Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Tatting Edging on Metal Piece

The first time I saw this brass bookmark I wanted to use it in a tatted piece. This was such an enjoyable project and was pretty much finished in an evening of tatting. The bookmark was made by artisans in Nepal and purchased at the Ten Thousand Villages store in Raleigh, NC, where I volunteer. The thread is size 20 Lizbeth in colorway 124 "Spring Garden." The pattern is "Edging 14" from Embellishing with Edgings by Handy Hands, edited by Barbara Foster. I haven't yet decided whether to make this into a brooch or use it as a necklace pendant.

Continuing my thoughts on variegated threads in my previous posting...I think this particular colorway is a good example of a variegated that looks pretty on the ball, but really beautiful when tatted up. The pinks and greens flow from light to dark shades so smoothly that the progression is very natural in the sense of resembling something in the natural world. From where I'm sitting typing this, I can see that the colors in this thread resemble the colors of the azaleas in bloom in front of the window.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Pillowcase Edging and Another Paper Ornament

This pillowcase edging is made with size 20 Lizbeth thread in colorway 105 "Confetti." The pattern is the double braid version of "Anniversary" from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns (Lacis Publications, 1992, pg. 8).

Here's yet another paper ornament using the Martha Stewart disks and one of the Flora & Fauna Typewriter Key stickers. The pattern is "Handkerchief Edging or Pillow Edging No. 11" from The Craft of Tatting by Bessie M. Attenborough (Bell & Hyman, 1972, p. 33). The thread is more of the above "Confetti."

Now that I've tatted two pieces with this thread, I've decided that I don't really care for the color combination. It's always a risk with variegated threads that look beautiful on the ball that you'll find some combinations of colors less than pleasing after they've been tatted or crocheted into a piece. For instance, I've decided I don't like variegateds that include areas of white mixed with the other colors. I think the white adds an abrupt distraction to the flow of the colors in projects where I've used such threads. In the case of this thread, I think the burgundy adds a too-dark note to the flow of the colors which I don't like. Yes, the peacock blue is equally dark, but it flows from a lighter blue that, in turn, flows from the yellow shades. The burgundy is not related to any of the other colors in this thread. I'll be passing on the rest of the "Confetti" thread to someone in my tatting group who may find the color combination just what they're looking for.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fibers from the Hardware Store: Basket

As part of my demonstration/display on using non-traditional materials for fiber arts and crafts I included a variety of  ropes and twines as examples of materials one could buy at hardware stores. While interesting to look at the raw materials, many people had difficulty visualizing what could be made out of them. A finished product would be more informative than just showing the fiber and might help people to better imagine what they could do with a similar material. With that in mind, I'm going to do more projects using the materials I've collected to be ready for the next time I make a display on this topic.

This is a small crochet basket made out of  Blue Hawk brand poly twine purchased at a Lowes hardware center. It comes in several pastel colors in 200 foot/61 meter balls. Its original intended use is as tie-down cord, but I find it interesting that the company makes it in such appealing colors. It almost begs to be used for something more than as a tie-down. Working with it takes a little getting used to as it is stiff and a little rough to the touch. However, it has a nice sheen and the finished product is easily pulled into shape with no blocking needed. I can see this used for other decorative items, placemats, items that require some stiffness and no drape. I think it could be used as a substitute for raffia in most projects.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Goodies from the 2014 Carolina FiberFest

I told myself I wasn't going to buy more yarn at FiberFest this year. After all, I still had unused skeins in my stash from last year and the year before that. I was there demonstrating on Saturday and Sunday with only an hour each day to cruise the vendors before close of day, so how much damage could I do? On Saturday,  I visited all the vendor booths, but I only bought 3 bars of goat's milk soap from Humbug Farm because I collect scented soap the way I collect yarn and thread...with not enough self-control. If this country ever experiences a bath soap shortage, just head to my house.

I'd already decided to buy some oya from Feel Good Yarn Company, the vendor who was next to my demonstration tables. So on Sunday I rummaged through all she had and settled on four different selections. It was really hard to whittle it down to only four designs because they are all beautiful. These oya are made in Turkey, which has a long history of using of these tiny lacy pieces to decorate scarves and other textles. The vendor had an I-cord necklace displayed with oya sewn on. My daughter liked the idea so I may make at least one necklace with some of these. Oya are made using needle lace, crochet, and tatting techniques. These are needle lace, and of the 3 techniques, I'm fairly certain I won't ever make any in needle lace. So that was my justification for this purchase (as if I needed one!) 

I also love buttons, but have learned over the years to use some restraint when faced with hundreds for sale. I ended up with what I think were the wildest set in Harvest Moon/Handspun/Clay Cat's offerings. Not sure what I'll do with them, but thought I was being really, really good in only buying three.

Finally, although I said I wasn't going to buy more yarn, I broke my resolve and bought this one skein of lace-weight merino wool in a beautiful turquoise called "Desert Sky" from Apple Tree Knits. I don't usually buy yarn this color, but, because I had been part of the tatting demo, I was wearing my turquoise scarf with the beaded tatted edging and somehow this must have influenced my choice. Again, not sure what I'll knit from this, but whatever it is, it's bound to be lovely.

All in all, I feel I didn't do too much damage. Which is just as well as I'm off to a knitting retreat at the end of the month with many more opportunities for stash enhancement...

More Photos from 2014 Carolina FiberFest

Tri-Tatters, the tatting group I belong to, participated in the 2014 Carolina FiberFest with a demonstration and display of tatting. As you can see from the photos, we all had a great time. From comments made by visitors to our table, there sure used to be an awful lot of grandmothers who tatted. Hopefully, our group will help to create the next generation of grandmothers to pass along this passion for knotted lace.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Photos from 2014 Carolina FiberFest

Once again, I demonstrated/displayed at the Carolina FiberFest in Sanford, NC, on using non-traditional materials for fiber arts and crafts. What a fun day talking to other fiber enthusiasts and showing what one can do with hardware store finds and recycled textiles. 

I had a great location this year, right near the entrance of one of the exhibit halls so I could greet people as they came in.

My giant LED rope light doily. That's my daughter who came along to help out. She's practicing her fiber craft of choice, cross stitch embroidery. This is her 2nd year of coming out with me, and she's doing a great job of distinguishing between knitted and crocheted pieces even though she does neither craft.

Some of the items I brought to demonstrate how to use the materials.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Off the Shuttle: More Tatted Ornaments

More tatting on paper disks. The pattern for the following three ornaments is "Handkerchief Edging or Pillow Edging No. 11" from The Craft of Tatting by Bessie M. Attenborough (Bell & Hyman, 1972, p. 33)

The thread for this one is size 20 Lizbeth, color 133 "Razzle Dazzle." The sticker is from a package of K&Company's Grand Adhesions Brenda Walton Flora & Fauna Typewriter Key dimensional stickers.

 The thread for this one is size 20 Lizbeth, color 161 "Sea Island Citrus." The butterfly sticker is from K&Company's "Clearly Yours" epoxy stickers. 

 The thread for this one is size 20 Lizbeth, color 115 "Springtime." The butterfly sticker is another from K&Company's "Clearly Yours" epoxy stickers. 

 The pattern for the next one is "Edging 2" from Embellishing with Edgings" by Handy Hands, edited by Barbara Foster. The thread is size 20 Lizbeth, color 620 "Medium Azalea." The heart sticker is from a package of Nicole Crafts' heart stickers. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crocheting with Light--Not an April Fool's Day Joke!

For the 4th year I'll be doing a demonstration called "Fiber Crafts Using Non-Traditional Materials" at the annual Carolina FiberFest on April 5th in Sanford, NC. As in the past, I'll have examples of knitting, crochet, and weaving using recycled materials such as hosiery, cut up tee shirts, fabric waste, rope, and videotapes.  I try to add something new each year. This year I was inspired by a photograph I saw on the Web of a knitted rug using LED rope light. I decided to use the rope light to make a giant crocheted doily. 

I used an 18-foot-long warm white LED rope light purchased at a hardware center. The yarn is a clothesline-weight synthetic that somehow ended up in my stash over the years. The finished piece is 28 inches across. It still needs some blocking to get it into a more rounded shape. I think it will attract a lot of visitors to my demonstration area. It certainly fulfills the definition of a non-traditional material!

Update:  Here's the piece finally blocked and hung over my fireplace. I attached it to a metal ring that gives its shape more stability and makes it easier to use for off-site displays.