Saturday, February 2, 2013

Focus on Life Week 5 - Where is the heart?

Where do you see the heart?  This is the topic of our Focus in Life  for week 5

Are you kidding?  Twelve days left for the Valentine Day.  Hearts are every where.  You can't miss them if you enter any drug store...the candy isle will attract you like a strong magnet.  Hearts  are on every thing from  linens to love notes.  It's a Hallmark celebration... every item with a heart motif actually screaming BUY ME .

But Sally enthused me to go deeper.

Now I look for heart.  I wanted to knit a sweater for a little girl whose birthday is on the Valentine Day.  So I really wanted to find a pattern with a heart.  I searched it on line and in books and finally I found some thing in a book called The Encyclopedia of Knitting

Here is the pattern if you care.  My project is almost finished.  May be in the next few days  I'll be able to share it with you.

But as I was knitting I was thinking,  can hearts really be seen?   Diving deeper I remembered something that welled up my eyes.  My pattern got blurry.

I'll share that story.

About ten years ago my father came to visit us in USA from India.  He used to wear a woolen shawl.   Some times I used to wrap myself in it.

One such chilly morning he approached me and said, "Oh there it is.  Now why do you have to wear this very one while you have so many of yours?"

I gave it back to him saying " Because it smells...DADDY".


When he left for India I saw him off to the airport, returned to his empty room and found the shawl on top his pillow, neatly folded.

Later, I told him, " You forgot something ... your shawl."  He gave me a cute smile squinting one eye.  I knew he left it for me on purpose.

He died a couple of years  after this.

Some days, when I feel dark and cold and sad, and I don't know why,  I wrap myself with this special Kashmiri shawl and my heart fills up.  I feel abundance of love.  I see hearts everywhere.

Please check out all the other participants who are in this journey with us


Keep it simple - that is all to this blogpost.

Our good friend Tracy  inspired me to write a post on a word or phrase that motivates me, challenges me, that should embrace many aspects of my life like spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social.  When I closed my eyes to find that one word - the image that came to my mind is a serene, uncomplicated place...nothing too much... just simple.  Yes, the word  is -  "SIMPLICITY".

There is so much clutter around me, so  many things, so many  thoughts, too many lists to get done , that I am exhausted.

I close my eyes.  Take a deep breath and let my self go that serene place.  A  three minutes break and  I feel  energized.

So I decided to embrace this word or the phrase "Keep it simple"  as my core value or goal  for this year.

I'll need to adjust to incorporate this, make some simple changes in habits and I think it will just lead me to the person who I want to be.

I'll do things with love - small things but with great love.  I don't want to feel stressed doing that.  That will be my cue to me  to  take it easy, or even stop , because beyond that it is meaningless.

I will give as much as I can with love, things and lessons that may benefit someone up to the point when I do not feel grumpy and angry and stressed.

If I can  I go back to this core value of keeping things simple,  my everyday tasks may not seem so frightening.

As I was thinking all these my hands were busy making these book marks.

 It is true as the poet Rabindra Nath Tagore says- " It is very simple to be happy but it is very difficult to be simple."

I made several of them indeed.  This very last one is made with peridot and garnet gemstones.

This one is for a couple for their anniversary present.  See, my friend is an August born, so her birth stone is peridot and her significant other is a January born baby, with garnet as his birthstone.  And the mother of pearl heart is to signify their love for each other and my wish - may that love be nourished.

I do not make  stamped word jewelry so I hope my jewelry speaks these thoughts ...perhaps whisper to the recipient ...then I'll know my job was well done.

Here is my other friends' posts who have also decided to take this Wellness Words Challenge  journey.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to make a knitted wire Valentine heart - A Free Knitted Wire Jewelry Pattern

How do you make knitted wire jewelry?  Some of my jewelry making friends asked.

 So I decided to show what I know in this post.

I love to knit and I love to make jewelry using quality gemstones and all kinds of beads.  So one Christmas when I got a book about knitting with wire, I just took off.  I got hooked into making knitted wire jewelry.

 There are several good books on this topic but this was the first book that inspired me.   I am not any affiliate of this author or amazon. No monetary gain,   I mention it because I have it and learned from it.

As Joyce Goodman says,  it's a good idea to start with wooden double point needles and coated copper wire, like the artistic wire. Later,  I have experimented with all kinds of wire, sterling silver, copper, and gold filled wire and now I like metal double point needles better than the wooden ones.

 For knitted wire designs all you need to know is - how to cast on, knit, purl and bind off.

Knitting with wire is a little different from knitting with yarn in the sense that  the properties of yarn and wire are different.  Wire knitting may not feel as soft, smooth and quick like knitting with yarn.  There is a difference in  muscle movement and it may feel tedious at least in the beginning.

But if you like the lacy, dainty filigree look of the knitted wire  jewelry, you'll get hooked.

Enough talking, now I'll show how i knit with wire.

Materials needed:

*Knitting needles size 4 US,  in this particular one- I used double point ones and metal.

*Wire -   28g or 30 g artistic silver tone wire.  I have also used sterling silver and gold filled wire in some projects but not thinner than 30g.  It tends to kink and break.

*Tiny 2 mm garnet gemstone beads

* One hessonite garnet briolette 6 mm

* Flush cutter


1. String 26 garnet beads in the wire. Put the wire  roll in a zip loc bag

Note - here I have the round nose and the chain nose pliers too because I extended this project to making a book mark.  For making the pendant you may not need them.

2. Cast on 6 stitches.

3. Next row knit with beads, meaning slide one bead, knit. Slide one bead, knit - all 6 stitches.

4. Next row- just knit without beads.

5. Next row - Knit with bead like row 2  ( You may knit randomly, meaning skipping a bead in some stitches and so on to give it a free form look if you want ).  

6. Next row - knit without beads.  Every now and then stretch the knitted piece ( or rather block it )

7. Go  on in this fashion until all the beads are gone,  knit the last bead  ( that is the briolette.)

8.  Bind off. Cut the wire from the knitted piece.

9. Now with your fingers  give this a heart shape.  Here comes the fun part knitting with wire.  You can sculpt the piece as you like because wire gives you that freedom that yarn can not.

Voila! Your knitted wire jewelry pendant is done.

10.  Depending on what you make,  you have to think about your finishing.  Add a jump ring to make it a pendant or add some beads like I did here,  to make it a book mark

Artists that inspire me :

Ruth Asawa. Check her work in The De Young  Museum  in San Francisco.

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