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.