Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Wishes

Wishing all of you happy and joyous holiday season!

I'm still on hiatus, but I will be returning in the next few weeks with some new tatting, dying, and other craftyness!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Current Spinning Projects

Found a local fiber store. Well, I say it's local, but it's really about an hour away on the other side of Athens from here. The store had a really nice selection of yarns and knitting needles, but had very little in the way of spinning fiber (which they told me they were so low because of Christmas). I'll see if I can get some pictures to share next time I go (and go I shall! lol).

I was able to get a few things, which I wanted to share with those who like to spin/knit/crochet. Sorry, no new tatting in this post, as I haven't gotten any pictures of my current works!

First up, I wanted to touch on the one that I -should- be finishing, but am finding it a bit hard to focus on. Remember the "Twilight" fiber I got?

Last I showed, I was just starting to ply. I've gotten the majority of the fiber spun, and only have about an ounce left to fully spin and ply.

I also learned a new technique with this -- Navajo Plying. I follow Monika's blog Smoking Hot Needles, and every week she has "Homespun Fridays." After reading about some of the beautiful fiber she's spun being plied using the Navajo technique, I had to give it a try and I think I have it down.

In the photo above, you can see what I have fully completed, as well as where I am in spinning. I have two small hanks of tri-ply yarn and one surprisingly thick hank of two-ply. Not sure of the full yard count just yet, and these haven't been blocked. I'll keep everyone updated!

One of the fibers I got at the fiber store was made by Ashland Bay, and is a merino/tussah silk combo, in their "Red" color, 4 ounces total.

I got this to make my sister something for next year, and depending on how much yarn I get out of this will tell me what I'm going to make with it! ^^ I couldn't wait to spin it, and while watching Sanctuary (I'm such a sci-fi geek!), I got started pre-drafting and spinning.

Here I have about half of the fiber spun:

As soon as I get the other half spun, I will be plying this in the Navajo method. I had been told this was a little harder to work with than the pure superwash that I am used to, but I'm finding it a joy to work with! I'm super glad that I got the other fiber to go with this, as I can't wait to work with it!

Also, I'm finding that I like spinning with a heavier drop spindle. Huh.. Never thought that would happen! This particular spindle was made by me, and is about sixteen inches long. I love the whorl of it! To see it, look at the second picture on this post. It's so pretty!

Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

25 Motif Challenge, Finished!

A quick tribute to all of my tatting done this past year. I nearly didn't make it, but whew! To view the newest of the challenge, click here. (Thought that may make it easier for you, Sharon!) Links to the patterns will follow at the end of the post. This is a little latter than I promised, sorry!

My challenge started on December 19th, which I posted these four ornaments. I never got around to posting finished pictures of them.

Next came these..

Afterward, I went on a snowflake spree..

And then doilies..

How many times can one have #23 for the challenge? Aparently, three times.

And finally, the finished products..

The first picture was while I was working on the Hearts in a Snowflake, and is the only phone pic that I'm re-showing on this post. I can't find the Merry Christmas Snowflake, otherwise I'd have a better picture to share.

I suppose this is a bit of an anti-climax, but I'm glad I was able to complete this challenge! I will be joining again after the first of the year, only this next time I want to make all of my own patterns!

Thanks to everyone who has commented and supported me in this challenge!

And here's the breakdown of the patterns that I promised.
  1. Victorian Ornament. (Cant find the link to the pattern. If anyone knows who the designer is, please tell me so I can add it here!)
  2. Snowflake Book Clip, via the Online Tatting Class & Georgia Seitz
  3. Dream by Yarn Player
  4. Ruffled Heart, by Vicki Clarke
  5. Merry Christmas Snowflake, by Sharon Briggs
  6. Various Snowflakes, from the book Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman:
    Ribbon Floss snowflake, Tiny Snowflake, Trefoil, and Flower Flake
  7. The DMC Tatting Book, Medallion #17, from the Online Tatting Class (open domain)
  8. Eight Inch Doily, from Easy Tatting, by Rozella F. Linden
  9. Edging, from A New Twist on Tatting, Catherine Austin
  10. Indian Summer Earrings, by Nina Libin (kit number BNL-102 is the necklace version that I'm getting the courage up to work on..)
  11. Hearts in a Snowflake, by Jon Yuseff
Threads Used (mostly):
  • "Icicle" and "Shades of Gray" HDT size 20, Lady Shuttle Maker
  • Purple Omega size 20, Nylon
  • Lizbeth size 20, Black, Victorian Red, Leaf Green Light, Spring Garden, Falling Leaves, Denim Whisper, Antique Violet and White
  • Personal HDT's, Aunt Lydia size 20
  • Royal Size 10, "Bridal Blue"
  • DMC Cebela, size 1o White
Hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday rush! I may not be posting much this month (getting ready for reunions that seem to come every weekend and work and lots of other things). I'll try to post, but no promises!

Happy Hols to everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homespun Results

Happy (late) Thanksgiving to those in the US! Hope everyone has had a great time seeing family and friends!

Sorry for those looking for tatting.. I will be finishing up my 25 Motiff Challenge in my next post (just getting the images finalized).

Who remembers this little bit of homespun that I spun a few months ago?

I've finally worked up the courage to try it out, and so far I'm noticing how inconsistent my spinning has been. I am proud that I've made it, but realize just how much more I still need to practice to make it what I want it to be. Since all of my knitting needles are currently being used, I decided to try to cable crochet again.

I'm sharing my progress here. I'm nearly halfway through the skein and only about a quarter through the project. The picture isn't that great; the lighting tonight isn't wanting to work with me. Here's what I've gotten so far:

With the way the yarn is worked up, you can't really see the cable that well. Pattern is mine, and when I get a chance I'm going to write it up and post it on my pattern page. Will also be making this in cream or even dyed with Kool Aid, haven't decided.

Getting the rest of the pictures now. Happy tatting!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Origami

First off, sorry I haven't posted in a while. I do have some tatting to share, but not on this post (sorry!!)

However! I do have a few things to share that I think others may be interested in.

Several years ago, I made a Christmas tree that was full of origami cranes, kimono, and other various items. I have since lost all those ornaments and am in need of some new ones. After this post, I have since gone on to try different papers to see what kind of results I could get.

The three lotus flowers shown below are folded an extra time before unfolding, and I think they look lovely:

These are three different kinds of paper, easily accessible to everyone (I hope!). The silver one is made out of a metallic tissue paper that I got from Hobby Lobby (99¢ for a pack of 12, currently!), the white next to it is a piece of tissue from Wal-Mart ($3 for 300 sheets), and the smaller one is a dinner napkin.

For size, here is the silver one:

I've found that I make these whenever I go out to eat with family and friends. This one was made today at Wendy's, which I left because I wanted to brighten someone's day:

Each of these took less than five minutes to prep and fold, and I think they look lovely! However there are a few things I have learned from this bit of crafty-ness..

  1. The first time you use a different type of paper, you WILL tear it. Even if it tears, it's still pretty, and your family and friends will be impressed with them and not notice any tears.
  2. Perfect squares are overrated. If you have a rectangle piece that when folded into a square with about half an inch of extra paper, tear it. The tears can add character to the flower!
  3. Using regular origami, printer, and/or metallic foil papers will not fold a flower. The papers are too stiff to bend the petals forward, and the tears will be too great to miss.
I have more that I'm working on, but I thought I'd share a bit.

'Till next time, Happy Tatting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Continuing on..

Continuing on from my last post about blocking, I thought I'd share my progress with everyone.

This is the snowflake in question. It hasn't even been wet blocked before this picture was taken, so it looks a little strange.

And blocking..

I cut some Elmer's washable school glue with a good helping of water (in a ratio that is somewhere along the lines of 20/80, with more water than glue), and it is now drying. Haven't steamed this, and I don't think I will. Also, yes, that is some unfinished thread. I'm going to be using it to cover a ring to hang it on the tree.
Also, it has been cold, wet, and drizzly here the past few days. While we had about an hour of nice sunshine, I snapped some pictures. This is completely un-edited, so you can't see all the detail.

Isn't it pretty? My sister planted these flowers five years ago, and they randomly bloom. So pretty!

Also, a sneak peak..

It's really hard to get pictures in focus when the object you want to capture is tiny!

Happy Tatting, y'all! ^^

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! Hope everyone has a safe time trick or treating with the little ones!

Now that this holiday is here, I'm finding it crunch time for crafty gifts for Christmas. After some thoughts (and tatting while at M's house), I think I'm going to try to make snowflakes and cards for everyone out of state that I know, and finish up the knitted projects that I have going. Oh, and making snowflakes and ornaments to go on my own tree, as well.

I've changed the colors of my tree from Technicolor to black, purple, and silver. M thinks it will look gothic, but I don't think it will.

I've started making the snowflakes, using glass beads to add sparkle. Here's my first two:

The purple is Sharons Merry Christmas Snowflake, and the white is Jon's Hearts in a Snowflake. Both are now finished, but the white needs blocking and stiffening.

Will add both to the 25 motif challenge when I get some better pictures. I don't have an SD card, so I can't take pics with anything but my camera!

And a question. How should one go about stiffening lace? I want to keep the white flake as white as I can for years, but I don't know how.. Should I use glue mixed with water? Starch? Or should I use a spray sealant?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tatting Supplies

Hmm.. Wonder what these are going to be used for?

Size 20 and 80 threads, beading needles, and three beads in black, clear, and purple, all 11/0.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plying Yarn

Just wanted to share where I've gotten with the fiber I got back at the beginning of the month. I haven't been spending much time on these, mostly because I've had other things going on.

I have half of the fiber spun, and only about half that plied. This picture was taken before supper, so I'm a good bit further than what you see. I've also made several new drop spindles (as you can see in the foreground as well as where I'm plying), and I have three more drying. After I get finished with this project, I have some more sanding to do since the one I'm plying with isn't too smooth! After that, they're getting a clear coat for protection.

I'm getting as bad with spindles as I am with shuttles. Funny, no? Already I'm up to nine spindles, which is closing in on my 15 shuttles!

I have been doing some tatting, and have a few finished pieces to show off, but need to do some work on them before posting. My edging is (nearly) complete, just need to do a final hiding of the ends, wash, and block before sewing it to the hat, and then it'll be done! I also have a small doily I've made for my mother, and will be starting on some snowflakes later on this week.

Productive week, but little to show. Need to get the camera out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What do you get..

When you have two buckets of dirt, one bag of potting soil, and several pieces of wood?

Answer: This!

I had bought a few mums and violets for a fall garden this year, and didn't have enough planter boxes for them. So, my grandparents and I made two and planted the flowers in them!

Also spent some time out of town yesterday with Kelly and Mack. We went to Helen to Anna Ruby Falls (love love LOVE that place!!) to look at the leaves and take pictures.

Took awhile to get the settings right; the sun was in the worst place to take time lapse pictures.

No tatting or crafty things to say today. Just taking some time to share! ^^

(edit - realized I posted the blurry picture of the falls, so I put in a better one! Sorry! ^^)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tatting Update..

I've almost reached the end of the edging for the hat, and now I'm not sure if I want to do the second row. Sorry for the phone pics; my batteries are dead in the camera! x.x

This is the edging singled, in approximately where I'm going to be putting it, and this:

is the edging doubled. I'm using a size 10 thread, so I'm not sure if I should leave it singled row or double it!

Also, I have another project brewing using lace weight yarn. I've never used that size before, so this could get interesting!

Hmm.. Wonder what it could be?

Better pictures will come in the next day or two. Going to the State Fair tomorrow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just passing time.

Went with sis today while she took an exam, and kept working on the edging.

Sorry again for the blurry pic - it's another phone image.

This is going to be used as the band around my bucket hat, last seen here, and is only partway finished. I'm not sure if I'm going to double it (like it is in the book..), but we shall see. This pattern is #50 (I think) from "A New Twist on Tatting," and after the second repeat I have it down! I did have to retro tat two stitches today -- I forgot a join, but it was before I closed the ring so it's all good!

Happy Tatting! ^^

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Years Revisited And Birthday Gifts!

Several items to touch on in this post, and most of them are text-only (sorry!). First off, I wanted to show these off:

Yes, more fiber from SlimChicken. I treated myself to these because the colors were so pretty in the pictures on the listings, and they did not disappoint! I had four different colors in mind, and ended up with these two. Both are four ounces of superwash, the same as my others, but these are super soft!

This is Twilight, and it really does remind me of how it looks around here when the sun goes down. The blues are so vivid in this! Can't wait to spin it and see how it turns out!

And this one is Victorian Rose. It's a bit more pink than this picture shows. Normaly I don't like pinks, but I do like the softness of them. I think this will become a Valentine shawl at some point; it's being put away while I work on some other projects.

I don't have much to show in the crafting world at the moment. Been at work for most of the last few weeks or getting ready for Christmas. I -finally- decided on the color scheme I want for my tree, and hope to have some pictures of it when I get my ornaments made. I'm hoping to make at least ten different snowflakes and some other tatted ornaments. Getting started on those in the next week, but got to find the patterns I like first.

What patterns do y'all like to make this time of year? I'm still new to this; last year I was still learning how to tat..

So, now on to the fun part of the post..

How many people do New Year's Resolutions? I made some this year for crafting, and I thought I'd share my progress.

Just to recap, these were them:
  • Learn to crochet
  • Make everyone a scarf, and have them done by September
  • Learn how to:
    Cluny Tat
    Split Chains
  • Get my dye supplies organized
  • Finish writing out the pattens to my motifs
  • Design at least one motif a month
  • Finish the 25 Motif Challenge
Taking it from the top, I finally learned how to crochet. Thank heavens for youtube! When my mom and roommate weren't around or couldn't figure out the pattern I was trying, I was able to find the tutorial on there!

The scarves, on the other hand.. Well, I have several started, but none finished. I'm hoping to get at least a few done in time for Christmas, but it looks like everyone's getting store bought gifts this year!

Tatting-wise, I still need to learn split chains. I've tried them a few times, but all I manage to do is make a twisted knot that I can't undo! This may be an ongoing project for me into next year, but I will get it! I have managed to get the basics of Clunys down, but don't have anything to show for it. Will post some later, when I get my ornaments done!

I'm also this close to finishing the 25 Motif Challenge. I have an edging that I'm working on at the moment to add, then they'll only be one more to finish, and that'll be complete!

I haven't finished the patterns, nor have I designed every month. I can and will finish the patterns, but for designing, I may be able to make some later on.

How's everyone doing on their resolutions?

Also went to the Botanical Gardens last week, and snapped a few pictures, so I'll leave you with my (and everyone else's!) favorite.

Happy Fall, everyone! ^^

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flapper-Style Hat

Need ideas.

I found the pattern for this hat on Ravelry, and really love it. I love the 20's style hats, but have yet to find one that fits me, so this pattern was perfect! It's felted, so I was able to shrink it to fit my head.

This is what it looked like pre-felting, and this..

is what it looks like while blocking. Lucky for me -- I had a giant ball of fuzzy yarn that I got for Christmas that I wound into a cake and found a Styrofoam ball the correct size for my head!

Now, I find myself wanting to add some embellishment to it. I have some lovely cream ribbon that is just begging to be tatted, and it matches the colors in the hat! My only problem I currently have is I don't know what pattern to do.. Should I make a simple snowflake, or make a few rosettes, or even some medallions?

Any suggestions?

Pattern: Beacon Street Cloche
Hook: Size J/6.00 MM
Yarn: Lions Brand Fishermen's Wool
Total Time Spent: appx 6 hours

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tatting in Public

Oh no! She's got a drill! Y'all run!

Seriously though, several things in this post. First of which is some tatting that I've been working on for a bit..

How many remember the bracelet from a few weeks ago that I was having problems with? I finally finished a full prototype (and, consequently, figured out that I need to re-work the pattern again..). Here it is:

Sorry for the awkwardness of the images. I took these by myself while my sister watched Betty White on Lenno tonight. This has been blocked, but I've learned a few things about this:

  1. Perhaps one less repeat of the ring/chains would be in order. It's a little (ok, A LOT) loose, even on me.
  2. Start at a different point. The last few joins are a bit fiddly.
  3. Hiding ends as you go is way easier when you have a better-quality bead needle than those you can purchase at your local Wal*Mart.
I'm thinking on trying this with smaller beads and a size 20 thread. This was made using 4mm glass pearls and size 10 Cebelia. The middle bead I have no idea about the size -- it came from an up-cycled bracelet that I destroyed. This is motif #23 for the challenge. I'm hoping to make some earrings to match, and possibly a necklace. I may be offering this pattern up for free, but haven't decided if I should..

Next up is a bit from when I was at the doctor's office with some family.

I had some size 10 thread left on my new shuttles, so I tried to do a rings-only bit of edging. For not having some picot gauges, I think I did pretty well! Spacing is my biggest problem, if you couldn't tell.. The motif on top is in size 40 Lizbeth and is a doodle.

The entire time I was in the office I was self-conscious about tatting. Mainly the clicks that can be heard from winding/unwinding the shuttle. Anyone else feel the same? There weren't many people in the waiting room, mostly people that worked in the office and a family who spoke more Spanish than English. They kept staring at me, but never said a word to me!

Also finished up a pair of the Owl Mitts, but I still need to embroider on them to show the outlines of the owls and add buttons for the eyes.

My sister is modeling these, and really wants them for work and before Christmas. I'm working on a pair for myself, but in a lighter heather gray than the last post I did on them.

I also had an unexpected trip to the Gwinnett Arena this past weekend. I got to hang out with Mack and Kelly (which I don't get to do as much as I would like..) at the annual Japan Fest. Sorry, not many pictures were taken, although I did manage to take this one of some Ikibana:

It looked prettier in real life. I have never been able to fully grasp the idea behind it, so I enjoy what others have done! If I can find the pictures from last year, I'll post them on my Flikr.

Another good (splurge) thing to come out of the trip was some washi paper that I can use for my cards. That is, if I can find the will to cut the paper! I'll share later, once I figure out what I want to do with them.

As for the drill..

Need I say more?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Technique - Cables!

Well, it's not fully a new technique for me, but as this is for crochet it is a new experience!

My sister LOVES owls, and loves to wear fingerless gloves. I have found many free patterns on Ravelry for knitted gloves with cabled owls, but I have never worked in the round with double points. Since I already know the basics of crochet, I'm trying them out!

This pattern is called "Owl Mitts" and is by Erika Ward. Link is to Ravelry, again. It's free, and if you're a knitter/crochet.. er..(?) then check it out!

I apologize in advance for the large file size. I've recently had to restore my laptop and can't resize images without major loss of detail.

This is as far as I've gotten, and I've found that I'm doing one too many owl cables.

Hmm.. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'll be making my next glove in a lighter shade rather than Heather Gray, while trying to take some pictures of the actual technique. Hmm.. Perhaps I'll be able to do this today?

I do have some tatting pieces that are nearly finished, so pictures of those will come later. 'Till then!