Friday, May 28, 2010

My Mystery Chainmaille Project

I promised to post about my Mystery project, so here I am. Several people guessed what I had made. While no one got it, there were some really good guesses.

I won't keep you in suspense. May I present, my chainmaille ............ Tie!

That's right. A chainmaille tie. It is made out of bright aluminum and is quite light, it weighs about 5 ounces (about 139 grams). This is also my first design done in chainmaille. There are a few tutorials available for chainmaille ties, but I didn't like the way they looked. So, I made up the pattern as I went. I have to say, that while like the way it turned out, it is very over-engineered. I really wanted the tie to look like, a tie. A real cloth tie, so that's what it's modeled after. I'm not sure how long it took to make. I know I watched three movies while making it and then some. So I'm guessing that I spent about 6 hours or so working on it. Hopefully I'll be able to wear it sometime. This will probably be another item I won't be making to sell.

While making my chainmaille tie, I had another great idea. A tatted tie! I haven't worked out any of the details yet, but I have it pictured in my mind. It would have fairly solid-ie: little negative space, though I'm not ruling out simple rings and chains. And it would have to be quite manly, of course. No excess picots, or other frilly things. I'm not sure if this has been done before, but it's still going to be fun to try. And, as an added bonus, this will give tatting a purpose! I know, we've been there before, but still.

That's all for now. It's supposed to be cool and rainy here all weekend, and I have the weekend off. I plan to spend most of it tatting. Till next time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jon's Foldover Bookmark. And More Maille

Well, again, I didn't get as much tatting as I would have liked. I focused on chainmaille again. I will try to make this post somewhat short. I do plan on posting again in a few days.

As the title indicates, most of the tatting I accomplished was Jon's Foldover Bookmark, found here.

This is a really cool pattern. And pretty easy to do. I decided to use some of my Silk HDT (HDST) from LadyShuttleMaker. I used sized 20 HDST in the Pensacola Beach colourway. I love this colorway. And the silk thread was a pleasure to work with. I haven't worked with silk thread until now because my hands always seem to be too rough, and I didn't want to have the thread snag constantly. But lately my hands have been fairly smooth, so I decided to give the thread a try. I'll have to use the silk thread more often, before my hands get rough again. This will be Motif #24 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

As I mentioned, I did a lot of chainmaille over the past week. One of the first projects I did was to remake my wallet chain. Again. I guess the Stainless steel rings I used were just a bit too big, and the chain started to come undone in a few places. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, that wouldn't do. I decided to make the chain in three different metals, since the Jen Pind Linkage weave that I used has three different planes in it. I chose to make the new chain in stainless steel, brass, and bronze. I thought they would look really cool together.

Unfortunately, in this gauge brass and bronze look quite similar so I didn't get the contrast I was hoping for. Since brass and bronze both tarnish and darken with age, my only hope now is that one darkens more than the other. I am NOT remaking this. My hands were killing me for a few days after I finished the chain.

I also made two bracelets in Sterling Silver.

I have to say, they both look gorgeous in real life. Though, I will admit, I don't expect them to sell. They are kinda expensive; about three times the cost of my other bracelets. But we'll see. Just for kicks, I also took a photo comparing the colour of stainless steel and sterling silver:

I had planned on posting yesterday, however I was so involved in my lastest chainmaille creation that I didn't want to stop. I'm not going to show you the finished piece though. I will post a teaser photo instead. You guys can guess what it will be, although I think it is kinda obvious.

So, any guesses?? I will post again in a few days with a photo of the completed item. That's all for now; my short post is getting pretty long. Till next time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Not Alot of Tatting Goin' On

I had another week where I didn't get much tatting done. I really tried. I did manage some early in the week, but I got sidetracked with other projects.

You may be wondering what I was working on if I wasn't tatting. Well, this:

It's a chainmaille bag, often called a dice bag. I finally decided to make one, and honestly, I'm quite impressed with it. While it was fairly easy to make (bear in mind that I am working my way up to making a chainmaille shirt for myself-maybe; we'll see), I'm not sure if I will be making these for sale. Unless someone wants one; it does make a cute tatting bag, if lined and/or you place small cloth bags inside it. Which is what I did:

You should be able to see a red coloured thing through the chainmaille. That would be the Poke Proof Pouch I bought from Jane Eborall a while ago. Might have to buy a few more. Anyway, the Pouch is in my dice bag for a reason. And here they are:

Yup, I have a couple more Pop-a-Bobbin shuttles in my possession. The light one is made out of Cedar, and the black one is Ebony. I love them!!! Sally has a nice story on her blog about some cedar wood she got from a local church. I've been wondering if my cedar shuttle was made out of it. Maybe Jane or Sally could let me know. I'm still on Jane's list for a Coco bola Rosewood shuttle; hopefully it will still be possible. Anyway, they both work great. And, the hooks seem a little different. A little more refined, perhaps. They're still made by Sally's husband, Nick (you all may know him better as "I'm in the garage", but it seems weird for me to call him that; I mean, if I had a garage, I might have that name too). Mind you, I may have gotten better at using the hooks.

And finally, we come to the small amount of tatting that I managed to make this week.

This edging was made from a pattern that Mark, AKA, Tatman shared on several tatting list a week or so ago. In a way, we were his test tatters. The way the pattern was written caused it the curve severely. Six repeats would make a circular motif. I made a few modifications to make the edging straight. It's very pretty, though the large rings at the bottom were kinda a pain in the butt to close since they are so large. I used Lizbeth size 20 in colour number 663 for the edging.

I haven't done much else in the way of needlecrafts. I have, however, been working on a few projects of the culinary type. I've been making cheese! That's right, every weekend for the past month, I've made a small (~2 pounds in weight) block or wheel of cheese. Nothing fancy; the first three were simply called "basic hard cheese". I also made some Feta cheese (which tastes great by the way). This weekend, I made some "Stirred Curd Cheddar". I've got some photos, if your interested. What's that? You want to see them. Here they are:

The Feta is in the jar on the left. The cheese on the right is the Cheddar I made this weekend. It has to air dry for a few days, then it needs to be waxed. I then have to age it for at least two months. Fortunately, the other cheeses that I made will be ready before this one. In case you're wondering, the Cheddar recipe is from the book Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Carroll. Ricki has a website where you can buy the book, and other cheesemaking supplies. The basic cheese and feta recipes are from this website.

That's it for now. We'll see what happens on the tatting front. Hopefully I will get a significant amout of tatting done. Till next time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Pendant

This is going to be a quick post. Sorry for the long delay between posts. Lots going on, just not tatting related.

Some of you may remember the "Rose Garden" motif from Mary Konior's book Tatting in Lace that I made in white thread. If not, here is a refresher photo:

Here it is in all it's colourless glory. I thought it would look good in two (or more) colours. So that's what I tried. Here is the result:

All I can say is, Wow! I think it looks much better done in multiple colours. The purple thread I used for the rose is Purple Punch size 20 HDT by Yarnplayer and the green is Lizbeth size 20 in colour #684. I wanted to use HDT for the green as well, but all the green I had was in size 30 & 50 and most of the colours suitable for the rose were in size 20. The only colourway suitable for the rose in size 50 was still in skein form (I know, the horrors; actually I have quite a bit HDT in skein form since I never seem to have the time to wind it onto floss cards-I am working on it, I swear!). I was going to make this motif into a brooch, but I didn't have any proper brooch backs and I couldn't find any safety pins, so I attached a split ring to it to make a pendant. My mom loved it!

I was able to give my mom her Rose Garden pendant, as well as a chainmaille pendant, photo later, and a pair of teal anodized titanium earrings, that I showed earlier, today. My parents had to come to the city today, so I spent most of the day with them. It was nice.

That's all for now. I really, really, hope to post again, maybe mid-week. I do hope to get a substantial amount of tatting done. But, as always, we'll see. Till next time.

Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there!