.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Send As SMS

Threads From a Tatting Goddess

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

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I can't believe it

2 hours of writing gone.....I lost it....sigh...


Oh that was a treasurepiece of writing lost....LOL! Nah....maybe it was a hint that I can do better. Anyway, it's not that I haven't had anything to write lately, but rather I've been too busy to stop and stick it in here!

This morning I demonstrated how to use a few different cluny looms at Tatting Guild in Greenfield. That meant I had to come up with some samples and test my looms out because I'm not an expert at it by any means. It just seemed a good opportunity to pursue it further and share what I was learning with others. Besides, the brunt of sharing has been with Kaye and it's been suggested more than once that maybe someone else could help out. So, I've been busy tatting clunies that week!

The patterns for these are available online, from left to right and top to bottom:
Cluny motif by Mimi Dillman
Diamond Rio bookmark by Bina ( I added picots on this )
Cluny motif by Steph Peters
Cluny Easter Eggs by Mimi Dillman (added picots on this too)

I found I preferred the foot or toe type of loom and those in the class seemed to agree. The smooth surface allows me to slide the shuttle through sideways without getting the shuttle point stuck in the holes of the plastic canvas looms. And they liked the way it was so easy to know which threads to pull. Like anything, practice makes perfect, or at least faster. I whipped out 12 of those babies on the bookmark last night within an hour!

Thanks to my granddaughter Katie, my niece Melissa, and my daughter Laurie for cutting out the looms for me Thursday night when we gathered for scrapbooking. Maybe next week I'll actually bring pictures to work with!

When I got home today, I had a picture from Sue Hanson showing her picot gauges, a subject we were talking about on the tatting list. Sue has a nice little collection here:

I mentioned links in the blog that showed some of my picot gauges but now I can't get the search engine to find the same links! One was in July, 2003 and the other in February, 2004. You can check the archives if you really want to see.

Oh boy....what else did I talk about?

I won some metal knitting needles along with a variety of crochet hooks and yarn bits on ebay last week. The needles were a bit rusty and corroded so I asked how to clean them and keep them clean. Mark "Tatman" suggested burnishing them with aluminum foil after cleaning. I don't have any regular steel wool at the moment, but I decided to go ahead and give the aluminum foil a try. Works pretty good! I have some 0000 knitting needles somewhere and these look a bit bigger, probably closer to 0 or 00. There are 8 of them so once I get them cleaned, I might try my hand at lace knitting.

And speaking of knitting...I have a nice little reference book around here somewhere ....and I can't find it! I know how to knit, but I wanted to try some alternative ways of casting on for the headband I'm going to knit. Isn't that the way it goes?

TA-DA! Got my T.A.T. packet back this week, along with a certificate, pin, and application for the next phase. Scores and comments from the 3 evaluators were included. All noted a weakness with tension and joining picots. My dimpled ring project, the one I meant to do over before sending and then decided to go ahead and send, consistently received the lowest score by all of them. Shoulda done it over! LOL! Tension issues were most prevalent on projects that I put down and then picked up weeks later. This has always been a problem for me. My tension can vary even during the day. The only comment that puzzled me suggested I tat over my beginning ends and then use a needle to hide the end tails. I do tat over my beginning threads so I'm not sure where that came from. I use a crochet hook to weave my ending ends through the ds waistbands. The best hiding of ends I've ever done were when I used the hook to pull the ends through the legs of the ds instead of the waistband, but it's hard to do with tiny thread or tight tatting. I'll have to work on that in the next phase.

I ended my lost entry mentioning that I was strongly considering going to Hector, NY for Tat Day after getting an offer for a ride from friends. I printed the application as I was waiting for my blog entry to publish, and then went out to get the mail, where I found I'd received Karey Solomon's newsletter, Tatting Times, and her latest publication, "Tatting Turns Over a New Leaf".

When I came back, I found my entry had somehow escaped into cyberspace, never to be seen again. Soooooooooo....we'll try it again!

Sunday, February 20, 2005


I wrote too soon....Sheridan's lampshade trim was not complete. Isn't this gorgeous?

Our Button Exchange was due to be sent out last Friday. Jane was really on the ball - she sent mine even before that! The flower brooch is a sneak preview. Lovely, isn't it? I finished my project for her today, but President's Day is tomorrow so the PO won't be open. I think that's why I had the deadline on Friday. sigh......entirely too much going on. I'll post it once she gets it.

Today is my sister's birthday! Happy Birthday Linda! Chompy

I've got a tatted quilt block to get busy on too. The problem with having these projects that go to others is that I can't write about them until they receive them! Not that I've gotten much tatting done.....

I say that - and then go hunt down the bits and pieces that I was playing with this week as I tried to decide what to tat for Jane. None of these made it past the idea stage. The flower is from Mary Maynard's Rings of Flowers. The fish were smile-makers from Abby. I had a little trouble with that bottom fin. The egg is another from Tatted Easter Eggs tatted in King Tut thread. The teensy circle is another sample of the King Tut thread. So I did tat.

I think I know what I'm going to do for the tatted quilt block - but hey, can't tell ya! It will be a challenge!

And in the meantime, I gotta get ready to introduce cluny looms to my tatting guild next weekend. Somewhere along the line, I need to do my taxes. I just remembered today to put the new sticker on my license plate. My son borrowed my car and I suddenly remembered (while he was gone, of course) that I hadn't put the new sticker on and I didn't know if the old one expired on the 15th or the 28th. It's not til the 28th, but I put it on once he got home.

hmmm....well, I gotta meet some other people online at 9:00 and I'm getting itchy to try this quilt idea out.....

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dibs and Dabs

If you knit or crochet or use yarn in crafts, you'll enjoy this site with tons of free patterns.

I was originally drawn to it by a link showing chenille yarn wrapped around a template to create a plush picture frame and in pursuing the links on that page, found this pattern for Crocheted "Heavy Metal" Collar, Belt and Gauntlets. For some reason I find this hilarious.

I also found a headband to knit from the "eyelash yarn". It's the 1st eyelash yarn thing that has really appealed to me to make. Think I can do it in time for my granddaughter's upcoming birthday? I think so - it's quick and easy and I've got a few weeks yet.

Giggle for the day: Dustbunny Facts

Dustbunny Social Life

Dust Bunnies are very prolific. There is no such thing as ONE Dust Bunny. Left to their own vices, dustbunnies will reproduce at alarming rates.

Dustbunnies like to use stereo-systems as their own personal Singles Clubs. Dancing usually takes place on the older models with a LP turntable, as the laser show of the CD drives have been linked to Fur Cancer in studies conducted at DBU.

Believe it or not DISCO is still their favorite music. If you find any dancing on the head of you needle, please remove gently and place off to the side so they can catch their breath.

The page also includes: Where to Find Them, Dustbunny Care, Dustbunny Defenses, and Making Your Home Dustbunny Friendly.

I started writing this yesterday but had to abandon it. Today I found some tatting on a crazy quilt tea cozy.

My work desk is a little more organized - though I have 4 slim piles to find a place for yet. I may need to reorganize my hanging file drawer - a chore for tomorrow.

I started my button project last night. Nothing like waiting until almost the last minute....but it took me awhile to decide for certain what I wanted to make that fit the personality of the receiver. I've actually done one version and am on the next one now. Unfortunately, I will be somewhere tonight and tomorrow night too, so I may end up tatting in the wee hours of the morning to get it out by Friday! Actually, I can take it with me tomorrow night - scrapbooking at my sister's. I still don't have my pictures sorted so I can't start scrapping.

Sheridan, from Sydney, Australia, has tatted this lovely Garden Path edging by Pam Palmer as trim for a lampshade. Isn't that clever?

And Nell pointed out this link to a "bobbinlace" fence! Now where can I put up a fence and who can make it for me????

Monday, February 14, 2005

Surrounded by flowers

I was emptying shuttles again. One of my favorite shuttle-unloading methods is with Mary Maynard's Tatting Rings of Flowers .

I noticed Tatman has come up with some challenging designs with his cad design program. It will have to go on my to-do list some day.

And my oh my! Look who else is designing with a program? The Lacemaker has been very busy since the last time I stopped by there!

I came home to 3 lovely lavendar carnations in a vase from my son. His valentine to me - what a sweetie!

I got up a little early and walked the treadmill before going to work - now is that ambitious or loony? LOL! What it means is that I'm not going to last long tonight.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Katie's First Butterfly!

Yep....bragging.... Woohoo

My granddaughter Katie surprised me with a butterfly she tatted all by herself last Thursday. Katie will be 12 on March 3rd. I'll see her this weekend and promised I would show her how to make an edging for a pillow for her bed.

Today started out with me NOT wanting to get up, but I forced myself since we had a lace meeting. I knew it wouldn't last long.....it didn't. I shoulda stayed home, but I ran a few errands before I came home so all was not lost. I got the foamboard to create Lace Jeopardy for our Lace Day. Don't you want to come and play????

I was still tired when I got home and ended up taking a nap for a few hours after trying to tat for awhile. I was making mistakes but I was only emptying a shuttle so it didn't matter. I still want to tat and need to look through my books for just the right button idea.

Winky no more hints for my button exchange partner!

But first I'll load the dishwasher, so I'll at least feel like I accomplished something besides vacuuming. Tomorrow will be busy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Way too busy!

Georgia put out a call for heart patterns - so a list could be compiled before Valentine's Day. I got out my Netted Hearts....designed in my earlier tatting days. It was actually a stab at the mignonette stitch. Anyway, the earlier versions were a bit embarrassing so I reworked the first one....still not entirely happy with it.

Gale Marshall has the instructions on her site.

I finally got one motif done from Tatting Fantasia by Iris Niebach. I'm debating on whether to add more. I like the swirly effect (Dalia, page 18) when they are joined together....but what will I do with it? I might do another version in a smaller thread with colors that go in my living room or office and then frame it. I love the colors in this Manuela thread - which I believe is discontinued, but it doesn't really go with anything in my house -yet. What better reason to decorate?

I see Iris uses this same "design" for the edging Lauro on page 23. I like the blocks as a design element here. She shows a couple of pictures - one in solid color and another using different colors which produces a different effect. The diagram shows which shuttle to use to get the two-color impact. There is also a circular motif using these same design principles of block tatting in combination with rings - she's taken this same element and adapted it for different shapes, so I think the book is a nice study of design elements too. LOL! Reading the section headings, it says Doilies, Hexagons, Squares, Edging....guess that says it all. Well...I didn't intend to make this a book review, but while I'm at it, the directions are in English and ...uh, showing my ignorance here...whatever that other language is. German? Diagrams are also in color with stitch count and starting point.

I found this motif as I was looking through my tatting books for something. I can't remember where I got the directions from. I rather like it. It looks like something from Konior.

Saturday, February 05, 2005


This little celtic heart from Ruth Perry's book is the 2nd one I made this week. It's a quick tat - takes as much time to weave it as to tat it.

This evening I got back to the Dalia motif I'm tatting from Iris Niebach's book Fantasia. I'm using a size 20 manuela variegated thread for this one. Not sure yet if I'll go with the 4 motifs together to make a square doily or stop at one. I had something else in mind but forgot to make the extra long picot where I wanted it, but that's okay.

I got 3 spools of King Tut thread from SewThankful the other day, plus a spool of quilting/piecing thread as an added bonus. This Dalia motif in that fine thread would be very delicate looking.

The latest Anna magazine arrived earlier this week but it does not have any tatting this time. I've barely had time to look at it. They featured some beaded jewelry but did a very poor job of it compared to any of the beaded jewelry magazines you can buy. Very simple pieces but there was nothing outstanding about them ....or even interesting, IMO.

I got all the Stitch n Sew magazines I won on ebay early in the week too. I now have all the patterns to the Umbrella Bouquet quilt series and probably 8-10 other issues. Lots of Myrtle Hamilton's tatting in those however.

I was button shopping last night, which was probably a bit insane since I already have about a zillion really cool ones already. We're having a button exchange on the list and I thought I'd just see what was out there........wasn't even the good button place.....can't say what I found or I'll spoil it for my partner.

Face Plant

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Easter Eggs for Valentine's Day and Lace for Posterity

I've been having fun trying out the patterns in Tatted Easter Eggs and emptying shuttles in the process. The 1st one was a new thread, a quilting thread I bought at Walmart. The second one is also a new thread, one I bought at Greenfield, but I don't remember the name of it. The label led me to believe it is a size 40 but it tats up more like size 30 which is what the yellow butterfly is, Cebelia size 30. Then the 3rd one is Eggplant, a Perfect Quilter thread.

Georgia Seitz is housing the Public Domain Archive. The newest addition is the 1896 Butterick's Tatting & Netting. I have 50+ vintage Needlecraft magazines but they are so oversized, I'm not sure what it would take to copy them. Directions and contact information for contributing can be found here.

Just a reminder about the Lacemaker's Census: the deadline is March 31, 2005.

Worldwide Lacemakers’ Census, 2003 – 2005

The aim of the Census is to produce a snapshot of lace and lacemakers in the first years of the 21st century. Lacemakers and collectors worldwide are invited to submit ONE entry in the form of a ‘lace label’.


Lace may be of any colour, any technique — edging, insertion or motif — stitched to the front and/or edge of a card luggage label. Please do not attach the lace by means of double-sided adhesive tape or by gluing. Other than the addition of beads or raised petals, lace should be 2-dimensional.

The overall dimensions of label plus lace should not exceed 170mm x 110mm (4 3/8 x 6 3/4in) — note lace plus label may be smaller than this size.

The front of the label should feature the maker’s name and general geographical location. Any other relevant information may be written on the reverse of the label.

Collectors of lace, who are not themselves lacemakers, may enter a piece of old lace (hand or machine-made) attached to a label. Please write ‘collector’ on the back of the label along with any other relevant details.

The labels and information will become part of The Lace Guild Collection as an historical archive.

There is no charge for entering. The closing date is 31 March 2005.

Explanatory notes

Labels can be of any colour or shape. Luggage labels of dimensions 60 x120mm (2 3/8 x 4 3/4in) are readily available in the UK. A 25mm wide (1 inch) edging worked around such a label would result in the maximum dimensions specified. Individual ‘fun’ shaped labels may be cut from pieces of plain coloured card.

Lace may be worked to an original or existing design; please consider donating any original designs to be used by The Lace Guild.

Edgings do not need to have corners worked; lace may be gathered around the corners. The label tie, typically approx 26cm, 10 inches, may be any type of cord (eg ends from bobbin lace may be plaited into a cord).

Other relevant information — Lace Guild membership number (if applicable; however please note that the Census is not restricted to Lace Guild members) and could include design source; personal lacemaking history; types of lace made; local group membership; age (especially in the case of Young Lacemakers).

An ongoing update of the Census will be published in Lace over the next two years.

Please send your label with a covering letter including your full name and address and (if you are a Lace Guild member) membership number to:

Lacemakers’ Census,

The Lace Guild,

The Hollies

53 Audnam,


West Midlands, DY8 4AE

United Kingdom


I did order some King Tut thread from SewThankful. We'll see how it compares to Perfect Quilter.