Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Lace Mat - Round 2

Round 2 of The Lace Mat Tat-along is done, and I'm really glad I started Round 1 again and did it correctly - the center looks much better.  Round 2 was a little bit wonky for me in the beginning, but I finally got a little rhythm going.  It definitely needs some blocking :)  My picture is a bit dark, but I am really happy with these colors.  The brown and tan go together well - the tan is a bit of a rosy tan, hard to capture in a photo.

To anyone who has completed Round 2, how do you know where you are on the ring that attaches to Round 1?  It seems silly, but I have to tat and re-tat to figure out which side I am tatting - the 10 ds or the 9 ds - and I'm thinking there must be some simple way to "see" it as you are tatting it.  Do you know what I mean?  This flipping over and back gets me confused as to which direction I am actually tatting, and then throw in the frontside/backside and I've got a complete case of the wrinkled brow!  Are others able to just "see" which shuttle to use and when to flip?  I eventually get it, but it does take a few tries!

I am considering continuing in the tan color and doing the 4th round and trefoils in the brown.  Or, I could do the 3rd round in brown again, with the tan outer edge - but that seems stripey.  Decisions, decisions!  I will just have to pick one and forge ahead :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Lace Mat - Round 1, Act 2

Yep.  I started over.  I was disappointed with my first round of this challenge to begin with, but thought I'd just continue and muddle on through.  Until TODAY, when I met up with Michelle and her girls for a Twin Cities Tatters gathering.  While comparing our first rounds, it was brought to my attention (ever so gently) that maybe our interpretations of the pattern were, ahem, slightly different.  In looking at the pattern a bit more closely, I realized that I misread the pattern.  OK, I didn't misread it.  I was pretty sure I knew how to make the center without studying the pattern. Oops.  Remember the first picot I said I made too small?  Ha!  There IS NO LARGE PICOT in the center to attach all the rings to!  The diagram clearly shows 8-1-8 when one actually LOOKS at it.  We had a little chuckle about "following directions".

So, this is why I truly love being able to get together with other tatters IN PERSON. (Especially an ever-so-gentle teacher like Michelle!) There's nothing like being able to compare and test and figure things out side by side and in-person.  I shall carry on, and try to follow directions from here on out. 

I think Round 1 will look much better this time!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Lace Mat - Round 1

I agreed to join in on Jon Yusoff's Lace Mat Tat-along, and have finally completed Round 1!  Jon has beautifully translated/drawn this pattern from the 1930's, and it was just what I was looking for.  I had been considering making another doily, but couldn't quite decide on which one.  This is a perfect project - and being a Tat-along, it keeps me on task to finish.

So, here's Round 1:

I did not make that first picot large enough, so my center rings look too "squished".  I have been pondering starting again (the perfectionist in me) but I've decided to continue with it the way it is and see what other imperfections I can create along the way.   There is no doubt that I may be doing this a second time!

I've chosen to use a taupe/brown pearl cotton along with a light tan to keep my doily somewhat neutral in color.  The next round will be the lighter tan color.  

In weather news, it's getting to be Fall rather quickly here in Minnesota.  We had a beautiful weekend with temperatures in the low 80's F, and today the high was only about 62 F.  Back to wearing (GASP!) socks.

My vegetable garden has been tilled up, and most of my flowers are done.  Except for a few autumn sunflowers and morning glories that look a little sad and weedy from this distance:

But I think they are quite beautiful when I get up close:

And, here's a bird we haven't seen much of in our yard - a  Northern Flicker.  We had a whole flock of flickers today!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September? Really?

Wow!  It's September already!  The weather is cooling to more my liking, and I find myself in my Woman Cave more often again.
My tatting has taken somewhat of a back burner these days - only because I have too many things to try and never enough time.  I got this ONE earring done - BEFORE I left on my vacation to Finland.  I have every intention of whipping out the other earring because I like the neutral thread color with mauve/brown beads. This is the Tiger Eye Earrings pattern by Elizabeth Zipay found HERE.  I think I messed up already even though this is a wonderful, easy pattern.
My Dad recently gave me this stack of burlap bags - knowing I'd do SOMETHING with them.  He knows I like this kind of old stuff.
So, I got a little sidetracked from other projects already in the works, and decided to make a bag from the burlap.  Yep.  Another bag.  Certainly don't need one, but what the heck?  I have to keep up the "Bag Lady" image.  This bag is huge!  It will make a nice overnight bag, or a carry-a-lot bag to have on hand. 
It's just a standard square bag with a made-up handle because I'm sick of bags with two handles to get in the way.  I tend to like the sling-style bags, and the upcycling of old coffee bags is a popular look that I really like.
And, just when I'm back in the swing of things from my trip to Finland, I opened up the Sunday paper over the weekend and found the travel section boasting of Helsinki.  How ironic!

Usually I'm drooling over some exciting trip, but this time I could say "Hey!  I've been there!"