Monday, April 30, 2018

Lazy day

The weekend wore me out, so I spent the day relaxing.

It felt good to tat an Ice Drop after taking two days off from tatting.

The picture isn't very good, but I was too lazy to move my little trees for better lighting. They hold the 31 Ice Drops I managed to tat in April.

I really am having fun crocheting these spool pin doilies.

They're kind of like potato chips... you can't stop with one!

Spool pin doily pattern

I've been pleasantly surprised at the response to my little spool pin doilies, and I've been asked to share my pattern.

So, what are spool pin doilies? They're little doilies that go on the spool pin of your sewing machine. They take the place of the little felt rings you can buy. I read that the felt rings are meant to keep the spools from scratching your machine as they spin. They're also supposed to help keep the spool from continuing to spin when you stop the machine. Spool pin doilies are not only cute, they're functional!

The pattern is very simple. For these I used size 10 crochet cotton and a size 10 hook. I normally use a size 7 hook with #10 cotton, but the size 10 hook was right next to me, and it worked!

I use the magic ring method to start; chain 3 (counts as first double crochet), 19 double crochet into magic ring, close ring leaving a hole big enough to fit over your spool pin, slip stitch into top of beginning chain 3. 

Round 2: chain 4, double crochet chain 1 into each double crochet going around, slip stitch into top of 3rd chain of beginning chain 4. 

Round 3: slip stitch into first chain 1 space, chain 6, double crochet into same chain 1 space, double crochet in next chain 1 space, double crochet chain 3 double crochet in next chain 1 space, continue this pattern around and slip stitch in 3rd chain of beginning chain 6. 

Round 4: slip stitch in chain 3 space, chain 3, 6 double crochet in same chain 3 space, single crochet in middle double crochet from previous round, 7 double crochet in next chain 3 space, continue this pattern around, slip stitch in top of beginning chain 3, cut and pull through thread to finish. Hide ends.

There you go! Some day I'll take the time to figure out a tatted version!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Here, chick chick chick...

Dave brought his chicks home today. They're now about five and six weeks old, two batches of ten each. They are cute, but they are Dave's project, not mine!

While Dave played with his chicks, I searched for spool pin doily patterns. A spool pin doily goes on the spool pin of the sewing machine. It was three purposes that I can identify: 1) it protects the machine from being scratched by the spinning spool of thread; 2) when the machine stops, the doily helps keep the spool of thread from continuing to spin; 3) they look awfully cute on top of the sewing machine!

I found lots of pictures of spool pin doilies, and I even found some patterns. In fact, I tried a couple of patterns and found I just didn't like them. So, I sat down and crocheted something that I like.

I like the way the first one turned out so much, I crocheted another.

...and another.

...and another! I may spend time crocheting a bunch of these over the next few days. My wrist and hand have been bothering me, and I find that switching from tatting to either crocheting or knitting helps tremendously. I'm sure that the different hand motions cause the muscles to be used in different ways.

So, what happened yesterday? Denise and I traveled to Valparaiso, Indiana, to take a class on knitting German short row heels for socks. We had both done our homework of knitting 40 stitches in the round for 6 rows, so that when we got to class we were ready to start in on learning how to knit the heel. It was really interesting to see the heel develop, and the technique is really very simple. I meant to take a picture of my heel, but I got distracted and forgot all about it. The sample has already been taken apart so that I can practice again. It's been a while since I've completed a pair of socks, so I've decided that I'll knit at least one pair in worsted weight to refresh my sock knitting knowledge. The socks won't go to waste. I know they'll be too thick to wear inside shoes, but they'll be nice for walking around the house!

Friday, April 27, 2018

A new day

Yesterday I accomplished nothing. I was laid low by a sinus headache, something that seems to come with changes in weather patterns for me. The good thing is, I got plenty of rest!

Today I accomplished a lot! All the laundry is done. I finished ironing and folding all the fabric I washed the other day. I worked on the curtains for the treehouse, and I hope to finish them this weekend. 

I also had time to tat an Ice Drop. Tatting with spring-fresh colors certainly is uplifting!

I'm making slow progress on round 11 of Renulek's Wiosna 2018, but I have the pattern down pat now. All I need now is more free time for tatting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Internet down

We lost our Internet connection mid-afternoon yesterday, which proved to be very inconvenient for Dave. He had a lot of work to do last night, and he could only get access on his phone. It's still slow this morning, but at least there's a connection. Sometimes technology baffles me!

I only managed to tat one Ice Drop yesterday.

I spent the day washing, drying, ironing, and folding fabric... after making a new tablecloth for our dining room table.

I had planned on finishing the curtains for the treehouse yesterday, but as soon as I started pressing the fabric for the tablecloth, I started getting a gummy buildup on my iron again. I talked it over with Mom, and we decided that there must be something in the sizing that's put on the fabric that gets gunky with heat.

Mom had always taught me to pre-wash my fabric, but I had bought into what I was told... the newer fabrics don't need pre-washing. Hmmm. I still have quite a bit of fabric to iron and fold, and I have no buildup on my iron. I think I'll be taking the extra time to pre-wash my fabric from now on!

Monday, April 23, 2018


I decided I needed to get on board with Dave's new found interest in chickens. I like eggs and I like to eat chicken, I'm just not thrilled with the idea of taking care of the little critters. However, I know my help will be needed, so I bought a pair of Sloggers decorated with chickens. I figure I need something that can be washed off on a regular basis. I think they're pretty cute!

I've been leaving thread on my shuttles so that I know which ones I've actually used. Since I had lots of thread left on these two shuttles, I decided to make a two-tone Ice Drop. It doesn't show in the picture, but the glass gem has a bit of iridescence that picks up the pinks in the thread.

I worked on the curtains for the treehouse today. The valance is finished and I have the sides finished for each of the five panels. My iron started sticking to the fabric, so I decided it was time for a good cleaning. It was gunkier than I thought, so it took a while to get it nice and clean. Now I'm ready to work on the curtains again tomorrow!

It's going to take a while to tat round 11 of Renulek's Wiosna 2018. I don't have the pattern repeat memorized yet, but I'm sure I'll have it soon. I think it will be really pretty when it's done!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring at last!

It finally is starting to feel like Spring around here. We still needed to wear light jackets, but there was a pleasant warm breeze and the sun was shining. It was a beautiful day!

Dave decided he wanted to have chickens this year. While he was outside building a home for them, I accomplished a lot indoors.

In anticipation of a beautiful day, I started out by tatting an Ice Drop in Spring colors!

It's been a long time since I've done any spool knitting. I actually started this yesterday, and then I doubled the length today. Spool knitting is very relaxing, and yes, I do have an idea for using my new found fiber fun. I'll let you know if my idea works!

I finished my Granny Square afghan today. This is child sized for one of my grandchildren.

I enjoyed working on the Granny Square afghan so much, I started another right away!

Dave has been asking me to make curtains for the treehouse for a couple of years. I finally gave in and cut out the fabric today. I think curtains are out of place in a treehouse, but Dave is busy making the inside nice for the grandkids, so I guess it won't hurt to do my part. I wonder what the grandkids will ask him to put in this year? They already have a chalkboard and chalk, a captain's wheel, and a slide. I'm guessing they'll want a table and benches or chairs of some sort so that they can sit out there and pretend. They'll be visiting before we know it, so I'm sure we'll have fun fixing the place up!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Round 10

Today I concentrated on round 10 of Renulek's Wiosna 2018. There was only one little snag. When I was close to finishing the round, I found a ring with one too many picots. Luckily, it was in a spot where I was able to snip out the ring and replace it with the correct ring. Whew!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cascade Collection

I am in love with the new Cascade Collection from Grizzly Mountain Arts! I have a beautiful box and three tatting shuttles, and now I've added a spool knitter with matching hook and a pin cushion. Dave's woodworking skills are amazing, and I love these new airbrushed designs. The pin cushion is Dave's latest addition to the collection, and I am thrilled to have the first one!

This has been a busy week subbing at the high school. Unfortunately, one of the teachers has been down with tonsilitis. I'm glad I was able to help out. Much of what I was doing was supervising for the week, and during that time I worked on Renulek's Wiosna 2018. I've been double checking each motif as I finished it. This far along, I didn't want to make any major mistakes!

Luckily, I've been able to find time to tat an Ice Drop each day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cocobolo Rosewood

I love exotic woods! This Cocobolo Rosewood just might be my favorite Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle. The Liz Metallic Raspberry Pink was close at hand today, and the color just kept calling to me. It does make a lovely Ice Drop.

Most of my time today was spent finishing round 9 of Renulek's Wiosna 2018. My shuttles are wound and I'm ready for round 10!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Orange Crush

I only had time to tat one Ice Drop today, and Lizbeth Orange Crush seemed to be the perfect color to brighten up a dreary day!

I love my new Eiffel Tower shuttle from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. 😍

Monday, April 16, 2018

Weekend adventure

On Thursday, Grandma Cindy and Grandma Diane headed to Minnesota for granddaughter Ella's Grandparents' Day. We had a wonderful time, despite the threat of a winter snowstorm. That's right, a winter snowstorm in the middle of April.

Ella loved her new sewing machine and got straight to work. She wants to make a quilt!

Lily received a Zentangle kit. She's very artistic, and this is her very first Zentangle!

Being the generous girl she is, Lily let her mom try Zentangle as well. Maybe Andrea should have her own kit. This is her third or fourth design!

Grandparents' Day was on Friday, and Cindy and I briefly considered leaving right after Ella's program or even Saturday morning. We decided to take our chances and stay. The snow hit hard on Saturday, and this was the view outside Andrea's front door at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Our original plan was to leave Sunday morning, but road conditions were not good so we stayed until this morning. We were glad we did. As we were driving home through Wisconsin, we saw at least six semis and four cars in the ditch. Luckily, today the roads were clear and we had a fairly easy ride home.

Being snowed in has its advantages.

While Ella sewed, Lily and Andrea Zentangled, and Cindy read, I tatted!

The weekend was an adventure, and I would do it all over again!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Liz Metallic Rose and Raspberry Pink

Today was a three Ice Drop day! I was subbing, supervising standardized testing, and had plenty of time to tat.

I started with Liz Metallic Rose.

Isn't this a beautiful soft color? Another Grizzly Mountain Arts flat shuttle came in handy!

Raspberry Pink is the last of the Liz Metallic threads.

I love this deep pink! My TSA shuttle from Monica Braxton is another great one for using metallic threads. There are slits cut in to the two ends of the shuttle, perfect for sliding the thread in and out.

Last, but not least, is a plain old Ice Drop in Lizbeth Arctic Waters.

Not bad for a day of subbing!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Liz Metallic Sea Foam

Liz Metallic Sea Foam is a beautiful soft green!

I think it makes a fabulous Ice Drop. I took the opportunity to give my new Bumblebee shuttle a workout. My Bumblebee performed well! ;-)

Today was a busy sewing day. I finished a dust cover with pocket for granddaughter Ella. The matching bag holds the foot pedal. It took me three tries to get a dust cover that I liked. I hope Ella likes it too!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Liz Metallic Christmas Green

Today's thread was appropriate, Liz Metallic Christmas Green.

A crackled glass gem and white ribbon were the perfect accents for this beautiful thread. Again, I used a Grizzly Mountain Arts flat shuttle.

So, why was Christmas Green appropriate?

We woke up to snow! It really was very pretty this morning. Of course we didn't have snow at Christmas. ;-)

As pretty as it was, it all melted away by afternoon.

My newest shuttle, Bumblebee, arrived today from Meng's Crafts. Isn't it cute?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Liz Metallic Antique Gold

Today's tatting was done with Liz Metallic Antique Gold.

The color is okay, but I think this is my least favorite of all the colors. How do I choose which color to use? It's random. The bags of thread are on the floor next to my chair, and I reach down and grab a bag without looking. I like using a scientific approach! ;-)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Liz Metallic Turquoise Blue and Christmas Red

Subbing wore me out this week, so I didn't post yesterday. However, I did tat an Ice Drop!

This is Liz Metallic Turquoise Blue. I do love this color! I used another of my Grizzly Mountain Arts shuttles.

Today I chose to use Liz Metallic Christmas Red.

Yes, this is another Grizzly Mountain Arts shuttle. It's covered up by thread, but there is a beautiful letter "D", just for me!

Yesterday's mail brought two lovely shuttles from Veronica of Tatting Shuttles. I think it's wonderful that we have the ability to collect tatting shuttles from around the world!

Yesterday's mail also included two beautiful new shuttles and picot hooks from Grizzly Mountain Arts. I'm so glad Dave is making shuttles again!

Today I received my newest shuttle from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. I've never been to Paris, and I probably never will get there, but I love having a shuttle with the Eiffel Tower on it!

Dave and I had a big thrill today. We saw daughter Carol on t.v.! She's the enthusiastic brunette on the right. She was on screen just before the final pitch of the game, and the Cubs won! This is the second time we've seen Carol on t.v. when she was attending a Cubs game. The first time was two years ago at Wrigley Field. I guess being on t.v. two times makes her a star! ;-)