Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Amanda by Iris, and the End of a Challenge

This is the Amanda doily from Iris Niebach's book Tatted Doilies.  Iris is a designer I truly admire.  She has such distinctive style you can usually know a design is hers just by glancing at it.  Reading over the pattern before beginning was confusing at first, until I realized that the first repeat was worked differently than the rest.  By doing that, she had cleverly arranged the sequence so that it could be worked all in one pass.  The long chains were a bit challenging, but over all it was a delight to make.  It measures about  7 1/2 inches across in size 30 thread.  This is another of the books from Akacia press, which I have recommended before.

I've counted up and decided that this makes the end of my current 25 Motif Challenge.  When Sharon proposed the challenge, the rule was simply to make any 25 motifs within a year, but some of us have given ourselves additional constraints to make it more, um, challenging.  My challenge this time was to count only motifs from the books on my shelf, since some of them go too long without being opened.  I'm sure I took more than a year, but I have reached 25 at last.  When I reach the end of a challenge, the only thing to do is to start another.  Next time I will do vintage patterns from before 1925.

Happy New Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

Spinning and Knitting Again

I think most of us practice more than one craft.  While tatting is my favorite hobby, I also do a bit of spinning, knitting, crochet & etc.  Here is a project I completed in November.  I can't remember when I started.

I started with roving that I bought from Karey.  Her hand-painted thread is famous in Tatting Land, but you may not have realized she dyes yarn and roving as well.  She has a remarkable feeling for color. I spun it on a hand spindle and two-plied it.

I started with a the Esperanza pattern from Ravelry, but I took a few liberties with the design.

Here is a picture to give an idea of the finished size.  And you just try taking a selfie with your back to the mirror sometime.

I'm already pretty advanced with my next spinning adventure.  I'm trying to do the long draw drafting method and spinning from the fold.  Look at all those words I picked up on Ravelry, so I can pretend I know what I'm doing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Making Tatting Go Faster, Reading While Tatting

This is the December Motif by Frivole.  She has many excellent snowflake patterns, some for sale and some for free.  This is probably the simplest one.  Sorry it's such a poor scan.

I needed to make a lot of snowflakes for gifts, so I looked for strategies to make the work go quickly.

First, I chose a pattern pretty enough to be interesting, but simple enough it wouldn't take too long.  

Next, I used a bead spinner to add a lot of beads to my ball of thread.  For each individual snowflake, I only had to count out the number of beads I needed and wind the shuttles, pushing the extra beads further up on the ball.  I measured the amount of thread on each shuttle for the first snowflake, and then knew just how much to wind on for each of the rest.

And then to make the working feel like it was going by quickly, I used my new favorite activity, reading while tatting.  Well, not exactly reading, but listening to audiobooks.  It's a lovely way to do 2 things at once.  Don't audiobooks cost a lot, you may ask? Not necessarily!  I discovered that I can borrow them with free downloads from the library without even leaving home.  I use the North Carolina Digital Library.  Check with your local public library to see if you can get them too.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bjorn Snowflake

Here is another one for the challenge.  This is "5th Day of December" by Lene Bjorn from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting.  It worked up quickly and easily, using just one shuttle.  Sorry the beads aren't showing up well in the picture.

This book is one of the series of tatting books from Akacia.  I recommend them highly for anyone who likes diagrammed tatting patterns.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Two Angels Back Online

I know angels are almost as popular as snowflakes for Christmas ornaments, so I've added these two patterns from my defunct website onto the Free Pattern section of my blog.  I tweaked the wording just a bit, so please let me know if you find any problems.

It occurs to me that perhaps I should add a file with all the pattern abbreviations.  I'll add that to my to-do list.

I think I've also got the Books for Sale section done.  After working all last night it looked fine in Chrome, but when I thought to check it out in Explorer, it had all sorts of HTML gibberish showing.  So, another couple of hours working on that.  Sometimes when I would save, a section of text would mysteriously duplicate or move elsewhere on the page.  Gee, just like my old website.  I am looking forward to using a decent webpage editor when I start the new site, probably after the start of the New Year.

Meanwhile, at The Antique Pattern Library, they have added Nellie Ellison's Corticelli Lessons in Tatting,  and they are still matching donations at double the amount given. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

More About the Palmetto Quilt Project

I've been talking a lot lately about my quilt blocks for the Palmetto fundraiser project. Georgia says there are indeed more quilt blocks waiting to be adopted.  Click here for an update on blocks waiting to be embellished with tatting.  It's a lot of fun to participate in a group effort like this.

I designed my "Anything Teapot" especially for this project.  Everyone who came to this year's Palmetto TatDays got a copy of the pattern.  Since there may be a lot of folks interested in joining the quilt project who didn't make it to TatDays, I've added this pattern to my fledgling Free Pattern section on this blog.  Look up at the top of the page for the link to free patterns.  While I was at it, I put in the "Pumpkin Teapot" too.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Website Musings

Thank you to everyone who had kind words about my website's imminent demise.  I tried to get the word out here and on various Yahoo and Facebook groups.  I ran out of available time that day before I got to Intatters, but Grace was kind enough to put up a notice there, thank you.  All these postings led to more replies than I could answer individually, but there were two predominant themes:

1.  Why don't you just use Blogger? Indeed, I will do that short term, but someone who knows more about it warns that I would run into memory space restrictions eventually.  I already have a Blogger page for patterns (see the link near the top of the screen) that I will start adding to.  But my Keep-and-Share free account only allows 20 files, so that's already a limit I could easily reach.

2.  It should be easy to backup your site files and upload somewhere else.  Well, easier said than done.  This was a template style website, sort of like Blogger, but far less user friendly.  I have backed up all of my own HTML code, but I don't have code for the templates.  One the other hand, I really didn't like their layouts anyway.  Many of my pages weren't especially easy on the eye or the printer, partly due to the layout templates and partly due to my lack of fluency in HTML.  (I'm hoping for a what-you-see-is-what-you-get page editor with the new site instead of writing in HTML.) If I'm going to have to do all this over, I want to do it better this time, so it's not going to happen quickly.  I was actually already planning to do this, but didn't anticipate losing the old website before launching the proposed new one.

A few of you have suggested various web hosting companies by name, but do you have your own website with them that I can look at?  Trying to absorb and compare all the information on their advertising sites is a bit overwhelming.  I'd rather hear about your personal experience.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Quilt Block and Antique Pattern Library

Here is my last Palmetto Quilt Block (unless I get some more from Georgia).  Here are the pattern sources:  The pink flower on the left is another from Jan Stawasz's Tatted Treasures.  The large medallion with rick-rack is a vintage pattern from the February 1927 edition of Needlecraft magagzine.  I got the pattern from Georgia's site here.  The small white rick-rack flower is from the book Vintage Tatting & Crochet Book 1, edited by Barbara Foster of Handy Hands.   The larger white flower I just whipped up to fit in.

You've probably gathered by now that I love vintage patterns.  One of the best sources, besides Georgia's Tatting Archive, is the Antique Pattern Library.  Clicking on their name there will take you to their home page and you can branch out to see patterns for embroidery, knitting, crochet and lots more crafts. Or click here for a list of their tatting publications.  I have downloaded quite a few of them.  You will see many that say "to scan" or "to edit" and those are in progress and coming soon.  My mouth is watering over some of those.  They have a Yahoo Group too.  The Library is run by a non-profit organization and they could use your help.  Here is a recent message from them: 

"Our finances are not in perfect health, to say the least, but thanks to the recent upswing in donations, we're improving a bit, THANK YOU! To keep our non-profit status, we need not just money, we need money from the public. The way it was explained to me, one third of our income has to be from small donations. So even if someone donates a million dollars, this will not save our non-profit status.

Therefore, we have agreed on the following:

*** ANY (small, less than 200 USD) financial donation you, anyone,
*** sends to New Media Arts either by Paypal, cheque, or whatever
*** to support the Antique Pattern Library or another project
*** will be matched TWICE by our board members
*** (until we are broke, of course)."

A two-for-one match makes even a small contribution like mine significant. Please consider helping them out so they can continue to provide this fine service for all us needlecrafters.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Get Your Free Patterns Now

Dear Friends, ATT is erasing my web page http://www.home.bellsouth.net/p/pwp-tatsamore (and all the other old Bellsouth personal websites) on December 4, and there is nothing I can do about it.  I plan to get myself a new website and restore all the content, but I do not know how long that will take.  I encourage you to go now and print any patterns or tutorials you want a copy of.  Please remember this is copyrighted material for your own use and do not reprint or repost without my express permission.

This personal website was part of my internet service package when we signed on with Bellsouth.  When ATT absorbed Bellsouth, they were bound to keep those websites, but not indefinitely it now appears.  I am disappointed, but not surprised, since I got the impression when I had difficulties last summer, that  they were maintaining those sites with only the least grudging effort they could manage.  I am irate though, that they did not have the decency to notify me about this.  I only accidentally found out when I visited my site on a whim, something I don't do often if I'm not working on it, and found the notice on a pop-up there.

I've been raised to do comparison shopping before making a big purchase.  Jane likes Freeservers. Does anyone else have a website provider they have personal experience with to recommend?  I require low cost, ease of use, and no advertising on the pages.

I was already planning to shop for a new website where I would have more control over page layout and the ability to make the patterns more printer friendly, but on my own time, not right away, aargh.

Back to happier posting soon, I hope.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Another Palmetto Quilt Block

I mentioned last time that Georgia is planning 2 quilts for Palmetto next year.  The quilt block I showed you last time was for the flower quilt, and this one is for the teapot quilt.

The teapot is my own pattern, and the curlicues are inspired by the Flower & Vine pattern Ruth Perry/Rozella Linden shared with the online class, that I mentioned in the previous post.  I'm trying to decide if this block is finished.  I had originally planned to add more to it, but now I think more stuff will make it look too crowded.

It looks a little lopsided, I hope that was just the way I put it on the scanner.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quilts & Flowers

Georgia is organizing another fundraising quilt (or two!) for next year's Palmetto event.  At this year's convention, she handed out quilt blocks to be decorated and sent back to her.  She may still have some blocks left, you can ask her.

I adopted a problem block where one wedge of fabric did not extent all the way to the edge.  I solved that by sewing ribbon over the gap. I added another stripe of ribbon and a ribbon flower to tie the look together.

You may have seen on other blogs, such as Tatting Fool's, that Jan Stawasz's Tatted Treasures includes lots of flowers.  I used those for the 2 white flowers and the rose colored one, so I'm counting those toward my 25 motif challenge, when I get around to counting them up.  The pink edging from the left came from a book, but I can't remember which one, sigh.  The rose and green trellis-y bit came from a pattern from her new book that Rosella Linden shared with the On-line Class.

Coming soon, I found the doily I lost, so you'll see that once I've got it blocked, some more quilt squares, and a knitted shawl from yarn I hand spun with roving I got from Karey.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Angel with Star

Here's another one for the Challenge.  This is "Angel with Star" from A Host of Angels by Christel Weidmann.  Each pattern is written in shorthand notation and has a diagram.  Also, there are comments tell what to do for both shuttle and needle tatting.  There is a large Madonna angel that I would like to work someday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Back to the Challenge

I've been working on my 25 Motif Challenge, really I have.  I have lots of motifs to show you, once I remember where I put them.

This one is "Winter's Day Snowflake" by Darlene Polachic from Big Book of Tatting.  Patterns are written out instead of shorthand: "6 ds, p, 6 ds...", but easy enough to read.  There are a lot of patterns, many of them easy.  It is out of print, but you may be able to luck into a used copy like I did.

The pattern called for cuts and ties, but I used split rings to climb out and make it in one pass.  I think I remember adding a few stitches to the outer chains to get the right shape since either my tension was tight or my bare thread spaces too long.  The thread was probably Lizbeth 622, a shade I've grown fond of.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NC State Fair

The NC State Fair runs through October 28.  It's looking like I won't be able to go.  If you make it there, be sure to visit Anitra's tatting booth in the Village of Yesteryear building.

I'm told I won the second place ribbon in the tatting category. Did I take a picture of it before I sent it in? Of course not! You know how organized I am.  It was a version of the dragon with knight and lady from the new book.  I hear the first place winner was a large doily in very small thread.  Good for her!

I can show you my entries from last year.

This one is a Tina Frauberger design worked in Karey's handpainted threads.  The lighting wasn't very good that day.  The center is more lavender than pink.

This one, which you've seen before, is my own variation on an Anne Orr edging.

We're hoping for more tatting categories next year. Hoping for the best.

Added later:
I forgot to say the 3rd place ribbon went to someone who hasn't been tatting very long. I've seen her doily on Facebook, but I don't know if she has a blog. I think her name is Esther and she should be an inspiration to new tatters.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Miranda's Pendant & Contest

Recently, I was privileged to test-tat this pendant for Tatting Fool.  It will be for sale on her blog soon, with the proceeds going to charity.

 I found the pattern very clear and easy to do.  Mine is all one color, but it is made up of lots of little pieces, so you could make many variations using colors different ways.  It does require these special findings, but in the pattern she tells you where to get them, and the company offers free shipping on orders over $10.

Or even better, you could win the findings, the pattern, and some more good things in her contest to name the pattern. Click here for details.

It was gratifying to see so many comment on my recent vacation post.  Some previous travelogues had not gotten much attention, so I was thinking they weren't appreciated.  There is more tatting to come.  I've been doing quite a bit, but somehow I don't seem to get the pieces blocked and scanned.  I blame Pinterest and I Can Haz Cheeseburger for my lack of productivity.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vacation Time

We had a vacation in the mountains, and while I was saddened that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was closed, I decided to be happy and enjoy the trip.

We had a fine time at the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre with a musical comedy melodrama.  This family owned small theatre has been there for decades.  Following the main play, there were more musical numbers and a sing-along.  When was the last time you got to sing "I'm Henry the Eighth, I am" with a hundred other people?

Gatlinburg is a town with a dual personality.  There are both the tourist trap attractions, and a long standing artist and craftsman community.  My favorite is the Arrowcraft Shop, which is almost like an arts and crafts gallery.  All the artists displayed are members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and every thing is beautiful: pottery, baskets, woodwork, jewelry... There is often a crafting demonstration going on.

Also in town is the Spinnery, a very nice yarn shop.  I think I bought enough roving to keep me spinning for a year.

On the outskirts of town is the Arts & Crafts Community, with probably 100 shops.  There wasn't any tatting, but there was a bead shop and a quilt shop.  Apple Annie's had nice vintage linens.  Alewine Pottery had exceptionally nice pottery and a work room where you could watch 2 potters at work.  I got to watch a lady making really pretty brooms at the Ogle Broom shop.

Meanwhile, back in town, there were almost continual live bluegrass bands playing in front of both moonshine stores.  I love bluegrass.  DH hates it, so I didn't make him come along.

While the National parks were closed, I found this city park where I could walk along side the creek for a bit.

Are you bored yet?  Tatting will resume shortly.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to the Challenge with an Old Friend and Split Rings

I recently had a nice email chat with an old friend, Karen Bovard Sayre.  We hadn't talked for along time since she hasn't made it to Palmetto for a couple of years.  Not too long ago, she got married and had a honeymoon in eastern Europe. How cool is that!  She has a new blog now, and recent entries include some free patterns and pictures of lace she saw on her trip.  She has a new book coming out soon, and on her website, http://www.theshuttlesmith.com/ she shares lots of useful information she learned about self-publishing books, plus some articles on the history of split ring tatting and more.

All this reminded me that I hadn't made any of the designs from her first book yet, and my personal 25 Motif Challenge is to get those unused books off the shelf.  So here is a cross from Fun with Split Ring Tatting, with tail added to make it a bookmark.  All the patterns are in diagram form, and very easy to read.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Where's Mary's Travelling Book?

Just thinking, I haven't heard anything about Mary's Travelling Book for a long time.  Who has it now?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Palmetto Pics

I really need to get disciplined enough to blog more frequently.  I have gotten really far behind with things to show.  Anyway, here are some more pictures from this year's Palmetto TatDays.  First are some pictures from the display/competition.  One of the great things about going to a convention is seeing so many things made by other tatters.  These are just a few, since many of my photos didn't come out too well.

Stephanie Wilson made this and it won best of show, well deserved.  

My own handkerchief (my tatting added to a vintage  embroidered hanky).  It won a ribbon in last year's State Fair.

Sorry, I don't remember who made this 3D flower, but isn't it lovely?

Randy Houtz's mouse in bobble tatting.

This lovely collar is by Patty Markley, from a Jan Stawasz pattern.  I really admire this piece, and the photo doesn't do the colors justice.

Sorry, I don't know who made this wonderful collar either.  The makers' names were hidden until after the voting and I didn't get back to check on all the names.

Tatting conventions are also good for lots of smiling faces.

JB and Kaye

Katharine and Crazy Mom


Vicki, with lots of tatting going on in the background.

News flash! If you admired the class projects from my previous post, now you can get your own copy of the patterns.  This year's Palmetto Pattern CD is already available now, details here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Palmetto Class Projects

Since I did not teach at the Palmetto Tatdays this year, I got to take lots of classes.  I had a great time just being a student, though I did miss teaching in some ways.

Here is the amulet bag taught by Erin. There were lots of people in this class.  I tweaked the pattern just a little for a slightly larger bag.  I still need to make the strap, but that should be easy.  The thread is hand-painted by Karey.  Karey couldn't make it this year and we missed her.

Next was Kaye Judt's 3D Bee.  This was a very fun introduction to bobble style tatting.

After the Friday night banquet, Riet always teaches the Night Owl Class, which is usually about ... owls.  This year's project was a cute little own designed by Jane Eborral.  Mine got a little squashed on the scanner, but it really is a nice pattern.

And then the impossible happened. I got out of bed and went to the Early Bird Class because I liked the project so much.  Donna led the class, but the pattern, "No Where Maze" is by Vicki Clarke.  This is more of Karey's thread.  I've decided it's time to actually use some of my special threads.

Then a class taught by Vicki herself, her 3D Northern Star.  This is a clever design, with little tatted pyramids joined to a front and back piece to make a puffy star.

And lastly, Randy Houtz's Pearl Tatted Dragonfly, to really stretch those mental tatting muscles.  These are Maltese/Pearl Tatting rings, but each is special.  The first one is a self-closing pearl mock ring with self-closing mock rings thrown off, and a regular Maltese ring thrown off it too. And then a split ring Maltese ring, and then a Maltese ring with dsop (double stitches on picot) which is similar to a daisy picot, but different.  Randy prefers the descriptive term "Pearl Tatted Ring", but I am used to calling them "Maltese Rings" like Mlle Riego did.

Here is a picture from some of us working on our amulet bags Saturday night.

And if you missed the fun, keep an eye on the Palmetto site, where you will be able to order a CD with all the class project patterns (lots more than these here), available sometime this fall. now!   Click Here for a link direct to their sales page.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flights of Fantasy

Dear friends, Since so many of you have asked, I will start taking pre-orders for my new fantasy book now.
It is fun to debut a book at the Palmetto TatDays and then I will start mailing copies afterward as I have done before.

I will gladly autograph books if you ask me. To ask, you can put in a "note to seller" on the PayPal order or send me an email.  I frequently personalize them "Dear Name, ..." so if you need it made out for someone else please say so!

Thank you to my wonderful test tatters, Jane Eborall, Erin Holloway, Sherry Townsend, and Stephanie Wilson.  They have put in a lot of work as well, and been a great help.

And thank you to all my friends online who have been so supportive of this project.

My website is http://www.home.bellsouth.net/p/pwp-tatsamore

A direct link to the book page is here 

There are Paypal buttons to order a single copy, with different buttons for the US, Canada, and Overseas to provide the proper amount for shipping.  If you want more than one book, email me and I can provide a discounted combined shipping price.  You can snail mail checks and money orders too.


The header on the Tatdays page says 6 days to go.  I've got so much to do! I've got to get my beads in the bead spinner, and my shuttles wound.  Where did I put my big beading shuttles?  I'd better start packing.  I'll need some extra shuttles, and threads, beads, sequins, buttons, my list of the Lizbeth colors I already have.  Must remember to recharge the camera battery.  And the homework for Vickie's class, must remember to do that.  I'd better go now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to the Challenge with Cintamani

My current personal challenge for the 25 Motif Challenge was to count only motifs worked from books.  I have a bad tendency to get tatting books and never actually work any of their patterns despite my best intentions, so I was trying to work on that.  I'm not doing a very good job.  I've lost count of when I started, and how many I have done, but I suspect the number is embarrassingly low.  I'll go back and count later.

Anyway, periodically, I pick myself back up and try again.  Jon generously gave me a copy of her book, Elegant Tatting Gems, and I have been admiring the motifs on other blogs.  Here is "Cintamani"  which I admired for its curves and being worked all in one pass.  I used a size 80 thread by Anchor, which is a gentle mixture of blue and white.  I recommend the book, with many 6 sided motifs.  Each pattern has both written instructions and a diagram.  Depending on your thread choice, they can be snowflakes or small doilies.  Mine is just over 2 inches across at the widest point.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Dear friends, thank you all for showing so much support for the upcoming book.  I will let you know when I am ready to start taking pre-orders.  There will be plenty of copies to go around!

I like to be closer to ready to mail before I start taking money.  And just as well, they asked me to put in extra time at work this week, which has put me days behind in dealing with my email etc.  This may continue into next week, so I think I will wait until that crisis has passed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Actually Tatted Something

I feel like it's been ever so long since I have simply tatted something to relax, and not related to design work. Here is Karey's 1919 Square Medallion from the May issue of Tatting Times.  Several others featured it on their blogs months ago, but I just got around to it.  I enjoy pretty, old fashioned tatting motifs, don't you?

This is the sight that greeted me several days recently.  I seem to have a tomato-eating squirrel.  At least, it's not as bad as the deer that ate them all in one night last year.  It hasn't happened the last few days. I wonder if the squirrel went away, or got better at hiding the evidence.

Progress on the upcoming fantasy book continues.  I've had a few last minute glitches, like finding the cover stock I wanted to use was discontinued, but nothing I can't handle.  I have every hope of being able to bring a box full for my consignment table at Palmetto Tat Days.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Celtic Button Teapot Pattern

Do you remember this teapot I showed you once?

The pattern appeared in the Feb 2011 issue of Tatting Times.  Apparently, a lot of folks don't have a subscription (why not? you should!), because I get a lot of requests for it.

I have taken the original pattern and added diagrams and in-progress pictures.  Thank you to Jane, Sherry, and Stephanie for thoroughly test tatting.

I will put it for sale in my Etsy shop as an instant digital download of a pdf file to print. (Yes, that poor neglected shop that went on vacation mode when I moved and stayed that way until now.)

I haven't used Etsy in sooo long, and I haven't tried the digital download feature before, so I'm a little afraid of messing it up.  So here's the game plan:  I will start with listing one copy.  Will whoever buys that let me know if it worked OK, and then I will list more copies.

Update: Margaret assured me I was worrying for nothing, since she has sold with this service with no problems.  Isdihara bought the trial copy and says it worked fine.  Yay! I am open for business.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Knight in Shining Armor

DH didn't think much of my tiny knight...

..until he saw it with the dragon.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Other Dragon

It belatedly occurred to me that while I had shown the dragon that had grown out of the bad rough draft, I had never shown the one from the good rough draft. Work on he book continues...