Friday, June 30, 2017

And so it goes

Anyone who knows me knows I love the connection my work makes with all the crafter las who came before. I love the continuity it gives. When I found an article in a 1931 magazine giving an old pattern from Godeys, it made me feel even more connected to the ancestors who were also suckers for an old pattern. 

I've been wanting a crochet project for quite a while, so when I came across this pattern I knew it was meant to be. It's been such a joy to work (even if I actually made enough stitches for 2 projects, with all the ripping out I had to do). Keeping your eye on the prize over 110 blocks across was quite the challenge. Ha!

Although it's now called filet crochet, when this pattern was first published, it was referred to as "block" or "block and space," or so says the accompanying text. 110 blocks by 110 blocks is daunting but, as you can see, very worth it. 

I was just going to do a couple of rounds with single crochets and be done with it but now it's done, I realize it should be a centerpiece for a larger project. It will be very easy to surround it with panels of floral designs that could eventually be a bed topper or something similar. 

But for now I'm quite happy about how it came out and can feel the same pleasure of those ladies in 1865 who completed it back then. For that matter, I can feel the pleasure my Grannie would have felt had she attempted this pattern. And so it goes. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Years in the making

Many years ago in what seems now to have been another life, I made feeble attempts to learn to do tambour embroidery. I did okay with my size 14 crochet hook and open weave linen. But then I had an ambition. 

The book had a pattern that I think was supposed to be a doily where the pattern would be mirror imaged for a long rectangle. But I saw it as a purse. I got the fabric, drew out the pattern and then realized the crochet hook wasn't really working with the material. I got frustrated and distracted onto something else. 

But I never took the material out of the frame. I packed it away because someday I was going to work it. Someday. 

In 2017, the technique caught my eye again when I found some YouTube videos by Robert Haven demonstrating tambour beading. I had to find that piece. 

Do you know how happy I am that I got frustrated and distracted that decade ago?  At that time I didn't have the skills or know how to do what I've now done. It was waiting for just the right time, just the right motivation to do this. 
As I was finishing the tambour embroidery section at my Mom's a few weeks ago, I started trying to see what the purse might look like. During a trip to the local Joann's where the staff and customers were so lovely and helpful in helping me decide colors and materials, I envisioned…well, this!

It's not often that a design happens exactly as I see it in my mind, but in this case it absolutely did. There are a couple of things I would tweak if I could but this is what I saw in my mind. 

I didn't like the purse handle to begin with but it was the only one I had or could find that was wide enough to fit and now I love how it works. It's not competing with the pattern, it's just fulfilling its function and staying out of the way. Perfect. 

The easiest thing to do with a purse is to ruin the look by how you sew the material into the frame. Again, I decided on subtle. I used the silver glass beads to hide the stitches and carry on the bead scheme and I think it works. So much tidier that visible stitches would have been. It's all hand stitched using silk thread (initially because that's what I had handy) and I couldn't be happier really. 

So there you have it. A decade in the making and from my point of view, worth the wait.