Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Joining to 2 picots at one location

The Dorothy Edging that I designed for my mother for Christmas requires you to join to a picot from two chains at one location. As a result of some confusion about how Norma Benporath intended for us to make a similar join in a round that was part of the Norma Benporath Mystery Border,  I started to explore different ways this might be done. I settled on making those joins by joining to each picot separately without completing a half stitch between rather than joining by pulling the thread up through both picots at the same time. It produced a different look. Since then I've tried up joins and down joins in various combinations as well. Click HERE to see the results of my explorations. This was not an attempt to explore all of the ways this could be done, but to explore the effects of some of the different ways of which I am currently aware.
I plan to celebrate International Tatting Day (April 1) by sharing another free pattern with you. I hope you'll drop by to see it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Motif 8 for 25 Motif Challenge

It always feels good to finish a project, and especially so this time as it was such a challenge. I attempted to use some tips from Nina Libin's Beanile tatting to create the jewels for the top center of the crown. It isn't perfect, but I'm very happy with my first effort at this type of use of beads in tatting. I used Gale Marshall's pattern for the Queen Mom Memorial Crown and substituted lots of different beads and made the changes necessary to make them work. So that's motif #8 for the 25 Motif Challenge.
Lastly, I had to revisit the eyes of my brown-eyed sock doll. I brought her eyes closer together, and I think she looks better. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tatting on Sock Dolls

Butter Bean is about to turn one so I've been busy creating something special for her birthday. Her mother was about the same age when I made her some sock dolls. I didn't tat then, so they didn't look as fancy as these two. I like the eye placement on the blue-eyed one better than the brown-eyed one now that I look at them together. I didn't compare the two as I worked, instead creating one and then the other. It has been an all-day project.
I needed an edging for the neck that would curve in a very tight circle. I was inspired by the current round I'm working for the Norma Benporath Mystery Cake Doyley. Rings have the same count and picot placement as that round, but the arrangement of the rings is different. I shall count these as Motif 7 for the 25 Motif Challenge.
The thread on the blue-eyed doll is Lizbeth Juicy Watermelon in size 20. The thread on the brown-eyed doll is an HDT by Jess Foster aka Tat-ilicious. I love all of the threads I received from Jess.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Almost done!

With the crown, that is. It is really coming together nicely. Just one more section to go.
And I managed to get a few more inches done on round 1 of the Benporath Mystery Cake Doyley.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

More Time Than Usual to Tat

A drive to Memphis with my daughter for a day at the Memphis Zoo yesterday meant that I had more tatting time than usual. I worked on the Norma Benporath Mystery Cake Doyley during the drive, then loaded beads and tatted another section on the modified Gale Marshall Queen Mom Memorial Crown when I got home. The zoo was wonderful in spite of the wind. It was a fantastic day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Progress on the Crown

I made some progress last night, completing the next section. I'm having some problems getting it to curve as I wish, but I'll just have to see how it does after I add the center piece. I haven't attempted to block anything yet.
The teardrop-shaped beads in this upper section are actually a very soft pink, though they look rather brown in this photo with the black background. This is an adaptation of Gale Marshall's Queen Mom Memorial Crown.

Monday, March 21, 2016

More Lene Bjorn Snowflakes and WIP progress

December 1 and 2 are done. I need to do a better job of blocking, but I plan to wash all of them before the final blocking. Join the Craftree challenge to tat all 24 snowflakes in 2016. I'm considering these to be motif #5 and #6 for the 25 Motif Challenge.
I'm starting over on the Norma Benporath Mystery Cake Doyley. While I love Finca size 16 perle cotton and it was looking wonderful, it was proving too fragile for me for this project. I'm beginning again with DMC size 80 in the closest color I have on hand.

Now I'm off to work on the crown this evening.

Happy tatting!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The fairy tale tatting was finally framed

I'm not quite ready to post images updating my works in progress, but I remembered that I hadn't shared an image of the tatting I did for my granddaughter's bedroom. We finally got it framed and hanging on the wall. Thumberlina (that's how it is spelled in the book) and the Princess and the Pea are from 12 Tatted Fairy Tales by Inga Madsen. Pegasus and the Unicorn are in Flights of Fantasy by Martha Ess.

I hope to have pictures of the WIPs in a day or two.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Element-al Approach Update & Links Corrected

I'll post some updates on some of my tatting later this weekend, but I wanted to get these corrections up right away. Many thanks to Don who emailed me for permission to view the documents. Had he not alerted me to his difficulty in accessing them, I would not have discovered I had shared the wrong links. I went ahead and updated the documents while I was at it, so the links on my Techniques page should take you right to them.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Crown Progress & Element-al documents updated

The only image I have available to show you today is one of a work in progress. It's Gale Marshall's Queen Mom Memorial Crown. I wanted to do quite a bit of bead substitution, so I decided to tat the crown in parts. It made figuring out the bead placement on shuttle and ball threads a little simpler. This is all I've completed so far on the lower part of the crown. I'm using DMC Cecelia size 30. I had a special request for this crown and I've got 2 weeks to finish it. It isn't the kind of thing I can work on with the baby around, so I'll be working on other projects at the same time.

I finished the tatting of the December 1snowflake (see previous post), but it isn't ready for a photograph.

I've updated the links to the 2 Element-al documents. Be sure to email me or post here at the blog if you have any recommendations for additions or changes to these. You'll find the links on the Techniques page of this blog.

Friday, March 11, 2016

This one doesn't count

I sometimes have to remind myself of the great piece of wisdom I heard a number of times on the old mailing list. (I know, I'm dating myself as some of you won't have a clue what that was.) "Small imperfections are proof the item is handmade." 

That worked for me with this lovely snowflake (December 1 in Lene Bjorn's 24 Snowflakes in Tatting) when I realized I had added an extra picot to one of the large outer rings. So I pressed it and got it all ready to photograph. I've admired it several times since I finished it late last night. It's a beautiful design. So I'm handling it again, trying to decide whether to post it today or wait until I finish December 2 when I spotted it. Oh, no! I skipped one of the small rings that leans against those large outer rings. Now that's just too much. It's a good thing I really enjoyed tatting this one, because I really must do it over. 

So today's snowflake doesn't count toward any of the challenges. It's a sample of what happens to all of us now and then. Proof to my future tatting students that I really do make my share of mistakes. ;) 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

4 motifs to start the 25 Motif Challenge

I seem to be in the mood for challenges lately. I've been battling severe asthma for over a month and now have bronchitis. Sitting and tatting is one of the few things I really feel like doing. It is restful and productive at the same time--a wonderful combination.

Sharon's 25 Motif Challenge is one of my favorite blogs to follow. It helps me find the blogs and webpages of other tatters. Of course, I want to follow all of you! It has been years since I participated  in the challenge myself, but this seemed like a great year to jump back in.

My first 3 motifs for the 25 Motif Challenge are also my first 3 motifs in the Craftree challenge to tat all of the snowflakes in Lene Bjorn's 24 Snowflakes in Tatting this year. I'm using white DMC Cecelia size 30. These are December 3, 4, and 5. Since the challenge started at the first of the year, most of the participants are working on December 5 or December 6. I decided to start with the #5 snowflake as that is the one I'd have been working on in the first half of March if I was on target. Then I started working backward to catch up as I have time. I'll get December 1 and 2 done as I get time, but I'll keep moving forward through the rest of the book on schedule. At least, that's the plan.

Lastly, I want to share another Ice Cream Cone as an example of working a mistake into the design. When I went to join the third ring of the outer round to the center square, I joined to the wrong picot. Rather than take out that ring, I just increased the number of rings and chains and made sure the 2nd side mirrored the first. Most likely only another tatter would notice that it differs from the original design. The pink thread is a Manuela size 20 I had on hand and the cone is more of the Altin Basak size 50.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

5 Tatted Ice Cream Cones

This is a pattern that I enjoy tatting. I load the ice cream thread with 14 to 16 beads for the square, placing 8 of those on the shuttle. I load 16 to 20 for the outer round with 8 of those again on the shuttle. I then place them randomly as I tat. I used size 20 thread for the ice cream--DMC Cecelia white and brown, Manuela pink. The cones were tatted with some Altin Basak size 50 that I had on hand. In spite of the size 50 on the label, I find this thread to be somewhere between DMC Cecelia size 20 and 30 in size.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Oops! Can't salvage this one.

When I use the Magic Thread trick to hide ends, I usually wait until I've joined at least one more round before I snip the ends. This time I slipped into production mode to make several Valeire Square Ice Cream Cones and didn't give it a thought as I did the finishing of all of the first rounds before starting the second ones. You guessed it. On number 5, the ends came loose as I was working round 2. My nimble-fingered daughter tried to salvage it by making a knot with those tiny ends, but instead we managed to pull another double stitch off. Maybe this will help me remember in future to wait until the project is finished, or at least until another round or two has been added, before I snip those ends.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dorothy Edging - more Christmas 2015 projects

While I'm working on the Benporath mystery project, I'll share some more of my Christmas 2015 tatting.

I have lots of patterns and patterns in books, but sometimes you get an idea in your head and just can't find anything that fits just right. That's the story behind this edging. I wanted something dainty and open, sort of a stained glass window look. So I finally picked up shuttle and thread and started tatting. It fell into place perfectly. The thread is size 30 Cecelia.

Attaching my tatting to anything with needle and thread is a real challenge for me and causes hours, in this case days, of pain afterward, so please don't judge my sewing too harshly. I'm just thankful I managed to get it attached at all.

I call the pattern Dorothy in honor of my mother for whom I designed it. I'll try to work up a pdf of the pattern for you in the months to come, but I'm committed at the moment to another project for my granddaughter with only a few weeks to get it finished. Meanwhile, enjoy the pic.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mystery Tat Along - Norma Benporath Round Doily

I've got to purchase some beads before I can start the project with the next deadline, so I'm reluctant to return to my big project for myself. I just can't get excited about starting it just to put it back down again for a more urgent project.

Looking for something to occupy me in the meantime, I stumbled across the second Benporath Mystery Tat Along in Craftree and decided to jump right in. The pattern is at

I finished the medallion that goes in the center of the fabric circle. Now to start the edging that is supposed to mount to the outside of a fabric circle. I'm working with Finca size 16 perle cotton. It has been ages since I've worked a project with it. It didn't take many double stitches to remind me why it's one of my favorite threads. (And, yes, that's a dab of Fray Check on the join. I was feeling lazy and tatting for myself. I confess I find it a wonderfully useful shortcut now and then.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Additions & Updates to MyPatterns and More December 2015 tatted presents;

I've updated the links and added a few patterns to My Patterns. The newly posted ones are patterns I've shared in the past, many of them ages ago. Be warned! I have not updated the instructions. They reflect what I knew how to tat and what I knew about sharing my patterns at the time.

Here is a picture of some red ornaments I made for my niece using size 30 Cecelia thread. I apologize this isn't the best picture of the tatting, but as usual I was scrambling to get everything pressed, stiffened, and wrapped up at the last minute.
All three patterns are by Pam Palmer. 
*Santa's Sleigh is on page 8 of Tatting Treats (1994).
*Rocking Horse is on page 4 of Tatting Treats Two (1997).
*Teddy Bear is on page 10 of Tatting Treats Two (1997).