Saturday, December 26

Post-Christmas Post

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We had a lot of excitement here in the Washington, D.C. area.  The Saturday before Christmas, we woke up to about 10 inches of snow on the ground, and it kept falling all day long!  We ended up with 2 feet of snow before it stopped!  My family spent the day inside watching movies and playing card games, a favorite past time of ours.  Luckily, I had all my shopping finished.  The entire area shut down.  It was still so bad on Monday, that the government took a snow day!  This also allowed me to have my first experience shoveling snow off the driveway.  I was SO sore the next day!  How can something so light and fluffy weigh so much?  But it was very pretty and it stayed long enough for us to have a white Christmas!

The time we were all forced together in the house made it difficult for me to find time to finish my present for my mother.  These are motifs #4, #5, #5, and #6 (the middle two are the same).  They are Kindle bookmarks!  My mother has loved books for as long as I can remember.  She got a Kindle and loves being able to carry around multiple books at a time.  However, she could no longer use her accumulated collection of bookmarks.  So, I decided to make some she could use with her Kindle.  These motifs are attached to cords leading to a loop.  They are very easy and a great way to make little, 'practice' size motifs.  I learned how to make a neat join, use beads and charms and create a strong, flexible cord using only my shuttle and some imagination!

I've also been working on the Rose Tyler fingerless glove pattern.  Here is the result so far.  My knitting muse refused to either leave the bed or look at the camera.  He keeps me company while I knit here at my folks place, or do anything crafty point of fact.  I am loving this pattern.  The cables up the side are unusually tight, but simple.  This pattern also uses one of my favorite stitches, the seed stitch, in the middle of the diamonds.  It creates a really fun texture.  I'm just starting the third complete diamond of the pattern.  On the eighth row of this repeat I'm supposed to start the thumb gusset.  I've never done gloves before.  I hope I can figure it out!

Saturday, December 19

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season for family get togethers, presents, and holiday crafting.  It's also the season for snow.  Finished with finals, I headed back east to visit my folks.  This morning, I woke up to 8-10 inches of snowfall!!!  As you may have guessed from my name, I didn't grow up in this sort of place.  I'm really looking forward to a possible white Christmas, or at least a really good snow fight with my brothers.

As far as crafting is concerned, I've been working o a few things since my last post.  This is a scarf/hat set I made for a local charity my school supports.  I have very little money to donate, but I have a lot of yarn.  So, I knit up a quick garter stitch scarf and a 2x2 rib hat out of a fun yarn in my stash I hadn't ever decided what to do with.  It's my first time working with this yarn.  It was a Yarn Bee fun yarn that had been given to me by a beginner who just couldn't quite make it work.  I believe it.  It had two very different yarns twisted together to make this yarn, and eyelash yarn and a yarn with different colored bumps every few inches.  It was interesting to knit and required much more attention than I was planning on dedicating to a charity project, but I'm glad I did.  The unusual yarn created a fun fabric that was thick and warm as well as colorful.  I donated the pair to a shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

Since that's about the extent of my knitting prowess, I'm not knitting gifts for my family.  A massive amount of scarves under the tree would probably not be appreciated.  I am tatting a present for my mother, however, since I don't know if she reads my blog, you will have to wait for the post-Christmas post to find out what it is.
I still have a new project for the Challenge however, an anklet! I tatted this based on a picture I saw in an old book in the school library.  It's a simple ring-chain-ring line.  It took me a few tries to get the ratio correct, but I like what it turned out as.  I was trying to figure out how to incorporate buttons into my tatting, this is one way.  I like it because it's a little frilly piece of jewelry and I can wear it through airport security.  :)

I am trying my hand at knitting something new.  I'm trying my hand at a pair of fingerless mittens.  I found a beautiful pattern for Rose Tyler's Fingerless Gloves.  I love the cable and seed stitch detailing.  So far it seems like a very simple pattern, but I haven't gotten to the thumb gusset yet.  I guess we'll just see how it goes!

How about you, what are you working on this fine holiday season?

Thursday, December 3

Motif #2

Motif #2
Originally uploaded by Desert Sonnet

Welcome to December! Glad to see everyone made it through Black Friday alive. Now that Thanksgiving is past, it's time for me to start looking to Christmas. I have some unloved yarn in my stash that I hope to turn into scarves and hats for the local Mitten Tree. They collect cold weather gear for women and children suffering from domestic violence.

I've been busy with end of school work, but I've still managed to find time to slip some time in for tatting. I found some lovely variegated purple and white thread at Hobby Lobby, home of the Poor Broke College Student (PBCS) crafter. I also picked up my second motif pattern, just a free heart pattern hanging by the thread. I didn't notice until after I was practically finished that it went quite well with my African Violets. I like this pattern, very easy. I also learned a lot. I followed this tutorial from Paradise Treasures to add a new shuttle thread when I ran short. I'm still trying to figure out how I want to handle the ends, I've seen a few ways, but haven't really found a way that works for me yet. I'll keep looking. Until next time!

Sunday, November 22

Tatting Away

So, I have completed my first motif for the 25 Motif Challenge.  Behold:

This is my first motif.  It's actually from a book from Project Gutenberg called Beeton's Book of Needlework.  The Gutenberg Project is an online e-book library of public domain books.  I absolutely love it because in addition to the classics like Shakespeare and Jane Austen, you can find obscure little publications like this.

I was also going to try the clover pattern.  It didn't turn out too well.  For some reason I can't upload the image.  However, it didn't turn out well enough for me to call it a success, I haven't even figured out how to get it to attach to the paperclip.  So, the clover will have to wait until I have a bit more practice.

I've also been working on a scarf from some stash yarn I need to use before I can buy new yarn.  It's surprising how much knitting you can go through during a Dr. Who marathon.  As that develops, I'll try to get pictures up.  It's my own imagination that's creating this project, so we'll just have to see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 4

Oops! I done broke it!

I am completely new to the whole tatting thing.  As such, I have very limited knowledge about what one should or should not attempt during the beginner phase.  A little advice, don't start out with size 80 thread!  I was using my grandmother's old supplies, shuttle and thread.  The shuttle works great, however the thread was so delicate that it broke off as I was trying to tighten a ring!  So I've decided to proceed in a more traditional fashion.  I've been reading LOTS of tatting blogs over the past few days and I thought I would start simpler and with bigger thread.  And to keep me going, I thought I would try the 25 Motif Challenge.  In short, I'm going to attempt just over two motifs a month and try to finish 25 of them before next November.  Here we go!

I thought I'd try my first motif fairly simply.  I found a pattern for a four-leaf- clover on Georgia Seitz's Online Tatting Class.  I thought I'd try it because who couldn't use a little extra luck in their lives?  I found a dark green ball of size 20 cotton thread left over from an earlier crocheted project that has been languishing in my stash.  I thought it was time to see if I could use it for my next attempt.  I thought I would try the version of the pattern that has the little four-leaf-clover on a paper clip.  We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, October 25

Tit for Tat

This post is all about my tatting. For those of you who don't know, tatting is the art of lace making. I use a shuttle, however I know you can also use a needle. Tatting is an old art form. I've seen patterns from as long ago as the 1800's. I've seen it in pictures longer ago than that. It is very time consuming and detailed and not the most easily grasped of skills. This means it isn't as popular among today's crowd as say knitting or crochet.

I am currently in the process of learning how to tat. So, you will all get to see my trials and failures as well as my hopeful successes. At the moment, I am working on a scrap of lace practicing how to do the basic stitches and join picots. I'm using a shuttle and size 80 thread. It's just a practice thing, but so far it's coming along rather well. I'm not following a pattern. I had a vague idea at the beginning of each row about how it should look and improvised from there.

That's what I like most about hand-made items. They are unique. They are whatever you want them to be. The hardest part is figuring out how to get what you want out of your head and into the project.