Saturday, February 28, 2009

We tatted this small simple doily in tatting guild this morning. Although it's done in three separate rounds, I just used split chains and split rings to climb out of each round.

It was tatted out of this - a Lizbeth thread that I purchased called Sea Shell. It's a nice soft feminine color. I had expected more contrast but there is really only the 2 shades involved.

I also purchased 2 other balls of Lizbeth, Carousel and Springtime which have more colors in them. One of the members was tatting hers in Springtime and I really liked the way it was working up.

I also bought 2 books on clearance there and a yard of fabric. LOL! Guess it was just my day to spend money.

Then I got home and my Shamrock Hinton shuttle had arrived! Unfortunately I don't have all my shuttles in one place anymore but from the ones that I can see, this is at least #20 of Hinton shuttles. I always think I have enough but then I get "just one more". I have favorites - the dragonflies, the butterflies, and the penguin. Then the celtic designs. And the dragons. (smile)

Do we ever have "enough"?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Joyce Moore over at nominated me for the pink Kreative Blogger Award on Saturday. I'm not passing on awards or tags although I do appreciate the honor of being nominated. I just don't have the time to follow up on them. Joyce knits and crochets from vintage publications and her work is beautiful. I went to her blog because of a google alert on tatting (yes, she tats too!) but she does all kinds of fiber arts. I just now saw more that I had no idea about from my last visit....drawn thread work, hairpin lace with mohair yarn, a beautiful knitted shawl, and MORE. Go see!

Well, now that I know Diane has her package, I can show some of what I've been working on in recent weeks.

Yes, another pouch. I even found the original pattern, after the fact. I had traced around my original because I couldn't find the pattern pieces and they always seemed a bit bigger than the first one. The other night I was going through some folders looking for something else and found them. The part I really like is finding a button/bead combination for embellishment.

I also made a matching gift card holder. I tweaked the pattern on this a bit and still have the curve on the opposite side of the original pattern but I really do like it better here, even though I did not plan it. I added some additional interfacing so that it is a bit stiffer.
I used a different fabric for the lining on this one too. I think the way the card sleeve is supposed to be on there is to have equal sides for the pockets but every time I make it, it's bigger on one side than the other so I need to find a way to get that centered better. I used black velcro this time and it looks better.

You can't do something for a librarian and not include a bookmark! This is the triangle from Vida Sunderman but I was disappointed in the thread which is Altin Basak size 50. I wet the bookmark (before adding the tassel) and blocked it. I could tell it was noticeably lighter in color and that the "sizing" was gone. I was already pretty short on time so I decided not to make another, but I won't be buying that thread again. I knew some of the older ones had problems with the dye not going through the thread completely but thought that had been fixed. I think I just bought this particular ball in the past 2 years.

I figured Diane was as anxious for Spring as I am so I started tatting some dragonflies. I actually started out tatting butterflies but for some reason, they just weren't turning out. I got two halfway done and abandoned each because they looked so bad.

But then I got bored with the dragonflies pretty quickly and decided to try a butterfly again. This time I went to a much loved pattern of one in profile. It's a pattern by Rosemarie Peel but I don't remember where I got it. It's not from any of the books I have and I think someone just gave it to me. Now this pattern is a little tricky because you have to make LONG picots and then add the beads when you are making the chain around. I was also using a smaller thread so the picots were too long for the number of chain stitches between joins so my blue one isn't right.

It bothered me so much that I made another one - and I got the beaded picots to lay smoother but realized later, that I somehow got the upper and lower body rings reversed so that part is not right in either flutter. It's still one of my favorite patterns. I just need to do it when I can really concentrate on what I'm doing!


This is not for Diane. It's the other project I'm considering for my lace group in April. It goes much faster and I think they can probably finish this one. I'll check with the members who are coming to my crochet class and see what they want to do. (They still liked the rose sachet more)

It appears that many magazines are going out of business. jcaroline has the scoop. Then today I read something about all the newspapers going out of business but I've been expecting that for a LONG time.

Okay, I've been holding off posting because my 1,000th post is very very near. I plan to do something a little special with it so stay tuned - just 2 posts away!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My year of secrecy will soon be over! LOL! It wasn't intentional but it seems like everything I've done for months has been something I couldn't blog about until after the fact. So...we'll talk about crochet instead! I'm currently teaching members of my lace group beginning thread crochet on a weekly basis to help bring them up to snuff for the crochet project I'm committed to for the April program. This sachet/gift card holder is one of two projects I'm considering. It's supposed to be done in size 10 thread but I didn't have any size 10 in colors I wanted to use so I used size 20. That made it about an inch smaller than it should be but test-crocheting the pattern insured me that there were no mistakes and gave me an idea of what the skill level should be. At any rate, I really really like this!

And surprise! Here's the back. Done in size 10, it would easily hold a gift card but since it's smaller, I just stuck something in there to show the pocket. It would make a darling tooth fairy pillow for a girl too! It's described as a Mother's Day Sachet/gift card pillow. hmmm...I'll insert the source for this later. It was an online pattern, if I remember right. (This was a free pattern of the day from Annie's Attic, copyright Crochet Magazine, May 2007, pgs 68, 69, 93. I've noticed they do repeat patterns so check daily and you might catch it.)

The major issue with using this for a project is time. I only have about 2 hours. If they do the simple part ahead of time, which is the basic square, front and back and the pocket, which is all plain double crochet, then we might have enough time to do the rose, leaves and edging in the meeting. MAYBE. I have to remember that most of them crochet slower than I do. Sally also told me I could spill it over into the May meeting but I hate to make them wait that long to finish it.

This was a sample/homework for the ladies to practice with. It's all double crochet and chains, slip stitch, and increasing by multiple double crochets in one stitch and crocheting 2 or more double crochets together.

This is one I tried to see if it would be a good practice piece but I decided against using it.

Using size 10 thread after consistently tatting in 30 and 40 or smaller makes the size 10 feel like rope. At least I get to use up some of my old stash this way. I actually put a whole bag of cotton crochet thread in a yard sale last summer. I kept some that I thought I would use but not a lot.

AND....I'm getting very close to my 1,000th post!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I opened my wonderful Valentine package last night from my secret cupid, Linda from NM! The requirement was to decorate a tea towel with tatting, which Linda did magnificently!

The top part is folded over and snaps so I put it on my stove and realized that I could also make an apron out of this by inserting a ribbon or cord through the top! You can also see the embroidered hearts in the center part here. Wasn't she clever?

I had no idea when I saw this fabric postcard on Linda's blog that I would be lucky recipient! You can't really see the detail too well, but if you click on the image, you might be able to make out the gold outlining of the tiny hearts and "stars" between them in the bigger version. I loved the heart yo-yo and the big red feather!

This is the backside and she has written a nice little saying on it and signed it.

On top of all that, there were tons of other goodies - peppermint chocolate! A combination pick, creaser and thread manipulator for embroidery; a cork teapot magnet which I can put on the fridge, heart beads, a NM state quarter, a heart bendie, a knitted washcloth with a "Route 66" pin and a Route 66 postcard - clearly where Linda is from! and a skein of DMC floss!

And this lovely heart sampler! I have all kinds of embroidery thread to do this with - finding the time will be the challenge.

Thanks so much Linda for all the care and skill you put into this. I really enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy it for a long time to come!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Final Blog Anniversary Winner!!!!!

Can you believe it? Today is officially the end of the 6th year of my blog. It's also the day of the final drawing for a blog anniversary winner. I've really enjoyed the challenge of doing this every month. Never knowing who it was going to be until I drew the name, then trying to come up with something that would connect with that person. I have to admit I'm behind again. Diane still does not have her package but I should be finishing it up anytime!

So now, without further ado....the final Tatting Goddess Blog Anniversary Winner is:

Marie Smith in South Carolina!!!!!!

Congratulations to Marie who is such a sweetie. If you've been to Palmettos Tat Day, you know who Marie is.

I bought this Valentine Tea-for-One at the grocery store last week. I don't think I have any specifically for Valentine's Day. Anyway...that's my story....

I found this fabulous bead collar at and wanted to post a photo as inspiration for tatters who like to work with beads. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a response to my email for permission to use her photo yet and I'm impatient so you'll have to go to her website to see it. There's more than one and the page was slow to load even with my dsl.

I also found a sock monkey pincushion ring at this Etsy shop but it didn't look like the Red Heel work sock monkeys so I didn't get it. Just a regular monkey with a red mouth. I'm particular about my sock monkeys! LOL!

Tomorrow I get to open my secret valentine exchange but I will be gone most of the day so won't be able to post about it until later. I have lace guild plus I'm going to lunch and a movie with a coworker after that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Finally - a bit of tatting! This motif is Edelweiss by Rosemarie Peel in 20 Tatted Motifs. I used the thread and shuttle from my recent benefactor, Mary, and the Phoenix shuttle I have had for some time for my second shuttle. It was an easy motif but I started off wrong. For my second ring, even though it said to use shuttle 2, I used shuttle 1 because I knew I needed shuttle 2 for the chain after that with the ring thrown off and the yellow shuttle (#2) had the most thread. But the way the ring ends, you do not reverse work but continue on with the same thread for the chain so I was wrong. You can see my 1st big ring is off a little.

I wanted to see how the size of this motif would work for another project I have in the works. Except for my intial mistake - I think it will work for what I want. And maybe not. At least some shuttles and thread got put to use. I almost always use my clovers but there was only one empty one and it's clear at the other end of the house. This late in the evening, I'm lazy. LOL! Besides, I hadn't really tried my Phoenix one out yet. I have several I've never tatted with. This one felt really nice in my hands and I had no problem with it except the point is a little thick for joining. It might be okay for bigger threads but this is 50 or smaller. The yellow Boye shuttle is probably the only one in Mary's shuttles that did not have a label on it so I don't know what kind of thread - but it is nice and crisp so I'm guessing it is a cordonnett.

This book is a small one - I should really just work through all the motifs in it. Someday.

Monday, February 09, 2009

sigh....I just realized that I forgot to scan my secret valentine's heart before I sent it off. I forgot to scan anything! Oh well....

Cormac and Conor had a great meet-up on Saturady! I still haven't downloaded my photos but you can see how they got along on Carol's blog or at the Leprechaun's Blog.

I'd love to show my photos too and give you Cormac's version but I'm dealing with a little pain management today. I have an anti-inflammatory med that I take and it works wonders - so well that I forget to take it at the weekend on a regular basis and it catches up with me on Monday.

I'm currently tatting a heart by Mark Myers. I just had the smaller half left last night...had to retro-tat so I went to bed. Will finish it tonight and maybe post it if it's before I go to bed. In the meantime, it's back to leg propping and receipt sorting.

Mark Myer's Modern Heart - not very well done! I think I messed up on the bottom of the shorter side. Mark's pattern has the picots on the inside of the outer band but I didn't like them that way so I put them outside, but I don't like that either. The effect is very different from his original pattern, so I will probably make it again and delete the picots altogether except in the beginning center ring. And I might make josephine knots for the rings at the bottom of each side. We'll see.

I also accomplished 2 half butterflies tonight. The first one was a pattern by Ruth Perry. I was emptying a shuttle and ran out of thread before I got to the final wing. So then with a new thread, I started a new butterfly from Adelaide's book and now have to tat the wings on the other side....seemed like a good stopping point. I'm not happy with that one either. Maybe I just need to tat MORE. to bed now!

Friday, February 06, 2009

I am so tired tonight! I caught up on a lot of paperwork today which involved several trips to the printer. It's a shared printer so I have to get up and go down the hall a little way to the reception area to pick up my printouts. Then I had to go to the copy room a few times too.

My new daughter-in-law's birthday is today but I will not see her until tomorrow. I saw this Amy Butler business card keeper online awhile back and thought it would be so cute to make. I've had it cut out for awhile and this was actually supposed to be my "practice" piece but ...I'm out of time!
Now that I've made it once, I know where all my mistakes can be corrected. LOL! I have the curve of the flap on the wrong side but I rather like it on this side now that it's done. The directions called for velcro and I debated about putting on a button and buttonhole instead but then decided the velcro would really be handier for what it is used for. I'm going to put gift cards in it for her gift. I'd like one for myself too, because I either forget I have gift cards or I can't find them with all the other "cards" when I do remember them. A separate holder for them would be great! It really did end up being quick to make in spite of my mistakes and reading each segment 4 or 5 times to figure it out. I've got ideas for the next one already!

When I got home last night, I had another package from the dear woman who is sharing her mother's tatting stuff with me. There were more hankies and some tatted bits plus some flyers/written patterns. I was especially intrigued by this sheet with the samples on it with prices. It seems she tatted your choice of edging on a hanky for this price. It's a fine thread and the samples are PERFECT!

Last night was my first night for the Beginning Thread Crochet class. One person couldn't make it, another probably will not make it at all, and I think one might have forgotten but I still had 2! We did the chain, single crochet and turned. Next week we'll do the hdc and dc and make the bookworm shown on the sample piece above. Most of them have crocheted...just not consistently. I wasn't able to prepare quite as well as I expected. I had lots of samples and books but not the exact samples I wanted. Many things are in the basement and it's just too hard to go up and down those stairs just now. At the weekend when my family is here, I can go down and let them bring up what I need when I find it.

It has gotten incredibly warm today...melting all the snow on the roof and revealing a leak. I called the insurance company when I found it but it looks like no one will be out to fix the tarp before tomorrow. I'll call in the morning to make sure before I leave. I think it stopped leaking for now.

Cormac is SO EXCITED! He has a playdate with Conor tomorrow and I've heard absolutely nothing else but his constant chatter about it! I may have to put him in his pouch if I want to get any sleep! It's a good thing it warmed up. He doesn't have any really warm clothes and I haven't had time to make him a coat or poncho or anything. I'll just tuck him in my pocket.

Oh...I've been so busy since I got home that I nearly forgot....I got another package tonight but this one is from New Mexico so I'm guessing it is my Secret Valentine. Anyway, I can't remember ordering anything - but that doesn't mean I didn't! Some things are just a blur these days!

Monday, February 02, 2009

I finally found a reason to FOLLOW! See, to me it is redundant to follow someone I've got in my links. I have my dashboard and this blog and another up most of the day and all the links are specified to show most recently updated first. But what about blogs I enjoy that don't fall into any of the categories I've got my links listed under? Normally, I just save them to my favorites but my favs at home are not necessarily the same ones at work, which doesn't really matter because I hardly ever think to look for them since most of what I follow regularly are accessible to me from my blogs. So tonight I stumbled across one that made me giggle, made me think, and had some crafty stuff that I'm not likely to do myself any time soon. I'd like to come back and visit, but how do I keep it handy? Ah!!!! FOLLOW IT!!!!

I did tat yesterday. I was working on my secret valentine but I kept getting frustrated at one part of the project so I decided it was time to switch to something else. I chose Karey's Rays of Love from the latest issue of Tatting Times which I also turned into the usual bookmark. I did have to get a correction from Karey so if you're tatting it and ran into a problem, just email Karey.
I forgot I have thread cut for a tassel until after I scanned it. I thought I had it blocked nicely but that left side is looking wonky right now. These are the threads I used - the multicolor is Coates Machine Quilting thread ....hmmmm...color number must have been on the opposite end label which is gone, and the solid is Coates Dual Duty Plus Art.200 R C 315A, 37% cotton and 63% polyester. The other thread is mercerized cotton. Even with both threads together, it wasn't bigger than size 40.

This is a Susan Fuller pattern called Puppy Love from her book, A Potpourri of Patterns, no longer in print. I've done this pattern several times but it's been awhile and I made several mistakes. I counted my beads twice but still came up one short so I compensated. I made my joining picots way too long for joins - don't know what I was thinking of! I was tatting this mostly to get a feel for how these 2 threads work together. The Sulky is a metallic, not generally good to use alone. The other thread is Coates again (wow - I must hang out in the sewing section a lot!) which is 100% Rayon. I didn't know if these two would be strong enough together to tat without breaking. They never did break and sometimes the rings required an extra tug to close so I guess they're okay together. It does tend to kink if you're not careful, but it's very pretty with beads. Both have a shine but a different kind of shine. Sort of a sheen and a sparkle combination. LOL!

I'm also in a really good mood because my boss told me that I can easily do some of the work I've proposed to do while limited to desk work at home, which will allow me to prop my foot up on a more regular basis. I can prop it up now, but it's not comfortable for long so I'm always moving. He had a broken leg a few years ago, much more severely, so he's quite open to whatever it takes to help me out.

Later - with tassle (or is it tassel?) This thread makes a beautiful tassel. Spellcheck says "tassel" but I've seen it both ways. A search on wikipedia of tassle redirects you to tassel. I can't find the book I have on making them but I thought it was spelled "le".

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I'm retiring this graphic for one that matches the color scheme a bit better. They are available from Penniwigs blog. I love seeing the different badges and games and meme's and I do appreciate being awarded, but the truth is, I really don't have the time or the inclination to respond and then I feel guilty about not doing so. It's like being rude to giver and it's certainly not what I want to do, so when I first saw Dame Penniwig's badges, I knew that's what I needed. I know other people feel the same way - appreciative but does become a burden at times, so this is a really nice way of saying 'I'll just watch, thank you'.

Dame Penniwig expressed an interest in collecting epherema so I sent her some of the cards I got in the goodie bag a few weeks ago and a bookmark. I wasn't expecting something in return but it's always a delightful surprise when you do get something. She sent this collection of beads which I'm dying to match up with some other pieces I have! The purple ones I can tat with and the charms will go on some special tatting also.
I also got these wonderful colored glass word stones. Ultimately I plan to tat around them ( a method I learned from Kaye Judt who learnt it from Karey Solomon and which you can see here.) and hang them on my inspiration board. In the meantime, I'm enjoying fondling them as they sit here on my computer desk. There are also a couple of scented candle tarts, which I'm also sniffing periodically.

I know...sniffing and fondling sounds like I've gone over the edge, doesn't it? LOL! At least they are inanimate objects!