February 27, 2009

Thread Exchange!

I've just got to say thanks to the wonderful gals who participated in the thread exchange! I sent off some of my favorite Flora, and I received some Purple Flora 10, that matches with some other thread I have, some light blue Altin Basak Simile with silver, some red Manuela which I've never tried, and some varigated light green Flora size 50. I'm so excited because I think the Simili AB might go well with the AB I got from Elizabeth. And it's cool to have a variety of things to try.

So, thanks a bunch to Debi, Bina, and Erin! Turns out that Bina is north of me, too far away for a casual visit, but close enough for a possible meet up sometime. This was way too fun, having little surprise envelopes show up in the mail. I hope we get to do it again sometime.

February 25, 2009

My little medallion

Yay I finished something!
I'm finding that I really need that sense of "Job well done" to keep me motivated sometimes, and this actually turned out better than I thought it would.
It's my take on this weeks lesson from the Online class, a motif from the Boucher book project that is in the works, the lesson can be found here. It was suggested in class that it would be easy to turn the original example into a square, but you lose the josephines in doing so, and I really like the josephine knots. Anyway, I was doing so well with the frontside/backside on this one, until I figured out that when I redid the second round I joined it on backwards (GO ME!)
And, if I did it again it could use a little adjusting. Most of the kinks got worked out in the convincing ..... er, I mean blocking process. :-) In the end, I think this one might find some use after all. I just happen to have an empty acrylic coaster that is crying out to be utilized. That shall have to wait a few days unfortuanately, I'm booked up through the weekend at this point.
Goodnight to you all, sweet dreams and happy tatting!

Lost in a sea of WIP

I haven't posted since last week, but I've been tatting during as much quiet time as I get :-) Nothing is finished yet, but I suppose I can give updates.

WIP 1. Iris Niebach Doiley from "Tatted Doileys". It's slow going on this one because I keep not paying attention to the diagram properly :-) The diagram is like a slice of pie, and the stitch count numbers are on the edge of the "slice" and I keep forgetting to do all the joins that should be there. I don't tat with the tot around anymore though........although she forced me to become adept at opening closed rings.......

WIP 2. Iris' TIAS. My handy hands order came yesterday! So I had thread to start the TIAS finally. The bummer is that I ordered some specific thread I wanted to use doing the one of the projects from the book "Tatting with Visual Patterns" that I had also ordered, but the book is on backorder, and I got the cotton hanky for Baby's bonnet, but the thread I ordered for that is backordered too.....so all my planned projects are waiting for now.

WIP 3. A take on one of the lessons from the online tatting class this week. I'm doing a small motif from one of the Boucher pages, turning it into a medallion on my own, and it's taken me a few tries. the second round got whacked off last night, and I'm not really 100 percent happy with how it is now, but I'm going to finish it anyway because I need to finish something!

That accounts for all of my shuttles at this time, and now that kiddo is napping and hubby is watching TV and the dishes are done and I'm just waiting for the dryer to beep............... I might go do some tatting YAY! After devotions I think.... Been real bad about that lately. God time first, then tatting.

February 20, 2009

#17. I guess I'm in a mood :-)

  1. This is a fabulous little motif! Thanks to Jon for the pattern
  2. Tatted with a new ball of Altin Basak, which is a much better color in person, I don't know why my scanner won't show the rich teal that it really is! It's my first try with this brand of thread, and it's so soft compared to my normal Flora! It feels fine and delicate.
  3. It ended up about 2 1/2 inches done in the thread which I believe is US equivalent to about a 30.......
  4. The Purple People Eater now sits in my driveway (insert horror movie music here)
  5. This is number 17 for the 25 motif challenge.

February 19, 2009

Tatting and the twos.

That almost sounds like the start of a Dr Seuss Book!

Alas my dearest little munchkin will be turning two years old next week. I don't like to call them the "terrible two's", to me that's just excusing bad behavior. But- toddlers should come with a label that reads something like this:

Warning: Do not attempt to tat in the general proximity of this child, even if it is your intention to teach said child that the world does not revolve around her. Such activity will result in Retro-tatting a whole hours worth of tiny rings, and various amounts of chain work. Symptoms such as inaccurate joins, missed stitches, and inconsistent tension may occur.

Edited to include this update:

Don't try tatting by the bathtub either. Brilliant idea, right? She will be busily playing with her toys in her three inches of water, too busy to notice I'm accomplinshing anything!
Yeah, right. I think she poo-poo'd in the tub just to spite me.

February 18, 2009

There is something about squares

Here is the latest tatting kids! Click on the picture to find the pattern, it is Icela's Square Motif from her blog. Done in size 20 flora, it measures 3x3". Number 16 for my challenge.

Other than that, nothing much of interest to post unfortuanately. I have a WIP going that will probably take me a while to finish because I'm being super perfectionistic about the joins and the frontside/backside. It's from Iris Niebach's Tatted Doilies, one of the only patterns in the book that calls for oen shuttle and ball, and it is probably one of the simplest ones, but I really want to be able to work from her diagrams! Again for some reason I end up going in what seems to be the opposite direction somehow. Who knows. But It's going along nicely now after three re-starts!

February 17, 2009

I'm a spoiled girl, yes I am!

Darling Jim, my dearest, has allowed me to place my Handy Hands order! Yay! I'm not sure how soon it will ship, it is mostly comprised of the new Lizbeth thread. I'm also getting two books- Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, and Tatting together by Iris Niebach. And I'm pretty sure I ordered a hanky for the new baby's bonnet. There are so many nice things on the way in the mail, I just can't sit still! I am taking part in a thread exchange, so three mystery envelopes will be here in the next few weeks, as well as a ball of my favorite color of a new thread. And like I said in a previous post, I would need new thread to soften the blow if the proposed minivan purchase went through-----and it did. My purple-people-eater of a van will be coming home this weekend. Lord, I know it's a blessing, but did it have to be purple???? I like the color in general, but not on my transportation!

I have no tatting to show today. I made several attempts at starting a project that we are working on in the online class, and it's just eating me and my thread for dinner! It's called Knot Garden, you can check it out on the class website. The pattern is just all over the place for me, and I can't seem to get it started heading in the right direction....I keep wanting to try it again but I think I'll wait because Georgia said there might be some diagrams being put together to help. Until then I keep peeking in to see if anyone has sent in pictures of successes :-) I hope I'm not the only one in a tangle.........that's awful of me, I know!

February 16, 2009

Vintage Square, number 15

I'm getting ready for today's online tatting class, so I had to finish this and empty my shuttles! It's a motif from a vintage tatting book. I don't remember which one, if you really want to know I can figure it out though no problem. Just too lazy right now.
It's worked in two rounds, the outer part first and then the inner bit to join the overlapping chains. I had to take some time with the pattern, the copy is so old some of the numbers are hard to read so I wrote it out to be easier to understand and was pretty happy with the result.

Anyway, I'm off to class!

UPDATE: the motif is from the book -LaCroix, Sophie T. Old and New Designs in Tatting, Book No. 11. and can be found by following the link on the right side of this blog to the Antique Pattern Library. Click on "catalog" and you will see it alphabetically under LaCroix.

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm feeling all sentimental and lovey! Hubby kicked me out of the house today while he was doing a valentine's surprise, I came home to find that he had done a hand and footprint painting with my little daughter as a valentine's gift. It's so cute and special, and much mor nutritious than chocolate :-) I just love gifts that take thought and time. So, when I sat down to tat I couldn't think of anything better for motif #14, on the 14th of February! The design, Small tattted heart is by Betsy Evans. I missplaced a join in the beginning, so I just did the same thing on the other side to make it even. And there is a mistake in the pattern near the end about how many picots there are on one of the rings near the bottom clover, so keep an eye on the diagram if you work it. The ends are present so it can be hung. I do have a friend that I think might enjoy it, so this piece might escape the endless box of tatting bits that don't see daylight.

I also came up with a few things to add to the learning as I go list- I got an email from Georgia this morning about a broken link fixed on the Class website, and it was about doing a "down" join. It made mention about it being useful for frontside/backside working, and that it could be followed by a half double stitch or whatever depending on preference. So, when I sat down with this heart I had that in mind. And Voila! wouldn't you know that if you do a down join, followed by a snug second half of DS, it's almost invisible! And as far as wrongside, you do an up join followed by the first half of a double stitch. I'm so excited about this! I'm also sure I read it somewhere before, but it never clicked.

February 12, 2009

Sunny little snowflake, #13

The absolute coolest part about this one is how the colors went through the repeat in the pattern! I wish I could say I had planned that :-)

The pattern (Mardi-gras) belongs to Patti Dowden, who shared it on etatters. I did this one to work on my SSSR's. I learned how to do an sssr with that little Micro-dragon that has been flying all over the web, and I just love how the rings are smoothly transitioned in the color. Flora size 20. This color makes me feel cheery.

February 11, 2009

drumroll please.........

It's here! my number 10 for the challenge.

AnneB's lovely design is realised! Yaya! So many ends to hide, so much pulling apart.......

If I were to do it again I'd change the tension. The first few rings I pulled too tight so I had to follow that through the whole thing. But I really like it! It shall take it's place somewhere around here. I don't have many flat surfaces available---where it won't be snatched away into oblivion by a certain two year old.

The teeney snowflake from the previous post is #11, and this is number 12. It's about two inches, again in the DMC 80 ecru. I can't remember where the pattern is from, it's in my notebook of things I've printed from the internet over the years. It is one part of a doiley, I think I'll save it for my daughter's doll house. Her Great-Great grandfather built her a beautiful dollhouse (more beautiful than the one he built for me) shortly after he had his stroke. It's in a safe place untill she is old enough for it, so maybe I'll start stashing a collection of furniture and tiny tatted linens.
Goodnight for now!

February 10, 2009

neeed.....sense of................accomplishment!

I had to let that doily simmer for awhile, or maybe it was me that needed to simmer. Either way I took the opportunity to try some size 80 thread, it's DMC, the only color the shop had :-)
I must say it wasn't as scary as it seemed, the pattern is from etatters, and I substituted the outer rings for scmr's 'cause it made sense to me after doing the first one. Now I see the draw toward smaller threads, the work seems so fine and delicate, feels nice in the hand. Measuring in at and inch and a half, if I could stiffen it well it would make a cute pair of earrings. The guitar pick was the only thing handy for size comparison. I do need to experiment with hiding ends in the small thread, if you have suggestions please do share! I guess I'll try for magic threads, it just seems so small to weave ends in and I don't have that small of needle handy.

In other news, I have been wanting to make something for the new baby, something I knew I'd finish before she is born :-) So I shelved the idea of booties. I did come across the plans for a hanky bonnet though! So I've added to the list of things to put on my next Handy Hands order. The list is growing, and my craft income has dwindled. I get a little spending money from watching a little boy an hour a day during the week, but his mom has been home from work all this week and last, so no tatting dollars yet. I do paid surveys online too but I haven't gotten one of those in weeks. Maybe I'll try a lemonade stand or something. I will need new thread to soften the blow if we end up buying the purple minivan from our church. It's probably a smart move, our oldest car is on it's last leg, and we'll need more room once we move another carseat in to my vehicle. But..................a minivan? I'm TOO YOUNG for a minivan! Let alone a PURPLE minivan.... here comes the stigma. I'm sure I'll never hear the end of it from my husband. I'll be doing my old lady crafting in my old lady minivan.........

No offense to old lady tatters in purple minivans intended.

Grrr, nope!

I'm so frustrated! In an I knew better sort of way :-)

I tried to finish off that doiley last night only to find that by the time hubby got home at midnight I had done three joins wrong on the last motif and it had to be cut out to start agian. It's really a simple piece I swear, this is my first go at something without directions........I guess I just can't navigate myself at that hour of night. So, I think I shall let that one rest a few days and try something else. Then we can reconcile perhaps and somehow come up with a daylight hour to tat. (Hhahhahahahahaaaaaaa who am I kidding :-) My only saving grace with this one is that it is done in pieces and I don't have to destroy the whole thing.

February 9, 2009

Almost there!

I've got 5 out of six parts done to finish the doiley, and it's been so good for me as a practice piece! Each motif I've been tatting over the starting ends, and putting in a magic thread at the beginning and the end, and it feels better doing both. My tension has been a bit wonky because I"ve been trying to get a little faster :-) And I also had to figure out how to open a closed ring well because I kept joining in the wrong spot :-) So it's not goin to be a show piece when it's done, but I'm glad to have done it. I think I'll be done tonight after my little darling goes to sleep....IF she goes to sleep..... Of course it's the week after I get all the nursery furniture bolted to the wall for safety that she figures out how to reach the lightswitch from the crib! Hubby woke up at midnight to find her passed out in there with her lights on.

February 5, 2009

I couldn't do it!

Yes, I'm weak. I had to go to the craft store today for a completely unrelated project, but of course wandered into the thread aisle. Sigh, it's only DMC perle cotton, but I just needed some new color! It's much brighter and cheerier in person.
The motif is AnneB's. http://nuperelle.blogspot.com/
She made a little challenge in her post so I printed the picture and dissected it best I could. It helped me with a few things, I finally got all the right side/wrong side correct, and I even remembered to put that darn magic thread in at the beginning. The only thing I'm not keen on is the first inner ring got pulled too tight as I was so busy tatting over ends and loops all over the place. I need to do 5 more to make the little doiley, so I' can get that right next time I suppose. It's such a cute little motif! We shall call this (and it's subsequent counterparts) number 10 for my challenge. Thank you AnneB for your lovely ideas!

February 4, 2009

Quantiesque, #9

Must.......have...........new........thread! I swear someone is going to think I'm a red hat lady with all the red and purple I put out! I might break down and buy some regular crochet cotton....I need some blue and green. And pink. And I think I saw a ball of rainbow at Joann..... Anyway this and -all the others you see in the same colors- is done in size 10 Royale crochet cotton. It's not all that bad to work with unless it get's a bit untwisted. I'd love to work in better threads, but I'm going to be a good girl and save my pennies!

Anyway, this is obviously Jon's Quantiesque. I feel mostly successful, however I did have trouble with right side/wrong side. I think I need to go through the pattern (which was very well explained and easy to follow by the way) with a highliter and mark all of the WS to work reverse stitches. I got going on round three and did the first chain in reverse, and then realized after completing a clover that If I would have just started it facing the other side I wouldn't have had to do anything reverse....(does that make sense? :-) So the clovers remain WS for this go at it. Other than that I need to remember to put a magic thread loop in the beginning, I'm so busy tatting over the beginning ends that I end up pulling both threads through the same spot or weaving one in. I guess what my tatting lacks is forethought and planning. I'm having a ball at it though. My personal goal is to finish my 25 for the challenge by May 1st. Our second baby is due May 19, but I went two weeks early with the last, so I'd like to finish because I just know I'll be way too distracted by the new little princess moving into our lives to even think about tatting once she is born. I'm still contemplating doing a pair of booties.........

Also found some size 80 ecru DMC that is taunting me from the thread box. I'm not sure what to try with it!

February 3, 2009

Fluffy Celtic!

Here is my latest bit of tatting. It's a little fluffier than I thought it would be---you can't tell while it's flattened under the lid of the scanner (needs blocking too. I must admit my first stop with any new tatting is the scanner, I'm too impatient to get it all wet before posting a picture!). It is called Blooming Trellis by Eliz Davis, size 20 flora. I'm not really thrilled by the colors, but it's what I have on hand. I used several new techniques on this one, and that was really exciting for me. Split rings on the red part, I've done them one at a time but this was an excellent opportunity to develop a rhythm in doing them. The yellow round has Scmr's all over it and it's the first time I've done those in mass quantity as well.

The online tatting class is working on some Jane Ebborall beaded patterns this week. I'm not sure if I want to try yet, but Wally posted her flower on her blog and I'm finding myself tempted. I need to go over the pattern again and see if I need to pre string the beads at all, I really would hate that part. I'd rather add them as I go along I think. And, I have tons of beads, and it would be a big mess to take them out......and the draw tatting has for me is that it's usually a very portable, easy to pick up and put down type craft. I just don't know. Maybe when I get some new thread colors. I have to wait until the end of the month to put in an order, I want to get Mary Konior's book "tatting with visual patterns", and I want a few more of the sew mate shuttles. I also think I'll try some of the new Lizbeth thread that HH is getting in this month. But, we are trying to save money and I'm putting myself on a spending freeze for a few weeks. I also need to be sure that I follow through with tatting, I tend to be a flavor of the month crafter, sometimes I lose interest in things so I want to be sure I'll keep going before I invest in more books and thread. The 25 motif challenge is keeping me motivated, as well as the class.....in fact, I found out that Mimi from class is in Snohomish, and that there is a lace guild that meets nearby! They do mostly bobbin lace, but she says there is a small group of tatters there too. I might go check it out some time, my daughter's birthday party is the same time as their next meeting, so it might be march before I get the chance. Happy tatting to you all, I'm off to study that beaded pattern. Must decide my next motif! I really want to do the Quantiesque snowflake, but in pretty colors........again waiting till I get more new thread :-)

February 2, 2009

Too many posts today! (good thing the laundry is done too!)

The final blog entry today, I promise! :-)

This is number 7 for the challenge, By Birgit phelps, it's called Kira's star and is found here-http://www.geocities.com/birgit_ph/
I added the picots to the center chains and made larger ones on the points. It's pretty :-) I do wish I had thought about doing the center chains all right side for looks, and I wound a full shuttle for the outer round that is completely chains, But I like. I should go to bed now, I heard that Denny's is giving away free grand slams tomorrow, so I may drag the family out of bed for breakfast. But I think we all know by now that I'll be tatting till I can tat no more.....

So that's why!

Another learning experiment! I recently learned how to do an sssr, and I really hate winding two shuttles, so I was trying out a celtic bookmark (at 11:30pm....you think I'd have learned that lesson!). Come to find out, you can't join a sssr.....the loop has no way around the ring! I hope I'm not the first to figure that out the hard way. :-) I did however use cheap thread, and I didnt' try the whole pattern at first, just a few rings to work out the kinks. So I am learning. I guess I'll have to wind two shuttles. I haven't figured out how much thread my shuttles will hold yet, so I shall have to at some point measure that out for CTM.

NO I'm not counting this toward the 25 motif challenge....... Only the successes!


Challenge #6

For motif #6 I went back and tried again at an Iris Niebach pattern that she has available for free on her website. I had tried it on needle beefore, but I had done the second round wrong and I was having to add new thread every two inches around the edging so I gave up. I went at it again this time with shuttles, It's not blocked well yet, and I'm not happy with some of the thread hiding I did, and I did miss the stitch count in one spot but I'm not going to tell you where! I like the pattern a lot though, very quick to work up.

Today I went to my local Michaels to pick up some more crochet cotton, and to my surprise, they don't carry any. At all! None! They remodeled recently, and all they seem to have is scrapbooking and novelty yarn and some beads. I'm bummed. Probably won't go there any more. I guess it just gives me an excuse to put in another order at Handy Hands!