Friday, March 18, 2011

Unveiled at last – the cover tattings from my new booklet, “Wandering Wheels.” The grapes and the flower cart are two examples of what can be done with “floating” or joined Catherine wheels – everything tatted from a single color was made with one continuous thread – no cut and ties until I was done with that color. The idea arose after a tatter came to my house and demanded that I design a bunch of grapes for her. (Marcia, I love you hugs and hugs worth!) This led me to experiment with ideas – tatting each grape separately, which Marcia did before I came up with this method, seemed like too much work – as she herself will tell you. When I came up with this method, I knew it was something I’d never seen before, which felt truly exciting.

I really like the flower cart and I’m thinking of tatting it again to put on a t-shirt. The HDT (mine – colorway is called “Oil Slick”) worked well for the flowers and doesn’t truly look like oil at all. This has just been so much fun! Can you tell I’m really jazzed about it? The booklet comes back from the printer next week (some copies are already sold) when I take in the pattern book for the next Tatting in the Finger Lakes conference, which is just two weeks away. I’ll have it there and in Spokane.

After the masters went to the printer, I knitted 7 pairs of Seneca Santa mittens, which the Thursday knitting circle helped sew together. (Thank you!) And worked on cleaning up the black hole… I mean, the studio. Not done yet, of course, but progress has been made.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We’re snowed in again – which frankly, I love (or would if it didn’t feel like the flu has returned for an encore). Nevertheless, I’ve been having a blast. Today I wrote an article that I feel politically much in tune with. As a journalist, my job is to present information without expressing the merest shred of personal opinion, but when I get a chance to write about something I really believe in – which fortunately happens often – I feel particularly optimistic about life in general.

My friend June is in town, and brought some Seneca Santa mittens with her. We had an opportunity for a nice long visit and sort through the yarn bins. I’ve been doing a few hats now and then when I have time. The yellow ones, incidentally, were mostly made by my friend Jennifer, who knitted a long, tubular scarf that had no home. She gave it to me, and because I had some of the same yarn, through the magic of crochet turned the scarf into 8 hats on a different wintry morning. They matched well with many of June’s mittens.

We drank a lot of tea, she made a pair of mittens while I crocheted 7 more hats – hats go so much more quickly than mittens. And voila! We now have 14 finished sets. June, who every year makes dozens of mittens, stubbornly refuses to dedicate her entire life to this project – she really does have a life completely apart from knitting. I think I’m going to have to spend some time in the next weeks making some myself. I’m hoping that if I can do some on the knitting machine, maybe the Thursday knitting circle could sew them up. The idea is always to get the first batch of mittens out the door and into summer storage before the tatting conference and - yikes! It’s only four weeks away. I’d like to have a bit more than 14 sets to send off. Each year I pledge myself to make or facilitate at least 100 sets, so any way you look at it, I’m a bit behind.

Next on the agenda – look at the sage wool shawl whose ends you see behind the mittens. It began its life as a beautiful piece of wool whose remnant was given to me by a talented needlewoman who was purging her fabric stash. What it needs is an array of tatted hearts so it may be sent to a tatter who was the unlucky passenger in a car hit by another car and is now recovering from this serious accident. I hope to send this, too, on its way before our April tatting conference.

I’m also at work on a new tatting book, hinted at in the last Tatting Times. I’m really excited about these new patterns – I’ll show a few of the results when I’ve got more of them tatted… and after I tat a few hearts.