Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bodacious Bugles, Sensational Stumpies and One Mean Maebh - Oh Mama!

 "Get ready", she said.  "We're outta here." 

Abruptly waking me up, waving her newly-updated passport under my nose,  Maebh reminded me in her own distinctive manner that I had only about ten days to get my own passport in order - otherwise I would not be admitted into the USA - our nearest and .. hmm... dearest neighbour country to the south! I had forgotten to renew my own passport, and it had expired last month.

I hustled.  It is done; we will be off in a few days to see the rest of the family in Manhattan.  Maeve has grown  mighty and the boys have tales of new adventures ready to tell.

 But first, there was:

Because finances are not what they should be in this uncertain time, I was not certain I would test my will power by attending the event this year.  There have been vet bills, moving costs and the trip to NYC coming up - you know what I mean - and to be tempted by all the thread, books, shuttles and beads on those enticing tatting tables ... The blood fairly boils and the fingers twitch!

So, Saturday morning, I was still dithering, procrastinating, but tatting. I tried my hand at roll tatting just to see what would happen, if I still could do it:

The best one to date!

Then, I don't know how it happened - and I have LOST this little piece of tatting  - ( I think I actually threw it out!), but just look at it:

#3 Motif Challenge


Next, I finished up the ends on the latest Stumpy, the one on the left  - so addictive...

#4 Motif Challenge

That is when I realized I had to go to to Cambridge. I also remembered that Tatfully Yours would be there teaching  a course on needle tatting.  I knew I needed a new challenge and I wanted to meet up with Kelly,  so I borrowed my mom's car  - mine would disintegrate into a rust heap on the highway  - and tally-ho!

It was great to actually get to know Kelly.  Last year we were both at the event but maybe just said hello and that was all.  I have been in touch with her this year, and it was lovely to have a face-to-face and to have a new tatting buddy.

Her class was wonderful, as she is a patient and knowledgeable teacher. This is what I accomplished.

#5 Motif Challenge

 The lovely Ms. Kelly left me with her own tatted motif.  So pretty. Thank you, Kelly!

It was a great afternoon, and I am so glad I decided to attend.  It was grand to connect with a room full of of tatters, several of whom I have met before. I think it is important to sometimes experience the feeling of being a part of the larger tatting community.

I have one more thing to share with you. 
Thanks to Miranda...
# 6 Motif Challenge

Through The Thread Exchange, Eliz sent me some Mettler Machine quilting thread, which is about a #80.  I cannot believe when I first started tatting I used mainly this size  - it is INSANELY MINUSCULE!

Also, it is prone to breakage - in three places!  I did not enjoy tatting with this although I do like the end result.
The pattern is one of the Bjorn snowflakes, but I changed the six points and added the bugle beads, as Miranda had suggested.

Maebe says I have to pack now.  Aye, aye, Captain...

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Postman Cometh

 ...all the way from Singapore, and look at the surprise he delivered today from umintsuru

 Thank you so much; 
I just love this pretty, pastel shuttle!  
What a treat!  Gotta go and load 'er up now!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sassy Stumpy Struttin' Her Stuff

#1 New Motif Challenge
  Happy dance! 

Next project...

 I have to blame Miranda for the next move - see those bugle beads?  

Well, they will - hopefully - be  forming a triangle where the three little beads usually reside, at the top of a ring.  We shall see...


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Bunglesome Bugle Bead

#25 Motif Challenge

I am mad for this pattern of Kersti's. I find"Stumpy" to be elegant and so very versatile. Especially in the last of the Manuela thread.  I might have to do a whole bunch more!

The bugle beads are another mater entirely.  I am not fond of the look of them at the best of times, but they were included in that lovely container of beads I recently bought, which you can see here, so I thought I would give them a try.  I am still not a fan, but I am glad I used them.

I had planned to place the beads symetrically.  Ha!.  Enter the old dyslexia demonand and well, balance is elusive, but  I think the motif is just lovely anyway!

A Manhatten visit is imminent and I have crocheted and tatted a hat for Mini-Boss-Maeve, but her brothers have not been attended to with the hat hook and shuttle.

While admiring the umintsuru dragonflies last evening, I had a brainwave:

Liam's is blue and red, and Graham - who is a Shrek fanatic - shall have the green.  The dragonflies, already tatted as pattern-testers, are ready to be sewn onto the front of the hats. Good call?


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Doilies Go Bad

  #24 Motif Challenge

 I was going to wise-crack about "Debby Does Doilies," and how it's all about her Tats and Chains, but I thought better of it as that is probably in very bad taste.  (My son taught me this trick years ago; it used to enrage me when he employed this mother/defying technique.)

Kelly was right  (see yesterdays comments).  She said that this looked like The Amusement Doily by Celtess.  It is.  I don't remember downloading it, but I have wanted to do it for a while.  I had some thread left over that Heather's generously sent it to me a while back. I thought it would be perfect for what I had in mind.  However, I ran out of thread and my improvisation was not terrible pleasing, though I do like the beads I chose for this.

The experience was positive as I learned a few things:

I am not a doily kind of tatter.  The round shapes with the concentric circle designs do not please me as I prefer the more Celtic or Gothic designs.

I'm also not much on the dainty look, prefering a design that is heftier in appearance.

I am not happy with the larger piece.  This one, in #20 threa is about 51/2 inches across.

I get bored with the repeats.  I knew this when I tatted the unending baby bonnet for Mini-Boss-Maeve.

So,  All those books about doilies and the innumerable patterns I have saved I probably will not use EXCEPT as terrific references and for stimulating creativity.  I do love to look at the doily designs,  just not to tat them.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beauty And The Beads

 Just look at this!  The second attempt is always better.  

#23 Motif Challenge

For any new tatters out in Tat-Land, (oh,just listen to this great voice of so much experience, will you!  - for those not in the know, I have a mere 24 hefty months of tatting in my life so far!) it really does pay to do a repeat of the first attempt. Inevitably, I am much happier with the second go-around.

The difference is obvious, I believe.  Thanks to Gina, I made the upper petal the same size as the lower one.  The instructions called for the bottom to be 6ds and the top 7ds.  Also, shannon-in-love gave me the best tip:  make the picots in the centre longer!  Bingo!

By the way, this is marvellous thread: Manuela, #20 from a trade through The Thread Exchange with Tatknot. The brown is another nice thread - I'm pretty sure it is Altin Basik that I believe I received through T.T.E. as well. The two threads are minimally different in size, but it didn't seem to matter much.


Would these not have been perfect!

Teaser ...  Can you guess what pattern this is?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Mangled Motif and Tangential Tatting

#22 Motif Challenge
I was very interested in this motif after I saw it on Gina's blog:  here.

I am not happy with this motif at all, as I think there are too many stitches somewhere in the pattern and it bows;  I could not get it to spread out properly.  Gina's looks good and so does the original on Carla's blog  - I think it is her own design.

When I went to the site to get the address, just now,  I took a good look at Carla's tatting and I see that she has allowed the chains to overlap - this would explain why I cannot get my tatting to open out fully.  It simply cannot!  

Well, I feel somewhat better about this, but I have to sigh miserably when I see Gina's looking so pretty and this poor thing looking like a lumpy little misshap - or what my colleague at work (who is about 4o years my junior!) says, an "epic fail!"

John had me thinking about being a tangential thinker: 

Tangentiality - Replying to questions in an oblique, tangential or irrelevant manner. e.g.:
    Q: "What city are you from?"
    A: "Well, that's a hard question. I'm from Iowa. I really don't know where my relatives came from, so I don't know if I'm Irish or French."
    I know I think that way, but I believe I speak in a very direct, pragmatic even abrupt manner - so I have been told. But I did enjoy his comment on my last post and it got me to thinking.  It got me wondering about how the mind works when it is creating, when it is designing.

    This thought process came about because I am taking Sharon's Design Course.  It has certainly got me looking at my tatting in new ways - even now at the very beginning.

    For instance: I always tat a downward join when tatting on the front side and never really looked at the stitch to see if it did look like a real front side ds.  It does not.  Nearly, but not entirely.  I had avoided really looking at this stitch, because I had read alll about it, looked briefly at pictures, but totally AVOIDED really understanding the thihng.  Why?

    I think this is just the mind saying that it is not interested at the moment, thank you.  It does not want to compute new info.  It does not want to grow much.  I know I have to give it a hearty kick when this happens, but many times I let it win the battle and my growth goes down in flames,  This was one bsttle  it won, - but NO LONGER! In the re-match,  it waved the white flag:  I WON!

    A lot of my tatting learning is like this.  Such a struggle!  I am not complaining as this is the very thing I adore about lace-making.with little knots - it is very stimulating and never boring!

    Thanks, John! 


    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Question to Tat-Land

    Downward facing Picot of Jane's can be found here.  Stumbled on this info reading totusmel's blog - here.
    Does this mean that you can use this technique for the pattern that I had so much trouble with:

    This is my rendition of Vinnie's Spring Doily and the pattern can be found here  - where you have to add a safety pin to hold the picot DOWN.

    Would this work here? It would be so great if it did!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Bordering on Batty


    Mary Konior borders are good for me as they make me follow directions. I am terrible at following orders or instructions. In this case, skip a picot or a few ds's and that edging will look as if it had been at the mercy of  too much gin. 

    It is really astounding to me how often I make the wrong turn. ( You should see me in the car, with a map...) Also, I seem to make the same error over and over again.  Must be the result of a traumatic birth or some deeply rooted psychological  flaw; I have had this quirk all my life.

    Luckily, I never had a career where there was a strict hierarchy, as in the police force or the military.  How do you spell court martial?

    Anyway, I am practising away here, playing with the deck I was dealt...


    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Ring O' Roses, Dragonflies and Cat Curiosity

    Here is the final rendition of Mary Konior's  Ring A Ring O'Roses. I am finished with this pattern. which I did not enjoy at all!  It was supposed to be simple and straight forward... don't ask!

    Umintsuru gave me the opportunity to test-tat her new pattern for Dragonfly.  Thank you unintsuru! Isn't it neat?  You can get the pattern on her blog here.

    It is fun to tat - quick, easy and satisfying.

    Here are two others - it is kind of addictive...

    #21 Motif Challenge
    Umintsuru's thread cards, from The Thread Exchange are endlessly 
    fascinating to The Cat, as you can see.  Absolutely riveting 
    when attached to some leftover thread...


    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    A Lupin(e) By Any Other Name...

    If you read tat-ology much, you will know by now I cannot leave something alone once I have started a project and the usual problems erupt.  I keep picking away at it, until I find some sense of completion. I am still tatting little lupin(e)s, which I trail after myself everywhere - at work, in a book, on a table...  little remnants  everywhere.

    Inspired by The Space Between, I had to find this and try it:

     #20 Motif Challenge

    I love this pattern.  Ah, Mary Konior...

    I am not done yet with Ring A Ring O'Roses, and so that I will not tire of the pattern have chosen a lovely forget-me-not-blue thread, dyed by the illustrious Tatskool.  It is size #60 - there's the challenge.  These days I don't usually tat with anything smaller than #40.

    No beads, no special flourishes, just plain, simple tatting of a "fairly" straight - forward motif, to be tatted in one round.will ensure that I concentrate on the basics - I hope! It's all your fault, Jeff!  Go look at his rendering. It is fabbo!


    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Disastrous Tatting - Humbled Tatter

    #19 MC
    Everything that could go wrong did. You name it.  I feel like a rank beginner after this one, but I was determined to finish.  Here 's what happened.

    Ran out of thread  -  Coron #20, sent to me by umintsuru through The Thread Exchange . So, I just added the pink and some beads, thinking, oh foolish me, that this could actually be a fortuitous development.

    (Anybody know of a North American outlet for this thread?  It is like Olympus, also Japanese, and is silky and wonderful to tat with.  I checked around on-line,  hurriedly, and got nowhere in my search.)

    Then, I ran smack into the old, directional bogeyman.  At the end, I was wild with frustration, as I contorted my hands, the thread and my coffee table trying to find which way was up!

    Really, I should not be surprised, as I find I usually must tat Mary Konior's patterns at least once to find the rhythm. At the onset,  I thought this one was gong to be a piece of cake. Surprise!

    Has anyone out there in Tat-land done this one?

    I am going to tat something really easy now.  Sigh...