Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Post of 2015, And It's About Socks

I can't believe how fast 2015 has been. I've been through a lot, much like many other people. As with other years, I'm not making any resolutions. I do have a few personal goals that I plan on working on. I've been working on controlling my anxiety, and some of the goals I want to accomplish do require me to face my anxiety and other fears. And of course lots of tatting and other crafts. I see a lot of knitting in 2016 in particular. I haven't really touched the Monsterpiece Doily or any other tatting for that matter. Since I plan on staying home tonight (I got home from work around 5:30pm and don't feel like doing anything), I'm going to try and spend some of the evening tatting. Well, tatting, drinking beer and watching Star Wars movies-I've only got three more to go!

I finished the black pair of socks over the weekend. If I had taken them with me when I went to see my family for Christmas, I could easily have finished them then. I finished them Boxing Day, back at my house. I decided not brave the crowds and shop that day. Although, I think I may have missed out on some yarn I wanted. It amazes me at how expensive yarn can be considering you may need many balls of it to finish a project. I guess I'm used to buying a ball of thread and making numerous projects from it. I found a knitted blanket I want to make using Bernat Blanket yarn. It's a bulky weight yarn in a largish ball and I would rather get it on sale than pay $10-12 a ball when I need 5 balls. When I went to Michaels on Wednesday, the colour I wanted was out of stock. So I'll have to wait for the next time its on sale. Anyway, back to the socks.

I really like how they turned out. I made this pair a little differently than the blue and purple pair. After making the heel, I continued knitting in stockinette stitch for several inches then switched to the 2 by 2 ribbing. The yarn is Isaac Mizrahi CRAFT University yarn. The socks are a little big though. Either my feet are smaller than I thought or the pattern is made for a larger male foot. I think the next pair of socks made in worsted weight yarn will be made in the "medium" size (which the pattern calls "womans"). The pair I am working on confirms my suspicions that the mens size is larger than I need. I'm sure if I had measured my feet and not just the length I would have figured that out earlier. I'll still wear the socks though.

I started another pair of socks Sunday. This time I used a DK weight yarn. This is the first deviation I have taken from the pattern. I am using a set of circular needles between the sizes needed for the worsted weight and sock yarn weight ones. I used the mens size as I wasn't sure what I should do. Despite the slightly smaller needles and yarn the socks, so far, still fit fine.

The socks are not this brightly coloured. The flash on my camera makes them look much brighter. They are darker in person and I love them too. Nothing really special to mention about them. Same techniques as before: two-at-a-time toe up magic loop socks. The only difference is the needles and the yarn weight. Knit Picks do not offer needle tips for their interchangeable cables in sizes smaller than 4 US, I had to get a pair for each sock weight and DK weight yarn in fixed circular needles. I like these too. The cables are finer than the interchangeable ones. The yarn is Patons Classic Wool DK Superwash. I bought this yarn as a replacement for the awful Wool to Wash yarn I returned. I didn't see any other heavier weight. It is soooo much better to knit with.

That's about it for now. I want to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year. I hope everyone had really Happy Holidays, no matter what you celebrate. I look forward to a brand new year since this one has been a little weird. Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Still Knitting

Yeah, I'm still knitting. And I'm still enjoying it. I still find it weird considering how much I haven't liked knitting in the past. I'm guessing the new needles are the main reason. They're just so smooth to knit with. Better yarn makes a difference too. I returned the two balls of yarn I mentioned previously and got a couple better knids; one of which I using right now and lovin' the result. I share a photo in a moment.

I finished the pair of socks I was knitting last time I posted. Considering that I didn't care for the yarn (Wool To Wash by Loops and Threads), I think they turned out pretty well.

As you can see in the first photo, I am using a two-at-a-time method to knit this pair. I love this method of knitting socks! The socks are the exact same size, and binding off one sock, then the other one immediately after is so satisfying. No Single Sock Syndrome for me! These are for my mom for Christmas.

I started another pair of socks shortly after finishing the purple pair. These ones going to be for me. As I said above, these were made using some of the new yarn I bought after returning the terrible Wool to Wash yarn. I think they're going to look great when they are done.

They look way better in person. I'm quite a bit further along than the photo shows. I'm about an inch or so away from doing the heel. I love this toe up sock method. I definitely am getting faster at knitting. The yarn I'm using is Isaac Mizrahi CRAFT University yarn. It's a washable wool, acrylic, and nylon blend yarn. It knits pretty well, as long as you don't catch the coloured nylon (I think) ribbon that runs through it. It's made by Premier Yarns and I think it's a Michaels exclusive yarn. I may be wrong on that though. Anyway, I was hoping to have them finished by Christmas so I can wear them when I visit my family Friday, but I don't know if that will happen. I got distracted by a crocheted hat pattern that I just had to make for myself and that's what I spent most of the afternoon working on. I have all the parts crocheted, I just have to put it together. I won't get it done today as I need to pick up a couple of large buttons tomorrow after work.

That's about it for now. I have to work until Thursday, but I'm trying not to let that ruin my mood. I'm sure the store I work at will be insanely busy by Wednesday and/or Thursday. Till next time.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

More Knitting

I can't believe how quickly December is flying by. I haven't done much tatting. I was working on the Monsterpiece doily yesterday evening but that's about it. I finished the second sock I was working on so I will be sharing that today. The second sock is definitely harder to do since I had to constantly go back to the first one to count rows in order to make them both the same size. I started another pair on Sunday, but this time using a two-at-a-time method. They are still toe-up Magic loop socks since I am really enjoying knitting socks that way. I still can't believe how much I am enjoying knitting right now.

Actually I would enjoy knitting the current pair of socks more if I was using a better yarn. I bought several balls of Wool To Wash by Loops and Threads (it's a Michaels brand) and I gotta say I do not like it very much. It's a super wash wool (washable wool), which is what I wanted but is one ply and doesn't seem to be very well twisted. I keep splitting the yarn which slows me down which sucks 'cause I am getting faster at knitting. I think I will be returning the two balls of this yarn that I haven't used yet. I did order some yarn from Knit Picks during their Black Friday weekend sale, which should hopefully get here by early next week.

Here is the finished pair of socks:

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I accidentally used the wrong needle size when knitting these. I realized I mixed up the US / metric sizes about halfway though the first sock. I was supposed to use a US 5 needle and I used a 5 mm. They seemed to work so I kept using them. The socks fit fine and are nice and comfy to wear. The cuff is just a little short for my liking. I am using the right size needles for the current pair. The socks are also pretty warm since they are made using 100% wool yarn. They aren't machine washable though.

Just in case anyone out there doesn't know what interchangeable knitting needles look like, here is a photo of some of basic parts:

Pictured above are one set each of wooden and nickel plated needle tips, the cables, end caps (used to make a "straight" needle if you use one or to hold the stitches on the cable without the tips if you use both) a joiner and the key used to tighten everything together. I got my set from Knit Picks. I really like this set and very happy I bought it. I haven't had any issues with the cables coming undone after I have tightened them up. Like anything that can be added to or upgraded, I want to get more tips and cables now. But that will probably have to wait until next year.

I'm going to keep knitting for a while. I do want to make several knitted gifts for Christmas. I will try to work on the Monsterpiece doily when I can. I will have a very busy week next week as I have a couple suppers to go to, a social group meeting and maybe a dance (don't know about that one yet) and I'm sure work will be hectic. You gotta love working retail during December. I'll hopefully get a chance to post again before Christmas, but I won't make any promises. I'll try to visit and comment on everyone else's blogs at least. Till next time.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Bentley Snowflake

I didn't mean to go quite this long without a post, it just sorta happened. I haven't done much tatting since my last post. I think I've only tatted a couple more rings and chains on the Monsterpiece Doily. I've primarily been working on a few crochet projects: a late birthday gift for my mom, and a scarf for me. Even knitting has been put on hold right now.

I received my interchangeable circular knitting needle set on Wednesday.  I carefully transferred the current sock onto the new needles, but haven't knitted more than a couple rows. I took a few photos of the needle set but I'm feeling kinda lazy now and don't feel like editing them for the post. Their nothing fancy. Since I am a pretty tight knitter, I opted for a set of nickel plated needles which are the "slickest", instead of the very pretty multicoloured laminated wood ones. I did buy one set of needle tips in the coloured wood to try out. There were a number of reviews on Knit Picks about the metal parts of the wood needles coming off and decided I didn't want to deal with that. I do have a set of their coloured laminated wood crochet hooks which are awesome. The cables are really nice though. They take a bit of getting used to, but they are much more flexible. The cable lengths are a bit wonky though as a few reviews pointed out. Apparently Knit Picks sizes their cable lengths to include the needles tips, so a 24 inch cable is the total length of the needle tips and the cable. They may be a bit too short for some projects. It's a good thing I bought the cable connectors and the longer cable!

As I mentioned previously, I was lucky to be asked by Frivole to test tat her Bentley snowflake. I love her snowflakes!

I didn't bother with using crystals on this snowflake, but I will definitely give it a try next time. It's a pretty quick snowflake to tat and no really fancy techniques. There's a couple extra threads in the photo because I broke a thread while trying to undo a tiny ring. I guess I forgot to trim them before I took the photo. I expect to tat several of Frivole's Bentley snowflake, and Snowdrop snowflake before the year is over.

I was going to post a picture of the finished sock I talked about last time, but I forgot to take a picture of it. The sock doesn't look much different than the photo I posted shows, since I bound off after a couple additional rows. I really need to get the second sock finished now. I picked up a few balls of washable wool yarn today from Michaels, among other items. I took advantage of some Black Friday sales there. I would like to (ideally) make a few pairs of socks for Christmas gifts. Though they could become gifts for next year if I don't get started soon!

That's about it for now. For anyone interested, I am running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale at my Etsy show, located here. Everything is 25% off until midnight Monday. I wasn't going to have sale, but decided to at the last minute. I figured it couldn't hurt. Till next time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily: Round 6, And a New Distraction

Round 6 of the Monsterpiece Doily is easy to tat, but I haven't done as much as I had hoped I would. That's because of a new distraction I seem to have found. I will talk more about that one later. I am hoping I will get more tatting done on the doily this week. I do have a few evening engagements I plan on attending this week too, and I don't think I will be able to tat during them. The Monsterpiece Doily isn't a take-along project anymore anyways. Snowflakes are possible, however. I do have a snowflake I could share; I was lucky to be able to test tat Frivole's Bentley snowflake, but I'll save that for next time.

Round 6 is simple rings and chains, so it's easy to tat-you just have to remember to stop and join at the right place.

I don't know if I'll finish tatting this round by next week or not. That will depend if I continue with that new distraction I mentioned above. Not much to say about this round. Thread stats: the thread is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055.

Now, about this new distraction, I really don't know what ultimately started it, but I'm kinda glad I have started doing it again. What is it? Knitting.

I know right? I have said it in the past that I don't like knitting, but it's really not that bad. I've always been a bit envious about people knitting socks and mitts and gloves but crocheted version don't always match up. But, I've never been fond of using numerous double pointed needles. I discovered "Magic Loop" knitting last weekend and I really enjoy it. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is using circular knitting needles and using them instead of double pointed needles. It does take a bit of time to get used to since you are not simply knitting in a round-the diameter is too big. You do need a circular needle that has a very flexible cable for the best experience. The one I have isn't that flexible-it's a rubber tube that has memory. I actually went and ordered an interchangeable circular needle set from Knit Picks. I also ordered some cable connectors and an additional long cable so I can try knitting two socks at a time. Here's a few photos of the sock I was knitting:

I'm using a toe up knitting pattern, which in itself is a genius idea. It used a cast on method I never thought of; it started with a crocheted chain. The pattern I'm using uses worsted weight yarn and thicker needles than other sock patterns which makes it easier to make. I actually finished the sock before I started writing this post, but I have to hide the ends first. The pattern is available from Very Pink here. I'll show you the finished sock next time. Now I just have to make the second one.

It just fascinates me that I enjoyed knitting the sock. I wonder if it is because knitting for me is really an undeveloped skill and there is so much more I could learn. I want to learn other crafts/arts but there is so much I could make using knitting. I noticed my speed increasing as I knitted the sock. With Christmas rapidly coming, I actually want to make some socks for gifts and who knows what else. I'm hoping this desire to knit, and learn more knitting skills continues. Till next time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 5: Complete!

Sorry for the delay in posting. I've actually been going out several times in the evenings lately and as a result my blogging has suffered a bit. I will continue to tat and post as much as I can, but it may remain once a week or so for awhile. Hope no one minds too much.

I did manage to finish round 5 of the Monsterpiece Doily Saturday evening. While I did enjoy tatting the motifs right to the end-the last one was definitely a bit of a pain to tat- I am glad I'm done tatting them.

I've got a few ends to sew in but I'm pretty happy with how this round turned out. Like I said, I finished tatting the final motif Saturday evening. I don't think I have anything else to add here. Thread stats: the dusty rose thread is Manuela #20 colour #a022 and the cream/off white thread is Manuela #20 colour #a055.

I haven't started the next round yet. Don't worry! I'm not going to stop working on it. I've been working a couple pairs of crocheted slippers for myself. I guess I was inspired to take a quick crochet break after going to a craft evening last Friday where I crocheted three afghan squares-they are going to be used for a charity afghan. Since I should finish crocheting the last slipper tonight, I will start the next round of the Monsterpiece Doily tomorrow. Till next time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Doily Update

As I suspected, I didn't get much tatting done last week. Between my group meeting, getting my Hallowe'en costume ready, and going out to a movie, I didn't do much tatting. I don't have an update photo of the doily. I managed to add one more motif and am currently adding another one-that would make #10. Only two more to go! I intend on getting the final two done by the end of the weekend. I think that is a reasonable goal. I can then move onto the next round. Till next time.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Hallowe'en!!!!!

I hope everyone is having a Happy Hallowe'en. I'm not sure how big of a deal it is in other parts of the world but it's pretty popular here in North America. I had to work all day, but that doesn't mean I didn't take part in the fun.

Grrrr! *Howls at moon* I'm a werewolf, if you can't tell. I initially had claw on, but they quickly fell off. I lost one, but I think I know where, so hopefully I'll find it Monday. Considering I really didn't get to plan too much for it, I think I did alright. I don't think you can see the makeup on my face, but since I can't wear a mask at work, I think I did a decent job. I love the way the pants look though. I bought a ragged pair of jean from a thrift store, cut slits randomly in the legs and hot glued fake fur from the inside with the fur showing. I ended up gluing the slits open a bit too. I also shredded the bottoms too. I should have added some fake fur to the cuffs of the shirt, but maybe anther time. I like the idea, so I'll probably do it again in a few years.

Since I don't usually get too many trick or treaters where I live, I'll probably tat and watch movies this evening. I'm sure some chocolate will get eaten too. Till next time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 5; Two-thirds Done

I was hoping to get more than two motifs tatted for round 5 of the Monsterpiece Doily last week. Before anyone says anything, I'm not being hard on myself. I'm glad I got some tatting done period. I just would have like to have gotten all six required motifs done. Between general life happenings and other distractions, AKA video games (games on my iPad/phone), I consider myself lucky that I tatted what I did. I hope to at least start anther motif before I go to bed tonight. I plan on taking something to tat to my support group meeting tomorrow. Maybe I can tat for a bit before it starts. We'll see.

Anyway, as I said, I managed to tat another two more motifs for round 5. I now have eight tatted and only four more to go.

I'm starting to look forward to the next round. It's not too early, is it? I'm still enjoying tatting these motifs; I'm not giving up yet! Hopefully in another week or two I'll be done with them, and I'll be able to start the next round. Thread stats: the dusty rose thread is Manuela #20 colour #a022 and the cream/off white thread is Manuela #20 colour #a055.

That's about it for now. Like I said last week, if I get more than one motif finished by midweek, I'll post then, otherwise I'll post next weekend. I honestly don't expect to post midweek. Hallowe'en is on Saturday, and I have to work. I don't normally work Saturdays, so I had nothing planned for a costume this year. I have a few ideas and will be spending a lot of my free time this week working on it. Hopefully I can find a source of affordable fake fur in large quantities...

Till next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 5: Halfway Done

My tatting progress slowed down somewhat last week. That's the main reason I only posted once last week. I really didn't think it was worth posting after adding just one more motif. Hope no one minds too much. I'm not sure if this week will be any better; I have to work tonight and I have a support group meeting tomorrow night. I did get a fair amount tatted though this weekend.

As you can see I've got six motifs finished and I've got six more to go. Well, five and a bit. Hopefully I will have a good start on the next motif before I go. Not much to say here, I'm still enjoying tatting them. I will probably have to find somewhere else to take photos by the next post. Thread stats: the thread for the motif centres is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. The thread for the clovers is Manuela no. 20 in colour #a022.

If I manage to get a couple motifs tatted by midweek, I'll post again. If not, then I'll probably post again next weekend. Till next time.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 5: 3 Motifs and Counting

Now that my special project is over, see here if you missed it, I can continue to share my progress on the Monsterpiece Doily. I've added a few more motifs to the doily since my last post. I'm happy to say that one of the motifs is part of the one I cut off. After coming home from work Monday evening, I looked at the motif and decided to start cutting. I ended up with a little over half a motif and figured out where I can add thread and my strategy for hiding the ends.

Can you tell with one it is? Actually, I hope you can't. While adding the motif to the doily, it felt like I was doing major surgery. It doesn't look as bad as I first thought, and I probably could have fixed my mistake when it happened. It would have been easier, but I'll never know if it would have looked pretty. Thread stats: the thread for the motif centres is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. The thread for the clovers is Manuela no. 20 in colour #a022. I love tatting these motifs. We'll see if I still do when I get to motif #12.

That's about it for now. It is Thanksgiving tomorrow here in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Crochet Football Coaster: 2015 Crafty Football Blog Hop

It's that time of year again. Time for the Crafty Blog Hop! Instead of something tatted, I decided to make something crocheted this year. It might allow more people to actually follow along. For anyone not familiar with a blog hop, each participant creates a tutorial that they share on their blog. At the bottom of this post (and the posts of each participant) are links to the other participants. Make sure you check out their tutorials as well. There will be a new participant each day, so be sure to check this post often (ie: daily!) to see a new tutorial until the end of next week.

Probably because footballs are pretty easy to make in many different crafts, I made a football again.

I'm not really a fan of patterns turned into tutorials, but here we go anyway.

Crocheted Football Coaster ©2015 Jeff Hamilton


You will need:

Worsted weight yarn in two colour (team colours would be great but brown and white work well)
Size H / 5.0 mm crochet hook
Stitch marker, safety pin, or even a scrap of contrasting coloured yarn
Scissors, yarn needle
Felt to back coaster (optional-I didn't do it but you are welcome to if you want)

I used Bernat Super Saver yarn in Tea Leaf and Bernat Cot'n Corn in Oatmeal for the green/white coaster for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The brown/white coaster used Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool in brown (I lost the label) and Bernat Cot'n Corn in Oatmeal. I used yarn from my stash since I didn't want to buy anymore. I should have used a brighter coloured green for my Rider coaster.

The finished coaster is about 6 inches by 4 inches. Gauge isn't really important for this project. If anyone is curious, the brown coaster above is a little different (and larger) than then the one I'm going to share below. I tweaked the pattern as I went during the photo shoot. If you find any errors, please let me know. It works for me, but I've memorized the pattern and any possible errors.

OK. Let's begin.

Abbreviations (US):

Sc     =  Single Crochet
Hdc  =  Half Double Crochet
Dc    =  Double Crochet
Sl st  = Slip stitch
Trc   = Treble (Triple) Crochet
Ch(s)    = Chain(s)
St(s) = Stitch(es)
**    = Marks sections of stitches that are repeated

Starting with round 2, you'll want to mark the first stitch so you know where to join. Also, the ch 1 at the start does not count as a stitch.

Round 1: Using your main colour, start with a magic ring. Ch 1, make 6 sc in ring and close ring. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (6 sc)

You can learn the magic ring technique from here: . This isn't essential to the pattern, I just find it looks better. Feel free to substitute Ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook if desired. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1.

Round 2: 2 sc in each st around.  Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (12 sc)

Round 3:  *2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next st*. Rep between ** around. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (18 sc)

Round 4: *2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 2 sts*. Rep between ** around. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (24 sc)

Round 5: *2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 3 sts*. Rep between ** around. Join with st st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (30 sc)

Round 6: 2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 4 sts. 2 sc in next st. 1 hdc in next st. 1 dc in     next 3 sts. 2 trc in next st. 1 dc in next 3 sts. 1 hdc in next st. 2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 4 sts. 2 sc in next st. 1 hdc in next st. 1 dc in next 3 sts. 2 trc in next st. 1 dc in next 3 sts. 1 hdc in next st. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Ch 1. (36 st).

Round 7: 2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 5 sts. 2 sc in next st. 1 hdc in next 2 sts. 1 dc in next 3 st. 1 dc, 1 trc, 1 dc in next st. 1 dc in next 3 sts. 1 hdc in next 2 sts. 2 sc in next st. 1 sc in next 5 sts. 2 sc in next st. 1 hdc in next 2 sts. 1 dc in next 3 st. 1 dc, 1 trc, 1 dc in next st. 1 dc in next 3 sts. 1 hdc in next 2 sts. Join with sl st to top of first sc. Fasten off. (44 st)

Football Stripes (Make 2)

With your second (contrasting) colour ch 10. Sc in second ch from hook and in next 3 chs. 2 sc in next ch. 1 sc in the remaining 4 chs. Fasten off leaving a long tail.


You should have your crocheted football coaster and two stripes finished.  Awesome! Feel free to hide the yarn ends on the coaster either now or after you have added the stripes. Position one stripe onto one end, doesn't matter which side you start; I started with the left stripe. Position the stripe across round 6, so the pointed part of round 7 is mostly visible. It doesn't have to be exact; the stripe should fit across the football almost perfectly, so just play around and see where you like it. You'll want to leave space in the middle of the coaster for glasses, mugs, cans, etc.

Using one or both yarn ends, sew the stripe as best you can onto the coaster. It doesn't have to be perfect, just make sure it is attached securely.  Repeat for the other stripe. Hide the yarn ends after you are done to make it less frustrating for the next step.

Embroidering The Stitches

This is pretty basic embroidery, if you can even call it that! The positioning is up to you. I had them across the centre on the brown coaster and higher up on the green one. The stitches are fairly flat so they shouldn't cause any issues with glasses, etc, placed on top of them. Attach a length of white (or contrasting colour) yarn at approximately round 4 and take a long straight stitch across the coaster to the opposite side and take the yarn down at approximately round 4. Anchor the yarn and come up though the same stitch as you went down. Hopefully that makes sense.

Take another long straight stitch roughly across the same stitch as before and go down in the same spot you started at. Anchor the yarn underneath and come up again. Take a third straight stitch again across the two previous stitches as before. You should end up with a three yarn wide straight stitch.

With the yarn still underneath the coaster, come up about one quarter of the way and slightly above the long stitch from before. Go across the long stitch and come down a little below the long stitch. Repeat twice more making the stitches approximately equally spaced apart. Hopefully that all made sense. Hide the final end, or all of them if you haven't already. Now would be the time to back the coaster with felt, if you desire.

There, you should have a football coaster of your very own! Enjoy! Much like the last Crafty Football Blog Hop I participated in, which you can find here: click here, I made a green football coaster for my local CFL team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Who, um, aren't doing so well right now. Come on guys!

Here is what everyone else has done for the 2015 Crafty Blog Hop. Check back everyday until the end of next week as a new participant will appear each day.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 4

I had hoped to post last night, but I never got that far. I made a somewhat serious error right when I was finishing the first motif of round 5 and decided to made the motif over. Oh, and I finished round 4, but forgot to take a photo of the doily before attaching the motif. When I cut off the first motif to make it over, I was going to take a photo before attaching the new motif. I forgot. Again.

Looking good so far, IMHO. If you're wondering what serious error I made on the motif, I'll tell you. After pulling the ends into the finished motif using the magic threads, I cut the threads short and accidentally cut a joining picot in the process. I know, I could have cut out the affected section and reattached the threads and hid them, but since I had to add thread part way through for one of the colours, I didn't want so many threads hidden in one motif. There were already several rings and chains that were thicker than the other ones. Besides, the motifs are pretty easy to make. Of course, I got so into making the new motif I forgot to add the first magic thread. I bet you saw that coming. Thread stats: the thread used for the round 5 chains/thrown off rings and round 4 is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. The dusty rose thread in the round 5 clovers is Manuela no. 20 in colour #a022.

Hopefully it's obvious, but I got a hold of a needle that works to sew in the ends. I got several types and sizes-the exact sizes suggested for size 20 thread weren't available at the store I went to. I ended up using a self threading needle and was able to hide the threads I needed to hide. Hopefully they stay hidden. Because I'm gonna need it again.

Till next time.

PS: I won't have another tatting related post this week. I have a special post scheduled for Friday instead, so stay tuned for that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Round 4 Almost Complete

I guess this round takes longer than I thought it would. Probably because of all the reverse works that need to be done. The previous rounds had far fewer elements that needed to be RWed after they're done. Of well, it's a nice and easy tat; I could almost go into autopilot while tatting it. Almost.

See? Nice and easy. It's a little wavy, but I'm sure it will flatten out so I'm not worried right now. I should finish it tomorrow, maybe Friday at the latest. And no, I'm not trying to rush still. I'm trying to focus on the doily one round at a time. Looking at photos of completed doilys, what I've tatted is almost insignificant compared to the whole doily, so it's too overwhelming to think about. It will definitely be the largest item I have tatted thus far. Of course, the Windmills Doily could dwarf the Monsterpiece Doily in time since it's a motif based WIP. Thread stats: the thread is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. Look back at previous posts for the thread stats of the other two colours.

That's it for now. We'll see how it goes. I do have another kinda unrelated project I'm working on as well. I hope to get it finished or mostly finished this weekend. I will reveal more next Friday (I think that's the date I picked). Till next time.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Monsterpiece Doily, Round 3

It took a little longer than anticipated, but I finished the third round of the Monsterpiece Doily. I know it might seem like I'm rushing through this doily, but I assure you I am not. I am really enjoying tatting this doily. I do plan on working on other patterns/crafts if the need arises. It's a little time consuming at the start as I am writing the pattern out in shorthand so everything is in sequence, I can keep track of changes I made, and I don't have to constantly keep checking the diagrams. I had to do this with Corona as well. Sadly, unlike Jane E, I can't really share my notes as it contains the whole pattern, or will contain the whole pattern. But I am willing to help anyone who decides to try the pattern after me.

Anyway, I finished this round this afternoon. I got called in to work this evening so I just finished it and took a photo before leaving.

I really proud of myself with this round. I remembered to put in a magic thread at both the beginning and the end. I forgot to put them in at the beginning on the first two round and only added them at the end. I am making sure my notes mention where to put the MTs in as well, um, now. You can see one end of each colour in the photo above. I will have to sew them in. Which reminds me, what size needle would be best to use for size 20 thread? I don't think I've ever hidden ends that way. I checked Jane's site, but she doesn't mention a needle size. Thread stats: the thread is Manuela no. 20 colour #a044. You'll have to check the previous post for the other rounds; I'm only going to mention thread info for the current round.

That's about it for now. The next round should go super quickly so expect another post in a few days. Till next time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Monsterpiece Doily, Halfway Through Round 3

I'll try to make this quick; I got home from work about a half hour ago so I'm tired but not sleepy so I'll do a quick update. Here is the Masterpiece/Monster AKA the Monsterpiece Doily as was before I went to work:

As you can see I have round 2 and about half of round 3 completed. And surprisingly is seems to be staying flat. I guess I was worrying for nothing. I'll see for sure after round 3 in done, but the joining picot size might not be as important as I first thought. It might help to make them on the small size, it just isn't as critical. Thread stats: the thread used for round 2 (the cream coloured one) is Manuela no. 20 colour #a055. The thread used for round 3 (the light green one) is Manuela no. 20 colour #a044. I am really enjoying tatting this doily.

That's it for now. Don't expect another update until the weekend; I don't know how much tatting I'm going to get done over the next couple days. Till next time.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The End of Corona, and New Beginnings

I hope no one minds that I took an extra day between posts in order to finish the Corona Doily. I finished tatting it last night near the end of the movie I was watching; this time, I watched Home. Again I didn't get as much tatting done as I would have liked-my eyes kept getting all watery and stuff. Anyway here is the finished doily:

And when I say finished, I mean finished tatting. My blocking board isn't large enough to handle larger items. I will have to get something larger pretty soon. I'm sure I will need it for the Jan Stawasz Masterpiece Doily.  It measures about 9 inches in diameter. Since it's not blocked, that's not very exact. I'll post proper measurements after it's block. As per usual, I used Manuela no. 20 thread in colour number A058.

I started the Jan Stawasz Masterpiece Doily AKA The Monster Doily. Here is the first round:

I blocked it after I tatted it this afternoon. It was cupping a bit. Sadly, I fear this will be a constant problem-again. Since I don't read Polish, I don't know what Jan says about the pattern in the magazine. Using Google Translate on my phone didn't help much (the word garlic kept coming up). I did go back to one of his books and read about his method of tatting. He mentions making joining picots very small, "as small as possible", to make the pattern nice and stable. The centre flattens out nicely, but I don't know about the next rounds. I started the second round after the centre was dry and photographed, and while it's not cupping yet, it looks like it might after I have made several more repeats. How did everyone else who tatted this doily make out? Did you guys make your joining picots very small? Did all the rounds work out regardless of picot size (they were "average size", not too big)? Since I am right at the beginning I might restart the doily now and try smaller joining picots. It was a pretty quick tat. Since I foresee me working on this for a while, I don't want to  screw it up too badly now. I've had this issue with Jan's patterns in the past, and it is my main frustration with his patterns. And yes, I know I might be worrying about a nonissue here.  I would love people's thoughts on this though. I don't want to have to block every row before tatting the next one, especially once it's larger than a foot or so in diameter (remember it'll be over 30 inches in diameter once completed, give or take).  Oh, the thread is Manuela no. 20 in colour #a022. I'll be honest here, I really like this colour.

That's about it for now. I have to get ready for bed and I have a number deal with before I go to bed. Till next time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Corona Doily Round 10, Almost

Well, I've been tatting since my last post. I really do want to keep tatting and blogging regularly. I haven't gotten as much tatted as I'd like, but does anybody? I should have gotten more done after my last post, but I think I spent more time watching the movie (Monsters University) instead of tatting. I've also done a lot of retro tatting. More than I'd like to admit. Anyway, here is the doily as of a few minutes ago:

I'm really enjoying tatting this. It's still a little wavy, but this final round is helping. I will block it when I'm done. Which should be by the end of the weekend. Hopefully. Not much else to say so I provide the customary thread stats. This is Manuela no. 20 thread in colour number A058.

Finally, I have chosen the colours I will be using for the Jan Stawasz Masterpiece doily! Here is a photo:

What do you think? I kinda copied Jane E. a little. These are all Manuela no. 20 thread. I not certain if these are the same size as size 20 Lizbeth or the Anchor Aida that Jane used. These have over 100 metres more thread per ball than Jane's thread but are the same weight-50g. They all say 400 metres. I'd love to hear peoples opinion on my colour choices. The colours look fairly accurate on my monitor. Anyway, till next time.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Corona Doily Rounds 8 & 9

You know, posting regularly gets easier every time.  Like Diane, I am finding I am tatting more often so I have something to blog about. Days off help too. I'm surprised at how much I have gotten done over the last few days, tatting wise anyway. I did manage to get other stuff done too. I have tomorrow off as well; I had to work last Sunday, so my long weekend is this weekend. Anyway, I managed to get not one, but two rows completed on the Corona Doily. Yes, you heard me correctly!

Here is the doily with round 8 completed. Yeah, I know, it probably doesn't look like anything new was added. There is, in fact, a round of just chains tatted since last time.

Now it looks different! Somewhat. Round 9 has been completed here. Nothing to report about these two rounds. They both went pretty quickly. In fact I had more than half of round 8 completed by the time I went to bed the same day I post about round 7. I figured I'd keep going onto round 9 instead of doing another post. Hope nobody minds! And again, as a reminder this is Manuela no. 20 thread in colour number A058.

That's it for now. I started working on round 10, which is the final round for the doily. I haven't made a full repeat yet, but since I'm going to watch a movie yet tonight, I hope to get several repeats completed before bed. Till next time.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Corona Doily Round 7

I had hoped to post an update last night, but it was a bit late when I finished tatting this round. It was pretty easy tatting but since I had to work the last several days, I didn't get as much tatted each night as I hoped. I'm off for a few days, so I should get more done. Anyway, here is the doily at the end of round 8:

I think it is looking pretty good. It is staying fairly flat, so it should only need a light blocking once it is done. I think one of the problems I have been having is that my joining picots are on the large size compared with Judith's. I am also using size 20 thread instead of size 40. That shouldn't be a problem in tatting though. As a reminder, to you and me, I am using Manuela no. 20 thread in colour number A058. This was one of the ones I purchased from DS9Designs earlier this year.

The next round should be fairly quick; it's just chains. It's funny. Like Diane, I am finding I am tatting more so I can have something to post. As I tat this doily, I am thinking about my next project. I am pretty sure it will be the Jan Stawasz Masterpiece doily. I am not sure what colour(s) I will use or if it will be white/ecru. I think I want a few colours, as I like how Jane E.'s is turning out. Since I'm sure it will take me awhile to complete, I have not plans for it at this time. It will be rather large as well; the pattern states 84 cm when done in size 10. I will probably use size 20 maximum. Anyway, till next time.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Corona Round 6

Here I am again! I've been faithfully working on the Corona Doily since my last post. Of course I had two days off from work during that time too, which probably helped. And since it's Labour Day here in Canada tomorrow, I have tomorrow off too which I plan on spending a fair amount of time tatting. I should be able to speed through the next round. Actually the next several rounds should be fairly easy to complete. I'm going to try and post at minimum every three days, give or take. This means you may see rounds/motifs in progress, and not just items finished weeks/months ago. But since many other tatters post tatting in progress, I can too. I'll try and mix in other stuff too.

So, here's the doily as of last night:

Surprisingly after I finished tatting this round, the doily is mostly flat. The centre rounds are little wavy, but it's not too bad. I wonder if my tension on the solid chain rounds are a little tight and that's why it turned out wavy. I am glad I didn't change the stitch count. I decided not to block it after round 7. As you can probably see, I chose to end the round with a split chain, so I could climb to the next round. As a reminder, the thread is Manuela no. 20 in colour number A058. I started round 8 before going to bed last night.

That's it for now. See you in a couple days. Let me know what you think. I am trying to respond to comments as well. Oh, and if I seem to disappear again for an unusually long time-more than a couple weeks, feel free to let me know. I really plan on posting regularly.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm Back!

I think I say that all the time. I really mean it this time. I plan on posting at least every couple of days for a while. I doubt I can do it daily. This is an, experiment. I want to see if it will help with my anxiety issues. It appears that I am suffering from an anxiety disorder not depression as I initially thought. Lots of tatting, and/or other crafts, arts, whatever you want to call it, and lots (in theory) of writing/blogging about it will part of my recovery. This will also include finally getting some of my own designs written out and made available to other tatters by some means-for sale or free, not sure really.

I have been doing some tatting in my absence. It is the doily I mention in my last post. The pattern I am working on is one of Judith Connors, from her book Contemporary Tatting New Designs from an Old Art. 

This is the centre of the doily Corona. I used Manuela no. 20 in colour number A058. It's a nice baby blue colour. I'm probably going to keep this doily for myself, but that might change depending on how it turns out. As you can see, it's fairly flat after a bit of blocking.

Since I have been working on the doily for the past few months, I can show more progress tonight.

You remember how I said the centre was mostly flat after blocking? Yeah, that changed after I tatted the next four rounds. I am wondering if I should have changed the stitch count a bit. I guess time will tell. I am currently tatting round 6, which joins all the triangle motifs together. So far this is round staying flat. I think I'm going to block the doily again when I am done tatting this round. I hope to have the round finished in a few days. I'll post an update in a few days.

I haven't decided what my next tatting project will be, but I think it may be Jan Stawasz's Masterpiece (Monster) doily. I purchased the magazine that contains the pattern back in June.  I will probably have to rewrite the pattern as I tat it much like Jane E. and I assume others.

Till next time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crocheted Torchon Lace, and Some Tatting

Where does the time go? I can't believe it's almost July. I keep meaning to post but never seemed to find the time. Fortunately I have been working on a some projects, surprisingly mainly tatting. As the title indicates, one of these projects is crocheted. I've even been working on some chainmaille.

I came across a pattern for a crocheted Torchon Lace edging in the May/June 2015 issue of Piecework Magazine, The Lace Issue, and had to try it. Torchon Lace is often made using bobbin lace techniques but can be made using other techniques, including crochet.

The pattern called for size 80 thread and a size 13 hook. There was no way I was going to try to crochet using size 80 thread. I'm sure it would look more like traditional Torchon Lace if I used that fine of thread. I used some size 20 Omega thread in colour #252. It measures about 2 inches wide. I would like to try the pattern again using a size 40 or 50 thread. Perhaps one day I'll try it in size 80 thread, but who knows if that will happen.

I finished the Japanese Doily at least a month ago. I worked on it quite regularly since my last post. It need some significant blocking, which I haven't done yet. I figured I'll share it anyway.

I haven't measured it and even if I did right now it probably won't be accurate. Technically there is supposed to be another round of interwoven chains and clovers, but since I found them painfully slow to tat, I don't want to tat that round. I actually like it this way. To me it looks finished, but I would love to know what other people think. Does it look finished or does it look like it's missing a round? The thread is Lizbeth 20, colour #602 Natural. I should point out that I almost ran out of thread by the end of the round. I have about a bobbins worth left. I bought another ball of this thread colour but they look significantly different. I'm not sure if it's because of a large dye lot difference or that the thread colour isn't #602 Natural. I lost the label from the ball.

Finally I'm going to give you guys a quick peek at what I'm currently working on, tatting wise.

This particular motif is part of the pattern I'm working on. I'll have to make 18 of them in total. Some (six) will be joined together, the rest used elsewhere in the patterns. And while it doesn't look it here, the colour is a pale baby blue.

That's about it for now. Since I doubt I'll post again for a few weeks, I'd like to wish my fellow Canadians a happy Canada Day tomorrow. And a happy Independence Day for my US followers. Till next time.