Monday, February 27, 2006

I tatted one of these Konior fragments last night and then a second one during my lunch hour....only to realize I had forgotten, again, to join the 2nd one to the 1st, so I tatted a 3rd one and joined. I think I might have enough thread on the shuttle to make a 4th and attach it to the 2nd. LOL! Definitely get my shuttles emptied this way. This is Flora, size 50, color 84.

Also last night, I finally got to tat one of Dianna Stevens' bookmarks from her book, Animal Bookmarks. They're so whimsical and I loved this Roger Rabbit type one. I made him for a former coworker who has a birthday coming up. You know, I just had a sudden inspiration.....using Pam Palmer's hobby horse head as a bookmark too.

The rabbit involved 3 cut and ties. I know now not to wind so much on the shuttles initially if I don't want to hide ends for the second part. The second phase needs the most thread and the 3rd little part didn't take much at all. This thread is Altin Basak, size 50, color 3053.

So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I had to download it the other way. I can't figure out why blogger doesn't accept everything. It wasn't the size, I checked that.

My granddaughter's 13th birthday is Friday. I bought this little bag at Hobby Lobby on impulse, thinking it was so cute but I didn't know what I was going to do with it. Only $.99. The tulips fit perfectly and I put her name on there with glitter glue. find goodies to put into the bag!
My cats love me so much that they follow me everywhere. I spend a lot of time in my computer/craft/sewing room and so do they. Chewie, the tortoise cat here, perches herself ever so precariously on that arm that she is sniffing when I'm at the keyboard. I'm always worried that a sudden movement on my part will plop her on the floor!

Skunk usually lays on this stool at my sewing machine. Sometimes both cats lay there together. When I go into another part of the house, they both jump up and follow me. Right now, both are on the stool, but they're going to have to move because I'm sewing when I get done here.

I was talking with tatters on the group site earlier about winding a Clover shuttle backwards. I was emptying some shuttles by tatting little motifs when I noticed it. That's one thing I love about this particular shuttle winder. You can unwind as easily as you wind. Just pull the thread and it spins off!

I pulled these out of my stash several weeks back and left them in the basement but in a conspicuous spot so everytime I go down there, I'm reminded that I want to make these projects. I've loved that filet insertion for years...I think it's time to try it out. The potholders are crocheted. I was going to use up old size 10 crochet thread, but I think I might actually want to display them in my kitchen, which means I need to use thread in the appropriate colors! It will be a green like the brochure, a cream, and lavendar instead of pink.

I seemed to have missed this site over the past few years. The challenge was to use tatting in a quilt square. In fact, they had a whole whole series of challenges lined up for the year.

I used the tulip on something, but I can't get the scan to download for some reason so I'm going to make a new post right after this and see if it will work on that one. I can download with a different method but if I do, then I lose what I've already downloaded. Aren't computers fun?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The beautiful, almost balmy weather today coincided with a building case of SPRING FEVER! Spring means gotta tat some flowers, right? These are the tulips from the Italian magazine, Chiacchierino,10. I think I'm actually going to have to work with translating some of it. There is a delightful small doily in there that I really like - but no diagram.

See my oopsie? At first I thought I was going to have to retro-tat where I ended on that leaf but then realized it would be much simpler to simply tat a small bridge. I will fix it later this week. It was truly a pain hiding the ends to begin with. The poor ending didn't seem nearly so obvious until I scanned it. That reminds me, I will xerox every piece I make for phase 2 of T.A.T. Not only do you have to use a huge thread to tat the lessons to begin with, they copy them slightly enlarged so every flaw shows up!

What am I going to do with it? I really don't know just yet.

This is a sweet rosette from Mary Konior's Visual Tatting. She has a variation of this fragment flower in every one of her books.

You would think it's very simple. It is, but for some reason, every attempt I made last night was a mistake. I made 3 tries and then gave up. Tatted it today during my lunch hour instead.

I'll tat some of these up from shuttle endings for give-aways from our lace guild.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I was doing last minute tatting last night for this gift bag which carried my sister's birthday present (Happy Birthday Linda!). I had a hard time getting the scan to show the edging properly and finally hit on the idea of tucking the bottom of the bag into itself so the ivory was against the edging. The pattern was from Coats, book 1405, Edgings, A Collector's Book. I think this same edging is in many of the vintage instruction books but I happened to pick this one out of my library. It is tatted in size 12 Oren Bayan, if I remember correctly.

Now this beauty is a tulip from Chiacchierino, #10. I believe I bought this copy from one of the vendors at Hector, NY last year. It was a little difficult to follow the diagram. I wasn't sure about the tips of the petals. Was it a 6 or a 9 and did that mean on each side of the picot from the ring or not? Same thing at the bottom of the tulip. And I couldn't figure out how to put the bridging chain between the petals in without doing it as a separate tatting and it certainly didn't take 24 ds as the diagram says. I only tatted 15 and could tell that might even be too many. I'm finishing up the second flower which is then tatted together with this one in a joined stem with leaves. The thread is size 20 Manuela - a color that I believe is discontinued. I don't have a lot left on the ball. Tatting this gave me ideas for my own design.....someday.

This heart is tatted from a BIG thread. I used some beads that impressed me because they lined up perfectly when I strung them. The cheaper beads tend to be less uniform. This vial was purchased in Ireland I think. $3.95 on the bottom....might have been a vendor at a lace or tat day too.

I have entirely too much to do. Already this week is packed. I realized today that I'm at a safety conference on the 28th and 1st....and I had scheduled some other had to reschedule them. I cannot believe how fast time flies!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finally today we got to open our Secret Valentine packages! Mine came from Pam in Cork, Ireland. I've already eaten all the candy. LOL! White chocolate covered raspberries, ginger bears, and a single dark chocolate covered cherry that was in the tiny mug. Her beautiful hand made card has a poem adapted from a Pam Palmer verse and a little beaded heart inside. She also tatted a bigger heart, Emma Crew's 34 hearts, in a lovely variegated pink with pearl beads. There's also a brochure from the University there, as well as a bumper sticker and pin. Gosh...I never remember to send things from Purdue like that. I used to when I worked in Parking - which also housed the Visitor Information Center - because they had lots of good stuff like that to pass on.
Anyway, it's such a pleasure to share these goodies. I can't wait to see what everyone else got! Once I got to work this morning, there was a little heart box of chocolates on my desk too. I think it was from one of the guys who likes to leave little treats for the ladies. Sometimes when he buys his wife roses, he buys extra and gives us each one. So...I've had my quota of chocolate for weeks to come now.

You might remember the day I tantalized you by showing the thread and beads I was going to tat with. I really wasn't sure where I was going with it when I started but I ended up with this heart, the good ol' daisy heart from Workbasket, but I call this version the Mardi Gras heart. And then it whispered in my ear where it wanted to go live. So with a tear in my eye and a fluttering handerchief waving in the air, I sent it off last week to it's new home.

And here are the heart earrings I made for my partner. I sent some other stuff too, but I really loved making these earrings. Wish you could see the sparkle in person. I used a red shiny sulky thread - doubled to make it strong enough - and those lovely petite Mill Hill beads. The heart is an adaptation of My Heart by Eileen Stafford, which also happens to be the heart Pam used inside my Valentine card!

sigh....well, back to regular life.....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

She made herself known to me in a rampage of emails full of questions and comments. She was a challenge to my high school Spanish lessons. I spent hours pouring over grammar books, a Spanish/English dictionary, and various versions of the online translator. I made scan after scan showing each step of a technique. I sent patterns and pictures and she sent me double what I sent her. Everything I featured on this blog instigated a comment or a question. She was intense and talented and energetic. Estefania Zuliman allegedly* passed away a week ago. I received a package from her just a few days before and emailed her, thanking her, telling her the monkey was a cutie. She told me it was her valentine gift to me and her daughter had picked the monkey.

I often felt slightly embarrassed with Estefania's praise of me. She loved everything I did and told me in every email, which was nearly daily, how much she loved tatting and how wonderful I was. It's hard to keep the ego-swelling down when you hear that so much. I'll miss her energy more than I will miss her praise however. She and her family competed in a grueling sports event that involved kayaking, bicycling, and rock climbing. I know that from the photos she sent me. She was esctatic last year when they won. She sent me photos of quilts she made and tatted projects and the result of any new technique she was learning. I couldn't keep up with her emails.

She told me the yarn shown with the monkey above is hand-dyed. There were no labels so I don't know the fiber content. I've decided I'll make a shawl for the Feast of the Hunter's Moon from it. I found a pattern at the Lion Brand webpage, a tea and sympathy shawl. The story behind it is sweet and it seems a fitting pattern for this gift. I'll remember Estefania every time I wear it.

*There is some controversy over whether the personality known as Estefania died or not. There is evidence that this is a person who uses multiple names as a way to avoid responsibility. However it pans out, I'm still saddened by it.

Moving right along with the macrame crochet lace.....I decided to practice the filling stitches before I made an actual project. Here is the cord couched on muslin. There are 16 fillings for an oval shape in the book I'm using. I'm going to do every one of them. LOL!

It's going faster than I expected. The 1st three from the right have mistakes. I wasn't counting the rows correctly. I'm using a variety of threads just to see how they work. The last 4 are done in size 12 DMC pearl cotton and those look the best...partly because I'm getting the hang of it now. Varigateds don't show well...perhaps if I was repeating the thread in each one it would look better. The one on the far right has the row count wrong but I thought it looked good until I figured that out. The 4th one is in size 8 pearl cotton - which is too big for this particular motif. I'm anxious to take it off the muslin and see what it looks like but I have 8 more fillings to do. Then there are fillings for circles and for leaf shapes. THEN I'll work a project. The shaping is not the best but I'm having fun. The precision will come along later.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Well, here we are after 3 tries.....I had this ready to publish and lost it. That's the story of my day today. oh....the "recover post" didn't work but I opened another window and found the saved draft copy! I've been working on the crochet cord for the macrame crochet lace, also known as Venetian Lace and most recognizably these days as Romanian Point Lace. I was referred to yahoo group CrochetLace which had all kinds of great help! I also borrowed some books and a video from I.O.L.I. library, one book which someone from another group referred to me....and wow! There's some cool stuff in there. Sample #1 is the first one which I felt didn't match the photo in the description of the project. #2 is my second try with more explicit instructions, but it still wasn't right. In #3, i finally understood that I needed to put my hook under two bars after the initial one. You can see it is much more consistent on both sides. There are supposed to be the hint of loops on both sides, not just one. Although...there are several different braids/cords so I could use the other ones too. I have enough now to start a project. I got the plastic film to put over the pattern tonight on my way home.

I didn't tat at all this week so during my lunch hour, I pulled out a bag of thread-wrpped floss holders and found one with 4 strands of orangey embroidery floss - the perfect color for another tabby cat from BeStitched. I messed up the tail a bit. I couldn't see the stitches that well to hide the ends and I couldn't cut and glue like I planned to do because I couldn't find the glue that I KNOW is in my desk somewhere. It's been like that all day. I'll spare you the details.

Last week I was looking through some old files and found my "tatting status" record in 2002. I think this was in response to a post on a list about what you wanted to learn in the coming year.

Techniques used in 2001

Split ring
Split chain
Woven picots
Cluny tatting
Mignonette stitch

Challenges for 2002

Magic thread trick

2001 was a major year in tatting techniques! I wish I'd recorded when I tried block tatting and double/triple picots and lockstitch chain and a whole slew of other things that don't come to mind now.

Realized today that I somehow missed getting email notification of the latest CQMagOnline magazine. As always, lots of unique and inviting stuff in there. One link led to a very interesting gallery of men's undies that were decorated and auctioned as a fundraiser for The Prostrate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Next week at my sister's we will be decorating baskets that will go to another fundraiser for breast cancer. My sister's daughter-in-law is director of the organization in IL that we are making them for. My sister is a breast cancer recoveree person. I hate the word survivor myself. I just had my mammogram. Have you? I got my letter yesterday that all is normal. I also have to say that my belief system doesn't agree with scare tactics. I think they create as much as they prevent...but in terms of personal health and's a good and usually free screening, so why not take advantage of it?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My lacemaker friend Bette proposed a macrame crochet lace project for our lace group ....sometime in the future. It's a combination of a crocheted cord and needlelace. Quite intriguing. I decided to crochet up some of the cord last night which is the foundation for much of the needlelace. This is from an Anna magazine and I find Anna a bit vague on directions sometimes. There are numerous pictures and drawings with this but I don't think I'm doing it right. It looks more rounded in the photos. The directions say something about tilting the stitches back and I have no idea what that means. At first, I thought the cord looked right ( at 1:00 a.m. last night) but today, I'm certain it's too flat. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to just make it on a lucet. A cord is a cord, right? The directions are in Anna, issue November, 1999. If anyone has some experience with making this kind of cord, please contact me.

I went to Michael's today with my 40% off coupon hoping they had some shuttles in. They didn't, but I found these interesting scrapbooking tins. They're called "stitched tin tiles". They vary from about 1/2" to 1 1/2" in size. What caught my eye were those tiny holes all around the edge. Doesn't that just scream out "TAT ON ME, TAT ON ME" to you? My size 14 hook goes nicely through the holes. The back is a little rough and possibly the edges are sharp so I'm going to have to give some thought to that before I actually put thread on there, but I definitely have IDEAS! My friend Tami works in the store and she tats too. When she saw me browsing in the scrapbooking section, she asked if I scrapbooked too. I can't say that I really do...I play at it, but never seem to get much done, but when I told her why I was looking at the teensy tins, her eyes lit up and she started backing away, saying "you're giving me ideas" like it's a dreaded disease. LOL!

I got the 2005 Ring of Tatters book yesterday and I've browsed through it twice now. Lots of wonderful history in there. That gave me an idea for my lace group...sigh...sometimes creativity is a dangerous thing. I also won a 1999 issue of ROT on Ebay so I'll be getting that soon. In the meantime, I've got make myself package up my secret valentine's booty and get it off to the post office.

Oh, I found out Hobby Lobby has a 40% off coupon online, so I'm going to take it and get those shuttles I've been trying to get at Michael's for 3 months now. Hobby Lobby now carries them. They're a little more expensive but at least they are THERE and with the coupon, it won't be so bad. You can use one coupon per day, so whatta deal!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Australian tatter Judith Connors has a new book, Contemporary Tatting,which should be making an appearance in a few months in the states. She tells me it has "lots of colour, good range of patterns, and sections on techniques and disposal of ends."

Mark Myers also has a new book, Tatting Patterns for 1 Shuttle, available from his website. This appears to be a nice book for beginners.

I haven't seen either book, but I'm sure we'll hear more about them soon.

Last night I had 4 tatting needles and 5 people. LOL! My sister and my daughter were content to watch. The other 3 made progress. One of those present demonstrated calligraphy after the tatting lesson. We might pursue that a bit closer next week...oh, just realized I don't know who is doing the craft next week! My cousin also brought about a dozen handbags made from placemats. They were fantastic. Wish I'd taken pictures!

I got a very unexpected package today from Estefania. No pictures yet but it containe a knit doll that looks very much like a monkey and 4 skeins of brown/gold yarn. I think the yarn is too big for the capelet but the color is great! I may use it for another sweater/vest I've been thinking of.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I'm still playing around with needle tatting. It's EASY but I love the shuttle whole lots more. I'm going to satin stitch around some fabric circles tonight so my students will have something to attach their edging to. We may just do the little wreath. It's an easy tat and just about the right amount of time. They can do the edging later...if they want.

This morning as I was getting ready for work, a book caught my eye on the shelf of a table in my room. Long story about why it's there so we'll skip that part but I ended up pulling several out. Found an I.O.L.I. Bulletin from a few years back, an Anna, and some quilt books, several craft magazines I'd forgotten about and in one, there was an intriguing pull-apart victorian purse. The underbag had the hand cords and a tassle and the overbag, that went over it was decorated. It was like a tube and then you sewed the top part together between the hand cords. bzzz...bzzzz...bzzzz....brain was already working overtime.

I also got a quilt book last night in the mail, Applique Takes Wing, which I've wanted for forever but made myself put it on my Christmas list instead of buying it on the spot. I didn't get it after all that waiting but that's probably just as well. I got a used copy now for about 1/3 less. I definitely have to get back to quilting,as soon as I finish my current tatting projects.

That crocheted capelet? My sister tried it on last week. It's only about 1/3 done but it's way too ruffly. Something is wrong. I know I've done the increases correctly but it sure doesn't look like it. So I set it aside until I figure out what I want to do. It might be easier to see my mistake if I come back to it at a later date.

The new online lesson has a heart with buttons by Mary Maynard. I can't wait to try it but not with buttons. I have something else in mind. I'll show it if it turns out. I might even show it if it doesn't turn out. LOL!