Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The last two! They won't scan clearly because the bead and the little bell throw off the depth capability of the scanner. I like but I might start out the wrapping on the last one a little differently next time. It was going over too many pairs of thread and doesn't lay as nice as if it were broken up somewhat.

I had such a hard time scanning and photographing these. If I put all 5 on the paper, the paper reflected light back or the image was blurry. I tried a few different colors and finally just snagged this ONE shot! They are not washed or blocked yet.

I tried the last one on the printer and it didn't seem to reflect the light back so much. This was the last of the five. I like some better than others but I think they will all make nice gifts.

I also would like to make some with the ruffled cord but have to make the cord first. I have a couple of test pieces I made in the past but I don't think they are long enough. I might try it later but I need to finish up some other things first.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More Bells...

I finished up the second one last night and then the third. I decided to leave the second one as it was. This is kind of an experiment, seeing how different fillings look in the same frame. I can always redo it later if I really really hate it.

I figured out what I was doing wrong with the circles in the second bell. That's one way but it wasn't what I had in mind. The third bell is correct. Mostly. LOL!

On the third bell, I was going to make a series of chain stitch lines on each side of the circles but my first attempt looked pathetic so I tried something else. Like the circles, I need to figure out again how to do what is in my head. I sort of like having several bases made up at once. I can compare what I'm doing with what I've done before better. When it's off the base, it looks so much different, usually better, but it's not as easy to see how I did something sometimes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I got the rest of the bells couched earlier this week. I considered stitching them last night but it was late and I was tired. I went through some boxes instead.

It occurs to me now that I should make some with the ruffled or curved braid. That will be the next batch, but I have to crochet the cord first.

...days later.....

I wasn't happy with the way this was turning out so stopped. I've been busy since then and just finally looked at it again yesterday. I like the design concept but not the way the stitching was going. I may tear it out and try again. I was also appalled to notice in a different light that the filling thread is a different shade from the outline. It's all white, yes, but different shades of white.

Those little circles work better when moving vertically than horizontally. Since these will be gifts, I think I better do it over.

I've come across so many things I want to do while sorting and cleaning this week. There are 4 bags and 1 box of cardboard to go out in the trash tomorrow. I took a big box of painting and craft magazines to a friend yesterday and 3 boxes to Goodwill today. I'm certainly making progress but have so much yet to do. I snuck in a bit of tatting tonight, an angel for an aunt who is recovering with a broken leg. I'm going to call her tomorrow and see if she would like to learn to tat since she is confined.

Tomorrow is another cleaning day. I hope to manage to shampoo the carpet in the living room along the way but it may have to wait until the weekend. I need help moving heavy furniture around. So I'll see what my son has planned - if he will be here tomorrow night or will I wait til the weekend?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've been busy. I finished up the embroidery on the fairy.
I'm not very good with facial features and hands, it seems. I realized after the first attempt that a single strand of floss woud be enough for the face. I did do the eyeballs and lips in a single strand. The fingers were not outlined as well as they should have been to start with. Even so, this was a lot of embroidery for me. I used a silver thread with the wand and then gold with the star and wings. Sometimes I used size 40 tatting thread and other times I used embroidery floss, 2 strands. It's all ready to sew into a pillowslip now. My biggest stretch was doing the hair in French knots. I stitched the outline but wasn't happy with that so I started with the knots and loved the curly look so I continued.

I sketched the bell pattern shape after seeing one online that I liked. I must have been feeling ambitious since I made 5 of them on this strip! When I turn it upside down, it makes a great flower pot but I'd have to draw the flowers in it too, to use it.

I pricked the guideholes and then couched one bell down. It only takes 8-9 inches of cord!

The filling stitches are done in size 40 DMC cordonnet. I had to change the top part. It's been a long time since I've done an arch and I was pleased to have the strands evenly divided on each side....only to forget that I needed to count the center too. I should have started the strands on each side of the center and not made the center a strand too. I needed an even number for the design I had in mind so I had to improvise and come up with something else.

I'm going to leave this on the pattern until I get the other 4 done. That way I can make sure they are all different at a glance. I always love taking them off the pattern. They look 100% better. Kind of like framing a painting once you're done. It just sets it off. I saw another bell pattern in one of my books and may try that too.

I worked on some other projects but am not far enough along to bother showing yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm not sure how I missed it but 3 Stitch Files later, I discover that Sharon Boggon of Pin Tangle has started a free stitch files series. I like the way the pages are set up. There is also a group, though I probably won't join that. I'm far too busy in too many things right now. The first nine are free and after that, there will be a charge. Those will be the more advanced ones.

Also, here's a CQ Wiki with free stitch guides. I've got them printed out but not cut or the holes punched. I have no idea exactly how they work but I'll find out!

I found this free crochet heart pattern online and have been wanting to try it for a long time. Last night I crocheted it in Lizbeth size 20 Mountain Breeze. I'd link the pattern here but there were numerous mistakes so I need to contact the designer first and point them out for correction. I'm a long-time crocheter and kept thinking the first round had way too many stitches! Fortunately, the photo was clear enough for me to figure it out. It's a lovely pattern though.

Once I downloaded it here, I realized you had no idea what the scale was so I scanned it again with a large paperclip. The heart is only about 1 1/2 inches in either direction. Crocheting is so much faster than any other needleart I've done. I love the look of knitted lace in yarn much more than crocheted lace in yarn, but it's so slow! I was thinking this morning of knitting a lacy smock top for my new granddaughter....if I can find the pattern. I made one for my niece years ago and someone else. They are so sweet and delicate looking but very time-consuming when knitted.

I've been crocheting cord for some Romanian Point Lace projects. This is another crochet project that goes fast. You can easily crochet yards in an evening once you figure those first few stitches out. There are some excellent videos online now. Wish they'd been around when I was trying to figure it out! It was so frustrating because I've crocheted in thread for 30+ years but I couldn't get this simple cord started! It helps to actually see it in action. Slow motion action.

Same cord but I've wound it on a floss holder to keep it neat. I've been working on it during my lunch hours and for a few minutes in the evening.

Why oh why does Christmas seem like weeks and weeks away and then suddenly - it's only a few weeks? Thanksgiving is late this year so the time gap between that and Christmas is a bit shorter. No matter how I plan, it takes me by surprise. But I have several days off coming up and I plan to make PROGRESS!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I wanted to show you this website with beautiful Romanian Point Lace! I was looking for inspiration for a simple Christmas design and found this site. With some exploration, I found the original pattern for some of the designs.

RPL is not hard to design. You simply outline your shape with the macrame crochet cord couched down and then, THEN, comes the hard part: sewing the filling stitches in a pleasing manner. What kind of stitch, how much negative space do you leave, etc?

The cord is typically crocheted in size 10 or 20 thread and then you use smaller threads for the filling stitches. I wanted to try something even smaller, making the cord in size 30 or 40 and then the filling in 60 or 70. I think the thread I'm using now is size 30 but the label is gone and it was some I started a long time ago so I don't remember, but it looks smaller than other cords I've made. I found a bell and a sort of oval ornament shape that I might try for little Christmas gifts.

I didn't feel all that good last night. A headache had been trying to push through all day and my eyes hurt and I was a little congested and my hips grated upon arising. I finally gave in and took an allergy pill and some tylenol. My headache disappeared quickly and I was ready to kick myself for not doing it earlier! I'd been trying to tat off some shuttle endings and just couldn't get into it. Oh, did I forget to mention my fingertips are cracking already? So early in the season too - guess I better get some more humidity in the air.

Once the headache subsided, I was ready to DO something but it was getting late in the evening. For a few nights I have really wanted to embroider. I managed to get something transfered to fabric that will be a gift - better not say anymore as I'm not sure who might read it. I'm not certain how I will pursue that one yet so I decided I needed something small and simple to work on in the meantime. So I went to the computer and found a fairy graphic I had saved and printed it out. Then I transfered it to some fabric. Twice. The first time was with the blue tranfer pencil which for some reason bled out on the fabric, marring my lines. So I did it again in another spot with pencil. The blue should wash out but there is enough fabric that it will be okay if it doesn't. I posted on my other blog about gifting opportunities and one of the items was pillowcases for homeless shelters or the women's shelter. I'm thinking this will make a pretty pillowcase for some little girl.

So then I had to find a hoop big enough. I had a small one but I don't like to have only part of the design showing and part in the area outside of the hoop so I had to dig a little but I find the perfect size, AND two bags and a box of embroidery thread. This will probably embarrass me like my shuttle-finding did. I have a container with drawers for my floss. I always thought the majority of my floss was there. Wrong! When I was sorting through some boxes in the living room at the weekend, I found a whole slew of all kinds of threads, including embroidery thread. I sorted all that out on Sunday night. I really did not expect to find two large bags and a box of even more thread in a different location. Now I have so very many choices. What color, how many strands, what kind of stitch? I decided to do the body in black outline stitch. LOL! I know that isn't a big stretch but I debated on a flesh tone and decided against it. This is very simple embroidery. I'm not going to overanalyze it! I only got the two legs done before it was bedtime. I want to add some sparkly blending filament to the thread for the wand star and the sparklies in her dress. If it weren't a pillowslip, I'd put beads on there too.

I worked more on it this evening. My fingers are sore now. I had trouble with the embroidered fingers too. I used 2 strands of floss for the body and the sparkle flowers on the skirt. The skirt and the wand are some tatting thread I'm pulling off of the shuttle to empty the shuttles. I'll do more sparkly with the wings. It's been so long since I've embroidered that I'm reluctant to branch out on this with anything beyond regular thread. I'll have to do that on something else!

I haven't done the eyeballs or the mouth. I'm wondering if it will look tacky if I do or unfinished if I don't. I'm so wanting to add other embellishments. I thought of tatted rings for the skirt sparklies but as I said before, loose and hard stuff probably isn't a good idea for a child's pillowslip.

Well, hopefully an early night tonight!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I found this vintage girl's pattern at a flea market type of place for only a quarter. Not a single little girl in my life who is that size but I'm dying to make it!
I'll probably save it for next Spring though.

At the same place and in the same booth, I found these embroidery booklets. That's one thing I never bought when I was young. I also got some transfers but I'm not sure I'll keep them. Mostly not my style but I hated the idea of them sitting there and possibly being thrown away.

I had a dye play day last Saturday and submerged this initial block. There were two of them, both "B" which happens to be the first letter of my last name. They were in a bag of old lace that I bought somewhere long ago. I plan to redo my bedroom next Spring too, in white with touches of yellow. I thought I could put these on white pillows and do some embroidery around them. I always have great "ideas" but following through can be a challenge.

Here's another vintage piece I dyed. The crochet is in great shape but the center was stained. The dye didn't take all that well - probably because it is black so I may overdye the center to match the outside. It looked fabulous wet!

This is my first early night home in what seems like ages. I was looking through magazines last night for projects, both for Christmas and some other events. Found all kinds of stitchery to do! Then today I was surfing some blogs and found lots of cool my fingers are itching to hold a needle but I have a few other projects in the works to take care of first. I need to find my sampler too....not sure where it's at but I do know the general area.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I haven't had much time for stitching and have spent most of it sewing my grandson's Halloween costume (delivered last night) and tatting motifs for the dye pot. Last weekend I went to tatting guild and then afterwards, I visited a few antique and thrift shops before coming home. One place used to have a whole room FULL of linens and lace but the shop has divided into three parts now with different owners. It was a little confusing. I had inadvertantly drifted into a different shop where I found these embroideries and almost didn't pay for them in the right place!

This is the only one I bought. It's just a simple length of cotton, actually probably polyester/cotton blend, hemmed and embroidered with the pumpkin but the embroidery was so well done compared to much of what I've seen that I decided to get it and will tat or crochet an edging for it later. It wasn't very expensive either. I saw other embroideries that I would have loved to buy just to save the pattern since the fabric itself was damaged but they had some exorbitant prices so I passed. This one was only $1.50 I think.

I loved this apron and it was reasonably priced but I didn't have a lot of extra money so I passed on it too but I did take photos! It's a regular full-length apron but I loved the embroidery on it. There's also some pink ricrac along the edges but that wasn't what caught my attention. This is as close as I got to taking a full photo of it.

I was particularly intrigued by the pocket. It's placed so that it is the lady's skirt! I just thought that was clever even though I know it was commonly done, it's the first time I saw one. I really couldn't tell if this was a vintage piece or something more recent but I would guess more recent.

This is the bottom front of the apron. I love aprons, even though I never wear them. I'd be tempted with this one though.

In another booth, I found this slip/skirt. I thought it was a slip at first but why would you put a pocket on a slip? I love spider crochet and thought this insert very well done.

Here's the pocket, crocheted in the same pattern but heart-shaped. I think I'd rather see this treatment on a table cover or maybe a short jacket with the insertion not so wide, but it still impressed me with the skill used.

I haven't had an opportunity to get back to my sampler piece. I'm a little overwhelmed with things to do at the moment. My lace guild is setting up an exhibit at the Arts Center plus I'm still dealing with house/garage issues. I wish I were at least half done with Christmas gifts but I'm not even started!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No lace besides tatting lately and no embroidery. I've been busy with domestic issues and deciding if I was going to take the retirement incentive offered at my work. I didn't. Still have more domestic issues to handle before winter sets in so I'm still limited on time.

I did want to note that I got this book at the weekend for $2.00 at the half-price bookstore. Many years ago, during my one year with the EGA guild locally, someone came in and instructed a program in goldwork. I still have the sample in storage. I'd never heard of "goldwork" before that so it's always intrigued me since.

Gotta get ready for work now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I was busy last night. The first line is "wide chain". It was fun to do though it doesn't really look like anything special here. The next one is a sort of vining chain stitch and it took me forever to figure it out! I bet I pulled the thread out and started over five times. The third fourth one is an easy one but I began to space them wider as I got near the end because I was running out of thread. I barely made it to the end. There's a row of French knots in there too - forgot about those! I had to do the vining chain stitch again just to get it set in my mind how I did it.

I have less than 2" left on this side. I think the other side will be mostly border stitches.

Last night about 7:30 p.m., I discovered that the water coming out of my kitchen faucet was a mere trickle. I tried the bathroom. Same thing. I checked the outside faucet. Again, only a trickle. Before I made it to bed, there was no water at all. I was really frustrated that this couldn't happen earlier since I was home and could have called someone on the spot to come out. So instead, I left work early afternoon today to meet a plumber whom I'm waiting on now. He remodeled my sister's bathroom where I took a shower this morning. It is GORGEOUS! I have a well since I live out in the country. I suspect it has something to do with the well pump and I hope it's a simple part. It's no fun living without water.

I'm seeing a notice on blogger that they improved the editor and what I'm using now will go away soon. Rats! I tried their new editor several months ago and didn't like it so I hope the new version truly is better since I won't have a choice about using it.

Wish me buckets of water coming through my faucets today!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to embroidery! The first one is a whipped chain stitch. I was disappointed that you couldn't see the chain stitch as a chain at all when it was done. The next one is a Pekinese Stitch. Loops are worked through a backstitch. I thought it was very clever and liked the look of it except my thread colors don't contrast enough for you to see the effect very well. The last one is some sort of "crown" buttonhole stitch. I need to stitch in some guidelines instead of trying to follow a thread. My eye's simply don't follow the same line very well without some help. I tried holding it with my thumbnail but it covers a couple of threads!

This side is more than 3/4ths done. I'm starting to move around in the book and doing those that appeal to me most.

Well.....think I'll make a few phone calls, pick up the mail, and run a quick errand.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TA-DA! One needlelace egg completed!

In truth, I should have stitched a buttonhole cordonnette all around the outside but I don't really like those big bulky edges. I should have done it anyway.

Instead, I took it off the background (not my best idea) so that I could crochet around it instead. It does have a nice scalloped frame now but I should have done the buttonhole in black and THEN cut it from the backing and crocheted the scallop to the buttonholing.

Next time.

I'm quite happy with the stitching though, or at least the tension, especially with the top two colors. I needed to break up the bottom a bit and I think that threw off the consistency there, but it's still pretty. I have no idea what to do with it!

No embroidery today. I just didn't get to it but I think I needed a break from it anyway. Those last stitchings are not my best work.

Well, another fun weekend put away. Looking for a wonderful week ahead!
More line stitching. This is basically a record for myself. I don't expect anyone else to get excited about it. The first one is called the Barb stitch. It's basically two blanket stitches back to back with the center whipped in another thread. Then there is the Basque stitch, interesting to do but I'm not clear on how I would use it. I suspect the type of thread and fabric you use dictates where you would use it. The next one is the Berwick stitch which I may have spaced a bit far apart. It's a variation on the blanket stitch. Lastly is the closed feather stitch which I'm probably going to take out and do over or leave out altogether. The thread I chose wasn't a good one to illustrate this one.

When I finish a tatting project, sometimes I wind the leftover thread onto a floss holder. That's where I've been getting a lot of thread for this project. Sometimes I take it from the ball but I'm trying to empty those floss holders too.

I decided to try a little needlelace last night since I haven't stitched any for a long time. I'm sticking with the simpler stitches for this one. I used an embroidery pattern for the shape. It's a little chick-faced egg. I've covered up the eyes now so he can stop staring at me! I don't have a real plan for this but I wanted to practice my stitching. I started out with single corded Brussels in the blue. I changed to doubled corded Brussels with the yellow. It was late and I was tired and out of thread so I stopped at this point last night. I was going to do the egg in thirds with a different stitch in each third. It always takes more thread than I expect so I'm not sure now....maybe I'll do stripes in this middle part but all double corded brussels. I'm using up my floss holder threads here too. LOL!

I guess I should do a little housework today before I get started on stitching. I tend to forget about everything else once I sit down and get a needle or shuttle in my hand.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This is what I ended up with last night. The first one is called the Cretan Stitch. I did it twice. Again, I had to lay in running stitches for guidelines. Then I started a line of groups of button hole stitches, each group facing in opposite directions but they were totally off kilter so I just took them out. The Cretan stitch is done in some of my hand dyed thread from last May, btw.

I did two lines of the back stitch but embellished both so there is no single example of the backstitch. The first one is called the threaded back stitch and the last one is called the whipped back stitch.

Here's some lace that I bought in a small baggie at some thrift store in the past. I kind of stumbled across it in my haphazardly stored stash. I was planning on taking them to my next dye session but it also occurs to me that some of the long pieces can also go on this little sampler pillow when it is done.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I did go home and take a nap. I was out like a light for about an hour and had a hard time making myself wake up. The blotches on my arm were gone by the time I got home and had largely cleared up before I even left work. Very odd.

Eventually I stitched some more. The first row of feather stitch I did was very bad, crooked and poorly spaced. It took me awhile to get the hang of it. So then I stitched a second row but I put in a few lines of running stitches to create boundaries and that helped tremendously. I figured out that if I started the stitch on the opposite side along the same thread that I ended the previous side, that it would be better spaced. I was so pleased with the second one that I pulled out the first one and did it over. Stitching guidelines adds more time but it's worth it. I skipped a few stitches - the outline stitch, the running stitch. I may be doing the stem stitch and outline stitch the same. I know they are different but I can't remember now how I did the stem stitch. I think I always have gotten those mixed up! I ended tonight's stitching with the blanket stitch.

I have a little more than half of this side done. I like this because it only takes short periods of focus. I just wasn't into some of the other projects I mentioned in the last post. They will take a considerable amount of time.

Oh...just had a thought...I could stitch some of my smaller dyed tatted motifs to this sampler piece too. We'll see....I think for now I'd prefer to just keep this one embroidery.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Well, I'm kind of wanting to work on some other lace but at the same time, I like adding a bit to this every day. I'm now in line stitches or borders. I wasn't going to do anything with the piece, considering it practice, but it occured to me that I could make a small rectangular pillow with it or a small bolster pillow. This is just the left half of the fabric. I will have the same length to work with on the other side. Now I'll have to add something between the first and second sample of drawn thread work.

Something weird is happening to my left arm and hand this afternoon. I'm breaking out in red splotches. Someone called them hives but I thought hives were all the same shape. The only thing I can think of that I've done differently is consume chocolate covered almond M&M's. I've never had a problem with almonds before. I found a spot on my left thigh too. It seems more like I touched something but I don't know what it would be. I just put some hand lotion on the forearm area and it's helping with the itching.

Lace - I need to finish up my bobbinlace bookmark that is on the pillow. I wanted to tat a bag similar to the Irish Crochet bag I already finished. I want to work on some more Romanian Point Lace. More needlelace. Embroider something different.

But I have to look at some stuff related to my tree/house repair and the garage repair and compare estimates and THINK.

I'd also like to go home and take a nap!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Here's today's work. I'm using my own book now, The Complete Stitch Encyclopedia. The top stitch is called the Italian Hemstitch. I had a little trouble figuring that one out. First of all, when I went to draw the threads out, I forgot I needed to leave a segment in the middle. So I left that segment under what I'd originally drawn out and then tried to leave the same space for the drawn out threads under. I think I might have been off 1 or 2 threads. It's really hard to count them! Then it took me ages to figure out the middle part. If it had shown me how to begin, I think it might have been easier. The look kind of reminded me of smocking when I was done.

So that is all the open work involving drawn threads. I'm sure there are more elaborate pieces in other references I have but I decided to go with the embroidery part for awhile. It looks so easy but it does take some concentration and a bit of skill. I thought I followed the same thread line with the couched cord but once I finished the one under it, I could see I moved down a thread (going from right to left) and I can clearly see it's slanted now, even though it's not a huge mistake. Most of the couching I've done in the past has been to lay cord for Romanian Point Lace or for Needlelace. It didn't have to be precise since the function is just to hold the cord in place until all the filling stitches are done. Trying to be more exact is a challenge, especially when you are watching old Magnum P.I. DVDs. Tom Selleck sure is a honey!

Okay - the last stitch I tried tonight is the Herringbone Stitch. I was almost 2/3rds through when I realized I'd moved up a thread in the line so I had to pull all that out to the beginning of the mistake and do it again. I still see a few discrepancies along the bottom but the top is nice and straight!

At lace guild today, a friend told me I could finish those raw edges on each side of the stitching like I have, in buttonhole stitch, or an overcast/satin stitch, OR the neatest finish is the pull every other thread, the cut the remaining threads in the middle of the piece and pull those from the middle to the edge, then using a needle, weave them in the empty space. That's assuming I pulled the first threads further than the original edge. Did that make sense? I guess even just stitching them away, whether threads are pulled or not, would look neater. I may try that later ......much later!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A tree blew over last Friday night and sideswiped a corner of my house before settling on the ground and garage. Yesterday and today I've been listening to chainsaws and dealt with the insurance adjustor and company doing a temporary repair. I'm feeling some serious cabin fever right now but the saws keep bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzg away.

I have not been idle however.

I managed to stitch this interlaced ladder stitch and I used a beautiful antique plum perle cotton size 12. It didn't show up so well this time so I also.....

scanned it with a black background. The size 12 perle is much finer than DMC size 20 and I felt confident enough to use the finer thread but it really didn't show up as much as I expected. I thought the buttonholing on the edges would look much finer and finished too but they look pretty bad!

Still, I like the overall effect. The directions say this stitch is for the experienced and the level is "difficult". I didn't really think so, compared to other stitiches I've tried but I guess it could be. There are only the 4 stitches shown in this book for drawn work. Next is the project which is a curtain where you use this last stitch with a double interlacing. Now, THAT could get tricky.

The book is packed with stitches of all nature but I need to get it back to the library. Actually, when I referenced my much coveted and much unused The Complete Stitch Encylopedia by Jan Eaton (used copies from .05¢ ?????) I found more complete diagrams (which is why I loved that book and scrimped to buy it full price years ago) so I'm not too concerned about returning the other book.

Did you know the hemstitch was actually meant to catch in the folded edge of the hem while you created a decorative insertion at the same time? I guess I should break out the embroidery thread and make a sample of as many of these nearly 700 stitches as I can.

Another day.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another row! This one is woven bars. I didn't buttonhole the ends this time. I think I'll wait and do all of them later with a smaller thread. This stitch is pretty easy although I did experiment with ways to start out the wrap so it's not as consistent as it would be. You should see the same transition stitch between every bar but you won't 'cause I played. (smile) I also put this in the hoop once the threads were pulled. I'm getting a little better at cutting and pulling them.

I usually wear contact lenses but when I'm home and especially when I am doing any kind of needlework, I wear my regular glasses because I am constantly pulling them off to SEE. Even with my bifocals, I cannot see those tiny threads easily but without my glasses and holding the work close, I can.

Ha! Then I put my glasses on to go get the mail in the mailbox down the lane - everything was blurry because my eyes cannot make that refocus so easily these days. The blurriness was clearing up on my return trip. I've noticed this before and finally concede that age is creating changes I might as well get used to.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Drawn Thread Work

I've been wanting to do this for a long time and in recent weeks had reason to dig in my fabric stash for something and found some potential fabric to use. Now, I know I probably should have started with evenweave fabric but I like the feel of this and thought I could at least try.

I'm using a book from the library to try out stitches. The top one is the ladder hemstitch and the second one is the trellis hemstitch. Unfortunately, the book does not tell me how to finish the sides so I've done a buttonhole edging there until I find out. I guess I'll have to refer to some other books I've got. You have to finish it off somehow! In the meantime, I'm learning to pull threads and make some stitches. This won't be anything in particular but I AM trying to keep it spaced about the same so that it will be a sort of sampler.

I'm not using a hoop so far. It seems easier to manipulate the fabric without it but I may try using one just to feel the difference. Instructions aren't too clear on that either. I'm only using this book because I thought the diagrams looked clear. Looks deceive, however.

Sigh...I have so much other stuff I should be doing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fat Cat embroidery at DMC Threads site.
My regular computer was having issues so it's now replaced. This is where I was when I left off posting! I'm really tied up in my tatting right now but I so want to embroider! I've also been preparing some fabric for some drawn thread work. Plus I'm borrowing books from I.O.L.I. library about needlelace and I'm getting inspired there. If only I had more time!

Now I get to show you this fabulous find in a thrift store! It's probably card-table size and in perfect condition, no stains or holes or anything. Only $5.00!!!!

This is a full view of the tablecloth. You can see the larger outside border and then the narrow inside border upon which the four pyramid shapes are made of the same small squares.

This is a kind side slanted view. I hope the pics enlarge enough to see the overall photo but also the details. I have close-ups though!

This is the small narrow border. I've placed my fingers there to help you see the scale of the squares. The fabric is like fine sheeting.

Here you can see the larger outer border. It's probably twice as wide as the narrower border. I'd guess the narrow squares to be around one inch each.

These are the squares that make up the pyramid shape. You can see how the designs alternate in the squares.

This is a close up of the bottom two rows of the pyramid. Again, I've used my fingers to give you an idea of the scale.

I am amazed that someone could pull such fine threads for this piece and then execute the stitching so precisely all around. I will definitely be using a larger thread count linen for my own stitching. I don't think my eyes could handle this! I wish I knew who the stitcher was and more about their thoughts as they made this.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My computer is on the blink right now. I have a small laptop but no way to put scans or camera photos on it just now. I bought a nice table topper yesterday done in needlelace. I'll show photos when I can. It's drawn thread work.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I'm not exactly happy with this. The lining disappoints me. I knew shouldn't have tacked it down but I was afraid I wouldn't really know if it really wobbled inside like this or not. It will just be a bit time consuming to take it off. If I put my hand inside, it lays very nicely. So...I can either make the lining a bit smaller OR...put a couple of sheets of acetate cut to size inside the lined lining.

I'm not that fond of the tassel either. I'm not sure if it's the red thread or if it needs to be fuller or both. I wondered when the directions said to wrap 16 times. I actually wrapped 20 and I still think it's a bit flimsy. The thread from the center can only show one color of its varigates so I think I'll remove that and change it to black.

Geesh this is tiring stuff when it doesn't work out! LOL! I didn't like the outer round of crochet either. The picot loops are too hole-y. I think they were supposed to close in but they didn't.

I always learn from the first time. I don't want to make a second one though. I'd rather correct this one and be done with it. Yay! I'm gonna start on the tatted one first though.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crocheted Hexagon Bag

This is so close to being done! I've had to force myself to wait until tomorrow to finish it. The handle is stitched on and the lining pieces are partially stitched. I have to fit one piece inside the other, close up the last seam and then stitch it to the bag. I ended up using a gray slick shiny fabric. It will set off the black lace but won't compete with the jellybean color rose. I've never actually had to line one of these before. The other two crocheted bags I've made from this particular American School of Needlework publication were denser. They're all Irish Crochet, if you're not familiar with crocheted lace. There are five designs and it's titled "Delicate Purses" by Rita Weiss. This one is the "Hexagon Posy Pocket." Oh, still have to make the tassel too.

I'm going to make up a tatted version too, partly for the challenge of it and partly for my Lace Guild's upcoming exhibit. I hope to find a way to display/frame them inexpensively and point out the differences in tatting and crochet. So many people call lace by the wrong name, so it will serve an educational purpose too. It means I'll have to practice tatting clunies again. I finally figured it out last night after a few frustrating hours. I've made them in the past and even taught a class on them but they don't really excite me and I haven't made them since. That was in 2005! I won't allow myself to work on the tatted version until I finish this one. I did tat a center and refreshed my memory on the cluny but stitch counts have to be played with and some organizing done before I can actually tat it. I hadn't thought about the handle either. I don't think block tatting will work well for the strip. I may use something else. We'll see. I do hope I have enough of that particular ball of black thread because I lost the label and don't know what to replace it with!

After that bag, I plan to get back to my needlelace. I borrowed some books from I.O.L.I. which gives me more patterns and details to work with. I think there are two more when I return these. Okay....I should get to bed!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I fully expected a red ribbon for this bag. I was totally surprised to hear it won the Reserve Champion in its category.

Is that red bright enough for you???? A more neutral background would have looked better, especially with the variety of items exhibited.

This is a piece of Romanian Point Lace I designed a year or so ago, inspired by some henna painting during my daughter-in-law's bridal shower. This is another lace I want to pursue more. I'm not big on tape lace but I do love this particular kind.

My needle lace leaves only got a red but I did not expect anything better. They're colorful but the stitching leaves much to be desired yet. (pun wasn't intended but certainly applicable!)

You can check out my tatted lace on my other blog, Threads of a Tatting Goddess. I won Sweepstakes with my tatted necklace and earrings and some blue ribbons on other tatted items.