Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Little by little

I subbed in preschool today, which really wore me out. I had hoped to finish Astrila by Joelle Paulson today, but I'm happy to complete it little by little!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Yarn shopping always puts me in the mood to knit, especially when I find beautiful yarns! I'm eager to start with the yarns I purchased this weekend, but I need to finish my Reyna shawl that's already on the needles. I finished the next garter section before heading off to school. I have two more mesh and two more garter sections to go.

I'm subbing every day this week, so there really isn't much time for tatting, knitting, or crocheting. Still, I eek out every moment that I can.

I was one of three lucky winners of Frivole's new snowflake pattern, Astrila. This one is a challenge for me, because it has split rings. I can tat split rings, but they seem to take me forever! I'm hoping that by tatting several of this beautiful pattern, I'll become more comfortable with the technique.

The first two split rings were the most difficult for me. The first one has a join on the second half of the split ring. Following some tips that Tim emailed me, I was able to join successfully. I did have to fiddle with the thread to make the ring look right, but I think I did okay.

The second split ring has a picot on the second half. My picot is huge! I'll get better, but it's obvious that I need lots of practice. The rest of the split rings are small, and I've been able to tat them just fine.

Now that I'm in a rhythm with this pattern, I'm really enjoying it. This may become my Christmas snowflake for this year!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Time flies!

Saturday was a very rainy day. Luckily, Garry got our soybeans out on Friday... one less chore checked off the list!

I react to rainy days one of two ways. I'm either energetic and accomplish a lot around the house, or I sit in my chair and read or craft. Saturday, I sat in my chair and worked on my 12 Step Sampler Blanket. I've finished the first 34 rows, and I'm now to the point where I go back to row 2 and crochet through row 34 until it's the length I'd like it to be. Right now, it's 12" long, and I know I want it to be at least 5' long. With my stellar math skills, I was able to calculate that I need four more repeats of this section. Keeping all of this in mind will help me stay motivated!

Saturday afternoon, Dave and I went shopping in Kankakee for Christmas lights. Everyone will be here for Christmas this year, and when all the grandchildren come, Dave pulls out all the stops on decorating. He has started hanging outdoor lights, while the weather is fairly decent. However, lights will not be turned on until after Thanksgiving. Inside decorating will begin the day after Thanksgiving. So, we slogged through puddle-filled parking lots and pulled up our collars against the rain and went shopping for one string of lights and decorating ideas. I'm beginning to think that pictures of decorations are just fine!

On Sunday, Dave went to take care of our friends' farm to take care of their animals. Then, he went to school to help daughter Carol organize and clean up props for the plays. After all of that, he came home to hang Christmas lights. We have an agreement that Dave will not go up on the roof if no one's around. We are getting older and a little more unsteady. Dave must have been feeling very sure of himself yesterday, because he had quite a few lights up when I returned home.

Where was I? I spent the afternoon yarn shopping with daughter Alison, granddaughter Eva, and Grandma Cindy (Eva's other grandma) at Elgin Knit Works. Alison bought yarn for a cowl for herself and a hat for Eva. Eva helped choose colors, but had no desire to practice her knitting or crocheting skills. Cindy and I each purchased one skein of Road to China and two skeins of Malabrigo, although not the same colors. We 're going to keep each other motivated to knit Summer Sky by Janina Kallio in Road to China, and Reyna by Noora Backlund in Malabrigo. Cold weather knitting, I am ready for you!

Friday, October 25, 2019

A little of this, a little of that

There was no school today due to parent/teacher conferences, so I had time to catch up on some housework and play with all of my goodies!

I practiced my needle lace again. There are lots of mistakes here. I was able to "pose" it to hide my mistakes. I'll probably try again tomorrow.

I worked some more on my 12 Step Sampler Blanket. Working in color was more interesting, but working in one solid color makes it easier to see the stitch patterns.

I worked on my hanky edging for a while. I'm already wondering if I have enough thread!

Knitting has taken a back seat for a while. Luckily, "Reyna" is an easy pattern to pick up and put down. I'm planning on going to visit daughter Alison on Sunday, and since we're planning on going yarn shopping, I figured I'd better get back into knitting mode!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time for crochet

I was given 12 skeins of Lion Brand Pound of Love yesterday, and I was eager to start crocheting. I decided to start with the 12 Step Sampler Blanket, a pattern that I crocheted last year. When I crocheted the blanket last year, I used a variety of multi-colored I Love This Yarn skeins from Hobby Lobby. I love the way it turned out, but ever since I finished it, I've been thinking of crocheting it in one color. The time is here!

At lunchtime today, my high school crochet group asked the principal if it would be possible for them to meet with me every school day. Typically, high school students sign up for the Learning Commons on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, while middle school students sign up for Tuesday and Thursday. The principal agreed to give it a try next week. The art teacher and I have agreed that the crochet unit will last until Christmas break. We'll have to see if lessons go in to the new year!

I was very excited to receive this invitation in the mail today! I served as the town librarian for about ten months before being hired by the school district. That was way back in 1984-1985, before the current library building had been remodeled. It used to be a laundromat. When I served as the town librarian, we shared space with the village hall. Things have certainly changed over the years!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Just a little bit

I finished the needle lace edging, and after looking through several of my favorite tatting books, I decided on Handkerchief Edging No. 6 from The Craft of Tatting by Bessie M. Attenborough. I don't have much done, but I do like the way it looks!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Switching to 20

I finished edging the hanky with size 10 Wedgewood Dk, and I think I'm going to leave it as it is for now. I haven't found a needle lace edging that I like to go with it, and I don't think the size 10 thread really works for a hanky.

This morning I decided to switch to size 20 Garden Afternoon hand-dyed thread from my friend Marilee Rockley. I figured this would be good practice for future projects. My plan is to add a tatted edging once I finish the needle lace round. I've crocheted around a hanky before adding a tatted edge, so it will be interesting to see how this looks in comparison when finished.

It's Spirit Week at school, which means lots of extra activity. In turn, that means little time for tatting while supervising. Still, I managed to tat another Ice Drop today!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Shrek Jr.

The middle school kids performed Shrek Jr. this weekend, and it was fabulous! It's so much fun to see kids grow in confidence through the drama program.

Since I was helping out with the play, I didn't have much time for my own pursuits. It took me three days to finish this needle lace flower. I think I'm really getting the hang of this! Now I need to move on to following patterns.

Although I subbed today, I still managed to complete an Ice Drop. I love blue and white together!

Over the weekend, I decided to try practicing the needle lace stitch on a hanky. The size 10 thread is way too big for the hanky, but I'm getting better with my stitches and I can see what I'm doing!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Needle and thread

Today I was in the mood to practice needle lace. All it takes is a needle and thread.

I'm still making lots of mistakes, but I'm learning. The yellow flower only has four petals because I snipped a thread when I shouldn't have. Rather than be discouraged, I started another flower in red.

This is my best effort so far. There are still mistakes, but I can tell I'm improving.

Feeling confident, I started a fourth flower. Once again, I goofed. I skipped the second loop, so there wasn't a place for the fifth petal. Oh, well. Maybe the next one will be better!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chill in the air

It finally feels like fall! The mornings have been decidedly chilly, and I love it!

It was a busy day at school, but I managed to find time to finish another Curds & Whey bookmark.

I also managed to finish the white and green Ice Drop today. The other two were tucked in my bag, forgotten over the past few days. Oops! I snuck a colored one in there... so much for tatting only white Ice Drops for the month of October!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Working on Lagniappe

I finally finished adding motifs to the points on Lagniappe, and I'm ready to start with the blue!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Motif #2

Hmmm... I wonder what happened to yesterday and today? I have no idea! I do know that it took me yesterday and today to tat Motif #2 from DMC Festive Tatting. I didn't really care for the motif based on the picture in the book, but I'm glad I took the time to tat it. It really is very pretty!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

October Tollway Tatters

We had a beautiful day for our Tollway Tatters meeting!

Sue Anna and Marilee are always a cheerful presence!

Sue Anna was working on one of Marilee's patterns. I think the thread color is Blue River Glades.

You may have seen Marilee's post on her blog or on Facebook about the grape earrings she's tatting from an Italian magazine. Marilee's pictures are wonderful, but seeing her beautiful tatting in person shows how talented she really is.

Marilee brought along her milkweed pods for us to see. They are incredible! The pattern is available in her Etsy shop.

Barbara brought along her new Japanese tatting book.

She loves Celtic motifs, and found one in the book that she just had to tat!

Nancy was our only needle tatter today.

She's working on an adorable pumpkin pattern. I like the way she has her finished pumpkin stored on the ball of thread!

Victoria Ong was able to join us again today. Victoria is a very talented Turkish oya needle lace designer and teacher. Denise and I took a class with Victoria about a year and a half ago. I've picked it up from time to time, but I wasn't getting anywhere. I was inspired to pick up my needle lace again after watching Victoria work her magic at our last Tollway Tatters meeting. She has a new book out, and she graciously signed my copy!

Victoria made this beautiful flower today with some of Marilee's hand-dyed thread.

Victoria sat next to me and gave me some tips to improve my lace. She also showed me how to identify my mistakes and fix them. The piece on the left is what I worked on this week. I knew it wasn't done correctly, but I couldn't see what I was doing wrong. The two green pieces are what I worked on today. There are mistakes, which is why they aren't finished, but I can see a great improvement already! Thank you, Victoria!

I finished tatting a Curds & Whey bookmark in size 10 Lizbeth Blue Ice today. I also started another in size 10 Lizbeth Wedgewood Blue Dk.

After dinner, I finished my Blue Ice bookmark. I now have eleven completed. I think I might reach my goal of 24 in time for Christmas in the Village!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Festive Tatting

I didn't get much done today, but I did finish Motif #1 from DMC Festive Tatting. I love my new shuttle from Lorraine Kolasa. I feel very elegant tatting with a silver shuttle!

For those of you who have shown interest in my bookmark sleeves, Lisa Adams is now carrying them in packs of 10 at Tatting Corner! I know that many of you are not interested in purchasing 50 or 100 sleeves as I did, but a pack of 10 seems like a good starting place. Lisa asked to use one of my photos for her web site, so I am now famous... at least if you visit Tatting Corner!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Helping out

I helped out with play practice again tonight. Since I don't attend all practices, I think I get a better feel of how far the kids have progressed. They have five full cast practices before opening night. I think Shrek Jr. is going to be great fun!

It's been a while since I've participated in Georgia Seitz's Online Tatting Class. When I saw this week's lesson, I knew I had to give it a try. The butterflies are tatted in size 80, and the rest of the snowflake is in size 20. I can hardly wait to see next week's snowflake!

Again, it took me two days to finish a Curds & Whey bookmark. There are a couple of glaring mistakes in this one, glaring to a seasoned tatter. I missed one join and joined in the wrong place on another pattern repeat. It's still a pretty bookmark, and I don't mind keeping this one for myself!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Play practice

I knew I was going to be helping daughter Carol with play practice tonight, so I spent the morning doing mundane things like getting dinner ready for Dave, getting steps in, and organizing craft supplies. I spent a little bit of time tatting, but nothing was finished today.

My carry-along project is still Mary Konior's Curds & Whey in size 10 crochet cotton. I'm now up to nine finished bookmarks. Although they only take me about two hours to tat, I'm finding that the two hours is spread over two days!

I was eager to try out my new silver shuttle from Lorraine Kolasa. It's wonderful! I'm using size 20 Lizbeth Snow White, and the pattern is Motif #1 from DMC Festive Tatting, a book I've had for years. However, I'm not sure I've ever tatted anything from it. There's no time like the present!

Monday, October 7, 2019


Look what came in the mail today! This is my new silver shuttle from Lorraine Kolasa, and I love it! I chose the hammered finish with a pick, and I can hardly wait to try it out!

Now that I've given you my exciting news for the day, I'll get on to what I've accomplished. 😄

We had a lot going on over the weekend, but I did manage to tat an Ice Drop yesterday.

I also finished another bookmark. I haven't tired of Mary Konior's Curds & Whey pattern yet. I'm really feeling the urge to tat it in size 80 thread!

I decided to do some fall cleaning this morning, which really cut in to my tatting time. Sometimes I just have to make the choice to set my tatting aside. If I were wealthy, I could have a full time cook and maid so that I could tat full time!

The gem for this Ice Drop is slightly larger than the gems I usually use. I tried using it for the Ice Drop I tatted yesterday, but it was way too big. The only adjustment I made was to increase the size of my picots on the encasement round. It worked out perfectly!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Little bits

The day kind of got away from me again. I spoke with three of my four daughters early this morning. After breakfast, some friends stopped by for a short visit. Then I called Mom. I did a little bit of housework, and before I knew it, it was time to fix lunch!

I really thought I'd get a lot of tatting done today, but I didn't. It took me all afternoon to finish one Ice Drop.

I was going to tat another, but I didn't have as much thread on the shuttle as I thought I did. I rewound my shuttle and started again, but this time I didn't have enough ball thread left. I used what was left on my shuttle to practice Mary Konior's Curds & Whey.

So, I didn't get as much done as I thought I would, but I did have an enjoyable day!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Sub day

I subbed in third grade today, and I really enjoyed myself. The teacher had great lesson plans. The kids were well behaved. The only down side was that it interfered with my tatting time!

Luckily, I wasn't sleepy after blogging last night. I was able to start the next motif for Lagniappe, and I was able to finish that motif tonight. I only have one more to tat before moving on to the blue thread I've chosen!

I started an Ice Drop before school, and I finished it after school. I have one tree filled with colorful Ice Drops. Now I want to focus on white ones. The glass gems can be of different colors, but I'm going to try and stay away from colors for a while.

Ooh! There's a skein of hand-dyed thread on the table! Maybe I should stick to colors!