Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Ooh! Ahh!

I knew I liked this new hand-dyed thread from Marilee Rockley! "Lake Effect" looks great with this deep blue glass gem. I think I may try and see how many Doodle Ice Drops I can tat out of one skein of hand-dyed thread. With different colored centers, each will be unique!

I've finished the second garter stitch section of my Blue Jean Saturday shawl by Deby Lake. The pattern is so easy to follow, making it a very relaxing knitting project. I'm even dreaming about what I'll knit next!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Changing threads

I've grown weary of tatting with pink. I'm still carrying what's left of my ball of thread in my little roly-poly pouch in case I get inspired to tat with it again, but I'm definitely ready for a change!

Recently, my friend Marilee Rockley listed a new colorway called Lake Effect. I fell in love instantly! You know I couldn't stop with just one new thread! I'm guessing I wasn't the only one who fell in love with it, because I don't see it listed in her shop.

Yesterday I pulled out my little tabletop swift and wound the thread onto a Starlit shuttle. I love my little swift. It's perfect for my hand-dyed threads.

I like using the Starlit shuttle for hand-dyed threads, because it will all fit on one shuttle. I can then wind off what I need on to a smaller shuttle. The Starlit serves as my ball thread, and if I find I need a second shuttle, it's already attached!

Yesterday was low key for us. The weather was beautiful, with all the midwest storms passing to the north and south of our little farm. Dave spent most of the day outside improving the living quarters for the ducks and chickens, as well as cutting grass. My day was pretty mundane... grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up. I did read quite a bit, finishing up The Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.

I also worked on my Blue Jean Saturday shawl by Deby Lake. I've finished the first lace section, and I'm ready to move on to the second garter stitch section!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Enjoying the weather

It's warmed up quite a bit, but not to the point of being too warm for me. Yesterday was sunny and breezy, so I took advantage of the weather and enjoyed the day!

I played with another stitch count variation for my Pink Fudge pattern. On this one I kept all of the chain counts the same and just changed the two side rings of each cluster to a count of 4+4. It's okay, but I don't feel like I'm there yet. My beautiful shuttles are from Middy Clark of The Knotted Vine on Etsy. I feel a connection to Middy. I learned to tat from her grandmother's video!

I took the time to create a chart for my Blue Jean Saturday shawl by Deby Lake. I sometimes get myself confused remembering where I am in a pattern. While working on the My First Knit Sweater Knit-along, I picked up a tip from Marly Bird to create a chart to keep track of rows... what a brilliant idea! I've been using hash marks on a Post-It note for years, but this is so much easier!

Daughter Carol must have been taking some much needed down time yesterday. She sent another picture of her legs covered by her new waffle stitch afghan. Look who's snuggled up on her legs. I may have to crochet a small blanket for Sir William Wallace with the leftover yarn!

Granddaughter Eva's junior prom was this weekend. It's hard to believe she's old enough to attend prom. Where does the time go?

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Catching up

I know it's been a long time between blog posts. Honestly, I just haven't felt like blogging. I've been engrossed in working on multiple projects, watching technique videos, reading, and subbing. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

I only tatted when I had free time at school this week, and that wasn't very often! This is the Pink Fudge pattern I'm playing with. I'm not sure this is the stitch count is what I'm looking for, so I'll keep playing. The shuttles are from Veronica of TattingShuttles on Etsy. I'm really drawn to Russian designs. I've probably been greatly influenced by my mom, who has a love of Russian and Chinese history and art.

The second block pattern for the Flora crochet-along from The Crochet Crowd came out on the 15th. Only two blocks were needed of this design. Mikey said this is the easiest of the blocks. It was very easy to crochet.

While doing a little craft organizing yesterday, I found a shawl that I had started years ago. I couldn't figure out where I was in the pattern. The notes were lost somewhere along the way. So, I unraveled the 4" on the needles and started a new pattern. This one is Blue Jean Saturday by Deby Lake, a free pattern download on Ravelry. So far, I'm really enjoying working with this super fine yarn!

I've made a little more progress on Caesious from Curls  by Hunter Hammersen. I'm almost near the end of my leftover ball of Mandala. This may be large enough for one of the little ones. If not, it's been good practice. I'm not sure if I'll ever make a full-sized version of this pattern. It's easy enough to follow, but I think it looks kind of boring.

Sir William Wallace Cademartori is enjoying daughter Carol's newly finished waffle stitch afghan.

This is the longest afghan I have ever made, just as Carol ordered. She wanted it long enough to tuck under her chin and over her toes. The afghan is longer than she is tall, and she loves it! What more could a mother ask for?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Playing with Pink Fudge

There hasn't been much time for tatting at school for the last week or so. With the end of the school year coming quickly, I've been helping out with little things in the office to help out the secretaries. It's nice to feel useful!

I did spend a little time playing with my Pink Fudge pattern. I don't tat it much, because I don't like the way it needs to be tamed by the steam iron when finished. I think this new stitch count may work better.

The basic Ice Drop pattern is the same. Once the glass gem is encased, it's time for the outside pattern: chain 6, rw; ring 5+5, rw; chain 7, rw; ring 6+6, rw; chain 7, rw; ring 5+5, rw; chain 6, lock join to base of ring in round 2. Has anyone else tried playing with the stitch count on this one?

I'm taking advantage of the cooler weather, which is expected to change tomorrow. I really want to finish daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan before it's too warm to have a blanket on my lap!

I did a little shopping for daughter Joanne yesterday. She's in love with the new Mandala Ombre by Lion Brand. Apparently, it's being test marketed in Walmart and will be more widely available near the end of the year. It's super soft, softer than Joanne's previous favorite yarn, Caron Simply Soft. Joanne and the kids will be down in a few weeks, and she'll be able to start on her next project!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Change of plan

I thought I might be able to finish daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan last night, but when I laid it out on the bed, I wasn't so sure. So, I called my daughter!

At one point we had thought of doing a mirror image color scheme, but the green turned out to be a bolder color choice than either of us had anticipated. We also thought of repeating the color scheme, but Carol likes the dark brown and light blue at the end and would like to see that same color scheme at the other end. So we talked about it a bit and came up with a new plan.

There will be just a two or three more green stripes worked in and possibly one light brown stripe. Then I'll finish off with the dark brown and light blue. I hope to have this finished and delivered by the weekend, but I guess we'll have to see what life has in store for me!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Knitting with Alison

Alison and the kids came down to visit this weekend! I love when family visits! They arrived Friday afternoon and spent the day with us on Saturday. Homeschool co-op is done for the year, and Alison has finished studying for her interior design license exams. That meant we could spend some relaxing time together.

I wish I had remembered to take pictures of all the things we did. Lugging around a camera of phone so that I can take pictures seems like such a bother. I have so many pictures on my computer, it's nearly impossible to find a specific photo that I remember. I guess I should take the time to organize them in to albums, but I'd much rather do other things.

It was cool enough Friday night and Saturday morning to work on daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan. I accomplished quite a bit while we watched Mr. Roberts, one of my favorite movies. I remember watching it on t.v. with my sister Janet and my mom when I was in high school.

We let the kids sleep in on Saturday morning, and I was able to finish a few more rows. The kids are old enough to help out with meals, so cooking and cleaning up are much more fun! Aidan helped with the cooking. He's always enjoyed experimenting with spices, and he did a great job adding flavor to my otherwise boring menus.

After morning clean-up we headed to Yarn Hollow, a new little yarn shop in Crete, about 15 minutes north of us. The owner wasn't there, but we were able to meet one of her test knitters, a very friendly lady who showed us which yarns were new to the shop. Alison chose a beautiful hand-dyed skein in shades of grey. I chose a skein in shades of turquoise and grey. Alison has a fabulous sense of color, and she steered me away from other colors that I liked, letting me know in a gentle way that some that I chose just didn't suit me.

On the way home we stopped and did a little grocery shopping. Then, Eva and I prepared lunch while Alison and Aidan packed the car with items they had been storing at our house while house hunting. Dave brought home the new chickens in the early afternoon. You should have seen the excitement from Henry the rooster and the older hens! Henry puffed up and crowed, flew at the fencing, startling all of us, and the hens clucked up a storm! Luckily, the new chicks were safely inside the new fenced in area with the ducks. I think it's going to take a bit of time for the old chickens to accept the new ones.

Even though co-op is over for Eva and Aidan, they are still taking classes over the summer. So, while the kids spent time working on math and writing, Alison and I sat down to knit.

As you can see, I made quite a bit of progress on Caesious from Curls by Hunter Hammersen. I like the way the curl develops, but I am not especially fond of this pattern. It's easy enough to follow, but it's pretty boring to look at. When I laid the piece out to take a picture, I could see several spots where I knit the first stitch instead of slipping it. That's something I'll watch for from now on. I don't have enough of this yarn to make a full neck scarf or wrap. This is left-over Mandala from Alison's waffle stitch afghan. However, it will be large enough for either six-year-old Sophia or three-year-old Kara. I'll probably have to make another to keep them both happy!

Alison chose to start Reyna after seeing the one I recently knit. She was able to knit the first garter stitch section and start the first mesh section before dinner. She's hoping to finish it in time for her trip to Europe in mid-June. I think she'll be able to finish if she's able to carve out a couple of hours a day for knitting. If not, at least she'll have a good start!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Days of the week

The kindergarteners sing a song called Days of the Week to the tune of The Addams Family theme song, a show I loved watching in the '60s! That song popped in to my head this morning when I saw that I haven't posted since Monday. The days of the week are just flying by!

Yesterday I decided to revisit my Pink Fudge pattern. This is not one of my favorite patterns, mainly because it doesn't lie flat without blocking when it's finished. I think I'll take a cue from Jane Eborall and play with this one to see if I can come up with a stitch count that works better for me!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Something new

Last night I decided to start a new project. A while back I purchased all three Curls books by Hunter Hammersen. After a conversation with my friend Denise a few weeks ago, I decided it was time I actually tried knitting something from the books, rather than just admiring the pictures!

I had read the first book before starting the Marly Bird Mystery Knit-along a few months ago. No, I haven't finished that project yet. I will. Anyway, participating in the knit-along helped me better understand the concept of Curls. I think I sometimes do better when I blindly follow the directions instead of trying to understand all that's going on. At least that was the case with this particular concept. I was reading way too much into the design, and I became very confused.

I decided to practice with some leftover Mandala yarn. This might not end up being large enough to be useful, but I'm enjoying practicing! This pattern is Caesious. It's a simple four row pattern repeat. Who knows? I may even end up memorizing this one!

I am slowly rebuilding my Ice Drop stash. Since I have so many projects going right now, I've been sticking with super simple designs. They're quick and easy, and I don't have to think too much about what I'm doing!

Daughter Carol really wanted this light brown integrated into her afghan. There will be a little more of the dark brown than we had originally planned, but that's okay. As it turns out, the dark brown is the color that Carol likes best of the ones she chose. Isn't it wonderful when things work out?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Yarn day

Today was a great day for working with yarn... chilly, a bit dreary... a day when the warmth of yarn felt good on the fingers!

I finally finished my knit-along sweater! I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. The best part is, the sleeves are a nice length! If I go to buy a sweater in a store, the sleeves always cover my hands, and it drives me crazy!

I waited for daughter Carol to come over so that we could decide how she wanted me to proceed as far as colors go. I'm about half way through, and now that I know what Carol wants, I can keep on going. I hope to finish this before the hot weather hits.

I also spent some time practicing spinning. I have a feeling I will need lots of practice!

Saturday, May 11, 2019


I forgot to blog yesterday! I didn't have much to share, just one Ice Drop.

I went for a maintenance check on my car after school yesterday, and I managed to tat an Ice Drop while I was waiting. It was a long maintenance check!

I'm making good progress on daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan. I did rip out four rows today. I didn't like the shade of light brown next to the green, and when I took out the light brown I found a mistake two rows back in the green. I just couldn't leave it. I've reworked those rows, and I'm very happy with how much I've accomplished in the past week.

This afternoon my friend Kathy came over and gave me a lesson on my spinning wheel. I purchased it nearly five years ago and just wasn't getting the hang of it. I did not do well today, but I do have a better understanding of what I should be doing. Now I need to practice, practice, practice!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Winding down

The school year is winding down, which means a variety of activities that are outside the normal scope. Now that I'm not a full time employee, I find I enjoy these end-of-year activities a whole lot more!

Art students are finishing up projects, and Summer was eager to show me her most recent project. I had given her some glittery thread that I bought because it was pretty. Once I got it home, I couldn't figure out what to do with it. So, it's been sitting in a basket for a couple of years. When I found out Summer loved glittery objects, I was pretty sure she'd find a clever use for it. She had fun!

Today I showed Selest how to tat. She loved watching me, but decided she didn't really want to learn. That's okay. I'm glad she was interested in watching and that she spent so much time talking with me. She'll be heading off to college soon, and I hope she is able to spend some time doing the knitting that she enjoys so much!

Daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan is coming along. I'm really enjoying crocheting with I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby, and I do like Carol's color choices.

I started sewing my sweater together this morning. I finished the two shoulder sections and attached one sleeve. Maybe I'll be able to finish tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Be prepared

I try to carry a little bag with tatting in my purse so that if I have the opportunity, I can get a little tatting done.

I don't always get a chance to tat when subbing, but I did yesterday and today! I'm glad I was prepared!

I started working on daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan yesterday. It's coming along nicely, and I love the colors she chose!

Mom wove bookmarks for me to give to the high school seniors. Tonight my friend Jen sent me a picture of her son wearing his. He may never use it as a bookmark, but it's nice to see that he likes it!

Monday, May 6, 2019


Suddenly, my dashboard is back on Blogger! Now I wonder where my profile picture went. Technology baffles me at times!

This is Dave's busy season, so I was home alone for most of the day yesterday. I decided I needed to work on the third Chrysanthemum block for the Flora crochet-along. I think I read or heard in the tutorial that each block should take about four hours. I figured that left me plenty of time to tat. Wrong! This block took me all day! Still, I'm happy to be caught up. The pattern for the next block will be released on the 15th.

I needed something I could pick up and put down easily so that I could help Dave with paperwork. So, I started daughter Carol's waffle stitch afghan. She chose five different colors to incorporate, and I am eager to see how this one will look!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Tollway Tatters tat again!

We had a beautiful day for tatting on the tollway!

I remembered to take pictures of everyone, but not their projects! Brandy was tatting a cross, and Kathy was working on an edging to decorate her period costume for reenactments.

Sue Anna was working on a beaded project... one of Marilee's designs?

I didn't think to ask what Chris was working on. Nancy was tatting a beautiful doily.

I saw what Thea was working on, but I can't recall. We did have a wonderful time, although we missed several of our friends. Hopefully, more will be able to join us the next time we meet on Saturday, June 8!

I managed to complete one Ice Drop using another of Veronica's beautiful shuttles!

I even managed to work on my Tat-a-Renda tat-along doily! I sure am moving slowly on this one.

Last night I took time to work on my second block for the Flora crochet-along. I managed to finish about half of the gray border. I finished off the gray and cream early this morning. I have one more block to complete before the 15th. I think I'll be able to keep up!

Saturday, May 4, 2019


I've started the Flora crochet-along! As I was crocheting the chrysanthemum pattern, I kept thinking it would make a pretty dish cloth. Then, as I was watching the video, Mikey said that he was inspired to turn this dish cloth pattern into a square. Hahaha! I guess this is why we see so many similar patterns in our searches for something new!

I'm not overly fond of this pattern now that I've finished it. Dave thinks it's beautiful, and that counts for a lot with me! I have until May 15th to finish two more blocks like this one, an easy goal to meet. This block is about 15" square, so I have a feeling this blanket will really be a focal point in my living room!

Tollway Tatters meet today! I'm looking forward to seeing my tatting buddies again!