Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CREATIVE HANDS - The Art of Tatting

key words, "on our way," as we are not quite there yet
 Even though there are many tutorials and videos available (and my free class) for shuttle tatting, I couldn't successfully "jump the knot" more than 6 times. While shopping at Hobby Lobby in February, I purchased a tatting needle kit with instructions.  Since attempting to tat with this method, it seemed so much easier.  I made lots of little circles with the picots (pronounced PEE' co(s)), but couldn't get them off the needle.  Back to the class I went, and now I can at least make a circle with a few picots, then another circle. 
 I learned that I could cast on the stitches closer to the point of the needle, as long as there was a long length of thread as this loop, and more extending through the eye.
 Here's what I was omitting.  I needed to put my finger in the loop before I pull the needle through the stitches.
Here are my two circles with picots - I am so proud.  Yes, it's baby steps, just baby steps.  Do you think I'm ready to learn to read and follow a pattern?  I've still got my goal of making some 3 inch wreaths for next Christmas.  As always, stay tuned.......

We attended an informal class on Saturday, January 19, 2013. One of Mrs. Medlyn's students was our teacher, and a very patient one, I might add. Learning with a thicker thread, and two different colors was helpful especially when we learned to "jump the knot."  After several tries, really lots and lots of tries, I realized the words "jumping the knot" did not make sense to  me.  Once I discovered that it meant that your ball thread had to end up being the dominant knot color, it finally worked.  There were ten of us gathered around the tables, and I bet that every one of us - two lefties included - had a varied concept of the knot.  Many a time I was ready to admit this was not for me, but by the time we ended our first session, I could actually have a conversation about my knots, which were right, and how they had to slide on the thread.  We are on our way to learning this very neat handiwork....key words, "on our way," as we are not quite there yet.  Thank you, Vicki! 
Everyone in the beginner's class did some other kind of handiwork - quilting, embroidery, sewing, knitting, crocheting, Hardanger or needlepoint, though that is not a requirement. 
To begin, we used two different colors, and attached them to a paper clip so we had something to hold on to.
Then there came learning how to hold the ball yarn, using certain fingers for the tension.  I found it similar to using certain fingers for tension when crocheting.  But it still seemed so foreign, and my fingers don't bend as well as they did once.
A very twisted chain of correct and incorrect attempts at the knot, with the last few red ones being right; followed by learning the picot (pee' co) and being able to slide the stitches back and forth.
Yay!  I can do that.  The pictures are to help me remember next time.

Tea with Friends

Sunday, March 17, 2013


St. Patrick, "Apostle to the Irish" born 390, died 460, was the son of an official of the Roman empire.  He was born in southern Britain to a Christian family.  He studied for the ministry and around 430 was sent to Ireland as its bishop.

St. Patrick' Breastplate:
I bind this day to me forever,
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation,
His baptism in the Jordan River,
His cross of death for my salvation,
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heav'nly way,
His coming at the day of doom,
I bind unto myself today.


We are also celebrating my mother's 81st birthday, and since the Hawaiian tea was so much fun, we decided to cook main course foods as we celebrate her.

Carrots, green pepper, pineapple with a orange, grapefruit and ginger sauce
Red sweet potatoes with banana and pineapple filling
Chicken Teriyaki with sticky rice
Ham, Swiss buns baked with a butter mustard (recipe here)
Served with sparkling apple juice, black tea, and Hawaiian mango tea
We took a virtual tour to Hawaii first via photo album as Nancy and Tom shared their Hawaiian trip with Tom's school band, about 35 years ago, the community support and places they toured.
Next we viewed Judi's Maui trip photos
"Happy Birthday to you" was sung around the table, as Mom and Nancy (who celebrated her day on the 13th) blew out their candles and opened their cards and gifts.
Chocolate zucchini cake with chocolate mint frosting