Monday, February 29, 2016

Back and Forth

Saturday morning I stopped to take a picture of the Armenian lace doily, that will be something more some day. It measured 8 inches across at this point. I gave up with the honeycomb stitch after just three rounds. I just wasn't enjoying it and so I went back to plain loops yet again. Then I finally got a small order in my shop, so I had a little tatting to do.

First I worked up this small Threes pendant in black. I couldn't find the one I was suppose to have on hand. If you'd seen my organizational prowess, you would no be surprised by that. Everything is carefully put away in labelled storage boxes...with so many other pieces it's a literal scavenger hunt to find the piece I'm looking for sometimes. This time I gave up, so I made two of the pendant to restock the shop. After that it was a custom Mother's knot pendant, though I didn't stop to get a photo of that one.

Then it was back to the knotting. I had actually also sold a pair of ankle corsets on Friday as well, but I didn't have to remake those as I already had two pairs made. I'm sure when I need a break from knotting I'll get another pair made. I do like to have a back up pair of those so that they can always be listed. After about ten rounds of plain loops I went back to the basket stitch. It's about 10 inches across at this point. The plan is to do three rounds of the basket stitch this time and then back to plain loops. I'll figure out what to do next when I get there. It's been a little more work than I thought to keep the rounds growing at the correct rate to keep the piece laying mostly flat. I've gone through both warped edges when it was slightly too big and curled ones when I hadn't quite grew it enough. It's a balancing act, but it's keeping my busy and on my toes. So that's the plan for my leap day. Not particularly exciting, but at least I'll be busy.

Friday, February 26, 2016


Another day another inch or so of lace. As the circumference increases, my progress on the diameter slows down painfully. Instead of growing larger quickly, it becomes a challenge just finish a few rows, then a couple, then just one in a day. I'm not quite there yet, but it's definitely slowed down. This picture was after a couple of rounds in the morning. I measured it at about 6.5 inches across.

Oh, and I really ought to mention again that this is not tatting. A few folks on my facebook page have assumed it was, which isn't such a stretch because that's what I am known for. If you've just tuned in here, it is called Armenian lace in the book I learned it from, but is incredibly similar to Turkish oya, or knotted oya, or actually about a dozen other names. Since I learned it from that book, I tend to call it Armenian knotted lace.

After a couple more rounds of plain loops, I decided to change it up again. This one is referred to as the honeycomb stitch. I haven't a clue as to why, it doesn't look very 'honeycomb' to be me, but I thought I'd give it a go for a few rounds at least. I haven't measured it again yet, but the growth is slowing, so it wouldn't be much of a dramatic change. I plan to do enough rounds of this to see if it does look more like it's namesake eventually. Then it will be back to plain loops for a while again. I guess we'll see how far the weekend gets me. We have a school outing today, so I likely won't get any done today, but the rest of the weekend should be fairly quiet. You might see another inch by Monday.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Basket Stitch

I was having such a good time with the knotted lace that I even took it with me when we started schooling for the day. It's is ridiculously easy to put down at any point in it's creation, even more so than needle tatting, so it's easy to do when I have to stop and help the kids. It's also fairly simple to start a new thread with this whenever you need, but it's still nice to get a whole round done with one and this round was cut as close as humanly possible, I think. I barely managed to get the last couple of knots out of this, but I was so close that I had to at least try to do so.

That round was just the beginning of a section of basket weave stitch. It's definitely one of my favorites and I really have no idea why. I guess I just really like the pattern it creates. In fact I like it so much I added another section of it after I finished that one. I think after this one I'm going back to the basic stitch for a while to create a nice netted section before I play with another design. The piece is about 5.5 inches across at this point, so I still have quite a ways to go before I start calling the doily a tablecloth. That's definitely where I'm headed with this though. That should keep me busy during these quiet shop times and give me something slightly out of reach to attempt. So forgive me in advance for the length of time you will likely be subjected to my Armenian knotted lace photos.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


I'm still not sick. I'm afraid to say it out loud, but I think I might have just already had this particular cold virus before and that's why I'm escaping unscathed. Of course now that I've expressed that thought, the gods of irony are likely going to punish me with it. Nothing for it I suppose.

After schooling I did play with the Armenian lace doily some more. I tried something a little different and then it seems to have undone itself in the next round that I didn't take a picture of. I worked on it and reading pretty much the rest of the day. There's still been no real activity in my etsy shop since I went on vacation, so I guess I will just keep on knotting this until there is. I wondered at how big I could make this if I just used up a whole ball of thread yesterday. It was a crazy thought, but perhaps I'll just make it my fallback project for whenever I don't have something in queue to make. Then it'll just get bigger over time so long as I don't experiment too much with the design and keep it simple. Giant lace tablecloth, here I come.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I'm still dodging the household cold, but who knows for how much longer. They are coughing right at me all day long and each one is a virus filled bullet. I did ignore the sickness surrounding me long enough to do some reading and I even pulled out a needle and thread. I didn't however, do any tatting. I haven't had any good ideas lately. Honestly, I haven't even had any bad ideas. It's been no ideas for quite some time now, but I wanted to do something with my hands. It occurred to be that it's been ages since I did any Armenian knotted lace and I didn't want to forget how, so that's what I did.

I didn't pull out any patterns, I just tatted a ring and started working.  I played with working both right to left and left to right for a few rounds, just to practice. By the end of the evening the little circle had grown quite a bit and I was completely comfortable with the stitch again. I think maybe I'll switch up the stitch today and practice another one. I haven't been paying attention to the round counts though, so I can't do any complex designs at this point. I don't have any purpose in mind for this little practice doily either, but at least I'm making some lace and that will do for now.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap

It was a pretty quiet weekend. In fact we didn't even leave the house on Saturday because everyone here is sick with a cold except me. I keep saying that being well in a house full of sick people is like playing Russian roulette all by myself. One of these sick bullets is going to get me eventually, I just don't know when. I'm still okay this morning, but it's gotta be just a matter of time.

I did manage to finish knitting the vest I was working on, but I didn't get a picture of it. I also finished reading a novel and started another. I didn't get any tatting orders over the weekend though, so I haven't picked up my needle in a couple of days. I guess this week, I'm hoping for some orders, some ideas, and a minor miracle to keep me from succumbing to our household virus. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping now.

Friday, February 19, 2016


I didn't get any new orders in the shop yesterday, so I was left to my own devices finding something to do with my time.  I opted for knitting, reading, and catching up with my DVR. It's amazing how full that thing gets when we're out of the house for five days. I still haven't made a real dent in it. The kids also want to use the television though, so that gave me time for reading.

The knitting I'm doing is a nice and easy draped vest pattern. I adore clothing that layers and drapes. The bonus of this one is that because it's sleeveless, there is no seaming at all. It's just knit in one big rectangle with arm holes. Simplicity at it's finest. In fact if I hadn't had such problems keeping the seed stitch correct while in the car I probably would have finished it on the trip, but I did, so I didn't.

I continue to have no tatting in queue, so I suppose there will be more knitting and reading today and likely throughout the weekend. Hopefully something interesting will happen to get me back to the needle soon. I feel like I should be making something new and different, but i haven't a clue what yet. Maybe it's the early Spring in the air.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Getting There

I think I'm almost recovered from our vacation. I could probably use a full day of sleep, but since that's not going to happen, I'll just call it close enough. Yesterday right after schooling I got back to work on the tatted pair of slave bracelets. This time I managed to get them both made.

After that was done I picked up my kindle and did a little reading, which was another thing I completely neglected on vacation. We knew it was unlikely that we would be going back there anytime soon, so we spent the vast majority of our time doing all the things. I don't think I read anything longer than an email the whole time we were gone. Nor did I sit down for longer than it took to eat a meal aside from the car rides.

I also got back to some knitting. That was something I tried to do in the car, but the distraction of wanting to pay attention to where we were and not get lost while following another car meant that I totally botched the pattern I was trying to do. Sitting in my living room is a much more stable knitting environment. Plus, I think it's helping me get back to normal faster.

Aside from the knitting, I don't have any projects in queue for today. I'm okay with that as I'm pretty sure I won't be firing on all cylinders until I get a weekend worth of actual rest. Not that I would object to the shop getting busy again. In fact, that would be just fine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Still Tired

I spent much of yesterday barely functioning. I suppose all the walking and not sleeping caught up with me and I could hardly think straight. We managed to get schooling done and then I did start on some tatting. I have a pair of slave bracelets to make. On a normal day I might have gotten at least one of them completed in a day, but it was not a normal day and I only got the base motifs for them made. At this rate I will probably be functioning normal by next Monday.

We also had a last minute birthday celebration to attend last night which added an afternoon trip to the store as well. That did suck up a few more hours of the afternoon, so I guess I shouldn't feel too bad about not getting much done. I am hoping that I can pull it together today and get back to some level of productivity. It might take some extra caffeine, but I think I can do it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Disney Adventure

I'm back! Though I'm not sure I was really all that missed, except perhaps by our cats. Our in-laws spearheaded a trip to Disneyland years ago. We've all been recycling to save money for it for years and that's where we went over the long weekend. We hit up Medieval Times, Disneyland and California Adventures.  It was an average of 9 miles of walking a day while we were there, in the parks at 7 and up much later than usual at night. I am completely wiped out this morning as we drove most of the day yesterday.

This picture above was probably the husband's highlight of the weekend. We only split off from our larger family group for a couple of hours and we had to meet Spider-Man. This other one is a few more members of the family, but still not everyone. As you can imagine there are tons of photos, but I don't even have half of them on my computer yet.

We're back to schooling this morning and real life. I got an order for a pair of slave bracelets on the way home yesterday so I can get straight back to tatting as well. Of course what I really need is another couple of days of vacation to recover from our vacation. Oh, well. It was a wonderful time and I'm glad that the kids are old enough that they will always remember it. I guess it's back to it now.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Time Off

I wasn't exactly lazy yesterday, but I certainly did no tatting. It was laundry and packing day here. I miss when packing meant I only had to worry about myself. Now it's a whole family I have to check on. Though luckily, the kids are old enough to at least get some of it done without any intervention, just double checking after they're done.

My shop is on vacation now though Saturday and I had already finished remaking everything I needed to from the most recent bout of orders, so I'm not even sure what I might do during my adventures down time. I have no tatting projects, no knitting or crochet ones either. I hate having idle hands, but I might have to just deal with it. I am almost out of time to come up with something to do. Oh, well, here's to coming up with an idea quickly and trying to enjoy my time off regardless.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lazy is Back

Okay, I got properly lazy yesterday. I didn't do a thing I said I was going to do in the morning. No finishing the TIAS, no anything really. In fact the only tatting things I did during the day was relist and share this necklace that I had actually finished remaking the night before. Then I remade the same heart pendant that I've done a few times over the last couple of weeks. I thought I'd already shared that repeatedly, so I just put it aside when it was done.

I did get another short novel read and then I went back to reading a longer one. I also started prepping for this weekend. We're taking a bit of a family trip through this weekend. The only reason I mention it is as a heads up that I will be putting my etsy shop into vacation mode on Thursday morning and it will down for a few days since I won't be able to ship anything while I'm out of the house. I wish there were an easy way to leave the patterns up and have the rest of the shop on vacation, but short of going in and deactivating each listing one at a time, there isn't one. So, vacation mode it is.

I imagine today will be more of the same, unless I get any orders that need to be attended to. I should still be blogging the next couple of days, so hopefully I do something worth sharing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I wasn't quite as busy yesterday, but I still had tatting to do. The order I had gotten overnight was for a pair of earrings and a necklace. Unfortunately one of the earrings had gone astray, so I had to start the day by making not only replacements for the ordered piece, but the other earring first before I could send out the order. It was also the first International order I've gotten since postage costs went through the roof for them. I know when you think about it, you're asking USPS to take a package from your house and deliver it across an ocean and to another house thousands of miles away and that given that, the cost makes sense. It's just a significant increase and I'm pretty certain that it will keep many folks outside of the U.S. from ordering anything they don't really need.

I think I have just one more small piece to remake for the shop and then I'm caught up again, for now. I also still need to buckle down and finish the TIAS so I can send a photo of my finished piece to Jane. I've been keeping them to myself, well my blog, but I know she likes to have a nice collection of the finished pieces on the TIAS blog, so I've got to do that. I think I'll leave you this morning with a picture of the daffodils in my front yard that mistakenly believe it's already Spring. Silly daffodils, it's February.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekend Recap

It seems I'm still maintaining a nice even pace with new orders and remaking them. On Friday most of the day was devoted to a rather large choker necklace. It was one of my first modifications of a vintage collar pattern. A lot of other folk have done the same basic modification since then, but I still like the bead choices and shape of mine just fine.

Once that one was done, I got an order for another necklace. This one is one of my completely original ones though. I got the idea from machine made lace. There was a time when I was trying to redo all kinds of lace with tatting. Of course I had varying degrees of success at that all the way to 'burn it, it's awful'. This one and a few other pieces made with the same basic motif turned out nicely. I think I finished this on Saturday morning and the rest of the day was family time with no orders at all.

Sunday right before leaving to the in-laws house to watch expensive
commercials, I got an order for a choker and that gave me something to do between the commercials, but I forgot to tell you what I did in the morning. We were reading about the Chinese New Year and learned that the return of your zodiac year is a year of bad luck unless you wear something red gifted to you. So, my Year of the Monkey daughter had me make her a bracelet to stave off bad luck. I opted to crochet a simple one for her with beads. Never mind that I had never crocheted with beads before. Once I figured it out, I actually enjoyed making it. Now we'll just see how long she actually wears it during the year.

I woke up this morning to another necklace order and so I have plenty to do after schooling today. Schooling itself is causing me some cold-sore inducing stress right now though. Not the kids, but some administrative type nonsense. I'm hoping it just fades away without any direct confrontation so I can get back to enjoying the process of teaching the kids without too much interference. Here's crossing my fingers.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ring and Mask

We were back to schooling officially yesterday, so the whole of the morning was devoted to that. I'm trying to refocus the kids a bit as they tend to get lazier as the year wears on. I don't know where they could have picked that up from? Yeah, I know, it's me, but at least I can acknowledge it and work on the problem.

I had plenty of tatting to get on with as soon as schooling was wrapped though. I started with the tatted ring. I have these listed as custom pieces since I can make them fairly quickly and then each one can be a different color. This one was done in Lizbeth dark purple. You might have noticed more of my pictures are in-progress ones lately. There's a shop update function on the etsy app that lets you share them everywhere, and in an effort to help my shop gain momentum, I've been doing it for a week or so now. Since business has picked up around the same time, coincidentally or not, I'm going to keep it up just in case it is working.

After the ring it was on to remaking a mask that just sold.  This is one of my simpler ones, so I managed to finish it yesterday as well, though it's not done in this photo. After that was done, all my tatting, save for a pendant that I'm not sure I'm going to remake, was done. I went back to some reading for the afternoon.

I woke up this morning to a necklace order, so I do have something to remake today as well. I'm a couple of days behind on the TIAS too, so I'll try to catch up on that this weekend to see how the rabbit shapes up. Again, I just have to say how wonderfully busy this week has been and how much I've been enjoying it. Here's to a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hearts and Other Tatting

Yep, another busy day. We started back to schooling even though we didn't have to and the children didn't even complain. See, I told you we were all done with laying about. Then I had plenty of work to attend to. I finished up the custom order I mentioned yesterday. Yep, these sparkly hearts are the order. They needed to finish drying and then they got ornament hooks and will be out in the post this morning.

Next it was onto remaking pieces from the order I had gotten at bedtime. It contained a bracelet, a necklace and a mask. I started with the cuff bracelet because the pattern for that one is not yet committed to memory. It's a little more complex of a pattern than my usual ones. It's based on a vintage edging pattern, but I mucked with it so much I can't use the original to make it anymore. Again, I am aware of how much easier I could make my life were I to write things down, but where's the fun in that.

I also managed to get the choker necklace remade from the order as well, which leaves me with the mask. I also woke up this morning to a tatted ring order that actually needs to be made. Of course rings take very little time to work up, but it's yet another thing to make and this week continues to bring me lace tatting joy. I'm crossing my fingers that the trend continues, but even if it doesn't it's been a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Still Busy

Shockingly I had yet another busy lace day. I spent much of the morning working on the custom order fascinator. I modified the pattern slightly as I went to get it a bit smaller than the original. It worked surprisingly well and the finished pieces ended up being exactly the requested size. I had to stiffen it because it wasn't going on a hat base, so I did just the underside of the piece. That way it will still look like soft, natural lace. but hold it's shape when worn. I'll be popping this in the post this morning.

Right after I set this out to dry, I got another custom order request from one of my most wonderful return customers. I seriously love my return customers. Anyway, I spent the rest of the day working on that order, though I completely forgot to get photos as I worked, so before I get them completely finished I'll do that so you can see what I was making there.

Then in a stunning finale for the day, just as I was settling in for the night, I got another order in the shop. This time it was for multiple pieces. This means I have a few larger pieces to remake today and I am just pleased as can be with my current workload. The kids still have one day off from schooling, but I think we're all done being lazy in the morning so we're going to get back to it today. This has been a great week so far. Here's to it's continued benevolence.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Busy Lace Day

I actually had a pretty busy lace day. I started by catching up with the TIAS. Okay, this is clearly turning into a rabbit. Of course mine has some issues, namely the mismatched eyes, but that's not the point of the TIAS is it? The point for me is to not only make something I would not normally make, but also stretch my skills by translating the pattern instructions to needle. Normally that's a no brainer, but Jane's patterns always seem to have some element that makes me think outside the box a bit and that's a good thing.

Next up was remaking a tatted heart pendant for the shop. It doesn't take long to make this one at all. Of course it took longer than normal to find the right color of thread. My thread box is getting out of control again. No, not because I've ordered more or anything . In fact I can't remember that last time I got new thread. Since the shop so slow I haven't bought any supplies in forever. The thread box is just an unorganized mess.

After this I got an message on facebook requesting a medallion for a fascinator. There was a lot of back and forth on this one and frankly I was fairly certain I had frightened the customer away with my inability to do what was first requested. Eventually we came up with a solution that would work for her needs and I got to work. I still have a couple of rounds left to do and then it will need to be stiffened. This is the larger version of my woven star pattern and I did not write down the outer rounds. It's proven a little fiddly to copy the existing piece since it's sewn to a base currently and I can't turn it over to count. Yes, I know I wouldn't be in this mess if I would just write all of may patterns down. You know that's not going to happen though. Anyway, I should get this finished today and stiffened overnight so I can have it in the post tomorrow. So I should have a nice busy lace day today too.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Luckily on Friday I got a couple of sales. This gave me a couple of projects over the weekend and kept me from keeping my nose buried in my kindle all weekend. I mean, I still read a lot, but I came up for air and thread. The first one I remade was this small rose pendant in linen thread. I both love and hate linen thread. I love the way it looks. It has more character than something made with perfectly smooth cotton thread. On the other hand it's difficult to work with. The varying thickness can get difficult to pull through and I occasionally have to adjust the stitch count in order to maintain the shape of the pattern since sometimes the knots are larger and sometimes smaller.

On Saturday I was remaking medallion earrings also in linen thread. This time I actually remade three pairs in all the shades of linen I have. This is partly because I wear a pair of these in black that I may have taken from my stock. I figured I'd just make a new pair if they ever sold so I could keep them, but since I was doing the one, I decided to do them all. The earrings are a much larger design than the rose and with 6 of them to make and stiffen, I was happily busy much of Saturday.

I actually still have one more piece I was suppose to remake, but I forgot all about it until this morning. I guess that gives me something to start my day with. We still have a few more days off from schooling, so I'm sure I'll read too much again today. Here's hoping for another sale or two to keep me tatting.