Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Fiber arts fun

I’m going to put the “rest of life” post in another category. I’ve been doing a lot of tatting and knitting, mainly because I am stressed out about other things and these little projects make me happy and give me the satisfaction of completion. But first, a picture of Alladin earlier today, while we were driving:

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Yes, that’s him laying on my desk. Where I usually work, when we’re not driving. This is him, normally hunkering down in his cat carrier waiting for the nightmare to be over, sunning himself on my desk. (And before anyone panics, there’s a sheet of no-slip grippy fabric under his bed there, so short of an actual collision, he wasn’t going anywhere unexpectedly.)

These two motifs are for my tatting round robin partner, Connie. In a tatting round robin, you specify some theme (colors, thread, etc.) and each person in the round robin contributes an item. In some round robins, the item is a doily– each person starts their own doily, then the next partner adds a row of their own design, the next person adds another row, etc. In this round robin, we’re all beginners, so the motifs tend to be small, like bookmarks. In the round robin I sent out, I asked for flowers.

Anyway, for Connie, I made a lion or kitty-cat bookmark:

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and a butterfly-and-flower bookmark:

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It’s a little hard to see, but the red and blue are both very intense shades.

These two are for my other tatting round robin partner, Bonnie:

A green version of the Cherub Doily, for which I finally learned how to make a split chain, go me.

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Another flower-and-butterfly bookmark, this time in variegated threads:

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This bit is from over a month ago. It’s a One Shuttle Scalloped Edging (PDF), by Mark Myers.

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I continue my forays into lace with the border of the Magickal Earth Shawl. There are 48 repeats of a 48-row pattern to make up the border (just the border– not the rest of the shawl!). How many repeats have I done? Four.

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And a quicker, much more boring knit (the lace is at least exciting and takes a lot of attention), the Spiral Blanket. I’m knitting this in really plain cotton (Sugar n’ Cream), because it’s for a baby to lay on an crawl on and barf on, and I think moms appreciate having something that’s super-absorbant and super-washable. This is for my friend Ken’s new baby, who was born on St. Patrick’s Day. The last baby blanket I finished was for his first son.

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It’s just around and around and around, increasing by 10 stitches each row. I have another 24 rows to go before it’s done.

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It doesn’t look like it, but this is actually a cat in the process of being born. Really. It will be a knitted kitty when it’s all done, for a swap group on Ravelry.

[And oh, yeah, that’s a Kindle…. That’s my Kindle. More on the Kindle love some other time.]

I also, in a fit of creative urging, went to the Knit Witz knitting nights on Wednesday and Friday last week, and joined in the fun and frivolity that is any good knitting group. It was fun. It was frivolity (literally, since I brought my tatting with me on Friday). There was even one male in the crowd (yay for male knitters!) While there, I bought enough sock yarn to make at least 3 pairs of not-quite-matching socks, a skein to make a pair of really cool stripey socks, and the yarn for Moonfire’s socks. They are going to be awesomely beautiful, when I get to make them.

Tatting, knitting, etc.

I’m knitting a sweater from Big Girl Knits called “Bombshell.” It’s a top-down, raglan sleeves (possibly no seams– I have to check), with lots of shaping and short rows to accommodate chests, hips, stomachs, etc. It’s coming along nicely, but I worry it may end up being too big, or I might run out of yarn. Eep. The yarn is superwash wool, and my swatch did shrink a bit in the wash, so I’m hoping that when the finished sweater goes through the wash, it will snug up perfectly. Of course the smart thing would have been to take the balls of yarn, convert them into hanks, wash the hanks in the laundry, and then knit the sweater (post-shrinkage). What can I say? I am not the smartest girl in the toolshed.

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I’ve also made a little tatted motif (#11 of 25) to go on my tatting design notebook. This notebook is where I chart out motifs and designs to try out, or where I play around with freeform designs (like the one on the cover, which is simple, but freeform in that I didn’t really work from a pattern).

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Tatting motif #9

(#10 was the doily from Costa Rica, posted earlier today. Chronologically, it’s #10, I just didn’t have time to post this before we left.)

I picked this little bouquet of violets for my initial contribution to the Tatting Round Robin because I like African violets (my dad raised them, though I don’t know if he can still do so in Michigan), and I always liked the fuzzy quality of the leaves. In these, I used a variegated thread and made one rather large error, which I am cheerfully ignoring.

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I went to Costa Rica and all I got was this lousy sunburn….*

The trip was awesome. We had a great time, learned a lot of Spanish, met a lot of great people, both locals as well as fellow students from afar. I had the wonderful experience of meeting several volunteers and visiting them at their locales. Our homestay family was very friendly and kind, and ooooh, boy, our Costa Rica mamá can sure cook! Whew! Despite walking back and forth on the beach several times a day, I gained a pound and a half in the past 10 days.

When I wasn’t in class, walking, taking pictures, or eating, I tatted a little lace doily for my niece. At least, I think it’s for my niece. I might have to make a second one…. 😉
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Tatting is “frivolite” in Spanish.

The only downside was the heat. Sámara is hot. I think the daily average was around 95, and it hit 107 at least once or twice. Too hot, for me, and I got to spend half the day in an air conditioned classroom. Poor John was in one of the outdoor classrooms, which are not air conditioned (though they are sheltered).

We are going to try to make the shuttle launch tonight after all. We’ve barely unpacked, but that’s actually good– just need to swap out some clothes and throw the extra camera gear into the car and go. It’s about a 4 hour drive, so we plan to sleep over in a hotel an hour south of the launch site (basically drive back to the hotel post-launch and sleep for a few hours before getting up and heading home to the RV.

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*and mosquito bites (30 or so) and overheating and dehydration…. and now I’m done with the complaining part of the trip.

#8: Another choker

This tatted choker is for ME!

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Same basic idea as the black one I made last week, but in light blue. It’s pretty, but as it turns out, it might be about one half of an inch too big.

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