August 14, 2013

Among the unpacking was a book on tatting for both shuttle and needle. It was something I was playing with before I started packing. A very crafty friend asked me about it and at this point I had only tried needle tatting. I purchased a shuttle years ago... shortly after my four year old son was born but never learned. So today I took the time to find videos and sites to learn just that. The tatting page with links and resources is the result. Youtube has been great. On Pintrest I have discovered MANY useful links, images and videos. God, I can easily loose time on that site.

I'm finding shuttle tatting has it's perks. You never need to determine needle size because shuttle will turn out perfect every time (unless technical issues prevail). Hell, if you're trying it out you don't even need a shuttle. A plastic thread holder or piece of cardboard is enough to start learning on.  Shuttle tatting is flexible whereas needle tatting can be tricky in some patterns. Shuttles are beautiful and customizable. Shuttle tatting can be done on an airplane whereas needle tatting isn't allowed. You can use finer beads. There is potential for less joining threads to weave in at the end and less misgauging how much working thread vs tail is needed. Most importantly, for me I feel my tension is better even though I have less experience shuttle tatting than needle tatting. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it so much, but I do.

If you're starting something new, it's great to see how others have interpreted the same pattern (like on Ravelry). You never know what patterns you would have passed because of color, gauge or original shaping but if you look at what others have done, you might fall head over heels with someone else's modifications. I have also found others leave useful notes to improve upon technique or typo fixes that would have otherwise left me frustrated.

Bottom line, give shuttle tatting a try.

August 08, 2013

Knitting with Friends
We just moved into our new place and sorting through and reorganizing craft supplies has brought out so many forgotten projects I intended to finish but hadn't or have not even started. Among them was a baby pinwheel blanket I promised to knit for a retirement home gift shop. It's going to be white, yellow and green. All pastels. My goal is to finish it by the 20th. I had to refresh on the disappearing loop method but I'm now going strong on it. After the first few rows, the rest of the pattern repeats. This is a fabulous pattern to knit with others because you don't need to pay attention to details.

I still have a fair amount of stashed yarns left in storage. I found an old chenille blanket I started for one of my boys but never got to finish. Since the required hook is ginormous, it's a quick stash buster project that I'm thinking will be soon on the horizon. I want to finish what I started. Get it all done. Clear out space for new inspirations.

Poppy Fairy
Last month I managed complete 25% of the pattern (beading, outlining and finishing not included). It's looking great and more like a fairy. I discovered I find cross stitch relaxing, especially if it's blocks of color rather than intricate constant color change. There is a pattern in a British magazine that I absolutely adore, that says "Life is just peachy when you're as cool as a cucumber but sometimes it's fun to just go bananas." I think it will suit my style well while looking good in my kitchen.

I subscribe digitally to "Cross Stitch Collection" on my ipad. I love that I have patterns while I'm on the go so I can easily get supplies I need as well as zooming in on hard to see areas of a pattern. If you haven't tried getting magazines digitally, it's great. You can also print out single patterns that you can mark up and modify.

Anyway, Happy Stitches! Picture updates soon to follow.

Edit: added project photo of Pinwheel Blanket.