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Threads From a Tatting Goddess

A journal of my adventures in tatting lace. Tips and tricks and inspiration......

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

One of the things tatters like to do at year's end is reflect on the techniques learned and the ones they want to master in the coming year.

I thought I had just about everything down but this year taught me different. LOL! I learned a new way to do the weaver's knot, a way to make picots a standard size on a picot flower, a new way to hide ends, the chain lockstitch, the SCMR, and experimented with a few variations of the daisy picot. I'm thinking there are a few more things....................oh, I learned how to do hairpin lace and then, how to use it in tatting! I tried new threads - like rayon floss, regular embroidery floss, and some new threads on the market too. I tried a few new shuttles and 2 new picot gauges. I have more patterns than I will ever use - never thought I'd say that! And I continue to get new books. A new tatting guild is forming within traveling distance for me. And I've met a tatter I admire in person. I started this blog.........which was a major html education.

So how can I top that this year????????

If the Palmetto group ever sets a date, I hope to attend their tatting day and meet even more tatters.
I plan to complete a larger than usual project in the coming year, perhaps more than one. I have so many ideas they are spilling out all over the place and finding the time to do them is going to be a challenge.
I hope to meet Georgia Seitz since she is now close enough to travel to.
I want to convert some favorite crochet patterns to tatting.
I want to design a sockmonkey in tatting and already have the basics for him.
I will complete the reindeer design I've started.
I want to tat something major for each family member before I get involved in round robins or exchanges again.
Still want to document and update vintage tatting patterns. In the process, I will find a way to include a link in the sidebar here to those projects.
I started working through Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns a few years ago and would like to pick up where I left off and continue.
There are patterns in The Tatted Lace Patterns of Emmy Liebert that I badly want to try, but it is in German and will require a good chunk of time to translate enough to work with.
and............I want to organize my "stuff" better!

Blessings to you all - I love hearing from you and sharing - you all give me such wonderful ideas!

Sharon Witt sent me this scan of a celtic design she did some time ago. Witt says: "I haven't made it again and don't even know if I could. I designed it, tatted it and never recreated it." I love it! It looks like a bell, or a crown, or it could be a flower head too. Maybe we should put our heads together and see if we can figure out how this one is done. Can't get it wrong since there is nothing written down to say what it's supposed to be!

Thank you, Witt, for sharing that with me!

The pale variegated motif is the first one from the printout I made yesterday. The thread is Valdani size 12, a very soft thread. The lavender one is the second motif from the printout - someone's website which I didn't note, unfortunately. The patterns looked like antique ones that she had copied - the page numbers were on it. The lavender thread is some vintage thread I won on ebay ages ago and have been afraid to use. Some is a pale green but it looks discolored. This one looked ok. It's a Cortecelli Mercerized Cordonnet size 70. I love the delicate airiness of both of these motifs. The celtic circle is from Rozella Linden's website. I made one earlier but didn't get it threaded quite right. This one is. I used beads on the picots to define the points a bit more.

I got my latest Anna issue today. It has some Hedebo embroidery in it which I've been wanting to try. I think this issue got out late. It has "last minute gifts" in it. Also got the sale catalog from Herrschner's today. I think I'm going to need another ball of white for my filet snowman and they didn't have the right size at Hobby Lobby, so this is just in time! It's on sale for $3.27. hmmmm..........last time I got it from there, it was $2.99 a ball. It's probably been 2 years though.

Size 5 perle cotton on a 2,100 yard cone? Don't see how I would ever use that much of that size!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I'm on row 22 of the filet snowman if anyone is interested. I've also made a snowflake motif from a pattern I printed off the web, which unfortunately, doesn't tell me where I got it. I doing the second one that is on the sheet now. I want to do one more celtic circle. Then I'm on to the elephant again! Remember the elephant I thought I was going to get done for my daughter's birthday last year? Time to get back to it. I didn't get the chess set done either, obviously.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I think I forgot an over and under or something. LOL! I'll try it again tonight. Once I get it right, I think it'll make a teensy bookmark.

I started some filet crochet last night. I'm on row 10 of 102 rows. This is a snowman ( see magazine photo above ) and it's probably about 10 x 14 finished. I have 3 or 4 other Christmas themed filet crochet mats I have wanted to make for ages and I decided now is the time to do them. Finish them, put them away for next year (or hang onto them and enter them into the fair this summer) and then it won't be another " I meant to................" I'm using my size 20 Cebelia in white. I'm not so fond of size 20 threads for tatting anymore - they seem big, but it seems fairly small for crochet yet. It's certainly a better thread than the size 10 cotton I was going to use.

I listed a bunch of craft magazines on ebay last night. Mostly crochet or craft. No tatting yet. I have piles yet to go through. I have been waiting until I got my computer moved to start listing on ebay again, and then waited for Christmas to be over. So here it is. Thing is, once you start going through those things, you remember all kinds of projects you wanted to do! I remembered today that I need to start on my elephant again for my daughter with the March birthday.

I wonder how that snowman would look in a tatted filet? I should make up a few samples of the different filet tatting methods and see what works best. All of them have seemed too "open" to really empahsize the blocks that well.

I was in Hobby Lobby this afternoon. No needlework stuff on sale, although I did get 4 skeins of red omega yarn, a very light weight, almost baby weight yarn. I'll do some lace knitting with it. The skeins were $.69 each and I got the last 4!!

Oh hey! I got a magnifying light for Christmas! After seeing Hopie's, I wanted one to help me with retro-tatting that fine, fine thread I do sometimes. It really helped. Thank you Hope for letting me try it out! The one I got hangs around the neck and I wasn't sure at first that I would like it as well, but I think I do - I won't be pushing myself forward to look through one on the table now. No Ott light, sorry to say, but that's not as much of an issue for me. I seem to have decent light most of the time. The kids seemed confused about what to get, even though I told them the name and where to get it. I forgot there are all kinds of styles though.

I'll start scrapbooking again with my sister on New Year's Day. As soon as I get done with my east coast trip scrapbook, I'm going to start on the kids' books. With lotsa luck and prodding from my sis, I might have them done by next Christmas!

I have a feeling my days off will speed by way too fast!

Friday, December 26, 2003

I started this snowflake late Christmas Eve as a way to unwind and ended up finishing it yesterday during odd moments while waiting for things to be done or family to arrive. I blocked it last night after everyone was gone. It's from 24 Julestjerner i Orkis by Lene Bjorn and is December snowflake #5. It's 2 3/4" across. I was emptying some shuttles so the variegated is quilting thread from Perfect Quilter and the white is Cebelia, size 30. The white kept flipping back on me and I had to retro-tat several times. I might have to get rid of it.

I also started a celtic knot last night - in fact, the tatting is done, I'm just trying to get the chain weaved right. It was too late and I was too tired last night so I've left it for sometime today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

I was looking at Rozella Linden's website which features some patterns and tips about celtic tatting and other tatting. One of the nifty tips I found was how to make a picot gauge from a floss holder. An added bonus to it is that it has a hole so you can put it on a chain or ribbon to keep it handy around your neck! There is a nice celtic knot tatted pendent if you are looking for a challenge in the coming year! Look for both under Articles and Stories. Rozella also has a yahoo group focused on celtic tatting that you can access from a link on the site.

Want to see some Lace cartoons?

What to do with all those plastic bags that you collected with all your Christmas shopping? There are patterns here for crocheted angels, trees, and wreaths from plastic bags.

Here's a new twist on marketing Tatted Jewelry. See Veronica's Victoriana. There is an instructional video on the site also - one I've not heard of. The instructor lives in Northern Vermont, for those looking for help in that area. Maybe...........I tried emailing from the link and it was undeliverable.

Here are a few free patterns for a tatted wreath and tatted earrings.

There is a pattern for a chatelaine among the patterns for sale. I created my own chatelaine pattern for a secret swap a few years ago. I've been wanting to make one for me too! It had embroidered silk flowers on it, and attached to a wide ribbon. There is a scissors holder, needlebook, a pincushion and a little bag. All had a simple tatted edging. Almost too fancy to use!

Well, that's enough surfing for the day.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Oooh-La-La! Need a last minute idea for the man in your life?

Here ya go! "This free sewing pattern is offered as a service to big men who need comfortable briefs in size 3XL to 4XL" You'll notice the photo doesn't look like a 3XL man? I think you could make this pattern any ol' size you want. But if you are sewing for a very large man this is a good source.

There is a French version too.

And while you're at it, you might be interested in making your own whip!

LOL! Bummer, I can't find my smilie CD with the boobie smiley. :-(

Nope, I'm not dipping in the eggnog, just surfing and checking out the links at this really marvelous HOW-TO site. I've mentioned it before - anything you want to know how to make - I think you'll find it here. In several different languages!

A balloon wedding cake for you dieters out there. Bookbinding tutorial.
How to make a low D penny-whistle.

sigh..........work calls.............

Sunday, December 21, 2003

What's going on? My tatting friends are knitting, including me! LOL!

Well, I knitted a test swatch to check the gauge, which turned out ok, but I decided I didn't like the yarn color for me. Which is okay, because I really want to knit a wimple or a cape - two patterns I've been hoarding for years! So, back to test knitting - which will have to wait now til the next weekend.

All this cleaning I've been doing is turning up inspiration right and left! There will never be enough time to do everything I want to do. I came across several wooden pieces I wanted to paint on. Photo frames I wanted to refurbish. Rocks I want to paint on. Several filet crochet patterns I want to do. A magazine I picked up at a 2nd hand store has a lot of Christmas filet crochet................the only way I'll get it done for next year is to do it now and put it away for then.

And evermore tatting!

There was a tatting mag at Hopie's that had curtains with tatted motif inserts. Shall I do that for the kitchen or the sewing room???? In white or color? And you know how that snowballs! I have some sheers in the living room with butterflies and dragonflies faintly on the panels. So maybe I could take some white fabric and make colorful tatted butterflies and dragonflies to stitch in as an insert? Maybe try a little cutwork that I've been itching to do?

LOL! We aren't even through Christmas yet and I've got the next several months plotted out!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Since I don't have time to tat at home, I'm surfing for new info during the odd moments i have in the daytime. Here is a review from Maus about YLI Candlelight threads, an 8 ply synthetic thread that is also metallic. She has a few ring and chain samples tatted up to show you how it compares with other thread. Since we like to use metallic threads and other shiny embellishments during the holiday season, I thought this useful.

And here is a Santa tatted by LaRae M. with a Santa button for the head (similar to what I used for the amulet bag). Tatted faces are sometimes less appealing than what one hopes for so these button faces are a nice alternative. And here is a Shuttlebugs Christmas Slideshow from 2001 showing tatted Christmas ornaments.

Oh, look here at Iris's Christmas Heart and the pattern is free! She has several more on CD to purchase and a few other freebies - worth checking out, IMO.

Some lovely tatting by Joan Thomas. See some of Nina's bead jewelry worked up by her. From the photos, I realized I was in NY right close when this was being done! Nina, if I'm in NYC again, I'll look you up!

Now here is Kristie's interpretation of the base motif's on Wally's Tat-Along website. I particularly like the triangular motif on the left with the beads. I think it would make a unique Christmas tree motif. BTW, you have until December 20 to send in a scan of your new design from the December base motif. What a fun project! Even if you can't do the motif right now, check back in January to see all the inspiration.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Finally, after 3 days, I have my tree done.

I went to St. Vincent's on my lunch hour today. Got a bag with 6 skeins of purple yarn in it. I have some dark green chenille yarn already --- so this will make a nice afghan to match the colors in my bedroom. Also got 3 sets of circular knitting needles for $1.00 each, very nice ones, but they don't have a size on them. I can't figure out why a manufacturer would not mark them somehow. Crochet hooks are.

Also got a Christmas hot pad and mitt set. A wire mesh basket with tree design.

And then, with more time to kill, went to another new "thrift" store where a different one closed up awhile back. This guy has it nice and clean and well - arranged and he's not sitting behind the counter smoking the whole time. Last person did that - I didn't go in very often. It was kinda skudgy too, but I found some shuttles there once, so I checked again every so often.

I don't think I'll get my reindeer done.

I'm going to bed early for a change. Still late, but earlier than I have been lately.

Monday, December 15, 2003

My crinoline lady from Camille!

She's got 3 different threads in her - some Coats Floretta that Camille picked up in Scotland, Akbel - a rayon polyester thread which makes it shiny and pretty, and altin basak. Lovely job Camille!

Tonite I was shooting photos at my oldest son's house for their Christmas card.

This is one I particularly like, even if they aren't smiling all that much. For those who receive this through the mailing list, there's a photo of my grandkids on the internet site.

I took some knitting with me today...........I have no idea why I thought I would have time to even cast on stitches!

Or even in the evening! I have something to do every night this week.

I got 3 old magazines today that I won in an auction. One is the summer issue of McCall's Needlework & Crafts, 1949 - when I was born. There is one tatted doily in there. Then there was a summer 1967 issue - when I got married. LOL! I didn't have any of them and I think I won another one that I didn't have.

Well, off to bed.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

I thought I would empty a shuttle by trying out the celtic square provided on yahoo group Celtic Tatting. Ruth has put a few diagrams there to inspire us. Ha! This requires either needle tatting or finger tatting to weave in the chains so I used a paper clip as a shuttle for the second half, thinking it would fit through the loops, and it did, but it was hard to keep the thread from unwinding. I haven't woven in the ends but I don't think that will round off those 2 corners the way I would like. I think I'm going to have to take this to the list to get some input. It would've been easier to follow if I had used 2 different color threads too but there I was, emptying a shuttle. LOL!

It's way too late to be doing this, but once I started, I was determined to follow it through. The first half didn't take long at all and the 2nd half is just like the first except you have to weave it under and over..............and therein lies the potential for confusion.

Party went well last night. I think the person who got mine was happy. I got 2 gold sparkly snowflakes which I put on the tree at work. I met a doe as I drove up Cathy's lane. Someone else saw 3 deer on their way. Also one dead raccoon right smack in the middle. We had wonderful desserts - much more sugar than I've had in quite some time. Cathy has 2 beautiful and FRIENDLY greyhounds, Darwin and Taze. Darwin just kind of melts into you when you pet him.

The weekend will be a cleaning and tree-trimming one but my next project is to finish that reindeer I started last year!


Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I don't think anyone from my lace group reads this or at least they will be too busy today and tomorrow to read it. Tomorrow night is our December meeting and Christmas get-together. The gift exchange is optional. You bring something lace related, wrapped and without tags. It's put in a box upon entering so no one sees who it is from. This is the first time I participated in this part.

This is really an easy gift. I wish I had more time - I'd make a bunch of them. The beaded amulet bag is from Dianna Stevens It's in the Bag. I've thought in the past that they needed a liner, in case a person wants to actually put something in there, like.........oh say...............a shuttle. Or a favorite stone or crystal or...................as I put in this one, a tiny chocolate bar. The liner is red fabric with tiny gold specks in it and the Santa is a button. I ended up sewing the button on. I tried attaching it with ribbon but it kept turning sideways so I gave up and sewed it on. The stitches can be clipped and the button removed, as well as the liner then. I hope whoever gets it likes it.

I was surfing a bit today and found a few goodies - posted them on here temporarily, I thought, but when I went to close it, I clicked the wrong button and lost them. I found a really festive idea by Roger at Needle Tatting Two who suggests placing tatted hearts on cones as ornaments. Really, you could put any kind of tatted motif on a cone and fill it with Christmas tinsel or something else Christmasy and hang it on the tree. Wouldn't that be beautiful?

I noticed on this site that Jeanne had made another bookmark with the crocheted leaves in a Christmas theme. I'm not sure if you have to be a member to view these or not. I shuttle tat instead of needle tatting but I don't have any problem using the same directions. Lots of Great ideas here if you are interested.

I see I joined another tatting group on MSN at some point. This one has Spanish on it along with English. Tatting!~Tat's It! I believe they changed the whole format from the last time I was there - I don't remember the Spanish at all, but this is good because I've been working at improving and increasing my use of the language. And then there is this one which appears to be entirely in Spanish. Ah yes, this one is Wally's. I don't see Tatbit's though. I wonder what happened to that one? I don't remember receiving any kind of notice. A search listed it but it can't be found. Pooh.

Oh wow, bedtime already. The days are galloping by way toooo fast!

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Here are two of my Lace Group members sitting in the storefront Saturday. It's a nice little restaurant that has had very limited hours. My sister and her husband ate there once. You had to have reservations and it was $20/person - only open a few nights a week. As it turns out, they are expanding their hours and have a wonderful menu. They also gave us free lunch, which was completely unexpected. I had their cajun gumbo which was absolutely delicious, followed with a bread pudding with whiskey sauce. I'll definitely be going back there.

After my own shift in the window, I made my way up the street to see what else was new in town. I hardly ever go downtown these days so it's always a surprise. Earlier, before my shift, I stopped in the Ding-A-Ling, a well-known craft store, and bought some thread and a painting book. They have a limited supply of tatting thread - but I did find some Cebelia in a lovely Christmas red and size 30 that I don't think I have. I'm using it right now, threading red beads onto it to make a Christmasy amulet bag!

I haven't had much tatting time this weekend. I've had some electrical and plumbing work done and now it's time to get everything back in place and clean and put up my own Christmas tree. I'm pretty sure I won't get to that before next weekend.

My lace group is having their Christmas meeting on Thursday. I'm taking a co-worker to lunch on Friday for her birthday. And I need to start wrapping Christmas gifts and do MORE shopping!

It was my grandson's birthday today............so it was a break from Christmas thinking. LOL!

Saturday, December 06, 2003


I wasn't going to say anything, but now that the cat is out of the bag, these are my snowflakes for Claire. The one on the left is #6 in Snowflake Roses by Denise Munoz. The one on the right is #2 from the same book. If anyone has this book, the photo in the book for #2 shows both 4 and 5 ring points but the directions are for 4 rings. Then in directions for #6, the large ring of the clover should read:R 4+3-2-2-2-2-3-4. These pretties go so fast once the center is made, and the center itself doesn't take all that long. I wouldn't mind framing a group of Christmas Snowroses for myself!

A quick search on the net turned up Handyhands, Georgia Seitz, and LacySusan as online order providers. I'm sure there are more but that's all that came up on that page.

This shuttle is a Victorian age replica. I got mine at Heirloom Corner but I saw late this summer that Hobby Lobby had them on clearance. Saturday I'm demonstrating with my lace group in Dickens of a Christmas in downtown Lafayette. I'll be sitting in the window in Cajun Corner between noon and 2:00 p.m. Then I'm going shopping. heheheh!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Ever wonder how they make floats for the big parades? Check here to see how it's done.

I was home yesterday while the electrician did some work - one more outlet to do! Anyway, I got to spend time tatting. Finished one snowflake and the other is close.

Since it is taking so long to get the house things done that I wanted, I can see I won't get near as much tatting done. I have 4 storage tubs to go through - stuff that was in the kitchen that I took out so the guy would have room to work. I don't want to put it back. My middle son came by for dinner last night and I sent a bunch of stuff with him. Now who else can I foist this perfectly good stuff off on? LOL! The bad thing is that it will take quite a bit of time to go through it all.

Done! The spoke one was a bit difficult in the pressing. I may rewet it and do it again. Both were December snowflakes from Lene Bjorn's book, 24 Julestjerner i Orkis. The thread is Coates Dual Duty quilting thread. On the spoke one, I used a shuttle and ball. I think I was really supposed to use 2 shuttles. That way I wouldn't have to cross threads each time I did a ring and then the inner chains would appear straighter rather than jointed.

The electrician comes tomorrow morning to finish the job. Now, to get the guy who put in the dishwasher to finish his job!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Ta-da! I had one teensy point to finish, but I knew I was going to run out of thread on one shuttle so I kept putting it off! When you click on the thumbnail and see the larger version, it will probably be actual size. Anyway, it was on my computer when I resized the original from the huge one it was. The thread is from Perfect Quilter, and really worked up quite nicely. If I had used size 20 or 30, it would have been considerably larger. I've not decided what I will do with it, but I've been thinking of framing it. I'm not a doily person - as far as using them on furniture.

Next project - a couple of snowflakes from 24 Julestjerner i Orkis by Lene Bjorn. I started one on Saturday in Coats quilt thread. I don't know what it is about using finer threads lately. I just like the look of it better. After this, I'm hoping to finish that reindeer - much later than I wanted. Then I'm going to try knitting some lace .............but there is a headscarf I've been wanting to knit for years, so I might do that first. I'll probably be happy with the larger tatting threads after that.

WARNING! Filet Crochet................

Hopie - this is eyecandy for you!

I thought there was another photo of the panel alone but I can't find it and this one is a bit discolored. Taken in 1976. You can't really see the panel very well but it is a cherub holding a basket of flowers over its head. Poor Hope almost died when I told her I had stapled it to the frame.

This is the edging I made to put on a towel for myself. Obviously, it is not yet on a towel. It was years ago that I made it - at least 15 years. I made towel edgings for the females in my immediate family and created a basket with bath soaps, lotion, trashy romance novels, tea or hot cocoa, chocolate.............comfort stuff - for Christmas gifts.

While I was at Hope's, she showed me her own filet crochet and the 100+ hankies with edgings! I found my own stash of hankies while looking for that edging. One has a beautiful hairpin lace edging. Maybe I'll show them off another time.

I have another photo of a smock top I made for me, but it shrank and ended up being a dress for my daughter. My granddaughter has worn it also. I'll try to find it one of these days. For now, it's getting late and I need to finish up some other things.