Wednesday, September 2, 2015

More Knots
Well, that was quite a day. I had warned the children that schooling was going to be longer this year. This is not only because they are both older with more work, but also because the virtual school has instituted the collection of more work samples. This means less of us doing things verbally and more writing every little thing down. I was right too, we weren't done with everything until well after lunch and having started just after 7.

Once we were done I rushed about to get the new necklaces photographed and in the shop. They are both listed now and I have to say I really like the way the beaded one drapes. It's still light, but it had a nice weight as well...if that makes any sense.

I did have a sale in the shop yesterday, but it was for a cat ear headband and I'll already made extras of those. That meant I again had no tatting to do, so I made yet another Armenian lace choker. This go around I used what the book called a basket stitch. I had started another round on this one, but it didn't look right at all. That also gave me my first opportunity to cut off work. I have to say that that process is much easier and less painful than it is with tatting. On the other hand picking back a few stitches with this is much more troublesome than it is with tatting. So small mistakes are easier with tatting, big ones that require scissors are easier with the knotted lace.

I still have at least one more Armenian lace idea to try out, so that's probably what I'll do with my afternoon. I'll likely just leave this choker as it is and start again though I do think I might actually add a row of simple loops above the cord to give this one a little more character and set it apart from the other designs a bit. Boy, I hope that these sell at some point. I really enjoy making them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


We had a long, but nice morning in the park with the school group. They've made some changes in regards to how the students are assigned teachers and that has resulted in our local teachers having more students out of town and less here, so there were fewer families than usual. Though the kids seems to have a fine time anyway.

Once we got home I finally got to work on the next Armenian lace piece. I had asked on Facebook what I should try next with this and the overwhelming response was beads. I'd had the idea to use them in the first design I made, in the thread spaces. I admit, my first inclination was to use black beads, but I thought I'd try some color since I had these red on on hand. The most frustrating part is that once I got to the bead rows I had to do all the work with a beading needle. It was either that or constantly change back and forth between needles. The bead wouldn't fit over the one I usually use and the beads had to be loaded on only as used, because they get in the way otherwise. It was fiddly, but it worked.

I think that it was worth the hard to use needle though, because the result was striking. Well, it was to me anyway. It's definitely heavier that the beadless one. I used well over 300 beads for it. Yes, I counted.

I just realized that I hadn't even showed you the other Armenian lace
choker design I made on Friday before making the request that resulting in my playing with beads in the first place. So that's this one on the right. It was a much less involved design, partly because I worked it the entire length, so there was less math.

The plan today, after the kid's first real day of school, is to get these two necklaces listed in my shop. Of course I've already started crocheting another base for the next one, whatever it turns out to be. Through making these I've some up with the easiest base ever for them crocheted in one pass. That way when I've done with the lace, all I have to do is add the macrame slide closure and it's ready to go. I'm sure I have a few more ideas to try out before I'm back to tatting, unless a sale or request gets me there sooner.

Monday, August 31, 2015


We had quite the whirlwind weekend. We were gifted tickets to the see the Zelda Symphony in San Francisco earlier in the year when they went on sale. We've been saving money and getting a little family help to afford to stay in the city for the night since then, so we were able to not only see the Symphony which was wonderful, but we weer also able to go to the California Academy of Sciences the next day. This is the family in the theater right before the show began. The kids loved it as well and it was quite the people watching event. There were folks decked out in full symphony attire, folks cos-playing as charters from the games as well as people who looked like they just walked in from the street. The music of course was wonderful and well worth the trip.

The kids had never been to Golden Gate Park, so we walked around a little bit before the museum on Sunday. Of course that was only one teeny tiny section of the park anyway. The place is massive. We'd not been to the Academy of Sciences either so we were there until almost closing time trying to see everything from the Planetarium, to the earthquake shake house, an enclosed rain forest complete with free butterflies and their living roof. This picture is the family up on the roof.

So you might imagine I'm pretty wiped this morning. We have a park day for the kids school later this morning and then schooling proper starts tomorrow. Maybe some lace later today, if I have some energy left at all. I'm not certain that I will.

Friday, August 28, 2015


After another short morning of mini schooling, I was straight to work on my idea for that crochet cord. I knew I could do a couple of rows of small loops before I was forced to do math, so this is what I started with. It also confirmed my theory that the cord would be a good base for the Armenian lace. It was perfect. If you're unfamiliar with the crochet cord used for Romanian Point lace, it has perfectly spaced loops on the sides which I found ideal for starting the knotted loops. It's also a nice firm, thick cord, easy for hiding ends of threads and holding onto.

Next up was some math and some doodling. I had a plan, but I needed to work out whether the base I had created would support that plan. It never fails to surprise someone that I need math to make lace, but this stuff, every kind I've tried anyway, is so based on counting and planning, that math almost always is necessary. Of course I've gotten enough practice in some things, like tatting, that I don't have to write anything out. Not on this though, there was much math. Anyway, the math and the drawings got me my plan and I went to work on a design.

A few hours later I went ahead and called it complete. Of course the whole time I was working, I was having other ideas. I think I might do one exactly like this, but with seed beads on the rows of long loops. I thought about how I could make a bigger version with more rows, or a thin choker with just a couple of rows, or a huge triangle shaped one out of just simple loops. Really, I went into creative overload.

I'm going to try to get this necklace up in my shop today and I'll be straight to work on one of those other ideas. Then this weekend it's a short trip out of town to see the Zelda Symphony with the family as well as a visit to the California Academy of Sciences as a last goodbye to summer.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vague Idea

After a short day of mini schooling, we ran a couple of errands and then it was back home with no idea of what to do with my day. I mean I had some laundry to take care of, but otherwise I was lacking in ideas. Eventually I settled on crocheting up a length of RPL cord in order to try out an idea that actually has nothing to do with RPL at all. I got the length made, but didn't have time to try out the idea I had.

The idea, which I'll try out today involves using the cord as a base for some Armenian knotted lace. It works well in a circle with no other material, but all the instructions for straight lace have it worked on the edge of a piece of material or over a doubled piece of thread. I've tried the doubled thread and it was a nightmare for me. I just couldn't get it started properly to save my life. I figure the denseness of the cord should be perfect for giving me something to hold onto as well as looking nice as the base for a piece. What that piece will be is still up in the air. I've got some design ideas, but I need to do some math to figure it out. Yes, my favorite part of lace making, the math, but if I can suss it all out in advance it will work out better. So that's the plan today, math, then lace...hopefully.