Saturday, July 30, 2011

#15 of 25 Motif Challenge

Yes! I'm still plugging away at this! For new readers, I'm participating in the 25 Motif Challenge hosted by Sharon Briggs. The idea is to tat 25 motifs of your choice within the span of a year. No penalties if you don't but many rewards when you do. It's one way to focus, to improve your tatting skills and to just have fun. So many people think they don't tat much but when you record your tatting, as you do in the Challenge, you might be surprised to see how much you really accomplish.

For this challenge, I'm going through the D.M.C. Tatting publication which can be found in the Antique Pattern Library. If you do a search in the left sidebar for "25 Motif Challenge", you will find my prior posts in this and the previous challenge I participated in.

This is figure 12 of Plate 2, an edging made up of a ring with 9 picots spaced with 2 ds between. Then a chain comes around with small rings thrown off and is joined in the middle of the ring picots.

As usual, I'm tatting the first sample in size 20 DMC Special Cordonnet. This is actually my second sample. In the first one, I left out the chain 4 between the large rings and then I tried to tat across where the crochet header is and it looked all wrong. Boo! Hiss!

So I did it again, the right way. (and still made a mistake in joining to the first ring!) I used a size 50 DMC thread for the crocheted header. The instructions say to treble in the picots but falling back on what I know of old crochet terms, this is really supposed to be a double crochet. I wish now I'd only single crocheted as it does set the header a bit high. There was supposed to be a chain 5 after the double crochets and then treble crochet at the base of the large ring and again at the join of the previous ring. This was too long and really bowed up so I shortened it to 4 chain stitches between. I could have made the treble another loop longer too but considering my previous samples, I was happy with this one. I used a size 12 steel crochet hook and this made the stitches tighter. As in previous headers, the next row is double crochet, skip 1 stitch, double crochet all the way across.

Here's a numbered scan. You start with the large ring, (2-)9X, 2, close ring. Make the 5th picot smaller since it is a joining picot. Reverse work, chain 3-4, switch working shuttles so you are using the ball shuttle and tat a ring of 6 ds, close the ring and switch shuttles back so you can chain 3. Repeat for 2 more small rings, chain 4-3, join to the 5th picot of the large ring, chain 4, then reverse work and start all over.

I bought these pillowslips at Walmart a few months ago with the intention of tatting or crocheting edgings on them. I've started tatting figure 12 but I'm using Josephine Knots instead of regular rings. I sort of wish I stayed with the regular rings since they go faster but I also wanted to see if they looked any different. I will not put a header on this and I may only put it on the stitching line of the hem. I've only got about 10" done of the 40" needed for one pillowcase. This is Lizbeth thread, size 20. I have another ball of variegated that coordinates with this one and may tat a simple edging if I put this one on the hem line.

And yes, I still have the flower edging for the blouse sleeves to work on. I've had it in my binder to show and tell at various times so I'll take it out and start working on it again, along with the pillowslip trim and the secret project I haven't shown yet. I DO like to have lots of projects going on at the same time but I have to watch that I don't neglect some and then forget what I was doing!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Beautiful Gift!

I've been saving this post so that I would have time to fit it in my header in a way that showed it off the best.

I got home from work Monday to find an unexpected envelope from Wendy at Umi n Tsuru. Wendy has surprised me before and I'm always amazed at her talent and generosity. I knew she had some giveaways going on but had not participated. When I opened the envelope, I literally gasped at what was inside. If you knew me well, you would know that's very very rare for me. It's extremely difficult to truly surprise me but I certainly was this time!

Wendy remembered I'd said I liked drawn thread embroidery on hankies and she found this beautiful example of it. I have many with a corner embellished with drawn thread work but none where it is in EVERY corner and all the way around! On top of that, she tatted this gorgeous edging from a pattern in Susanne Schwenke's book in what has to be at least size 40 thread and perhaps even finer. The tatting is perfect and it complements the hanky design beautifully! It was for my birthday which was the day before so she couldn't have timed it any better!

You might remember I recently tatted this doily and mentioned wanting to frame it. fits perfectly in the center of this hanky so I'm going to frame them together. I am absolutely thrilled with this.

Fox and a few others have commented lately on the generosity of the tatting community and I, too, have felt it and noted it time and again. I've received so many lovely things not only in recent weeks but also in all the years I've been tatting and involved in the online community. Thank you everyone!

And a Special Thanks to Wendy for this precious gift!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am so sick of this heat. We had a break on Sunday but it's gotten hotter and muggier each day so that we are right back where we were last week. And the week before. And the week before. It has been relentless! The forecast isn't very promising either. I have enough AC to keep comfortable as long as I don't get too physical. I've had to be out several times during the day at work this week and by the end of the day, I feel like a wrung-out dishrag! I'm grateful for the air conditioning more than ever before.

Last night was Bobbin Lace night after skipping two weeks. I started this the last time and hadn't even taken the pillow out of the bag. For some reason though, I took the instructions out and forgot to bring them so I was winging the 2nd half last night. I actually like it better than the first half even if the sewings aren't the best.

I had to show this sweet birdie paperclip I received as a gift. Now...if I could only remember where it came from! I got an awful lot of stuff close together so it could have been a vendor OR it could have come from someone else. I know it was in an envelope with something else. If you sent it to me, please let me know! I think it's sweet!

I stopped in at Goodwill this evening, just in case there was something special I could get with my 30% off discount. I found this painted caddy which works perfectly for the table next to my tatting chair to help me get organized. I may paint it another color but I wanted to make sure it would fit.

And here is the lovely orchid my sister got me for my birthday. I've never had an orchid before. Let's hope I don't kill it. I have so many trees around me that I don't get much sunlight anywhere in the house. That's why I take all my plants to work!

I have another really precious gift but I'm trying to figure out how I can fit it in my header so I need a not-hot day where I'm not wrung out by the heat. I'm off Friday so that might be the day! In the meantime, you'll have to guess. Sniffle, sniffle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Attaching Tatting to Fabric

An anonymous commenter signed the name "mic" to their comment which follows:

i have a question and it might sound odd ... but how do you attach your tatting? i've been working on an edging for my god daughter's dress and i can't think of how to attach it. i was thinking sewing it down by hand but i'm not sure that would be the best choice ... i'd greatly appreciate any pointers you could give :)thank you

I'd rather answer the question in an email but since there is none, I'll answer on the blog and hope mic sees it.

I prefer to sew edgings on but some people tat them on. I use the edge of the folded over or hemmed fabric and use a sort of blind stitch like you do when you hand-hem something. I catch the tatting no less than every 1/4" if it's a chain edge, but otherwise, I like to catch the picots when the needle comes out of the fabric. You'll need to use the same color thread or invisible thread.

It depends on the depth of the edging as well as the design. If it's a very simple edging, you might pin it to the surface right at the edge and put a ribbon or cord or other decorative cord on top of the very edge, stitching both down at once. I really think hand-sewing is the better way to go though. Maybe if I saw a sample of the lace I could give better suggestions.

A google search turned up a discussion at InTatters:

You may have to join to see it but it's free and a very good group.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting up to speed with posts!

I've been so busy the past two weeks that I couldn't post about everything but I'm trying to catch up today. I picked up my fair entries last Friday night.

I really think you've seen everything before in single posts.

The woman who was processing the checkout told me the judge (or someone) was intrigued by the pinwheel purse. I forgot I'd stuck a dime in there so that seemed to delight her too. It's cute, but hard to get folded back up properly.

Last week I also received this lovely novelty ribbon yarn necklace from Gail M, one of the thread winners.

I had to try it both ways but I think the first one is the correct way.

Anika just moved and is without a regular internet connection right now but she sent me two samples of her dyed thread. I had already started to unwind one skein when I remembered to take a photo!

Here's more test tatting for Martha Ess. I used Anika's thread for one sample. It's currently named the Broomstick Snowflake but that may change before the book is done. This is the time of tweaking and testing! I love the design of this one.

Val from Singapore sent me a sample of this lovely thread that I had commented on. I'm intrigued especially by the black and white and wonder how it will tat up.

She included this embroidered hanky that I love and a beautifully tatted cross all because the first thread samples got lost in the mail. I certainly didn't expect anything extra since this was a gift to begin with! Thank you Val, Anika and Gail!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Old Git

I've had a couple of very busy weeks. The first one involved farm inspections and took me out of town. It was fun, though work related and a nice break. But the real fun was this week!

Some of you may remember my escapade with co-hort Gail Owens back in August of 2009. We kidnapped Jane Eborall and showed her the town! So when the opportunity came up again, we were all primed to say the least.

Unfortunately, Gail had to bow out at the last minute due to work commitments. We missed her. A lot. I'm not from Ohio so I had to do some google scrambling to find some places to take Jane to. She mentioned wanting to go to a Michael's and Hobby Lobby. I found them both as well as some other places to spend our time and attention in!

You won't believe this but I DID have my camera with me. I was just having such a good time that I forgot to take photos and so did Jane! She did snap one of me as I left her off though. So this is from 2009 but truly, she looks the same. I don't think she ever ages!

I was anxious to see her because (one reason) I wanted her to see this bag. She gave it to me in the last visit and the reason it's so special, besides being from Jane, is because it says "Gina Collection" on the front and she brought it all the way from the UK for me!

Oh, here's a better picture of the bag. I haven't put much tatting on it yet, but it's a start. If you check out Jane's blog for 2009, you'll find she initially bought one of these for herself in a different color and decorated it with tatting. I just want motifs that have blue in them so there aren't a lot yet. Plus...they're kind of hard to sew on. The fabric is like heavy nylon and the needle wouldn't always cooperate.

So I picked Jane up at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Last time we did this, my tom-tom had me and Gail in an entirely different place! I got it right this time and she was only 2 1/2 miles from my hotel so I could't get too lost.

The two stores she wanted to go to were less than a half hour away so off we went, after all the proper hello's and promises I would bring her back. Our first stop was at a Michael's Crafts. I'd printed out coupons. Yay! Coupons! These were 25% off the entire purchase, including items already on sale! We spent a good hour there, I think. Jane was looking for some specific jewelry findings. She found some, but not one she had bought before. I managed to find a few good deals myself, even though I have easy access to Michael's at home and what could I possibly need?

The whole week has been well over 90ºF so you can imagine the feel of the Sahara each time we returned to the car! It barely cooled before we got to Hobby Lobby! Again, I had coupons! These were 40% off but didn't include sale items. Hobby Lobby is quite large compared to Michael's so it took us awhile in there too. After we left there, we thought we were stopping at a JoAnn Fabrics but it turned out the store wasn't opening until August 7th! Boo!
I needed a few things (forgot my deoderant when I packed) so we stopped in at a Walmart. Walmarts are usually laid out exactly the same, though the floor plan may be reversed in some stores, but this one was different so it took me awhile to find what I wanted.

I'd seen a Half-Price Bookstore along the same road which is one of my favorite places to go to for used books and even new ones so we stopped there. I got a book on buttons that I will probably use in a program with my lace guild and Jane browsed. This was a smaller store and the area around the "clearance" was congested and hard to see. Not much there in the area of crafts anyway. So we went on.

My purchases!

By this time, between the heat and the shopping, I think we were flagging - and hungry - so we ate lunch at Panera's. Jane graciously bought my lunch, a wonderful strawberry poppyseed salad. Thank you again Jane! She was done shopping, had everything she wanted, so we went to my hotel to really visit. Jane has been a dear friend for a long time and it's really a treat to get to sit down and talk in person instead of emails back and forth.

I brought lots of show and tell, easier to do when you're driving a few hours away compared to flying thousands of miles, but Jane had show and tell too, so we spent a goodly amount of time sharing. It's always even more interesting when you can see something and touch it compared to reading about it on a blog. And we had gifts for each other. The gift of company is enough, absolutely, but it's nice to have a little something to remember the visit by.

Of course, no photos of the wrappings - you really didn't think I'd take the time to find my camera at this point, did you? See this cute little carrying bag Jane stitched? Everything was in the bag but the wrappings are long gone now! The thread is Coates, size 20. We can't get this size of Coates thread here without ordering overseas so I'm especially happy with that. I have a few balls from my previous travels and none are these colors.

See the little British Bobby guarding the thread? There's also a pendant tatted by Jane herself - she was wearing one too and brought others for show and tell. There's a button fob - not for buttons but made of buttons and very clever. Someone else made that and I have the business card if I want more. Then the fob Jane made with my name on it. Guess where it went?

Yep, on the Gina bag!

So then we chit-chatted back and forth for what seemed like not very long but suddenly we realized it was 7:00 p.m.! We gathered things up and I took her back "home". I have to tell you, the dog Buster really really likes me. LOL! I think he would have jumped up in my arms if he hadn't been so short, but instead he jumped up on the sofa next to where I was standing and licked me to death with kisses! He's a cutie.

And so...another grand adventure ended. Pictureless, but not without great memories! I hope the rest of Jane's visitors have as great of a time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Amusement Doily Pattern copyright of "Creations by Celtess" 1970 -?- This is all that was on my printout. I don't know if you can find it on the internet still.

Thread is Summer Trail size 20 by Yarnplayer. I also used a bit of Omega Peach in size 30 to separate the rounds.

I have wanted to tat this pattern for years. Seriously - years. I love this thread. I will probably frame it and hang it on the wall.

I've had a few days of vacation visiting with friends. I'll tell you all about it in the next post.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

If you've been reading Martha's blog you know she's been playing and coming up with patterns for a new book. I was fortunate enough to test tat the one she has shown on her blog.

It's an easy tat and quick to work up in an hour or so. Just because it's quick and easy doesn't mean there isn't something new there. You get to play with a new technique and I think you'll enjoy it.

I had to run to the post office yesterday morning so I decided to pop by the fairgrounds and see how my entries made out and check out what else was in. I had eight entries, including some bobbinlace, crochet and embroidery. All were blue ribbons, firsts, except two which were red. One was a bobbinlace bookmark. The other was a pincushion with tatting on it. The big ribbons went to members in my lace guild for bobbinlace and knitting so I was happy. I tried to make my entries focus on contemporary tatting - something to appeal to the newer generations. There was some tatting from people outside our guild so it's nice to know there are more tatters in the county! I'm going to be out of town part of the week and I don't know if I'll get back in time to take photos. Probably not.

Speaking of County Fairs, my sister and I have both been going through boxes that include things from both our parents estates. I came across this blue ribbon that my mom won in 1947. She was a junior in high school, just turned 17 a few months before.

On the back of the ribbon it says it was in the Clothing III category and it was a sunback dress. I sure wish I had a photo of that dress but I don't. I don't even know what color it was or anything about it. She used to talk about their Home Ec teacher though, how she would make them pick every stitch with a pin before pressing to make the seam lay right. Apparently they had to rip a lot of stitches out too. Even though she sighed and grumbled about it, it was clear that she admired that teacher for making them do things the right way. Not that she continued to do it herself......but she did encourage me to make the effort to learn detailed finishes myself. I don't sew much anymore but I sure do notice tailoring or lack of tailoring on ready-made clothing!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The summer I was 17, Tommy James and the Shondells were ONE of my favorites.

I remember all the hot starry nights. Fair time, carnivals, sweet corn, innocent dreams of hanky-panky.

What's all that got to do with a tatting blog?'s birthday is coming I got myself a birthday present.

Ever since I saw Shirley's shuttle made from a record, I had an idea brewing in my head. See...I still have my old 45 records from back then. How about if I had a shuttle made from a special record?

Shirley kindly agreed to make one so I sent her "I Think We're Alone Now". Great idea, huh? Except the 45's are thinner than the bigger records and she ran into a few problems.

Even so, she made me a shuttle. And THEN she made me another shuttle from a regular record AND a thread holder from my own record, plus she sent the rest of it back to me! How's that for customer service?

It's unlikely I'll tat with it on a regular basis but I sincerely appreciate her added effort to make me happy. I absolutely love it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beyond My Garden Gate

On Saturday I met up with my sister and her husband and went out to Delphi, Indiana to a new tea room. The owner is Julia who has a lovely space on the courthouse square which she has named Beyond My Garden Gate and there is, indeed, a lovely black wrought iron gate inside that you pass by. They're right next to the Opera House which the town is trying to restore.

My sister and her husband picked a Sampler Plate but I was hungry so I had the Garden Lunch. It was a half a hot Black Forest Ham Sandwich on raisin bread, like a panini sandwich, with a salad of Spring Greens. There was also a bowl of Tomato Basil soup, very thick and tasty. I loved it! I got the half-sandwich plate so that I would have room for dessert which was a lemon curd cake. Oh...I nearly forgot - they gave us scones with lemon curd as we decided what to order and those were so good!

My choice of tea was Gunpowder-Spearmint which I got iced on request. My sister had the Moroccon Mint tea, also iced and I think it was just a little stronger than mine. Rich got the iced Chai tea. I had hoped for the Ginger-Blood Orange-Berry tea but it wasn't available that day.

If you have a chance to pass through Delphi, Indiana, I hope you make time to stop by there. Lots of paintings on the walls too by local artists.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I finished this up Sunday evening. I had pinned the rosettes so they overlapped a bit but when it came to sewing them down, it just didn't seem to be working so they are spread out more than I wanted. If I'd known I was going to end up doing this, I probably would have made the picots shorter. I did use a picot gauge but you can see they are consistently longer on one side of the split ring than the other.

The beads are metallic beads and the magenta are closer in color to the thread than the green is. The green looks fine in person but they tend to look gray in the photos. I added three beads in the center of each rosette as I stitched it to the headband.

Here it is on a mannequin - much easier to photograph than when it is on me! Headbands are one thing I CAN wear with my fine hair and it doesn't fall off.

A fun tat, but time to move on to the other projects!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Thread Giveaway is over now. Winners have been notified. #1 a) Laivine (#15) b) Margie (#12); #2 Shannon(#11); #3 to Gail (#33). Congratulations to all! I have either sent you an email or commented on your blog.


Three little motifs I've been tatting to add to something else. The thread is Omega size 30 and the beads are seed beads size 11/0. I don't especially like tatting with Omega. It's a "dry" thread that doesn't slide as smoothly as others, probably because it is a 3 cord thread without a tight twist or finish. I really did like these popping colors though so bought them at the IL Lace Day for that reason alone.

Here's another part of the final item. This actually started out as a variation of figure 10 of my 13th motif in the 25 motif challenge. You can see the bookmark I started off with in this thread HERE and this led to tatting this segment but my original idea was to make the picots longer, as I did here, and then cross them when I tatted the chain.

But then I went off on another tangent and abandoned the chain altogether! I'll show this later when it's all finished. In the meantime, I hope the cheery colors rub off on you if you need it!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

#14 of 25 Motif Challenge!

Go HERE for the thread giveaway which ends July 10th!

Yay! I got a new haircut and my new contacts! My old contacts didn't fit right and my eyes were itching and burning so much last winter that I stopped wearing them. I've worn contacts since I was 14 years old and I'm glad to have a good fitting pair again.

Our county fair is coming up so I need to send in the registration form by the end of the week. I'll be at some farm inspections next Tuesday and Wednesday. Then the following week I'll be out of town again for 3 days.

Last night was bobbinlace night and I started a butterfly but only got half done. When I got home I finished this little knitted pinwheel box/purse, a free pattern on Ravelry. She has a double pinwheel purse pattern too, which I just found tonight. It has some secret pockets and is a bit bigger. it's cute if not terribly practical.

After the pinwheel purse was blocking, I started figure #11 in the DMC Tatting publication.

Row one was EASY-PEASY! Rings of 5-3-3-5. The directions say to make long picots so I did, longer than my usual picots anyway, and it certainly helped space the rings better.

Row two was easy too and I could have happily stopped here. The little rings are 5, join, 5. The chains alternate with 8ds followed by 2-2-2-2-2-2 ds (5 picots separated by 2 ds). I sometimes forgot to make the small ring join in the same place as the last one before tatting one for the next picot but I always remembered before I actually made the join.

I've noticed the directions will use the = sign when transitioning from rings to chains and back. I'm not sure why. They usually say to turn the work and they will say which shuttle to use which implies rings if it's the right-hand shuttle ( or single shuttle) or chains if it's the left-hand shuttle. I guess they didn't have left-handed tatters back then. Maybe they got their knuckles rapped for tatting left-handed like children learning to print did.

So tonight I finished the last bit...not crocheted, just couldn't bring myself to try that again, but I tatted a lockstitch chain across the top. It doesn't really do what the crocheted header would do and you can see the bare thread space so I guess my brain couldn't get too imaginative.

This is how lame I am tonight. I draped the piece over my wrist and imagined it as a bracelet. LOL! Perhaps later I will actually tat something else from the pattern and I do really like it but I'm two projects behind already and decided this is good for now. I think I might tat a chain instead of the bare thread space in the first row if I tat it again. A chain with a picot in the middle of it would give something to stitch onto an edge. It IS an edging, after all.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Thread Giveaway!

The Giveaway is now closed! Winners have been notified. #1 a) Laivine (#15) b) Margie (#12); #2 Shannon(#11); #3 to Gail (#33).

Before I get into the details of this giveaway, I want to give you some background. A few months ago now, I got an email from a woman asking me if I was interested in her mother's tatting supplies. Her mother passed away last October and she herself did not tat but she wanted the goods to go to a good home. I agreed to take them and to find a good home for them. I pretty much have all the thread and books I want but I'm always happy to find ways to pass on what was loved and appreciated by the owner.

You might remember this has happened before. I've given away a lot of what I've received from Jane Smith's daughter and there was another woman who sent me several crochet magazines from her mother that I've only partly found homes for so far. So I want to tell you a little about this latest gifting because I think it's always more meaningful when you know something about the owner and the history of the materials.

Carol Louise Odendahl Moser was born on April 6, 1930 and passed on at the age of 80 on October 14, 2010. She lived in Texas and I suspect a few readers might have known her although I understand she didn't use the computer much and didn't participate in any online groups or exchanges that her daughter knew of. Her three children miss her very much. She was married for 60 years to James Moser. I believe he passed on before her.

She started and directed a handbell choir for approximately 20 years and loved music as the above picture testifies. She also researched geneology and put together several books related to the family history.

She was much appreciated in the family for tatting booties for every one of her 12 grandchildren. She tatted doilies and various other pieces including an unfinished tablecloth, pictured above, that she worked on for years. Her daughter has kept it.

I really appreciate this opportunity to find a new life for thread, shuttles, and books that belonged to a woman who loved tatting!

These giveaways will be for the thread only as that is all I've sorted out so far. These are the small balls of tatting cotton, probably size 70. This photo is of the full complete balls that are duplicates and I've divided them into two bags, the same thread in each bag, so there there will be TWO giveaways for this batch, 10 balls in each bag. This is giveaway #1.

I know this isn't the sharpest photo but these were all the full complete (or nearly so) balls that were the only ones in each color. This will be another giveaway, #2.

And then I have ONE more giveaway - which is all the leftover thread. Much of it is used on each ball and I don't know how old it is. I may have removed a few that were in this photo too but this is basically what is included. This will be #3.

I've been debating on how to do this giveaway because postage costs keep going up and I have more giveaways planned related to this group of goods. For this one, I'm still leaving it open to overseas tatters and I will stay pay the postage. I do ask that you be an active tatter however.

In the future, especially when it comes to books, I will ask for reimbursement on the postage, but I do want to leave it open to internationals and I want the recipients to be tatters.

So...leave a comment and indicate which giveaway you are most interested in. I will sort out those who want #1 or #2 and do a random drawing for those separately but I will include all comments for #3 unless you indicate you are not interested in #3. As I stated before, you must be an active tatter. You must also leave some way to contact you if your email is not accessible on your blog profile. I'm not wanting to be mean or unreasonable but I really don't have time to hunt anyone down.

The drawing will be next Sunday, July 10th, since I know a lot of people vacation during the 4th of July holiday for a week or two, so this gives everyone a good opportunity to get in on it. I will have to be out of town for my work a few days that following week and probably will not be able to mail the packages until the end of the week.

If you like fine threads or just want to try them out, this is the giveaway for you!

Happy 4th of July to all of us in the US. Let Freedom Ring!