Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Tinkering with Karey's Corona Virus Doily

I've been working on Karey's Coronavirus Doily.  It's a tat-a-long she has been releasing on her blog bit by bit HERE.

For Part 7, she says to use 2 shuttles so you can switch between them when the thread on one gets low.  Two shuttles are also very useful to switch to the shuttle in the best position when moving between the inner and outer sides of the round.  

With equal parts over-thinking the issue of keeping my variegated thread colors in sequence when reloading shuttles, wanting to minimize shuttle winding, and being a trouble-maker in general, I decided to use 1 shuttle and ball thread and make all the single rings as self-closing mock rings.  Where there are 2 rings together, I worked regular rings, thinking that would have less chance of gapsosis.  I figured shoelace ties to move the shuttle into the other position when necessary would not stand out next to the lock stitch chains.   I wound several bobbins before starting, and it worked out right, so I never had to cut the ball thread to reload a shuttle.

Was it a good idea? I don't know.  It saved me the time and effort of winding more bobbins, and that was good.  I wondered if I was getting my SCMRs closed with consistent tension, and they probably aren't as tight as the regular rings.  Is there too much color blip at the base of the SCMRs?  I've already committed a few faults that won't bear up to microscopic examination, but from a few feet away, it looks pretty good.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Happy Tatting Day, and a Sampler

Happy International Tatting Day 2020!  I hope you are all staying home (unless an essential worker like me) and staying safe.

Oddly enough, I don't have a tatting project on at the moment, so I will share a treasure from ebay.  Most of us have seen pictures of needlework sampler books, some very large and elaborate, and some very humble like this one I am now fortunate to own.

The covers are a "University Loose Leaf Notebook" from Woolworth's, and there is a calendar inside for 1927-1928-1929.

The pages are hand cut heavy brown wrapping paper, and the tatting samples are basted in with sewing thread.

There is the occasional finer thread or different color, but most seem to have been made with the same white and pink threads, probably size 30 at a guess.

Someone at Palmetto last year had a nicer sampler book, but also in some sort of dime store notebook from about the same period.  While the idea of sampler books goes way, way back, I wonder if there was some common inspiration behind them both.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Finger Lakes Tatting Conference Cancelled

Unfortunately, this year's conference has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus.  Right now, the plan is to meet next year, with the same theme and same classes. 

The Finger Lakes Tatting Conference will be April 17 - 19 this year, and registration is open now.  You can see more information on their website HERE.  The theme is "A Space Adventure" and it is sure to be a lot of fun.

I'm teaching a class to make that little alien shown up above.  It's made with techniques easier to do than to talk about, since they've got so many names.  For that sturdy chain, I don't remember what Rhoda Auld called it, if anything, but some people call it the Double Double Stitch and others say Balanced Double Stitch. But I'm doing the version where you just double half of the stitch, making it the Half Balanced....Balanced Double Half.....whatever.  And then I use that technique called Set Stitch, Victorian Sets, Lattice Stitch, RicRac Stitch, well a whole lot of half stitches.

I hope to see a lot of you there.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Antique Pattern Library fundraiser.  Back in November, they thought they might not make it, but now they have made their goal!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Riego's Denmark Antimacassar & APL

So, how many of you have been yearning to make the Denmark Antimacassar from Riego's "The Royal Tatting Book" but were held back by the lack of an illustration?

It turns out that the 1867 edition of the book, which is the one currently available online, replaced the illustration with an advertisement. But the original 1864 version has the picture, and I have acquired a copy!  The design is rather pretty, isn't it?

When time permits, I will be scanning it to donate a copy to the Antique Pattern Library.  The APL is a true treasure trove of patterns, for tatting, for crochet, for embroidery, and many other crafts. At present, they are about $1400 short of their fund raising goal for this year.  That's not a whole lot if a lot of people chip in a little bit.  If you go to their homepage HERE, there is a Paypal donation button on the upper right corner of the page. Please consider helping, thanks.

Monday, November 18, 2019


I've been dabbling (read: wasting lots of time on the internet) in the history of coronation cord, rick rack, and turtle braid.

You have no  idea how much joy this screen shot from the Sears & Roebuck Spring 1922 catalog brings me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Finger Purses, and What's in a Name?

Someone had asked about finger purses like the one I entered in the fair in the last post.  "Finger purses" were so-named because they had a ring at the top that could go on your finger.  Some, but not all of them, had "strings," usually crochet chains, that fastened to the front edge of the opening and passed through holes or loops in the back, and effectively held the purses closed.  Some people call these "miser's purses," but that term more properly goes with an earlier form of purse, also called "long purses." They were occasionally called "string purses" or "string bags," but that term can get confused with modern string-bag shopping bags.  I'm going with "finger purses with strings."

 One of my Facebook groups is talking about coronation cord, so here you go, a finger purse with coronation cord from Needlecraft magazine, November 1915.  What seems to be an advertising pamphlet calls it "coronation cord," but all the tatting and crochet patterns I've seen call it "coronation braid."  (For the pamphlet, see the Antique Pattern Library, "Application of Coronation Cord." )
Here is a purse I made from that pattern years ago, with my own crocheted substitution for the coronation cord, er, braid.  No, I don't remember how I made it, sorry.

Here are the instructions, hope you can read this:

For a modern pattern of this type of purse, Sheron Goldin shared a pattern with the Online Tatting Class in 2011.  Click HERE for a direct link to the pdf pattern.

For bearing with me this long, here is an advertisement from another issue of the magazine that may give you a smile, or make you just shake your head at what amuses me.