Archive for Progress on Big Projects

(Large) Garland Finished! Before Thanksgiving!

I’m not a big fan of all the Christmas stuff out in the stores before Thanksgiving with the one exception of craft stores.  If you’re actually making Christmas-related crafts you actually might need the time to get them started before Thanksgiving.  Turns out though, that this garland only took a fraction of the time I expected it too.  All in all I think it was only a 6-7 hour project.  Kind of nice to know.  The store had these strings of beads in silver and gold as well.  I’m partly tempted to pick-up another one or two to make some more and really cover our tree, but I’m going to resist them temptation.  I’ve got lots of other projects to work on, but maybe I’ll pick up a couple after Chirstmas.  It’s nice to have an simple project with such an easy pattern on hand for when my mind won’t settle long enough to work through a new or more complicated one.  We’ll see.  I still have the longer garland with the smaller beads that will take me quite a while, and it a few days I’ll be focused onto another new project.

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Larger is Quicker. (Not Too Surprising.)

The new larger garland has been going on quite nicely and quickly.  I had been thinking that I would get just to the end and turn around to get started on the way back by the end of the week, but looks like I might have the whole thing finished by the end of the week instead.  I’ve already made it to the end and half way back.  I’m thinking that I might run out of thread, but luckily I already have some more of this (size 3) on hand so I won’t need to make another trip to Joanns.  I’m a little surprised since I bought this ball new for this project and I didn’t expect to use the whole thing, but I guess it IS 6 yards of lace.  🙂

So really, not too much more exciting to report there.  I’m getting started on another new project from the Priscilla books, but it’s sort of a large slightly complicated one so I’ve been taking a fair bit of time to sort out how exactly I want to tackle it.  In the meantime I’ll finished off this garland in the next day or two and will probably do a bit more on the other one (with the smaller beads) as well.  I continue to really like the way this one is coming together.  It will be fun to have it on the Christmas tree.

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Yeah, Another One. :-)

Stopped by Joann’s this week to pick up a few supplies for the tatting class I’m teaching this weekend at Piecemakers in Costa Mesa and wandered through their Christmas section.  Discovered a bigger version of the string of beads I’m making the garland out of so I had to pick up a strand with some size 3 thread.

It’s coming along quickly and I think I’ll actually finish this one by Christmas.  Actually, I should finish it off in the next few days.  It’s only 6 yards compared to the smaller sized beads which is 10 yards.  So it goes much quicker, which is nice.  The only problem is that I noticed after tatting a long chunk of it that the red was coming off on my fingers.  The picture here doesn’t have great lighting so it’s hard to see, but it’s there on my thumb, forefinger and the side of my ring finger.  I can’t tell if the pinkness in the thread is a reflection of the beads or if it’s rubbing off from the beads.  Either way it doesn’t actually look too bad so I’m not going to worry about it until the lack of paint starts showing on the beads themselves.

BTW, the pattern for this version is chains of 5-5.

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Garland Pattern

I forgot to give my pattern for the garland in my last post. It’s pretty simple.  The pattern is all chains so you only need the length of the beaded string plus a bit on your shuttle.  Do a lark’s head join to anywhere on the beaded string.  Tat a chain, wrap the shuttle around the string after the next bead and tat a chain again.  The length of the chains will depend on the size of the beads and the size thread you are using.  I’m using size 10 and for this size bead doing chains of 3-3.  You’ll end up with one row of chains along one side of the strand.  The whole thing will probably end up twisting some.  When you get to the last bead tat all the way around the last bead and wrap around the same space again.  (This probably just means doing twice whatever pattern you have for the chain.  You might need to add an extra stitch or two.)  Then continue to make the chains and wraps along the other side of the string of beads in the same way you did the first side.  The twist in the final garland will disappear as you do this row, but the rings will look like they’re overlapping.

I didn’t have time to take more pictures to illustrate so I’m just using the ones from as my last post.  Hope it’s clear.  Let me know if you have any questions.  This is Krystledawne‘s technique and she created it to make bracelets, but I’m having fun with this never-ending garland.

Though that being said, I haven’t had a chance to do much tatting in the last couple days.  I’ve had a friend visiting from out of town.  I did sell a pair of fingerless gloves recently which was nice, and a couple of patterns for them on Etsy which I got some nice feedback on.  It’s nice to know that my tatting and patterns are being enjoyed even if I haven’t had much time lately to work on them myself.

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I admit it.  I have issues with tackling too many big projects at once.  I’m trying to cut down on the number of big projects I start and trying not to start new ones until I’ve finished others, and to be honest I have been getting better at it.  I do start just as many big projects, but I’ve been pretty good about actually finishing others before starting the new ones.  But some big projects have a timeliness to them and I can’t wait until I’ve finished others before starting them.  This is one of them.

The other day I was at Joanns with a friend buying fabric and determined not to buy any more tatting supplies.  I stayed far away from the thread even though I was in Las Vegas where they actually sell Lizbeth tatting thread (they don’t sell it in the Joanns in Southern CA).  Unfortunately we still slowed down near the racks of random stuff near the front and I saw their little containers of 10 yards of beaded garland.  “Hey, I’ve been wanting to try Krystledawne‘s technique for covering a strand of rhinestones for a long time but haven’t been able to find any strands of rhinestones.  I bet this will work just as well!” So of course, I picked it up and now I’m trying to tat 10 yards of lace as a garland for my Christmas tree.  It’s a really cool technique and goes pretty fast, but I highly doubt that I’ll finish 10 yards.  Especially since I’m about to run out of the thread and don’t want to buy anymore while I’m in LA since I know I have a ton in San Diego and Seattle.  (This is the big project that I mentioned in my last post that uses the same thread as my sample shawl.)

So I may not finish it for this Christmas, but at least I’ll get a good start on it for next year.  It will still look nice on the tree even if it’s unfinished.  In this pattern you go through the whole strand covering one side of the beads and then come back and do the other.  I think I might get it finished in one direction, but probably not the second.  I started a few inches from the end so that I could see what it will look like when it’s done.  I like the twist that the rings will have in the finished version and I even sort of like the twist that the whole thing has when you’ve only one side of it.  By the way, please forgive the bad pictures.  I took these in the office at night and the lighting sort of sucks.  It’s much brighter in better light and I think it’ll look cool with the Christmas lights.


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Lost and Found Shawl

It’s been a while since I posted about progress on my shawl and it’s because I sort of stalled out on working through the smaller sample/prototype.  Not because I had come to a difficult point or had gotten stuck, but because I had lost it.  I had visited my parents in San Diego and then packed up quickly from there to leave for Seattle, but couldn’t find it in my bags when I got there.  I assumed I’d left it in my car, but after flying back to San Diego and then driving back up to LA I discovered I still couldn’t find it anywhere.  I recently visited my parents again and finally found it.  Sort of makes me look forward to eventually having a more stable living environment and actually getting all my tatting (along with everything else in my life) a bit more organized. 

Anyway,  since finding it I’ve finished off the second of the three borders on the sample and it’s looking like it’s going to work out.  The point of doing this little sample is to see how the three pieces of the final shawl will fit together and to pick the patterns for the connectors and the border.  I’m leaving all the joins un-joined around the tricky parts in case the pieces don’t actually fit together like the computer mock-up I made.  When I’ve finished making the last border I’ll tie the picots together in the places it makes sense and then use that as the basis for the final piece.

I may get stalled again, because I don’t have much of the thread with me and I have another large project I’m working on that uses the same thread.  (I’ll post about this project soon.)  I own plenty of this thread, but like the rest of my life it is spread out on the west coast.  I’ve got lots in Seattle and lots in San Diego, but just a little bit of it with me here in LA.  The other project is sort of a large Christmas-related project so I lean towards working on that just to keep from getting stalled out, but on the other hand, I’m so close to finished off this sample shawl that I’m eager to get it done.  We’ll just have to see which one I feel like working on this week.


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Hat Finished! (At Least This Version Is…)

I am back in San Diego now (until September 5th then I head back up to Seattle) so I’ve had a chance to finish off the hat I wrote about earlier.

To keep the tatting more compact while I was making it I strung a thread through all the rings of the first row in this edging.  To put it on the hat brim I did the same thing, but measured out the thread to fit around the hat and then tied the ends together to make a circle of tatting.

I didn’t really do much to attach it to the hat, just a quick go around with thread alternating between the hat and the tatting while trying to keep the tatting as evenly spaced as possible.  I’m not too worried about it falling off since the hat brim turns op around the edge, so I figured a quick go around would take care of it.

I’m still on the look out for a big sun hat that’s calling out for a piece of ruffled white and blue lace.  When I do find something like that I’ll just cut the thread that runs through the middle of the tatting and redo it on the new hat.

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Second Connector Piece Done! (Finally!)

My plan had been to do the second connector piece for the sample shawl over the weekend but twice I managed to mess it up badly enough that I had to cut off big chucks.  The first time I joined the piece to the wrong side of the square, but I didn’t realize it until I got to the point where I was about to start joining it to the second triangle.  So I cut off everything and started over.

The second time I got the square part right, but I shifted all the joins on the triangle side over.  Both the triangle and the square have a series of open picots on the sides that are joined to the connector, but I only need to use every other one.  Unfortunately I started off with the wrong one when connecting the triangle piece.  (Nevermind that I had done it right the first time and had that right in front of me as an example.)

What was particularly annoying was that I didn’t discover these mistakes until I’d tatted the entire length of the connector so I ended up having a lot of wasted tatting.  Oh well.  I guess that shows what a good idea it was to be making this little sample piece rather than trying it out on the actual shawl pieces.

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First Connector Piece Done!

In the interest of keeping the pain in my wrist down I haven’t been doing much tatting this week.  I’ve been REALLY wanting to pick up the shuttle and thread, but I decided that all I would allow myself to tat this week was this, the first of the two connector pieces for the shawl.  So far it looks good, though there wasn’t really any chance of this part not working.  The problems will come up when I put the next connector on and then try to do the edgings around the whole thing.

Sorry for the boring post.  Not much to report this week tatting-wise.  Just trying to keep it easy on my wrist.  I’ll probably tat up the second connector this weekend and get started on the border next week.

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Ready to Start Experimenting

This weekend I tatted up the three base pieces of what I’ll use to figure out how to piece together the shawl.  At first I was finding this little piece of the project depressing because it meant about 6 hours of tatting before I would actually be able to play around with the edging ideas I’d come up with on the computer.  And then it will be hours of tatting trying out the edgings and connectors trying to find something that works before I can even START work on the actual shawl.

So I was a little disinclined to actually start tatting this.  I kept thinking “This is going to be hours and hours of tatting and in the end I’ll know how to do the edgings and the connectors on the shawl, but all I’ll actually have to show for it is a little mini-shawl.”

But I knew it was something that would have to be done to put together the big shawl so I forced myself to get the first little triangle panel tatted.  By the time I finished that I was totally over the whole pseudo-depression about having to do a whole bunch of tatting before actually being able to put together my shawl.  As soon as I had something physical in my hands I was thinking “Awesome!  When all this is done I’ll know how to do the big shawl AND I’m going to have a little mini-shawl that I can use to more easily show other tatters how great this little motif is and all the cool ways you can use different versions of it in the same piece!”

That’s always the case for me.  When designing it takes me a while to actually get started with the tatting because it’s depressing to know I’m going to end up doing a lot of tatting that doesn’t end up working, but once I actually get started and have a piece of lace I get all excited about the project again. 

So this weekend I finished off all three panels.  These are the smaller equivalents of the pieces of the big shawl.  Next step is to take my diagrammed out ideas and start tatting.  Hopefully they’ll all fit together nicely without out too much cutting and re-tatting.  🙂

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