Sunday, January 27, 2008

Virtual Tatting

Oh, how I wish I could take credit for tatting this darling hippo! Thank goodness, Laura volunteered to be my virtual left hand for Jane's TIAS. Because Laura kept me posted on the progress, I read the patterns faithfully as they appeared. I'm determined to tat this cutie once the cast is off. Doesn't Laura tat beautifully? Thank you my dear friend!

You may wonder why I haven't posted pictures of the progression of this little hippo... I haven't been able to! I'm not sure what the problem is... Blogger, Safari, Mac, operator error. Has anyone else experienced problems? Sometimes I can't post comments to blogs. Technology sure can be frustrating at times!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Queen of Hearts

When I read Snowy's review of Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior, I remembered that I had "Queen of Hearts" from this book on my blocking board. I made it last year, but was so disappointed in my tatting attempt, that I just set it aside. I found it this fall and decided to block it, but the mistakes drove me crazy, so I never bothered to take it off the board!

Yes, the mistakes still bother me, but I've made up my mind that I'm going to use it. I'm just not sure how!

By the way, if you don't have Tatting with Visual Patterns, try and take a peek at someone's copy. I think you'll agree with Snowy (and me) that it's a gem!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Design inspiration

I was looking for books about snowflakes for the kids at school, when I found this Dover publication, A Treasury of Design for Artists and Craftsmen by Gregory Mirow. To create a tatted motif from one of these designs would certainly be challenging, and it would be beautiful beyond belief! I can imagine some of Marilee's or Sherry's gorgeous hand-dyed threads bringing these designs to life. I may have to sketch out some ideas in my spare time!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Think Spring!

It's snowin' and blowin' here in northern Illinois, and I am chilled to the bone! I just can't seem to stay warm since I broke my arm... I'm pretty sure it's all in my mind, so I'm trying to think about spring!

I love this little book by Pat Stevens. In Fantasy Flowers, Pat gives the basics behind her fantasy flowers and then encourages the reader to let loose with creativity! I can imagine beautiful bouquets made from hand-dyed threads spilling out of the little cut glass vases and bowls that I have accumulated through the years. Creating fantasy flowers would be a terrific way of using up precious bits of favorite threads!

True confessions...

Dear Lace-lovin' Librarian blog readers,

I have a confession to make... a secret to reveal... I have a virtual left hand! Sadly, I do not have the strength in my left hand to participate fully in Jane's Tat It And See. In order to keep me in the loop, my dear friend Laura is doing the actual tatting for me. I have been following the directions faithfully, and being forced to READ the directions has really enhanced my understanding of tatting. Yes, Sharon... I am a librarian and should have been reading all along! I guess I'm just an impatient librarian! ; )

I hope no one's mad at me for having a little fun. I promise... I will learn to do the split ring once the cast is off, and I will post real pictures of my progress!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Shuttle Brothers

One of the advantages of having a broken arm is that I am forced to do more reading than experimental tatting. I'm one of those people who skims the directions, jumps right in, and then becomes frustrated when things don't work right. That's exactly what happened when I first purchased Tatting the GR-8 Self-closing Mock Ring, designed and illustrated by the Shuttle Brothers, published in 1999. I mainly bought the book because I had purchased one of their shuttles... a natural progression in my mind! I admit, my half-baked effort at trying this technique left me so frustrated that I didn't open the book again until this weekend... and I'm glad I did!

There is true tatting genius displayed in this book. My mind is reeling with possibilities! Some of the older patterns that I have might be able to be reworked so that I don't need to cut, tie, and hide ends as often! And, the person to rework those patterns could be me! I know that I will be looking at my older tatting books with renewed interest!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tat It And See, Day 1

How did she do it? Her left arm is in a cast! Diane's tatting secret will be revealed later!

Christmas Angels

Wow! This is one I've had for a while! I can tell from the sticker that I bought it at Yoder Department Store in Indiana. I know that I haven't been there since we moved into our house, and we've been in the house for 14 years! I love the price... $2.98! Does anyone ever see pricing like that any more?

So, why have I never tatted a piece from this book? Lack of confidence in my tatting ability is the simple answer. But, how can I improve if I don't try? As soon as I lose this cast, I'm taking the plunge and practicing! There are some new tatters in The Tatted Ring of Bloggers who are not intimidated. They're producing some wonderful pieces. Are they perfect? Who cares? Without practice, there's no chance of achieving perfection!

I've decided to catalog my books as I read them... must be the librarian in me! My daughter, Andrea, asked me to catalog my shuttles as well. I think it will be a lot of fun to put my tatting catalog together. I'll learn more about my books and shuttles, and I think I'll learn more about using my computer. digital camera, and scanner!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amazing ideas...

I could kick myself for not realizing the wealth of information in The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones! I admit I'm shallow when it comes to books with pretty pictures, and since this book was originally published in 1985, the pictures aren't quite as flashy as some of my more recent purchases! But the information in this book is amazing! I've been reading about several techniques that I would love to try. Do any of you have pictures of ric-rac tatting? I've never cared for ric-rac, but I sure do want to try this one out! I also have to try pearl tatting and tatting with three threads. I know Sherry Pence has tatted with several shuttles, and her pieces are fabulous!

If I could only keep one of my tatting books, I believe this one would be a contender!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The 12-minute ring...

I've been referring to The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones for years, never really reading, just browsing. Yesterday, I read some words of wisdom from Rebecca: "It is better to practise with a fairly thick thread whilst learning as this way you will be able to see what you are doing and how the stitches are formed. If you use a fine crochet cotton you will find it more difficult to do this. A knitting cotton, especially a variegated colour, is very good for those first tatting efforts (p. 39)."

Hey, wait! I have variegeted knitting cotton! I have a Lady Hoare shuttle! Maybe I can tat! I don't know how long it took me to find and wind the shuttle, but I do know that it took me 12 minutes to tat this ring. Boy, was I tired after that effort!

More knowledge gained from reading Rebecca next time...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tatting by Lael Morgan

Since I can't tat with a broken arm (unless one of you out there in blogland has a secret to share with me), I've decided to do something really bizarre... read my tatting books! My sewing room (a catch all phrase at our house) is a disaster, so I just picked up the first book I saw, Tatting by Lael Morgan. This book, from 1977, was very interesting to read, not because there was anything new or innovative, but because the author is interested in tatting with a variety of materials. She even designed her own shuttle, which is basically a very large Lady Hoare shuttle, to hold her larger "threads." Lael Morgan's inspiration came from reading about the Queen of Romania tatting with gold... a little out of Lael's price range!

Since I have quite a fiber stash, I think I may try using some alternative tatting materials, once I'm back in the swing of things. However, I don't really think anything will be able to replace my absolute favorite... hand-dyed thread!

Monday, January 7, 2008

You Make My Day Award

I've been tagged by Melissa for the You Make My Day Award. Thank you, Melissa. You just made my day!

The rules are to "Give up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland." Beware! You may get the award several times! Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on. Here is my list of Blogs that make me happy and make my day!

This is just a random sampling of some of the blogs I enjoy:

The Lover's Knot
Laura's Tatting Muse
Tatting Tales
Honey Bee's Bliss
The Tattingplayer
Yarnplayer's Tatting
Threads from a Tatting Goddess

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tatting thoughts

Thank you, dear lace-lovin' friends, for all your kind words and well wishes!

TATBiT, thanks for the link! Dave said order them now! As soon as Alison gets here today...

Laura, I asked Dave if he would be my tatting partner... I wish you could have seen the look on his face!

Iris, I broke my left arm... so my husband would be the perfect tatting partner. I could still manipulate the shuttle! I think I'll take your advice and try some design ideas. I'm sure that will give me a real mental workout!

Speaking of design... Sherry, your new purple thread made my mouth water and sent my mental gears spinning! Pay day is next week!

I don't want to slight anyone... I consider all of you my tatting friends, and I love reading your blogs!

I'm going to do my best to immerse myself in tatting through reading and drawing... if I can! I'm a little drawing challenged. I guess I didn't pay enough attention in art or math class!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Taking a "break"

I'm trying to keep my sense of humor, dear lace-lovin' friends.

Sunday, Dave and I had a lovely day together. We went to the Chicago Botanic Gardens to see their Wonderland Express display, then went out to dinner. When we got home at 7 p.m., I slipped on the ice and broke two bones next to my wrist. I went through 3 1/2 hours of surgery Monday morning, and had to stay in the hospital for i.v. antibiotics until Wednesday afternoon.

I'll be in a full cast (up to my armpit) for 4 weeks, a partial cast for two weeks, and then a brace. I guess that means I won't be able to meet my January goal! Oh, well. I guess I'll just catch up the best I can over the summer.

Typing is very tedious, so I don't expect to post much, but I will be reading all of your blogs! I'm looking forward to reading all of your posts.

Still lovin' lace, but not ice...