Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Small Doily

    I have been test tatting a small mat for someone. Amy, one of the people on Craftree, designed a piece for a clock face. She put the instructions out for anyone that wanted them. I had just gotten the sugar maple thread and I like her clock face, so I thought it would make a nice small doily. I think it did. I test tatted the pattern and there were just a couple of errors. I also made a PDF of it and it is linked on the site.
    She calls this one  Elemental Time. She is going to mount it on an LP record (if anyone remembers those) and attach a clock movement to it. It should be pretty nice.

    I did not try to get the arms perfectly aligned as I am not making the clock. I like it like it is.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

South Carolina State Fair

    I finally got to go to the South Carolina State Fair this past Saturday. Last year I entered my monster doily, the one used for the background here. When I was supposed to go, I could not because on that Saturday, Hurricane Matthew paid us a visit. I was not able to spend but a few hours there, but had quite a good time.
    I helped with the Palmetto Tatters Guild booth. I was dressed appropriately too! I had on my red bow tie from the class at Tat Days. Then I found a garter with tatting in some of the things we had on display and insisted Donna put it on. I think it looked nicer than if it had just been laying on a table.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sugar Maple

    I suppose I am a sucker for colors. When I saw Marilee's post about her sugar maple HDT I just had to buy some. I got 3 of size 20 and 3 of size 80. This thread is just beautiful. It arrived in skeins in just a few days. I have never used HDT before so I had to figure out how to handle it. Tatting from the skein would be a disaster, I am sure, because I know me. It will tangle. It will knot. It will invent ways to keep me from using it. (Do you know computers sit up at night figuring out ways to mess up your work tomorrow?)
     I had a small revelation. What were all those EZ-Bobs in the drawer for? I got some of them out and rewound the thread onto them. Now I can use the thread without fear, and I know too that there are no knots in the middle.
     Sorry for the lousy picture. The mat (well used) reflects light too much. But isn't the thread gorgeous? Now to figure out the perfect design for it. I do have some ideas...

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Other Pair

    I finished the other pair of wave earrings this morning. These have a Swarovski bi-cone crystal in the middle instead of the three silver lined crystal beads. In the right light they really sparkle. In the photo they were not in the right light. If you know Swarovski, though, you know what I mean.
    No, I did not pick the colors for these. I asked the two ladies what they would like and this is what they told me. The only thing I choose is what to use in the center. I figure they know what colors work for them, so, like Marshall Field said, "Give the lady what she wants".

Saturday, October 14, 2017

More Wave Earrings

    I got my hair cut last Saturday. The lady that does it is a good friend. I had made several of these earrings, but had not made any for her, so I asked her if she would like a pair. Oh, yes! And the lady in the next booth too! They both want black with silvery beads. I have to figure out what to make for the second ones now. They will be the same, but I like to vary the center if I can. Let me see if I have anything in the Swarovski stuff.
    I can make these in about 2 hours. They are Wave earrings, by Corrina Meyfeldt. I bought the pattern when she was selling it, but now she is giving it away. You can find it HERE. Scroll down a bit more than half way to Pattern Wave. These are simple enough for beginners and only use one shuttle, no ball.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Southern Gentleman Gets Dressed

    One of the projects at Tat Days was a bow tie. Anita Barry designed and taught it. It is Dr. Who's red bow tie. Anita used a stitch in this that I had never heard of, much less tried. It is the half double double stitch. It does make the bow tie more substantial. The stitch is not hard to do at all, but you MUST drop the shuttle and let the thread untwist now and then or the stitch will not want to flip easily. Thanks for the lesson, Anita!
    I do not mind at all to try on things I make. I cannot do earrings because mine are not pierced. But this is made as a necklace. Personally, I think it looks quite dashing.



And for some reason, Colonel Sanders comes to mind.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Rose is a Wheel

    This rose is a wheel. When I was at Tat Days, I was permitted to assist Karey Solomon with the Tat-A Cat  class. She proceeded to tell us about how the pattern and similar ones were developed, resulting in a book called Wandering Wheels. I bought a copy and this is the first thing in it. I think it is a pretty nice rose motif, in the approximate colors she suggested in the book. If I can get time, I am going to make a few more things from that book.



I think that if I do this one again, I will try using the Catherine Wheel join. Just to be different.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Bass? No Treble!

    Erin Holloway-Moseley is so inventive. What a creative mind she has. She needed to create a bass violin (fiddle?) for someone so she came up with this. This is one of the patterns taught at Tat Days. I took the class and had a lot of fun.
    Now this pattern is in 2 parts. I asked her about doing it in one pass since, when I can, I prefer continuous tatting. Her response had to do with opening a can of worms. Now that I have it done (her way) I agree that it would really be difficult to do in one pass.

    By the way, this came out to be 4"3/4 long.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

One Week Later

    A week after Tat Days. It seems so long until we meet again. (Wow, that sounds like a song!) Actually, the Palmetto Tatters Guild meets today, but I cannot be there. However, I can post a few snaps I took at Tat Days.
    At the banquet was held a costume contest. I will tell you now, it was a hard vote. No, I won't tell who I voted for. I have no intention of insulting anyone, especially since they were all excellent. I only managed to get a few pictures, after the contest. I could not get everyone, but I will eventually get them because the photos the other guys took will have it. You can see we had fun with it.

Laurie (left) and Joanne (right) won the contest. Our theme was Tat-A Con. Well, here are the cons. Laurie even went so far as to tat a chain and connect it to a ball of thread. A ball and chain.


Martha wore the collar, if that is the right word, that you see in this photo. She is just beautiful in it. This piece won "Best of Show".
Wanda (left) decided to go steampunk. Since she roomed with Diane, I asked Diane if she had to grab two ends of the corset cord and put a foot in Wanda's belly to tighten it. 
Kayleigh is just a knockout in the princess costume. She is small anyway and the costume was adorable. She even tatted her crown.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back Home

    You know, we had a great time at Tat Days. I left Thursday morning and arrived a little early so I helped a bit with setup. I did a lot of visiting. It was nice to see friends I had made last year and new friends this year.  I had with me the doily from the video game, Mary Maynard's Small Doily, and my little top hat. Well, as I was showing them around, guess who had to put on the hat!


    I think Georgia looks good in a top hat. I wonder if she can soft-shoe with a cane? I bet she can!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tat Days Prep

    At last! Getting ready for Tat Days. After last year, it has been hard to wait for the next one. This is like a kid waiting for Christmas, but worse. I am so ready. I can't wait to see everyone again!
    This year a great honor has been bestowed upon me. To me, at least. I was asked to help with a couple of classes. I get to work with the great ones! I have been working out the patterns for the two classes I will help with. My classes look like this:
        Friday -       Dr. Who bow tie with Anita Barry.
                          Tri-Color Cluny Earrings with Georgia Seitz
                          Ring of Clover with Paige Deputy
        Saturday -   Tat Bass - No Treble with Erin Holloway Moseley
                          Tat-A-Cat with Karey Solomon
                          Leaves for Earrings with Bonnie Swank
    Isn't that just a great weekend lineup? And I get to help with the last two, Tat-A-Cat and Leaves for Earrings. I have been practicing. The colors may not be the best for it, but for practice, they work.

    I did the cat twice. I didn't photograph the first one.
I made the earrings in a few different ways. The top ones have a pretty good contrast, and they are my college colors. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Down Picot

    Well. It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything. Too much going on. Work is trying to kill me, of course, and the wife is laid up with sciatica so I have to tend to her. This is making for long days and little tatting.
    I am also preparing for Tat Days, just barely more than a week away. (Yes, someone will be with my wife.) I have been working out a couple of patterns in advance since I was asked to assist in a couple of the classes I signed up for.
   Another little thing I am trying to do is a new pattern, sort of made up as I go, but I have some idea where it is headed. I got to my third round and found I needed a technique I have rarely even thought of, much less used. The down picot is becoming quite useful suddenly. I don't know I have ever used it before. It is not hard to do at all, but solves a problem.
    In the photo, you can see that I have a chain going back up to where a ring will be, but the ring is not there and I am putting the chain as a sort of "liner" around the rings, mostly using lock joins. If the ring is not yet there, how can I attach to it? Make a down picot on the bottom of the chain. When I make the ring, I attach to the down picot and it is as if the ring had been there.



    These are simple to do. When you get to the point you need one, simply make 2 first half stitches, then the picot space, then 2 second half stitches. The picot will pretty much drop into place by itself. For a better look at the instructions, see the article on Jane Eborall's site.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Continuing With The Ice Drop

    I finally got around to trying something with the doubled ice drop. I want to use it as a sun catcher, so I put it in a 3" ring. As it turns out at present, it is too loose. I need to use fewer stitches in the chain so it will suspend without sagging. I have a feeling it is going to sag some anyway. Those gems are not light.

    I will probably remove the dark blue and try again. I don't know if it will be ready by Tat Days. If it is, I want to put it on the display table. I am also thinking about a way to partially cover the steel ring. I'll work on it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Storage Needed

    I have started humming an old familiar tune the last couple of days. Remember the Beatles' "When I'm 64"? I did that on Sunday. No, it was a birthday anniversary, not a birthday. I wouldn't do that to my mother twice! But yeah, now I'm 64. Feeling it too.
    I have been running out of room for my tatting tools, books, threads and so on, so for my "anniversary", I decided to do something about it. I have been looking at this for over a year at Hobby Lobby. It is probably overpriced, but I bought it anyway. There are 13 drawers that hold 666 balls of thread. Just kidding! It does have 13 drawers, but I am not at all superstitious and do not have triskaidekaphobia. It DOES hold thread wonderfully. I used 3 drawers just for size 20. I am thinking of sorting by color, but one step at a time. I was able to use a small hutch at the bottom for all my bead boxes. It has worked out quite well.


    One other thing this lets me do. You can see I have books on the shelves next to it, but because of the thread storage drawers, I was running out of shelf space for them. Now I can use my bookcase for my tatting book collection. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Doubled Ice Drop

    I have been told I like a challenge. I suppose that is true. After all, isn't it the challenges that make life interesting? How about this one?
    I was thinking about Diane's Ice Drops the other day. I was also working on the Jon Yusoff piece. Then I thought about the Ring A Ding Ding Jane had done. OK. Combine?
    How would I put an Ice Drop into a suncatcher? The one I did for Jane is promised to a friend already. I want to do something similar, but different, so I thought for a moment and came up with doubling the Ice Drop. I now have one made with a drop on each side. The "bottom" part that you make first is separating the drops to cushion the glass from each other. All I did was make 2 rings instead of one at each location. I did find it helped to put another lock join after the first of the 2 joins to help keep them in proper location. I let the chain that normally come out a bit act as a second chain round, joining with a Catherine Wheel join to make it look even.     I think if I do another I will change the count on the containing rings. the ring needs to join higher to have a better hold on the gem. Perhaps something like 10+4+10.
    The only real problems I had were joining the second ring. You do it 6-6+6 because it is going backwards around compared to normal. The other problem was, as I mentioned, the rings need to join higher to keep the gem in place. Mine tried to drop out until I had completely closed the last ring and I think it could probably be dropped out if you handle it much.


    All in all, I think it was a successful experiment. At least so far. Oh, that is not a scratch on the gem. It is a reflection of my arch lamp.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thinking About Tension

    I have been thinking about tension lately. I work too much, too many people want...Oh, wait! Not that kind of tension.Thread tension. That's right. Thread tension.
    A friend was asking me why it is so hard to close rings. She said she thinks her hands sweat and make the thread swell. I got to looking at what she had and I have decided her tension is too tight. Her rings are hard to pull closed. The thread is squeezed onto the core thread. It starts twisting when closing. I think her tension needs work.
    I wanted to do a motif from Jon Yusoff''s book, Tatting With Rings. It has been on my shelf for a couple of years, but I had not done anything from it. I made the piece in the picture, paying very close attention to how I tatted it and the tension I was using. The first thing I noticed was that I was working too tightly also. Ease up on the thread pulling. I started laying the threads beside each other in what I refer to as a natural tension. The thread is not pulled as tight as it can go, it just fits where it should, naturally relaxed but in place.


The result? This piece has absolutely no blocking or shaping. It lays flat and has good shape. Even the Josephine rings were easy to do. I had no trouble closing any ring and the thread had almost no twisting problems. It's all in the tension.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Threaders

    At lunch I like to do a little tatting after I eat something. I usually am through in 15 minutes, so that gives me about 45 minutes to tat. Today I needed to rewind a bobbin for my Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle, but I had left the push tool home. I use it to hold the bobbin. I got a little creative.
    I normally keep a needle threader in my kit. I like the Lacis threaders, shown here. One thing I really like is I can store a couple of needles in them. They also have 2 sizes of threader. If I don't have a really small hook, I can use the long one to thread beads.

     Today, however, I found another use. I tried it and found the handles on the threaders hold Aero type bobbins quite well. It does tend to push the handle into the tube tighter, making it a bit harder to pull back out, but in a pinch, it did quite well.
     I wonder if that was by design.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thread Nanny

    I have talked about messy balls of thread before. I don't like it just laying loose and you know it is going to cause knots as I am using it. I tried 3D printing spools to rewind the thread onto to try to keep it neater. It takes quite a while to print one, a couple of hours at least, and depending on the plastic, they may or may not work out. I really need a lot of them. That is going to take forever to print the spool, then rewind the ball, even with the little winder I printed to do it.
    I was at the last Palmetto Tatters meeting and someone (Maybe Goldie? Does she spell that with "ie" or "y"?) said something about the mesh you put on spools of embroidery thread. I ordered some from Amazon (of course) and just got it last evening. Here you can see that I have a rather messy ball of thread. I unwound a bit of it and rewound it just to make it neat. Then I cut a length of the mesh and slipped it on the ball.It is holding so far. I will have to see how it does over time, but it looks promising.



    You may notice a number inside the core. I use a Sharpie and write the thread number and size in there because you know the pog with that information is going to fall off and get lost, and I will not throw away a mostly used ball of thread. (Pog is what the old milk bottle caps were called, I think.)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ring A Ding Ding

One thing I did accomplish this weekend, other than the shed steps, is doing a test tat for Jane Eborall. She designed this cute little sun catcher. I am sure you have seen it by now. She asked me if I would try out her pattern. It works fine, of course. I did have one problem. She suggested using a ring bracelet for the large ring. I could not find one, so, of course, I did what I normally would. I made one on the 3D printer. I had pink already loaded, so that is what I used. You can surely see it! On the right side of the picture is a chain that went all wahoonie shaped on me. I pulled a little and it settled down.


For the inner ring, I bought 3/4" cabone rings. As it turns out, those are 3/4" outside diameter and the pattern called for 3/4" inside diameter. 1" cabone rings are the correct ones. They have the 3/4" inside diameter.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

New Shed

    Yes, I know it's not tatting, but you know that I had a tree fall in hurricane Matthew last October. It destroyed my storage shed. Well, the wife's storage shed. I finally got enough of the yard cleaned out to get another one built. I spent a bit of time this weekend making the steps for her. I think now it looks pretty good. If it just wasn't so humid outside. With my copd, I am really restricted on how much I can do at once. I took my time and did them over 2 days.


    I think it looks pretty good. She likes that she can get in the shed now. Now I can do some tatting.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Now It Is Real

    Now this doily is real. At least to me it is. Thanks to Mandatory for finding the pattern for Mary Maynard's small doily. It did not take long to make. It does have a couple of challenges. For instance, in the last chains, it says make a ring 1-1, then chain. I just did a lock join. I like the KISS principle. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) I think the join at the clover is an alligator join, but the instructions sound a bit confusing to me. I did the alligator join. It did require just a little blocking to make it lay flat.


All in all, I am quite happy with it. Perhaps I should teach this one at Tat Days sometime. The hairpin would be quite interesting.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Game Doily Round 3

    Round 3 is done. Easy really. The hardest part is remembering which ring I am making. I did get to one join and the thread split. Then I noticed that on top of that I had about 4 stitches too many. I got a little "perturbed" about that. I cut the thread, pulled it back through the ring to undo it, the sewed in the end. Then I joined a new thread and continued. I really don't mind joining in thread. I do a knotless join. It works for me and I like that it doesnt leave the bump.


I have round 4, the split rings, started. Shouldn't take too long. Then I will do the chains and be through. In size 20 Lizbeth, this is coming out to be about a 7" doily. I think it will go under my size 80 bobbin tree.

Friday, June 23, 2017

New Book

    I got the book! The reprint of Dora Young's "All New Knotless Tatting Designs". I ordered them from Heidi Nakayama. She was really nice to deal with and shipped them so fast. She even signed them. So nice of her to do that.
    I did buy two of them. I have a friend at work, Brandi, who learned to tat from me. She does pretty well with it and picked it up really fast. I got one of these for her. I think she will like it. Last year she made angels for the Christmas tree and this year she has been making ice drops. This book will help expand her techniques. I hope she does one from the book eventually. (She is Tattingmommy if you go to Craftree.com)


    The Tatting Corner and Handy Hands are carrying it also.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Corrected Picots

    This looks a lot better. The picots fit better. I have not blocked anything, I just finished round 2, the rings that are 4-4-4-4. Tying to the hairpin lace is a little fiddly because the loops keep getting in the way, but now it's through.
    I did have one mistake. I left a short picot off one of the small rings in the hairpin. To fix it, I remembered that picots, in the very olden days, were tied. So I added the picot to the larger ring in round two, then went back and "tied" it. It works and does not look to bad. I am not going to point it out though. I don't think it will show unless you look for it.

    Yes, I love my Pop-A-Bobbin shuttles!

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Failure

   No, I am not a failure, though sometimes I feel like it. I just mean that the attempt the last couple of days did not work. I figured the picots too long.
    You can see they are overlapping the outer rings. Not good. Do over. I have already started over. I took measurements while it was laying like this. This time, it should be a lot better.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Game Doily Progression

    I will keep a progression going on this. I want to track it. I hope it works out. I have the center done. It feels a little loose, but I have not tried to shape it. I don't think loose would hurt because of the way it is constructed with the long picots.

    On to the next round.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Game Doily Started

    I said I was going to do it, so here we go. I want that doily from the game. It is Mary Maynard's Small Doily from a page by Georgia Seitz. It has the pattern there. I am modifying it just a bit, only size, to make it in size 20. I have worked out that the picots for the hairpin lace part should be just about one inch either side. I suppose we will find out if I am right.  I see some really good instructions, but I have a tendency to do things my way.

    So, here is a shot of the start. You have to begin with the hairpin lace. This is 1/4 the way through the hairpin lace and not taking long at all. I figure about an hour or so for the 40 rings and measured picots. I sure hope this works.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Answered - Is This Tatting?

    In short - no, it is not tatting. In long - it is probably going to be. You remember I said I was stunned a bit when I saw this. Here is the long and short of it. I think it is supposed to be tatting.
    I have a penchant for playing video games on my computer. Particularly the ones called first person shooters. There is one called Fallout 4 (you can google it to see what it looks like) that I have been playing that takes place about 200 years after the nuclear world war. You go all over this game world exploring and killing monsters. I was doing so when I entered a bombed out house and was going through it when I saw this doily on top of a cabinet in one room. 


    When I saw that, I just stopped. Who has put tatting in a video game, especially one that is a post-apocalyptic type game. I just could not believe that the game creators had done that. Not so much as it is there, but that someone knows what tatting is at that company. I have been all over several different worlds in games, but this is the first time I ever saw a tatted piece in one of them. I was just totally blown away.
    I do intend to try to make this. I like the pattern and I feel it should be brought to life out of the game.

UPDATE!! See Mandatory's comment. She found out this is a real doily and linked the pattern!
Mary Maynard's Small Doily

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is This Tatting?

    Sometimes things take a turn for the weird. Look at the pictures this time and tell me if this is a tatted doily. It sure looks like it could be. These are the best pictures of it I can get. I did try but this is it. When I saw this I was just stunned a bit. I know I could make it. Does anyone know where I found it?
    More on this tomorrow.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Bit of History

    One of the first books I ever got was Tatting Patterns and Designs, by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson. This, I find, is a staple for a lot of tatters. I have at least 3 copies of it around here, paperback and electronic. Yes, I bought the e-book. Last week I saw that Amazon had a hard copy available for under $11.00. That is cheap. I had never seen a hard copy. All I ever knew was the blue paperback.
The book was published October 1974.














    Well, I collect tatting books (approaching 200) and so I ordered it. It was listed as very good condition. It is. It still has the paper slip cover and it is not torn. the pages are all nice and no marks. The pages are starting to yellow ever so slightly. This is a really nice copy. I noticed the original price was $6.50. It is part of the slip cover just inside the front leaflet.
    What has stunned me are the photos below. I had never ever seen photos of the ladies that wrote this book. To be honest, not knowing anything about Scandinavian names, I thought Gun was a man's name. It is nice to finally put faces with the names. This book will have a place of honor in my library, right beside Mary Konior and, if I ever find an original, Dora Young.


     By the way, there are still copies of the hardback available on Amazon.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

An Old Find

I was cleaning our mantel yesterday. I picked up a candlestick and found an old small doily I made probably 25 years ago. I don't know what the pattern is, but most likely it is from Workbasket magazine. I have a collection of those back through 1942.


It was really dusty, dirty, so I decided to try something. I have a little Orvus around here so I got out a glass pie plate, the Orvus, and some hot water and let it soak a couple of times. It didn't turn pure white, but then I didn't expect it to. I probably made it from something off white, like eggshell. Still, it came back pretty good and now I know I did not make it in brown. (I also spotted a mistake.)

Update: Seems it was from a book Learn To Tat (Janette Baker) about 2008. I don't remember making it this century, but maybe so. I do have pieces around the house from way back. I just cannot remember when. Of course, it is possible she used it from an earlier publication. I just don't remember. I hate getting old.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Yardwork

    I really have not been slack. I have been working on the TAT program for the artisan phase. I am afraid I cannot tat any more today, though. Started working on the yard and now my shoulder is killing me. It's probably the arthritis or the bursitis. Possibly tendonitis. Whatever "itis" it is, (notice the word play there), I would rather be holding a shuttle. (I have another Pop-A-Bobbin coming in the mail, too!)



    Instead, today I have been holding a chain saw. I hired a few friends to help me with some of it and I still have a ways to go, but at least now we have room for me to replace the old shed that was destroyed in the hurricane. There was a big pile of logs. Now it is gone.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Hat

    NO! Not the movie. It was a good one though. I finished the top hat. Here are 4 photos of it, one flat, then I put a glass under the form to try to shape it. I think I like this. I also have a close shot of the edge, if you can see anything in black thread. I did Catherine Wheel Joins to keep the edge even as I could.



    I still need to shape and starch lightly. I had discussed using Stiffy, or something like that, but I think a little Niagara spray will work fine.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

On The Form

   

Well, Mandatory guessed it. The object is a form for the top hat. Here are a couple photos of the hat mounted on the form. I have a couple of rounds to go on the brim.
    Since I have been modifying the pattern anyway, I am thinking on ending it this way:
    1. Make one round of chains around, one picot at the beginning of each and one in the middle.
    2. Make one more round of chains slightly longer, like onion rings, and do the Catherine join so I get a smooth outer edge. I think the chains might help stiffen the brim.


 Lastly I want to try to put a little curl to the sides for effect.