Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pam finally opened her package! I was soooo late in sending it! I kept experimenting (probably not a good idea for monthly winner stuff but I can't help myself) and things did not go as smoothly as I expected. Anyway, I finally got it sent and then after she got it, she waited ALL DAY to open it! LOL! I consider Pamela a friend on a personal level so it was great fun making this for her. I remembered in particular, all the flamingos she tatted from Jane Eborall's pattern, and from Martha Ess's book, adding a twist or two of her own.

I thought all those birds probably needed a place to roost in (do flamingos roost?) and the little pouch could do the job nicely. The part that took me so long to finish was this shuttle. I couldn't find a flamingo small enough and then when I did, it wouldn't go on the way I thought it should. Eventually it all came together.

Just for the fun of it, I made a little flamingo striver, or stitch placeholder. The flamingo bead is from Von's bookstore which I believe Pamela shopped in when she visited here. For those who ever consider visiting in West Lafayette, Indiana, Von's is not only an intriguing bookstore, but there is a whole room full of beads, plus an assortment of crystals and finished jewelry. Then there is another section full of cards, t-shirts and a lot of stuff very reminiscent of the 70's.

I decided to make her an amulet bag while I was waiting for the shuttle to dry. It was a good move - I didn't know she has coveted owning one for a long time. I think this was after making the bag for my friend who made me the bobbinlace travel box, which is still waiting on me to complete.

There were other little odds and ends in her package too, but this is what was tatted.

I will be sending Sunela's package out on Monday. I've been on vacation all week so was able to get hers done in a reasonable time. Don't forget, if you've not already entered your name in the drawing, you can enter by emailing me and put "monthly drawing" in the subject line. You only need to enter once. I pick the winner on the 13th of the month, the anniversay day of when I started the blog in 2003.

Now, another amulet bag in progress which I intend to offer to the Stitch Pink Blogspot group for one of their drawings meant to help raise awareness of the importance of breast cancer screening. All I've got left to do is the cord.

And tomorrow, providing my test tatting tonight works out, I'll post the June Mystery Motif.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oddly enough, this looks better in the scan than in real life. It's usually the other way around. I abandoned this one today. It's from Traditional Tatting Patterns edited by Rita Weiss. I didn't quite get the instructions for the flower where it said to leave 1/8" of thread when starting the flower and then to catch the thread to hold it to the chain so I skipped that part. Then I didn't like the way the chain thread shows under the center of the flower even though it says to bring the thread across...I just think it looks tacky. It needs a center of some kind. And I also made a mistake where the ring joins the center between the two flowers. There is supposed to be two rings there.
I do like this design, called Filigree Scroll, and will probably try it again when I can think about it with less frustration. The only real problem is the blossoms and now, many hours later, I have a solution in mind. Another problem with them is that the petals bunched up. They look nice and flat in the scan and would probably block out nicely but they seemed too crowded while I was tatting.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

While it annoys me when people refer to some other kind of lace as tatting, it really honks me off when people blatantly claim something is tatting when it is not - AND - I can't even find a place to contact them and let them know. All links seem to lead to more misrepresentation OR an ad to buy a CD of vintage tatting patterns ( that you can get free at the Antique Pattern Library). They couldn't even spell FREE right. (yes, this is a continuation of my soapbox rant about people scamming and taking advantage of others)

Last night I tatted another motif from Vida Sunderman's book, Tatting for Tomorrow, from page 44. This one is a triangular motif and I improvised on the tail again to turn it into a bookmark. I used split rings of increasing size and a lockstitch chain between the sets of split rings. I don't particularly care for the clover at the end and if I were to do it over, I would simply make a single ring or an onion ring, probably with picots. The clover is okay, but it seems a bit out of place as far as the character of the rest of the tail. But who knows? Maybe if I'd done the single ring, I wouldn't have absolutely loved it either.

I went to the Greenfield Tatting Guild today - the first time since last October, I think. As I mentioned in my Mother's Day post, their Tat Day is June 27th-28th.

Kaye went to an embroidery conference last month and brought back lots of funky threads to play with, as you can see sampled here. These are all bigger threads, largely for cross-stitch and embroidery, but when you're playing, that doesn't matter.

We used the same pattern to try each of these threads out but there were a few that we only tatted chains with so I used thread I commonly use for the rings and reduced the number of stitches for the chains since that thread was so much bigger. One at the bottom is a furry type of thread, a yarn almost like angora. Felt divine but I'm not sure what you could tat with it. I did try a ring with it and it got bound up even though I tatted loosely.

The second sample in the first column is a "velvet" thread that also felt somewhat like suede. It made a very nice neat chain but using it in a ring didn't work. It snapped the outer layer off, leaving the nylon core. It would make some beautiful embroidery though. I liked one of the really sparkly threads to look at the colors, but not to tat with. I probably wouldn't tat with any of them but it was a fun break!

Kaye has another book in draft form almost ready for the printer so watch for it.

I ended up buying some new thread - I don't think I have these colors, at least not in size 30. They are Omega threads, plus the deep purple is Handy Hands size 50 and the variegated is Olympus size 40.

There was this garage sale I passed on the way to tatting guild and I just had to stop on my way home. I wasn't there long but it didn't take me long to spot this box of goodies for $5.00. It has tons of acrylic paint and spools of ribbon besides the other odds and ends. That just sort of made my day complete...almost.

THIS is what made my day complete! I won't tell you what happened, but it's like all the others - action, humor, romance...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Isn't that a beautiful rose? My youngest son and his fiance gave me flowers for Mother's Day. It was a bouquet of assorted flowers and they are still going strong more than a week later! I took several photos at the weekend and this is one of them.

In spite of being behind in just about everything I'm doing at the moment (but catching up fast!) I tatted the ornament from Vida Sunderman's book, Tatting for Tomorrow, on page 41. I just happened to have these two colors sitting on the table next to me (both Altin Basak, size 50) and decided to try using both to see the effect on the motif. I really like it. I decided to make it into a bookmark but had trouble deciding how I wanted to make the tail. I made about three false starts before I settled on this one - a set stitch of 5-5 (5 1st halves, 5 2nd halves) in series of 6 sets, I think, before changing colors. It felt like a weak ending though so I switched to split rings, increasing the size of each ring as I went down and switching the sides of the colors in the split rings. I was really pleased with how it turned out.

I returned a purchase to Walmart this evening and got to talking to the young man processing my refund. I noticed on the board that they cashed checks, sold money orders (only 46¢) and transferred funds up to $500 internationally. That last one surprised me so I asked him if they did much business with that and he said yes. Then he went on to say that a lot of money went to Africa. Scams. I looked at him and grinned - yeah? He got this mischevious look and said, oh, did I say that? LOL! I was just floored. We laughed and talked about how obvious they were. Or at least it seemed that way to me. He said they are mostly women. They go online (the personals, I'm sure) and think they get a boyfriend and that they are getting married.

Now...I know this is off topic, but it's something that really pushes my buttons. I've done my share of online personals. It's not hard to be careful. It's not hard to screen the duds and the scams. So what is the deal here? I hate seeing people who are lonely hearts, usually desperate and suffering low self-esteem, being targeted and taken advantage of. So if you or anyone you know frequents the online singles, take note of this. IT'S A SCAM! Most of it comes out of S. Africa. They target men and women alike. They claim to be trapped there, without money or friends. Or they are trying to finish school and need money. I don't care what the story is, DO NOT SEND MONEY. Or anything that can be sold for money. DON'T.

There are lots of perfectly wonderful people who use the online personals. I've met some good people. But I'm pretty good at sorting them out too. Use common sense. Don't give out personal information that identifies where you live. Take the time to get to know them. Get to know their friends. I belong to a lot of yahoo groups. I've met a lot of people I got to know through those groups, but in every case, other people had also met them and talked about them and we all talked for months, often years, before meeting. They were not people I met last week. I knew them pretty well by the time I met them face to face. my soapbox.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hiding Ends

Hiding ends is such a bug-a-boo for most people. For some reason I decided early on to hide my ends as I went. I think it was seeing some doilies in process in the round robins. Some had threads hanging out all over and it could be....seeing all those dangling threads turned me off to making doilies...but I really don't have much reason to make them anyway.

Most of my early tatting was from what few publications I could find locally - my collection of workbaskets mainly. Very few instructions mentioned split rings and split chains and even when they did, I didn't get around to learning them until I'd been tatting 3 or 4 years and was ..ahem..getting strung out on threads to hide.

The first time I met Jane Eborall in person was at Palmettos the first time I went. She mentioned hiding an end when starting a ring but I didn't see her do it. It was some time later that I saw the instructions on her website that I gave it a try. It's nice for a rings-only project although if I'm tatting a wheel, I usually want to tie the first and last threads together to look the same as the rest of the motif.

Anyway..Jane has started a new TIAS and one of the techniques is using a 2nd color thread for the split rings which start after a regular ring. I decided to practice a bit before I tackle the project and thought you all might benefit too.

At one point, I said I pinched the thread between my thumb and my pinky but it's actually my thumb and my index finger. I'm also experimenting with my camera. A 3 minute video easily consumes over 300 MG and uploading to YouTube, even with a fast connection, takes 1-5 minutes for each MG so it literally takes hours to upload just a few minutes worth of video. I discovered my camera has a "compact mode" so I tried that which substantially reduced the number of MG, but the quality is not quite as good. I tried zooming in, but it's kind of fuzzy, as you'll see. For some reason, they also looked yellowish. I played around with the camera a bit more this evening while these were uploading and used my OTT light. It's not anything I'll put here, but I'm hoping when I get to check it that it will look much better. In that case, I might end up doing these over, but for now....this is what I have to offer.

I have 3 videos. The first one is just about hiding the tail as you tat the first ring. The other 2 are 2 different ways of hiding the tail of the 2nd thread that is added for the 2nd half of the split ring. In one, it is hidden in the first half of the split ring and in the other one, it is hidden in the second half of the split ring.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May Mystery Motif Revealed!

What a nice collection, eh? Everyone got it right. I turned them all in the same direction but there is no up/down that it is supposed to be. I am so impressed at how much better we tat compared to the original motif but perhaps the tatter was making a deadline and didn't block it?

This is again from the January 1921 Needlcraft magazine on page 26 by Alice A. Brackett. The collar is made with 9 medallions joined to a double row of rings that were 3-3-3-3 and alternated back and forth.

Finally! I got Bob's amulet bag done. (later) He called and really liked it - kept asking how many beads were in there. LOL! 560 in case you are wondering.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"How to Tat" Online Resources

Someone emailed me about learning to tat but my reply keeps bouncing back so I thought this would be a good place to post it, for her and anyone else! Some of the links I had put together and then Georgia had a nice compilation too.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Linda, this is the information I send to people who want to learn to tat. I highly recommend the Japanese site (4th link down) for visual clarity and Georgia Seitz's online class (the last 2 links).
Good luck! And Thank You for the compliment!
:-) Gina
Nata #67


Sharon Briggs was the first to take advantage of this form of instruction on the web and she also covers many of the more advanced methods

Lorah Gross Techniques in pictures and video. A video with each step but they do take awhile to load even with a fast connection.

Knot Transfer Videos (also known as the flip)

Japanese text but good video - click on ring, chain & Split Ring

From Joy, another way of manipulating the threads BUT please note she is teaching the moves in reverse order to what is normally used today.
The half stitches will show the double stitch split from the front and the picots too.

Betty Fosters Needle Tatting

Carrie Carlson's includes instructions for Left Hand & some videos. The diagrams here are what I found when I looked for tatting on the internet in 1997. Wish there had been videos then too!

Cherie Wheeler ~ how to shuttle tat
eHow And how to prepare to tat

Jen's Tat-ra Sutra - Learn how to tat

Lisa Trumble's Basic Tatting

Marilee double stitch instruction

PamDe's Needle Tatting

LaRae's Picotnet basic instructions

Roger's Needle Tatting Two instructions for almost all techniques

SJoys - Rings around the world - instructions for kids

Tammy Rogers - Needle Tatting techniques listed on the right

And for about 8 years Georgia has been doing her ON LINE class. Covering many if not all techniques. You can link the past years lessons from here and register to join the class.

She also now has three people who teach the 4 week beginners class on her behalf.

Plus there are several YouTube videos - just put "tatting" in the search box, and I am sure there are even more that have appeared since this list was compiled.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May Anniversary Drawing Winner!

The May winner is.......

Sunela Thomas!!!!!!

Congratulations Sunela!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I still don't have anything to show. I started teaching some coworkers tatting today. We don't really have a lot of time after eating so I didn't get much done, but I showed them a variety of shuttles and threads and picot gauges and other tools, plus some beginner books and samples of my tatting and tatting I've gotten from others. Then I had them try making a stitch with a tapestry needle and thread. LOL! We were at the end of the lunch hour and I was just giving them a sample. We spent the next half hour....trying. We'll see who comes back on Thursday.

Thursday I will have a video and real shuttles and thread for them to use. I think we will make some progress that day. Unfortunately, I can't find my tatting needles...I've put them in a safe place!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stitchery Surfing

Mother's Day Mother's Day 2 Mother's Day Basket Mother's Day Dessert

There is a Pink Fiber Contest over at Stitch Pink! "This is our place where we can stitch pink! My hopes of this little site is to bring awareness of the importance of breast screening, and early detection of breast cancer. If you have a breast cancer stitch project you would like to show case, please let me know, and I will give you rights to join this group." While she is talking about cross-stitch, I think you can tat in pink and consider that stitching for a cause too. Check them out!

Videos of origami folding! I initially went there to see how to fold a panda corner bookmark and found tons of videos for all kinds of origami.

I would love to see directory of tatted bookmark patterns like this one of crocheted bookmarks! And you know you can convert crochet to tatting if you are really dedicated. LOL! Here's one for knitted bookmarks. Really...we need one for tatted bookmarks!

There is a Fiber Arts Fair in Franklin, Indiana at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in June. I'd love to go and check out the vendors.

The 8th Annual Tat Day in Greenfield, Indiana is June 27-28th at the Zig-Zag Corner Quilt & Basket Shop. The theme is Garden Friends and featured instructor is Karey Solomon!

Friday night is a pitch-in dinner followed by a tatted Flower Trug Basket. On Saturday, we'll be tatting a Night Garden filled with glowing white flowers, weeds and bushes that becomes the landscape for a luna moth, fireflies, a ladybug and other night critters who explore the garden after dark. Other activities include a Decorate a Flower Pot Contest (embellish a flower pot with tatting or fill one with tatting) and Show & Tell, plus time to tat and shop aside from the program. There will be door prizes and other goodies as well as lunch and snacks. Friday is $25 and Saturday is $48. There is a small kit fee for the Friday night session.

Sounds like a good time, huh? Contact Kaye Judt for more information.

Wish I had some tatting to show but everything I've tatted is for someone and can't be shown yet. Soon!

The Romanian Point Lace program with my lace group went well. Only 6 of us there, but with only 2 hours, it was better not to have too many people. It's got me wanting to work more with this form of lace but I just don't have the time right now.

I've gotten 4 scans of the mystery motif and all are correct and really really pretty. They look much better than the original photo - we are such wonderful tatters! I'll show the original on Thursday, the 15th.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Creativity Contests!

The American Sewing Guild is sponsoring an an ASG Creativity Contest. One of the award categories is "most creative use of fabric and/or trim". You must be a member of ASG to participate, but it sounds like a fun gig to me!

Want to know how to compensate for beer-belly ease when knitting for the male in your life? Check out Knitting Daily! They recently had a gallery with male models from the office that I enjoyed a whole lot more than the women. LOL! Anyway, it brought up questions about how to adapt patterns for men. They just covered the subject of adapting for different sized women recently so if you knit, there's lots fo good info here.

My woodworking coworker made up the wooden part of the Puerto Rican Travel Pillow for me and delivered it day before yesterday. I get to finish the wood and add the padding. I have no idea when I'm going to get to that, but hopefully in June sometime.

In return, I'm tatting him an amulet bag from Dianna Stevens' It's in the Bag. I've made so many of these! It's a quick tat once you've strung the beads (560 of them) I got confused late at night while stringing beads and thought I was 100 beads shy so I added 100...only to find out I didn't need them. I had miscounted. Twice. Seasonal allergies have my eyes burning and itching lately. Counting beads is usually not an issue but it sure was that night. And then last night, about 11:15 p.m., I realized I had joined the first ring of the 2nd half of the bag in the wrong place, so I have to cut out about 5 rings and start over in that spot. I decided to call it a night.

It's probably not the ideal bobbinlace pillow but I want one I can call my own and this is it. He was so quick with it...I think I'll ask him to make me a regular sized roller pillow base now. Besides, it makes it special when you know the maker. I have several lovely bobbins from friends. I think I will make a roll up bobbin case with specific slots for the bobbins from my friends...embroidered with their names. umm...maybe next year. I just came across my list of goals for this year. I have a quilt I absolutely have to finish this year. But before I can get to it, I have to finish my sorting and cleaning and to do the sorting and cleaning, I have to somehow carve out some time and be in the mood at the same time.

I should be wrapping up Pam's monthly drawing gift this weekend. Yep, I've been so busy I have barely gotten hers done before the next drawing, coming up on the 13th, next Tuesday!

TwinsOH ~ And congratulations to Maureen in Brisbane on becoming the grandmother of twins Max & Emily! I suspect we won't be hearing a lot from Maureen for awhile.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

May Mystery Motif

I'm a little late on this one - I try to have it ready the 1st of the month. So as you are anxiously awaiting Jane's next installment on her TIAS, you can give this a go. I'll post a photo on the 15th. I've already tried this one out and see no major issues.

#60 was used for the model
Commence at center of medallion

1. A ring of 6 double knots, picot, (2 double knots, picot) 12 times, 6 double knots, close;
2. a 2nd ring, made in same way and close to 1st, joining by 1st picot to last picot of preceding ring; make 3d and 4th rings in same way, joining each to preceding, and joining last also to 1st. Fasten off securely.
3. A ring of 2 double knots, picot, 2 double knots, join to 3d free picot of ring of last row, 2 double knots, picot, 2 double knots, close;
4. *a chain of 6 double knots, picot, (3 double knots, picot) 3 times, 6 double knots;
5. a ring, as before, joining by 1st picot to last picot of preceding ring, and by middle picot to 2d following picot of large, ring, missing 1 picot of the latter;
6. repeat from * twice;
7. a chain,
8. a ring, joining by middle picot to 5th free picot of 2d large ring;
9. a chain;
10. a ring, joined by 1st picot to last picot of preceding ring, and by middle picot to 2d picot of large ring following;
11. a chain;
12. a ring joining by middle picot to 3d free picot of 3d large ring;
13. (a chain; a ring, joining to preceding as before, and to following 2d picot of same large ring) 3 times,
14. a chain of 6 double knots, picot, (3 double knots, picot) 7 times, 6 double knots;
15. a ring, joining by middle picot to 6th free picot of 4th large ring;
16. a chain, like last made, and join at base of 1st ring; fasten off.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Beadwork magazine has a new contest to enter!
About the competition: To celebrate our love affair with books and beads, Beadwork announces our sixth international juried competition and exhibition: The Beaded Book!
The Beaded Book is bound to bring out your creative genius. Alter a book, re-create a favorite character, bead a page of text, or make whatever your imagination can conjure up relating to beads and books. Show us your passion for books and beads in one creative effort. We can’t wait to see how you combine glitterati with literati! The winning entries will be published in a gallery in Beadwork magazine and the actual works will be exhibited at Bead Expo Santa Fe in March 2009 and Bead Fest Philadelphia in August 2009.

Preliminary guidelines:
The object must be no larger than 12” X 12”.
The object can be created with any bead technique.
The object should be comprised of at least 50% beads.
Your work should have been created within the past two years.
Preliminary entries (entry form and image only) are due December 18, 2008.

Cool challenge for you tatters who love to use beads!

Here is the original of the pattern I'm using to make a small mat. It's from the Fall/Winter 1950-51 issue of McCall's Needlework and Crafts. As you can see, they've placed dishwear in strategic places so I can't really see how the pattern flows.

The directions said to make the center and surround it with rows 1-3. Well, the center already had a "row 1". The Row 1 after that applied to several motifs together, not just one. I did get it figured out but not before I'd tatted halfway around and then I had to cut a piece out for a corner and retat. I got in such a hurry the next day that I forgot about Row 3 - there is supposed to be another round!

Here's the motif for next Saturday's Romanian Point Lace class. I chose the simplist motif and needleweaving I could find. Even so, I doubt very much if anyone will complete it in the amount of time we have.

I think I might use this to premier a blog for my lace group. I'm really tempted to make motifs and attach them together myself, but it will be a good group project too, so I think I won't do that for now.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

TotusMel on Etsy has been posting some excellent information and opinions about selling tatting (or anything). I don't wear tatted jewelry. Earrings rarely - only because they were made for me. I like the brooches, but it's just never been a habit of mine to wear jewelry like that consistently. I do not like tatted necklaces. Period. I do like to look at them. If you could take the same design and attach it to a sweater or another piece of clothing or household furnishings, I would love it. But that has nothing to do what I'm wanting to say here. Pamela (Totusmel) has made some excellent points in her blog and I encourage you to read it if you want to make money selling your tatting.

I particularly liked what she said about a customer base. It was funny because I was just thinking before I read her entry - seeing that new hand dyed threads were available - that I can't afford the HDT habit. As a treat now and then, yes, but on a regular basis - I just can't. But that doesn't mean the makers shouldn't make it, price it and enjoy a profit from it. There is a customer base that CAN afford it. And I know too, that if it were important to me, I would learn to do it successfully myself - or find a way to afford it.

I get an online newsletter, Knitting Daily, which promotes their magazine, of course. I don't really knit a lot these days but it's fun to keep up with. One of the periodic features I like is the gallery, where they show the same sweater on several of the office staff so you get an idea what it looks like on different figure types. I find it interesting that a sweater rarely looks as flattering on ANY of them as it does on the model. I'm often completely turned off of a pattern by seeing how it looks on everyone. The women aren't ugly...they are normal women like you and me. These sweaters should look good on them, for the most part, in my opinion. Now you know why you often aren't happy with something you've made. I suppose adjustments could be made here and there for a better fit, but it's not just the fit - it's the style. And maybe it's just me and my idea of what looks good.

I've been busy lately working up the class on Romanian Point Lace for my lace guild on the 10th. I've also been going to the pool and doing water workouts which really eats into my evening time. People think I've been really busy but most of the busyness is traveling to exercise, exercising, showering, and then traveling home again. Two hours just for that. And then there is the usual after work errands, dinner, and .....I have maybe an hour and a half at most left before falling into bed. The disturbing thing is, I haven't lost weight! I was losing until I had such problems with my feet that I had to quit going to the gym. So in the time period that I didn't exercise, went to the doctor, traveled to Hector and back, I gained back all I lost. This is my 3rd week with water exercise. I can feel the difference, but haven't seen it on my body or on the scales yet. I'm trusting it will come though. My feet are better, I don't even take the medication every day now, so I think I can probably start back at the gym - gently as far as the footsies go. I'll continue with the water exercise too. I don't go every day, but the days I don't go are still full of catching up from the days I do go!

I did tat one of the motifs from Martha Ess's lastest block tatting book that I purchased at Hector, the daffodil. I did a poor job of it, getting one of the base petals backwards, and I was using whatever thread was on the table. I'm also tatting a motif from an old McCall's Needlework and Crafts. The instructions weren't as clear as I hoped and I will have to go back and retat one section. At least I'm getting a little tatting in!

And the next mystery motif ...will be soon! I should use this one from McCall's! Even with the photo, I had a hard time figuring out the text instructions because a glass dish was on top of the part I needed to see!