Friday, April 30, 2010

This is where I left off last time, getting ready to tat these beauties!

I took them to an Easter Dinner I was invited to and tatted one for each lady plus gave her a suction cup to hang it in the window.

You know how some of our creative bloggers in the tatting community build up the suspense by posting a photo of an unopened package they received in the mail?

Well...I'm not one of them.

I rip into the package (carefully....sort of) and take a gander at the contents without the least bit of thought for any of you. Within a few short hours, this is how my package looked:

Yep, I'd already gone through every page and post-it marked where I wanted to return to! It arrived on Friday, April 9th, my first day of vacation. I'd planned on leaving that day for Hector originally but as expenses piled up in February, March and into April, I withdrew my registration knowing I didn't need to incur more debt, no matter how much I wanted to see everyone. This was a nice consolation prize.

In her foreword, Angeline Crichlow starts off by saying, "It is the author's opinion that very few persons can successfully learn to tat from a book." Amen Sister! I did teach myself from a book but it was, as Angeline says in her second statement, "filled with a tremendous and shattering frustration."

And then, only a few paragraphs later, she is recommending Coats & Clark's SpeedCroSheen for beginners! I hope Angeline had the pleasure of tatting with a good 6 cord thread in her lifetime. I think she did from some other comments, but I was floored to read her early recommendation.

I was intrigued that she started off with Josephine Knots and finger tatting. Finger tatting is not an unusual way to start, but Josephine Knots? Then I realized that it was a good way to get used to the motion of tatting and actually making a ring without the complication immediately of going in the opposite direction for the 2nd half of the stitch. Good idea!

I won't tell you any more about the book - I'll leave that for future recipients, but I do want to thank Fox for this EXTREMELY GENEROUS gesture! The book is hardbound and stitched at the spine. It is also a signed copy:

I trust that all recipients of the book will handle it with respect and do their very best to get it back to Fox in the same condition it arrived in. It truly is a treasure and is now on its way to the Land of Leprechauns, where Tatskool resides.

Now, the same day the book arrived, I also got another treasure in the mail - my T.A.T. package! I am now a Tatting Artisan! I would love to get started on the last phase but due to the aforementioned unexpected expenses, I think it will be June before I can afford the fee.

So...what kind of tatting have I been up to?

Once again my lace guild is making lace ornaments for a small Christmas tree that we donate to a charitable organization to auction off as a fundraiser. There is so much happening this summer and we also have a big exhibit to get ready for (the tree is included) so I'm trying to get as much tatting done as I can. We make ornaments in sets of three because the tree is divided in thirds and the ornaments equally spaced. So here's my contribution:

The angels are a pattern by Birgit Phelps that was subsequently adapted by Martha Ess. I suppose we all add our own little twist. These are tatted in size 50 and I've used a variety of beads and charms for embellishment. The doves are actually a chick pattern by Karey Solomon that was featured in her February issue of Tatting Times. When I got it, I put it in my work bag thinking I would check it out on a lunch hour but somehow it got lost in all the other things in my bag and it wasn't until I cleaned it out over vacation that I found it! The chicks were actually meant for Easter but I'm using them as a Christmas symbol. There is also a very cute heart on a cabone ring pattern in there that I'll get around to tatting eventually. I did block the pieces but the organizer is stiffening them all so they will be uniform. I just wanted them to have a little shape before she gets them.

One night very late, I decided to take a break from all the ornament tatting and tat Jane's butterfly bookmark, except I don't use beads in bookmarks (unless I can figure out a way to keep the beaded part OUT of the book) so it's just a butterfly.

Timing was bad, I was tired and I didn't really read through the pattern and prepare other than getting thread and beads. I was ready to throw it across the room before I was done! I needed six hands to juggle beads, shuttles, crochet hook, glasses, and pattern!

It's really not that hard, but you need to prepare. Have some safety pins on hand and you need a very fine hook - I had to use my Lacis size 16 hook - to pick up the beads. When you go to make the long picot, put the beads on it and secure the thread loop with a safety pin until you are ready to join it to another element later on. Have your beads counted out and ready to pick up. It would probably be better to be sitting at a table instead of in a comfy easy chair. Read the pattern all the way through FIRST! And before you know it, you'll be done!


Okay, I'll admit it. This sabbatical is not working out all that well for me. There are things I want to blog about. There are things I want to show. Posting only once a month makes it a huge post to read. It's not really keeping me OFF the computer which was meant to push me to finish other non-computer related stuff. So I may be back sooner than I expected.

One night this past week, I got home to find an unexpected package in the mail. At first, I couldn't read the name but it was from Singapore!

I opened it up and found this pretty pink envelope with a sweet note to me. I opened the envelope and there was a pink tissue paper package tied with delicate looking novelty thread and I could feel that inside was a bubble wrapped item. I couldn't tell what it was though - too much padding!

Much to my delight, it was a pair of earrings from Wendy over at Umi & Tsuru! I had commented at one point that I loved those little shell bits hanging from the earrings she makes. They are so delicate and pearly looking. What a lovely surprise! You can see examples of her jewelry on the left side of the blog. They are certainly beautiful eye-candy! Thank you Wendy!

Speaking of eye-candy, earlier this month I paid a visit to Pat Winter from Pat Winter Gatherings. A few members of my lace group and I are taking a dye class with her in May and I needed to scout out the location and surroundings. Pat is such a gracious lady and her crazy quilt work is exquisite! I got to see the studio we will be working in - or out in the garden, weather permitting. I went to a few bead stores later that Pat told me about in the area and had hoped to visit some other places too but $$ were a little short so I decided to come home instead. As it turns out, we'll only have a short time after the class before we have to head back to Lafayette so we won't be able to go to anything too far away. I'll have to make a trip on my own later in the summer. I wanted to spend some time at the Dunes and that will be an additional luxury for me.

It seems like I've been on the computer all day today (4-25) but I've unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, made meatloaf to take in my lunch, washed some laundry (still in progress) caught up on email and blogs and added to this post. My son helped me move a heavy piece of furniture earlier so later I will clean up all the stuff around it.

One reason I'm so behind is that I've been tatting intensely all week to make some booties for my little Miss Smith who will be here in another month. Yeah, I gave up on the bonnet, at least for the shower which was the 24th. For the booties I used the pattern I've always used, an adaptation by Lenore English. Unfortunately my printout shows as the host and it's shut down so I don't know if the pattern is available elsewhere or not.

Lenore came up with her own design using one from Anne Orr's baby shoes, something different for the toe, and an Aunt Ellen pattern for the edging. I used all of these elements but then added a motif I've used in many of my own patterns, a two-layer rossette that I placed on top of the original round motif. I put a tiny little button in the center. Now that I've finished it, I see a few more ways to tweak it but those notes will go into the next pair I make. I also would like it to come up a little higher on the ankle and that could be a major tweak.

(Originally I had 2 collages here but finally decided which one I liked better and removed the other)

I used size 20 thread. Lenore's pattern used size 30 but the only pink I liked and had was in size 20 so I used it instead. If memory serves me right, size 30 seemed just a tad small when completed. Fine for a newborn, but for someone using these for a christening, the baby is often 3-6 months old. The last pair I made had to be lengthened to fit the baby. I also tied the ribbon in the back instead of in the front. It was just a whim but the rosette takes up more room than the original motif and I think it would be too bulky to have the bow there. I finished the final tatting at 9:48 a.m. on the day of the shower. I had to block them and put the ribbon in, take pix, and then wrap them.

It was worth it. Look at 'em dance!


  1. This was a fun post to read. You've been doing so much! I'm afraid that if I tried to follow in your footsteps, very little would be written. I just forget about things so quickly!

    Isn't Pat's little studio a gem? I wanted to take my mom over when she visits in June, but I'm not sure that will work out. I'd love to take another class with Pat.

    I love the booties, as well as everything else! I guess less time on the computer means more time for tatting!

  2. So much to read and see. I haven't had time to take it all in so will visit again tomorrow.

  3. Okay, I have a terrible confession to make. Unlike Diane...I do not read. I just look at the pictures when it comes to tatting posts. I'm terrible that way! Ironically, I have a high IQ it's just that when it comes to tatting I'm quite impatient and I just want to get to the "good stuff"....the "eye candy". Is it something I need to work on? I see it only as something I need to read when I want to learn a technique. ...sigh...

    Anyway, I really like how you showed all the pictures of the process of the booties! Very cool! I wish I had your book. Can I have it? Will you give it to me? No? Okay, it was worth a try. I would probably say the same to you if you asked about one of my gazillions of tatting books too so we're even! ;)

    I &hears; the dancing tatting booties, but I still wanted to see them last night! LOL!

    ~TattingChic ♥

  4. Hurray for a new post from Gina! Long posts such as yours are a pure pleasure to read.

  5. Dear Gina,
    Those easter egss are so lovely. I would love to hear more about what you thought about Angeline Crichlow's book. Congrats on your TAT artisan. I'm glad you liked the earrings. Your booties are just adorable and the colour very pretty. It goes well with the socks for little Miss Smith.

  6. Wow, did you get writer's cramp at the end of this post? SO interesting. Also SO good to have you back and I do hope you'll be blogging again soon on a regular basis.

  7. great to see you back in blog land have missed you. wow what wonderful tatting you have been doing. congrats on your the booties danceing.

  8. I really enjoyed reading your post and seeing all the pretties you have been busy making. I am going to get out my Tatting Times and try tatting up that little birdie =)

  9. Nice to see a post from you! It's a long read, but it was worth it. The bootie pattern you mentioned should be in the Internet Archive ( I know Lenore's other pattern are archived there. I may be able to find the link for you if you want.


  10. Me again. Here is a Tinyurl of the bootie pattern (in the Archive):


    (The pictures aren't working but it may be enough for some people)

  11. Thank you Jeff!!!!

  12. wow, this blog is packed with so many items to read about, plus the eye candy. tell us more about the tatting book. i love all those little easter eggs. they are very sweet! n the baby booties are lovely!

  13. Way too much in one post to remember all the things i want to comment on.
    Here goes:-
    Love the Easter eggs, isn't it funny how one of them jumps out at me as gorgeous!

    Congrats on the Artisan, I haven't had time to do anything on it in over a month.
    The baby bootees are beautiful, love the animation.

    Waiting in anticipation for the book.


    So good to see you back in Tat-land.

    The dancing booties are hilarious! LOL!!! They are very pretty. I love the pink motif and yes, I agree; size #30 is too small. These look perfect. Miss Smith is going to look so sweet in her dancing shoes.

    CONGRATULATIONS! TAT Artisan - good for you! You did it! Yippee!!!

    Too many explanation marks and capital letters here, but there is so much worthy of kudos in this post, replete as it is with good news and work.

    Love the little monkey hiding and bumping behind the earrings, which are very sweet, as are the tatted ornaments for your lace guild.

    The butterfly pattern looks like fun and I do have a .16 Lacis hook; consider me inspired!

    Lovely critique of the book. I am so glad that "Angeline's Travelling Book Adventure" began with you, as you have given it a wonderful kick-start. Hope the others carry on with the same enthusiasm!

    So glad you are back. I have missed your posts.
    ♥ Fox : )

  15. Hi Gina, thanks so much for the visit. I have to say that I am in awe of all you lace makers and tatters, what a skill!

  16. Hello Gina, WOW, what wonderful tatting creation to make. Love the butterfly and all those wee booties. The surprise from Wendy was very nice and her ear rings are gorgeous. Wendy is a lovely person. Maybe someday I will learn how to tat. vbg Take care Hugs.

  17. hello gina,
    you are incredibly motivated!! you get more done in one day than i do in a month... and that's after procrastinating a while! i sure enjoyed reading about all your latest projects (the wreaths, angels, birdies, butterflies, & booties -- ALL so beautiful!). thanks, also, for sharing with us about the book you've been reading.
    thank you for stopping by my blog & leaving a comment. it' nice to meet you! hope you're having a great week! (o:

  18. Dear Gina: YES! Those were the angels we saw on the tree at the lace exhibit. This is a free pattern? Or, in a book? I wasn't able to find it on-line (did look). If you would be kind enough to send a link or e-mail the pattern, I'd be grateful. The angels were so lovely & I'd love to try. Always, L.


Emails and comments both are welcome and always read.