Tuesday, September 18, 2012

State Fair

The State Fair is over and I'm starting on entries for next year.  So far what I have are really ambitious ideas!

I demonstrated tatting at the Bonneville Tatters table in the Home Arts building four times during the Fair:  twice with Tonya, another Bonneville Tatters member, and once with my sister and my niece (and once with Judy, but I don't have a picture with her).  My sister has been tatting for 5 days (not all this year!), and when we went to tat on the last day of the Fair, my niece, who is ten, had been tatting for about 2 hours.  She made a lot of little short chains -- she called them worms.  Some guy asked her what their names were.  She gave him a strange look then said, "Wormy and WormyTwo."  She proudly placed them under the clear plastic cover on our table with all the other tatting bits and bobs.

This is the first year I've entered as "Advanced Amature" -- according to the Fair rules after entering for five years you've got to move up.  I did it a year early because I figured if I was going to enter stuff I'd designed, that had to be advanced.   I entered eleven pieces of tatting and came home with nine first-place blue ribbons and two second-place red ribbons.  It cost me $11 to enter, and I also came home with a check for $31.  Not a high-paying proposition, but certainly a lot of fun.

 The ornaments and the butterfly are the same ones I entered in the County Fair, but I had to add a bookmark tail to the butterfly to enter it in the State Fair.  I added a coil-less safety pin to the back of the Grapes from Karey Soloman's class at Shuttlebirds to qualify it for the wearable (flat) tatting category.

There are more categories in the state than the county, so I made some new things for the State this year.  In the jewelry category I entered a necklace and matching earrings which are really Patti Duff's lanyard pattern with smaller thread and bigger beads.  I found these beads that look like crumpled tinfoil, and really like the way they turned out.    For the Halloween suncatcher, I used the center of Linda Davies' new Classic Doily fitted into a bangle with black thread.  Then with invisible thread (it was 3:00 in the morning on entry day!) I sewed on my Ripley the Ghost made from Jeff's Hamilton's pattern. (Thanks so much for sharing, Jeff!)   It turned out really well (especially for 3:00 in the morning).

The other new things I entered were a Tatted card (I sewed the Celtic motif on a card with invisible thread about 2:30 in the morning), and the swirled square motif I made up a few months ago.  The comment I got on the card was that white on white was not a good idea (lots of things seem like good ideas at 2:30 in the morning), and it was not evenly blocked -- too true.  The comments on the motif were that I pulled some of the rings too tight.  It probably looks a little warped, but second place is still cool.

The Classic Doily by Linda Davies that I test-tatted for her was large enough to enter in the centerpiece category.  It was very well received by the judges -- they like classic and white, and they liked the pattern of this doily.  Thanks, Linda!  I also entered the two-toned purple doily in the "doily" category.  Unfortunately the pretty sunset doily I entered in the County Fair was in the same category as the purple one in the State Fair and it's one entry per category.  I would have entered the other as an edging, but the only edgings categories are for hankies and pillowcases.  (Gotta get working on those for next year).

The lovely Utahraptor got a nice blue ribbon.  I got a note on that one, too.  It said if I'd done a better display it would have been considered for sweepstakes.  Well, rats.  I didn't do this display.  The people who took in entries at the fair pinned it to this board with big "T" pins -- I didn't have any choice in the matter (boy do I sound grumpy and unappreciative and sour-grapeish or what?!).  Anyway, next year I need to make a stegosaurus and put it on a proper display board with invisible thread, not with "T" pins. 

Finally, there's my lone piece of crochet.  I chose the pineapple doily after fussing about it for a while.  Pineapples are my favorites, after all.

There now.  Aren't you glad I'm done blathering?

Oops, not done -- someone asked if there were any categories I didn't enter.  Yes.  I didn't enter the ones with the red "x" on them in this list.  I need to get busy if I'm going to enter in every category next year!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Duded Doodads

Certainly not a pair!  I thought to do something asymmetrical with my Doodads from Diane.  My first thought didn't work out so well.  It's lots of little picot-flowers in metallic thread that I had intended to turn into earrings -- so they looked like flowers growing up one side of the earring.  Well, I couldn't keep track of what I was doing (too many picots! -- because the flowers are a bunch of picots on a ring on top of picots on a chain).  When I was done it just looked like a jumble of thread.   Besides that, no way could I make two look alike.

I made a pendant with the other one, but it looks a little skimpy.  It's the motif I was working on in this post, without it's final round -- there wasn't enough thread on my shuttles for that.  I did add the one ring to use to attach it to a jump ring and a chain.

On top of everything else -- I can't get blogger to add the other picture.  I've tried about six (okay so it was really 14 -- who wants to admit to being that dimly persistent?) times and all that shows up is a little square.  If I look close I think it's giving me a raspberrrrrrry!  I'll try adding it again later.  Maybe I can fool it into thinking I'm somebody else.  I think it's mad at me.  

It likes me again!  You'd think I sent it a present or something...

P.S.  A couple of people have asked about the pattern for the swirled, warped, twisted (whatever) square on the second motif.  I don't have a pattern, but I do have a diagram -- however, right now it only has pencil notes on direction and stitch counts.  Since someone is interested if you'll give me a few days, I'll post the pattern -- with and without the third round. -- I've put it away somewhere safe, so I'm still looking.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nightmare or Dream?

At the suggestion of my family (well, parts of it anyway), this post again has no pictures.  There's no way I know to do a photograph of a dream.   At least, I think it was a dream -- maybe it was a nightmare.  Anyway, I dreamed I tatted a salad.  Yeah, a salad.  A bowl on a plate, which looked like doilies stiffened to a fare-thee-well.  The bowl was filled with chunks of green joined split rings representing lettuce, little bits of yellow lock chain for cheese, round red tomatoes slices with beads for seeds, round orange bits for carrot slices, and little round pearl onions.  I know who to blame for the tomatoes and onions:  Debbie Arnold at DS9Designs.  I guess the rest came from a sick mind, because I am not in the process of making a tatted salad.  Really.  I'm not.  Maybe...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

State Fair Entry Day

We took all our "Home Arts" and "Creative Arts" items to enter in the State Fair today.  (Sounds better than saying all our stuff.)  I had a 2.5 hour lunch because it took so long to get them entered.  They write all the tags by hand and some of them write really slowly.  I looked around at the other entries while I was waiting -- okay, not looked around, peered over the barrier of tables to see what might be visible.  I think there are a couple of things I entered I should have just left home.  I dunno 'bout y'all, but my mind gets weird at 3:00 in the morning and thinks things look lots better than they do! 
I entered eleven home arts items, 10 tatted and one crocheted.  There are a few I entered in the State that I didn't enter in the County Fair (those 3:00 in the morning ones, and a couple of others).  I don't have any pictures to show -- that'll have to wait until the 8th when I go to the Fair and see the results.  This is just a little panic blurb...gaaakkkk-- what if they're all really bad?  This is the first year I've entered as Advanced Amature (the next step is professional and I don't make a living on this stuff!).  What's the standard?  Is it that much higher than Amature?  I don't know.  It just seemed silly to not use the Advanced when at least three of the things I entered were my own patterns, ya know?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Again with the Split Chains

Another bit of a doily from all that split chain practice I've been doing.  As you can see -- I've got a center I really like.  This one has some picots all connected together in the center, which makes it appear a bit ...well... off-center.  It's made with two strands of a blue ombre hand-quilting thread wound together on the shuttles.  This one has been done for a while.  I was going to enter it in the State Fair, but it is an inch over the size for a coaster (5 inches) so I had to choose between this one and the purple one.  I think the purple one looks more finished (even though I can't find the light purple to edge it).  The last time I entered something done with an ombre thread the judges said the color made it look fuzzy or out of focus or something. 

Anyway, my aunt admired this when I was working on it.  I told her she could have it when it was done -- after the fair.  Now that it's not going in the fair, I think I will send it off to her.

Hmmmmm...perhaps I should make some pattern notes first, eh?  This is another that did whatever the shuttles thought they could manage, and I didn't write any of it down.  If I send it away, I'll never be able to make another.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fair's end

The only other things I entered this year were not tatted.  I entered these two crocheted doilies:

Now I have to decide which to enter in the state fair, because they turned out to both be in the same size category and I can only enter one in each category at the state.  Which do you think I should enter?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fair Again

Two colors of purple Lizbeth size 20 thread and Marie Smith's method of doing split chains resulted in this doily:
The center is the same as a number of others I have sitting around the house -- I did a lot of testing on this split chain thing!  I'd get something I rather liked then start over and somewhere along the line think, "Oh, wait, I could change this bit -- that would be better for this round."  Yes, but once one round changed, all the others after it had to as well.  I didn't write down a pattern either.  *sigh* 

I had intended to make another round (of however wide I could get it without breaking the thread ) in the light purple.  I lost the ball of thread.  I looked everywhere I could think of -- though I will admit I didn't look in the fridge or the toilet tank.  (Maybe I'll check those tonight.)  Anyway, being frustrated by the thread I stopped and blocked it.  Must be okay, because it got a blue ribbon and a high blue (considered for sweepstakes) ribbon.  That made me laugh, because I don't like this doily nearly as well as some others I've made, but it is the one that blocked the best! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Still Fair

These earrings are my first try at Beanile lace tatting.  I used one of Nina Libin's free patterns.  They're made with Oren Bayan silver metallic thread and forty-bazillion size 11 blue glass seed beads.  I had to change the top a bit to get them to work on my "mommy earwires" (which are not wire, but nylon). 

As you can see, I got a nice second place ribbon for them.  The comment card said "beading should lay flat, so work is too tight"  Yes, I wondered about that.  I seem to have to add a stitch or two here and there to various patterns to get them to lay flat.  That or block the bejabbers out of 'em.  These I didn't block at all, so I think I'll be taking them off the card, blocking, then putting them back on the card for the state fair.  Unless I find a spare few hours to make new and better ones (as if).

They're pretty, though, aren't they?  Just say "Yes!"  :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

More Fair

All these things I entered in the County Fair have been blog-posted during the past year, so I'm sticking them all together here.
The Utahraptor and Fantasy Tree are those I made for the Shuttlebirds convention.  Both got first place blue ribbons, but the Utahraptor also got a "high blue" (considered for sweepstakes) ribbon and a Judge's Choice ribbon.  I'm so vain -- I love getting the big ribbons!


The butterfly I made from Anne Bruvold's Christmas hearts got a blue ribbon, too.  These are such perfect little hearts (not bragging on my tatting -- bragging on Anne's pattern!) .  Depending on the categories at the State Fair (have to remember to look!), I might have to put a tail on it and call it a bookmark.  Since I can only enter one thing in each category in the State Fair, I can't put the dinosaur and the butterfly in unless one of them fits somewhere besides "other".

These are seven of the Christmas ornaments I made using Jon Yusoff's snowflake patterns, and some little bits of fillers of one kind or another (one went to the marvelous Jeff).  I entered them as a set and ended up with a sweepstakes ribbon!  It made me laugh, though:  the comment card said "Nice even loops, nice way to display" -- so I got a ribbon for display, or for tatting?  Which ever, I have to thank Jon for such lovely patterns.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

County Fair

Fair season is just plain fun.  I like entering my bits and pieces in the fair -- it's the one bit of exhibitionism I engage in (no need to actually show your face in public).  The County Fair is especially fun.   There are no entrance fees, so there are no prizes except ribbons (well, okay, Best of Show gets something else -- this year it was a large glass compote bowl).  Everyone is allowed to enter two things in each category.  I entered two in every tatting category except table runner.  I don't have tables that run.  It's hard to take pictures of the stuff at the fair because they put the tatting in a glass case, or on a table behind the glass case.
I'm showing this one first, because I have to say "Thanks!" again to Jess.  On the judge's card was the comment "Love the colors!"  Yeah, me too.  This is what I did with the Sunset thread and doily Jess dyed:
I made up the edging based on all the other split chain pieces I've been experimenting with for a month or so.  It looked a little odd stuck out there on the edge, so I wound some size 40 peach colored thread, onto a bent paper clip for a shuttle and did the little short arches woven in and out of the edging legs (as if that makes sense).  I also used the peach thread to make another round on the edging (there wouldn't have been enough of the Sunset to do another edging round).  It turned out icky looking so I cut it off.  I'm glad I didn't use the rest of the Sunset after all.  That would have been such a waste.  This one is going back in my tatting drawer until time for entries in the State Fair -- I have confidence in it, because the colors are beautiful.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I won! Wow, did I win!

Jess from Tat-ilicious did a giveaway for a skein of her hand-dyed thread just for selecting colors for a variegate and giving it a name.  I like thread.  I really like hand-dyed thread.  I offered up Susnrise (pale pinks, yellows and oranges).  Oh, my goodness!  Sacrificing a shuttle to the Random Number gods must have worked (I don't think they tat, so they didn't know it was just a Susan Bates aero knockoff).  Anyway, I won!  Jess is very generous, though.  I didn't just win one skein of thread, I got all this stuff:

I could hardly believe it!  There's a skein of Sunrise (size 40) and a little doily center dyed to match.  One skein each of Esmeralda (size 80), and Harvest (size 40), and one sample skein each of Purple Pansy and Queen Anthias (both size 40).  THEN there were little purple beads with two holes, two green rings and two pearly-white ones and two really great square buttons.
I'm rich!  If you'd like some of this thread hop on over to Jess's Etsy shop.

Oh, I didn't get a picture, but both of the girls want the tin it all came it -- Hello Kitty!  I told them when they learn to tat then they could, maybe, have a tatter's-tin.  Until then it's mine, mine, all mine!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Speaking of Split Chains

You can't imagine the delight I felt in figuring out this split chain thing.  I could do them, but I didn't like it -- and only knew one way to make it work so sometimes half my chain was front side and the other half was back side (weird looking). 
I sat down with a shuttle and a bit of left-over thread and made this string of stuff all hooked together with split chains.  Then I hunted up a couple of other shuttles with more left-over thread and made this interesting little motif.  I was disgusted to run out of thread and not be able to find the ball of thread to add more (that pink and blue stuff is here somewhere!). 
Next, I wound on two colors of Sulky and started again.  I did more rows than the first one, but it lost it's definition and started to look very cramped.  I ran out of thread then. Very likely a good thing, because I'd tatted myself into a corner, so to speak, and the rounds were not ending in good places to start a new one.
Somewhere around here is another start but with changes which have, so far, left a bit more defined negative space.  I'll post that another time.  Maybe I could actually write down a pattern instead of just going around and around where ever the shuttles feel like going.  Nah, prob'ly not.  Hmmm...but maybe that second incarnation, as a single motif, would be possible.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Split Chain

If you need to know how to do one, do it well, and do it easily click on over to Le Blog de Frivole!  She has posted two videos of Marie Smith's method -- one for regular tatting and one for fs/bs tatting.  I tried both last night.  Oooooooh, WOW!   This is hands-down the neatest, easiest method I've ever tried.  Even I can't tell which part of the chain was the direct-tatted side on my own work!
Thanks so much for posting this, Frivole, and even more thanks for sharing it, Marie.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Shuttlebirds Class

Actually I took five -- classes that is.  I learned something in all of them -- sometimes it was that I'm all thumbs or can't count or don't know what tension is or that I was wearing my brain backwards (apparently).  What fun! 
Sherry Pence is so patient -- she explained how to make Ruth Perry's mock hairpin lace strip a number of times, and in enough different ways that it finally sunk in.  Mine was just not working out.  Yup.  One of the non-counting moments.  Once I got down the 1 and two and 1 and 1 and two ... or was that three?  Whatever, count correctly, put the picot in the right place et voilĂ !  Putting the strip into a round shouldn't have been at difficult as I made it.  Again -- a non-counting moment -- I missed putting one of the down picots in the center tie.  Had to cut that out and re-tie it.  When I got it all finished, I decided I should probably have either loosened the tension on the outer round or made the picots a bit smaller.  This is as it came off the shuttles.  It might look better if I blocked it.  It's an interesting technique, so I've been thinking about another way to use it.  That's just in the thinking about it stage -- not the doing it stage. 

Krystledawne was such fun as a teacher.  She told us this was an embarrassingly easy pattern.  It turns out looking like something really complicated and so pretty!  I don't have the one I made in class.  It was pink and blue and made for my youngest niece.  Sometime between when I left home, spent a weekend in Spokane and arrived back home, she's gone from the pink phase to the purple one.  *sigh*  I cut all the pink and blue off and made this bracelet from her selected purple -- the same one I used for the mock hairpin lace.  Krystle also told us that picots or beads could be added for a little extra pizazz, so I added these size 11 purple beads so the sides for my niece.  I was lucky to wangle it away from her for the photograph.  She's in the kitchen doing her math homework right now -- and the bracelet is around her ankle.  :)

These little grapes were another real ah-ha! moment.  It couldn't really be that easy, could it?  Nah, it couldn't.  The concept is remarkably easy as Karey Solomon explained it.  She was using a size three thread to show how it worked.  Looked simple for her.  I started over once, and a couple of these are joined a bit oddly, but, I can't tell you how delighted I am with them.  They're grapes -- really! -- don't they look just like grapes?  I don't think I attached the leaf quite correctly, and it, too, might look better for a bit of blocking.  I can see all kinds of applications for this technique.  Isn't it interesting how one person can know making wheels and the alligator join and turn them into this and another person can know the same thing and never put that together?  Aren't we glad there are designers out there?

The fourth class I took was one of Dale Pomeroy's snowflake classes.  The first picture is the one I completed from class (another victim of a person who can't seem to count) and the second one I completed at home.  I really liked the look of this snowflake and wanted to play with those bugle beads.  There were interesting techniques used that I hadn't tried before -- like putting the beads on the thread and sliding them into place then working under the bead for a join that appeared to be a picot join, but which put the bead higher out of the tatting.  Just to see the difference, the one I did at home I did as a regular picot join with the bead added at the time of joining.  It's a very pretty snowflake -- and once, again, would benefit from blocking!

You can see the benefits of my last class with Jessica Spaulding:  Photographing Tatting.  Yup -- not a single one of these was thrown on the scanner and none were taken inside.  Outside in natural sunlight.  Jessica looked at my poor point-and-click camera and said I'd have to do the best I could on automatic.  No f-stop settings or whatever for me.  That's okay, it's what I can afford right now, and it does have a macro setting -- that was good.  She also showed us how to make a light box -- a really inexpensive one with a cardboard box, tissue paper and a piece of poster board.  I haven't done it yet because I'm waiting on a suitable box.  After Christmas we threw out all the spare boxes -- so we could start collecting new ones.  When a good one comes along, I'll save it from the recycling bin and be in business.

Whew!  I really had a great time and feel like I learned a lot of new stuff.  Y'all should come next year -- wouldnt' that be great?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shuttlebirds Fun!

Yeah, it really was.   It would be more fun if it was longer and I got to take more classes.  It's great to learn things -- either a new technique or an old one used a new way or just a really nifty pattern.  The people in Spokane really know how to put together an event.  I know it was a lot of work behind the scenes, but everything ran so smoothly from my perspective -- they made it look easy.  Thanks so much for all your hard work, you Shuttlebirds!

The Retro-tat was fun.  I wasn't signed up, but someone that was couldn't be there, so there was an extra piece to undo.  I'm slower than seven-years-itch, but everyone was slow compared to Jessica!  I didn't do the Tat-off.  I like to stop and admire what I'm doing and stretch my fingers too much.   In other words, I'm a slow tatter.  These are some of the people participating -- they can chat and tat and still work fast. 

This year's theme was "Tatting on the Wild Side" and there were a lot of really great entries in the theme contest.  They had four categories: Animal/Original, Animal/Published, Color/Original, and Color/Published.  Everyone was allowed to enter two things in each category.  No everyone did that -- but I did, however, I only made two new pieces for the contest.  Everything else I entered was something that's already been posted here.

I was most pleased with my Utahraptor.  I found a picture on the 'net and put it under a piece of tracing paper then made some rings and chains and split rings and SCMR and stuff like that on top of the picture.  I tatted it about half way around -- well, up to the neck.  By that time, I was back home (I started while visiting my dad), so I scanned the picture to the computer and drew what I had done to that point on top of the picture with PaintShop.  I tatted it again -- all the way to the back leg.  Then I drew some more.  Next I tatted the whole thing and decided it was what I wanted, but I was using ecru cebelia thread.  Well, ick.  But, it worked and was made in one continuous round -- except where I had to add thread -- there were only two ends to hide at the end of the tail.  Finally, I tatted the whole thing in a nice dinosaur-ish green size 20 Häkelgarn, and this is what it looked like on the display table.  There now, isn't he charming?  (Okay, I'm through bragging for a minute.)

The winning entry for the Animal/Original category was Jean Reeves "Wild Thang".  Can you imagine a baby shuttle-eating monster?  She did!  That was the cutest baby monster I ever did see.  He was all covered in green scales with big black eyes and sharp teeth -- his rose ended tongue made him a little less scary.  :)
Tucked inside the tatted clasp purse was a little white shuttle.  Little monster -- he ate it!

Delsey Howard won the Animal/Published category with her Peacock.  The colors she chose were perfect and her tatting was so nicely done.  I'm just tickled that I've purchased the same book she got it from, so I can try it myself.  I just hope I can do it justice, like she did.  It was absolutely beautiful -- and I thought the peacock looked happy.  Happy tatting is good.

Sherry Pence's interpretation of Jane Eborall's Patchwork took top honors for Color/Published.  Such a pretty thing, and the colors she used are perfect together.
I took a class from Sherry, and she's not only a wonderful tatter, she's a really nice, funny, person and a very patient teacher!  That mock hairpin lace very nearly wrapped my brain around a corner, but she persevered and we all got it.  I've got a finished piece to show for it -- but it's not nearly so nice as Sherry's.  I'm going to try it again, 'cause I think I've got it.  Once I get pictures of the stuff from the classes I took, I'll post those and tell you again what a good teacher she is!

Oh, yeah, and I won, too!  (This is the more of the braggy part, so you can skip it if you want to.)  I got the prize for Color/Original for this "Fantasy Tree".  That's the good name for it, my niece calls it a "blobby tree" -- that doesn't sound as good.  I was fussing about getting my entry done when I was working on the dinosaur, because I did unpick and change and unpick and rework until I wondered if I would ever get it figured out.  Patti left me a comment and said just do a free-form piece, then there's nothing to unpick!  Okay.  That's the tree.  I started with a ring not quite in the center and just kept going.  I changed threads here and there -- this is all Sulky blendables with two strands wound on the shuttle at the same time, but not always the same two.  Again, I got to the end and just had two tails to hide because everything else was hidden when I changed threads.  So it goes around and around and back and forth and up and down...

I've got more to say about the Shuttlebirds Workshop, but not right now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Motif

This is a pair of motifs I've been working on for a while.  I drew it all out on the computer first, then tatted it in size 10 thread.  By doing that, I found out there was one place where I had to change the direction of the chain, and a number of places I had to change the stitch count.

Tatted again in a size 20 I had on a pair of shuttles and found a couple of other tweaks needed.  Finally, I made this pair from two colors of Sulky blendables I had on the shuttles.  I would have done more, but I couldn't remember which colors they were!

Each motif builds from the center in one continuous round using split rings.  It could make a really handsome mat.  Maybe I should work on it some more -- in another color, or at least in colors I've written down!

 I think Jon is right about connecting two rings to join the motifs -- it would made a much stronger connection.  Once I got looking at that option, I thought maybe joining them across all the rings would be interesting.  This is what my computer thinks it would look like:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Sternenhimmel

Tricky little thing, this Blogger.  I can be out of town and still post something here.  It's amazing that I'm bothering, though, since I don't post when I'm in town.  I've left the rest of the family home to muddle on without me while I whoop it up at Shuttlebirds.  

In the meantime, this is a star-shaped motif from Susanne Schwenke's SpitzenKreationen.  It's made with two strands of Sulky blendables thread in green shades.  I don't have that fancy color chart Lace-lovin' Librarian has, and who cares what number they are?  I like this pattern as well as I like the others.

Yup -- SpitzenKreationen went into the pile of "on the plane" things!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Packing for Shuttlebirds has been interesting -- sort of, "Hmmmm...if I wear the same sox two days in a row I can fit in this extra ball of thread. WHAT?  No, no cleanliness is important, buy some thread when you get there!"  Since I decided to fly instead of take that 11 hour drive I've also been worried about what the TSA is going to take away from me.  Can I take a size 16 crochet hook?  Do I dare take the new Quad hook pen I got from LadyShuttleMaker?  Are they going to say I can't carry on all this stuff?  I'm trying to pare it down to minimums, but my minimums are rather maximum.  If I can decide on one good-sized project and just take materials for that everything will probably fit.  I worry about deciding part way there that some other project would really have been a better idea.  *sigh*

Aside from that, here's another of those "Sternenhimmel" motifs from Susanne Schwenke's book SpitzenKreationen.  I really like the way this one creates that little central star as well.  I remembered to make all the joins on this one -- there's one sitting on the arm of my chair sadly misshapen from a missed join.  I'll be making more of this design in a nice plain thread so the pattern stands out.  Hmmmm...maybe SpitzenKreationen should go to Spokane with me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This is one of the motifs I made on International Tatting Day -- and scanned tonight.  Nothing if not timely, eh?  It's the first "Sternenhimmel" pattern from Susanne Schwenke's book SpitzenKreationen.  

I have to admit my German isn't good enough to translate Sternenhimmel, but I don't feel too badly, because Google translate couldn't do it either.  Yahoo Babel Fish says it's "starlit sky"; Babylon says "the starry sky" and Microsoft says "sky".  I think they're stars (ones with 5 points) and snowflakes (the ones with 6 points).  They're all pretty though.

I've got others tatted, but they don't have all the spare threads tucked neatly away.  This one is made with size 10 Lizbeth "Wildflower" thread.  I think it works for stars -- stars are lots of colors.  I made three false starts on this one and I'm not telling how many times I unpicked various bits of it.  I like the look of the pattern, so I'll be making more.  I'll be paying better attention, though, and using not such wild thread.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Challenge 18 to 25 Plus One

Happy International Tatting Day.  I did my tatting for the day between midnight and 2:30 in the morning -- I've actually got some, but I don't have pictures yet.  So far during the waking hours today, I've cleaned up a lot of tatting stuff and rearranged my closet, thrown out a bunch of junk and moved things from the closet to the donation box.  Once I finish this post I'm going to go back to tatting.  But for now...

Finally!  These have been done for a while, but it took me forever to get a picture.  This is actually three views of the same nine ornaments.  All the red and green ones are made with the snowflakes from Jon Yusoff's book Elegant Tatting Gems shown here, here, and here.  The final one is "Ice Crystal" from Tatting Patterns and Designs by Blomqvist and Persson that I made and posted here.  It's the "plus one" since it's so old.  Of course, so's my challenge!  I didn't manage 25 motifs in a year, I managed 25 ornaments in about three years.  It's a sad thing! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thank you, Jeff R.T.!

This is a public thank you to Jeff R. T.  He does numbers like nobody's business.  I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I work for an oil and gas law firm.  We do mineral title opinions.  I'm pretty good with tract numbers, but get really confused doing unit numbers (doesn't matter).  I have a history degree for a reason!  Jeff has twice in the last few months sat down with me to go through weighted royalty rates and other parts of the unit calculations.  He is a genius.  When we get through everything adds up to 1.  One is a good number. 

These two pendants are in the way of a more substantive thank you than the fervent one I blessed him with when we finished the last round of numbers.  His lady friend likes blue.  Isn't it nice of him to think of her?  I didn't know which he would like so I made both with the same thread and beads.  The thread is Oren Bayan variegated gold metallic and the beads are size 15 glass seed beads.  My thanks don't go as far as chains. 
The patterns are from Jon Yusoff's Tatting with Rings.  The first is Kerosang, but I adapted the top to make a ring for the chain to go through.  The second is Permata -- it still needs a jump ring for the chain.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Little Doily

Have you got any books from which you've never made a thing?  I do.  Lots of them.  The other day (okay -- a couple of weeks ago) I dug out my copy of the DMC Book of Charted Tatting Designs and made this little doily.  It's made with Lizbeth size 40 thread and measures 8.25 inches (21 cm) at it's widest point. I can't tell you which design it is, because now I can't find the book.  I think it's either at my dad's house or in the back of my car -- maybe.  All the rings and chains are made with picots separated with three ds.  Really.  So, it's a hairy doily.  I was going to make it without all those picots -- but I have to find the book first.
In the meantime, I've been working on an entry for the Shuttlebirds Workshop "Go Wild" contest.  I'm beginning to wonder if it will get done before I wear out the thread unpicking, unpicking, unpicking.  The rules allow up to 8 entries (one in each category -- or is it two?).  I'll be lucky to get ONE finished!

Friday, February 17, 2012

In Memoriam

Gina Brummett, The Tatting Goddess, has moved on to a more ethereal tatting world.  Those of us left behind in this earthly one will miss her clarity of expression, her humor and her talent.  Heaven must be a comfortable chair, good light, beautiful shuttles, non-tangling thread and plenty of time to use them.

Gina gave so much to the tatting community through her blog and all those many encouraging comments she left sprinkled all over the 'net.  Reading her blog has been a regular habit and such a delight, especially seeing her progress in re-interpreting old patterns using new techniques.
You will be missed, Gina.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I ♥ Goats

Have you all been participating in Jane's TIAS?  Again this year, she fooled me.  Of course, that's not too difficult.  I was convinced at one point that I was making a blue kiwi.  Funny thing, mine looks like a goat -- just like everyone else's!  Between the pieces of the TIAS I made hearts.  After all, it is getting close to Valentine's day.  I could send some old goat a heart, couldn't I?
All but one of these items are made with Lizbeth size 20 thread.  The one exception is the little pink and red heart in the upper right, which is made with size 50 Omega thread.  That was torture, let me tell you.  I don't like this Omega thread:  it twists, it's fuzzy, it's got bumps and slubs, it doesn't slide, and it breaks very easily.  I can crochet with it, but this is the third time I've tried it for tatting and it just makes me grumpy.
The goat pattern is, of course, Jane Eborall's latest TIAS.  The whole pattern, with the nanny goat as well, it available on her website.
The six hearts that are the same pattern as the blue heart came from somewhere on the web.  I know I must have seen a picture somewhere while I was a work, because the only pattern I have is a scribbled pencil drawing on the back of my business card.  I wish I knew where it came from so I could give somebody credit!
The spiky-looking heart with glass beads is an adaptation of Iris Niebach's doily Cornelia.  I adapted that one two years ago, but didn't write down the stitch counts or anything.  I was going to put it into a bangle, but using size 20 thread, it's just too big. I've made another one in size 40 Lizbeth Red Burst which I am going to put into a bangle.  I didn't scan it with these because I've left the woven in ends long until I've got it stretched into the bangle.  I wouldn't want them pulling out and coming apart.  I'll trim the ends when it's done.
The other heart is an unblocked version of Irene Woo's Butterfly Heart.  I got the pattern from Le Blog de Frivole and didn't have enough integrity to throw it out after she removed it from her blog as a possible copyright violation.  I've only made this one, though.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Remaining Elegance

Finally, finally, they're all finished.  These are the last of Jon Yusoff's Elegant Tatting Gems -- well, the last for me, at least.  They are elegant:  "Elegance is a synonym for beauty that has come to acquire the additional connotations of unusual effectiveness and simplicity."  Exactly so, I couldn't say it better so I borrowed that bit from Wikipedia.   All of the patterns in this remarkable book are made with the most basic tatting elements -- the simplicity.  But, they are put together is such a way as to create little bits of deceptive complexity.  Effective, indeed.

You may note that "Nilam" is all pointed instead of nicely rounded as Jon intended it.  The pointy version fits on the ornament easier than a rounded version. I'm using these snowflakes to make ornaments to complete my (two- or is it three-year-old?)  25 Motif Challenge.  Some of them are completed, I just need photographs.  Others are partially completed, but need some tiny fill-in motifs of some sort.  I'm working on that. 

Jon's Elegant Tatting Gems and Tatted Snowflake Collection are joining my Iris Niebach pattern books in my "most favored" stack.  They're fun to tat but challenging enough to be interesting.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Elegant Tatting Gems

Yup -- been tatting, just not posting.  The computer has been in use -- it's school science fair season.  Wanna know how to clean a penny?  Never mind.

I've done some more of the beautiful snowflakes from Jon Yusoff's book Elegant Tatting Gems. I'm still making them all in red and green DMC size 80 tatting thread, but they're no longer in order.  I goofed on "Nilam" (joined a picot that shouldn't have been joined) and had to remake it -- goofed that one too (all the internal picots are too long) and now am going to have to find more red thread before I can finish any more at all. *sigh* 
Not that all these others were perfect right out of the gate:
As you can see, I had some problems with Lazuardi.  First, I wanted all of the round one loose threads out of my way -- I kept catching them in the rings I was making on the second round.  Second, I didn't put in magic threads, so I sewed in the ends.  Rather, I attempted to sew in the ends.  What I really did was break the thread on the first round.  I started over, but used the wrong size picot gauge and the long picots were just too long.  The last one looks pretty good, though.  When I was doing Kencana I made too many picots on the first red chain, so I did the same for all the others and then joined the bottom ones.  It makes the snowflake a lot rounder.  I did that one over too, and like the less rounded look of the original pattern much better.  Not too many problems with the other four on this page, but I'm not telling how many times I unpicked some of the rings!