Saturday, March 31, 2007

I seldom go on ebay these days but a quick peek the other day had me interested in this vintage collection. One of the newspaper clippings says May, 1918. I wouldn't necessarily say all the tatting is that old, but the thread does have an old smell to it. I'd like to find a way to display and frame this. I forgot to include the shuttle. Its a plated brass shuttle with scrollwork on it. I have another one just like it. I didn't show all the tatting or clippings - only about half. I suspect some of the tatting is newer, but old enough to pick up the musty smell.

This was also in the box and was listed as a handkerchief. It's just a small square of fabric where the maker was practicing her drawnwork embroidery. It's helpful to me to see the work-in-progress.

If you like mysteries combined with hobbies and crafts, check out the books by Monica Ferris. With titles like Knitting Bones, Embroidered Truths, Sins and Needles, Crewel Yule, Cutwork, Hanging by a Thread, A Murderous Yarn, Unraveled Sleeve, A Stitch in Time, Framed Lace, and Crewel World, don't you want to know what it's all about? Ha! She mentions Zionsville, IN in her travel news.

"Zionsville, IN, is an interesting little town. It's like someone restoring a Victorian house -- except it's happened to the whole town. It's full of tiny shops and the main street is brick. But on a Sunday, nothing is open, so we didn't get to choose between Greek and English Tea Room, and had to settle for Wendy's. Ah, well. Persnickety Stitcher (cute name!) is in a small building and it had that familiar charming, crowded, cozy feeling I'd come to expect. It was too crowded to set up a table, so they put us in a classroom, which has a separate entrance. Consequently, we didn't get many chance customers. But that was all right, we had friends from all over come in for the stitch in. Lucy Zahray, Jeanne Dams, and other mystery fans came, along with a group of stitchers who are given titles by the Queen of Stash (I'm Mistress of Mystery)."

Tomorrow is International Tatting Day!

Friday, March 30, 2007

This adorable doggie sweater is featured as a free pattern at Like many businesses, they offer the free pattern in hopes that you will purchase supplies from them. I do like Lion Brand but I cringed at the material list they show with the pattern - when you add it all up, it comes out to the neighborhood of $60.00. Yarn and knitting supplies has become big business. Frankly, I'd probably knit a whole lot more if it wasn't so expensive but to get a good quality yarn, you have to shell out a few bucks more. Guess that's why I stick to tatting. A $5 or $6 ball of thread will tat up tons and tons of lace while an $8 or $9 ball of yarn will only get a tiny portion of a sweater.

You might have noticed Tatting Goddess has a slightly new look. I finally switched to the newer templates blogger has. I've been holding out because it takes so long to get everything in place. I got all the links I already had transferred, but there are more I wanted to add that weren't on the original. I took off the search engine because blogger now has one listed at the top that will search the blog itself if you are looking for something specific. I've had this blog for 4 years now....I really need to find a way to save the archives. Unfortunately, it's not something blogger offers. I have the posts saved up to a certain point, probably about 6 months ago. Must be time to save them again. It's a long process - you have to save them individually. I suppose I should have started saving each post in the beginning but I had no idea if I would continue or not.

Currently I'm still preparing for our Lace Day on April 14. Last night I worked a little more needlelace on the Romanian Point Lace mask. I'm using the neon colored rayon sewing thread for the filling stitches, doubled since it is so fine. I'm not terribly experienced with this so it's an experiment as I go along. The cord is rather thick for the filling thread I'm using but the space between isn't that big either so a thicker thread might look too coarse. I'll work on it more this weekend.

I have almost all of the shuttles in my carry-around bag emptied. I have 4 shuttles going with a round celtic motif from Judith Connors. I've made it before and it seemed like a good candidate for the 2 threads I needed to empty out of shuttles...of course, now, I need to add more thread to finish the motif......

I'm also working on another antique insertion. The rings are easy enough but I'm not clear on the edges. I have not completed the new version on the clover doily either. I got to the last round and it started to cup again so I need to cut all that out and figure out how to make the last round motifs wider. I could add more rings to the flower circle and I could make the clovers wider but if I do that, I'm taking out all those picots. That's a real pain to tat! Essentially what I'm doing is redesigning it.

Speaking of emptying shuttles, I keep finding shuttles attached to projects all over the house. I think it's time to complete a few things. AND get back to TAT, phase 2!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I finally broke down and ordered Nancy Tracy's book, Tat's where I Stopped. I rarely tat bookmarks these days but every time I went to her website to see the free monthly pattern, I would see the book. I didn't realize until I got it that there is a baseball bat and baseball....excellent for little boys!

I couldn't resist trying it on!

I got my latest issue of Anna and quickly skimmed through it, disappointed that there was no tatting. Not only no tatting, absolutely nothing I would make. Later on I looked through it again, looking for the next month's preview, and noting that there was a sweater on the very last page that I liked....but no preview. I kept searching...what was going on?....and finally read the paper that was tucked inside with an envelope. The paper informed me that Anna was no longer being published and this was the last issue. Then some info on choices for the remainder of my subscription. I'm so disappointed! This is one of the rare magazine subscriptions I have. Even though I didn't like much in this issue, it generally had such a variety that there was always something I wanted to try. BUMMER!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Piecework Excellence in Needle Arts Awards 2006
First-place Tatting/Lace-making (sponsored by Presencia Hilaturas USA)
Tatted Baby Bonnet and Booties

The bonnet pattern is from Traditional Tatting Patterns edited by Rita Weiss (Dover Pulications, Inc., New York 1986). The bootie pattern is from Aunt Ellen’s Tatting Handbook by the staff of The Workbasket magazine (Modern Handcraft, Inc., Kansas City 1982).

By Jane Kimberly of Worcester, VT

Sponsored by Fine Threads
Contact: Evelyn Gant

Isn't that gorgeous! And you know what? I think that's the every same bonnet I was doing and stopped because I couldn't get it done in time for the christening.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fractals are a design inspiration. I use them from time to time just to look at. Ruth Perry used one recently to design a pattern for the Calendar Blog.

Here's version 2 of the doily I made recently. I actually got to the shamrocks and flowers today but it's still not working out right. I reduced the length of the chains but that's not the real issue. The shamrock and flower circle motifs are not wide enough...they make the rest of the doily bowl so I have to make the chains even shorter or the motifs wider. The print on the original that was scanned is very light but the numbers are clear. I think they made a mistake in counting the picots....I can't count precisely from the picture but I'm pretty sure the chains are shorter and with fewer picots than what is instructed.

I got all the cords couched down on the RPL mask. figure out the needlelace fillings. I was looking through my book last night and was reminded of how inexperienced I am at this as I drooled over pretty lace stitches.

This is today's project in tatting guild by Kaye Judt. It can be an earring or a pendant. I don't wear tatted jewelry as a rule although I have some very nice pieces so I will probably find a different way to use this. There were quite a few there today. The room was actually crowded!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I've almost got my gold mask done. The braid for the top is done and just needs the final glueing. The friends I'm housesitting for have a dremel and I'll let Craig drill out the nose holes a bit more when they return.

Last night I couched down the last cord for my RPL mask. I have 3 more ends to hide and several edges to fasten together and then I can start the needlelace. One of the ladies who was at the OSHA workshop with me brought in some shuttles she no longer uses. One was the Boye metal one and the other was a red Boye plastic with the long nose. Nothing new to my collection unless I don't have the red bad is that? I can't even remember if I have it! So during a boring part yesterday, I tatted off the rest of her thread on the metal one into a butterfly and some flowers. She quilts extensively but I couldn't tell if she liked Crazy Quilting or not....didn't exactly get a highly excited answer about that. LOL!

Not Martha changed from a blog to a website! I wondered why my link wouldn't work. I'll have to change that at the weekend...or maybe now.

By the way, that tatted braid for my mask would make a lovely bracelet or trim on clothing.

Monday, March 19, 2007

This leaf braid is the final touch for the mask. It will go along the upper edge, hiding where I insert the "hair" strands. It's in one of Mary Konior's books, the blue one. She has several variations of it in all of her books.

The eyelashes worked out perfectly. Initially, I wanted them to curl out but I was happy to get them stiffened and slightly curled. I may add a dark line to the lower eyelid. I should have kept track of the number of hours I have in this, but I didn't. I also wish I'd enlarged the nose holes before I started. I still can, but if I mess up.......I'll be so upset. It feels like everything is going to fog up when I breathe with it on.

I'll still have time to complete the RPL mask but I'm not sure if I will or not. I only have to couch down one more cord and then I can do the filling stitches, which will be fast if I can figure out how I want to fill the spaces in. I think I'll skip my idea for the Irish Crochet one. Too much work at this point.

Saturday, March 17, 2007 didn't think I could end the day with that horrible doily, did you? LOL! I tatted Ruth's celtic shamrock from the Tatting Patten Calendar Blog and turned it into a bookmark which will go into the Thank You card to the young man who did our lace guild publicity. It's a nice masculine motif and I think he'll like it. I purl-tatted the tail and added a small tassel. I want to make one for myself now.

It's tatted with DMC Special Cordonnet size 40 in color #320. I don't remember where I bought the thread but I love the way it tats.

This has got to be the ugliest thing I've ever tatted! My apologies to the Irish for trying to make something commemorative! It started out well, looking to be about the size of a coaster from the antique pattern, but as I went along, I could tell it wasn't looking right! I ended up blocking it over the bottome of a large vase so I couldn't pin down the zillions of picots or shape the chains easily. As you can see, it's nicely bowl shaped. It could be a bag with a drawstring. It could be a snood, with a ribbon pulling it up. Or it could be jar doily with gaps so wide it would be useless for keeping flies out! LOL! I haven't given up. I will play with the pattern and see what I can adapt. I did manage to bridge to every round, but had to refill the shuttles twice for the last round so I might as well have cut and tied on that one.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lace Makers
Slideshow on Bobbinlace by Sewdoll

Stitchdiva has a free tutorial for hairpin lace as well as patterns to purchase. I thought this skirt was intriguing. Clearly you would need a fabric lining, but isn't it sassy?

There are also tutorials for other forms of crochet and knitting, plus wire knit and crochet along with the use of beads. Hairpin crochet and tatting work together beautifully. This should get a few creative minds going!

My antique doily is finished but it is bowl-shaped, not flat. I have it blocking over a vase for now which means it will not lay exactly right since I can't pin it. I need to go back over the original pattern and see what happened. I knew it wasn't going well after the first few rounds but every time I checked what I had typed out against the original, it matched. I think there are too many chain stitches. The photograph looks like fewer stitches but it's old and not very clear. The directions say..."25 p with 2 ds between" which I took to be a chain with 25 picots and 2 ds between each one. That's too long. The next version won't have that many picots, let alone that many chain stitches. It tatted quickly until the last row. Far far too many picots!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I got my exchange heart from Wally Sosa. She tatted a variation of the daisy picot heart and used split rings instead of clunies,which I really like. It's such a nice combination of different textures in this heart. Thank you Wally!

Someone emailed me and asked how to get a bead sitting on what appeared to be a chain to her. I thought about pulling up a bead from the shuttle thread while tatting a chain but thought that would separate the stitches so I tried tatting a ring with a bead that would sit on the base of the ring. The first time I used too big of a bead (gold) and too few stitches.

I knew what it was supposed to look like and that wasn't it, so I went to a smaller bead and used more stitches between the picots. Here you can see it with the ring closed. It looks like the bead is sitting on the edge. You can reverse your work back and forth and it will create a scalloped effect which is quite nice.

I realize this looks pretty sad right now. I was looking through an antique publication and saw what looked like a coaster-size doily. I rewrote the instructions, climbing out of each round. When I got around to tatting it though, I had to make more changes. The 9-ring ring turned into a SCMR. Most of my bridging was done with chains. I'll try to finish it up tonight and make the final changes. Some of you might remember that I hate tatting anything with picots as profuse as these! I still do but I wanted it to be the same as the original. I will modify a second version. The clover shape between the 9-ring rings reminded me of St. Patrick's Day and that's what led me to have a go at it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The blue mask is done and this one is in progress. The strands are going to be "hair" but I don't know if I'm going to just put them in one place (probably - or else I'll be tatting day and night for the next month) or strung out or use them in another way. I figured out tatted eyelashes too but my first experiment didn't work out with the stiffening. I pinned the long picots over a waxpaper-covered pencil on the blocking board and then slathered glue over the lashes.....which came off with a solid sheet of glue adhered to them and it won't peel off so that I can even try a different method of stiffening! It didn't take long to tat and in fact, wasn't long enough so it's not a big issue. More play!

I was looking for a specific kind of pants I once saw in Threads magazine years ago that only took a single seam...I think. This is not the same kind but they are intriguing. This video from the Purple Unicorn shows how to put them on in various ways - largely used for Renaissance Fairs. The pants I was thinking of were made by a lady engineer and designed to move around easily in. I contacted her at the time and she offered help if I had trouble figuring them out but I didn't follow up with her. I didn't figure them out either.

Hey, ever wonder how you can convert cassette tapes to your computer? Wiki-How tells you! I have some old cassette recordings of my kids when they were little and of my dad playing on his guitar. I'd like to preserve those if I can and have been wondering how to do it.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What a week! My kitchen drain was clogged for 4 days and then my furnace started acting weird, but all is well now. The week or two before than inlcuded car trouble, a blizzard, no hot water, and other drains clogging. Time for a complete turn-around!

I finally got some tatting done for one of my masks. Another maple leaf and this strand of pearl (or purl) tatting with beads from Mary Konior's Tatting With Lace. It's on page 60 and called "Nightshade". Both the leaves and the edging are tatted with 2 strands of Sulky 30 wt rayon thread. I have more tatting to do for the mask but if this is all I get done, it will be enough. I have 2 others that I want to get done too!

This is Kaye Judt's bear that we tatted in the Greenfield Tatting Guild last Saturday. She used this in some of her early classes....quite a cutie to slip in a card or a scrapbook.

This is a practice piece for split rings and split chains that you can find on Sharon Briggs' website. The split chain in this piece goes all the way across instead of splitting in the middle so it's confusing at first as you look for where it's supposed to "bridge". My students actually used a different pattern for the first one but this is a good practice pattern to do the technique repeatedly.

This is the center of the motif I had my students use the split chain on to climb out into the next round. I was emptying a shuttle and that's as far as I got on this one so it does not have a split chain.

This is a ceramic shuttle handmade by Sherry Pence. I haven't had time to use it much. I wound some thread on it and made a ring but that's as far as I got. It's very lightweight considering it is ceramic and the post is tall ehough that a lot of thread will fit on there. I'm still attached to my clovers for utility, but Sherry's shuttles are lovely additions for the collector.

That's it for's late and my eyes are burning. I'll work on the masks tomorrow!