Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Still doing Snowflakes in Bangles

Still doing Jon Yusoff's snowflakes in bangles. These two are "Radiance" and "Spring Blossom" from her Tatted Snowflake Collection. The thread is Oren Bayan silver metallic thread. I think it's bigger than size 80, but a bit smaller than size 40. 
When I put "Radiance" in the bangle, I found it was a bit too small, so I added rings as I covered the bangle. That was awkward; the bangle kept getting in the way. The holder-rings are obvious and a little twisted. I applied a person-using-thread-that-frays-horribly-when-you-try-to-unpick-it standard: a man on a galloping horse will never notice, so I left 'em. As the thread is fine, instead of the lock chain I usually make for hanging loops, I wrapped a second thread around the bangle at the end and made a pearle-tatted loop. 
These are the latest, but I've got another on the shuttles. I think the stack is about a dozen high now.  It's rather like being stuck in third gear! There are another 40 or 50 bangles in my supply box. Maybe I should save some for another year.
Spring Blossom

Friday, January 20, 2017

Starting Over

This blog has been sorely neglected, so has my tatting. The doctor decided I needed exercise more than I needed to sit on my butt and tat. She's right, but it really didn't need to be an either or proposition.

Recently, I took up a Facebook challenge offered by a friend. She will send something to the first five people to comment, sometime during the year -- however, these people have to agree to post, and do the same. So, I'll be getting something from her and will be sending something to three other people (only 3 brave people signed up with me -- either I know people with no inclination to share or nobody wants anything I make). I decided it would be a good time to get out my shuttles and threads and make new things to send. The problem I've been having is that none of my tatting supplies are where I thought they were. Since I haven't finished anything for about a year, I put stuff away safely, and have forgotten the location of "safely." Yes, they should be in the hobby cabinet, or the four dedicated drawers, or the fabric bin, or on the bookshelf, or in the boxes under the bed, or in my tatting tote. Some things are there, some have run off. I can't find my rubber needle pullers anywhere. Trying to sew in the ends and use a rubber band to pull on the needle results in a bent needle. *sigh*

Since it's cold and generally nasty, I'm working on Winter stuff. These are snowflakes inside wrist bangles. Both are designs by Jon Yusoff from her snowflake pattern books. I did have to make the top rings on each point on the red one a bit larger to fit into my bangle. For the green one, I left off the decorative picots on the arching chains. It just worked better for me (it's a counting problem). The bangles are completely covered with tatting, using Jon's method for covering rings.

Yes, the picture appears blurry. It's really just the bad shadows from poor lighting (not that the excuse makes the picture better). 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hanging by a Hook

I've been making earrings for my brother. No, he doesn't wear them, he's going to give them away. I don't mind making them for him because I like him and it gives me an excuse to play with little beads and finish something comparatively quickly (compared to a doily, for example). I made three different pair for him. 

The first ones are a pair of butterflies. With as many butterflies as I've made over the years, this is the first time I've turned them into earrings. The third pair use gold thread and yellow beads and the covered-ring technique. The middle ones are from the Online Tatting Class which has been making earrings. I looked through the available patterns and found "Earrings '2015-V' © 2015 by Nina Libin" on Georgia Seitz's website and thought those would be nice. I'm certain they would be if I did them right or used the right stuff -- or something. The one I made was limp as a noodle and buckled. (I'd show you what it looked like, but it somehow got all cut up before I found the camera). I still really like the pattern, but decided I'd have to make it smaller if I was going to use a single strand of the Oren Bayan metallic thread and size 15 seed beads I own. I used only one of the rings and just did two chains around it. The center earrings are the result. Since I was making them anyway, I decided to make some for my sisters. These are obviously green beads on variegated metallic thread:
They are about the size of a US dime. I've got lots of other bead colors picked out to use. They are fairly quick to make -- once all the beads are threaded (it takes 58 beads for each earring). I can make a pair in a couple of hours and for me that is quick. Well, they are quick provided I don't lose the beading needle, the needle threader, the earwires, and above-all -- spill the beads all over myself.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

One more from December

Christmas set for a friend. White size 20 Lizbeth, big red and white beads and smaller red, white and green beads. There's just not much to say about this one. The motif is very like the one I made for my aunt's earrings (I may have changed the stitch counts a bit). This would have been easily adapted to a bracelet as well, but my friend doesn't wear them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Purposeful Tatting

I am just starting to learn tatting and I have a question...Off subject I am afraid but..... I see all the pretty things you make and wonder what do you do with them? I understand doilies and jewelry but what about the other things?

I make lots of things just to see if I can. I make things so I have an excuse to buy more thread, extra shuttles, beads, buttons, findings, and do-dads. I make things to create beauty in the world, even if the world doesn't know it.

What happens to all the stuff I make?

I use some of it. I have two lanyards that are used for either my name tag, or with a findings change, as a keeper for my sunglasses when I go on vacation. I like to have them available and I don't like to carry the case around. I have a beaded string (just like the lanyards) attached to my phone which is also attached to a stylus. My ears can be decorated for days and days using just tatted earrings. A couple of edgings and a motif with a button center decorate some of my t-shirts. We decorate our Christmas tree in tatting (and ornaments of sentimental value). I am considering making a bit of tatting in a covered bangle to hang in my car. That's just in the thinking stage, though.

Lots of my tatting ends up in a drawer in an antique dresser that belonged to my grandmother. That drawer is full of prototypes and series of pieces which were tweaked, redone, tweaked, done again, and finally ended up as final patterns. It has pieces which ARE my patterns until I can get them diagrammed or written down on paper (some of them probably never will). It also has all the stuff I've made that hasn't been given away -- yet. Some of it might never go anywhere but the drawer until after my time. 

Some of it gets given away as gifts. I'm not interested in selling my stuff because I make it for entertainment. I have a job and I don't want another one. Turning a hobby into a job is a good way to ruin its entertainment value for me. That said, I have, occasionally, sold some of my work -- when I could find someone willing to pay for my time.

I have to laugh because you understand doilies and jewelry. I understand jewelry. However, even though I make them and enjoy them, I don't understand doilies. They are the queens of my tatting drawer.

So -- what do the rest of you do with all that stuff you tat?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Time Keeps Slipping Away

Where does it go? I think time must be like escalator steps: there's an unused pile of it in someone's basement, and I would like to have it. It's not that I've not been tatting, and crocheting, and any number of other things; I have. Time to sit at the computer? Then there should be time to clean off my desk. No, no, don't have time for that, so I must not have time to sit at the computer. There. (Yes, that's just where the mess sits -- there.) Time to take pictures of tatting? Then there should be time to put away all my thread, string and yarn. As if. That's a little too drastic.

However, I did enter all my stuff in the State Fair as well as the County Fair. (If you want to see what it was, look at the previous post.) Brag Moment: I got blue ribbons (first place) on everything and the little crocheted animals were considered for sweepstakes. I got enough prize money to buy a nice meal -- or more thread. I got thread. I don't have anywhere to put more thread.

Since last August I've been stuck on making little crocheted animals. I made some with size 20 thread, some with size 10 and most with size 3. I'm still making them. I gave away about a dozen and a half for Christmas, I think there are about that many still left in the drawer, and I'm spending recent evenings making legs for a purple and white zebra. My tatting has been reduced to mere minutes -- just enough time to take part in this year's TIAS (thanks, Jane!)

I do have some tatting to show.  My dad needed a gift for my aunt for their annual Christmas party.  In addition to some really useful stretchy fit-anything lids we got at the fair, I wrapped up a necklace and two pair of earrings.  My aunt doesn't have pierced ears, and didn't know I could make tatted ones with clip-on findings.  She was glad to get them and liked 'em too.  I used white size 20 Lizbeth thread and white-and-red-striped beads for the necklace and one pair of earrings.  The other pair of earrings uses large white-and-red striped beads and smaller white-green-red striped beads.  The necklace pattern is Patti Duff's lanyard; except that I did it with SCMR so I didn't have to load all the beads on the thread (I've misplaced both of my Tatsy shuttles!).  The earrings I just made up as I went along.

Monday, August 18, 2014

County Fair

The County Fair was different this year -- like it was only half there. Fewer entries, fewer vendors, fewer animals...you get the idea. The database with previous exhibitor names and addresses was either lost or ignored, so nobody got a postcard reminder of the fair dates and entry times. The Fair was also held earlier than usual, by about a week. Apparently, the people in charge of the exhibitor areas (not animal exhibits) are not the people who have been in charge for the last fifteen years. Those people decided to retire. They apparently either didn't train the new bunch, or the newbies decided they had better ideas. (Nah, I don't think they were really better ideas.) There were no comment cards this year, either. I miss those! It's always good to know where someone thinks your work needs improvement.

Anyway, I entered ten items and received three second place red ribbons:
Konoir edging, Original pattern ornament, Morgan Mouse Bookmarks
and seven first place blue ribbons. 
Renulek's Spring Doily, Original Pattern Doily, Halloween Card, Flowergirl Headband, Time & Again Earrings
Baby Afghan

The little crocheted stuffed animals I made from  the book Edward's Menagerie (#edwardsmenagerie) also got a Judge's Choice ribbon.

Edward's Menagerie Elephant, Zebra, Rhino, and Hippo

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bit of Lace

Yes, a bit of lace from "Tatting With Visual Patterns" by Mary Konior. I made a mistake, so there's a picot missing. I was going to put this on a pillowcase. After making the mistake I decided it was a good thing. This is size 20 thread. I've remade the edging in size 40, which is much better for the purpose. I finished it and joined it together last night. Now I have to wash it. No matter how many times I wash my hands when I use white thread it just looks grubby to me. Once it's washed and dried I'll sew it on the pillowcase. This is a first for me. I don't actually know why anyone would want to put lace on a pillowcase. However, it's one of the categories for entry in the State Fair and one I've not entered before. This piece might be re-purposed into a headband for a flower girl, because "wedding item" is one of the categories in the County Fair. If I use the picots as attachment points and put little beads there, nobody is going to know there's one picot missing -- there will be a bead after all.

For those of you on galloping horses, okay, those who don't have the inclination to stare at every picot on this bit, here's the error:

Friday, June 27, 2014


Yes. Bugs. I made some. Jeanie Schekel, the chair of the Ogden Bonneville Tatters group, held a class on Riet Surtel-Smeulders Daisy Picot Butterfly last month. I didn't finish in class, so my attempt at hiding the wire was not as easy as it probably should have been. There's wire in the wings so they can be shaped and hold the shape without stiffening. I did not choose the threads wisely either -- really should have selected three plain colors to get a proper contrast. Still, I do like these and I like this pattern. The top butterfly is size 20 and the bottom is size 40. Now I need to try it with size 80.
The other bug is a dragonfly designed by Leesa Kramer, the Bonneville Tatters chair this year. It only takes about two yards of size 20 thread, four dagger beads and two big eye beads. I want to make more of these!  Of course, before I make more, I should sew in the ends of this one. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Moving on!

Renulek's Spring Doily has been all over the 'net -- here included. I started on March 18th and finished tatting (YES!) on May 1. It took me until the 5th to get all the ends sewn in, and last Thursday I blocked the piece on my large board. So, it took me less than 3 months, but not much less.

It amazes me every time I finish something like this. It is a very simple pattern, rings and chains in ordinary configurations. It's how those ordinary configurations are organized that gives the pattern it's beauty, and once it's all put together, it looks complex. There are other renditions that look even more complex than this one, simply because of the color choices. It's so interesting how each piece worked looks just slightly different from the others. 

Here's another difference in each piece -- blocking. Not everyone likes to spread things out as much as I do! Mine is done is size 20 thread, so it's large. As completed it measured 18 inches across, but, after blocking it is almost 20 inches. 

This one is destined for the Fair this year. I don't know what the judges will make of it -- but I like it.

I still have to make a list of colors (I'll add that in later just in case anyone is interested), but I do like my rainbow: