Thursday, January 25, 2007

I got the pattern for this patriotic heart at the Creative Stitchery site. I changed the picots on the top. I wanted to add gold stars, but I could only find gold beads in my stash, so I added them in 3's rather then 3 picot/beads to each chain. If I were to put it on a pin finding, I would probably add a ribbon or perhaps a tiny star button to the center of the heart humps.

I probably shouldn't show all the hearts I'm making since I now have a heart exchange partner. Well...I guess this will keep the partner guessing since she doesn't know I am her partner yet. This pineapple heart and the patriotic heart are made largely with split rings. Since this will be the subject of my student group next Monday, I wanted to provide several samples of split ring subjects.

In the tatting news...

Judith Connors' book, The Illustrated Dictionary of Tatting, will be released by Lacis Publications in July in a revised and updated version. ISBN 1-891656-77-5, probably US$18. It will be 86 pages, 100 illustrations and contains a wealth of information from 1850 to 2007, including drawings, history and terminology.

I got the first issue of the year of Tatting Times this week, from Karey Solomon. The 28 page booklet has 8 patterns and a book review on Kaye Judt's "Oh My Stars", a book of techniques for tatters. Karey also lists 3 events coming up: The Tatting Seminar in Hector, NY on April 13-15. the Shuttlebirds Tatting Guild Annual Workshop on April 20-21 in Spokane, WA, and Palmetto Tatters Guild annula conference near Columbia, SC on Sept. 7-8.

My lace guild, Lafayette Lacers hosts a Lace Day on April 14 in Lafayette, IN. More info later.

Fringe Element Tatters will have a Tat Day on Sept. 29 in Canada, I believe. More info as it comes available.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Hearts, Hearts,and more Hearts! The first in a series of tatting improvement skills for my lace guild started last Monday night. We tatted LaRae's TatChat heart...started it anyway. I knew they probably wouldn't get it done. I finished it in 1 1/2 hours the night before with several interuptions, but these are people who tat sporadically so it takes longer. Especially when you have to retro-tat (or frog as some people say). I liked that this has a chain that looks like a ring. That was a surprise for them. Next week I'll show them how to do the last join so they can avoid the dreaded twisted picot. Their homework is to tat up to that point and to string beads for next week's project which is the same heart with beads. I can show them how to add beads 3 ways with one motif.

My bobbinlace heart is included in this trio. Finished it Saturday - my 2nd one - the 1st one had a twist wrong on the edge and came undone. It was such a pretty yellow linen thread too. I also made a 3rd heart last night but left it on the pillow so Bette can show me how to properly finish it off. I got impatient with the blue one. The one on the pillow does not have that hole in the bottom either. Another fine point I'll have to follow up on with Bette.

In the meantime, Wednesday I visited my fairy baby and measured her little feet to make sure the tatted baby booties will fit. I had the bonnet with me too...just to show mom and grandma. I just picked it up again the night before. I sure hope it turns out since I just committed to making it! Up until last weekend, it was just something I was thinking about, not sure if they had the christening dress or not. So I have a little over 3 weeks to finish it. And the booties. LOL! I can get most of the bonnet done at the weekend. The booties will take about 2 evenings each bootie. Not forgetting I'll be tatting hearts inbetween too!

There was a discussion last week on 2 of my lists about determining how many picots to use in designing a pattern. One of my comments is that I don't like to tat patterns with lots and lots of picots, like 1 ds, p, 1ds, (10 times!) so I'm sure some will be see all the teensy flowers on this bonnet. LOL! Maybe that's why I said it. But it's balanced out too. The next row will be a double row of plain rings and then the frilly part again and then the plain part and ending with the frilly part.

Sue Hanson sent me this link for Megan Mills' craft page. The baby cake made of baby essentials is perfect for a baby shower, but she also has some crochet and knitting tutorials as well as several patterns. I have never made a tea cozy. I wonder if there are any small enough for my tea-for-ones? The pot is big enough to hold water for almost 2 cups of tea but I notice it gets cold before I'm ready for the 2nd cup. Microwave takes care of that, but a tea cozy just seems like such a delightful thing to make! Check out her bowl covers too. I'm tempted to tat something along the same line!

Learn how to make just about anything at For instance, beads from plastic bottles! might not want to direct your kids to this site on their own. I don't think you'd want them making some of this stuff. You have to look through it.

One Christmas I made some cool origami things (boots, rings, wreath) for the grandkids - who were so hyped on getting money that they unfolded in mere seconds what had taken me hours to put together! LOL! I still think it's neat to make cool stuff from money. Maybe I'll make a shirt and put it in their birthday cards this year. A few years older now....maybe they'll wait until they spend it before they unfold it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I have to admit I ended this with about the same level of frustration as when I started it. The I.O.L.I. Bulletin has a column by Bobbie Demmer each issue and this one features a Patriotic Mini Star by Bina Madden. Although my star looks similar to the black and white version in the newsletter, I know it isn't. So I'm happy, more or less, with the way it looks but I know it's done differently. The instructions called for 20 beads but only told me where to load 16 of them. I'm assuming now that the other 4 all go on the center threads and one is used on each corner...or perhaps the shuttle-shuttle thread. I used 2 shuttles because I didn't understand how you could use the ball color, have it go through the center bead as shown in the picture and not cut it. So I used 3 shuttles, one for each color and one for the center threads...same as purl tatting. In fact, that's basically what I did, pearl tatted the entire chain, pulling the beads from the "ball" thread for the corners, which ended up being 3 beads instead of 4. It's clear from the description of how the stitches are supposed to look that I've done it wrong, but I got the same effect and I'll leave it as is if I tat it again because it was really easy - except I'll make sure I have the same number of beads on each corner. Ah day now, maybe I'll comprehend the instructions better next time time around.

I rarely tat anything from the Bulletin. I'm not sure why - just never have.

So...this must be the confession post, eh? I haven't been to yahoo etatters since I heard it was closing. I would have liked to copy some of my very first posts when I was new to tatting but they were already gone so it didn't matter. Anything that is helpful is already pretty much on websites...knowing where to look for them is the tricky part, but probably just as tricky trying to track it down on archived posts as using google, so I don't think it's as much of a loss as most people are feeling. At first, I wondered - it was a shame to see the history of the resurgence of tatting lost.....but so it is.

Got a tatted necklace that didn't go the way you thought it would? Don't throw it away! Submit it to the 5th Annual Ugly Necklace Competition!

Did I happen to mention during the Christmas hoopla that I received the book Tatting Theory & Patterns by Jan Stawasz? You can order it from Handy Hands. I ordered it from the publisher and it was 6 weeks getting here so I think a domestic supplier might already have it in stock. This snowflake is on page 74. The patterns are done in diagram and it is in English. I was surprised that Jan used size 10 thread so much! I would say more than half of his projects are in size 10 thread, but the good thing about that is that you can see how they are constructed clearly. There is a window decoration on page 82 that I really want to tat!

Today in lace guild we did a bobbinlace heart. There were varying degrees of difficulty and I chose the simplest, of course. I actually finished tonight - well..all but ending. I don't know how to end so it will sit there until I can corner Bette or figure it out on my own. I even backtracked and fixed a mistake! I think I might have another one but I'm not sure yet. I learned how to wind bobbins though I still think I'm doing something wrong...they slip all the annoying time! I learned 2 different places to start this one, so that was something else new, but I'm still hazy about beginnings, though I understand what passive and worker pairs are. I learned how to fasten my bobbins down so I could transport the thing home without having a nightmare to untangle. That's what happened the last time. And I think I did learn something from a book about ending when I did those sample bands but I don't think that will work for this. I can't scan or photograph it because I now have the bobbins fastened partly on top on of the motif.

So...after the meeting, we went to Preston's for lunch and I drank a nice cold Bud Light in relief. LOL! Learning new stuff is stressful!

Friday, January 12, 2007

If I were taking part in the 25 Motif Challenge, I would be halfway there this month alone.

This heart is done in size 20 manuela and I made sure I lined the picots up and pulled them through each other. The directions don't say to but I thought it might look better. The first one still twists and I think it is the way the 1st join is made in coming down the hump, so maybe I need to try to do the foldover join although it gets really confusing at that point because you already have to do some twisting and folding. I blocked this one too which makes the interwoven picots more visible. Oh...well, looking at the close-up (click on pic) I can't see where the picot is twisted but I know it is!

Now, if you were scrapbooking, you could put pics of 2 sweeties in each half of the heart.

This is really a quick heart to make - in less than an hour. might take someone new to split rings longer.

Did you know there are 2 trillion methods of feeding laces through the typical 6 pairs of eyelets on the average shoe?
You can see 31 of them on Ian's Shoelace Site.
He also has links for lacing shoes with lugs instead of eyelets! He's got shoelace polls, shoelace tips, shoelace length factors - well, let's face it - anything you want to know about shoelaces.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A "delphinium" from Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers becomes a Christmas or Evergreen tree with green metallic embroidery floss.

And upside down.....I think it might almost look like a dagger if done in gold and black. I may have to try that later - will check my shuttle leavings. One of the big rings looks a bit lumpy and I could tell it was going that way at the time but it was late.

I didn't really intend to tat so many hearts! This is a pattern I found while cleaning out that box at the weekend. It was a pattern in the Heartland Lace Guild newsletter that had been donated by Dorcas Newkirk. It says it is a tatted version of Eva Baumgartner's Bobbinlace heart found in Pillowtalk #51 - February 2003. It was in my lace guild's collection.

It went quite well until I joined to the long picots. The picture from the original shows the picots nicely crossed. I somehow twisted my first picot and then the last one somehow caught the picot before it too in the join. So now I have to make another one! This time I will pull the picots through each other because they will lay better that way and be more visible AND I'll make sure nothing is twisted or caught elsewhere. Yes, I could cut out the bad parts and re-tat but I like to keep my mistakes to help me remember the next time what not to do. I'm also feeling a powerful desire to put some beads in there somewhere and maybe even cross some more picots!

I used a picot gauge for the picots, the required length, but I wonder if they shouldn't be just a smidgeon longer? I believe this is a Flora thread, size 50. Very nice to work with - but I haven't found the ball to that one either. I can't imagine where all this missing thread is! Oh...I do remember something that might have some thread in it......

Great practice for split rings, btw. There is only one ring that is not a split ring!

Monday, January 08, 2007

After finally sorting through a box that I'd dumped everything into from some end tables months ago, I found a bag full of shuttles....with thread on them...and thought I should start tatting it off. I made one flower from Lindsay Rogers' Tatting Collage but messed up on the stem and leaf part. My plan is to use all these "end tattings" in some kind of picture and I can probably use that flower somehow but I didn't scan it. Then, I decided to make her tattered heart on page 54. I have shuttles full of these two threads - I can make a bunch of hearts! Looks like a good color for a parrot too. The heart is about 2" square but I'm not sure what size thread - either 30 or flora size 50. I'm pretty sure the purple is 50 but I don't know what the variegated is. I can't find the ball it came from.

And here is heart #2. I tatted the one above yesterday and this one tonight. The yellow gold thread was on an old metal boye shuttle - I have no idea when I did that. The bobbin and outer edge of the shuttle were beginning to discolor though. The variegated is thread I bought in Hector 2 years ago - both appear to be size 20 thread and the heart turned out bigger, about 2 1/4" square.

I just loved tatting these up - also from Lindsay's book. The Bird of Paradise, dragonflies, and the multiple headed thistle are all from the same thread. I can't find where it came from either! I love it, but I can't find a ball that it came from. I don't participate in the thread exchanges but occasionally I'll exchange with someone privately and I wonder if that's where it came from? After I scanned the dragonflies, I worked the wings in my fingers a little and that rounded out the ends so they weren't so squared off from the blocking. I love the thistles! These are so small....I'd like to make a collage of some kind and frame them. I followed the directions on one dragonfly and tatted a regular chain but on the other one, I tatted a lockstitch chain instead. It turned out thinner than the other one and that surprised me. I thought it would lay straighter and flatter but it looks almost too skinny compared to the other one.

I don't know what I'll do with these yet. Something will come to mind!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I took a break from the bonnet since I'm not sure about the next step. It's so hard to tell at this point if it's too big or not. I decided to tat something with some thread I dyed with Easter egg dye a few years ago. I found a circular motif in the same Lacis book, The Tatted Lace Patterns of Emmy Liebert, a rosette on page 28. I more or less guessed the number of stitches. There are some stitch sequences in the German instructions but I couldn't see how many times to twist the long picots (turned out once worked best) and I wasn't sure how many stitches and picots were in the outer chain round or exactly how they were to be done but I just joined the chains into the same picot that the large rings were joined at. I love the thread color but I couldn't get the color to "set" as well with this one. When I tried to block the motif, the yellow ran all over my fingers, so this won't go on anything washable!

I believe I've been stopping in at Von's a bit too much. Look at this lucious collection of beads I'm managed to acquire over the past several weeks. I don't know what I'm going to do with them but I had to have them!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

When I was looking for a simple pattern to test the glacé quilt thread, I found these text patterns from a link in the pattern surfer. There are 10 tatted patterns and not a single photo so I've challenged myself to tat them and post, so we know what they look like!

A few weeks ago I had a wellness screening over in the Nursing building and complained to the nurse practitioner about my fingertips splitting - again. She asked me if I knew about the liquid bandage stuff and I said yes, I'd had good luck with Band-Aid's liquid bandaid. You have to add the liquid to the treated end of the stick and the combination creates a substance that fills in the crack and seals it. I told her Nexcare didn't work for me and she agreed way faster than I expected. I've used coat after coat and let it thicken and it just doesn't stay on for me, not even for an hour. The Band-Aid stuff does, but it turns black and looks gross. So she told me to use super glue. She said they use it especially with diabetic patients who have trouble with cuts and scratches healing up. So I bought some the other day. Yesterday, I let a drop fall on a split on my thumb. Have to be careful not to touch anything else before it dries, but it's perfect! 24 hours later, it has sort of chipped off (apparently my body rejects any kind of skin fix) but the thumb is much better and I just put more on. does not turn black! It's not as flexible as the Band-Aid fix, which is probably why is sort of chipped off, but it stays there and seals it off and that's what it takes to heal up. By tomorrow, it will be fine! The superglue was a 3 pack for $2.99, so I have one at home and one at work and one to spare - way cheaper than the other stuff.

I finished LaRae's Tat-Chat heart during lunch today. (started this post yesterday) It's much prettier completed than when it is in progress. In this thread, it measures just a hair shy of 2 1/2" square. (6.35 cm) I didn't take much care with the picots...they are longer than I normally make.

I started the tatted angel from the text pattern mentioned above. I haven't made the body part which is done by winding thread, but I tatted hair and wings and I'm already confused. The instructions say the wing is made in 3 individual parts. So do I tat 3 of the instructions and put them together for one wing? Or does one complete tatting equal the 3 segments together? OR...what I did, in the end, was tat 3 repeats, joining them in rows on top of each other. This is why I like a photo! Once I make the body, it might give a better idea of how big the wings are supposed to be.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Puzzle Piece Cookie Cutter!

So far, I only see available from the UK.

Last night I started the next element in the bonnet. I believe the pattern I'm using now is from a book edited by Rita Weiss but I'm not sure since I don't have it with me. I was looking at 2 different books besides the Emmy Liebert one. I believe the row after this is where the crown breaks away from the sides. This is size 60 thread, not size 50. It's kind of fiddly right now, making sure I join in the correct loops and picots of the blossom. Once I get past this, it should be smoother going.

Yesterday, during my lunch hour, I started LaRae's Tat-Chat heart. This pattern has been around for ages, but I've never tatted it. I had no books with me and wanted to try out this quilting thread by Coats so I went online and looked for something easy. I have other spools in other colors but wanted to see how the color played out with this. I had a lot of trouble getting it to show up on the scanner - it kept graying out so I put a piece of white paper right over it.

Look what I got from my sister! LOL! I still haven't read the actual story but the author points out the details that make each monkey have its own character - the shape of the ears, how much white/brown makes up the mouth, whether the red mouth turns up or down, embroidered, button or googly eyes, how firmly stuffed they are. Made me itch to sew some up - but I didn't!

I sorted through some more jewels last night. These are mostly earrings with clip or screw-on backs. I don't like the orange beads in the bell-shaped ones and wonder if I can take them out and put something else more to my liking in their place? The gold ones with the white beads could turn into lovely angels. The round white button shape can be painted on. The rose with the leaf might work better as embellishment on a crazy quilt. I have 2 of them so I can play.

Some of the stuff I decide to keep and wear. This lovely pewter butterfly, for instance. It's missing a head bead, but I can fix that. The others stones look like my birthstone so I think I'll wear it. I left it in a jewelry cleaner overnight and took it out this morning along with another very long chain that has shuttle shapes all along it in plain silver. I thought of leaves at first but they are flat and plain - a perfect size for engraving something short and adding as a charm to something. Or it could be left as the necklace it is. Decisions, Decisions!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Out of my "old jewelry" stash, I pulled out these earrings last night and decided to take them apart. They had the old screw on back from the 50's or so. The shells and beads are wired on. The scan shows the yellow from the glue more than it shows up when you look at them in person. The shells are plastic - not the real shell I was hoping for but usable, nonetheless.

The shells are pearlized and pretty as they are but the ones that still have glue on them could be covered with enamel polish. I don't know how I will use them yet. I have tons of pieces to take apart and once I do, then the potential of what they will newly become will speak to me. I remind myself sometimes that I don't HAVE to tat around everything!

In my quest to find a baby bonnet pattern or something I could adapt for use,I was looking at my Lacis German edition of Emmy Liebert's work. Scroll waaaaay down on the website to find it.

I have a translation of terms but it's still time-consuming to figure out the patterns. This motif was big enough I could count the stitches and then check back in the written text to see if I was right. Each round was cut & tie, of course. I used a mock picot then split ring in the center to climb out to the next row, a split chain to climb out of that one to the clovers, and then the 1st clover was a center split ring, 1 whole ring on the side and then a split ring to the other side and I used side split rings all the way around, splitting the last one where the final round attached to a ring - so I ended up doing the whole motif without a single cut and tie until I was finished.

That was my test sample in size 30 Cebelia but it sure felt like 20 or even 10 after tatting with size 50 cordonnet. So then I tatted the size 50 motif and this time, the cordonnet behaved much much better. Is it me or the pattern? I'm using this to look the same as another bonnet back in a different book - but I don't like the motifs in that one. And I realized AFTER I was already tatting the small motifs that the one I was originally looking at only had 9 small motifs, not 10, so I'm not sure how this will go. I don't think it will be a problem. The next round goes completely around, connecting everything together again. The size looks good so far. I had 10 pairs of ends to hide afterwards, which I didn't like but there really was no way to climb from one motif to another without changing the motif substantially and I didn't want to do that. It really wasn't that bad once I got started though. I had done 4 the night before so I only had 6 left last night. The ends hid nicely and I was pleased with that. I was afraid they would distort the motif and appear a little lumpy. This scan is before I finished the ends off last night. So now I have a row around which has lots of little rings full of picots and the chains will connect to this part. After that, I think they are all rows for the sides and top. I'll have to read it a little more closely. I tatted a test repeat for the next row last night but then had to call it a night so I could get up to come to work today!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I want to set the tone for the rest of the year by going on a rampage of appreciation. I keep most of my rampages private, but for today, about tatting, it will be public.

I love tatting.
I love that I have a talent for tatting.
I love knowing so many other talented and passionate tatters.
I love being able to track all my projects here, with easy texting and graphics.
I love my shuttles.
Isn't it wonderful to have so many threads and beads to pick from?
Isn't it wonderful to have so many patterns and designs easily available these days?
I love finding ways to use my tatting on projects.
I love giving tatting as a gift.
I love receiving not only tatting, but any handmade lace, as a gift.
I love the process of developing a new design.
I especially love it when the plan comes together.
I love the feel of my wooden shuttles.
I love the ease with which I tat with my clovers. I love it that they are so cheap.
I love all the new tatting blogs and websites.
I love that I have a job and the time to play with tatting and other creative crafts.
I love looking around and seeing lace everywhere.
I love the challenge of a new technique or design.
I love all my friends who encourage me and permit me to encourage them.
I love finding new embellishments to go with my tatting.

* * * * * * *

Sunday I received a holiday gift from Bette. A bobbin lace heart, silver, trimmed in purple! Isn't it beautiful? I might even be able to hang a little goddess charm from the center.

On top of that, she gave me this wonderful glass teapot with flowering tea! It's called a dancing leaves teapot, by Numi Flowering Tea. I've never heard of such a of course, we had to try it out. This one is Flower Jewel, a hand picked white tea crowned by a bright pink amaranth flower. It has a jasmine scent to it. The leaves are handstitched down and then when steeped in the hot water, the leaves open up "blossoming". You can get 2-3 brews out of each one. It really is quite fascinating! I brewed the last time for this one after Bette left and then strained it and put it in the fridge for later. You can get the flowering teas at and I imagine I might enjoy using the pot for my forte teas too. You can see them at Forte Tea. Isn't tea enchanting? I'll have to do a rampage of appreciation on teas too!