Tatting, crochet, origami and quilling

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Obsessed crafter...voracious reader.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Zen Cranes now available!!!

As of this weekend you can purchase my Zen Cranes (pictured in the last post) exclusively at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in South Side.  The Cranes cost $25 plus tax and while there are a number of different colors available at the store I can also accommodate special requests.  Just order them through the store and give me about a week to deliver to Jo-Beth.

You can call the store (412) 381-3600 to ask about the available colors or place an order.  The store can also ship to you if you're ordering from outside the area.

In the next few weeks I will be selling kits as well!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cranes and Beads and Fishing Line and Buttons

These are not the best pictures, but they give you a basic idea of these decorative...um...somethings.  Crane Chains is the leading possibility but I am sort of ambivalent on the rhyme.  These, along with kits to make them yourself, will soon be available at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (www.josephbeth.com).  You will only be able to get these through the book store and custom designs will be available.  You can even order them over the phone if you live too far away from Pittsburgh!

Hairpin Lace

Thanks to the amazing book Crochet Lace Innovations by Doris Chan I have finally learned hairpin lace.  The first thing I learned is that the size of the loom doesn't really matter (I had envisioned myself working this stuff on actual hairpins) it's the distance between the posts that determines the size of your lace.

The next thing I learned is that you don't really make hairpin lace on the loom.  You make a row of loops with a spine of crochet down the middle.  It's what you do with the strip of loops that actually forms the lace.  For example, this is the first thing I made, using good old yarn in a worsted weight and running a chain of crochet around the outside to shape the strip of loops.  I think it's a unique look but I don't like the fuzziness of the motif.  next time I will make this on a wider setting to create a lacier look.  Here is a shot of the strip and a close up so you can see the technique better,  The white knots in the center are the "spine" made on the loom and the purple is the regular crochet edging.

Next I tried the real deal:  this is the same hairpin technique with crochet thread and a tatted edge.  This time I used a much thinner weight of yarn and kept the posts about the same distance apart as above so the result is much more light and lacy.

The bottom edge is completely un-worked.  This is what both sides of the basic hairpin strip look like when you pull it off the loom.  I can't wait to do this again and add beads to weight down the bottom row.  This is going to make an amazing cuff or collar base!

Stitch Like a Tunesian

Behold...a scarf I affectionately title the Paecey...

Created Saturday at the PAEYC convention this is my first adventure with Tunesian (or Afghan) stitch.  To make it you start with a base chain like you would in crochet.  Tunesian stitch is made much easier with the use of a Tunesian hook, which is basically a knitting needle with a crochet hook on the tip.  You use crochet techniques, but in passes- like knitting.  The result is a lovely fabric with the warmth and sturdiness of a single crochet fabric but none of the bulkiness.  You can make longer stitches and shells just like in crochet but the more complex weaving of strands in each stitch makes for a sturdier fabric with that lacy look.  Here's a close up of those shells:

After making this I doubt I will ever use single and double crochet for a scarf or blanket again.  All hail the Tunesian stitch!

Here Comes the Sun

At some point in the distant past I started working out some ideas on crocheting the solar system.  I didn't get too far (I keep getting stuck on the rings) but I did make a sun.  Then I tucked it away in my needle case and forgot it existed.
I found it last night and since I don't know when I'll figure those pesky rings out I'm going to post the sun and pack it away in my giant bin.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finished ornament!

Here it is!  All done and ready to go...

This was tricky because it seems that patterns for ornaments are for something in the 1 to 3 inch range and this particulat ball is twice as large...the solution was thread three times as thick and adding an extra motif. 

And for the aspiring tatters out there here's what I learned on this project:  your picots will even out with time, don't bother trying to measure them, just give yourself time to learn to eyeball the size.  However, your long threads between rings are fidly and you might want to find a way to measure before you knot.  Or find a really forgiving pattern!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas Ornaments

After three solid weeks of working on some really gorgeous but as of now unphotographable pieces in paper and beads I have something I can actually show you a picture of.

Pictures of the crane-thingies will be available soon, as will the cranes and kits to make them for yourself at home.  It's been a crazy few weeks, I can't wait to have everything ready enough to share!

But to hold you over until then here's a story and some photos...

I met Jason in my place of employment.  I knew his name was Jason because he was wearing a tiny pin that read "I am Jason."  Anyway, as you might imagine that pin sparked a conversation and ultimately we decided to join forces and make some really kick ass Christmas ornaments.  Below are two shots of the original globe...made by Jason right here in South Side and the beginnings of my part of the project: covering it in lace.