Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last Night blogger was down and I didn't really have much time anyway. I didn't sleep well the night before and I went to the gym after work so I was dog-tired. I bought this fabric one night last week thinking it would make a great bag. I have tons of patterns for bags and haven't made the first one. The pattern I'm thinking of has a focal point with a medallion on it. I haven't really figured out how I'm going to do this. I really wanted a paisley shaped motif and I've printed off the one from Dan Tribble's site. It's the 2nd link for an 1874 German pattern. It's actually tatting with tape lace but I want to figure out a way to do it all in tatting.

In the meantime, I tatted this square motif from the Japanese book, Tatting, by Yusai Shokoin. I think I've tatted it before - I like it so well. I didn't hide the ends because I can use the thread to sew it to the fabric....if I use it on this fabric. It's a bit tricky to tat. There is only the diagram since I can't read Japanese and it doesn't really show where to start. It looks like you make the center 4 rings, but if you climb out of those rings to the next round, you climb out into a chain. It can be done, but I don't like to do that if I can help it. So then I figured out you start with the second round and throw the center rings off of the chains. It still ends in an awkward place and you have to cut & tie and start a new round. Every join from the 2nd to the 3rd round is at a chain so even if I could figure out a way to end elsewhere on the 2nd round, it's going to be an awkward climb out onto a chain. Sometimes it's just as well to cut & tie. In this case, since I was planning on sewing it to fabric, I didn't have to worry about hiding ends anyway.

What I really need to do is write up my pattern for Hector. I'm sure Karey is tapping her toe and pursing her lips....maybe I should go do that RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

3 more for 25 Motif Challenge

Isn't this a beautiful shuttle? It's described as a madras knotting shuttle in Needlework Antiques and the information about is says:
"The condition of this rare shuttle is very good. It is solid and tight and there are no knicks or chips in the bone" but ends are open. It is also $365. For that much money, I need a pedigree with it.

I followed an alert from google about a tatting reference and in the same newspaper, I found the perfect tatter's event - The Chocolate Affair!

A Chocolate Affair is Ballet Des Moines’ social event of the year that is held in conjunction with the merchants of the East Village.

Start at 5:00 pm by touring the East Village merchants for chocolate tastings at every host location. Then, at 7:00 pm join the ballet at 504 East Locust for a “hot” chocolate party. Chocolate martinis, a cash bar, great hors d’oeurves, and salsa dancing provided by Salsa Iowa.

Friday February 1, 2008

5-8 PM Chocolate sampling in the East Village

7-? PM Party in the Ballet Des Moines Building at 504 East Locust

I started tatting the last of Jane's TIAS ( and my hippo OR rhino guess was good!) but when I got to the eye...my thread snarled at me when I tried to bead it. It thought I was beating it, not beading...and it frayed eventually and broke. I know this will shock some, but I'm not going to fix it and finish. LOL! I've been unhappy with my tatting of the first three motifs anyway and I rarely tat animals for myself so it's not a loss to me to not finish it. It WAS fun however!

Last night I made 3 more motifs for the 25 motif challenge. I'm really glad I'm doing this. I would never recommend this book for a beginner now. The instructions have too many mistakes. I corrected as I tatted, but...I'm only on motif #7. That's not a good sign!

Motif #5 has a picot left out of the ring that is thrown off the chain. The points in the book are sharper then mine blocked out because I used 2 shuttles and used the ball shuttle for the rings while the designer used the ring shuttle - although it does not say exactly how it was done, I'm sure that's how it was tatted.

For #6 I tried to make a long mock picot and and start my chain from there instead of starting a whole new round. Then I made a split chain at the end of that round to climb out to the final round, making a split ring to start it off. My split chain is obvious because it's a bit bigger and more pointy than the others in that round. I retatted it twice, trying to get it smaller and more in line with the other chains. The outer chains are to have 5 picots but one chain in the book photograph has 6 picots. LOL!

There were several mistakes in motif #7. There are 4 picots instructed in the first ring but none of them should have more than 3 picots. There is a clover (3 rings) at the top and the remainder of rings are in pairs but when you read the instructions, it states to make a pair of rings and then chain and then ring. THEN it says to make 3 rings together....so you would have a single ring plus 3 rings....and it says to continue for 7 sets of rings but you actually have 1 clover and 6 pairs of rings with the chain between each ring segment. There are 7 segments of rings altogether though.

I worked out at the gym this morning...seemed like a nice gentle workout...but I'm off for a nap now!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I didn't know crocheted lace could be made by machine but it appears that there is a machine in China for that purpose. I couldn't find out any more about it but it can make 700 yards in 24 hours of 12 cm width...depending on the material it is made out of along with a few other factors.

There's a brand new issue of CQMagOnline!

Here's the lastest rendition of Jane's TIAS. I should have done some warm-up tatting with this thread before I started the critter here. I think it's safe to assume it is some sort of animal critter. It's easier to tat with this thread now that I've handled it some.

My thumbtips are cracking since it's so dry around here. I've boiled tons of water and used lotion after lotion but it would be nice if it warmed up so the furnace didn't run all the time and dry the air so. I believe it's to get up around 40º at the weekend but right now it is 0ºF. I'll tape up my thumbs after putting some antibiotic ointment on them and that will do wonders overnight. My lips are beginning to get very dry too. Plenty of water going in....and going out about as fast! I was trying to work on my project for Hector tonight but my thumbs were getting unhappy so I decided to call it a night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2,3, & 4 for 25 motif challenge

Here's motifs #2, #3, & #4 for the 25 motif challenge, same order as in the book. I broke the picot on #2 as I was hiding the end. And the next motif I tried with skinny thread also broke in the process so I went to a bigger thread for #3 & #4. It was beginning to irritate me. LOL! It seems #2 was also some thread I dyed because it bled all over the place when I blocked it and didn't look nearly as vibrant as it did before it got wet. #3 was thread that was already on a shuttle. #4 just said to me that it would look fabulous in white and not to argue.

Anyone else have talking thread that screams and shouts, "Use me, Use me!!!"? Maybe you have squabbling beads -"I'm bigger; I'm tinier; I'm more sparkling; I'm more expensive; I'm the most economical; I'm the only one that matches the thread." Or the shuttles, do yours whisper your name in your ear in the middle of the night if they aren't being used enough? Do they haunt you in your dreams with knots and snarls and split, frayed fibers?

If so, then you are truly an infected tatter. There is no cure. Books will jump into your hands at vendors' booths. Patterns will pop up on your monitor repeatedly until you have no choice but to print them. If you try to sweat it out, I warn you, you will end up curled in the fetal position with shuttles wound up in your hair and tatting needles skewered through your toes.

You might as well not fight it and die happy with yards and yards of tatted lace surrounding you, don't you think?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Joining the 25 Motif Challenge and so much more

There is a film on Jan Stawasz's website which features not only his tatting but his instructions. Jan incorporates frontside/backside tatting in his designs, which I don't do and yes, it does make it hard for me to read his diagrams, but I manage. They're so beautiful.

I'm very unhappy with the knitted mitten. It turned out huge! I haven't done the finger flap yet and have decided I will rip it out and start over. I think I will go back to the first pattern I used.

There were a few more finds during my bargain shopping Friday. I found this wooden teapot box for $1.00. Perfect for storing some teabags or other tea paraphanelia in - sweetener or tea caddys, etc.
Opened up, it's about 3 1/2 inches square. Years ago, when I was a very young bride in her first owned home, I wanted a blue onion theme in my kitchen. I never got it before we sold the house, but over the years, blue onion stuff keeps showing up. This is not the blue onion motif but it would blend in well. I do have a tea-for-one with a blue onion design. Even so, I wouldn't mind painting this a different color.

I got this vase for 75¢. Not a very big opening but it will work for a few stunning blossoms, fresh or tatted. I might have to try out those pansy designs I keep seeing. I have yet to see a tatted pansy that I loved. There are some I like, but I'm not dying to make them. Maybe I should come up with one of my own. I used to paint pansies all the time so the way I visualize them is not how I've seen them tatted.

No response from anyone about the 100,000th visitor. Ah well...it is hard to capture that.

Here's the rescued doily after 2 days of soaking. I rinsed it and then laid it on the blocking board but didn't pin it. Looks much nicer, doesn't it? but there are still some rust stains on the back side. This is topside.

On the backside, I've laid a letter opener along a line of the rust spots. You can see there are more. I do have some stuff that takes rust stains out and I may try that next. I haven't really had time to tackle that today. It measures a little over 10 inches (25.4 cm) and has the tinest picots. Once I get the rust stains out and block it again, I may try to define the picots more, but I rather like it this way too. Does anyone recognize this specific pattern?

I decided to join the 25 motif challenge. I knew I made more than 25 motifs in a year so hadn't thought about joining before but today I was thinking how I've never gone through a tatting book from beginning to end, reading it let alone tatting it. It just happened that the book I had in hand was Tatting for Beginners which has 25 motifs in it. It occured to me that joining the challenge would be one way to motivate me to go through the entire book. I've made maybe 4 or 5 motifs from the book at one time or another.

So...motif #1 from the book...I'm pretty sure I've done this one before but for some reason did not write in the corrections. The author has it written as 2 separate rounds but I decided to climb out of the first ring with a long mock picot and split ring. The count on the larger rings was wrong and I just guessed at what it should be. It's given as 4 ds, p with 2 ds between each (no number of picots named) 5ds, clr. From the photo, I can tell it's 5 picots, so I think the ending 5 ds should be 4 ds as it is in the beginning. I wonder how many beginners have been frustrated by the very first motif?
This wasn't going well for ME at all. I couldn't figure out if the bare thread was too long or the large outer rings too small or what but it was definitely cupping. It makes a nice hat for a ball of size 70 thread. Seriously, maybe this is why I've not used this book much. I read in the beginning that the author passed away in 1988, before common usage of split rings and split chains. I hope if they ever reprint this book they will correct the errors in stitch counts. The designs are too lovely not to.

So here's the second draft of my first motif. I made the center picots shorter and the length between rings shorter. I used a thread I dyed a few years ago and it's probably size 70 or 80. "Noo" used size 40 so it stands to reason that with a smaller thread, I should make the lengths shorter. This one did lay flat. I really don't like this kind of motif. It's next to impossible for me to get all those rings perfectly uniform in size.

And last but not least of this very long post - Day 7 of Jane Eborall's TIAS. Somehow I missed a day. I thought today was the day she wasn't going to send out a reminder but it must have been yesterday. Anyway...I tatted that up this morning. I ventured a guess to her by email of what it will be.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Apparently I am not getting enough tatting time in. I was up way past my bedtime last night working this earring from Judith Connors' book, Contemporary Tatting, to help a new tatter understand how to join those beads at the bottom. There is more to the earring but I haven't gotten to that part yet. I kept thinking, "this won't take long...". You know how that goes. To begin with, I couldn't find the plastic rings even though I know I have repeatedly moved a package several times over the past few weeks. I ended up finding some in another location. Then....I had to string beads and wind a shuttle....then I tatted and scanned and tatted and scanned..... I simply could NOT stop myself!

Then this morning, I saw that Jane had posted day 5 on TIAS. I tatted it before I went to work, maybe even before I took my shower - I don't remember now. Not only did I tat it, I scanned it and uploaded it here.

During my lunch hour, I visited Trinity Mission. I couldn't believe it - I found this tatted doily marked at only a quarter! I tried not to take it personal but it's kind of hard not to get a bit miffed that it was valued so little. But...you can't really see it too well here...it is really stained badly. I have it soaking in OxyClean right now. There are some rust stains on one side that aren't coming out. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve but if they don't come out, it will be a good excuse to try painting dye on it. I will find a way to salvage it somehow.

I also rescued this little finger towel or whatever it is. Looks brand new and never used or even washed. No fiber content tags though. It was only 10¢. I love making sachets and little pillows and bags out of linens like this.

See this little bit of crochet that is in the center? I wonder if it was purchasd that way or added later? I've never seen that added touch on one of these before.

I just discovered a bit ago that I have jury duty on February 5th. This is my very first time being summoned in all these years that I've been a registered voter.

Tonight was my first gym workout. I am definitely on a kick to lose weight before my son's wedding in October!

And....I got some Due South DVD's I ordered today so I'm off to watch Paul Grosso and finish knitting a mitten.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Done! Whoops - why's that one chain guy peeking up higher than anyone else? LOL! I enjoyed tatting this one. The tiny rings on the outside were 7 ds - I couldn't see the picture well enough in that part to see if they were josephine knots so I just went with tiny rings. That's probably the only element of the design that I don't like and might leave off in future attempts. I'd like to do it again in a solid color and also try some other color combinations.

I scanned it with different colored backgrounds to see the visual effect. I liked the white and the dark blue best. The motif has a stronger contrast quality there. With the buff and the pale green...the yellow tends to sink into it and is not as strong.

This is one of the seldom discussed elements of tatting. Have you ever seen a pattern worked by somene else that you would not have touched and found it incredibly beautiful because they used a thread or a color or color combination that was vastly different from the original and it made the design just pop out at you? Or the opposite - a beautiful pattern done in a horrible color or type of thread and poorly blocked or tatted? We've all made those mistakes. You think a thread will be perfect and then you start tatting....and then you think, well, if I just get past this part, maybe it will all come together...or probably when I block it, it will work out.....

Sometimes they do...and sometimes they are things you should just quietly dispose of accidently. LOL! I am particularly susceptible to variegateds. They look so beautiful on the ball or the skein! But if you pick the wrong design.....it's butt-ugly! A waste of a beautiful thread,time and an otherwise perfect design. I think that's why I keep holding off tatting the 2 beautiful hand-dyed threads I've purchased. I don't want to waste them!

I sometimes wonder if designers cringe at the way some of their designs are tatted up? I think they are more often very pleased by the results but there are those moments when they aren't.

I ran across a blog one time which focused on really bad design - I think it was knitting. They featured the original picture, not what someone had knitted up. I didn't agree with all of their choices - which just goes to show you it is largely subjective. In the same way some people like very small tidy picots, others like long loose wavy ones. To a certain extent, it's about individual tastes and I would never tell someone they had bad taste. LOL! Oh - I found it but be forewarned - strong language you would not want your child to read - or maybe even yourself. What Not To Knit I can't imagine why she didn't like this monkey gown????? ROTFL! Can't say I'd wear it either but, hmmmm...you know me and sock monkeys....might make a cool afghan for a kid's room,don't you think? [VBG!]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I've mostly been knitting but the mitten is wrong side out right now and I didn't feel like turning it right side out to show progress. I have a thumb and the finger flap to do. And then another mitten. LOL! I have to take breaks from projects, especially those that take a lot of time. I will probably have another week with mittens and then a hat to match and then start all over so I'm making it a point to get my tatting time in. This little motif is only started. Looks like a Jane Eborall motif, doesn't it? If you are not familiar with Jane's work, then go see her patterns. I think it's the colors I used along with the shape.
Anyway, it's from this Japanese publication that I bought while I was at Palmettos from Kaye Judt. Why I had to go all the way to SC to buy it, I'm not sure. Perhaps I should check out what she has in Greenfield more often!

I wanted to use more than a single color, just to see how it plays out. I've still got the outer part to do and I'm already disappointed that you can see where I tatted over the end of one thread while beginning. This is the first pattern I've used from this book - it's all diagrams unless you read Japanese and I don't. Can't even figure out small phrases such as "ring" or "chain". There was one motif in particular that made me purchase it and this isn't it. I'm working up to it. LOL! I think it's going to be tricky and since all I have are diagrams to lead the way, it's going to be even trickier. I happened to notice last night that it also has a 3D Christmas tree and some holly and holly berries. I'll have to try those out before the season rolls around again!

Part IV of Jane's Tat It & See series. I think the next step is tomorrow.

Grizzly Mountain Arts certainly keeps coming up with beautiful tatting and needlecraft tools. I love the colors of the celluoid shuttles he is making but I don't like flat shuttles and have enough already for my collection. Now if he would make them into post shuttles, I'd be more tempted. Actually, one of them was...but still too expensive for me.

Well...back to work.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 3 from Jane's Tat It & See series. I want to do it over so bad! I forget to leave a space and doing teensy bits like this at a time skews my tension-sensor. But I'll wait...can't be doing every single segment over each time!

Yesterday,at 6:30 p.m. Central Time, Threads From a Tatting Goddess recorded its 100,000th visitor!! Just for the fun of it, I'd like to give this visitor a little momento if I can find out who it is. The visitor is from Pittsburgh, PA and uses Verizon with an ISP of 151.201.129.# (final numbers are not shown). It's someone who already knows the link because a referring URL was not shown. If you recognize yourself as the visitor, please contact me privately at ginab6 at yahoo dot com.

I didn't do much of anything yesterday except clean up and sort files on my computer. It felt like wasted time since there was nothing visible to show for it, but hopefully it means I will be able to find some things easier.

I also slept a lot. LOL! Finally, late in the evening, I knit more on the mitten. I'm using yet a different pattern. I started one the night before and could tell it would be way too big in the ribbing even though a test swatch worked to gauge. I also need to get back to knitting my little beaded amulet bag.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I got to play with picots last night! The original pattern is by Marlene (Marty) Lewis. I don't use buttons or beads on bookmarks except on the tail part that sticks out but I wanted to use this pattern so I needed to find a way to fill in the middle. The first thing that came to me was long picots woven in the center. Even so, I was making it up as I went. LOL! I used a 1 inch picot gauge horizontally so it would actually measure 2" if you stretched it out. I tatted one side and put a long picot at each place where she joined into the button hole. When I came down the other side, I joined the long picot into the same spot I would have joined into the button or made a picot. I thought the picots were too long but once I blocked it out, they laid nicely. I may pursue this further later but for now, I've learned my idea is workable. I used a size 20 Manuela for the sample.

While I wouldn't use buttons for a bookmark, the design with the buttons would make an attractive mat or would look very effective framed and hung.

I was in Hobby Lobby today. Simplicity patterns were on sale for 99¢ each. I bought several apron patterns, one for knitting and crochet organizers, one for kitchen accessories because it had a tea cozy in it, and one for totes/organizers. Oh, one with a christening dress too. sigh...all to be added to my pattern stash. I'm really trying not to "collect". I want to make use of what I already have. It all started with wanting to make some tea cozies for my teapots. But then....I kept browsing....

Well, I'm done with the crochet for awhile now but I promised the grandkids I would knit those fingerless, flap-over mittens for them...along with a matching hat. I better get busy before Spring hits and they don't need them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Well, this is the last of them. The last thimble holder! It's a small crocheted circle and I really liked the outer part and thought it would look nice gathered up. I finished all my step by step scans tonight and will add them to the instructions tomorrow. I'm big on putting pictures with my directions. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. I just hope we have enough time to do the basics before the project.

OH look! A blog on craft videos! And here is a blog on Recycled Stuff or using old things to make new stuff...artistic and decorative - not just functional. Unfortunately, they stopped posting in May of 2007. The teapot is from Art Grange Michelle.

Here are some thread crochet patterns both for sale and for free at MyPicot.com Unfortunately, the free patterns do not tell you how to assemble any of the parts together. I don't know if the paid ones do or not.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I got off to a giggly start this morning when Erin sent me her idea of what I could do with my lucky clover foiled start. I think it is Rudolph disguising himself as a shamrock!

I love it when people start talking ideas back and forth! We're doing a mystery motif on my teacher's group and Jane started her Tat It & See today so emails are flurrying all over. Then, I was trying to clean up my file folder on tatting at work and rediscovered all manner of patterns and found one or two or three that I've been meaning to tat.

Yesterday I realized I have a 5 year blog anniversary coming up. I've got to think of something special to mark it with! I think it's safe to say I had the first tatting blog. There were some other blogs that had tatting in them along with other crafts but no one focused entirely on tatting. But I'll talk more about that when the time comes.

You know, I've noticed a trend.....when I absolutely have to do something, I get all kinds of inspiration that I have to put off because I absolutely have to do something!

Right now I have to write up the pattern for Hector. I thought I had another week or so but a phone call from Karey last night reminded me that I do still have that last detail to work on NOW. LOL! Additionally, I'm teaching a crochet project with my lace guild on Saturday so clearly, I need to have that prepared by Friday. That's what had me looking in my tatting file folder. I thought I had it partially written up but I don't see it. So I guess that's what I'll focus on tonight...late...after I meet with my reiki friends.

But when I get back to that "inspired" stuff, there's a celtic motif I want to try and there a another snowflake that was not originally designed as celtic but that's how it is looking in my eyes, and there's a bookmark that I want to adapt to the woven picots technique.

Jane's first Tat & See It motif. Very poorly done, I might add. Ring #1 seemed to open up some as I tatted so when it was all done, I pulled to close it again and that just threw everything off! And then there is that split ring with 3 colors in it. I wonder what this is going to end up being?

Monday, January 07, 2008

I've been tagged by Dianne for the You Make My Day Award.

Thank you Dianne!

The rules are to "Give up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland." Beware! You may get the award several times! Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on. Here are some blogs that Make My Day:

I've chosen these blogs for their scope of variety, entertainment value, inspiration, and the fact that they post on a regular or close to regular basis. I enjoy them. I think they are good. They are not all tatting...the instructions say "blogs that make my day." I've had to cut the list back, believe it or not, to about half. If I really listed all the blogs that I truly enjoy....it would take days to get it all down. LOL!

Vintage Stitch-O-Rama by Severina
Her wicked humor entertains me and she loves vintage patterns like I do!

Iris Cabin by Iris
I found the crazy quilting site by following a google image search for tatting. I love her work. And her links. Some people have the neatest links and I could spend all day there.

Jane Eborall's site Entertaining and packed with patterns and tidbits. It's hard to keep up with Jane.

The Buhlawg by Erin. Her zany style and wide range of interests appeals to me even if she goes for long periods without saying anything. I know that when she does post, it will have some exciting adventure within it.

Tats A Kool Challenge by Pam. Once you meet someone in person, you want to keep up with them and what they are doing...a blog is one way to do it.

The Feathered Nest by Dawn. A recent discovery...which I'm still immersing myself in.

Turkey Feathers, Another one focused on quilting and what-not. Love following the links on this one too.

Celtic Dream Weave by Sherry. The artwork always intrigues me on this one and I know Sherry had lots of help setting this up, but her tatting is unique too.

Be Alive, Believe You Be by Melba. I love the way she has taken creativity further out of the box...opened it up to all creative bloggers and encouraged them in the process.

Lady ShuttleMaker by another Sherry. Sherry should definitely be in the group mentioned just before...she continually expands and creates and stretches herself. Her journey is well worth watching.

I still had to delete 3 after all that. Pshew! Don't want to do that again! And I didn't even get to the knitting or crocheting blogs. You know....that's why those links are over at the side. I go there on a regular basis.

Here's the butterfly I crocheted from the 1950 Workbasket. You can see the join I made incorrectly, big as you please, but I didn't see it til I blocked it. I don't like it well enough to do again.

Last night I started the Lucky Clover doily in the Blomqvist and Persson book. I was using size 20 thread when size 30 was called for. Then I made a mistake in the chain which I didn't find until I finished the 2nd clover and began the next chain. This is how UFO's come into being. This will be way too big for what I had intended it for. It will use all of my thread I think and in fact, if I run out, I'll have to go all the way to Australia for another ball of that particualr thread. Bummer! I also do not want to retro tat that big honkin' clover nor do I want to cut it out and hide all those squirrelly ends. If I go to a smaller thread, then I have this full shuttle of this color. I know I'm making this all too difficult. Just cut the damned thing and be done with it!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Emptying shuttles again. This is a motif from Workbasket, February 1950. You tat several together for the end of a scarf...I don't know if they meant table scarf or neck scarf. I tried making my joins from the opposite direction so the other color wouldn't show but it still shows, just not as blatantly. This is tatted with chains around the rings which I generally prefer to do over onion rings but I think onion rings would work better in this particular case. I like the color effect though. There was a mistake in the directions. The first round of chains is described as 9 ds, but the next round says to join in the picot of the chain and from the photograph, it's clear you tat 9 ds, p, 9 ds.

I crocheted a butterfly from the same publication but it's blocking at the moment.

I changed out the wax paper on my blocking board today. I know it's been there at least since August - you can still see the dark spots from some black thread that bled. Seems like I usually change it more often but it really wasn't in bad shape. After awhile, the paper distorts in shape from the water and glue that is often on there.

I certainly didn't get much else done today. I'm babysitting my son's dog, Gizmo. The poor cats retreated to the basement as soon as someone came in the door. They're petrified to come up and I've left the door shut since the dog is young and playful. Small but still too energetic for 10 year old cats. The dog is still a puppy I think or not quite a year old.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Yeah, I'm stuck in this mode for awhile. I found a tiny heart applique to crochet and added an edging and a hanger. So now we have a heart thimble holder.

You wouldn't believe how many thimbles I have. LOL! I don't really collect them but I probably have about 2 dozen around here. You know, these could hang on my miniature Christmas tree when it's not Christmas.

I keep thinking of tatted ones to make too, but that wouldn't fit in the current program so I'll leave those to another time.

As part of my research, I was looking for crochet tutorials. YouTube was disappointing. There were tons of them but most were not very good. Often it was video without sound but the video was not good in showing closeups so a newbie would clearly be lost or at least confused. Part of my background involved learning how to do training. I do mostly safety training but you use the same process for any kind of teaching. It might be boring to those who already know how to do something but training isn't usually needed for the knowledgeble. It's for someone who doesn't know or understand and wants to know. Nexstitch.com has a very good site compared to anything else I've seen so far. There are short video clips for each step in crocheting. You can use real player or windows media player.

While surfing around for simple round motifs, I found a heart bordered filet crochet mat. The original had the word "LOVE" in it but I was thinking it might make a lovely name doily for my son & his fiance. I've already offered a wedding hanky with a tatted edging (and I'll probably tat a cross too but haven't told her that yet) so another needlework medium is a good idea. And then I got to thinking about a hardanger frame around the filet crochet mat and then a tatted edging around that. Perhaps my idea is a bit over the edge? My hardanger skills are questionable. Better stick with what I know for now.

Okay...I had to tat before the day was over. I've been seeing Nancy's tree from Be-stitched.com being tatted by various people in different threads and it reminded me that I wanted to do that one back when I was stuck on trees. I made 2 mistakes, one on the very top chain and one ring is missing a picot. The thread is Altin Basak in a metallic gold/ivory. I thought I gave this ball away but I just found it along with another metallic one that looks like pewter.

I still want to do Linda Davies' tree earrings too before I give up Christmas tatting altogether.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Here's the beaded thimble holder. I used the thread I had out which I said was manuela in another entry but I think it is Altin Basak. It is smaller than size 20. In fact, it seems more like size 40 so it might be a Flora thread. The label is long gone. Because the thread was smaller, it crocheted up smaller but it's still big enough for a thimble!

I bought this book recently at a used book store. I've seen it on abe.com before and fairly cheap but my impression from other reviews was that it had very little tatting in it. Wrong! The book has 128 pages and the tatting starts on page 40 so the bulk of the book is tatting. It's a British book published in 1973. I think I've seen some of the patterns in a few of the other tatting books/booklets I've gotten from the UK.

I tatted the coaster from the "Lemonade Set". Initially I started with some Coats Dual Duty variegated thread but by the third round, I was regretting it. It was too fine and I kept making mistakes that made it very difficult to retro-tat and my thread broke so I gave it up and tried again with the thread I used for the beaded thimble-holder. It went much more quickly, largely because I'd figured out all the changes by then, but also because the thread was easier to use. The instructions call for a cut and tie after every round. Oooooh....what a good time to use bridging! I used split chains to end the first 2 rounds. The 4th round started where the 3rd round ended so I didn't have to change anything there. I left off the 5th round because it appears from the photograph that it wraps under the coaster and holds the motif in place. I like it this way anyway. As I skim through the book, it's clear I would have to read ahead (always a good practice that I don't follow myself) and note where bridging would be helpful.