Archive for Shuttlebirds

Looking for Test Tatters

I’m wrapping up my patterns for my April Shuttlebirds classes and am looking for test tatters.  I’m also looking for test tatters for the pattern for Section 1 of the Tea Cloth.  Here’s pictures of the finished pieces:

Priscilla Earrings

08 Final

Shuttle and Ball Split Rings

06 Green








All pieces except for the earrings include split rings.  Other than that, it’s just rings, chains, picots and joins.  If you’re interested, send me an email or comment below with your email and which pieces you’re interested in test tatting.  Thanks!

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Rainbow Threads

It has been a busy weekend.  Not only did I get all these threads dyed, but I also finished winding all of my cones of thread.  It’s pretty amazing to think that only a few months ago I bought 4kg of thread and now it’s all wound up into skeins and ready to go.  Actually I think over the course of the last few months I have dyed about half of it.  I’m hoping to dye most of the rest this weekend to take to the Shuttlebirds tatting workshop in Spokane.  I’ll also be bringing them to KCamp Wannatat the following weekend.  I’m really looking forward to that as well.  It’s our first time at the new location.  I’m sad that it won’t be at Bobbie’s familiar (and closer…) house, but I’m happy they’ve found a way to formalize it to keep Wannatat going and also have found a place that allows for a bigger group.  More tatters getting together is always a good thing.

I’ll be leaving for Spokane on Thursday.  The next few days are going to be an amazing rush of packing, thread dyeing, lots of twisting of skeins and labeling.  The biggest thing, however, will be cramming a week of work into 3 and a half days.   I’ll try to keep posting pictures, but don’t be surprised if I’m not very verbose to go along with them.  If I have a chance, I’m going to try to get the word press app to work on my phone and iPad so I can post from Shuttlebirds.  If I can’t get that working you can follow me on Twitter,

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photo 2

The bane of my existence these days has been the tiny little burrs I find while winding thread.  This last week I’ve been winding and winding and winding some more.  I’m hoping to actually get around to some actual dyeing of thread sometime this weekend.  In the meantime, I wind lots of thread and end up cutting out lots of these little burrs so that my skeins can be as perfect as possible.  They’re probably not actually perfect, but they’re as perfect as possible, so I’ll be happy with that.

I should have taken a picture of my new awesome swift and the way I’ve set it up with a digital counter to track the skeins as I make them.  I feel like this week I’m finally getting organized with the thread dyeing and I’m very excited about that.

Lots to do before Shuttlebirds.  I still need to take the pictures for the instructions for one of my classes, but otherwise I’ve got all my instructions in to Patti, so I’m feeling slightly more relaxed about the teaching stuff.  If I get around to taking the time to get all my samples together into one place and ready to go then I’ll really be able to relax.  Once everything for the teaching is done I’ll get to spend my time getting things ready for vending.  Since no one is “counting” on me for anything there I can take it a little more easy and just get done what I can get done without stressing out.

Four weeks till Shuttlebirds!  Can’t wait!

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Last Two Shuttlebirds Classes

I have just finished my proposal for my five Shuttlebirds classes and sent it in for approval.  This is definitely the earliest I’ve ever gotten it in.  I like the new set-up with the application form.  Even though it was more to fill out than we’ve had in the past, having it broken down into smaller chucks got me to go through it a lot faster.  And  it helped that I’ve been collecting class ideas over the last year and still have about 13 on the list for next year.  So strange to think that two years ago I was struggling to come up with a 5th class idea.

Since I already mentioned 3 of the 5 in my last post I’ll tell you about the other two here.

The first is a class on working with size 3 thread.  Lizbeth is coming out with their size 3 thread mid-November and I am so excited about this it’s ridiculous.  I’m not sure if my boyfriend is amused by how excited I am or a little worried.  I’ve done a number of projects with size 3 thread and really like it, but there’s just been no high quality thread in that size.  The best I’ve been able to find on a regular basis was Royal (even that wasn’t very good) and when they stopped making it a year or so ago I decided to hold off on buying any replacement until I could find a good quality one.  Just a few months later Lizbeth made their announcement and I’ve been impatiently waiting for the fall.  Size 3 in the colors and quality of Lizbeth.  How can anyone not be excited?  Mid-November!  Just a month away!

Ok… Deep breaths…

The class will be focused around making a decorative tatted belt and attaching it to a ribbon that will tie in the back.  We won’t finish the belt in class, but we’ll get it started and get one of the two ribbons sewn on to the tatting.  In the process we’ll go over tips and techniques for working with really big thread.  I haven’t made any new belts for a while so I’ll have to take a look at what I’ve got.  Of course there were all made with Royal thread and so have been starting to pill and get fuzzy so I suppose I’ll have tat up a couple of new, nicer looking ones before April.  Guess I just don’t have any choice but to stock up on the new thread next month when it comes out.  Got to be ready for Shuttlebirds!

The last class is on the Catherine Wheel Join.  Tess Moffatt taught this class at Wannatat in Spring and that’s how I finally got the hang of them.  She had two snowflake motif patterns to choose from and passed out printouts of Jane Eborall’s instructions on the join.  I always love Jane’s instructions and the diagrams she makes.  Everything is always so clear.  Tess and Jane have graciously given me permission to use their patterns and instruction sheets in the Shuttlebirds class so I have sneakily gotten my prep for one class finished already while simultaneously giving my students much better materials than I would ever come up with myself.  Actually, that’s not quite true about the prep since I still need to make a couple of samples for the class.  With all my other classes it’s usually the other way around.  The samples are already made and I just have to figure out how to write up the instructions.

Still lots to do, but I’m excited to be moving along with the classes!  Hope to see many of you there!

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Teaching and Learning

The last couple weeks have been very busy!  I took the first of my CPA exams last week and so was very focused on nothing but that until then.  As soon as it was done I took the next couple days off from studying (next one is coming up!) and did a bit of catching up with life.  And of course, life includes lots of tatting.

I’m teaching beginning tatting at the Pacific Fabrics store in Northgate this month, Tuesday  evenings October 16th and 23rd (one class two sessions) and I needed to put together some samples for the classes so I heading over there after the test and sat in the store to demo while I made them.  Got some interest in the class and hopefully it will be a full one.  Here’s the link if anyone is interested.  This will be a very basics class.  Next month will get a little deeper into working a pattern and then in January I’ll be teaching 3-D flower hairclips as a more advanced beginner class.  I’m considering the samples that I worked up last week to be my weekly finishing of an UFO for the week, so I’m staying pretty well on the path of finishing one project every week for the rest of the year.

This week I’ve been playing around with a new veil pattern and I think I’ll do another one with the same edging as I used for the first one.  It worked well because there were no joins in the pattern and so it formed nicely around the veil, letting the veil give shape to the tatting rather than the other way around.  The new pattern I’m working on has a natural curve, but it doesn’t match the circle of tulle.  I don’t think it will matter once it’s pulled together into a veil.  In fact, the extra ruffle will probably be nice.  I have another one that has a much thicker and straight edging and I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out.  Hopefully well since I really like the colors and the pattern.

The big thing I’ve been working on this week is getting together my application for Shuttlebirds.  I’ve got all 5 class proposals written up and just need to put together my teacher bio and some of the pictures.  I may get that done today, but if not, then by the end of the weekend for sure.  I am proposing the veils as a class so I’ll be working on a lot more of those over the next couple months.  The pictures on this post are for two of the other classes I’m proposing.  Both are adaptations of a pattern from Priscilla Tatting Book #3.  In one class we’ll look at using modern techniques to make it an easier pattern to make (split rings!) and in another we’ll take it a few steps further and add two more shuttles and encapsulation to have the flowers alternate colors.  I can’t wait for April!

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Take Something, Leave Something

I was flipping through pictures on my cell phone and found this one that I took of the Take Something Leave Something table at Shuttlebirds.  It was a great success.  I was very happy to get rid of a lot of Royal brand thread that I’m not going to use anymore and picked up a bunch of other stuff that I will use.

For the last 5 or 6 years I’ve been slowly paring down stuff by setting a rule that if I buy (or get without spending money) 2 things I have to get rid of (either by using up or giving away) 3 things.  By “things” I mean thread, yarn, books, cds and clothing interchangeably.  I keep a little tally going on my phone and this is the first year I’ve left Shuttlebirds “positive” (meaning I could have brought more home) despite the fact that I had gone there in the negative.

It’s a bit OCD, I know, but it’s worked really well for me over the last few years.  It’s never really stopped me from buying anything I want (that’s not really the point), but it helps me to stay on top of stuff by motivating me to clean things out and get rid of things I know I’m not going to use in the future.  My thread stash has definitely grown over the last few years, but I have gotten rid of almost all my yarn (except for some for tatting) as it became clear that I have very little interest in picking up crocheting again, and I have cleared out at least a bookshelf or so of books and cds.

Anyway, the best part about the table was that there wasn’t a bunch of stuff at the end that I got stuck with.  🙂  The second day we put out a donation bowl so that people could take something and leave a donation for Shuttlebirds.  I think that was a good way to do it.  The first day things needed to be replaced, but the second day you could leave money for Shuttlebirds.  I got the word out about it fairly late, but hopefully this was a good start to getting the word around.  I’m looking forward to seeing what appears on the table next year.

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Photography for Tatters (and Knitters!)

One of the classes I’m teaching at the Shuttlebirds conference this year is Photography for Tatters.  Just like with my Blocking, Starching and Care of Tatting class last year, I picked the topic because it was something I wanted to learn more about.  My other hobby is photography, but in that area I’d call myself only a serious amateur and I have always been much more interested in landscapes than “product” photography.  It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to learn more about beyond the basics so I proposed this class to Shuttlebirds and they accepted it.

A few months ago I put together a simple lightbox and we’ll go over how to make it in class.  In further preparation I took a class two weekends ago at Wildfibers, an awesome yarn store in Santa Monica called Photography for Knitters, taught by Gale Zucker the author of the book Craft Activism and the blog She Shoots Sheep Shots.  It was a great class and really clarified some of the stuff I’d been slowly figuring out on my own, as well as showing me a  lot of stuff I probably never would have figured out.  I loved seeing a bunch of pictures from shoots and hearing the logic that Gale went through in moving from one to taking another that was better to taking another that was better yet.  As soon as I have the time (probably after Shuttlebirds), I’ll be trying to put together some photo shoots of my tatting and I know it’s going to be helpful.  Anyone in the Seattle area want to model for me?

Hopefully, I’ve learned enough that my students in April will be able to learn from me.  I’m really looking forward to the class.


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Choker Pattern Ready for Testing!

I haven’t done much tatting in the last couple days other than working on the second glove, but I did take a few minutes to update the pattern for the choker necklace that I’ll be teaching at Shuttlebirds this April.  Anyone interested in test-tatting?  The pattern uses a non-double-stitch stitch (I use the lock stitch) and split rings.  I’ll include the handout I wrote up a a few years ago for another class I taught of these fancy chains so you can use whichever one you’d like for the non-double-stitch stitch chain.  If you’re interested, send me an email at or leave a comment.

Btw, I have not come up with a better way describe that chain.  Non-double-stitch stitch chain.  Any ideas?  Basically, I’m trying to say a chain made of stitches that don’t curl like the regular double stitch does.  Lock-stitch chain, spiral chain, zig-zag chain, s-chain… Any of these would work and it doesn’t matter which one you use so I don’t like to specify any one in particular.

This was my first attempt at writing up and diagraming a pattern in Adobe Illustrator.  It took a while to get the hang of it, but it’s coming along slowly.  Luckily this pattern had no chains.  I haven’t quite figured out how to do those consistantly and evenly…


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I have decided to invent a new word for the tatting world.  “Tattering” is what friend of mine used once when he couldn’t remember the word for tatting.  I like it and I have decided that “tattering” is what you are doing when you are doing tatting-related things but are not actually tatting.  Sorting your thread stash, organizing your tatting books, writing up patterns, doodling tatting possibilities, blogging about tatting or just flipping through books daydreaming about patterns.  All these things are tattering.

Well, I have been busy the last couple days with some productive tattering.  I am switching over to using Illustrator to diagram out my patterns so I spent yesterday afternoon learning how to use it and this afternoon writing up the handout and diagrams for one of my classes for Shuttlebirds.  It took a very long time to make this fairly simple project, but I’m definitely getting the hang of the program.  This particular pattern doesn’t have any chains which look like they might be slightly tricky so I still need to figure how to consistently draw those.

That makes two of the five handouts finished for my shuttlebirds classes.  (I am teaching Gina Butler’s chain of single-shuttle-dimpled hearts as one of my classes and using her handout for it.)  Next step is to make another sample using my instructions and see if I catch any mistakes and then to find a couple test-tatters for it.  The pattern uses split rings and a lock-stitch chain (I also have instructions for the lock-stitch from a previous class that I can include with the instructions for the choker).  Let me know if you’re interested in test-tatting.  I should have it ready for outside eyes in about a week or so.

I am still trying to decide on proper usage of this word.  Is one who is tattering a tatterer?


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My Shuttlebirds Class Proposals Are In!!

I finally finished up with picking and writing up my class proposals for the Shuttlebirds Tatting Workshop in Spokane in April.  There are five class blocks and of course I submitted five different classes.  It’s probably a mistake since it means that if I do them all I have to do prep for five classes, but I started with a list of nine things that I wanted to teach and whiddled it down to the five.  I’m not sure if I should say here what I proposed since I don’t know what they’re actually going to approve, but I suppose it’s my blog and I can do what I want so here they are:

  1. Gina Butler’s awesome dimpled single-shuttle-split-ring heart strings.
  2. Single-pass flower choker necklace (uses split rings and a lock-stitch to make a quick necklace)
  3. 1925 Medaillion from Priscilla Tatting Book #3 (This is the motif from the Star Doily)
  4. Tatting with Yarn (another medallion from one of the Priscilla Books, but we’ll be tatting it with yarn)
  5. Photographing tatting (bring your camera and we’ll go over macro-settings and learn how to build an easy lightbox)

So those were my official proposals.  I’ve also sent Patti some other ideas they may like better.  We’ll see what fits in best with the other class proposals they’ve gotten and what people have requested.

I’m getting excited for April!!

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