Thursday, July 30, 2009

Playing Hanky Panky with the Edge.....

Well - it all started out when I was clearing out Mom's apartment and I found a collection of old hankies. We are talking about sixty year old pieces of fabric. I kept a few of them that look like they will lend themselves to tatted edgings.

There was a green one with an "A" on it, that old "penicillin" green colour. The initial pleased me, as my Mom's and my granddaughter's names begin with this letter. I could give the hanky to my grand-baby, as a keepsake and reminder of her great-grandmother!

I happened to find the perfect thread for the crochet border in my sewing box, which I promptly crocheted to the edge of the hanky in preparation for tatting.

Then I found the tatting thread - or thought I did - Cebelia #20, in that same dated minty green.

Next, the pattern. After careful consideration of about seven hundred thousand, I picked my favourite and was ready to proceed. The fates were not with me, however, for the Cebelia was way too clunky and the pattern was tedious and not quite right for the cloth.


Needing a break, I went for a walk and took a few pictures. Upon returning, I looked at them, and the pink flower amidst the sea of green gave me an idea; I sought out my stash ...

There it was. DMC #80 variegated and dark green #80 Majestic. Excited, I began the border .

I LOVE this little border and I cannot do it! I cannot believe how many times I have started this and ended up in complete frustration and BLIND RAGE! I CANNOT do this pattern in this thread. It is not to be! SOB!

So, finally, when I realized it was not going to happen, no matter how I tried, I went looking for a new pattern, tried a few out, and came up with my last choice.

Voilà! It is the last one, looking a little like a bunch of grapes....

Now I have to figure out how to turn the corner. This task may produce another night saddled with that frequent interloper: AM Insomnia.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sock It To 'Em.....

There have been a lot of gifts for little girls lately:

It is lucky that I lurk around the dollar store and buy up all those one dollar batches of beads; there is always lots of choice!

Really, it is outrageous that I have such a collection, for I can never use all these up! (But it is nice to HAVE them, I must admit!)

The last item on my list of blogging bits today is a brag. Right - a big boast! Here it comes:


It is official. I studied the books, sat for hours doing one little motif after another and here is the result.

The first one represents the end of the process. The second one - well, you can see that little twist just sitting there daring me to try to banish it from my repertoire of tatting tricks! Well, I have.

Funny. This was so difficult for me to learn. I kept thinking I had it down pat and then another twisted picot would appear suddenly in the finished work.

What was most helpful were the line drawings in Tatting, by Cathy Bryant. I forget where I saw this book on one of the blogs, but I was so impressed with the discussion that I mailed away for it. I am so pleased that I did, for it is a super tatting reference - especially for beginners.

There is another item - I almost forgot: Gina had mentioned something about how much thread she uses to wrap around her hand when tatting a ring - that got me thinking. Here is the amount of space I need:

Does it differ from yours all that much? I'll bet there is a whole continuum of thread lengths out there around your ring-tatting hands!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Epitome of Kitch!

Can you believe this! I simply CANNOT believe I would EVER do anything like it! The yogurt container struck me, as it sat there on the table, emptied of its creamy contents, as the perfect receptacle for stray ends, loose threads, errant beads and so forth.

Little kitty is far too interested in snuffling any and all of the above, so I thought I'd wash the plastic and keep the thing on my table for when I tat. Then I noticed one of the many little tatted bits that are EVERYWHERE in my life now, and I spied this one ...... a clever little yellow border, a perfect length. Hmmmm.

YES, thought I. Perfect to adorn the plastic cat-protector. Glue was applied. It sits there in my little apartment, visible at all times. Proudly plastic. Lemony chic.

This is what my life has come to.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Toothpaste in the Eye but no Beads in the Ventricle - It's Only Growing Pains!

It was an odd weekend; something was definitely in the wind...... Change was affixing to happen...... Omens were everywhere.............

The new duvet and cover that looks so pretty? The cat threw up on the bed. New beads? Spilled all over and panic ensued; the cat likes to eat any little bits on the floor, no matter the material.

Said cat has affliction; heart condition, and I worried (un-academically) that one of the beads would end up in his heart and that would bead the end of him!

The toothpaste? How , I ask you , does one spray toothpaste into one's eye while brushing? It can most certainly be done. Just ask me.

Then, suddenly, my fortunes changed. Good news? PLENTY!

Started with Patti Duff's Minitats:

Still a few glitches, but a definite improvement and they took very little time to finish. This speed is uncharacteristic of my past tatting ....

The twisted picot in the first one - I worked on this till I really understood what I was doing. I think I have figured out how to remedy it, which I do by twisting the picot before attaching it. This method seems to work for me.

BEADING has become my very best friend. Finished two Minitats, beaded and am really happy with the result. The motifs are NOT FLOPPY!.

I always compare my little motifs to a precious little hoard of Jon's work that I am so fortunate to possess as a tatting guide, and you know, my work is catching up! I am no means there yet, but the quality has suddenly undergone a dramatic change.

The first follows Minitats, and in the second I added a ring. The addition of beads prompted me to really learn how do beading, not just mess around with them, for once referring to the wealth of tatting books I seem to have collected over the past year. No more hit and miss!

Again, with the library, I managed to learn BLOCK TATTING! Love it. I always overlooked patterns with this technique, and was surprised at how much fin it is to do. Very rough, but, hey, it is a start!

I think the disturbing, disquieting, out of synch atmosphere of my tatting, and indeed everything in my life these days, lately was GROWING PAINS!

Take heart, any new tatters who may read this.

All of a sudden, if you work steadily and patiently, your work will improve and things that seemed impossible are second nature. It seems to happen - at least it did to me - when you are not paying attention. One day you are tatting and it is as if you always knew how to do all the baffling tricks that eluded you!

It is almost my first year anniversary of entering tat-land. Perhaps that is the turning point, I suppose - one year.

It was worth the toothpaste and spilled beads ...


Friday, July 17, 2009

The Payoff for Paying Attention

Or, as my Auntie used to say. "The proof is in the pudding", which is, in this case, the tatting!

Suzanne , you were so right. I can do better - and indeed did! This is the second piece I tatted. The first one is pictured above, beside the new one and to the right, looking decidedly more lopsided.

My first error was in not using the same thread sizes. I was happy with the colour and was eager to tat the pattern, so I ignored the obvious ramifications of that decision!

Secondly, I did not have the confidence required to get the thing done with any gusto. How else to get panache into one's creations, if there is no zest, no spark, no attention to the little details. After all, to me, that is the challenge of this game called tatting.

The last picture clearly demonstrates why it is important to use the right size thread. All the blocking in the world will not fix it, if it is too big!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Muse was an Imposter!

The knitted sock has gone to a friend to do with as she wishes! The Muse was a SNEAKY TEST! I kept looking at the little beaded sock as I knitted one stitch after another, wondering why I was knitting, when I wanted to tat! Such a conflicted life I lead!

I realize it is far better to tell the truth and then make a decision: do it or not. Easy peasy. Keeps everything very simple.

I do not want to knit, crochet or any other crafty thing at this time. I just want to tat. So be it!

This is the next HDT and beads for the socks for the friend of my daughter. I have decided to give the completed ones to my granddaughter. She loves pink. Easy decision.

Ah, such relief!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hearken: The Muse Calls...

It cannot be helped. The Knitting Muse has spoken!

It is my granddaughter's 3rd birthday next week, so I began these socks at lunchtime today. I hope they will be finished in a very little while so I can get on with these:

They are to be a gift to a friend of my daughter to whom I promised them month's ago!

And then, on to the planned projects - all of them many of them..... all envisioned in stunning HDT that I have been dreaming about as it sits waiting on its special shelf...... luring me away from EVERYTHING else!

What a potent lure of the shuttle I bear!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Hey You Guuuyyys!

I am taking my cue from my fourteen month old grandson's lexicon.... These are a few of his very first intelligible words! And I am asking you tatter "guys" for your help!

This is Jon's pattern, which I have done to practice the covered ring. I added the necessary picots and then went on with the rest of the snowflake that she did in the original snowflake pattern.

I did this more leggy version instead of the more compact one, because I didn't know how to add the rings directly - without turning the thing upside sown and adding the ring at the picot side. I added the chains first - Could I have added the ring directly? Am I making sense? I want the join to be at the ring, not in the air. Do I just do a shuttle join and carry on?

Should anyone be tatting this, be aware that it takes a fair amount of thread. I was using the larger-than-Clover, Lacis, SewMate shuttle and this is all I had left on the shuttle-shuttle. There was more of course on the ball-shuttle, but not much more.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lopsided and Ungainly....

Yup - take a look. This is what I have managed to tat after that gruelling marathon of tatting school! I cannot believe it. Goes to show you that you never can count on improvement on demand. Maybe it will show up in the next attempt.

Look at that complete lack of symmetry. I am going for a walk. I feel like Rocky.... before the big run up the stairs......

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I just mailed in my packet to T.A.T.! I can hardly believe that I completed it! Now I will wring my hands in anticipation of "the final word" on how I fared. Already I am wondering what bedevilment lies in wait in the 3rd and final course.......

Stop it, Fox. I can now really enjoy some tatting for the fun of it! Pick whatever I want from the plethora of books and patterns I have collected over the past ten months! It has been almost one year since I found myself with a shuttle in my hand. WOW, did this year ever fly by!

Oh yes, I almost forgot to report... to reward myself for the Herculean efforts of the past six weeks, (Mom and T.A.T. )I have treated myself to Yarnplayer's fabulous new "Garden Afternoon." The colours are absolutely sensational.

I also received this in the mail right after I returned from the Post Office..... Great timing! (I 'd forgotten I had ordered it...) How lucky am I... : )

So, I started this little cluny piece from Rebecca Jones's 'Complete Book of Tatting'. The yarn that sparkles is from Bev, who traded some thread for shuttles a while back - Thanks Bev!! This one is very pretty!

What fun!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Even in the Rearview.....

It is everywhere.... little tatted bits...... tiny bits of threads, little picots.........variegated and plain.....teeny beads.......

I was used to these cast-offs, and even have accepted my new eccentricity with a certain amount of equanimity, and then I noticed THIS!

This is pasted on the stem of the rear view mirror in my car! I am so used to seeing it there that I do not notice it; then today, I was adjusting the mirror, looked up and saw it. The Remnant. I had pasted it up there months ago

I remember finding this motif in my purse while I was getting my keys and I didn't know whether to throw it away or keep it in the box that I have for discards. I left it in the car and glued it up the next time I used the car.

This all seems so peculiar and fairly shrieks weird, old lady (which I AM!) . Ah well. could be worse; I could be out of thread.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

More Time to Tat....

he 'mimi' is finished and delivered...


This is the only kind of small stuff I have been doing, other than practicing the clunies, as I head into the last stretch of the Artisan section of TAT.

A lot of work - but so enjoyable. I hope to be finished by the end of the month, and then I want have some fun with all the things I want to try. There is so much out there to do! And I want to tat it all! : ))


Wednesday, July 1, 2009