional ways of interpreting the nest and bird imagery using the new techniques I discovered last week.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Peridot Rivoli Bracelet

Here's this week's creation made with beautiful vintage rivolis and 24K Green Gold Iris Delicas. I put a small slide clasp on for ease.
I will probably not be posting anything for another 10 days or so. I am heading to Kansas City, MO for the Surface Design Conference.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Bracelets

I didn't have very good luck photographing the whole bracelet, however, my details are not bad. I think it may be time to start comparing digital SLRs, now that the prices have become more affordable!

This is my Triangle Cuff Bracelet. It is the first time I have worked with triangle beads and all I can say is that "I love them". I stitched them using the Ndebele stitch. I absolutely love the way that they nestle next to each other. This cuff was finished with a gold-filled 5 strand slide clasp. I am definitely going to do more of these is different colorways.

This is a detail of my Celtic Diamond bracelet. It was made with a base of
right angle weave, then embellished with units sewn using 11's and
4mm Swarovski crystals. I made a beaded toggle for the closure.

This is my Arabesque bracelet, made entirely of Swarovski crystals, with a few 11's and 15's. I made it to match the Right Angle Weave Pendant necklace below. They really look nice together.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beaded Cabachon Necklace

This was made from a kit I bought from Laura McCabe at The top cabachon is a beautiful glass button, followed by two sizes of Swarovski Rivolis. I joined them together with small peyote stitch bands and then made a 4 bead herringbone/Ndebele nceklace to mount it on.

Right Angle Weave Pendant

Here is the necklace I made this past weekend. It is stitched in Right Angle Weave. I made two separate geometric shapes and sewed them together with Swarovski Crystals, making the geomtric shapes a little more than 1/4 inch in depth. Then I stitched what is called Russian Spiral, which looks like a netted spiral, for the necklace part. I plan to make a braclet with Swarovski Crystals in it to wear with this.

New Right Angle Weave Bracelet

As promised, here are my latest pieces of seed bead jewelry. This Right Angle Weave (RAW) bracelet is a reversible one, with olive green on one side and reddish purple on the other side. Swarovski crystals make up part of the strap and the fringes for a nice, rich sparkle.
Detail of olive green side

Detail of reddish purple side

Whole bracelet with very poor lighting.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Switching Gears Again

Well, it has been a long time since I posted, but I have been staying busy in the studio. I have tried knitting with beads. I have made several new beaded bracelets. Last weekend I studied with Jeanne Beck, where we painted beautiful fabrics and textures using Setacolor, to layer and do hand stitching on. I also used some hand made felt to stitch on. So many possibilities!

My biggest problem right now is documenting all of these things, to share with you. LOL!!! I hope to get some JPEGS done soon, so please check back within the next three or four days.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monotypes on fabric

All of these were done with PROfab Opaque Fabric Paints, using a piece of heavy plastic versus plexiglass. I love the immediacy of monotypes. These fabrics are all beginnings for small textiles that will have more collage and/or hand stitching for embellishments.

Glue Transfer

I used a black and white photo-copy, colored with oil pastels, and then glued it to fabric. I really love the results of this process and look forward to using more of my own photography in my new work.

Joan Schulze workshop - Non-Traditional Quilting

My recent workshop with Joan Schulze at the North Country Studio Workshops in Bennington, Vermont was fabulous. We explored numerous ways to design using the xerox machine and then worked to create cloth by directly printing on cloth in the xerox machine, glue transfer and monoprinting. These three techniques have definitely helped me to work in a more abstract manner and is the beginning of a new body of art work.

Pine needles on a saran wrapped protected xerox machine, with a detail.

This was achieved by a number of layers of images, collaged and then directly printed on tan cloth.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What a night!

My recent move has allowed me to walk to work, which is great for a number of reasons, but not last night! Despite a fairly well lit street, I stubbed my toe on one of the seams on the sidewalk and fell forward on the cement. I spent 4 hours in the ER, from beginning to end, to make sure that I had not fractured my hand or knees. Luckily there were none, but I am staying home from work today to recover.

This seems like the perfect opportunity to find a "one day" project. So, I think I will go find a small amount of hand dyed yarn and knit. Working with beads would have been my first choice, but I don't have enough mobility in my right hand to stitch today. I should be able to just rest and knit. I will post my project later.

I still cannot fingure out why I can't log in to Blogger like I used to, using my Google Account. I always end up with a blank box when I sign in. I always get to my account in a very round about way. None of my links work either, like spell check. I wish I could find an email address or 800 number for tech support.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I'm Back!

My move went pretty smoothly. I love my new space! The roughest part was bringing everything up to the third floor!!! I have taken my time unpacking and getting the house set up. This weekend I spent time in the area for my studio, getting my extensive book collection unpacked and in the book case. Man!!! I have way too many books! Can anyone relate to me? LOL!

For all of my yarns, I found this wonderful storage system at Target. It consists of wire grids that snap together in cube shapes. I designated one whole wall for my storage of yarn and cloth.

For Christmas, I got a DVD titled Freeform Knitting by Colleen Davis. I really enjoyed it and will definitely use it as a resource to bring my knitting to the next level. Meanwhile I need to finish a few other projects.

In 3 1/2 weeks I will be on vacation in Bennington, Vermont studying with Joan Schulze. I can't wait!!!