Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hello there...

Hello all!  I know I haven't contributed much this summer, but I have been following what you all have been doing.  Such lovely stuff!  Other than Martha's fabulous block critters, the tatting bug hasn't been biting. It's been all about crochet. Until today, that is.  I saw Diane's rendition of Anne B's Dragon Wing Doily and just HAD to do one for myself!
Isn't it beautiful?  Such vibrant colors!  I used Yarnplayer's hand dyed thread size 80 in 'Brilliant Sunset' with some pink Miyuki 15/0 seed beads on the picots.  It measures 2-7/8" (7.3 cm) across.  Now I just need to find a really small bud vase or votive holder.

I've been trying to ignore the fact that autumn is right around the corner and I've done a pretty good job of it.  But I couldn't help but notice that the leaves on the big maple at the end of the driveway are beginning to turn colors.  *cries*  While autumn is pretty and smells nice, it also means winter is too close for comfort.  Snow, sleet, ice, and scarves...

The first of many I'll be crocheting this year.  This is the Boteh scarf from Interweave Crochet.  I used Bernat Baby Jacquards Florals yarn.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the yarn stripes itself into flowers and leaves(the pink/white/green).  The yarn is even prettier when knitted, something I have yet to learn.  

Well, bye for now.  I'll try not to go so long between tatting posts!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today at the beach

I saw...
 These little ladies kept waddling past my blanket looking for something to eat.   Then, as I was walking the shoreline.  Look waaaay out there...
  It's the resident swan couple.  How many cygnets are there this year?

 Four!  Last year, there was only one baby. 

 Here they come!

On the left is Big Daddy.  He is nearly four feet tall.  I wouldn't want to make him mad.  Last year, he went after someone who got too close to his baby.  This year's cygnets have feathers of pale gray.  They stayed on the beach preening and relaxing for nearly fifteen minutes before swimming off.  Usually they don't come ashore at all.  My guess is because there were no kids they felt it was safe. 

They were definitely the highlight of the day.  I took some tatting with me, but it never did make it out of the bag.  Too many other interesting things, I suppose.  Well, there is tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A thank you!

 This is just to say thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's blog post.  Blogger has seem to have lost it's mind and is eating any and all comments.  It's the heat, the heat,  I tell ya.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wow, is it hot enough for ya?

Yet another 90+ degree day here in the metro Detroit area and I see a good portion of the eastern US is a bit toasty, too.  At the last minute, I chose to go on vacation this week.  Good thing.  Who wants to be in a plant in crap like this?

Anyway, today's vacation plans were nothing fancy.  Used book stores and thrift shops were the order of the day.  That is, until my truck's radiator decided to split in three places.  Luckily, a friend's repair shop was right down the street.   Two hours and a new radiator later, I was back on the road.  I wasn't really too much in the mood to shop after that, but I did stop at a couple places.  The best find of the day?  This:
 Other than yardage of edging or hankies, I rarely find tatted anything.  Look at this, isn't it gorgeous?  It's combined with crochet between the rounds.  Here's a close up of the detail. 

The crochet chain stitches are so nice and neat.  I love it.  I suppose I should give it a wash, but I don't know how old/new it is or what I should use.  Anyone suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  The owner of the shop I bought it in said she may be getting more tatted items this week from the same estate, so I am going to make another trip in a couple days. 

And with this bit of show-and-tell, I am off for the day.  A bowl of Edy's Rocky Road ice cream is calling my name...  Stay cool people!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, America!

"Betsy" designed by Kate Splawn

Friday, July 2, 2010

Foxy lady!

Now that the recipient has received the original, here is what I believe to be the final test tatting for Martha's new critter book.  I give you The Fox...
 I'm kind of sad to see the test tatting end.  It's been such a nice surprise to find a new goodie in my inbox every few days.  Congrats on the new book Martha, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's not a fish...

it's Martha's dolphin!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mary had a little lamb...


it's fleece was white as snow.



Yes, another of Martha's critters!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

WILL WORK FOR PEANUTS

 
Yep, you guessed it.  Another Martha Ess creation.  I love him the best so far....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another block critter!

I meant to have this posted last night, but I was tired.  Verrrrryyy long day, yesterday was.  Anyhow, my critter from Martha for today is a ferret!  (Ignore the stray thread ends sticking out. That was an oopsie).  He is just too cute!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

BZZZZ...bzzz....bzzzzz

Brace yourselves.  I have actually picked up the shuttles and tatted something.  The great lady of block tatting, our very own Martha Ess, has given me the opportunity to test one of her new block critters.  Meet the hornet.  Who knew those testy, stingin' little devils could actually be cute?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm a bad, bad blogger

I don't mean to go so long between posts, but before I know it a week or more has passed.   I'm good at keeping up with your blogs(yay for the iPhone!), though.  Anyway, here's the update of the past week in case anyone's interested.

Last Saturday was the Great Lakes Lace Guild's Love of Lace at the Livonia Civic Library.
 Banner is made of all different types of lace.

Bobbins from around the world.

Quite the success, it was!  Bobbin lacers, tatters, and other types of lace were shown and there were lessons in bobbin lace and tatting for anyone who wanted to learn.  There was a LOT of interest in all the lace types, so much so, that the tired phrase 'Tatting is a lost art!' should be immediately banned from the English language.

I took the opportunity to try bobbin lace.  On. My. God.  I could get addicted to that.  It was so much fun.  I made a fish: 
 My fish, name tag, and commemorative bobbin.

Not a very fancy or difficult fish, but I did it!  My very first piece of bobbin lace.  Now, I know how I am with my addictive personality and all so I had to come up with a way to keep myself from dropping a load of cash at Holly Van Sciver's booth on bobbin lace supplies. The deal I made with myself is this: I will occasionally purchase a pair of bobbins and when I have two dozen bobbins, THEN I will buy a pillow, books, etc.  Let's see how long this deal lasts...

ZigZag Corner and Kathy Kirchner were the other two vendors for the event.  People came from miles around to shop.  So much good stuff, I just stood in the middle of the room and looked around for a minute or two just to take it all in.  I was a good girl and only bought the bobbin in the previous pic and some thread...

 Venus, Altin Basak, and Lizbeth threads.

I even got some tatting done!  
 This is the start of 'Primrose Path' by Mary Konior.  I'm using size 80 Peach Pandorea HDT and vintage Lily in pale peach.  The Lily thread is slightly thicker than the HDT, but it's not making a difference so far.  *fingers crossed*  Other than that, I still haven't done much tatting.  There's something in my brain that says "summer equals crochet" or "summer equals cross stitch", so I kind of lose interest in tatting for a few months.  That's OK, though.  I'll more than make up for it come autumn.  

Speaking of crochet, I'm past the halfway point in squares production for my afghan.  It looks like there will be lots of left over yarn, so there may be a pillow to match.  My goal is to be finished with the afghan by July 4.
Shown in my lovely woven basket rescued from the Salvation Army store for two dollars!

 I would probably be further along on my afghan if my attention span wasn't so short.  After Love of Lace, I stopped at a needlework shop that is near the library and picked up floss and fabric for a cross stitch sampler I've been wanting to do.  This is Bluebird's Message(Loose Feathers #23) from Blackbird Designs.  I'm going to give it to my mom when it's finished.
 
So that's all I've been up to in between the intrusions of work and real life.  Hope the weather is as glorious in your neck of the woods as it is in mine!  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some yarny goodness

Twenty-four down, one hundred six to go!  A lovely bamboo-y rainbow...

 

Edited to add:  I just noticed the date and realized today is my two year blogoversary!  I'm impressed.  There have been many forays into the blogosphere, but none have ever lasted more than two or three months.  Obviously, I found a great bunch of people to blog with for the last two years.  Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Still not tatting...

I just can't get interested at the moment!  You'd think with thousands of yards(or meters if you're not in the U.S.) of thread and more patterns than I could ever possibly do, I could find something interesting to make.  But, nope, it ain't happening.  Instead, my latest project is an AFGHAN(<------click there).  A nice, colorful, summer-y throw to be made with luscious bamboo yarn.  I've never worked with bamboo before, but I am loving it.  So soft and cool to the touch, it's perfect for the warm weather.  The yarn was a bit pricy, $5.00 USD per skein, but I think it's going to be worth it. 


Yarn is Spa by naturallycaron.com.  Colors are:(front row) Berry Frappe, Ocean Spray,  Green Sheen, (back row) Rose Bisque, Coral Lipstick, and Soft Sunshine.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A post that is NOT tatting related! Look if you dare...

I'm tatted  out.  Nope, just not feeling it lately.  Crochet has been the craft of the moment.   I love making potholders, dishcloths, and towels!  Cliche, yes, but I love them none the less.  Ravelry with it's tons of free patterns and my huge stash of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn fuel the addiction, but it's all good!  I actually use the stuff I make, so it's not like it's all for naught.  Here's what has come off the hook...

A pair of towels in the shape of aprons.  The patterns are from Annie's Attic, in case anyone is interested.  



And a spiral potholder. This pattern is a Ravelry freebie.  A bit tricky due to having four working yarns at once, but worth the hassle.

Thanks for looking and hope all you moms out there had a great Mother's Day! 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Een Tulp*


*Dutch for 'a tulip'.
Sharp eyed Isdihara was right.  It's a tulip. The reason for a tulip?  It's Tulip Time in Holland! Holland, Michigan, that is.  The western side of the state has a strong Dutch heritage and they celebrate it every May.  Always a lot of fun and more tulips than you can shake a stick at.

My tulip is actually German in nature because it was designed by Adelheid Dangela and can be found in her book Mustersammlung I.  Tatted using DMC threads in pale peach, melon, and light green it measures nearly 12"(30.5 cm).  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and want to get it framed.  I still have to get my big butterfly framed, but cash is a bit tight at the moment.  Just another thing to add to the list of things to get done.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Monday!

Some actual tatting to show today. It's not done yet and I'm not going to tell y'all what is it.  This is the first time in a week that I've held a shuttle.  You see, I was just walking along minding my own business when out of nowhere I pulled a muscle in lower back across my left hip.  In all honesty, I can say I've never felt anything like that before.  The pain kind of took its time to hit, but when it did, Owww, owww, owww!  Then a wave of nausea washed over me and I nearly fainted.  That's really saying something for me, because I have an extremely high tolerance for pain.  For the next two days, I kept having spasms and couldn't sit or stand up straight.  Ice packs and really good prescription painkillers were the order of the day.  Since I couldn't sit up, I couldn't tat, but I could crochet.  Nothing to show on that front right now.  Maybe later. 

Now that I can sit up, I can tat!  This is it so far.  By the weekend, it should be complete and ready to display.  I'll say this much about where the pattern originates-- it's German.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lady Marjorie

Like Martha, I was one of the lucky ones to test tat a lady for Heather, the Tarnished Tatter.  She designed the most gorgeous tatted ladies!   This is Lady Marjorie, and she is pleased to make your acquaintance.  A lovely Southern belle, Marjorie is tatted with Altin Basak 50 threads.  She is about 5" tall.  I had a great time tatting her and welcome the opportunity to test tat for Heather again.


Monday, April 19, 2010

My thread stash...(Warning: lots of pics!)

Crazy Mom wants to see our HDT stash, so I heed her call. I see that the pictures are a bit out of focus.  I keep forgetting that I don't need to hold this new camera so close to the object to get a halfway decent shot.    More than half is size 80, with some 20 through 50 thrown in.  I'm pretty sure there are a few missing.  The yarn daisies are wrapped with my favorite-est HDT of all, Pansy, created by Yarnplayer. You can also see my favorite pair of tweezers for opening rings.  The bent and angled tips let me grab the core thread without having to hold the tweezers tightly. 


Well, I can't stop there.  Here is some more of my thread stash:

A mix of Altin Basak and Oren Bayan Turkish threads.  A three-cord thread that is a bit soft to work with, but I love it.  Kind of hard to tell, but there's about 50 balls in that box. I do believe there's some Manuela 20 lurking in there, too.


DMC Perle Cotton in sizes 8 and 12.  Total crap, I hate it.  When I first learned to tat, it was with perle cotton, so not knowing any better I bought loads of it.  Now that I know better, it just takes up valuable space in craft closet.  The reason I don't like it is because perle cotton has a bumpy texture which obscures the appearance of the stitches.  I like my stitches to look crisp.


Finca perle cotton, sizes 8, 12, and 16.  Wait a minute, didn't I just say I hate perle cotton?  Not this one!  Finca has a gorgeous finish, even the larger sizes and it's shine is beautiful. Great for making baby bonnets and booties.

A mix of Flora sizes 20 and 50, DMC and Olympus threads.  Flora 20 is OK, but the 50 is superior.  Shame it's discontinued.  Olympus is like a piece of thread heaven and DMC is better for crochet than tatting.  I don't know what it's doing mixed in there.

 Lizbeth.  Do I really need to say anything else?  Another 40 or so balls in there.


Some, I say some, of my size 80 stash.  I'm pretty sure there's another box containing about 100 balls hidden around here somewhere.  The large purple container is mainly vintage threads, Lily, Star, J&P Coats, Coats & Clark.  There's a few oddballs in there such as Collingbourne's, Twilley's and some whose names escape me at the moment.  I would dig for them, but there's over 200 balls in there and it's 2 a.m. as I'm writing this, so maybe another time.  The smaller container is DMC and Majestic/Venus.  Soon to be joined by Lizbeth 80, no doubt.

I can look at these pictures and still say to myself, "I don't have any thread.  I should buy more."  Spoken like a true addict.


Lastly, the tools of the trade.  Shuttles, shuttles, and more shuttles.  The gold Clovers are in the upper right hand corner of the box are the only pick-less shuttles I will use.  I love the feel of them in my hand.  They have a silken feel to them that makes having to use a hook for every join worth the effort.  A few other tools like coilless safety pins, tweezers, needle minder,picot gauges, and a hook set on a chain.  I made the hook set myself.  Working in a factory has its advantages!

More about the coilless safety pins.  I've read on a few blogs that they've been hard to find.  Joann's has them. They can be found in the bead section of the store, by the jewelry findings. If I'm not mistaken, the large size are 50 to a pack, and the small are 100 to a pack. Hobby Lobby also has them, but I think they are in the sewing notions department.  If you're still having problems finding them, email me and I'll help you out!  :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lace Day in Michigan, May 22, 2010! Come join us!


Lacers of all kinds are more than welcome.  We will demonstrating for the public to spread our love of lace far and wide.  So bring your bobbins, pillows, needles, hooks, and of course, your shuttles!

For you Canadian folks, it's only a 30 minute drive from the Windsor/Detroit border!  Come on down.

Vendors will be Holly VanSciver, Kaye Judt, and Kathy Kirchner.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Yesterday's haul

Before I begin, I have to say I have fallen hopelessly in love with my new blog background.  Isn't it the cutest?  This one is definitely staying for a while.

Now on to the tatting!  I couldn't resist the call of a good Joann's one day coupon, which was 25% off the entire  basket.  Here's some of the highlights of said basket:

 Some gorgeous new colors of Lizbeth. There was only one ball of each left, so I snatched them up.  The glare from the camera makes it hard to tell, but they are Vineyard Harvest, Lt Seagreen, Dk Seagreen, and Dk Boysenberry.  The Boysenberry really knocks my socks off, which is noteworthy since I am not a fan of fuschia-like shades.  I have plans for that one already.  Now the box is a set of Gütermann threads.  It was on clearance for $9.97, so of course, I had to snap that one up, too.  Here is what was inside:

Oooh, pretty!  Each spool holds 100 meters of thread.  It looks like the thread is about equal to size 100.  I think it'll make nice hanky edgings.  The final really interesting goodies  I picked up were these:

Three pairs of Gingher scissors.  The pair on the left are 3-1/2" Epaulettes, the center are 4" spring action snips, and on the right are 3-1/2" stork scissors.  Also shown is one of the sheaths they come with.  Gingher snips are a bit pricy, but they are worth every penny.  Being on sale for 50% off made them extra hard to resist.  I also picked up three packs of Clover shuttles, a Clover crochet hook and a bunch of Lily brand Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn.  I'm feeling the urge to make some new potholders and Sugar 'n Cream is my favorite to use.  Lots of pretty colors!

One other thing, Gina recently commented on the reliability of Lizbeth thread and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree.  I'm currently working on something using mint green and have had the plies untwist and become so tangled I had to cut it out and start over.  Also, there's been splices in almost every ball of size 20 I've picked up in the last two months.  I've yet to have this happen with the 40, so maybe it's just a temporary problem, especially with the size 80 about to launch in another month. I still buy it because of the beautiful colors and it works up so nicely. Still, I would have to echo Gina by saying buyer beware.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's OUR day!

Happy International Tatting Day everyone!  I'm sure you are all indulging yourselves in your favorite activity(tatting) and snacking on your favorite treat(chocolate).  At this very moment, I am eating a very large bowl of chocolate ice cream and trying to write this at the same time.  It's nearly 80 degrees and sunny today.  YAY!  Spring is really here.  The gorgeous weather is making me feel flowery, so let me show what I started in honor of the fine weather we're having...

This is Jon Yusoff's Rosette Doily.  I'm making it a bit larger to fit a large round end table.  The thread is Olympus 40 in lime green and shaded lavender.  So nice and springy.  My fickle self was going to start a Myrtle Hamilton doily, but I am easily swayed so Myrtle will have to wait for another time. 

Enjoy the day and I hope you're having as beautiful weather as we are here in Michigan!   

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finished...finally!

Here it is!  I had hoped to have this done to unveil for this past Tatting Tea Tuesday.  Alas, it wasn't meant to be.  Then I said I'd wait until this coming week to show it, but I have no patience for that kind of stuff.  So, here she is.  Meet Kirsten:

This is one of Adelheid Dangela's beautiful butterflies.  Kirsten measures 7-3/4 inches tall and 8-1/2 inches wide.  I used size 80 threads in DMC black and yellow, a vintage J&P Coats in red for the three-ring clovers and Tatskool's 'Flame Lantana' for the four-ring clovers.  And about 462 ends to hide(not really, but it felt like it!), the reason it took so long to get it done.

If the colors look a bit odd, it's because the window is to the left and it's a bright sunshiney day here is SE Michigan.  Well, it was when I took the picture fifteen minutes ago. Come on, Spring!  Get here already, will you?

Oh, one more thing. For all the effort that went into this, I'm counting it as Motif 14 for my VERY overdue 2009 Challenge.

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's been a month?!

     Wow.  Time flies when you're doing.........nothing.  Nope, not a thing.  Other than a few purchases, I haven't done much of anything tatting related.  A mix of the winter blues and school made me lazy, I suppose.  The winter semester is always the heaviest, not necessarily the hardest.  I just completed Cost Accounting, which made me want to rip my hair out, and Intermediate Accounting, which emphasizes the theory behind the U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and IFRS, the international financial reporting standards.  I am happy to say I passed both classes with high marks, thus preserving my 3.8 GPA.
     My work schedule has changed, too.  I am not a morning person, so I choose to work the afternoon shift. It's been my favorite shift for many years, but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse to work the newly added midnight shift.  Four days, ten hours.  That means my workweek  begins at 8:00 p.m. on Monday and ends Friday morning at 6 a.m.  I am LOVIN' it.  I didn't think I would, but I do. It's peaceful and I can play with my new addiction, er...iPhone all night long.  Damn AT&T for giving me a free one.
     Because of my new schedule, I got my tatting mojo back in a big way.  Here's a little sneaky peek of what I'm working on:
     If all goes well and I don't have to cut out a mistake(again), I should have something to show in a day or two. I've always wanted to have something special to post for Tatting Tea Tuesday, but never do.  Hopefully that will all change this week!

     Now for the product endorsement segment of the show. Being crafters, we all get aches and pains, and we all get dry skin from time to time.  Well, I have the cures!
      On the left is Tiger Balm ointment.  I don't care how bad you hurt, just rub some on and you'll start to feel better within a few minutes.  It's very aromatic(clove oil), but the heat it gives is long lasting and penetrates right to the bone.  Much better than Icy Hot or Ben-Gay.  One of my Laotian coworkers had me rub some on my thumb once and I've been hooked ever since. That thumb had been giving me problems for a couple years.  Ever since I started using Tiger Balm, I've never had so much as a twinge of pain in that thumb.  It helps immensely when my elbow acts up, too.  You can find it at your local Walgreen's for about $7.00 a jar.
     The hand lotion on the left is Olivella.  As you can see, it's base is olive oil.  The best stuff I have ever used. It heals dry cracked skin and torn cuticles quickly with NO greasy feeling.  It smells great, too.  You can definitely smell the olive oil, but there's also a hint of orange  and lavender.  A bit on the pricy side, $8.49 for a 2.5 ounce(75 ml) tube, but a little goes a long way.  The only brick-and-mortar store I've ever found it at is Bed Bath & Beyond, although I have seen it available on Amazon for decent prices.  Try it, you'll like it.

Well, here's hoping for a nice uneventful finish for my sneaky peek.  See you all soon!
 
   

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Opal

Okay, one more.  This curvy, swervy little flutter is named Opal. Her little wingtips need to be a little tighter, but I like her just as she is.  I used Yarnplayer's 'Purple Pansy' in, yep, you guessed it, size 80.  She measures just over 4 cm.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Diamond

Another one from Lady Shuttlemaker's latest book!  For this one I used a vintage J&P Coats thread in size 70, color 177.  She measures 2-1/4" (5.7 cm).  This butterfly is good practice for those who want to sharpen his/her skills at following diagrams as there are no written instructions for this one.
What a difference a few hours makes when it comes to tension!  I made one wing last night before I went to sleep then did the other today. I couldn't get them to match to save my life.  Thanks to a bit of creative blocking, I managed to make it a little less noticeable. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Well, hello there

I'm still here!  I've been laying low for a few weeks due to another elbow injury.  In my normal oblivious-to-my-surroundings state (i.e., not paying attention), I smacked my right elbow on a steel beam bruising it inside and out.  For the first two weeks, there were issues with my middle and ring fingers going tingling and going numb.  No permanent damage, though.  As the injury faded, so did the numbness and tingling.  I was seriously considering what life was going to be like without shuttles and crochet hooks. This is the same elbow that has been problematic.  Nothing like making it worse!

Having been completely pain free for a week now, today was my first time back on the shuttles.  Lady Shuttlemaker's new book promptly arrived on my doorstep this past Tuesday, and I've been dying to get at it!  Not being able to make up my mind, I just opened the book and whatever page it fell to is the butterfly I did. 

 

Meet Lilly.  This teeny tiny flutterby is done with Yarnplayer's oh-so-fabulous 'Vibrato' in size 80.  Yes, I deliberately started at the same point in the thread so the colors would play out the same on both sides.  It took me a few minutes to get my groove back after not tatting for weeks and weeks so this is not my best work, but she did turn out pretty cute. 

Now that the rust is knocked off, it's time to get back to work on some UFOs, such as Jane's TIAS.  Sorry, Jane!