Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Tatted End

...end of the year tat, that is.
With one misplaced bead. Natch! Can you spot it?
A completely appropriate finish to 2011!

Pattern from DMC, Festival Tatting
Thread: Zwicky silk from Krystle
Delica Beads from Tatting Fool

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Konior Kaleidoscope

How lucky I am - must be the double yolks - to have received a sample of rainbow HDT from Jess to play with over the holidays.  

I looked for suitable patterns and came up with a couple from a Mary Konior book. 

These little motifs are just that - LITTLE! The second one is about an inch across, maybe a bit more and the first a wee bit larger.

There was just enough of some old Majestic #80 green left to use for the second shuttle...  Cute, huh? 

Then, a brief excursion into rolled stitches, which I have not practiced in ages. This is a great pattern to play with.

The stitch became easier after about four repeats... You can tell I have relaxed over the holidays - look at all those bare threads!  YIKES!

Thanks, Jess.  I love the feel of the dyed thread - so substantial, even though I think this was #80.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Prior to 2012 - Prissy

This frothy, little number almost ended up in the trash, as I could not figure out the instructions, but could not bear to toss away what little I had tatted. I had wanted to tackle it all through the year, and so finally got down to it.

There may very well be a few mistakes in the instructions, so I tatted this the way that worked for me, after many tries at the directions as they are written.

Once again, my bullish nature ran roughshod over frustration, and you see the result.  I am glad I am stubborn; sometimes there is an unexpected beautiful result that originated with ferociously obsessive wilfulness!

There are actually three different beads in the piece, but you can barely see the small, clear, slightly violet-tinged ones that link the rings that join the onion rings. There are JK's instead of rings at the top and I used #30 Cébélia thread.

Really, I am not one for these frilly-for-the bride sort of designs, but it is good for me to tat one from time to time for practice and a good challenge.

Now for a good yoke - 

of them in fact!  Have you ever had THIS happen to you!  I was amazed when I cracked my dinner into the pan!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pigments and Palettes

... of green and red, which I spotted on Marty's blog here.  I was so inspired I pulled out some DMC #80 in red and green and my Myra Piper booklet and Bob's your uncle.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Resplendently Regal

#36-100 Motif Challenge

Regal by Frivole is a lovely pattern, is it not?  And the thread is a great colour-way, though I mixed it with plain Milford violet, as I just could not envision the entire piece done in the variegated. This would have looked so much better in a single colour.

The blue Swarovski crystals have been with me for over a year; I was just waiting for the right opportunity.

This thread is Lola, #40, by Yarnplayer - a gift to me from my friend Suneeti, who has spoiled me with some lovely tatting goodies lately. More about that in the next tattings...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Magic Maple

'Wheel of Nine Rings' from Christmas Angels and Other Tattings by Monica Hahn

I have always liked this pattern.

I have only tatted it once before, here, and I am posting a photo of that motif, to show you how I have improved my tatting techniques since I did that one two years ago.

This time I found the pattern to be not difficult at all, and did not even have to un-tat. (very much!)

I am convinced that when I hold the Maple shuttle Tatting Fool sent me, which I treasure, I have Houdini digits!

Having some thread remaining on some bobbins, I decided that since I was on a winning streak, I would use up that thread, which I loaded onto the Maple and another post shuttle, and then tat two motifs.

The threads are different sizes; the pink is #80 and the blue, #40, so I was taking a chance to begin with. But, I was driven! All because Tatting Fool posted her version yesterday and I was jealous!

She had seen mine, here, and tatted hers, liking the JK's that I used.  Mine was appalling, as I had experienced a lot of difficult with the pattern, as is obvious from the photo.

So inspired, I tatted this one and changed the centre this time, adding the picots. I must admit that it was initially a mistake, but I liked the effect of the picots, so I left them.

FINALLY, I am happy with the result of this pattern.  
Thank you, Tatting Fool!

pattern by Julie Patterson

There was still thread on the shuttles, 
so I pulled out a Mary Konior book, saw this photo:

and tatted this.  Interestingly, I could not follow the second half of the instructions as written, so I gave  the reins over to Maple and just tatted what I saw, trusting that the shuttle was going in the right direction.  It was!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Well, it is almost pink!  Maybe more of a fuschia.

Some of Suneeti's #50 Altan Basak looks good in this design by Karey Solomon.  It is one of my all-time favourite patterns. Tatted in combination with #20 Lizbeth.

Being sparse with the beads, though the brand new ones beckon me each time I begin a new motif, I believe my tatting is looking more refined, as I am concentrating more on the individual stitch as I tat, not being so driven to complete a pattern quickly.  The attention to tension is paying off. Bit by bit...

#31-100 Motif Challenge

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mucking About & Motifs in the Mail

#30 Motif-100 Motif Challenge
Design by Monica Hahn

In the midst of dragon-avoidance I tatted this motif which looks so simple, but it actually takes some concentration to gat all those rings jammed together properly! Tatted in Milford #40. Thanks, Suneeti and Typstatting!

The dragons got finished, but then what?  The pink one was much too fragile for The Boss's delicate, though decidedly five-year-old grip, so I decided to do this:

The kids can do with them as they wish.  Gray might put his in one of his dump trucks...

The mail this week was lovely!  
There were greetings from tatting buddies on two continents:

I am lucky. Thank You!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Forever Wingless

With apologies to AnneB, who designed the dragon patterns we all admire, I admit defeat in this case:

The vintage thread keeps breaking - I think it is just too dry to tat with and I am having so many problems with the wings to begin with.

So, I shall put this aside (I have no other pink #80) till I feel in the mood to use some #80 DMC for the wing in a different colour.  Maybe sooner rather than later as this little dragon looks so naked without his wings! Maybe red and white ones... Yes, maybe that will suffice.

If I do not resolve this, I will have to face the wrath of The Boss...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Personal Best

It is the best thing to date that I have tatted.  
#28-100 Motif Challenge
Yup.  I deem it so.

This is a Susanne Schwenke pattern from one of the two books of hers that I bought, having been so inspired by umintsuru.

I loved how hers turned out, and wanted to tat the patterns myself.  Till today, I have had hideous problems with the unusual directional instructions, once emailing umuntsuru late into the night, desperate for help - which she graciously and very quickly delivered!

This pattern is more complicated than others in the books that I have attempted, and I followed it very, very slowly, methodically et voilá!

Interestingly, I had to undo the last repeat and finger tat the last few rings and chains, because I had already cut the thread.  No problemo!

Also, I have discovered that I have been doing something wrong since the very beginning of tatting life.  When you tat in a bubble all alone, you do not realize what others might see right away if they were there to notice.

I have always tatted f/s and b/s.  When tatting on the front, I pull  downward through the picots, but I have been twisting the thread because I was holding the pulled-up loop in the wrong place, causing a twist every time!  I saw this very clearly after 3 years, in this motif!

Afterthought:  I did change the pattern in one place.  Instead of a tiny ring of 5 ds, I tatted 10 JKs.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chilling With Cluny

Did I say that?  Relaxing with clunies?  Ha! Whoever imagined THAT would happen?

I needed a break before tackling The Boss's request  command, so I thought I could practice some techniques I have ignored for a while - a badly disguised act of avoidance!

#27-100 Motif Challenge
Design by Monica Hahn

Once finished - and quickly, I might add - I was still not ready to tackle the dragon, so I started something that in the past has baffled me. So far, so good! 

Perhaps, after this, I will have enough cojones to attempt the bubblegum-pink-beaded-you-know what!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Attention: JaneS and Orders from The Boss

Hi, JaneS, Please send your address asap. Got to get this stuff in the mail or it will take forever to get to you - Xmas SLOW!


Just when I thought I was finished with dragons, The Boss has decided she would like one, in #80, PINK.  What's a girl to do?   : 0

I have some lovely vintage #80 in Bubblegum Pink, that Isdihara sent me - what - 2 years ago! Perfect for a pink dragon...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winners and a Winsome Dragon

Congratulations Jane and Karen!  
Please email me ASAP with your snail mail address,
so I can put your prize in the post. 

...and dragons...

28-100 # Motif Challenge
One of AnneB's Dragon Designs

I found this an incredibly frustrating pattern to tat, because of the directional changes throughout.  Therefore, there are mistakes everywhere in the front/back stitching. 

I realize I really do not enjoy patterns that represent things like animals or angels - tatting that requires parts to make up the whole. For me, they are fiddly rather than challenging, and I get tense and grumpy tatting them.  Not a pretty sight.  Poor Gian...

Floral, leaf, heart or mandala-like motifs make me easier to live with.

Gian does not care.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dragon Dilemma

Single shuttle split ring or plain, old, ordinary split ring.  Hmmm what will it be?

Before tackling the Dragon pattern by AnneB, I figured I had better practice the SSSR, which I always forget how to tat. I suppose I never really use it much.  Sort of like the split chain, which I did use on the last snowflake. 

However, this time I suddenly realized the split chain no longer terrifies me!  I have made finally, finally befriended it. I could not even find it in the photo when I looked at the post of that snowflake! Yah!

Alas, no such good feeling exists yet between me and the SSSR.  I can tat them, but I am not comfortable with them, so I went with the SR. 

In this pattern, you are instructed to use two shuttles anyway, after the initial one for the tail, so it makes sense to me to just start off with the two. Points for giving it a good shot, though!

Don't you just love that DMC #80 Red for a dragon?  I think it is the perfect thread for a small version of one member Anne B's illustrious Dragon Den.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bragging Rights

Oh, yah! Lots of you have often admonished me for being too critical of my tatting.
Well, not to-day!  I'll tell you why.

On The Space Between, yesterday I read this:
...I do not believe in forcing tatted lace to assume a specific shape in blocking. Lace knitting is a different story: wet it, pull it, pin it within an inch of its life. That is what is required to show off its beauty. Tatting is not the same. If the piece is tatted right, it should be the right shape to begin with – barring the bit of wayward ripple or ruffle. So, I don’t pull and pin: just a shot of damp pressing (cold or hot).
JaneE responded:
...Every tatting design should be totally ‘right’ when finished without any ‘bullying’. If it is worked with the same tension on both rings and chains then that should be the end result.  
I agree with this, and as Tatting Fool and umintsuru both well know, I neither use pins, ever, nor do I conventionally block my work. Just wet and press it, sort of coaxing it into shape before I pile on the weight. Then I let it dry. Easy.

Perhaps lazy? No, just not my tatting philosophy. Not everybody's cuppa, but I am comfortable with this approach.

Sometimes my tatting is off-kilter. Who am I kidding? It is usually very lopsided and 'symmetrical'  rarely appears in my tatting lexicon!

Not today! This is a first. This piece has been neither watered nor weighted! Straight off the shuttles!

#27-100 Motif Challenge
This is Sharon Brigg's 'Phantom Star,' from Tatted Flurries.
What a great pattern!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Snowflake Splendour

#26-100 Motif Challenge
This is, of course the finished Frivole pattern which you can find on her blog.  
Isn't it lovely! Also delightful to tat.  I will do this one again.

On a different tack...
Ambitatterous often has tea info on Tatting Tuesday, however I never read about tea because I never drink it - till now!  This flu bug has turned me into a traitor to java.  Coffee - yucky!  

I found this 

While foraging in the grocery store for something I felt like eating I found this and considering I do not like chocolate, I have no idea why I bought it - must have been a fevered brain.
It is good! I may be a convert...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Savvy Snowflake

is 'Le Flocon Frivole.'  

The gorgeous blue is a #40 Lizeth, but I lost the label...

This keeping me sane.
 I am still housebound with a virus and getting antsy!
Such a pretty pattern with are enough
techniques to be challenging.


Here is is.
 The 620 Post Giveaway!  

If you like or want to try Finca #12, this is your opportunity.  I warn you - it is a soft thread and  bit fuzzy.  I am giving all it away and there was enough to have two winners.  

The first winner will also receive the book in the photo.  It is a slim publication featuring vintage patterns that I have in other books, so I am passing this along.

If you are a tat-ology fan or someone whom I recognize, you are welcome to participate. Just leave a comment.

The winner (by Random Number Generator) will be announced Wednesday December 7.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Down The Chute

#25-100 Motif Challenge

...the garbage chute that is! 

That is where this tatting very nearly left my apartment late last night before I realized I could not find it.  

I had left it on the kitchen counter, under a paper towel, where it had been drying beneath a vase.  The vase had been returned to the cupboard, but I got distracted and left the kitchen to do something else, leaving the towelling and its contents on the counter.

When I returned, I noticed the paper towel, and proceeded to wipe up after the cat - his old food, his dish and other remnants of the day. After the tidy-up was done, I left the kitchen.

When I realized I could not find my newly tatted motif, I was mystified.  I went back to the kitchen thinking it must still be drying under the vase.  Nothing.

Finally, I knew that I had to go through the garbage and I was chagrined.  Not because of the filthy cat-food and the need to now wash and re-press the motif - if it was indeed in the garbage, but because I had done it yet again.

You see, I am known for this peculiar character trait.  I throw things indiscriminately into the trash. There have been several incidents at work when I had to be issued a new pay cheque.  Yes, you have the right image in your head!

I come by this naturally.  My grandmother flushed money and even her wedding rings down the toilet.  Don't ask.

Daisy Picot Pattern by Jon  My first daisy picot pattern!
#20 Lizbeth

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stawasz Surprise

Yup. A Jan Stawasz pattern. I had to be ill and very bored to get up the gumption to try this one! His patterns have always intimidated me for some reason.
#24-100 Motif Challenge
As he has his own distinct method of tatting the double stitch, I had to adjust the pattern. The coloured markers did help.

Because I was lazy and rather feverish, I did not make my own diagram, which would have made the process a lot easier and faster!  I relied on this one and predictably got confused with every repeat I tatted.

There are a number of minor errors that I did not catch early enough to correct, and I ran out of thread with one repeat to go.  However, it is finished, and... not bad!

The thread is Lizbeth #20, from one of the few balls I have left of the old stuff, and it was twisty and inconsistent.  I will be so glad to use some of the new #40 Lizbeth thread that I am eagerly waiting for the postman to deliver. Can't wait, actually!


Once I had finished the motif, I was eager to hunt for a comment from a reader of tat-ology about daisy picots.  I could not find the comment. After reading about 400, I gave up.  

This comment prompted me to begin thinking about the technique, which I learned ( I think) in the T.A.T. course at some point, but I had forgotten how to accomplish it, as I have never put it to use.

So, I hunted for a pattern and an explanation; of course Jon provided both.

So far:

I love the way the thread matches my shuttle...  thanks to LaCossette!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fun with the Flu

I am home in bed.  I cannot believe it!  Four days of this and it is about 13 degrees (Celsius = 55 Fahrenheit!) outside   - bright and sunny and not wintery at all.  My favourite weather. And here I lie, blowing and coughing and disgustingly mucous-ridden!

But, not to be beaten by the dastardly bug, I have taken my shuttles to bed with me, and though there are a few fever-inspired errors and one wonky chain, I have almost completed a pattern I have been itching to tat.  I will post the finished work tomorrow or the next day.

Anybody know what this is?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dandy Handy Hands

Barbara Foster of Handy Hands rocks. She cares about quality, stands behind her products and is dedicated to  customer satisfaction. Because of her, I am embarking on blazing a new Lizbeth trail.  Me! Stay tuned.

In my cleaning/organizing/weeding frenzy I have decided I do not like the Finca much after all. Told you I was fickle!

So, I will share some of it in the next giveaway, that I have mentioned previously. Someone out there in Tatland no doubt really likes it!

I suppose this could be way of celebrating my 600th post, which I realized I just recently passed.  Worth celebrating, I think. Time sure has flown by fast!

Since I have been ruthless in de-stashing. I now find myself with a very limited supply of thread, but have it in my head to tat with some very basic colours for a while. (We'll see just how long that recent kick lasts...)  I think I am bored  -  *gasp*  -  with tatting and find I am needing something different... Etsy? Selling? Designing? Something. I do not know what, but I am antsy and have become frustrated in just tatting one motif after another...  Hmmmm.

Here is the latest endeavour, red as promised:

#23-100 Motif Challenge 
Orsi's Pattern tatted with Finca #12

'Milky Way' Mojo

#22-100 Motif Challenge
Here is another of Jon's Snowflakes, this one from her first book.  Oooh, I LOVE this one! I tatted it with Cébélia, #30, black and ecru.  Lovely combination and a nice change from all the fuzzy stuff.  

I did not used to enjoy Cébélia, but now I like it very much in the #30 size.  Such a fickle heart has this tatter.

Lately, I have narrowed my thread preferences to four that I now enjoy the most: Cébélia, #30, DMC #80,  Lizbeth #40 and Finca #12 - not in any particular order.

What is your thread of choice - aside from all the beautiful had dyed threads out there in Tatland?

I had started to tat this in the Valdani, but I kept making mistakes and could KNOT undo them!

I think this would have been very pretty, but it was not worth the loss of hair ...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Angeline Is Ready To Go!

Karen in OR -  You are next on the list. Please contact me ( see my profile) and send me your mailing address.  Liyarra is ready to post the book to you!
Fox  ; )

Happy Thanksgiving 
to all who are celebrating!