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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Just over 10 days ago, despite winter, a group of lacemakers warmed Saturday and Sunday with thoughts of lace. I traveled to the Lost Art Lacemakers weekend in Lafayette NJ to stay with a wonderful lacer and beader (I wish I’d taken some photos of her bead work, it’s truly spectacular) spent a day vending and another day teaching a class. Before I went, I did some thread-dyeing – these are the new colors before being skeined and sorted into individual bags. The class was oodles of fun. Nidia tatted for the first time that day – a fast study who progressed from “How do I wind the shuttle?” to “How do I read the pattern?” in a matter of hours. In fact, before the class was over, she’d progressed onto her second UFO – with promises, of course, to finish the first one. Dorothy and Linda looked like they were getting to be friends and changed seats to better chat while they were tatting; Barbara looked entirely happy. You can’t see two other class members or me, but then again, I was taking the photos. Drove home through what started as snow squalls and ended as an astonishing, though localized, blizzard. The week had a few more flakes in store for us – and a thankfully minor medical emergency (apparently un-diagnosable, but now somewhat better), both of which led to a lot of time spent tatting. Here is the Lodi Star, which I’ll be teaching in April at the Finger Lakes Tatting Group’s Tatting Seminars in a 3 hour class. The one we’ll do has the blue beads which make a strange pattern of their own; it uses my wandering wheel technique of continuous Catherine Wheels. This is the first prototype of the Field of Flowers tatted purse, a beaded bag attached to a cute metal frame. The one we’ll do will also be just a little smaller. The “we” in this instance is those taking the workshop the first weekend in May, when I’ll be teaching in May for the Amherst Museum Lace Guild, near Amherst, which is a really pretty suburb of Buffalo, NY. Just a note here: the first time I went was a year when the Buffalo winter had held a lot of snow… this winter has not (thus far) been quite that snowy, but I’m betting the result will be the same – one of the most brilliantly green spring seasons ever seen. Now back to the Valentine sock marathon, before returning to the tatting factory.