Thursday, June 29, 2017


I know how to tat; I taught myself a long time ago, before bobbin lace; I have tatting files on my computer going back to 2000, so it's been at least that long.  I have never tatted consistently, or learned any of the more difficult things (SCMR - or self-closing mock rings, split rings, etc.)

Yesterday I brought hubby to work, and waited most of the day.  During my time I went shopping and found that apparently Michael's Crafts and Joann Fabrics no longer carry tatting shuttles.  I found a few supplies at a Littleton, MA store called The World in Stitches.  This despite the fact that I had brought a few tatting supplies with me.

After my gallivanting, I watched my two tatting videos - Georgia Seitz's Shuttle Tatting DVDs.  I am trying to improve my shuttle tatting technique, make things smoother and faster, as well as learn advanced techniques.  I have decided that I will try making tatting my on-the-go project for a while, rather than trying to bring a musical instrument or bobbin lace with me.  (I worry about the effects of hot - or cold - car on things like guitars or ethafoam pillows.)  I think I made some progress yesterday, and will continue to work on it.

After watching the tatting videos, I worked on a relatively simple pattern while watching For the Love of Spock on my iPad.  Time well spent.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Next project

I finished my current lace project and started the next one.

Finished project is Bookmark #6, Torchon Trails, from "Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace."  I've done all I like from this book, so it will be returned to the library.  (I'm not interested in using yarns in my lace, or making a scarf or purse from it.)  I have requested "Torchon Lacemaking: A Step by Step Guide" from inter-library loan as well.  I have that one in Kindle format, but want to see what it looks like in print.  I need to see what the scale of the prickings looks like on paper.  That will make it easier to print the prickings I need from my Kindle format book.

My next project will be a set of 3 bookmarks from Alex Stillwell's website.  She has a set of PDF help files with six small projects for beginner Torchon lacemakers, including 3 bookmarks - one with cloth stitch fans, one with cloth stitch fans and spiders, and the third with half stitch fans and cloth stitch diamonds.  These are a good next step after the previous projects I have finished.  The website gives good instructions for printing out the prickings at the correct size (the graph of the pricking should measure 10 squares per inch), and it uses much thinner thread than I used for the last set of projects (I'm using DMC Cordonnet #50).

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Update, long time coming.

I have been fairly busy for the last six months or so, and sorely neglecting the blog in favor of other social media (mostly Facebook, but also Instagram, Twitter & Tumblr).  I decided I need to keep updating the blog, though, because here I spell out things in much more detail than a tweet or a few sentences on an Instagram post.

So here we go with an extensive update.

Jasper is 13 months old, and still the cutest puppy on the planet.

Dogs currently consist of River, Remy, Penny and Jasper.

Also two Jacob sheep, two Pygora goats, and two dairy goats, although nobody is pregnant or milking.  We purchased Margot last fall, supposedly pregnant, but it turned out she wasn't pregnant.  We recently added another dairy goat baby, Jenny, a LaMancha.  She has no ears!  She is so cute.

The angora bunnies are up to 5; the spinning wheels are down to two (Schacht Matchless & the antique Canadian Production wheel).  The loom has had the warp threaded through the heddles & the reed, and there it sits until inspiration strikes again.

I have continued with guitar and other instruments.  I currently have two acoustic (the purple Ibanez, and the Breedlove Oregon Concert), two electrics (purple PRS and a Schecter Diamond Classic we picked up during a long-weekend vacation to Portland, ME recently), two bass guitars (an orange Jackson 5-string, and a recently-traded-for Ibanez Gio GSR200 that I thought looked purple but is actually more blue) and, most recently, a violin!

I've been taking violin lessons for a couple of months now, and really enjoying it!  I am continuing with Yousician as well, still love it.  The shop where I was taking lessons for 2 years closed recently, and I had to find a new instructor - right now for bass guitar, as I attempt to learn to read music.  So far I've learned some scales, learned how to read a chart for scales (helpful, as I have a chart for bass scales on my wall) and started learning a riff for the Beatles song "Come Together".  No sheet music yet...

In the last 6 months I bought maybe half a dozen canvases with "drills" for a craft called "Diamond Painting".  (I call it "sticky tiles".)  I have this set up in a spot in the basement, and I really enjoy this. It is a canvas with a layer of sticky stuff on it, with a grid chart like a cross stitch chart printed on it.  The tiles that you put on the sticky stuff are colored like DMC floss.  This one is a watercolor-type picture of the Millennium Falcon, in progress.

These are my next two.  It's faster than cross stitch, but still time-consuming.

My latest obsession, however, has been a return to bobbin lace, after about 10 years.  I tried to pick up where I left off but found it too confusing, so I took a step back to re-learn some of the basics.  I have in the process managed to obtain 3 lace pillows and several books, as well as some lovely bobbins.

After deciding I needed to start over, I began with two sampler pieces from Geraldine Stott's "The Bobbin Lace Manual".  The next piece from that book was confusing, however, so I ended up borrowing "Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace" from the library, and have been working through that.  I love this book!  So far I've done 5 of the 6 sampler bookmarks, and feel like I am on much stronger footing after this.

Up next I plan to do three bookmarks from free pdf files on Alexandra Stillwell's Bobbin Lace website.  They reinforce the techniques learned above.  Then I will be working my way through several patterns from The Torchon Lace Book (and watching the accompanying DVDs).  That one is very expensive through Amazon, but can be found at Van Sciver Bobbin Lace, or from the author's website in the UK.

I have also recently discovered a blog called Let's Lace, and look forward to reading through the posts and staying current with that one.  Very inspirational!  There have been several really good YouTube videos as well, mostly from Red Cardinal Crafts, but also others.

Between the musical instruments and the craft projects, I am having a very good time!  I will be happy to provide more detail of my current projects as I progress.  I have been playing with my GoPro camera as well, and hope to eventually include some (fairly pitiful at this point) beginner-level violin videos.