Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Little Tatting, New Shuttles, and a New Temari Ball

I've been trying to do more tatting. I really have. However, I have been preoccupied with something since last Saturday. Something tragic. You see, the set-top box for my IPTV service died. I'll give you a moment to mourn. OK, I realize it may seem weird for me to feel this way. But, I do love TV, even though it's not really good to watch too much. I do a lot of my relaxation activities-tatting, chainmaille, etc, while watching TV. I can't focus on whatever it is I'm doing without having the TV on. I can watch what I'm doing while glancing at the TV regularly. In case you're wondering I got sick of watching movies by Sunday night. I started going to bed early too. Over the air TV wasn't an option, since Canada recently switched to digital TV, and I didn't have a compatible antenna. I do now. Finally on Wednesday, a Sasktel technician/installer was able to come out and replace my box. While we were waiting for the box to upgrade its firmware and reboot, the Sasktel guy got fascinated by my carnivorous plants and I spent the time showing the plants to him. So after all that, I have my TV again, and all is well. And that is why I have little to show.

I did manage a little tatting. However, I don't have the item finished. I had a heck of a time with the pattern. It's not the patterns fault; it was one of Jon's new snowflake patterns. It was me. I kept joining to the wrong picots, and made many other errors. I also had to deal with the thread I used snapping several times. I think it was three times in the small amount of tatting I accomplished. I'm sure some of you are wondering, so I will mention that I was using Lizbeth thread, size 40. I don't blame the thread. All three times, the thread snapped while I was closing a ring. I'm sure the last stitch became unflipped or something. To make myself feel better about it, I'm going with the idea that I'm becoming much stronger.

It occurred to me that I haven't shown you guys my newest Pop-a-Bobbin shuttles. So, in an attempt to show both them, and the pitiful amount of tatting I've done, here's a photo:

The front shuttle is made of Purple Heart, and the back shuttle is Mahonia wood. Jane assures me that the colour is natural. The colour of both shuttles is amazing. Now, if only there was a tree that produces naturally blue coloured wood. I might sit down and continue with the snowflake. I started another project, using Lizbeth size 20, so if all goes well, I should have a more substantial amount of tatting to show the next time.

Finally, I finished another Temari ball. This one I started a while ago, but set it aside when I had issues with it not being perfectly round. I did manage to divide it up the best I could. Here it is:

This one is called Buckles and Bands. It's similar to one I did earlier, see here, though I like this one better. If you'd like to try making a Temari ball yourself, the designer, Barbara B. Suess, has several patterns available for purchase (including the one above) here. She is also the author of the book Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft, I love this book and it's great for beginners. I used a styrofoam ball for the core again, and that may be why I didn't get the ball perfectly round. I'm going to try to make my own cores, called mari, using dryer lint, and cloth scraps (separately). I'll be sure to share when I get around to doing this.

That's it for now. With any luck, I'll have a significant amount of tatting to show you. Till next time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dawg Hoodie, Complete!

I managed to accomplish something since my last post. Something of my own anyway. I'm watching the 25 Motif Challenge blog for Sharon while she gets better. After two trips in two days to Michaels-though the second trip wasn't exactly planned (let's just say it involves the glass of a newly purchased frame and a chair), I found the shade of grey I wanted for my hoodie. I'm going to try and make this short. I really, really want to do some tatting tonight before I have to go to bed, so I can get up and work in the morning.

As I said, I found the shade of grey that I wanted for my Dawg Hoodie, a pattern from The Crochet Dude's Designs for Guys book. The yarn I chose is Patons Classic Wool Merino, a 100% wool yarn. It's not the type of yarn I wanted (and may not be compatible with the acrylic/cotton blend yarn I used) I think the properties of the yarn can work in this case. Wool will shrink and felt if machine washed if care isn't taken. For ribbing, this could work, as I find that the cuffs tend to stretch more than the rest of the garment, so when washed (carefully) they'll shrink back down. If it turns out I'm wrong, I could simply cut off the ribbing and remake with a different yarn. We'll see. Anyway, here are some pictures. First just the hoodie:

 Try and ignore my feet seen at the bottom of the photo. I placed the hoodie on my bed, and had to stand on the end of the bed to take the photo.

Here are the required(?????) photos of me wearing the hoodie:

The second photo proves I actually have a pocket on the front of the hoodie. It blends in remarkably well. Which it kinda good, as it's not quite centred, and my sewing isn't the straightest. Finally a photo showing the hood:

I don't like this photo as much as the previous two, the first one is my favorite. As an aside, I am pleased to say that I am a little over 21 pounds lighter in these photos than I was when I posted a photo of me wearing my Hauberk back in May. Please ignore the empty photo frame on the left side of the photo. It may or may not be the one that had the incident with my chair. Also ignore the fact that the above three photos don't show the drawstring of the hood. I was so excited to have the hoodie done, I put it one\ and took a bunch of photos before I remembered I forgot the drawstring. So, what do you guys think? Is that the right shade of grey or what?

That's about it for now. I am going to try and tat this evening. If I do, then I should have something new to post about. Oh, before I forget, what do you guys think of my new header? I've been wanting to make a new one for a while. I found the photo of one of the city's bridges (it's called the University Bridge, if you're wondering) at Wikimedia Commons, and the site says it's in the public domain. That's it for now. Till next time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Posting for the Sake of It

I have nothing really to post about. I feel that I should, but that's it. As I said in my last post, I went away last weekend for a few days. It was nice to get away and not to think about work and stuff.  However, I really haven't done much since I left (and subsequently returned). I do plan on tatting, but all I've accomplished was to pick out a pattern or two that I want to start. I still have many UFO's and WIPs/WISPs that need to be finished. I did manage to make a couple new pairs of chainmaille earrings, and planned on photographing them this afternoon after work. However, I was asked to stay longer, and I agreed, so I missed the optimum time for photographing. I do all my photos outside. I should probably look into other options. My hoodie is still on hold, however, I'm going to have to get it finished as it is getting a bit cool in the mornings and I'll want to wear it. We may even get frost within the next day or two. Hopefully not, as I don't want to deal with the potted outdoor plants yet. I did bring in two "houseplants" that I had outside- a King Sago and my Ginkgo tree.

Thanks for the comments on the last posts. I'm glad you guys like the bookmark in black. Actually, I really like the way tatting looks in black, but I find it a pain to tat with black thread. Miranda, my split chains are far from great, but thanks for the compliment. And thanks to Marla for the comment about my orchid. Apparently this offsetting behaviour comes from the Doritis parent, so it may be considered normal. I may leave the baby on the parent plant for now. It's kind of incredible that we're almost two weeks into September already. Hopefully I'll get a lot done over the next few weeks. I would like to get some tatting done to show you. I kinda feel bad when I don't have any new motifs to show you. I don't like simply not posting either. We'll see what happens and I'll try and post again soon. Till next time.