Saturday, December 08, 2012

Update: Inspiration!

Last week I was reading Orsi's blog when I came across one of her latest creations: 
Photo by Orsi
I am not sure if she is planning to put this up for sale in her Etsy shop (either this one or this one) or not, but I think it is gorgeous! I really like the effect, and it gave me an idea. 

These might make good flowers! I don't know if it will work as well, because they are multi-colored and because they are not very wide. But I think I'm going to try. Can't hurt to try! 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A Surprise

A lady I know from square dancing, Rosie, presented this to me this week. What do you suppose is inside? 

It was an easy guess for me. Tatting thread! 

She inherited the full tin from one of her relatives and was looking for something to do with it, so she thought of me. Most of these are size 30 and I am particularly looking forward to the lighter blue, the moss green, and the goldenrod yellow. I haven't decided what I'm going to tat yet, but looking at the tin makes me want to put all five of the size 30s together. (Light blue, lavender, pink, goldenrod, and moss green.) Perhaps a doily with every round a separate color? Usually I tat monochromatically, so I think that I should pounce on this strange desire to be bold in my color pairing. 

The tin also came with these long strips of crocheted edging. I don't crochet and the look of it is not usually to my taste, but I do think these are pretty. I might keep them or I might find someone who will appreciate them more and re-gift them to a new home.

This little surprise definitely brightened up my day! Thanks, Rosie. 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

First Snowflakes of the Season!

It is that time of year. Time to tat snowflakes! It's after Thanksgiving, it's December, and I've been itching to bust out the white thread and snowflake patterns. Actually, I was so eager that I cheated and started tatting snowflakes before Thanksgiving. It snows in November, right? Well, not in my part of the country, but it does so elsewhere, or so I justify it to myself.

Here are my first three snowflakes of 2012. (Not counting the ones I tatted in January because I wasn't ready to stop last year.)
The bottom one is Jennifer Williams' Small Mat Using SCMRs. I have seen her patterns mentioned and tatted on several blogs, most notably Frivole's, Fox's, and Jane's (Jane in South Africa, that is). I had fun exploring her site (several of her patterns are on my to-do list now), and when I saw this one I thought it would make a good snowflake, done in white. I still like it as a snowflake but when it was done I thought it would be good with a little more pointiness, so I tried adding a small ring to the middle chain of each section. That resulted in the top snowflake. I can't get over how different they look from a distance even though they are almost identical. Finally, the snowflake on the right is Regal, by, again, Frivole. I love her snowflakes. This is my first time tatting Regal, and I altered it a little as I didn't want to put beads on. So I swapped a small ring for Frivole's large bead. I like it, but it did change the shape of the large rings in the first round and they do not look as pretty as the original. I shall have to tat it again to see if I can find a better bead substitute. Boo-hoo, what a hardship! And then I might have to tat it again the original way to see if I like it best with beads after all. Life is tough.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Finished Lace Mat

Here is my Norma Benporath "Lace Mat", all done. I enjoyed this pattern and may do it again sometime. I want to keep this one, but may have to give it away, as the color I did it in really does not fit anywhere in the house. A good excuse to make another one in a color I use more often! 

I split-ringed or split-chained out of most of the rounds on this doily, but between running out of thread on the shuttles, and forgetting to adjust where I began one round so that I could climb out of it later, I don't think I saved myself any sewing in of ends. Sadness. Next time I will plan better. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

Lace Mats, Lace Mats Everywhere!

Here is mine to add to the crowd:
Many thanks to Jon for charting Norma Benporath's pattern. I like it a lot and would probably have tatted it even if she had not organized a Tat-a-Long. As it is, it is fun to see everybody's different takes on it, and the chart is a breeze to follow. I've been enjoying using split chains and rings to jump from round to round, but apparently I haven't been winding my shuttles full enough. With the amount of times my shuttles have run out so far, I don't know if my split chains are saving me any end-sewing! They are definitely good practice, though. I have been completely comfortable with split rings for a while but am only just easing into doing split chains without constant reference to a set of instructions, so steady practice is definitely needed.

This picture is a little anemic -- the true color of the thread has a lot less of a blue tinge. It's a lovely green that I chose not because it matches anything that I own (it doesn't!) but because it was so beautiful. When I post the finished lace mat, I'll make sure to take a picture in a better light! As you can see, I only have part of one round to go.

Monday, October 01, 2012


Here is my (first?) rendition of Arches, by Marilee Rockley. I LOVE this pattern. And I love this thread color. This measures about three inches across, so it is dainty and alluring. But I'm not happy with the actual arches, which is completely my fault. As I was tatting the long foundation chains, they seemed SOOO long that I compulsively pulled them as tight as possible so they would not be quite so floppily huge. Then, I started tatting the rows that go over the chains and realized unhappily that they were heavily affected by the too-tight chains. This doily still needs blocking, but while the blocking may calm the ruffling, it won't bring the pattern back to its full potential, because those chains are just too darn tight. I'm disappointed. I may just have to tat it again and do it right this time!

As for the title of this post....  When did I finish tatting this? Two years ago. When did I finish sewing in the ends? Yesterday. Clearly I have a problem. As if you couldn't tell already from the last time I posted on this blog! Oh well. The only way to solve it is one small step at a time. So. I sewed in the ends. And I posted. On to the next step!

Monday, January 16, 2012

TIAS 1 2 3

I'm tatting and seeing! I started a little late and knocked off the first three days in one sitting. The only problem with doing it this way is it makes it soo hard to stop when you come to the end of the last day published. I am itching for Day 4. This thread is size 10 and I don't remember the brand. I bought a huge ball of it from Michaels because the color "simply spoke to me," as the hot buttered toast simply spoke to Toad in Wind in the Willows. As for what this entertaining pattern is a pattern of, my best guess is a stoplight. I don't think it can be actually, as Jane would have specified some colors if it was! But a square with a circle in it is the perfect shape for a stoplight, you must admit.

'Tis the Season...

to tat snowflakes! Yes, Christmas may be over, but it is still winter and in my book snowflakes are still fair game. Plus, I haven't shown you any of the snowflakes I tatted through December. Here is a sampling.

From the bottom left corner around in a clockwise spiral to the center, these snowflakes are: Angels in the Snow by Miranda, Star no 1 from page 39 of Blomqvist and Persson's book,
Beaded Snowflake from Vida Sunderman's book (obviously I tatted it unbeaded), Le Flocon Frivole from (of course) Frivole, and Ribbon Snowflake and Ribbon-Floss Snowflake also from Vida Sunderman. I have eyed Angels in the Snow ever since Miranda published it, bought it in June, and finally tatted it 6 months later. It did not disappoint! The pattern from Blomqvist and Persson was not intended to be a snowflake and I started it while at someone's house with only that book to choose from. I really did not expect to like it as a snowflake, but I do very much, and plan to make it again. The Ribbon-Floss Snowflake is the reason I wanted Vida Sunderman's Tatted Snowflakes. I adore it and it works up very quickly, making it a perfect gift. And Le Flocon Frivole is probably my favorite snowflake pattern this year. It is so gorgeous. Did anyone else note the similarities between it and Quatrain? I tatted them one after the other and spotted the identical stitch counts right away. With an ancestor like that and its recreation of characteristics from real snowflakes in a manner still true to the tatting it is made out of, this snowflake has it all.
Again from the bottom left, this picture has Frivole's Stellar, her Criss-Cross, and an adaption of Julie Patterson's Christmas Snowflake. Like Miranda, I am bothered by "snowflakes" that do not have six points. So I messed around with the stitch counts on this pattern, and found that with 2-2/5 on the split rings and a little blocking it will lie flat with six points. "Stellar" really means starlike, but fortunately the Stellar snowflake fits the meaning of the word not in the sense of resembling a star visually, but in the sense of "setting a high standard", as I have found all of Frivole's snowflakes to do. I am definitely going to buy "Regal." It is only a matter of time before I do.

I have given away most of these (and many repeats that are not pictured). Here are the cards I tucked them into. I just got happy with scrapbook paper, cardstock, tatted bits, and my very favorite Christmas carol line of all. It is a breathtaking thought -- Christ the baby, the silent Word, pleading, not yet verbally but by his mere existence, on our behalf.

These snowflakes were all tatted in December, but I have extensive plans for more snowflakes in the coming weeks. As mentioned, I will tat the Star no. 1 again (I wonder if anyone would mind if I renamed it?), and I also want to repeat the Beaded Snowflake (again, this is crying out for another name...), and I am still collecting a file of patterns I want to try. Some of them may have to wait for next year after all -- it is almost time to start tatting hearts!