Friday, April 29, 2011

My New Very Best Friend Basik

 #6 Motif Challenge

Oh, la-la!  Pretty Altin B!  This is yet another of the patterns in the Myra Piper book - they are such fun to tat; just demanding enough to be challenging, yet not so difficult as to frustrate.

I am not sure what happened here.  I was careful with the picots, trying to make them larger than joining picots so that you could see them in the cloverleaf joins as in  Wendy's work,   but the chains seem longer in the pattern picture than in my tatting and the short chains pulled everything tighter than the book photo.  

Although this is pretty and the tatting is an example of improved Fox Fingers, I am puzzled as to why the finished piece is so cramped. Both threads were A.B.#50.  ?????

This is another sample that came in the mail from Margaret.  I have one more sample  colour-way to tat, but have not picked a pattern yet.

I'm off to recuperate from the Royal Wedding watch...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Snivelling Over Stash - Again

#5 Motif Challenge
Pattern by Myra Piper
Thread: Altin Basak  pink and Cébélia beige

Oh, the stash of Cébélia.  I have been complaining about this thread  for about  as long as I have been tatting, though I kind of like the #30, of which I have two balls: white and ecru. 

But the #20 Cébélia  is so... sort of  thickly soft and fuzzy.  However, I have lots of colours. And I admit the balls have diminished quite nicely, but, there is still a lot of it.  I would love to be able to get rid of it all and replace it with my new favourite thread: Altin Basak!

Than you , Margaret,  for reminding me how lovely this thread is.  It is smooth and easy to work with and the saturated colour and the slight shine are very pleasing. I am working on one of your samples now and it is going to be a sweet piece.

Suneeti had sent me some in pink, which is the chain colour in the motif.  The variegated is a  sample from Margaret.

This pattern looks fairly straightforward, right? Well, not to me! It elicited "alter-English-trucker-talk" throughout the tatting process.

The old dyslexia grabbed on and held tight as I re-tatted my way through this.  But, you will notice, please, the lack of beads or metallic or indeed anything but regular vanilla tatting!

I am practising 'quality' stitching, keeping my promise, and by Jove,  I do see results!. Even after almost shredding whole sections of thread, it still looks pretty good!

Next on the agenda: rout out Georgia's gauges and pretty-up the picots.

**An afterthought:  Oh, ya -  I ran out of thread and had to add some - can you see where?  I think I have perfected the surgeon's knot! : ))

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pink? Ya Think?

  #4 Motif Challenge

Sue Hanson's  'Simply Flake' Pattern
from the Ring of Tatters' 30th Anniversary Book of Patterns
 Yarnplayers 'Peace' HDT
Suneeti's Metallic Pink gift thread 

Isn't this a great pattern?  And, I love it in pink. This is the second or third attempt.  

One of the aforementioned ended up with the wrong number of rings in the centre and morphed into an okay heart - if a bit of design-something-or-other were to be applied:

Next, in the mail to-day, from Margaret:

Lovely samples of Altin Basak variegated and white.  Such smooth, silky thread.

I also got a card from my daughter, who lives in New York. I just happened to notice the two envelopes on the table , one from Margaret and one from Jo, sitting so close to one another, and had to laugh:

  Tee hee!
Lastly, in yesterday's mail:

I think I first noticed this publications on Diane's blog here:  It's a lovely, little book.  At any rate, after a bit of searching around, I found a copy of this old-timer on eBay for $1.54 US. Plus postage of $12.00!  Never mind.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Myra

Myra Piper that is!  Since Wendy has been tatting up a storm from the little book of motifs, I have been tempted by a few of the patterns:

#3 Motif Challenge

Metallic blue thread  
Heather's Hand Dyed Thread   (don't know what it is called - sorry!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cluny Caper

I panicked.  Thought I had forgotten everything elisadusud had taught me.  This is, of course, Elisa's lovely design:

 #2 Motif Challenge

It's those SPLIT CHAINS - they get you every time.  I finally know how to do the pesky stitches, but I'm still uncomfortable with the technique.  Getting more cosy with it -  luckily - because with these patterns you have to tat a lot of them.

The regular thread is good, old, reliable Cebelia, and the fancy-dancy stuff is a metallic from Suneeti.  Thanks, S.  I am finally using some of the samples and though the thread is ornery at times, as in when rings are pulled tight, it is very effective in certain designs.

*Thanks for the comment, yavamoni!  Not split rings - split chains!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Gift for Maiah

Maiah is my dear friend's teenage daughter who loves blue and has one of my small tatted hearts framed and  hanging in her bedroom! I think she is a pretty special young woman, so I  found some lovely navy beads - hard to find - and made her this:

#1 Motif Challenge

Pattern was inspired by Decorama, from a Vintage Mlle Riego pattern

I had planned to have another type of fastener, but it was too large in the end, so I had to find something else and just happened to have this magnetic clasp.

The bracelet was too large around the wrist when I added the new clasp, so I had to attach it further in into the body of the tatting.  This worked well as it sits over the ends and there is no space showing on the wrist.  Pretty!

P.S. I forgot to thank Suneeti for the metallic thread. Not sure if you can see the sparkle in the darker chain thread.  I think it Lyn Morton's. Thanks, Suneeti!  This pattern is perfect for it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Striving for Mastery

#25 Motif Challenge

(If you are reading this, this one's for you, C.T.! 
You know who you are!)

It is appropriate that this is #25 of the Motif Challenge.  I keep signing up, as it keeps me on the straight and narrow. Check it out - this site is great tool for a tatter to have as an inspiration and motivator.

I am delighted with this motif and pleased with my tatting.  My work here is a visual follow-up to what I wrote in response to some of your comments on the Crash of the Copycat post.

I knew that I had moved my concentration away from, as my tatting buddy C.T. say, "each little soldier", focusing on embellishment and quantity rather than technique and quality.
**You Guys!
I am NOT being hard on myself! I am just being honest. I am not a whiner, nor do I look for sympathy and coddling. Not that kind'a gal! I see there are big problems with my technique, which is why I began to blog in the first place - to watch my tatting progress. So, I am using the tool I created to correct OBVIOUS errors!

You are all very kind, but much too polite! Leave that to us Canadians!
Love and kisses, ♥
Fox the Brutal ; ))
I compared the stitches:
I rest my case!

Talking about skill and method, I read something interesting in Jon's blog, and I commented:
If you do not wrap the thread over your pinky and it looks as if it is not wrapped on the third finger, how do you keep it taut when you do chains? I am mystified!
Imagine how surprised I was when I realized how idiotic my comment was in light of the fact that I do not wrap the thread around my pinky either!

The shuttle behind my palm is wedged there, keeping all taut.

How do you position that working thread?

P.S.  Thank you, Wendy.  This all started because of your wonderful #17, here
I am striving to have my tatting this precise!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


#24 Motif Challenge

The hankie turned out to be smaller than the standard ones and is lopsided to boot.  Was a bit of a challenge to sew on the edging and it's linen, so the weave is more open than cotton and all the sewing shows more easily.  But, it is done, and I think pretty. Phew!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crash of the Copycat

I liked the pattern of Myra Piper's that I saw so beautifully tatted on Wendy's blog here, that I just had to see what it would look like in Heather's Sweet Peppermint #30 HDT.

 #23 Motif Challenge

Big disappointment!!  I knew the HDT would be too busy looking , but it is my tatting that is dreadful! I have to start concentrating on the stitches and and leaving the beads alone till I get a more consistent appearance.  All the picots are the wrong size and  I had to re-tat a million times.  BAD.

Everything I touch these days seems to end up messed up.  Got to go back to the basics, I think.

This is what was left when I finished.  I seem to be good at estimating the thread I need, if nothing else!

I had wanted to tat the centre piece in Suneeti's red metallic, but it kept breaking - too many cloverleafs for it to handle, so after three tries I gave up.  Might have looked even worse with the sparkly bit.

Then, another mishap.

How many beads do you think are in the little container?  I know there are about two-hundred-thousand, because that is how many I picked up from the floor last night.  Maybe three-hundred- thousand...

People always ask if I block, which I do not.  I am afraid of where all those pins might end up. Also, blocking reminds me of knitting and sewing, both not pleasant things for me,  Especially sewing.

Very infrequently will I steam it with an iron.  I am just too lazy to get the iron out.

Usually I will just dampen the piece and press it using my trusty weights.  Usually this works very well.

Lastly, I have five more repeats and then out comes the sewing-up needle...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Misha" Goes Pink

#22 Motif Challenge

I am still working with the Serif  draw programme.  No success.  I loathe drawing patterns, a fact very strange to me, because years ago, in another lifetime it seems,  I was a designer in the art studio of a major Toronto magazine!

Now, I just want to tat the design, not draw it - especially using a keyboard.


Tatting the corner of the you-know-what! So very much un-tatting! 

I would have had two hankies finished by now had I had not had to spend so much time correcting errors and cutting out large bits!.  All because I cannot count....

I get these counts wrong again and again.

Put a rat in a maze to look for cheese at the end, and if there is none at the end of the search, s/he will accept that there is no cheese and will not run the gamut again.  

Not me. Oh, no. I continue to race, again and again, down that blasted maze searching and hoping for the non-existent hunk of cheese that I know with certainty will be there, waiting for me at the end of the line. Uh-huh.

After the hankie, I will be on to new projects!  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Crossed Communications

 Some time ago, I received mail from Sally of Tat's Heaven in response to a question I had about the wood that my Pop-A-Bobbin is  made from. She was very kind to respond sending me a tatted cross and a printed card about the wood.

When I went to dine with my aunt, whose name is also Sali,  I took the cross and printed card  with me, knowing we would be dining my aunt's friend, a Christian lady, who is particularly interested in all things relating to her religion .

When I showed the women Sally's things, an unexpected event occurred!
Sally, I hope you do not mind if I share my e-mail to you. I have been meaning to tell the tale, as I would like it to be recorded in the next blog book. (I am clearing out all my old e-mail messages.)

Hi, Sally
Something funny happened last evening that I though I would share with you.
I was dining with two old dears of 95, at the retirement residence where they both live.  One of these women, Sali,  is my very close friend and she also happens to be my Aunt.
 The other woman is a friend of hers who was feeling very blue, so my Aunt invited her to dine with us. Sali had asked my to bring the Piecework magazine with my tatting sample in it and some pieces of tatting to show her friend Jean. 
She thought that Jean would enjoy my babbling about Tat-land, as she is a craft person and has tatted in the past.
So, I packed up some stuff and at the last moment I grabbed the note you had sent me, tatted cross attached, that has been sitting on my desk since I received it.
At dinner, we talked about knitting and crafts and tatting and I hauled out all my things.  I had prepared two little packages for the ladies - little, beaded hearts.  Right after I presented these to them, I pointed out your card.
Telling them that you were a Parish Administrator and a Reader in the Church of England, I explained about the shuttles and the old wood and so forth.
All of a sudden Jean became very animated and exclaimed, " In Winchester Cathedral? My middle mane is Winchester!"  She proceeded to take the cross and attached it around her necklace, saying how much she loved it and appreciated it!  Next thing, she had bolted from our table and was dining out with your lovely tatted design, throughout the very crowded dining room!  My Aunt and I were speechless! 
Needless to say, we could not inform her of her error, so your little cross has a new home and a very enthusiastic, and also very devout owner! 

The two crosses you see are the replacements for the one that Jean has, which is a pretty yellow and black twisted thread. Sally must have mailed these immediately, as I believe I received them with five days of sending that e-mail across the Pond!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Courageous Colour

 Well, I am not "finnished" with the book just yet!  
Here is another rendition of the motif, this time adorned with beads:

 #21 Motif Challenge

I did wonder when I started this motif at my choice of colour.  I had promised myself that I would be adventureous with my palette, but these colours were an odd pick.  Then I noticed my new shuttle from LaCossette:

The choice now makes perfect sense!



I forgot that I had ordered a book from Blog2Print, and was puzzled when I received a large  parcel in the mail yesterday.

It was a yellow (notice  my new addiction shows up everywhere!) coloured Blog to Print book, containing  my tat-ology posts from November 2010 till March 2011.  I am so happy that it has my old header on the cover.

Now I am up to date in my blog archive.  I find these books to be an invaluable aid, as I check them a lot when I can't remember something about a pattern I have tatted, It is faster and easier to flip through the pages than to hunt and peck for it on-line.

No, I am not paid to tell you about this!  I love my blog, and have a wonderful printed replica of all  my posts, an entire blog history.  Just wanted to share it with anyone who wants the same.  : )

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My New Favourite "F" Word

Fascinated with and fixated on the vintage Finnish book! 

This is another motif, part of a bigger pattern,  that I really like.

 #21 Motif Challenge
Progress is Slow!

Now, my favourite rant - LIZBETH

Spring is finally really here in Toronto.  My very favourite time of the year.  It is grand when the weather stays cool. and the new growth happens slowly.  There is time to savour and enjoy.

I much prefer it to the fast and furious blooming of an onslaught of high temperatures that herald a short Spring.  This year's season  is a good one  : )

Monday, April 11, 2011

Finnish Finished

The Finnish book has some really pretty, small, doable motifs in it.  I am glad that I had it printed up and am going to tat another one as a  break from... the border!

I am getting the hang of the Catherine Wheel join. 
 Here is the improved second attempt:

#20 Motif Challenge

*  Later:  I did NOT have the hang of the Catherine Wheel at all!  I was doing it wrongly the whole time.  After watching the video about five times,  NOW, I think I understand!  I suppose I'll have another go at the motif.... sigh....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Subversive Tatting

I thought this was a rather innovative way to inform people about tatting, plus I had a lovely piece of border that I had to cut out.

Since the book is one that not many men would pick up at the library,  (Anita Shreve is the author) and in general, women are more likely to find tatting of interest than are men, I thought the choice of book was appropriate.  I would not have put the tatting in a spy thriller. But, that's just me!

I just know someone out there will  grit her teeth and waggle a finger, thinking how awful I am for desecrating a library book. 

However, if I found something like this in a book, I would be curious; if I knew nothing about the subject piece, I would go straight to Google.

I do hope someone like me finds her/his way to  Tat-Land from my nefarious gesture.

Such a ingloriously bold way to promote my own blog!


PattyD over at InTatters wrote about this vintage book:

It is in written in Finnish, but that will never hold a non-Finnish tatter back! It is a lovely publication.

I liked this pattern a lot and tatted it last night using The Valdani thread that sis sent me, doubled.

These colours never were my favourites before, but I am more and more enamoured with yellow, orange and green combos. There is a whole new palette out there for me to play with. 

The pattern drove me crazy, but, once again , it was way too late and I had to un-tat as much as tat. Not the fault of the pattern - not matter what the language!

***An afterthought:  I tried to learned the Catherine Wheel join in this piece that I saw beautifully explained by Yarnplayer, here.  Thank you so much, Marilee!  

It took till the last join to figure out which thread to pull to make that first loop part of the join that pops through! What a terrific technique that is! 

I have to try this pattern again as the count is all wrong throughout and the CW  still boggles...

Border Update:

My niece has a good eye and is such a perfectionist herself, she probably will notice the beads.  That is why I am tatting this for her! She is very particular and discriminating the about the needle arts. Unfortunately, she will, in all likelihood,  find any errors as well.  The good with the bad.... right?

*By the way, to be clear, the corner pink  beads are very much intended!  It is just that they sort of disappear into the design.


Obviously I have spent far too much time with my camera, the books and posting pictures to do much on the border.  But, (Maureen, notice the math, please!) I do have less than two sides left!  Yipee!

I leave you with this today:  The Boss is growing up fast!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Wee Dragon's Sad Karma

 Border Update:

 A Tiny Rant
Remember these?

What did the poor dragon ever do except make his tatter - me - exceptionally happy?  See the Orange/Red dragon, the one I called Graydon of Orange?  Well, after Christmas, when all the Grands were given their dragon,  I  never did hear back  from my own kids, their parents, about what had become of them.  Not a thank you.  Not one  word!

Thank goodness for all the comments and appreciation of the five from the Tat-Land quarter, or I would never have known if anyone but me thought they were pretty special. After all,  Anne's dragon patterns are fabulous!

Fast forward to this past weekend when I was visiting with Mini-Boss and her brother.  Gray was dancing to music and strutting around the living-room, happily waving his arms all about, when I noticed something oddly familiar clutched tightly in one of his little hands.  Something reddish.  Something small. SOMETHING TATTED!

Politely, I asked my son why Gray was playing with the dragon and  said I had imagined that it would have been hung somewhere  in his bedroom. 

My son just shrugged and told me that Gray liked to play with (destroy) it and it would never be hung up.

Obviously, I have made  a colossal blunder whilst raising of  my son!

Oh, NOOOoo!  I just saw a mistake in the photo!!  I have to cut out a chunk....  DRATS! 
That's MY karma for airing my dirty laundry in public!  : (

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Immersed in "Iris"

...and getting bored already!  And I am only one quarter through it. It is a lovely pattern and not difficult to tat.  In fact it is lovely to tat. but this is it for hankies for a while.

 I want to get the last few designs I have done written up...**cough, cough** .  That might take a little time.  Perhaps I should lug the laptop to the coffee shop and have a go at it somewhere new.

My niece lives in another province, and though we are not close at all and do not speak from one year to the next, I know she is the only one in the entire family  who will truly appreciate my tatting.  I mean really love it. 

She is the only one of all my relatives that appreciated my knitting.  Also, she loved every pair of socks I made for her.  Everyone else said wool itched.  She was the only one I could make anything for! And here I am again, her least favourite and only aunt, about to send her a beautiful handmade gift.  Life is strange.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Midnight Madness and Angeline Update

 #19 Motif Challenge

Last night, I couldn't sleep, so on came the light and look what happened!  

I don't even remember how it all came about, but I do like this!  Seems this could be the beginning  of a bit of a habit - picking up the thread and a bauble and just letting the shuttle find its way. I am mystified by the  process and how I came to be able do this, but hey, I am not going to question it - it is simply too much fun! 
Angeline's Travelling Book Adventure Update

There has been a bit of a mix-up in the numbering of the recipients, and the book is currently winging its way to Arty Lady in  Australia.  So, I have arranged the names of those tatters who live in that part of the world to follow  next on the list in order as to keep mailing fees as low as possible.  

If you are not on the list, and want to be included, write a comment or email me. 

If you have been omitted in error, let me know. 

If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it. 

 The List:
Dale Marie

Diane March 11
Arty Lady


Chiclet - only if she promises to give it back!
Crazy Mom
Wendy Tats