Monday, May 29, 2017

Invasion of the littles... and not so littles

It's been a busy weekend around here...


With three daughters and five grandchildren visiting, the days have gone by quickly.


It's a good thing I'm an early riser, because the kids have been getting up early as well.


Meal time has been busy. Luckily, everyone pitches in.


The smoke alarm only went off at one meal... dinner last night... however, it did go off several times. I'm not very good with broiling.


I can't believe that it took me three days to tat one Ice Drop! Still, I wouldn't trade my time with family for all the Ice Drops in the world. 😍

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The calm before the storm

I'm sitting here enjoying my morning cup of coffee, listening the the rustlings of little children. They'll be up soon, and then the storm of activity will begin!

Joanne and family arrived Thursday afternoon. I knew they were coming. I could have paced myself, but I didn't. I left everything until the last minute... laundry, grocery shopping, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, sweeping floors. Somehow, I finished everything about a half hour before they arrived.

Then the first storm hit... a storm of hugs and kisses, giggles, running around to see what had changed and what had remained the same. In seconds all of the toys were out and spread around the living room.

Friday morning started out much the same as every day... peace, quiet, checking out blogs, a morning cup of coffee. I knew I'd be gone for a short time in the morning for my annual thyroid check. I was going to a new office and wasn't sure how to get there, so I left myself plenty of time. I arrived 20 minutes early, but I didn't get taken in for my appointment until an hour after my designated time... very frustrating!

By the time I arrived home, it was time to start lunch. I had been called in to sub for the afternoon at the last minute. One of the teachers had thrown out her back and needed to go to the doctor. Since Joanne and the kids planned on a long afternoon nap, I headed in to school. Soon after I arrived home, the rain started pouring down, so we couldn't take the kids outside to run around. That's the way it goes!

So now I'm sitting and enjoying my morning cup of coffee. The storm will begin soon, and I'm looking forward to it, even though it means I won't have much time for my tatting or weaving.


I finished this band before starting my chores on Thursday.


I finished this Ice Drop after the kids went to bed last night.

I hear little voices! Time to get ready for the next round!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Splish splash

It rained on and off today, but I didn't mind.


I just played with Rainbow Splash!


I also finished weaving my Sami band. This one is in 5/2 perle cotton. I enjoyed weaving with the perle cotton. It makes a nice, substantial band.

Daughter Joanne and family are arriving tomorrow, so I spent time cleaning. I had to shoo some of my dust bunnies out the door to make room for the grandchildren! 😉

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday tatting


I subbed in 5th grade today, so I only had time to tat one Ice Drop in Rainbow Splash. One is better than none, right?


I did warp my Hard Maple loom this morning. This is another Sami band pattern in red, blue, and green. I have two bands in progress right now, and I'm planning on warping another loom tomorrow. A girl can never have too many shuttles or too many looms!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Plenty to post

I have plenty to show, but I just wasn't in the mood to blog yesterday. I was having too much fun!


I finished my pretty yellow band early Sunday morning. When I finished it, I found that the finished end was about 1/4" wider than the beginning end. I guess I'm just not good at eyeing something for size, which is why I use picot gauges when tatting!


I had watched a Sami band weaving video by Durham Weaver. She used a piece of plastic marked with the proper width of the band. I didn't have any plastic that would work, but I did have some card stock. It came in very handy!


My friend Carol took this picture of me at Tollway Tatters. I don't like many pictures of me, but I think this one really looks like me. It must be that I wasn't paying attention to the person taking the picture! I kind of like my new glasses. What do you think?


Early this morning, I finished my band. Using the card stock measuring piece really helped. This is my best band so far!


Today I subbed for high school math. The kids were busy studying for their ETAs (end of term assessments), so my role was strictly supervisory, which gave me plenty of time to tat!


When I got home, I decided to set up my Shining Glen loom with another Inkle pattern. Tomorrow I plan to set up my Hard Maple loom with a Sami pattern. I do love variety!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Great friends, great time!

We had a wonderful Tollway Tatters meeting today!


Ana, Denise, and Barbara were among the first to arrive.


Sue Anna brings the group from Wisconsin down once they have crossed the Illinois border.


The two who travel the farthest are Sue from Michigan and Marilee from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.


Carol drives in from Indiana. Here she's showing off her embellished Tollway Tatters Origami pouch.


Caving to our requests, Marilee brought along her new carbon fiber cello and played a piece for us.


Carol spent her time working on a heart pattern from a Japanese book. She was trying to give it a longer point than shown in the pattern.


Sue was working on an idea for a sun catcher. I love the blues!


Sue Anna was working on one of Marilee's earring designs.


I forgot to ask Barbara what she was working on, but we were having so much fun tatting and talking that I really only remember her showing me the snowflake she finished recently.


Denise is working on a series of Ice Drops based on things she likes in nature. Yesterday she tatted with a red gem for a ladybug. If I recall correctly, this one was for a yellow gem for a bee.


Elaine is needle tatting a doily. Marilee was able to give her some tips to help her chains lie flat. Elaine also had on a beautiful tie-dyed t-shirt with tatting designs that she created herself. How did I miss getting a picture of her smiling face?


Ana joined us for the first time today. She was also working on an earring design by Marilee.

What did I do?


I tatted Ice Drops!


True to form, I finished two!

Ready to tat!

All my bags are packed. I'm ready to go. I'm standing here outside the door. I hate to wake you up to say good-bye.

Oh, wait... Dave was up before me this morning! I am ready to go, though. Today, Tollway Tatters are meeting at the Hinsdale Oasis at 10 a.m. If you're in the Chicago area, we'd sure love to have you join us! Look for a bunch of crazy tatters in tie-dye t-shirts, and a table loaded with tatting supplies. We try to sit near Starbucks and the new Panera Bread. I can hardly wait for lunch! 😋

Denise and I braved the rain together to run some errands in Kankakee. We always enjoy ourselves when we're together. We tried out a little restaurant, Carlo's, that Denise had discovered and had a wonderful lunch. We looked at and talked about old sewing machines, family memories that inspired us to become fiber addicts, and... Ice Drops!


Denise has been taking some nature classes, learning about bugs, plants, watersheds... all things I listen to with great interest, although I have no interest in taking the classes myself. Anyway, Denise has been dreaming of tatting Ladybug Ice Drops, and this is her first interpretation. I like it!


I'm continuing to work with Rainbow Splash. I have a little window tin that I'm using to keep them clean.


I also want to see how many I get out of this ball! I'm not sure I'll tat with this color exclusively. Daughter Joanne is coming to visit next week, and she wants to organize my craft supplies for me. I'm pretty sure I'll find some colors I just have to use!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Another addict

My dear friend Tatskool has started blogging again, and guess what her first post is? She's tatted an Ice Drop!

Please visit her page and see what she's doing...

http://tatsakoolchallenge.blogspot.com/2017/05/blogging-again.html#comment-form

I subbed in 4th grade yesterday, so I didn't have any time to finish an Ice Drop. Two are nearly done, and I will post pictures of them later.


I did take time to finish my green and gold Sami band last night. The top and bottom strips are the right side, and the two center strips are the wrong side. I think they're both pretty!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Two by two

I seem to be doing things in twos lately! Today I tatted two Ice Drops.


I finished the ball of Spring Garden. There was enough thread left to tat the first round of an Ice Drop, but not the encapsulating round. That's okay. I think it makes a pretty little motif all by itself.


For my second Ice Drop I used size 20 Lizbeth #184, Rainbow Splash. It does make a pretty splash of color!


Since I now have two small looms, I decided to try warping an inkle pattern. I failed. I just haven't figured out how to warp following the patterns yet. So, I decided to do a little free form band weaving, and I do like the way it's turning out.

I made a big mistake with this warp. I put it on the loom backwards! The ratchets belong on the right, not the left. Luckily, with this style loom it doesn't really matter which side is which. I just need to advance the warp left handed, which makes me stop and think rather than advancing the warp automatically with my right hand. It's not a big deal. It just slows me down a little.


I'm making good progress with my Sami band. I've woven over half the warp, and I really like the way the pattern works up.

Tonight I'm going to take a break from tatting and weaving and do a little reading. Daughter Carol is going to be teaching AP European History next year. Her students are going to be reading Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder and A Little History of the World by E. H. Gombrich. I started both books several years ago, but never finished them. So, today I pulled them both off the shelf, and I've read the first chapter of each. They've both caught my interest again, so now is the time to start reading!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Another two Drop day...

It's true. Retirement is keeping me busy! I don't know where the time went today, but it did fly by!


Still, I managed to tat two Ice Drops. I thought I had enough Spring Garden left for two Ice Drops.


It turns out I did! And guess what? My shuttle is wound for another Ice Drop. I wish I had kept count of how many Ice Drops I've made from this ball, but I didn't. I'm not about to go through my blog posts and count them all, and it really doesn't matter anyway.

Today was the last day of sewing class. I think the girls had a lot of fun this year. I know I did!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Warming up

We had a beautiful day here in northeast Illinois. It was sunny, bright, and 85 degrees, just as May should be!


What better way to start the day than tatting an Ice Drop? It works for me!


I finished up the band that Eva and I worked on yesterday. This was an exercise in maintaining tension, and I think we both did fairly well.


I'm getting close to finishing up my ball of Spring Garden thread. I think I may be able to get two more Ice Drops out of it.


My new loom arrived in the mail today! I'm getting much better at setting up a new warp. This is one pattern repeat, the longest one I've tried so far. I do like the green and gold together!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Today was Mother's Day here in the U.S.A., and it was wonderful!


Dave had to work, as this is his busy season, but he gave me a beautiful planter to celebrate the day.


There's always a ton of paperwork this time of year, and grandson Aidan chipped in by alphabetizing checks that needed to be recorded.


Granddaughter Eva gave band weaving a try, and she said it was very relaxing. She even learned to pick out mistakes! I offered to set up a loom for her to take home, but she declined. Maybe I can get her hooked this summer. 😉

Daughters Alison and Carol prepared a fabulous meal for dinner... country ribs, roasted potatoes, asparagus, and a salad. We were all stuffed! Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of the meal.


I finished my second band in this zig zag pattern, this time in red and black. The thread definitely makes a difference! This is in size 10 crochet cotton, where the pink and black band was in size 5 polyester crochet thread. The size of thread may have been a factor because of the length of the floats. I think I'll have to do some more experimenting to determine whether or not to use polyester thread for future projects.

Tonight I plan on making my Ice Drop for the day, and then I'll be off for a good night's sleep!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Another attempt

With so many little things to accomplish today, playing with thread had to take a back seat. I did find time to get a little bit done!


I love reading, but I don't always grasp concepts when I read. Sometimes I need to read, try, read again, try again, and repeat. That seems to be the case with band weaving.

Today I tried using popsicle sticks to find the width I needed for my band. I also tried weaving a few rows to pull the threads in to the width I thought would work. This helped tremendously! I also went back to size 10 crochet cotton, which results in a narrower band. This one will be about 1/2" wide.

I chose red and black for the second go at this pattern. So far, so good. I'll be able to tell better if the change in thread makes much difference once I get the woven band off the loom.


Despite all the little chores and taking a much needed nap, I was able to tat an Ice Drop today. I feel the need to tat an Ice Drop a day, because Christmas isn't that far away!