Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tatting Tea Tuesday 6-1-10

Okay, it's not Tatting Tea Tuesday, but Tea on Tuesday is popular with other bloggers too! Art in Red Wagons has a list of blogs that focus on tea on Tuesday!

And look at what else I found! Mary McCarthy used to publish KNOTS, a tatting newsletter, back in the mid 90's til the early 2000's. Looks like tatting and tea went together back then too!

In my advancing years, I wonder sometimes if it is possible to become ADD? I don't tolerate boredom as well. My mind goes in dozens of directions at once. Maybe I'm just more aware of it because I'm less constrained by obligations.

I was actually looking for the butterfly that Two Shuttles has been looking for information about. I know I've seen it - that inner diamond shape rings some strong bells, but I can't find it anywhere. I remember it because the one I saw originally, not the yellow one on flickr.com, was also in two colors and I remember thinking I didn't really like the way it worked in that case. I do like the yellow and white one so it's probably about color choices. I'm pretty sure it's an individual pattern, not one in a book, so I was looking through one of my binders of printouts. It wasn't there, but ..... something caught my eye.

I had this printout from a butterfly round robin that I took part in at the turn of the century. (heheheheh....that was fun to say!) It's one I made for someone, though I don't remember who now and the page showing all the round robins is long gone. Apparently I didn't get a scan so I printed out the one on the page. I didn't have a scanner then and had to go to my sister's to scan my tatting. I didn't always make it and my camera was not a good one for lace. Then again, it could be on some OLD disc hidden away somewhere. Anyway...this is my only record of it.

It was actually meant to be a handkerchief corner and was originally tatted in size 70 thread. If you have The Tatter's Treasure Chest, it is on page 73. The photograph in the book is not very clear at all.

By scanning the book photograph and making it bigger (click on the pic to see it bigger), you can see the details a little better. I didn't have that advantage the first time I made it. I always knew I'd done something wrong but couldn't quite figure it out. Now was the time to sort it out! (never mind all those other projects in the background!)

I remembered enough to know I wasn't willing to try it in anything smaller than size 40. I think this thread is actually size 30. Do you know there are SEVEN different pieces that must be tatted separately???? I came up with a few shortcuts but I still had seven different pieces to tat.

The directions say to start with the ring just below the head and then tat the head. Since you have to leave a space of thread for no really good reason except to jump to a picot, I changed the order of things and tatted the head ring first. Then I tatted the ring starting the body. This is where you end up leaving a space of thread. Instead, I made a split ring, splitting at the very last picot since that was where the thread space was going to. From there, you tat around making little loops. Now this is where I so wish I could have found a way to continue on with the body but since the next segment STARTS where the lower picots are, it just seemed like more trouble than it was worth. I also changed the bottom long picot to a double picot just for fun.

(I now see that I probably could have done a split chain where I first joined thread for the lower body and continued on with the lower body which tats down and then back up the other side, continuing around the upper body.)

Each upper wing and each lower wing was tatted and attached during the construction. The ending place was not able to be manipulated so that you could tat the other half of the wing on that side. That's because each segment started in the middle and worked outward. There was no way to work inward and achieve the same effect. If you tat this butterfly, keep in mind that you only need a yard or so on the ring shuttle for any given segment. I put on two yards but the only time I used most of that was in the body which had five rings. For the upper wings, no more than 1 1/2 yard per wing and for the lower wing, no more than 1 yard. Since I did the split ring on each segment to avoid the thread space and it was only TWO stitches, I just left the chain thread on the floss holder. The pic above is the upper wing completed. It reminds me of one of the Star Wars ships. LOL! It's really tight and curls up on itself. Might be a design element to keep in mind for a future project.

This is the completed butterfly waiting to be blocked. BTW, blocking is a nightmare! When I wet this thread, it gets kind of hard. It doesn't want to be manipulated very easily. I used a bigger crochet hook to help pull out each point after making it as flat as I could with my fingers. It used lots and lots and lots of pins!

Here is it on the blocking board, waiting to dry. I also used the shaft of my crochet hook to slide in between the pins and flatten out the chains that kept wanting to turn. This flutter has a wingspan of 4" and is 3 1/2" high counting the antenna.

And here it is! You might notice that the upper wings look a little different from the blue version. That's because I joined in the wrong place with the blue one. You're supposed to join at the 2nd free picot and I joined at the top one which turned it upside down. I also did something else wrong that I haven't discovered yet because the last chain joins in sequence to the whole while the blue one was just sort of hanging there. I don't know if I would dare to tackle this one with beads or not. While it was a challenge to tat, it wasn't all that much fun. I'm ready to move on to other patterns and other threads!

But ....you know....wouldn't this make a gorgeous "stained glass" flutter? I'll leave that to someone who's more accomplished at that than I am. (furtive glance at Marilee)


  1. I do not think I`ll try this butterfly. If I did it would fly right out the window!!! Your pinned down one looks look like a butterfly you would see under glass on display for students to study. Have a great day!!

  2. Hi Gina,
    Well low and behold, that is the 2nd thing I tatted after my 2 tatting lessons and entered it in the 1st tat Palmetto tat days. I will have to dig it out and post it on my blog.

  3. Oh Yah! Marilee would do an amazing 'stained glass' number with this!

    Interesting post, Gina! Lots of detail.

    I really admire how you have re-invented your blog - structurally, visually and with regard to the content. It is GOOD!

    Fox the Critic : )

  4. Icela, you were a brave brave soul! I do remember seeing that someone else had tatted but I haven't seen another one in years!

  5. the butterfly's a real beauty! look at all the details but i'm not ready to tat this yet. i'd been tatting up some vintage patterns and find that i keep missing either picots or joining them wrongly. need to keep a clear head for these. so, gina, u did a fantastic job for both!

  6. What an amazing butterfly and the colours really compliments it!!!!!

  7. The body would make a beautiful bookmark. Figuring out how to tat it in one pass is the kind of project Georgia uses for the Online Tatting Class.

  8. I did figure out how to tat the body in one pass but it was after the fact. Maybe I'll do that to show how - and double it so that it is a bookmark as you say.

  9. I think that butterfly looks so much brighter in colours than shown in the book. Your choice of colours are great.

  10. Umintsuru - believe it or not, the directions said to use a variegated thread but I imagine if one was used in the photo sample, it was a pastel and didn't show up.


Emails and comments both are welcome and always read.