Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Revisiting an old friend... Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book by Barbara Walker. I was inspired to look up this old friend when I found The Walker Treasury Project. Don't ask me how I found it... it was just one of those one-link-leads-to-another moments!

Yes, I do own two copies of the book. My original was purchased in 1974 for $3.95 after I read a book review in the Chicago Tribune. I did knit quite a few blocks from this book, but never finished an afghan. In 1997, the book was re-published by Schoolhouse Press. I looked everywhere for my original and couldn't find it, so I ordered a new copy. Of course, I found the original shortly after receiving my new copy! Anyway, I have quite a stash of yarn that I'd like to use up. So, I pulled the book off the shelf yesterday and grabbed the first two skeins of yarn I found. I don't have enough Red Heart Designer Sport to make a full-sized afghan, but I probably have enough to make a lap throw. Besides, it'll be fun to see how many blocks I can make out of the yarn I have!

We had a wonderful holiday and saw all of our grandchildren. Eva wore my dad's Santa hat and passed out the presents Christmas morning.

Aidan also wore a Santa hat, but he was more interested in opening presents and playing with them than in passing them out!

The day after Christmas, we traveled to Minnesota so Grandma could get snuggles from her little girls in the north!

We're safely back home now. Dave's working on "The Project" aka my Christmas present, and I am still knitting on his afghan. I really need to take a tatting break, though. I'm convinced that lack of tatting is very hard on my arm! It's hard to believe that I slipped on the ice a year ago yesterday, and had surgery a year ago today. The time sure does fly by! I won't say I'm back to normal, because I'm not sure I was every normal to begin with! I am happy that I can tat, knit, crochet, etc. whenever I feel like it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

The presents are all wrapped and under the tree... well almost! As you can see, I did not finish Dave's Bear Claw Throw. It's about half done. I don't feel too bad. The other day he told me he had to sand down "The Project" because the finish wasn't right. We agreed to reveal our "surprises" to each other on Christmas morning and finish them when we can. What a relief to both of us!

I have a tremendous "to do" list for the new year... Jon's snowflakes, Tattycat's snowflakes, Marilee's bells, Sherry's Royal Diadem, Spinning Wheel glass mats for my shuttle drawers, Temari balls, Springerle cookies, rag rugs, rag place mats, bookmarks, etc. Oh, dear! I guess I'd better start prioritizing and set some reasonable goals. This list is all for me! ; )

I wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A new hobby...

No, I haven't given up tatting, but I do have a new hobby... baking Springerle cookies! I was on a quest for a special rolling pin for my daughter, when I came upon a beautiful Springerle rolling pin. I was intrigued and started reading up on it, ordered some molds, bought the ingredients, and...

I'm addicted. Thanksgiving weekend, my daughter Andrea and I made our first batch... Andrea really did all the work. I just watched. The cookies were well worth the effort! This past weekend, I decided to try and make them on my own. I had fun, and they turned out almost as good as Andrea's!

We're celebrating December birthdays at school tomorrow. Guess what I'm taking!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Killian made me do it!

That lovable little leprechaun from Cork knows I need to work on Dave's afghan, but he glared at my Country Christmas HDT, which Sherry Pence so lovingly dyed for me, until I felt guilty enough to get to work!

I only had time for two Minitats (by Patti Duff)... #6 and another #31.

Short blog this morning... there was a mouse in my sewing room early this morning. Dave rescued me, but I'm a little creeped out right now!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Look who arrived in the mail today... my very own leprechaun... Killian! He's hiding in my snowflake tree right now, spying on me to see if I'm going to pick up my tatting shuttle. He's fully equipped with red boots and cap, Irish penny, four leaf clovers, and a dashing sash of Rainbow Bright HDT!

He's a gift from my dear friend Pamela. She also sent me a lovely Christmas card with a tatted snowflake of her own design in Rainbow Bright. Thank you, Pamela! I feel truly blessed this Christmas season!

Minitats #31

Christmas gifts await.
My list is great.
My wrist is sore.
I can knit no more!
What shall I do
To get out of this stew?
I'll tat!

Someone (was it Melissa?) posted about a beautiful Christmas ornament within the last two weeks. The top of the ornament was #31 from Minitats: 69 Petite Motifs by Patty Duff, and it had beautiful beaded strands dripping down from the tatting. It was fabulous! I looked the pattern up immediately and knew I could tat it quickly, but I'm in the middle of a major knitting project! Yesterday afternoon, I just couldn't knit any more, so I pulled my book off the shelf, grabbed the first loaded shuttle I had and went to work!

Ta da! Here is Motif #31 in size 20 Lizbeth from Handy Hands, color #651.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Catching up!

Believe it or not, I've had more important things to do than blog over the past two weeks! Last weekend we had a wonderful visit with daughter Andrea and her family. As you can see, Grandma got snuggle time with Lily and Ella!

So did Aunt Carol!

Ella loves being held while she's sleeping...

and Grandpa did a great job of walking around with Ella when she was feeling a little out of sorts!

With so much love to share, I just didn't have much time to compute! The week before Thanksgiving, I received my copy of Royal Diadem by Sherry Pence. What a beautiful pattern! I am honored that the name I suggested for this doily was chosen! Thank you, Sherry!

The next day, I received these beautiful gifts from my tatting friend and adopted sister Laura. I requested the oak leaves, but how ever did Laura know that my favorite color is blue? She must have psychic abilities... she even knew that I'm tatting snowflakes for my very own tree! ; ) I love the red bow! I never used to like red or purple, but my mom's favorite color is red, and Laura's favorite color is purple... it's a good thing I decided I liked those two colors about 10 years ago! Oh, and the gingerbread cookie (my favorite), was gone that evening. It just called out to be eaten for dessert! Plus, I had gingerbread on my mind... I had read The Gingerbread Boy to the kids at school that week! Thank you, Laura!

My week just kept getting better... the day after Thanksgiving I received my Top Banana tatting shuttle that I won on eBay, along with a beautiful little button basket from Dave and Jo Stanbrough at Grizzly Mountain Arts. Now I feel like the Top Banana! Thank you Dave and Jo!

I finished putting together the treasure boxes that Dave and I finished for the grandchildren. Dave used a different stain than the one he used for Sherry's birthday. This one was an oil based stain. Dave said it took forever to dry, and it didn't spread very evenly. It still feels slightly tacky, but I don't think we have time to make new ones before Christmas. They still look nice, and we learned something new about stain!

And, last but not least, here are three views of my snowflake Christmas tree so far. Tatting snowflakes is addictive! My tree needs lots more snowflakes, but I think it will be a while before I get back to them... too much to do before Christmas!

If you don't hear from me over the next few weeks, it's just that I'm so busy trying to finish up what I've started in time for Christmas! With that in mind, I wish all of you a very happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pink Oval Medallion

This was my first attempt at front side/back side tatting... I found it a little confusing at times! This medallion will be an insert for one of my treasure boxes... maybe Dave will put it together for me tonight! The medallion is from Tatting by Yusai Shokoin, a lovely book with many designs that I'd love to tat! It's about 2.75" by 4.5" in size 20 Flora, color #62.

A warning about the treasure boxes... they are glued together, and can fall apart easily! Dave has had to re-glue 3 pieces out of the 5 boxes he's sanded and stained. He says they're still worth buying... it would cost him a whole lot more to buy the wood himself and try to make the boxes. But, I'd rather let you know about any pitfalls ahead of time!

There's no school today! We have steam heat, and they have to repair a broken pipe today. Yesterday morning it was 90 degrees at the south end of the building and 65 degrees at the north end. They have to turn the heat off in order to make the repairs, so we have an unexpected day off! What will I do with my day? I'd love to say I'll spend it tatting, but my sewing room has quickly deteriorated over the past few weeks, and if I don't clean it up soon, I'll have a total disaster on my hands! I'd also like to work on Dave's afghan... I only have 3" done. I don't think that will even keep his feet warm!

I now have all my camera parts together... I've been leaving either the cable or the camera at school, so I haven't been able to post any pictures! When the sun comes out, I'll take some time to share pictures from the past week or so. I don't know enough about photography to take decent pictures when it's dark out!

Monday, December 1, 2008

So much to post, so little time!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving... I hope all my friends and family enjoyed the holiday as much as we did! I wasn't able to tat much, but when my granddaughter Lily asked me tat a flower for her, how could I refuse? Lily chose the colors from my stash... I knew there was a good reason to keep plenty of thread on hand! I was asked to tat a flower with a stem and leaves. This was the result. And guess what? I didn't use a pattern! Does that make me a designer? I don't think so, but I am happy with the results of my little tat doodle!

I have pictures to share and much to write about... I'll try to catch up... promise!