Saturday, March 10, 2012

Back in time

I bought something this week.  I love Ravelry but I have very little time to spend there.  So imagine my surprise when I poked into the bobbin lace group and saw a posting for a roller pillow for sale.  I'm feeling good about the bobbin lace thing so I thought it needed to come home with me.  It came on Thursday and Thursday night I got a new project started on it.
 This is a pattern containing leaf talleys and braids with picots.  All were new things to me so I wasn't quite sure how it would go but it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.  I did have a little trouble with the leaf tally until I watched this video on YouTube.  I am working on the same type of bobbins as she is and this style seems to work okay.  I'm still trying to get the hang of work them consistently but it's going okay so far. 
 I've got the hang of the picot from the instructions in the Doris Southard book that I got this pattern from.  This thread (DMC perle cotton #12) is a little thick for the pattern but I think it gives it a nice midieval look. 
I've already got about 7 inches or so.  I'm trying to think how best to use it in a project.  I've got a beautiful empire dress pattern that I can adapt to a top (since I don't wear many dresses) which has an insert like this around the bodice.  I think that would be fun but it will have to be longer than 7 inches!
I have also made some progress on the extra yarn I need to finish my bohus sweater.  Hopefully I can get this plied and washed tonight so I can get the sweater finished.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sometimes ideas pay off

I get lots of ideas.  Most of the time they don't work out but every once in a while they do.  Some of the people in the lace group have little wooden stands for their pillows.  Here's a miniture of one of them.  And here's another that's not quite so expensive.  They can angle the top and use it comfortably while they're working.  My problem is that I'm really cheap and the tables are very expensive.  So I had an idea.

What if I used an inexpensive tripod and was able to attach crossbars to the top to hold the pillow.  Then it could be adjusted for height by the tripod legs and adjusted for top angle by the head at the top of the tripod.  It sounded good but then I had to figure out how to make the head frame.  I wandered through the building supply store wondering what I could use.  I found a strip of wood, 1.5x.5inches that was 36 inches long.  At the Ace Hardware store, the manager showed me a piece of hardware that would allow me to attach the camera holder to the head frame and that was the last piece of the puzzle.

Here's how it ended up:
 I drilled peg holes along each arm to make it adjustable to hold different pillows snugly.  Here it is with one type of pillow.
 And a cookie pillow.
 Here's a view of the bottom with the piece of hardware that I used to attach the head frame to the camera platform.  All I had to do is drill a hole and hammer this in.  It has teeth that bed into the wood to hold it in place.
For the pegs, I used a small dowell that I had on hand and cut a few pieces that fit into the drilled holes.  The camera platform comes with the tripod.  Normally it would screw into a hole on the bottom of the camera.  Perfect fit.
It's also really portable because the tripod came with a carrying case and the frame will travel easily with the pillow.  All I lack now is to finish the wood and I've got me a stand!  And instead of the $105 for the cheaper stand linked above, I spent a total of about $23 and have the joy of having come up with something all by myself (with a little help from the Ace Hardware guy).  Plus I can still use tripod for my camera, too!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lacy Endings

As you may have noticed, I've been in a lacy place lately.  I finally got the hankie (doily) done:
There are definitely some mistakes and I'm not the best with rolled edging for the hankie (doily) but I couldn't be happier with it.  I'm going out later to get a window box to mount it in for display.

While I was at it, I had a yardage project that I started early last year that's been sitting patiently across the room.  I knew I only had about 8 inches or so to get to the yard mark so I pulled it over and started working on it.  I'm working it on my little homemade travel (sort of) roller pillow.

Here's a close up of the pattern.  It's a little hard to see against the patterned fabric but it's called Fir Tree Edging.
The Lacemakers group in Chicago that has been so wonderfully helpful and welcoming to me started a yardage club and I decided to do this simple pattern since I was such a rank beginner.  The only thing is now I can't remember if they said you have to do 1 or 2 yards.  I was just going to stop at 1 yard but all my bobbins have plenty of thread and I've got the hang of it now and the beginning is pretty dreadful so I may just keep going for a while. 

This project was a big lesson to me.  Not so much in how to do bobbin lace but there was something about committing to keeping going, even in the beginning when it was pretty dreadful (by anyone's standards).  I was so tempted to stop and throw it away but I kept going and it kind of flipped a switch in my brain about the rhythm of bobbin lace.  I experienced the same thing in tatting when the lady in the dvd I was watching started doing it at speed.  It was a totally different rhythm than what I was dong and copying her speed helped my technique tremendously.

I believe that everything from language to lace has a rhythm to it and when you can tune into that, it does something to your brain and your learning and it helps you make sense of the new information.  I'm not a scientist but I learn a lot of new things all the time and it's something I've observed.  It reminds me of when I first moved to Scotland.  The area I lived in had a really broad accent and I was a young girl who'd barely been outside of Texas.  I would go to the chippie (fish and chip shop) and they would ask me, "Do you want salt and vinegar."  Of course, I didn't know at first that's what they were asking, I just nodded my head and observed what happened!  They shook some salt and then drowned it in vinegar.  (Oooh, that's making me hungry.)  But once I got the rhythm of the accent, it helped me hear where the speaker moved from one word to the next and I never had a problem understanding anyone again.