Friday, November 30, 2012

Lace and History

Here is one more piece of lace in my new collection of old stuff.  

It appears to be finished at both ends - what would one use this for?  A collar?  To add to something else?  This looks like mostly crochet to me, but I'm not sure about the piece that the long threads come from.  Is this hairpin lace? I guess I didn't think hairpin lace twisted like that. It looks like the twisted threads that are in the pulled thread piece in my earlier post of these old items. 

I'm pretty familiar with basic crochet, but not these stitches.  And I'm too lazy at the moment to go digging for more information.  Another day :)

Here's an envelope of embroidery thread.  Much of this is silk thread, but I really love the envelope!  The Mississippi River in Minneapolis was once the home of the world's largest flour mill, and Minneapolis was known as the "Flour Milling Capital of the World" in the late 1800's/early 1900's. 

From postage history I found,
this stamp was issued in 1912.

There is an address on the front of the envelope to a Mrs. Larson.  Swedish or Norwegian perhaps?  The pencil writing on the envelope looks to be Scandinavian, and it says "dyne tra" and "silke tra" - something thread and silk thread?

So, what should I do with the lace piece?  How about the envelope?  Why do I love stuff like this so much?  It's fun to have, but there must be something I can DO with it to display it or use it so it doesn't get stored away.  Maybe I need several shadow boxes!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Fake" Tatting?

This big box is full of thread, embroidery floss, old patterns for embroidery, and edgings.  

I love these old wooden spools of thread.  

There are some interesting edgings in there, but this one is an entirely new package of a 'Novelty Braid' that looks kind of like tatting.  Fake tatting!

It makes me wonder if the person that bought it had an intended use for it, or if it was just an irresistible purchase because it's so pretty. What should I do with this?  I feel like it should just be displayed in its original package.  Maybe I should make a shadow box with some of these items that are just fun to look at.

And is this for rug hooking?  I've never done that, but the hooks I've seen for rug hooking are different than this.  Not sure about this doo-dad.  Looks like a typical something in a crafter's collection.

One more piece of lace to share tomorrow, and then I really should get busy getting into the holiday spirit.  It IS almost December!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Funny Collections

Back to the contents of the old boxes of "stuff" my aunt gave me.  What an interesting mix of collections.  My aunt had these in her closet, and she knew I would have fun digging in them and enjoy looking at the old items. 

First of all, I really love the old boxes.  I wish I could think of something unique to do with them besides admire them.

This was a nice, intact piece in with the other things. A long dresser scarf maybe, or a table runner.  This is about 19 inches wide, and 4-1/2 feet long, with this beautiful work on each end.  

I'm hoping for a little help from my lace blogging friends.  Is this pulled thread work? I can't imagine doing this, but it's quite unique and interesting to me. 

There is just this one little spot that is ruined.  

I'm wondering if I could cut this end of the runner off, and then cut this little section of lace off (it's near one edge).  It would make a nice little cloth piece with a pretty edge to hang off of a shelf.  The remaining length of the piece still has the other pretty lace end on it.  If I hemmed the cut end, I could wear it as a scarf.  I'd rather do something useful with it than pack it away.

The cigar box is empty, but it's a nice sturdy box.  What should I store in there?

The box from the toilet soap is full of buttons, hooks, and old garter (!!) pieces.  My aunt was not sure where she got these or who the original owner was, but whoever owned this collection was quite the re-purposer! Geez - I thought I was bad.  I will have to sift through these and determine my next step . . .

More contents another day.  
Will I ever get my sewing room clean?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Merge

Well, here we are at the merging of two huge holidays!  Thanksgiving week melds right into Christmas, doesn't it?  It gets earlier every year.   
I can't bear to put Tom away just yet -
Christmas decor will have to wait! 
I've said it before, but I'll say it again - we spend Thanksgiving differently than most at our house.  Hubby goes off to the cabin in the woods for 10 days of deer hunting with my dad, brother, nephews and uncles.  Mom comes to my house and stays, and we shop like maniacs and eat out.  A lot.  Then we make the typical Thanksgiving dinner, and celebrate a casual day with my daughters and boyfriends.  Nothing fancy, but great food and leftovers :) Then it's back to more shopping, but we skip eating out and make leftover dishes. 

I've celebrated Thanksgiving without the men (that hunt) at home all of my life, and without my hubby for 28 of 30 years we've been together.  It's just the way it is.  The men celebrate their blessings with a typical Thanksgiving meal in the woods - probably a truer representation of the holiday anyway.  Can you imagine being in the woods in a log cabin with the smell of turkey wafting through the snow-covered pine trees?   It's good for them to peel potatoes and do all the cooking for a change :) It's really a fun tradition for my mom and I to spend this time together.  This morning Mom headed back home, Hubby should be home soon, and we'll all get back to the usual routine.

Amid all the shopping and eating, I got some bags made for mom to take home with her for gifts.  They make perfect tatting bags, and for those that don't tat they are great for chunky jewelry.  I have a small one I picked up many years ago that was for jewelry, and I enlarged it for a tatting bag.  Actually, I like them for everything because I have an addiction to bags  :)  I guess there are worse addictions.

Mom also brought along these two old sugar & salt bags for me.  She knows how I love old stuff, and thought I could do something with them.  I'm not quite sure how to display or use them, but I have a couple of ideas.

AND, my aunt brought this little collection to me when we met for dinner one evening.  More old stuff that's fun to look at :)

I'll save the contents for another post.

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with good food and good company!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Modifying gone awry . . .

Still working on snowflakes here & there, and found this one to be a nice one to tat up.  I think it looks better in person that it actually does in the book.
Spoke Snowflake
Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman

I got tired of making white snowflakes, so I thought I'd use some pretty Messy Jessy thread [that Michelle was kind enough to share with me at our last get-together] and try my hand at climbing out of a round with a split ring again. Well, you can see where that went.  I love being unique, but when I do too much of my "own thing" I confuse myself!  So much for modifying on my own.


So, I started a flake that I was pretty sure I could get through with what thread I had left.  And, now you see where that went!  Aaaallllmmoooosssttt made it.  I was determined to finish this one, so I finished it off with a matching pink. Dang it.  If I hadn't experimented a bit, I would have had enough thread to finish.  I guess it really doesn't look that bad.  Kinda looks like I meant it that way.  That's it.  It was planned. 

Snowflake #10
Festive Snowflakes & Ornaments
Barbara Foster
I think I'll go back to using plain white for my snowflakes.  I have plenty of white thread. 

As for the Aerlit shuttles - I'm finding I really do like them.  I just have to hold on to the shuttle back a little farther to compensate for the tail length.  [Which, by the way, is quite handy for winding those bobbins.] The longer hook works fine also now that I've gotten used to it.  I may have to invest in some more of these happy little shuttles :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aerolit (AERLIT) Testing [and Junk]

Dang it!  I keep wanting to call these aerolits - but I know they are AERLITs.  So I am correcting my spelling errors.  Ugh.  I'm usually quite observant about spelling . . .

I couldn't resist a couple of those new Aerlit shuttles, and I've been testing them out a little bit today. I'm working on another snowflake at the moment - more on that when I get it completed.

As far as the Aerlits, they are nice and clicky, and smooth to hold in the hand.  I am used to LaCossette's modified shuttles though, so that tail seems a little in the way.  The hook is a bit longer too, so I've been catching it on my thread.  I think it's just going to take a little getting used to - and I love all the colors.  I'll have to tat a bit more to get a feel for whether or not I really like these shuttles.  

Junk Update

Remember this old frame I picked up a week or two ago?

My main goal today was to get this frame turned into the jewelry frame I wanted.

With some help from the Mister, I attached some chicken wire. Then, I painted the whole thing a more light tan/taupe color than the original white.  The idea was to get the chicken wire painted the same color as the wall I want to hang it on, so the chicken wire doesn't show up quite so glaringly.  I also painted some little "s" hooks the same color.  Once that paint was dry, I rubbed on some black paint to give it a little more of an antique look. We currently have taupe colored walls and black accents in our room where I will be hanging the frame.  The corner carving detail certainly shows up better.

Ta Da!  The final product. I love it!  
This will work just fine :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Elementary, My Dear

Even though everyone talks about simply modifying patterns with split rings to move from one round to the next, I have never been able to "see" just how or where to do this easily, and have always just followed the pattern as written.  I guess the mere thought of ME modifying anything was too daunting.

Well, I'm feeling pretty proud of myself with this little snowflake. 

Minaret Snowflake
from Tatted Snowflakes by Vita Sunderman
While just looking for a simple snowflake pattern, I kept thinking "Ugh, for this little thing I have to do two rounds and weave in all those ends?"  For some reason, this particular one just caught my attention and I was able to do that split ring thing quite naturally.  Ta Da!  I know it's easy for most experienced tatters to just "see" it, but I never have.  Maybe I just had to put on my big-girl pants and do it once for it to click.  In any case, I'm quite pleased with myself, and I think I will work on some little snowflakes to put in Christmas cards in between my horrid, boring informative classes on Public Works Budgeting and Finance.  Ish.  That class makes split rings look rather elementary.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Completed Lace Mat [and Some Junk!]

The Lace Mat

My version of Jon's Tat-along of The Lace Mat is done!  I've attached the trefoils correctly now, and I'm kind of agreeing with Fox that the doily was pretty enough without those little extensions. But, I like the added shape they give, and for the sake of finishing the pattern as written I've included them.  

Thanks so much to Jon for translating the pattern, and running this Tat-along!

I used size 12 Pearl Cotton for my doily.  The colors seem to be very hard to capture in a photo, but are basically taupe and ecru.  As much as I like color, I tend to opt for neutral colors for doilies unless they need to match something special.  (What a fuddy-duddy, huh?)  I think I also like to use a harder, shinier thread for doilies.  The pearl cotton is nice and soft, but I just have to wonder if a stiffer thread like Lizbeth would be nicer for a doily.

Jon has more finished doilies in the gallery showcase HERE.  It's fun to see how the same pattern looks so different in the various colors chosen by everyone - they are all beautiful!

I don't iron my tatting but I do use my Best Press - my favorite stuff to make my tatting hold its shape.  I used to crochet a lot of doilies and used good old liquid starch mixed with water.  Now I like the Best Press better because it doesn't have a residue that flakes off when it dries.  And, it just gives the shape some hold rather than stiffen the work.


I got back to some junking this morning - I just love old stuff.  And I like old stuff repurposed even better.  But I want to do the repurposing myself - I just need to see ideas.  I'm a good copier - not such a good thinker-upper!  Sooo, this market with about 20 vendors was at a local greenhouse.  The vendors involved have little occasional shops in nearby cities/towns.  If you are not familiar with occasional shops, they are small boutique type shops that are only open one weekend a month.  (And then it's a frenzy of shoppers.)  I'm not sure if this is popular in other areas, but it's quite popular in Minnesota.

Anyhoo, I picked up an old frame that has been painted - but of course, I will repaint it the way I want it.  I intend to put some chicken wire behind it, and make a jewelry holder to hang on the wall.  Sounds odd, I know - but I'll post a photo of the finished piece.  The other treasure I found is the drawer part of an old sewing machine case.  It's another piece I will re-paint and put a top on for storage.  Maybe for tatting, maybe for jewelry.  So.  That was my morning adventure today.  Photos to come of the finished pieces, but here's what they look like now:

Anyone know where I can buy some time?