Monday, December 9, 2013

Happy Holidays!

We did our inside decorations today. We always wait until after my niece's birthday before we decorate -- one celebration at a time! This year we have a new fake tree. It's tall and slim so we put it in front of the fireplace so we didn't have to move any furniture. I love that! The chair in which I usually tat (the large overstuffed rocker you can see in the picture) is one of the pieces that gets moved and I get all discombobulated. We have a lot of ornaments that are sentimental and lots from trips (we buy fridge magnets and ornaments when we travel!). The rest are tatted. The earliest ones are from sometime in the late 1970s. They are really plain little gray stars. I don't think one is visible in the picture. In fact, I think there might be only one still around. Don't ask whatever possessed me to make gray stars. Maybe I thought they looked silver. If I was going to make them now I'd use metallic thread and make them silver. The thread choices were much more limited in "the olden days."
Tomorrow we are going to tackle the outside lights. We are not supposed to have snow, and the temperature is predicted to be 21ºF (-6ºC).  That's better than the 9ºF (-12ºC) it was last week, so I hope we don't freeze getting it done.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oops Doily Double Split Chain

Here's that double split chain I was going on about in the last post. This round ends with a ring of 2+2+2, then a chain of 6 ds, a bare thread large enough for 6 more ds, a ring of 2-2+2-2, and another bare thread large enough for 6 ds, then it is joined to the small ring which began this round. (That's the first picture) Then "split chain" stitches are worked back along both bare threads to the point of beginning the next round with a split ring (That's the second picture). Clear as mud, right? 

I really should mention that I do the split chain using Marie Smith's method, which can be seen being worked and explained by Frivole here.
Split chains were NOT my favorite activity until I learned to do them this way.  It makes so much sense and is easier than the method I used to use (sparingly!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Update on Oops Doily

The pattern is written down to this point, but, like always, I changed it a bit while reworking. The four small rings on top of the large floating rings are attached at the picots. It seems to give the doily more stability and there aren't a lot of weird little picots floating around that will have to be blocked. The split to climb out from the round I haven't started (oh, yes -- that's very clear) is a strange one, so I have to think carefully about how to write it down. It involves leaving a bare thread, doing a ring, leaving another bare thread and making one more ring, then doing "split chain ds" back over the bare threads to get to the next starting point. Except for hiding threads, it would probably be easier to cut and tie. If I remember, when I get to that point I'll take a picture (or scan) and post it.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oops Doily Explanation

For all of you who can't see the error -- yes, you are right: it is small, not very noticeable, and I made an effort to disguise it when blocking. I could probably give it as a gift and the recipient might not ever notice -- but I think a judge at the fair would have. Anyway, here's a close up:
The circled ring has three picots, just like the corresponding uncircled one, but the first small ring is attached to the middle picot instead of the first picot. When I blocked it I squished the first picot over onto the ring and spread the others apart so it would appear to be the same if it wasn't closely inspected. 

Nit-picking errors isn't something I do all the time, but for something to enter in the fair, I do!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Oops Doily

"Oops" because I really like this one and there's a join into the wrong picot right in the most open, visible part of the doily. This is another see-where-the-shuttle-goes doily made with split rings and chains. It's a pretty good size -- larger than 9 inches -- because it doesn't fit on the scanner. I am about to start a new one to see if I can get the joins right and if I can actually write down the pattern while I'm figuring out what I did. This was my first choice for fair entries -- until I blocked it and discovered the oops. I'll have to report on progress, that might keep me working on it! If it really gets finished I'll photograph it instead of disrespect it enough to just chuck it on the scanner.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Round and Round and Round it Goes

Here's another doily with no pattern. (This is just on the scanner -- and it's too big, but you can get the general idea.) See? It's got the same center as the blue one, but the bigger it got, the more changes I made. Not a very efficient way to create something! The color change allowed for better placement of some elements, but it still got difficult to move from one row to another and started to overlap. I rather like it, but never blocked it because I ran out of the light-colored thread. I think I've ordered more since this one was stuffed in the drawer. I'll have to look and see. If I've got more then I can finish this round. Then if I hunt up some of the dark thread, maybe there's a good starting place for another round there somewhere.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Swirl Bookmark

The thread Marie sent for the shuttle exchange was completely used up making this swirl square bookmark. The Swirl is a pattern I made up more than a year ago. It has more rounds than this one, but I didn't want to use up all the thread before I got the tail made, so I only did three rounds. The tail is pearle tatted. I like doing that because it's a chance to just fiddle with the thread. No rules, and any pattern or non-pattern will do.  OH -- I forgot to say this was also made with my new hand-carved shuttle from Marie.  It really holds a LOT of thread!  It's just the right size for my hand and even though it's smooth, it doesn't slip out of my fingers.  It's lovely!
This one might go to my niece's teacher for Christmas. I offered her one of the Christmas mouse bookmarks, but she's pretty certain her teacher doesn't like mice.
This is also the same motif I used for Diane's doodad challenge. I said then I'd post the pattern. Uh-huh. It's been more than a year, but I do have a .pdf of the file. I've put it in Keep & Share but I only have a trial account, so I hope it works.  If anyone is interested better get it soon. 
*sigh*  It has been pointed out to me that I uploaded the .psp file instead of the .pdf file.  I fixed that, so it should be okay now. Ooookaaayyy--apparently I'm doing something wrong.  I think it's fixed so anyone can download it now.  If someone would try it and leave me a comment if it works, I'd appreciate it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blocking is Magic

Okay, it's not magic, but sometimes it's really necessary! Margaret suggested blocking the rumpled mess I posted earlier. I didn't think even blocking would help, and ordinary blocking wouldn't. So...I did not do ordinary blocking. If blocked wet, most of the time cotton thread will stretch without breaking and enough pins will hold chains in unnaturally arched positions to shrink the size of some elements. Yeah, this thing had pins everywhere! I should have taken a picture of the blocking process. I started in the center, and as it stretched, I moved the pins out -- but there were still two boxes of pins in the outer round waiting for this thing to dry. It would not stretch enough in the center to accommodate the too-much-thread elements in the last couple of rounds. I'm wondering if a bit of a steam press will help, but probably won't bother finding out. After seeing it spread out, I don't think it's worth trying to figure out a pattern for the whole thing. I still think the center out to about the five ring arch is worth keeping, so maybe a pattern for that bit would be worth writing down.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

TIAS Bonus!

Purple Picadilly Express.  Thanks Sherry!  If you didn't tat Sherry's TIAS you really missed out on a lot of fun ... and on this cute little train. Now I think it needs coal for the tender and a little guy waving from the caboose (which we don't have any more on trains around here -- very sad). Oh, if it needs a guy in the caboose, then it also needs an engineer in a cap! Hmmm....perhaps I shall keep it as a ghost train with ectoplasm energy. That's appropriate for the season.
Drat.  I just now realized I hooked my coal tender to the wrong place on the engine.  Mine isn't the Picadilly Express, it's the Oopsadaisy Express.  *sigh*  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shuttle Exchange

Exchanges are so much fun. First you get to figure out what you want to share with someone else. That means you get to pick through your stash and discover all the things you'd forgotten you have in there. Then you get to pick out about eleventy-million things and sort through those making little piles of nope-have-to-use-that-right-now, maybe, and no-way-why-did-I-buy-that. After that there's the refining of the maybe pile: "Ummmm...what are we exchanging?" I just participated in a shuttle exchange hosted by Alieen (also known as Wickedtats) of Wicked Nothings.

I got the most wonderful shuttle from Marie McCarty! It's hand carved and so smooth! Look:

Isn't it pretty? That's a thread sample she also sent. I'm going to wind it on that shuttle and make something. What should I make? Picking a pattern is a whole 'nother problem.

I just did send off a package to my exchange partner. I'm not telling who it is, because my partner should get to see it live before seeing it here, but this is what I sent: 
I'm not trying to overdo it, but those two little Clover shuttles are ones that I decorated, and they are negative images of each other -- how could I break up a set? The thread is Lizbeth size 40 that my sister sprinkle-dyed. It's an interesting process using wet thread, dry dye, and a salt shaker.  I hope my partner likes pink!

Monday, October 21, 2013

TIAS Day 11

Whoa! Would you look at that? That's the most little-steam-engine-looking bicycle I've ever seen! There. Didn't I say it was a transformer? At least it transformed into something incredibly, delightfully charming and not a finger-biting monster. I downloaded Sherry's bonus -- and now my niece wants me to finish the whole thing. That sounds like a great idea to me!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wasted Time

During the time I completely ignored this blog, I was tatting.  I just wasn't accomplishing much.  To start with, here's a blue doily I worked on for quite a while.  It's Lizbeth size 40 thread, and made without cut and tie rounds.  It's all split rings and chains to move from one round to the next.  It's also never been blocked (big surprise, that).  It overlaps itself in several places and I don't think blocking is going to cure it.  After all the time I spent on it, I got it to this point and just cut it off the shuttles and chucked it in the drawer with all the other stuff I don't know what to do with.  I like the center -- most of the stuff I started during the last year has the same center.  All these "oooo better idea" to move on weren't really such better ideas. I think some have potential.  I think is one has potential -- but it might need a few cut and tie places to spread out the work and give the edge room to breathe.  For now, it's going back in the drawer.    I'm making mice!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


HA! That got you all worried and stuff, right? No? Oh, well, not everyone is that concerned about mice. These are really too cute to be concerned about, anyway. They are Wanda Salmans' "Morgan Mouse" pattern. I added some little round ears (because my niece insisted!) but I don't know that they improve the look of the mouse. Morgan Mouse is made around an eight petaled flower doodad, but I did them on a button because I wanted to add color. I'm giving these to someone who's doing a fundraiser and wanted them to be Christmas mice. 

The first one is a bit of a stretch as a mouse -- it's green. How many green mice have you seen? I accidentally picked up the ball of size 40 thread to make this one, and it's a bit wimpy around that big button. Besides that, the eyes want to slide down over the stitches. It was only after I was about halfway around thinking, "what is wrong with this thread?" that I realized it was not the size 20. The tail is made of double double-stitches (or balanced double stitches), then tied in a knot with a little frayed end.  That avoids having to sew in any ends (always a plus).

The next two mice are little white mice. The thread is size 20 and works better with both the buttons and the beads. I changed where I joined the rings in the button on these two. They look more balanced and the tails join in the right place for Morgan Mouse. Their tails are pearl tatted very tightly without making long side loops. The no-ends-to-sew in was too attractive, so these also end with little frayed brushes. I took the option of cutting open the whisker picots because I didn't use a gauge and they were so terribly uneven. The one on the green button has blue eyes because I couldn't find two more of those big black beads. There are in the house somewhere, but at 1:30 in the morning, who wants to hunt for beads?  {update: Now I've realized that so late at night I'm much less clever than I think I am. The pattern numbers the rings. The nose is ring 8. Yup. I used 8 as the stitch count instead of 3. I guess this is Morgan Mouse's cousin Reginald Rat.}

Friday, October 18, 2013

TIAS Day 10

The bicycle crash was more serious than first imagined. As you can see I not only bent the frame and the wheel spokes, the poor thing is completely mangled. It's amazing I don't have a broken leg or something. I am beginning to suspect it is a transformer instead of a regular bicycle. I hope it doesn't transform into a monster that bites my fingers while I tat!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

TIAS Day 9

What can I say -- you can see this is a special bicycle, right? Perhaps a bicycle built for two, because there are two onion-ring pedals and that other little thing might be a chain guard or a mud flap. Hmmmm...maybe it's an alien bicycle.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TIAS Day 8

Here's my still a bicycle after day 8. I can see I had it turned all wrong before. Interesting handlebars, and now we've added a onion-ring pedal. Of course, I don't think I did a real onion ring. I did a ring with a chain around it. That seems to stay flat better for me. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a big mistake. Getting this last piece on seems to have misaligned some of my wheel picots.
OH NO! I have bent my spokes!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Better Bat

Really -- how dare someone post such a piece of unmitigated garbage? I tatted the bat last night and discovered that I didn't do what I thought I did at all. So, I fixed the pattern. This one really IS what I do.This time I used the double-double stitch -- the whole thing -- on the wings. The little bat is so much more substantial and looks better to me. Of course, I still pinned them out on the starch board so I could stretch those little fingers and toes into claws. This is better though, much better. Anybody that printed out the other pattern, please throw it away!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Halloween

Been making cats and bats but no things that go bump in the night (at least so far -- what IS it that goes bump in the night?).  They're all size 20, but that black stuff is thinner or something.  I think black dye eats part of the thread or compacts it. 
All the cats are Mark Myers' "Cat on a Broom" without the broom. It's a fun pattern, but I made the arched chain which forms the inside of the legs with double-double (or balanced double) stitches because I pull chains too tight and the legs of the first one I made don't arch, they circle!  {I just figured out that I'm doing half-double-double stitches, if that makes sense. I've been doubling the first half stitch, but not the second.  It worked for me, made the chain heavier and more stable, but it still curved instead of circled.} The orange cat was made with the what was left on the shuttles after making pumpkins, but I rather like it.
The bats are just something I thought about for a minute then tatted. After all, bats are a pretty basic shape if you just want simple ones. The first one is the one on the bottom.  After it was done, I decided the top of the wing needed more arch, so the next two have more stitches. They were also blocked and starched so the "fingers" and toes looked more claw-like instead of being rounded picots. My niece is afraid I am going to give them all away, and she wants one. I am going to give them away -- but, I'll make her one, as well.  If you want to make one, here's the pattern.  (Keep in mind, I DON'T write patterns, I did this without tatting it at the same time, and it's never been test tatted.  Hey, it's free -- you get what you pay for! -- Ahem, I have to amend that.  You get what you pay for when it's free from me.  You get much more than you pay for when it's free from really good pattern writers like Jane Eborall.  ;) )  
REALLY!  Goofy pattern.  I've removed it -- look at the next post, because I fixed it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

TIAS Day 6

Day 6 of my bicycle.  I've got the pattern piece for Day 7 -- looks like mine will require some blocking after I get day 7 done.  It might not want to bend that direction properly. I like little picots, but, maybe my picots should have been bigger. 

If you'd like to get in on this before the bicycle becomes unrecognizable and morphs into something else, you need to go on over to Ladyshuttlemaker's Tatting Tales ~ All Things Tatting blog.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nicole's Fair Entries 2013

My niece, Nicole, is eleven. This year she entered four things in the State Fair and brought home a ribbon for every one of them.  In Creative Arts she entered her woven painting, mini-paintings, and a wreath. The woven painting was made by painting on fabric, tearing the painted fabric in strips, weaving them together and fastening them to a wooden frame, then putting on other bits of fabric and decorative gizmos. That one got a second place ribbon. The mini paintings are 10 small canvas paintings with velcro on the back of each.  They are placed on a larger canvas which has the other side of the velcro -- so the paintings can be arranged to suit the mood.  She calls this one "Seasons of Utah".  It got a nice first place ribbon.
Woven painting

Her final Creative Arts entry is a wreath.  Each wreath was required to have a theme.  So, here's her first place winning "Forever in Blue Jeans" wreath:

Challenge Qult - Cowboy's Closet
The piece we were most pleased with was her "Challenge Quilt".  Every year at the fair a small piece of fabric is available for purchase for $2.00.  This is the challenge fabric and a small wall-hanging quilt of a specific size must be made to suit either the theme or traditional quilting patterns, and having at least 50% of the fabric showing of the front side.  This year's theme was "Best of the West" and the challenge fabric is the red bandana fabric. Each quilt must be completed by only one person, and the quilt must be sewn without help. Nicole thought up this "Cowboy Closet" idea, which I thought was really clever.  My sister, the mathematician, helped her plan the actual size of everything once Nicole had drawn out her basic plan.  I helped her find the Shirt, pants, boots and hat images on the 'net and she did the rest.  The front of the shelf is made from a strip from some fabric my sister had in her fabric cupboard -- it says "What happens on my tractor, stays on my tractor". This is the first sewing Nicole has done. She got a little sewing machine for Christmas and has made some practice seams and started a bag, but this is her first completed project -- and she got a second place ribbon.  Nice, eh?

Friday, October 4, 2013

State Fair 2013

Covered Lotion Jar
This covered lotion jar is my Creative Arts entry. I got a third place ribbon for it.  Pretty good, since there were lots of things with no ribbons at all. Of course, if one person enters two things in the same category, the judges will only award one ribbon, so that might not mean anything.  I use the jar for a pair of matching shuttles and thread, but entered it as a "trinket jar" home-decor item. They tore a piece on the lid, but when I picked it up after the Fair somebody had glued it down.  Weird. 
Lacy Chevron Afghan

My "Lacy Chevron" afghan got a second place ribbon and a comment on the back that said "nicely done."  This is the second afghan I've entered in the State Fair.  The first one didn't have any constructive comments either, so I decided I didn't need improvement.  :)  

Just so you're not holding your breath, I'm  going to have a brag moment and say everything else I entered got a first place ribbon.  Of course, I have to also say I was the ONLY entrant in the Advanced Department for tatting.  All the other tatting was in either "Amateur," or "Senior Citizens 62 or older."

18-inch crocheted doily
11-inch crocheted doily
This year I mounted all the thread-work I entered. It makes the people at the fair happy because they are easier to display and it makes me happy because they don't get displayed thrown across an afghan or quilt. The pieces are tacked to the boards in two or three spots at the top with invisible thread (so that the judges can lift it up and look at the back if they want to). Both the white crocheted doilies are on pieces of white foam-core board covered with blue cotton fabric. I use stitch-witchery (iron on double stick stuff) to put the fabric on the boards -- much easier than sewing! The nice part is that I can just clip the invisible thread after the fair and store the boards for use next year. Sometimes I don't have a board that looks good with the piece of handwork or I don't have one of the right size for what I want to display, so I have to make new ones.  I have quite a collection of boards now. They are of all different sizes and covered with different fabrics. In the past, I only mounted the smaller pieces, as it was required by the fair so they didn't get lost.
Blue pineapple doily

This is a better picture of the blue tatted "pineapple" doily than the one I got at the County Fair.  This is another of those no-pattern things playing with split chains and rings so I didn't have any threads to hide.  One of these days I should sit down and try to make actual patterns for these.  The problem is figuring out what I did and how many ds I actually used in any element. You'd think I'd be smart enough to write things down as I work, wouldn't you?  Well, hello -- that's 'cause you don't know me very well.  I don't want to waste my time writing down things that might not work -- and I have lots of bits and pieces of things that didn't work!  Still, maybe I'd better stop thinking of it as wasting time and consider it an investment in future patterns, because I like this one!
Sunrise Doily

You recognize this, right?  It's the Sunrise thread and doily center that Jess from Tat-ilicious dyed for me. I entered it in the County Fair in 2012 and intended to enter it in the State Fair that same year. Turned out there wasn't a category for it that year. The only ones they had for edgings were for a pillowcase or a handkerchief. I suppose I could have told them it was a round hanky, but it might have been disqualified.  This year they added some categories (can you believe it!?), so I entered it in the "Miscellaneous Trim Only, on an item not listed above" (the items  listed above were the pillowcase and the handkerchief).
Anyway, the Fair rules allow entry of items completed within the past two years, so -- TA-DA -- I got to enter it this year.  That was cool, because I thought more people needed to see what great things can be done with colored threads! Jess should really get the ribbon for this one, because the judge's comment was, "I like the color choices and the dying of the fabric."
Blue Christmas Ornaments

Blue Christmas ornaments. Yeah, I make a lot of the same ones. The pattern on the right is definitely mine (it's one of the few patterns I've ever written down). The one on the left is one of those I keep making by looking at an old one I have. The problem is, I can't remember where I got that pattern. I don't know if it's one I made up or one I got out of a book, or one I got free off the net. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know!  I suppose I could sit down with all my tatting pattern books and see if I can find it. You can see the problem with that idea, right?  {Open the pattern book ... start looking ...oooooo... that looks interesting ... where're my shuttles? ... thread ... yeah, that color ... what do you mean, "what am I doing?"  I'm going to make something!}

Fantasy Tree
The Fantasy Tree is another piece that had to wait until there was a category for it. There is only one miscellaneous category and in 2012 I used it for the Utahraptor. This year I used it for the Tree.  This is something like a tatting sampler (except there are NO clunies in it -- not one).  I wrapped the shuttles with two colors of Sulky blendables then kept changing the threads here and there, sometimes one thread sometimes both as the shuttles emptied.  I'm really big-headed about this one because on the back of the entry card (judge's comments) it says "Oh MY GOSH. This is an amazing piece" (you can see my head swell, can't you?).  On the front is a notation "sweeps."  It didn't get sweepstakes, but they thought about it. Maybe if I made a tablecloth sized tree...

Finally, here are the five snowflakes again. I entered them as a set of motifs.  Kind of a sneaky way of getting around choosing which I thought was best.  The card on this one tickled me too -- it says "consider for sweeps". Cool.

So, that's the State Fair for this year for me, at least.  You'll want to see what my niece did though -- really you will! 

And -- one more thing.  It drives me NUTS the way this blogger thing shows me one thing when I enter but when I look on the screen I see something else.  None of the text and pictures are in the right places, so I might just caption all the pictures and the corresponding text.  Yeah, I think I will. --- Aaaaarrrrggghhhh, that's not much better.  You'll just have to figure it out.

TIAS Day 5

Its still a bicycle.  It just looks this way because when I fell off it was a big crash -- and I bent the frame.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

TIAS Day 4

Okay, I admit it.  I'm pretty dim some days.  I cannot figure out how to post in the TIAS blog that Sherry Pence set up for that purpose.  I signed up and she confirmed it, but I'm just bewildered.  I need a big button that says "To Post, Push Here."  
So, failing that -- here's my day 4: 

I'm pretty certain I'm making a bicycle. Yup.  I dunno what everyone else is making, but mine's a bicycle.'s tipped that way because I fell off.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

County Fair 2013

The County Fair was held at the end of August.  I didn't have very many things to enter because I was busy with other not so fun stuff.  Just to heighten the tension (okay, pretend you were feeling some), here's the crochet first:  First place blue ribbons on a ripple afghan and a small white pineapple doily (which if you look closely you can see they mislabeled.  We entered at the same time and they put my sister's name on it -- she let me keep it anyway).
The other piece of crochet is an 18" (45.75 cm) diameter white pineapple doily.  It not only got a first place blue ribbon, it got a "considered for sweepstakes" high-blue ribbon.  Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with it.

I only entered three tatted items in the County Fair.  The categories are more limited than the State Fair.  I got a first place blue ribbon on the blue doily of my own design. (Well, okay, it was the shuttle's design.  I just loaded the thread and let it take me where it would.)

I entered these snowflakes as "wedding accessories" by claiming they were bride favors. Really, they need to add more categories!  The snowflakes were originally done for the IOLI convention in Salt Lake this year.  Bonneville Tatters (of which I am a member) donated them to the convention attendees.  I turned in somewhere around 40, but got sidetracked with all this other stuff and didn't attend any of the meetings in time to turn in the others.  So...what else?...I entered them in the fair.

The blue Christmas ornaments, which I entered as a set, also got a blue ribbon and considered for sweepstakes.  I know I designed the one on the right, but I'm not too sure about the one on the left.  I've made so many of the one on the right that I'm certain about it, but if anyone recognizes the one on the left as being someone's pattern, I hope you'll say so.  I want to give proper credit -- and I want to make more!  

The rest of the family did well at the County Fair too.  We brought home lots of ribbons. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

October, already? Oh, even a different year.

Just dipping my toe back in.  It's been more than a year since I posted anything -- and what a year it's been. I think we finally have Dad settled in a nice assisted living place less than 2 miles from our house. We've been using weekends to clear out his house and garage (5.5 TONS of metal taken to the recyclers -- Dad was a welder and made wonderfully creative metal birds).
I've been making little Halloween pieces for a friend's fundraiser this October.  I've made ten of Sherry Matthews' pumpkins (five with beads and five without) two of Mark Myers "Scary Ghost" without picots, and two of Jeff Hamilton's "Ripley The Ghost". Then I got this idea to make a skeleton.  Martha Ess has a really great pearl tatted skeleton on her website, but it's a bit big and more complicated than I wanted to make for a donation thing. So, I borrowed Jeff Hamilton's basic ghost body and added skinny arms and legs made with double-double stitches (or at least, my version of what I understand them to be). What do you think?

Addition:  Way cool! Jeff Hamilton just said he liked the skeleton and it would be okay to share.  Now I just have to be as good as he is and get the thing written up -- fortunately he's done most of the work.  I just have to figure out how to write the weirdness I did to be able to tat it all in one round and attach the legs the way I wanted to.  I'm wondering now if another set of split rings wouldn't be better than the chain.  I'll have to test that out.

P.S.  Don't think you're not going to have to read about this fair this year just 'cause I posted Halloween first (and before October!).  HA.  The fair post is coming...