Monday, March 23, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
I fully intended to post once a week but something happened – for the second time this year, I got really, really, stay-in-bed-and-shake-with fever sick. This wasn’t quiet time – I was also coughing nonstop. This was actually the continuation of the first bronchitis which began the day after Christmas. So it while it might not be the longest-running bronchitis/cold/flu/bronchitis in the annals of medicine, it IS the longest continuous illness in the history of me. Despite the weather (this is an essential part of the seasonal "find the firewood" game) and the other stuff, I did get a few things done. This was done earlier in the year, but since it’s now on its way to being delivered, by the person who kindly held up the blanket, I can post it. It’s a baby blanket made for an expected-in-early March baby boy. I backed the navy blue velour with fleece (a corner is folded down so you can see the other side) then quilted the two together with spirals. It will be machine washable – and warm. And because both the fleece and the velour are wide, should be useful past the newborn time. This tatted doily, a re-creation of an 1867 pattern by Mlle. Riego, took about 25 hours to create. Near the end I almost panicked, sure I’d run out of thread. Thankfully, I didn’t, but it was close. This is for an article about Riego for the bulletin of the International Organization for Lace, Inc. (I’m the tatting editor). I was very pleased with the way it came out. One of the dumbest things I did this year (so far) happened on a day I was trying to get a tatting proposal finished. It was snowing hard, I’d just started the second round of antibiotics, I was feeling really sick – and my computer died. I slogged through two feet of snow to the car, carrying bits of my taken-apart computer, a pocket full of "Fisherman's Friend" lozenges and a roll of toilet paper for my running nose, drove to town to the computer repair shop and got it fixed, got the proposal complete and sent off and went to bed. This is one of the proposed projects – a tatted amigurumi angel. I like her a lot. Now it’s time to stop complaining. I went to teach at a wonderful new tatting conference – in Florida – with some of my favorite people, at the perfect time of year for a little sunshine. The amulet bags are something I’ve been working on this year, they’re fun to tat and you feel like you’ve done something interesting and significant. I also designed these “Knot More Sunshine” earrings (they’ll be in the May Tatting Times) for the conference. And, because I knew I’d be coming back to winter – inadequately dressed in most respects – I started and finished this alpaca cowl, which was fun and easy knitting on size 9 needles. The yarn was dyed with indigo; I traded during the last crafts sale of the season – a pair of mittens for this skein of yarn. I think we were both pleased. And it’s true – alpaca is warm but not itchy. And I love the color. I finished it in Florida and wore it home. Where I’m continuing to need it. Of course.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Twice in the past week, I've had to play "find the car" (under a foot or so of snow) also "driveway roulette" - "Yup, you got DOWN the driveway, want to take bets on whether you'll be able to get UP?" But while it was blizzarding, I got a bit of stuff done. Okay, would you believe 15 knitting bags? (or lace supplies bags, or spinning bags, or crocheting bags or even overnight bags.) I occasionally dump out all the crafts stuff from mine and use it when I travel, because it's squashy, so it will fit anywhere. They're mostly for the shop, and to take along to fiber events and the occasional crafts sale. One is definitely too weird - darn it, that will have to be mine... (As if I minded). They're lined, so they take a while. But they're all fabric, and I discovered they do well in the wash. Here's a sample - doesn't the red one on the left look like tatting shuttles? (for more information on these, look at the gracefulartsfiberstudioyarnshop page on FB) 2-3
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!