Tuesday, January 31, 2017

If At First

I didn't get to much yesterday save for reading really. I actually got pretty excited in the morning when I had an etsy request from three pairs of barefoot sandals, but when I tried to confirm the design they wanted, it appears that they wanted something from someone else. The image I was sent was a pair made from machine lace and when I said they weren't mine, I didn't even get a 'sorry, my mistake' in response. Oh well, nothing for it.

Between that and watching the country burn figuratively online, I wasn't inspired to do much, but hide in fictional worlds between glances of the chaos. I did make up a mock center for the eventual video on round laces. Interestingly, I managed it with the properly begun center. I hadn't been very good at that in the beginning, so I usually just defaulted to a tatted ring. When I sat down to do the mock up I thought I'd give it a go assuming it wouldn't turn out right, but it went swimmingly. I tried it again and again it worked, so when I do get to that video I can actually teach  it properly rather than my hybrid method.

Today is the last day of the kids' end-of-semester vacation and the husband is taking the day off, so no new video in queue yet. I need a couple of quiet hours to get one done even though the end result is just a few minutes long. Here's hoping for an order or an idea to keep my fingers busy in the meantime. With the last doily done, I'm out of fall back busy work.

Monday, January 30, 2017

What's Next

Okay, so let's see, Friday was the first full that my Armenian lace video was up and I had some lovely comments. a couple of questions to answer, and quite a few views. I guess it turned out okay then. Sorry I can't oblige with outtakes as I deleted all mistakes as they occurred. That is the joy of digital media after all. I used Friday to finally pin up the last of the gift doilies as well. It will sit here until the brother for whom it is intended visits again though.

I also gave some thought to the next video. I have two more stitches mocked up and ready to go. I'm going to do the fancy side stitch as it will allow me to teach the knot stitch going from left to right, and then the square stitch with a simple loop row above since it's a completely different shape. They will likely be two different video as that lets me keep them short. Short is easier to make in one shot and I imagine easier to watch over when trying to learn something.

I figure after these two I'll tackle a multi-row stitch like the basket stitch and then making round lace. I don't have a clue as to the actual timetable here, but I'm thinking maybe once a week right now. We'll just have to see how my free time flows I guess. If you missed the first video it's here, or on Instructables if you prefer. When I have a few more I'll add them to the sidebar of the blog as well.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Armenian Knotted Lace Video, The First

I actually managed to do the video yesterday. Yes, I am surprised at myself as well. The kids were off in the afternoon with grandma and so I got everything together and made what will be the first in a short series of tutorials for Armenian knotted lace. This one is just getting started and teaches the Armenian knot stitch in a simple loop. I'm not going to tell you how many takes it took to get the video done, nor am I going to say how many were spoiled by cat and how many by my own cursing over mistakes. I just want to make sure that you know that I will be spacing out the videos a bit to keep my frustration level down.

So here is the video. You can find the it on Instructables too if you prefer. I hope that you find it helpful and it makes sense. I'm not sure what the next one will be on, likely a different stitch, but not sure which. No, I did not mean to rhyme that and I'm sorry.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Just Starting

Okay, I admit it, I was super lazy yesterday. I didn't even read much. I just watched the current governmental chaos play out on my twitter feed and some DVR'd shows while I crocheted a few more small cords. Then later in the afternoon I got a bit more focused and started the step by step photos for the tutorial. Don't worry, I plan on making a video as well, but that requires more preparation, so I started with the photos. This is the example piece I started with to teach just the basic loop.

That's likely where I'll begin and I'm starting to think this might have to be a series of short tutorials to cover everything without overwhelming me. I should get some alone time this afternoon to try out a video, but that all depends on other people's plans, so we'll just have to wait and see I guess.I also plan on trying to actually read some more today, I'd hate to waste the school break too much.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

That's Done

As expected, I didn't get up to much yesterday at all. I didn't even get any reading time. The kids and I wrapped up the first semester and then recovered for the rest of the day. The only project I managed to start was to get a couple of crochet cords made up in anticipation of the Armenian lace tutorial. I know most people start with a folded piece of material, but I thought the cord would be nicer to work on when doing the straight work.

I think today I'm going to start figuring out exactly what to teach and how I want to do so, so if there's anything in particular anyone would like me to focus on, please do let me know and I'll try to make sure I do. I've no clue how long it's gong to take me though. It could be a couple of days it could be a couple of weeks. I'm super rusty with the whole tutorial thing, so here's hoping I get my act together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


With the doily done, I got to work on the tatting order I had in my shop. All three bracelets are done, I just need to get the hardware on them today so I can get them in the mail.

Today is the last day of the first semester for the kids, so it might be a long one as we get done anything that is left needing doing. Neither of the kids really have any issues, but the oldest one in particular does like to wait until a deadline to do things, so I don't really plan on getting anything done myself today.

I will order up the frame for the doily today I think and once that's in and the doily is mounted I can say goodbye to doily gifts. After that it's the tutorial. Of course all that is tomorrow at the earliest, so who knows if I'll get up to anything at all today.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Weekend Recap

I didn't think that I would get the doily done this weekend, but I had a surprising amount of sitting
time time yesterday in particular. I finished reading a novel on Friday and decided to take a reading break over the weekend, so that also gave me more time to knot. Though we did spend most of Saturday outside the house, Sunday was definitely a sitting day.

I do have an order I need to get to now. It was delayed as I searched rather fruitlessly for burgundy seed beads in stores. It was a terribly frustrating search. I didn't even love my options when I searched online for them mostly due to shipping cost and times. I eventually settled on something and I should get to work on that today. I honestly hate that I waited this long to start on it. I much prefer getting orders done immediately, but I guess I can't control every variable, every time.

The kids have a short schooling week, so I'm hoping to use the rest of the week for the tutorial project. It's been awhile since I put one together, so here's hoping I remember how and don't make a fool of myself in the process.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Almost There

I suppose I feel a bit better this morning, but I'm still far from good. Yesterday went fairly smoothly, but I really didn't get a whole lot of anything done. I think I managed three rounds on the doily. The picture only shows the second one as I finished the spiral section and went onto large loops in preparation for another round of basket stitch. I ended the knotting day on the first round of that. I've only got an inch left to work on it, so it will likely be a couple of rounds of basket stitch and then done. Of course at the pace I'm working that's not likely to be until some time next week. I promise that when I do finish it that I will finally start working on a tutorial. I should be felling better and speaking clearer by then as well. Here's hoping the weekend brings a healthier me.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Well, yesterday went better in that we had internet and television access all day. Schooling also went much more smoothly, but my cold grabbed on with both hands and made much of the rest of my day useless and miserable.

I did manage to focus long enough to get a few more rounds done on the doily. The next one should be the last one for the spiral section. It's still not completely flat on it's own, but a quick iron was able to take away the remaining ruffle with no issues, so I'm pretty pleased with that part.

I still feel fairly horrible this morning, so I don't expect much more out of today than I got out of yesterday. I'll likely sit about hiding from the newest rainstorm, read, and knot, all while wishing I could still breath like a normal human.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Well That Was Fun

Ah, everything is back to normal, or an normal as it ever is around here anyway. We had scheduled a service upgrade to take advantage of one of those reduced-cost deals and were unaware that this required that all our services, television, phone, and internet would have to be down all morning. Let's just say this made schooling interesting as I had to set the kids' computers to tether to my cell phone so they could get anything done.

So that was my morning, but I have been working on the doily for my brother. I just passed 9 inches, so I've just got a couple more to go. Of course each inch takes a hell of a lot longer at this point. I'm also working out what was a pretty pronounced ruffle a few rounds ago. I feel pretty confident that by the time I finish this spiral section that it will be perfectly flat again. It's already much better than it was when I started the section.

The only other things I did over the extended weekend and my day of technical difficulty was clean, read, and get a nice cold. Wait, I also did the yearly accounting for my shop so I could start the long, drawn out process of taxes for the year. So it's been a really fun few days. Here's hoping today runs more smoothly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


My internet is having issues so I can only post from my phone and even that is being buggy. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow, sorry.

Friday, January 13, 2017


I almost managed to go the whole day without cleaning, but it turns out I can't. I only tackled a small project though, boxing up all the little kid books we had on shelves. They hadn't even been looked at in years, but we are true pack-rats and dispose of nothing. They are not going to be disposed of now either, just put away to free up space for the books the kids are actually reading.

After schooling I actually got an order in the shop, so I went to work remaking the piece. This one has been remade a lot recently, so it didn't take too long to get it done. Then it was back to the doily which is coming along nicely. I think I'm going to try a different spiral next, but I haven't worked out the math on it yet. I opted to take a picture of both things I worked on yesterday at the same time.

There's not much on the schedule for the weekend so I'm sure I'll get at least a little more done on the doily and who knows, maybe something interesting will happen. More likely we'll binge watch something new on Netflix though and I'm okay with that.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

One Task Done

I finished phase one of our cleaning project yesterday which means I'm taking a cleaning break today. This is one of those multi-phase sort of cleaning projects, you know that kind that usually takes place in the Spring, but we're starting it during a multi-day rain storm instead. I know that I could get it done faster if I needed to, but I really don't want to overwhelm myself with it.

I also didn't bother even looking at what might need tatting for my shop and instead used the entire day for reading and knotting. I'm on the second round of basket stitch. After that I think I might actually go back to the spiraling. I think it creates a lovely shape and it will make it much different than the other gift doilies. Well, as different as one knotted doily can actually be from another made by the same hand.

I don't have much else to share I'm afraid. Today will likely be much the same as yesterday, except with less laundry and cleaning. Maybe I'll make some quality progress on the doily and get closer to figuring out how to do a tutorial. Of course that's likely still weeks away from happening, the doily is still a baby.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Same As Before

Yesterday was basically a repeat of the day that preceded it. I procrastinated on the cleaning portions of the day, but got around to doing it all eventually anyway. I also finished the tatted necklace I showed you  yesterday and got just a couple of rounds done on the gift doily.

Today looks like it might be less rainy than yesterday, but we still won't see the sun for another couple of days, so I'm definitely dealing with a little malaise from the lack of light. That just means it's harder to feel motivated to do anything at all after schooling wraps for the day. I think there are a few more tatted pieces I should remake, but I'd have to look to see which ones. I may just stick with the reading and knotting today, when I'm not cleaning. I know, I know, it's really exciting. Sorry, I'll cross my fingers for something more interesting to happen soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Little Of Everything

I spent much of the day on a cleaning project that won't likely be completed for weeks. That's partly because the weather makes stacking stuff outside unwise, but also because it's a big one. The rest of my day I worked on the the doily and remaking one necklace for the shop. The doily has gotten big enough that the progress is getting harder to see day to day, so I'll save a picture of that for today maybe. The necklace is an oldie. It was one of the first vintage edgings that I modified into a necklace. The stitch count has changed, but the design looks about the same as it did when I first made it years ago.

I still haven't finished the choker, so I'll get that done today. I'll probably have a repeat of yesterday after schooling wraps, some cleaning, some tatting, some knotting, and some reading. Hopefully my sinuses will survive all the cleaning as it appears I'm allergic to dust and pretty much anything that has been stored for any length of time. There's nothing for it though, things must be done.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday all. Not much happened over the weekend I'm afraid. We're kind of, mostly, stuck inside due to the Atmospheric River. Of course I wouldn't trade the nonstop rain for the ridiculous snowstorms much of the rest of the country is dealing with. Either way, we're stuck inside, but at least we're not freezing. There was much reading and some cleaning and planning for more cleaning. I did get some knotting time though.

I finished a section of spiral, ten rounds wide. I tend to like round numbers when I work. I'm not sure if that would be in line with traditional creation methods for Armenian lace, but it's one of my go-to design plans. Well that and threes, I love threes. I started the next section with large loops and will likely go to basket stitch from there. I think this one will be one of the larger sized ones so it'll still be some time before I've got it complete.

I do want to take some time to get couple of things remade for the shop and it's also the time of year do get the books done for my shop. It was a pretty dismal sales year, but on the positive side, that means I'll owe fewer taxes. There's also that planned cleaning I mentioned scheduled for this week. So lace or no lace, I'll be pretty busy much of the week I think. So, here's to a productive week ahead.

Friday, January 6, 2017

This and That

Let's see, I finished making the custom order necklace late in the afternoon yesterday. Seriously, adding beads one at a time slows me down so very much. It is however the only way to add beads without having threads across them and that was the design I created, so that's what I did. The burgundy is actually a little more purple than it appears in the photo, but it is done now and I should have it out in the mail today.

I also got an order for a choker yesterday. When I went looking for it, it could not be found. Luckily, it's one I could make in my sleep, so I got right to work on that piece as well. I won't have it in the mail today, but that's why I say I ship in 1-3 days now. It gives me a little cushion to cover my own incompetence. I'm also fairly certain that once I finish the new one and get it out, I'll find the one I have on hand in the wrong box.

Between those two projects I also got a little work done on the doily. I'm working on a nice simple spiral section that I didn't do one any of the other doilies. It'll take awhile before it's really an obvious element, so I'll just keep at it until it is. This weekend we have the holidays to remove from the house and then some early spring cleaning to do, though I'm sure I'll sneak in at least a little knotting time.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


So I just discovered this morning that I hadn't apparently clicked the 'publish' button on yesterday's post. That was weird. I could have sworn that I did. Oh well, can't go back now. I guess that means you get the post I wrote yesterday morning along with today's update. Yesterday was a lot of reading as well, but I also got a custom order in the early afternoon that kept me busy much of the day.

It took me while to remember how I even made this piece. I strung all the beads on the the thread, started tatting and then remembered that each bead was actually added onto the whole picots when they were joined, oops. I started over and as I got it right, I remembered just how much longer it takes to do it that way. Needless to say, I'm not even done with this one necklace yet. I still have about halfway to go on it. I definitely won't be making another of these for the shop not least of all because I just don't have all that many beads on hand anymore.

I should get this finished today after schooling and then I'll get back to the doily project and reading too much. Oh, I think I have some laundry to get done in the middle there too. I've heard tale that the sun should come out for a couple of days before the atmospheric river plunges us back into rain for another week, so I'm looking forward to a little light today as well.
I actually had a pretty good first day back. I finished reading Leviathan Wakes and started on the next one, Caliban's War. I was going to wait and take a break from the 600+ page novels, but I was seriously sucked into the story. If you like science fiction mixed with a little noir crime and maybe some horror and of course space battles, it's great.

Don't worry I also worked on the the doily this time. If I employ something as a page weight, I can still do both things sufficiently well. I'm not trying anything new or groundbreaking with this one, just doing some of my favorite stitches for an expected result.

I'll keep going on like this until I get it done which means that I'll be at this awhile. The shop has gone pretty quiet, so I suspect that I won't have any tatting to distract me this week at least. I set my good reads reading challenge to 100 books this year, so I have that to focus on if nothing else.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day 2

I used my first Monday of the year to read and I read a lot. I finished up one novel and got over halfway through Leviathan Wakes, the first book in the Expanse series. I got the first three of those as Christmas gifts and since I can't read a paper book while I walk on the treadmill, I'll start another kindle book this morning as well. Reading is never a bad way to start a year, right?

I did get a photo of the doily I'm making up for my brother. I'm doing it in black because that was what was requested. I didn't work on it much because reading a paper book and knotting isn't very easy either and I promised myself I could read the day away. I'll try to get back to it more his week.

Today it's back to the routine though. There's schooling for the kids and as it's the end of the semester very soon, there's a lot of things that need doing for that. The husband is also back to work and the house really needs a bit of a kick, though that might wait until the schooling stuff has wound back down a bit. I don't really bother much with resolutions as such, but it's a new year and I'm going to try to make it better than the last one.

Monday, January 2, 2017


The family has today off as well, but I figured it was best to get back to a sense of normality before I completely lose my routine. If it wasn't for all my morning habits I don't think that I would get anything done at all, so here I am the first Monday of the year writing about the not much that happened over the weekend.

I started making a doily for my brother. I didn't make him one for Christmas, because I thought he wouldn't want one, but after consulting him, it turns out that he actually would. It'll be in black and hopefully I'll remember to take some photos for you. After I get that wrapped in a week or so, I think I am going to start to put together a tutorial for Armenian knotted lace, at least my version of it. No promises on the quality of it yet, but I'm making an actual plan to do it.

Also at the last minute of New Year's Eve, I added a sale to my shop. There won't be another one until probably April. You can get 25% off with the code YEAREND in my shop. The code is good through Friday, but there have been no takers yet. Here's to the year ahead, may we survive it and perhaps thrive in it.