Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Heart is Blue

For Misha
#16 Motif Challenge 

Well, I've got to say, this is mighty appropriate!

In the design course, we were to take a snowflake pattern and come up with a heart from the pattern.  So, I looked at what I had dome with the pink motif and it was derived from a snowflake shape until I had to remove two of the repeats to make a square.

Using the square, I modified it furthur and this is what happened. No doubt this is beginner's luck, never to be repeated, as I knew exactly what to do and skipped the software stage entirely, going only to my shuttles to produce the heart.  Sorry Sharon!

The software I have - for free - is for a PC and I find it too time-consuming and difficult to use.  Until I a) get an Apple or b) find new software, I am going to have to use photos blown up or hand draw patterns.  I just cannot take the time I need to use the existing programme, and believe me, I am NOT a quitter!  I have given it my best, gung ho effort! 

On looking at this design again, I think I might try it with the silver do-hickey in the centre at the top of the heart  instead of so low... I think that would be better....

Miranda suggested I tat something in memory of Mish.  Thank you, my friend, it did indeed  help a lot. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bargains, Beads and Blue

The Beginning :

Thanks to Wanda, I realize there is another lesson in the Design-Tat course.  I had totally forgotten about it as my mind has been wandering and meandering aimlessly in a fog this past week. I read her post last night and realized I had better get to work. Thank you, Wanda, for the brainwave!

I am not following Sharon's instructions to the "T", but close enough, and I am excited about this piece... if it works.  Stay tuned.
As I was going through the instructions for this lesson, I started to think about all that I have learned. since September.

The learning kind of sneaks up on you, and all of a sudden you seem to know a lot more than before the course.  There is a lot to assimilate, and it gets sort of absorbed as you work through the lessons.  I had never designed a thing before, and I am beginning to feel more confident about trying more, stretching my creative impulses.

I have to say that this course is...

Sharon has developed a marvellous opportunity for tatters to learn about design in the privacy of their own homes. Heh  heh  : )

On-line and at your leisure, you can follow her well-developed plan and before you know it, you will be thinking differently about design and tatting and your own abilities. There are many months of on-line lessons to work on, lots of stimulation and tantalizing tatting topics.  All this for ONLY $20 USD!
Honestly, it is beyond  bargain, as I know of no course where you would get so much for a price so low.

Sharon is interested in  teaching  tatting, in increasing the knowledge of it out there in the world, not in  the profit she could make from her tatting tremendous  knowledge and experience.  Thank you Sharon.  It is a real privilege to be taking this course.

By the way, folks,
*DISCLAIMER* Any products or materials used or seen on tat-ology  were purchased for personal use and are not used or suggested for advertisements or endorsements".  I was not asked nor paid to say anything!

Back to the shuttles...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pink Pretties

#14 Motic Challenge

I just wanted to tat something pink and pretty, but had neither the energy nor the inclination to go hunting through every ball of thread. So I looked at what I had in small amounts wound on thread savers, figured these two threads would be fine together, and I could throw in some beads for good measure.  Not a lot of thought with either the threads, which do NOT match in size, or the pattern, yet the result is very pleasing.  Nice surprise!

 #15 Motif Challenge 

Pattern essentially by Kaye Judt, from 'Motifs for Marie', 
but has an added section because the different sizes of threads

The pink thread is Peace, #20 HDT, by Yarnplayer. The  purple and silver metallic is way thinner and was given to me by Suneeti, last year.  

Because of  the differing thread sizes, I found that the larger pattern, which was originally designed by Nancy of Be-stitched, posted here, was not going to work, especially with the silver do-dad in the centre. Therefore, I changed both the stitch count and the number of repeats in order to make the motif workable.  I really wanted to have five repeats, but that lasy one just wouldn't have fit.

I might mess around and change it more to see if I can get something less cramped around the cute little silver centre... but I am not designing...really.... at all.  : )

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tatting Two!

Maybe I am getting to be like all of you who have so many shuttles on the go at one time. I just could not face the hanky any more, so I got out my new shuttle and looked at my stash of findings, and...


Now I am tatting two things at once again.  Could be the beginning of a new trend.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Case of the Tardy Handkerchief

I am a tad worried.  Remember that hankie I made for my sis? Well, I forget when I actually mailed it, but it strikes me that she should have received it by now.  

Then I got to thinking about all the problems with the mail in the UK and I really began to wonder - is Canada Post any more reliable? Right.  Tomorrow is another week...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lily of the Valley

Thias is all I have managed to tat in a week.  The past seven days?  A blur.  At least the sun is now shining although it is still cold, but it is bright and so much better than all that depressing snow and dark.

 Yesterday, in the mail, I received a shuttle I forgot I had ordered from La Cossette, earlier this month:

Lily of the Valley is also the flower for May, when I was born.  I was not thinking of this when I picked the shuttle, nor did I connect it with the hankie, at least not consciously.  It all ties together rather nicely. Plus, it is my favourite flower.  Kismet.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Egg; Chick; Life --- Yellow!

I settled on white and yellow - my new very favourite colour it seems.
The hankie will be edged in this pattern: Mary Konior's 'Oranges and Lemons'.

I started with Frivole's pattern: Iris, but as much as I like it, it did not seem to go with the lily-of-the-valley embroidery, so I switched to another M.K pattern: Eléonore.

This is a really lovely old pattern. but tatting it in Celery, a gorgeous HDT of Yarnplayer's, I found was a bit too heavy a look  for the delicate hanky.

Plus, I realized I did not have enough thread to finish the entire border.

So, it seems as if those of you who preferred the white edging have won out!

But, just to be ornery, I have added the little, yellow beads, for I think they will look perfect with the embroidery which has a tiny bit of yellow in the flowers.

Thanks, Linda Davies. for so many ideas.

Her blog, Tattyhead, has some lovely edgings and has got me all fired up for hanky borders!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Misha's Gift

Bonjour, Charlette! Congratulations! Please send me your address so I can get this in the mail to you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maebh Has Made A Decision...

I've got to hand it to her.  She has great ideas and this one is perfect.  

You see, I have had the privilege of being the human that belonged to that magnificent feline.  I also wanted to honour Misha's life in some way, so I am following  Maebh's lead, and we now have a surprise give-away, ready to mail.

There are lots of goodies inside, including a couple of vintage shuttles that I am passing along to the winner.

The names of those of you who left such kind, wonderful comments on this blog are those I shall submit to the random generator this evening.  I shall post the winner tomorrow.

Your thoughts have buoyed me through the most horrid hours, as I try to come to terms with the loss of  my Misha.  I thank you, each and everyone, for those warm and caring sentiments.  They meant so very much.

P.S.  Misha was a HE!  Everybody ALWAYS got that wrong - even my wonderful vet!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Patisserie Panic

Frivolity has created a beautiful design HERE:
You can get the Quatrain design on her blog. I just had to try it.  The colour is insipid, my tatting does not do it justice, but I love the lines:

#13 Motif Challenge

Now, the story:

Picture it: the lunchtime crowd - a well-heeled Real Estate set -  lunching with clients at a little French bistro close to my home.  See the suuny skies; and hear the sweet song of the spring birds welcoming  the glorious new season.

It was a perfect day to treat my tatting to a cappuccino.  

Bliss. There I was, tatting away, so mellow in the the warm atmosphere, surrounded by the rich aroma of  fresh  coffee that I forgot to pay attention when pulling thread through a tiny picot at a very small join, when suddenly - a stab of pain -  and I felt that familiar "POP, when the hook managed to imbed itself DEEPLY in my flesh! (That little, tiny red mark?  Do not be deceived!)

First stunned surprise, then horror, because I started to panic wondering what I was going to do. After all, this was a public place, not my apartment where I could swear, scream and sob and all the drama that erupts when I am alone.

As much as I like to think I am a rebellious sort, not prone to worrying about what others think, I was mortified that someone might see what I had done.  I had to unhook myself immediately!

The hook would not budge! Twisting did no good;  this was the worst one yet!  Desperate, I just .... yanked it out!  Ohhh - this time there was a lot of blood.  Not pretty. But no one saw the event, and I was able to surreptitiously clean my poor digit with water and a serviette.

Got home, disinfected and  bandaged the finger and soothed my wounded pride.  Here I had just been thinking that I had advanced in my skills so that at least I did not injure myself with that hook any more.  HA!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

♥ Top of the Morning to You ♥

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 Go mbeannai Dia duit                         

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

White... Right?

I am going to tat the border in #30 white Cébélia, as that is what I have on hand, and that is what is called for in Frivlole's beautiful 'Iris' pattern.

What do you think?  Should it be white or yellow or green? I COULD make a small concession and order a #30 if I really need to do it in a colour... hmmmmm.

Here is my mom's hankie and this one is going to be MY heirloom piece.  It has lily-of-the-valley flowers on it, at least I think that's what they are, and it is in better shape than the last one, (for sis) as it washed up really white, with no marks but for one teeny one. Like the other one, this is very sheer.

What to do.... what to do....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Un-Beadable? I Think Not.

#11 Motif Challenge
Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts

Lily wrote this in a comment about the Queen of Hearts pattern yesterday:
- I messed it up the first time (due to the chains as you mentioned).
- I got it right the second time.
- I messed it up the third time (due to joining the chains on the wrong side of the rings). By   this time I could see the repeat in the pattern (even though the joins are different throughout)
- Fourth time, I added a third picot in the first ring, same as you.
- Haven't attempted a fifth.
Well, like Lily, I messed up BIG TIME with this one, but I am so proud of the result. I do believe that after two and a half years of tatting this is my finest piece. I will explain.

 This is  is white, soft, Cébélia.  It is a small piece, consisting of only rings and chains.  Nothing fancy - albeit brilliantly designed by one of the greatest tatting designers of all time.

BUT, in this, the second attempt, I vowed to pay attention to EVERY stitch and to correct each mistake along the way.  I had to un-tat SIX of those TINY, ITSY-BITSY rings because of either an incorrect join placement or a chain with the wrong stitch count.

Also, I realize that though I have tatted this many times, I have always made mistakes in the picot count.  Till I read Lily's post, I did not realize that there were joins in different places along those picots.  Before, I  always placed the joins in the same place of each repeat!

So, I followed the directions  exactly; I made nothing up. I did add the three red beads, but I felt that I can  allow for my own signature of creativity. I fact, I hold that to be a plus.

I paid attention to each and every "little soldier",   (Thanks for THAT lesson CT - you know who you are!) I tried my best for consistent tension.

The whole experience felt new and exciting. I so hope this marks an overall improvement in my work, as I feel as if I have had some kind of tatting epiphany as I continue to strive for mastery of this wonderful art form.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

 #10 Motif Challenge

 Here is one of  Martha Ess's hearts, using  Jane's blip-less join.

This is THE GOOD.

Now comes THE BAD, accompanied by its evil twin, THE UGLY.

 Delusions of Designing

I began a pattern from this book, and quickly became bored with it. so thought I would change it into something else.  You can clearly see what happened!  Not a good idea, especially since the original, "Coppelia," is such a lovely pattern.

I suppose I am just not in the mood for doilies.

I think I am hankering for another hanky... Did I just write that!

But, you will understand if you go and see Frivole's gorgeous "Iris" border. Even if you are not interested in the border, go and visit the blog.  It is a great read, and she has some of her patterns to download there as well.

Here is, happily, more of  THE GOOD.

This is, of course, one of Mary Konior's more recognizable patterns - Queen of Hearts. In the past, I have had dyslexic drama galore because of all the chains that curve in opposite directions.  

Usually, I cannot get going on this pattern till about the fourth try.  Here I have done it in - get this - ONE!  I am shocked! Somewhere within the labyrinth of neurones, my brain has finally made a good connection.

Also, I hate to admit this, but I see that the pattern is a repeat of itself all around the entire heart!  Never did I realize this in all the billions - well dozens anyway - of times I have tatted this pattern.  Oh dear.

But, so that I do not get carried away by this success, I see that I tatted the initial ring with too many picots, so I have to start again anyway, just for another reason this time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Forgivingly Blip-less

# Motif Challenge
Another beautiful Cluny pattern by Elisa

I do forgive Jane, for her effervescent encouragement for me to begin tatting another border, ONLY because I am so enchanted with her blipless-join technique!  It is amazing!  (The next motif I post will demonstrate this technique more clearly than this one, where I did not utilize it as much...)

I have always been perturbed by the colour blips, yet had no idea how to get rid of them completely. I think I hid them fairly well by tatting conscientiously at the join, but this trick just eliminates the whole frustrating problem.  I used it in this motif and am using it in a little heart I am tatting to use up that pink thread.

I forgot to say that the variegated thread is Lizbeth, #40, and the plain pink is Altin Basak, courtesy of my friend, Suneeti.

I have to confess that I really like this #40 Lizbeth, which does not do anything BAD as does all my other Lizbeth.  It is silky, smooth and a joy to use.

This pattern is on Elisadusud's blog and is pretty, isn't it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Done Deal

 #8 Motif Challenge

It was really difficult to photograph this well.  I cannot get the beads to sparkle, but they do!

Also, it was hard to iron; I cannot believe how delicate this cotton is.
It is much prettier in real life and I am surprised that it looks so flat on the monitor.

Now what am I going to do!  Oh no!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

You Asked...

Wow - I botched this up!  Thought I would make it easy.  Right.  What I mean is that this join is good to attach completely separate parts of a design.  It is not useful for the picots between rings because there is usually no need for the double picot, which might just look bulky.  Maybe there would be a use in some design, but I'll wager not as often as the first use.  Am I clear?  Oh, to communicate!

Ahem - that would be "edging".... : ))

Monday, March 7, 2011

A New Join and A Blip-less One Too

I cannot remember where I saw this type of join.  I recall that the instructions said to practice it , if it was a new technique, and I can see the pattern - but I cannot remember the place I saw it!  I THINK it was in the Japanese book by - NO, I remember!  

It is in a pattern by Kiniko Chitose - a collar pattern - in the Ring of Tatters book.

She instructs that to perform this join,  
"...bring the working thread through the picot to which you wish to join, make a picot, then work from the pattern.  The two joining picots are interlinked and look as though they are touching, tip to tip."
Then on to Jane's Blip-less join:

This took me a few minutes to figure out, but once I did, I realized that it really works. 
 Excellent, Jane!  Thanks!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bordering On The Border

Slowly getting there... 
 As for keeping it clean, I am trying the baggie approach and it is all right.  Not as cumbersome as I had originally thought it would be. And it does keep the peanut butter at bay!

The little flowered tin - are you out there Crazy Mom?  

She sent me some Paul Newman Mints a long time ago, in a package of goodies.  The picture of the actor did nothing for me, but the blue around the lid inspired me to use up some pretty paper and I have been using this ever since.  Someone in a coffee shop asked me where I had purchased it!

What about you, Jane?  Are you reading this?  I have to thank you for this:

It cost about $2.50 on eBay for approximately 35 of them.  Ah, Internet shopping and tatting.  See, it does not have to cost a fortune to be so rewarding!

Back to the border...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

'Tussie Mussie': Not My Métier

#7 Motif Challenge
Tussie Mussie by Rosemarie Peel

Okay - I have had enough of a break from tatting the border.. .grrr.  I will not post anything new before I get that finished.  Actually, it is pleasant to tat and is looking good, so I am not sure what the problem is.  I think Spring is beginning to weave her wander-lusting fingers around my soul!

The bright, but cold mornings bring warm, sunny rays through the window, and The Cat and I are definitely feeling the change of season.  Finally.

Now, about the Tussie Mussie.  I loved the picture in the 30th Anniversary Book of Patterns published by the Ring of Tatters.  It is a lovely design.  For me, however, I find this type of work to be much too fiddly and I like designs that are more... solid.  Heavy.  Gothic.  That much I have discovered recently.

It has sure taken  a lot of time and effort to see what I really enjoy!  I would have thought that my personal preferences would be much more defined after two years of tatting.  I am the same way after MANY decades of buying my own shoes, deciding on my footwear!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Proof of Prodigious Production

Anybody recognize this yet?  I am working on the next colour now.

On the thread supply... this is what is left.  

If you have been following my progress, you might remember that there were always two plastic bins - though neither was filled as much as this one.

Nevertheless, I have really taken a good bite out of my initial stash. There has been a lot of tatting over the past two years!  Yes!  I am determined to whittle this accumulation down by at least a quarter before I even think about adding to it!

I'm lying.  I think about it all the time.  But I have a lot of will power.  Make that: bull-headed inflexibility.