Sunday, March 27, 2011

Digital Tatting: Oval Windmills Doily

Me again. Thanks everyone for your kind comments about the doily. And don't worry, it will be given to my mom as a gift as intended. I've never had this problem with any other tatting before. It's probably due to how long it's taken me to make it. Anyway, Miranda mentioned that making the doily into an oval shape may ruin the effect of the pattern. Well, I isolated two motifs (one on each side) from the doily (it wasn't easy; I kept going cross-eyed!) and duplicated them. The individual motifs were skewed and resized into the proper alignment. It's not perfect, but it shows the effect quite well.

Well, what do you think? Please be honest. Personally, I still like it. However, if looks odd to everyone else, I'll reconsider. I don't want to make it larger by adding another full round. I still have to add a final round of chains to finish it off as well.

That's if for now. I haven't done any tatting since I finished the doily, but I still hope to tonight yet. Tomorrow will be another cheese making day. I plan on making some Colby cheese. I'm also working on a chainmaille project, but it has become a major PITA. Till next time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Windmills Doily and some Wool Roving

I finally got the Windmills done. Well, done for now. I'm still deciding if I will make it into an oval shape yet. Anyway, since I only had two motifs left to finish after the last post, I figured I'd have it done sooner. However, I didn't feel like working on it until Sunday. I ended up making some cheese on Sunday. I bought some proper cheese cultures, a new mold, and some cheese colouring (which I forgot to add!) and decided that Sunday was cheese making day. Though some tatting was done too.

I'm sure you probably want to see the doily by now. So without any further ado, here it is:

For anyone who recently came across my blog (and for others who may have forgot) here are a few stats about the doily. I am using Mary Konior's Windmills motif from her book Tatting With Visual Patterns, an awesome book, and one that is readily available from many online tatting stores (don't go to Amazon or eBay, and others for the book unless you want an out of print hardcover version). I am using DMC Cordonnet thread in size 20 in white. Right now the doily measures 15 inches (38.1 cm) when measured across the diagonal. This is the largest tatted piece I have made to date. I am also ashamed to admit that I have become rather attached to the doily. I had wanted to give it to my mom as a gift of some kind when it is done, but now I don't want to part with it. Is that bad? I think I will have to make another doily for my mom. Same pattern (I love this pattern!) but using the size 10 DMC Cebelia I have. We'll see. The new one could be for me.

About a week and a half ago, I felt compelled to buy some wool roving from Etsy seller slimchicken. Here it is:

This one is called "Jewel Colonial".

And this one is called "Northern Lights Colonial". Probably 6-7 years ago, I gave spindle spinning a try with less than stellar results. Well, I guess it depends on your point of view; the resulting yarn was uneven and lumpy. I know you can buy novelty yarns that look like that, but it wasn't what I wanted. I'm not sure where my spindle is anymore. I made it at my parent's house since my dad has the woodworking tools to cut out the wooden disks. I ordered another one from a different Etsy seller. It was pretty inexpensive, and much prettier than the one I made. I'll provide updates once I find the time to do some spinning.

That's about it for now. I'm probably going to go ahead and order the rings required to make a chainmaille shirt next week. I've been looking through instructions for the past few days, and feel confident that I can make this. I'll provide updates for this project as well. Unless I change my mind. But that probably won't happen. Till next time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I did While On My Break

I had hoped to post again later last week, but kept coming home each evening tired from work. Mind you, I didn't get much done until my days off anyway. My thread from DS9Designs arrived early this week so I can soon resume work on my tie. I have been working on my Windmills doily. I am two motifs away from finishing the round.

I mentioned that I did a little bit of crocheting. Here is what I made:

This is the second pair of slippers that I made. I wasn't happy with the first pair; they were much too big. As I made the above pair, I adjusted the size of them. Since I used a wool yarn, I also felted this pair in the washing machine to shrink them enough for a nice fit. The pattern is called "Paw Warmers" from The Crochet Dude's book Designs for Guys. I like the pattern even though the slippers take longer to make than my other slipper pattern. I do plan on making anther pair soon.

Here's a collage of the bracelets that I have made over the last few weeks.

The top left bracelet is Box Chain, the same weave as the chain/necklace that I wear. The top right bracelet is called X-Lock Byzantine. It's actually byzantine just with dramatically different sized rings than usual, which makes it flat. The bottom left bracelet is made using the Full Persian weave in titanium. I think I've already showed you the Spiral Chain bracelet. The black and silver chain on the bottom right is called Helm's Chain. I made that one around the time I made Dragonscale since they used the same size rings. This one is actually going to be the base of a necklace that I am working on . I'll show you more when it's done. I also made a pair of earrings to match the X-Lock Byzantine bracelet and refined the ring size used for the Beaded Byzantine earrings.

While I'm still on the topic of chainmaille, I have been seriously considering buying the rings and beginning work on a chainmaille shirt. Since my sales have been slow for the past few months, this may be a good time to begin this large project. I did some playing around with some rings in the gauge that seems to be common for the shirts and feel confident I can do this. I'll let you know if/when I go ahead with this. I will have to wait at least two weeks until my next payday before I can buy the rings. Unless I get lots of sales in the next few weeks.

I will leave you tonight with a few more orchid photos. These were both purchased over a month ago.

These are both Phalaenopsis NOIDs. I love the bottom one in particular; it is similar to one I already own. That's actually why I bought it. While most orchids are seen as difficult to grow, Moth orchids, or Phals, are actually pretty easy to grow. A bright window where it can get several hours bright light-they don't like full sun, though a little is fine. Most of mine are under fluorescent lights. Water them every 10 to 14 days or so. Most orchids do require a special bark based soil to thrive in, and Phals do grow best in it. Some diluted fertilizer once in a while will benefit the plant too. That's about it.

That's it for now. Once I'm finished the third round of my Windmills doily I'll get a photo of it posted. Till next time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Checking In

Well, I'm back to posting. I'm not sure what happened there a few weeks ago, but I feel better. I wish I could have gone somewhere, preferably warm, for at least part of the time. I think I worked on a little bit of everything these past two weeks. I don't have photos ready for most things yet, so this will be a short post. Despite my claims otherwise, I did work on chainmaille once I got my order of rings. I made three new bracelets and a fourth that is the same as one I already have listed but made out of titanium. I also made a couple pairs of earrings to match the bracelets. I also got some coloured scales and started making coloured scalemaille flowers.

I still have three more colours of scales to make flowers with. If you are wondering the remaining colours are green, goldy-silver, and bronze/black (these are bronze on the inside and black on the back). I want to get these listed and I'll have to add the remaining flowers later. I'll show you what other chainmaille items I've made once I have photos ready

I've also been working on tatting as well. But not on my tie. I decided I should stop working on it until I got another ball of thread. I contacted DS9Designs to see if they still had any balls of thread in the same lot as the one I purchased. Lucky for me, they had three left. So I placed a small order early last week. Naturally, I also ordered a few other balls of Lizbeth. I think they are all new colours. Hopefully they will arrive sometime this week. Unlike Handy Hands, DS9Designs, and Be-stitched for that matter, are more than happy to send my order using cheaper options. I find that the Priority mail that Handy Hands insists on using arrives in about the same time as the slower methods, so its not worth (for me anyway) to have to pay for faster methods. Anyway, instead of my tie, I have been working on my Windmills doily. You can see where it was back in October here. Then I had six motifs completed on the third round. I now have twelve motifs completed and am working on the thirteenth. With any luck I should have it joined to the doily this evening. I am hoping I can finish this round soon. I do enjoy tatting Mary Konior's Windmills motif, but I fear I will soon tire of tatting it soon. I still plan on making the doily oval shaped, but it is getting large. Measured across the diagonal, which is 7 motifs wide, the doily measures 15 inches (38.1 cm) across.

I also did some crocheting, but nothing spectacular. Two pairs of slippers are all I've managed. I'll post more about them next time. I'll leave you with a photo of one of my orchids that started blooming a few days ago:

I'm not sure if I've shown this flower before but here it is. It's a Phalaenopsis NOID (No IDentification).

That's it for now. We'll see how the week goes; I'll try and post again later this week. Till next time.