I came across some of my doilies the other day and decided to share them with you. I have a book of One Hundred Small Doilies that I thumb through looking for a puzzle I can solve. It must be hard enough to challenge, but not insurmountable. I like the way they sometimes change their shape, but in a very mathematical, understandable, way.
This is a case in point. Nine points, to be exact. The pattern begins with a circle of stitches in multiples of 8: eight, sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four. Some where, somehow, the pattern divides, adds stitches,and becomes a nine-pointed star. Not only that, but there is a row toward the center that makes little bumps: adds another dimension to the finished product. I loved playing with that pattern, using heavy crochet thread at first, using color accents, and finally making it in No. 10 crochet thread. I must have given that one away. Continue reading
Kate’s first visit of the summer break coincided with the first heat wave of the summer. Day after day of temps in the high 90s have pretty much kept us inside. Kate’s foremost skill is organizing. It can be a pain when she tries to organize YOU, but fortunately she decided to organize her chest of drawers at grandma’s house. The first thing to go were the outgrown clothes. She’s not getting that much taller, but she is filling out… putting meat on her bones as we used to say. Next to go, in a different stack, were the winter clothes, fleece pants, sweaters, etc. that take up so much room in the drawers.
Our first trip out was to replenish grandma’s supply of girl clothes. We found Capri length pants, a skort and a pair of walking shorts, and some new underwear. Mission accomplished. Continue reading
This is a picture of Granddaddy wearing his chain mail coif. He used to wear it to SCA events. It took three of us to make it.
Jerry used 16 gauge fence wire to make the rings. First he made a little machine with a stick and a handle that turned the stick. He wrapped the wire around the stick and then turned the handle and turned the handle until the whole stick was wrapped in wire.
Then he took his wire cutters and snipped them all off the stick. They fell into a little pile of rings, ready to be woven into mail. Mail was a sort of armor knights of old wore. It was supple, it moved when you moved and wasn’t as constricting as solid metal armor (plate armor). Mail protected the knight pretty well from the weapons of the day.
An SCA friend, Gary Fowler, was our teacher. I did a lot of the weaving of the rings together; I pressed the ends together in a fashion know as “butted mail” as opposed to “riveted mail”. Our tools were needle-nose pliers and my daddy’s electrician’s pliers.
First we made a shirt of mail, using the four-rings-in-one weave. It was like a tunic, straight down the front and back to mid-thigh. It had long loose sleeves. Being made out of metal (the wire is metal, right?) it was a lot heavier than your cloth or leather coats. To help carry the weight, the knight would put a belt around his waist to hold up the bottom part of the mail shirt and take some weight off his shoulders.
I just did the flat weaving; Gary put the pieces together and added a gusset under the arms so they could move freely. Gary also started on the coif, above. He wove the rings together in a circle, bigger and bigger, until time to decrease and weave the sides and back of the coif. Then it came together in front over the chin and was woven in rows around and round, adding rings in each row so it would lay out over his shoulders until it was enough. I added a row of brass rings around the bottom edge and around the face opening, for decoration.
It took us all winter long, working every night.
(As nearly as we can remember, we made this in the late 1970′s)
In the interest of keeping my hands busy, I do pointless needlework. It’s better than smoking or biting one’s nails, and produces cute, colorful little doilies, pretty cotton dishcloths, and sometimes, friendship bracelets.
my daughter in law’s designs…
I wish I could do work half
She does lovely silk ribbon embroidery.
I’ve just realized that I have lived long enough to be fashionable again. It all started when Martha Stewart went to prison. I’m not interested in whether she committed a crime, or whether said crime held a candle to other criminal deeds of the same ilk—and by that I mean those committed by our own home-grown thief, Richard Scrushy. I’m not here to talk about that.
Martha, whom I have always admired for her drive and energy and success in her chosen field, was accused, tried and convicted. And she took it—not like a man, but like a Lady. She didn’t file appeal after appeal in order to stay out of prison. No, she politely asked the judge to let her begin her sentence as soon as possible so as to get it behind her. She also politely asked if she could be incarcerated in a prison near enough for her aged mother to visit her. What class.
Then, five short months later, Martha was released from prison. She, being newsworthy, was photographed leaving prison wearing black slacks and black turtleneck sweater, with a grey-green crocheted poncho over all. One photo caught her arm raised in a wave so the poncho’s scalloped edging was visible. In case you didn’t know, ponchos are “in” this year; they are fashionable, you see them for sale in every shape, form, color and material wherever you go.
Then, a few days later, there was a story in the Sunday paper about the country’s leading yarn manufacturer, Lion Brand, being inundated with requests for this pattern. Everyone wanted to make Martha’s poncho, which had been a gift from a fellow inmate the day before her release. Said inmate crocheted twelve hours a day, I heard. Continue reading