Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mission accomplished!

It only took about an hour, and now all my threads are hidden. My little motif stash looks much neater, and each piece looks finished! I usually hide my ends as I go along when I'm knitting or crocheting, so it won't be a big deal to do the same with my tatting.

I've played a little with my scanner to try and get rid of the streaking. I've put a piece of white fabric between my tattings and the lid. I've also tried a piece of white paper. Obviously I haven't hit on just the right thing to make a nice clear scan. Now that I'm at school when the outdoor light is good, I just can't get a picture that I like! I'm going to visit Alison and Dan this weekend. They're computer geniuses... maybe they can help me out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No more loose ends!

Last night I decided to attach "Posy" to a piece of fabric for a tooth fairy pillow using the length of thread still attached to the tatting. What a disaster! I had a terrible time trying to get the thread through the cloth and having it look nice. Tonight I'm sitting down with all my little motifs from the past couple of weeks, and I'm hiding the threads! I'll still use the tails for attaching lace edgings to socks, but that's it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A little bit of "Honesty"

It must be my Scottish blood... I just can't get rid of that little bit of thread left on the shuttle. So, I tatted a little bit of "Honesty" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, page 40, size 20 Flora.

The circular piece is "Posy" from page 93 of the same book, using the same thread. This one definitely has a right and wrong side because of a thread that carries across the back to join each section of the motif. I really like the effect with the variegated thread!

I've completed one full pattern repeat of "Stella alpina" from Iris Niebach's Tatting Fantasia. I've had Iris's book for quite a while, but felt intimidated because of the size of each piece. Arlene (see link on right side) has been a great inspiration to me, meaning that I looked at the patterns even more carefully than before... ha! ha! ha! Then I received an e-mail from Iris! She told me that she thought I could tat one of her pieces and that her first book had some simple doilies. So, a few nights ago, I pulled out the book, an already wound shuttle, and got to work. What can I say other than I love the way this pattern goes together! Now that I have one full pattern repeat finished, I'm really getting into a rhythm!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Note to myself: NEVER post a picture of an unblocked piece again! I can't believe how awful "Angelica" looked unblocked in comparison to today's scan! Since I haven't taken the time to learn how to link to previous posts... "Angelica" (on the left) is from page 100 of Mary Konior's Tatting in Lace, size 20 hand-dyed thread from Yarnplayer.

"Hope" (in case you haven't guessed, it's the one on the right) ; ) is from page 92 of Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns, size 20 Flora, color #55. I can't believe that just a few months ago I thought this motif looked to hard for me to do!

I don't think I've found the motif I want to use for Eva's tooth fairy pillow yet. Maybe I really haven't found the fabric I want to use! I'd better hurry... kindergarteners have been losing teeth left and right this week!

I'm really feeling brave with my tatting. I started an Iris Niebach doily the night before last! I don't have much done. I'm trying to work slowly so that I don't make mistakes. That's not working too well. I've already had to undo a ring and the chain before it because after I closed the ring I realized I had joined the chain to the wrong picot. I've had to go back and take that join out three times now. The first join was done beautifully in the wrong place. The next two were twisted somehow in the right place! I'm sure I'll get it right. Maybe I shouldn't wait until 8:30 p.m. to start tatting!

By the way, if any of you who scan can give me tips on how to make my scans look as clean as yours, please let me know!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I came from Alabama with my tatting on my knee...

My apologies to Stephen Foster! My sister Janet and I just spent a delightful weekend in Alabama visiting our parents... but I really did have my tatting on my knee, both on the way to Alabama and back to Chicago! On the flight down I finished "Angelica" from page 100 of Mary Konior's Tatting in Lace. "Angelica" used up most of what I had left of the size 20 Cool Green color from Yarnplayer. Marilee's thread is really wonderful to work with! I know I should have blocked it, but I wanted to post a picture today... I'll post a better one later in the week.

I also took along my Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I tried working on "Faith" on the way down... I really messed up! I worked on "Hope" on the way back with the hopes that my tatting would improve, or rather my reading of tatting patterns! "Hope" is nearly finished, and if all goes well, I'll post a picture in the next couple of days.

I haven't read a blog since Wednesday! (I think it was Wednesday!) So, I'm off to catch up with what everyone's doing!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Girls just wanna have fun!

...and since I needed to have some mental down time this weekend, I chose to do some tatting yesterday. It's amazing how much I can accomplish during football season! I watch the games with Dave, but I keep tatting/sewing/knitting/crocheting while the game is on. I consider it to be guilt free "me" time!

My granddaughter, Eva, started kindergarten this year. When did I get this old? Anyway, last week a couple of kindergarteners showed me where they had lost baby teeth, and I decided it was time to start working on a tooth fairy pillow for Eva. We just used a sealed envelope when I was little. The great mystery was, how did the tooth fairy take the tooth out and put the quarter out without tearing the envelope? A friend of mine made Alison a tooth fairy pillow when she was in 1st grade. That pillow made the tooth fairy's task much easier! I decided that a tatted motif on the pillow pocket would make the pillow extra special. So now my quest is to find the perfect motif in the perfect color to decorate that little pillow. Of course, I was too lazy to choose material and coordinating thread yesterday. I just used what was in the basket next to my chair! I'm not sure how I'll use these pieces yet, but I had fun making them!

The blue variegated is size 20 Flora #55; the design is Nr. 2: Lille krans from page 24 of Orkis by Kirstine Nikolajsen and Inge Lise Nikolajsen. This is one of my favorite designs from one of my favorite books. I think this is the third time I've made this motif, and I finally put it together correctly!

The pink motif is size 20 Coats #403; the design is Eightsome Reel from page 50 of A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. I love this book also! I just purchased it recently on the Internet. It's in amazingly good condition! I think this motif would be wonderful done up as a multi-colored mat similar to Tattycat's (see Laura's Tatting Muse link on the right side, August 2007 archives).

The multicolored floral motif is Anemone from page 73 of A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. The thread was leftovers from lace sock edgings. I know the purple is Flora, and I think the blue is Hakelgarn. I was attracted to this motif because it reminds me of the Jacobean flower designs I used to love to cross stitch... I haven't done cross stitch for probably 15 years!

I'm leaving lengths of thread attached for now in case I want to use them to sew the motif onto the pillow. I think I'll just keep tatting these little pieces until I'm inspired to make the pillow. What a good excuse to keep trying new designs with different threads!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fun at the fair!

Yesterday my daughter Alison and I took a field trip to the Lake Country Harvest Art Fair in Hartland, WI. It was an absolutely beautiful day to attend the fair! We started out with the intention of visiting the booths in order, but when I saw Booth #18, I had to scoot on over to meet Marilee Rockley (a.k.a. Yarnplayer)! It was like meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in years! Alison took our picture, which I hope to see on Marilee's blog (we forgot to take one with Alison's camera). It was so exciting for me to meet Marilee and see her pieces in person. "Oxidation" is fabulous! Marilee's latest piece, "Choker with Rock" is stunning! I controlled myself, though. I bought a necklace for Alison, which I forgot to photograph. The green necklace is for Andrea... her favorite color! The golden necklace is for Joanne, my fashionista. The bookmark is for Carol, who doesn't wear much jewelry but is a voracious reader of history books. Of course I had to buy some thread for myself! I previously purchased both of these colors in size 20, but decided I just had to have them in size 80! Marilee also had some beautiful woven pieces. She shared the booth with a friend who does inkle weaving and basket weaving... I just had to have one of her bookmarks!

There were mainy talented people with booths at this art fair. Alison and I found some fabulous "swittens"... mittens made out of recycled, felted wool sweaters by the ladies of the Oconomowoc Chapter of Friendship Bridge. I had never seen or heard of mittens made this way. I was really surprised when I did some research on the Internet last night and found that people have been making them for several years. In fact the site for the Dear America series of children's books had information about this type of mitten being made for soldiers during the Civil War! I think I suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to any kind of fiber art. Obviously there is much history to explore with any aspect of needlework! I don't care for cooking much, although I really enjoy good food! So, I purchased their cookbook as well... I love to READ cookbooks! : )

Tiny Bubbles had wonderful soaps, lotions, and lip balm. My lips were very dry, so I just had to buy some lip balm. I loved the soap dish, and it was very reasonably priced. Of course I had to have a bar of soap for the dish!

Another vendor had eye pillows and wheat & heat comfort packs. The eye pillow is filled with a blend of flax, lavender, and chamomile. They're wonderfully soothing when I have a migraine or sinus headache! The wheat & heat comfort pack will be great for when my shoulders hurt from too much knitting/crocheting/tatting/sewing/computing! I really liked these pillows because the covers are removable for washing... my old, well-loved, well-used pillows need new covers. Now I know what to do! Of course, I should have been able to figure out that new covers would spruce them up without buying new ones, but...

We finished off the day with ice cream, and an all-too-short visit with the grandchildren. I needed a day of mental relaxation, and this one fit the bill! I even stayed within my spending budget for the day! I hope all my tatting friends out there had a wonderful, relaxing weekend as well!

P.S. - I just checked Marilee's blog... there we are!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Playin' around

While Dave has been busy re-roofing the house, I've been playin' around in my sewing room... that's a very loosely used term as I haven't done much sewing in a long time! I'm supposed to be cleaning and reorganizing, and I have done some, but I keep finding long-lost treasures! Saturday I found my Weavette looms, which I've had for at least two years, maybe longer. When I first bought them, it was a nostalgia thing. I loved using my Weave-It when I was a kid (who knows what happened to that loom!), so when I saw looms that fit in the palm of your hand advertised, I heard my name being called! Did I order one? No! I ordered every one made by Buxton Brook, along with the handy dandy tote and pattern book! I was so excited when my looms arrived... I sat right down to weave! The first piece was a disaster. I barely read the directions. What did I need those for? I was an expert weaver when I was 10! Of course since the first piece fell apart, I quickly lost interest. Saturday, I decided to do something really rash... I read the directions. As you can see, this time I was successful!

I thought it might be fun to use up some of my yarn stash to make bookmarks embellished with tatting. Although the pictures seem to show the tatting pretty well, I think my little mini-tats look lost on the coarse weave when viewing it in person. Both tattings are from Minitats: 69 Petite Motifs by Patti Duff. The purple one (Flora size 20) is #1, found on page 21. The blue/green piece (hand-dyed thread, size 20 from Yarnplayer) is almost #6 on page 22. I say almost because the motif in the book has 6 rings, rather than the 5 I made. I just didn't think a 6th ring would fit!

Next weekend is the Lake Country Harvest Art Fair. I plan on going with my daughter Alison, and I hope to meet Marilee (a.k.a. Yarnplayer) and see lots of her beautiful pieces!