Sunday, March 30, 2008

I've had the sewing bug for ages and finally took some time last night to sew this little pouch. It has 4 shuttles in it at the moment. I think the purple thread does not match so I think I'll take the flower off and try another color. I also haven't put a cord on it yet. Can't quite make up my mind how I want to do that.

Liz Anderson sent me the link to this Sock Monkey Hat on Knitty! Of course I'm going to have to try it!

I got a lot done yesterday, cleaning and sorting - finding things to put in my sister's garage sale near the end of April. I still have a lot to do but I'm making progress. I'm also just about ready to send Jolande's package out. She should get it before I draw another winner. LOL!

I should also spend some time today making sure I have everything ready for Hector. I've got the pattern and my samples but that's about it since I've been so busy cleaning. I really want to make another sample for some reason.....maybe because they are fun to do?

Friday, March 28, 2008

The only tatting thing I've had time to work on this week is Jolande's package and I don't want to show any of that until she gets it. I got the idea for doing the drawing partly from a Pay-It-Forward post on another blog, like Sew Good Sew Far. I'm not real big on rituals and rules so I can't say I'm doing it the same way. Most pick someone who has posted a comment but I've got plenty of readers queued up for the drawings and don't need to do that but if you're interested in doing something similar, go to her blog for details.

I've been involved in another group activity, The Artist's Way Blog. I think I mentioned it before but maybe not. Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way and Vein of Gold, has a 12 week course designed to help you overcome blocks to your creativity. I really don't have a problem with creativity but I do have a problem making time to follow through with my ideas. We're ending week 7 now and I find it helpful in many areas of my life. It's not in the course, but I made a Vision Board last weekend. You've probably seen this as a memo board or photo board. The idea is to post your dreams or goals on it so that it's in plain sight and a daily reminder of your direction. I've been searching for images to represent what I want to accomplish but it will take me awhile to get them organized.

I may not have mentioned it here but the coworker whose office is directly across from mine passed away unexpectedly last week. Her memorial service was today and most of my day was involved in that until mid-afternoon. Lately, it's just been kind of crazy at work. The pace tends to pick up as the semester moves towards a close. Students are suddenly knocking themselves out to get year-end projects done and it's also the time of year when potential incoming students are making visits.

I have a few things to finish up this weekend for Hector. It will be great to see old friends again as well as new ones.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Some Easter Whimsy

Wishing you all a day of peace and spiritual renewal with family and friends.

Tea at Tiffany's

I had to lighten this photo so you could see it better. This was the view from where we were sitting. Of course, there are paintings and pictures and tea paraphenelia all over that I didn't photograph. There was a bridal shower going on in the adjoining room to the right.

I picked the salad sampler which was a serving of each of three different chicken salads, plus a couple of wedges of tomato and cucumber, and a croissant and some crackers. All of them were delicious. While we were waiting for this plate, we had a scone and a small scoop of a cheddar cheese ball with some marmalade that was quite tasty too. And of course, the hot tea. I also ordered a cup of pumpkin soup which I've had elsewhere and loved, but this one wasn't very good. Too bland and thin.

My sister ordered a different plate that included your choice of two of the chicken salads on croissants and a dish of cole slaw. We were both stuffed! We ordered our desserts to go (a blueberry cake and bread pudding).

The atmosphere was delightful, but our waitress was obviously new and hovered way too much. Tea rooms pride themselves on their hospitality and ability to make you feel welcome, but sometimes I just want them to go away so we can enjoy the experience. I was disappointed in the tea serving. We got a teapot of hot water. Our tea was choices of the usual flavored tea bags you can buy in any grocery store. I think I got spoiled at the last tea room I went to. They steeped loose tea in your own individual pot and you got a strainer to put over your cup to filter out the tea leaves when you poured. There was a tea cozy over the teapot which made it easy to handle to pour (no burnt fingers) as well as keeping the tea hot. They timed the brewing before bringing it to you so that it was just right. But I do have to admit that most tea rooms do exactly what this one did...a pot of hot water and your choice of teas. The owner seemed stressed too.

Afterwards we visited the many antique malls around the Crown Point courthouse. I'm starting off with the set of pillowslips I purchased for $5. To be honest, I wouldn't have paid much more for these. The pillowslips are in excellent shape, hardly used, if used at all, but they've been washed so I assume they were used. Can you see how limp the tatting is on this? I could probably iron it and get it to look a little nicer. I could go to a LOT of trouble to make it look really good by pinning and blocking....but these are pillowslips, meant to be used. do you keep a tatted edging looking nice on linens? For one thing, use a good thread. A good crisp 6 cord thread will hold it's shape much better than this soft one. You shouldn't have to do that much to it after washing. This is why I don't use the "crochet cottons" you find in Walmart and K-Mart. They tend to clump a bit after washing and implode on themselves. The cheaper the thread, the less quality, the harder it is to tat up, and the quicker it is to deteriorate. When I first started tatting and heard the mantra, "use GOOD thread", I tended to blow it off because I had tons of crochet cotton. Why would I want to go buy some expensive thread that I didn't have the money for when I already had all kinds of thread? But I did eventually buy some Cebelia. Cebelia is not a 6 cord thread but it is a good thread that tats and crochets up very nicely. Between that and some 6 cord thread that I somehow acquired, I understood the difference. Even size 12 DMC tats up so much better than Southmaid or Coates size 10 cotton. And....I have only completely gone through maybe 5 or 6 balls of thread in the 10 years I've been tatting. It goes a long way and is well worth the money.

I certainly don't need any more hankies for my collection but I can't pass up a good deal. I prefer to buy them without edgings and I love the embroidered or cutwork hankies. I love shadow embroidery, drawn thread work, and applique. I did find some hankies with tatting, but as I said, I prefer them without an edge and ...well, they weren't that outstanding. I got all of these for $1.25 each and then 20% off of that when I got to the checkout!

There are a few more hankies here, plus this nice ecru mat begging for a tatted or crocheted edging. I've put some colored cardstock under a few of the hankies so you can see the cutwork, or as in this one, they've cut a design and turned it under and stitched it. I'm just so fascinated by this kind of work. I've emailed the Hanky Lady to see if she can give me some background on whether it is handmade or machine made. The stitching is so perfect I would think machine made but the edges have to be rolled under and I can't see it done any way but by hand. I saw one on her site with a short edge like this but not the wide design. This one goes in about 1 1/4".

I got this bag of thread with a size 13 crochet hook. There are also some crocheted motifs - might be nice for a crazy quilter. The white thread is DMC cordonnet size 70. The crocheted motifs are made from a size 10 thread though and feel soft like the thread on the pillowslips.

I am curious about the "exclusive time-saver stitch-saver clip" on the crochet hook. It is clearly that gold thing on the handle end. There are no instructions on how to use it and I don't have a clue myself! I may have to check with some crochet gurus.

This little thing is made from wood molding and is decorated with buttons, a scissors charm and ric rac. I'll probably replace the ric rac with something else. I love the buttons and the snap. The hooks are handy for very small tools, like strivers or small embroidery scissors or a small tape measure perhaps.

This was my next to most expensive item. The pillowslips were $5 and this was $3. I hesitated but I so much want to see how this ornament is put together. I don't like the beads, but once you know how something is done, you can substitute whatever you want. All in all - it was great. I spent $22.00 even there...and got an Aunt Jane's 1972 vintage magazine too!

I didn't get to tat along when Diane Saunders offered this tulip but I'd been printing out the pages and decided to tat it last night (at 11:30 p.m.!) It looked quick and I needed a little something to wind down. I didn't realize there was a stem...I got done around 1:30 a.m. It wouldn't have taken so long but I emptied shuttles 4 times from previous threads by tatting little blossoms so you could probably tat this in an hour easy if you had your shuttles wound and ready to go.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Find Your Inner Fairie; The True You (GIRLS ONLY!!!)

You are the beautiful Fairie of Creativity. You cannot stand blah routines, and like everything a little different. Always up for trying new things, you have an incredible imagination. Some of your hobbies are writing, maybe painting, drawing, and making jewelery. Whenever someone asks you where you got something, you usually say, "I made it." You make people jealous by coming up with ideas no one else ever would have thought of. You also have a great knack for color coordination. Gem: Opal Song:Black and White People By Matchbox Twenty Animal:Kiwi Bird
Take this quiz!

I'm off to visit a tea room in Crown Point with my sister today. I'm wearing the teapot earrings my coworker Lila made me for Christmas. We'll check out a few of the shops around there too. Let's hope I don't find anything I think I can't live without. LOL! I booked my room for Hector yesterday. It's farther away than any of the others I've been in but I haven't liked the others and especially the price so we'll try this one. I'm going to have to start finding a way to finance these trips. This one will cost me at least $325 and that doesn't include food or any tatting supplies I might buy. So much for cheap hobbies, eh? The company and the experience is priceless however, and a good reminder that there are some things money can't buy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I've got two motifs around the center done. Six to go. In the first post about this doily, I said it was in the Blomquist book. Wrong! It's a Mary Konior book. It's called Dahlia in The Pattern Book of Tatting.

One reason I don't do doilies much is that I don't use them. The only thing I can do with them is give them away or frame them. I will probably give this one away when I am done. The other reason is that I get bored doing the same thing over and over. So today I decided to do Laura's heart pattern with a whimsical touch. Adding that big bead meant I had to adapt the top a bit, but seeing that big ol' smile was a delight every time I got to the top. Hope you don't mind me playing with your pattern Laura!

I actually have several fresh patterns I want to try out but simply haven't had time. I might have mentioned that I have a son getting married in October but I'm not sure I also said I'm determined to look nice for the wedding and have joined a gym and go there most nights. It sure does eat into my tatting time and right now I have sore feet to boot. I was home this afternoon because I have a problem with my water heater and someone came out to look at it. Even so, I didn't really get much tatting done. After this heart and working on something for the March winner, the crack in the corner of my thumb got to be too much and I band-aided it up....but it gets in the way of my tatting so I guess that's it for tonight.

This is a nametag I got at the campus fire safety conference I went to a few weeks ago. It's really pretty nifty. Where the red starts is a pocket all the way down plus there is the zippered pocket which also goes all the way down. When the top is velcroed over, the plastic window displayed a name tag. The back side has a pocket too, two which can hold a pen or pencil or highlighter and one that is bigger - the room card key would have fit in there nicely.

I probably could have put my cell phone and some tissues in the front pocket and not haul my purse around. Or a pack of playing cards? Post-its, business cards, etc. Anyway, I thought it too useful to pitch. But what to do with that ugly vendor name on the flap???? It was great advertising at the conference but I don't think it would be helpful otherwise. I have an idea though. I'm thinking some of Lyn Morton's flowers in Tatting Patterns might fit on there perfectly. She has a nice cluster of blossoms that I think might fit on there perfectly and if not, are a favorite designer's motif and I have plenty of others to choose from! I hope to have it done in time for Hector!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mystery Motif Revealed!

Here is the original photo and application of the motifs. They were made into a border on a linen center.

The tatting itself is pretty easy but the directions were a little unclear without the photo. I found using 2 shuttles easier and I knew that the first long picot was meant to join the other small rings into.

The yellow and blue version is done by Gale Marshall. I kept thinking that my motifs looked larger than Gale's but didn't really look too closely until today.
When I looked at my motifs, I noticed I had a picot missing on one ring and then I noticed that I had one more picot on the side rings of the clover than Gale did so of course mine looked bigger. Three picots showing free on each side ring of the clover is correct.

When I first started to do the outer part of this doily, I realized I had tatted the last round of the center incorrectly so I had to cut it out and do it over putting two picots in each arch.

I've started the next round here....I actually retro-tatted 3 times. The first time was when I realized I had incorrectly tatted the center. The next time I joined in the wrong picot and was going the wrong way. The next time I made a mistake in the rings or something - I don't remember now, but the FOURTH time....I got it right! I thought the thread was going to fray at that point. This is size 20 thread and it's going to end up a rather large doily. Maybe I'll enter it in the fair this summer....we'll see what it looks like after blocking.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March Winner!!!!

My friend Paula was more than happy to help me with the monthly drawing for the Tatting Goddess Blog Anniversary Celebration! I decided to use one of my tea-for-ones that I have in the office to hold the names, a bunny in a cabbage patch that seemed very appropriate for the season of Spring and Easter.

The names were actually in the cup part and Paula closed her eyes and pinched one out! The winner is...DRUMROLL!!!!...

Jolande Donders of the Netherlands!

As soon as I get Jolande's mailing address and few more details about her likes and dislikes, I'll send her something special and I'll post it here AFTER she gets it. By the way....any of Jolande's friends are welcome to email me some clues about her so I can make sure it is something she will like.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I started a doily from the Blomquist Mary Konior book (A Pattern Book of Tatting) last night which is the marigold flower center. I don't generally do doilies but I was bored. LOL! It's in size 20 flora. I'm not sure if I'll make the outer part in white or green. I thought green initially but then it seemed that white would be a better choice. The other little flower is from Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers. It was the leftover thread on a shuttle, some thread I dyed a long time ago...that doesn't hold its color. Probably good for a card or framed or something where it won't get wet and bleed.

Tomorrow is ANNIVERSARY DRAWING DAY!!!! Who will the lucky winner be???? There are currently 51 names in the pot. Good luck to everyone!

Monday, March 10, 2008

This edging was actually made to frame something else but I couldn't find a satisfactory way to attach it so it has become a photo frame. It's in a little frame now but I scanned it before I got that far. It's size 60 or 70 tatting thread. It turned out quite nicely...just not for what I wanted!

Another little angel. These don't take very long and less than 2 yards on each shuttle leaves thread to spare.

The angel was the only tatting I did this weekend. My son visited on Saturday, along with his new puppy, a black Lab, and then I visited other friends that evening. On Sunday, I visited my son again, but at his house in Noblesville. After lunch with him, his fiance, and her parents & brother, we went around looking at places for the rehearsal dinner. I suspect a second job will soon be in order for me for awhile. If I ever get married again, it will be a tiny private thing. I'm not against big weddings...been there, done that - don't care to do it again. But my kids should have whatever they want and I think this will be fun.

I had hoped to clean out some storage tubs but didn't have time. I'm making it a point to do that evenings this week though. I purposely have them set around in my way. LOL!

Friday, March 07, 2008

March Challenge

You might as well get in on the fun! No photo until the 15th.

March Mystery Motifs

#1 Square medallion
1. A ring of 6 double knots, picot, (3 double knots, picot) 4
times, 6 double knots, close;
2. a 2d ring of 6 double knots, join to 5th picot of 1st ring,
(3 double knots, picot) 5 times, 6 double knots, close;
3. a 3d ring like 1st, joining as before, completing a
4. a chain of 7 double knots;
5. a ring of 5 double knots, join to last picot of 3d ring of
cloverleaf, ( 3 double knots, picot) twice, 5 double knots, close;
6. chain of 5 double knots
7. ring of 5 double knots, long picot, 5 double knots, close;
8. chain of 5 double knots
9. ring of 5 double knots, join to 3d picot of ring following
the cloverleaf, (3 double knots, picot) twice. 5 double knots, close;
10. chain of 7 double knots
11. then again the cloverleaf, joining at 1st picot of 1st ring
to last picot of preceding ring
12. Repeat, joining last ring to 1st, and last chain at base of
1st ring; fasten off securely.

#2 Triangle medallion
1. Make the triangular medallion in the same way until you have
finished the ring following 7 double knots;
2. then make a chain of 3 double knots, instead of 5 double
knots, the tiny ring with long picot, 3 double knots, and continue as
3. The tiny rings at center of both medallions are all joined to
the long picot of 1st ring.

The remainder of the instructions tell how to use the two medallions
together in a border.

For the medallion:

R 2-2-2-2,clr, mock picot
SR 10/10, clr, rw
*Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2, + p of prev r, 2-2-2-2-2-2, + to base of same r, ch 3, + next p of center r, and repeat from * 3 times, joining last ch 3 to base of 1st ring.

At this point, you can cut and tie & hide ends OR I just made a few chain stitches and then tatted a SR

SR 2 + to next to last p of ch from prev round, 2-2-2/2 + next to last p of ch from prev round on corresponding side, 2-2-2, clr
Ch 5-5, rw
**R 2-2-2-2, + to tiny space or picot formed when ch was joined at top of r on prev round, 2-2-2-2, clr, rw
Ch 5-5-5-5, rw
R Same as last r and joining in same place as last r (2 rings joined in same space), clr, rw
Ch 5-5, rw
R 2-2-2 + to next to last p of ch on prev round, 2-2, + to next to last p on next ch, 2-2-2, clr, rw
Ch 5-5, rw
Repeat from ** around, joining last 5-5 to base of 1st SR, cut & tie & hide ends.

Contact me if you have questions.

Mystery Motif February (original from Needlecraft August 1925)

Choose a thread which is suited to the application you wish to make of the finished work. No. 100 crochet cotton was used for the -----.

For the medallion:
1. Make a ring of 1 double knot, picot, (2 double knots, picot) 3 times, 1 double knot, close and tie.

2. Draw thread through 1st picot of ring, *make a ring of 10 double knots, picot, 10 double knots, close;

a chain of (2 double knots, picot) 5 times, 2 double knots, join to picot of ring, a small picot, (2 double knots, picot) 5 times,2double knots, join to base of same ring; a chain of 3 double knots, join to next picot of center ring, and repeat from * 3 times, joining the last 3 chain at base of 1st ring. This forms the center of motif.

3. A ring of (2 double knots, picot) 3 times, 2 double knots, join to the tiny space of thread, or picot, between 2 chains joined at top of ring of last row, (2 double knots, picot) 3 times, 2 double knots, close;

a chain of (5 double knots, picot) 3 times, 5 double knots (this is the corner chain);

a ring, as before, joining in the same place;

a chain of 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots;

a ring of (2 double knots , picot) twice, 2 double knots, join to 2d picot of chain counting from where the 2 rings are joined to form the corner, 2 double knots, picot, 2 double knots, join to 4th picot of next chain, (2 double knots, picot) twice, 2 double knots; close,

a chain of 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots; repeat from beginning of row, joining last chain at base of 1st ring; fasten off neatly and securely.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

While I was away, I tatted Mark Myers' bunny. This is located in the online class projects hosted by Georgia Seitz.

Anyway, I'm tatting it for an exchange - for someone who loves the floppy-eared bunnies. I've pulled the ear down in this card but I'm wondering about making another and lengthening the ear so that it really is obvious it's a floppy rather than just a suggestion of one. I had taken some very pretty vintage lavender thread with me that kept breaking as I tried to wind it on a second shuttle. So I took it off the shuttle and pitched it. LOL! I have no idea how old it was, but clearly, it wasn't going to work out. Fortunately, I also brought some Flora size 50 in the purple. I think she really prefers lavender though so it's probably as good of an excuse to make another as any. I used the layered picots for the fluffy tail but I think I would like to change that a bit too...longer picots maybe. Perhaps a smaller ring.

Here's the short form and the original pattern for the January mystery motif. Mark Myers created a visual and he did it a little differently from me, as far as where he started off. He's really busy right now and I have been too, so I haven't had a chance to ask him about posting his diagram. Maybe later.

Thread of choice
2 shuttles, CTM
- or p picot
SR split ring
R ring
Ch chain
ds double stitch
+ or j join
rw reverse work
prev previous
clr close ring

1. R 12 ds, 1" long picot(this is important), 12 ds, clr, rw
2. *Ch 5 ds – 5 ds, rw
3. R 12 ds, + lp, 12 ds, clr, rw
4. Repeat from * until you have 8 rings and j last 5-5 ch to base of 1st ring (if you do not do split rings, you will need to cut and tie and hide ends here )

5. Climb out of first round with SR (split ring) 12/12, clr (or if you don’t do split rings, with new thread, R 12 ds, + to base of any ring, 12 ds, clr
The next ring will join to the base of the next ring on the previous round, so you will need to switch shuttles accordingly if you used a SR to climb out. If you did not use a SR, do not do anything.
6. **R 12 ds, + to base of next ring on prev round, 12 ds, clr, rw
7. Ch 5 ds – 5 ds – 10 ds, j to same place as last ring
8. Ch 10 ds, + to last p on prev ch, 5 ds – 5 ds, rw
9. R 12 ds, + to same place as last ch and last R (there are now 3 joins in the same place), 12 ds, clr, rw
10. Repeat from ** around, joining last ring into same place as first ring and ending with ch 5 ds – 5 ds – 10 ds, j to same place as 1st & last ring, 10 ds, j to last p of last ch, ch 5 ds – 5 ds, + to base of first R, cut and tie and hide ends.

April 1921 Needlecraft, page 10

No. 4

No. 8 sewing-cotton was used for the model, but No. 30 crochet-thread may be substituted if preferred.
1. Commencing at center of medallion, make a ring of 12 double knots, picot (this picot should have at least an inch of thread, since it forms the ring at center, and the remaining 7 rings are attached to it). 12 double knots, close; with two threads make a chain of 5 double knots, picot (of usual size), 5 double knots, a ring like 1st, joining to the long picot; repeat until you have 8 rings and the same number of chains, joining last chain at base of 1st ring.
2. A chain of 10 double knots, *(picot, 5 double knots) twice; a ring of 12 double knots, join at base of ring of last row, where the chain started, 12 double knots, close; another ring, like 1st, joining at base of next ring of last row; a chain of (5 double knots, picot) twice; 10 double knots, join in same place; a chain of 10 double knots, join to last picot made, and repeat from *, joining last chain by last picot to 1st picot of 1st chain started.
This completes one medallion.

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I happened to see Frankfort Library offered a watercolor class with Rena Brouwer on Saturday afternoon so I went for it! This still needs work but it will have to wait. I had a great time though!

I'm off to a conference in Columbus, Ohio today through Tuesday. I went to one 2 days last life has been hectic. Catch up, get ready to be gone, catch up...and so on. I did get a little tatting in but it was for my tat teachers' mystery motif so I can't show it yet. hmmm...guess I could show the ones from the past two months! Patterns later.

This is the January motif and February motif. Both are from Vintage Needlework magazines. The idea is for members to tat the motif from text only, no photographs or modern notation. It sharpens interpretation skills and is an exercise in modifying as you go. I'll post a modern version of the patterns when I return.