Saturday, January 22, 2011

I had a devil of a time getting this scanned. My computer periodically will not recognize the printer/scanner (supposedly) even though they are the same brand. This time I finally figured out how to do it from the computer. The scanner is the part actually that isn't sending the right signals. I suppose I should call a help person but I don't have time (or the patience) to do that right now.

So, this is the second Torchon bookmark. It's in gold and black (Purdue colors) and I'm toying with the idea of giving it to a friend who is retiring at the end of the month. I like it so well, though, that I would have to make another for my sample book.

I think it looks almost navy from the scan but it IS black. I got all the twists and crosses right. If you look at the first one I did, you can see the difference. I even got the bottom nice and neat and tight. If I give it away, I should probably stiffen it. I leave my bookmarks unstiffened most of the time but tatting usually keeps its shape. I think this might warp after awhile.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Since this blog focuses on other lace besides my tatting, I wanted to post this one here too. It's tatted but needle lace is part of the construction. It was added after the tatting was complete.

I used two different methods to make the "spider". Since I haven't done needle lace for awhile, it took me awhile to be consistent and even in my tension. The motif was tatted in size 20 thread and the needle lace was done in size 70 or 80 tatting thread. I wondered about hiding the ends but it's so thin compared to the size 20 that the needle slid through the tatting stitches fairly easy and I was able to hide the ends by sewing them in,much like I do with Romanian Point Lace but I had to take care in making sure I was under the double stitches or weaving in the "waistbands" of the double stitch.

I've had an idea for a long time about using needle lace in conjunction with tatting but just haven't had the time to pursue it. It will be quite a lengthy process so little bits like this one are good to get into the swing of it.

I finished another torchon bookmark tonight. It's a plaid, like the last one. It's blocking right now but will be dry tomorrow and I'll post about it then. I really like it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I downloaded these last night but it was late and I thought I'd get to this sooner today than I did. This is the same as the white one, also in half-stitch.

I used a pink size 20 thread along with a white/gold metallic, also about the same size. I like the sparkle it creates in the finished bookmark. I don't really like to tat with the metallic because the gold thread tends to break when I close a ring so this is a good use for it.

I also waited until I had done one half stitch on the right side before I added the bead in hopes that it would look more like the left eye. It does but is a tad bit (1 stitch) lower. I guess it's doing to be a bit off, regardless of which way I do it.

This is the first Torchon bookmark. The stitch is the same throughout, but there is a pin between every stitch so it's time-consuming in that respect. I can tell I got a pair twisted somewhere. You can see at the bottom of that first white inner square, actually a diamond shape, how the white trails off in both directions at the bottom point. That must be where I mixed it up and you can see the same pattern all the way through. I should have 3 white diamonds and 2 brown diamonds in the center.

The directions don't tell me that but the picture in the book does and it makes sense that it would. So I will try it again Tuesday night and see if I can't keep track of the path better. This one is done in size 8 perle cotton, using a brown and a cream color. I think it looks very masculine and would be a nice gift for a male.

I had a little trouble understanding the way the bottom was finished off. Once I finished the left side, I understood better so the right side is much tighter and cleaner.

After repeating this exercise tomorrow, the next one is the same except it will have "spiders" in place of the diamonds. I feel like I'm making good progress and understanding more every time. This one started at a point so that part was new as well as the flow of the stitches. I really need a bobbin winder.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Here's the latest bookmark. It's the same pricking as the last one, but this one is done in half-stitch. I used white DMC perle cotton and some Altin Basak size 20 white with a gold thread in it - known as "metallic". I think it turned out pretty.

With this one, I learned more about "twists". The number of twists is a design feature too. I couldn't really tell where the workers formed a design because of the colors I used. I will probably make this one again, just to practice.

The next one is a Torchon lace. I've never been very fond of Torchon because it seems a bit coarse and rough looking compared to the other laces but I suppose this will be good practice too. Actually, the bookmark looks very lacy.

At the moment, I have 2 thumbs and 1 finger taped up with a bit of ointment under the bandaid because the tips are cracking. Another finger could be but then I'd feel like Edward Scissorshand. The corner of my mouth is cracking too. I know it's from the cold weather. The furnaces run so much that the air is dry, my body is dry, and even outside, the frozen snow means there is very little humidity in the air. Quite the breeze going this week too. I've been in and out several times a day going to and from campus appointments. I loved the mild winters we were having for a few years. I want them back!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sally & I met last night again and laced away. She hasn't had time to finish the first sampler but I liked hers. She is using several colors as the instructions say to do and it's turning out pretty.

This is my second bookworm. All went well but it does look like I twisted the yellows somehow. I was trying to watch them closely and in some places, it looked overlapped but wasn't when I "stroked" the bobbin. Even so, one spot doesn't look quite right. It took about two hours for the lacing.

I learned how to plait, add beads and make decorative openings in this one. It's from the book by Thunder & Dye. We're going to work through all the bookmarks in this book. There are some other projects, non-traditional, that I probably won't do any time soon.

The next one is the same pattern but done in half-stitch. She & I talked about one of the problems with these samples is that they fall out of books or sheet protectors or the usual record-keeping resources. It's tempting to stitch or tape them down, but we want to be able to handle them so that's not really helpful either.

I have to admit that since these take less time than the first sampler, I'm likely to keep at it, lacing the next one tonight even though I have other things to do. Last night I opened up the software I'll use to diagram my tatting patterns. It was late so I only played with it long enough to make a few ovals. I need to be like a dog with a bone on this too so that it will come to me easily and I don't have to relearn it every time I open it up!

So, since I don't have to be anywhere tonight, I'm going to come home, throw a load in the laundry, and work with the software for at least long enough to be where I was when I stopped using it before. Actually, I bought the program so it may be different from the freebie I was using. Once I feel comfortable with and maybe even accomplish something, like the tatting pattern I posted about last, then I'll let myself move on to something else. I'm also tatting something I started two niights ago and I'm anxious to see how it will look. I found the pattern when I was sorting through bobbinlace printouts that I've accumulated. No idea how that came about but it was a happy discovery.

I've also got to make my giveaways for the One World One Heart event that starts January 30th. It will be on my tatting blog only but will include more than one kind of lace. Great opportunity to Lace-ducate!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yes, I did get to it.

I kept putting it off, thinking I'd just maybe wind the bobbins and get everything ready. Next thing I knew, it was on the pillow.

I was off a bit on the second eye but I know what I did wrong. I also crossed a pair or two in the center at some point that I shouldn't have, but overall, considering there were new techniques, I think it turned out well. I will do another at my friend's house on Tuesday so all I'll do tonight is wind the bobbins. Really!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday's Sample

I felt like a lot of things came together for me with this sample. It's the same pricking as the other two and there actually are two colors but it's hard to tell here.

I'm ready to start a bookmark series. We'll see if I do it Sunday or not!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Here's my first sample completed. I knew I was making a mistake with my end twists but nothing came apart.

Here's the one I completed last night. I'm still confused about the end twists but I made it work. I just need to read up more on it. It's only with the half-stitch section because of the way the thread lays on top, it can't twist the way the directions say.

It took me about 4 hours to complete this one. shoulder was burning. And my eyes. No bobbin lace for me tonight! I used size 8 perle cotton.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Catching up!

I've been so busy during the holidays and after that I've sadly neglected this blog. I didn't do a lot of "other" lace work beyond tatting though, and in fact, this pretty much brings it up to date!

These covered rocks are a combination of tatting, crochet and needlelace. The needlelace is on the back side, the final finishing, but it's there, trust me! One has already gone to its new home and was well-received.

A little lace knitting, although the yarn was only sport-weight, not the fine silky kinds I usually associate with lace knitting, but it was also something I've been wanting to try for awhile. I gave this to my granddaughter. I forgot that I had knitted her some mittens last year in this yarn.

A lace friend and I have started meeting weekly to refresh and refine our bobbin lace skills. This is the start. Very simple, very ordinary, but this is the best I can do at the moment. Next week will get slightly more involved and hopefully each session after that for awhile. least next week I'll have some bobbinlace to show. If I don't get sidetracked!