Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quick Doily Update

I have finished the centre of the doily I have been working on. Here is a progress pic:

I just finished the centre round a little while ago. The doily measures about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. All the ends you see in the upper left side are all hidden. I prefer to cut them short but not completely until I am done. You may notice that there are four ends that I had to hide. Well, after I had finished the round and had joined to the beginning, a thread broke. Yup, and it broke close to the join so there was no way to salvage it. I had to undo the final chain, add a two new threads (continuously so I didn't have two more ends to hide), and remake the chain, hiding the two ends from the broken chain. I can now continue on with round two, while I watch an episode of Star Trek: Voyager I previously recorded.

I'm Procrastinating Again (AKA What Else Is New?)

I seem to be going through a period of procrastination. Of course, some may say I never leave this period, but I digress. I haven't touched my final motif, again. I also haven't scanned or photographed the things I got from Gina. I think this is similar to what I do when a favourite TV show comes to an end (or has ended for shows that were before my time). I almost never watch the final show. I've seen nearly every episode of M*A*S*H multiple times, but not the finale. This way, the show never ends for me. I guess, if I don't work on Motif # 25, the challenge won't come to an end either.

However, I have been tatting. I started a doily. Yes, you heard me right. Instead of finishing the challenge, I started a (fairly) large project. Here is an (early) progress pic:

This is "Lucky Clover" from Tatting Patterns and Designs by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson. The thread is one I got from Gale at Tat's All. It is called Accent , I'm using colour #148, Mediterranean Blue. It is a 2 ply rayon thread that is about the same size as a size 50 thread. It is absolutely awesome to tat with. This is the first major project that I am using this thread for. Nearly every time I order from Gale, I buy a couple bobbins of this thread. Currently, Gale is selling the thread by the bobbin, but she has started selling a variegated version of Accent by the spool, so she may be selling the solids by the spool now. I will have to ask as I really like this thread. Well, so far anyway.

That's all I have right now. Hopefully, and I mean hopefully, I will get back to the final motif soon. Here is another pic of the doily. I couldn't decide which one looked better.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Little Tatting, Lunar Photos, and a New Love of My Life

I haven't done much tatting since my last post. I got my package from Gina recently, but I will need a few days to scan and photograph everything I got from her. I finished the tatting for my Christmas in July partner. I found out today that my partner got her package already. I'm impressed. That lady at Canada Post told me it will take 6-8 business days. It only took 3 business days. Here is a preview of what I tatted for my partner.

For this motif I used DMC Cordonnet size 50 thread paired with Oren Bayan Metallic thread. I'm not sure what size equivalent this combination works out to, probably between a size 10 to 20. That is only a guess. I will have to make a sample one of these days. I have not touched my final motif since I last posted. I may try to complete another petal or two tonight. Of course, this is weather permitting. We could get a thunderstorm, which could knock out the power. I love the forecast that Forecastfox is displaying for today: Not as warm with a t-storm, 27 C. Can't say I have ever seen a rhyming forecast before.

It has been really hot here the last few days; the temperature has been in the 27-29 degrees C range lately. And, if thats not hot enough, my house seems to get a few degrees hotter than it is outside. I don't have air conditioning, but I do have several fans that kinda help. To be a complete geek, I have the fans connected to X-10 home automation controllers that react to an X-10 compatible temperature sensor. All of which interact with my PC. Depending on the reading the sensor sends to the computer, the fans turn on or off in response to the inside temperature. It works quite well. It's even better when the computer announces that the fans (or plant or aquarium lights) are going on or off, and plays sound effects from the computer of Star Trek Voyager.

Now, last night, I took some picture of the moon with my new camera. I'm actually quite impressed with the images I got.

It's a little blurry around the edges, but I assume that is because of the digital zoom. This photo was taken with out a telescope of any kind. I used all available zoom settings that my camera has. That is, 6x optical zoom multiplied by 4x digital zoom for a total of 24x zoom. I'll have to play around with the settings some more to see if I can eliminate some of the blurriness. Ironically, I was trying to photograph the moon during an eclipse this past February that made me want a new camera. Here is a photo from that attempt:

Quite a difference, isn't it? This was as close as I could get. My old camera has only 2x digital zoom.

Finally, I have a new love of my life. I don't know how I lived without her. I can't decide what I like more. Her sleek, feminine, disk-shaped body or her awesome cleaning abilities. May I introduce you all to................

iRobot Roomba 400!

I don't know how I lived without Roomba. It is a pretty good vacuum. I have wanted one, ever since iRobot first released them . I was at Wal*Mart one day and as soon as I saw Roomba, I knew I had to have one. The particular model I have, Roomba 400, is an entry level model, but it can be upgraded to have scheduling capabilities and a base station Roomba will seek out when it is done cleaning. I know what you all are thinking. I promise to leave home more often and have more human contact.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Canadian Maple Leaf and a Few Other Pictures

As many of you may know, Canada Day was last Tuesday. I meant to post this sooner, but I had to work a lot last week. On top of that I went away for a five day holiday (nothing special); more on that later. Last year I created a simplistic tatted maple leaf for a project I have been meaning to do.

I wrote up the pattern earlier this evening in case anyone wants to make it. For the record, I have not seen anything like this, but, as always, someone else may have a similar design. If so let me know.

Start CTM (Continuous thread method) with red, or desired colour thread.

R: 6---3-3 Cl RW
CH: 3-3 RW
R: 5+7---1----1---3-5 Cl
R: 5+6---1----1---6-5 Cl
R: 5+3---1----1---7-5 Cl RW
Ch: 3+3 RW
R: 3+3---6 Cl

While holding both threads to the back of the work, join to the same

picot that the second chain joins to.

Ch: 8 or until desired length. Cut, tie and hide.


R -> Ring
Ch -> Chain
- -> regular size picot
--- -> long picot
---- -> extra long picot
RW -> reverse work

If there is something that isn't clear, just leave me a comment, and I'll fix it.

I have been working on my final motif for the 25 Motif Challenge. It is one I made before but forgot to photograph. I'm not sure when I'll be done, I have four out of six yellow petals complete, and then I have a couple blue petals and a calyx to make. As with many other people, I am participating in the Here Be Tatters yahoo! group summer exchange. I'll show what I made when my partner gets it.

As I mentioned earlier, I went on a five day holiday this past weekend. It wasn't anything special, I just went to my parents house. I can report that my mom loved the bracelets I made. I also made her a pair of Yarnplayer's Carnival earrings. I didn't get a picture of the completed earrings (surprise, surprise) but here is a progress pic;

I used some Altin Basak thread (colour 3005 I believe) and some blue Czech seed beads. Instead of a pearl in the centre, I used a bead made of Turquoise Howlite (AKA Faux Turquoise). If I do say so myself, they looked good. I made a slight modification to the pattern. Because my mom prefers earrings that are shorter in length, I eliminated the spiral chain and shortened the beads that dangle from the centre picot. The shuttle, is, of course, one of LadyShuttlemaker's ceramic shuttles.

While at my parent's house, I took some pictures of the Prairie Lilies that grow wild throughout Saskatchewan (and probably elsewhere as well).

The Prairie Lily AKA Western Red Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is the provincial flower of Saskatchewan. They can be seen growing alongside roads and in forests throughout the province. There are also over twenty species of native orchids that grow in Saskatchewan as well, but I haven't seen them in person. Well, I don't think I have seen them, I'm sure I may have but didn't know it.

Finally, I had a surprise when I got home on Monday. I had purchased a Hibiscus over a month ago. I have always wanted one and finally found one. I researched the proper care for them and gave it a quick prune to make it look nice. The plant started growing well, and produced several buds. Yes, buds. I guess that means I'm doing something right. One of the buds opened while I was gone.

My hand is right behind the flower. I couldn't believe how big the flower is. It's a good thing I took some pictures of the flower, as it was closed when I got home this afternoon. Not a problem though; there are another half a dozen or so buds just waiting to open. Here is another picture from a different perspective.

That's all for now. I'll try to post again soon (now where have I heard that before?).