Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Final Black Magic Bookmark and Random Orchid Photos

Sorry for the delay in posting. Actually, I'm doing this on purpose. I had meant to post over the weekend, but since I am going away for a few days, and won't be posting till I get back, I thought I'd wait a few extra days. I've done a little tatting lately. Mostly finishing on a bookmark I started  over a month ago. I started tatting another bookmark, different pattern. And I've been tinkering in designing, but I'm not ready to show anything from that. You're not missing much!

I've got my hoodie on hold for now. I had hoped on more input on colour choice for the ribbing, see previous post for details. I'm going to look for a darker grey colour before deciding for sure.

As I mentioned, I finished a bookmark I started some time ago. It's another one of Mary Konior's Black Magic bookmarks. This time I kept the colour simple, and made the bookmark, black!

I also decided to end the bookmark in a more finished manner. While trying not to, I basically did what Miranda did with her bookmark. It became apparent that I should have started the bookmark with a chain instead of the large central ring as I had to do a split chain (that wasn't split) for the final chain joining to the central ring. I could then tat the end chain as a split chain as normal. I continued with a lock stitch chain with a few split rings that mimicked the central rings. I finished with a round motif based off of the Black Magic pattern. While I liked the fan that Miranda ended with, I felt the round motif was more manly. The bookmark was done with Lizbeth size 20 thread (I didn't have size 40 then, I do now) in black, colour #604.

Finally I'll end this post with a couple of photos of one of my Phalaenopsis orchids. It's doing something funny. Well, maybe not funny, but unexpected. And I don't know why.

The first photo was taken when I first found the plant(s) about a month ago. The second photo was taken a week or so ago. My understanding is that these plants aren't supposed to form offsets in this fashion. The only time, that I have found, that a Phal should do this is in the event the the growth point is damaged, perhaps from rot or something. Phals belong to a family of orchids which are known as Monopodial orchids. That means that they have only one growing point and generally grow as a single upright stem. From what I can tell, the main plant seems healthy and is currently growing a new leaf. The offset is growing roots (you can't see them, but they are there), so once it's big enough I'll separate it off. I don't what it sucking too much energy from the parent plant, and it could break off, fall off by itself. In case you're wondering the plant is called Doritaenopsis Long Pride Fancy 'MP0653' which you can see here.

That's it for now. I should be getting ready to leave tomorrow, so I gotta go. Hopefully I'll post early next week. Till next time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nothing New, Just Some Updates

I haven't done much, so I don't have anything new. I did get another order last week, so I worked on remaking the sold item. But other than that I haven't done much else. I did finish crocheting the hood on my hoodie. I still need to do the ribbing, and, uh, I have to sew on the pocket. I forgot about it until I posted the photo. I also forgot that the the hood has ribbing on it as well, so I definitely don't have enough yarn to finish it using the same yarn. I stopped at Michaels last week to buy some dark grey cotton/acrylic blend yarn. Big surprise I didn't find much. Actually, I didn't find any. Instead I found some 100 % cotton yarn in black (called Ebony) in the Loops and Threads brand (I believe its a Michaels brand/exclusive) and some grey yarn in a bamboo/wool blend from Stitch Nation. Here's some photos:

I really don't know which one looks better. I was hoping for a darker grey (or lighter black!). I really think the black may be too dark, but the grey may be too light. I do prefer the grey, but that may be because I want to use a bamboo yarn for something, though now that Michaels has this line of yarn I may be able to find another project to satisfy that need. Let me know what you know what you think. I may have to go on another quest for the prefect grey cotton/acrylic blend yarn.

I mentioned in the last post that I had purchased an LED light system for my aquarium. Well, it looks great and produces a fair amount of light. As I said, time will tell if the plants appreciate it. One cool feature of the unit is that it has "Moon Lights". These are blue LEDs that mimic the light of the moon. Makes the tank look pretty cool:

You can't see the fish (I can't anyway) but it still looks kinda cool. Moon lights aren't really for freshwater aquariums, they're more for reef setups, so I won't be using them much. But I had to try them out at least once.

I had a request for an update on my five new Nepenthes (tropical pitcher plants) plants. Here is a (fairly) recent photo of them:

Four out of five are doing pretty well. The fifth, the one on the front right, isn't doing so hot. Fortunately, it was also the least expensive of the five (well, if you don't count the one provided as a free gift; it's right behind the dying one). I'm not really that disappointed. It's a fairly common plant so I should be able to replace it easily. I have been opening the cover regularly to let some fresh air in. I'll try and remember to provide another update in a month or two.

Finally, here's an update for another plant that I haven't mentioned for a while. It it, my Tillandsia, or Air Plant:

It (they?) has/have grown since you've seen it last. And, if you look in the second photo, there's going to be another plant in the near photo. I'm surprised on how well it's doing. Since my first one died after flowering, I assumed this one will too. Though the first one did spend a summer, a Canadian summer, in near full sun all day and not watered nearly enough. That is probably why it died. My understanding is that some, if not all, Tillandsias will form clumps or clusters. I think it will be quite spectacular once it gets really large as there may be numerous plants in flower at any given time, or perhaps the whole plant at once. I will try to provide updates on this plant too, but since it grows rather slowly, it won't be very often.

I think that will be all tonight. I do have more plant photos ( I really want to show you what one of my Phalaenopsis orchids is doing) but they will have to wait for another day. I bought a bunch of new findings recently as my main supplier got over a hundred new items. Two of the findings I bought include some hair clips and some solid stainless steel toggle clasps. I will have to get some photos with the toggle clasps and play around with the hair clips so look for that. I have been working on some tatting, so hopefully I will have some tatting to show soon. Till next time. Goodnight!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost Done Hoodie, and My New Tatting Books

Well, I finally get to post. Between work, several welcome sales, not feeling well earlier this week, and other stuff, I never got around to posting. That's not to say I have that much to post about. As I said, I got several sales, which was awesome as they allowed me to purchase a(n) LED light system for my aquarium (without having to wait until payday). Hopefully my aquatic plants like it, though it will compliment my existing fluorescent light system. Anyway, my main focus tonight (or whenever you read this) will be a status update of my Dawg hoodie.

I finished the last sleeve towards the end of last week (I think). I won't bore you with a photo of it since, well, it looks just like the other one. I had hoped to sew everything together Sunday, but a surprise visit by my parents meant the hoodie had to wait until another day. That day was Wednesday.

Nothing special to report here. As expected, all matching pieces were the same size. In case you're wondering, I folded the sleeves down for the picture so more of the hoodie is visible, or rather less background is visible. There's not much left to finish. Basically, the hood part and the waist and sleeve ribbing. There's also some ends to hide, but it's not a big deal on a crochet project. There is one problem. I may run out of yarn (again!!). It's my fault; I had figured out how many skeins I would need, but decided to round the number down since I was making the sleeves shorter. I bought 8 skeins of yarn. I have one left, plus a little of another skein. This really may not be a problem after all. I will finish the hood with the skein I have left. Once that's done, and I know exactly how much yarn is left, I can figure out what to do next. What I have been thinking was that if I think I have enough (probably not) I'll do the ribbing in the remaining yarn. If I don't think I have enough I can either a) try to find a matching skein of yarn with the same dye lot or b) do the ribbing in a different colour (either black or grey). I like option a but it's probably unlikely I can match the dye lots. I'll probably go with option b, with a yarn of similar content if possible. I'll update you once I get this far.

Finally I will finish this post with something tatting related, since I haven't posted anything tatting related for awhile:

These are my newest tatting books. I've been looking through both books and have several bookmarks picked out that I'd like to tat. I do have a few projects in progress that I'd like to finish first. Of course, the finishing of my hoodie has to be done before I can tat.

That's about it for now. We'll see what happens over the next week or so. I have some chainmaille to show you-I played with my camera last week and got some pretty good photos. I think everything I've made is listed now, so feel free to look at my shop to see the new items, if you'd like. Till next time.