Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tatting Fern

I got absolutely no tatting or reading done today... I took a field trip with my friend Pat and my sister-in-law Karen. We went to Becich's Perennials in Knox, Indiana. I think I have to figure out a tatted hosta pattern! I only bought three, but I could have bought hundreds! My sister-in-law bought a tatting fern, which I already have. It's too bad I'm so tired... I don't have enough brain power left to even think about designing! I'm sure I have a tatted leaf pattern... maybe I could adapt it to look like a hosta!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Happy feet!

Andrea sent me a picture of Lily's feet dressed in her purple socks. They look like happy feet to me!

I'm addicted to this lace edging. I figure if I make enough of it, I might some day have even picots! These are adult socks, and guess what? I need 42 daisies! I guess 42 must be the magic number for socks, no matter what size!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lace-edged Socks

I mailed more socks off to Lily and Eva yesterday. I forgot to take a picture of Eva's socks. They're white socks edged in Altin Basak #3005, size 50. Maybe Alison will take a picture of Eva's socks and e-mail it to me so I can show them off!

I've been asked by a friend to post my way of making lace-edged socks. Remember, I'm a librarian, and I spend my time telling stories to children, so sometimes I get a little long-winded! Here goes...

I learned to tat from watching videos by Mildred Shire Clark and Bev Dillon. They're wonderful! I can stop and rewind to my heart's content. I just can't find them right now, because my sewing/knitting/crocheting/tatting/computer room is such a mess. In one of those two videos (since I can't put my fingers on them right now, I can't tell you which one), Mildred/Bev showed a pair of children's socks with tatted lace. I thought, "Hey, I can do that!" (I talk to myself a lot!) When my girls were little I used to crochet edgings on their socks, so why not tat? One of the videos showed daisy lace, which I sort of memorized (that means I think I remember how the pattern goes). It's a shuttle only pattern, so it's easy for me to carry around in my purse.

Each daisy is a ring of picots. The first ring is 2 ds, 6 picots separated by 1 ds, 2 ds, close. I'd guess that I leave about a 1/2 inch of thread before I start the next daisy. All of the following daisies are 2 ds, join to last picot of previous daisy ring, 5 picots separated by 1 ds, 2 ds, close. I follow this pattern until I have 42 daisies. I leave a very long tail, probably a yard... I'd rather waste a little thread than run short. Then, I simply thread my needle and attach the lace by the thread in between each daisy to each recessed rib. I stretch the ribbing as I sew on the lace so that there is still enough give.

How did I come up with 42 daisies? I counted the number of recessed ribs on the sock. I haven't tried this with adult socks yet. The ribs are wider than on children's socks, so I'll have to experiment. I'm very slow with any needlework I do, so one sock takes me about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to complete. Whenever I speed up I make lots of mistakes. Oh, who am I kidding? I make lots of mistakes anyway!

Am I violating copyright by sharing how I do this? I hope not! If I am... Mildred, Bev, please forgive me!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lessons at last!

I had a wonderful visit with my oldest daughter, Alison, and her two children, Eva and Aidan. They only live about an hour and a half away, but it sure is hard to get together. They arrived yesterday morning and left this afternoon. While they were here, Alison gave me some much needed photography lessons. I was ready to go crazy taking pictures, but the batteries in the camera gave out. Before the batteries died, Alison took this photo of the lace edged socks I have completed for Lily... two pair to go! We bought socks for Eva yesterday, so I guess I'll be working on edgings for a while!

I'm a little exasperated with myself. I've completed at least a half dozen motifs that I wanted to post, but I was waiting for my photography lessons. I put them someplace safe... too safe! I can't find them. I'm sure they'll show up when I least expect it. I guess if I want to take pictures, I'd better go buy batteries!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I picked up my tatting again last night, and only had two minor problems... frogs and flies! I spent so much time taking out mistakes that if I had followed the directions the first time, I'm sure I would have finished my "Spinning Wheel Glass Mat" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I'm back on track now and can't wait to see the finished piece!

There's also a pesky fly in the house. I can only find him when I sit down to tat. As soon as I pick up the fly swatter, he disappears. As soon as I sit down, he's back. I know it's not my imagination... Dave saw him too. He offered to go after the fly, but I was not willing to be swatted in the process!

Alison and the kids are visiting today and spending the night. Maybe after the kids are asleep I can tat!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One more try...

There was something I just didn't like about the way the curtains hung... the little dips at the top. So I added more cafe curtain clips... there's now one clip at the top of each shell. I think I like it better this way. No, I think I like it the other way. This way's too formal (I got that from Alison... I didn't think of it on my own!). What do you think?

Up close and personal...

I always hated when sportscasters would use the phrase "up close and personal" when introducing interview segments with athletes, but somehow it has been burned into my memory!

Anyway... Alison wanted close-ups of the curtains, so I tried. She and the kids are coming to visit tomorrow, so maybe I'll be able to get some photography lessons!

Ta da!

Yes... they are done! The panel on the right is still a little damp, but I think I read somewhere that lace curtains should be hung when they're a little damp... or I could be making it up! I suppose they're a little sheer for bathroom curtains, but our bathroom window overlooks our back porch, we live in the country, and soon it will be just the two of us living here, so I guess it really doesn't matter! If Dave thinks they're too sheer, maybe I'll line them with batiste.

I am so excited to have finished a project that I started 14 years ago! I used size 10 Cebelia with a size 7 hook... I love Janel B's hooks on eBay! The pattern is from an old Magic Crochet, which is safely tucked away somewhere, so I can't tell you which issue. This cottage curtain was named "Clear Day" and was designed by Yolande Maplat. I know all this because I usually make copies of the patterns I'm working on so that my books stay nice. My gauge is totally different from the pattern, and I used the wrong size thread, but I love the finished product!

I'm inspired! Maybe I should dig out another unfinished project!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Lily loves purple!

My granddaughter, Lily, loves purple! I've been working on lace edged socks for her this summer. My goal was to send her a pair every week over the summer. The socks have been completed for a while, but I just mailed the first ones yesterday.

Good news... I just finished the second panel of my crocheted lace curtain! I'll wash and block it in the morning, and hope that it's dry and ready to hang by tomorrow night.

Now I need to choose a new project... or maybe I should finish one I've already started. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what inspires me tomorrow!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Here I am!

I can't believe it... I finally managed to post a picture of myself! I don't know what I did, and it's not my favorite picture, but I managed to get it on there.

This is the last day of Dave's vacation, so I should be able to spend some guilt-free time on all the things I love! We went to Minnesota to visit Andrea, Jake, and Lily. I was the lucky one... I was given babysitting duty while everyone else hung drywall, planted grass seed, killed poison ivy, and painted.

I was working on my crocheted curtains and Lily asked me what I was doing. I told her and she watched very intently. After a few minutes, she said, "It's like knipping." I had to laugh! I thought maybe she remembered helping me knit on her sweater at Easter time, but I think it's more likely that she's been watching Andrea knit a bag that she's going to felt.

I finished the A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie this morning... just what I needed for a light summer read. I can't believe it took me so many years to read one of her books! By the way, I do know that the titles of books should be underlined or italicized, but for some reason the keyboard commands don't work on my Mac... instead, my mail window opens!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I've been working hard on the second panel for my crocheted curtains... 5 pattern repeats left! My goal is to have the curtains up by Wednesday... more later... when they're up!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Road trip

Dave and I returned from our little road trip around Lake Michigan last night. We had a great time visiting lighthouses and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior.

I took along knitting, tatting, and crocheting, but only worked on my crocheted curtains. I was so excited, because I only had 10 pattern repeats left when I checked mid-afternoon yesterday! Then I decided to admire my work... disaster! Six pattern repeats back (18 rows) I had made a huge mistake! It took me about 20 minutes to undo about 5 hours of crocheting. Oh, well... live and learn. Now I'll check my work after every pattern repeat!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wanted: photography lessons!

This picture is an absolute fluke... I'm amazed at how good it looks... Please don't be deceived... I am not and probably never will be a good photographer! As an example, I was trying to take pictures this morning, and my daughter Joanne had to tell me that 5:30 a.m. is not a good time to take pictures. OK... at 10:30 I went outside. The light is fabulous today... so is the wind! I tried the screened-in back porch... terrible pictures. So, back to the front porch... I chose the best picture to post. I managed to get this one before the wind blew the hanky away. Believe it or not, this one's with the zoom as close as I could get it... I think I need lessons! I'm sure I've seen other pictures that were much closer... I want detail!

The hanky is a birthday present from my friend Denise. I can't believe she spent so much time making such a lovely gift for me! I will always cherish it. Needless to say, I was inspired by Denise's gift. Then when I read Sherry Pence's blog and saw her gorgeous hanky, I decided it was time to give it a try... I think I also need lessons in reading directions! I wound my shuttle (Peter Cua) with my beautiful new hand-dyed thread from Yarnplayer Arts. Sherry had challenged me to try Eternity Rings from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior on a scalloped edged hanky and post my results. I love a challenge! However, my tatting didn't look like Sherry's... she had room from two spaces between each join to the hanky... I had room for four! No wonder... I had wound size 20 thread instead of size 40! Rather than take time to wind another shuttle with the correct thread, I chose to work with another design. This is the beginning of the Spinning Wheel glass mat from page 74 of the same book. I love it! The pattern is so easy to follow!

I worked on my crochet curtain some this morning. I have 13 of 38 pattern repeats finished. I really want to complete the curtains and have them hanging by the time my parents arrive July 14. It's a good thing we're going on a short road trip this week... I can get a lot done while Dave is driving!