Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just a quick post tonight. I've been busy looking for photos for my son and scanning them for his reception slideshow.

Mrs. Parker responded to my request for more information and sent me these two photos. Turns out she really doesn't live too far away and I was invited to come see the gown in person. Whoo-hoo! I'll have to wait until things slow down a bit though.

She taught herself to tat in 1980, like so many of us have, from a book. I still can't get these to enlarge without it pixelating but you can see the front now and if you look closely at the train, you can see there is all kinds of tatting there too. When I have more information and a chance to see it, I might be able to get some close ups.

I also mentioned the other day that I'd received my Summer ReGift Swap package from Kelly in NJ. The seasonal swap is hosted by Melba on Just Be Connected. The idea is to send your partner something you don't want or need instead of throwing it away. It's recycling more or less. You can also make something and we usually do a combination of regifting and making something. You CANNOT buy your partner anything.

I had this HUGE box when I got home that night, sitting outside and rained upon, but it was nice and dry inside. I especially like the aromatherapy cubes. On the opposite side are the same size cubes for photographs. The black bag will probably hold just enough tatting for the cruise. A couple of books to read ( I sent her books too!) and some raspberry tea bags in a tin, Anne Geddess cards, and stickers and odds and ends. I don't remember what all I sent her but she makes cards, like the one on the black bag and I remember finding things that would work for the collages she says she makes. I also tatted her a bookmark, which I think I already posted. If not, too late now. LOL!

Anyway, I do enjoy these swaps and I get to know someone new.

So...on to finish up Jeff's anniversary prize and hopefully get it in the mail in the next few days!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend before last, I was at my sister's house and she pulled out this magazine her husband was reading during a doctor or dentist visit somewhere. Back in early December when my lace group demonstrated at Dickens of a Christmas, we demoed from The Brew Pub and a friend and I ate lunch there afterwards. While we waited for our food, a woman approached us and somehow in the conversation we acknowledged working at Purdue University. She asked if we would put out some copies of their free magazine, Helen. We agreed and I took a bunch to work. I've seen copies here and there on campus at different places and often picked them up if I had time and read a few articles. It just happened that I had picked up this very same issue at the library from the "freebie" magazine rack but had not read it yet. My brother-in-law had noticed an article that mentioned tatting so they brought the magazine home to show me! I couldn't believe the beautiful tatting inside - and from someone LOCAL! So I contacted a staff member at Helen Magazine and asked for permission to post about it here.

I received permission yesterday and also got an email from Charlotte Parker late last night. I had asked for a close up photo and hopefully, will be able to show them here either before I publish or in the next few entries. For some reason, the pics she sent were rejected and I've asked her to try again.

I had a couple of surprises in the mail last night! One is this fabric postcard from Bonnie Peters. I've heard about fabric postcards and seen them online but I've never seen one in person or received one. It's really unique and what a fitting message! I have it on my bulletin board at work now. I was going to post the side with the message but it shows both mine and Bonnie's addresses so it seemed better not to. I could crop it but then you don't get the full effect of the "postcard" persona. Here's a tutorial from Red Shoe Ramblings! (I like her inclusion of a bottle of wine and chocolate in the supply list.)

If I'd known I was going to spend all evening searching for "teenage" photos of my son who is engaged and putting together a slide show for their reception, I probably would not have stopped at Trader Buck's Flea Market on the way home. He only needed a few photos, but which few? As I got into the photos from a trip to Ireland ( a post on that coming soon!) I got sidetracked and what should have taken a little over an hour turned into three by the time I gathered up all the photos, scanned and sent them to him. As a result, I didn't have time to photograph my other mail surprise - my Summer Re-Gift Swap package from Kelly in NJ. I'll post about that tomorrow.

I've only been to this indoor flea market once before and that was a year or two ago. I don't know what prompted me to stop but I did. Early on I found a piece of unusual crochet that I really wanted but it was $12.95 and I didn't have much cash with me and payday is not til Monday so I passed it up with hope that it will still be there next week. I ended up spending that much anyway but I got 8 or 9 things for the same amount of money. I love cobalt blue glass. I also love ruby red glass and the peach colored glassware but blue is a little harder to find. There were a few pieces in scattered booths but I really liked this pitcher and it was only $3.00.

BEFORE I found the pitcher, however, I found this hanky with the tatted edging! I had not intended to buy anything - that was why I passed up the crocheted doily, but this was only $1.00. So I picked it up...and then I saw the why not? I had $5.00 cash. LOL! Famous last words. I haven't figured out what the pattern is. It sort of looks like hen and chicks but I think it could also be two rows of tatting. I'll look at it closer tonight.

I'm not going to show everything I got here - other pieces will be on my thrift store blog, Whatta Lucky Find, but I will show the linens and lace here. This is a table runner with beautiful hand embroidery. Some embroidery is machine-done and I seldom buy those but this is clearly hand embroidered. You can see the tiny knots in the back.

I also loved the crocheted butterflies. They are so unusual, both the big one at each end and the smaller ones attached only at the body with embroidered antennae. There are a couple of very small spots that I'm going to try to get out but overall, the piece is in excellent condition. I think I paid $3.50 for this one.

Well, I'm anxious to get this posted. If there are more photos of the bridal tatting, I'll show them in the next entry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Awards to....

Arte y Pico information
After much thought, I decided to pass the Arte y Pico on to some creative blogs that were not tatting focused. I believe strongly that creativity is inspired through many mediums and in every one of the nominees I'm noting, I've been inspired by their work and found ways to pursue those ideas with my tatting.

~ Iris Cabin - she's not the only quilter I follow and she does tat, but she is amongst the first that I found which led me to find even more blogs along this line. While she hasn't posted much in this blog lately, I know it's because she is busy overseeing another CQ blog.

~ Beadlust ~ Someone else led me to this blog and it's simply one of many that focuses on beadwork but I love blogs that are more than just the craft they are focused on. She shares freely and you can find some beautiful handwork AND scenery there.

~ Turkeyfeathers is one of favorite non-tatting blogs. For some reason, every time I go there, it takes me back to my childhood - canning, sewing, gardens....and I love to follow the links in her sidebar.

~ The Art of Wyanne I actually bought a necklace from Wyanne through Etsy and found her blog in the process...or was it the other way around? LOL! I don't remember, but I like her style, her attitude. I've been playing her videos that show how she comes up with her paintings and every time I do, I wonder how I could do something similar and include my lacework.

~ Just Be Connected And last but certainly not least, Melba from Just Be Connected who has created a place to promote and inspire creativity on all fronts. I love following the links there too and have enjoyed participating in some of the activities.

As with other disclaimers..the choice to pass the award on is entirely up to the recipient. I won't be checking up on you!
~ ~ ~ ~ tag 4 people to give us unimportant information about themselves!
~ Memé from Chile ~ I think Memé will give us a summary in English too!
~ Karey Solomon from Graceful Threads - though I know Karey is in Greenfield, IN right now for the Greenfield Tat Day this weekend and won't be able to respond just yet. Sadly, I'm missing this event but I'm sure the group will have a great time!
~ Sapna from Sapztat - looks like she just got a new shuttle!
~ Mrs. John from Tat-Tering. She looks busy!

Have fun friends!


1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award - elements include creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter of language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award-winner, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y pico"blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) To show these rules.

I was nominated by Lady Shuttlemaker for this award. She also tagged me to share 6 unimportant facts about myself. I didn't see the rules for this until later and those say to name 4 people.

It was funny - I'd been thinking about what is going on in blogging, the meme's and the awards, commenting, etc. It will wait for another post some slow day.

At this point it's hard to tag or award someone who hasn't already been tagged or awarded....not that that should have anything to do with it other than it feels obnoxious to keep doing that to someone in some ways. It's also flattering, but since it does require a person to do something, I always feel hesitant about it. I have to admit I sort of like those blogs that offer themes for certain days that you can participate in or not, as you want. But...I have more than enough to entertain myself with for a couple of lifetimes. LOL!

Like Sherry, I'm going to make up my own rules, but first - 6 unimportant things about me - at least from my perspective.

1. My virtual age is 46.7 and my life expectancy is 89.3 years, according to the last test I took. I will biologically be 59 next month. The older I get, the less important age is. Funny thing is, you have to get older to understand how unimportant it really is. It's largely based on expectations presented to you when you are very young. I remember, when I was a girl, seeing a quote by a famous actress in a magazine. She was asked how it felt to be 50 and her response was, "Well..I don't know. How is 50 supposed to feel?" That intrigued me - I think I was maybe 12 or 13 at the time. I remember the mindset of adult women couldn't have long hair after age 30. You could only wear certain colors at certain ages. White gloves and shoes only after a certain date in the Spring (was it Easter?) and on and on and on. The barriers women had to live with...I am so happy to be part of the changing generation.

2. I have short wide feet with toes that line up from big to little in a straight line. I used to think everyone else's feet were deformed because their second toe was longer than the first. I had a father-in-law who called me "Stub" because of my overall shortness. (lovingly)

3. I have a purple bedroom. It's not that purple is my favorite color or anything but at that particular point in my life, I wanted to do something different with color in my house. I painted my bathroom a deep bright blue then too but have since repainted it. I think it had something to do with making myself not be afraid to try something new. I still like it but am beginning to think of doing something different.

4. I taught my two youngest sons to drive - a stick-shift at that. Neither of them has had the accidents or speeding tickets that my two older kids had who took the school's driver education course. It also gave me peace of mind when they got their licenses because by that time we had driven so many miles in so many conditions that I felt secure about their driving abilities.

5. My mother had a snake phobia. When I was a young mother, I took a shovel out and sliced off the head of a snake sunning itself on some rocks by the house. I was instantly mortified. I suddenly understood in that moment that I had simply followed my mother's habit when the snake was doing nothing other than enjoying itself in the sun. I wasn't afraid of snakes. I didn't want them in my house, but I was not petrified of them. The remorse I felt was horrible. I have never killed another snake.

6. But speaking of phobias...I do have a rat phobia. I've gotten better over time, but I still feel panicky and tense, even when they are in a cage and I can see them. If I can only hear them and know they are loose, I can't deal with it. I have to leave.

I think I will have to pick my successors later! I need to get to the gym now. my book by Inga with the carousel at the weekend. sigh....such a big project...I still haven't done the chess set!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Surprises!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!!!! Jamie & Jenna of the Emblazon Yourself store that I mentioned a few posts ago sent me some of their buttons, including one with the Tatting Goddess logo! One of them is a magnet. They are slightly larger than a quarter, a perfect size in my mind. You can put them on hats or bags, as well as clothing. The sock monkey ones are going on the sock monkey bag I got from Gail Owens one Christmas! Look for a new blog from them pretty soon.

Can you see him? or her? Not sure which it is.

I'd only been up long enough to let the cats in and I was pouring some iced tea from a pitcher in the refrigerator when I saw it out of the window. I set down my glass and hurried off to grab my camera, slowly opening the screen door and walking out. I zoomed in and took a picture but I knew it was not a clear shot so I slowly moved to my left to get a more dead on shot, but just as I got to a good spot, it leaped and bounded off to the woods on the right. Once it got into the woods it stopped and I could still see it, so ever hopeful, I slowly walked in that direction, hoping it would mosey on over to a more open spot so I could get another shot. No dice. It took off again and this time I could hear a sound that told me it was warning the others. Oh was cool while it lasted.

My son and his fiance visited yesterday and we did some shopping for rehearsal dinner stuff. I asked Libby to pick out a pattern for the wedding hanky and she chose Mary Konior's Maids of Honor. I've got it started and am using size 50 DMC cordonnet but I'm considering going to an even smaller thread. I think it will look more delicate.

Nothing special here - just the endings of some shuttles that I started while helping the lunch hour tatting group. It's too bad I'm not doing any crazy quilting yet - this looks like something perfect for a block.

I wish I could show the rest of my weekend tatting. Some is for Jeff and some is for the online class. I volunteered to tat some samples with rick-rack. I've never been too excited about using rick-rack with tatting but I'm really liking the way these are turning out. It's the July project so you might want to tune in then if you don't already.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My efforts to lose weight for my son's wedding is keeping me at the gym most evenings and that really cuts into my tatting time but I still managed to get a little done this week - just nothing I can show yet! Even so, I have some delicious eye candy for you.

I may have mentioned that I'm teaching some coworkers to tat during lunch hour Tuesdays and Thursdays. We really don't have very long and it's slow going but 4 of them have managed rings and chains so far and it's starting to come together for them. One of them brought in some tatting that had been done by her husband's grandmother which included this baby bonnet that she kindly loaned to me for a scan. There were also some hen and chick edgings and insertions such as the one in this bonnet but on a larger scale in a bigger thread.

This is a close up of both the motifs and the insertion for the ribbon to run through. I put the quarter in the scan so you can get an idea of the size of the medallions. They are so tiny. The quarter almost looks the same size but it's actually noticeably larger. The thread is very fine, like sewing thread. This piece is fragile and has several broken spots. What a beautiful piece of lace though!

Phyllis also brought this box of thread that was part of the grandmother's belongings. She couldn't find a shuttle but thread was wound around a piece of cardboard and she wondered if she used that as a shuttle? This thread is very fine too but I didn't know if it was mending thread or tatting thread? It's by Gaitermann and the "a" has the two dots over it. 100/3 which I take to mean size 100 in 3 cord. 50 m would be how much is on the spool. There is a BIG number on there too and it's different on each one so I think that is the color number. The other words differ from spool to spool but I also see a tiny drawing of a spool of thread (as we think of it) centered under what looks like a wire square frame which leads me to think it has to do with sewing rather than tatting. The package of needles inside are sharps and #48 is on the label too. Someone else in the group mentioned having this same hairpin box from a grandmother.

My daughter-in-law to be will be here shortly and I'm going to have her pick out an edging for her wedding hanky. I've got all of my Mary Konior books out for her to choose from. Each book has several edgings with the corners and I'm sure she can find one she likes from those.

I'm going on a cruise with my daughter and son-in-law at the end of October. I'm wondering what kind of tatting projects would be good to take with me. I've never been on a cruise before so I don't really know what kind of time I will have available, what kind of lighting there is, how much room in the cabin, etc. If you've taken a cruise and brought your tatting with you, please tell me what to expect!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sometimes I am the last to know. LOL! I was surfing ebay for a change a few days ago and found these fabulous buttons and magnets at the ebay store, EMBLAZON YOURSELF! I emailed the store owner and asked if I could use a few of her photos here to let you all know about them and she graciously allowed me!

They are so inexpensive and she has tons to pick from. If you go to the store site and put in a search for tatting, you'll find a dozen designs specific to tatting. I didn't search for them but there are also buttons for bobbin lace and just about anything else you can think of. She will customize a button or magnet for you or your group. How cool is that? Maybe I should get some with the Tatting Goddess logo????

Of course, you know I just love the sock monkey ones to death! There's NINE of those to pick from! I can't wait to see the magnets either.

I found this blog, Memory Patterns, while looking at another blog. It's about sewing...a memoir of sorts. Funny how someone I don't know reflects my own life back at me. I don't remember when I stopped sewing clothes but it was sometime in the 80's. I was a good seamstress but fabric had become so expensive and ready-made so cheap that as a single parent with 4 kids, it didn't make sense to spend precious time sewing. My youngest children were boys too and once they got past the little boy stage, it was hard to sew for them. I do remember making some boxers for them in their teens that they really liked.

At the same time, I couldn't stop buying patterns. I can't tell you how many I bought to make clothes for my grandkids...okay, guess I did sew once in a blue moon. I remember making some nightgowns for my granddaughter when she was only 4 or 5. She's 15 now and I finally decided it was time to give away all those little girl frilly dress patterns. She couldn't possibly wear them now anyway!

Another bookmark from Vida Sunderman's pattern. It's just so fast and easy to make something like this and I needed it for a gift.

I'm also working on something for the July online class. I won't show it yet, but it's a nice little challenge for me. Not that I really need any more challenges, but in's so hard to pass up!

Monday, June 16, 2008

This is needlelace, not tatting, but equally time-consuming and equally beautiful.

And if you ever wondered how to wind a bobbin:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June Mystery Motif

Above are the original photos from a 1925 Needlecraft. I will be using more from that issue so I don't want to name the exact one yet. Underneath the originals you can see how I tatted them and there is a slide show below of the tattings by others that were sent to me.

Something I could not quite achieve and didn't see it as pronounced in any of the others is the swirly effect in the original. There is a hint of it in some of the motifs but not as much as in the original. I knew it was there and even tried to block it in without success.

I also tatted this in two different threads but both were size 20. One was Aida, the bright blue, and the other was in Handy Hands size 20. Aida is clearly bigger than Handy Hands. The directions say to "use a thread suited to your purpose, varying from No. 15 or No. 20 crochet cotton for towel edges to No. 80 or No. 90 for handkerchiefs or other fine articles." It looks like the originals may have been tatted in a finer thread. Another place I couldn't get it to look the same was the center. My outer chain looked boxy compared to the original. Suzanne's was the only one that looked like a second ring snugged up close to the first.

I'm off to a birthday celebration of a friend's daughter and the gym and to wish happy father's day to my son and son-in-law but at some point I will rewrite the directions and post them in this same entry.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June Anniversary Winner!!!!

Congratulations to Jeff Hamilton!

I nabbed a budding tatter and coworker, Fran, to draw the name out for the June blog anniversary drawing and she pulled out Jeff's name. Now this could be an intriguing challenge - having a guy as the recipient!

I started the rest of this post several days ago but have been busy cleaning out drawers and files at work so I could move my furniture around before they scrub and mop the floors on Tuesday. My son came after work and helped me move the desk and another cabinet as well as a file cabinet. Still lots of things to sort through but I got the stuff moved that I wanted moved.

For now, I'm off to my lace group to teach the Workbasket strawberry.

I would love to redesign my blog but I really don't have time right now so I'll just continue doing what I'm doing, but one thing I wish I could figure out is how to create a section with links especially for beginners and techniques. I'm just now cleaning out my mailbox and have an email I sent to myself some time ago with links to some instruction videos by Linda Davies. She shows two methods of doing a split ring . Some videos are better than others, because of lighting or clarity of technique or filming quality. This one isn't a super close up but Linda explains it so clearly that it's very easy to follow.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Yes, I should be doing other stuff and truly, that was my intention this morning but I'm teaching the Workbasket strawberry (July 1995) next Saturday and thought I better get ready. Originally I was just going to help out.

I'm glad I looked at it again. I've never liked the way it was written and broken up into two parts so I decided to rewrite it in modern notation. was still in two parts and I avoid hiding ends if I can so I got to looking at the diagram that was included and found a way to tat it all in one pass. I ended up making 4 split rings and 1 split chain but it's really a very easy pattern. Also, the designer, Cindy Polfer, says to sew the beads on afterwards. was 1995 - how much tatting was done with beads and split rings and chains then? So I usually load my beads on the ring shuttle and tat them in as I go.

Now the thing that really bothered me was the felt background which included leaves. Tacky. TACKY. I'd used the beads before but never could figure out the leaves. I needed something small and pointy. Suddenly, I remembered Mark Myers' link to the zig zag chain. By tatting various lengths and then using the end thread to thread through the picots and gather it up, it becomes the perfect strawberry top!

Now I want to make a whole bunch of them!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Just Chatty Today

post on LiveJournal blog
Knitting vs. Tatting
I was reading the thread on life lines and there was discussion about knitting lace. I'd always thought it was called tatting lace. Is there a difference? Or is it different names for the same thing?

My answer:
Lace is made by many different methods and those methods are defined as knitting, tatting, crocheting, needlace, bobbinlace, etc. Each is unique and uses different tools and ways of manipulating thread to create those exquisite pieces.
:-) Gina

BUT - while I'm a member of LiveJournal, I'm not a member of that knitting community and comments by outsiders are not permitted so I didn't get to offer my 2¢ worth. There were other comments that were similar though. The thing that got my attention however, is that tatting is perceived as lacemaking overall, not as a specific method of lacemaking. I've suspected that many times, but it was a little clearer with this person's question.

It was sort of in the back of my mind to hit the garage sales this morning, a much loved but infrequent activity these days, but rain has nicked that idea in the bud. I even cleaned out the wall file next to my computer last night to justify doing something besides cleaning today. LOL! See how nice it looks and the little hedge hog is keeping an eye on it. I tend to stick printouts from the internet in there - like tatting patterns - when it's actually to keep other information on hand that I need for email - or, as you can see in the lowest pocket, information for my sewing machines, etc.

Just above the wall file is this "wall memory". The hummingbird shelf was given to me by my sister. The koala bear was a gift from a friend that I met in Australia while visiting. The felt monkey was made for me by fellow tatter Gail Owens, along with a monkey bag that I've been carrying around lately with tatting supplies while teaching coworkers to tat. The tatted crocuses are the only 3D flowers I've tatted and they came from one of Sharon Briggs' newsletters. The roses were from a bouquet sent to me by my daughter and these 3 dried so beautifully! The dragonfly chimes are just something I particularly like and you can't really see them very well. The beads are from a thrift store or garage sale somewhere...just for pretty!

Here is Chewie who appears to be turning into a demonic cat because I'm NOT paying attention to her while I'm photographing the wall memory. She generally sits perched right there on the right arm of that chair while I'm on the computer, crowding my right side and making me worry about accidently pushing her off her narrow ledge - until I pick her up and put her on the floor. Of course, five minutes later, she's right back up there. She's really restless this morning, pacing...if you can call it that...between the chair arm and the keyboard tray. She has food, she has water. She's purring89. And she's also typing...that's where the 89 came from. LOL!

I haven't done much tatting the past few days. I started back on the marigold or...Dahlia...doily but it was too late Wednesday night to even get one motif done. Thursday night I went to the gym late in an effort to miss all the kids at the pool and I did...but it was nearly 10:00 p.m. by the time I got home. Last night the power went out during a storm so I went into to town to eat and by the time I got home, the power was back on. I've been reading a novel, usually after I get into bed, but it's captured my attention so I was reading that last night. Then I decided to work on this felt butterfly goddess that I've been wanting to get to for at least a year now and had been gathering up the felt pieces as I came across them (see, I do clean in bits & pieces!). It was late and I didn't have a clear cut plan in mind other than wanting to just get a feel for how it went to embroider on felt. I didn't transfer a design to the felt so it was serendipitious - including the thread colors. I just grabbed a hank of bundled up thread that clearly came from some abandoned kit. This butterfly goddess came from Ronda Kivett. I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I'm enjoying the mental activity.

I don't like the embroidery that I've done so far but it wasn't for the design so much as getting the feel of working with felt. My embroidery skills are rusty and as I said, I didn't have any kind of design worked out beforehand. I just opened this book and picked something. Ha! Back in the days when I pretty much lived in poverty, I coveted this book sooooo much. I had never been all that interested in embroidery but then something sparked my interest in shadow embroidery and once I got on the scent, I couldn't stop. I joined the local embroidery guild (only 1 year because I couldn't afford the annual dues of $25) and I played with different stitches when I had time. Finally, I saved up enough money to buy this book. I'd been borrowing it from the library! Actually, I think that might have been the year I worked at Waldenbooks part-time during the Christmas season. I remember it had to be ordered because it wasn't anywhere local...obviously before and and I still have dreams of a crazy quilt and using all these beautiful stitches. Now, instead of being money-poor, I'm time-poor!

Anyway, the stitches (new to me) I used on this sample are the cord stitch and the chain stitch. I may have tried the chain stitch before but not for any length. I'm usually pretty good with French Knots but they wanted to pass on through the felt so I learned to not be so heavy handed when pulling the thread through. So ..this will be a "play with stitches" sample. And somehow, I have to put tatting on it.

The beginning of this post, about how tatting is perceived, was actually done yesterday and as I was following up my google alerts on tatting this morning, I happened to notice this tutorial on Jon's blog: wrapping a plastic ring. I hope Sunela has seen that. I sent her a small collection of different sizes of plastic rings. Why? you may ask. Well...when someone wins the drawing, if they don't give me some hints of what they like or I don't know them very well, I become Dectective Brummeé. I go looking for posts on the lists and if you have a blog, I read OLD entries. Actually, Sunela did tell me her preferences in thread and color but I wanted to know more and in my search, I found a question she asked somewhere about tatting over plastic rings. A year ago. I'm sure she got her answer...but if you are interested in this technique, check out Jon's tutorial. It's very good.'s good practice for learning how to do split chains. Once you get the motion down, you will be able to do a split chain, eazy-peazy! I used this method of teaching for my lace group a few years ago when we were working on advancing past beginner level. Besides that, Jon has a delightful pattern to use in the process. I have Sadie's book, Tatting Over a Cabone Ring, and have made a whole slew of her designs - here is a prior post on it.

Ah...well...looks like it's gonna be a rainy day all day so I might as well get something productive done.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sunela got her package so I can show what I tatted for her! Some things each recipient will get will be the same or very similar but the tatting will always be something different. I decided to experiment this time and use alpha beads in the amulet bag to spell out Sunela's name since she had just enough letters for each row. I can't tell you how many time I strung and unstrung those beads. I thought I had them facing the right way and then when I tatted one or two, something was backwards. The first name was on one shuttle and the last name on another shuttle and as it turned out, they needed to be facing opposite ways. I probably should have used a bigger thread too...this is size 30 and just a bit small for this big of a bead. I also wondered if I shouldn't have put the name in the center split rings instead...providing I used a bigger thread to begin with.

Somewhere I read that Sunela's favorite colors were turquoise, lavendar and sunflower yellow. I was going to try to make her something with those colors (remember the aborted scroll flower and vine mat from last week's post?) but I ended up using the 2 shades of aqua for this Dalia mat by Iris Niebach in Fantasia. This is my favorite motif by Iris (that I have access to anyway) and I loved the way the two colors contrasted on this. It looks large in this scan but it's probably about 5" square, like a small mat or a big coaster.

I also gave Sunela the triangular bookmark that I posted earlier.

You know, it really is so much fun doing this!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Here's the finished amulet bag with a teensy awareness ribbon on it. After I sewed it on, I got to wondering if the tails were supposed to cross over a certain way. Very honestly, I don't pay too much attention to them. Awareness ribbons are some of the more pleasant symbols of support but beyond that, I don't focus on the details of them. The pattern is from Dianna Stevens' It's in the Bag. The thread is Cebelia size 30 and the beads are regular seed beeds probably size 10 or 11. Dianna uses a different design for the cord but I like the ric-rac or set stitch method myself.

Last night I wanted to empty some shuttles that were just laying there doing nothing so I picked this Josephine Wreath motif from A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. Someone just asked me what I thought of this book and I realized it was the very one I was using. I've tatted a lot out of this book, including the Josephine Wreath, more than once. I made this into a bookmark, as I've been doing recently, instead of just having another motif in a sample book. I don't like the green with the varigated as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's just the wrong shade but they don't seem to really go together. I think this is the first time I've done it in two different threads too. The variegated was OLympus size 40 and I think the green is Altin Basak size 50.

Ever wonder why you started something? When I looked for the motif that I just tatted, I found this doily in the book between the pages. It's called Dahlia. That's interesting - I just tatted Iris's Dalia from Fantasia which I will have to show later. Anyway, I think I started this just to challenge myself to do the chains evenly and thought I could enter it into the fair...and then I got sidetracked. So tonight I added another motif and think it's likely I can get one done each evening so it could be done by the weekend. One more UFO done, I hope. It's kind of reminding me of a fried egg. I called it a marigold doily when I started it because the golden orange center made me think of marigolds.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June Mystery Motif

Here's the mystery motif with a bonus - a matching edging! Anyway, the source said it was a matching edging. I think it is a complementary edging but certainly not the same as the motif.

When you have completed the motif, please email me privately with a scan and I'll let you know if you've got it. I will be posting the original pattern photos as well as my test tatting on the 15th. Until then, it should remain a MYSTERY!

I've added a little teaser photo this time...I hope it doesn't make it too easy! The idea, for those who haven't seen this before, is to challenge your ability to translate vintage written instructions without a photo for reference.

June Mystery Motif

1. A ring of 4 double knots, (picot, 5 double knots) 3 times, picot, 1 double knot, close.
2. (Original) Chain of 3 double knots, picot, 3 double knots, join to 1st picot of ring, 1 single knot, picot, repeat twice, joining the each succeeding picot of ring, 3 double knots, picot, 3 double knots, join to last picot of ring.
(Revised) Chain of [3 double knots, picot, 3 double knots, join to 1st picot of ring, , picot,] repeat twice, joining in each succeeding picot of ring, 3 double knots, picot, 3 double knots, join to last picot of ring. (there should be a total of 7 picots)

3. Chain of 4 double knots; ring of 1 double knot, (picot, 5 double knots) 4 times, close; a chain of 9 double knots, picot, 4 double knots, join to next picot of outside ring of 1st row, 4 double knots; a ring like 1st, of 1 double knot, join to picot of preceding long chain, and complete the ring as before; repeat around, making 8 rings in all, joining last long chain to 1st picot fo 1st ring and last chain of 4 double knots where 1st chain started.
4. Fasten in middle picot of 1st ring of last row, chain of 9 double knots, picot, 9 double knots, join to middle picot of next ring; repeat around, joining last chain where 1st started.

Edging to match

1. A ring of (7 double knots, picot) 3 times, 7 double knots, close; chain of 8 double knots, join to side picot of ring, ring of 7 double knots, picot, (1 double knot, picot) twice, 7 double knots, close; chain of 8 double knots, join to middle picot of 1st ring; repeat the row to desired length.
2. Fasten thread in picot at top of 1st ring, make a chain of 7 double knots, picot, 7 double knots, join to picot of next ring; repeat. If liked, these chains may be shorter, say of 5 double knots, picot, 5 double knots.

Use 2 shuttles, wound CTM, to avoid doing the shoelace trick. You will need approximately 2 ½ yards on each shuttle. There is no reverse work in the motif.
It does not tell you to end off after step 3 in the motif but it is obvious in step 4 that you will need to.