Archive for the 'Uncategorized' category

Pledge Drive!

February 28, 2012 5:55 pm

We’re in the middle of the KJazz pledge drive so very little tatting time.  Mostly working on the gloves and have just finished them up, but haven’t taken a picture yet.  Will try to do that before I wrap them up and send them out to the buyer in the UK tomorrow.

Not much else going on.  13 hour days at work and class at night, so not much time for tatting, unfortunately.  Things will all settle down next week and get a little bit back to normal.

No, I’m Not Sunburned, That’s just Bad Lighting.

February 22, 2012 6:41 pm

I took this picture last night after I finished the first of the two gloves for an Etsy order. I was going to try to get another picture taken today in natural light, but our pledge drive starts on Saturday so it’s been crazy at work and I didn’t get around to it.  It’s hard to tell in this picture, but the rings are in ecru and the chains in natural.  This is a custom recquest for colors.  I really like how it’s coming out.  If I have a chance to get someone to model and take some pictures of them before I send them out I think I’ll list them in the shop as a nice wedding alternative to the snow white ones I have up now.  The pattern is available here and also as part of my book of patterns based on a single motif.

I haven’t gotten around to hiding in any more of the ends from the new start of the tea cloth.  The next couple days I’ll be focused on getting the second glove done and getting work finished for the KJazz pledge drive.  Busy, busy, busy!


February 14, 2012 10:57 pm

After yesterday’s post about how I’m not very sad about the tip breaking off my nicest shuttle I read today that Gina Brummet of Threads of a Tatting Goddess passed away yesterday evening.  I knew Gina only through the 25-motif challege and her blog, but was especially touched by her project of working through the DMC Tatting by Therese Dillmont.  Everytime I read about how she had adapted and modernized a new motif from the books I was amazed her ability to so clearly translate the pattern and turn it into something that looked so completely modern.  It was a ready inspiration to my own project with the Priscilla books and made me realize the possibilities that can be found in these older tatting books and the possibilities that become available when they are updated.  Every time I read one of her posts it made me want to pick up the shuttles and thread.

I’ve made a donation to the Antique Pattern Library in her memory as it seemed like the most apporiate way to honorher.

Broken Though not Broken-Hearted

February 13, 2012 4:24 pm

I have sad news to report.  I dropped and broke the tip off my gorgeous bufflo horn with checker board mother-of-pearl and paua shell shuttle.  I guess I should have known better than to actually use this shuttle for tatting, but I thought if I were careful I could do it.  I always keep the shuttle in the case it came in and only take it out when I’m actually tatting with it.  It has always been reserved for projects with King Tut quilting thread since they require a nice sharp point and I geneally only pull out the King Tut when I’m in a nice clean space with good lighting and not too many distractions (i.e. not traveling).  But none of that helped today when I dropped the shuttle on a hardwood floor.

It’s sad to see such a gorgeous piece of artwork broken, but it is only a thing so while I’m disappointed, I suppose I knew I was going to break it eventually, so I’m not actually broken hearted about it.  I guess I knew from the beginning that I could either put it safely away and not use it or use and enjoy it (it’s really a pleasure to tat with) and have it eventually get broken.  Now that it’s finally happened I can sort of breath a sigh of relief and stop worrying about breaking it.  In fact, now I get to use this shuttle for every day which is actually kind of exciting.

It got me thinking again about a couple months ago when Pat Stevens showed Sarah and me her fantastic shuttle collection.  It’s an amazing collection with I don’t know how many hundreds of shuttles that span the entire history of tatting.  It was fun to talk to her about it, but honestly, I can’t see myself ever really collecting shuttles.  At least not just for their own sake.  To me the shuttle is a tool and if it can’t be used for actual tatting I loose interest.  Sure.  I have lots of different shuttles, but in a way, the astetics of the shuttle are second to the usefulness.  I’m actually starting to look into the idea of making my own wooden shuttles (don’t hold your breath, folks.  I know nothing about woodworking so it’s a long way off) not because I’m excited about making the shuttles, but because I’m excited about tatting with a shuttle that’s EXACTLY what I want in a shuttle.

It’s funny to be writing all this about not being interested in shuttle collection because in the last month or so I’ve gotten started a bit of an antique book collection going.  It started off with some searching on eBay for original copies of the Priscilla books so that when I write up my updated versions of the patterns I can include pictures from the originals.  I went a little overboard and started picking up a lot of other antique books.  I can definitely see myself going into the history of the books in the same way that Pat has gone into the history of the shuttles.

Maybe I’ll go through the books here on the blog one day, but for now I just want to announce my happiness in finding copies of BOTH versions of Priscilla #2.  (Did you know there were two versions?)  Here’s the cover of the longer one.  I’ve started going through and photographing all the patterns and pictures so that I can load them onto my Evernote account and be able to access them anytime I want (yay for being able to pull up any pattern on my phone!) and so I’ll have these pictures ready for posting here about the patterns I’m working on.

Speaking of which, I don’t think I ever posted about the project I started with the King Tut.  It’s on edging from Priscilla #2 that I made a while back out of an old size 10 thread.  Here’s my start of it in King Tut Quilting thread with a Clover shuttle for comparison.  I’m not really sure where I’m going with it or how long I want to end up making it.  Right now I’m thinking that I’ll double it over as a bracelet.  All I know is that unfortunately, the next step now is to unwind the bufflo horn shuttle and rewind the thread on to some nice new Clovers with undamaged points.


One WIP Finished

February 7, 2012 6:03 pm

This weekend I was down at my parent’s in San Diego and had a chance to go through a few bags of tatting that I hadn’t looked through in a while.  I found a piece of tatted edging that was intended for a dress edging and when I checked it against the dress I realized I actually had enough to go all the way around and all that was left was to sew it on the dress.  I finished it up and wore it yesterday.  (btw, what’s the difference between a WIP and a UFO.   Does a Work-In-Progress that you haven’t worked on for a while become a UnFinished Object or is that what happens when you decided that you’re not going to bother finishing it?)

I did the tatting for this project while visiting the UK in August of 2009, the pattern is one I made up for the project.  I had just a bit of this DMC brown left and I wanted to use it all up, but not end up short because part of the point of this project was to finish it off.  I’m replacing my DMC size 20 with Lizbeth so I didn’t want to end up needing any more.  If I remember right, I wanted a pattern that wouldn’t use too much thread, and would mostly use it from the ball so that I wouldn’t have to add more shuttle thread.  This seemed to fit the bill nicely.  I had plenty of thread left over for sewing it on the dress.  In fact, I even had enough for two little flower motifs which I added afterwards.

It’s sort of interesting that I found this project again this weekend.  That trip to the UK was my last big bit of travel before starting my Masters in Accounting in September and this weekend I took my final for my third to last class.  While tatting that in 2009, I couldn’t wait to get started on my masters, while sewing it on this weekend I couldn’t wait to finish.  Though it’s true that in 2009 I couldn’t wait to get started because I wanted to be finished with it…

One thing that struck me while sewing it on is how nice it is that with the Lizbeth threads you can buy a size 80 thread to do your sewing that matches exactly with the size 10, 20, or 40 that you actually made the piece with.

I’ve sold a couple copies of my fingerless glove pattern on Etsy lately.  It’s a nice reminder that I need to finished updating the pattern for my other design and get it up there.  Maybe that will be the WIP that I get finished this weekend.

Lots of Tatting. Very Little to Show For It

January 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Believe it or not, this little motif took me almost two hours to get right.  Sure it was two hours in which I was slightly distracted by watching TV, but still.  Two hours for this simple ring and chain circle.

I’m tackling the large tea cloth in the Priscilla #2 book. It’s a gorgeous piece and one of the things that drew me to the Priscilla books in the first place.  But is so often the case of the patterns in the Priscilla books, it’s taking a bit of tweaking to get right.

The main difference seems to be the change in the length of the joining picots.  These days picots are usually shorter and most of the ones in the Priscilla books seem to be much longer.  Shortening the picots shortens the outer size of the circle and made it twist back on itself the first few variations I tried.  The original pattern calls for rings of 2-2-2-2 and chains of 4.  I tried that and then tried rings the same and chains of 3, but even that would twist them.  Chains of 2 seemed to be too far in the other direction and I didn’t want to change the stitch count on the rings at all so in the end I went with chains alternating between 2 and 3.  It was a bit tricky to keep track of while tatting, but it seemed to work.

For this particular pattern it may not end up mattering so I may go with chains of 3 since it wasn’t far off and if the rest of the pattern stretches it out some it will work just as well.  We’ll see.  I’m looking forward to tackling some of the other motifs in this t

ea cloth, but at the moment I’m just focusing the center part – the first 4 rounds.  In the close up here, though you can see that there’s going to be a lot more of these little circular motifs so they’re going to keep me busy.  Unfortunately this also means lots and lots of ends to hide.  As usual, I’m doing my first run through in size 10 Royle thread and not worrying about the ends, but eventually I’ll want them to look nicer.  I’ve see a partially finished version and it’s much larger than you would first expect.  The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale has one that has the center octagon finished (up to the point that the cloth pieces start) and even in a small thread it’s quite large.  I had been thinking of making it in size 80, but as I look at it again and contemplate having to sew in all those ends I’m rethinking that idea.  I think I’ll still make a couple versions of the center part (the first 4 rounds) in different sizes just for the size comparison, and to see how it goes.  Since I started sewing in ends (instead of using the magic thread trick) I haven’t used size 40 or 50 much so maybe once I use them a bit more I’ll find they’re not too difficult to sew in.

Been working on a lot of other projects over the last couple weeks.  Hope to get around to writing more about them soon.



December 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Huh.  Well, for some reason I can’t get the picture to display right-side up (it was originally taken with my cell phone), but I’ll post it for you anyway.  Last week I drove up from San Diego to Seattle and of course, I HAD to stop at Lacis in Berkeley on my way through the Bay Area.  I wanted to stop at the Lace Museum  in Sunnyvale as well, but the timing didn’t work out.  I got up to the Bay Area too late and they were already closed for the day.  I kept driving north to visit with friends and stopped by Lacis the next day on my way back to the I-5 and the rest of the drive.

Made it up to Seattle on Friday night which meant I got to go to the Lace Guild meeting in Kent the next day.  I’m looking forward to being around Seattle more in the future and getting to make it to more of these meetings.  I’ve done some tatting in the last week and I’ll post about it in the next few days, but I’ve still got a bunch of unpacking and organizing to do so for now I’ll just leave you with some more (un-orientated) pictures from Lacis.

In the picture above is a very familiar motif.  The square piece is made up of the same motif that I’m making my shawl out of.

Tatting With Yarn

November 30, 2011 11:18 am

I’ve become intrigued by the idea of tatting with the Koigu brand merino wool yarn sold at Wildfibers, a very cool yarn shop in Santa Monica.  It’s a fun place to visit.  They have nice couches for hanging out and stitching, they’re open late on Wednesdays, put out snacks customers, and the employees all seem to think tatting is pretty cool (once I showed them what it was, that is.)

Only one problem.  Other than a little bit of embroidery floss they don’t sell anything immediately identifiable as tat-able.  I picked up some yarn for a friend for Christmas, but wanted to find something I would buy on a semi-regular basis so that I would be able to justify to myself coming in and spending time sitting on their couches tatting.  (My semi-regular crafting group only meets once a month so it’s nice to have found another place where I can always stop by and sit and tat in a non-solitary environment.)

They sell remnants of the Koigu yarn a while back and I picked up a piece to try tatting with it.  It worked surprisingly well.  It’s not ideal for tatting.  You have to tat rings a bit looser to be able to close them easily (and it’s best if they’re small rings).  Retro-tatting is a pain in the butt, but it does work.  The colors of this yarn are simply amazing.  Their website is a bit unfinished and they don’t have a good page that shows the colors so I’m going to send you to this page which shows a picture of a book with some of the different yarn colors on it.  It’ll give you the idea, at least.

After tatting the bracelet I picked up a couple skeins of this yarn with the plan of making another belt out of it.  I’ve even had the pattern picked out for a while (from Priscilla, of course) but I’ve been waiting until I could pick up some bigger shuttles.  I really do not want to have to try adding more thread in the middle of a project with this stuff.  Luckily, I think I can get an entire skein wound onto two (overwound) Tatsy shuttles, CTM.  For this new project I picked out two skeins and will just use a small bit from each.  I should probably try another project with a full skein so I can get a better idea of how much tatting I can get out of a skein, but that will have to wait for the future.  No projects that I want to do with the yarn are coming to mind at the moment and the yarn is expensive enough that I don’t want to buy some just for an experiment.  Luckily, they often have a remnants basket at Wildfibers with small pieces of this yarn.  The bracelet above was made with one of the remnants.  Since you need so little yarn for tatting I’ll be exploring that basket a lot.  Unfortunately, they were sold out of remnants the last time I was there, but I really like the colors I bought so I’m sure I’ll be happy using them for a long time.


What to Teach???

November 19, 2011 6:10 pm

Just finished teaching another class of fantastic tatting students at Piecemakers in Costa Mesa.  My intermediate students have really been challenging me in that they learn to quickly!  We breeze through so many techniques in one class that it leaves me wondering what else I could possible teach them and struggling to come up with ideas for the next class.

Luckily, other people keep coming up with awesome ideas and are kind enough to let me teach them to my students.  My next intermediate class will be learning Krystledawne’s technique for covering rhinestones (the same one I’m using on my garlands).  One of my repeat students today had already done both of the snowflakes we were learning in class today so she tackled Janie’s Christensen’s (sp?) technique for making a ring of interlocking split rings.  I hadn’t planned to teach her that, but one of the other repeat students had brought the rings they had made after I showed it to them during the last class.

I need to point out here that I didn’t even actually teach it to them at the last class.  I showed them the ones I made at Camp Wannatat and explained how they were made.  Just a couple months later the two of them come back with an entire bag full of rings and a 3 foot chain of the same pattern for hanging their tatting tools around their neck.  I haven’t even finished hiding in the ends on the ones I made in July.  I’m going to have trouble next year keeping up with these girls!

Planning future classes has really been on my mind because Shuttlebird class proposals are due at the end of the month.  Luckily I took the time after the last conference to write down all the ideas I had then.  Came up with nine, so now I have to get those down to my favorite 4-5 and write them up.  I’ll be continuing to rely on the amazing designs of others.  Among my class proposals will be Gina Butler’s string of hearts made with dimpled-single-shuttle-split-rings.   That’s going to be a fun one.  :)


Using the Scissors to Finish a Project

October 24, 2011 11:57 am


Today I made the oh-so emotional decision to cut off a piece of perfectly good tatting.  Well, I made the decision a while back, but couldn’t bring myself to actually do the cutting.  Today I tackled it on my lunch break.

I’ve been working on this large doily from the Priscilla Tatting Book #3.  I want to make one in size 20, but wanted first to figure out a more effective way to make it since the original directions call for making all the motifs separately and putting it together at the end.  I wanted to figure out how to piece it together while tatting.  To help with that I started this one in size 3 so that I could easily look back later and see what I’d done.  This is such an elaborate doily that size 3 should work out to a small tablecloth.


I got as far as the first picture when I discovered that Michaels and Joanns have stopped carrying the Royle Brand thread that I’m using for this.  I think actually it’s been bought by Aunt Lydia because that’s what they both have instead and I’d never seen that before.  Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have the same colors.  The light blue matches to some extent, but there’s no dark blue at all.  I have enough to thread to make the rest of the dark blue motifs around this bit, but not beyond that.  I didn’t think I’d like the way it would work if I just stopped at that point.  I could make the rest of it in white and just have a blue center, but that didn’t really appeal to me either.  So I decided to just cut off the last motif that I made and call it done.

"Maybe it can be a barrette."

My co-worker thought it was sad to throw away the motif that I had to cut off.  Considering the number of knot-stitches in the motif I thought it was pretty sad too, but not worth the trouble to make something out of it.  So I trashed the little cut up motif and I’m moving on to the next project.  It’s nice to finish up a large project even if it didn’t end up as large as I originally planned and even if it required a pair of scissors to do it.  I’ll still eventually make the whole thing but for now I’m happy to have figured out how to make the leaves two at a time so that I have less ends to hid.