Thursday, January 31, 2019

Still a bit chilly

We woke up to -20℉ again this morning. I was so chilly, I decided to make myself a good hot foot bath, which usually keeps me toasty for about 20 minutes. This morning it lasted about 7 minutes. It wasn't long, but it did help warm me up!

I started out the day with an Ice Drop, but I needed something to keep me warmer. My fingers just weren't limber enough to work with thread today. I did need to try out my new shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts, and I'm still trying to build up my Ice Drop stash!

I moved on to yarn projects and completed another ten row pattern repeat on my shawl. It's too soon to tell whether this project will be out of one or two balls of Lion Brand Mandala, but I'm really thinking it will be two.

Daughter Alison's waffle stitch afghan is growing steadily. I'm almost finished with the first ball. By the time it's long enough to keep me warm, the weather will be much warmer!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Brrr, chickie dog!

That's what daughter Carol says when it's cold out, and it was very cold when we got up this morning... -20℉. I was very happy to stay indoors all day long!

I tatted "Helen" from Twenty to Make: Tatted Snowflakes by Jennifer Williams, this time with beads. There are supposed to be beads at the join of the chain and the rings on round one, but I couldn't bake it work, so I gave up. I'm not sure if I could make this work as an Ice Drop, but I may give it a try all the same.

My fingers sure don't like this cold, so I found it easier to work with yarn today. Unfortunately, I have a hard time counting, and I had to unknit three rows to get my stitch count right. Just think, I could have finished another pattern repeat today!

Did you notice Dave's afghan over my legs? I figured he wouldn't mind since he was at work. :-)

I received an extra special shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts yesterday. Who wouldn't love to have a beautiful shuttle with her initial engraved in the wood?

As a bonus, the back has pyrography as well! Isn't it gorgeous? Naturally, I needed to tat an Ice Drop for each side of the shuttle!

I'm making slow progress with Alison's waffle stitch afghan, but I am making progress! I switched to my silver/white polar fleece blanket when I started tatting. It made a better background for tatting.

I put my spinning wheel back together today. Grandson Janko was fascinated by all the things that could be taken off, and so he methodically took off all the parts he could. Luckily, nothing was lost! I look forward to the day when he can take it apart and then put it back together. I'll have to be patient, though. He is only three!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Baby, it's cold outside!

Yes, it is cold, with a high of 6℉ today, but it's supposed to be much colder tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm staying inside where it's toasty warm!

Yesterday, I worked on "Helen" from Twenty to Make: Tatted Snowflakes by Jennifer Williams. The pattern calls for beads, but I decided to tat it without beads first so that I could get a good feel for the pattern. I'm glad I did. I found the lock chains to be a bit challenging. I've done lock chains before, but yesterday my fingers just were not cooperating with the thread.

The cold weather gives me the urge to work with yarn, and this morning I went upstairs and found one of my drop spindles with fiber attached. I think I'll take time to practice spinning today. My goal is to perfect my drafting so that I can move on to my spinning wheel!

Daughter Alison really liked the waffle stitch afghans I made for the kids for Christmas, and she asked me to make one for her. She chose Lion Brand Mandala "Griffin" for her blanket. I do enjoy working the waffle stitch!

It's awfully dark in my corner of the living room since my Ottlite burned out. Luckily, the new bulb is supposed to arrive today. Since I couldn't see to tat, I worked on another 10 row pattern repeat of my shawl. This is also in Lion Brand Mandala. It will be interesting to see how large this will be with one ball. The color way is "Pegasus" and it's a ball that I bought on clearance for $3 at Walmart last year. I love a bargain!

Monday, January 28, 2019

11 + 81 = 12 Step Sampler Blanket

I was so close to finishing my 12 Step Sampler Blanket, it was easy to stay focused and finish it yesterday. I used 11 skeins of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. I was a bit shy and need to finish the last 81 stitches with a new skein. I'm sure I could have made those 81 stitches up by being more frugal with the ends I left for weaving. Still, it's finished, and I love it!

So does Dave! I may have to make another!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

No picot gauge

I subbed for high school English yesterday, which gave me time to tat. Imagine my dismay when I realized I'd left my picot gauge at home!

It seems I can never find a picot gauge when I need one, so I keep them stashed all over the house. Still, I didn't have one with me yesterday, so I tatted without one. These are destined to be given away. Maybe I'm too picky, but the unevenness of the picots is enough to drive me crazy!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

My friend Jen

My friend Jen has opened an Etsy shop, Green Gables Fiber Farm. Jen has two alpacas and two sheep, and she goes through the whole process of creating luscious yarns by herself. I am happy to say that I am one of her first Etsy customers, and I'm pretty sure I'll be buying more!

I wish you could reach through your computer screen and feel this fabulous yarn. I love the colors, but the feel of the fiber is really what has me hooked!

Now I need to decide what to make out of these. Whatever I make, I think I'll be selfish and keep it for myself!

I was called in to sub at the last minute, and I was dismayed to discover that when I carefully packed my tatting bag this morning, I left the loaded shuttles on the table next to my chair. Luckily, I had a backup. I was able to work on my Garter Lace Triangle Shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman. I would have gotten a lot more done if I hadn't had to unknit three rows. Still, I made pretty good progress.

Not to worry... I was also able to complete an Ice Drop before dinner! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ice, ice, baby!

School was cancelled today, because last night we had freezing rain. The main roads were okay, but the secondary roads were in bad shape. I know when Dave left for work this morning, I could see that our drive was solid ice.

I was glad to have an excuse to stay home today. My sinuses are all out of whack with the ups and downs in temperature, and it was nice to be able to just stay at home and take it easy.

I started the day with the intention of tatting three Ice Drops, all basic, but with varying numbers of picots. Then I got to dreaming of new projects!

Years ago, I knit a triangular shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman. I love this book! The pattern is an easy ten row repeat. I remember there was a challenge when the book came out, and several knitters used this pattern in various weights and types of yarn. I can't remember which magazine it was in, but that challenge is what attracted me to this book.

I still have my original shawl. I kept it on my chair at school for years, so that if it got chilly in the library I had something to throw over my shoulders. This ball of Lion Brand Mandala was sitting by my chair, and I kept thinking that it might be perfect for this shawl pattern. I'm happy I decided to give it a try!

My afghan is growing! We're expecting frigid temps again over the next week, so I figure I will have the perfect opportunity to finish it and keep warm at the same time!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Winter dreaming

When it's cold out, I love to sit under a blanket and look at books. I can dream of all the projects I'm going to complete! The truth is, I don't complete even a tiny bit of what I dream about.

Luckily, daydreaming and reading still leaves me time to tat at least one Ice Drop! 😀

Monday, January 21, 2019

Denise to the rescue

We cancelled Tollway Tatters today because of the predicted frigid temperatures. I'm glad we did. There were multiple car accidents on the highways this morning, and I would not have wanted any of my friends to take any risks. We reached a high of 11 today... good reason to stay put!

I did invite Chris and Denise over to tat. We had a wonderful time! Chris has been tatting about a year, and she's working on a Christmas tree pattern. Denise has been tatting a little longer than I have. She was working on earrings, and she tried out my new Kaplan thread. We agreed that the thread is beautiful and easy to tat with, but picots do need extra care.

I spent the day adapting "Auriel" from Twenty to Make: Tatted Snowflakes by Jennifer Williams. This one really gave my brain a workout! As I was completing the first round, I realized there was no way to tat the last ring that I needed. I was ready to snip and start over, but luckily I was smart enough to hand it to Denise for a second opinion. Denise pointed out that I could make my way up the chain to the place I needed to place the ring. I cut a length of thread and sewed my way to the proper place, and then I was able to tat the last ring.

I'm sure glad Denise figured out a solution, because I really don't think I had the brain power to repeat the first round including the encapsulation for the glass gem!

I will be tatting "Auriel" one more time. I'm determined to have the snowflake completed as designed!

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Today I tatted Auriel from Twenty to Make: Tatted Snowflakes by Jennifer Williams. I love this pattern! I did make a mistake on one of the outer chains, so I guess I'll just have to tat another! As I was tatting, I tried to figure out how to turn this in to an Ice Drop. I think I have an idea that might work. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try my idea out tomorrow.

I finished the fourth pattern repeat of my 12 Step Sampler Blanket. I think one more pattern repeat will make it long enough, and then I can start the edging. With the cold weather we're experiencing, I'm enjoying having this nice warm blanket covering my legs!

Saturday, January 19, 2019


I didn't blog yesterday, because I wasn't in the mood. I started off my day by reading blogs, and once again I was aggravated by my inability to leave comments. I think the comments worked on one blog I visited. I probably spent an hour trying to figure out solutions with no luck. Needless to say, it put me off computing for the day!

The other day when I was browsing, I spent quite a bit of time looking through Twenty to Make: Tatted Snowflakes by Jennifer Williams. I love this little book!

The first pattern in the book is Alison, which happens to be my oldest daughter's name. You know I had to tat it! I had trouble with this one, and I didn't realize why until I was finished. The chains are 6-6, and I tatted them 8-8. The steam iron helped, but that wasn't good enough for me.

I tatted it again with much better results!

I figured this could be made into an Ice Drop, and I was right! It took a lot more brain power than I anticipated. I kept getting lost in the pattern, and I had to put it down several times. That was a good choice! I did start closing a ring too early, but that was easily remedied. Taking breaks was key to getting this one right!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Kaplan thread

I decided to try out some of my new polyester thread from Greece today. The brand name is Kaplan. The color is gorgeous. The sheet is beautiful. The thread is smooth as silk. It does take a bit of getting used to. I found that I needed to hold virtually every double stitch with my thumb nail to keep the stitches nice and snug. Sometimes the picots sort of disappeared, so I don't think this thread is ideal for Ice Drops. I think I may use it for a simple ring and chain edging for a hanky.

I'm sure I'll find uses for this beautiful thread, and when I find projects that I like it for, I'll be sure and let you know!

I received a Christmas present in the mail today from Mandy Kerwell-Bez in France. There's a lovely handmade card with one of Mandy's gorgeous needle tatted Ice Drops. Her designs are amazing! Although Mandy is a needle tatter, she decided to try her hand at making shuttles. Lucky me... two of them are now mine! I'm looking forward to trying them out. Thank you, Mandy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Browsing day

I spent a lot of time browsing through books and catalogs today, looking for inspiration for a new project. I'm enjoying the projects I'm working on, but I like to plan ahead!

I did get lots of ideas, and I did a lot of online window shopping. However, I'm quite content to work with what I have on hand. Once my browsing was done, I turned to an Ice Drop. Right now, I'm enjoying keeping it simple!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

New playthings

Some new threads arrived today from Greece! I saw a Facebook ad for an Etsy shop and decided it would be fun to try something new. I really don't need any more thread, but I love trying new things. The cream colored threads are cotton and the colored ones are polyester. I'll let you know how I like them.

Today I tatted with my newest shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts. I LOVE this shuttle!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

More shuttle testing

Dave and I took down and put away most of our Christmas decorations today. Of course I needed to take frequent breaks, so I spent quite a bit of time testing out the shuttles Denise lent me.

This black walnut fish shuttle is super smooth!

I'm very happy with all three fish shuttles that I tried.

I like the style of this longer shuttle, but it's a little too big for my hands. I'd like it better if it was half the size.

This is Denise's favorite shuttle, and I think it's very pretty. However, I would prefer thinner slits to allow for dropping the shuttle to let the thread untwist. I'd also like this one to be a little smaller.

I had a great time testing these shuttles!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Shuttle testing

My friend Denise does a lot of volunteering and as a result, she meets a lot of interesting people. Of course Denise promotes needlework of all types when she's out and about. One man became interested in tatting shuttles and started making some. Denise already tried them out, and yesterday she asked me to test them as well.

This adorable little fish is the first one I've tried. It's nice and smooth, and I love the way it's decorated! I have a few more to try. When they're ready to be sold, I'll share the link to his Etsy shop.

We were under a winter weather advisory for today, so Sue Anna and I decided to postpone our Tollway Tatters meeting until Monday, January 21. We did not get any overnight snow as predicted, so Dave and I decided to drive up to daughter Alison's to help out with some chores. While in the car, I worked on an Ice Drop and used another of my Doodle Pyrography Shuttles from Grizzly Mountain Arts. Tatting kept me calm while Dave navigated the slick roads!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Doodling with beads

I'm continuing playing with beads. This time I used three seed beads in place of the picot cluster on my Doodle Ice Drop pattern. I kind of like it!

This morning I finished the third pattern repeat of the 12 Step Sampler Blanket. I sure am enjoying all the colors!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Picots and beads

I think you'll have to enlarge the picture to see the beads, but I did add beads to this Doodle Ice Drop. It looks pretty good!

Stringing beads is not my favorite pastime, so I put lots of beads on the thread hoping to have enough for more than one Ice Drop. It worked! This is the basic Ice Drop pattern with extra picots and beads.

Both shuttles are from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. As you may have guessed, I do love my shuttles!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Too much?

I tatted another variation of my Doodle Ice Drop pattern. For this one, I added a third round of chains and increased the picot cluster to seven picots. I think it looks okay, but I think I prefer one less round of chains. The shuttle is from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. The thread is size 20 Lizbeth, Pink Med.

My friend Denise asked me to crochet a red preemie hat for February. She even provided the yarn! I had enough for three hats, so three is what she will get!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Back to school

Christmas break is over, and it was back to school today. It felt to be moving around. I've spent way too much time sitting over the past two weeks!

I finished off the cross stitch piece for Ashley today. It looks more square in person. This was one of those times when I just couldn't get a good picture. I can't wait for Ashley to see it!

I only managed to tat one Ice Drop today. I think I may try an extra row of chains tomorrow. I spent some time organizing shuttles and found that I had quite a few of Rita Richmond's shuttles that didn't have thread on them. I need to remedy that!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Out of season

I wanted to tat another Doodle Ice Drop in Azalea Lt, and when I was choosing a shuttle the idea of orange and pink pleased me. I think it's kind of fun to use a shuttle in a season other than what it depicts!

When the Doodle Ice Drop is side-by-side with the variation, it's easy to see the difference. I like them both!