Sunday, July 26, 2009
Hairpin Lace Project 1 - the jury is still out

Still working on my first hairpin lace project. It's something new, so I don't expect to master it on the first try. I'm still using the terrible Boye Fork - I think I'll do better when my beautiful wooden loom arrives. I used a thick afghan yarn and made 5 strips - looks like I'll need 1 or 2 more strips to make anything remotely usable.

I love the technique. It's easy, and relaxing. I love the way the joining creates a pretty braid.

Problem..... I don't know that I like the look of the finished piece. I know that nicer yarn and more expertise will make my projects look better, but...... I think this is odd looking. I'll add two more strips and finish the edges. That might help. I'm sure it will look more "clean" and "finished" when the yellow guide yarns are removed. I'm just not sure I'm ever going to like it.

I'll post more photos when this one is done. And then I'll post projects 2 and 3. Hopefully by project 4 I'll have something pretty.

Friday, July 17, 2009
Something New!

For a long time I've been intrigued by "hairpin lace", but I didn't have a loom and I couldn't figure out just how it was done. Then Crochetroo inspired me with her beautiful hairpin lace projects, and I decided to do some research.

None of the craft stores near me carry hairpin looms, so I purchased a Boye Fork from Knitting-Warhouse.

There are several different tutorials and sets of instructions online. Most of them confused me. The one that I found very simple to follow was the Stitch Diva's video. After a few clumsy stitches, I got the hang of it rather quickly! I found the technique to be very relaxing.

I don't like to be negative, but I hate the Boye Fork. Having only worked with this technique for a few hours, it doesn't seem fair for me to already hate this loom, but it's not at all sturdy and the tension brackets keep slipping. I secured it with rubber bands and was able to do some practise strips, but the flimsiness of the loom was very annoying.

Hubby, seeing that I liked the craft and hated the loom, immediately went online and ordered me the beautiful wooden loom from the Stitch Diva's site!! I'm so excited! The site says it may take a few weeks to arrive, and I don't know how I'll possibly wait that long.

In the meantime, I'll continuing practicing on my rickety Boye loom so that I know what I'm doing when the wooden loom arrives.

The photos above show my first two strips. They don't look very impressive (in fact they look rather messy), but I can imagine some beautiful projects in the future with this technique!

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Knit Your Bit
I read about this project on Deb's Crafts Blog and wanted to help spread the word.

Knit Your Bit is a project sponsored by the National World War II Museum. The museum collects knit and crocheted scarves and distributes them to the veterans of WWII.

I think this is a great way to support those who served in that war. I do a lot of crafting to support those who are serving now - I would like to show my support to those vets who served during WWII and helped to liberate so many.

If you would like to participate or learn more, please click here for the projects website.

Thursday, July 09, 2009
Paying the bills

I think he was trying to help, but he really made it difficult to get the job done. Can't get annoyed because he's so cute!!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009
Home Improvement Weekend

Happy 4th of July!

While yesterday was a beautiful day, today was rainy and gloomy. The rain never let up all day so all the local 4th festivities were canceled or postponed. Hubby and I had already planned to spend the long weekend on projects around the house, and it's been productive (if at times stressful).

We've been staining our deck for over a month now. Our deck is very large and half of it is screened in. We are staining in 2 colors, so it involves a lot of taping and ladder work. We've also been slaves to the weather - it's been an unusually wet summer.

Since we were rained out, we decided to install a tile backsplash today. This is something we've been talking about since we moved into the house. I really didn't want to start the backsplash until we finished the deck, but the rain today made the deck work impossible.

My real problem with the backsplash it that I'm not that handy around the house. Even with the most simple of projects, I'm convinced that I'll "ruin" my home. Hubby thinks he can take on any project and do it well and quickly. I am afraid to do anything and am sure that my involvement will result in the total destruction my home. Of course there isn't that much that I could do that I couldn't pay a professional to "fix", but the thought of messing up throws me into a panic.'s project was a bit traumatic for me. Just putting up the tile might have been ok, but cutting them wasn't easy. We have 8 outlets to work around, and I didn't think we could do it. The first hour was tough, but we didn't burn the house down when we used the dremel (despite all the sparks), and we didn't take an eye out with the tile cutters. We sort of got into a groove and, much to my delight, it's looking really good!!!

We got most of it done and will have to finish tomorrow. If I can get through the grouting without making a total mess, this is going to be a success!!! Hopefully by this time next week we'll have a beautiful backsplash and a finished deck, and maybe, just maybe, if these projects turn out well, I'll overcome my fear of "projects". I sort of doubt it though.