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


    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.