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.