Thursday, December 31, 2009

Motifs 15 & 16 -- Large and Small

I needed something big and green, and Nancy Tracy's Christmas Tree in size 10 thread fit the bill. It's a little lopsided since I didn't block it yet. Nancy generously shares a free pattern every month. You can go to her site and sign up for the newletter, which will bring you patterns, recipes, and the current specials at her online tatting store.

I'm usually not a fan of big thread, but I use it when the situation demands. After the size 10 tree, I went to the other extreme and rewound the shuttle with size 80 and made Mark Myer's Cat. So understated and elegant! This is almost 6 inches tall in size 30. In larger thread it could get huge!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Tatting--Motifs 13 & 14--Revised

After finishing all those white snowflakes, I've been enjoying some holiday tatting in green and red. Here is Mark Myer's wonderful Holly & Berries design featuring the half ring braid technique. I love this technique; I love this pattern.

This design is called "Christmas Berry Wreath", by LaRae Mikulecky. Thank you to everyone who helped track it down. The pattern is from an old Geocities site that isn't there anymore, but you can find a copy
. According to my printout, I downloaded this from the web on 11/25/99 and only now, more than ten years later got around to making it. This is made in one pass with one green and one red shuttle, and features lots of Josephine knots.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snowflake Bangles--Motif 12

Just a quick post to show I'm still here.

I've been working on snowflake bangles for small Christmas gifts. Most of these are Mike's excellent "Playing in the Snow-flake". I love the swirls and the fact it is quick and easy. Check out his blog for plenty of tatting-on-glass-balls eye candy.

In the center is the Layered Tatted Snowflake from Nancy at Be-Stitched. On her website you can find her online store for tatting supplies and a generous array of free tatting patterns.

I will claim Nancy's snowflake as motif twelve. I used Mike's snowflake in a previous challenge, so it doesn't count this time.

When I went to make the scan, I found my missing bookmark in the scanner. Now, if only I could find my missing free time as well....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quilt Pattern Solved

This is Ann's solution to the quilt pattern. Note that another "B" section goes across the top of the "A" section, and those four parts make up the repeating pattern. Now I understand. Thanks Ann!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Inherited UFOs--Part 1

I have inherited UFOs. I think I will take this one on someday. What you see above are three sections of different sizes laid out in position. Then there are hundreds of little squares and triangles in ziplock bags.

Does anyone recognize the pattern? I think I could study the way the seams are pressed to decide the sequence for piecing, but if I could locate instructions, that would be simpler. I wonder if the hand drawn diagram means that it's an original, though.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Motif Eleven-Heather's Hearts for Tracy

Please visit Heather's blog for this patterns and to read about her appeal for hearts for her friend with breast cancer. I'm running late, so she has probably already given Tracy the gift package, but I assume she can still use more for the fund raiser.

I like to combine a variegated thread with a solid and worked this version first:
(I tweaked the pattern a bit since I wanted the bottom ring in the outline color.)

Next, I was going to reverse with solid rings and variegated chains, but I wasn't having a good day. I could tell that it lacked pizazz since there wasn't enough of the variegated showing.

So then I tweaked some more and added a second row of chains. Better...

Next time, I added lots of picots instead. Besides being frilly, it allowed more color progressions to show. Happy now!

This is a nice pattern that works up quickly. The first version used Shuttle Trend Lab thread from Palmetto, and the rest are Lizbeth.
Best wishes to Heather and her friend, Tracy.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Motif Ten--Mark's Pumpkin

I hope you have seen Mark Myer's Pumpkin pattern. He does these marvelous things giving tatting the look of bobbin lace, often with some free form bits as well.

I really enjoyed making this in size 80 thread.

My pumpkin is a bit crowded on the inside, compared to the original. Either I made the picots in the outline section too small, or it just needs proper blocking. My stainless steel pins have gone missing (my craft closet is really, really scary right now...), so I couldn't do much more than press it for now.

Friday, November 06, 2009


I've been too lazy --er, um, Busy! to blog lately. We actually took a small family vacation, which we haven't done for a long, long time. We visited my sister in Maryland, and spent the next day in Washington, DC.

This is the Museum of the American Indian, with a beautiful fountain all around.

There were handcraft exhibits on the ground floor.

Look at the pineapple like necklace. Can I tat that?

Then on to the Air and Space Museum.

Then a mad dash through the Freer Gallery just before closing for the Japanese art (Sorry no pictures.)
The next day we came home via the Sky Line Drive in Virginia with the trees in beautiful fall colors.

When I got home, I had HDT from Tatskool waiting in the mailbox. The picture doesn't do the thread justice. They look lucious, with a beautiful shine. These are two members of the Choco-Raspberry family and a sample of Raspberry Ripple. I will have to choose the perfect project for them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's How I Did It

Here is how I made those flower petals. This is the method I worked out. Someone else may know a better way.

First, wrap the thread around your hand, but instead of bringing it into the pinch as for a ring, bring the thread over the index finger and then into the pinch. This is the color that will show on the outer part of the petals. I used two shuttles, but perhaps this one could actually be a ball thread. You will hold this thread in place while weaving the other shuttle around it, so it feels a little like a cluny. Perhaps you could make a loom to hold the thread just like you do to avoid those cluny hand cramps.

Next, with the other shuttle, make an unflipped stitch around the left thread. (I had to make a few repeats before I could get a good photo.) If you are trying for one-sided/front-sided tatting appearance, make the halves of the stitch in reverse order.

Then make an unflipped stitch around the right thread.

Repeat back and forth, with the first stitches very close together, and then leaving more thread between sides as the V shape widens.

Once you have made enough repeats back and forth, end with a stitch on the left side. (Yes, that's an uneven number of stitches, but it works easier for me to start on the left.) Tension the stitiches so that they lie close together, and then begin making regular flipped stitches for the chain across the top of the petal.

Once you have enough stitches, tug this shuttle to tension the chain, then take the work off your hand and pull on the other shuttle to close the loop.

Then make one more stitch to bring the core thread down to the base of the petal. With the blue and gold threads, I had switched shuttles to make this stitch and with the pink and purple I did not. I'm not sure which way is best, though you would need to do it the second way if you were using a ball thread instead of two shuttles.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Techniques & Flowers

I think this little flower is the same technique that Gina showed on her blog yesterday.

At the Palmetto Tat Days last month, Riet had a pattern sheet in Danish showing this and sort of challenged me to figure it out. Well, I love a challenge. Below are a few single petals I worked that day as practice.

I meant to go back and do some more sometime, but forgot about it until I saw Gina's post. Then I just had to try it again and worked the little motif above. I'll tell you how soon, but not enough time right now.

Here is a similar effect, but totally different technique. This is the flower from Erin's Herringbone Hookup class, also at Palmetto last month.

And while I'm thinking of it, this is the project from Riet's Palmetto Night Owl class. The pattern was designed for an earring, but I used a larger thread to make it a Christmas ornament instead. By the way, this was a great technique. I already know how to get this effect with reverse work, shoe lace tie and switch shuttles, but Riet's way does the same thing so much faster without having to do all those things. I even finished this project that night.

I can claim Erin's flower and Riet's motif as challenge entries 8 & 9. (I'm restricting my challenge count this time to patterns by other people.)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Motif Seven - Vicki's Ruffled Heart

Believe it or not, I do actually produce a piece of tatting now and then...

I have admired Vicki Clarke's Ruffled Heart ever since I first saw it on her blog. The ruffled chain, a mixture of half and whole stitches, fascinates me, and may be one of those rare brand new ideas in tatting. Once Palmetto Tat Days were over, I finally had some time for some recreational tatting, so this was the first thing I did. The one above is made in size 40 Lizbeth thread, which Handy Hands generously donated for everyone's goody bag at Palmetto. I can agree with every one else that this is a very nice thread to work with. (The heart's a little lopsided, maybe because people kept on asking me questions while I was trying to count stitches.)

I liked it so well, I made it again, this time with Shuttle Lab Trends HDT, another gift at Palmetto. They sell it by the ball in the vending room there, but I don't know where else you can buy it. Another nice thread, and lovely colors.

This is the same heart again, this one made for me by Tatting Chic, using a Yarnplayer HDT.

And here is another gift, a Jane Eborall pattern made by Sherry Townsend. I think this is a Lizbeth thread. Don't the beads go well with the thread?

BTW, over the next weeks (months?) I will trying to sell assorted knit, crochet, cross stitch, quilting, etc books and magazines on ebay. Some of mine, some of my mom's. It's been a long time since I sold on ebay, so I'm having an uphill battle re-learning how. My seller name is esstats.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I've Been to the Fair

I didn't make my goal to enter something in the state fair, but I did enter in the county fair for the first time. Every year the internet tatting community encourages everyone to get tatting in the public eye in their area, so I finally did.

In my age division, there is only one actual tatting category "Item decorated with tatting", so I chose also "Bag, needlework", "Needlework, other", and "Christmas tree ornament". I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to come away with a handful of blue ribbons.

This was my ornament made from a pattern by Terry McGuffin.

My tatted handkerchief from a vintage pattern made with size 100 cotton.

A mixture of tatting, crochet, and vintage turtle braid from a pattern reprinted in "Old Time Crochet" magazine some years ago.

My own large motif/small doily butterfly combining tatting and hairpin lace.

I was glad to see one other tatting entry, an edged tablecloth by a lady in the senior division.

I felt a little guilty taking all those prizes with next to no competition. On the other hand, my greedy side was counting off all the categories I could enter next time....

While I had some time to waste until I could collect my pieces, I wandered through the rest of the pavilion. The table setting competion included a children's division.

This one, with real Depression glass dishes, was really sweet and dainty.....

but as the mother of all boys, I got more of a kick from this one: