Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Snowflakes

Where does the time go? The to-do list gets longer and longer, with things not done, much less blogged about.

At least, I've got my Christmas snowflakes all given out to friends at work. For a mass-production snowflake, I need something that doesn't take too long, easy enough to memorize the pattern, able to be carried on the go, hopefully will fit in a bangle bracelet, and still have enough pizzazz to look impressive. Tall order, huh? This year's choice was Minuet, by La Cossette. Here are a few of them.

 She has some other really nice snowflakes in her Etsy shop too.  Maybe I can try some of them later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Got Thread?

I fell in love with Jess's "Forest Dusk" hand dyed thread and decided to treat myself. While I was at it, I choose a few more colors, and then took advantage of her special offer to give away some random skeins with each purchase.

She has a thread give-away going away on her Tat-ilicious blog, so check that out.

I am dying to try out some of this thread, but perhaps first I should get to work on making Christmas presents, or finish my Lace Mat, or work on my new pattern that still looks a lot like this:

Can I really wait that long? Probably not...

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who responded to my plea for help with using Blogger.  I've been able to make the improvements I was hoping for.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Gathering

If you like Christmas music and old time string bands, I can recommend "The Gathering," a concert that will be coming to several locations in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The schedule is here. It includes both traditional music and pieces written by members of the band.

I was lucky to see it this past weekend. The band includes Laurelyn Dossett from Polecat Creek, and Rhiannon Giddens from Carolina Chocolate Drops, my two favorite bands, so I had to go. There were other musicians I did not know previously, but enjoyed quite a lot.

If you can't go in person, you see it here on Youtube.

Your regularly scheduled tatting will resume shortly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Surfing the Web

Last night, I saw that an alert reader over at the Yahoo Antique Pattern group has shared this link to 15 issues of Home Needlework Magazine, mostly from 1914-1915, free online. Most have tatting in them, and some really splendid crochet too. I should have been in bed or working on my next book, but nooo, there I was, downloading files and browsing through them through the wee hours.

About that Facebook thing.... Facebook always seemed to be an overwhelming bother since my newsfeed was choked with a huge amount of not-too-interesting stuff from total strangers. Like pictures of shoes.  Hundreds of shoes.  This came from accepting too many friend requests from people I didn't know, but had some friends in common. I decided to clean this up, and had unfriended some people before I realized I could simply remove them from the newsfeed. Sorry about that.  I've still got some cleaning up to do, but at least now I can log on now and then and see posts from people I actually know and some pretty pictures. I tend to wait and deal with a bunch of friend requests at once instead of one at a time, and now I usually just accept them from people I know, or who have really cool avatars. (Please don't take that as a challenge.)  Is there an advantage to having a bazillion "friends" you don't know?  I guess if I got active on Etsy again, it would be a good way to advertise.

About the Blogger thing... Some of you have tabs at the top to link to more Blogger pages for patterns and such. Some of you can reply to individual comments. How do you do that? I think I may have missed an opportunity to upgrade somewhere along the line, or maybe it's all there and I'm too dumb to find it.

There will be a new book. This is what I've got so far:

It might be ready later this year if I would quit wasting all my time on the internet.

PS. Don't tell my family they are all getting Dr Who t-shirts from RedBubble, another place where I've spent hours lately when I really should have been doing something else.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tatting with Angeline

Bev's recent post reminded me that I never told you about my time with Angeline. Thanks to Fox's generosity, I had the loan of a rare copy of "Let's Tat" by Angeline Critchlow. Though the book may look unpolished by today's standards, I am so full of respect for Angeline’s labor of love creating this book. In the late 1970's there was not a good beginners instruction book, and she produced and hand bound this book with over 300 pages of instructions, vintage and original patterns. In the context of her era, without the advantages of computers, text editors, and scanners, this was an amazing accomplishment.

In 1976, the year of the Bicentennial, she saw many examples of crafting on display, but no tatting.  She decided then to devote herself to spreading the word about tatting.  She taught classes locally and produced this book plus a handful of thinner leaflets.

Here are a few of the things I made:

Thank you, Fox, for Angeline's Traveling Book!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You Lose Some and You Win Some

I tatted away all last week on my Lace Mat, only to discover after finishing Round 4 except for the little clovers, that I had made a Dreadful Mistake and had to cut off the whole round. Bother.

I didn't feel much like looking at it for a while, so I knitted all weekend. I eyed my dwindling skein of yarn with some trepidation, but finished the project with a whopping 2 yards left over.

The pattern is "Wingspan" by Maylin Tri'Coterie Designs, available as a free pattern on Ravelry. In a thicker yarn, it works up as a shawlette, but my rather thin yarn came out as a scarf,which is what I wanted anyway. I spun the yarn with a drop spindle, using hand painted Blueface Leicester top from Three Waters Farm.

You can see my earlier progress near the bottom of this post.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I'm Still Here

Just to show I am still here and tatting, here is my Lace Mat still in progress.

There has also been some gift tatting that I can't show yet.

The blue shuttle is one of Handy Hand's new Aerlit shuttles. This was just one of Barbara Foster's generous contributions to our Palmetto goodie bags. Those who know, say these shuttles compare with the original English Aeros. I know that it has been my main workhorse shuttle for 2 months, and it still has plenty of "click" left. I am really looking forward to these shuttles coming available in the shop, perhaps later this month.

Meanwhile, the weather has turned chilly, and I haven't finished knitting my scarf yet. Which in-progress project should I work on tomorrow?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

At the Fair

The deadline for the county fair came all too soon. Luckily, they do not require that entries have been completed in the past year, like the state fair does, so I was able to substitute an old handkerchief for the one still in progress. My other entries over a year old too.

You have seen this one before. It is Iris' Anemone Nemorosa from her book Tatting Fantasia 2. I had high hopes for this, and was not disappointed.

Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell what the judges were thinking. Look at this doll, with the old fashioned edging making a perfect choice for the vintage handkerchief forming the yoke.

And here is the hem, with a hens and chickens border. (How did I manage not to get a picture of the whole doll?) This is a marvelous piece, in my mind well deserving a blue ribbon instead of a red.

What won the blue? My handkerchief instead. In my eyes, its only virtue was being worked in size 80 thread. Perhaps it was an even-ness of stitches or picots sort of issue.

This is my other winner, in the Christmas ornament category. This is one of Terry the Tatter's bell patterns.

My other handkerchief did get completed, in time to go to the State Fair instead, along with a butterfly. Anitra had kindly offered to deliver them there for me. I hear I won blue ribbons, but I did not get to go to the fair. Perhaps someone else went and took pictures? Hint, hint...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Places I've Been

 Last week I used a few future scheduled blog posts to hide the fact that I had skipped town.  Needless to say, not much tatting got done.

Regular scheduled tatting will resume shortly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Palmetto Tatting on Display

Here is a little of the tatting on display at Palmetto TatDays last month. Was it really that long ago?

I admired this piece, though I can't remember who made it.  Can anyone tell me who it was, or identify the source for the pattern?  Update: the tatter was Jeannie S., and the pattern is from Workbasket 1986.

Randy Houtz brought some really interesting 3D tatting.

This is part of the Gina Tatting Goddess display.  I love how she turned the heart in the square frame.  I miss her so much.

Here is a vintage collar.  I love old tatting.

Not in the display room, but in class, Lorena was Jane's assistant for the animal doodle class and proudly shows off the diorama she made with the sample projects for the class.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

More Palmetto Pics

On the way to Palmetto TatDays, we stopped at the National Historic Park at Ninety-Six.  This was a town at an important crossroads and the site of the first Revolutionary War battle in the south.  It is more famous for a conflict later in the war.  The approach to the town was guarded by an earthenworks star fort, and General Nathanael Greene of the colonials laid siege to it. His plan was to approach it with trenches and dig a tunnel underneath.  Trench warfare in the Revolutionary War! I had no idea.  The whole scheme had to be abandoned when British reinforcements were on the way.  Now only mounds and depressions in the earth are left, but a pleasant walk on a sunny day.

Next was Helen, GA. Quaint alpine village or kitschy tourist trap?  A bit of both, actually. But we're easily amused, and there aren't any German restaurants at home.  Some of shops have lovely European imports and others have hillbilly souvenirs.  One shop has a really impressive miniature railroad display you can see for a nominal fee.  We skipped the Live Tarantula Museum.

Then on to Toccoa.  Here are some pictures of me with friends.

Monday, October 08, 2012

DooDad Double Dare & Catching Up

After I got home from Palmetto TatDays, I had so much to do, and was too tired to do it, thanks to a nasty cold I've had since Labor Day.  I'm gradually making progress though.  I'll be blogging in no particular order about assorted stuff until I get caught up.  (Do I ever get completely caught up? Hmmm)

Back in August, Diane sent me 2 doodads for her Doodad Double Dare. This is what I came up with, worked two different ways. I'll have to be on the lookout for doodads, since I have some more ideas I'd like to try out, and I want to make Frivole's Square Elegance.

Here is the pattern.  You may use it, print it, share it, sell items made from it, everything except publish the pattern elsewhere without permission.

Martha’s Doodad Design #1

©2012 Martha Ess

Materials: 1 doodad 3/4” across at widest point, 2 shuttles. I used size 40 thread, haven't tried any others.

Rnd 1: 2 shuttles, CTM or 2 colors tied

[R:     6 + (to doo-dad) 6 vsp 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 clr RW
Ch:    8 – 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 – 8 +LJ (to vsp of R) 8 SS
JK:    12 half stitches SS
Ch:    8 RW] 4 times, ending with cut and tie to base of 1st R.

Rnd 2: 2 shuttles, CTM or 2 colors tied

[R:    6 + (to 1st p of Ch of Rnd 1) 6 clr RW
Ch:   4 – 4 – 4 – 4 RW
R:     6 + (to 2nd free p of same Ch) 6 clr RW
Ch:   4 – 4 – 4 – 4 RW
R:     6 + (to 2nd free p of same Ch) 6 clr, DNRW SS
Ch:   16 RW
R:     3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 clr RW
Ch:   16, DNRW SS] 4 times, ending with cut and tie to base of 1st R.


Meanwhile, I finally got started on Jon's Tat-a-Long of Norma Benporath's Lace Mat. Click here for a link to the page with Jon's excellent diagram.  I really admire the graceful look of this doily.  It happens to include really long chains, which are one of my weak points.  I need the practice, so I'm not letting that stop me.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Back from Tat Days

Judging from the progress of this blog, you may well suppose that I packed for Toccoa and promptly fell off the face of the earth.  I feel a little like I did just that once I got back home.  

Anyway, here are a few funny photos from Palmetto Tat Days.

Playing battling cameras...

... with Jane ...

... and with Sherry.

Shuttle Brother Randy bowing down to Jane, because she is the best.

More posts coming soon, I hope.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Bunches of Fun

Tonight I went to a totally amazing concert by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. I don't know if I've ever been to a performance with more energy and enthusiasm. The whole crowd were on their feet more than once. They specialize in Old Time music, especially early African American string band music, but they play many other types as well. Rhiannon sang a Celtic thing (I wish I could remember what she called the style), that was like singing Gaelic for ten minutes without breathing and no discernible repeats of stanzas. Awesome. And she lives here in Greensboro. You may think you've never heard of them, but they are on the Hunger Games soundtrack, so there.

 In the morning we leave on a sightseeing trip that will meander a bit and end in Toccoa on Thursday afternoon for TatDays. I can't wait. That will be so. much. fun.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Easy-Peasy Lanyard Idea

Lots of people like to make decorative lanyards for their TatDays name tags. You could use lanyards for badges at work too, or make a shorter length for a bracelet.

Some people have very elaborate lanyards, either a wide strip of edging or something with lots of beads. If you don't have the time for that, here's an idea for something relatively quick and easy, but more interesting than a simple string of split rings.

To make this, use 2 shuttles with a different color of thread on each.  
Ring: 10 ds, very small picot 10 ds. Close ring. Turn, Switch shuttles
Lock Stitch Chain: 5 stitches, each stitch is one flipped and one unflipped half stitch,  lock join to picot of ring.  (If the ring is in the way, fold it down while making the chain. When I make the lock join, the chain is sort of laying on top of the ring.)
Repeat for desired length.  By turning after each ring, both sides will look almost the same.

If you do not turn after each ring, then you get a distinct front and back side as seen below.  Choose which way you like best.

The inspiration for this came from erroneously guessing how Jane's SSSR and LSCH Bracelet was constructed.  She says the inspiration for the bracelet was from something I had made. What fun!