Tuesday, August 30, 2011

P.S. I meant to add that the colors in this are so rich and so vibrant in person. You can't see it at all on the monitor screen.

Another flutter! I realized I have enough of an assortment of the HDT to tat one for each season. This is Knitty Gritty with Warm Dark Chocolate. This one will represent Autumn. The one made with Rhubarb Pie will be Spring, Summertime Trail will be Summer and Snowflake will be Winter.

I found a way to contact the butterfly's designer but it may take awhile for a response since I'm not certain the email is up-to-date. It didn't get returned so that is a good sign.

I've been wanting to crochet this apple cozy for ages. I didn't have any red yarn in the right weight so I used some cotton yarn. I've been wondering if it will fit most apples or not. I didn't have an apple so I used a ball of thread. A large ball wouldn't fit. This is a medium ball...Cebelia probably. It was quick and easy. I thought they would be a cute whimiscal gift at the holidays so we'll see if I pursue it or not.

We had a family reunion on my mom's side on Sunday. It was nice to see many of the aunts and uncles again plus a whole segment of folks I didn't even know but hopefully I'll have a clue at least to whom they belong to the next time I see them. I especially loved looking through an album my uncle had made up of scans of OLD photos. My grandmother as a baby and as a young girl. Photos of my mom as a baby and toddler. Great Uncle John was there, but in a motorized cart, the first time I've seen him in one. He's 92 years young. He drove himself there with his cart attached to the back of the car.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Isn't this pillow stitched by Evy on Fantaisies Crazy by Evy: Arts Nouveaux stunning? I found the link on Craft Gossip.

Remember when I asked what everyone did with their bits and pieces and single motifs? This would work for some. I've wanted to do crazy quilting from way back when I started quilting, in my early 20's. Over the years I collected fabrics and books but have yet to sit down and do it. I think this would be a nice beginner project. I'm not crazy about the heavily encrusted look that is so popular these days. I think it detracts from the stitching but that's just my preference. I do like using beads and unusual embroidery stitches and buttons and lace together and this project would seem to limit the space and temptation to overdo. Well...another "to do someday" for the list.

Friday, August 26, 2011

#17 of 25 Motif Challenge

This is the last edging of Plate 2 in the vintage D.M.C. Tatting publication that I'm using for the 25 Motif Challenge.

Plate 2, Figure 14

It's a common one that I'm sure you've seen many times in various forms and I even have an example at the end of this post.
The instructions are ....tiresome...and like I usually do, I sketched out what I was reading. They designate the 4th picot in the beginning ring to be small which is because it is a joining picot.

I thought I'd show my sketch this time instead of numbering the stitches on the sample. Again, I chose not to crochet the header.

I thought it turned out well. Tatted, as usual, in DMC Special Cordonnet size 20 thread.

It just happened that later in the day, I was cleaning up piles of magazines and books that tend to accumulate in my bedroom. I found this article in Sew Beautiful from 2000 (not in my room since 2000!). See that edging? I don't believe it has 3 picots on the side that attaches to the cushion and it looks like the stitch count on the chain leading to the bottom ring is fewer than my sample, but basically it's the very same edging!

I've already done Plates III & IV so I will do Plate V next. It's a lot more involved, with tatted motifs attached to netting. I may substitute something else for the netting, like maybe some hardanger cloth.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is a pattern by Nancy Tracy at Be-Stitched. It has long picots that are frayed. I hate the fraying part but love the result.

The threads, Rhubarb Pie & Celery, are by Marilee. (Yarnplayer)

The pattern is easy but I didn't read it closely enough. The chains outlining the center ring are supposed to be joined at the last picot in each segment but I missed that until I was done with the flower. Oops! So you can see some chain picots between the frayed segments. One of the problems with being an "experienced" tatter is that you become a know-it-all and jump to conclusions about how something is done without really paying attention to the instructions. I do it all the time and then I pay! I try to keep that tendency in mind when I test tat but it still gets the best of me sometimes.

Another very pleasant day here. It stormed fiercely last night but didn't last long. I heard of trees and a barn being felled as a result but haven't followed up to see if anything else big happened. No injuries as far as I know.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is a favorite butterfly pattern but it's only the 3rd time I've tatted it. The first time was for an exchange years ago. The second time seemed like only a few years ago but I can't find it on my blog. It was yellow and orange/gold but I made a mistake and got the upper wings attached wrong so that the long part of the segment was at the bottom. Only bothers me since I know it's wrong!

So I decided to tat it with the Rhubarb Pie in size 20 that I was gifted with from Sue Anna. The pattern is from a book I borrowed from the I.O.L.I. library, which is T-041 if you decide to borrow it yourself. The description:Tatted Originals 12 Butterflies/Klosterman, Phyllis/1988/English/32p. I don't think it is in print anymore and it looks like an old typewritten copy that was xeroxed and self published. The instructions are written paragraph style and could really benefit by changing to line by line along with a diagram.

This is butterfly #1 and ends up being 4"wide and 3 1/2" tall. It gets fiddly as the spokes flop around until you get it all assembled and tat the outside chain. The antennae are suppposed to be chains added at the end but it's so hard to hide the ends and get those to look good so I just made a super long picot and cut it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

#16 of 25 Motif Challenge

To find out the history of this project, check my post from July 30, 2011.

This is Plate 2, figure 13 in the DMC Tatting publication.

Here's my sample, knots and all. I couldn't bring myself to crochet the header but I think it's a lovely edging. It's upside down here. I made all the long picots as described in the instructions but if I were making it as an edging, I would have short joining picots on the plain edge where it would be attached to something. I seem to have some kind of little bug the past few days so my inspiration mode isn't up to par.

Tatting this was a little tricky. I've lettered the sequence, ring a, chain b, ring c, chain d. Ring c is tatted in the usual way but when it moved on to the chain that surrounds it, the instructions say to "turn the small ring". Not the entire work, just the ring. This is to get the thread in the proper position to chain around and end up going forward. I did twist it a few times, but then ended up just crossing the threads over the base of the ring. I was afraid it would be too twisty but it lays pretty flat with the joins and then blocking took care of the rest.

The instructions also call for long picots at the sides of ring a and chain d. That helps it lay flat too so don't be chintzy on the picot length. I haven't tried this in 2 colors yet. It might be interesting to see how that plays out.

I've also figured out that when the instructions say "use 1 shuttle", they mean the ring shuttle. When they say "use 2 shuttles", they mean to chain. Aren't we glad we can just say "R" and "Ch" these days?

I have one more edging in Plate 2. I already tatted Plate III before I started the challenge and didn't want to include them here. Then I tatted Plate IV earlier in the challenge so I'll move on to Plate V.

I've almost got the edging stitched down on the pillowslip. It's not a priority so I work on it when I'm bored with other things.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

These birds are addictive! And quick!

Earlier in the summer, Val showed some motifs she tatted from Kimono Threads which she purchased during a visit to Hong Kong. I expressed an interest in them and she very kindly sent me some samples...twice. The first mailing apparently got lost in the mail and she went out of her way to send me another set of samples along with a pretty hanky and a tatted cross that I posted about HERE.

So I tatted both birds with the samples. The thread reminds me of Omega Rayon cord only much finer, but it says it is cotton. I wonder if it is a blend? Anyway, it tats up very nicely. I wondered how the black and white would work up but the bird isn't really big enough to show the changes significantly. The bird reminds me of a chickadee in this thread.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Someone mentioned I hadn't shown shaved cat #2. For some reason, it didn't seem like as drastic of a change with him. He almost always manages to turn away from the camera or shut his eyes.

He didn't get sedated and it seemed like even more of his fur was taken off. It did NOT improve his disposition at all. He really is as fat as I thought he was but still not as fat as Diogi. He also has this loose bag of skin that hangs underneath and you can tell he's not used to so much skin making contact with whatever he is laying on. But he IS cleaner and more comfortable overall. I think it's also helped with fur bunnies I find everywhere. His were distinctive and I'm not seeing any new ones.

School starts on campus next week so there was a flurry of traffic today. For the past 3 days I've fielded more calls and emails in my area than I have all summer. Returning and new staff are wanting ergonomic assessments last week. Too bad. We get there when we get there, which is really pretty darned quick compared to the weeks it used to take.

So I felt a very strong need to get completely away from campus during my lunch hour. Yep, I gave up a good parking space to drive across the bridge and down 26 til I got to Hobby Lobby. Well...as luck would have it, they were having a 50% off sale on ribbons and trims. I'm almost as bad about ribbons as I am beads. I always have ideas tumbling around in my head about tatting around these trims and when I see a sale on them, I have to hold myself down. Even so, this is what I ended up with. I don't know why I keep getting ricrac. I have several metallics and printed reels already. Now, if I can figure out how I want to use them!

I caved on these beads which were also 50% off. They're not bright and colorful but the darker subdued colors will likely go well with Autumn tattings. If not, I can always use them in beading. I liked that they had 2 sizes of the same color combos.

Part of this inspiration is a result of the Enabler striking my house! You might remember that Diane, the Lace-Lovin' Librarian, gave Sue Anna that very apt moniker. She offered me a skein of HDT by Yarnplayer and I wasn't going to turn that down! I had no idea she would gift me with such a wonderful bounty. Aren't those lucious jewel-like colors?

I think I'm set for the weekend now! Many thanks to the Enabler for her wonderful generosity!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to work today so my needlework production will slow down as well as domestic production. I did find a bookcase yesterday at Target for $25. It will hold the DVD's and videotapes until I find the cabinet type I'm looking for. I need another bookcase in my craft room so this one will eventually find its way there.

Kitty #2 is getting sheared today but my son had to take him since I'm back to work. I can't wait to see his naked furry self later. (CAT, not son) I am hoping it will improve his disposition but I'm not counting on it. He used to be so docile and the scaredy cat of the bunch but in the past few years as he's aged, he's gotten crochety and aggressive. His fur is not matted like the other one's was but he does not clean himself and undesirable bits stick to the fur in undesirable places.

I do have a bit of tatting to show.

This is a birdie pattern from Anna, May 2001. There were about 6 variations and actually the tails on all were very long picots with a bead here and there. I decided to stick with shorter picots for the time being. This one is very small, maybe 1 1/2 inch square. I added the bead to the eye differently too. The original had it sitting on top of the picots.

For those of you who remember the old Anna Magazine, (link is to the new verison) they had pull-outs that contained the patterns and graphs. The page with the images had a diagram and that's what I went by but I should have copied the pull-out too or at least referred to it. I had scanned this page while sorting through a storage tub and didn't realize I'd need the pull-out or I would have kept the magazine out. No matter as I just wanted to get a feel for the way the bird tatted up. They used two colors with the darker on the outside of the split rings. I do think it's cute but would probably make a few changes if I tat it again. I like the chains inside which create a nice effect.

I just noticed the current version is Summer 2010 so I wonder if this one has also gone out of production?

Monday, August 15, 2011

You might remember a few posts ago when I mentioned Lace News and the Lace News YouTube Channel. Well, I was looking through some of the tatting videos and happened upon this one.

I was intrigued by the way she made rings through the picots. I know in many of the antique patterns that they pulled the thread from picot to picot to get from one place to another but I've never seen a reference to this technique.

Out of curiosity, I decided to try it myself. My first experiment is on the right. I think my picots were too close together on the base ring as the final rings sort of bunched up on each other. That could be a design element but I was really trying to achieve what the author was doing.

So I tatted another ring with big and little picots and with 2 ds between the picots. That one is on the left. The picots were still too dense and I didn't even use every one of them. I haven't had a chance to play with it more, but doesn't it conjure up all kinds of potential designs??? It's possible I put too many picots in the ring. Maybe I should have only had like 3 big and 3 little?

I finally got back to tatting Bri's doily with 2 solid colors. I was this far and tried to finish it in spite of the garish colors I'd chosen. It didn't seem like such a bad idea when the two colors were sitting on the table in front of me but the more I tatted, the more I hated it! Then when I returned to it and hid one of my ends, that chain distorted and I could NOT get it to lay smooth like it had before. Even so, I attached the thread and started the last round. The directions are fine. I just couldn't get the thread to cooperate and I had no idea what I was going to do with an ugly purple and orange doily when I was done so I snipped off what I'd started and left it as a center. I need to pick colors I like better if I'm going to do this again! Hmmm...maybe I should make that last round white. It may be salvaged yet!

Here's a little more test tatting. I finally used some thread I bought from Lady Shuttlemaker a long time ago. I'm trying to stop hoarding what little HDT I have. I believe this is Rainbow Sherbert.

I got a new flat screen TV at the weekend so that was set up which involved some cleaning and sorting. I got several storage cubes into a room out of the living room but there are still some that are too heavy for me to move. They're going to the basement anyway and my son will haul them down there. I really love opening up spaces.

Unfortunately, the stand the TV sits on really will not hold all our DVD's and videotapes so now I need to shop for a cabinet to put them in. I want it to have doors (hence a cabinet and not a bookshelf) so I can hide them. Since the University is starting the fall semester soon, this is a good time to find a deal. Every place has all kinds of deals to attract returning and new students. Here's hoping I come across the perfect one!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tatting Events

I've been woefully neglectful in updating the Events page but it is done now. Below is the same information but once we get past this post, you can easily click on the "Tatting Events" tab and see them again without searching through posts.

Both Palmettos and the Fringe Element Tatters have fabulous Tat Days and since one is in the North and the other in the South, you shouldn't miss out wherever you live!

September 23-24, 2011
Fringe Element Tatters
Cambridge, Ontario CANADA
Information and registration can be found here:

September 23-24, 2011
Palmetto Tatters
Toccoa, Georgia
Information and registration can be found here:

There are still a few tatting events to attend at The Lacemaker in Courtland, OH. See details here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lace News!

If you don't know about the site Lace News, go check it out! It's about all the laces and includes tatting! In addition to that, Laurie Waters has undertaken the monumental task of listing all the Youtube lace videos in one spot. There are currently over 1,000 on the playlist.

Here's the current pdf listing:

Tatting videos are number 675 through 1,075. That's 400 videos! (mine are included!)

Go have a YouTube Fest!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tatting Tea Tuesday

Isn't this fabric tea set adorable? The tutorial is at Cherished Bliss. You'll need to be an experienced seamstress to understand it but whether you make it or someone else makes it for you, what a lovely way to highlight your tatting!

Not anything to show today. I started stitching the trim on the pillowcase last night. It's slow going. I also crocheted some cord for a Romanian Point Lace project I have in mind. And then I embroidered, practicing my buttonhole stitch on a HUGE eyelet. LOL!

We had a big thunderstorm last night with winds up to 54 mph. No trees fell! At least on my property. It cooled things off though and gave the ground a much needed drink. Tonight is bobbin lace night and I will hopefully finish up another butterfly.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I got to tat Bri's doily and used size 20 Coates variegated and size 20 Lizbeth dark purple. It's easy to tat but I had to pay attention and make sure I joined in the right places. I'm going to try it again in two solid colors as I think that will bring out the design elements more.

The trim adapted from Plate 2, figure 12 is done! I think. I will pin it to the pillow case and make sure it covers everything before I cut the shuttles off and hide my ends. I happened to see on another blog (non-tatting) that the blogger had some lace wrapped around a "pin-dolly" and remembered my pretty stamped ones so I immediately put one to use! The paper clip was to mark the half-way spot.

There is 66 inches of trim here. At almost the last minute, I decided to see how long it took me to tat one repeat. It's between 4 and 5 minutes. So with 66 repeats, it took me approximately 5 1/2 hours. That doesn't count winding and refilling the shuttles or retro-tatting. I thought it would be longer but it does go pretty fast.

Here's a motif from the last ROT newsletter. It's a design by Jennifer Williams and meant to be tatted onto a "plastic press fastener" which in US terms is a sew-on plastic snap. I don't know how I missed the snap part but I did. So I just tatted the 3 layers together. There is a leaf too but I need to figure out what I'm going to put in the center first. They show a big center bead or several small seed beads. It could end up being a brooch or some kind of trim on something.

I've been playing with lace more than I really should this weekend. I had good intentions to clean out a room, partly to find my lucet and partly because it's been on my agenda for a long time. At this point though, I'm going to leave pretty soon to visit an aunt who is recovering from surgery and then visit another aunt and uncle who are visiting here from Texas. I did start the room last night and found a pillowslip partially embroidered that I brought out to finish. I have no idea where the second pillowslip is though.

I also found a tin full of tatting.

I'm impressed with how organized so many tatters are as they expressed how they displayed and stored their tatting in the comments to my last post. Not the case here! As I sit here at my desk, I see a couple of motifs hanging on a little thingie on the wall. several are on the top of this desk, on top of and inside of small ceramic containers, on several shelves of the bookcase next to my desk, in various drawers of the storage cubes behind me, in some boxes and binders here and there on the floor, on the sewing table....and that's just this room.

I think it's hopeless!

Hope you have enjoyed your weekend!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Creative Displays of Tatting

So....those of you who have participated in multiple 25 Motif Challenges or exchanges or just tat a lot, what do you do with the pieces that keep stacking up? Do you tend to tat in the same color group? Can you categorize or sort your tatting into complementary groups? Have you tried laying it all out and then mixing and matching?

I have a habit of tatting ONE motif to try a pattern out or to see how the thread behaves and then I just put it in a pile. The piles are not necessarily all in the same place. So I'm thinking it's time to create some order out of this chaos and I went looking for ideas.

I found this arrangement on Craft Gossip. The author suggested it for crocheted doilies but I'm thinking tatted doilies or even smaller - coasters, medallions or snowflakes. It's only a suggestion, in my mind, of the possibilities.

Look at this tip for organizing or storing thread that I found in Needlework Tips and Techniques! It just so happens I had a nearly empty CD tube so I went home and put it to use for the exact same type of thread. I got all but 3 balls in it. Unfortunately, they are only stacked and there is no dowel or anything holding them in each stack which means when you open it, they will all tumble out unless you hold it upside down and even then, to get to the ball on the bottom, you have to take them all out but I was taking them out of their container anyway. This will keep them clean and easy to transport.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

We've finally had a break in the heat wave! It stayed under 90º today and there was a nice breeze. The perfect summer day!

I've been testing for Martha a bit more. This is just a hint. I think some things should be a surprise!

Here are some earrings I ordered on Etsy recently. I only saw the big ones and ordered those, commenting about them possibly being too big for me to wear and she graciously sent the smaller pair too, which I did wear the other day. I actually bought them for the inspiration. Can't you see several tatted blossoms inside a bangle?

BTW, the trim for the pillowslip is more than half done. I'm still debating about adding an actual edging on edge.

I took a peek in my "inspiration" folder this evening. Sigh....so many ideas.....

Chewie is doing quite well. I see she is actually grooming herself this evening. I plan to call and make an appointment for the other cat soon.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Remember Chewie, my little 7# dynamo? The one who follows me from room to room, jumps up on the arm of my chair every chance she gets, sleeps by my face when I nap on the sofa...with the very matted fur because she is aging somewhat ungracefully?

I absolutely could not brush the mats out of her fur. It was actually felted in little knobs around her hips and under her neck and belly. I decided she needed shaved and we do have clippers but at her age, I felt it might be traumatic and made arrangements with the vet to sedate her before taking her to the groomer next door.

I'm told she woke up in the middle of the grooming but loved it and behaved beautifully. Well sure...she was still under the influence, so to speak. She also got her nails clipped and her ears cleaned out.

So...whaddya think?

She might weigh all of 6# now!

And I can't help but laugh every time I look at her! At least she is cooler, cleaner, and more comfortable.

You're NEXT!!!!