Saturday, November 2, 2013

Swirl Bookmark

The thread Marie sent for the shuttle exchange was completely used up making this swirl square bookmark. The Swirl is a pattern I made up more than a year ago. It has more rounds than this one, but I didn't want to use up all the thread before I got the tail made, so I only did three rounds. The tail is pearle tatted. I like doing that because it's a chance to just fiddle with the thread. No rules, and any pattern or non-pattern will do.  OH -- I forgot to say this was also made with my new hand-carved shuttle from Marie.  It really holds a LOT of thread!  It's just the right size for my hand and even though it's smooth, it doesn't slip out of my fingers.  It's lovely!
This one might go to my niece's teacher for Christmas. I offered her one of the Christmas mouse bookmarks, but she's pretty certain her teacher doesn't like mice.
This is also the same motif I used for Diane's doodad challenge. I said then I'd post the pattern. Uh-huh. It's been more than a year, but I do have a .pdf of the file. I've put it in Keep & Share but I only have a trial account, so I hope it works.  If anyone is interested better get it soon. 
*sigh*  It has been pointed out to me that I uploaded the .psp file instead of the .pdf file.  I fixed that, so it should be okay now. Ooookaaayyy--apparently I'm doing something wrong.  I think it's fixed so anyone can download it now.  If someone would try it and leave me a comment if it works, I'd appreciate it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blocking is Magic

Okay, it's not magic, but sometimes it's really necessary! Margaret suggested blocking the rumpled mess I posted earlier. I didn't think even blocking would help, and ordinary blocking wouldn't. So...I did not do ordinary blocking. If blocked wet, most of the time cotton thread will stretch without breaking and enough pins will hold chains in unnaturally arched positions to shrink the size of some elements. Yeah, this thing had pins everywhere! I should have taken a picture of the blocking process. I started in the center, and as it stretched, I moved the pins out -- but there were still two boxes of pins in the outer round waiting for this thing to dry. It would not stretch enough in the center to accommodate the too-much-thread elements in the last couple of rounds. I'm wondering if a bit of a steam press will help, but probably won't bother finding out. After seeing it spread out, I don't think it's worth trying to figure out a pattern for the whole thing. I still think the center out to about the five ring arch is worth keeping, so maybe a pattern for that bit would be worth writing down.