Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dena's Doings - 2011

Finished this year:Pomp-a-doodle Scarf x 6, Shawl pin x 2, Red Hat Hats x 6, Alan Dart Advent Tree & 25 Ornaments, Alaskan cedar wrap, To Eyre shawl; JP's Blanket; Remote Holder; Presto Hat; 2 pair Chaussons Mignons baby booties; Pilowghan for Baby; Purple Sunny Days Shawl, Hello Baby Cardigan, Hello Baby Hat, PomPom Rug, Two Pair Mystery 3 KAL Socks; Candy Cane Hat; Baby Surprise Jacket; Ten Stitch Blanket; Sweet Baby Hat; Bubble Scarf; Car Seat Cozy; Water Aerobic Hats (12)

Teresa's Tittilating Tidbits 2011

Finished Projects: 

13 Mini Socks, 1 Super Mini Sock, 1 Mini Mitten, Four Marilyn Squares, Three Hedgiebabies, No Home Gnome, Sweetie Pie Baby Hat, Hello New Baby Cardigan, Three Hedgehogs, Gray To Eyre, Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket, Purple To Eyre, Red To Eyre, Yellow Ducky, Alpaca To Eyre, Quiviut Swallowtail, Stacked Hat #4, Embossed Jacket, Pretty Thing, Feindishly Difficult, Estonian Patent, 2 Purple/Red Silk Azaleas, Hydrangea Anklets, Onion Dome #3, Pam's Felted Bag, Travelling Gnomes, Mardi Gras Hat, Hello Baby Hat/Sweater, Blue Greenjeans #2, 2 Silk Muwata Azaleas, Silk Annis, Ghosty Sweater, Pink Family Jewels Socks, Purple Family Jewels Socks, Little Heart, Angora Cowl, Itty Bitty Fish/Dolphin,

Angela Hat #4, 

Egyptian Hat, 

Moses Mouse, 
8 Chichester Piggies, Totoro,
Penquins Journey Merino/Bamboo (Portfiber 4.9 oz) 200 yds; Eowyn BFL (Dicentra Designs 5.3 oz) 224 yds; Merino/Silk Green/Yellow/Turq (Carolina Handspun 7.4 oz) 336 yds; Tricolor Swirl (NorthStar Alpaca 12 oz) 400 yds ; Robin & Wren (Feeling Sheepish NZ Romney 5.8 oz) 206 yds

Back to Knitting

Most of December I tatted more than I knitted.  Not much knitting got done at all.

So, I have finally finished the body of the Tina's Sweater (designed by Anna Zilboorg, sold through Blue Moon Fiber Arts, knit in BMFA BFL sport).  I think I am going to love this sweater when it is done.  Now I'm going to knit the sleeves but I'm deviating from the pattern because I hate sewing up knit things.  I'm going to pick up stitches around the armholes and knit the sleeves from the top down.

There has been progress on the Marilyn blanket - I have four and a half squares done and Girl Far From Home has one and a half done.  She only remembered to bring the one, so the other half isn't in the picture.

 Girl Far From Home has always wanted knit slippers with leather soles so this is part of her Christmas/Birthday haul.  It won't take me long to knit these up for her.

And because I needed an excuse to use my new and most beautiful knitting needles, I've cast on the Sothia shawl in Madeline Tosh Merino Light.  It is a lovely color yarn but  I will never buy another Madeline Tosh yarn.  I bought five hanks of this yarn so both Dena and I could knit this shawl.  It took me over 7 hours to wind the first hank into a ball because it was so tangled.  The others took less time but two or three of them took over three hours each.  I mentioned that on Ravelry and the folks at Madeline Tosh did offer to replace the yarn but by then it had been wound into balls, mailed to Dena and they wanted the old stuff back.  In looking into the comments on all their yarns, the tangled hanks issue is pretty much universal throughout their yarns.  Frankly, the yarn isn't so great that I would ever try it again - I'd go for more Blue Moon Fiber Arts first cuz that's Lovely yarn.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday!

to my First Born.  May she live happily ever after.


It was a Lovely Christmas here in the deep south.  Both girls are home and having a great time.  
I got a very special present from Mom - this set of DyakCraft Darn Pretty interchangeable knitting needles. Yes, these are really very special - each one is individually hand made by a guy named Tom then polished and checked by his wife Linda.  It's old fashioned craftsmanship at it's very best.  And they are absolutely lovely!  Thanks Mom!

They are so special that Tom signs and numbers each set.  My set is number 903 in Hazelwood.  They feel so warm and wonderful in my hands - I have moved my current projects (the bobble sweater and Marilyn blanket squares) to them.  If you are interested, they are sold on the DyakCraft website.  They come in about a dozen different colors of wood or two colors of metal.   Just be aware that since they are each made by hand, one at a time, that it takes a while to get them.  The website says 12 to 14 weeks and the wait may be longer than that. 

All in all, it was a lovely Christmas.  There were lots of presents, but not too many.  It was a far less expensive Christmas than those in the past, but I think everyone was happy.

 That Other Girl got lots of drawing stuff and music cd's - and a couple of puzzles.

 The couch was covered with goodies.

 Girl Far From Home got a puzzle she loved and lots of music cd's she wanted.

Besides my needles (lower left of pic - wrapped carefully in tissue) I got lots of other good stuff.

Even Casey got new toys that she loves.  This is her Santa Hedgehog, but she also got a big floppy snowman from Mom that she uses as a pillow.  

Hope everyone had as nice a day as we did.  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Whatever you celebrate,
I hope you have peace, love and happiness
today and throughout the season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Tatting Poem

T.S. Eliot - The Old Gumbie Cat

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat;
She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice--
Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teachs them music, crocheting and tatting.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure it is due to irregular diet;
And believing that nothing is done without trying,
She sets right to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse--cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.
She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that's smooth and flat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment
To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment.
So she's formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,
A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,
With a purpose in life and a good deed to do--
And she's even created a Beetles' Tattoo.

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers--
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.
 For those of you super familiar with the musical Cats 
- this is part of the poetry the musical was based on.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Don't Look Too Closely . . .

 Remember that my friend lent me a sewing machine?  Well yesterday she came over and encouraged me.
Yep, I sewed myself an Origami bag. 

 Seriously cute froggy fabric . . . 

 and a gorgeous blue that looks like lily pads in water.

Just don't look too closely or you will see the mistakes.  The square wasn't quite perfectly square and so the  folds weren't quite perfect.  But I'm pretty happy with it - especially for a first try.

I bought some extra fat quarters when I got the froggie fabric so I can practice some more.  (Purple for Dena?  That Other Girl wants the paisley and stripes, the green and red dots was supposed to be Christmassy and the blues were just pretty.)

But I had to go to the fabric store and get some ribbons for the drawstrings and some sewing thread and some extra bobbins (hope they are the right size).  I also found some bobbins that I think might work in my treadle machine which I need to get working before my very kind friend reclaims her nice electric sewing machine.

And Girl Far From Home picked out two pair of fabrics for me to make bags for her . . . 

I guess I am learning how to sew now.  I really hope to get better at this fairly quickly so I can make the Mary Lou dolls before the little girls aren't little anymore.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tatting Tea Tuesday

I could bore you with pictures of my outstanding, glorious tatting but instead I will give you a repost.  This is from 2002, Tim TenClay's blog, "Knots & More"

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

By Tim TenClay - tim (at)

NATA #253

'Twas the night before Christmas, my fingers were numb,
I'd been tatting for hours and I still wasn't done.
The presents were wrapped; the air was all chills,
And still I was working on picots and frills.

The kids were asleep and my cat watching on -
Santa had come and the cookies were gone.
I'd emptied my coffee for the third time that night
When all of the sudden a crash gave me fright.

"Oh No!" I began, as I rushed from my seat,
The ring barely closed, looking not-at-all neat.
But, I peered out the door and was happy to see
That 'twas only the snow crashing down from a tree.

Relieved, I turned back toward my shuttle and thread,
When all of the sudden I remembered, with dread.
That my cat, the dear thing, had been there all alone,
And she's not at all innocent, past history had shown.

So with that on my mind, and fear in my soul,
I picked up my pace as I moved down the hall.
Hopelessly wishing and lifting in prayer
That she just might have left it alone on the chair.

But 'naught was my luck - as I'm sure you surmised,
When I rounded the corner, and focused my eyes
On that feline of ours - the dreadful ol' thing -
Who had turned all my tatting to just piles of string.

Gone were my picots, and rings and my chains;
Gone were the shapes that had taken such pains.
All that was left was that horrible cat
Whose suddenly looked awfully naughty and fat.

I reached for the broom, as my face turned all red
And I charged at the cat, thinking soon she'd be dead.
But just as I lifted my arm with the broom,
I looked in her eyes and I glanced 'round the room.

I was just checking to see, at the time,
That I was alone, and could cover my crime.
But her eyes were happy, her head in a tangle,
Her joy melted all my desire to mangle.

It was Christmas for her, and she couldn't care
After months of just waiting, I'd left it right there.
A shuttle, some thread, a few rings and some chains,
Were so much more fun than cat candy canes.

Finally she'd gotten the present she wanted
After all of the hours I'd sat there and flaunted.
She played and she purred and she glistened with glee
So I set down my broom and I picked up my tea.

Who cared about snowflakes or bookmarks that night?
Who cared about all of my fear and my fright?
That scruffy old cat had torn it all up,
And I really didn't care as I sipped on my cup.

The morning still came, and the day soon did break,
The stockings were full and the turkey was baked.
The pies were all eaten; the presents unwrapped,
And, nobody noticed I'd just about snapped.

My tatting was ruined but I didn't care,
That dearest old cat taught me something quite rare:
A shuttle and string are the source of great joy,
For human and cat, they're the best kind of toy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Tatting

I have been tatting a lot lately.  I didn't like this three color Christmas Mix thread from Lizbeth when I first started tatting with it, but it's growing on me.  I think it looks better in person than in a close up picture for one thing.  

In fact, I like Mary Konior's Posey so much in this thread that I have already made two and have another one working.  I'm going to send one to Mom and give one to another friend.  That Other Girl wants to give several away, so I'm making more for her.  I am not sure exactly why these two came out so different in size or which size the rest will be.

And, I made some more of the angels from The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones for my own Christmas Tree.  I love this little angel pattern.  I think I will make more of these to give away too.

I found the pattern for this darling little angel on Sharren's Random Stitches - it's called Sharren's Angel.  It's super quick and easy and you can change the look by changing the picots.  I made more of them, but I'm not sure where I put them.  I am going to hang them on my tree this year too.  I am also going to send some of these to Mom because she loves angels.

This was just to finish off a little bit of thread . . . I think it turned out cute.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In the mail . . .

I participated in the Christmas exchange on The Tatting Forums again this year.  This year, my name was drawn by Maria in Portugal!  She sent this lovely card in which was a handwritten message.  

She sent this lovely postcard with lots of scenes from Portugal.  My husband and I have always wanted to got to Spain or Portugal.  The pen also has scenes and sites on it as well.  I'm going to have to protect it from my daughter who has already tried to snag it.

And Maria made this lovely snowflake for me too.  I wish the picture was better so you could see the delicate silver thread wrapped around the white tatting thread - and the pearl beads.  It's absolutely gorgeous in person and it is going on my Christmas tree.

Maybe best of all, she sent me a generous sample of the thread - enough to make another snowflake.  It really is lovely thread so now I need to find something special to make with it.  Of course, I will have to practice whatever it is on some less special thread.

Thank you Maria!

Friday, December 16, 2011

And the winners are . . .

So, since Dena wanted a little mini sock to hold her shuttle, I knit her a purple one.  I'm sending her a purple shuttle (from Anika's shop here) to go inside it because, well, when I saw that purple shuttle I knew Dena needed it.  (She is crazy about purple).  I knit myself a soft and colorful little sock because I still like that yarn - I have a pair of socks for myself that I knit out of it here.  

So, first to answer a few questions:

Caseymini - I'll email you a pattern.

Kathy Niklewicz - I have heard of Althea Crome and I think her work is AMAZING.  (For those of you not familiar with her, do check out Bugknits and be amazed yourself.)  I can't begin to knit that small - six complete sweaters on her finger?  for real? - because my eyes just aren't that good anymore.
For these little mini socks I used regular sock yarn - all of it leftover from socks I've knit for myself or my family.  When I knit socks for myself, I use a size 1 or 2 so the stitches will be tight and firm.  I knit all of these on a size 3 so they'd be loose, squishy soft and stretchy. 

Jane - you asked for it, you got it.

Isdihara - I haven't seen Lynne Gillies knit stockings or sock monkeys.  Dena and I tried to see the tiny sock monkey on Facebook but couldn't.  Do you have another link?  I have seen a mini monkey on ravelry and it is adorable.  Again, too small for my old eyes to enjoy knitting.

Ok, on to the winners . . . .
Lace-Lovin' Librarian, 
Kathy Niklewicz, 
Happy Bluebird, 
Jane Eboral, 
Sharon D., 
and Bett  
please email me your snail mail addresses and I'll get these in the mail.

Yes, that's right . . . everyone who wanted one is getting a mini shuttle sock.  Well, all but one.  

Jane Eborall is getting a mini shuttle mitten because she likes to be different.

Here is the whole mess of them - mine and Dena's, Jane's mitten and a whole lotta mini socks.

And Kathy and Isdihara - here is about the smallest knitting I really want to do.  This little sock was knit on size 0000 needles with regular sock yarn.  It would be smaller if I had knit it with lace weight yarn or tatting thread.  

When I was a young girl (fourth or fifth grade) my Mother knit on straight pins, the 1" long ones used for sewing using sewing thread instead of yarn.  It was for a history project where I dressed my barbie doll as a settler and built her a covered wagon.  I still have the dress, but not the knitting.  That was crazy small knitting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tatting for Tuesday

This arrived from Sally in England (Tat's Heaven Blog) from her recent giveaway.  I love it - it's even prettier in person than it was in her picture.  This is going on the kitchen window where I will see it every morning as I make my coffee and every time I do dishes.  

She also included this little tatted angel from Martha's book Playing with Picots.  I love this little angel - think she's called little sister angel, but I wouldn't swear to it.  I need to make her for Mom, she's just so cute.   I don't own the book yet, but I should be able to swing it after the holidays - or I'll ask for it for my birthday in February.  

I have done some tatting this week, but it's not ready for show and tell yet . . . maybe I'll do a Tatting Tea Thursday.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Erin Lane Bags

 I bought this bag in the Erin Lane booth at Stitches South last year.  (There is also an Etsy shop here - Erin Lane Bags and More.)  I love the fabric - who wouldn't love sheepies knitting?  I love the saying.  I love the size and the shape.  I love everything about it.  It is one of my two favorite knitting bags.  My other favorite is my Feed 100 bag - because it is just the right size, has great pockets, folds down to nothing and most of all was bought by my daughter because the money went to feed lunches to 100 school children who couldn't otherwise afford it.

The Feed project is still out there trying to feed the hungry in the world.  There is a terrific Feed Shop that has all kinds of wonderful items for sale and the great thing is you know when you buy exactly how many school meals you are providing with your purchase.   I loved my bag so much that I went back and bought another for me and one for Mom and one for Dena as gifts.  They are terrific bags for whatever.  There are many other products ranging from shirts to teddy bears - I highly recommend checking out their site here:  Feed Shop.

So Friday, I got a big box in the mail.  It had some of the best goodies I've gotten all year in it!  This bigger sheepie bag was in it.  My original Erin Lane sheepie bag is called a bucket bag - size and shape thing, ya know.  This bag is called the barrel because it's just that much bigger than the bucket.  

 Here are the two of them side by side so you can see the difference.  The new barrel is not gigantic, just a bit bigger.  The problem with gigantic bags is that I fill them with lots and lots of stuff that I 'NEED' to have with me and eventually they start to weigh so much that I cannot lift them or at the least it is uncomfortable to carry them.  

 This new barrel is big enough to carry a sweater's worth of yarn and my second project (I always have a second, smaller and easier project - always) with ease.  It isn't so huge that I'm going to stuff it with four or five books, three cases with knitting needles, a couple of accessory cases and several magazines because I might have time to knit, tat and read while I wait.  (I will never understand why I think I'm going to be waiting that long, but I always seem to think I need everything I own with me.)

Also in the box was this generously sized drawstring bag.  I'm guessing this is 15" x 15" and it's fully lined with muslin to keep things clean.  It has a drawstring under that red grosgrain ribbon that locks it shut.  It will be excellent for keeping the extra balls of yarn for that sweater neat and tidy so they don't get messed up running loose in the knitting bag.  And look - more sheepies knitting!

These two items are for my interchangeable knitting needles.  I have lots of them because I do lots of knitting.  These are called Double Duty's because each of these packs will hold two sets of interchangeable knitting needles.  If you look at the second picture of the jewel tone knit pack you will see one set of needle tips is already in the middle slots.  There is lots of room for another set of tips and cables and all the other accessories I might need.  I really LOVE the colors of the jewel tone knit pack and the black and red and white one with knitting terms matches my sheepie fabric so nicely!

Those were things that I had ordered, well, except the barrel - Dena ordered that and gave it to me as a gift.  Lisa and Lindsey (the brains behind Erin Lane Bags) sent a couple of little gifts too!  See this little bag?  It's meant to be a sock knitting bag - just big enough for a ball of yarn and your double point needles.  For me it's going to be my tatting bag!  I always keep tatting in my knitting bag because sometimes you feel like a knit, some times you don't!  It is the perfect size for a couple of shuttles and a ball and maybe my little scissors, a sewing needle and my tweezers.  It is small enough to drop in my knitting bag and best of all, it matches!!

The other little extra that I got was this terrific pattern keeper.  Lindsey came up with this idea after finding a crumpled pattern in the bottom of her knitting bag one evening.  It's great for knitting patterns, but it works for tatting patterns too!  And I can fit one of each in it and put whichever I am currently using on top where I can see it.  Then snap it shut to keep pattern nice and safe and clean!

I do love my knew ensemble!  Thanks Lindsey and Lisa!