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Getting Closer to Shuttlebirds!

This week I finished up one of my samples for the Shuttlebirds Tatting conference.  The project is one that has 4 shuttles going at once so it’s not very portable.  I’m glad to have it finished now and have only more portable projects to travel with.

This week I also did another quick bracelet with a bit of thread left on a shuttle.  This is an edging pattern from one of the Priscilla books.  I think it makes a nice bracelet and I like using the black as the shuttle thread rather than the chain thread which was the first way I envisioned it.

I still need to get the directions for the flower edging pattern written up.  Maybe that will be this weekend’s project.

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A Bit of Bobbin Lace

Been quite busy and doing some traveling which has cut down on the tatting some, but since I’ve been quiet for a while I’ve got a few projects to talk about here.  This one is the first piece of bobbin lace I’ve made in years.  I’ve been inspired by some of the bobbin lace I’ve been seeing at the Lacemakers of Puget Sound meetings.  I don’t expect to get super into it, but I bought a new lace billow with a wheel so that I can make a longer piece.  I’d like to set up one piece of lace that can just keep going and going so I can work on it whenever I feel like it.

I’ve picked out the pattern I want to work on, but there’s a few things I need to learn before I get started on it, so I’ll do a few more practice pieces before I set up the big one.  However, I’ll be doing it slowly so don’t expect any new updates on bobbin lace anytime soon.  Tatting is still what’s going to be keeping me the most busy.


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I was on a roll…

… so I kept going. Last night after posting the pattern for the scalloped fingerless gloves I went ahead and posted the instructions for different non-double-stitch chains.  It’s a free pattern and it’s easily downloadable from my Craftsy store.  The handout also includes instructions on making quick and easy bookmarks with chains of these stitches.  They’re a great way to finish off the last couple feet of thread on your shuttle.

Hope it’s helpful!

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Following a Pattern

This is actually last week’s project and I finished it then, but it’s been a busy weekend and I’m just getting around to writing about it.  A couple weeks ago I picked up a copy of Mary Konior’s Tatting with Visual Patterns on Ebay.  Last week I tatted up this version of the Spinning Wheel pattern.  This is one of the few full-multicolored threads I like and I think it works especially well with the black.  I like the stain glass look of the combination.

This is actually the second version of this pattern I did.  I also started one in white and a variegated yellow in size 20, but ran out of thread on the shuttle and haven’t gone back to finish it off.  Perhaps that will be my project to finish for this week.

It was nice to simply follow a pattern without having to make adjustments or retat or rewrite anything.  A nice bit of change from working on the Priscilla books other older patterns.

I had been planning to go to Camp Wannatat this weekend, but it’s getting close to exam time (two weeks from today!) and I managed to twist my ankle this weekend while coming down the stairs.  It’s feeling much better now, but it sort of messed up my study schedule and I’m not sure now that I’ll be able to go.  We’ll see how things are in a couple days, but now I’m thinking I’ll have to skip it.


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Finally Finished Friday #2

This week I finished a couple of new pieces that I started two weekends ago.  We went down to the Tacoma Polo Club for the last polo match of the season.  It’s a lot of fun to watch and goes great with tatting.  Next year I want to organize a large group of lacers, knitters and crocheters to go to a match together.  Sort of like when they do the Stitch and Pitch at the Mariner’s games, except that this would be Picots and Polo.   Or maybe Picots and Ponies.

Anyway, I had just come from the Lacemakers of Puget Sound meeting where we had listened to a talk on Irish Crochet.  I used to crochet, but only with yarn.  Interestingly, I had never liked actually crocheting with thread through I think it’s gorgeous.  I even created my own class as a directed reading course in which I studied the history of Irish Crochet during the potato famine.  But never liked actually crocheting with thread so I stuck with making blankets until I discovered tatting and switch solely to that.  (Crocheting was also starting to hurt my wrists.)

At the meeting I had with me a re-creation project I’e been working on for a while.  About a year and a half ago, Sarah Nielson and I were coming back from Bobbies and we stopped in Spokane for a quick visit with Camelia Crapo.  Well, our quick visit turned in to about 4 hours and we left with stacks of photocopies and at least a gigabyte of photos some of her gorgeous one of a kind doilies and snowflakes.  We vowed to recreate them and write up the patterns.  I took the doilies and Sarah took the snowflakes.

Cut to 18 months later, we don’t have anything shareable yet, but we have started playing around with them.  I’ve been working on one of the smaller doilies.  I’ll share details about that later, but at the LPS meeting two weeks ago, I realized that the very center part of the doily sort of looked like an Irish crochet rose.  I had to try to out so I started two of them at the polo club.

The first one is in size 10 and the second one is the left over size 80 I had on my shuttles from the bracelet I posted about a few weeks ago.  I really like the way it turned out with two colors.  The piece is done with two shuttles in three rounds, with the second round made up close, but behind the first round and the third one behind that.  The six inner rings are with shuttle 1 and all others are with shuttle 2 off of the base chain of each round.

I think it makes an interesting three dimensional snowflake or could be used like an Irish crochet rose as part of a larger piece.  And, of course, it makes a lovely center to Camelia’s doily.

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And We’re Back! (Though Still Distracted)

Sorry for the radio silence.  I didn’t intend to disappear for so long, but it’s been a busy couple months.  I’ve gotten myself settled into Seattle and am enjoying the lovely summer we’ve been having.  I went back down to Los Angeles for a few weeks to finish training my replacement at the radio station.  It’s nice to pass off the torch Susie.  I know I’m leaving the station and volunteers in good hands.

I am now pretty much officially unemployed and studying full-time for the CPA exams.  I’ve still been tatting the last couple months and I’m looking forward to getting caught up with the blogging, but my first exam is in October so I still expect to be somewhat distracted.  Basically, any time I’m not studying I’m feeling guilty about not studying.  I’m trying to make sure I still leave enough time for myself so I don’t get too burnt out.  The first test might be in October, but there’s still 3 more after that.  I’m trying to finish them all in 6 months.  They have a 40% pass rate each, but my goal is to pass them all on my first try.

So that’s the quick update on my life of the last few months.   Sorry not to have any exciting pictures of tatting for my first post back, but rest assured, they are on the way.

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Whoops… Quick correction.

Quick correction in the pattern yesterday.  I forgot to add a line about a picot that is a regular picot in the first repeat and becomes a join in each repeat of the pattern after that.  I added it in red to yesterday’s pattern, so hopefully it doesn’t confuse anyone.

Wasn’t feeling well today, so the first half of the day was a waste.  Second half went much better.  I have an order for another pair of fingerless gloves so I’ll be starting work on those as soon as I clarify the details with the buyer.  I visited Pacific Fabrics and picked up some nice elastic for the project that I’m working on the Priscilla edging for.  Since I  think it’s going to actually work out, I’ll finally announce here that I’m trying to make a headband out of it.  I haven’t decided yet if it’s going to be just a single row of the edging or if I’ll double it over and do a second row.  We’ll see how long it takes me to finish off the first one.  I think it will look nice with either.

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Looking for Website Inspiration

I’m planning on re-doing to be more of a website than just a blog.  I’m still in the planning stages, listing all the things I’d like it to have, figuring out the set up of the pages and links and picking out a format.  I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the websites of other designers and pulling ideas from what I like about them.

Here’s three of my favorites:

Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. – This is a straight blogger blog, but I like the layout.  I especially like the pictures on the left as you scroll down that take you through her projects from Vogue’s New Book of Better Sewing.

Sheep to Shawl from Donna Druchunas – Full-blown website and a little more like what I’m thinking of as far as the overall website goes (separate pages, etc)

I Am The Lab – This is another full website.  I don’t think my front page would be quite so picture heavy, but I like the layout of their links at the top.

I found the first two of these websites through the Craftsy classes they’re teaching.  When I get some more time I may take Donna’s class on knitting socks.  One day maybe I’ll get to sewing.  I definitely like Gertie’s take on modernizing the old designs.

Part of the point of this blog entry is just to get these websites down in one place where I can find them later, but I’m also looking for ideas.  So, Dear Readers, my question for you is what makes a good website for you?  What do you find appealing and what makes a website easier to navigate?  Have any favorites?  Obviously, it doesn’t have to be tatting related, but it really doesn’t have to be even design related either.  Brainstorming time.  🙂

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Get More (Tatters on) Craftsy!

I love how when someone starts following you on Craftsy they send you an email telling you that the person has been inspired by you.  It’s cute and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.  I’ve had barely any time to explore Craftsy, but I’m pretty excited about the possibilities for tatters.  It’s still relatively new and so I feel like if we can get a lot of tatters to join we can get a bit of attention for tatting.  I’m on Ralvery because I’d like to learn to knit and I used to crochet, but they are pretty adamant about being ONLY for knitting and crocheting and making it very clear they have no plans to expand to other fiber crafts.  Craftsy looks like it could be the substitute.  Right now tatting is still only in the “other” category, but if we all join up maybe we can get them to give it it’s own category.

I’m also very excited about being able to sell patterns there with an automatic download for the buyer so they don’t have to wait for me to send them an email.  I had someone buy my pattern book yesterday and it threw me off to only get an email about payment and not one about fulfillment of the order.  I like it though.

This is the last week of my masters degree so I’m basically living in a world of research papers about GAAP, IFRS other exciting accounting regulations.  I probably won’t be able to do a lot of tatting this week, but I have a bunch of things I haven’t gotten around to posting from the last couple weeks, so I plan to post about those.

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Gloves Are Off to the UK!

It’s always fun to be mailing things internationally.  Well, except for the actual trip to the post office, but I do really like the international-ness of Etsy.

I got one of our KJazz volunteers to pose for this picture before I packed them up.  Again, you can’t see the difference in the colors of the rings and chains.  It’s subtle, but the clusters are a bit darker.  They’re in ecru and the chains are in cream.  I like the color combination even better than I expected.

Now that the pledge drive and the gloves are done I’m getting back to other tatting projects.  I’m meeting up with a bride this weekend and am working on her garter belt as well as some of the favors for the guests.

Speaking of international, I have been talking to someone else in another country about doing some combined work.  I won’t go into details here until we’ve settled on the project and scope some more.  It should be very interesting when it’s done!

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