Monday, November 05, 2018

I Gots Socks

Earlier this year, I decided that at this point in my crafting career, it was time, or past time, that I should learn to make socks.  So, I picked up a couple of balls of sock yarn at Karey's shop, some Patons Kroy Socks Fx, wool nylon blend.  For a pattern, I chose the Poseidon Socks by Elinor Brown, available on Ravelry.  I don't think I did the pattern justice, but I learned a lot.  The lace pattern does not show up nearly as well on my socks, perhaps because of the tweedy look of the yarn, or perhaps my socks are a little too loose.  I am indebted to the Lattes & Llamas video "How to knit a seamless toe using a provisional cast on" which I used for both toes, and the second heel, after I didn't like the look of the heel on my first sock. Surely my own fault with my bumbling attempts to recognize the wraps, not the pattern. 

I started in April, had to put them aside to meet some deadlines, and just recently finished.  For all their faults, they are really socks, and I can wear them and they feel good.

I've already started my next pair.  This is my new favorite toy, the Handy Gauge Ruler by Ann Budd Knits.  You line up your stitches with the marks, and it tells you how many stitches per inch you are getting, such a quick and easy way to double check your gauge as you go.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I've Been to the Fair!

Actually, I've been lots of places since last time, but I'll do the most recent one.  Sorry about the poor quality of the photos.  The lights glaring on the display cases gave me too much trouble.

I was happy and maybe surprised to win a blue ribbon. The North Carolina State Fair does not have as many categories as many fairs, and our main category is "Bobbin Lace, Tatting, framed or mounted."  So I could have been competing against anything from small motifs to large doilies, both tatting and bobbin lace.  There were many trials and tribulations getting this made.  After a few false starts making other items, I settled on this pattern and thread and chose the buttons.  Then I looked for hours for my blue beads.  Once I found them, the buttons were missing.  Once I found some other buttons, the original ones magically reappeared, but did not go with the beads.  Once I found some other beads and completed the first teapot, I felt the beads added bling, but somehow detracted from its "tatty-ness," and made another one without beads.

I liked Arlene's entry.  I could tell a lot of thought and effort went into choosing just the right edgings and getting them aligned just right.

I somehow managed to not get take pictures of  all the entries.

We have some "tatting attached to" categories as well, and there were some pretty things.

Again, I did not get pictures of them all, and I seem to have missed photographing the clothing categories altogether.  Maybe I wasn't all there that day.

I was surprised to see this tatting entered under a machine sewing category.  I guess the maker used sewing in some part of putting the picture together.  We NC tatters are often on the lookout for other categories where we can sneak in some tatting.  I think the mixture of the simplest motifs and edgings to make the design was charming.

Sunday, September 02, 2018


I think I've got the PayPal buttons set up OK now.  Please let me know if you have any difficulties.

See below for previous post for more details.

Click the Books For Sale tab at the top of the page for instructions to order.

I am happy to autograph the book for anyone who asks, though I warn you my writing is awful.  There is supposed to be a "comment to seller" spot on the Paypal site, but it doesn't seem to work for everyone.  If you can't do it that way, then please send an email to essm at bellsouth dot net  or leave a comment on the blog.

Comment notification is working again, yay!

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Coming Soon!

This is one of the reasons I have posted so seldom the last few months. I've been busy working on this book of patterns with buttons.

It has 2 hearts, 2 teapots, 3 butterflies, 4 angels, 3 amulet bags, a round motif, and a small doily.

It will be on sale here on the blog real soon now, maybe later this weekend, maybe next week.  There will be copies at Palmetto Tat Days and at the Fringe Element Tat Days later this month.

I have sent review copies to some of the online shops and I hope they will be selling it too.

Watch this space for updates!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Reinventing the Wheel

I love old fashioned tatting.  One of my favorites is the classic wheel motif. 

Yes, this one here.

It turns out the wheel is quite well suited to be adapted to buttons.  Simply omit the center ring and join the small rings directly to the button.

There is no "one true" pattern for the wheel.  The number of stitches or picots may vary as long as the concept is the same.  For the blue wheel above, worked with size 20 thread, the inner rings are 5 + 5 and the outer rings are 5 ± 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 3 ± 5.  The buttons here are about 1/2 inch diameter.  

Totally independently, my friend Stephanie was making wheels with buttons about the same time.  Her stitch count was similar, but her buttons were a bit bigger, around 5/8 inch.  Tension and the length of the bare thread spaces and picots may play a part in the difference.  You can make your rings a little bigger or smaller to fit whatever buttons you have.

Guess what else the wheel can adapt to? Ice drops!  I'll be teaching that at Palmetto TatDays in September.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Butterfly names

I'm usually not much good at coming up with pattern names.  And I don't know a lot about real life butterflies. Thanks to a link to a butterfly book shared by Little Grey Bungalow, I see there is a family of butterflies called Fritillary (or Fritillaria) close enough in shape I can use it to name my large butterfly.

But what to do with my small butterflies?  They may have to remain "Two-Button Butterfly" and "Four-Button Butterfly" if I can't come up with anything.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Humongous Psychedelic Teapot

When I started working on a book of tatting patterns with buttons, I just assumed I had plenty of buttons on hand.  But when the time came to test the patterns with larger threads, I was surprised to discover how few large buttons I actually had.  Not to mention how little good quality size 10 thread.  Going shopping was out of question this weekend, so I stirred and stirred through my buttons until I found a handful about the same size.  Worked up in size 10 thread, it came to 6 3/4 inches across.  I thought it was garish, if not scary at first, but I think it is growing on me.

Things are looking good right now to have the book finished in early September.  I'll keep my fingers crossed.

By the way, I am no longer getting email notifications when there are comments awaiting moderation.  I don't know if that's a Blogger thing or a Yahoo mail thing.  I try to remember to check, but sometimes I forget.