Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons learned...

...and there were several! First, it's a good thing I'm the only one who will be inspecting this piece carefully! There are at least three places where the stitches are twisted, and I didn't go back to fix them. My mother is right... a blind man on a galloping horse in the middle of the night will never know the difference!

I should have listened to Georgia Seitz! I bought the CD about tatting. I've watched it several times. But somehow, I missed out on a very important lesson until the last two rings of this glass mat... count twice, close once. If I had heeded this excellent advice, I probably could have made two Spinning Wheel glass mats in the time it took me to finish this one!

Wonderful thread is inspirational! Thank you so much Marilee (a.k.a. Yarnplayer) for your gorgeous thread! I love the way the color flows, and I think the hand-dying helps give the thread extra body.

Picots need to be consistent! As I was blocking this last night, I had difficulty finding four picots... they were too small! From now on, I will take the time to fix picots that are too small or too large.

Overall, I am very pleased with the final product. I think a tea cup from Sherry Pence (a.ka. MadMadPotter, LadyShuttleMaker) displayed on this glass mat would be beautiful! Hmmm... green or blue?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another distraction

No pictures today... I've been cleaning my sewing/knitting/crocheting/tatting/computer room and I don't know where I put the camera! I'm almost finished with my Spinning Wheel glass mat. It is so pretty! I'll have to take time to find the camera. I think I'll be able to finish this piece tonight, and I can't wait to show the final results!

I purchased a new-to-me book online last week... Tatting Patterns by Mary Konior, published in 1989. What a gem! There are so many beautiful pieces I just have to try. Next payday, I'll be on a quest to find her other books... Tatting in Lace and A Pattern Book of Tatting. I already have Heritage Crochet: An Analysis, which is fabulous, and my favorite, Tatting with Visual Patterns. If only I could afford to retire and spend all my time tatting!

I'm splitting myself too many ways lately. I've also been knitting a scarf from Victorian Lace Today, and crocheting a Patricia Kristoffersen doily from Doilies with a Twist. As if that's not enough, I just received a Romanian Point Lace kit in the mail today from Doina Craciun. What can I say? I love lace!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back online

I can't believe that I haven't had Internet access at home for a whole week! We've had such horrible thunder storms with menacing lightning over the past week, that I just unplugged everything! We lost our t.v., VCR, and phone a few weeks ago, so I wasn't taking any chances. I do have access at school, but I was so busy the first week back that I just had time to take a quick peek at some of my favorite blogs and post a few comments. Then when we finally got a break in the weather yesterday, Dave decided to start re-roofing the house. Of course he had to take down the satellite dish for the Internet, but he put it back up a few minutes ago, and as you can tell, everything's working fine again. Besides the computer being down, I don't think I've had a shuttle in my hand for a week either! Things should settle down by midweek... I can't wait to tat again!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Twirly skirt... and socks!

My oldest daughter Alison found a tutorial for making twirly skirts at http://houseonhillroad.typepad.com/. She and Eva went fabric shopping and chose this beautiful fabric... of course Grandma Diane felt the need to make lace-edged socks to match! Alison made the skirt yesterday morning, and Eva thanked her for it all day long! One sock down, one to go!

Denise's friend Rosa just returned from Mexico and brought some la Perla cotton by Omega, which Denise kindly shared with me! The color is beautiful (Azul Plumbago), and it is so soft! Each skein is 278 yards... any ideas on what I should make?

Happy birthday, Nicole!

My friend Denise made this beautiful dimensional doily as a birthday present for her daughter Nicole. I stopped by Denise's on my way to school yesterday morning so I could see it in person. I just had to take a picture and show it to everyone! The pattern is from Doilies with a Twist by Patricia Kristoffersen (Denise and I love Trish's designs!) It's crocheted in Hakelgarn size 20. The doily looks pink on my computer, but it's really a beautiful clear red! Nicole will receive her birthday present today. I can't wait to hear Denise describe Nicole's reaction to it!

Nicole and my daughter Joanne have been friends since first grade. They took knitting lessons when they were very little from Dorothy Forbes, a very dear friend to both Denise and me. Both girls learned to knit and crochet. Nicole stuck with the knitting and has been going through Mason Dixon Knitting like wild fire! Joanne prefers crochet and loves to make baby blankets.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Faulty writing

I just read a blurb from The Chatanoogan.com that referred to tatting as a hand-knitting technique that's gaining popularity. Aaarrrgh! Apparently the writer of this article didn't have Miss Davis for a journalism teacher in high school. Miss Davis taught us to always check our facts, and to never submit anything for publication without doing thorough research! I haven't taken the time to figure out how to create links to my blog, and at the moment I'm too worked up to figure it out. Maybe I'm being to sensitive to this faux pax since I knit, crochet, tat, quilt, sew, and weave, but it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to look up tatting in a dictionary or (gasp!) on the Internet! The article came to me through a Google e-mail alert.

OK... I'm off my soapbox for now. I'm off to school to compute!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Pieces for my purse...

The other hip of Joanne's jeans is now my purse! I finished sewing the bag on Friday and carried it undecorated to Stitches Midwest on Saturday. It's a great little purse! I've tatted a few pieces with no real idea of where they'll go on the bag. Each of these is done in size 10 Royal, which is a very soft thread. It will be fine for the jeans purse, but I'm not sure I'd like it for a doily... it's too floppy.

The only pattern I followed was for the lace across the top of the pocket... #35 Tatted Edging from Coats Book 1405, Edgings: a Collector's Book. The other pieces just tatted off the tips of my fingers while Dave and I were t.v. shopping. We lost our t.v., VCR, and phone in a thunder storm a little over a week ago. It sure isn't as easy to shop for a t.v. as it used to be!

Joanne is all settled in at Andrea's in Minnesota. I guess she's really staying. She went to the DMV today for a rules of the road book so she can study for her written test. She also has 3 job interviews set up within the next week.

School starts next week. I've been trying to get the library ready, but we're also trying to get a new computer database set up, so I've been sidetracked with helping enter data. I can't believe how quickly the summer has gone by! Last year I had 18 fifth grade students who were interested in learning to tat. I think I'll see if there's any interest with this year's 5th graders!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Joanne's jeans purse

I finished Joanne's jeans purse today. At first we both liked the bandana tied through the belt loops, but then Joanne asked if I could make something for the wasteband. I was running out of time, so I crocheted an edging. I crochet much faster than I tat! My fingers sure are sore from sewing the lace to the jeans!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


With all the recent chatter about yo-yos, I decided to try one... yes, for the very first time! I never was impressed by yo-yos, and I still can't say that they thrill me, but with two granddaughters and quite a fabric stash, my mind has been reeling with possibilities... headbands, barrettes, little purses, scatter pins, bracelets. I didn't like the yo-yo by itself, so I added a button, then I decided to doozy it up with a little piece of tatting. I think Eva and Lily will love these little gems!

I've been working on a jeans purse for Joanne. I made the purse Saturday and have been tatting orange bits for decoration. Joanne says orange and blue are in this fall. I don't pay much attention to what's in or out, but I had orange on hand, so that's what she's getting. I'll post pictures when I finish it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

I finally finished the adult socks I started a while back. I think the rust color looks really nice against the green. The colors remind me of autumn and cool weather, which I'm really looking forward to since it's so hot right now!

The close-up is Nr 1: Firkantet motiv from page 24 of the book Orkis by Kirstine Nikolajsen and Inge Lise Nikolajsen. This is actually the same book as The DMC Book of Charted Tatting Designs, but I didn't realize that until I received it. I decided that I'd go ahead and use the book so that I could impress my friends with my ability to follow a pattern from a Danish book! Ha! Ha! Anyway, this is a one shuttle pattern. I'm still working on making my picots the same size, so I found it a bit challenging to try and keep the threads between the rings the same size. I think I did fine for my first time around, but knowing me, I'll keep striving to make my pieces closer to perfect.

My sister came to visit for the weekend, and we spent the better part of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday cleaning, sorting, compacting, and labeling "stuff" that's being stored in my basement. Janet is much more energetic than I am... I know I'd have given up if she hadn't been here to push me along! We did manage to achieve our goal, and then we rewarded ourselves with chocolate milkshakes... mmm!

Today I spent most of my time going through computer training for new software we'll be using in school this year. It was interesting, but I can tell I'm not quite ready to give up my summer habits... mainly my afternoon nap! More computer training on Tuesday, so I guess I'll have to buckle down if I want to finish more of the projects I planned to complete this summer.