Cold. Frosty. Frigid. Arctic. Gelid. With a wind chill of about minus a zillion, too. That's been the weather around here for the last week. We're now back to normal temperatures for the time of year, which are cold but not unbearably so. But because it's been so miserably cold all week, we have a statewide shortage of natural gas (NM produces natural gas, for heaven's sake!), so we've all been asked to conserve. I've turned down the thermostat and the water heater (except when I need to take a shower), and keep warm by drinking endless cups of tea, boiling the water in the microwave instead of on the gas stove.
It's funny how 60 degrees inside seems so much colder than 60 degrees outside. When it's 60 degrees outside, I debate whether to wear long or short sleeves. When it's 60 degrees inside, I feel the need for long underwear, heavy sweaters, and extra socks.
With the wind being so bitter, I haven't felt like leaving my apartment all week. This drives me nuts. I'm a person who needs a certain amount of sunshine in my life, and when I don't get it, I start feeling antsy. I've channeled my wish for spring into tatting a pair of ladybugs.
The pattern is by Jane Eborall. Done in size 80 thread with size 11 seed beads, they are about the size of a US quarter. Adding beads to the center of a ring has always been a challenge for me, and these certainly gave me a lot of practice. For the bodies, I used Jane's alternative method for adding the beads, because it's much easier to close the ring this way. My only gripe with this method is that if I put the bead on the shuttle thread as instructed, I can't get the ring flush with the previous chain. I got around this by putting the bead on the ball thread and pulling the loop behind the ring so it doesn't look funny. For a ring on top of a chain, putting the bead on the ball thread obviously doesn't work; so for the eyes I used the method given in the pattern, even though I couldn't quite close those rings all the way.
It also occurred to me that before the heads are made, the body makes a good start for a strawberry. You'd just have to add leaves instead of a head.
Don't worry, I haven't lost focus on the table runner. This was just a little break. Now that the wind has died down a bit, I'll take a walk to the nice warm coffee shop this afternoon to work on it.