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: