Monday, February 28, 2011

Dagger Heart and Lobster Clasp

Half the medical procedures are done for the day... Next up, in a few hours, the second half: the cracked tooth meets Bill the Dentist. Yuck!

While waiting for the next lovely Monday Afternoon Appointment, I finished this up, using a small ball of red thread whose vitals I know not.  Bev, was very kind to send it to me.

#6 Motif Challenge

I love the shape of it and very nearly gave it to my Doc this a.m., as it seemed to slightly symbolize the medical profession - not really quite a caduceus , but something mildly close!

The Doc is European, so I thought or assumed that she might like tatting.  Who knows. It wasn't quite finished.  Maybe next time...

Thanks, Vicki, this pattern is definitely a keeper!  I can see it done in many different threads.

 Abigail. "The Boss", loves her new bracelet.

Remember this? Well, I decided it would make a cute ankle bracelet for The Boss.  Unfortunately, I do not have a stash of findings, a situation I am going to remedy soon.  So, I was left with one option - the lobster clasp in bronze - and it is a bit bulky.  
But, it does work, and the littlel Miss is thrilled with her new jewellery.

Slowly but surely the hankie edging is GROWING!  It is going to be real purty!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Muse Returns...

The Muse is nibbling on my shuttles once again...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


 #4 Motif Challenge
Design by Laura Bobay, courtesy of  Mark Myers aka tat-man

The back-up is done and I found it an unpleasant tat.  Not sure why, but the outer part buckles and the inner round is very tight, and the small rings overlap more than they should, according to the picture.  

The colours got to irritating me as well.  Grumpy.  Not entirely my fault as I have not been feeling up to par the past couple of days.  Didn't even tat yesterday.  Not one ds! (and the new teal lingerie - hate it!  Not my style and can't stand the colour!  So much for a big savings!)

Now I am back to the hankie border and really  (finally) enjoying the pure white with clear beads.  It is going to be pretty, and for once I am not feeling that I need to rush to finish.  This is new...

Have been thinking a lot about tatting and where i want to go with the whole shuttle and thread thing.  I realize I am definitely not a doily person.  Never have been, but they are a great device for learning stitches and developing patience. Now I have a whole box of them languishing in my cupboard!

Not being a person who wears jewellery, I have not been drawn into the whole earring, necklace and bracelet thing either.

Yesterday, when I saw a photo of Jane here, (which I rather like a lot, Jane,  and I do NOT think you look like an old git here at all, but a rather a very fetching 'woman of a certain age!') I started thinking once again of what I want to do with my NEED to tat.  

Those thoughts are still all in a jumble, but I am going through some sort of transition at the moment... I'll let you know when I find out myself what this is all about!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tackling The Tarnish

In the past I have posted about this silver shuttle, given to me by a friend of the family who had it for years.  It had been given to her by a relative and she thought it was quite old.

Yesterday, while tooling around Tat-land, I came across this method of cleaning tarnished silver on Sharren's site. Crazy Mom has a post all about it here, as well.

I used a glass container, aluminum foil, baking soda, table salt and boiling water. I mixed all this up and plunked the shuttle in and stirred it for a bit.  Repeated the process.  Success!

The back is stamped C.B.&H. (Codding Bros. & Heilborn, South Attleboro MA) Sterling.

Codding Bros. & Heilborn was founded in 1862 in North Attleboro and went out of business in May 1918. They were manufacturers of sterling silver novelties. (Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers, Rainwater & Redfield, 1998)

After it was all cleaned up I could really see the stamp and got to wondering about the origins of this shuttle and who had made it.  Enter the Internet.

Where would we be without this amazing reference tool for information that it would have taken weeks to find in "the olden days"?

There you have it.  A sterling silver shuttle, made in Massachusetts,  that is  probably one hundred years old or close to it, as it could not have been manufactured after 1918.  Amazing.  If it could talk, what an interesting story it could tat...

I did try to use this shuttle after it had gone through its metamorphosis and found I was very clumsy with it.  I kept dropping it and it seemed to be weighted in all the wrong places.  This made me think more about its previous owners.

My thought is that tatters of years gone by did not have the option of light, well-moulded plastics.  They did have wood and the early plastic-like materials  were light, but the metals were more demanding of control and possibly time. The tips are difficult to keep tight. It is a bit tricky to wind the thread on the silver shuttle, as there is no give at all.  That shuttle is hard and cold.

This shuttle definitely takes more time to load and is tricky with that hard silver point. It is heavy. It is weighted oddly. Yes, I do think tatters of an earlier era had a more difficult "tat" than I do with my tiny, trusty Clovers.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tatting: The Underwear Enabler

Here's the story... I was browsing yesterday through a major clothing store when I suddenly decided to see if there was a sale on lingerie, because I desperately needed to replace my threadbare supply. You DO know what I mean!

I must tell you, I despise shopping - I really do.  But, because there were so many signs about the savings I bravely trudged onward and upward to the second floor.

As soon as I arrived my eyes were immediately drawn to a pile of lingerie on a table off to the right.  It was the colour that drew me over, and normally I would not be looking for this shade - especially for my smalls. But, how could I resist these?  And the price - look at this:

This colour has been discontinued; the newer colours sell for - get this - $14.00!

For a sale price of $2.97, reduced further by 40% to $1.78, I splurged and bought seven pairs. Just like when I was a kid - one for every day of the week till washday.

Tossed the old stuff and feel like a new woman! Thanks, Tatting!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Border Break

I do like having that second motif to turn to when I just cannot tat another repeat!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Getting To Third Base

 Orsi said something interesting and it has caused me re-evaluate something I stated a few days ago. I used the word 'bored,' but in fact I think that might be wrong.  Orsi's comment was:

I don't get bored with repetition, but I am really impatient. I can't understand, why things aren't done in the minute.
I think that may be more to the point, as I definitely love the process of tatting and the rhythm I find I get into.  It is almost meditative - no - it IS meditative.

All right, maybe not bored, however, I am a bit disgruntled when I pick up this piece, as there is still quite a lot of tatting to do.  Disgruntled works for me!

Being a tad worried about getting the white dirty, I tried putting the tatted bit in a sandwhich bag, leaving just the part I am working on sticking out.

Drove me crazy!  Plus, it seemed heavier that way; it seemed that being all folded up gave the thread more mass. And the plastic bag felt awful.  What do you do to keep tatting clean?

Because I tend to tat around meal hours, I have to be very careful that there is none of my repast on any  digits!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plodding On

I am easily bored.

So, the border is becoming most tiresome.  So, I am trying to do a few repeats whenever I get the can, to finish it as soon as I can.  So,  know I shall be happy with it when it is all done, but it is really crazy-making boredom at the moment.  So... so.... so...

Oh, yah, and I have to SEW it on the hanky.  Hmmm.  Something to look forward to, after I crochet the thread edging...

So, someone is grumpy today...

But, I do have something to show you - the OTHER tatting I am doing.  I am REALLY enjoying this one!

Another thing:   whenever I have to take a lot of tatting stuff with me, and the tatting-press is just not holding it all together, I really appreciate the case that I received months ago from Typstatting.  Isn't it just great?

Look at all those little pockets - they are stiffened with some kind of insert, so the whole thing holds its shape. This is a neato tatting case.  Thank, M!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Against The Grain Once In A While....

That... while plodding with this:

I usually only work on one thing.  
Big step for the stubborn.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Knotting Good About It

In spite of the twisting, the knotting, the swearing and the gnashing of teeth...

#3 Motif Challenge

This is the second galoon of this pattern that I have done, taken from  D.M.C. Tatting by Therese de Dillmont (free from The Antique Pattern Library.) This one, if you look closely, has squared pink beads in the centre of each ring.

This little piece took forever to tat - very fiddly, and the fiddliness was exacerbated by the poor quality of the Lizbeth.  Ah - if it were not for the gorgeous colour, I would have tossed this ball ages ago.  But, I love this pink.

I remembered my mom's hankies that I have stashed away and I thought one of them in white had an " A"  on it.  Found it.  The embroidery is almost a silver colour and I am doing the Iris's   "Gardenia" border - in white, as every other shade seems wrong. 

The "A" is for my sister, who is making a quilt for me.  She tolerates tatting quite well, but it is the sentimentality of the very old hankie, plus the tatting done by me that will be most appreciated.  She is sentimental.  Also, she never reads my blog!  

I am using #20 Cebelia; even went to the craft store especially to buy a ball, as I do not have enough white for the whole border.  

The hankie is so fine, I should probably use a finer thread, but I love this border in the heavier stuff, and the store had no #30, so #20 it is!

I could not resist a few - just a few - clear, small beads.  I think they will be lovely...   There are three in each repeat ... only three!

I love the flower work,  the colour and the delicate feel of the whole thing. I am pleased.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thanks to Lily...

 #2 Motif Challenge
Glass Mat Adapted by Kendra Goodnow from Semco Book

Lily tatted a lovely glass mat ( that phrase again!) and I asked her about it.
She encouraged me to subscribe to the Handy Hands newsletter, for the current one has this pattern in it.  Lily is a clever woman and a terrific tatter, so I had to follow her excellent advice!  I received my first edition last week.

However, I will not be ordering any Lizbeth in the foreseeable future, as all the balls I have of it are shredding, twisting, splitting and generally  driving me batty.

Jeff and a few others have no problem with the thread , but all the balls I received from HH, even after the new thread arrangement, are  dreadful. The newsletter, however, rocks.

 One other thing to report:

A few days ago, I received an e-mail:
My name is Tabatha and I just learned how to tat and I wanted to share my very first attempt at a pattern after my first tatting lesson 3 weeks ago.  Yes it's your "Abigail". I still have a lot to learn and much to improve on.
I'd say this is absolutely amazing -  her first attempt at a pattern after her first tatting lesson! WOW!

Thank you, Tabatha, for doing  such an amazing job at tatting "Abigail!" Keep up your excellent work!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gorgeous Galoons

  #1 Motif Challenge

Mine is NOT gorgeous - yet.  This is the first go 'round. Actually, I am exaggerating;  this is about the fourth try at the pattern taken from  D.M.C. Tatting by Therese de Dillmont (free from The Antique Pattern Library.) 

I kept making all kinds of errors, and it was NOT the fault of the old pattern, which is not difficult to read at all.  It's just one of those trying tats.

 Having been inspired yet again by Gina and her work with Grounds lately, I am intrigued with this galoon pattern and have some plans for it after I finish the present piece.  I can only do one at a time. Ah, control issues...

As did Gina, I found it difficult to  keep the rings the right way around as I moved along the chain. There was some twisting that made the tatting a bit of a fiddly, stop and go situation.

This is the current project.  I seem to have a fondness for beige, ecru and a minimum of thread colour these days - must be the snowy, cold influence of  February's winds.

** The D.M.C. spelling for this type of trim is g-a-l-o-o-n, though it seems to be spelled in more recent years with the double consonant.

The French verb 'to braid' is galonner.

There is not much info out there on-line that I can find; I have been looking around for a while... Anyone??

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy New Year to all my Asian friends and family!
Welcome, Year of the Rabbit.
More 'Lello'
#25 Motif Challenge

Mom's opalescent ivory beads are perfect in this motif.  I love yellow, when it is a soft, buttery colour like this #20 Cebelia  - one of my favourites of all my threads and I hardly use it because it is so soft, yet I do really like the shade.

This is Teiko Fujito's pattern, tatting only the first round.  Yes, it is all done in only one round. Made for a wee bit of hair-pulling till I got the directions nailed down... Directional tatting = hair loss. 

By the way - I used Jane's method of attaching beads for the button ( which I found at work - isn't it sweet?) and it is a very effective way of doing things - with a safety pin. Thanks Jane!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Amber Beads - Thanks,Mom

#24 Motif Challenge

"Mixed Bouquet," from A Pattern Book of Tatting, by Mary Konior. 

I had tried this once before here, but I had more fun tatting in the larger, #20 thread (though the green is  #40 Milford, probably distorting the pattern somewhat!)

The amber beads are from my mom, who is not overly keen on tatting, though she does get mega points on the praise that she manages to muster, plus she honestly does try to show an active interest in my passion.  She gets a lot of praise for that!

A few days ago she was excited to gave me these beads; she thought I could use them.  They are from an eyeglass lanyard that had broken and she to salvaged the beads.  I am impressed!

So, I had to show my appreciation.  She will not want to keep this piece; she will 'ooh' and 'ahhh' over it before she puts it very solidly  back into my hands - and that is okay!

Next: all shuttles loaded and ready to tat!

The white beads are another bead-rescue.  Mom got these from a gift, a  beaded eyeglass case that had started to shed the beads.  They are white and opalescent.  Small and very pretty.  Ready to put to good use...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pressing On

#20 Soft Pansy HDT by Yarnplayer
 Well, it's done. I have to say I liked it before this round was added,  perhaps because the variegated thread makes it too busy-looking, or maybe I am just not keen on the bare thread joins.  Whatever it is, this is not my favourite pattern.

However, I do love the first round.  Might even do that part again in a completely different colour - maybe adding beads instead of variegated thread...

There was another new technique for me in the second round. Where there are two rings, one on top of another, you are instructed to wrap the thread around the middle of the two rings before moving on to the next ring.  So, I learned two new things in the course of this pattern.  Not bad! I hope I did it correctly!

 It got finished at a coffee shop after work, having been carried there in The Press.  Ann's brilliant tatting idea now travels extensively!