Knitting frenzy

In the last month I have found out numerous people in my inner circle are having babies before the end of this year. I decided to replenish my baby bootee stash and have been in a knitting frenzy for the last couple of weeks. Here is a quick picture of what I have made so far.

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I’m sure that pretty soon I will run out of steam, or wool…so until next time,
Happy knitting
Fiona T

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Clear Clover shuttles from Japan

I love getting packages, and yesterday two arrived! One was a magazine I found on ebay, and the other was from Japan, and held some very special shuttles. The Anna magazine was published in 1998, and is an English translation of the German publication. There are quite a few tatting patterns here, which was a lovely surprise.

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The clear, white and “tortoise shell” plastic shuttles were purchased online the weekend before last from aphyu-tatting in Japan. It was very tempting to buy some books also, but international postage and my inability to read Japanese led me to decide just to purchase shuttles.
Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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Holiday Tatting

A couple of weeks ago we were on holiday in Queensland, enjoying the beautiful weather and tourist trail. I took the opportunity to work more on the Mystery Doily, and progressed from round 2 to 6 in the time we were away. Here are some photos of my progress, on the plane and at our accommodation. 2015-06-28 11.13.26_resized  2015-07-02 12.16.42_resized I have been challenging myself by using split chains and split rings to climb out of rows, and reduce the need to cut and tie each round. This was fine, until I ran out of thread on my shuttle with one final ring to complete in round 5.2015-07-04 10.49.05_resized Some quick thinking, and I was able to use the ball thread to make my rings, the Shoe Lace Trick (SLT) to swap between the threads, and the small amount of shuttle thread as the core of the chain. Phew- I made it :)

2015-07-04 11.08.37_resizedI am still chipping away at round 6. More progress reports as it is made :)

Until next time, Happy Tatting

Fiona T

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To Kina or not to Kina….a knitting with cotton adventure.

A few months ago I began knitting my second adult Kina. The one I knitted before was in wool, and too warm for summer weather here in Australia. I am happily wearing it in winter, over long sleeved T shirts and skivvies. However, I really want one for the summer, and so found Bendigo Wool Mills 8 ply cotton, in a lovely lilac and have started my second Kina! I hope to have it finished in less than a year :) But have had a couple of setbacks.

The 8 Ply cotton knits up a little looser than it’s wool counterpart, and so the first cast on and increases looked a little gappy. This didn’t bother me too much. The real problem came when I thought I would try a different knitting style than what I currently  use- the much faster looking ‘continental style’. It was after doing a few, much much slower, rows that I decided to go back to my normal knitting style (that I have used for 30 years) and try continental knitting on another project. But first I wanted to get this Kina off my needles so I can make some other projects for some family and close friends having babies soon.  So, I kept knitting and then realised this had happened….

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Can you see it? Yes- a line! When I thought about it, the continental style did pull the threads through in the opposite way to my usual style, and I should have realised this at the time (hind sight, huh!). Having spent so long already on this project I was reluctant to pull it out- so have taken it to a few ‘knitting consultants’ (read: friends and family) to see how obvious this error is (the consensus is that is is VERY obvious). I also cast on a new Kina (I had another ball of this cotton) while I was waiting for feedback from others, and deciding whether to ‘retro knit’ the first one.  2015-06-24 19.48.472015-06-25 16.12.12I took the opportunity to use my new stitch markers, they are little macarons! Very cute- from Bead Passion on ETSY. I also decided to try and ‘fix’ the gaps, so I am using smaller needles and making the next size up of the pattern. Hopefully this will compensate and as it is a forgiving pattern I am confident it will work OK…but will keep you all posted as I progress. I still haven’t taken off the other Kina from the needles…when I need the next ball of cotton I will muster the courage ;-)

Is there a project you have needed courage to start over?

Until next time, Cappy Crafting

Fiona T

 

 

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The Blocked and the Beautiful (and wise)!

I know,  I know- Jan’s Doily II was a pain to make- I whinged and whined over it for the last few months. So I feel a little embarrassed to now be so very very proud of it! After blocking it is STUNNING (if I do say so myself, but Wonderful Husband (WH) agrees, so does Little Tacker(LT)). Thinking about my PhD research into what motivates people- there is a lot written in the education world about having challenges just at the edge of our current abilities (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development ZPD) – that sweet spot where you know the task is a little harder than you expected, but you know if you persevere you can complete the task. As a teacher I feel pretty confident in finding that ‘sweet spot’ for my students and designing tasks that will support them to their next level. It is a good reminder that we all are constantly learning in life….however I wont be rushing to do another Jan Doily in a hurry…I’ll need to work up to the next one :) Blocked Jan Doily ii

My next “ZPD” challenge is in Crochet. A friend of mine gave me a ‘Star Wars amigurumi’ kit for my recent birthday-

2015-05-30 19.01.37So, of course, it has distracted me for the last week as I learned new crochet stitches and techniques to make this little ‘wise’ guy :)

yoda for blog

After making one Yoda (WH claimed him) I had friends (and LT) who wanted one too. As it is winter in Australia at the moment there is a lot of wool at craft shops- so it wasn’t too difficult to locate ‘yoda’ coloured wool (there was a larger than I expected range of Green coloured wool!). So, I started a ‘yoda production line’ which was fine, until I was up to the feet…they are the ‘new stitch’ and the point where they are stuffed and embroidered. Below are pictures of the ‘heads’ and ‘bodies’ ready for the next step. As it is a long weekend in Melbourne- I hope to finish all the feet today and get onto the arms and ears too…I will post when they are done. yoda heads

Bodies, they now have! Feet tomorrow, I will make!In keeping with the ZPD theme of this post, Kersti over at Craftree has started a ‘Mystery Doily Tat along’ which she has tailored patterns for both beginner and advanced tatters- needle and shuttle. It began last week and so I made a start on it yesterday. Round one is cupping (as expected from reading the discussion forum) and I hope to get the second round completed today. I urge you to join in- or at least come and join the fun in the discussion forums on Craftree :)  2015-06-07 09.54.33-1

I wonder- what craft has recently pushed you to work in your ZPD?

Until next time- Happy Crafting

Fiona T

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Tray cloth project

Another ebay find, this tray cloth had been embroidered and has a crochet lacey edge. In the ebay picture I want sure if it was tatted or not, and it turns out, it’s not!

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It has now been added to my ever lengthening list of projects. I will remove the crochet edge and replace it with a tatted edge….eventually :)
Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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An op shop find and a random ‘craft pack’ prize draw

A few weeks ago my sister and I stopped into an op shop on our way to play tennis. We looked through some great stuff, though their craft section was a bit disappointing. I found I couldn’t walk out of the shop without this little beaded pearl purse. I have no idea what I will do with it- but it is so nice. I’m sure I will use it one day :Dop shop beaded purse and gloves

Thanks to my lovely followers here and on facebook- now just over 800 likers, and nearly 900 with an rss link directly to the blog too :) To celebrate, I decided that I would have a random ‘craft pack’ prize draw. But, this time there is a difference- I have already drawn a winner. I decided to draw the prize from those who have commented on my blog the most since it began. It is my way of honouring those of you who have been on this journey with me for a long time, and who have supported me consistently with lovely comments. There are approx 10 regular commenters over the last 3 years….including Tatting Margaret, Barbara G, Notewords, Muskaan, Kristen, Berice, Marina, and Jenni. So- without any further ado- the winner is (brrrrr.. drum roll)  Barbara G. Your craft pack will include a book (I will give you a couple of choices), thread and some surprises :) Barbara- please contact me through facebook message, or craftree to organise which books and delivery :) Congratulations.

Thanks everyone for following, until next time, happy crafting :)

Fiona T

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Finished and blocked- Jan’s doily ll

Two days ago I completed Jan’s doily ll- from his book: Tatting theory and patterns. There have been a few questions about blocking on face book, so here is a picture of the doily that I have just sprayed with water and pinned out to dry- blocked!

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This doily was a challenge for me. The instructions were a bit different to the traditional patterns I have become used to. It took me far longer to remember the repeats than usual, and so progress was slow and there was a fair bit of retro tatting and cutting away. I do like the colours though, Altin basak blue (no. 343, size 50) and ecru. I doubt I will make this again, but am very glad to be finished it.
I an loking forward to making some smaller items, and perhaps taking part in a tat-along too.
I wonder, what project were you glad to finish?
Until next time, happy tatting
Fiona T

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Vintage Semco Pattern Books

I was excited to see these two vintage semco pattern books on ebay a couple of weeks ago. The green cover is book number 16, and the blue cover is number 19. The other book is a coats-mercer collection “tatting”. The books arrived a few days ago. I was able to recognize that the Semco books contain Norma Benporath patterns, and this was confirmed inside the cover :) I was a little disappointed that both books have only a few different patterns, with the majority of the patterns are replicated in each volume. I wonder if this is the same with any other books in the semco series?

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Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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Crochet fun: Mug cosies

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My sister has a set of beautiful “mud” mugs. Gorgeous colours, but no handles. On a recent trip to my local craft store I found a bamboo blend in colours I thought would match to the mugs- so began “project mug cosies”. I have been working on these on and off for a couple of months, and have made 14 that I delivered yesterday. My sister loves them :) Now, to finish some more UFOs this week :)
As always, happy crafting.
Fiona T

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