Friday, April 25, 2008

I Meant To Post Earlier, I Really Did

I think the title says it all. I have been kinda quiet lately. I have also not been tatting very much. Why? I was crocheting. I mentioned that I purchased some Lion Homespun yarn for an afghan, and I decided to begin work on it. This was decided so I didn't have to work on the afghan during the heat of the summer (which feels like a long way away). We, in parts of Saskatchewan (as well as in British Columbia and Alberta), got hit with snow, rain, freezing rain, snow and rain, and any other combinations of the three possible last weekend. This bad weather continued (to a lesser extent) during the week. A snowfall warning was issued for the city today. We had rain. Anyway, I am about half done the afghan, but I can't show you yet. You see, I can't seem to get a decent picture of it. If the flash on my camera goes off, it washes out the texture of the yarn and the pretty cool zig-zags that the pattern produces. If I turn the flash off, the colour is really bad, and often blurry. So, IF the sun comes out this weekend, I'll try to photograph it in natural sunlight.

I have done a little tatting as well. I signed up for the May Tatting Exchange run by Rachel Jackson (formerly run by Mary Donohue). The exchange is for a tatted bookmark. I am almost finished them but I can't show you them yet. Trust me, I really, really, really (you get the idea!) want to. I am using HDT matched with a solid colour to make them. One of my partners wanted many colours. Well, many colours she shall have; can anyone say "Tutti Frutti" by LadyShuttleMaker! I am matching the HDT with an appropriate solid, which will not be revealed. The pattern I have chosen is one I have made before, and I must say even I am impressed. The way the colour repeated in just the right way was unexpected, and welcomed.

While trying to find a nice pattern to make the exchange, I decided to try Mary Konior's Tatted Filet in Tatting With Visual Patterns. I tried it with HDT. I think I found another pattern where HDT may not work.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Please let me know what you think. I still have the shuttle and ball, er bobbin, attached to the piece. I plan on making this pattern again, but in a solid colour instead. Maybe if the rings were in HDT and the background was a solid, it might work.

And finally tonight, I thought I will share a picture of the orchid I bought a few weeks ago.

I really like this orchid. And not just for the colour and pattern on the flower. The flowers are scented. I couldn't believe it. While Phalaenopsis orchids do not normally have a scent, some phals, (often yellow ones) do (apparently). This particular plant, which, unfortunately is a NOID Phalaenopsis, has a fragrance that reminds me of lilac. The funny thing is, I notice the scent most often after my computer turns off the plant lights for the night. I wonder, though, if I am imagining that part. I guess that's all for now. If I can get a decent photo of my afghan in progress, I'll post again soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Maltese Ring Bookmark, AKa Motif #17

Here is my next motif, #17:

This is Martha Ess's Maltese Ring bookmark from Tat Days 2007. The pattern is available on the Tat Days 2007 Pattern CD. I love Maltese Rings (MR). They look way more complicated than they are (really). For some really good instructions on making MRs, please see Martha's website. This is the third bookmark that I have made with MRs, the first two are done with a different pattern though (the pattern in on Martha's website as well). I have used Marilee's Deep Ocean in size 30, and Cebelia size 30 in colour # 797. I reversed the colours. I had wanted to have the outer chains in Deep Ocean. Oh well, I'll have to make another one. I haven't had time to do much tatting this week. It's been busy at work, and it feels like I have been living there for the past week.

I went to one of the local greenhouses earlier this week. I went specifically for clear orchid pots. How many of you will believe me if I said that is all I bought? I thought so. You're right, besides the pots, I bought a philodendron (type unknown), a creeping fig, a dwarf banana (who wants to bet that I will manage to kill this one, just like the other 2), a Rabbits foot fern, Canna 'Black Knight', and another orchid. I'll post pictures later. I also went to Michaels (it was on the way to the greenhouse, honest!). There I did only buy what I had intended, eight balls of Lion Brand Homespun. I have been waiting for this yarn to go on sale for awhile. Here, the yarn is regularly $6.99 a ball, and it was one sale for $3.99 a ball. This yarn is for an afghan I have been dying to make. Now, I just have to find the time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

What I Have Been Tatting AKA Motifs #15 & 16

I have completed two more motifs for my challenge. The first motif, motif #15 is called Spinning Wheel Glass Mat by Mary Konior. Here it is:

This pattern is from Mary's book "Tatting With Visual Patterns". I love this book! I'm so glad Sue H ( moderator of the Here-Be-Tatters group) told us that the book is not out of print, and actually quite easy to find at many tatting suppliers. For the glass mat, I used Altin Basak size 50 thread in colour number 3005. This was my first time using Altin Basak thread. As long as you don't retro-tat very often, the thread holds up reasonably well. I did find the thread a little soft as well, but it is nice to work with.

My next motif is one by Ruth Perry. It is her Celtic Angel. I also test tatted it for Ruth.

The pattern is available from Ruth's Celtic Tatting Yahoo group. Or you could email Ruth directly. I used DMC Cordonnet size 20 in white. This was an interesting item to tat. It used a variation on the double stitch called the "Balanced Double Stitch" (BDS). The Celtic knot is a BDS chain or a "BChain" as Ruth calls it. If you want more information about the BDS you can check out the following PDF file at Georgia Seitz's site. The BDS is larger than a regular DS, so you may have to adjust the number of stitches in the chains of the knot. And, as Riet said, you don't have to hide the ends when you are done. Here, I tied them together to make a hanger. Until next time.