Sunday, April 25, 2010

the making of Crunchy Banana

It's always fun to see before and after pictures of something.... so here you have it! Here are some before pics of what my shop looks like right now!

 Here's the view as you walk in!

 My counter area.

 This will be the workshop space. 

We will take the toilet and sink out of the main area ... though I thought it might be interesting to just leave it there and if someone came in and asked if there was a restroom to just point over to it . :D

Here's a view of the old tin ceiling that was uncovered. As you can see we'll need a few replacement panels.

I can't wait for the after pics! So far about five walls have come down to widen and brighten the space. My current laundry room will be left with no windows since we've given that space over to the shop, but I can do without peering out the window while I fold clothes if it makes my shop brighter. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

crocheted summer scarves - Opera .. how I will miss ye!

two current project using Opera thread, size 10 and 5 respectively

I was really bummed to hear a few months back that Coats would no longer be making Opera 100% cotton thread. It had to be my absolute favorite crochet thread... beautiful shine, unique twist and super soft... but alas. I bought up as much as I could find and I still search for it now and then.

A couple weeks ago I started up two projects (both summery scarves) using Opera. They are pictured up above together, so here's some close ups:

a pale dusty rose, Opera size 10

close up of my purplicious broomstick scarf in Opera size 5 thread

But ... not to fear... there's always hope... doors close, windows open, that kinda thing. At the recent Finger Lakes Tatting Conference one of the vendors introduced me to Venus. I haven't had a chance to work with it yet, but it looks promising.

Venus cotton thread, although the package says 20, this is a traditional US size 10

Monday, April 19, 2010

bulky cotton

Cotton is my absolute favorite natural. I like the feel, the sheen ... though bamboo is pretty cool too.

This summer I'll be offering a class or two in needle tatting -- which I pretty much gave up once I mastered the shuttle. Needle tatting works especially well when using thicker, bulkier yarns since you don't need to wind it all on a giant tatting shuttle that probably wouldn't get you too far anyway... soooo.... I had found this Laines du Nord Cleo (100 gr. 110m/119 yds) in a sale bin and picked up a few balls. It's a bulky 100% cotton yarn and I loved the shine. To try it out I first crocheted up this filet scarf:

Here's a detail shot:
filet crochet I just filled in a random space every other row, single crochet edging

This yarn seemed like a good candidate to use for brushing up on my needle tatting skills so here's the motif I needle tatted up:

I really like this yarn and it's bulky look. It was, however a bit "splity" to crochet with, but not so much that I'd never use it again.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finger Lakes Tatting Angels (haha... well, you know what I mean)

 Celtic Blessing Box, designed by Karey Solomon
This was the one project from the conference I actually finished!

Yes, it's that time of year again! Every April the Finger Lakes tatting group meets for their yearly tatting conference in Hector, NY. This year a slightly bigger venue was needed, so they headed a few miles north to Lodi. It was great to catch up with people I only seem to see once a year and too fun to talk tatting all weekend! This year attendees came from all over New York state as well as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Canada (as far as Ottawa).

This year's theme was Angels... and they were all over the place.

Tassel Angel by Kathy

Aria Angel by Sue Hansen

Imp by Vicki Clarke