Monday, January 26, 2015
Trying to keep track of work in progress would be scary. Really. I’d hate to even try to guess at the number of projects that pot along, while some even get finished. I’m trying to crochet at least one Seneca Santa hat a day this month, so here is this week’s crop. Had to get more yarn out of storage – and here’s another scary thing – there isn’t a huge amount left. Enough for this year? Maybe. But I definitely need more, and where it’s going to come from is currently a mystery.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
When I looked at what I’ve accomplished this week, I felt a little let down… In sheer numbers, there isn’t as much done as I’d hoped. For instance, I’m only 9 hats along towards this year’s Seneca Santa goal of 100 … then again, this means I’ve got 47 weeks to work on the other 91, so that’s not so bad. Let me tell you about these hats – they’re fun to make, and they don’t take too terribly long to crochet. Then again, if you try to do more than four of them in a day, trust me – your wrists will hurt! I’ll start out with two strands of knitting-worsted weight acrylic yarn. You can – as with the blue/multicolored hat at the top/center/left – use one solid color and a bunch of strategically arranged scraps (I tried to crochet them in a sort of rainbow order). I use a size K or L hook, chain 2 (making the first stitch very loose) and then alternately single crochet and double crochet into that first chain stitch, until I’ve got at least 9 stitches (should be an uneven number). Then pull that first CH stitch as tight as possible to completely close up the hole, and crochet a double and a single crochet into each stitch around for a while – you’re crocheting in a spiral. When it looks just a little larger than child-head size (which will happen soon), crochet around for a while without any more increases) with a single in the double below and a double in the single below… you get it. When there’s a little more hat, if it looks too small, crochet 2 increases here and there (they have to be paired to maintain the pattern); conversely, if it’s too big, work some decreases, similarly paired. Keep crocheting until the hat is long enough to cover a child’s ears, maybe even allowing a little fold-up ease. Finish with a round of reverse single crochet – but make sure it’s stretchy - cut and sew in ends. What’s that stuff sticking out of each hat, you ask? I’m combining efforts with a world-class mitten-maker, so after I’ve used some yarn for a hat, I tie the hat to the rest of the skein for mittens. Big skeins get two hats. The complicated framed tatted doily is Randy Houtz’s design, called the “One Path Doily” because there’s only one round, which is an odd term to use when you consider the finished product is a square. I used size 30 thread, ecru with my own HDT in a complementary color; the thread size made it only about 5 inches across. I liked that the forms in this doily were quite different from anything I’d seen before. After a whole lot of thought, one of the tatters in our group chose two highly contrasting colors for hers, and it’s also stunning. I chose pink for my model patterns for Tatting Times, the February 2015 issue. Getting that finished this week should count for a whole lot of finished projects. On the left is my “Dancing Angels” edging, and you can see a partial angel in the upper right, under the small doily/coaster. Today it left for the printers; next week the finished copies will leave for their new homes in four different countries. You won’t see pictures of my house-cleaning in progress (which has to start in earnest tomorrow, now that Tatting Times is done) but then again, that’s a project that’s never finished!
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Thought it might be time to revive the blog because I’ve made a lot of resolutions for this year. That is, if you consider resolutions and intentions to be the same, which in some respects, I do. A few years ago, I resolved/ intended/ AND carried through on the resolve to get rid of a lot of my stash… and within a year, somehow had a whole lot more. I’d say “through no fault of my own” – but of course, I was… um… materially involved. This year, my approach will be a little different. I will FINISH PROJECTS. Yes, really. Doesn’t mean I won’t start new ones, but I will also finish what I begin, including much that’s already been begun. And I’ll be keeping track. You are welcome to keep track with me, and please do share your own success stories.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
No matter what else happens, December is getting-ready-for-the-holidays time, and I’m happy to say that by Christmas, almost all projects were complete, and presents wrapped. The infamous Spiderman afghan (infamous only because it took so long to make and I had to stop from time to time to let my hands recover - and at those times couldn't do anything else) which can be found here stitchnfrog.blogspot.com/2009/07/superhero-dream-catcher-afghan.html uses more than two pounds of yarn and took about a month.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
This has been a pretty full teaching year – and thank you everyone who’s been patient with me! I promise to be better at keeping up with things. I do, I do! There’s been a lot going on, so I really do have a lot to say. In the second half of the year, I taught in Amherst NY (Buffalo), Chelsea, Michigan, Salt Lake City Utah, and Cambridge Ontario (Canada) with a lot of great things going on in between, so I’m going to try to catch up in stages. At home there was a lot of writing work and the occasional glitch – like the two months when everything in the house seemed to break down needing either repairs or replacement, from the kitchen faucet to the light over my desk, bathroom appliances, the wood stove… well, you get the idea. Even the cat became extremely ill and seemed to be ready for that last ride to the vet – and then bounced back. So did most of the appliances; except another one that suddenly needs an expensive, more special replacement, through no fault of its own. In the shop, I got into a reclaimed-yarn dyeing project with my friend Sarah, who designs and makes gorgeous sweaters – all to be mailed away to the poorest people she can find. She’s shy about her ongoing good deeds and intentionally held everything up over her face. For the garden, I made five trips to my neighbor’s farm for a generous supply of sheep poop, and things burgeoned and grew, apparently loving the cooler, often rainy weather.
Friday, April 5, 2013
One week until the Finger Lakes Tatting Conference in Lodi. Our theme is stars! Last week I finished sewing stars from across the U.S. and Canada on the quilt and quilting around them. When I was almost done, an envelope with more stars appeared. Here is our Starry Night quilt – you can see almost all the stars. It’s hard to count them all, but Bill and I estimated there’s about 135 tatted stars on the quilt – that’s a rough estimate. Could be a lot more or a few less. I'm sorry that you'll have to tilt your head to see the quilt properly - the strip of sky which should be at the top is the clue you're looking for. Can you see the Big Dipper? The quilt will be auctioned off Saturday, April 13 at 7 pm. There’s a reserve of $250 on it, and we are accepting good-faith bids from outside our group – contact me with your phone number where you can be reached if you want to join the bidding at the time – or you can put in your high bid and you just might win! All the money from the quilt will go into our scholarship fund, to enable more tatters to attend the conference in the next and following years. Wish you could be with us! actually, we could probably fit about six more people though shhh! don't tell our registrar - she's already done a lot of hard work on the event and she thinks we already have a good number of participants. But we all know there's always room for another...
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It’s snowing again. How can this be when the ground temperature is actually well above freezing? Bill explained this to me and it makes sense, sort of. “Upstairs” is colder. This does not explain to my satisfaction why the white stuff is actually sticking, but… whatever. Indoors, there’s a whole lot of tatting going on. Unfortunately, the camera’s focus is a little dicey, but for a rough idea, here’s the scholarship quilt in progress. Ten days ago, on a Saturday, we had a mini-quilting bee. The picture is blurry, but the real quilt which, thank goodness, is currently in the hands of our best quilter, is gorgeous and getting gorgeouser as more tatting is added. So I went back to work on tatting samples for various classes I’ll be teaching later this year. This is the continuous Catherine Wheel Star for the Finger Lakes Tatting Seminars in Lodi in April. Then in late May, more stars are coming to Spring Fling in Michigan. Even more stars than you can see in the photo. And then, in August at IOLI, there will be a sampler class. The beehive at the top is because the sponsoring guild is the Beehive Lacers… and there are a few little tatted bees among the flowers. For re-tatting, I’m thinking of using some size 150 cordonnet -I’d have to dye it first in small bits, but the idea of making a mini-sampler is appealing… I’ve got one more set of samples to do for these classes. Ideas are drawn out, they just need tatting. There were two spinning meetings in the past two months. So I’ve done a little handspun, but I haven’t yet had time to do anything with it. On the left is the most recent project, handspinning beaded yarn; on the right is the handspun plied with an interesting nylon novelty yarn. Once I get my plumbing straightened out – oh yes, there are two minor plumbing crises, one a particular problem because it involves the potty, which has not responded to conventional treatments, and in this small house, when it’s snowing, alternatives are not easily come by – then some dyeing will happen. Until then, life will be just a bit more complicated. It’s not a great time for this to happen – but I was trying to imagine a good time for plumbing issues to occur and frankly, I was drawing a blank on this.