I picked up some new dye colors and played around with them this week. Here’s what I ended up with. They turned out much brighter than the last few batches, which is exactly what I was going for. I’m very excited about how the orange and teal came out. Came out with a nice set of different shades of purple as well. Only catch is that I never seem to use up all the thread I dye. Guess I know what I’m giving to the tatters on my Christmas list!
Just finished going back and redoing those last three rows on the doily. It is definitely working better, though I’m not sure it’s at 100% yet. There’s still some ruffling going on. I’ve put the doily under a stack of textbooks and am hoping that will be enough blocking to make it lay flat. It’s been pretty crinkled up in my tatting bag for the last week so that probably wasn’t very good for it.
If that works, I’ll continue on with the last row. Though to be honest, I really think the pattern looks fairly complete now. The last row is just a double row of rings-only done with a single shuttle and I think it has a bit of a different look than the rest of the doily. The solidity of the rows I just finished make for a nice finish, I think. On the right is the picture from the book of the finished piece. It will be interesting to see how mine turns out!
This was just a test run with some size 10 DMC that I had laying around. The next step to redoing this pattern from the Priscilla books is to do it once more in Lizbeth (probably size 20) and write out the pattern as I do so. Then on to playing with my new diagraming program and seeing if I can get it looking nice.
Well. I got another two rows done on the doily, but I’m not happy with them. I found the pattern really started to ruffle. The last two rows were just too big for the inside part of the doily. I’m not actually surprised by this since I did make changes in the first few rows that made them smaller. So I snipped off the last three rows and I’m going to try them again with less repeats of the pattern. There are 64 rings in the last three rows. I’m going to eliminate 1/8th of them and bring it down to 56. That should be enough to get it to lay flat. At least I sure hope so!
I snipped off the last rows and now I have them laying around. Not sure what to do with them. I think I can cut off the first of the three and then the second two will actually make a nice loop. Not sure what to do with it though. Maybe put it around a pillow. Course that means that I have to either find or make a pillow that’s just the right size for it. Excellent. More projects to never actually get around to. :)
Craftsy has a new set up that lets you link to your own pattern store and show pictures of your own patterns on the sidebar. It’s sort of exciting to see my own patterns on both the Craftsy and the Etsy widgets on the sidebar here. Makes me feel like I have the startings of a real business! :)
Things have been extremely busy here. I had three large orders for gloves come in last month as well as a couple other smaller ones. I’ve finally got them all pretty much out the door now. Down to just one small one left that I’ll finish up this weekend. It will be nice to take a few moments and recover.
I had a set of beginner classes at Pacific Fabrics in Northgate the last two weeks. My students did very well and seem to be excited to do more. I’m hoping to get my schedule sorted out well enough get some new classes on the calendar. I also have another beginner class at Bird Tail Beads in Bellevue tomorrow so there are lots of new tatters getting started. I’m super super excited to be involved with getting people interested and started with tatting!
In other news about learning, I went out to Camp Wannatat in Montana a couple weeks ago and had a wonderful time (as always) and learned a lot. I finally got to meet the Shuttle Brothers which was great (they signed my copies of their books) and Reit was there again from Europe. It was great to see her again as well as everyone else. It was the 50th Camp Wannatat and the last one to be held at Bobbie’s house so it was a great celebration and I was very honored to be included in it. Next year they will start to be at an actual camp in Montana. It’s going to be quite the change, but I’m glad that it will continue and that more people will be able to attend at the bigger venue.
That’s the super quick update. Things have been busy with the rest of life as well lately, but I’m hoping that things will settle down here in October and I’ll get to work on some of my bigger projects and not just feel like I’m pushing to keep up.
Last year when I was at Camp Wannatat someone (I wish I could remember who) showed us a piece of tatting they’d done with ribbon. It was a very simple snowflake, but because of the size of the ribbon it came out very big for the pattern. I took a few minutes yesterday to try it out myself, but mine did NOT come out anywhere nearly as nice. So I wound the entire spool of ribbon (one of the 50 cent spools from Michael’s) on to a Tatsy shuttle and just played around with making simple rings.
I think the reasons it didn’t work as well are probably partly because of my choice of ribbon and partly just because I need more practice. The ribbon she had used (if I remember right) 3/4 of an inch wide and a smooth cloth. This one was cloth but much smaller (1/4 of an inch) and with a little picot-like edging. I thick the picot-like edging made it too busy. If I were to try it again sometime I’d use an edging-less ribbon in this same size and a larger ribbon as well. It was an interesting little project and a nice little 30-minute experiment. I’m not in any rush to starting making much in ribbon at the moment, but I may try it again sometime. Here’s the rest of all the other little rings I made.
This weekend I made what is I think the 6th attempt at this doily and it’s finally laying flat. It’s a pattern from Priscilla Book #1. It’s not done yet. There’s another 3 rounds, but I think this version finally works.
To make it work I had to make quite a number of changes to the second round. That seemed to be the one that was messing everything up.
I did make one other change. The first, third and the motifs of the 4th round all called for the stitch count to be two and a half stitches in between every picot. I found that to be strange looking and annoying to do, so I made it 2 between them all. You might say, “Hey, if you go messing with a pattern like that you can’t be surprised when the rest doesn’t work as written.” In fact, it actually should have helped with the pattern. The problem I had with the second round was that it was just too small to fit around the first. Making the first round smaller should have helped with that.
What actually seems to be making the difference is picot size. In modern day we tend to make our joining picots smaller. In fact I think we often learn that they are best if they can’t be seen at all. Back in the early 1900′s it was the exact opposite. Picots were accented, (I think to make the pieces look more lacy), and joining picots were not done any differently than the others.
One of the reasons why it took me so long (and so many tries) to figure this out was because I was first tatting from my print outs from the Antique Pattern Library. Either it was the lack of ink in my printer or just the quality of the scan, but I had trouble seeing the picots and how it was joined together. The instructions were no help as they just tell you to join as shown in the picture. That’s a pretty common instruction in the books, unfortunately. It wasn’t until I pulled out my original copy of the 1909 book and looked at the pictures that I could see what was causing the trouble and where the joins should be.
It was actually a very nice reminder of why I’m doing this project of rewriting the patterns from the Priscilla books in the first place. I really want these patterns to be saved and used and there’s just so many strange things like picot size that make them difficult for modern tatters to figure out.
I have a couple big orders in my Etsy shop to work on this week, so I may not get to this piece until the weekend. Too bad. I’m so close now and after having worked so hard on the first couple rounds I’m very excited to finish it.
I took a picture of a close up of the fair piece so you can see what the motifs look like. The pattern is from Priscilla Tatting Book #3 (1925). I like this motif a lot and have made a bunch of pendants out of it it as well. The final piece was 30 of these motifs and 5 of the smaller one you can see in the middle of this picture. I made a bunch of extra light blue centers so when I was done with the fair piece I turned these into necklaces, by putting together 3 of them in different arrangements. Pictures are needed for those too, but I still have to sew in the ends, so I’ll wait to take the pictures until I have that done and I put them on chains in their finished form.
Whoops. Well, I finished my entry for the fair, but didn’t realize I needed to get it registered by Wednesday. I had it down as Friday. So, instead, that means that I’ve got my bit fair entry for next year done.
Bummed I’m missing this year’s fair. Mostly because last year there weren’t many tatted lace pieces for show at the fair and there’s talk of them canceling the categories. Hopefully it sticks around another year and I’ll be able to help the tatters make a good showing then.
In the meantime, this means that I get another year to sew something to the center of this piece. This piece is from the Priscilla Tatting Book #3. They suggest a piece of linen in the center and I’ll do something like that, but I haven’t quite figured out yet how to do the sewing. I guess that with a year to do it, I have some time to do some practice pieces. Also gives me time to write up the pattern.
This piece was done in size 20. I’ll take some close-up pictures sometime soon too.
I woke up this morning to two pattern sales! It may not seem like much, but this is the first time I’ve ever had two customers on the same day so I was rather excited. Both sales were on Craftsy and for the same pattern (the fingerless gloves) so I suspect they must have been mentioned on someone’s blog or something. Maybe someone else who had made them earlier? Or maybe mentioned on InTatters? I have no idea. Craftsy doesn’t track incoming links so I can’t actually tell. If someone else saw it, I’d love to know.
This week I finally got the veil pattern posted up on Craftsy and listed both versions as finished pieces on Etsy. I realized while I was listing it that I didn’t pay any attention to how long it takes me to make them so I listed them rather cheap and when one sells that will give me a chance to time it and get the price correct. That means the first person to buy one gets quite a steep discount! :)
This is my first attempt at a new motif from Priscilla Tatting #3. I started off tatting it exactly as written, but it became very clear very quickly that it wasn’t going to stay flat using that pattern. It always amazes me. They must have seriously blocked the wrinkles out of their pieces in the early 1900s.
Half way through I made a couple adjustments and you can sort of see that one side is flatter than the other. I’m going to tat it again with a couple other changes and see if I can get it to lay flat. My plan is for this to be a necklace pendant so it’s going to need to be able to get by without any blocking.
I’ve been AWOL here on the blog and I’m sorry for it. There’s been a lot going on in both my tatting and non-tatting life. In my tatting life, I’ve been very busy teaching classes and preparing for teaching. (Next beginner class is this Saturday at Bird Tail Beads in Bellevue.) In my non-tatting life, I have my last CPA exam on Friday the 23rd so I’ve been trying to stay pretty focused on studying. Hopefully, once the exam is done I’ll have a bit of a chance to catch my breath and you’ll hear from me more!