Friday, September 28, 2012

Taking a "Sick Day" to Find More Tatting

"Sniffle" "Snuck" "Snort"

Don't you hate being sick!?

I have been down all this week with a nasty cold...I told my husband earlier in the week we should have taken out stock in the Kleenex company, I've used so many...

Of course, I can't really take a sick day, since classes for русский язык (Russian language) are a full time job and missing a day due to a cold is not worth the headache of catching up (especially when you already have a nasty headache!), but I sure have been taking it easy in my "off hours"...mostly because I haven't had the energy to do much other than finish my homework and lay prone on the couch!

Since tonight is Friday and I have ALL WEEKEND! to do my homework, I decided to really take the night off and watch a movie...

I have been a sucker for old-Hollywood cowboy musicals since I was a kid...for example, I used to love babysitting for a certain family because they had a copy of "Calamity Jane," a great western musical starring Doris Day and the dreamy Howard Keel...

I also love to read about the "Wild Wild West," and one of the books on my reading short list is about the Harvey Girls, a movement led by Fred Harvey, restauranteur of the old West.

Unfortunately, my copy of the book is currently chilling in storage, so I will have to wait until I get to Russia to read it...but the 1946 movie version of the story (also called "The Harvey Girls") is available on iTunes, and so I decided to buy it and indulge in a little Hollywood musical romance with не толка (not only) Judy Garland, но и (but also) моя любимая актриса (my favorite actress) Angela Lansbury!!

Seriously, I love her! "Murder She Wrote" is my favorite TV show! I own all the seasons...

Anyway, why I am I telling you about all this?

Because there is tatting in "The Harvey Girls," that's why!

As I mentioned in my last post,  I have been on the lookout for tatting, just because it seems so little-known compared to knitting and crochet, but it pops up when you least expect it (and if you know what you're looking for)...

Anyway, even though in one song a girl sings about knitting, there are a few lovely examples of tatting in "The Harvey Girls," especially in this song, "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," which I found for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. Be sure to enjoy the tatting on the blue-dressed girl starting at the 2:00 mark!

That same girl has another dress with similar tatting in an earlier's wonderful!

I have also noticed something that looks a lot like tatting in Season 1 of Downton Abbey...see if you can spot it in this promo from PBS:

So the moral of this post is, tatting is out there! All you have to do is look! :)

Here's hoping you can avoid the ick this winter, and find more tatting!

PS: In case you were wondering, I have added another row+ to my frilling doily but have stalled out due to lack of time and desire to keep snot away from my lace! Hopefully I'll get back to business sooner rather than later...I have 17 motifs to go to reach my second 25! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

No Time for Tatting...Plus Museums and Motif #8


Or, I should say, Здравствуй! (It means hello in Russian...or if you're among friends, Пяивет!)

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately...

You see, I have been quite busy the past two weeks, attending Russian language classes. And I have to tell you, learning Russian is TOUGH!! (If you really want to know more about about it you can click here and read more about my first two days of class.)

The class is 5 hours of in-class time and 1 hr of lab time each day, and at least 2 hours of homework each night. It's nice, but SUPER stressful...I'd like to say that I'm coming home at night and decompressing with tatting, but I'm honestly just too mentally tired to pick up a needle (or shuttle, since I can do that now, too. :)

I'm thinking I need to change that, though, because I miss tatting...hmmm...

Although I am very happy to have the opportunity to learn Russian, sometimes when I am really tired I think back to the glory days "BR" (Before Russian)...

...One of the lovely things about "not having anything to do" during the day and being within a 30 minute Metro ride of Washington DC is the access to all the museums...and so I decided to visit as many of the Smithsonians as I could, not only to soak up all the history and culture, but also to see if I could find tatting...

And after A LOT of looking I did! :)

Behold, two instances of tatting found in Faith Bradford's "Doll House" at the National Museum of American History:
Cute. Table topper!
(It's on the towels)
I haven't found ANY other instances of tatting in any of the other museums I've visited, but I'm going to keep looking...someday, when I have more time.

However, I had actually started a new project before "BR"'s another giant doily, but instead of my usual Perle 8/size 5 needle I'm trying something new and using the size 7 needle and size 30 thread.

Motif #8 is the small motif that starts the doily:

Notice I'm branching out in size but not in color...I love my ecru thread! :)
I started adding rows...


And then the doily started looking like a fluffy skirt or frill...not like a nice flat doily...

So I'll ask the question...what do you do when your doilies decide to be 3-D instead of lie flat? Do you iron and block between each row to keep it flat or do you wait until the end and hope it relaxes with moisture and a LOT of straight pins? Or, did I do something wrong? Is it a tension issue?

Something about this "doily" just doesn't seem right...

So that's where I'm at...I have A BUNCH of Russian homework to do this weekend but I hope I will be able to sneak a little tatting-time in between...we'll see! I had a nice run of tatting book-buying "BR" and I am anxious to test them out and find my next fun project!

Have a great weekend!