Thursday, March 29, 2012

History and Ancestors

A few weeks ago, I was pondering about the life of my great-grandmother as I admired some of her things - her autograph book with many entries in 1888 and the years following, the spinning wheel she brought to this country, and of course pictures.  The lives of my ancestors intrigue me, and I wish I could ask them so many questions!
I just started reading "The Devil in the White City", knowing that it was about the great Chicago World's Fair, the history that goes with it, and the serial killer lurking about during it all.  In any case, as I'm reading I'm realizing that many historic events took place during my great-grandparents young lives. 

I've never thought about it or realized before that my great-grandparents were living their lives in Wisconsin during the years that the Eiffel Tower was built, Susan B. Anthony and Scott Joplin attended the World's Fair, Jack the Ripper was moving about in London, and Cracker Jack and Aunt Jemima syrup were born. And then the Titanic sank.  Amazing that all these historic events took place in their lifetime - why have I never thought about that before? I would love to be able to talk to them about how those events affected them.  Susan B. Anthony is on a coin for pete's sake.  My kids played Scott Joplin music during their piano lesson years, and the Eiffel Tower has always been there.  Hasn't it?  It could be that they didn't know much of what was going on because media was practically non-existent in those days, not to mention traveling any distance was a major undertaking. 

In any case, I love it when a book really makes me think.  Too bad I wasn't this interested in history when I was still in school. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tischband Done :)

A completed motif!  Took me a long time, but with little spare time and being a slow tatter on top of it, it's an accomplishment.  I had some issues with attaching everything properly, but there were some adjustments made to the pattern that I chose to ignore. (I would have had to start all over again!)

I had intended to bring this to work and use as a coaster, but in size 40 thread, it's a bit too small.  I am not sure what I'll do with it, but it's fun to admire knowing the work I put into it.  Each motif I tat becomes a great learning experience.  While putting this together, I realized that I don't mind putting together motifs for a finished product in tatting, but I've always disliked that method when crocheting.  I'm not sure why that is, but my guess is that it's because I can't "undo" tatting as easily as I can crochet, so each motif tatted is an accomplishment.  In crochet, it just slows me down to finish off all those motifs rather than to just keep going.  This may change my choice of pattern to tat in the future.

This was a fun Tat-Along - many thanks to Umi & Tsuru! 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I've been squeezing in some other things - had to try another cute little bag.  Just because it was cute!  Might be ANOTHER tatting pouch.  Who knows?  I just wanted to try the pattern.

I've also been reading lately - sometimes I go for months without reading a book, and other times I get on a roll and read one book after another.  I've recently finished the 2nd & 3rd books of the Dragon Tattoo series.  Then I thoroughly enjoyed The Language of Flowers.  Now I'm listening to Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet while tatting and reading this one on breaks at work:


I think I will work on finishing this edging next:

Yikes!  More of that tiny thread . . .

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tatting Along . . .

Two more leaves to go, and I'll be satisfied with my Tat Along progress.  I hope I can get them attached to everything I need to and keep it all laying flat! 

The Tischband Tat Along patterns and information are HERE, and with no time limit, it's the perfect learning pattern with plenty of help from others tatting the same thing.  Try it!

I've been working on tatting a leaf each evening, and really paying attention. (A far cry from finishing over the weekend, as I had originally planned . . .)  It is very easy to lose your place on this one, yet it's really quite an easy pattern. The difficult thing for me was that turning vs. flipping - but Frivole's video (HERE) made it all make sense for me. Sometimes it just takes that one visual to make my brain click! 

So, I'm off to tat another leaf. 

In the meantime, my sidekick is enjoying every bit of sunshine she can grab.   

Ruby follows any sunspot all over the living room.
(Excuse that little mess she is using for a pillow.)

 Seriously. She cracks me up.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Slow but Sure . . .

I don't even want to admit how many times I've started this leaf.  Once I got it done in the larger sized thread, I thought it would be a cinch to finally get the leaves done in my original size 40 thread.  I'm finding that it isn't just the size of the thread, but the dark color too as Wanda had mentioned. 

In any case - I'm plugging away at these leaves!  I see that I'm still doing something wrong - there is not a picot at the base for joining.  Reading about others' progress had me concerned with the joining of the leaves anyway - but now I'm really concerned!   I will be lucky to get a coaster :) but I'm determined.

The weather here this winter has been quite abnormal for Minnesota.  Warm temperatures in the 40s and 50s, and barely any snow all winter until last week.  Now we're back to 50 and sunshine again, so any snow we had is melting at a rapid pace.  With no hard freezing going on outside, the colds in the office are rampant, and I've been the lucky recipient of a long-lasting head cold.  I'm ready for open windows :)