Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tat Along Progress

I've been working on the Blatt 2 leaves of the Tischband Tat Along. (See earlier posts for links to the Tat Along.)  For whatever reason, I was having a difficult time figuring out the pattern, and was feeling really dumb.  The "turn" had me bamboozled, and I was trying to "flip".  

 Four false starts in size 40 thread

 I feel so frustrated when I can't quite figure out a pattern that appears to be so simple. This is the point where I've given up on a pattern many times - but I really want to complete at least a repeat or two of this one.  AND, I know there are some other Tat Along participants out there that I will be able to compare with and learn from.

I had one of those "Aha!" moments, and decided to try using a larger thread to actually see the stitches.  It all finally made sense, and I got one leaf done (correctly, I think) in size 3 (yes, 3!)  Using a large thread to practice a pattern is helpful to me, but I sort of hate wasting taking the time to do it.

My vision isn't really that bad, but I have a very difficult time seeing my work when I use size 40 thread. (How in the heck will I be able to ever try the beautiful tiny threads?!)

I'm ready to go back and try my size 40 brown thread again.  Why brown?  Because it's the only size 40 thread I have that comes close to blending with my Kopper Patina HDT.  And I want to just use what I have without making an extra purchase.  I guess I should think about that when buying pretty HDTs :)


Which brings me to these questions: 

Is there a method to how you purchase thread? 
Do you buy coordinating HDTs, variegated and solid? 
Or do you buy thread after you choose your project?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine

We are all adults in this house, so no Valentines to print names on.  No treats to get organized for school anymore.  No decorated shoeboxes to receive all those sweet treats.  It's funny how these holidays become less exciting when there aren't kids around.

But, we still love eachother. And we still love chocolate.
And we still love to recognize this day.  That said,

 Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blossoms and Hearts

My first attempt at the Blute 1  pattern of the Tischband Tat Along  Challenge from the Umi & Tsuru blog.  I decided to join in the Tat Along because it's an eye-catching pattern, and it helps me a great deal to be tatting the same thing as others to have something to compare to.  If you'd like to join the challenge, leave a comment here

Lady Shuttlemaker's Kopper Patina, Size 40 HDT

Once again, my tension is inconsistent.  Dang it!  I was thinking the first blossom I did (on the left) was maybe a bit too tight, but I like the look of it.  I had a heck of a time attaching my chains on that first one, and then I remembered leaving a very small bit of thread at the beginning of each chain in a similar pattern.  So, on the second blossom I left that extra thread for attaching, but now I think my tension was looser.  Ugh.  I'm not  happy with how this looks, but if nothing else, this will be great practice for my tension.  I think I will un-attach that 2nd one and try again!


And still working on hearts, I've also accomplished that Clover Drop Heart twice to empty a few more shuttles. (I failed miserably and trashed it back HERE.) I especially like the pale pink one with the brown edge.  I love having some empty shuttles again!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trashin' It

Continuing with more hearts to empty my shuttles, here's Hearts on a Paperclip by Ellen Lai:

And I was so enjoying this pretty heart pattern!  This one is the Clover Drop Heart by Nancy Tracy on Be-Stitched.

I was happily using up thread on two shuttles, and it was looking like I would have enough to finish with little to spare.  And then . . . when I attached the 2nd clover to the center ring  . . . I realized I'd attached the first one wrong.  %#$@&%$@!  I am NOT picking this out to go back and correct the join.  Apparently I attached it to the 9th picot of the ring from the wrong direction.  I seem to do this fairly often - and then go back and unpick when (if) I realize it soon enough.  The maddening part on this one is that I had attached it the first time, thought I had it wrong and went back and "corrected" my mistake.  Hhhmpphh.  It was probably right the first time.  I will get 2 more emptied shuttles out of this - but not another heart for my stash.  I'm trashin' it and starting over because I really like this pattern!


And speaking of "trash" - I'm so enjoying dabbling in upcycling and trying to be creative.  Well, I'm a good copier anyway.  Ha!  I have a trash stash now too.

Here are a few basic instructions on those wine bottle stoppers since Diane asked:

I used 7/8" corks and a #16 finishing washer.  The sizes and the name of the washer took the longest to figure out - but with an energetic Home Depot employee, we got it by looking at a picture!  Nice guy - must have experience with crafters :)

Hubby drilled holes in the corks, and used the original keystock (the piece between the 2 knobs) and cut it to go into the corks about 1/3 of the way or so.  (That keystock may need to be glued into the knob to be sure it's going to stay there.)

He glued that finishing washer to the top of the cork, and then used a lot of glue in the hole to place the knob.  He then used a clamp (?) to hold the pieces together while the glue dried. These photos are from a couple that are being taken apart to do again, as the cork ended up crooked.  I heard a voice in the garage that said something like, "Gosh darn it these little buggers are hard to take apart.  That's some fine glue!"  Well, that voice said something like that, anyway.

In any case, my photo isn't the greatest here, but I thought I'd show you how nicely these stoppers go with my decor. 

I'm thinking it would be fun to find doorknobs to sort of match some of the fun wines out there. (I'm thinking Marilyn Merlot, Mommy's Time Out, Elephant on a Tightrope, Arrogant Frog, etc.)  That would be a fun gift!