Thursday, April 21, 2011

Striving for Mastery

#25 Motif Challenge

(If you are reading this, this one's for you, C.T.! 
You know who you are!)

It is appropriate that this is #25 of the Motif Challenge.  I keep signing up, as it keeps me on the straight and narrow. Check it out - this site is great tool for a tatter to have as an inspiration and motivator.

I am delighted with this motif and pleased with my tatting.  My work here is a visual follow-up to what I wrote in response to some of your comments on the Crash of the Copycat post.

I knew that I had moved my concentration away from, as my tatting buddy C.T. say, "each little soldier", focusing on embellishment and quantity rather than technique and quality.
**You Guys!
I am NOT being hard on myself! I am just being honest. I am not a whiner, nor do I look for sympathy and coddling. Not that kind'a gal! I see there are big problems with my technique, which is why I began to blog in the first place - to watch my tatting progress. So, I am using the tool I created to correct OBVIOUS errors!

You are all very kind, but much too polite! Leave that to us Canadians!
Love and kisses, ♥
Fox the Brutal ; ))
I compared the stitches:
I rest my case!

Talking about skill and method, I read something interesting in Jon's blog, and I commented:
If you do not wrap the thread over your pinky and it looks as if it is not wrapped on the third finger, how do you keep it taut when you do chains? I am mystified!
Imagine how surprised I was when I realized how idiotic my comment was in light of the fact that I do not wrap the thread around my pinky either!

The shuttle behind my palm is wedged there, keeping all taut.

How do you position that working thread?

P.S.  Thank you, Wendy.  This all started because of your wonderful #17, here
I am striving to have my tatting this precise!


  1. I thought I liked it before. This is truly glorious!

    When you have both pieces next to each other, #25 really does show artistry. Beautiful work.

  2. The new motif is exquisite!

    I run the chain thread over all my fingers and the shuttle dangles or lays in my lap. If I held it like you do, I'd be forever stopping and unwinding it. I don't wrap it around my pinky more than twice. That's too cumbersome and takes too long to get some slack in the tension. My crochet tension and tatting tension work differently though I pretty much run the thread through my fingers the same way - except for that one extra wrap around the pinky.

    What do you do if you're using a ball thread intead of a 2nd shuttle? I only use a 2nd shuttle if I'm making split rings, split chains, or throwing rings off of chains. I do that a lot, but if I don't need a 2nd shuttle, that's one less shuttle to wind and that much less thread to measure out.

  3. I have to say that I think your motif is incredible, very professional, very well made, very beautiful. I also must say, I like it much better in this solid color myself :)

    I do the same as Gina, simply because I think I have been crocheting and knitting too long, I like my palms of my hands more open, and I hate unwrapping the shuttle so often, I too prefer the extra thread hanging from my pinky. I most often use 2 suttles unless I am familiar with the pattern already, I have a lot of shutles with just a bit of extra thread on them so using it up in practice pieces doesn't bother me, where as if I make such mistakes on the ball I have to cut it and make the knots anyhow, which is for me, the same as using the shuttles, just less weight. I know for sure that part , the less weight on my hands part, comes from knitting all the time.

  4. HI Fox, I am wondering how much of the "sloppiness" in your original piece was due to the size of the beads, as in the 2nd version, the joins are all snugged up.

    as for wrapping the chain thread, it is very much like you would for crochet, and wrapped around my pinky then the shuttle (or ball) is allowed to dangle to provide weight. If I am using the ball for the chain and not a 2nd shuttle, I will twist the thread around the ball a couple times so it doesn't unroll otherwise my ball would be on the floor.

  5. I love seeing the improvements you make when you strive for perfection! I think it's much easier for us to notice our own mistakes, flaws, imperfections, whatever you want to call them, because we're looking very carefully at what we're doing.

    When I read a blog post, I'm seldom looking at the details in photographs, a result of having way too many blogs to read! Therefore, I am greatly impressed by everyone's work! I will admit, though, that there are certain bloggers whose work always looks perfect, and I think that these stand out because everything is just so.

    How do I keep my tension? I wrap the thread around my forefinger two times, under my middle finger and ring finger, and between my ring finger and pinky. I pinch the thread between my thumb and middle finger. I'm sure it looks awkward to some, but it works for me, and my fingers never go numb!

  6. Maybe you sure try needle tatting again!?! If you do, say hi to NN for me! (hee hee)

  7. This is beautifully tatted, Fox! You're mastering precision. It looks wonderful.

  8. Thank you, Everyone, for such detailed comments!

    Kelly, How can I jump ship when I am finally cleaning up my act with the shuttle! You'll be the first to know if I do!

    Diane! I am astounded at the contortions!

    Ladytats, I had the same thought - maybe the beads make it sloppy. But the problem went beyond the beads - more to attitude. That is why I decided to give them a rest and see what happened with my stitches.

    Gina, I ALWAYS tat with the shuttles! I feel unbalanced if I don't. I must have started out that way, and I think I read somewhere that it was a good thing to do. I must have been imprinted with this bit of advice!

    ♥ Fox : )

  9. That is perfect tatting!! What a lovely colour too . . very vintage and romantic. I also wrap the ball thread on my pinky, sometimes loose enough so I can slide to get more thread or tight when I need the tension. I guess I was taught by a teacher who also learnt crochet before tatting.

  10. Have to add a comment - I usually use the thread off the ball unless I absolutely need a second shuttle. I pull some thread down between my ring finger and pinky and then I wrap it "backwards" so that when I need more thread I just unravel one loop rather than undoing all the thread that's wound around my pinky. Not sure if that makes sense ....


  11. 25th motif ? you too ... congratulations !
    I'll come back to see your next challenge ;-)

  12. Wendy - Love the comment,but perfect? HA! I think not! : ))

    Suneeti, Hi, there! ♥
    I need the weight. I fumble around without the shuttle - but I see why you do that wrap. I'll give it a go..
    Fox : )

  13. Hi Fox,

    This motif is beautifully tatted and looks lovely well done.