Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Book Has Landed...

Angeline has arrived safely, 
just in time for New Years!
If you are on the list and have not sent me your address, please make a New Year's resolution to do so.  Then keep it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Treading Water.. No Project Picked....

Remember Fiestaware?  Big in the decades before my arrival, but my mom had it, and I remember it well in the kitchens of my aunts...  It looked like this:

Look familiar?  How about the thread...

HDT: Country Christmas from LadyShuttleMaker
 #7 Motif Challenge

Isn't this terrific?  I love it!  The pattern is from The Tatted Artistry if Teiko Fujisto, and the thread is from the Lace-lovin' Librarian, ♥  who sent me this!  What a huge surprise!

When I opened the box and saw that fabbo thread, I knew I had to tat something right away. I was certain that  the decorated shuttles would produce a winner for sure! And Diane's beautiful motif provided all the inspiration I needed.

Then I tried one of Sharon's lovely snowflakes.  Not as easy as it looked.  I am going to tat this again, but in a larger thread. This was #40 Mercer, and I found it difficult to get good tension on the JKs. 

 Because the shuttle was wound in lilac I thought I'd try this: it is working in Cébélia #20...

Again, not as easy as it looks.  I always have to have a few runs at Mary Konior patterns before I get them right.  This is Corn and Chaff from Tatting in Lace.  The green bandage with the frog was helpful in my getting a firmer grip on the thread, but I  still had to change it from #40 Mercer to #20 Cébélia. The thumb?  Don't ask.

Don't really know what I want to tat next.  I feel unsettled not having a project in mind. Like treading water...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wrapping Things Up in 2010

 The result of listening to your advice and using fewer beads.  Thanks.

#5 & #6 Motif Challenge

Now that I have figured out how to tat the Celtic Knot, Ruth Perry style, I have pretty well covered my 'To Do' list for this year.

There have been a lot of tatting tricks I have learned and a very steep learning curve to climb over the past twelve months.  However, I do feel like I am finally a real tatter and it feels very rewarding.

Yesterday, this little doodle happened.

Perhaps that is  where I will focus next year - making my own designs...hmm... maybe not, as I do not like the process of writing it up.

But then, I do not have to write it up, do I?    Ah, the possibilities are all there.  What to do..... what to do...


Look what Beelizabeth tatted!  She figured out the pattern from the photo, and told me what she had done. Clever girl; she was so considerate about not wanting to step on any toes!

I asked for her permission to post her picture and here it is!  Very exciting for me to see this design, beautifully tatted by someone out there in Tat-land!

Thank you, Beelizabeth!  You made my day!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Want One of These In 2011?

#3 Motif Challenge 
Holiday Tree by Sue Fuller

Guess what!  
You should be able to get a pattern for this and every other pattern in Sue Fuller's book that we have all wanted to get our hands on for so long.  That is because she is - in her own words:

" ...working on my redo and plan to 
have my book available again in 2011."

Isn't this fantastic news?  
Remember, This is the woman who designed the brilliant "Heart's Desire."  
For those of you who do not yet know this famous pattern:

  I, for one, am thrilled that you are
planning to redo your book, Sue Fuller!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is It Beading? Is It Tatting?

#2 Motif Challenge 

 Sometimes beads just are just not appropriate. This pattern is so small and delicate - especially in #80 thread - which I rarely use - that the beads overtake the tatting.  I would call this beading instead.  Not my fave.

I DO however really LOVE the two colours of beads I used in this motif - especially the teal, which is the reason I tatted this in the first place; I think the colours are splendid!

The pattern is Myra Piper's.  You can see I am into the little motifs at the moment. This fact can be directly attributed to the fact that   I am working hard on writing up the second design - the one done in  Tatskool's hand dyed thread - usually called HDT, for those of you who have asked.

Writing it up is stressing out my creative tatting muse.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not the 'Pied', but the' Myra'...

Piper, that is!
Motif Challenge #1
Design by Myra Piper

So, I had just enough of Tatskool's delicious thread left to tat this motif, which measures about 2 inches in diameter.  Cute isn't it?

Then, figured I had better get the design written up for my Design-Tat Homework, before I dive into some other project.  I must admit I do feel some satisfaction in getting it ALMOST finished.

However, this writing up of a pattern is definitely not easy.  It is the least enjoyable part of the process for me, because I keep going over and over it.  As an ex-copywriter, (a gazillion years ago!) I have been trained to edit, edit and edit again!  And to think we have not even got to the drawing bit.

Should be a ton of fun, she said, with no evidence of mirth anywhere.

Back to the drawing-board...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Done!

 Motif Challenge #25

This was murder to tat!  Most of the problem was caused by the fact that I was using some thread that I had wanted to try from T.T.E. and it ended up being WAY thicker than the beautiful #40 Chocolime, by Tatskool.. I should have realized that at the onset.  But... well.... 

SO, when I added the beads (on the backside, where I had a big , thick, thread to tat through) the process became unwieldy.

Those tiny, little beads came to me from Crazy  Mom, along with the red ones.  I like them a lot. The outer beads are copper metal ones that I am also rather partial to. I liked the colour of both of these beads with the thread.

This design completes another round of the 25 Motif Challenge for me.  I highly recommend this brilliant ongoing participation, courtesy of Sharon, for those tatters who are looking to stay motivated.  It has really kept me tatting and on track when I felt like throwing my shuttles out the window and picking up woodcarving tools instead!

Actually, I would NEVER throw my shuttles out the window...   

(I have word that I am still on the Most-Wanted : Lace List in several states and provinces for unprovoked shuttle abuse during several tatting ...ahem... episodes in the past year.  Beware: The Tatting Police are everywhere.  Tatting is NOT dead.)

This should prove challenging to put on paper... I am greatly 'afeared!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guess What I Saw Today

 Sue Fuller's Christmas Tree!
tatting is everywhere!

For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, go to Gina's blog, here. I fell in love with this little tree motif  yesterday, and lo and behold, I saw it hanging just outside my apartment building this afternoon!  How's that for synchronicity?

Tatting Detectives

The Return Of:
 Thank You, Dale Marie!
Looks like the book will be wending its merry way 
to sewmuchfun today! 

Seems that Dale Marie has had a bad time of it lately; she has sent mega-apologies to us, feeling terrible that we were waiting for her to send the book on.  I have sent her warm wishes.  I do hope things improve for her in the New Year.

Today she will post the book.  Let us know, sewmuchfun, when it arrives.

Heather...Heather... Heather...  All because of you, has this happy event occurred!  You were the one that cracked the case of the missing book recipient; receiving DM's facebook address was what did the trick.  I did not know who to look for on-line. That pivotal clue came originally from Isdihara, via Tatskool, by way of the sleuthing Sherlock, Suneeti.  Jane provided the name that matched the other clue. 

This problem-solving was definitely a great example of  the whole being greater than its parts.  Tatting teaches much more than stitches.

So, the tatting world is large and powerful, my friends, as these tatter detectives hail from all over the globe.  We are talking about Canada, England,  Ireland, Singapore and the United States.  All just trying to track down one errant piece of tatting literature! Thanks, Everyone!

#24 Motif Challenge

Tatted this up yesterday, as Suneeti sent me the pattern (hers, I believe) and said that it would be a good one for teaching.  I love the snowflake ( Note, Miranda:  SIX points!) and it indeed looks simple, but as I started tatting it...hmmm:  non-twist join at the end, SLTs, longish chains, double picots in the centre little rings, all that joining.  Would have done me in as a newbie!

Good for a beginner, but as a teaching device, I think it would gobble my hour right up!  Thanks, Suneeti, for the lovely motif.  I will give the student a copy of this and the motif.  It is tatted in the Altin Başak you sent me!

My design update: still limping along:

Friday, December 17, 2010

My '#@!%' Design!

I cannot believe how much trouble I am having getting this tatted.  I have started it a gazillion times and made tons of mistakes.  Knowing I should just put it away for a while has just  made it worse.

What has made the exercise bearable is the fabulous thread - Tatskool's Chocolime #40.  It is wonderful to work with.  I'd forgotten how much I love her HDT.  I tend to hoard it till I get an overwhelming urge and then just have to use it!

I am hoping to get it done by tomorrow, but that may not happen!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Jivin' With Josephine

...knots that is.  This pattern is called Christmas Wreath with Josephine Knots by LaRae Mikulecky.
#24 Motif Challenge

It certainly  had me mega-flummoxed the first three times I started it.  Once again, success is all about reading the instructions - in life and in tatting  Whether or not you want to follow them is an entirely different issue!.

I must remember to not only read directions, but also -  guess what - to sometimes follow them as well!

P.S. Krystle - if you are reading this - look at that twisted thread !  Remember how I couldn't do that?  Thanks for your instructions, once again!  : ) 

P.P.S.  How on earth do you get those little, tiny, weensy, JKs  closed tightly?  I fought with every one and you can see there are still gaps there at the close.  I used Cébélia, which is so soft that I was afraid to work it more, as it was already getting fuzzy.  Grrr.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Off The Shuttles... An Unexpected Design

 #24 Motif Challenge

I was preparing to tat a motif in the DMC Festive Tatting book, but it did not quite look like the motif in my head, so I closed the book and took the IDEA of it and tatted what I imagined I wanted the design to look like.  The centre looks basically the same as the motif, though the stitch count is different and so is the direction of the chain. I re-worked the design of the outer row.

It still needs tweaking, but I am so pleased at this unexpected experiment.  I used Yarnplayer's fantastic Soft Pansy, #20, even though it is a first draft.  Couldn't help myself; the shuttles were wound in preparation for the book version.  

There are split rings in 12 places .  Tee hee! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Three Terrors

 First the good news:


Could not resist another Flurry Snowflake in Krystle's wonderful Midsummer Night's Dream, #20.  The colours are just great. The  ecru  is a sample of #20 Häkelgarn that I received at the Fringe Element Tat Days in September. I think it is bamboo - not sure - but it is soft and silky.  Lovely to handle, but splits easily and is difficult to get tight tension with. 

And these beads?  Another little dusty find in the old shop where I was looking for the primary colour beads.  These are rich, saturated, jewel tones, like the thread.

Then, I did manage to finish this four-shuttle motif that I saw in the Ring of Tatters pattern book: 'Twirly' by Serena Watson. A little grief here, but I was still coping...
#21 #22 #23 Motif Challenge

Here they are -  the Mount Everest times three in my tatting life: Clunies,  weaving with four shuttles and that diabolical Celtic knot!  Perhaps one day, I shall be able to do these correctly. It's a very big mountain...

Friday, December 10, 2010

My New Absolute Favourite-Of-All-Time Motif

Many thanks to trh, where I first saw this gorgeous motif. Hers is tatted in a green thread as well, with  red beads and I fell in love with it.  It fires my imagination with visions of faeries and Avalon legends.  It also reminds me of ancient tree spirits like the ones that Sally knows all about.

#20 Motif Challenge
 trh - you did guess right!  This is Mary Konior's Posy! I have tatted it,  thanks to TypsTatting , in  Mercer #40) using beads sent to me ages ago by  Crazy Mom, but they are so small  that I have been intimidated to use them! 


They were well-labelled though, so I know what they are; I am definitely going to be on the lookout for them, as they are fabulous to use and look amazing. But they really are small!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank You, Maureen!

When the pupil is ready the teacher appears: Maureen, from Australia.  I guess after two years, I was really ready to learn how to attach a thread properly and to learn the weaver's knot.  Even after all the T.A.T. courses, and all the on-line material I have worked with,  I have been winging it.  Ah, such a big faker!

Then, poof!  You said some magic turn of phrase, and suddenly, with no warning, it all clicked! (I think it was the word, "popped" that did it.) Thank you!

Yesterday, I had to cut a whole section out of a motif, which I am just about finished, and I was MAD! Really upset as there are a lot of beads to string on this little piece.  But then - your words from the last comment erupted in my brain  and voilà - a  tiny miracle!

After so much tatting excitement, I relaxed without beads or bravado - for a change -  and tatted a simple motif in TWO variegated threads. Such a no-no!  The pink one is Lizbeth and the other is a green from Yarnplayer; both size 40 - I think!

#19  Motif Challenge
From 'DMC Festive Tatting'.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Bit Of A Flake

This is from the 'DMC Festive Tatting' book that I received in the mail,  as a direct  result of my addictive reading of  the Lace-Lovin' Librarian  blog! Ah Diane, you have created half of my library, I am certain!

The beads are the ones I found in an old sewing outlet, in a dusty corner, packaged in about 1980 or so, I am sure! I bought up all I could see - two little packs , each for $0.99.  Aren't they bright and lovely?  Bargoon.  I went back for more but alas they were no more.  They are glass and lined and very saturated in colour - terrific for snowflakes!

None of the patterns in this book have diagrams, and yet all are pretty easy to follow, so I was not my usual stressed-out self while tatting - as far as the pattern went.  The thread?  Another matter.

Once again, I bemoan the soft, wimpyness of Cébélia #20.  I had forgotten why I do not like it very much.  White seems to be the worst of the balls of it that I have,  in terms of lack of crispness. The colours are definitely better - maybe because of the dye.

I might just have to capitulate and order some white Lizbeth.   You see, one must never say never because this is always what will eventuate if you do.  Eating one's words.  Ahem....

A few of you suggested I hang the pink motif from the pink point, making it the centre of the piece,  adding a bead for stability.  I liked that suggestion and I had not thought of making the pink the top!  I told you I see the world in a very different way!

Anyway, thank you for the suggestion as it worked nicely on the white snowflake as well.

Just before publishing this, I went to Carla's blog and saw her fantastic broach, tatted in - you guessed it - Cébélia #20!  What is she doing that I am not?

You must visit her blog and see the lovely flower that she has designed - it is very, very pretty. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blogging Milestone

I am stunned to see that tat-ology has had 100,000 hits.  Actually more, as I did not have the counter when I began the blog.  Not that it means much to myself or anyone else, but the number just sort of threw me  when I noticed it.

Like me, Miranda's Angels in the Snow motif  is just a wee bit off-kilter!  The story of my life - a different drummer and all that. Always been a bit of an outsider.  Not entirely a bad thing, just sometimes a little alienating. When I meet kindred spirits, which is not often, it is always such a joy. Here's to individuality!

The end result is the consequence of running out of thread, because I had two false starts destroying way too much  thread;  I ran out of the teal.  The thread was from an exchange - Altin Basak #50,  and there was not much of it to begin with, so the tatting was, in the first instance, a bit of a gamble.

But it works, I think!

Oh yes - an after thought: adding thread for me is a sheer horror!  I cannot do it neatly and I do not have a set method.  I have all the books and all the internet instruction, but a MONUMENTAL  block remains. (notice the word 'mental'  in that last descriptor?)  This is the next Everest and I am not good with heights!  I'm sore afraid!