Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Toy

    One of my pet peeves is how thread on a ball will bunch and move around or fall off in bunches of loops all at once. Then I have to straighten it out and make sure there are not knots. Yesterday morning I decided to do something about it. I fired up the modeling software and designed a winder and a spool. I was not sure how well it would work but I was sure going to try!
See how messy this is starting to get?
     First I laid out the spool I sort of measured it against the ball of thread. It may be just a little large, but not by much. Once I got the spool figured out, I designed a winder, nothing elaborate, but it turns out more than what I needed. I had six parts, but one of them, as it turned out, was too flimsy and unnecessary. The rest worked fine.

What really surprised me was the last photo. It fit in the ball holder I have from Handy Hands. It unwinds neatly. I always hated the way it could bind in the holder, but not now. I am going to make more spools now. These work pretty well. Yes, I could probably just buy them, but when you have a 3D printer, you like to make the most of it. I am always looking for something to make and when its for my tatting I really like to do it.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tightening the Rings

    I have too many irons in the fire. I am trying to finish up the items I already have started before I start something else, but, well, you know how it is. You see something you like and just have to jump in. I am going to have to stop doing that. (Yeah. Let me know how that works for you.)
    I am back on the third round of the doily I am doing in the Sulky thread. I have been experimenting again and I like how this is working. If you look at the first picture, you can see that the core thread (oranges) is not really where I want it because If I start where it is right now, I will have a hole between the rings. I checked the photo in the book and it shows a gap like that. I just don't want that. I want to close it up.

    I passed the core thread through the left ring of the trefoil, then passed the shuttle through that loop. When I pulled it tight into the crotch of the ring, it has relocated the start of the core thread back closer to the chain thread. Now when I do the next few stitches, the threads appear to all come from one central location. I think it looks better, cleaner and gets rid of "Gapsosis", as Georgia calls it.

    Now to finish the round.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Leen's Angel Finished

    I finished Leen's Angel in white. Nice piece to tat. You can modify this to no end. I decided for mine to make double picots at the bottom of the skirt and put beads on them. I think it makes it a bit fancier.

    My friend at work, Brandi, got hers done and it looks great. You would not know this is only the 4th piece she has tatted. And she is already into beads. Now that she sees what I did, I bet she will try to do something similar.

Again, the pattern is by Eileen Stafford. We found the pattern on Craftree.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leen's Angel

    A friend of mine that I taught to tat is making several of Leen's Angel for Christmas, I think for presents. She has not been tatting long (only 3 or 4 projects) and already has progressed to using beads. I really think she has a knack for this.
    The pattern she is working has 2 parts, the  body and wings, and the skirt. In the center of the body are 4 rings. She asked if there was a way to add a bead there. The problem is that the bead has 2 holes, but she wants 4 connections. We talked about a couple of ways to do it. One was to make a ring around the bead that has 4 picots to connect to. This is too much trouble and will change the construction of the body, adding too much material in the middle. The solution is simple, actually. Put the bead on one picot and connect around it.
    Then another problem arose. The rings are gapped and can twist. They don't hold their positions. The rings, it turns out, are 6-6. So I changed that to 4-2+2-4. Same stitch count, but putting the picots on the side lets me join the rings near the bead, keep the correct stitch count, and it makes it all look a lot better with the bead in the middle. I think she will like this solution.

    As usual, pardon the background. That is my pinning board, thus the holes. I do not have this one pinned out. I just finished it. Next, I will add the skirt.
    This pattern is by Eileen Stafford.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Won!

    Its official now. I did win at the State Fair for my Monster Doily. I got 3 ribbons. The far right one is first place blue ribbon for the doily.
    The middle one is the award from the Palmetto Tatters. I think that one means the most to me because these are people that I know that know how to tat that judged me. There is a small piece of double stick tape on it. There was a tatted rocket on it that someone had made, but I cannot find it. I am going through my stuff looking for it. The double stick tape did not hold I want to stitch it to it if I can find it. I will search again at daylight. I hope it didn't drop in Columbia. That's 90 miles from here,
    Then there is the purple ribbon. Riet had mentioned the purple ribbon in a comment on a previous post. I was thinking that she is from Netherlands, maybe they use different colors for ribbons there. Nope. There really is a  purple ribbon. I have never heard of it, but hey, I have still never been to a State Fair. I really wanted to go to this one, but the hurricane changed that.
    The purple ribbon, I am told, is special and somewhat rare. My understanding is it is not handed out often and is like a best of category overall kind of thing. I hope I have that right. I have tried to look it up, but don't find anything on it. If someone has a better explanation, I would appreciate hearing it.
    Best of all, my doily is back and back on the little table in the bedroom where it will live for a long time. It has seen a whirlwind journey the last couple of months. It's good to be home.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Shuttles

    I got new shuttles yesterday. These are made of maple burl by Veronica from St. Petersburg, Russia. I got them from Lisa Adams at the new Tatting Corner. Only took a few days to get them in the mail. Price was really reasonable. Looks like she is going to carry some of those.
    These are 2"3/4 long and about 3/4" high and 3/4" wide. The tips are really tight. I don't know if they will relax a bit with use or not. I have not tried much with them yet, but I am going to soon. They look as though they should hold a good amount of thread. I only tried them with size 10 enough to make a ring.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fixing a Round

    Yesterday I was starting a new round and a lot of people chimed in on methods, especially Muskaan. I do appreciate the links and suggestions. Well, I worked a bit of the round and you can see that there are Josephine rings on the shorter chains. Those take a bit of care. Don't you know I got one knotted when I closed. So I ended up cutting it loose.
    Yesterday, I attached the chain into a loop from the first ring. This time, I do it just a bit different. Once again, I don't know if anyone else does it this way, but it works for me. (So far, at least) It may not be the "correct" way, but is there only one way to tat? Nope.
    I have taken the tatting loose back to a ring. Now I have a short chain thread left and I need to attach my "ball" thread. I pass the end of the thread thru the ring, leaving about a 6" (maybe a little longer) tail.
    Holding the thread at the ring, I tat the chain stitches over the short tail. I went ahead and made the Josephine ring, then carried the short tail to the end of my chain so it would look even.

    Once I got that done, I pulled the end of the new thread down into the crotch of the ring. I threaded a needle and wrapped it once around that ring thread, then sewed it into the previous chain through the caps. When that was done, I continued tatting. It doesn't look too bad. And in thread this small, the average person wont see a thing.
 I must admit that even though it is a bit of a challenge using the Sulky thread, I do like it a lot. I have tatted with smaller threads, though, so it is not particularly new. Just different.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Starting a Round

This morning I am starting a new round on a doily in one of the Korean books I have. I love the patterns in those books. And the books themselves are so nicely done. The book I am taking this from is Lovely Tatting Lace, Vol.2. You can get it from Lacis.
What I wanted to mention was how I am starting the round. I wonder if anyone else does this. I have not seen it, but surely I am not alone. I even asked Jane Eborall one day because I thought it was her method, but she said it wasn't.
What I do is make the first ring, tatting over tails. I leave a small loop at the beginning, like I would do if I were starting a chain. Once I close the ring, it is time to add the "ball" thread on. I slip that up through the loop, then pull the loop closed with the tail I tatted over. Now I have the "ball" thread attached and as I start making my chain, I just tat over those tails also. There is no knot at all. Does anyone else do it this way? I think it makes a very neat, clean join. Now if I can just find a way to do a final join in a round that is as neat and clean!

Oh, by the way, I am working this in Sulky 712. It is about a size 60 thread.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Craftree Awards

Well, well. I was checking in on things at Craftree yesterday (I do keep my nose in there. A lot!) and noticed a red box at the top signifying that I had a message. It was from Kersti. Seems my monster doily is shortlisted for the annual Craftree awards. If anyone would like to vote on it, you can here. If you want to vote for another, that is fine too. I can appreciate all the entries and the work that went into them.
Vote Here
There are 4 other doilies in the running and they are all quite good. Serious competition. I couple have me doubting mine is good enough. There are other categories there too. One is for beginners. You would not know they were beginners.
 I never once, when I was making that doily, thought that it might win anything. I just wanted to make a doily to put on my table in the bedroom, like you see in the photo. Then someone mentioned it and off we went. After this year, I will probably fade back into the woodwork. It would be quite hard to try to match all that again.  Like people have said before, I really think it is more the journey than the destination. I am glad the doily is done, but I miss working on it.
Now I probably will just do my experiments and work on the TAT program. I do want to make a few things, but I am in no rush.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Have not posted anything for a while. Still trying to clean up the mess from the fallen trees, so my time is mostly outside lately.
This morning I decided to take a different tack and try something I had only failed at before. Now I won't say it is a roaring success, but at least now I know what I am trying to do. This is the first bauble I have successfully made. At our September meeting of the guild we were supposed to make a bauble, but I had no idea what they were. I ended up with a mess. This morning I got out the book I bought by the Shuttle Brothers and started in on how to do a bauble. This one is not much to look at, but at least it is somewhat what it is supposed to be. I am still trying to figure out tying up the ends, but that will come. With practice I will get better at making them. I need to do this anyway so I can join Jane's exclusive club. So! On with the practice - among other things I am trying to do. Too much to do, never enough time.