Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yes, another tatted cross!

On Friday, another one of my colleagues lost a parent, his father. Hopefully, this will be the last tatted cross I "need" for a long time. I think I'm ready for January to be over.

This cross is "Monica" from Tatted Bookmarks - cross-shaped by Lene Bjorn. This is the same thread as the last cross I posted, Parlak Oren Bayan Dantel Ipligi # 063, size 50.

Mary Konior Tatted Cross

Some neighbors of ours are going through a rough patch right now, so I'll be sending this cross their way. The pattern is from Tatting Patterns by Mary Konior. The thread is Parlak Oren Bayan Dantel Ipligi #063, size 50. The cross measures about 3" by 4".

I love the gentle shading of this thread. I think it has a very soothing affect. This is one of the easiest cross patterns I've ever tatted, so I'm sure I'll refer to it again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

In case you were wondering... 50 yard skein of hand-dyed thread will make three tatted crosses.

Pattern: "Christina" from Tatted Bookmarks - cross-shaped by Lene Bjorn

Thread: size 30 "Forest" from Yarnplayer

Monday, January 25, 2010

Addicted! shuttles, hand-dyed thread, and tatting patterns. It's a blessing and a curse! I just can't help myself. When I see a new shuttle posted by Grizzly Mountain Arts, I just have to bid on it! I feel so lucky to have won this spalted maple shuttle. If I would only take the time to learn about my camera, you might be able to get a glimpse of its true beauty! I know flat shuttles don't appeal to everyone, but I love them because they hold so much thread. Since I'm a slow tatter, it really doesn't bother me that I could be tatting faster with a different type of shuttle.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that when I find I pattern I really like, I'll tat it over and over again. I love this cross, Christina, from Tatted Bookmarks - cross-shaped by Lene Bjorn. Unfortunately, I had the need for another cross. A colleague's mother passed away Friday morning. I know that something as simple as a tatted bookmark can bring great comfort in a time of sorrow.

The thread is Yarnplayer's Forest, size 30. Yes, I am a hand-dyed thread addict. I have enough to last me a long, long time. Yet, when a new color calls to me, I answer. It looks like I'm going to get three crosses out of this one skein. I just may be able to keep one for myself!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Change of focus

I will get back to Jane's T.I.A.S. soon. After all, I don't want to lose my ability to make split rings! However, I needed to take some time to tat some crosses.

Almost two weeks ago, one of my third grade students died from a severe asthma attack. Two days later, my ex-husband passed away after a 10 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Somehow, tatting crosses seemed to be an appropriate task.

Both crosses are from Lene Bjorn's Tatted Bookmarks - cross-shaped. The green one is Christina in Flora #228. The blue one is Maria in Lizbeth #651.

Although I think both crosses are very pretty, I think I'll try both patterns in a smaller thread. Size 20 just seems too big!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I took a nap, re-read Jon's split ring directions, watched Melissa's YouTube video, watched Linda's YouTube video, pulled out my copy of The Joy of Split Ring Tatting and re-read those directions, and then...

I did it! It wasn't easy, and Dave looked at me funny a couple of times (I was mumbling a few choice words), but I managed to tat some split rings! I'm too tired to go back to Jane's T.I.A.S. tonight, but maybe tomorrow.

First dropout?

I'm home recovering from a nasty stomach bug (slept for 30 hours!), so I thought I'd give Jane's T.I.A.S. a go. For almost two hours I've been trying to tat a split ring. I did manage one, but I forgot the picot. Maybe I should wait until I'm full recovered. : (

Sunday, January 3, 2010


...and I'm not saying I will, but if I were to knit one dishcloth per week...

by this time next year I could have 52 dishcloths.

I could have house warming gifts on hand.

I could have stocking stuffers for my daughters.

I could have a serious dent in my yarn stash.

I could have room for more tatting supplies!


T.I.A.S. ~ Bring it on, Jane!

I'm ready to join my first T.I.A.S.! My threads have been chosen (Lizbeth #117, #651, #623, size 20). My shuttles are wound. My task basket, made by daughter Alison as one of my Christmas presents, is set and ready to go.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for split rings, I'm ready to begin!

Picot hooks for tatting or crochet

How have I started my new year? I've been catching up on blogs, drinking tea using my new Brown Betty teapot and tea cozy and my tea cup and saucer from LadyShuttleMaker, and believe it or not, I've even spent some time tatting! How's that for a long-winded run-on sentence? The English teacher in me says go back and correct it. The rest of me says pooh! On with the blog!

What inspires you to tat? I've collected quite a few tatting books, but I'm seldom inspired by a pattern in a book. I'm inspired by the beautiful pieces on everyone's blogs, especially those that are nicely blocked. (I hope to become better at blocking in the coming year!) Seeing the choice of thread makes me want to jump right in, especially if I own the book or the thread!

I'm also inspired by beautiful tools... shuttles, picot gauges, picot hooks, etc. Yes, I love my Clover shuttles, but I feel special when I use one of my hand-crafted shuttles... more like I'm using a work of art to create another work of art!

A couple of months ago, Dave at Grizzly Mountain Arts listed a picot hook in his shop... you guessed it... I jumped right on it! I love Dave's fiber art tools. Each one is crafted beautifully! The picot hook was no exception. Yes, I have shuttles with hooks in the ends, but I tend to get the hook caught in my tatting... a very frustrating situation, especially when joining picots! I'm a slow tatter, and it doesn't bother me one bit to pick up a picot hook to join picots.

Anyway, I loved the picot hook so much that I contacted Dave and asked him if he would make me a set of finer hooks for working with finer threads... and he did!

I admit, I'm drawn to the names of the different woods... Purpleheart, Padauk, Pau Ferro, Maple Burl... but it's the feel of the tools themselves that keep me wanting more! Yes, I could use a regular crochet hook, but the wood feels nicer, and the bulk makes it easier for me to hold and manipulate the hook. Besides, it's beautiful!

Now, I think its time to get off the computer and get back to tatting!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Killian's Southern Adventure

Killian was feeling the chill in northern Illinois, so when he heard we were driving to southern Alabama to visit Mom, he begged to go along. He's been very patient with my lack of tatting (I just had to crochet sock edgings for my three granddaughters), so I agreed to let him come on the condition that he behave and not wander away!

Killian felt very much at home in Mom's apartment, even though he had to share the spotlight with Sparkle! Sparkle Plenty, her full name (take note Dick Tracy fans), was in need of a day at the spa. She'd missed her regular spa day because of a nasty little virus, and she was feeling a bit shaggy.

Killian was happy to get in the van for a trip to Fairhope, Alabama. Fairhope is in Baldwin County, and it's the town where Mom and Dad retired 19 years ago... my, how time flies!

Killian was so excited, it was hard to keep him in one place! No, we did not have a seat belt for him to wear, more's the pity!

Our first stop in Fairhope was at Sparkle's favorite spa, Pet Haven.

Please take not of how shaggy Sparkle was looking before her day at the spa. Killian couldn't believe that any pup would let herself go like that. He can be very judgmental and uncaring... after all, poor Sparkle had been ill!

Despite Killian's poor manners, the lady at the register graciously agreed to have her picture taken with our adventurous little lep!

Our next stop was Mom's favorite coffee shop, Latte Da... yummy coffee!

The ladies fixed hot cocoa for Mom, house blend for Dave, and Almond Joy for me... I had the best one, of course!

Killian was a bit disgruntled because there was no Irish coffee for him. I told him it was too early in the day!

After warming up (it was chilly for lower Alabama), we explored Page & Palette, the adjoining book store. I found some wonderful Christmas books on sale, and Killian made another friend!

The shops weren't open yet, so we strolled around town and found the brick that my Grandma Green purchased for the beautification of Fairhope. Killian was impressed.

With plenty of time before the shops opened, we decided to go down by the bay. Killian was quite impressed that there were roses in bloom, so we stopped to smell the roses.

We then went to see the ducks. This lady was carrying on quite a conversation with this duck... it lasted the whole time we were there!

Killian was thrilled to find a seashell on the beach.

We then headed back in to town to shop at the Church Mouse, one of my favorite stores! While in there, I purchased a Brown Betty teapot, a tea cozy, and some scone mix.

Maryann, the owner, graciously allowed us to take a picture of her with Killian. The shop is filled with English and Scottish goodies. Killian seemed to be okay with the fact that there was nothing Irish there.

The next stop was the Fairhope welcome center, where we chatted with two lovely ladies about the joys of living in or near Fairhope. Visitors to the Grand Hotel love to shop in Fairhope!

Neither Dave nor I had ever visited the Fairhope Museum, and Mom had not been there since they renovated it. It was fascinating!

Killian couldn't believe there were live plants in December... he fairly leaped out of my hands to get a closer look!

Killian decided that Fairhope was just fine once he saw this beautiful harp!

The little rascal thought the jail was fabulous!

Mom and I were in awe of the beautiful lace!

Marietta Johnson founded the Organic School. She believed in the development of the whole person, and integrated the arts into the curriculum. I wonder what she'd think of No Child Left Behind? ; )

We just had to visit Christmas Round the Corner! The ornaments were fabulous! Most were way beyond my budget, but I do have a few pretties for my tree next year!

Killian was a bit insulted that the girls behind the counter kept calling him an elf, and they tried to charge me for him twice! All was forgiven once I told them his background. They were very pleased to have an elf, oops! a lep from Ireland in their shop!

Lucky us! We met Laura aka Tattycat and her husband Bill for lunch. It was great to see each other again! I sure wish we lived closer to each other!

After lunch, we picked Sparkle up from the spa and headed home to rest. Yes, Sparkle looked lovely once again, but it was time for all of us to sit down and rest... we were all a wee bit tired!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! or... The Great Tatting Shuttle Give-away!

Happy New Year to all my wonderful blogging friends!

I just finished catching up on all the wonderful entries you all have entered on your blogs... I feel like a slug! All I've been doing is visiting with family and having fun!

Anyway... drum roll, please! The random number generator has chosen the following to win one of Dan's tatting shuttles:

#19 - Trayna
#15 - Karen in Oregon
#3 - Tatting Marie
#22 - Clyde
#18 - Isdihara
#9 - LadyShuttleMaker

Congratulations to all of you! I wish I had enough shuttles to send one to each of the 38 people who left comments! Please e-mail your mailing address to me ( so that I can get these off to you next week.

I'm very pleased with myself... I finally took out the manual for my camera, which I've had for almost two years, and I found a setting for taking indoor shots! There's even a setting for taking nighttime pictures. Maybe there's photographic hope for me yet! I guess it pays to read the instructions...