Thursday, December 11, 2014

rain, rain

Anybody got an umbrella?
No wait, there's too much 'bout a towel?

I grew up in Oregon. It rains there.

The Pineapple Express has pulled into town here in Bay Area, CA. We're getting rain.

I spent yesterday preparing for the rain and wind. Now I can curl up with my shuttles and stay warm and dry.

Until the drain in the street gets clogged with leaves. I'll be checking out the window frequently, but if the street floods, it will likely be because there's just too much water coming down.

The water is hot for tea, I'm off to my tatting chair.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tis the season for inspiring beginnings and endings

I wish I had the photographer’s talent. This time of year, I often see both sunrise and sunset. The colors lately have been spectacular. That’s because we are getting much needed rain. So, there are clouds in the sky. Where our house is, there’s not much chance of seeing the sun appear over the mountains or even to dip down into the mountains. In the past, I’ve tried to take a photo to share here. I just can’t manage to get the camera or my phone set up right before the color fades. Sigh. You’ll just have to take my word for it, the sunrise and sunset have been beautiful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

laughter helps with focus

I’ve been focused lately. I’ve really tried hard to stick to my goals and accomplish what’s important. So far, I’m succeeding. That’s why there’s not much to post here. Most of my energy has been directed towards keeping house, keeping the yard, volunteering in music, and volunteering in stitches. I like the sound of that last bit. I like to keep a humorous outlook on life. Laughter is far better than tears to me.

So, what have I accomplished? Besides a bit of laughter? Our house has been “inspected” by ye ole ‘ouse ‘spector. He didn’t find much to document. We’ve kept it up fairly well.
Our persimmon tree is picked as well as a human on a ladder can; the rest can feed the birds. The hummers like the fruit quite a lot.
Our choir is rehearsed for Lessons and Carols. No, I don’t think I’ll have a B flat, but then again, we’ll be singing in the evening.
Our stitchers have 15 canvases prepped for stitching except for mounting them on a frame. We are still attracting new volunteers to the group. And we have a good start on finished canvases ready for the upholstery shop. Just a few more to go and we’ll have the minimum they asked for with each round.  

I had an “aha” regarding the chair canvases and our impending move: I don’t have to be the one in the driver’s seat for timing the move. I can respond to what comes our way with grace and rolled up sleeves. We thought the chair project would be a 20 year project. Well, we’re half way done after just 2 years. We would like to move within 5 years. We’ll see what happens!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Starting the process for mounting

Here’s a look at the process of tacking the Saint Saens doily onto fabric in preparation for framing:

starting to mount

I found out the hard way, I need lots of accurate guidelines to make it look nice. It can take several hours to sew in those lines, but well worth the trouble.

Then, I start sewing down the tatting. Yes, each and every picot gets a tack down. I try to make sure gravity will not pull the tatting out of shape over time. So, that means a tack at the top of each element, either side of beads, and wherever it makes sense. Probably the trickiest part is making sure I don’t pull too tight and make the tatting buckle or the fabric pull out of shape. Oh, and the wood circular frame is not true. It’s just a smidge out of round. So, I’m constantly measuring from a rather arbitrary point that I call center.

More later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Shawl pattern discovery

I’ve mentioned before that I knit comfort shawls for a ministry at my church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga, CA. I’ve also mentioned that knitting with needles has been less than successful in the past. I knit using a Knitting Board. Since I use both sides of the board and wrap with the double technique, I’ve converted patterns from single knit notation. If your eyes are glazed over, don’t feel bad. Sometimes I give up and just decide to not get fancy.

Dotty with loom
The shawl on my loom currently is my interpretation of a favorite in the group.

It’s called Dotty. I have no clue where the pattern came from originally, it’s one the ladies have memorized and have used for years. It’s essentially 4 rows: first row knit, second row purl, third row yarn over-knit 2 together, and final row knit. Here’s what that looks like when worked using needles and single knit technique:
Dotty knitted with needles

and here they are side by side:
Dotty comparison
Quite a difference! I’ll be anxious to see how it all works up. More later.

Incidentally, the group functions rather autonomously. If we have a completed shawl and we hear of a request or need, we act. We don’t wait around for a clergy member. I know that seems wrong to some, but we’re a big parish. There are lots of requests. And besides, no one has told the group  “don’t” so we figure we’re good. There have been a lot of wonderful stories shared. I figure asking for forgiveness rather than permission fits here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So, now I know

I figured out why I was stalled on blocking the Saint Saens. I wasn’t confident there wasn’t a huge mistake. Yes, that last sentence had a double negative. Doubly upset is how I felt Tuesday evening.

 I went ahead and blocked the doily once. I figured I’d be blocking it 2 or 3 times. There’s a lot of negative space and different techniques. So, I really haven’t examined it closely. Well, closely enough. I knew the individual motifs for Round 2 were correct as was Round 1. I knew things got connected well as Round 2 was finished. I knew everything was correct enough to do Round 3. But, it wasn’t correct enough.

I joined one of the D motifs to the wrong point of an A motif.

Several factors stalled me Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning:
I needed to prepare for the Executive Committee meeting of the AGO chapter I serve.
I hate cutting out sections as that means patching in new tatting and hiding ends (like 6 ends)
The area with the mistake is all split rings. I hate unpicking split rings. Not even calling it retro tatting helps me to feel calm about it.
We needed to pay attention to the computer I use for Picotsnkeys tasks AND the computer I use to pay bills and keep track of our budget. Both are aging. As my daughter puts it, “that laptop is working because of duct tape, rubber bands, and spit.”
I just don’t have much patience left over trying to navigate the next 5 years of transition in my life.

All told, I didn’t spend a lot of mental energy on figuring out my next step until Wednesday morning. After mulling it over and thinking hard, I deduced that 30 DS needed to be got rid of. That’s how many DS are in 5 split rings in this part of the pattern. So, after I spent 4 hours with scissors and pointy things and magnifying glasses, I’ve gotten to the point I think I need to be to repair this effectively.

I woke up achy this morning after all that upset and work. I’m not sure I’ll have what it takes to correct it all today. I’d like to attend a Guild meeting at the Lace Museum and Rehearsal. We’ll see what I accomplish today. Regardless, by next post I’ll have it fixed and the doily blocked. Maybe I’ll even get it mounted. So, more then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Progress on Round 3 SS Blue version

Still not blocked as I would like. Still not mounted as I would like.
Round 3 finished but not blocked
 I seem to have stalled again. I think my stall is partly due to the other tatting projects I’m mulling over.
 I’m still working on a motif to be glued to the ornament ball. I’m finding it hard to tat knowing that it will be soaked in glue and stuck on something. I’ve never liked starch. So, using glue on thread is difficult for me to do. But! I will succeed in finishing at least a few ornaments for the museum to sell.

I’m also mulling over getting started on an earring pattern. That will involve dragging out the supplies, spreading them over the family table, deciding what to use and then finally tatting. Oh, and putting everything back. I’m tentatively planning on tackling that tomorrow. I promise to share both the ornament pics and the earring pics. Since I figure both projects will be 3D, that will mean getting the camera to work as I would like it to.

First, off to block.