Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This sample is finished! This is the side towards the pillow. The other side has two different places where it appears there is a long loop. I have no idea how that happened!

I'm not sure what I want to do next and have been reading up on techniques here and there. I might just do the bookmarks I intend for gifts while I mull it over. I'd do more edgings but I need to rework my pillow or finish the roller pillow. I ordered some wool batting for that so until it comes, there is not much I can do.

I hate to start a different lace because then I lose momentum but I've been wanting to do some needlelace, Irish crochet, and embroidery.

Love having choices, but it muddies the water sometimes too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've been working on this fan/fir tree edging. I did get it finished this evening but will leave it on the pillow until tomorrow. I think my thread was a bit big for it but I got the pattern down.

I think I'll try a simple flower next just for something different.

I have water standing outside and more rain is expected. It's seeping into the basement. There is a drain there but still, the floor is wet in places.

Some embroidery patterns I ordered arrived today. They are a little whimsical and risqué. They were different and that is what appealed to me. to bed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Done with Decorative Braids

It didn't take long to lace these. They're just short samples and very simple. I've already done a more complicated version of this one in the bookworm bookmark. I had enlarged the pricking because it seemed way too small but I should have left it alone. There were two sizes and this one is slightly bigger than the larger one. The idea for the bigger one was to run a ribbon through it but you also needed to add 2 extra twists in the center. I worked it enough to feel I knew what the point was and then I went back to the original size for the next braid which was made from the same pricking. I used the usual size 8 perle cotton for this one.

On this one, I used size 20 tatting cotton, DMC for the white and Lizbeth for the color. I was a little frustrated with this book since I got used to being told how much thread to put on the bobbins in the Dye & Thunder book while this one didn't say. In fact, she encourages you to load up the bobbins and you can just tie them together for the next project. My inner critic is screaming "more ends to hide! Aaacckkk!" So I tried to guess. Up until now, I guessed pretty good. On this one, I wound a lot of thread on the workers, forgetting that workers change in half-stitch. I ran out of thread on one white bobbin and had to add a new one in, which is pretty obvious, and I had tons of thread still on the original workers. I did find in this book (Rosemary Shepherd's) a statement that 3 times the length of the finished items was a good estimate for the amount of thread to wind on the bobbin. In another book I was looking through, they said 4 times the length. That book also advocated winding your bobbins full. If I were using the same thread and color all the time, I might be more willing to do that. Bobbin lacers do tend to use white predominately.

My next project is an edging. I'll only make it bookmark length but it prompted me to get out the roller pillow I started making last year in a class. I knew I would have to take the cover off and redo it so I just put it away. I was not happy with the way the roller pillow went in either so hadn't done anything with that. It occurred to me this morning that I have a coworker who can grind down grooves for a dowel to fit into. I can control the turn of the roller with braid rather than trying to pry it out of its trench. I can also feel the frame of the wood under the fabric so that is another reason to take it off and add some extra padding. You can buy 100% wool batting which will be great to cover those hard places and soften the edges and slope.

I'm learning. In the meantime, I'll make the edging on the pillow I've been using. I've ordered a new cookie pillow and I plan to make a square pillow soon. I need a solid base to put it on though. I have the ethafoam or whatever it's called.

So...maybe I'll get to some lacing later today!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Braid 4

I was able to do this one quickly this evening, including winding the bobbins, taking off the pillow and pressing it. I've left the tails on but they are really just braid samples, not bookmarks. This one has a frontside AND footside. Easy!

The next three use a different pricking. They are very similar so I might just do one and then move on to some simple edgings. I'm also anxious to start doing something with a shape but that probably won't happen until next week.

I did well with my presentation and it appears I'll be recertified as a qualified trainer after tomorrow. The chairs are not terribly comfortable and the table is too high so when I have my arms on the table I end up with hunched up shoulders and that doesn't take long to start hurting. I'm sure the stress was contributing to that. I get to just listen tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I spent all day in an OSHA class and then all evening preparing a powerpoint presentation for the class tomorrow so I haven't had time to do diddly. I laced this braid last night and I'm quite proud of it! It has footsides on both sides and I GOT IT!!!! See how nice and straight the sides look?

I was really off on the first one. No wonder it looked so wonky on the sides! I have two more braids to do. The next one has a footside and a frontside. Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow night!

I've also got two tatting projects in the works but I've barely had time to work on them. Right now, I'm tired and yawning and better move on to bed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I moved on to braids in Rosemary Shepherd's book. There are five and they not only show different styles of braids but how to do footsides. The braid on the left is number 1 and uses twists in the worker pair to make the spaces. There weren't any given numbers and you're expected to figure it out by looking at the diagram. At first, I was disappointed and felt confused but I'm glad I used strongly contrasting colors. The random stripes are fine. I would be a little more precise if I were doing this for a pattern but I sort of made it up as I went and as I moved along, it got easier and rather fun. This one is supposed to have a footside but I didn't really understand the directions which actually sent you to another page about something else. That was last night. I read it again awhile ago and it made more sense. The edges done on my bookmarks were a little different and I was trying to understand it through that pattern. Wrong, mostly. I think I get it now and the next three braids also have footsides so I'll get some practice in.

The second braid was a structured pattern using twists. The 1st and 3rd rows were the same but the 2nd and 4th were each different. As I moved on, my tension got better and I was getting into the rhythm of the design. Again, I'm glad I used strongly contrasting colors. The even rows with the changes took me awhile to get the hang of. I used a post-it until I was almost at the end and by then, I had it memorized!

The 3rd braid will be very similar to the 2nd except it will have one footside and the design is slightly different.

I'll probably tat the rest of this evening. I have a commitment tomorrow evening but we meet for Bobbin lace on Tuesday so I'll get at least one more braid done soon. I've seen a few more patterns/instructions that I want to pursue after this and then I'll try some REAL patterns! The ones that only tell you how many pairs to use. This is another reason this art is not widespread. It's so hard to find good clear instructions that don't assume you know more than you do.

I realize now that the Thunder and Dye book covered a LOT of techniques in the lessons and that's good because I've had some exposure now. Even in that book though, they kept referencing an earlier lesson instead of re-explaining it in the moment. It's really hard to keep shuffling pages back and forth and keep your place. What I really need is a story board, where it's all laid out in front of me. I actually know of a series of painting lessons that are done that way. It's great! I wish I could afford it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Done! My error was in the top half but I didn't see it until I unpinned everything. I was up until midnight working out the bottom. I'd weave and unweave, weave and unweave, weave and unweave.....but I did get the bottom right! And since the colors ended in the right places, I'm not sure that what I think was wrong was wrong. I'm going to do something different for awhile though.

Rosemary Shepherd's book has a section with several different braids so I think I'm going to do that for a bit. I also want to do some simple edgings so I can practice footsides and such. I realize now that bookmarks combine several different techniques so now I want to go back and learn more about them. I think it will help me in the long run rather than jumping into another "finished" project. I feel like I have a good start and a little more study will bring it all together.

I've been wanting to do some embroidery and needle lace too.....and RPL. And some beading.

I love this stuff!

Friday, April 15, 2011

I've been struggling with this for 3 weeks now. Well....since I only tackled it on Tuesdays and skipped one Tuesday for something else, I guess that's not really accurate. I got into the second half on Tuesday and realized something was wrong before I left Sally's so I backtracked and stopped. I got it out last night, backtracked a bit more and moved on, only to feel something still wasn't right. TWICE.

One thing that is really confusing about this pricking or any of them, for that matter, using a torchon ground in this book, is that the lines, the pinholes, are a bit off on the right side. The left side is fine. My colors are working out the same as in the book. When I edited the photo and enlarged it, I thought I missed a pin or two but I remember now that it specifically states there are certain places without a pair coming out. It's when the trail turns and I can see it above but forgot below and maybe that is another place I'm getting confused.

I am so close to being done and I don't want to do it again, for now anyway. I've decided I need to rework my pillow too. I might just make another one, a square or rectangular one. Plus finish my roller pillow and travel pillow. I'm certainly ready for something different!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why yes, I do plan to do a cheerier post than what was left by Ms Grumpy & Disgruntled last. Geesh....2 posts in the same month along that line. Enough said!