Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This is my latest lace acquisition not related to tatting. I bought the bobbins at the L.A.C.E. group's Lace Day in Downers Grove at the weekend. I wasn't going to get them but then I noticed they were squared off which means they won't roll all that much and the fact they were obviously handpainted appealed to me. Some groups use laser printing or stamping. I like the personal touch. I even know the painter's name. It's Kate Wild who is a member of L.A.C.E. I haven't met her unless she was at the table with the wood findings for bobbin lace and I only spoke with the ladies there briefly. Still, it's just a matter of not being familiar with the members. I may well have met her at some point.

Another reason I bought them is that I recently read that if you want to keep track of your workers, you should paint a pair of bobbins black and use those for your workers. Well....if I did that, I would also paint some pretty flowers or designs so why not use bobbins already painted on? Most of my decorated bobbins are spangled or need to be spangled. I haven't touched the wooden ones yet but my fingers are itching to.

On another note, I met with my friend Sally last night to lace and I had wound all my bobbins, including these, with the notion that I would make a roseground edging that was in the same book as the insertion I just made.


The instructions tell you literally NOTHING. I went back to earlier chapters and I did find out that SE meant sewing edge. I have actually done that before but Southard's description of how it works was vague and confusing. In the edging, she has you putting 8 pairs over one pin but gives you no clue on how to go about using them. I know they are for the half stitch edge, but HOW? She makes a big point in a later chapter, which is titled something about ways to start without instructions (mind you I said LATER chapter) about knowing how to figure it out. I do get that and in fact, the bookmarks I've done already have been very helpful in providing some guidelines, but this book still lacks some crucial bridging.

There is one very simple edging that I think I might be able to do. I did not lace at all last night. I read the entire time. I will attempt this simple edging but then I will go to another book. I got a new one last week, the newer Torchon book that is wonderful, packed with photos and in color and STEP-BY-STEP. Once I've got all that down, I'll be happy to try to figure out how to lace something that is missing instructions, but not til then. So needless to say, I was extremely frustrated last night. Again, I wonder how they ever thought they would keep bobbin lace from dying out with the way they've "promoted" it.

I've been trained to "train", to write training plans, and put them in action so when I see poorly written instructions, it really bothers me. I should just move on to something that DOES work and stop getting all worked up about it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I was excited to get this done last night and have time to tat too! I even went to bed early...which means "on time".

So the top corner is a little off, but I do have the whole top solidified. After looking at the other again, I guess it's not a big deal to have it open. I was also reading something in one of my books about how to start off so you don't have a split between threads.

I love the way the color in this shows up. I stopped being so concerned about getting the cloth stitch so straight up and down but I did make an effort to keep it lined up with the way the pairs initially came down from the previous part. The twists are meant to give it some space.

I'm anxious to get my new pillow, weekend after this, which will be flatter. Then I will take this one apart and flatten out that dome in the center. At the time, I thought that would be desireable and was worried about it not being high enough! I also have a roller pillow to finish up and a travel pillow to finish up. I think I will wait on the rose ground edging for that so I can perhaps do several inches. That means I'll have to redo the pricking. I guess I should do a sample first.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My very first Rose Ground!

I was very happy with this one, in spite of the mistakes. The pattern did not say how to begin, hence, the gap at the top. Some books think you're smarter than you are. LOL! The sequence is really very easy for rose ground, at least in this sample. I wasn't crazy about the cloth stitch squares. You can't get the threads to be nice and be evenly spaced as well as straight up and down. The sample in the book wasn't either but that's what I wanted!

So I started a new one last night and think I sort of fixed the top but I'll bet the corner will be split. The ecru sample is done in size 30 Cebelia. The one I'm working on now is in size 16 Finca and is a lovely Rose color.

The one I want to try after this in the same ground is an edging, which will also be a challenge. Then I saw another edging made up of hearts, the only one so far that I've really wanted to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I finished up this bookmark last night. I started it Tuesday night and was close to finishing it. I chose to make all the fans from the same whole stitch instead of changing the middle two. I guess that's a good sign when you feel comfortable making changes according to your own preferences. I haven't blocked it yet but it will be a gift for a friend. I'm very happy with this one.

I've borrowed a few more books from I.O.L.I. but as usual, most just tell you how many pairs to use and the size thread. Guess I have a lot more reading to do! In fact, I should probably take a break from doing and spend some time studying.

I would like to finish a couple of the pillows I have in the works too, and maybe organize my equipment. So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I had some errands after work last night and then after I got home I realized I should have picked up some supplies for the stained glass jello I'm making for my granddaughter's graduation party on Saturday so I went back to Walmart. It's only 10 minutes away but that was still a chunk of time lost in my evening. So by the time I could sit down and do something, it was creeping up on 8:30 p.m. I didn't want to wind bobbins but I did finish up a tatted motif I tried out.

I've been wanting to embroider for weeks. Not sure why but I just do. I keep printing out free patterns I find online. So, remembering one I still had laying on the printer, I went about finding fabric, the transfer pencil, the light box, and then transfering it. It's a very simple pattern but I thought it would be just enough to curb the craving. I got one flower head done and started another. i have two more I think, and then the stems and leaves which are very simple. I'm challenging myself to do more than backstitch, stem stitch and outline stitch. I couched down a thread on the first flower though you can't hardly see it now with all the French knots. It really took me quite a while to get the couching part done. I was basically making up my plan as I went along and I still am! I used a chain stitch for the beginning of the second flower and that's as far as I've gotten. The end result may not look as polished as a pre-planned stitching but I'm exploring and having fun. I'm going to forego the beads and fancy threads on this one, keeping it simple but varied from my normal mode.

I just discovered I had this in draft mode without the photos! Here's the first version finished up. I changed one of the flowers and I think I was going to show it before and after. Oh well. This is not the best photo. One thing I noticed is that the flower on the right doesn't show up very well as some of the variegated is white and it's on a white background. At the time, I had the blue transfer pencil showing and it wasn't as noticeable as it was when I rinsed and damp-stretched it. I also managed to embroider my name on this one. I usually don't do that part well.

Here's my second version which I was happier with but I'm still not happy with the flower on the far right. I was also disappointed that some of my thread colors ran. They were from some thread I dyed years ago with easter egg dyes and they simply never quite got to be colorfast.

But, as I said, I had fun exploring and I played with some new stitches and methods. I plan to do even more!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Life has been busy lately but I've still managed to get some lacing in. I finished up this bookmark Tuesday night. I started it the week before at our regular BL session but did not touch it again until this week. I had to add in thread for the workers all around and you can see the thick places near the bottom. Other than that, I'm very happy with it. This is the pattern I took as a class last year in Downer's Grove with the L.A.C.E. group. I was extremely frustrated then so being able to figure out what to do has been very gratifying. Instructions were limited on the sheet but it was enough! I plan to make another with more thread added on the workers.

This is a buttonhole stitch I found in a vintage publication that I've been playing with. I used the same thread I tatted the motif with to try one edge with. It's a Lizbeth size 20 - hmmm..maybe size 40 - thread but I don't know the color. I really didn't think it was size 40 but look how much smaller it is than the white edging which is also size 20.

Here it is closeup but if you click on the picture, it will show even bigger.

I added a second row on the white and really like how it turned out. I believe I have some pieces in my collection done exactly like this. Now I know how it was done!