Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beads & Leaves

I saw that Jane Eborall responded to some one's question about beads in tatting and thought I'd expand on that a bit. I taught a class last year about the kinds of beads and different ways to add them in. It seems a lot of tatters are confused about using beads and so are reluctant to try them.

I scanned some different size beads next to my shuttle to help differentiate the sizes. Those brown beads in the middle are size 11/0 seed beads, the ones you see most commonly sold and used. They work well with most sizes of thread.

The blue ones to the right of the brown ones are size 10/0 and you'll see them quite often right alongside the size 11/0,again a size commonly sold and used.

The purple/pink ones to the far right are known as micro beads at the store I bought them from. I have some that are even tinier. These work with the fine tatting threads in sizes 70, 80 and smaller. The problem is that the center hole is smaller and you need a very fine beading needle to thread them. If you are adding the beads as you tat, it's almost impossible to find a hook that is fine enough to pick them up. I'm not sure that even the size 16 hook will go through the hole.

Going in the other direction, the beads to the left of the brown size 11/0 beads are size 6/0. They are decidedly bigger and often look clunky on fine threads. These are best paired with size 10 or bigger threads. I like to use them as the eyes in some of my tatting though.

The beads to the far left are either 8mm or 10mm. You wouldn't really use these or bigger beads in tatting except as a single focal point in the design. They're heavy and work best with bigger threads. It depends on the design, of course. Marilee (Yarnplayer) has some wonderful designs with larger beads strategically placed and they make a nice balance.

There's a lot more you can learn about beads - different shapes and the kind of material they are made out of. I see Bree has already posted an excellent explanation and will be continuing it so be sure to go there and see all the different kinds of beads! I may show how they are put on the shuttle and ball thread later if there is interest.

In the meantime, here's an example of the difference between using a size 11/0 bead and a 6/0 bead. I tatted both of these seahorses from Jane's pattern.

The ecru one has a size 11/0 bead for the eye and the other one has a size 6/0 bead for the eye. It really pops in the bigger one, doesn't it? The thread is size 30 in both cases. The pattern calls for size 20 thread but I tatted the ecru first in the size 30 I've been using so I had to tat the colored on in size 30 also to make a fair comparison. Neither are tatted exactly to the pattern since I want to dye the ecru one and beads will be added later when used for embellishment.

Look at what we tatted at Tatting Guild!!!! Totally unplanned and unaware of my search for the perfect oak leaf, Kaye Judt designed one! There are various types of oak trees and the leaves and nuts are a bit different on each. I was looking for the White Oak Leaf.

I have no idea what that thread is. It was on a floss holder without any information. It was just enough for the leaf. I don't remember having this thread or even anyone giving me a sample like this. I didn't particularly care for it in terms of tatting but it came out ok. The ecru one will go in the dye pot. It took me slightly less than an hour to tat at home. At guild, I barely got through the first half.

Kaye plans to put the pattern in another book and may possibly teach it in the coming year.


    bye corinne

  2. Anonymous9:38 AM

    thanks for sharing.

  3. I like how you posted the pictures of the beads by your shuttle, it really gives perspective, and showing the different sizes on the work is excellent, and of course your work is beautiful! I will leave those samples to you and stick strictly to the part of it that I am doing.I think it is wonderful we all add something and really share collected knowledge :) Please Gina, do keep posting about your work and how you have used diff beads and your techniques:)

  4. beautiful work as always Gina. Thanks for the comment on my lazy daisys, they are so simple yet so lovely. Have a great sunday. Karen

  5. Thank you for sharing this! It's nice to see the comparison.

  6. Hi Gina, I am using delica beads at the moment to add to some size 40 thread. I am using a size 15 mini crochet hook from Handy Hands to add the beads to picots for joining. I will have to post a picture of the earrings to my blog for you.

  7. Thanks for the comparison. I am one of those reluctant to use beads - but I'm thinking I'll be taking the plunge soon. I feel like I should be trying to perfect my tatting first - I have so many new techniques, but none really down pat :) Yet.

  8. What a great post to-day! Thanks, Gina. The pic of the shuttle and the beads spoke louder to me than anything I have yet seen. Very helpful.
    ♥ Fox : )

  9. I love using beads in tatting and have fun trying all sizes but your scan has really helped to identify them. Those oak leaves look great, clever pattern, well done Kaye and Gina!

  10. Wonderful photos, comparisons and explanations! I'm always amazed at the excellent info you provide on your blog. In the not-so-long ago, we had to buy expensive magazines to get this kind of information.

    Thanks so much for all your efforts! No doubt you're just as thorough on your job!

    The oak leaf looks GREAT in that unknown thread! It will be interesting to see the dyed one. Another adventure where you do all the work and we get to sit back and enjoy the ride!

  11. I'm so glad this is helpful. I remember when I initially started researching beads to be surprised at how much I didn't know. Now I'm itching to do some beading in addition to tatting...and stitching...and knitting...and crochet...and painting. :-)

  12. Bluebird - I forgot I wanted to point out that the Beginner's Beaded Blossom Brooch was designed especially for that class I taught. The beads are strung on the shuttle thread and then used two different ways, by including the beads in the ring thread wrapped around the hand and slid into place where picots normally go or by sliding them from the shuttle as needed. Each method has a distinct look. I'll post about some of them next week.

  13. Thanks for sharing and I like the oak leaf!

  14. Thanks for the information on the beads Gina. I love that little seahorse pattern and have made it many times.

    Kaye did an excellent job on the design of this oak leaf. I especially like it in the color you used. Is that Autumn Spice Lizbeth? That is my new favorite color.

  15. Hey, Gina,
    Found myself back on this page, as I am tying to find the spider pattern and then I noticed the leaf... in orange and yellow... It is beautiful! I am enamoured with it. ( I have been looking at it for MINUTES!) Though I'd leave a note as I am here! Have a good day!
    Fox : )


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