Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Traditional Cross

I can't believe I finished the second cross for Mom! This is the Traditional Cross pattern from Tatting Patterns by Lyn Morton. Again, this is Yarnplayer's "Golden Glow" size 20. The cross is approximately 4" x 5".

The shuttle is the very first one I bought from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttleMaker. I don't know if I was the first to buy one of her shuttles, but I was among the first! This shuttle was purchased before the LadyShuttleMaker Etsy shop opened. I bought it when she was only known as the MadMadPotter. I sure am glad Sherry decided to design shuttles!

Update: The scan doesn't look too bad on my Mac, but on my Dell at school it looked awful! So, I came home and took a picture. The photograph shows the true color of the thread, but I haven't taken the time to figure out how to take a really good picture. I want to just point, shoot, and get a perfect picture! You know... instant gratification! Maybe I should check out the photography classes at the junior college,or read the manual!

Tatting collection gone wild!

I recently upgraded the operating system on my Mac laptop to Leopard. Are there any other Mac users out there? Any way... Mom suggested I try Bento, database software developed for Macs running Leopard. I downloaded the trial version on Saturday, and I'm in love with it! I've already inventoried my tatting books... at least the ones that are in order on the shelf! I'm going to add pictures (a wonderful option in Bento). The plan is to catalog all my books, tatting and otherwise, and at the same time sort through to see which ones I don't want any more and in the process tame my collections. I haven't decided to eliminate anything so far!

As I was inventorying my books, I realized that I haven't tatted any patterns from many of these books. Besides my collection of tatting books, I have quite a collection of shuttles and thread. So, I'm setting a challenge for myself... tat one pattern from each book, using a shuttle and thread that haven't been used before. I figure, if I leave a little thread on each shuttle, I will know that I have used it.

My first entry: "Basic Cross" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Lyn Morton; shuttle by Diana Andra (available through Lacemaker); thread by Yarnplayer (Marilee Rockley) - "Golden Glow", size 20.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Basic Cross Pattern by Lyn Morton

Here it is, everyone! I finished the Basic Cross Pattern from Tatting Patterns by Lyn Morton. The cross will go at the back neck edge of the liturgical stole to cover the seam. It measures just under 4" across, exactly the size Mom wants.

I'll use Lyn's Traditional Cross pattern from the same book to make the two crosses for the front of the stole. The scan really darkens the color of this gorgeous thread, Marilee's Golden Glow, size 20. I may wind the next shuttle today, but I think I've done enough tatting for the weekend. What do you think, Mom?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekend tatting challenge...

My mom asked me to tat 3 crosses to embellish a liturgical stole that she's making. This is how much I managed to finish the day I broke my arm, Dec. 30, 2007. My tatting challenge is to see how much of the cross I can complete over the weekend. I'm using Marilee's Golden Glow. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bre-Aly Thread

Zarina asked me how I liked the Bre-Aly thread I purchased, and honestly, I hadn't tried it yet! So, my task this weekend was to try my new hand-dyed thread.

I don't really care to work with size 10 thread for tatting, and I really purchased it to make a Patricia Kristoffersen doily (#52 from 99 Little Doilies, published by Leisure Arts). I'm really happy with this thread as a crochet cotton. It was easy to work with and blocked very nicely. I also like the way the color flows, especially in this little doily.

It's really not bad as a tatting thread either! I tried tatting Mary Konior's "Curds & Whey" from Tatting with Visual Patterns. I had a terrible time with the pattern. It's charted beautifully, but I kept counting incorrectly and reversing my work at the wrong time. I literally retro-tatted each ring! After the last mistake, I just gave up and cut the thread. This thread was surprisingly easy to undo, and I think it held up very well considering all I put it through. I never felt like the thread was going to break, and although it did become fuzzy from unpicking the knots, I think it still looks pretty nice in the rings I finished. I then tatted a little clover... no unpicking necessary... so maybe you can click for a close-up and see how the thread held up.

I will definitely buy more of Brenda and Alyssa's thread. I love the feel of the thread and the color (which is definitely pastel in person... the colors show up much better in Brenda's Etsy shop), and it's packaged in neat little cakes that don't roll away!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Transitions in Tatting

It's here! I just got home from a day out and about, and when I opened my mailbox, I found Sharon Briggs's book Transitions in Tatting from Flat to Floral. I'm so excited! I've only had time to quickly flip through it, but I can tell I will enjoy it thoroughly! There are beautiful pictures, both color and black and white, detailed technique descriptions, and fabulous patterns! Thank you, Sharon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I felt the earth move under my bed

I know, I know... I'm no Carole King! Dave and I were awakened by the earthquake that hit southern Illinois this morning. The bed was moving back and forth enough that Dave got out of bed immediately. I, of course, remained tucked under my cozy comforter! The two of us only remember feeling an earthquake one other time, when our daughter Carol was about one... that would have been the summer of 1982. Dave was eating a bowl of soup, and we all watched the soup slosh around. From listening to the news this morning, there have been others that we never noticed.

An earthquake in Illinois is nothing compared to the ones we hear about in California, but it was noticeable! I'm sure Gina and Mark felt it much more than we did... I'll be checking out their blogs!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yes, I've been tatting! I'm working on "Beatrice" from Tatted Doilies by Iris Niebach. I'm using Altin Basak, size 50, color #3004. It's funny how my attitude toward thread has changed. This used to be one of my treasured balls that I was saving for when I really developed my tatting skills. I think the thread is really pretty, but I chose it as practice thread before turning to my precious HDT!

I don't know what I did with the scanner, but this is one of the clearest scans I've had so far! The colors show a bit brighter than what they actually are, but I like the way the piece looks.

My therapist took range of motion measurements yesterday, and she's very pleased with my progress! I do my exercises faithfully, and I tat a little bit here, a little bit there... you get the idea! It's paying off. I'm very glad I worked with size 3 thread for a while. I now have a much better understanding of how everything goes together. I'm also glad that I'm forced to work on this doily slowly, because my stitches are so much neater than they used to be!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tatting embellishments

The front of my spring purse is actually about an inch wider than the scan shows. It all didn't fit in the scanner. I did try scanning it sideways, but then I couldn't get the image to save after I rotated it. I have so much to learn!

Anyway, I tacked down the Daisy Chain edging and added two little tatted butterflies. I'm very proud of the fact that I figured out a little butterfly design without using a pattern! I tried making three different types of knots for the antennae (French, Candlewicking, and Chinese), but they're really just globby little knots. I have a very difficult time following written directions! I also tried feather stitching. Again, I had a difficult time following the directions, so I just kind of did my own thing... it works for me! The little buttons will be a cluster of flowers, but I haven't decided how to finish up my little bouquet yet.

I had hoped to accomplish much more, but I've come to realize that wrist rotation is a very important factor in hand sewing! So, maybe this spring purse will be for next spring!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Works in progress

I feel like I haven't accomplished much in the past week, probably because I haven't finished anything! I did work on my new spring purse last weekend. I'm using my size 3 tatting bits to embellish it... I think!

Since I had the Daisy Chain edging down pat, I used up some size 10 in yellow already wound on a shuttle. I now have a pretty good idea of how much tatting I can get with that particular thread and shuttle... always a biggie with me!

Then I got really ambitious and started an Iris Niebach doily in size 50 Altin Basak... a much harder task than I had imagined because of the thread size. It may take me a long time to finish this one! The good news is, I'm really beginning to feel like I can tat again!

Therapy started yesterday... what a relief! I didn't think the insurance company would ever approve it! My doctor wrote instructions to the therapist and included the note "Be gentle!" She was! Jessica gently, but firmly went through the new hand exercises with me (I still have to continue with the old ones), and then she massaged my aching fingers and scar. She really loosened up my fingers! The scar... well, that really hurt, but it was a good hurt, like digging in to a knotted muscle in your back. I'm scheduled for three times a week for three weeks... I'm sure I'll be back to normal (whatever that is) soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mail call!

It was a great day to open up the mailbox... inside were three packages containing two new shuttles and two new threads! From bottom left: my new shuttle from Sherry Pence aka LadyShuttlemaker, my twin shuttle from Dave Stanbrough at Grizzly Mountain Arts, Sherbert (yellow/peach/wisteria) hand-dyed #10 thread from Bre-Aly Threads, and Pensacola Beach hand-dyed #80 thread from Sherry Pence.

I tried Sherry's method of using a pillow to hold my thread while I wound it on to a Yarn Daisy by CraftLocker. Sherry's pillow idea worked even better than holding the thread with my feet... when the phone rang, I just set down the pillow and walked over to the phone... very simple!

Mom's first motif

Mom just e-mailed a picture of her first tatted motif made with her new Grizzly Mountain Arts tatting shuttle. Isn't her motif beautiful? I'm so proud of her!

While Mom was visiting, she really liked being able to work with the Tatsy shuttle, and she admired Dave Stanbrough's shuttles that I've collected. So, I e-mailed Dave and asked if he could make twin shuttles for Mom and me the size of a Tatsy. Obviously, he did! Mom's arrived yesterday, and she got right down to work. I should be getting mine in the mail today! Is it possible that Mom and I are having too much fun? Nah!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Lovin' my Tatsy

There was just enough thread left on my Tatsy shuttle to create about 12" of Daisy Chain from Elgiva Nicholls' Tatting Techniques. This was the shuttle Mom used to learn how to tat, so I'll have to find a special way to use this edging! I really think my tatting is showing improvement since I started using the larger thread and the Tatsy. Of course, It could be that my arm and hand are getting better!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

International Tatting Day

Yes, I've had my chocolate, and during SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) with the 2nd graders this morning, I read from Tatting Techniques by Elgiva Nicholls... I love this book! Tonight I'll try to tat a little.

As you can see, I'm still practicing with size 3 thread. The two little pieces are just doodles. The insertion piece is for my new spring purse, which I hope to make this weekend. I almost have enough tatted for what I need! I'll post a picture of the purse when it's finished.

I've gained a new appreciation for my Tatsy shuttle. I'm getting used to the size, and it sure makes it easier to finish a piece with larger thread. I don't think it will ever replace the smaller shuttles that I love, but it definitely has a place in my tatting ventures!