Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rainy Sunday

It was another dreary day, and it looks like it will be a blustery day tomorrow. Luckily, I have plenty to keep me busy!

I started the day off with an Ice Drop, of course! I'm still working from the same ball of size 20 Lizbeth #124, Spring Garden.

I've been neglecting my sister-in-law's runner, so I picked it up again today and added one motif. If I would only take the time to work on one motif a day, I would have this done pretty quickly.

I managed to work three pattern repeats on my band. Each pattern repeat is 22 picks (rows), and the repeat is 1 1/4" long. I feel like I'm getting better with the band weaving. I've been checking the width  after each pick to make sure it's a consistent 3/4". I was very pleased that I made no mistakes today!

I've also been neglecting my Renulek doily. I did manage two pattern repeats today, so I'm a little more than 1/4 of the way around.

One last Ice Drop in Spring Garden finished off my day, which turned out to be pretty productive!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cold and dreary

Today was the perfect day to snuggle up under a blanket with a good book, but I didn't. Instead, I tatted Ice Drops and worked on my band weaving.

I finished this Spring Garden Ice Drop this morning. It's in size 20 Lizbeth #115, Springtime.

I spent most of the day working on my band weaving. I learned a lot today, which is another way of saying I made a lot of mistakes! I truly think it's easier to open a closed ring in size 80 thread than it is to fix a weaving mistake made several rows back. I'm pretty sure I spent more time fixing mistakes than I did actually weaving. Still, I'm pleased with my progress.

It sure was nice to end the day with a familiar pattern! This Ice Drop is in size 20 Lizbeth #124, Spring Garden.

I think I'll spend the rest of this rainy evening with a good book!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Ready to weave!

I had another busy day today... laundry, visits from two friends, and warping my loom!

First I staged my warping area by washing the dishes and making sure the counter was sparkling clean! My warping pegs open up 2" and the kitchen countertop was the only place the clamps would fit.

It's been a while since I've warped a rigid heddle loom from scratch. Is that correct terminology? I've only used pre-wound warps on my Saori loom. I was pretty pleased with myself!

Mom came up with the idea of using craft sticks to keep the warp threads separate. It worked really well, and I didn't have to try and keep craft paper straight! All of this activity really taxed my brain, so I'm going to wait until tomorrow to start weaving.

With all the warping and visiting that went on today, I only managed to tat one Ice Drop. I think I will forgive myself for this shortcoming. 😏

New wooden shuttles from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design arrived today. I love them!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

More distractions

I woke up this morning with good intentions, but I kept getting distracted!

First, I was ready to warp my box loom. My friend Scott at the hardware store kindly made a heddle stand for me so that I could warp easily. Dave promised to make one for me, but this is the wrong time of year to ask him to do anything, so Scott came to the rescue.

Before I could warp the loom, I needed to wash up the dishes... no biggie. Then I had to choose my threads for warping, so I ventured into the disaster area known as my sewing room. I chose the threads, looked around, and decided I needed to spend a little time cleaning up my mess. The good news is, my sewing cabinet and my Featherweight sewing table are clean, polished, and organized... at least on the outside!

All the fabric that I just had to have is now in baskets instead of plastic bags. I can close the closet doors if I want to. The size 80 tatting thread is now in my apothecary jar instead of hidden away in cardboard boxes. However, when I was finished with all of this, I realized I'd hardly made a dent in the mess, and I was too tired to think about warping my loom!

Luckily, tatting and reading don't take a lot of energy. So, I read some more of Norwegian Pick-up Bandweaving, and I tatted two Ice Drops.

These are in size 20 Lizbeth #115, Springtime. I guess I really did accomplish quite a bit!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lost in a good book

I was a good girl today and started off by cleaning bathrooms and grocery shopping, and then I got home...

Yes, I am loving learning about band weaving! Mom got me started on it. I haven't done nearly as much as she has, but she's been weaving for a lot longer than I have. I am fascinated!

My new fascination has not kept me from tatting Ice Drops. I am drawn to them, like a moth to a flame.

I don't think I've duplicated any one I've made, although some have been similar to others. I feel a little guilty that I haven't tried out all the variations that other tatters have shared, but I like the fact that I can tat the original pattern with variations and never look at a pattern. 😊

I was very excited to open them mail today! Aren't these shuttles from Rita Richmond adorable? They may be my new favorite Moonlit shuttles!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Today got away from me. I tried to watch a sock knitting video and a weaving video, but our Internet connection was very spotty today. I should have given up and done something else, but sometimes I get a bit stubborn!

I did manage to tat two Ice Drops today. There's a little bit of Marilee Rockley's Candy Mint left, but not enough for an Ice Drop.

Both of these were finished before I left for our retiree's lunch. When I got home, I tried to get access to that sock knitting video again. I gave up after two hours and got ready for my sewing class.

Three of my four students finished their aprons today. Of course I forgot to take pictures! Maybe I'll remember with number four. 😁

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ducks in the pond

Can you see them? In all the years we've lived here, this is the first time we've seen ducks in the pond. We've seen a heron a few times, but these are our first ducks!

I finished up the warp on Dad's box loom. I did a little experimenting with finishing off the ends. There's just a knot on the left side, but on the right I did a little bit of braiding before knotting it. I'm still having trouble with getting an even weave, and I'm wondering if it's because I don't keep an even tension as I'm holding the woven end. I think I'll go back to my Shining Glen loom to see if I can do better.

I subbed at the high school today, so I took some tatting along. I really only tatted a few rings and chains on this Spinning Wheel glass mat. I've been carrying it in my purse for several weeks. It needed a shot of steam, and now I'm inspired to work on it again. 😊

Today was a four Ice Drop day. Aren't these colorful? They're each done in Marilee Rockley's size 20 hand-dyed thread, Candy Mint. I think they look good enough to eat!

I finally started round 9 of Renulek's Wiosna 2017. I thought it would be complicated, but the pattern was really easy to memorize. It just will take a while to get all the way around!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monster sock

I should have known better. I typically go down two needle sizes when I knit. I didn't this time, and this sock looks like it could fit Godzilla! Maybe I'll decorate it as a Christmas stocking. πŸ˜‰

My friend Sue shared her Ice Drop pattern on the Ice Drop Addicts Facebook page. I misread the directions and came up with this. Not bad, but not what Sue intended!

My second attempt at Sue's pattern wasn't much better. The first round is more what Sue had in mind, but I think I should have used a finer thread. I played with the second round, which really did nothing to enhance the bead I used. Oh, well... back to the drawing board!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sky blue pink

When I was a little girl, I remember asking my mom what color the sky was. She replied that it was sky blue pink.

This morning, Dave and I looked out our front window and saw sky blue pink! What a glorious way to start the day!

Last night we had a soup club meeting. Judy and I sat on one side.

Edna and birthday girl Peggy sat on the other. We thought about going to Olive Garden, but our local restaurant, U.S.A., was just a few minutes from Peggy's house, and it wasn't nearly as crowded as one of the bigger restaurants a half hour away.

We had a wonderful time eating, talking, and laughing, as we always do. Of course, I had to pass out Ice Drops! 😊

I'm still enjoying tatting with my skein of Candy Mint hand-dyed thread. I wasn't sure if a red glass gem would look right, but it works for me!

This Ice Drop features a clear crackled glass gem. I love that it picks up the thread tones!

My interest in band weaving has led to some new purchases. I found an Etsy shop that features some beautiful rigid heddles made in Poland.

FolkTalesPi also has some beautiful box looms. This one is about half the size of the one Dad made. I'm eager to try it out!

My dear friend Laura posted the first of her pair of socks of Facebook. My friend Denise knits more socks than anyone I know. Between the two of them, I decided it was time to pick up my knitting needles again. However, since it's been so long since I've knit a pair of socks, I decided that I should start some with worsted weight yarn rather than sock yarn.

I've finished the first part of the sock this afternoon, and I'm ready to turn the heel. My brain is too tired to follow the directions tonight, so maybe I'll turn the heel tomorrow!

Friday, April 21, 2017


I went for an eye exam yesterday. It had been seven years since my last one... oh, my! My eyes are fine, but my prescription has changed quite a bit. I must have tried on a dozen different frames, narrowing the choice down to these two. I was going to go with the frame on the right, because it was less expensive, but the frame on the left is a mottled blue and purple. It just made me smile!

It will take about a week to get my new glasses, because of my prescription. I sure hope I made the right choice!

As soon as I got home, I finished up the Ice Drop I had started the previous evening. Yes, I chose another hand-dyed thread from Marilee Rockley aka Yarnplayer. This one is size 20 Candy Mint.

I finished weaving another band. I stopped at 26" only because I must have made a mistake in warping the loom. When I got this far, I couldn't get the warp threads smooth enough to weave through. So, I snipped the warp, tied a knot, and called it a day.

This band was an experiment in how tightly to weave. By the time I finished, the band was about 1/3 wider than at the beginning. I wonder if that caused the warp to be uneven? In any case, I need to do some more reading, watch some more videos, and do some more experimenting.

Before bed, I finished another Ice Drop in Candy Mint. I think I'll be keeping this one!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A three Ice Drop day

It's been my routine to start an Ice Drop before bed and finish it in the morning.

I was really glad that I did that yesterday, because I was called in to sub at the last minute. I feel like I've accomplished so much when I've finished even one Ice Drop!

The kids were working on group projects, so my main task was to keep the noise level down and make sure they stayed on task. I've found that I can do most of my tatting without looking at my hands when I'm working on an Ice Drop.

So, I was able to complete two while at the high school yesterday!

Unfortunately, I didn't tat any more once I got home. I watched Pete's Dragon with Bella, made dinner, read a little from The Complete Gone With the Wind Trivia Book, and headed off to bed early.

It has always bothered me that "With" is capitalized in Gone With the Wind. I read in the trivia book that Margaret Mitchell submitted her manuscript using a lower case w, but the publisher decided to capitalize it.

I'm also bothered by the incorrect grammar used by reporters and news anchors. I know I'm not perfect when it comes to grammar, but the glaring mistakes drive me batty. Dave keeps reminding me that the people on the television set cannot hear me correcting their mistakes. :-)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Variety is the spice of life!

I try to keep that saying in mind when I become distracted and flit from one activity to another. πŸ˜‰

The big news for yesterday was that I finally finished round 8 of Renulek's Wiosna 2017! Round 9 looks much more complicated, and interesting. I'm looking forward to the challenge!

I only finished one Ice Drop yesterday. I'm still working with the sample skein of Afternoon Garden by Marilee Rockley. If you've never tried hand-dyed thread, I highly recommend it! There's something about the hand-dying process that makes the thread smoother and nicer to work with.

I started another band on the box loom that Dad made. As you can see, I still seem to pull to the right.  I think that might be why my right side edge is a bit wavy. I wound a longer warp this time. I'll be interested to see if my calculations are correct for the finished length. I'm hoping for a 60" band... no particular reason, just a number I pulled out of the air! I also tried Mom's idea of stretching rubber bands across the two rows of nail heads to keep the warp from popping off when I get close to the end.

Yesterday was sewing class. The girls had hoped to finish the aprons they're making, but making pockets for the aprons turned out to be a bit more time consuming than we had hoped. Next week we'll move on to the straps, and then their aprons will be finished!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dad's box loom

With everything back to "normal" yesterday, and my new interest in weaving bands, I decided to clean up Dad's box loom.

Mom and I were talking yesterday, trying to remember how long ago Dad made this loom. Dad's been gone for ten years, so I'm guessing it might be 20 years ago.

Haha! I just noticed the can of Pledge in the background, proof that I did a little cleaning yesterday, the key word being little!

I watched several YouTube videos on band weaving and box looms yesterday morning, just to make sure I had a good understanding of what I was trying to achieve.

The result was a pretty little 16" length of band. I learned quite a bit from weaving this piece. I now know how to watch for unwanted floats. There's quite a bit of shrinkage when weaving a warp faced band, and now I have a better idea of how to measure my warp to get the length I want in a finished piece.

I didn't follow a pattern, instead I just warped the loom in a way that pleased me. Believe it or not, that helped me understand written patterns better! It didn't take long before I realized I would like more black in the center to set off the blue. I guess there's always a surprise in weaving!

It's going to take me a while to develop an even tension, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. After all, this is only my second band! Sophia's band looked very pretty, but I did it all wrong. I didn't pull the weft threads snugly, so the warp pattern didn't show. Now I know!

I have long admired the beautiful tatting on Lilas Lace, so when Lilas published her first book, I just had to have it!

When I ordered the book, I asked if I could have it autographed. Imagine my surprise when I read that Lilas has been following my blog for years!

This really is a lovely book, written in French and English. There are doilies, collars, earrings, necklaces, bracelets... all beautifully illustrated, with explanations of the techniques introduced. I am very pleased with my purchase!

Over the weekend, I forgot to post a picture of my beautiful blue shuttles from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. I know I've said it before... I LOVE Rita's shuttles! They are light weight, beautifully decorated, hold a ton of thread, and are a joy to use.

Rita makes her own wood and acrylic shuttles, and she also decorates Moonlit shuttles for those who like hooks. I like the Moonlit shuttles for tatting on the go. I don't have to worry about dropping a crochet hook. However, the shuttles that Rita makes are simply marvelous!

They're so marvelous, that when I saw these cheerful yellow ones, I ordered them as well! 😊

Yes, I did have a fun-filled day, and I even managed to tat another Ice Drop! I wonder what today will bring?