Saturday, December 23, 2017

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I was feeling in a festive mood and took a little trip to the neighborhood famous for its "tree ball" displays.  Capturing a good picture of it has always eluded me, but maybe the top picture, taken on approach to the neighborhood, gives an idea of the wonders to come.

Also, I finally found candles to fit this decoration we inherited from John's mother.  I don't know if it's really old or not.

I thought the candles were supposed to make the vanes turn and rotate some of the figures within, but that didn't happen.  Hmm, let them burn longer before giving up? A little WD40 on the axle? Hmm.

Still, pretty to look at, and I'm happy.

Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Holidays to you all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dragonfly Quilt Square

Here's another quilt square for next year's Palmetto fundraiser.  These squares are smaller than the ones we had for previous quilts, and Georgia said it's OK to work across the lines.

The orange dragonfly in the center stripe is from Karey Solomon's "Flutter Home," except I made the tail a little shorter and used picots instead of beads. The other orange one is a variation with a SCMR for the body.

The purple dragonfly is from Patricia Rizzo's "The Gentle Art of Tatting Things We Love." Her example looks more airy than mine, so maybe my tension is tighter than hers.  The blue one is Sharren Morgan's Flag-Tailed Dragonfly" from the Palmetto 2010 pattern CD.  And the blue and purple one is sort of a mash-up of those two patterns.

I had fun choosing the colors.  Stay posted for more squares.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Jane's New Heart

This is Jane's heart pattern, entitled "My Heart is in Canada."  I was lucky to attend Jane's class at the Fringe Element's conference this fall.  The class had a great time working the pattern together.  I think I even finished during class time.

For everyone else, she has generously posted the pattern online. Click HERE for a link to her pattern pages. From there click on Hearts and you will see this one and lots more.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Quilt Square for Palmetto

Next year's Palmetto Tat Days will feature another group project quilt.  Yay! I love the challenge of quilt squares, choosing threads and designs to complement the fabric. 

Here is one done.  I have used Yarnplayer's Ginko Leaf from her Etsy shop to go with the leaves printed on the fabric.  The design uses folded rings and Catherine wheel joins.

My little flowers in the center section don't show up real well, so I may add more to that section later.  But I've got more quilt squares I will work on first to make sure I get them all done.

The choosing and the tatting is the fun part.  Then comes the sewing on :(    That always takes so much more time than I expect it will.  But good news, I have realized that it is easy to separate Lizbeth thread into 3 strands, so I can use that for a thin matching thread for the sewing on.  Cut a piece of thread about the length of fingertip to elbow. Twist one end back and forth until you can see 3 strands and pull one out.  If you have ever separated strands of embroidery floss, you know what to do.

If you would like to join in the fun, here is message from Georgia about adopting quilt squares to decorate.  You can also send her tatted pieces to be sewn onto the quilt.

Hello, tatters!

Tatters and Quilters needed to decorate blocks for the 2018 Tatting scholarship fundraiser quilt.
We have about 70 more blocks which need to be adopted.

Please look here:
There are 9 sets of photos. Click on a photo and it opens to an enlarged view.
There the blocks are marked A, B, C etc. Choose your favorite color block or intriguing theme.
Email me the set number and the identification of the block and it will be mailed to you.

For international addresses, please ask for an enlarged photo of the block so that you can tat the decoration and mail it to me.
I will gladly sew it onto the blocks.

For example:  please look at
block DDDD has quilting and guitars and lots of color. Is that the block for  you??

Thanks for your help./

Best wishes, Georgia Seitz  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tatting Correspondence in the 1810's

Corina kindly sent me some links to references to tatting in some ladies' letters in the 1810's.  I've done a cut and paste of part of the pages.  

Joanna Baillie was a poet and playwright born in Scotland.  Mary Cumming was an Irishwoman who had emigrated to Virginia.

Joanna had been given a length of tatting and asks her friend if she knows what tatting is.  Mary had just learned to tat and is describing how to do it as though her friend would not know how.  (Even then, as now, the beginner's difficulty in getting rings to close is noted as the hard part.)  

I can envision this as a time when the art of tatting was just starting to spread from person to person in the English speaking countries, while we know some decades were to pass before there would be published instructions.

I'm sorry the print on the clips is so small.  Here are links for closer looks at these pages:

Hamstead April 3rd 1819



Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Palmetto Pictures, at last

I'll try to get back to blogging more often, sorry for taking so long.

I'm sure I've told you enough times how much I enjoy going to the Palmetto Tatdays every year.  Those who blog more regularly have already told you lots about this year's event.

This year I didn't teach and I really enjoyed the lack of stress from being just a student.  Sometimes I was the bad student, showing up late for class and making dumb mistakes from not reading the pattern closely enough.

I'm always so busy talking and tatting that I don't remember to take many pictures.  Here are a few I managed to get.

This was a lovely shawl that was donated to be auctioned.

A few pictures of friends.

An actual completed class project.  This pattern is Kosmos, by Karey Solomon. I always enjoy her classes.

Monday, October 16, 2017

So Far Behind -- More Yoke Pictures

I'm so far behind, and more disorganized as ever. Jane is well into posting all about the Fringe TatDays and I haven't even said anything about Palmetto yet.  I've done some Palmetto class projects, they must be around here somewhere. I think.

Anyhoo, someone asked for some closeups of the Phyllis Sparks yoke, so here you are until I can get myself better sorted out.

If you would like to see it modeled, see Jane's blog HERE.

Thursday, September 07, 2017


Well, here's the yoke, finished at last.  I took it off the blocking board Monday.  I wish I remembered when I started.  It took about 2 1/2 balls of DMC Cordonet size 50, or maybe 2 2/3.  It's hard to estimate partial balls.  It's been an interesting journey.

It just occurred to me, I should have measured the dimensions for you, but it's not coming out of the suitcase now.

And I'm all packed up ready to leave for Toccoa Tatdays in the morning, and it's only 2 am. That's what time I usually get home from work, so that's not bad at all. Wonder what I forgot to pack this time...

Monday, September 04, 2017

Tat a Con

Forgive me, but when I heard this year's Palmetto TatDay's theme was "Tat-a-Con," this was the first image that popped in my head. 

I didn't submit it to the logo contest because I figured it was Not-What-They-Had-In-Mind.

Anyway, I am so looking forward to wearing the T-shirt with Anitra's excellent design.

Just a few days left to go now, and I've got so much to do to get ready.

See you there.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sherry's Yoke

No, I'm not done yet, but Sherry, the Celtic Dreamweaver, shared this picture of one she made over 20 years ago and wore for a long time.  She must have bought the book when it was brand new.  I had thought about adding some small motifs to fill in some big open spaces, and I see she already did just that. Thanks for the picture Sherry!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Working Both Ends Toward the Middle

You will have noticed that the blogging has slowed down.  The blog finally caught up with where I was in real time with tatting the yoke.  

Some weeks I don't get hardly any tatting done, but I made good progress this past weekend.  Only 14 motifs to go!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Not Much To See Here

A few fill-in motifs on the front (?back) part.  Now just the outer edge to go.

My preciousssss...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yoke Progress

After fixing the offending motif I showed last time, I have now completed the inner neck edge.  These motifs were all "Yoke Circle 1" and I am now done with that particular pattern.  Only 41 motifs to go :/

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fixing Mistakes

Remember, I told you with Sparks yoke, you have to look at the pictures to see where to make the joins?  The problem is, some of the pictures aren't very good.  If the picture isn't clear,  look around, and you may find a better picture on another page.  Anyway, I didn't do that one time and realized later I had a motif joined in the wrong place.

We've all had mistakes and had to cut away.  It's a little more complicated when the cut away part includes a picot that was joined to by some later tatting that you don't want to cut out.

Here is how I handle that situation.

Disclaimer:  some of the scans were made from the front side to show tatting you would be working from the backside.  Instead of making more scans, I flipped the pictures around, so don't pay too much attention to whether the stitches in the pictures look like front or back.

Fixing mistakes in tatting that was joined to later:

Carefully clip away the offending piece, leaving bits attached.  If you are certain which bits formed joins instead of picots, go ahead and pull only those off.  If in doubt, pull out just the core thread of all the bits.  

If the bit was forming a join, then both threads will come away from the picot it was joined to.

When the bit was forming the picot, it will remain attached to the remaining tatting when the core thread is pulled out.  Don't pull out the picot thread just yet.

Look carefully at the two thread ends sticking out one side of the tatting and find where the connecting thread lies on the other side.  Use a needle to pull it up partway.

Now that you know where to re-create the joined picot, put this part away and make the new replacement tatting until you get to this point.  Unwind the ball thread shuttle or cut off a long length of the ball thread and put it in your smallest sewing needle.  Put on your best pair of reading glasses.  

Arrange the old tatting in your hand in position to join to it.  Pull on the loop so that just the one thread end nearest you  is pulled out.  Immediately...

... put the ball thread needle through the tiny hole while you can still see it.  Try to put it through in the same direction that the thread end just came out.  

Now pull the rest of the bit of thread out and put the ball thread needle through the other hole.  Check carefully to make sure the ball thread is in the right direction to form a picot.  I will admit I got mine backward the first time, which would have formed a twisted picot.  I pulled the ball thread back out and used a couple more fine needles to mark the holes while I put the ball thread back in the needle and tried again.

Once your are sure everything is right, adjust the ball thread to the length of a picot and resume tatting. 

While making all those close ups on the scanner, the background was nice too.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Going to the Fringe!

Look what I've got!  Some dear friends graciously offered to let me ride with them to the Fringe Element Tat Days in Canada.  I am so looking forward to it.

Which reminds me, I had better start finding transportation to the Palmetto Tat Days.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Yoke's Really Long Piece

Next up is "Yoke Section 9," the really long strip across the front (or back, I hope).  This is a milestone in my progress, as it is the last of the large pieces, and all the secions are now joined together.  And also too big to fit on the scanner.

It's very pretty and dainty.  It would make a good edging or insertion.

The diagram shows only the ends, and I take exception to the way the diagram parts are displayed on the page.  If you ever make this, remember, next to the end trefoils, the longer chains need to be on the outer side of the curve on both ends.

Meanwhile, in the garden, there have been good times and bad times.  Here's a picture from a week or so ago. 

A deer got through the fence and ate a bunch of tomatoes, both fruit and vines.  The squash plants didn't bear much and died an early death.  On the up side, the deer didn't get all the tomatoes, and the vines are starting to put out new branches and blooms.  I'm trying to grow some more squash from seed, and the young plants are looking good so far.  I'm getting more cucumbers than ever before and I already made a batch of bread-and-butter pickles. (No idea why they are named that.) The peppers are starting to bear as well.  

One plant that was supposed to be a jalapeno turned out to be this instead.  I picked one when it was 6 inches long.  I'll have to figure out what I can make with these.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Moving to the Front? Back?

When I first saw the picture of the yoke by Phyllis Sparks, I expected the wide portion to be the back.  However, in the book, she says that is the front.  I hope it can be worn either way.  I'll just have to see how it drapes when it is done.

Above is "Yoke Circle 8," the center of the wide section.  At this point, I had taken off several weeks to work on the Rose Mignonette doily.  By the time I got back to the yoke, I must have forgotten everything I knew about the short bare thread spaces.  I worked this motif at least 3 times.  I can't remember if the picture above is the final or next to last effort.  The center is a little crowded, but it is in Mrs. Sparks' photo as well.  I made the picots in the outer round a little longer to prevent cupping.

Here is the picture of the whole yoke from the book again to help you keep your bearings.