Sunday, October 28, 2012

sneak peek

I have been tatting,
it is a gift so can't show it until it has been received.
but here is a sneak peek
it is being mailed tomorrow so I should be able to show the entire item later this week.

it is nearly November here in North Dakota, and we had some snow flurries yesterday.  The hoop house is still standing and the tomatoes are still growing and slowly producing ripe tomatoes. This is a full month after clearing out the rest of the garden after it first froze. So far, so good.

now on to the snowflakes, those are Christmas gifts and some of the recipients actually read my blog so I won't be showing any more of them.  Which means that I likely will not be posting much the next couple months.

We are anxiously awaiting our newest grandchild the end of November.  That will be #11.  It is so much fun when we can all get together, we take up lots of space, but we have a blast.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

2 & 3 and things I learned

Here are 2 more Snowflakes I was able to tat today.

and there are several things I learned doing it too.

Both of these snowflakes are made from the same pattern, they have the same stitch counts.  The pattern is Glittery Snowflake by Vida Sunderman from her pattern book, Tatted Snowflakes.

1. The same thread as yesterday's flake,  Lizbeth size 40 white and Kreinik Very Fine Braid size 4 in silver.  but I didn't follow the pattern exactly as I turned the chains the wrong way,  the stitches face out instead of in. What can I say? I was watching the Vikings win again, my attention was a bit distracted.  I didn't realize I had turned the chains inside out until several points had been done, so decided to finish it the way it was.  This was the end of the spool of size 4 Kreinik Very Fine Braid.

2. The white thread is the same, but the silver is Kreinik Fine Braid size 8 also in Silver.  It is a larger braid then the size 4. Combined with the Lizbeth they come closer to about a size 15 thread I think.  This Snowflake is larger, but I did get the pattern turned correctly so the points are more defined.

I like the size 4 braid better of the two.  I will have to get more of that. But it will take a lot to do all the snowflakes I was planning on with I can only get 2 out of each spool.   I do have some DMC metallic thread that is 3stranded and will be using that to compare as well before I decide exactly what I want.  I will have to do that soon as I ordered the Kreinik from Handy Hands. and will want to order more just as soon as the Aerlite shuttles are ready.

as far as the pattern goes, I think I like both of them.

Hope you had a great tatting weekend.
nearly midnight, time for bed.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

first one

This is the first of many, possibly 3 dozen, we will see.

This is a doodad snowflake, the pattern is one of Diane's at  Lace Lovin Librarian

I blended Lizbeth size 40 white with Kreinik Metallics Very fine Braid size #4 in silver. The 2 threads together are about a size 20.
The doodad is from Fire Mountain Gems #H20-4335FX it is a small crystal in the center for added sparkle.

I hope you are having a very good weekend.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hoop House finished

It took us all weekend to finish the hoop house.
we figured, a couple hours tops, then we could get some other stuff done on saturday, and then we would have sunday for other things, but nope, all day saturday and almost all day sunday.

We used an old storm window and put it in upside down so we can lower the top to let in ventilation and too much heat out.
This is the west end.

Here is the east end with the door
The door is an old 5' screen window frame, it still has the metal screening in it, so that supports the plastic.
All the rest of the garden you are looking at is done and gone for the year except the swiss chard in the right side of the photo behind the dead marigolds. Haven't covered it, but it must be tough stuff, as it hasn't froze yet.

Here is a look inside the Hoop House, you can see all the tomatoes on the plants just inside the door, the rest of the plants look very similar, I just hope they all start to ripen finally. 

It will be interesting to see if we are still picking fresh tomatoes by thanksgiving, just depends on the temps and the weather.

now back to Tatting, I hope, I need to finish the Lace Mat and start the Christmas Tatting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More then my Lace Mat and a Trio of FunGuys

This will be a long post with lots of pictures so if you want to take a minute and get a cup of coffee or tea go right ahead, I'll wait.

The frame work for the hoop house, and the tarp we have been using to cover it, but it needs it's clear plastic cover and the ends need to be enclosed.  Right now, we need to take the blue tarp mostly off in the mornings once it is above 40 degrees so the tomatoes can get some sun.
 The hoop house is 15' X 36' measured over the top we needed a minimum of 21'. The plastic we bought is 20' wide, so we wanted to use 2 lengths of 25' welded together, that would give us a sheet of plastic 25' X 40'.  Enough to overlap at the ends and tuck around some 2x4s and bolted to the frame to hold it down on the sides.

But how do you weld plastic together you ask?  Duck tape will only hold so much and it needs to be a good complete seal to hold out the cold.

Well, I will tell you.  I was not able to find any info online other then to buy some fancy epoxy, but I have a neighbor who put a lot of years in working for the Navy and he told me how.

You need 2 sheets of aluminum foil and an iron.
Place 1 sheet down on the floor overlap the edges of the plastic, then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top.  Heat the iron up to the cotton setting and apply heat.

Below is my sample.  You can see the seams, but you can not pull them apart. I used a 10 second time with pressure, then moved the iron to overlap half way and another 10 seconds with pressure,  that way the seam got a total of 20 seconds of heat and pressure. I laid this all out on the concrete floor of the quonset, open to the cool air, with no sun on it, so if it is a nice warm day and the floor that you use is warm, you might only need 10 seconds because the floor isn't draining heat from the iron.

Here you see 25' of aluminum foil flanked by 2 25' sheets of plastic
I only overlapped the edges about 1"
I unrolled the top sheet of foil as I sealed the seam so I could be sure that the edges overlapped.

You can see the seam here as I am removing the top sheet of foil.

Yeah! it fits with enough at the sides so once we get a chance we will staple the end of the plastic to 2x4s then roll them up to the base of the frame and bolt them together.  Still using the blue tarp because we haven't had the time to build the ends yet. 

you can see the seam to the left of the hoop in this picture.

And why do I want to go to all this work?
Here is why
 I just picked these this morning.  and there are lots more out there. These are Striped Heirloom tomatoes they don't get really red, in the lower left you can see alternating stripes of orange and blush.  These are sitting on a 10" dinner plate.
I had to measure the big one - nearly 5"
Wish I could eat one, but I am allergic to tomatoes, but they sure look good.

This past week, I wasn't able to do much tatting, instead of sitting  in my chair with my feet up, I was sitting in this helping farmguy harvest the corn crop.  The cart holds 900+ bushels. A Bushel of corn is about 54lbs.
for size reference, here is a pic with me in the summer, I'm 5'2"

 This past Sunday, I motored to a small town about 35miles from me named Rutland.   They were holding their 28th annual Uff-Da Day.  A celebration of all things Scandinavian, Romegrote, Lefse, Sandbakkels, Rosettes, Krumkake, and other yummy stuff to eat and see.  They also celebrate vintage and classic cars, many pioneer crafts such as Tatting, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, home made by hand Ice Cream, buns and bread baked in a wood cook stove in the pioneer house and many other things.

I got to sit for about 6 hours Tatting and talking about Tatting in the Baptist church along with the lady who spins and knits and another who crochets and all the gorgeous quilts that fill the pews and walls of the church..  Yeah, I needed the day.

This is a picture of the beginning of the parade,
it is the Aberdeen South Dakota Fire Dept BagPipe band. They traveled about 2 hours to come play,  it was in the 50's for highs and yet they wore their kilts..... brrrr

looking down the length of Main Street, I am standing on the steps of the 1890 Baptist Church

The Old Parsonage is across the street.  It is now a store selling handwork, eclectic collectables and consignment items.  During Uff-Da Day, they were hosting a wine tasting for North Dakota wineries.  While I was unable to get there for the wine tasting, I have had some very good home brew wines from around the area.

No self respecting North Dakota parade is complete unless there are horses.

just one of the many vintage and classic cars on display.
I found this in the Old Parsonage for $5.50
This doily is 21" in diameter.  It looks vintage doesn't it? Tatted in Ecru.  The gal at checkout told me that these are done by a gal who spends a good deal of time, waiting at the end of fields for her sons so she can shuffle them and their equipment from place to place and she does this to while away the time. 

I was able to finish Round 2 of my Lace Mat
I also showed several people how to tat, sold 4 Learn Tatting with Lacet booklets, told several about Marilee Rockley's Tatting course on Craftsy and taught 2 how to do the flip.

It's about time for the FunGuys don't you think?


backside of #1


another view of #2


my garden gloves to show the size of these guys.
I don't know what variety they are.  It has been very dry here for the past 4-5 mos.  #1 is just outside the pasture gate and #'s 2 & 3 are just inside the gate.

I have never seen anything like them.

This is long enough.  Hope you weren't bored.
Have a great tatting day tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This & That and my Lace Mat

I have had a very busy and somewhat difficult last few days, and as it has so often happened in the past for many of us, we receive a moral booster in the mail. 

Back on the 14th of Sept at Tat-ilicious I won a giveaway that Jess was having for her  Blogaversary.

I chose the option Jess gave me of a ball of  custom Messy Jess!-y colorway or 2 skeins of colors she already had.  I chose a ball of Messy Jess!-y
This is the picture that I sent to her
North Dakota Sunset
  I have always loved the sunsets that God has given us here in North Dakota so asked Jess if a thread colorway like this would be possible.  This is what she was able to do for me.

Isn't this pretty? It is a little brighter then the picture shows. It is size 40.  Thank you Jess!

She also sent along some beads... some meaning lots....

Here is a closeup of the Doodads in the bottom center because I want you to see the really pretty one.

Now back to my difficult days.
The past weekend was extremely warm (read hot) here in North Dakota, Saturday was 85 and Sunday got up into the mid 90's.  I am a chilly person, my normal body temp runs about 97, a good degree below normal of 98.6.  but I also don't do well when it gets hot, I have had either heat exhaustion or heat stroke several times.  I think I have mentioned before that the tomatoes out in the garden are not ripening, normally they would be dead plants by now, but there are just too many to pick green and let ripen in the house.  So we have been covering them on chilly nights, but that is a chore and the days are getting colder too so we chose to build a hoop house over the tomato patch.  15'X36'. 
This is what we accomplished. 
Farmguy, our son and a son-in-law were busy combining corn so Saturday I cut the re-bar and collected some of the wooden frame and a few other things and did some measuring in between the laundry and feeding the guys and running parts.
Sunday the guys were back at harvesting, but the neighbors who garden with us were able to come help in the afternoon for a couple hours. We were able to get the wooden base frame put together, the re-bar pounded into the ground and the hoops together and up. 

This evening we got the 2 end hoops up and the connecting pieces along the ridge.  Then covered it all with the blue tarp you see in the right hand side of the picture.
The plan is to use clear plastic like a green house in the next couple of days so the tomatoes will continue growing and ripening their fruit. 

The plans that I used are available online from several different sources.  I combined  ideas from several sources ~  LasPilitas greenhouse , Mother Earth News and some others.

I got over heated - not good.  and then when I was feeling a bit better later in the evening the cows got out.  They are supposed to be grazing in the harvested corn fields north of the house. The electric fences are working very well, but the river is so low, that when they go down for a drink, they simply walk across and then go around the fence and get out.  grrrrr.  The guys were still out combining so I went out to chase cows, fortunately, I could do most of it from the back of the 4-wheeler.

So no tatting was done over the weekend. 

I was able to get some of the 2nd round on my Lace Mat done tonight.

I decided to add a solid color for the chains in this row.  It is a used ball of thread with no label.  I had more of the repeat on the right side finished, but discovered that I had twisted the first round arm when I joined so had to un-tat and straighten it out.

Hope you all had a great monday, and you tuesday will be pleasant with lots of tatting and tea for Tatting Tea Tuesday.

It is time for bed.