Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

05 December 2007

Mittens at Work

The temperature dropped into the 20's F. overnight and we woke up to snow. It's about 23 degrees F. right now (-5 C.). I finally remembered to check for school closings before actually driving there, but the child's school was open. Right now he is probably outdoors for recess, unless they've decided the windchill is too low. The school is even closer to Lake Michigan than our house, so they almost always have wind.

I was catching up on blogs in Bloglines, and found that Tinkingbell nominated me for the "Nice Matters" blog award. Thank you, Tinkingbell! (And certain husbands who have seen me with the worst PMS can just be quiet -- you have to sleep sometime, mister!)

I'll turn around and nominate Susan, Olivia, Sheepish Annie, Wendy, Amy, Marguerite, and Il Bruche, who just started his blog.

(I am just as much a lover of sharp things as any of my brothers, but my taste tends to run towards sharp and pointy, like your basic 5-0 knitting needle. I'll also admit to an impressive collection of "garden sharps", in the form of hand scythes, Florian ratchet pruners and loppers, an Austrian corn knife, a Korean ho-mi hand plow, and a stainless steel Wilcox garden trowel.)

Tonight is my fiber arts guild's Christmas meeting, potluck, and ornament exchange. I think I might be the only member who tats, so I started working up an ornament.

I made the original oval motif as a ponytail holder, the kind that is held with a hair stick through the ends, and it occurred to me that I could make four, join them together, and have a hollow ornament.

The thread is great big DMC Cebelia size 10 in 699 Christmas Green and 666 Bright Red. It's a lot bigger than the thread I most often tat with, and it's amazing how fast it gallops off the bobbin.

At the same time, after a couple of years doing a lot of knitting and not very much tatting, it's amazing how I tat and tat and after hours of work, I have this tiny little thing. I'd forgotten how labor-intensive it is.

When people see you tatting, sometimes they say, "I'll bet you could make a lot of money selling that." That's a laugh: if it takes me four hours to finish this, is anyone really going to pay $40 for it? (Even $40 in US dollars?)

It's the same kind of thing knitters get when they finish a lacy shawl or a pair of homemade socks. When you count up the hours, it would be hard to get paid back for your labor. Me, I charge it off to "entertainment" and "therapy".

I had an email from someone letting me know that the .PDF files of the 3x5 cards don't print out at three inches by five inches. Thanks for letting me know.

I spent quite a while tinkering in Microsoft Word to get 3x5 cells. I just test-printed my Word file and it's still 3x5, but the .PDF conversion program I used shrunk 'em to 2-13/16ths x 4-11/16ths!

I'll have to see if I can get them to stay the same size when they convert. Don't hold your breath until after Christmas.

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Blogger Olivia said...

Thank you for the nice nomination! I'm touched.

Oh yes, I get that enthusiastic suggestion every now and then... "you should sell you knitting". I'm not terribly fast and anyway my time is worth more to me than that!

6:23 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Thank you!

The tatting is beautiful. It's amazing to me that it comes from thread. But I suppose that's how non-knitters feel about knitted things. The wonders we can do with string....

7:28 PM  
Blogger catsmum said...

my sweet - this makes the fourth time I've been nominated for that one - I probably should do something about putting up the button this time. At least now that I've updated the template, I can do it myself :]

2:35 AM  

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