Monday, August 30, 2004

A Walk Down a Tatted Memory Lane

I'm transferring photos from my online album to CD. These butterflies were practically my very first completed tattings. I got in an online exchange - I think 3 partners - and sent these pretties off. They were from a workbasket pattern. I was using beads right off the bat! Shortly after that, I was in a cross exchange - again, more than one partner. Here's my favorite pattern - again from Workbasket. Back then, that was my only source of patterns. I also made this cross in a lovely pale jade green for my Irish friend. I added jade fish beads on the tassels. I remember I had so much trouble with it! LOL! He said it looked very celtic - a new thing to me at the time, but once I was in Ireland and saw the cemetery stones in the same cross shape, I understood what he meant. Celtic, meaning ancient Irish, not the interwoven loops.

I was also in a pincushion exchange, earring exchange and several bookmark exchanges that year of 1999-2000. I actually started tatting the late summer of 1998 but it was early 1999 before I was involved in exchanges. I love the chatelaine I did. Silk ribbon embroidery with tatted trim. Wish I'd had a way to get a better photo at the time. Maybe I'll show it later. For now, got to get to bed!

Oh, btw, the friend at work said the heart colors are PERFECT! Made her want to get married, but I told her no, she didn't need to go to that trouble to get a heart from me!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

We had a very informal celebration for my youngest son's graduation from Purdue. He wanted a carry-in at the park. The food was good; the weather cool and windy; the company wonderful, including babies and puppies.

My son-in-law and my 3 sons are in this photo. Son-in-law Richard, oldest son Andy, graduating son Jesse, and middle son Jason. There is another photo of me with all four of my children which includes my daughter, but it was dark and I haven't figured out how to lighten it yet. Perhaps one of the other cameras got a better shot.

This evening has been slow and relaxing. I tatted, of course. I made a heart from the camouflage thread which will go perfectly in my living room. I made it as a sample to see if it will work for my co-worker who is getting married next month. I'm told they have decorated their home in "earth tones" so I'm going to take the heart to work tomorrow and ask the woman who told me that if it will go with their decor. If not, it's mine! LOL! If yes, then I'll just make another one for the pair.....and eventually make some for me too.

I have two more tattings in progress on the table next to my chair. I can finish one each evening if I put my mind to it.

Always another tomorrow, fortunately.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

No Time for Tatting

It's been such a busy week with not much hope of it getting any better for a week or two. I started winding a shuttle yesterday morning while waiting for the furnace man. My shuttle and thread are still there on the kitchen table where I left them.

This evening I picked up what I had been working on way early in the week. I'm testing one of the chess pieces in Schaakspel, by Ineke Kuiperij.

I was trying to find a picture or source online but the only thing I found was this or or this. The second version is translated. It was a hit from the designer's name but the book isn't here. Nevertheless, there is some beautiful eye candy here.

Anyway, the directions are not in English and there is not a diagram so I'm making sure I can figure out the language. So far, so good. I've already figured out to bridge from one round to the next with split chains and then split rings. The directions don't call for it, but it's easier than tie & cut every round. I'm not sure I can figure out how to assemble it though. Might have to call on Riet for that.

I'm hoping to tat the celtic pumplkin that Rozella Linden has on her group site. And I need to start the hearts for a soon to be newlywed couple. I'm told they are decorating their home in earth tones.

Ummm Hmm 2 Huh? 2

I do have one thread, besides ecru and white, that I'm considering. Camouflage by Perfect Quilter. I know from the shells I tatted in that thread that it could have a soft, subdued look to it. With the right frame and mat, it might look super! I also have some soft variegated Pastelles from J & P Coates, embroidery floss, that I might be able to use. It's hard to tell what they will look like right now though.

I think I've found a use for a SS shuttle that was defective. SS was wonderful and replaced it but I still have the broken one. It's just been decorating my desk, but I've suddenly developed an interest in pendulums and decided I can use this shuttle as a pendulum.

Acck! I wondered why I kept yawning so deeply. Bedtime! Lots to do tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Not much to post today, but I've been thinking about creativity and what a driving force it is, at least for me. Tatting has fulfilled much of that creative drive, perhaps far more than any other creative venture I've taken on. I used to rotate my crafts a bit more. Crocheting, knitting, quilting.........with a lot of sewing in between. Then painting was a huge passion - still is when I have time, but the tatting is so portable and easy to do. It's hard to get far from it when it's always close.

I was looking at the early entries on E-tatters. My first post, that I could find anyway, was March 17, 1999. I had tatted a cloverleaf bookmark. I believe it was then before yahoo took it over. I remember there were only somewhere between 50 and 70 members when I joined. Hard to imagine that it is over 1000 now. Nice to go back and see the names that have become familiar since then.

Well, a big wind is blowing outside so I'm closing down early.

"You have intended to be who you are. A perfect, ever changing, wanting, growing, magnificent being. A being who reaches out to the new, because you understand that in the new experience there is growth. You are a being filled with love, and in your purest form, you are love."


Monday, August 23, 2004

So much to see!

Christmas Decor or faux tatting as it says - this is machine embroidery made to look like tatting. It's pretty, but I'd rather have the real tatting any day.

Like this, for instance.

This is the corner of an antique linen I bought online last week from I found it when I was exploring "tatting" in Google Images. It's a runner made of linen about 17" x 50". Both ends have the tatting. I wasn't able to see the middle as close as now, but the center of the motifs is needlelace. Unfortunately, the thread used for the tatting was not as good a thread as I hoped. The ends have come out in a few places and it clumps a bit, not showing the picots very well. I may try to rewash and block it. It's identified as an 18th century piece so it's held up very well if that is the case. There are 2 very small holes in the linen. I may try to mend them at some point. I bought it because I especially like the motifs. They look somewhat like butterflys but I doubt if that's what they are meant to be. This is a larger thread, probably around size 10.

Another thing I got in the mail tonight!!!!!!

I got my bag from Victoria for the tatted bag exchange. I told her it reminded me of a giant strawberry! The second scan is a closer view of the interlocked rings at the top and then the fastening below. She's done a beautiful job!!

And then here's a doodle.

I started out making a simple bookmark motif in one of the KNOTS! backissues I had and partially to use up some shuttle thread. Right off the bat I made a mistake so I decided to play with it as there wasn't enough to cut and start over. I kept waiting for it to suggest some kind of shape and it did look sort of owlish (if you turn it upside down) but it ended up pretty nondescript.

Well, I'm super-tired all of a sudden. Time for bed.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

More Cabone Rings

The first one is an adaptation of the pattern in the book, Tatting Over a Cabone Ring, A Different Look for an Old Art, by Sadie Allison. The second one is my own design. I noticed none of the patterns had picots in the wrapped part of the ring so I wanted to see if it was possible. It is, but a little fiddly. You can't tighten the first stitch too much. The 3rd design is completely from the book, with beads added.

I was surfing the other day and found some new stuff. I love discovering new sites and sources. Blue Ridge Needleart is a source of Victorian-era charms, jewelry, and needleart items like chatelaines, needle threaders, and pin cushions. I love the miniature chatelaine charm. I came to this site originally because someone mentioned buying their tatting shuttle charm there. Always good for wish-lists!

The Meri Wanderer is a blog which focuses mostly on cross-stitch but has some tatting sprinkled here and there. If you follow the links to her cross stitch charts, she has a huge archive of designs. I can use these for filet crochet too in many instances.

Here is another blog, String-or-Nothing, which features a filet crochet dragon in progress. The blog is mostly about knitting but there are other needlearts here too.

At Heisler's Creative Stitchery, there is a tatted heart pattern done up in patriotic colors. I was thinking about trying it out in Christmas colors myself.

Miniature tatted hats caught my eye here at the Mini Milliner. No pattern - these are for sale to the miniature enthusiast.

The Patchwork Butterfly is a blog that features tatting with quilting. I love the patchwork butterfly motif up in the corner.

And now, off to bed!

Monday, August 16, 2004

"You are bidding on an exquisite and rare piece of hand tatted lace. It is made entirely by hand with a hand held shuttle. Hand tatted lace is a bobbin lace, a highly difficult technique to master and is surely an extinct art form. I have purchased this about twenty years ago in Hong Kong. I believe it was made in China long before then. It is brand new, the color is dark ecru, it is made of rather fine thread knotted tightly to give some weight to it. The pattern is a beautiful floral pattern. Size is 14"X19". It is in mint condition. It is great for end tables, night stands or as a doily to protect the surface of the table. A highly collectible piece and would look gorgeous framed as a piece of artwork."

ebay #8122780855

I'm pretty sure no one from my circle of tatting friends has listed this. And if so, well, shame on you.

First the seller says it was purchased 20 years ago and was even older than that. Then it is stated that it is brand new. Not only that - tatting is now a bobbin lace.

Actually, this is a combination of tatting and crochet. And it's probably tatted by underpaid laborers. It's only started at $9.99.

Looking at this seller's history, there is another one just like it that sold for $14.95. There is also a round one with the very same sales spiel.

Okay, I stopped looking - there were at least 4 of the round ones sold, exactly alike. These are mass-produced, not vintage....yadda yadda yadda.

I'm torn between wanting one so that poor overseas tatter's work won't go to waste and being nearly livid with the inequity of it.

The round ones are 17" in diameter and the rectangular ones are 14 x 19 inches. So then I think about Nell struggling with her runner. I'm pretty sure we'll never see that one on ebay!

Okay....rant mode off.

I tatted another cabone ring snowflake last night. Kinda looks like a turtle, doesn't it? LOL! The only thing I did different was to add beads while tatting. The author added beads to the middle only after the tatting was done with a needle and thread. Those little rings look kinda naked poking out there all alone. I think I will make another one and put picots all around each ring which will make them look closer. I really like the way the center looks though. I waited until the last ring and then joined all of them at the same time before I finished the second half of the ring.

I got my catalog from Mr. & Mrs. of Dallas today. That was fast! There are several openwork plates and bowls - oooh, and ornaments - some with flat surfaces perfect for adding tatting to - like the porcelain heart in this January entry. I want items to paint on, but these would be great for tatting too. I see a cross box which is 6 x 4 x 1 1/8 and it is $3.95 if you are buying one. It's cheaper by quantity. These are all porcelain. Some oval and round ornaments with the openwork around the edge - only $1.75 - $1.95 each. I paid $3.97 for the hearts from Walmart.

Oh, a 4 1/2" Victorian shoe. Now wouldn't that be sweet with bits of lace and ribbon decorating it?

Well....on to other things.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

Odds and Ends

I mentioned the book I got the pattern Heart's Desire from when I started making them, but the question of where has come up a few times since so I'll pass the info on again. I've got more to add anyway.
The hearts are from Susan Fuller's book, A Potpourri of Tatted Patterns. There is also an online pattern available from the archives of Georgia Seitz's online class. Class will be starting up again in September so if you're interested in participating, email Georgia.

I've been using up the last of my hand-dyed green thread. These trees also came from Susan's book but I believe the book is out of print now. I only bought mine a year or two ago so maybe there are still copies around. I didn't see any on Amazon or however. The trees are simply made of one tiny ring and then chains curving back and forth. I get to use up a lot of beads this way too.

Last night I started an edging that has bamboozled me for ages! It's in the tatting course of Anna Magazine, May 1997. It's shown as the edging on a quite large white linen center. I had only been tatting a year or three when I got that issue second hand and I had trouble following the instructions. Last year I bought Tatting With Burda which also has the pattern in it with written instructions. I took that book with me to Palmettos and worked on it one night late. I don't know why I thought I would have a brain at that point, but I gave it a try. Apparently I couldn't follow the directions that time either and tried to come up with something from the diagram and failed, although I gave it a valiant try. I still have the segment I worked with. Yesterday when I read through the instuctions in Anna, something clicked and I understood it was in 2 phases. I kept trying to make it ONE. LOL! I didn't have a linen center but I did crochet a strip to test tat with. I somehow ended up with exactly the right number of dc to have 4 repeats.

I ended off here last night.

Finished section today.

It naturally curves around. I used size 30 cebelia. This doesn't look as striking at the white piece on the white linen, but now I know I can do it!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Knitting and rainbows

Sexy Knitting!

wha???? I didn't think you could get risque with knitting. LOL!

Here is a another Ice Crystal. Several members on the yahoo list of this blog have made this popular doily from Blomquist's Tatting Patterns and Designs.

I don't think I got around to renewing my 6 month subscription to Anna. That reminds me, I took an old issue to work with me because it has an edging I've been dying to make. The edging is in Tatting from Burda, a Lacis publication, but I can't quite grasp the diagram on page 25. The May 1997 issue of Anna has a diagram with numbers and letters and arrows plus a brief explanation of the sequence, so I'm hoping this will work out better. Aha! I just figured it out! There are 24 motifs spaced evenly around the linen center and this is Round A. Then Round B work over and between those original 24 motifs. I kept trying to work it back and forth and it didn't make sense to me.

OH wait til you see this next pic!

I saw this rainbow on the way to work this morning. It was overcast and getting ready to rain. See how dark it is? It didn't seem quite that dark - it was more like the second picture.

There was too much reflection off the glass of the picture frame to get a good photo but it really did turn out very nice.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Cleaning and Dreaming and Planning

Oh wow! Last night I was putting a bookshelf back in the living room and reorganizing what is on it, meaning I really got sidetracked
Blushy 2 looking through my painting books and magazines. In a recent issue, I found a tea-for-one, which I collect, with a lovely Christmas holiday design. I've seen this tea-for-one as a paintable before and decided to put it on my Christmas list. There is a website of the supplier, Mr. & Mrs. of Dallas, and for all you decorative artists out there, or I'm thinking beaders too, you'll love this place! I say beaders because there are also lampshades and Christmas ornaments that are crying for bead embellishment. The prices are great too.

I got word today that my exchange partner received her tatted bag from me and mine is on its way! Like me, Victoria had not seen someone else's tatting, up close and personal, until an exchange.

This pattern is one I've used several times from Dianna Stevens' It's In the Bag. This time I added beads within the split rings and beaded tassels. I bought these beads in Ireland a few years ago. They're getting sent all over!

I gave Mary her wedding hearts today. The darker teal color is her favorite, she said. Today was her birthday. I signed a card, an office card, a few weeks back, but forgot that today was the day. So of course, she initially thought it was a birthday gift. She loves it - that's what matters.

I played with watercolors last night and may again tonight.

It's been an exceptionally hectic work week and I've not been motivated to do anything at home the last few days. I thought tomorrow would be lighter, but after looking at my schedule at the end of today, it's even fuller than today.

And it's cold here! My house is colder than what it is outside and it's 62º outside. Freezing Cold

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Walking Under Angel's Wings

It was a hectic day, following yesterday's hectic day - not stressful in terms of things going wrong - but very busy. Academic staff are streaming in, setting up their offices for the coming semesters and they want everything in place now. Nothing overly demanding, just a steady stream of requests.

It's very cool this evening and I decided to go up to the middle school to walk instead of on the treadmill. I figured the chill would keep the bloodlusting mosquitos at bay and it did. The football team was up there practicing - over in the grass, so I had the track to myself. I like to walk 3 miles each time and lately, I've been doing 4 on the treadmill, but tonight I had a kink in my leg for some unknown reason and 3 was the best I could do. As I was nearing the last few rounds, I gazed up into the sky and feasted my eyes on what I call Angel's wings. The clouds sometimes drift into a pattern that so resembles a gigantic wing that I like to think of it as an angel's wing, gracing us with a soothing and loving presence. By the next round, the feather edges had already faded and receded into the darkening evening, leaving me with only a memory.
I stopped at Michael's tonight and bought a mat for the hearts. I had them with me and that helped. I saved a whole $.76 with the coupon. LOL! I also found a frame with the darker teal blue color and the mat was the lighter blue. Then the hearts are backgrounded by ivory cardstock. I spaced them differently from the scan I used here. No picture, but maybe I'll remember to take one when I give it to Mary tomorrow. Oh, the frame was on sale 50% off.

I have too many things to organize right now. I'm working with a committee at work, trying to get them motivated on a project. I'm also soliciting volunteers from my lace group to demonstrate at various community events that are coming up - one on Saturday! Also trying to organize a baseball event in Indy for coworkers. And then the carry-in to celebrate my youngest son's college graduation. Plus I'm going to Camp Wannatat in September and since I'm going to be that far west, I'm trying to arrange to see a few friends in the general area too. DETAILS!

I'm so glad I'm not taking any more vacations until late Spring. They're wearing me out!

I started the little basket last night and joined the rings this time. I'm still not quite through the first round. I have a hard time focusing on anything for very long. My son has a lot of stuff in the middle of the living room floor. I can't believe he had all that stuff in his apartment. He had one bedroom out of 4 - it wasn't that big folks! He's leaving for Florida tomorrow for 10 days. Says he's going to sort through it all tonight ................HA! He'll have to. There's no room on his bed to sleep, or even a path to get to it.

I still haven't figured out how to make these bags.

And speaking of bags.......another gem from the exchange surfaced today. This one was tatted by Gail for Carol.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Awhile back, I emailed someone who posted about having a problem with this tiny basket. She responded she was having a problem with the bottom. I said I'd look at it and just finally started tatting it this evening while waiting on someone to show up. I've done the center base and round 1. I joined the few places it said to join but it looks like maybe there are supposed to be more joins. There are now little side flaps that flip up and I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to. and she has this part figured out! It's so hard to tell from the photo - it's ancient. LOL!

I think I'll start over with more joins and see what the difference is before I go further. I love the way this thread looks. It's Valdani #12 but it looks more like a loosely twisted #10 or #20. I like the way the colors are working out though. Very nice Autumn-like feeling.

There are 3 rounds, a base center and a bottom. Can't take too long!

I went to Michael's on my lunch hour to use a 40% off coupon since I knew I wouldn't have a chance tonight.........and I got lotsa coupons! Ended up buying a Sue Scheewe travel watercolor kit. Also got a book on making books, already well discounted so couldn't use the coupon there. Actually it's called Making and Keeping Creative Journals.

That reminds me - I got a humongous craft tote from my sister for my birthday. She thought it might work to haul my scrapbooking stuff to and from her house. At first I was tempted to put my painting supplies in there but after getting Schweewe's travel kit today, I'll put the scrapbooking stuff in there instead.

The tatted bags from our exchange are starting to find owners.
To Nell from Ginny To Ginny from Nell

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I finally got the hearts done today. I started the lighter one during a family reunion today. I still need to mat and frame them. They are done in size 70 thread. One is DMC and the other is Venus.

I'm not sure what kept me so busy last week that I didn't post any entries. I had a lace meeting Thursday night but other than that, I don't remember being overly busy. I did manage to walk the treadmill..........that eats up a good part of my evening. Got my hair cut another night. Groceries on another night. Oh well.....

More Maynard flowers. Same pattern for the most part. I used some size 12 Valdani thread I forgot I had stowed away. Sometthing just occured to me. These are rings only - you only need one shuttle, but if I were to use 2 shuttles, I could use one color for the inner rings and one for the outer rings. I would have to cross shuttles to keep them interlocked though. It's very late or I would give it a try now.

In fact, I'm outta here!

Z's Are Calling (time For Bed) (z's are calling!)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Here are some of my tattings from Mary Maynard's Tatting Rings of Flowers.

I'm particularly taken with the flowers composed of inner rings and outer rings, yet done all at once. Way toooooooo easy, believe me!

And here we have something I bought a few years ago from David Reed Smith's site. It's called a triplet and I ordered it unfinished, hoping to paint on it.............eventually. It comes with 3 specific tools, but I asked for 2 different size crochet hooks and a needle threader. One of my first tatting shuttles came from David. Must be time to get another one. LOL!

Well, I'm tired so I'm making it an early night. Feels good to be able to tat more.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

New Book

Gillian Buchanan from has written an e-book Mounting Tatting which is a valuable resource for tatters and lacemakers. It's so cheap.....$5 US.....and 28 pages. The illustrations are done in color photographs and she uses large weave fabric and contrasting color thread so you can actually see it!

I don't particularly like online books and seldom buy them but this one is short so it won't take a whole forest to print it out. I have trouble reading long articles online, let alone a book. I did buy this, though I haven't printed it out yet, but I skimmed through it. I read the first part until I got tired of reading, but Gillian is quite clear and writes in that British conversational style that I find pleasant and fun to read. You also have to register with to purhase the book, but that was quick and easy.

It was so nice to have my chair and everything handy to tat with last night. I still don’t have everything in place – that will take another month or two to get it the way I want it, but at least it’s familiar and comfortable now.

One of my projects is to hang some framed tatting in my living room. For now, I decided to make some small motifs to put in a single frame. These were all from Gloria’s Tatting by Gloria Crowther. It’s the first I’ve tatted from this publication. It looked easy enough. LOL! Never go by first impressions!

The snowflake was one of 4 on the back cover. I would assume the one at the top was #1 and the one under was #2 and so on. I wanted to tat the second one so I started tatting the instructions that said “Golden Ring #2”. If I’d paid more attention when I made the center, I would have realized it was the wrong one. Instructions called for 8 repeats. The one I wanted only had 6, but that little fact escaped me. I was on round two when I realized it was not going the way it should. I could have finished it, but I really didn’t care for that one. I’m glad I didn’t, because I only had enough thread for what is shown here.

So I clipped off what I started and left the center and started all over ………..the actual instructions for this one were under “Golden Ring #1”. There are no pictures or diagrams inside to indicate which is which.

So then I decide to make the heart motif on page 4. The picture says “Hearts and Flowers” and is a heart and an edging that coordinates with it. The instructions say “Small hearts and flowers” and the description says “Girl’s gloves picture on front cover. Yellow & white detail edging shown on page 4.” You can barely see the heart on the front, certainly not enough to know if it’s the same one. This time I read through the instructions and I was reasonably sure it was the right one. YES! Even so, I had to adapt the bottom chain………something wasn’t right in the instructions but I got the gist of it from the picture.

The butterfly was a shuttle emptying. I probably have enough thread for a few more butterflys or blossoms. The thread, btw, is Caron’s Wildflowers, #026 Mardis Gras. Hmmmmm…..label says 36 yards, but I’m certain there were not 36 yards on the floss holder. I wonder if I’ve used some of this thread already? I think I did send a sample to someone once.

I hope to get the monkey done later today, but I want to try to get some of my stuff that I've been shoving from room to room over the last month in order first.