Monday, January 30, 2012

Shuttles and . . . Doorknobs?

I have too many shuttles with leftover thread on them just waiting to be used.  Sooooo, I've been making hearts to keep ahead of Valentine's Day with whatever thread is on the shuttle(s) I grab.  This is making for some odd colored hearts, but I will certainly have a nice stash to add to Valentines.  I have sort of been on a mission to find and save small heart patterns too.  Wow!  There are so many wonderful patterns out there.

This is the Tatted Heart found HERE.

 I really like this pattern - found HERE.

And this is one from a 1988 Workbasket. Looks a little lopsided!
I like that it looks lacy with all those picots. 
(Too bad I didn't try a little harder to keep the picot size uniform.)

I've been tatting little hearts during my lunch breaks too. 
I think I'm just excited to be AHEAD of the holiday for once :)  Ha.


 Remember those old doorknobs I have ?  Diane was right.  Wine bottle stoppers.  Just something I saw for a ridiculous price and thought "I could make those!"  So, of course, I was on a mission to figure out how to make them.  Hubby and I looked at pictures and visited the hardware stores until we finally got it, and then voila.  Another project for hubby - much to his dismay delight.  He loves it when I come up with new projects.  (Well, projects for me, anyway.)   We have about 15 of these now. I craft in bulk, remember?!


I got these from a very good friend in the mail last week. 
She said they just reminded her of me.   

She knows me well, don't you think?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Craft in Bulk . . .

Even though it seems like books and bookmarks are being replaced by e-readers, I felt the need to get another bookmark done for my stash.  Since I love the Lizbeth Island Breeze, I dug out one of my favorite bookmark patterns found HERE, and whipped this one up in no time.  Michelle also recently used this pattern for a great bracelet HERE.  What is it about bookmarks?  I think I love to tat them because they are a quick accomplishment!

While I was sitting in my "woman cave" sewing in the thread ends on my bookmark, I used my little needlekeeper.  I love this little thing because it's so small, and easily fits in the smallest of tatting containers.  And while I was taking photos for my last post, I realized that Island Breeze thread matched some felt I had purchased to make some more of these needlekeepers. I always seem to have to make everything in BULK.  Why?  I dunno.  I just do!  Does anyone else do that?  I think the habit lingers from my days of being a daycare provider and having craft supplies to make everything in multiples.   I won't say how many years it's been since I did that . . .

So, I quick sewed up a few needlekeepers!  And then tatted a short section of the bookmark pattern for one cover.

And then on with another heart pattern for another cover.  Ah, something I can use these little motifs on!  This is the Peacock Heart, and is done in Size 20 Lizbeth Tropical Punch.

So, I now have a little stash of needle keepers.  Ha!  I need one for every tatting bag, right? 

Either that or everyone is getting one for Christmas!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hearts and Shuttles

My teardrop pendant gets better each time!  This is a wonderful learning piece for me - the pattern is fairly simple, but I'm learning about tension.  I seem to pull rings closed nice and tight, but I have trouble keeping the chain tension consistent.  I won't post another picture until I get it the way I want it :)  In the meantime, I've taken a break to tat some other small motifs.

Frivole posted this wonderful diagram of Irene Woo's Butterfly Heart.  I had to try it - such a pretty little heart to have on hand with Valentine's Day coming up.  I think this may lead to more hearts, as I've been digging in my patterns for every heart I can find.  Frivole also posted another wonderful diagram of Susan Fuller's Hearts Desire - a big favorite also.  I am so grateful for diagrammed patterns after looking through all those wonderful old books and having my eyes cross trying to read the patterns!

Here's the Butterfly Heart in both Lizbeth Size 20 Island Breeze & Size 40 Mocha Swirl.  Not bad except for the  final join and hiding of ends.  Sigh.

I really love the colors in that Island Breeze thread.  It just happens to match several pieces of felt I have in my cave.   Hhhhmmmm.

 And something else I've been waiting for from Frivole's Etsy shop . . .

Ta Da!  My new shuttles.  I was jealous of everyone's beautiful shuttles from LaCossette, but now I have some of my own.  My first request was . . .

A BLUEBIRD (what else?!)
He looks quite happy!

And then I saw these gorgeous PANSIES and had to have one also:
I think the pansies will live in this cute shuttle sock (that Teresa was so kind to gift to several of us way back in December) - they match!  Knitting something this tiny is just amazing to me.  It could be a new . . . NO . . .  I don't need any more hobbies.


OK, I will stop admiring my new shuttles sometime today, and start using them :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Wonder about Her

I wonder what she was like.  I mean my Great-Grandmother Rise, who came to the U.S. from Norway as a young woman in the late 1800's.  Who was she?

I have the spinning wheel that she brought with her to this country in 1880.  It must've been very important to bring with in order to haul a piece this large all that way on a ship.  I would love to know what else she had with her.

 The wool carding tools are handmade and came with the wheel, and the ball of yarn was supposedly made with this wheel too. I am not sure where the bobbin or the darning pieces came from, but I keep them just the same.

I also have her Autograph book - it looks like she received it for Christmas.

Did you notice the year?

Here's a closer look:

It amazes me to have this little book.  It makes me wonder about her, her friends, and what her life was like in this new country.  I've often thought of my various ancestors and what they were like, but having these things that once belonged to her make me wonder even more about her.

The autograph book is interesting to look at.  Most of the entries are in Norwegian, and the cool thing is that there are a couple of entries by my great-grandfather from before they were married. Signed "your friend".  This entry is on Christmas - the same date written inside the cover.  Maybe he gave this book to her when they were dating?

And another entry by my great-grandfather is about a year and a half later. 
It says:  "The world is round and has no end, and so is my love for you my friend."
How sweet is that? 

I can't find the date they were married at the moment, but their first child was born in May of 1890.  That child even made an entry in this book!  I wonder if Rise chuckled at her little girl's entry to Mama:

I remember my grandmother used to wear this locket containing pictures of her parents when I was a little girl.  I am lucky to have this locket now also - my great-grandparents Rise and Thom.  Another connection to the mysterious Rise.

I plopped it on a new chain, but it wouldn't pass over the little pearls on the chain.  

 So, I added a beautiful old clip on earring of my mom's to cover up the clasp and voila!

I have a beautiful new necklace to wear, and carry my ancestors with me.

And every time I look at the pictures, I just can't help but wonder what Great-Grandma Rise was like.  Obviously she spun yarn.  So, did she knit?  Crochet?  Did she tat? Did she sew or quilt?  Certainly any of those things would have been done out of necessity - not for pleasure or crafting like we do now. 

I wonder if there will be anything I have now that will make MY great-grandchildren wonder about me?   

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The third time is NOT a charm, but it is better.  This try has much looser tension, but maybe it's too loose now?  I tatted slowly and really tried to pay attention, but it still isn't just quite right. I know the jump ring isn't attached correctly, but it doesn't matter until I get the whole pendant right. Right?  Ugh.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong other than tension, but I am going to keep trying.  It's the only way I can learn what it is that isn't working!  Too bad I have to work tomorrow :(

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saturday Tatting

Michelle, her daughter, and I met today for some tatting time.  We have such an enjoyable visit that the time flies by as we sit with our coffee/tea and tat.   I was quite confident while working on my pendant that it would be soooooo easy to complete - now that I had the correct size (and shape) bead.  Oh yes, it would be no problem! 

So, I tatted on.  And tatted some more when I got home.  I was going to finish this!  And here's how it ended up:

Ugh.  A re-do for sure.  I think Marilee needs to move to Minneapolis!  What the heck is wrong here?  Is it my tension?  The pattern does state to check tension, but I thought it was pretty good.  I have always crocheted very tightly, so maybe my tatting is following that trend . . . ? 

In any case, I got to practice the V-stitch/Victorian sets/Zig-Zag/Ric-Rac stitch that I practiced and explained back HERE.  And, I worked on the Catherine Wheel Join according to Yarnplayer's great instruction video HERE.  I had never done that join before, so it was good to work on another new technique.

Now that I have worked on the techniques, I need to figure out why this is so wonky.  Is it the tension?  How do you monitor your tension?  Your critique and advice is welcome!  Dang it, I thought I was doing so well.  I will keep trying :) 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And guess what I'm going to do with these old doorknobs?

Another bright idea on my list of things to do.

New Year, New Ideas

Happy New Year!  Did you make resolutions?  I don't make any kind of solid resolutions, but instead try to remind myself that I need to be the best I can be.  Which means eating better to have a healthy body, and keeping a positive attitude to have a healthy mind. Everything else will fall into place!

With some wonderful time off from work, I've had waaaay too much  ample  a little time to get the creative juices flowing.   I finally had an evening to try Marilee's teardrop pendant.  I didn't have the right size bead, so I thought I'd try to use something I had.  Well, that was a dumb idea. Kinda ruined the "teardrop" look, eh?  Plus my thread split and made an even bigger mess when I tried to make that join.  Tension, tension, tension.  (In more than one sense of the word!)

So, I'll be heading out to get some correct beads to try that again :)  With a positive attitude, of course.

Michell'es snowflake earrings and pendant inspired me to get going on the jewelry ideas. She even gave me a set of my own - such pretty tatting with such tiny thread! Aren't these beautiful? 

Another jewelry idea I love is spoon jewelry.  So, I'm going to try a little of that too . . . once I figure out how to cut and drill holes in the silver.  I made a spoon ring back in the 70's out of my baby spoon in an art class, and I don't remember it being too difficult.  In any case, I found some old flatware I have had for years and cleaned it up to see if it would work. I can see a couple of pretty rings and bracelets here . . .

And I think I'll try some glass tile jewelry too.  Maybe combine it with some flatware.  (When the heck will I wear all this jewelry?  Or a better question might be when will I have time to make it?)  Hehe.  Maybe Pinterest wasn't a good idea . . .