Archive for December, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Last year I picked up these little red ornaments and I’m finally getting around to playing with them.  I should have included something in the picture to show the size, but they’re about an inch at the widest.  There’s 27 in the set, but so far I’ve only covered 3 of them.  I think I’m just going to do this same basic pattern on all of them.  They’re way too small to put on a normal sized tree, but would look nice on a little tabletop-sized tree.

I also got two other sizes, but I expect I’ll end up leaving those for next year.

Hope everyone is having a good holiday season!

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Good news and not unexpected news

The good news is that I got my score back on my latest CPA exam and I passed!  2 down and 2 to go.  I’ve started studying for the next one, but am, of course, a bit behind from where I wanted to be at this point.  That fact and the fact that I have a lot of things to finish up at work before heading off on our Christmas/New Years vacation leads to the not unexpected news.  I don’t expect to have a lot of time for tatting in the next week.  Still grabbing at whatever I can get, but not making any big plans for what I want to tackle and am just going to take whatever I can get.

I DID get in some tatting at yesterday’s meeting of the Lacemakers of Puget Sound.  The group has a brand new website and I highly recommend that you check it out.  If you’re in the Seattle/Puget Sound area you should come to our meetings.  We have monthly meetings in Kent, Everrett and Bellevue.  It’s a great way to learn new things or just get a chance to hang out and enjoy the company of others who are just as fascinated by making things with thread.

As we’re getting near the end of the year I’ve been thinking a bit about the goal I set a few months ago of finishing an unfinished project every month.  I’m proud to say that I’ve actually kept up with it!   I haven’t reported here on the last two because they”re gifts and while I don’t think the recipients are following my website, I figured it was better to stay on the safe side.  I did, however finish two other garlands that end up on “our” Christmas tree.  The “our” is in quotes because we’ll be out of town for Christmas so we decided to set a tree up at my partner’s office instead.  We went over with his brother and set it up over the weekend as a surprise for his employees to find on Monday morning so we still got the fun of setting up and decorating, but without any rearranging needed at our house.  Since last Christmas we’ve acquired a piano and a new couch and are not sure where to put a tree.

The two garlands didn’t take long to finish.  I had the tatting done for them, and really just needed to go back to hide and clip the ends.  Didn’t take long to do, but they were unfinished objects and now they’re finished so they still cover two weeks of my goal.

Included on the tree are a couple dozen snowflakes I made years ago when I worked in radio and spent a lot of time in the studio sitting around, waiting to press buttons between songs/speaking breaks.  It was the sort of job that was perfect for a crafter and I got a lot of snowflakes made.  My only wish now is that I had used better thread.  I used the Royal brand thread that was easily available to me at Michaels and JoAnns and there’s nothing wrong with it, but since those days I’ve switched over to better thread and it makes me a little sad to see all my hard work and worry that it won’t hold up over the long (40 years) run.  One day maybe I’ll have the time to replace them with better thread.  If I did this they would also be made with much better tatting since making dozens and dozens of snowflakes is one of the things I did to really practice my tatting and get better.  I look fondly of them for that aspect and love the way we literarily fling them on to the tree and let them lay there rather than hanging each one individually.




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So What Exactly Am I Doing Here?

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been focused the last couple days on an easier pattern from Priscilla Tatting Book #3.  In yesterday’s project I doubled it over to make a bracelet.  In today’s project I just added a second row of all chains to finish it off.  I think I might actually like this one better than the doubled over version.  I’ve been playing around with two colors as well and think that this version does quite well with two colors.  (Sorry for the poor lighting in the pictures lately.  It gets dark around 4:30 here now and I haven’t been getting anything photographed during the day.  Perhaps it’s time for me to invest in a lightbox.

I’ve probably latched on to the quick and easy because I’ve been giving some more thought to what I want the final product of this whole Priscilla project to be.  I still have the pie-in-the-sky idea of rewriting ALL the patterns in all 4 books (Priscilla Tatting 1-3 and the Tatting and Crochet Yoke book), but am starting to settle down and try to figure out what is practical.  If I can get it all together I’d like to publish it in book form (either printed or PDF), but have been giving some thought to what is actually a viable (sellable) useful product for tatters.  I have no doubt that with a lot of the patterns what I am doing by modernizing them is completely useful, but some of the little projects like this edging don’t really need any changes on their own.  (That being said, the adaptations for projects like this bracelet and my own and I think they’re fun, even if not particularly complicated or hard to come up with.)

So what should I do?  Focus in only on the complicated, incorrect or difficult projects?  Or do everything including the easier patterns like this edging?  I wouldn’t really feel comfortable charging money for the patterns for these easier ones that don’t require much (if any) modernizing, but also think that if I can do all the patterns in the books that tatters would appreciate having a complete set of all the modernized Priscilla pieces.

What I think I’ve come up with is this: I’m going to go ahead and write-up the easier patterns the same way that I’m doing the more complicated ones.  They are interesting to do, good practice for pattern writing of the bigger pieces, and most of all, a good motivation for me because they are easier to finish and will help keep me on track.  These ones I’ll release for free on my website and on  I figure they’ll be good advertising for the Priscilla project.

When I put together the finished Priscilla project these will be included with the others in the PDF, but not calculated into the price of the PDF.  If I get printed versions (my ultimate goal) then they will have to go into the calculation of the price because of the cost of printing, but it will all depend on the pricing/print run, etc.  Of course, that’s way too far in the future with way too many unknowns to even think about.

I have no idea how much of this is just me dreaming about ridiculous goals, but I really hope I can pull this off.  Is this Priscilla project just my own obsession or will other tatters get enough use out of this modernization of the patterns to make it worthwhile?  I’d hate to put all this work into it just to find out no one else is interested.  I guess that is something else that releasing these free patterns will help me gauge as well.

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New Pieces, New Patterns

It’s been a busy couple weeks!   A week ago from Friday I took my 2nd CPA exam.  I think it went ok, but haven’t gotten my scores yet.  Hope that I passed, but if I didn’t I certainly did learn a lot in the process and should have an easier time at retaking it so not too worried yet.  This last week I’ve started studying for the next one, but since I have about a month have also set aside some time for tatting.  I’ve been working on a couple new patterns or variations on old patterns, but what I’ve been a bit obsessed with over the last couple days is a couple of variations on a very simple pattern from Priscilla #3.  Figure 21 is a simple edging that I’ve done two bracelet patterns from.

Not sure why I’ve hooked on to this pattern so much over the last couple days, but it’s quick and easy and makes a nice piece.  I think that I’ve just been in the mood to appreciate something that’s quick and easy with everything going on with the tests, work, recovering from hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready for our Christmas vacation.

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