Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

As a little girl, I lived close to the Philadelphia City National Cemetery. Limekiln Pike is the next street over, parallel to Cedar Park Avenue, where we lived. Haines Street is a block and a half down from where we lived and runs diagonally toward Limekiln Pike. To get to the cemetery, we just walked to the end of our block, turned right and walked to the next street corner, which is Limekiln Pike. You can read about this beautiful cemetery at

If you search Google Maps for this cemetery, you'll see that there is a small parcel of land between where we lived and East Haines Street. When I was a little girl, this was an open, grassy area where we would go to play in the nice weather. Across the street was a Presbyterian church that had beautiful pine trees which we loved to climb. We could walk down East Haines Street to attend William Rowen Public School, but we usually didn't because the intersection to get to the school was much busier than our alternate route. Instead, we walked down 69th Avenue, crossed Ogontz Avenue, and walked down Ogontz to get to school. I loved that school!

Anyway, back to the cemetery... living so close to a national cemetery helped instill a feeling of patriotism in all the children of the neighborhood. We could hear the beating of the marching bands' drums from our homes as parades headed toward the cemetery. Since we lived so close, we could quickly get close to all the excitement and enjoy the parades. Is it any surprise that one of my favorite composers is John Philip Sousa?

I have fond memories of my childhood. I loved the neighborhood where I lived for my elementary school years. I loved my school. I loved my neighbors. Most of all I loved that we lived so close to a national cemetery that we could participate in the celebrations that honored our military heroes. There are many military heroes in my family... my father, my grandfathers, all of my uncles. No, they didn't all serve in war zones, but they did serve our country and I am proud of them all. All military personnel are heroes to me.

Every Memorial Day I am reminded of all the blessings available to my family and me because we live in this great country. Thank you to all who have served, and especially those who have sacrificed their health and their lives to keep us all free. May we never forget those sacrifices or take our freedom for granted.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tatting more bookmarks...

and another Spinning Wheel!

My time this week was spent tatting up my skein of Jungle Flower from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. As you can see, I was able to make two Stumpy bookmarks by Kersti Anear after finishing the Spinning Wheel glass mat from Tatting With Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.

I love my two flat tatting shuttles from Grizzly Mountain Arts. As I've mentioned before, I like to use these two shuttles because I can wind my whole skein of HDT and not have to join threads. It's not that I can't... I just prefer not to!

I was hoping to get a lot of tatting and bobbin lace practice in this summer, but I think my time will be limited. I signed up to take three graduate courses, and if possible, I'd like to finish them over the summer. I have until March to complete them, but I really hate to procrastinate. ; )

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Checking in...

Remember my pretty beaded shoes? Well, I let daughter Alison try them on when she came to visit for Mother's Day. They fit her perfectly! No wonder they didn't fit me... Alison wears size 9. I wear 7 1/2. No amount of shrinking would have made those pretty little shoes fit my feet! I did think it was worth a mother/daughter Kodak moment. See?

Alison also took some time to try out my Cricket loom. She's a natural! So, I let her take it home with her. I guess that leaves me more time for tatting!

Yes, I've started another Spinning Wheel Glass Mat. I had to... I didn't have Jeff's directions on how to get started on the doily! I wouldn't have had the patience to count all those little holes around the edge. So I thank you, Jeff! That will probably be my next project. Oh, this one is Jungle Flower from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. The shuttles are from Grizzly Mountain Arts, and I love them for making this Spinning Wheel pattern... I can wind the entire skein of HDT onto the two shuttles and not have to join any threads! I love not having to add thread!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just one skein...

was all it took to make these three pieces!

The thread is Bell Peppers, size 20 HDT from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. The patterns from top to bottom are "Honesty" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, "Stumpy" from Kersti Anear, and "Spinning Wheel Glass Mat" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.

This is the first time I've worked with a skein of HDT until it was all used up! I have little bits and pieces wound around bobbins in little boxes and bags around my sewing room. Maybe I'll start using up some of them now!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

True confessions

Bobbin lace has been on hold for two weeks now. Why? I was reading and re-reading the directions for the half-stitch and not understanding. I really wanted to move on to the next bookworm in Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace by Gilian Dye and Adrienne Thunder, but the directions just didn't make sense to me! So, I turned to Introduction to Bobbin Lacemaking by Rosemary Shepherd. Instant success, right? WRONG! I was still getting lost in the idea of how to work the half-stitch. Finally, I decided to set up Shepherd's "The First Sampler." I completed the first section of Cloth Stitch. It wasn't nice and flat, so I know I need to work on my tension. Again, I read the directions for Half-Stitch... baffled!

This morning I decided to just take the plunge and blindly follow the directions. I just watched the pattern as it developed, and guess what? I finally understand the half-stitch! It's not pretty, but it's done! Now... on to the next section of the sampler!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tantalizing tootsies

After seeing Fox's latest post, I just had to dust off my totally out-of-character shoe purchase from a couple of years ago. These are without a doubt, the most uncomfortable pair of shoes I own, but I just can't part with them! I wore them to school one time, and the kids thought they were wonderful... too bad they kill my feet! Yes, my skin really is that pale... I think I need to spend a little time in the sun! Anyone else out there have some funky shoes to show off?

On the tatting front, I just had to start another Spinning Wheel Glass Mat. I can't help myself... I LOVE this pattern! The thread is one I've been holding in my stash for the perfect project. What could be more perfect than Mary Konior's Spinning Wheel? The thread is Bell Peppers from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. In my humble opinion, HDT is the best thread to use, and I have plenty to play with!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another shuttle emptied!

This is a great little shuttle only motif. Even though I use a picot gauge, I still have a hard time getting the lengths of thread between the rings the same length. I guess I have a reason to keep on practicing!.

This is No. 1 Square Motif from The DMC Book of Charted Tatting Designs by Kirstine Nikolajsen & Inge Lise Nikolajsen. It measures almost 2" in Lizbeth #662 Turquoise Lt., size 20.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Anastasia Tatted Bookmark

I guess I'm on a bookmark binge! This is another bookmark by Kersti Anear in Altin Basak #3002, size 50. The tatting is about 6" long. I think I would like this one better in a solid color, the way Kersti tatted it. I did manage to unload another shuttle, though!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Clover Leaf Design

That's the title Myra Piper gave to motif #18 in her book, Tatting. At the end of the pattern, Myra indicates that this pattern is from Woman's World Book of Plain and Fancy Needlework Magazine, 1920.

I tatted this design in Yarnplayer's Weathered Stone. I have very little left of this skein, probably not enough to make anything. Never fear, though... I believe I have two more skeins!

Oops! I just noticed... my picture of this motif is upside down, compared to the one in Myra's book. Oh, well!

Now I'm happy!

Luckily, I can tat this bookmark very quickly. It took me a little over an hour. I can move on to another pattern now that I have tatted this one correctly!

Stumpy Tatted Bookmark by Kersti Anear, Altin Basak #3002, size 50, finished size approximately 5" with fringe

Stumped by Stumpy!

Well, I guess that's a little misleading. I wasn't really stumped by the pattern ~ I'm more stumped by my inability to follow a simple pattern, and by my inability to see a mistake until I am completely finished! Where's the mistake, you ask? Why it sticks out like a sore thumb! I missed a join on the left side!

Luckily, this is a very simple pattern to follow, and I have lots more of this pretty Altin Basak thread (#3002, size 50). The pattern is "Stumpy Tatted Bookmark" by Kersti Anear.

Thank you for the beautiful pattern, Kersti! I will try and follow it correctly next time!

Square tatting

...or as Myra Piper describes it, "A Pretty Diamond-Shaped Snowflake." This is motif No. 15 from Tatting by Myra Piper. I'm still using up thread on shuttles! This is "Weathered Stone" by Yarnplayer, not exactly a snowflake color, but it sure is pretty!