Posted by: carissabeth | March 2, 2010

Ultimate Rewards


I have this life goal of being a Master Knitter. It’s a rather vague goal, but since the time I was 7 I’ve enjoyed knitting. My mother and my grandmother taught me the skill and I’ve stuck with it my whole life.  At the age of 42 I can tell you that I’m obsessed with knitting. I work with stitches everyday.    

So what is a master knitter anyway? I’m not sure myself so I put the question out there for anyone to comment on.

One thought I have about this is if  someone has the pleasure in referring  to themselves as a “Master Anything” they need to appreciate the kind act of teaching. I love to joke around with self-made titles such as a Fiber Diva, Master Knitter, Knitting Goddess, … all of which I’m not…but a girl can keep dreaming.

I’ve decided to teach 2 of my friends to knit. For the past several months I have looked forward to my knitting mornings with Jodi and Mary. Two friends that come with different knitting skills, but a common goal. I hope that they walk away pleased with their new found skill and helpful tips from a  few  things we’ve discovered from this experience.     

  Knitting theory #1 a la Carissa: If your serious about knitting, invest in good yarn. We, as a knitting team, are going to spend a lot of time and energy together. It shows your commitment to your teacher and yourself by purchasing good quality yarn. Also the chances of you ending up with a garment that you will be proud to wear, is higher. The money spent on the yarn will motivate you to finish the project and be proud of your accomplishment.   

Knitting theory #2. It’s just knitting (gasp!) It  really is. Don’t lose sleep over a mistake. Whatever wrong you’ve done, can be undone.   This brings me back to my first theory! Good quality yarn will not be ruined if you have to rip out your knitting and start again!   

Knitting theory #3. For every mistake you make it brings you one step closer to knitting mastery.  You have to make mistakes to learn how to fix mistakes, ah.. see that.  Now you can help the next person.  Let’s see what we’ve done in the past two months.   

What we've been doing for the past two months!


 Learning how to knit can be an addictive path. Some people need to start from the very beginning, some need a refresher, or some just need to refine a few techniques they learned from the past. Either way, practice will always make perfect!

Posted by: carissabeth | December 15, 2009

Our 2nd December Book. Just in time for Winter Break.

South of Broad, by Pat Conroy

Posted by: carissabeth | December 8, 2009

Another Reason to Go Green!

As in TEA!!!

Green Tea how much do I love thee? Let me count your benefits. The antioxidants in green tea have been linked to cancer prevention, decreased risk of stroke, heart diseases, and lowered blood cholesterol. It has also been known to alleviate headaches and depression. Why would this coffee loving gal be so obsessed with the mighty leaf you ask? As the weather in NJ  is getting colder, green tea is a great alternative for my morning brew. I can get the caffeine I need for the morning  without feeling bloated and full. 

  Upon reading about the benefits of green tea I learned that green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant. This plant yields the 4 staple teas- black, green, oolong, and white. Green tea leaves undergo the least amount of fermentation and maintain their natural green color. With very little fermentation, this enables green tea to retain its health-promoting properties that it would otherwise lose. I have been reading about the benefits of green tea, because Shaklee has great tasting Cinch Tea that I love to drink in the middle of the day. I love to drink them cold, mixed into my reusable water bottle while I’m at the gym or driving around doing my usual errands. I have been experimenting with different tea combinations and brands.  The Shaklee Cinch Teas are great tasting, convenient powder form to mix into any clear beverage hot or cold, but they don’t require brewing.

For traditional brewed tea I really like a few brands. Wegman’s Earl Grey Green is really good. It combines Green Tea leaf and the Oil of Bergamot and tastes great with just a touch of skim milk. Mighty Leaf  green  is my favorite luxury tea that I treat myself  to whenever I have lunch with the ladies at the Nordstrom Cafe.

For a free sample of Shaklee’s Cinch Green Tea, contact me by subscribing to this blog; which is free of course. Provide me with your email address and I will contact you about receiving your free sample. Make sure you mention this offer by writing “Cinch” in your message.

Posted by: carissabeth | November 30, 2009

Books in Progress

For the month of December my bookclub is reading The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff

Posted by: carissabeth | November 23, 2009

Knitting Goals

 I’ve been reading Nicky Epstein’s book “Knitting on Top of the World” and she  touches upon the topic of being a Master Knitter in her book.   The World Class Wee Sweaters in the book  are Multi skilled, classic designs, that upon completion can give you International Master Status. I like the sound of that!  This inspired me to look into a formalized program. The program is through the The Knitting Guild Association, and I am seriously considering taking the Masters Knitting Program.  Completing the work takes a great deal of commitment. 

Accidental or planned this is the work of pure creativity

  Becoming a Master Knitter is  an  interest I’ve had for a while. I am happy to find that it can be a reality one day.

Posted by: carissabeth | May 19, 2009

Felting Fibers


Felt Flower

Felt Flower

I just discovered the new blog site of my favorite felt artist and teacher. Carol Cypher, is so talented in her craft, her felt artistry will blow you away. I have been lucky enough to take many classes with Carol and I was given the opportunity to submit one of my felted pieces that was included in her first book; Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads, 25 Artful Designs. What an honor for me! Follow her blog and take one of her classes if you have the opportunity. It will prove to be very inspiring.

Posted by: carissabeth | February 9, 2009

A Few Finished Projects

Melon Heads
Melon Heads

Wishing for an early spring!

Beautiful hats I made for my daughters!

I have been know to be a procrastinator. Not because I’m lazy or anything, but simply because I don’t want to see things come to an end. I get emotionally attached to things that I do. I’m a pure Pieces, what can I say. Lately though, I have the need to finish up on pending projects in order to clear my head and make way for some new.  Here are a few finished projects:

Felted Purse, Etcetera Design Source 5, done in Manos Del Uruguay Yarns.

Felted Purse (Finished)
Felted Purse (Finished)
Detail of Button
Detail of Button
Before Felting Process
Before Felting Process


  • All Images and material on this blog are copyright protected by Carissa Schlesinger. Please do not use without written permission. Thanks
Posted by: carissabeth | January 31, 2009

What’s on the Sticks


I have been in a knitting frenzy lately. I never leave the house without a bag containing a knitting project. Currently,  I have 3 knitting projects happening at the same time. I am also in the process of teaching my 10 year old daughter how to knit. I am very active in our local community project; Charitable Hands-repairing the world one stitch at time knitting for the homeless and patients who are going through Chemotherapy.

Tara Hat

Tara Hat

Size 11 sticks: I am in love with the book 25 Bags to Knit by Emma King! All the projects are very cute and take no time at all. I am knitting the Sherbet Bag on page 108 using Glimmer Print Vertegri by Rowan. The yarn is fabulous because it is a wide ribbon like cotton with gold flecks! Too bad its discontinued. I did find it in an online shop from England. I bought as much as they had in my color.   This bag is finished!


Size 8 & 7 sticks: Naturally Noro by Jane Ellison. I am knitting the Lizzy sweater on page 31. I had to use a 7 & 8 to get the tension correct.


Size 8 Circular: Optic Waves Shawl bySheila January. I purchased the Brooks Farm Yarn at the Sheep and Wool Festival in NY and I needed a pattern. Low and behold the pattern was in my house all the time.  Knitters Book of Yarn, by Clara Parkes . I am so excited to have found this pattern in a book that I have owned for a year!



  • All Images and material on this blog are copyright protected by Carissa Schlesinger. Please do not use without written permission.Thanks
Posted by: carissabeth | January 26, 2009

Studio of Shame No More!



Yes!! I am a major procrastinator! However, the job is finally complete after 2 paint jobs and many shopping trips to Ikea. I am very happy with the results of my Art Studio. It finally came to  fruition after I took the time to focus and write down my objectives for the project.  The first thing I knew that  had to be done was de-clutter the space. Once I did that I made a list of how the space needed to function, followed by how it would look. Yes,  form follows function!  I Had help with this process by consulting with a personal life coach. This was time well spent. It helped me to focus and envision what needed to be done. I executed the plan. The plan was a “Celery Green” studio that was used for felt making, sewing and painting.

Some plans need revision. I use this space for felt making, sewing and painting,  but Celery Green, I don’t think so.

My studio  is now  warm and inviting. The soft buttery yellow color is happy and works well with all the items I own. With a Rainbow Rug from Ikea, how can I go wrong. I made sure I had a space for a small desk to hold my laptop and printer. My bookshelves have been cleaned up and organized. The studio is located in a finished basement with drop ceilings, so I added sheer white and yellow curtains to make the space feel taller.  I purchased a counter height work table for felt making. My supply bins are categorized and labeled.   Everything works in this room, including me! I have been very productive and creative in the new space. Yea Me!!

Posted by: carissabeth | January 21, 2009

Tree of Life


Believe me when I tell you that this “tree of life” is located right here in Central NJ.  We have a fabulous park within the Monmouth County Park System, called Deep Cut Gardens. It has a rich history in gardening and is a beautiful place to sit and have a picnic lunch. I took this particular picture in the Fall of 2008. Every time I look at this shot I am amazed once again by nature. That sweet bench next to the tree looks like a perfect spot for some “knitting meditation”.

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