Thursday, July 31, 2008

When I got home tonight, my copy of Tatting Farm Animals by Christel Weidmann had arrived. Unfortunately, all I can do at the moment is skim through it. I'm way behind on my tatting. I'm currently testing the August Mystery Motif. I'm not even done and I can tell you right now that I'll change the way it's tatted a lot when I rewrite it! It hasn't been hard to follow; it just looks kind of tacky compared to how it could look with more modern techniques.

I'd like to work more on the hanky but I haven't even started the July Blog-aversary winner's stuff. Once I start, it will go quickly but I do hope everyone will bear with me. I have 4 bridal showers to attend this month for my soon-to-be daughter-in-law. I've also been feeling a bit overwhelmed at work since I was the only one in my section there Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. I'm still back up for one coworker through next week.

On a more positive note, I had my annual physical last Tuesday and was delighted to learn I'd dropped my cholesterol by 34 points! No medication or change in diet - it had to be from all the exercise.

Today was payday so I bought a new dehumidifier. A friend cleaned out my old one and it looked great but the fan still didn't kick on when it ran and it would shut off when it got too hot. It's over 10 years old so I'm okay with replacing it but I wish I didn't have to deal with humidity to begin with.

There is no particular rhyme or reason to the photos shown here today. They're all just things I want to play with when I have time - gutterman thread, reclaimed jewelry, and beads.

For now, it's back to the mystery motif!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm really tired tonight but I wanted to show the tea-for-one my daughter got me for my birthday. If you've read my blog much, you know I collect tea-for-ones. I've cut back, limiting myself to what I find when I travel and what I get from friends, so I haven't mentioned any since probably Christmas. My dear daughter has had the worst luck in buying them for me. Almost every single time, it's one I've already bought myself! It's become something of a joke so it was quite a happy event to get one that I DID NOT have! She bought it in Pennsylvania as they traveled back from Maryland a few weeks ago.

Good job Laurie and THANK YOU!!!!!! I love the butterflies all over it! hmm...I might have to have some kind of tatted butterfly doily to put under it.

I did tat last night, getting 1/2 of one side of the hanky edging tatted. I didn't sleep well and had a busy day, going to the pool after work and then my daughter's house after that and then Walmart before finally landing at home. I've added some oomph to my workouts and I'm feeling it. I have my physical in the morning and I suspect a good night's sleep will help keep my blood pressure down.

Before I sign off, I wanted to mention that I did take photos of the Berry Lace collection during my lace guild's last meeting. We could only take photos with the stipulation that we weren't publishing them. I imagine one or two is not an issue, but I haven't chosen which one or two. It was almost all some form of bobbinlace or needlelace. It was mostly made up of fans, doilies and hankies. I particularly loved the embroidery in one fan with teeny tiny metal beads and sequins. Maybe I'll show that one. I took some close-ups of the beads as well as regular shots.

And now I'm going to try to catch up on a few blogs before I catch up on shut-eye!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I was aware of Sharon Boggon from reading about her on CQMagOnline, which came out with a new issue yesterday, btw, but had not accessed her blog until last night through another link. She has a little something going on, called TIF - Taking it Further.

At first, I got all excited and wanted to join in and tried to find a way to get in on the next wave or however it worked. When you aren't familiar with someone's blog, it can take awhile to figure things out. Sometimes that is the drawback of a blog. I looked for a link connected to that one particular activity. I looked for an email. Finally I just posted a comment. That happens to be her preference. For many people, connecting the writer to a specific event on an entirely different post would have very easily have gotten lost in the shuffle of comments. But she picked up on it right away. She just organizes things differently, in a way that works for her. Maybe that's why she is sought after as a teacher.

Since I've slept on it now, I think I can just follow the guidelines in her blog without any "formal" joining in.

And so this begins an essay into my thoughts on blogs these days.

Well..maybe not. LOL! I'm staying with friends tonight and will be gone most of tomorrow....maybe on another day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I had many lovely birthday cards and emails and good wishes from many many friends, not only today but for the past week. I was tickled with this card from Heidi that arrived today. LOL! Thank you everyone. Your thoughtfulness is so appreciated!

I went to lunch with ladies from the office at Preston's and it was so beautiful outside today that we sat on the patio there and enjoyed the fresh air. I do work with a bunch of easy-to-get-along-with people.

This evening I met my sister and my brother-in-law for dinner at O'Charleys. I love the California Salad there with the strawberries and cranberries and pecans and blue cheese crumbles. The rolls are pretty darned good too! They had several sweet gifts for me but I wanted to show this goddess bowl here.

They bought it in Sedona, Arizona when vacationing last month. I already have it here next to my computer to catch odds and ends of tatting I tend to string out all over my desk.

When I only have little bits and pieces of time to tat, I don't like to work on important projects like the bridal hanky because I'm afraid my tension will be screwy by only working in short spurts. I'd rather tackle that when I've had a little time to warm up and can work long stretches at a time. So last night I decided to empty a shuttle and satisfy a tatting craving by tatting one of the motifs in 20 Tatted Motifs by Rosemarie Peel. It's no longer in print but a google search turned up one here and if you are a member of I.O.L.I., you can borrow it from their library too. My copy is a fairly recent addition from a used book store so just keep your eyes open for it.

Anyway, this is the primrose, one of several blossoms in the book. I chose it because of the different way it is tatted. As you can see, all the chains and rings are lined up on the safety pin with their picots.

And then you pull it all together by tatting a center ring last and joining in the picots. I thought that was a rather unique way of making it. The stem was not part of the original pattern; I just added it to see how it would look that way.

I think there is the potential to do even more with this by including beads and decorative picots but that will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I had a new kind of thrill this evening. I didn't have time to enter anything into the County Fair again but I stopped in to see what WAS entered and how it went. I saw there were EIGHT entries by Dagmar, one of my lace guild members. Not only that, two of them were Romanian Point Lace, which I taught at our meetings. She also had some tatting, hardanger, and bobbinlace. Dagmar puts the locals to shame. She is from Germany and has been here several years but is not a US citizen or permanent resident. She is trying to finish some advanced schooling. She did know how to tat when she joined our lace guild but it was beginning tatting and she had lots of questions. She had two exhibits in tatting from Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers. If you have seen the book, there are a few "scenes" and Dagmar used these and framed them. I remember two bobbinlace pieces too. She got Reserve Champion and I can't remember if she also got Champion but she did get several blue ribbons also. There was also a simple tatted doily in white and peach by someone I'm not familiar with. Another lace group member had a bobbinlace bookmark. If it hadn't been for Dagmar, we would have had next to nothing in lace. The good thing is, you can enter anything you've made in the past three years so I'll be sure to line up some goodies for next year. I'll have to make a point of hanging on to them so I can exhibit them. LOL!

I have to say though, that seeing how well Dagmar placed (and she does exquisite work) and knowing that I had mentored and taught her in more than one lace, gave me a special little thrill that I think was almost better than winning myself!

I've been incredibly busy lately, mostly sorting through stuff for a garage sale that will be this weekend. I parted with balls and balls of crochet thread, the 3 ply cotton kind that isn't very good for tatting. I kept some that I know I will crochet with but much of this is stuff accumulated through the years from other garage sales or second hand stores or clearance sales.

I really hoped to get the 1st row of the bridal hanky done but instead, I finished the corner test piece. After pinning it on the hanky and laying what I've already tatted on top, I think I need one more repeat on each side. I currently have 9 but I think 10 might work better.

I picked up a copy of Piecework last week during a lunch hour in anticipation of oogling the results of their pincushion contest. I do love the pincushions but I was disappointed in many aspects. This is the tatted one - which I think is exceptional - but the grand prize winner is the biscornu one which you can see in the group photo and on the cover of the magazine.

Now let me tell you what I was disappointed about. The magazine cost $5.99 US. I also bought a copy of Sew Beautiful for $5.99. Same price but Sew Beautiful is twice as thick. Piecework also only had small photos of the pincushions, finalists on one page and runners up on the second page in a space less than a quarter of the page size. That was it. I would have expected some directions for at least the big winner. On the website however, you can go to this 11 page pdf file and see photos of all 44 entries and who they were by. (so why bother to buy the magazine?)

A few months ago I took advantage of a free offer by Interweave Press to get a free copy of Piecework. I used to get it but felt there wasn't enough I was interested in consistently to keep subscribing and I let it lapse. After getting my free issue, I remembered why I had let it lapse. They do have some interesting historical articles and a few patterns but generally not in areas I am interested in - AND - it's gotten so freakin' small compared to the size it used to be. So I canceled my offer for a subscription. There is a beautiful shawl to knit in this issue as well as a knitted edging. There is an article about crocheted lace and the directions for a motif. Some directions about wrapping thread - like on a wooden comb. A couple more historical articles. That's it.

At the weekend while I was cleaning off the storage cubes in my craft/computer room, before I put these neon colored threads away, I wrapped about 20 yards doubled on each floss card. I originally got the thread to do the needlelace in a Romanian Point Lace mask I had couched down. I wasn't happy with the results and still haven't finished the mask.

I think I'll try tatting something with it though, just to see how it goes.

During the cleaning, I also came across this stitch tracker that I got at one of the Tat Days. Fringe Element Tatters in Canada, I believe. Anyway, I was wondering why I hadn't used it! I emptied a shuttle or two tatting the chain daisy and it really would come in handy there keeping track of which round I was on but I was too lazy to get up and bring it back from the table by my usual tatting spot.

Another treasure found during my cleaning....this apron pattern. I ended up joining an apron group so I can find out how to use a pattern that has no markings other than a few holes which clearly mean something. I think there was also a blouse in that bag. The date on the newspaper inside is 1913. I love old vintage aprons..the kind made of muslin or batiste, with embroidery and lace. I'm not really much for the garish prints of the 50's though.

Check out Beading Daily to learn more about the cylinder bead numbering system.

Hopefully I'll get some more garage sale stuff sorted this evening.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

After Georgia's third or so post asking for volunteers to tat/rewrite segments of a vintage pattern for the online class, I threw my hat in the ring, figuring I had a lull in activities and would have the time. That lull was very brief, but it all worked out anyway. I have to admit that when she asked me to work on a project different from the one she posted about, and that it involved rickrack, I wasn't exactly popping with enthusiasm. I tried tatting with rickrack several years ago and it ...... didn't turn out. I thought it was ugly and hard to work with and never was a great fan of rickrack to begin with. Yuck....would be closer to my initial reaction. But I didn't tell Georgia that. LOL! I like to get shaken out of my comfort zone now and then and it seemed like a good opportunity to do that. After all is said and done, I will say this - time and experience are of great benefit. Many years have passed since my first adventure with rickrack. Experience prompted me to see exactly where I could make changes and shortcuts and not suffer too much in the process. I ended up loving the motifs.

I had the issue of Needlecraft she had targeted so I xeroxed the pages and started working on it. I knew I wouldn't have time to do the edgings but I thought I could tackle at least a few of the motifs.

This is my first dud. Discouraging. The directions only say to use thread appropriate to rickrack. I don't know of any chart anywhere that matches thread size to rickrack size. I started with size 20 thread - and it was way too big. This becomes even more puzzling, as I'll explain later.

The directions also say to seam the rickrack neatly so that "x" number of points show. It doesn't explain how to sew through 2 layers of a somewhat thick fiber and then get it to open up and lay flat and not ravel. I folded my rickrack length in half and stitched on the sewing machine from the top of the peak to the bottom. It tends to slip so any little tricks you know to prevent that happening should be employed! I was only making a sample so I didn't go to any great lengths to match thread color to rickrack. It is helpful if you do because then you can stitch across the "wings" once they are opened in the back and it isn't too obvious. Since these were samples, I used clear nail polish on the back to keep the ends from fraying. I don't have any fray-check.

So this is my second attempt at the first motif. It's really very easy as far as the tatting goes. This time I used size 60 Coates and it was perfect. I started out using an awl to punch a hole in the points of the rickrack, especially where you overlapped two points. As time went on, I found I could simply use my crochet hook. It went through the rickrack easily. One tip I'd like to pass on is to make the join in the rickrack on the loose side. The chain stitches will then arch more gently than if you have a tight join. With a tight join, they tend to look more angled and pointy than curved. It seems a little fiddly at first, but I think that's just because we aren't used to joining to something like that. The outer round went well. The hardest part was remembering to join twice in the same point at the appropriate time and to make a second ring at certain times.

Although I knew I had a bag of rickrack somewhere, at first I could only find this brown rickrack - 8 packages of it - that I didn't even know I had. Later on, I found my bag of rickrack and braid. I used ecru thread since it seemed to go well with the brown and I think it does look somewhat neutral and therefore, elegant, if you wanted to make a mat with several of these joined together. As you can see, once I found my stash, I got into color.

This was my second dud. The red rickrack was slightly smaller than the brown so I was certain I would need another smaller thread. Wrong. I ended up using size 20 but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why this is. In fact, I used a variety of thread sizes in the other motifs. I was getting some practice at seaming rickrack though!

There were no overlapping points to join on this motif. The inner round was tricky though. I kept thinking there must be a mistake in the directions because the chain after the large ring joins two different times in rickrack points but the chain preceeding the large ring only joins once. You can see that it works out, but it felt so assymetrical!

The outer round is simply rings and chains and I was surprised that it fit so well and laid flat. I thought sure it would bowl or something equally devastating.

I think I only have this dusty rose color for the center in Cebelia size 30. The outer round is like the last motif, very easy, and that thread is Altin Basak, size 50.

This particular rickrack is a vintage piece and slightly different from the red. I noted some packages stated a size, like "2", and the more contemporary rickracks say baby, medium, and jumbo. They differ slightly by brand too, so I think you will always have to test-tat your thread with every motif to know how well they match. It could depend on your tatting style too. I'm not a very tight tatter but I'm not real loose either. Tension can have as much effect as thread size and rickrack size.

This was my last motif and my favorite. I thought the rose one would be but I love this one to pieces. Joining the inner middle ring of each corner to two points of rickrack created the corners for a square. I liked the way the center was done all in one pass too. The outside is pretty easy - you just have to remember there is a small ring separating the 2 large rings on each corner from the series of large rings down the side. It's easy to miss that it is a smaller ring. This was Olympus size 40 thread but it feels more like size 30.

I've posted my rewrite of the directions in esnips - which you can access through the link at the right if you didn't get to attend Georgia's class. Feel free to email me with any questions you might have about what I've done here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11 . Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry
13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. I'm starting tomorrow!
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29 What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. *Give time, time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of whom God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative--dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I had a brief email from Jeff saying he received his package but had to leave for work right away and wouldn't be able to open it until he got off work. LOL! Poor guy!

But now I can write this entry - and publish it AFTER he opens his package. (package now opened!!)

I try to do a little research before I make something for the winner and in the process, there are usually a few things that stand out for me. Jeff mentioned in his original entry that he liked blues...and green..a LOT. And it became evident that he really did favor blue a LOT. Kinda reminds me of the way Erin Holloway makes everything (almost) PINK.

Another thing I picked up on while reading Jeff's blog was that he rather liked his fishy friends and had tatted a very nice red one. I thought it needed some pals so I dug up one of the few packages I ordered from Christel Weidmann, the Band 4 Aquarium.

I really have a hard time following the directions in those patterns. I'm still struggling with a buffalo and a kangaroo that I started ...umm...several years ago now. Even with a sheet that gives the English translation of some terms, it leaves a lot out. There are diagrams, fortunately, but even those aren't as precise as I would like. I often referred to the black and white xerox copy of the motif to clarify what was where.

The challenge of "getting it" was quite fun, however, and as you can see, I managed to get them tatted. I also thought a few other colors were a necessity. The gold is the same gold variegated that I've used for giraffes in the past and some orange/gold flowers. The purple one was the hardest....I knew the picots were huge and I used cardboard picot gauges, but making so many was disconcerting at times.

Back to blue again....I used to make this spiral bookmark a lot. I got one in one of the early exchanges I was in. The person who made it for me used an edging in one of the older publications at the time and made it look like it was spiraling with the use of two colors. I don't remember anymore what the original edging was but I've tatted several variations. I've decided to post the pattern as I've made it on esnips and you'll find the link over at the right under "Patterns and Tutorials".

Later...I found the original edging in Tatting Doilies & Edgings, edited by Rita Weiss. This book is a collection of patterns from various other publications and it does not say exactly which one the edging came from. It's a simple clover and chain arrangment with two sides mirroring each other. It's the use of 2 colors that sets it off. Edging #1 on page 23 if you have the book. I also found similar edgings in some of the House of White Birches reprints of old publications. The clover and chain arrangement is not unique.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just a very quick post this morning. I've been very busy this week with no time for much of anything, especially blogging. I did get to the Clinton County Fair Monday night, late - after running errands and going to the gym. I pretty much zeroed in on Carol's tatting. I'm so happy for her! She has long deserved these ribbons.

I took photos of all her tatting but don't have time to post it all now. I wanted to tell you how yummy that gingerbread house looked though. The gumdrops are sparkly, just like real sugared gumdrops and I kept wanting to pick them up but I was pretty sure someone would slap my hands for even touching the project.

I was tickled to see this knitted sock monkey too! I have directions for a regular sized crocheted sock monkey but not a knitted one. I thought the maker did an excellent job of it!

One of the things keeping me busy is the gourd class I took last night. The gourd was aready cleaned and prepared, we just did the woodburning and painting. Instructor Deb Remsburg makes beautiful gourds! She did the dremel part on the hair when I went to the bathroom and I wasn't completely happy with it, but she was the teacher so I took her for her expertise. I guess it's just not what I would have done but it's fine. I had to spray-varnish it when I got home and I need to put a few more coats on it. Not sure what I will do with it yet.

Anyway....gotta get ready for work!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July Mystery Motif Revealed!

Tatted Curtain Pulls
(July Mystery Motif) July 1927 Needlecraft Magazine, by Clara Haase
Adapted by Regina A. Brummett

No. 1
Shuttle and ball

R 6-2-6-2-6-2-6-2, clr, mp (8 picots total in sets of 2)

Ch 5-5, j to same p, j in next p, 5 j p at top of prev ch loop, 5, j in same p where last ch started (petal formed), 4 – 4, j in next ch p; repeat around to last ch 4-4 Last 4-4 ch may be split chain 4/4 which bridges to next round. If not using a split chain, simply join last ch to 1st p and fasten off.

If split chain was NOT used to bridge to this round, then join thread to picot of ch

Ch 5-5, j to p at top of petal, 5-5, j to next ch p of preceding round; repeat round to last ch 5-5. To bridge to next round, make split chain 5/5. If not making a split chain, join to 1st p and fasten off.

If split chain was NOT used to bridge to this round, then join thread to last p of last ch

Ch 7 – (5 - ) 13 times or desired length. Put paperclip on thread and turn. Ch 5, j to p opposite and repeat to end of length, ch 7, j in p of next ch on medallion, fasten off and hide ends.

Attach a tassel to the picot between 2 chains. [at bottom of medallion

No. 2

R 2-2-2-2-2-2, clr, mp (6 p total)

Ch 6-6, j same p where started, 6, j to p of last ch, 6, j to next p of r, 1-1, j to next p of r; repeat around. Fasten off.

Join thread to top of petal, * ch (7-) twice, 6, j to p of ch between petals, 6, j last p of prev ch, 7-7, j top of next petal; repeat from * once, ch 7-13, j to p of ch between petals, split chain 13/7 (or ch 13-7 and join in p of beg of rnd)

If you did NOT use a split chain to bridge to this round, join in last p of last ch.
Ch 10 – (3-) for desired length, hang paperclip and turn, ch 3, j to p opposite, for length of cord, ch 10, j to p of next ch on medallion. Make a tassel and attach to top of petal opposite the cord.

This one is tatted with rayon cord. I was testing the new instructions but did not get a tassle made. I also haven't tested the 2nd motif with the new instructions...literally ran out of time!

Only one person sent me their interpretation, Tara Hamilton. I actually like the way this turned out better.

These are meant to be shade or curtain pulls. You can lengthen the chain part and use it as a curtain tie-back. You could also make it shorter and use it as a fan chain pull on an overhead ceiling fan.

Monday, July 14, 2008

July Anniversary Drawing Winner!

I asked a student worker to pull a name out of the "hat" and she drew....

Veronica Lancin from NY!!!!!

Congratulations Veronica - I'm looking forward to creating something just for you!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blog Anniversary Winner picked Tomorrow!

I'm really tired. It's been a busy weekend. I stayed at my daughter's house the last two nights while she and her husband were in Baltimore for a funeral. Between lace guild and trying to get ready for a family get together today and staying with the grandkids, there wasn't much time for anything else. Our get together was at a local park to celebrate family birthdays. Today is my middle son's birthday but none of the bookmarks was for him. LOL! Instead they were for two nieces and my brother-in-law.

They were from Tatting by Myra Piper, a book that I don't think is in print anymore, although I did buy it from Kaye Judt, of my Greenfield Tatting guild, at Hector this year. There are 47 "snowflakes" in the book. I would refer to them as motifs since they come in all sizes and shapes, not the standard 6 pointed shape of snowflakes. Copyright 1982.

Of course, besides bookmarks, you can join motifs together to make a doily or a runner or a tablecloth. There are a couple of square ones that I could even use for that vest possibly.

OH! I just remembered that today is the 13th!!!! I meant to bring home the container with the names and have my granddaughter draw out a winner but I forgot to bring it home! So you will be in suspense until tomorrow now because I'm not going to drive 14 miles to do it now. Bummer...if I'd remembered, I could have stopped at the office on my way home. All I was thinking about was our picnic in the park today. Besides everything else, we had put together a special scrapbook for my son's fiance and I was excited about that.

I like to know who it is too, because I don't start tatting until I know who it is. I prefer to personalize it rather than just tat something generic. Sure, it might be easier on me but I'm doing this for the fun of it and one of the fun elements is trying to make it specific to the winner.

Well....maybe I should go tat on the hanky now!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I needed a bookmark for a friend and I needed to tat. LOL! I'm not one to tat big doilies but I do admire them enough to look at them. I made this bookmark from a segment of Jan Stawasz' doily on page 27 of Tatting Theory & Patterns. It's tatted from size 20 thread - I think Manuela- I'm getting to the end of ball and the label is long gone.

It made an interesting shape and is actually two separate pieces. I thought I could bridge from one to the other but I didn't plan very well. I ended with a chain instead of a ring and certainly not the ring I needed to split out of. Sometimes Jan's designs feel too dense for me but I like this one.

It's a busy weekend but I'll be tatting in the evenings, I think. I'll be at my grandkids' at night and tatting is an easy thing to take.

Tomorrow my lace guild is going to Purdue to see the "Berry" collection of lace. I wasn't sure I could go but it looks like I will now. I'll try to remember my camera!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You might remember seeing this bag last month after I tatted it. I sent it to Kim over at Stitch Pink to use in an awareness promotion. You can go to the site and leave a comment for a chance to win this bag. The idea is that going there will increase awareness - remind you to get your own screening - so the more people who go there (and it's fun to see what all has been donated!) then the more people who are reminded about the importance of screening. This is my birthday month and my annual physical is scheduled on the 29th and my mammogram is scheduled for the 21st. How about you?

TattingChic honored me with this latest award. I have to admit I was appalled that she was not on my blogroll because I distinctly remembered typing it wrong, and then correcting I must not have saved it when I thought I did. And I did notice that before the award! LOL! I like to read her blog and saw her update on another person's blogroll - and wondered why it wasn't on mine. That's one way to find out who you've missed!

Also thanks to TattingChic for mentioning Bookmark Collector. I spent hours at that site one day and then forgot to bookmark it!

Okay - rules first:

1. Please put the logo on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award.

4. Add links to the recipients.

5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award.

Nominees second. I really wanted to tat tonight so I'm going to pick blogs at random but trust me, if I read them, they deserve it.

1. Riet's Bengelblog!
2. Linda Davies at Tattyhead!
3. Iris's Tatting Player!
4. Victats!
5. Battatter's Belfry!
6. Bob the Bike!
7. Sharon's Tatted Lace!

Disclaimer third: It is perfectly acceptable to simply accept the award and bask in the limelight for a bit. I know you might be in the middle of heated inspiration for a tatted design and can't be delayed in the execution of it for one second. LOL! Do what feels right to you.

And now...I'm going to go tat! I haven't tatted for TWO days!

Monday, July 07, 2008

It occurs to me that it might be helpful to show a picture of what the edging looks like completed. This is "Maids of Honor" from Mary Konior's Tatting With Visual Patterns.

This is how it will look on a hanky.

And this is the hanky it is going on.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I've completed part of one side of the hanky edging and am faced with an issue that I haven't found an answer to yet. Perhaps readers who have done a lot of hanky edgings will be able to advise me. This edging has a top side and bottom side and the top side is done first. Then you do the bottom side which is the part that attaches to the hanky.

How do you gauge the distance? In other words, as I run it along the edge, I have to leave a space to allow for the bottom half of the edging if it is to fit correctly. I've eyeballed it so far and can make up the difference at the beginning of the edging if I need to but what about the other two corners? Do I simply block the edging to fit? I can only stretch it so far before it will pucker. The bottom half of the edging is not as wide as the top half, although she does say the edging is 1" in width in size 60 thread. I'm using size 50 DMC Cordonnet. It is currently 3/4" at its widest point. approximately 1/4" out should be pretty close.

Anyone have a better way of figuring out how long each side should be?

I was back at the flea market this weekend and took a camera shot of the crocheted doily I'd admired earlier. The price was $9.75. I'm not sure why I thought it was more but it's still more than I want to pay. I think I've seen this pattern in one of my crochet books anyway, but the spokes on the motif is what intrigued me. They have a textured effect that I couldn't quite determine. I needed a magnifying glass to see it better. Maybe next time. LOL!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

What to do?

This morning I was looking through some of my tatting books that focused on beads and found an envelope with this choker in it. I'd forgotten all about this piece. I bought the book the pattern is in, Creative Tatting by Judith Connors, during my visit to Australia in 2005.

OMIGAWD!...pause to catch my breath here....That Amazon listing for this book says $110. LOL! Judith is an excellent designer and her books are well worth the money but I just bought this a few years ago. I don't think it is out of print...and I have a SIGNED COPY!!!

hehehehe...I suspect that is wishful thinking on the part of the seller, but if that is the current value of the book, maybe I should put it under lock and key. Insure it? I honestly don't understand...I have an original book of Emmy Liebert's patterns and I'm sure it doesn't sell for anything close to that.

Okay...back to the tatted choker. You can't really tell from the scan but the beads are a beautiful cobalt blue. I must have gotten them at the Craft Fair that Maureen took me to, as I remember buying a lot of beads there. Anyway, anxious to try out some of the patterns, I sat on my bed one night and tatted this choker. Now...I rarely wear tatted jewelry to begin with and especially not chokers. I think I sort of had my granddaughter in mind at the time but without her around to measure her neck, I was just guessing so I gave up on that idea. I just wanted to tat. You know the feeling? Doesn't matter if it's useful or just gotta tat.

This design is tatted on one side and then completed on the second side and that's why I needed the neck measurement first. At any rate, I had fun and it's beautiful but what do I do with it now???? It's 10 1/2 inches long. would make a nice embellishment on the front of a bag if that were the mesaurement. Perhaps it could go on a dress or blouse front....a placket that only came down that far or a bit more would work. Some black velvet ribbon would extend the length so that it could still be used as a choker. I suspect I asked this question when I first returned home and blogged about my trip. I seem to remember someone mentioning the black ribbon extension. At the moment, I'm thinking I like the idea of it on the front of a blouse or dress...I'll have to keep my eye open for something suitable.

Anybody else end up with these not-really-UFO's?

I've been tatting since 1997 and I'm beginning to accumulate quite the collection of motifs and partial edgings....bits and pieces that I've tatted to try a pattern or technique out but with no particular destination in mind. It's not like colors and thread sizes and beads coordinate either. Lately, I've been turning motifs into bookmarks and they've found homes quickly but some things I like to keep just to have a record to refer to. The blog is a nice record-keeper but it's still not the same as a real tactile experience.

okay....I need to mow while it's sunny and dry!

Friday, July 04, 2008

July Mystery Motif

A couple of days ago I got this delicious fabric postcard from Bonnie Peters. I wish my dieting were that easy! I've had such a busy week that I've not gone to the gym the last two nights and had better get cracking if I'm going to make it yet today. On top of that, I've spent nearly all of today, so far, tatting...and eating cookies. I don't normally have cookies in the house. I'm rarely prompted to buy them so they aren't around to tempt me but Monday I happened to stop in a place that had pecan sandies on sale so I bought a package. I was going to take them to work yesterday but after 3 trips to the car with various loads yesterday morning, they got left behind. I finally opened them last night. MISTAKE! I just put the rest in a container and put them in the cabinet. Out of sight, out of mind. And they aren't even as good as I remembered! What a waste of calories!

Jeff's package is sealed up and waiting to go to the post office tomorrow. I started the mystery motif last night (late) and got one done and the other this morning and then blocked both. I was getting ready to rewrite them in modern notation when I decided to tat another one with the new text and see if it was right. I still need to do the second one but then they will be all ready to post on the 15th.

I've also been tatting part of the online lesson for July and have that all written up, just need to proof my writing. These have been much more fun than I expected. I realized today that I'm spending every spare moment tatting...not a bad thing but I have other things I need to get done too over the next few weeks. For one thing, I want to get the bridal hanky done. Everything else (tatted) can wait at this point. I'm also having a garage sale with friends at the end of the month so I have to get stuff ready asap. That means I'm going to stay off the computer as much as possible this weekend.

As before, once you tat the mystery motif, if you'd like to know if it's right, just shoot me an email with a scan and I'll let you know. I know it's kind of a pain not to be able to post it until the 15th but if you do, it takes the mystery out of it. I'm not sure if that's a big deal to anyone or not, but for this month, we'll keep it that way.

July Mystery Motif

This is an item that was commonly used nearly a century ago but could also be used today. Even when you finish it, you might not know what it is. There are 2 versions and since they are short, I’ve included both.

The instructions say to use size 20 ecru but a coarser thread may be used too. I used a shuttle and ball for the first one and since I’d filled my shuttle, I had plenty of thread for the second one and wound part of it on a second shuttle. It’s mostly chain work, so keep that in mind. I’ll provide a few tips when it appears to be helpful since you won’t have a photo to refer to. It might be helpful to read through the instructions to look for ways to substitute with modern techniques before actually tatting.

No. 1

Make a ring of 1 double knot, picot, (2 double knots, picot, 6 double knots, picot) 3 times, 2 double knots, picot, 5 double knots, close. (NOTE: it does not say whether to drag the thread over to the picot or to cut and tie and start a new round.)

Join to next picot ( NOTE: the picots are in pairs and you will be joining to the 2nd picot shortly so make sure you are going in the direction that will allow you to join to the very next immediate picot, not the one that is 6 stitches away)

Chain of 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots, join to same picot, join to next picot, chain of 5 double knots, join to picot at top of preceding loop, 5 double knots, join to picot where last chain started, 4 double knots, picot, 4 double knots; repeat around, joining last chain to 1st picot.

(NOTE: The instructions do not say to cut and tie but at this point, you either have to cut and tie, since you are starting a new round, or if you know how to make a split chain, you might want to do something different with that last chain of the previous round.)

Join to picot of chain, chain of 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots, join to picot at top of petal of 4 chains, 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots; repeat around, joining last chain to picot where 1st started.

(NOTE: Again, you have to cut and tie at this point OR…think about a split chain again)

Join [thread] to picot of chain, make a chain of 7 double knots, picot, (5 double knots, picot) 13 times, or as required for length of cord wanted, turn, (5 double knots, join to picot opposite) 13 times, 7 double knots, join to picot of next chain of medallion and fasten off.

Attach a tassel to the picot between 2 chains. [at bottom of medallion].

No. 2

Make a ring of 1 double knot, picot, (2 double knots, picot) 5 times, 1 double knot, close. (NOTE: no indication of whether to cut and tie but there are 6 picots total and the next step joins in the last picot)

Join thread to last picot, * chain of 6 double knots, picot, 6 double knots, join to same picot, 6 double knots, join to picot of last chain, 6 double knots, join to next picot of ring, 2 double knots, join to next picot of ring; repeat from * around, joining last chain of 2 double knots where 1st chain started. (NOTE: tie and cut to start next round)

Join thread to top of petal, * a chain of (7 double knots, picot) twice, 6 double knots, join to chain between petals (NOTE: a picot to join in might have been nice here), 6 double knots, join to last picot made, 7 double knots, picot, 7 double knots, join to top of next petal, repeat once from *, chain of 7 double knots, picot, 13 double knots, join between petals, 13 double knots, picot, 7 double knots, join to top of 1st petal; fasten off. (NOTE: another potential split chain)

Join threads to picot of preceding chain, make a chain of 10 double knots, picot, *3 double knots, picot, repeat to desired length for cord, turn, 3 double knots, join to picot opposite, and again repeat the length, ending with 10 double knots, join to picot of next chain; fasten off.

Make a tassel and attach to top of petal opposite the cord.

Happy Hat Flags

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer Challenge

Have you seen those pretty crocheted vests? Do you ever wish you had one, only maybe tatted? Maybe now is the time to get started. If you break a big project down into manageble parts, it is more likely you'll finish it.

Here's a challenge for you. All you need is a square motif that can also be halved, or tatted in a triangle. I'm going to give you the basic measurements that I've taken from a crochet project and a template...and see if you are brave enough to give it a try! Here's the template:

The crocheted vest was made in 3 sizes: small, medium and large. This is nice because so many that I see only come in one size. The small measurements are 36" bust, garment length 21 1/2", armhole depth 9 3/8". Medium is 39" bust, garment length 23", armhole depth 9 3/4". Large is 42" bust, garment length 25", armhole depth 10 1/2".

The size of the square motif to correlate with the size of the garment is:
small 3 1/8", medium 3 1/4", large 3 1/2"

I counted 62 squares and 8 triangles. If you make one a day, you could have it done by summer's end.

Looking at the template, I think it would be reasonable to break it down into 4 major parts. The two sides of the front and you could break the back down in half. By that I mean focus on completing those sections independently. I would begin with the back, making one half, then making the second half from the outside in and joining to the first half as I got to the last row. Then tat each front half from the front to the inside, joining as you go.

You could make a muslin model to check out the measurements before you actually tat. You could even make a fabric base to attach the motifs to, if you wanted to go that route instead. You could even do this...make every other square fabric, which means less tatting..but then you would probably have to sew the fabric to the tatting to join. There's lots of room for creativity.

Once you determine your measurements, you need to find a motif that will fulfill the size requirement. What is your favorite square motif? What size thread will it take to get it the size you need? Can you tat it as a triangle?
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
I've had this in drafts for quite awhile. I got stuck trying to find that perfect square motif, in the right size or potentially in the right size with adaptations in thread and tension AND which could also be halved to make a triangle.

I've also found a few variations on the arrangement of motifs but this one still seems the simplest.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone finds a motif or ~ gasp ~ designs one! If anyone takes this challenge on, I'd love to know about it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I got another fabric postcard from Bonnie Peters the other day! This one has a delicious looking ice cream cone on it. I haven't had a chance to scan it yet but at the weekend, I bookmarked some tutorials on making fabric postcards. I also found this pdf tutorial for making a fabric box to hold fabric postcards.

I forgot to mention that I almost bought a table topper that appeared to have tatting all around the edge. Upon closer inspection, something didn't look right and I finally realized this was machine embroidered lace, the kind that is electronically generated. I've seen it in magazines but this was the first time i saw it in person. I'll take real tatting any day!

An interest in applique embroidery found me here:

Needle Turning tutorial

For quilters or anyone who loves fabric, here's a free online quilt magazine - Cotton Spice! Warning...some of the pdf files are HUGE! - up to 38.9 MB.

Acutally, I found all these wonderful links while blog surfing. One link took me to this site where the sculptor has created life like baby dolls. Click under "Ashton-Drake" and you'll see they even have one that appears to BREATHE!