Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Moly!

I apologize for this picture being the icon for this post. But, this is quite scary.

That's my grandma's leg. A few nights ago, she and my cousin were driving along on a two lane highway when a drunk driver heading towards them swerved into their lane. My grandma quickly pulled to the right, but the truck still hit them, although, not as badly as it would have been head on. She managed to get out with just VERY bruised legs. My cousin was fine, thankfully.

Today, she came to visit and: 1. I got to take this gruesome picture of a bruise any middle schooler would envy, and 2. Give her this.

Might as well cut to the chase, right? The van didn't make it out alive. RIP trustworthy van....

My thread windy-spinny, wall thing has been working out pretty well, but I got tired of having to guide the thread by hand. So I made a thing that does that for me. Now I just have to spin it and stare. I was thinking though, I could probably devise something to spin it, also... But that's a little too lazy. The tape is for decorative effect. Not really, it's just too hard to get off. The glue I used REALLY stuck it on there.

And, finally, I'm doing a Halloween thread-set thing. It's a set of two skeins. One with just a pretty solid color (I loveeee how they turned out), and another with that solid color and black.

Links through the pictures!

That's it! ^_^

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twilight Zone

It's been a bit bizarre these days. In my last post, I mentioned that I got new tatting needles. Well, the small needle turned out to be the same as the one I already had and the company won't let me exchange it so far. I have a feeling they just don't want to bother, even if I pay shipping both ways. It kind of irks me, but whatever! Not like I've spent a whole lot of money on their site. Oh wait... I have. -_- *sigh* As I was saying, the bigger of the needles was supposed to be for size 10 and thin yarns, but I think I've figured it out. You're supposed to use the smallest possible size needle for the thread you're using. This is my assumption, at least.

I tried tatting with size 10. DID NOT work out. So, feeling a bit defeated, I tried with some yarn. And, hallelujah, it's a miracle! It actually worked! In one day, I did this.

It doesn't look very big, but it measures a foot across so far. It's from Tatting With Anne Orr, one of the biggest doilies in there. My goal is for it to be a lap blanket type thing, or at least a decorative gigantic doily to go on top of my fabulously ugly blanket that I love so much. I measured and did some calculations, and I thinkkk it'll be 3-4' feet across when finished, it will have to be a surprise!

I tried to tat with the smaller needle again, thinking that I had maybe conquered needle tatting, but I think that my initial troubles might have had to do with the flexibility of the needle, because the large needle doesn't bend at all, whereas the smaller needle is moving all over the place. It still wasn't very much fun, so, for smaller threads, the shuttle is the way to go.

This is probably the most exciting thing lately.... *drum roll*

A SERGER!!! YAYYYY!!! It's an early birthday present (two more weeks). It was on sale at Joann for around $180 I think, from $300, and it's completely amazing! Pretty much every piece of clothing is serged somewhere, as sewing machines just don't do the job properly, and it's cool to actually have one. As seen in the above pictures, I've been serging like crazy. It just looks so nice and neat, and, dare I say, my favorite word.... organic. Raw edges make me happy.

Joann is having a Halloween sale, even though it's more than a month away. I'm not too keen on holidays, but I AM keen on interesting fabrics. Glittery tulle stuff ($2.50 a yard) and thick elastic turned into this. It took 2 yards, and I pretty much made it up as I went along.

The sewing job isn't the best and I couldn't find my black thread, but it turned out better than I thought. It's supposed to go over tights or a dress or something, as it's a little too short to wear alone! Happy ^_^

Hmm... The end! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thread Makes the World Go Round

Not everybody knows it. But, it's true.

Bored, I remembered why I started dyeing thread: because I wanted more! So a couple nights ago, I dyed a whole bunch of solid colors.

I found as many plastic cups (and wine glasses, that was not appreciated) as I could. Filled them with just enough water to cover one skein of thread, and made up a whole bunch of different colors. Then soaked the skeins (size 30, since it's now retired from sales) for a couple hours. That was using Dylon, and the colors turned out very vibrant.

I also got out the ancient Rit dye and tried that. I simmered each skein of thread in a pan with a tiny bit of water. That was nice too. Here's all the new thread. Yayyyy!

The picture doesn't do them justice. And my two favorite ones are being used for a new (fabulous) edging.

BRIGHT blue and canary yellow. The edging is turning out so so so pretty. It's 8899 from the Tatter's Treasure Chest. Maybe I'm becoming neater, because my unblocked pieces are looking better. Happy! The corners were hard to figure out how to turn. I had to stare at it for half an hour before I figured it out.

I'm giving needle tatting another try, I got a big needle and a tiny needle.

And some size 80! Pretty!

I never really get thread anymore, but 80 is always nice.

Fin! ((:

Thank you for reading!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nice Mistakes

It's not necessarily a block, but I've been having tatting problems. Every time I try, I'm extraordinarily terrible. So, I've made a new goal to try to perfect my techniques and learn some new ones.

One thing that has confused me, is the right number of beads. I recently discovered eBay. SO. MANY. SEED BEADS. I got a ton of those, because, after avoiding beads, I found that they're not actually that terrible.

This started as the second snowflake in "24 Julestjerner i Orkis". I'm too lazy to translate it, but the snowflakes are so pretty. Anyway, when I was tatting it, I didn't make my picots long enough, so it started to get bunched up. This called for some morphing, and it turned into this.

I like how it turned out, but I'm going to redo it at some point! I thinkkk it's size 20, maybe it's 50. It's in my own Cupcake thread. The beads actually look pretty nice! Yay!

Speaking of thread, I added a couple new ones.

The Secret Project is going as planned, and, it looks like it will be unveiled on either the 8th (my birthday) or the 10th of October. Yay again! ^_^

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yay for nothing!

 (Disclaimer: I (now) realize that I've been spelling dyeing wrong. You see, I originally thought it was "dyeing", but the red squiggle on one ignorant site told me it was wrong, so I foolishly believed it all this time. Turns out I've been spelling it incorrectly for quite some time. To those who have cringed as I do at spelling errors, I apologize. Ugh dumb mistakes.. haha)

For the past couple weeks I've been meaning to post. But there wasn't necessarily anything to post about. So, for the sake of this blog I'll be sharing my new and improved dyeing method in under 500 words (hopefully). I was informed that my last dying method explanation was extraordinarily boring, even compared to my usual nonsense-talk. This one will be fast!

1. Get thread! For the sake of convenience, Aunt Lydia's (usually at Joann or Walmart) is nice for size 10. Red Heart is absolutely lovely for 20 and 30. I use DMC Cordonnet, simply because it's very high quality, but that's pretty much only online, and the prices are lame to be fooling around with. It definitely hurts to mess up 400 yards (a size 80 ball has around 150 yards).

2. Wind it into skeins. My skeins measure approximately 55 yards, but I say they're 50 to make myself feel better about selling them (kind of a silent gesture?). Niddy noddies are typically used to wind up skeins. You can use the smooth legs of a chair or something. Make sure to measure one go-around before winding it up, so you know how much you're putting on. I talk about PVC pipe niddy noddies here. And I have a PVC pipe measuring thing installed on my wall that I'm sure you could conjure up if you really wanted to. You don't need to twist them up yet, I do just because it keeps them neat. I'm sure you won't be winding up 10,000 yards at a time though.

3. Dye. The dye isn't such a big deal. Anything for clothing will do fine. The Dyson dye from Joann works like a charm, they have nice colors, and they're inexpensive for dyeing your own thread, or thread to give away (who doesn't like thread?!). Make sure to read the directions and keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

4. Dying. I lay the thread out, evenly spaced. In order, from biggest to smallest. Remember that different sizes and brands dye VERY differently. DMC Cordonnet dyes very well, but runs easily, so I need to pat it dry after applying dye. Use a sponge brush to put the colors where you would like it. Make sure the color goes through. Try different techniques.

 I use a poster board covered by a trash bag. Fancy, I know! Easily replaced and wiped down.

5. Let dry. Let it sit over night, or until you're ready to wash it. The washing is my least favorite part because my hands have to be wet for a long time and I have an irrational fear of my skin falling off (I read about it in the Guinness Book of World Records when I was like 7). Have a big bowl or pan in the sink filled with hot water (not too hot). Rinse each skein until the water runs clear, carefully roll it into a ball, place in the bowl. Do more skeins until The bowl is full. Now, take each ball out, squeeze it, rinse VERY well (chances are, it won't be washed again for a very, very long time). Stretch it out, place it on a towel. Now finish the rest. When they are still damp, you can twist them into hanks. There are a lot of videos about this. I like to fold, and then hank them up. You could even fold two times. It's more compact and works up faster.

The end. Your own blend! That wasn't too bad, was it?

Just make sure that you don't constantly get confused by the multiple cups.

Hmmmm... One of these is my drink...

If you want to see my thread on Etsy, click here! I'm doing kind of like a sale thing.
The size 30 has been so neglected! It's my favorite, it's so ridiculously soft, I must admit. It's only a tiny bit finer than 20, not unmanageable, but nice for those who don't like to stray towards the very fine threads. So, that's going to be on sale on it's own. And then 30% extra off that or anything with the code "superawesome".

I haven't completely forgotten about tatting, I've been working on a completely fun, awesome, fantastic, stupendous project that will be unveiled in a month. Cruel, I know. It's a project too big for my closet workspace, that has officially, just become a closet for craft things. An office-type thing was required.

I don't know if I'll have anything to blog about until the revealing of the project. Maybe new thread. We'll see.

Thanks for getting through all that.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Elaborate Necklace Pattern

I worked on this all night, and now it's in PDF form here for you to print for free (of course). It's a very fast pattern. I'm a bit proud of it.

Please, email the picture if you decide to make one...or twelve! I have an album of things I contributed to in some way, be it thread or pattern (hint hint!)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Finally! Something new to share. Lately, I haven't really been driven to make anything. The next birthday in my family will be me (October 8 *cough cough*), but my friend does have one around then as well, so I've started working on some things for her.

I've gone Etsy crazy lately. EVERYTHING is on there. Seriously! I've started getting my jewelry findings on there. Because my friend doesn't read my blog, I feel it's safe to post these.

The little purple bit is from Celtic Tatting: Knots and Patterns. I need to start saying where the patterns are from because I've been getting scolded lately! Haha. The earring part is stainless steel, and the heads are from superdraven on etsy. They came in a pack of six. So, I might make two more pairs, as my friend is really into that style. Buddhist I think. The tatting is hardened with a glue/water mixture 80/20, so it's strong enough not to sag under the weight of the heads.

I also got these fairies.

They inspired this.

Yes, I know, the drawing is terrible. It's going to be an elaborate collar/necklace. If it works out, I'll post the pattern soon. The green motif is going to be part of it.

The pattern is from Tatting Patterns and Designs. In Krystle's Of Berries and Fairies. Not bad for unblocked! Lighting isn't very good.

I swore I wasn't going to post this until I actually had something interesting to share. The last thread I posted had really good response. I'm very grateful! I hope it met expectations.

This is a soft, fruity blend (no other way to describe it). The motif is in #80.

It's very soft. Links through the pictures. I don't love how the #10 came out, so that's on sale.

That's all!

Thank you. (: