Thursday, December 28, 2006

My tree went up and down in less than a week! I put it away this morning. I really love having my tree up but I need the space for some cleaning I want to do before I go back to work .....I shoulda got it up sooner. There's always next year though.

And while I was taking my tree down, my youngest son was changing out my ceiling fan. The old one had been hanging by the wiring for ages. No bare wires or anything but I worried about it. Lowe's sent out an ad right before Christmas with $10 off any $25 purchase. The fan was more than that, but it was a good deal anyway. On sale, and then $10 more off. Plus it's bigger and more heavy duty than the last one. I leave it on all summer long.

Another SS exchange has gone down in history! I opened mine at midnight! Lots of Oren Bayan thread and some Altin Basak thread too! A musical card. Some wonderful smelling cleanser for fine washables, a glass angel ornament, 2 clover shuttles (my favorite), a red glass ball ornament with tatting covering it, and a twig wreath embellished with a tatted beaded wrap and a tatted trefoil in the middle with tiny jingle bells! A big THANK YOU!!! to Rita Cochrane of Ontario, Canada!

Part of the fun of the secret santa exchange is keeping your partner in the dark. Mine had me fooled and I helped a few others get fooled too. Just about got the tables turned on us though. Sue Hanson sent me her partner's goodies for me to send on. They barely got was WEDNESDAY and I couldn't take them to post office for a resend until THURSDAY. To Washington State. It got there...on Saturday. Big sigh of relief all around! Sue also sent me these earrings she made. Wow - so beautifully packaged Sue! I didn't want to take them out but it's a good thing I did since you wrote to me on the back of the card! And these are the only hankies I have with any of my initials on them!

Now what I haven't mentioned yet is that I came down with the flu on Friday, missed the family get-together at my sister's on Saturday, and slept through most of Sunday. Monday I was doing okay but must of overdid it because Tuesday had me sleeping most of the day again. I finally got bored with sleeping and tried some tatting - one of bookmarks from Dianna Stevens' Tatted Zoo. I've come to the conclusion that I should never go more than 2 days without tatting. I could not get this fella right! I quit making his belly out of rings and switched to chains. I couldn't get his tail right. This is a size 40 Venus thread that I bought at Hector last spring. I bought Autumn colors and never got around to tatting with them. It's really too light for this, but I'm glad I used some anyway. I put it away in my samples album.

And here is what I've been struggling with the past few days. Remember the fairy baby of our Russian secretary that I knit the duck booties and cap for? I've been asked to the Godmother. (Big Big Head here!) So I was thinking of tatting a bonnet. Different from what I've done before. Again...I couldn't get it right. I started on 2 different ones. Several times. I won't tell you how many attempts .....and they are still not right. I'm using Cordonnet Special size 60 abd I absolutely hate it. It feels icky. This is supposed to be one of the best threads but I hate how it tats and I hate how it feels and I hate how it looks. I think I'll wet these and block them and see how it responds. Maybe I'll try yet a different pattern. This baby has such beautiful dark hair. She was born with a headful and never lost it. It thinned a little but not noticeably. I really want to make something to show her beautiful hair off.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This was an easy snowflake! It's from Tatting for Tomorrow by Vida Sunderman, on page 48, ornament #7. I didn't find a source online but the address inside is: Cro-Tat Publication, 501 S. 12th St, Norfolk, Nebraska 68701

It was published in 1992 and appears to be self-published. Anyway, Vida had a cut & tie between the 2 rounds and I climbed out with a split chain instead. She listed 2 yards on the shuttle for the center and then 7 1/2 yards for the remainder, CTM. I wound about 9-10 yards on each shuttle and was able to tat 2 snowflakes from size 30 thread.
Vida said to make 1/2" picots for the long picots but I just used my crochet hook handle as a picot gauge which makes them perfectly shaped. I'm dying to make one and cut the long picots and fray them but not tonight. This glittery one is the 2nd one I tatted - and it had a mistake so I didn't feel bad about covering it in glitter. LOL! Hides the flaws nicely - in fact, it hides the tatting almost completely. I was going to just tip the long picot ends but got carried away when I realized I had a big mistake in it.

This is my ornament from Cathy Kozlowski that I got from our lace group exchange. Hopefully I will have my tree up tomorrow night and can hang it then. The weather turned beautiful today and is expected to be every bit as warm on Sunday.

Oh, by the way, I got both mittens done.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I scanned the cuff because I didn't think I would get this done today. The yarn is a Christmasy red/green with a gold thread. It fits me perfectly. Can I get a 2nd one done?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Remember these tin can crocheted hats from the 70's when crochet was the IN thing to do along with recycling and all mother earth-type stuff? I have no desire to make one, thanks, but it's a fun blast from the past.

Finally I can show something I've been working on! My lace group had their Christmas luncheon today - my sister graciously permitted us to invade her beautiful house - and we had our usual anonymous gift exchange. I put a bar of Lily of the Valley soap in the Irish crocheted bag. This is like the other one I made but from size 20 thread instead of size 30. The instructions call for size 10 but I found size 20 feeling big to me. I can't quite get the hang of the fringe knotting. It's not the knot, it's the spacing that I find tricky. It slips on me. Cathy Kozlowski ended up with it. And I ended up with the gift she made only it's not finished yet...I actually got an IOU and a peek at it on the pillow. It's a bobbinlace motif in red and white. I'm looking forward to getting it!

Here's the other Irish Crochet bag I'm working on. This one may go to the office exchange. I don't think anyone who is involved reads this so I'm not concerned about letting the secret out.

This one is done in size 30 thread. Maybe it was size 50, now that I think about it. The bigger leaves look wrong at the bottom. I thought sure I had done each round but they look smaller, The leaves to the side are smaller. I still need to put a ribbon through the beading. I believe I have some soaps I can put in this one too.

So....I guess I better get back to working on other Christmas gifts. I'm really not sure what to do. I was teaching a new student tatting on Thursday and she was wearing those gloves that have the fingers open but there is a mitten flap that folds over....she bought them but said she could have knit them so that got me to looking on the web. There is a pair of Broad Street Mittens at by Janis Cortese. (photo) Then there is another free online pattern at Canadian Living. This one has a smaller adult size and I have smaller hands - plus I'm thinking about trying to make these for my grandsons who don't have really big hands yet. I dunno...that might be more than I should tackle right before a holiday!

I still don't have my tree up but to be honest, I would rather clean and organize than put it up right now. I'm feeling restless this holiday season and find it hard to focus on anything for very long.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The problem with tatting for the holidays is that they are generally gifts and you can't show them because the recipient might see it and it won't be a surprise!

My Secret Santa project is complete ...except for the chocolate! I don't like dark chocolate (oh my! a CLUE!) so I have to go shopping for it. One of my coworkers offered (insisted actually) that I try some chocolate out of a big tin from Trader Joe's yesterday and my hand was already on a piece before I realized it was the dark stuff. I can eat dark chocolate, I'm not gonna spit it out or anything, but it's not my choice of chocolate. I will have to say it was a very creamy dark chocolate! I'm good for the year now. LOL!

Candy Bar 3 Chocolate
We demonstrated lacemaking at Cathy's Chocolates on Saturday but none of it was packaged or wrapped, that I could see, which would travel and hold well for a few weeks so I didn't get it there. I might hike myself up to the Cookie Factory in the Village to see what they have to offer. Hmmmm...where else can I check out the inventory....don't want to make a hasty choice for this special person!

I switched to the blogger beta version this morning. I won't be playing around with the template though until after the holidays. It seems to be inevitable that I will need to switch and this was the first time they offered so I took it.
Lately I've been crocheting more than tatting. I have an inter-office exchange coming up next week and wanted to get that one done. One of my sons may come and help rearrange furniture at the weekend so I can put the tree that I have furniture, it changes the configuration since I've also created closets on the sides of the fireplace since the last time I had furniture.

Here is why people get confused about tatting. Most of it is tatting but the tape lace certainly is not ...unless that is tatting in the open spaces. I would guess it is crochet or needlelace instead.

I went on an Ebay seller rampage a few weeks ago when I was awake in the middle of the night and trying to make myself sleepy again....when I find something that is not tatting, I let them know what it is if I do know, and that it is not tatting.

hmmmmm...just sent an inquiry. I ordered Jan Stawasz's book at the end of October and still have not received it. was mailed Nov. anytime, it will show up.

Maybe I will have pics to show next time! Flowers & Butterfly