Thursday, December 27, 2007

Eva's hat

A while back, I crocheted some really wonderful, thick hats. Thinking that the smallest one would fit my 5 year old granddaughter, Eva, I called her up and asked her if she would like me to make her a hat. Eva said yes, but what surprised me was that she didn't wait to hear about the hat I'd already made in her favorite color, blue. Before I could say anything, Eva told me that she wanted a red hat with blue flowers all around (not all over, all around), with ear flaps, and ties.

What's a grandma to do? I didn't have enough red on hand, so Dave and I went shopping for yarn yesterday. My friend Denise gave me the 2008 Pattern-A-Day Crochet calendar. As I was looking through it, I found a child's ear flap cap. With a few minor adjustments (thicker ties, and blue flowers), I finished Eva's hat a few minutes ago. We're taking it to her this afternoon. I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Challenging myself...

My New Year's resolution is to complete one unfinished project per month... I'll still have many unfinished projects, but at least I'll get 12 finished before the end of 2008! This morning I finished an afghan for my friend Sue. The afghan was 2/3 completed when it was given to me... I just wasn't motivated to work on it. I'll take it to Sue today so that she can give it to her mother. What next? Let's see... there's the afghan I started 14 years ago when we moved into the house, the afghan I started for our 25th anniversary (2 years ago), the sweater that just needs the sleeves sewn on, the baby quilt for Aimee, the flannel baby quilt that I started when Alison was pregnant with Eva (she's 5), the quilt I started for Alison's high school graduation (1994), a Patricia Kristoffersen doily, the lace scarf... oh, dear! That's just off the top of my head!

I also need to catch up on my Square Deal Weave-Along... I think I'm four weeks behind now! I bought yarn to make hats, scarves, and mittens for each of my four daughters, my two sons-in-law, my three grandchildren, and my husband... for next Christmas. If I want to get tatted ornaments done, I'd better start that today... 2 per month is my minimum goal... 1 per week would be fabulous!

I think the only way I can accomplish all this is to retire, but that's 12 years away! I think I'd better get going right now!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Just for kicks, I looked back at my posts and counted 37 completed motifs or projects, and I only counted the sock edgings I made once! Wow! Joining the 25 Motif Challenge really spurred me into action!

No tatting tonight... I'm too busy finishing up bookmarks. Some will have no tatting... oh, well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back to school

I was back at school today, and what a surprise! All of the students made cards for me, and they were displayed all around the library... on top of the bookcases and on some of the shelves. On my computer, I can click on the picture to enlarge it. The close-up shows better detail of how the cards were displayed and how many there were. I read every one... some made me laugh... some made me cry.

Two were especially poignant... a fifth grade girl whose father died when she was in kindergarten, and a fifth grade boy whose father died when he was in first grade wrote that they knew exactly how I felt, and that they knew my dad was in heaven watching over me. I had my father for about 50 more years than these two children did, yet they are comforting me. I am humbled.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Remembering Dad

Those of you who read my blog may be wondering why I haven't posted much lately. The reason is simple... I've been worried about my dad, but there is no need to worry any more. Dad is now at peace, and I'm sure he's in heaven watching over us.

Dad was hospitalized six weeks ago today. He had always been strong and healthy, so we all believed he would recover, but he didn't. Dad passed away peacefully at the age of 76, with Mom by his side, last Monday, December 10.

Mom, my sisters, my brother, and I all knew how special Dad was, but we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and friendship that was displayed over the weekend. Boyhood friends of my brother's flew to Alabama from Chicago. Cousins from Houston arrived. Over 200 people attended the memorial service.

I'm sure those of you who have lost a parent, or both parents, understand the emotions that are controlling my life right now. Dad would not want us to mourn, but rather celebrate the fact that we shared life's journey with him for as long as we did.

I'll do my best, Dad!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Six more!

I managed to finish six more bookmarks before going to bed last night... I may reach my goal. I've been trying to measure just enough thread to make the Sparkling Snowflake. If I still have some thread left on my shuttle, I doodle! I kind of like the doodles... doing them gives me a better feel for how everything fits together in tatting.

My sister gave me the book Golden Legacy as a Thanksgiving present. I just started reading it yesterday... it's fascinating! I've familiarized myself with the layout of the book... that means I've sniffed the pages (I love the smell of new books!), run my hand across each page (I love the feel of paper!), and read the captions for all the pictures. Thank you, Janet!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Four more bookmarks!

Who knows... I may finish little tattings for all my bookmarks! If not, I have a backup plan... more on that later!

Two of the bookmarks have "Sparkling Snowflake" from Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman. The other two were inspired by Tatting Rings of Flowers by Mary Maynard.

I took a nap, I mean a break from tatting this afternoon, and now I can't seem to wake up enough to get back in the groove. All I want to do is take another nap, I mean break from tatting. I think you get my drift!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thank you, Jeff!

First, a big thank you to Jeff, who was able to identify the little angel I tatted last summer! The pattern is Tatted Angel by Lenore English. After comparing my angel to Lenore's I can see improvements that I want to make in my tatting. I've come a long way since I made this darling little angel over the summer! Thank you for the pattern Lenore!

I met my goal of making as many woven bookmarks as possible from one 3.5 oz. skein of Read Heart Carefree Cotton on my 2"x6" Weave-ette. I was able to make 29 in the past week! I probably could have squeezed #30 out of the skein if it hadn't been for two knots I had to cut out. I didn't want to mess with extra ends, so I just took the yarn off the loom and started over. I need 9 more, but I'll probably use some Red Heart Sport that I have on hand rather than going out and buying more cotton... we're expecting sleet today.

The bookmarks still need to be blocked... I know! I know! I said I wouldn't post a picture without blocking first, but I wanted to post, and these will take a while to dry. I found two tiny snowflake patterns in Vida Sunderman's Tatted Snowflakes. I'm not quite ready to tat most of the snowflakes in this book, but at least I've started! The snowflake on the right is "Simple Snowflake" on page 32. The one in the middle is "Sparkling Snowflake" on page 17. The one on the left is my own doodle. I was trying to remember the pattern for the middle snowflake at lunchtime the other day... I'd left my book at home. Not bad for a doodle, but I like Vida's "Sparkling Snowflake" better.

I have less than two weeks to finish these! I'd better get tatting!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas bookmarks

I came to the sad realization yesterday that I do not have enough time to tat bookmarks for everyone on my Christmas list. So, I pulled out my 2x6" Weave-ette and got to work!

The bookmark at the top is really a pretty red, Cherry Red - Red Heart Sport. The next two are Clown #1720 sock yarn by Marks & Kattens. Next is Patons Grace - Spearmint, a 100% mercerized cotton. I wonder how it would tat? The bottom is a Christmas yarn that my friend Denise had on hand. It's a worsted weight and looks nice when finished, but it's a little thick for a bookmark. The bookmark on the right is some Lion Brand Baby Soft that I had wound on the loom and then forgot about.

If I have time, I'll tat little motifs to sew onto these.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ornament #3

I've finally finished my third ornament... the green one! It's not my favorite, but I'm going to use it anyway. I think I would have liked it better if it had an even number of pattern repeats instead of an odd number. It just looks unbalanced to me. I got brave with this one and didn't follow a pattern. I think I'll use a pattern for the next one!

Does anyone recognize this little angel? I tatted her over the summer, and I'd love to give credit to the designer (and make more angels), but I can't remember where I got the pattern. I think my tatting skills have improved since I made this one. It sure would be fun to do another and see if I've learned as much as I think I have!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Mad Hatter

I needed a bit of cheering up today, and I was blessed with a wonderful package from TATBiT! I now have three new hats to add to my winter wardrobe... I can't wait to wear them to school! The kids will get such a kick out of them! I tried to pose so that you could see the bits of tatting, beads, pins, flowers, fun fur, and cording that make these hats so special, but you'll just have to come visit me to get a better look!

I also received a very special shawl pattern, and a painted gnome. I love gnomes! I have the book Gnomes (Is that the title? I know I have it around here somewhere...), and this past August my parents went to John C. Campbell Folk Camp and Dad carved a gnome, which now has a special place in my home.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tagged again!

I've been tagged by Sarah to tell 8 things about myself. Oh, dear! Are there 8 more things people really want to know? I'll try!

1. I was born in Hampton, Virginia, while my dad was in the Air Force. We lived in Philadelphia until the end of my 8th grade year, when my dad was transferred to Chicago.

2. I have close relatives (parents, siblings, children, aunts/uncles, cousins, in-laws) in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, and North Dakota. Did I get them all, Mom?

3. My dad says I need a dumpster to clean out my sewing room... I think you're right, Dad!

4. My husband is the most patient person I have ever met. We've been married 27 years, and I can only remember him getting angry with me 3 times... I know I deserved his anger many more times than that!

5. I like to have things perfect. If they can't be perfect, I don't bother... can you guess what state my house is in? I hope you guessed not perfect!

6. I am the oldest of four children... I have two sisters and one brother... they're the best!

7. I have most of my Christmas presents bought/made... I might start wrapping them tonight!

8. I taught 4th grade one year, the other 22 years have been in the library/computer lab. I much prefer the library/computer lab... I get to spend time with all the kids for a little bit every week. It's fun to see how much they grow and learn from preschool through 5th grade! I even have some of my former students' children in school now!

What a find!

My sister, Janet, my brother, David, and I flew down to Alabama to visit our parents this past week. While we were there, my mom gave me this wonderful pattern book that she found. It was published by The Spool Cotton Company in 1944... 37 designs in one 10 cent book! I started the first edging right away, but I left my tatting in Alabama! Mom will send it to me next week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weave-Along #6 - Eight Single Rib

This is last week's Weave-Along square... I really messed up the first one and just didn't get back to it until tonight.

Ornament #2

I love this purplish red with the green thread! I enjoy color combinations that would have made my skin crawl 20 years ago! The thread is "Leafy" from Yarnplayer... I LOVE Marilee's threads! The shuttle is from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker... it holds a ton of thread and makes a wonderful tinkling sound when the thread passes through the tips... one of Sherry's musical shuttles!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One down...

I finally finished decorating my first ornament! I bought a package of 24 shatterproof ornaments about a week and a half ago. This decoration just sits on the ball... I don't think shatterproof means unbreakable. I want to be able to transfer the tatting to another ornament if I choose! I was inspired by a beautiful beaded ornament by Nancy Tracy at, but I didn't want to put as much work into it as she did... I'm running out of time! Nancy used the Hen and Chicks pattern for the top part of her decoration because of its natural curve. I really like Nancy's pattern, and I may add to this after the holidays.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reading for inspiration...

I've been reading lots of blogs for inspiration the past two weeks, but I just haven't had much time to tat. My daughter Carol has been working hard with middle school students, and this weekend there were three performances of The Royal Bachelor. I used to direct plays when Carol was in middle school, so I know that they're a lot of fun, but they're also a lot of work! For the past seven weeks, Carol has been coming to our house to nap, while I made dinner. Then she'd be off to play practice from 6-8 p.m. That's a big load at the end of a school day... Carol teaches high school geography, world history, and psychology/sociology. While she was busy directing, I helped (in a small way) with formatting programs (Carol did most of the typing), shopping for concessions, setting up and cleaning up dessert theater, supervising concessions, and making my stage debut! Carol needed some grandma types to player elderly bachelorettes for the new king to choose from for a wife. My friend Pat (the school secretary) was brave enough to go on stage with me Saturday night... we managed to stay composed and not start laughing uncontrollably... we tend to do that... our superintendent jokes that we need to be separated at any school function. It was all great fun, but I'm glad it's over! In a week, Carol and her co-director will start planning for the high school production of Grease. I'll continue with my supporting role of mom... maybe I'll be able to find some time to tat again!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

There's a chill in the air!

I've been inspired by TATBiT and Sherry Pence to pick up my crochet hook and use up some of my yarn stash. Ok, ok... I admit it. None of this yarn was from my stash. There was a sale at Michael's, and I just had to try this stuff out! My family will love these hats... they're so thick. I'd never be able to wear one... they're so thick! I have a lot of hair on the top of my head, so I need a light weight hat... thank you TATBiT!

The pattern is from a wonderful site that my friend Denise found...
Denise and I suffer from what Denise calls "flight of fancy"... we get so excited about something someone else has done, that we decide to try it out. Therefore, we have many different types of projects going on. Denise usually manages to finish many more projects than I do. Right now we're both on a roll with these hats. Do you hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling?

The green hat at the top is Red Heart Super Saver... a very bulky hat, a little stiff. The blue hat on the bottom is Red Heart Fiesta. The other two hats are Vanna's Choice from Lion Brand Yarns... a very soft acrylic... nice to work with. The yarn and the hook determine the size of the hat. I feel like I've made hats for the three bears... the green one's too big, the blue one's too small... the two in the middle are just right!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Finger Tatting

In correspondence with my dear friend TATBiT, I revealed that I never learned to finger tat... I think I shocked the poor woman! So, I looked up finger tatting on the Internet and found some simple directions... they were so simple I should have figured them out on my own! Anyway, this is a picture of my very first finger tatted ring! I'm so inspired that I'm going to take a ball of yarn to school today and teach any child who wants to learn, how to finger tat! I'll probably drive the rest of the staff crazy because there will be little yarn rings all around the school! Thank you for the inspiration (again!) TATBiT!

Now I must learn about math and the golden spiral and research Mary Sue Kuhn! I love learning!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Up on the roof!

It won't be long until the roof is finished! As soon as Dave finishes the peak he's working on in the picture, he has one valley left to finish. Yeah! He started Labor Day weekend. I think he did a fabulous job, and he met my two requirements... dark brown shingles, and don't fall off the roof!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Weaving Wednesday

This is pattern #5 - Ribbing from the Square Deal Weave-Along. The blue is Lion Brand Baby Soft. The green is Red Heart... weaving with worsted weight is very hard on my hands, but I like the look!

When I get stuck on any type of needlework project, I tend to abandon it... sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. Then I move on to something else, something that at least seems easier! This is the beginning of my newest tatting... Design #1 from page 7 of Tatting: 60 Original Lace Treasures by Christel Weidmann. The thread is Yarnplayer's "Summer Trail" size 50. I didn't measure, so the space between the rings is not the 1/4" that's called for. I'm going to finish this one anyway. I want to see how it turns out with incorrect measuring... I can be pretty stubborn!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Reading is fundamental!

So, I was reading Sharon's blog about adding a link. Sherry Pence had already e-mailed me excellent instructions, so I was really reading to get a different perspective. I was amazed to see that Sharon had all sorts of cute little icons above her text pane. I followed her directions... still no icons!

When I opened up my Blogger account this morning, I found a cute little link to Macintosh... I'm a Mac user at home, Dell at school. Guess what? Safari (the browser suggested by Apple) isn't fully compatible with Blogger... therefore, no icons!

Next step... download Firefox. Ta da! I have icons! And now, when I spell check, my spelling actually gets checked... no error message! I don't have as many icons as Sharon, but I'll take anything at this point! I sure wish all these computer applications would play nicely together... it sure would make life easier... or at least computing!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Autumn Leaves

This pretty little leaf is from Nancy Tracy's Tat's Where I Stopped (p. 32, November - Autumn Leaves). I used Yarnplayer's "Summer Trail" size 50.

Believe it or not, this little leaf took me hours! The directions are wonderful... I just couldn't make a lock join to save my soul! I worked on this beauty for the entire Chicago Bears football game, about a half hour this morning, and about another half hour when I got home from school. I think I need to find where I put my tatting videos and take a refresher course! I'm much better when I can watch an expert demonstrate techniques... words and still pictures just don't help me get the message processed correctly so that my hands can function!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lots of little flowers...

To help get myself back in the tatting groove, I chose to make some little flowers from Mary Maynard's Tatting Rings of Flowers. In no particular order, they are: #1, #9, #10, #11, and #15. There's also one I can't identify, so I must have made a mistake... oops!

The squares are pattern #4 - Double Outline Diamond from the Square Deal Weave-Along. Can you tell what my Wednesday night challenge is?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gidget loves Moondoggie!

Thanks TATBiT! I wonder if the bear pins will help us with the Chicago Bears? They play to the north. They have training camp to the south. Oh, my!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Trying out links

My good friend Sherry sent me instructions on creating links, so I have to try them out!


Sherry, it worked! Thank you so much! Now I have to put my instructions in a really safe place... not too safe, or I'll never find them again!

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Sherry to share 7 facts about myself!

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 3 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

7 facts about myself:

1. I don't know how to link to Sherry's blog, so I have to post her blog address: It's a good thing I'm an elementary library/computer teacher... some of the 5th graders know more than I do!
2. I haven't been able to figure out how to get my picture to show up when I comment on other people's blogs... I think it must be because I'm a Mac user! I also can't use any of the short cuts shown at the bottom... when I try, a mail window pops up... too weird!
3. Six and a half years ago, I hurt my shoulder playing volleyball. As a result, I couldn't lift my left arm. Despite months of treatment, I could not lift my arm higher than shoulder level. Then, a year and a half ago, I fell down the stairs... hit every one! I can now lift my arm straight up... go figure!
4. I have at least 114 tatting shuttles... I'm sure there are some tucked away that I just can't see right now. I also have at least 50 tatting books/leaflets. However, I didn't really start tatting in earnest until last spring.
5. I love olives! My favorite ones are Paesana Country Mix... mmmmm!
6. I collect kitchen gadgets and cookbooks, and I love good food... but I really don't like to cook.
7. I'm fascinated by tangrams, origami, and snowflakes... among other things!

I really don't know how to link, but I'm tagging...

Jullie at
Jana at
Jan at

Can you be tagged more than once? I hope not... I don't think I can come up with 7 more facts about myself!

Back in the groove... I think!

I just realized that the end of October is very near, and I promised myself that I'd make an October birthday present for a friend of mine. Denise suggested that I decorate a shuttle. Several years ago, Denise took part in several shuttle exchanges, so she's pretty experienced with it. This is my first time! I'm not sure how practical a decorated shuttle is, but it was fun to make!

The melon colored shuttle has the partial Mary Konior motif that I tatted a couple of weeks ago. The green shuttle has flower motif #10 from page 13 of Mary Maynard's Tatting Rings of Flowers. I used King Tut #927. I really love working with King Tut!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Do, do, do, lookin' out my back door!

It's hard to believe we're under a tornado watch until 11 p.m.! Dave just missed the picture he wanted of the sun shining through the clouds. I'm always amazed at the beauty all around us!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I've really been distracted for over a week. That must be the answer! I just can't seem to follow patterns! I've made more mistakes in the past week than I ever would have thought possible! As a result, I have no completed tatted pieces. So, tonight I decided to weave. On the left is the Fancy Weave pattern, and on the right is the Basket Weave pattern from the Square Deal Weave-Along. I hope I did these right!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Diamonds are a girl's best friend!

I couldn't wait to see the diamond pattern emerge, so I wove 3 more squares. I do like the result!

Fragmented fragment

I was inspired by Tatman's recent posting about tatting with fine thread. This tiny piece is part of "Briar Fragments" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, page 81. I used King Tut quilting thread, color #934. I'm amazed at how tiny a piece I was able to tat... with no mistakes! I'm not sure if I'll make the other half of this fragment, or leave it as is to decorate a shuttle.

The blue square is pattern #2 - Crossroads from the Square Deal Weave-Along. The directions suggest making multiple squares to create diamond patterns. I may have to do that!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Then there were three...

I finished two more Bell Flowers (Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior), one in solid pink, one in variegated pink. I wish I had ordered a deeper pink for the solid, but obviously I didn't. I haven't decided what I want to do with them, so for now they're residing in my curio cabinet. The pinks are size 20 Flora.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Windowpane Lace

A week or so ago, Sherry asked me if I had any plans for the motifs I've been working on... and I had no plan! This morning I woke up and thought, why not sew the motifs onto the 4" squares made on my Weavette loom? I joined the Square Deal Weave-Along, which started yesterday. I had already decided to make 3 of each square (one blanket for each of the grandchildren). I like the tatted motif on the plain weave square on the left, but the motif on the right seems lost in the Windowpane Lace. Maybe I should just try different colored thread for the tatting... I have plenty to choose from!

I could abandon the blanket idea and join squares to make cute little bags... plain weave squares with tatting motifs attached on one side, patterned square on the other side. I'm starting to get the hang of making the cording for Romanian Point Lace... I could use that for the strap... just like Teri Dusenbury! Have you seen her bags and hats? They're wonderful!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bell Flower

This picture does absolutely no justice to the beautiful thread "Leafy" from Marilee Rockley aka Yarnplayer. The shuttle is from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. The pattern is Bell Flower from page 46 in Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.

The directions call for 3 motifs to be grouped together. I wanted one in green as the foliage, but now I can't decide what color or colors to use for the other 2 motifs. Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mission accomplished!

It only took about an hour, and now all my threads are hidden. My little motif stash looks much neater, and each piece looks finished! I usually hide my ends as I go along when I'm knitting or crocheting, so it won't be a big deal to do the same with my tatting.

I've played a little with my scanner to try and get rid of the streaking. I've put a piece of white fabric between my tattings and the lid. I've also tried a piece of white paper. Obviously I haven't hit on just the right thing to make a nice clear scan. Now that I'm at school when the outdoor light is good, I just can't get a picture that I like! I'm going to visit Alison and Dan this weekend. They're computer geniuses... maybe they can help me out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No more loose ends!

Last night I decided to attach "Posy" to a piece of fabric for a tooth fairy pillow using the length of thread still attached to the tatting. What a disaster! I had a terrible time trying to get the thread through the cloth and having it look nice. Tonight I'm sitting down with all my little motifs from the past couple of weeks, and I'm hiding the threads! I'll still use the tails for attaching lace edgings to socks, but that's it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A little bit of "Honesty"

It must be my Scottish blood... I just can't get rid of that little bit of thread left on the shuttle. So, I tatted a little bit of "Honesty" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, page 40, size 20 Flora.

The circular piece is "Posy" from page 93 of the same book, using the same thread. This one definitely has a right and wrong side because of a thread that carries across the back to join each section of the motif. I really like the effect with the variegated thread!

I've completed one full pattern repeat of "Stella alpina" from Iris Niebach's Tatting Fantasia. I've had Iris's book for quite a while, but felt intimidated because of the size of each piece. Arlene (see link on right side) has been a great inspiration to me, meaning that I looked at the patterns even more carefully than before... ha! ha! ha! Then I received an e-mail from Iris! She told me that she thought I could tat one of her pieces and that her first book had some simple doilies. So, a few nights ago, I pulled out the book, an already wound shuttle, and got to work. What can I say other than I love the way this pattern goes together! Now that I have one full pattern repeat finished, I'm really getting into a rhythm!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Note to myself: NEVER post a picture of an unblocked piece again! I can't believe how awful "Angelica" looked unblocked in comparison to today's scan! Since I haven't taken the time to learn how to link to previous posts... "Angelica" (on the left) is from page 100 of Mary Konior's Tatting in Lace, size 20 hand-dyed thread from Yarnplayer.

"Hope" (in case you haven't guessed, it's the one on the right) ; ) is from page 92 of Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns, size 20 Flora, color #55. I can't believe that just a few months ago I thought this motif looked to hard for me to do!

I don't think I've found the motif I want to use for Eva's tooth fairy pillow yet. Maybe I really haven't found the fabric I want to use! I'd better hurry... kindergarteners have been losing teeth left and right this week!

I'm really feeling brave with my tatting. I started an Iris Niebach doily the night before last! I don't have much done. I'm trying to work slowly so that I don't make mistakes. That's not working too well. I've already had to undo a ring and the chain before it because after I closed the ring I realized I had joined the chain to the wrong picot. I've had to go back and take that join out three times now. The first join was done beautifully in the wrong place. The next two were twisted somehow in the right place! I'm sure I'll get it right. Maybe I shouldn't wait until 8:30 p.m. to start tatting!

By the way, if any of you who scan can give me tips on how to make my scans look as clean as yours, please let me know!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I came from Alabama with my tatting on my knee...

My apologies to Stephen Foster! My sister Janet and I just spent a delightful weekend in Alabama visiting our parents... but I really did have my tatting on my knee, both on the way to Alabama and back to Chicago! On the flight down I finished "Angelica" from page 100 of Mary Konior's Tatting in Lace. "Angelica" used up most of what I had left of the size 20 Cool Green color from Yarnplayer. Marilee's thread is really wonderful to work with! I know I should have blocked it, but I wanted to post a picture today... I'll post a better one later in the week.

I also took along my Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I tried working on "Faith" on the way down... I really messed up! I worked on "Hope" on the way back with the hopes that my tatting would improve, or rather my reading of tatting patterns! "Hope" is nearly finished, and if all goes well, I'll post a picture in the next couple of days.

I haven't read a blog since Wednesday! (I think it was Wednesday!) So, I'm off to catch up with what everyone's doing!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Girls just wanna have fun!

...and since I needed to have some mental down time this weekend, I chose to do some tatting yesterday. It's amazing how much I can accomplish during football season! I watch the games with Dave, but I keep tatting/sewing/knitting/crocheting while the game is on. I consider it to be guilt free "me" time!

My granddaughter, Eva, started kindergarten this year. When did I get this old? Anyway, last week a couple of kindergarteners showed me where they had lost baby teeth, and I decided it was time to start working on a tooth fairy pillow for Eva. We just used a sealed envelope when I was little. The great mystery was, how did the tooth fairy take the tooth out and put the quarter out without tearing the envelope? A friend of mine made Alison a tooth fairy pillow when she was in 1st grade. That pillow made the tooth fairy's task much easier! I decided that a tatted motif on the pillow pocket would make the pillow extra special. So now my quest is to find the perfect motif in the perfect color to decorate that little pillow. Of course, I was too lazy to choose material and coordinating thread yesterday. I just used what was in the basket next to my chair! I'm not sure how I'll use these pieces yet, but I had fun making them!

The blue variegated is size 20 Flora #55; the design is Nr. 2: Lille krans from page 24 of Orkis by Kirstine Nikolajsen and Inge Lise Nikolajsen. This is one of my favorite designs from one of my favorite books. I think this is the third time I've made this motif, and I finally put it together correctly!

The pink motif is size 20 Coats #403; the design is Eightsome Reel from page 50 of A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. I love this book also! I just purchased it recently on the Internet. It's in amazingly good condition! I think this motif would be wonderful done up as a multi-colored mat similar to Tattycat's (see Laura's Tatting Muse link on the right side, August 2007 archives).

The multicolored floral motif is Anemone from page 73 of A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. The thread was leftovers from lace sock edgings. I know the purple is Flora, and I think the blue is Hakelgarn. I was attracted to this motif because it reminds me of the Jacobean flower designs I used to love to cross stitch... I haven't done cross stitch for probably 15 years!

I'm leaving lengths of thread attached for now in case I want to use them to sew the motif onto the pillow. I think I'll just keep tatting these little pieces until I'm inspired to make the pillow. What a good excuse to keep trying new designs with different threads!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fun at the fair!

Yesterday my daughter Alison and I took a field trip to the Lake Country Harvest Art Fair in Hartland, WI. It was an absolutely beautiful day to attend the fair! We started out with the intention of visiting the booths in order, but when I saw Booth #18, I had to scoot on over to meet Marilee Rockley (a.k.a. Yarnplayer)! It was like meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in years! Alison took our picture, which I hope to see on Marilee's blog (we forgot to take one with Alison's camera). It was so exciting for me to meet Marilee and see her pieces in person. "Oxidation" is fabulous! Marilee's latest piece, "Choker with Rock" is stunning! I controlled myself, though. I bought a necklace for Alison, which I forgot to photograph. The green necklace is for Andrea... her favorite color! The golden necklace is for Joanne, my fashionista. The bookmark is for Carol, who doesn't wear much jewelry but is a voracious reader of history books. Of course I had to buy some thread for myself! I previously purchased both of these colors in size 20, but decided I just had to have them in size 80! Marilee also had some beautiful woven pieces. She shared the booth with a friend who does inkle weaving and basket weaving... I just had to have one of her bookmarks!

There were mainy talented people with booths at this art fair. Alison and I found some fabulous "swittens"... mittens made out of recycled, felted wool sweaters by the ladies of the Oconomowoc Chapter of Friendship Bridge. I had never seen or heard of mittens made this way. I was really surprised when I did some research on the Internet last night and found that people have been making them for several years. In fact the site for the Dear America series of children's books had information about this type of mitten being made for soldiers during the Civil War! I think I suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to any kind of fiber art. Obviously there is much history to explore with any aspect of needlework! I don't care for cooking much, although I really enjoy good food! So, I purchased their cookbook as well... I love to READ cookbooks! : )

Tiny Bubbles had wonderful soaps, lotions, and lip balm. My lips were very dry, so I just had to buy some lip balm. I loved the soap dish, and it was very reasonably priced. Of course I had to have a bar of soap for the dish!

Another vendor had eye pillows and wheat & heat comfort packs. The eye pillow is filled with a blend of flax, lavender, and chamomile. They're wonderfully soothing when I have a migraine or sinus headache! The wheat & heat comfort pack will be great for when my shoulders hurt from too much knitting/crocheting/tatting/sewing/computing! I really liked these pillows because the covers are removable for washing... my old, well-loved, well-used pillows need new covers. Now I know what to do! Of course, I should have been able to figure out that new covers would spruce them up without buying new ones, but...

We finished off the day with ice cream, and an all-too-short visit with the grandchildren. I needed a day of mental relaxation, and this one fit the bill! I even stayed within my spending budget for the day! I hope all my tatting friends out there had a wonderful, relaxing weekend as well!

P.S. - I just checked Marilee's blog... there we are!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Playin' around

While Dave has been busy re-roofing the house, I've been playin' around in my sewing room... that's a very loosely used term as I haven't done much sewing in a long time! I'm supposed to be cleaning and reorganizing, and I have done some, but I keep finding long-lost treasures! Saturday I found my Weavette looms, which I've had for at least two years, maybe longer. When I first bought them, it was a nostalgia thing. I loved using my Weave-It when I was a kid (who knows what happened to that loom!), so when I saw looms that fit in the palm of your hand advertised, I heard my name being called! Did I order one? No! I ordered every one made by Buxton Brook, along with the handy dandy tote and pattern book! I was so excited when my looms arrived... I sat right down to weave! The first piece was a disaster. I barely read the directions. What did I need those for? I was an expert weaver when I was 10! Of course since the first piece fell apart, I quickly lost interest. Saturday, I decided to do something really rash... I read the directions. As you can see, this time I was successful!

I thought it might be fun to use up some of my yarn stash to make bookmarks embellished with tatting. Although the pictures seem to show the tatting pretty well, I think my little mini-tats look lost on the coarse weave when viewing it in person. Both tattings are from Minitats: 69 Petite Motifs by Patti Duff. The purple one (Flora size 20) is #1, found on page 21. The blue/green piece (hand-dyed thread, size 20 from Yarnplayer) is almost #6 on page 22. I say almost because the motif in the book has 6 rings, rather than the 5 I made. I just didn't think a 6th ring would fit!

Next weekend is the Lake Country Harvest Art Fair. I plan on going with my daughter Alison, and I hope to meet Marilee (a.k.a. Yarnplayer) and see lots of her beautiful pieces!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lessons learned...

...and there were several! First, it's a good thing I'm the only one who will be inspecting this piece carefully! There are at least three places where the stitches are twisted, and I didn't go back to fix them. My mother is right... a blind man on a galloping horse in the middle of the night will never know the difference!

I should have listened to Georgia Seitz! I bought the CD about tatting. I've watched it several times. But somehow, I missed out on a very important lesson until the last two rings of this glass mat... count twice, close once. If I had heeded this excellent advice, I probably could have made two Spinning Wheel glass mats in the time it took me to finish this one!

Wonderful thread is inspirational! Thank you so much Marilee (a.k.a. Yarnplayer) for your gorgeous thread! I love the way the color flows, and I think the hand-dying helps give the thread extra body.

Picots need to be consistent! As I was blocking this last night, I had difficulty finding four picots... they were too small! From now on, I will take the time to fix picots that are too small or too large.

Overall, I am very pleased with the final product. I think a tea cup from Sherry Pence (a.ka. MadMadPotter, LadyShuttleMaker) displayed on this glass mat would be beautiful! Hmmm... green or blue?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another distraction

No pictures today... I've been cleaning my sewing/knitting/crocheting/tatting/computer room and I don't know where I put the camera! I'm almost finished with my Spinning Wheel glass mat. It is so pretty! I'll have to take time to find the camera. I think I'll be able to finish this piece tonight, and I can't wait to show the final results!

I purchased a new-to-me book online last week... Tatting Patterns by Mary Konior, published in 1989. What a gem! There are so many beautiful pieces I just have to try. Next payday, I'll be on a quest to find her other books... Tatting in Lace and A Pattern Book of Tatting. I already have Heritage Crochet: An Analysis, which is fabulous, and my favorite, Tatting with Visual Patterns. If only I could afford to retire and spend all my time tatting!

I'm splitting myself too many ways lately. I've also been knitting a scarf from Victorian Lace Today, and crocheting a Patricia Kristoffersen doily from Doilies with a Twist. As if that's not enough, I just received a Romanian Point Lace kit in the mail today from Doina Craciun. What can I say? I love lace!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back online

I can't believe that I haven't had Internet access at home for a whole week! We've had such horrible thunder storms with menacing lightning over the past week, that I just unplugged everything! We lost our t.v., VCR, and phone a few weeks ago, so I wasn't taking any chances. I do have access at school, but I was so busy the first week back that I just had time to take a quick peek at some of my favorite blogs and post a few comments. Then when we finally got a break in the weather yesterday, Dave decided to start re-roofing the house. Of course he had to take down the satellite dish for the Internet, but he put it back up a few minutes ago, and as you can tell, everything's working fine again. Besides the computer being down, I don't think I've had a shuttle in my hand for a week either! Things should settle down by midweek... I can't wait to tat again!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Twirly skirt... and socks!

My oldest daughter Alison found a tutorial for making twirly skirts at She and Eva went fabric shopping and chose this beautiful fabric... of course Grandma Diane felt the need to make lace-edged socks to match! Alison made the skirt yesterday morning, and Eva thanked her for it all day long! One sock down, one to go!

Denise's friend Rosa just returned from Mexico and brought some la Perla cotton by Omega, which Denise kindly shared with me! The color is beautiful (Azul Plumbago), and it is so soft! Each skein is 278 yards... any ideas on what I should make?