Saturday, December 3, 2016

Getting ready for the cold

It's supposed to get colder this week, so it's the perfect time to work on Ice Drops!

The little bag of Swarovski crystals I found in my stash are being put to good use! I have no idea what size they are.

Some of my Facebook friends have commented that they can't find the glass gems. A little fiddling with the stitch count can help make these fit coins or decorative discs.

This is a bit snug. I think I'll add one more stitch next time. I can always shrink the thread by soaking the finished Ice Drop in hot water for about 15 minutes, as suggested by Marie of West Pine Creations. I tried it, and it worked well!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tatting poetry

This first thing I did this morning was to sit down with my cup of coffee and turn on my computer. Imagine my delight when I read Maureen's comment/poem!

There once was a Tatter so bright
She worked through the day and the night
Couldn't make herself stop
But each gorgeous Ice Drop
Made her beam and rejoice with delight

I feel like my Ice Drops have a place in tatting history!
Thank you, Maureen! I think I'll spend less time on the computer this morning and get back to those Ice Drops!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Time for an intervention?

I really did intend to finish straightening up my sewing room this morning, but I was distracted by a little bag of Swarovski crystals.

After seeing Victats' Ice Drop, I decided to try a Josephine chain hanger. I think I need to practice, because mine is not a nice tight spiral.

I needed some Christmas bags, so I headed out to Dollar Tree. Look what I found...

Seriously, did I need to buy three bags of glass gems? They do look pretty in the bowl, but I think it will take me forever to make Ice Drops out of them. Yup, it might be time for an intervention!

I was only going to allow myself time to make three Ice Drops this morning, and I did stick to the morning part. However, after allowing myself an afternoon nap... something I hardly ever do... I felt that I needed to make just one more.

You see, the frosted glass gems were calling to me from the bowl.

Maybe I need to put the bowl in another room!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November tatting

I only completed four Spinning Wheel glass mats in November, but I'm still ahead of my goal of tatting one per week for 2016.

This is the one I should have finished last week. It's in size 80 Lizbeth #708, River Blue Med. No worries... I will finish it this week!

Yes, these are two more of Rita Richmond's shuttles (Shuttle by Design). I'm developing quite a collection of these little beauties!

I finished two more Lucky Pennies today, for a total of five in the month of November.

That reminds me... I also tatted 42 Ice Drops in November... not too shabby! ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lucky pennies

I meant to post last night, but once I got on my computer I forgot! Luckily, there is no time clock for blog posting!

Last week, Denise and I decided it would be fun to use Edda Guastalla's instructions to tat around pennies. Denise was able to find rolls of new 2016 pennies at the bank, and she got started right away. I stuck to my goal of finishing one Ice Drop for each branch of my little silver tree before starting on pennies.

Since Denise had done some experimenting, I knew that five rings were all that were needed to cover a penny, compared to the six rings needed to hold a glass gem. The size 20 thread pretty much covers up the penny. Denise suggested that size 40 might work better, and I agree. However, I am much too lazy to walk upstairs to go through my stash of size 40! ;-)

I decided to try reversing the back and front, which really only means that I reversed the side of the coin inside the tatting and attached the ribbon the opposite way.

I think it looks fine, but it hangs funny on the tree. I guess I need to play around with the ribbon some more!

Now I'm thinking that I need to finish a lucky penny for each branch of my silver tree!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ready for visitors!

Well, the whole house isn't ready, but my little silver tree is ready with Ice Drops!

My goal was to have one Ice Drop on each branch.

I needed four more Ice Drops to complete the tree.

My mom's favorite color is red, so I think of her whenever I see or use red.

I really like the way the back secures the glass gem. It seems a little more important with the weight of the glass.

After tatting a couple, I got to thinking it might work to make the rings on the back 8+8 instead of 4+4+4-4.

The back does have a slightly different look. I guess it's just a matter of personal preference.

I also played around with picots.

Little changes help to make each Ice Drop unique.

My little silver tree is ready for gift giving. I'll probably keep tatting Ice Drops all the way up to Christmas. I sure would hate to run out!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Step by step

Well, I finally tatted an Ice Drop that is exactly the way I want it. To top it off, I remembered to write down what I did and I took pictures each step of the way!

First, I highly recommend that you purchase Edda Guastalla's 15 page tutorial on creating bezel settings with tatting. It's only $5.44, and I find it to be very easy to understand. It's loaded with pictures and it really helped me make sense of the whole process. I also recommend this YouTube video on needle tatting with a cabochon. I don't needle tat, but watching the process gave me the ideas I needed to create my Ice Drop.

Are you ready?

I used size 20 Lizbeth thread and a Moonlit shuttle from Handy Hands. I read somewhere that 5 wraps around the post allows enough thread for one ring, so I wrapped the thread around 62 times (two extra wraps for good measure). This is a shuttle and ball pattern.

The rings for the back side are all 4-4-4-4. I usually use a picot gauge, because my picots are all over the place without one. My joining picots were all made with the first mark on my Handy Hands picot gauge.

On the first ring only, the second picot is very large. As you can see, I used the 1/2" mark.

After the first ring, reverse the work and chain 6-6.

I used the 1/4" mark for the picots on the chains.

Reverse work and tat a ring 4+4+4-4, joining to the last picot of the previous ring and the large picot.

Reverse work and continue the ring and chain pattern, joining the last ring to the first picot of the first ring. I used a lock join to connect the last chain to the base of the first ring. Do NOT cut.

Reverse work and tat a 6-6-6 ring.

Reverse work and chain 8. I used a lock join to join the chain to the base of the next ring on the previous round.

Continue making rings (6+6-6) and chains (8, lock join to base of next ring on previous round).

Before joining the sixth ring to the first ring, slide the glass gem into place.

Note: I've been asked about the size of the glass gems and where to purchase them. 

The glass gems I've used are about 3/4". Some are slightly larger, some slightly smaller. The stitch count and/or the number of rings and chains can easily be changed to accommodate any size gem or coin.

If your bezel setting is too loose, soak the finished piece in hot water for about 15 minutes and then let it dry. My thanks goes out to Marie of West Pine Creations for this tip!

I have purchased the glass gems at Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree in the floral section. I have seen them at JoAnn Fabrics and Amazon. I've also been told that they can be found in pet stores near the aquarium supplies.

Join the last ring to the first ring.

Tat the last 6 ds and close the ring.

Reverse work, chain 8, lock join to base of next ring on the previous round. Cut, tie, and hide ends.

Add a ribbon for a hanger.

And there you have it! This pretty little Ice Drop is ready for the tree, and it looks nice from both sides.