Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NYC finds

My daughter and I celebrated my birthday this year with a trip to New York City. One of the joys of shopping there is the garment district with its incredible selection of notions and trims. Before I got sensorially-overloaded, I settled on these two trims at M&J Trimming. Not sure yet what I will do with them, but I couldn't resist taking them home.

One of my favorite shopping stops was at Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore. I went there primarily to look for Japanese tatting books, but also picked up a couple of other things.

The hedgehog is the mascot of lacemakers, primarily of bobbin lacers because of all the pins they use in their pattern prickings. But tatters should be able to adopt the cute little animals for their use, too. So I had to buy this little rubber stamp.

As if I didn't have enough origami papers for shuttle decoupaging, I bought this little pack anyway. The size is 60 cm x 60 cm, a bit more than what I'd need to do a shuttle or two.

And I added four Japanese tatting books to my library at great savings over what online tatting book sellers are charging. 

優しいタティングレ-ス - シャトルと糸で誰でも楽しめるはじめてのレ-ス編みタティングレ-スのアクセサリ- Asahi original

小さくてかわいいタティングレ-スのアクセサリ- レディブティックシリ-ズ暮らしの中のタティングレ-ス

We also went to the Strand bookstore where I found this book of clothing designs. Translated from Japanese into English, it includes a packet of patterns. Can you tell that I love Japanese designs? 

All in all, a very satisfying stash enhancing experience!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Blue Tatted Handkerchief Edging

Another tatted edging for a white cotton handkerchief from my stash. The pattern is "Edging 13" from Embellishing with Edgings, edited by Barbara Foster. The thread is Lizbeth size 80 in color #662, Light Turquoise.


Off the Needles: 3 Baby Sweaters

Knit Night is a charity knitting group that meets once a month at the Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC. Tomorrow is the night we collect everything we've made over the year and bag it up for distribution to several local groups. While gathering up what I have ready to donate, I realized that some of the sweaters didn't get posted on my blog.

This little sweater pattern, "Vest with Garter-stitch Yoke," is a 1934 pattern reprinted in Knitting in Vogue: Patterns from the 1930s to the 1980s for Men, Women & Children, by Christina Probert (1985, pp. 94-5). The photograph below is actually the back side of the original pattern, but the updated photograph in the book shows it as the front side so that it is worn as a cardigan. 

While I like the yoke detail shown below, I agree with Probert that it makes more sense to wear it back to front, and it's easier to tie the ribbon on the open side if it's on the front of the baby.

The yarn is Phentex "Fingering Tricot Fin," an acrylic fiber in color Waterfall #52 Niagara. I bought this yarn decades ago so I'm sure it has been discontinued long ago.


This second sweater is what results when you have a nice yarn, but not very much of it. The blue is a fuzzy microfiber that is very soft. It was a partial ball leftover from a friend's stash so I only had enough to do the yoke on this sweater. I finished it off with a white acrylic. No clue as to the manufacturer of either yarn. The pattern is one I've used lots of time. It's from the Leisure Arts leaflet "Knit Lace & Leaves for Baby." One of the things I love about this pattern is that the only sewing up needed is under the arms.


The photograph below is the back side of a sweater (what's with these sweaters for babies that open in the back?), but I think it works better being buttoned in the front.

This little vest is another example of making do with small amounts of yarn. The pattern is "Ribbed Jacket" from Baby Love Cuddly Knits for Wee Ones, by Catherine Bouquerel ( 2009, pp. 26-7). The pattern called for long sleeves, but I changed to ribbed armhole cuffs because of not having enough yarn. At this point, I'm not sure what brand the yarn is other than it's an acrylic with a nice chunky feel.

Here's a view of the sweater front which I now designate as the sweater's back.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Aqua Tatted Handkerchief Edging

A vintage handkerchief with hibiscus flowers from my stash. The thread is size 80 Lizbeth thread in light seagreen, color 686, which is a close match to the aqua background on the handkerchief.

The pattern is "Edging 6" in Embellishing with Edgings (pg. 13), edited by Barbara Foster.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tablet or Card Weaving...again after decades absence

I attend a monthly meeting of the Twisted Threads Book Club in Raleigh, NC. Each month we pick a fiber-related book to discuss. This month's selection was Card Weaving by Candace Crockett. Over 30 years ago, I did some card weaving (aka tablet weaving) so I volunteered to provide a project for people to try their hands at. 

Well, it's NOT like riding a bicycle...it did not all come back to me as soon as I took it up again. In recent years, I've been knitting, tatting, and crocheting...all of which do not require you to measure and cut multiple pieces of yarn or thread. I'd forgotten how tedious preparing warp for weaving can be, even for a small project. I can't believe how tangled up I managed to get things. I wanted to have two projects for people to see, but finally settled on the simpler one that I could get going before the meeting. 

I set the piece up on the inkle loom that my sister built for me many, many years ago. I'm sorry to say that this is the first time I've actually used this beautiful piece of woodworking. Of course, an inkle loom is for weaving inkle bands, but it also works well for holding and tensioning warp for tablet weaving. There are other tools one can use, but I needed something I could carry to the meeting already assembled and ready to weave, and this worked very well.


The pattern is a simple 14-tablet pattern from Step by Step Table Weaving by Marjorie and William Snow, which is now out of print. The thread is size 10 crochet thread in white and green...not sure of the brand since the labels are missing from my stash.

The tension is a bit uneven and I made a few mistakes in turning the cards at the beginning of the band, but it has piqued my interest in resuming weaving if only in a small way. And I think everyone at the meeting enjoyed the chance to learn about a fiber craft that is very accessible. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Embellished Tatting Shuttles

Here is my latest batch of decoupaged tatting shuttles using origami papers. These are so addictive!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Embellished Tatting Shuttles

After playing with Mod Podge on the paper magnets last week, I decided to try using it to embellish tatting shuttles. I blinged a red Sunlit shuttle with the Mod Podge Sparkle to see if it would stick to a plastic surface. I've been tatting with the shuttle and having no problems. This week I moved on to adding decorative paper to Sunlit shuttles using origami and gift wrap papers. I haven't tatted yet with any of these so I don't know how well/long the paper will adhere with use. I put 4-5 coats of Mod Podge Gloss  on each. Will have to wait and see how successful this project was.