Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gearing Up

I tatted two motifs by Jan Stawasz over the weekend. 

Till now, I have been intimidated beyond belief by his patterns and decided suddenly that they were the next thing to attempt on my “to tat” list.  

These two were not difficult, as there were not a lot of numbers to find and interpret. His patterns could be a lot better with more proficient diagrams; I find his diagrams appalling to read.

Once I figured out how to read the patterns, I tried to get myself into a Jan Stawasz tatting mindset, as I tatted.

His patterns are brilliantly elegant;  he has a wonderful mastery of space and balance in a design. I think that is why I have been hooked - so to speak!

Right now, I am in the process of a tatting a pattern suggested to me by Diane, my Enabler/Inspiration Person! Thanks, Diane. You have been extremely helpful in this little tatting jaunt. : ) )

When I finish the piece I am doing now, seen below, I am going to tackle a larger - 80 cm - piece! Yes, I know I said never again, but as I said, it is a challenge, and I cannot resist!

Yesterday, in a local shop,  I managed to find appropriately priced Finca 8, ( I KNOW, not the best, but local) in decent colours, for the large pattern that I am going to tackle after finishing this more modestly sized one I have in hand at the moment.

Unfortunately, I will run out of the lovely shell pink Olympus thread and will have to finish the last three rows in white - not enough white Olympus either, so might use Anchor or Lizbeth of the same weight...

Luckily, this tat is only for practice of Jan’s patterns, in order to prepare myself for the “Big One!"

The way I have familiarized myself with the pattern is by cutting and marking as I go. The only way I can cope, but it seems to be working, much to my surprise. I am finding a rhythm.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fun With Ferris Wheel

This pattern calls for a 1/2 inch button, but I received
 this finding from Yarnplayer and it is perfect!

HDT #20 by Jess, (I think!)

Lovely, lovely #40 Olympus green

Thanks for the great pattern,  Jane!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sovereignty of String

Thought I go for a run, 
take a tatting break... HA!
(Really, this is how I found the laces!)

Jane’s Pattern #3 
with Mama’s String!
This turned out well using  Marilee’s Fiery Red HDT, #40 I believe.
Marvellous to tat with. Thanks again, Yarnplayer!

Love the pattern, Jane.

Gotta love that string, G!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Twirly Times Two!

Love this pattern!

Tatted with Karey Solomon HDT  #30 and Cebelia #30

Next, I want to tat it in one colour to see how the shape appears.

I also plan to tat it in two colours having the outside chains the same colour. On the two I have tatted, I used both threads in the outside chain, which looks very different than one Jane did with the same colour on the outside.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

After The Tears - Twirly!

After a very rough beginning, it eventually turned out quite nicely!

The thread is Yarnplayer’s Dark Hydrangea and it felt like silk, but I could be mistaken. It was a different texture than my other threads, so I am curious as to what it is. Marilee?

The neato pattern? Jane’s Twirly. Love it and am going to try it in another thread. I rather like Frivole’s, here,  tatted in a pretty pastel variegated thread. 

Another thing; it would be better if both threads were the same weight. Marilee’s variegated is #2o and the lilac Olympus is #40. They are very close in thickness but I was very aware of the difference. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Eborall Enigma

LATER... (fourth try!)


Jane has given us a lovely pattern, (thank you, Jane) which I could not wait to try with some great thread I just received from Marilee - thank you, Marilee!

At first I tried the pattern - Twirly - 6 sides - with a #80 thread, the green and orange one. However, I am having some dissatisfaction using the skinny threads and currently seem to prefer at least a #60.

Plus, it is ridiculous to try a pattern that confounds my directional understanding using such a fine thread. So, I picked up the blue #20 and matched it with a #30 for the contrast.

So, it seems that I am getting the hang of it. We shall see.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No More Orr

Anne Orr that is from the book Tatting with Anne Orr. I was trying to do the small motif - there are three sizes and the instructions were not right so I thought I could easily adjust them. HA! Not my finest moment, so I am stopping right here.

I received some gorgeous red/orange thread from Marilee and thought I could try it with the green Anchor thread from Orsi as they are both about the same in weight - not exactly the same but close enough.

Now ... on to Jane’s Twirly pattern... I really am intrigued by it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blind Eye To Blunders

- about 12 inches in diameter - 

Here we are with the Snowflake Napkin - all up to date and wondering how many more instalments will follow. The purple thread is very low and I am considering the options, which depend on the design of the next row.  Will have to wait for the next Renulek reveal!

I kept tatting the same error over and over and have cut many repeats from this last row. Funny how this happens with some patterns and not others - they just seem jinxed from the very beginning.

Toward the very end of the row, I noticed a few repeats back that I had managed the same blunder, and I did not have the will to cut yet again, so I left it. 

Luckily, I see that it doesn’t really matter. You can find it if you are looking at the work as a critical tatter, but I do not think it is obvious. If it is - I just don’t care! This row is done!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Slow and Sluggish

To keep my mind alert while I healed I played a bit with these, so I would not forget how to tat them.

Sluggish? Yes, I have been tatting slowly the past few days... You see, I was forced to cut away many repeats of the Snowflake Napkin.
: (
So, I am where I was about three days ago and there is a lot of wasted thread in the bin. I kept tatting the very same mistake over and over again.

That is what happens when I get bored and I do become extremely bored with large patterns having many repeating motifs.

I do have a marvellous excuse, however:

This injury is NOT related to tatting!

Can you believe (Michelle, take note) I got my thumb caught in the lint remover of the giant dryer in our laundry room? I mean really, who does this? 

This is the almost healed digit. When the wound was fresh, the thumb was initially black and then deep purple. Needless to say, it has been quite sore and is in a most painful spot, making spinning the bobbin a problem, so tatting has slowed down and so my concentration wavers as a result. Good excuse?

Promise to self: I will not to take on another oversized pattern after I finish Renulek’s last row of this piece.

I also went through my mom’s wrapping paper, looking for something pretty to wrap a gift and I found some hummingbird paper.

A hummingbird once anded on my mom’s fingers. She always had long, immaculately manicured nails and that day she was wearing a colourful polish.

I covered the Altoids tin I have been using for tatting with a bit of the paper. It makes me smile.

Have a look at this tatting. 
It is absolutely GORGEOUS!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Accomplishing Annamaria

I did it.

This is Iris Nieback’s pattern.

You KNOW what these patterns are like.

This was my first crack at it.

Just a little un-tatting.

I am thrilled!

I have to say that I have been watching Umintsuru’s success with the Iris patterns. She has been the inspiration I needed to FINALLY have some success with a pattern from the booklet of Niebach patterns: Tatted Doilies. Thanks Wendy!

p.s. Olympus #40 thread. Isn’t this a wonderful turquoise?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Recalling Honey

Honey Napkin, that is. Snowflake here has the possibility of rivalling its predecessor in size, as you can see, by adding this flowery row.

The edge is now a bit wavy and calls for more rows for stability and uniformity of the pattern. Makes me nervous! I have to think more about the next colour choices. Also, it took a lot of time to get this far around the circle. It's larger than I remembered.

Tatting Hubris!

With this one, I spoke way too soon and yesterday spent some time un-tatting. I even managed to un-tat a whole ring with the double picots and the surrounding chain for nothing. It ended up being correct!

However, considering this is Iris, I am not doing too badly! It is a satisfying pattern: a good tat. : )

Friday, April 12, 2013

True Grit Tatting

Look at this! An Iris Niebach pattern begun and one repeat done correctly off the bat! Unheard of. At first my mind said - nah, too difficult. But remembering my recent promise to myself to be more open minded and less judgmental I just went ahead with it:

This is how it starts!
Renulek has pasted the next round of the Snowflake Napkin. 

I thought we were done but  seems R. has bigger plans. I have no idea how large it will be and I have no more of the pink thread, so have to be very creative in my choice of threads. Courage needed indeed. I took on this project just to use up old thread and now it is quite a challenge.

Another leap of faith - the post shuttles. They are large and hold lots of thread but are way out of my comfort zone. Too bad!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bead-less, But Best

Mary Konior Pattern Marguerite
Thread: Cebelia #30 Blue, Lizbeth #40 Yellow

Here is the vintage hanky with the edging that I copied from Frivole’s work here. 

Honestly, I believe that even after all the hankies I have done, with beads and fancy stitches and so on, this is the best one yet. It is so simple pretty and was satisfying to tat, with enough of a challenge  having the two rows with a smaller thread on the inside.

Thanks, Frivole. I loved your idea of adding that second row and have wanted to tat this since you posted yours, but I didn’t have an appropriate hankie until good fortune smiled and my Friend in North Carolina sent me this one AND the perfect blue thread with which to tat an edging!

I do love these vintage hankies, 
but I find that they are very hard to come by.

Sewing this edging on was also a challenge, as I changed my usual method. I sewed it on the backside of the hankie so that the bottom half or quarter of the attached picots were mainly on the back of the fabric. I do not know why I did not think of this before as it makes more sense. Anyway, the stitching is less obvious and neater than in the past. I am not much of a needleworker at the best of times!

I used regular yellow cotton thread - after trying that dreadful invisible stuff. It is awful to work with and I nearly threw out the spool, but I knew as soon as I did I would find some arcane use for it! So it is back in the little sewing box, hidden safely away.

Before sewing - I do not baste - I attached the hankie to the edging with safety pins in 8 places. The pins were bought online and are inferior - nothing like the quality of that little round striver that you see beside the coil-less pin. I have only one of those and had never seen one before I received this one in a package from... I think it was Denise.

I finally caved this morning and sent away for a packet of 10. : ))

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Can’t Stop Picking At It...

This is indeed correct, but I am accomplishing it in my own peculiar fashion, posting the shuttle at the end of the rings. I wish I knew exactly what I am doing.

Now, there is that final ring to conquer, but Jon’s instructions work for me, so I will attempt the closure tonight. Again.

Remember this? 
Renulek’s Tat-A-Long?

Here is the start of the next row that she has just posted:

I thought we were done with this one! Apparently not. I am horrified that there may be a lot more, as I have run out of the reddish thread. So, I had to think ahead and make a decision about this next row.

Also, I had ordered some Clover shuttles for the WIP hanky, so I would not have to keep adding thread and then I thought I could use them for Renulek's as well, but after a bit of tatting on the hanky, I realize the switch from learning on the Clover to total addiction to bobbin shuttle has solidified. 

I find the Clovers clumsy. I can tat with them, but winding and unwinding makes me crazy and I really miss the feel of my LaCossette shuttles. I have definitely crossed the floor, though I am glad that I have a few Clovers, as the pastels are no longer available and the large ones might be good if I use them from the very beginning of a very big or complex pattern to avoid adding thread.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Button Booklet

About 3” in diameter

This is Karey Solomon’s pattern from
this booklet.

I used the same blue #20 HDT from Denise and a heavy brass ornament that I found in my stash, as I did not have a regular, plain 2-hole button that was large enough.

This one worked well visually, however, it was somewhat awkward to tat around, as it is so heavy.

Those interlocking rings? FORGET IT! I’m done!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tilting at Windmills

Yes, I finally got around to trying this Mary Konior pattern. It intimidated me for a long time! I know why - it took me a long time to get the pattern repeats fixed in my brain, but once it clicked it is very easy and you can increase the size and keep tatting for a larger piece. Lovely pattern.

I found this in this book:

I absolutely could not decipher the pattern in the diagram. There were no written instructions.

Really, I studied the diagram for ages and gave up, but then recalled that this pattern was in one of the books on my shelf.

The book was much easier to understand so I was able to tat the motif; otherwise it would never have made it off my shuttles. No way.

This is the blue thread, hand-dyed #20 (I think), sent to me by Denise. It is a great thread, whatever it is, and even though it is a bit thick, I enjoyed tatting with it very much.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Babylo Broadcast

Design by Marjorie Hanson
Thread DMC Babylo #30

This is the first motif I have tatted from this book:

Once again, I tatted with thread and beads sent to me by generous tatters from afar. Both beads hail from the USA, from my Friend in North Carolina and the thread, which I really LIKE, crossed The Pond, sent for me to try by Frivole.

Babylo #30 is just the right thickness and is smooth and lovely to work with. Though a bit on the soft side, it holds its shape when I tatted at my usual not-too-tight tension. It is not quite a fuzzy as CΓ¨bΓ¨lia #40, a close comparison in my opinion. I think I prefer Babylo. Not sure about that last comment.

It bodes a trial using the two.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Asked and Answered

Funny about asking for opinions, which I did. I discovered that
 the consensus was rather split - just like my own decision-making process! 

Thank you for all the input. 

I followed the good advice, tried several threads plus some that I found in my little stash made an executive decision. The final reveal will tell all!


Kathy has been wonderful in sharing her knowledge of the interlocking rings and has done a fine job of explaining how they are done. Many will surely benefit from her efforts. Some tatters, however...


Yesterday, I received a surprise in the post from Frivole:

Frivole believed that I did not enjoy the first samples of Babylo #20 that she sent  to me to try out.

 I actually did enjoy tatting with it immensely; it is the bulky result that I am not certain I like when I compare it to a finer #40 Lizbeth as you can see in the motif designed by Karey that I posted a few days ago.

At any rate, Frivole has generously sent this #30 to try and it looks amazing! Thank you, Frivole!


Also in the mail:

InTatters is an amazing informative tatting resource; I love that site. 

It was there I read about this book being sold off by The Ring of Tatters at a very reduced price. I ordered immediately and just received the book from Britain. It is a good one! Lots in it - even instructions and some Mary Konior patterns.


Only my love for my Grand-baby enabled me to be able to finish this pattern. It is a super pattern and I am inpressed with Karen’s design ability, but for me this is an example of what I call “tortuous tatting”.

Those feet and the inverted chains... don’t ask!

But it is done and in purple as requested; I will get it over to Gray this week. I hope he likes it. He had better like it!
Pattern: Karen Bickerton
Thread: Lizbeth #40
Mistakes: All my own