Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Honey Of A Hankie

Isn't this the best?

I think Diane is trying to direct my tatting time for the next year or so, as this hankie is really BIG! I fear for your ears as I grumble and mutter my way through the edging! Just a little warning of things to come!


Since I stabbed myself admirably with the Clover shuttle, I have been using my lovely LaCossette bobbin shuttles exclusively. I adore them, but I need to un-tat so often and I am frustrated using the half- Clover that I thought was such a good idea to have on-hand to undo the knots.  

The hook on the end of the Aero is too big, and I cannot find a suitable straight pin.  What do YOU use to unpick when you use a bobbin shuttle?

Your Opinion, Please.

I was not planning to tat this right away, but I am inspired by the hankie and one must not argue with The Muse.  So, I have begun to tat the BIG HANKIE though I am not quite finished with the one Michelle sent me - I have only about FIVE repeats remaining!

I might end up having to drop the "Serial Tatter" moniker if I have too many things on the go!


What do you think? 

 This is a Mary Konior edging and the plain ( though slightly variegated) thread is DMC #80 and the one with green is about#80, one of the Valdani threads my sis sent me a while back. 

I know which one I prefer, bit am not sure of my judgement here.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Also, and very importantly, I am not certain if I shall have enough of the DMC thread.  This is not a full ball and I do not know much is on there. There is lots of the Valdani.  The hankie is about 13" square.


  1. Valdani most definitely. I use the hook on the Aero to unpick with most threads but with the very fine threads I use a needle or a pin. As you probably already know - if you put your shuttle through a ring before closing it makes it easier to open again. Don't ask me why - it just does!!! Gary Houtz taught me that when I met him. Hope that helps.

  2. That IS a beautiful hanky! I think both threads work nicely, but personally I like the solid red best.

    I prefer shuttles with picks on them, but when I find the pick (or hook) doesn't work nicely for the un-tatting I must do, I use one of my tapestry needles. (I still stab myself, but it's not quite as painful as a sharp needle or pin . . .)

  3. Re: the threads - neither. The DMC is too orange and the Valdani too busy. I'd want to pull out the deeper red of the shadows in the rose. Then there is always white.... :-)

    There is always a spare Clover at hand for unpicking when I tat with my La Cossette shuttles. Haven't found anything I like better.

  4. I think I, too, favor the Valdani. My husband shortened the shank on a size 14 crochet hook for me years ago. He drilled a hole in the shank and I have a ribbon through it. So while I use the hook on the Aero for joining, I usually use the size 14 crochet hook for untatting. I think it gives me better control. I also prefer the Clover shuttles when tatting with small threads and save my Aero shuttles primarily for the larger threads and soft threads that might get abused by the tips of the Clovers.

  5. Oops, Fox. My plastic shuttles are Susan Bates rather than Clovers, though I think there is a similar shuttle with the Clover label as well.

  6. I managed to break the tip off a size 16 crochet hook when attaching beads... couldn't bear to throw the hookless tool away, but in working with smaller threads I discovered it unpicks stitches beautifully! I need a full sized hook to help me open rings, and this hookless wonder with my flat rubber disk (for grabbing those threads when opening the ring) works for me. BUT - if not careful, it is easy to impale one's fingers with this!!!

  7. That hanky is so beautiful! In this case, I'd go with "less is more" and stay with the red.

  8. I hate to disagree with Jane but I like the DMC slightly variegated one.

    I didn't know the tip about putting the shuttle through but I'll try it!

  9. I was concerned when I saw your choice of hanky, knowing that it might lead to frustration. However, it is one of the prettiest in the bunch! I think the read is pretty, but the Valdani is really eye-catching! I vote with Jane.

    For unpicking, I ordered a pricking vise from Grizzly Mountain Arts. I don't use it for bobbin lace prickings, though. I have a fine tapestry needle loaded into it. I have something nice and big to hold on to, yet I have a nice, fine, blunt needle to clean up my mistakes. It works great for me!

    You may be able to find a cool pricking vise on Etsy. I'm pretty sure that's where I've seen them.

  10. Love the hankie!! I`m not sure, I think I prefer the red on its own...if it is the red DMC size 80 that you could get at Michaels`I have a ball of it and you are more than welcome to it!! I have no idea why I purchased it in the first place!!! As for untatting stitches I use a my needle or a very small crochet hook!! I use a .5mm hook but do have an extra .75 if you would like it too. Now we just have to hope that the postal strike does not go on for very long!!!

  11. I'm not sold on the Valdani, though it is pleasing and clearly the best choice for not running out.

    I think it is the pink that sullies the beauty of the rest. Would I be overstepping to suggest something velvety red?

  12. Another gorgeous hanky Fox! I love the plain red thread with it. As for unpicking with the Aero, like Jane said, I use it to unpick up to size 40 but anything finer, I tend to use a little tool I made (basically a sewing needle stuck in a bit of cork, hanging on a loop). But you made me think maybe I should try replacing one of my Aero hooks with a .6mm to use with finer threads?

  13. Just thought of something else... (and here I'm whispering in case what I'm about to say is sacrilegious)... if the edge of your gorgeous but very large hanky is just plain, you could always re-hem it to make it smaller (if the thought of making the border for it is too daunting)... ahem... whisper... just a thought...
    ok, don't shoot me?

  14. I agree with Jane - the Valdani for sure.

    Also - I use a size 12 crochet hook with a bent end (don't know how it got bent) to pick things out when I'm not using a Clover or a Sew Mate.

    The hanky is loverly!

  15. You could scan a snippet of the lace and 'copy' the snippet several times using software, then print out the 'strips' of lace and place them around the actual hanky for 'effect'. Of course the colors might not be 'true' coming out of the printer.

    I don't trust my judgment in the 'which color thread to use' department, but I know I couldn't handle size 80 thread on such a large probject, although it WOULD be spectacular (fine thread is always so impressive), and I know you have the 'tenacity' to finish it!

    One of these days I'm going to post about the gizmo I use to hold the needle with which I pick out threads when the Aero hook is too big. However, I admit that I rarely have used thread higher than size 50 and mostly used size 30 between 1990-94 (my tatting frenzy years). Now I seem to use 20 exclusively, which obviously makes it much easier to 'untat'. But if a knot is stubborn, I get out my gizmo with the needle. It eliminates the problem (and danger) of losing my needle (not a fun thing), and I always have it on hand.

    You can try to use a size 15 crochet hook, and you've probably seen Sherry's (Shuttlemaker) very clever 'hook pen' which retracts when not in use. It can be ordered from her with any size hook.

    The only problem with the crochet hooks is that they ARE hooks, and I've seen some sad stories and photos about being stabbed with those!!! You can extract a needle a little more easily (unless it breaks, heaven forbid!), but it still hurts going in!

    I'm so glad you like the Aero bobbin shuttles! I keep wanting to write a blog post about the many advantages of bobbin shuttles!

  16. The Valdani I think is the best for this project! It really sings and harmonizes with the hanky!

  17. WOW! Thank you for the input! Now I have lots to think about!

    Those comments about the sinking of tiny crochet hooks into flesh ... oooh! Those of you who have followed tat-ology for a while, know full well the misadventures I have suffered at the top of my #.05 hook!

    I am looking into a pin Diane has told me about and will post about that later. It looks like a good tip.

    I am still undecided about which thread and will have to sleep on it. Thanks again for your thoughts. They have inspired my creative process and I shall now be able to make a decision - eventually!

    I love Tat-land!
    Fox : )

  18. You've commented on my using bobbin shuttles before :) so you know I did until recently... I always either just use the pick on my shuttle, or if I was using #80 I'd use a #24 tapestry needle. They're blunt enough not to poke the skin, but sharp enough to get in between the stitches.
    And I like the all red thread :)

  19. I think the Valdani one it seems to set it off.

  20. If you're making the decision between only those two threads, I kind of dig the variegated one.
    As for undoing stitches, I have a 'snag puller' that works a lot better than the hook on the aero.

  21. What about Lizbeth Red Burst - medium "velvety" red (as per Isdihara) going to a very dark red to pick up on the shadows in the rose. I have some (size 40 I think) and will bring with me. S

  22. You guys are amazing! At the moment I am leaning to the variegated one...

    Thank you so much for the great responses.
    ♡ Fox : )

  23. I love them both, but I really love love the variegated but either would look splendid :D

  24. Hi Fox,

    What a beautiful hanky, I think the variegated one for the hanky.
    Now fox I dont use shuttles with hooks, and to unpick I use a needle or pin whatever is nearest. When I was learning to tat I brought a shuttle with a hook, and the hook went into several parts of my hand, after that I said I would never use them.

  25. If it's not too late, I vote for the red thread. I think the Valdani is just too busy. Better yet, a solid red if you can find one that matches the rose exactly.

    For unpicking, I find that nothing beats fingernails for loosening the stitches. You don't have to have long nails, either; mine are very short.