Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Anatomy of a Two-Day Doily

Kristen says...

Hello again:


It's been an EXCEPTIONALLY low-key and, dare I say, somewhat boring weekend around here.

We were planning to go somewhere, maybe to Valle, maybe even to Amapala...but no, we were foiled by the dreaded car AGAIN! Like it or not, our car is over 10 years old, and it seems to need quite a bit of work right now. This time it's the gas has a very inconvenient hole in it! How sad. (#%$&@*!!!!!!!) So it's going back to the mechanic tomorrow, for what I can only hope will be the last time. I mean really, what else can there be to fix?!

The nice thing is, besides the miles we've put onto the car, it's really a nicer car than when we bought tires, rebuilt transmission, now a new gas tank...sigh.

Anyway, without wheels we were basically "stuck" at home, which isn't a bad place to be, just a little uneventful.

Chris has come up with some fun time-fillers (and de-stressers) recently...coloring and blowing bubbles!

I did have a function to attend yesterday, but luckily I was able to attend it over the Internet. Although I can't say it's better than my Alma Mater, Drake University, (in fact it's one of our big rivals), my "littlest' brother graduated Summa Cum Laude from Creighton University yesterday, and Creighton was awesome enough to stream the graduation online! (All 2 hrs and 40 minutes of it!)
Luckily for me, I got to watch the entirety in my pajamas and got to tat through the whole thing without feeling rude or having people stare...

I actually added another round to my white doily on Friday night...
...but the next round is a little involved, and I didn't want to have to focus too much on the doily and miss the graduation (or vice-versa), so I started another, slightly less involved project.

I started it with thread in a lovely caramel brown color:
And then decided that I should branch out a bit and make it multi-colored, so next I brought in my favorite off-white Turkish cotton thread:
 But OOPS! After finishing the second round I looked back at the pattern and realized that I'd done it WRONG (check out the puckering on the far end) so I cut it all off and re-did it correctly:
 Then I decided to change up the color again and use a nice pure-white thread:
 And then back to the softer off-white:
 And this afternoon I finished it up with the caramel brown again:
But I feels a little unfinished. This is what the pattern is supposed to look like, but it just doesn't feel complete somehow.

I'm considering adding another round similar in the pure-white around the outside, using the ring-chain pattern of the inside rounds, attaching it to the center picot of the two chains on the top of the outer motifs and having a free ring between each of the motifs...

I'd love to have your feedback and thoughts on that idea (or other suggestions if you have them)!

There are only 4 weeks of school left (!) and I have already completed and submitted all my lesson plans, so it's just implementation at this point...I can almost smell summer!

Hope all you mothers had a wonderful day! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Motifs 4-6!

Kristen says...

Hello again!

Well, what with Semana Santa, and last weekend being a 4-day weekend (YAY! It was the International Day of the Worker, didn't you know? ;) I have had a bit of time to do a bit of tatting.

I sent home about half of my tatting books with my sister when she was here in March, so I've been working with "limits"...but I think this is good because with less choice comes fewer decisions...does anyone else run into the problem of having too many ideas of what to try to create, so you just sit around deciding rather than doing?

I started out with a doily because I hadn't really made one since last summer. I liked this pattern from Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson's Tatting: Patterns and Designs. It is pictured in white in the book, but because I worked on it over Semana Santa, I thought I'd make it in Easter/Spring colors instead:
This thing, although really pretty, was kind of a pain to make...I ran out of both the purple and the blue thread at different times, so I had to go back to the thread store twice!
I also like the myriad of motifs in Tatting: Patterns and Designs. In order to actually get back into the motif-making mode (and to attempt to actually get to 25 this year! :-S), I started working through some of those, and came up with these:
Motif #4
Motif #5
 Working small is nice, but I also like the goal of completion that comes with doilies, so I have started to work on another, which began with:
Motif #6

 I finished the second round of this doily last night, and I have to say I'm really liking it:

 One of my favorite parts is actually how the center motif raises up a little bit. You can kind of tell in the picture above, and I tried to take a picture of it from the side below, but you can't really tell how pleasantly the middle bubbles up unless you see it in person.
 Of course, I'll have to iron and block it away later, but for right now I am totally digging it. I'll let you know how the doily grows over the next few weeks...we're in the home stretch of the school year so my tatting-time is limited, but when school is done, I'll have nothing but time! :)

Speaking of school, I had to do an "All About Me" (o, "Todo Sobre Mi" en EspaƱol) project in my Spanish class last week.
 I had to put in parts about my physical characteristics, favorite and influential people in my life, a timeline, my future plans, and my "gustos" or likes and "pasa tiempos" or hobbies. Of course, tatting made the top of the list, and since it was a project I had to present, I figured what better way to kill a lot of presentation time than to do a demonstration...
Apparently I'm very intent on this piece of string
So, I brought some #5 thread and my #3 needles to class and taught four 5th grade girls and my friend/teacher Maricarmen how to tat! IN SPANISH! Boy was that hard!
Thread the needle
I've never felt I have successfully taught anyone how to tat in English, let alone in Spanish, but I was very impressed at how quickly the girls picked it up. I think the fact that the class was so small really helped, as well as the fact that the girls thought it was fun! Although some got it more quickly than others, they all ended up with some rings and chains at the end of the class. It was really cute...when class ended they all helped each other tie their tatting on as necklaces or bracelets, depending on how much thread they had left!

I told them if they wanted another lesson I'd be glad to spend time with them after school, so maybe I'll get a couple of them to really learn...either way, I now know I can not only do it myself, but actually teach it, too...good times. (Now if I could only figure out shuttle tatting...)