Saturday, August 28, 2010

Threads Arrived

The first of my thread exchanges has arrived at my door. Thanks, crazymomtats! Here is a picture of the goodies I'm going to get to play with later.

I'm supposed to be doing homework instead of playing with my threads so I guess I'd better get with it.

Checking In

It has been a busy few days. College classes have started and I already have homework! I logged approximately 10,000 steps my first day of class. I was so tired by the end of the day.

The tatting result of all of this is that I didn't manage to get my shuttles loaded for my next project until about 2 a.m. this morning when I was up with some annoying pain that wouldn't let me sleep. By the time I had my shuttle loaded, I felt calm enough to give the bed another try. It worked.

Now this morning, I've taken pictures of more of my threads for the thread exchange. I've got several new samples coming my way already and I'm so excited about trying some new threads. Sample sizes are a minimum of 12 yards (11 meters) which is enough to actually make something. The smaller the thread, the more you can make with it. If you haven't visited the website yet, you really should go see what is being offered. The selection is huge is this tatter's opinion! So, if you want to see any tatting pictures from me today, you are going to have the visit the thread exchange and look at my lovely threads. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tatting Tea Tuesday

I didn't manage to tat a single stitch today, but I found some time to enjoy your blogs and to check in at InTatters. The day got off to a good start with the arrangement of two thread exchanges. I'm excited about trying some new threads and sharing some of my favorites with other tatters. The mail service also brought me goodies today--24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn! I've been admiring some of these flakes on other blogs and got an opportunity to add it to my library. AND Zoo Flakes ABC by Will C. Howell! Isdihara issued a design challenge at InTatters inspired by this book. The book shows you how to make a cut-paper snowflake using animal shapes. Isdihara has challenged us to design some tatted snowflakes based on animal shapes. I found a used library copy of the book being sold by a literacy program. It is a nice picture book that I will enjoy having as part of our family library. I have an idea for a design, but you don't get any hints.


One more day before I start college classes again, and I have a great deal to do. My Tat Do list is organized, and my blog is set up to follow what the rest of you are doing. My goal is to check in with you all at least once a week. I'll try to have some pictures of what I've managed to get done. Don't be surprised if a few are works in progress.

See you in a few days!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby Booties

I should have stuck with my favorite baby bootie pattern, designed by Lenore English. Instead I decided to try a pattern from one of my favorite beginner books. There are no zoomed in photos to help. This pattern has been a challenge to interpret from the beginning. I'm now within one round of finishing the first bootie, but I've decided that I can stop right now, insert a sock full of fiberfil, and call it a lovely pin cushion. It looks pretty good in the picture, but, believe me, it has some major shaping problems and the fit would be terrible. It will make a much better pin cushion, and I won't need to tat the other one! :D
Thread is Lizbeth size 20, color #686 Seagreen Light

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Joined the Thread Exchange

I finally got around to posting some pictures of some of my threads on the Thread Exchange. I started with some threads I did not show you in my previous post about my stash.

I posted pictures of my collection of Mettler 100% cotton machine-quilting thread. I have used it mostly for earrings and bookmarks. It tats smaller than a size 80 (probably about size 100?), but is really easy to tat--slides like a dream. I first tried it about 8 or 10 years ago because it came in a beautiful selection of colors. Before you ask me how I can possibly see those tiny knots, I'll admit that, these days, I can't! I count them as I make them. One of the wonderful things about working with tiny thread is that a dropped or additional double stitch doesn't matter. Who is going to get out a magnifying glass to look? LOL It is far less noticeable than in the larger threads.

The other collection I posted is made up of some of my larger threads. The Nazligelin threads are a Turkish thread, 100% cotton, which I discovered this summer. I needed some heavier threads in colors my daughters would enjoy made up in bracelets. You've seen some of the bracelets here in my blog in previous posts. It is a 3 cord thread and does not slide as well as my favorite 6 cord threads, but it is the perfect size  for the bracelets. My daughters are thrilled with them. I think I'm going to make myself a few (the purple is for me) before I make them anymore. ;)

Many of you will recognize the DMC Cebelia, a 3 cord thread. I have several balls of these two colors so I have plenty to share.

The last picture is of 3 of my Manuela size 20 variegated threads. Manuela is probably my favorite 6 cord thread. (I admit I haven't tried them all.) All three of these are variegated threads. The center one is very subtle pastel shades.

So if you would like to trade some thread, head over to the Thread Exchange. The labels to the right will help you find specific threads being offered by other tatters as well. Leave a comment on the post that offers the thread you are interested in. Include your email address and the owner of the thread will contact you by email to arrange the trade. More details are available at the blog.

Sorry about the lack of pictures today. I've been doing a lot of end-of-summer cleaning and very little tatting. The crosses are the only pieces I've finished this past week. I guess I should go tat so I'll have something to show you later, huh?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Giuntini Crosses are Finished

I offered to tat some animal bookmarks for my niece's children, but they all wanted crosses. They want animal bookmarks, too, but they want crosses first. LOL Here they are in their favorite colors. All threads are size 20, but I mixed and matched Flora, Lizbeth, and Manuela to get the combinations I wanted. Finished size is approximately 8 cm by 11 cm. These aren't part of the fair entries I planned, but I was so close to finishing them that I decided to do so. As I mentioned earlier when I showed you the black and orange one, the pattern, Double Chained Cross, is by Jackie Giuntini and was published in the August 1998 issue of Tatter Tales.

Design Course Starting in September

Do you ever wonder how one designs a tatting pattern? Do you have an idea that you really wish someone would work into a pattern? If you can tat rings and chains, you have the skills to take Sharon's Designing Class. She takes you from the very basics, through designing a piece of your own, and then teaches you how to write up the pattern and diagram it! All of that sounds much harder than it really is, because Sharon takes you through it step by step. Sharon will give you a list of software suggestions for diagramming. Some are free or nearly free. You may even have software on your computer already that will work just fine. If you think you might be interested, contact Sharon through her blog here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planning for the Fair

Some of you may remember that my oldest daughter (who just finished grad school) has picked up her tatting shuttles again. She decided we need to enter tatting in the county fair this year. We spent our Tatting Tea Tuesday looking through the exhibits handbook for places where we might enter some tatting. (There are no tatting categories.) Then we looked at what we have available to enter and what we would like to still tat to enter. The results--we are both busily tatting away on our respective projects. I'm sorry that I have nothing to show you right now, but that should change in a few days.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying reading your blogs in my breaks. I'm going to take a quick look at what you've been doing and then I need to get back to my entries.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bookmarks

I finally took the time this evening to retat the last chain of Jeff's Sine Wave Bookmark. My mother loves the colors and style so I'm going to give it to her.

An opportunity to ride rather than drive for several hours today gave me time to tat a bookmark for my great-nephew. He asked for a cross bookmark and this one is tatted in his favorite colors. The orange thread is Altin Basak size 50 and the black is Flora size 20. The two threads are actually very similar in size. The pattern is the Double Chained Cross by Jackie Giuntini of New South Wales, Australia. It was published in Volume 3, Issue 3 of Tatter Tales (August 1998).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tatting On the Go

I tried to pack some tatting to do on the go today and found myself with the thread and no pattern for one project, pattern and no thread for another. What I did have were the instructions for the single shuttle split ring printed off from Bina's website (Matthew Takeda method), Anne Bruvold's pattern Ringtrim - a microdragon and some shuttles I wanted to empty of their leftover thread. I had the Sine Bookmark with me so that I managed to untat the messed up chain segment, but I had forgotten the thread so that I could not repair my mistake.

Anne uses the SSSR (single shuttle split ring) in her Minor Dragon pattern as well, but I got around them there by using regular split rings. Since I was doing a two color variation, I relied primarily on her diagram. For some reason, I've put off learning the SSSR--looked at it a time or two, but it just seemed confusing. When I pulled it out today, I thought, that looks remarkably easy! And it was! My thanks to Miranda at The Tatting Fool blog for the inspiration to finally give this a try.

Here is Ringtrim. Isn't he cute? I love the 3d effect of his wing sticking up like this. Color selection could have been better, but I was practicing and I was emptying shuttles. Beside him is the bookmark I came up with to use up more of the thread left on this shuttle. I call it The Line because it reminds me of that geometric structure which is always drawn with an arrow on each end. It measures 12 cm. I'm not sure if this thread is a size 20 or 30 since I have this particular Manuela thread in both sizes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cleaning & Sorting

I've spent the last 24 hours (the awake ones) sorting, arranging, and clearing things out. I began with my tatting threads last night. You see my nicely arranged threads with a separate drawer for sizes 10, 20, and 30. There were some real tangles in some of them, and I had thread scattered across two rooms and in several bags, purses, etc. Then today I tackled my chest of drawers and closet. One of my daughters is having a yard sale this weekend, and it was a great opportunity to clear out things I'm not using. I even found a shuttle I didn't know was missing when I cleaned out purses that haven't been used in a while! So while I have no tatting to show, it has been a very productive day.

I hope to get the Sine bookmark finished tomorrow. I'm soooo close! Thanks, btw, for all the kind comments about my effort at this bookmark and my Tatting Tea Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tatting Tea Tuesday

I had an enjoyable Tatting Tea Tuesday! My youngest daughter has been reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. She would really like me to read it now as well, but there are other things that I want to get done before school starts in two weeks. She found the perfect solution. She reads to me while I do other things. She read while I tatted--a treat for both of us!

Two of the three bracelets I made over the past weekend, for this same daughter, needed adjustments in length so I began my tatting time by adding another shamrock to the green one and another partial repeat to the red one. I tried to get a start on Rachael's Yusoff Challenge Snowflake, but it just wasn't coming together for me. I'm going to have to make some picot gauges or find the ones I made years ago. So I finished my tatting time with a project, and a thread, I've been longing to try. I tatted Jeff Hamilton's Sine Bookmark in Lizbeth Jelly Bean, size 20. As you can see, it isn't quite finished. I lost concentration as I was making the final join and didn't realize it until I had dampened the piece and was laying it out to dry. I tried to remove the wet stitches, but that was disastrous. So that is a project for later today. Many thanks, Jeff, for sharing the pattern with us. It was a pleasure to tat and I plan to start another one in a different thread.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Found a Couple of My Patterns!

I like to google myself occasionally to see what information is available about me on the internet. It usually doesn't show me anything I don't expect to see. Today was different. I can't believe the number of people who are using the name Eliz Davis! Most of them weren't me. However, I found that a couple of my patterns that were hosted on sites that no longer exist are now available on the internet again. Small cross and Red Clover Bookmark have been added to my list of patterns on the left. The Red Clover Bookmark was one of my earliest design efforts--a project I did right after learning to make the split ring. I think the clover blossoms could be improved with lots more picots and the pattern was written before there had been much standardization in style. If any of you find it too confusing to follow, let me know and I'll rewrite it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bracelet #3

While my oldest daughter was looking for a bookmark pattern to tat the other day, my youngest spotted Carolyn Groves Two-fer Bookmark and exclaimed that it would make a terrific bracelet. So here it is.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celtic Knots

I tatted a bracelet for youngest daughter today using Rozella Linden's Celtic Knot Tatted Shamrock pattern. The color looks almost black in the picture, but it is a green (Cebelia #699 in size 20).  I did a couple of practice shamrocks--one three leaf and one four leaf to work out any kinks I might run into and to figure out how I wanted to string the motifs together. I turned the practice motifs into a couple of bookmarks by adding little tassels. So I finished THREE projects today while trying to do one! Not bad.

Snowflake size comparisons

I apologize for the poor image, but it works to let us compare the sizes of these 3 snowflakes that came out of Jon Yusoff's design challenge issued at InTatters. All three were tatted with Finca size 16 perle cotton. I've included a 6 inch ruler at the bottom of the picture and a Clover shuttle at the top to aid in comparing sizes. The one on the left was designed by frakira. The one on the right was designed by carolivy. The one in the middle is mine. While these were not the only patterns to come out of the challenge, they are the only ones I'm going to get tatted at the moment. I invite you to visit InTatters to view the other designs and to get all of the patterns. All of them resulted from different tatters' interpretations of the SAME initial diagramed idea! These three are a good example of the variety that came out of the challenge. Isn't it amazing how different they are?

I finished carolivy's snowflake today during a tatting tea party with my daughters--the first we've had together in about 5 years! Now that she has finished grad school, my oldest has picked up her shuttles again. My youngest just hung out with us today, but she has decided she wants to pick up bobbin lace again. I introduced her to it when she was in her early teens, but it was not something she wished to pursue at that time. I've promised to get our bobbin lace supplies back out so she can get started again before I get busy with college classes. I'm very excited about making lace with my girls again.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Latest News

I'm still working on carolivy's Yusoff Challenge snowflake. I managed to get TWO knots (and I don't mean double stitches!) in one split ring. It has taken me several days to get them out. Every time I tried, frustration quickly set in. Determined to win this battle, I refused to cut out the ring. Today, victory is mine! I had the knots loose in moments, and I'm on my way again. I've also managed to play a bit with EazyDraw. Nothing is finished in either of those areas. Instead, I've been very busy preparing for some big events.

Graduation was Saturday. I was SO proud as I watched my daughter receive her Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. We began the day by attending her cowling ceremony. Then there was the graduation ceremony followed by a festive meal with family and friends around a long table at a local restaurant. It was a very special day.

In the midst of preparing for this celebration, my oldest daughter and I have also been studying for tests. Hers was the test to get her counseling license on Monday; mine was the GRE on Tuesday. Both of us did well! We celebrated her scores with pizza. We celebrated mine with the purchase of more tatting thread (lots more!) followed by one of my favorite family dining experiences--frozen yogurt sundaes with lots of laughter on top!

My summer is almost over, but it has been a wonderful one. I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with the internet tatting community. I'll soon be busy with Fall classes and my time for tatting will decline significantly. My shuttles will not gather dust until the Christmas holidays this semester, though. I've got a few projects I want to work on, and friends who will be interested to hear how they are coming.

Time to pull out my shuttles and finish up a few things before the day is over. Maybe there will be pictures tomorrow.

Thanks for letting me share my joys.