Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A different kind of pick-up

Still working on learning how to pick-up on double weave so that I can weave the chart of the pipes. Here’s the sample I section I worked from the workshop last November. We had guests over last weekend. The Engineer/car nut was expecting to see a pick-up truck appearing as I weave. We provided dinner and the guest provided a show.  

section of pick-up on sampler
The progress is slow because each square on a chart is 4 ends. That means for each row of the chart, you pick up by hand using a knitting needle or dowel the squares necessary, tromp the treadle to create the shed, through the shuttle, remove the pick-up tool, beat and then repeat for 4 times. So, for this chart of around 10 rows, I’ll be going through 4 steps for each row or 40 steps which equates to about 10 hours for just this small pattern. Whew! And you thought tatting is slow progress! It will be worth it.

I didn't embarrass my guest. I did relate how a friend introduced a demonstration of spinning/dyeing/weaving by asking the class to name examples of fiber. The kids answered, "whole grains, fruit, vegetables." So, now that class also knows another definition of fiber: wool, cotton, silk.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Back on the loom

I’m back at the loom. Partly because of a project one of the Tatting Tuesday Study Group participants is working on. She used her loom to weave up a hanky. Very nice work! Now she’s tatting an edging to go with it. Perhaps she’ll let me snap a picture someday.

I love Doubleweave and have been intrigued with the process of using a chart, like cross stitch or needlepoint use, to weave up a design. I have a chart for a small cross stitch of an organ with BACH on it. I’ve always wanted to weave up a sample.

You remember the flag I’m working on? Well, I’ll be finishing it to look like a flag from the era our house was built. Another story. Anyway. I got the idea to use a ring & chain pattern similar to the flag to represent the pipes. Then I thought, if I weave the chart Doubleweave, it’ll be like a black and white photo. Then I could add the tatting on top to give it some texture. Like the edging to the hanky.

So, I’m back to the loom……

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Progress on triangle piece

Here’s my progress so far.
from Frauberger book 1921

You remember I ranout of thread just a few inches from finishing this round. Since it was going to be on the outside, and I wanted it done right so I could ask for it to be judged at the Fair, I started over. I think this is the first time I’ve worked a doily that starts with the outside round and finishes at the center. The next few rounds are mostly chains, so I need to really be alert when starting it. Time to get some rest.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Of preservation and white deer

Today’s post has no pictures, as you can see, and is a recap of previous ongoing topics.

Preserver or restorer?

A good friend recently described his attitude towards things old as being a "preserver" instead of a "restorer." Well, that fits me too. I enjoy the activity of discovery of things old far more than I enjoy the activity of demolishing and rebuilding. My excuse is that I don't have confidence in my skills and the materials available will be up to snuff when compared with the worn but original item. I also think I must have some archaeology tendencies. I can't seem to demolish something when the story it tells seems important and somewhat incomplete.

I improvise on the organ a bit. It’s fun. But, I like to delve into a published composition and bring their ideas to sound. I like to tell a story I imagine, and I like to read stories other people imagine. Same with tatting patterns. I enjoy bringing a string of symbols and letters or a diagram to life in thread.

I fall in the preserver category. There’s an auction this weekend. I’ll be going not to buy a specific thing, but to see what other people have preserved or restored. Yes, I’ll be tatting there as others spend money.

The White deer is a bully.

 She is probably doing what deer Moms do. But, she’s not sharing. She chases the other smaller deer away from her favorite food source. That bothers me a bit. But, what bothers me more is the food source. Our neighbor has been feeding the deer. Throwing fruit and vegetable and scraps from their cooking over the fence. Where there’s prey, there are predators. I think about that as I hear cars parking and doors closing well after dark. There have been coyote and cougar sightings. I worry that a young person just trying to study for the PSAT or working on a robot will not make it to graduation and never get to college. Just my imagination, but I really wish the deer weren’t fed.  

So, I focus on what I can control.

Our "new" house has lots of stories to tell. I know it will disappoint, and I won't be sharing them all. I just don't have the photography skills to keep up. It will also take years to make the house our own. So, I'm off to research what style of design details I should be using as a steward of this home. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Curling practise

Still learning to curl.

As I’ve been working on the menial parts of the process and chores, my mind wanders. 
If I feel stiff and need to exercise, I think of working them abs in some curls. 
If I feel like sitting down at the piano or organ, I think of the chordal structure this technique will represent in my designs. 

Usually, the BGM (back ground music) in my head is Rigaudon by Andre Campre. Now, this is yet another piece of opera music that has been high-jacked into the organ repertoire. It was originally written for a ballet-opera. Now, you’ll hear it as a processional like is used for weddings and festivals. Think Pomp and Circumstance, Here Comes the Bride, you get my drift. Virgil Fox popularized an arrangement I’ve used often. Check out a recording on YouTube. The posting of Diane Bish starts out with an explanation of an organ in France. Talk about a workout!

Anyway, here’s a sample of the success I’ve had with my shuttles. The thread is quilting thread. I don’t really like working with thread that is soft and has such a halo, but the color is “piano keys” which is quite appropriate for my designs. Enjoy! 
Curled ring motif designed by Muskaan

Thursday, May 5, 2016

of curls and beads and quilt thread

I’m still learning to curl my rings. I think I need to go back to the beginning. I think I need to do a sample without beads in the quilt thread I’d like to use. I think I need to learn to walk before I run. I know I’m burning a fair amount of time with this, but I’ve already amended notes for several patterns based on pieces with chordal structure.

Chordal structure is a term used to pigeonhole music that plunks along with several voices harmonizing at once. Think hymns, barbershop, anything with a full rich sound. The opposite is a melody tripping along with an accompaniment or a fugue. Chordal harmonies are not exclusive to Western European music, but hold a very prominent place in the palette of sound.

Once I get the curled rings mastered, I’ll work on one of these ideas I have and post my sketches as they appear in thread. I will do my best to interrupt the creativity to post Tuesday and Thursday here, but make absolutely no promises. I have very little discipline when it comes to turning off the organ and setting down the shuttles!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

To hear music

I love music. I love tatting. I love life. I enjoy lots more too.

I enjoy reading a paper. I understand the importance of being cognizant of events around the world. I know that such awareness is important even though many days I do not come in contact with people outside of family or a few individuals. I seldom listen to news on the radio or watch news on the TV as I seldom seem to be on the same schedule that programming experts expect of me. I have picked up the habit of looking at a digital compilation of news. I use Flipboard mostly because that’s what the phone has loaded. Now, before you, dear reader, get all huffy and decry how I find my news, please hear out what I gravitate to reading. (I’m well aware that if my brother is still reading by this point, he’s likely shaking his head and bursting out with a lecture on how I’m NOT thinking for myself!)
When I read the paper or Flipboard, I browse the headlines/titles of the “events” section, pause to consider what of those headlines is negative or positive, and pray about it for a moment. Or two. If after that, I consider more in-depth knowledge relevant to my small corner of the world, I turn back and look at where the news is coming from, who wrote it, and then read the material. (Satisfied big brother?)
All this is a long intro to a post on Flipboard that caught my eye:

How Music Affects Your Productivity written by Gregory Ciotti 

I’ve found I really need to approach my music/tatting mashup as a calling/job/goal-driven activity. Otherwise, what I create stays in my brain or worse yet disappears without ever reaching the rest of the world. So, I try to focus my energy on being productive. 
How does music affect my productivity? How can I express that so other people will understand and come to value what I create? I read Mr. Ciotti’s post hoping to learn a bit more about the rest of the world so that I can contribute more to the world. It was good reading.

“Music has a strange temporal permanence; as art decorates space, so does music decorate time.”

Well, I’m trying to take what decorates my time (organ music) and turn it into something that can decorate my space (tatted lace). The half dozen points made in the post gave me insight into music in lives around me. Reading the post is quite valuable and interesting; thanks Gregory Ciotti. I probably won’t change what music I’m hearing as I tat, but I know more about the world I live in. The more I know about that, the better choices I can make as I design.

I’m still working on mastering curled rings. I know that technique will help to represent chordal music. I’m also dipping my toe into Ikuta picots. I have a lot to learn there also. I hope to have pictures later this week. I also hope to keep track of what I “hear” in my head as I’m working. That should aid understanding. Just as a painter can “see” a still life looking at a blank canvas, I find I “hear” a fugue in the silence while winding thread onto a shuttle. Maybe understanding all this will help creating. Maybe.