Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trendy Teardrops and a Plant Update

Well, here it is, over a week since my last post and don't have much to show for it. Craft-wise anyway. I have done some tatting; will get to it soon. I did a little chainmaille, but not much. I am offering free shipping in my shop, but from the looks of it, that may be useless right now. Apparently, Canada Post may go on strike Thursday, just before midnight. I may put my shop in vacation mode if there is a strike (just in case), but we'll have to see. I am, however concerned about a shipment of plants I have en route as we speak. The guy shipping them to me has been watching the Canada Post situation closely (as have I) and they should arrive before the deadline, but I'm still concerned.

As I mentioned, I did do some tatting this past week. I think I mentioned working on them in my last post. And here they are:

These are Yarnplayer's Trendy Teardrop earrings. I only made the earrings since I didn't have any matching size 10 thread to make a pendant. It's an interesting pattern (available in Yarnplayer's Etsy shop) that uses a new technique. Well, new to me anyway. That technique would be the Catherine Wheel Join. I tried the CWJ in a "practice" piece-so named a "practice" piece because I broke the thread during the outer round and didn't feel like reattaching the thread (didn't like the colour I used anyway). I decided, however, to not use the CWJ in the above earrings, I found it too, um, time consuming. It took me several minutes per join to do. I opted instead to do a Slope and Roll join. Much faster, albeit not as nice looking. I'll try the Catherine Wheel join again. Thread stats: for these earrings I used Krystledawne's Vineyard at Dusk HDT in size 20 with Amethyst beads. I really love this colourway! As I've mentioned before, I'm not fond of pinks and purples, but this thread is different. The purple is there, but it's not really noticeable (to me, anyway). I do regret only buying one skein. Although, she does have more in her shop........but, I think I'll wait until I know what Canada Post is doing.

Finally, I thought I do a plant update. I posted a photo of my (at the time) one and only Tropical Pitcher plant (Nepenthes x Ventrata). Here is a fairly recent photo of the plant:

Well, one of it's pitchers anyway. I wanted to show how much bigger the pitchers are now. If you look at the photo I posted earlier (located here), you'll see that the one pictured was only about 1 cm long (probably about 1.5 cm when opened). Well, the pitcher above is about 3.5 inches long. And I'm hoping they'll get even bigger. I've started feeding it ants that I found around the house (hey, they're entering the house at their own risk!). I've added a few more pitcher plants to my collection:

I'm really glad I finally found the high plastic dome for growing trays. I've had a heck of a time finding them. I could mail order one, but it just seemed like the wrong type of thing to mail order. These ones (I bought a couple of them) are better than the ones I've seen in the seed catalogs, as they have two air vents on top that can be opened to let in fresh air, and reduce the humidity (although most Nepenthes like high humidity). I'm hoping they don't outgrow the dome too fast, but I'll adapt as they grow.

That's about it for now. I started another Windmills motif, in the size 10 Cebelia. Since I do like making the motifs (I just get sick of making them after awhile), I thought it might get me in the mood to do some serious tatting. We'll see. Till next time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tatted Earrings, and a Bit of Maille

Sorry for disappearing, again. I just don't know what the problem is lately. Well, actually, I have a few theories. The main one is that I have too many things I want to make in numerous mediums that I can't get started on any of them. I made another wheel of Cheddar cheese yesterday and finished it today; the one I made back in March is just about ready to taste. I've been working on some chainmaille lately. The main piece will be shown later in this post. I'm still getting beads and stuff for several chainmaille jewelry pieces. These are pretty cool; hopefully they sell well. I'm not even gong to say anything about my sales on Etsy. I think I may offer free shipping again for a week or two. I should have done that a few weeks before Mother's Day. Anyway, onward to the tatting!

As the title suggests, I manage to tat a pair of earrings during this past week. It's a pattern I make quite frequently:

These are, of course,  Yarnplayer's Carnival Earrings. These aren't quite finished, obviously. In case you're wondering, I don't usually hide the ends on earrings. A knot and a dab of glue initially, and once dry, they get stiffened with more glue. Since I have to remake the earrings regularly, this works quite well. And since you only see one side of the earrings (usually) the knot isn't noticeable. Thread stats: Lizbeth size 20, colour #149 Peacock Blues. The beads are Reconstituted Turquoise for the large beads, and light blue seed beads.  I am working on another pair of earrings, using a different pattern. And before I forget, have a look at this Temari ball with tatting on it.

Finally, I'll show you the main focus of my creative energy:

I'm not thrilled with the above photo. The camera didn't want to/couldn't focus properly on the metal fabric. The nature of the chainmaille fabric make me look fat. Though that could be the snacks-I think I hear snickering from my tatted seahorse from that comment. Anyway, my chainmaille shirt, more properly called a Hauberk, is almost done. It currently weighs about 21 pounds (9.5 kg). Here is a closeup shot of the overlapping "Horseman Slits" that I put in on the front and back of my Hauberk:

The slits make it easier to walk and ride horses in. I think they look kinda cool too. I still have to make the sleeves, lengthen it some more (I reckon it should come down to about the top of the side pockets on the shorts I am wearing in the photo), and add an edging of bronze rings to the bottom edge, around the neck, and maybe on the sleeves too. I'm probably going to put this aside for awhile. I do want to get some other projects done.

That's about it for now. Hopefully I'll get more accomplished this week. I prepared a ball for a Temari this afternoon, so hopefully I'll get to stitching that soon. And I really want to get more tatting in; I'm having a hard time finding a pattern I want to tat. There's also more chainmaille I want to make. So we'll see how I make out. Till next time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some Tatting, Finally!

Don't get too excited, I don't have much tatting to show. I'm not sure what it is lately, I just can't get into tatting. I want to tat something, I just don't know what. I have been working on my tie; I have 14 rows of 4-Ring squares left to go. I'm over half way there. I might start working on my mom's Windmills doily. I think for now, I will make it oval in shape. I don't want to make it round, but I may try Jane E's method of tricking myself into making the doily larger. Once it's oval, I might be inclined to continue making motifs until it's round. We'll see.

Anyway, here's the one piece of tatting that I managed to tat while away last week:

This is Ruth Perry's Celtic Maple Leaf. I've made it before, but this time I used some of Yarnplayer's Sugar Maple HDT in size 30 to make it. I like it in this colourway. Nothing really else to say about the leaf.

I think that's it for now. I'm kinda distracted right now; I'm catching up on the new season of Doctor Who. I've got a few new chainmaille earrings to share, but I'll make another post later. I may even get some more tatting done. Quick question before I go, any crocheters out there have a favourite (preferably online) shawl pattern? Till next time.