Archive for Shuttlebirds

Sometimes Tatting is a Contact Sport

The alternate title was “Tatting Till I Bled and then Tatting Some More.”

Just got back to Seattle from the Shuttlebirds tatting conference in Spokane followed by Camp Wannatat in Montana.  Both were awesome.  Five days of teaching, learning and talking tatting with some really fantastic tatters.  Once I get caught up on work-work and school-work I’ll do a series of posts about both the Shuttlebirds conference and Camp Wannatat.  So much to talk about for both! Plus, I still haven’t blogged about visiting the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale or Lacis in Berkeley on the way up!

I want to at least put up this picture that Gina Butler took for me in Montana.  If I’m going to tat all day the bandage (athletic tape) around my middle finger is a necessity to avoid having the thread create a groove in my finger and break the skin.  The one around the pinky is there for the same reason and if I do a lot of tatting for more than a day or so I need it too.  The one around the index finger of my right hand is a new one.  I’ve never needed it before, but one of our projects at Camp Wannatat had HUGE rings.  The largest was 84 stitches and while trying to pull one closed I manage to make the thread slice through the skin and draw blood.  It was like a really big papercut right on the side of the knuckle.

Did that stop me from tatting for the rest of the day?  Of course not.  I bandaged it up and soldiered on.  I wasn’t about to let it keep me from soaking up as much as I could of the opportunity I had to learn from the fantastic tatters teaching at Camp Wannatat.

I did take it easier once classes were over and spent most of my time flipping through Bobbie’s amazing pattern library, getting demonstrations of new techniques, buying more thread than I need from Debbie Arnold and winding shuttles so I can get started on some new projects in earnest as soon as my finger is healed up (and I finish getting caught up with all that pesky work-work and school-work…)

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Ready for Shuttlebirds (well, almost)

Whew.  Finished with 4 out of 5 of the handouts for all the classes I’ll be teaching at Shuttlebirds this year.  Actually I finished them on Sunday, but haven’t really had a chance to post here about it until now.  I got in to Seattle last night and I’m staying here with friends until Thursday when I head out to Spokane.  The next two days I’ll be sitting here in my friends’ apartment while they’re at work trying to get all caught up and a head on my work for the radio station and my class work so that once I head out to Spokane I can relax and think about nothing but tatting for a few days.

I still have one more class to prepare my handout for, the Blocking, Starching and Care of tatting so tomorrow night I’ll be meeting up with another friend here for a starching party while I write up everything.  If anyone has last minute tips, I’d love to hear them!

The coin purse shown here is the second of my two sample ones.  This is the one that is going to end up living in my purse from now on.  It’ll replace my not-very pretty proof-of-concept one that I made a long time ago.  In fact, I may even cut that one up so that I can use the clasp again and make a new one out of it.

In other news, yesterday I bought the fabric for the inside of the star doily.  When I got to the store I realized that a fat quarter of fabric was almost the perfect size so I picked out one of those and now just need to figure out how exactly I want to attach it.  Also realized (long after I left the store of course) that I don’t have any sewing needles with me and that using the same thread I made the doily with to do the sewing might not work because it’s size 10 thread.  So I guess another trip to a fabric store is in line for the next couple days.  I’d hoped to have it done and ready to show at the workshop on Friday, but that might not actually happen.

As much as I’m looking forward to the Shuttlebirds Workshop and Camp Wannatat in Montana after it I’m also really looking forward to getting back to working on the Priscilla project.  Spent a few minutes flipping through the books again last night and have quite the list of things I want to get started on.  Watch this space for some new patterns!

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Coin Purse!

One of my main focuses lately has been in writing up the directions for the coin purse pattern that I’ll be teaching at Shuttlebirds.  I haven’t gotten to creating the diagrams or adding the pictures yet, but the written instructions have just made it to the 9th page!  I think I’m done with all the written portion though so I suspect the final project will be 10 pages or so.  Luckily for my students, it’s not actually that hard of a pattern, but I’ve included instructions for a couple different options.  Also, I’ve had to create directions for two different ways of attaching it to the clasp because some of the clasps have 14 holes and some have 15 and some have 14 on one side and 15 on the other.   So yeah.  That complicates the directions. Also, I’ve included option for those who want to use split chains and rings and those who don’t.

I still need to make up the diagrams, but then I’m done.  I realized about half-way through tatting the example above that it was probably a bad idea to use such a colorful variegate to show the pattern so I’m making another sample that’s solid purple on the top and black on the bottom.  I think when I’m all done that’s going to become the one I carry around in my purse.  It’ll replace the oddly misshapen, proof-of-concept version that I’ve been using the last couple months.

In other news, I’m definitely coming down with a cold which is unfortunate.  Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse, but if it does it’s going to make it hard to concentrate on anything for the next couple days.

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Need a Couple Test Tatters

Last night I finally finished my write-up for my earring and necklace class for Shuttlebirds and NEARLY finished my write-up for my split-ring bracelet class.  Looking for a couple of test tatters for both.  The split-ring bracelet obviously requires knowledge of split-rings but the necklace and earring one is ring and chains only, though one necklace variation can use a lock-chain if you would like.

Anyone interested in checking out my handouts for accuracy and ease of use?  Let me know in the comments with your email address or send me an email to jessica (at)


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Earring and Necklace for Shuttlebirds

One of the classes I’m going to teach during Shuttlebirds this year is a necklace and earring design.  I’ve finally gotten around to tatting up the samples and taking the pictures for the Shuttlebirds website.  The necklace pendant is the original motif from my Variations on a Theme class from last year and the earrings are one of the simpler variations on it.  This little motif is AMAZING.  There’s so many different things you can do with it. It’s also the basis for a number of my different cuff and fingerless glove patterns.  I’m also working on some bigger pieces from it.  One will be a shawl and I think one will end up being a tablecloth.  The most amazing thing about these is that they’re all done in one piece.  NO motifs that need to be joined together.  These are very similar to Jean Younkin’s wedding shawl.  I tried finding a link to it.  It used to be hosted on Georgia Seitz’s website, but the link doesn’t seem to work now. 

I sell the booklet from my Variations on a Theme class from last year on my Etsy shop.  Depending on how much time I have before Shuttlebirds (OMG, less than 10 weeks until the workshop!) I may get around to writing up a bunch of other variations and having the expanded booklets for sell at the workshop.  If I do that what sorts of patterns do you think people would be interested in?  Fingerless gloves? Bracelets?  Small motifs like the necklace pendant and earrings? Should I write up the shawl?

Since the pendant is the original motif I’ve got that one all written up and ready for teaching.  Next step is to do the earrings and maybe tat up a couple of samples with beads.  (They look super awesome.)  Then I need to tackle the prep for my other classes.

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I just wanted to post quickly today to remind everyone that registration for the Shuttlebirds workshop is OPEN! Mark your calendars for April 15-16 in Spokane, WA.

Somehow I’ve ended up agreeing to teach during all 5 class periods and I just heard that one of my classes (on tatting an awesome coin purse) is already full.  I should take that as a really good sign it’s time for me to get off my butt and tat up my samples and write up my patterns.

I suspect that the next couple weeks I’ll probably be focused on that and most of my Priscilla tatting time will be working on the doily and the baby bonnet.  Hopefully, I’ll still have the time to work out some new Priscilla patterns.  I’ll definitely want to teach something from the Priscilla books next year so I want to have some options to show people at the workshop this year and get feedback.

The Shuttlebirds workshop is always a ton of fun.  I love getting to hang out with other tatters.  April 15th can’t get here soon enough!

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Split Ring Bracelet for Shuttlebirds Workshop

I’ve managed to get talked into teach 5 classes at the Shuttlebirds tatting workshop in Spokane in April.  I’m very excited about it, but a bit worried about getting everything ready for all five of them in time since right now the classes still seem a little vague in my mind.  So I’m getting started now and worked up a couple samples for the most well-defined of the classes, a split ring bracelet with beads.  Here they are, modeled on my lovely second-cousin’s wrists.

The next step is to actually write up the patterns and test it out.  That’s going to be one of next week’s projects.

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