Thursday, August 30, 2012

Toshti revised

I'm sure you've seen Fox's beautiful rendition of Jon's new pattern for doodads, Toshti. I'm amazed that Jon was able to come up with such a beautiful pattern with no doodads on hand! That situation will soon be remedied, because I sent her some today.

I looked at the pattern differently than Fox did, with the following result...

Since I started the pattern and joined to the doodad where I did, I had to leave out the clovers. I should have had the clovers at the four corners of the doodad, and then I would have achieved a result similar to Fox's. My version turned out to be very fiddly near the end, because I was trying to work in a tight space.

Jon has approved my version, and she'll work on tweaking the pattern once she has the doodads in hand. I'm sure she'll release her pattern to the tatting world very soon, so be on the lookout! I know I'd be thrilled to see a whole book of doodad patterns. Put me on the list please, Jon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doodad Double Dare #4, #5, and #6!

Michelle and Tattabugg have presented two lovely doodad designs! Michelle has chosen Fox's Athalia pattern in turquoise... sure wish I'd thought to use turquoise! Tattabugg took the plunge and designed her own. You'll just have to go take a look. I know you'll be inspired!

I finished my second doodad last night. It looks like it could use a little blocking. I didn't follow a pattern. I just doodled. I'm not much of a doodler, but I had fun with this.

Here are my two doodads side-by-side. I'm tempted to turn them both into bookmarks just like Michelle did. I love this sharing of ideas!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Doodad Double Dare #3!

Sarah joined the challenge, but she doesn't have a blog... yet! How about some comments to encourage her to join the blogosphere!

The following is copied and pasted from the email Sarah sent today...

This is what I came up with. I am thinking the size 40 thread works with the delicacy of the  doodad but if you were  to ware these as pendents or even earrings a heavier thread might be better, or maybe they just need to be stiffened. I may cut them apart and try something with size 20 thread  but I wanted you to see my first attempts. At any rate I'm having fun and learning some things too. Tatting onto a doodad is not as easy as one might think! Thanks for the challenge. 


p.s. Yes, the spinning wheel mate was made with Lizbeth Pink Marble # 20 Thanks for the compliment. : )

Simple but sweet
Basic ring and chain size 40 thread Lizbeth Sherbet Delight 

Front side of small motif I found on the internet by Lisa Tumble
Thread is Jess's Fancy Field size 40 

This is the reverse side

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Doodad Double Dare #2!

Miranda at Tatting Fool has completed her Doodad Double Dare! I love her idea for using split rings for her pendants... something I'll have to remember in the future. Please check out her blog post and leave a comment. Her work is impeccable!

I started on my second doodad this morning. I have an idea, but I'm just tatting and trying things out as I go. I figure I can always snip off the thread and start over if I don't like the way it turns out.

How are you doing with your Doodad Double Dare?

4-Eva Spinning Wheel

I finished my 4-Eva Spinning Wheel! If you're new to my blog, I think that you need to know that this is my all-time-favorite pattern from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. I've lost track of how many of these I've made, and I've given most of them away. I sure wish I'd remembered to take pictures of all of them. It would make quite a display! Thanks to Jess for this beautiful colorway. Yes, I've started another Spinning Wheel in another of Jess's hand-dyed threads. This time I'm using Navy Greens... can't wait to show it to you!

When working with hand-dyed threads, I like to wind the thread CTM onto two shuttles. I've found that the new Starlit shuttles from Handy Hands are perfect. I've used Tatsy shuttles in the past, but they really were larger than I needed and slowed me down tremendously. The SewMates are a little too small, but the Starlits are just right... hmmm... sounds like I've got a Goldilocks and the Three Bears theme going here!

The only thing I don't like about the Starlits is the pick. If I'm using a size 20 thread, I can sometimes unpick a knot, but I don't find it at all useful for finer threads or for joining picots. It just gets in the way. I did contact Barbara at Handy Hands about Starlits without the pick. She sent me a few that had been assembled incorrectly, and I love them!

Of course, I felt the need to own every color of the Starlit shuttles, and I do use them, but I've had this itch to get rid of the pick. This morning I got brave and decided to sacrifice a shuttle if necessary. Dave has been doing his Mr. Fix-It chores this summer, mainly replacing siding. Rather than make multiple trips up and down the stairs to his workshop in the basement, he set up shop on the porch... fine by me!

Keep in mind that Dave is not a tatter, however he does seem to support my addiction! I asked him for help with my Starlit shuttles, and he knew exactly what to do!

He used this handy-dandy tool to snip off the tip. I have no idea what the tool is called, but it worked like a dream!

As you can see, it needed a little more work.

There is a bit of a thickening where the tip protruded, but that little bit of extra thickness won't bother me.

Dave used his palm sander to smooth down the cut tip,

and to shape it.

It's not as perfect as the original short end, but I think it will work fine.

I did a little extra hand sanding with super fine sand paper to make it extra smooth. All it needs now is a little bling!

I haven't decided for sure, but I think I may be asking Dave to operate on my other Starlit shuttles!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Casey finishes first!

I'm so excited! Casey over at Casey's Minis is the first one to post about her completed doodads! Casey drew her design idea right on the card that came with the doodads and used some beautiful threads to tat the design. I hope you'll check out her blog and check out her design!

It is so great to be back at school and see all the kids! They either age you quickly or keep you young. Since this is my 28th year teaching, I think they're keeping me young! However, I am finding that I'm much more tired at then end of the day. I even dozed off with my tatting in my hands the other night. I'm guessing my finished tatting pieces will be fewer and further between!

I had a fabulous mail day today!

First, some fabulous findings from the ever-friendly and generous Fox! We exchanged some doodads, and I am thrilled that the ones Fox sent to me are totally different from what I sent her. I see a lot of tatting fun in my future! Thank you, Fox!

Lelia sent me some wonderful pastel shuttles for blinging. She sure knows the way to my bling-happy heart! She also sent me a wonderful little tin for holding needles. It's magnetized so that the needles don't fall out. I think I need to window shop more often so that I can find wonderful little goodies like this! Thank you, Lelia!

I finished an Origami bag for my granddaughter's friend Emily. Eva is teaching her how to tat! The funky mod shuttles on the left are for Emily. The pastel shuttles on the right are an experiment. I kept one layer of the white backing on the napkin to see if the floral pattern showed up better. I think it does, but I'm not sure if I like it or not.

Yes, I've been taking pictures with my computer on my lap. I'm almost finished with my 4-Eva Spinning Wheel. Five rings to go! I think it's time to get off the computer and get some tatting done!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Twinkle, twinkle, another star

This Two-Color Star is very slightly different... I forgot to change picot sizes!

Side-by-side, there's not a great deal of difference in size.

So, the girls' birthday presents are complete. This set is for Ella.

This set is for Lily. They're already tucked into princess birthday cards, ready to be mailed.

Now for my choices... finish my Spinning Wheel glass mat; finish Joanne's doily; work on one of my hanky edgings; finish my Yes-U-Can doily; finish my Clover doily; work on my Doodad Double Dare. I think I have too many choices!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Two-Color Star

Well, that's the name of the pattern. As you can see, my star is not in two colors!

Lily and Ella asked for stars as part of their birthday presents, and this one was great fun to tat! It's from Oh My Stars! by Kaye B. Judt.

I met Kaye at the Lafayette Lacers Lace Day the year this book came out, 2006. My how time flies! I feel very lucky to have an autographed copy!

I wonder if I could successfully adapt this pattern to have a doodad in the middle?

Speaking of doodads... I mailed off quite a few today, and I'll be mailing some more off tomorrow. There's some good news, and possibly some bad news. The good news is that I posted 25 envelopes today. The bad news... after all the postage was affixed, the mail lady told me that marking fragile on the envelope really wouldn't do anything. Everything goes through a machine, fragile or not. For those who receive domed doodads, I did put a little bubble wrap around the doodads. However, the mail lady said they could be crushed, and if I really wanted to protect them I should buy padded envelopes at $1.29 each. The doodads worked out to cost about 15 cents each. I just couldn't justify spending $1.29 per envelope. So, if your domed doodad arrives crushed, please email me and I will send you flat doodads.

Sheesh! Why does having a little fun have to be so complicated! ;-)

Taking the easy way out

I wasn't in the mood to fiddle around yesterday. I just wanted to tat, and I figured I should work on my Doodad Double Dare. Never ask someone to do something you're not willing to do yourself! So, I chose to start with Fox's Athalia in size 20 Lizbeth #166, Pink Cocoa. This is a great beginner pattern!

I know Fox recommended size 40, but this doodad is really heavy compared to some of the others that are set to mail out. I wasn't sure the size 40 could handle the weight. Luckily, the pattern still works well. Sorry, no beads. I'm just not that brave yet! ;-)

Since Jane reminded me that many of her patterns have included doodads, I think I'll explore her patterns when I get home from school this afternoon. I have a feeling I may be conquering split rings and/or beads in the near future!

Diane's Doodad Double Dare update: 24 tatters have decided to join in the fun! I really underestimated the number of doodads I have, so please feel free to ask for a pair of doodads. I'll leave the offer open until this Saturday. Just email your snail mail info to me at Diane Cademartori at gmail dot com.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's not too late!

I still have plenty of doodads to share if you'd like to participate in Diane's Doodad Double Dare.

You should receive an email from me today confirming that I have doodads ready to mail to you. If you do not receive an email by tonight, please contact me again and give me your mailing info. I have been known to accidentally delete emails without reading them, and I do make mistakes!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone will make with their doodads!

These are the doodads I'll be using. Now I have to choose the thread!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Diane's Doodad Double Dare

Okay, these doodads are burning a hole in my pocket already. I just have to share! So, I'm introducing Diane's Doodad Double Dare!

As you can see, there are 15 different doodads. Some are domed, some are flat. You will not get a choice of doodads. You get what you get. Some are smaller than others. The largest is 3/4".

I'll put together 30 sets to begin with. Never fear if you are not among the first 30. I'm pretty sure I have enough to share. Besides, there might not be 30 people interested in participating!

Each person who enters Diane's Doodad Double Dare will receive two of the same doodad. Send me an email at Diane Cademartori @ gmail dot com (no spaces, of course) with your name and mailing address. Yes, I do have many of your addresses, but it's so much simpler if you send it with the email.

The Double Dare? Tat a design around the two doodads and post them on your blog for all to see by the end of September. Don't have a blog? Send a picture to me, and I'll post it on my blog, giving you the credit. The design can be original or an adaptation of an already published pattern... please make sure you credit the original designer! Fair is fair, you know. (Just a thought... Fox has already designed doodad ready patterns. Why not give one a whirl? All fun, no work!)

Why two doodads? I know that a lot of you can wear earrings (I can't), and I thought maybe you'd like to tat a pair of earrings for yourself. But, if you're like me and can't wear earrings, maybe you'll choose to make two pendants, two bookmarks, two doilies... whatever suits your fancy!

Come on... I double dare you!

Oh, and thank you, Fox... you're the one who inspired me to start with this obsession! 

Hearts for Misha

Never let it be said that I tat a pattern correctly the first time.

Case in point... Fox's "Heart for Misha." I was so excited about my doodads arriving, I sat down and started tatting using the first doodad package I laid my hands on. See the heart on the left? I made a mistake. How is it possible to make a mistake while looking at a diagram? I have no idea, but I managed to do it!

I did not feel like retro-tatting, so I tried to make the best of it. It's okay, but not nearly  as pretty as the heart tatted the way Fox intended it (heart on the right). Of course, maybe that's because the heart on the right uses the same doodad as in Fox's picture.

I think I may have miscounted the stitches in the large ring at the bottom. Luckily, I have some more doodads to play with!

P.S. ~ I ordered my doodads from Fire Mountain Gems, a very dangerous place to shop! ;-)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Camptown ladies sing this song...

Doodads! Doodads!

Yup... my doodads arrived today! I guess I got carried away again. I have enough doodads to last me a lifetime. You never know... I may be inclined to share at some point in the future.

Now, it's time to tat!

Too much coordination?

It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while I'm able to coordinate everything I need for a tatting project... Origami pouch, Starlit shuttles, 4-Eva HDT thread from Jess. Too much coordination? I think not!

As you can see, I didn't get very far on my Spinning Wheel glass mat yesterday. I went into school yesterday for about four hours to set up lesson plans and pull books from the shelves for the first week of school. I was enjoying myself so much, that I didn't realize how long I'd been there! I really love going back to school. :-)

Today, I'll be going in to remove old files from the computers in the lab. Monday, when we get class lists, I'll set up the computers with new files for each class, and I'll set up my gradebooks. It does seem like a lot of busy work, but going through these procedures helps me get used to my schedule and learn the names of new students before school actually starts. For some reason, this gets a little harder to do each year!

Yes, school is going to put a serious dent in my tatting time, but somehow, I'll survive!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tollway Tatters meet again!

I am so happy that I have a group of tatting friends/family who can meet together every so often. We have so much fun tatting, chatting, and sharing!

We were short three people today, and we sure missed Denise, Marilee, and Barbara. I sure hope we can all get together in September. We're shooting for Saturday, Sept. 29. So, if any of you out there in tat-land can join us, we'd sure love to have you!

Sue Anna is our Grand Coordinator! She's the one who initiated our meetings, and I am so grateful she did. She also is responsible for our tie-dyed t-shirts. You can always tell our group!

Sue Anna is working on a round robin doily. I believe she said six people are involved. They all tatted the same center, and then passed the center on to the next person. Each person will tat one round of the doily. Although they each have the same center, each finished piece will be different. Isn't that a fun idea?

Carol joined us for the first time last month, and introduced us to some beautiful embroidery scissors. I believe we each own a pair now!

Carol is working on motifs from Patti Duff's Mini-Tats. Last month she showed us Kanzashi flowers decorated with tatting, and she allowed us each to choose a flower to take home and decorate. I guess I should make up my mind which thread and which motif I want to use so that I can finish mine!

My oldest daughter, Alison, started tatting this summer after I purchased Marilee's Craftsy class for Eva. Eva is a very good teacher!

Alison finished tatting her first earring today! Well done, Alison!

Granddaughter Eva loves her new MOB hair clip from Jess! She was also very pleased to share some very special thread with all of us, an HDT that Jess named 4-Eva. Thank you for helping make our day special, Jess! Maybe we'll all be able to get together and tat some day!

Eva is working on perfecting her chains. She's not quite ready for rings yet, but she is progressing. Last month Eva stuck with the first half of the double stitch. This month she's tatting both halves. This is her second chain. Eva is also teaching her friend Emily to tat. Wouldn't it be fun if Emily could join us in September?

I brought along some of my Japanese tatting books and a new French tatting book for everyone to look through. I think Carol might be adding to her book collection. Sometimes I feel so evil! ;-)

I wound a skein of Jess's 4-Eva on two shuttles and started a new project. Can you guess what it is?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

for Ella

Ella chose a Spinning Wheel glass mat for her birthday doily.

As you can see, she chose the same color as Lily, Lizbeth #137, Berry Burst. Thank goodness they turned out to be the same size!

Now, on to two stars and two hearts. I love what the girls chose for their birthday presents this year!

Tomorrow's the day!

Are you free tomorrow?

If you're in the area, the Tollway Tatters will be meeting at the Hinsdale Oasis on 294 in northeast Illinois at 10:00 a.m. You'll be able to find us easily. We're the group wearing tie-dye t-shirts, playing with shuttles and thread!

Join us if you can!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

for Lily, round 3 ~ finished!

I finished Lily's doily! Isn't it pretty?

As you can see, it's much smaller in size 40 thread than in size 20. It only measures 4 1/4" across.

I think this thread (Lizbeth #137, Berry Burst) should come with a warning label: can be dangerous to your waistline... I had to have a pomegranate popsicle before I could post. ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Celtic Prayers from Iona

I've been reading about Lisa's travels abroad, and loving every minute of it! Oh, to have the time and money to visit all the wonderful places she's been. Maybe some day...

Anyway, Lisa wrote about Celtic Prayers from Iona by J. Philip Newell. I enjoy reading devotional books, so I ordered it and I'm very happy that I did.

Like any good librarian, I felt that it needed a special bookmark. My friend Denise and I have been discussing "Christina" from Tatted Bookmarks: cross-shaped by Lene Bjorn. This is a pattern I have tatted several times, but never before in size 80 thread. I'm very pleased with the finished bookmark! I used size 80 Lizbeth #144, Leaf Swirl. The finished size is 3" x 2 1/4" without the tassel. Since I really prefer very thin bookmarks, I think I may try this pattern again in quilting thread.

Do you ever have trouble following charted patterns? The charted patterns are my favorite, but I can get lost in them. I almost always make a copy of the pattern and mark off the rings and chains as I finish them. I still make mistakes, but not nearly so many! I find that by doing this, I get a much better feel for the flow of the pattern.

What are your tips for following intricate patterns?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

for Lily, round 2

I wasn't sure I'd like "Mom's Pink Doily" by Nancy Tracy tatted in a multi-colored thread, but I do! Doesn't this Berry Burst make you want a Rocket Pop? 

for Lily, round 1

Granddaughter Lily chose the thread (size 40 Lizbeth, #137, Berry Burst) and the pattern (Mom's Pink Doily by Nancy Tracy). Now it's up to Grandma to do the tatting!

I'll only be tatting the first three rounds of the pattern, because that's what Lily saw, liked, and chose. Round 1... finished!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Side by side

Wow! What a difference 10 rings in the center of the doily makes compared to 8 rings! On the left is my "Tat This!" doily for Miranda's challenge. On the right is Nancy Tracy's "Mom's Pink Doily." Both are tatted in size 20 Lizbeth.

If you've been following this saga, it turns out that the doily on the fabric in Miranda's challenge photo is actually Nancy Tracy's "Mom's Pink Doily." When I learned this, I decided to make another using Nancy's directions. Nancy's doily has six rounds, so I still have quite a way to go with this, but I wanted to show the two side by side before sending Mom's doily off to her. The green one will go to daughter Joanne.

We had a very busy weekend here. Daughter Carol played Matron "Mama" Morgan in Chicago the Musical, and she did a fantastic job! The other cast members were pretty good too! Of course I attended all three performances. Daughter Andrea was able to drive down from Minnesota, and she attended Friday and Saturday. Daughter Alison and son-in-law Dan drove down for Saturday's performance. My sister-in-law and her husband went on Sunday. It was a great fundraiser for the middle school/high school drama clubs; Carol directs for both groups. Admission to the play was free, and a variety of individuals, businesses, and groups donated items for silent auction.

On Saturday, I had all four grandchildren at my house. I loved every moment, but I was especially thrilled that my granddaughters showed that they love my lace! Lily and Ella went through my stash Saturday morning. Eva will be going through my stash this Friday. Aidan wasn't interested in lace, but he had fun building model planes with his dad and Grandpa.

Ella chose these pieces from Grandma's lace box.

Lily chose these. To top it off, they both chose thread from my apothecary jar and each requested a doily, a heart, and a star. I guess I have my tatting list set! These two aren't quite ready to learn to tat... yet!

Each of the girls went home with a new Origami pouch and four sun dresses for their American Girl dolls. I sure wish I had thought to take pictures of them. Making doll dresses is not my favorite thing to do, but I'm sure I'll make more after seeing how much all three girls loved their new doll clothes!