Saturday, August 17, 2013

OK, I'll Do It

After some serious thought and some practicing, I think I'm ready to try the Victorian Trellis Doily [so dubbed by Frivole.]  Well, I'm at least ready to try the first round, which is the beginning lattice work.  

This is one of those very old patterns that is incredibly difficult to understand, but Frivole has given a detailed explanation of how to complete that first round.  I am certain I would have tossed even the mere thought of trying this doily out the window had it not been for this explanation, so many thanks to Frivole for the work she does clearing up some of the mysteries of tatting old patterns.  

I am intrigued by the fact that this doily is all chains.  No rings to un-tat? [This is great news, since I'm expecting I will be doing some retro-tatting . . .]   I love the ruffly look of the Victorian Set stitches, and the very unique look it brings to tatting.  This beginning round also has SCMRs (self-closing mock rings), so after a few more of those I should be able to remember the technique.  I have a hard time remembering which technique is used where and how to start, so just concentrating on the fact that I'm only working chains helps to pound that SCMR into my memory bank.  

I KNEW there was a good reason to have coil-less safety pins, too. I searched and searched for these awhile back, and was excited to find them - only to find I don't really use them as much as I thought I would.  This pattern definitely has me using . . . one  :)  I found these handy pins in the jewelry-making supplies at JoAnn's, not in the sewing stuff as one would imagine.  If anyone has a need for these pins and can't get them, let me know and I would be happy to get some to you.  Of course, good old bobby pins work for this pattern too - ha ha!

This doily may take me forever-and-a-day but I think it's a good challenge.  I will probably have to work on other projects between rounds so I don't get bored and give up altogether, but I seem to complete things if I have an absolute deadline.  Next year's fair entry is due in July 2014 . . .

If anyone else is interested in trying this pattern, here are some links I used to get myself started on this pattern:

The pattern is in this book, page 17:  Priscilla Tatting Book No. 2
(pattern is also in Julia Sanders Tatting Patterns book)
Frivole's first round explanation post: First Round Explained 
Frivole's Self-Closing Mock Ring video:  SCMR De-mystified

And, last but not least, here are posts showing Frivole and Jane M 's successful finishes of this doily.  I can only hope to finish this one myself - it most certainly won't be fast.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Need a Fix?

Our Twin Cities Tatters group met yesterday, and in trying to decide what to work on, I decided I needed something easy and relaxing.  I can never concentrate on anything but rings and chains while chatting, and besides, after that Jan Stawasz doily I needed something that wouldn't take much brain work :)

Recently, Jon Yusoff (Tat-a-Renda) posted a simple bookmark for practicing split rings.  Good for a split ring beginner, yes, but I like the look as well as having something fairly simple to do at times when my brain is not ready to be exercised fully as well.  Besides, who can't use some more split ring practice?

So, if you need a quick tatting fix, this is a good one.  I need to replenish my bookmark stash anyway!

Jon Yusoff's Bookmark with Split Ring Centre
Lizbeth Wildflower Garden, Size 20

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Heaven has Frisbees

We won't be having these kinds of chats anymore . . .

And this little nose won't be working hard to find morsels under the kitchen table . . .

No more "throw it again!" persistence . . .

But we'll never forget this sweet little face.

For almost 15 years, Taffy was our loyal family companion.  My adult children were in elementary school when she adopted us as her own.

We said goodbye to her today through tears, but we know she's chasing Frisbees again - wherever she is.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

State Parks and Fabric

One of our recent state park trips was to another northern Minnesota bog area - Big Bog State Recreation Area.  A few photos from that trip:

This is our friend Chip - the chipmunk that lives under the cabin deck.  It was SO hot and humid this day, that even Chip just laid on the deck most of the time. He looks quite tired, doesn't he?  Perked right up for a snack, though.

We went for a quick walk on this mosquito-infested trail (and I do mean infested! The mosquitoes were ruthless.  It's a bog area on an extremely humid, tropical day.)

This park area has a river on one side and a HUGE lake on the other.  At the river, we watched this doe for quite awhile just cooling herself in the water and eating wet grasses.  

 This was a great moment - the doe didn't see the boat and the boat didn't see the doe.  In the end, neither one cared anyway.  It was too dang hot.

And then our friend Peter rabbit stopped by for a snack.  I just love seeing these little creatures pop on in to see what we're doing, spying on us to see if we brought anything good to eat.

We climbed the fire tower for a good view of the lake.  It was actually cooler up there, so it was worth the climb.

 And the view was beautiful with a clear blue sky and the sun sparkling on the water.

We climbed back up there later in the evening to catch the sunset. The clouds were rolling in, so unfortunately we couldn't see that beautiful sun set right on the water.  We had to settle for this glimpse just before the clouds took over.

Which brings me to today's fabric shopping trip. Woo hoo!  State Parks and fabric - some of my favorite things all in one!

Each year, many of the Minnesota Quilt Shops participate in a two-week shop hop featuring Minnesota themed fabric designed just for this event.  I usually admire the fabric and get a few pieces, but today started the 2013 event and has this beautiful state park themed fabric.  I think it was designed just for me.  I wanted needed some.

I have lived all but about one year of my life in good old Minnesota. I love my home.  I am a city girl, but I do love the outdoors and our beautiful state parks for hiking and taking photos.

So how could I resist?  Looks like a beautiful start to a quilt of some kind.  I haven't made a quilt in a few years, but these soft, blended hues are inspiring.  I think I'll be digging in some quilting books over the weekend.