Sun damage

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About a year ago, I bought a sweater's worth of Elsbeth Lavold Cotton Patine. It was on sale at an LYS and it was so soft and squishy, I just couldn't pass it up.

Well, despite the fact that I've had it tucked away in a dark corner, in a bag, the yarn is showing definite signs of fading from exposure to sun. It's subtle enough, that I can't seem to capture it in photos, but when I try the garment on, I see obvious bands of fading at the start of each new ball of yarn I add. The effect is one of belly cellulite. I'm quite sure that this is not a look I want to go for.

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But, even though I noticed this a while ago, I didn't stop knitting it. In fact, I'm plowing along. Why? Because I have a really sweet mum. She's going to over dye my piece, when I'm done, to even out the coloring. She's been dying natural fibers, at home, and graciously agreed to throw turn my brown eyes garment, blue.

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I'm sort of giddy about it. I think that the end result will look even better than if my yarn had been perfect to start with.


I didn't have a chance in my earlier post, to put up a picture of my Inspir(al)ed hat, but now that I'm back home I can show you this picture of Inspir(al)ed, having a moment with Thea and me.

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It's good to have an assistant.


And finally, more tatting

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I'm back to using the size 8 pearl cotton (the finer stuff). I just love how delicate it looks, next to the size 5 cotton. I'm a painfully slow tatter. That image above shows several hours worth of work. But I have these visions of trimming projects in tatted lace and I get so excited, I just can't put the project down. By the way, thanks to each of you who sent me resources and suggestions. I've been trying to take it all in and I know I'll be coming back, again and again, to revisit your comments and links.

I may have ordered myself some more tatting goodies from an online resource. I've used this site for purse handles, and now it's becoming my go-to place for tatting supplies.

Tatting for 1700 miles

| 17 Comments

After an all morning meeting, my head is swimming but I was able to secure a spot on an earlier flight, so barring any unforeseen issues I should be back home before everyone is in bed. On the one hand, it'd be so nice to have a couple days to see Chicago, but on the other hand, I sure do love being home. I bet you can guess why.

Flying out was pretty turbulent with plenty of delays, but the view was grand.

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Lovely Mt. Hood

I kept myself pretty entertained on the flight. First, I finished tatting that little flower design I was making.

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It's a simple choker based on a couple different motifs in my tatting book. I'll pick up some findings and finish it off, eventually.

I learned a lot working on this. I don't really have any need for a tatted choker, but forcing myself to create a project help me to perfect some of the techniques.

Once that was done, I started on a slightly more complicated border.

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This version uses two different colors instead of the single color and single strand design of the choker.

By the end of the trip, I had created this

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I think I want to use this as the top trim on a little evening bag, something just big enough to hold an ID, and some cash. Now I'm thinking I want more tatting books. Evil little craft.

The one thing I find a little challenging, right now, is starting a new thread, when the shuttle is empty. If any of you tatting experts have links to a good description, I'd love to know. It seems like the thicker the yarn, the harder it is to join a new thread, but that could just be my ignorance.

Inspir(al)ed

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I'm just heading out to a meeting...in Chicago. My flight in last night was delayed a couple hours, but I made it here in one piece. If I can manage to walk across the street without falling on my arse, I'll consider it a successful trip.

Since I got in at the time I should have gone to bed and my meeting is mere minutes away, I don't have time for a proper post, so instead I'll tell you to march your bum on over to MJ's site and check out her new pattern. I've already made one for myself and I love it. It kept my head toasty warm last night, in this brutal Chicago weather.

Accessorizing

| 7 Comments

I've been working on lots of little things lately. There's a bigger item on the needles too, but I haven't had the time or mental fortitude to tackle it recently.

Firstly, the handsome one has been subtly hinting that he needs more hats. And by subtle, I mean he's been saying, "I need more hats." Leo wears beanies almost every day, and his favorites are soft, wool-free, and in a neutral colorways.

Worked in Frog Tree Pima/Silk [85% pima cotton/15% silk] this little beanie bears a striking resemblance to the Carlsbad hat, only worked in a larger gauge.
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I need to get a shot of him actually wearing the hat. Right now, this dark, blurry shot of Leo (and the hat) watching me teach Madeline to salsa dance, is the best I can offer.

Hey, you celebrate your birthday, your way, I'll celebrate my birthday, my way!

And now that one hat is done, I've cast on another.

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Beanie number two will be worked in solid black (same yarn) and entirely in 2x2 ribbing. This will be a variant of the Pismo hat.

I think Leo will really enjoy wearing these hats, because the yarn is so soft, but the fibers aren't as easy care as some of the other hats I've made, so I'll probably be casting on at least one more design, in 100% cotton.

My friend, Julia, was asking if I put elastic into my cotton hats. I never have and the hats don't seam to be any worse for the wear. Some negative ease seems to be enough for the hats to keep their shape.

On the tatting front, I feel like I'm really getting a grasp of the basic. I'm certainly no expert, yet, but it's all starting to make more sense.

These are the two types of thread I've been using.
The green is standard Pearl (or "perle") Cotton. It's size 5 and seems to come in a huge selection of colors.

The white is Pearl Cotton in size 8, which comes in little balls and is available in a much more limited color range. The craft stores have white, black and ecru, while a local needlepoint store had those and some primary colors.

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The latter produces very delicate little lace pieces, while the former really shows off the texture of the tatted stitches. They almost look like little beads, to my eye.

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I worked on this while riding the local public transportation and was really appreciating how portable it was. I was even able to work on it while standing, which I find harder to do with my bigger knitted pieces.

Passing fancy? New passion? Who knows, but it's fun so far.

How not to learn tatting

| 14 Comments

I'll be the first to declare my love for Japanese craft books. The instructions are always so well photographed and illustrated and anything that can be charted, is, so that the obvious language barrier has had no impact on their usefulness. I'm beginning to amass a nice little collection of knitting and crocheting books from Japan and I refer to them often.

But I'm a relatively experienced knitter and crocheter, so it is only a matter of moments for me to translate the symbols based on the accompanying photographic tutorials.

I am not, however, an experienced tatter. Learning to tat from a Japanese crafting book was not my wisest choice. Still, there's something rather exciting about failing and then figuring out the solution. Well, it's exciting after the fact. During, it's infuriating.

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My little samples show a range of mistakes and uneven tension but the results are still gratifying. The finer threads are a little more forgiving, presuming your vision is average or worse.

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The thicker pearl cotton shown above, shows every little misstep. It probably doesn't help that I hate the color.

I definitely want to build skill enough to use tatting as an edge treatment on a knitted piece. It'll be a challenge to keep it from being overly dainty and twee, but who doesn't love a challenge?

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