Friday, May 28, 2010

A cap for Ella

My grandchildren love hats! I few years ago I purchased visor beanies for each of them. I didn't mind the price I paid for them, but I wanted to be able to make them myself. So, I've been searching for the perfect pattern, and I've finally found it!

This is The Original Crazy Easy Textured Newsboy Cap from Ele Shnier at Nutella Dreams Late Night Crafts ( Ele's directions are very clear, and she includes directions for infant through adult. I've already started my second cap. Who knows... maybe Grandma will even wear one!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gearing up for summer!

It's going to be a wonderful summer full of tatting, spinning, weaving, crocheting, and it all begins one week from today for me!

In yesterday's mail I received these wonderful gifts from TypsTatting. Thank you, Margaretha! The bag is a wonderful size for carrying around my projects, and it has lots of generous pockets inside. It will come in very handy when Mom and I drive up to Minnesota to visit two of my daughters in June. The dishcloths are wonderful! I knit my own dishcloths, because I like them so much more than store-bought. They're thicker, and the bumps help make clean-up a breeze. Margaretha was also kind enough to include a ball of Twilleys Twenty crochet thread. It's in shades of brown, and right now I'm craving chocolate!

I've been on a drop spindle kick lately. I'm trying to learn how to spin, without great success, but I am determined. I know I can do it. I think I just need some time with someone who knows how to use a drop spindle so that I can pick up some hints.

Last night I was looking through Etsy shops (a very dangerous pastime!), and I found the hat pattern I've been looking for. No, I didn't know that it existed. I knew what I wanted, and I knew that someone out there had to have created it. Now all I have to do is find my size J crochet hook. I really do need to clean up my sewing room!

I"m making progress with "Stella Alpina"... maybe I'll post a picture of my progress tomorrow. I've also been reading The Girl Who Played with Fire. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it. The third book in the series will be released this week. While I could do without the foul language and the descriptions of the side of life I'm happy not to be a part of, the story lines are intriguing, and the plot unfolds in a way that keeps me reading! When I finish with this series, I think I may return to the kinder, gentler Agatha Christie or Patricia Wentworth!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's a sign...

that the school year is winding down.

I started Iris Niebach's "Stella Alpina" yesterday. I think this was the first pattern of Iris's that I tatted, and I've made several. This time I chose Hakelgarn Nr. 20 in a lovely soft peach. I wonder who I'll give this one to?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How did you learn to tat?

I learned from tatting videos by Bev Dillon and Mildred Clark. I found out about tatting videos from my friend Denise. We had both been trying to learn from books for at least 20 years without success. Once we had those videos in our hands, we caught on quickly!

Although I've been tatting for at least 15 years (I've only been serious about it for the past 3 years), I didn't purchase Bev's book, Tatted Lace, until about a year ago. It's an excellent technique book, and I purchased it specifically for the pattern on the cover. Bev calls this one "Tatted 5-Point Motif"... what a perfect name!

This one is in size 20 Rainbow Sherbet HDT by LadyShuttleMaker. Wouldn't it be a perfect little picture frame? It reminds me of a school house, so I think primary colors would be a perfect choice for framing elementary school pictures!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I"m counting the days...

until school is out! Somehow, at the end of the school year I have so much going on that I can't seem to accomplish anything!

However, I did manage to finish Jon's Folded Bookmark. I love this pattern! So, why did it take me three tries to get going on it? Very simple... I didn't follow my normal routine of making a copy of the pattern and marking off each bit as I finished it. That method seems to be the best for me. When I'm tatting, I sometimes get lost in my thoughts instead of the pattern! At this time of year I think about what projects I want to do finish up the kids at school, or I think through some computer problem I'm having to try and come up with a solution. As a result, if I don't mark off what I've finished, I lose my place in the pattern! My eyes seem to zoom in on something, and that's where I start to tat... very frequently, I'm in the wrong spot!

School will be out June 1, my oldest daughter Alison's birthday. Should I celebrate by cleaning the house in anticipation of Mom's visit, or should I tat? Tough decision!

P.S. - The thread is size 20 Rainbow Sherbet HDT from LadyShuttleMaker. Why is my bookmark crooked? Don't tell Jon, but I messed up on the pattern! ; )

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Easily distracted

What have I been doing since my last post? Many things... I've read Mary Card: Australian Crochet-Lace Designer, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

I started a lace edging for a handkerchief, messed it up, and threw it out. I've crocheted three pieces from The Technique of Filet Crochet with Mary Card Designs and Methods (two had mistakes). I've been practicing spinning with a drop spindle... I really want to master this, but somehow I keep messing up. I've been working on Jon's fold-over bookmark (I've messed up two, but now have successfully completed the first part on the third try), and I tatted this Spinning Wheel glass mat from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.

When I can't make up my mind as to which project I want to start next, I always turn to this pattern. For me, it's very soothing! The thread is in lovely shades of green, size 20, hand-dyed by Krystle.

Sigh... I wonder what I should do next?