Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tatting as 2017 comes to an end, Part 2

Diane couldn't possibly anticipate the abounding fascination we tatters would have to the reveal of her Ice Drop pattern and tutorial. There is even a Facebook group especially devoted to the craze and it is appropriately named Ice Drop Addicts

I've been affected by it, too. Denise Wessman sent me a beautiful one that she had tatted along with a little kit for creating my own.  When I decided I needed one more Christmas ornament to gift this year I was determined it would be a star, and it occurred to me that an Ice Drop star would catch the light beautifully. I looked up to gaze off into the distance thinking about what I might want to do and where I might purchase some of those glass drops when I suddenly noticed that I'm using clear and blue ones to support the artificial flowers in my dining room centerpiece. Now how wonderful is that! Of course I immediately robbed a few from the vase and got to work.

Motif #13 for the 2017 25 Motif Challenge
Stars in Stars Ice Drop 
based upon the original Ice Drop by Diane Cademartori
Size 20 thread

I've provided the link above for Diane's original tatted Ice Drop, but I must also credit the work of Carolyn Craig who describes her idea for the small star joining the rings of the gem setting in her Blue Glass Stars pattern. She shares this pattern in the files of the Ice Drop Addicts Facebook group.

Thank you Diane, Carolyn, and Denise for your inspiration.

While I didn't complete the 25 Motif Challenge this year, I value the encouragement it provided to keep sharing my work. I look forward to starting another challenge for 2018.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Tatting as 2017 comes to an end, part 1

I apologize for the delay in updating you on my tatting. Since several of them were Christmas presents, I was busy scrambling to complete them before the big day.

Motifs 12 & 13 of 2017 25 Motif Challenge
2 pillow cases edgings
Variation of Tatted Heart Edging 
Published in Victorian Hearts & Flowers Magazine, 1995
Size 20 Lizbeth thread, Color #147 Red Burst

I bought this issue of the magazine for the heart patterns and this edging. I can't remember exactly which issue it was that year and I kept the patterns and discarded the magazine. I used the hearts patterns numerous times, but this is the first time I worked the edging. It was a happy accident that I omitted the arching chain that should have replaced every other heart in the edging. I was several repeats into the pattern before I realized what I'd done, but I actually liked this so I kept on going. 

I attached the edging as you see in the above picture and I stitched along the edging of the pillowcases as well as over and through the hearts to keep them firmly in place. It was important that they be able to withstand a washer and dryer as I wanted my mother to actually use them rather than keep them boxed up somewhere. I used invisible nylon sewing thread to attach the edging. That stuff is my new best friend. My hand sewing is not as lovely and invisible as it once was and this thread hides itself very nicely.

One more thing I did was to overlap the edges of the lace rather than create a completed circle. Mom had commented on the current inconsistency in the sizes of pillow cases and I wanted to make sure that this lace, which will long outlast these pillow cases, could be removed and applied to another set.

Happy tatting everyone. Watch for Part 2 tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Motif 11 of 25: Stiffening the Crown

Motif 11 of 25 in the 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
5 strands of Coats & Clark All Purpose Thread, article 210 color 83B
modified version of "Pinnacles"
Tatting Patterns and Designs, pp 92-94
by Gun Blomqvist & Elwy Persson

I still think I liked this crown best stopping before the final round (see previous post), but we opted to add just one peak of the final round. In this picture you see it upside down over a plastic-wrapped Jif Peanut Butter jar. After a major search of my home, this peanut butter jar was the only thing I could find that was the right size to hold the drying crown.

Working with five strands of this thread wasn't bad. It was also easy to un-tat when I made a mistake. The biggest drawback is the appearance of the picots. They have a sort of feathered look to them that is obvious even in the picture above. 

I hope to provide you a better picture of the finished crown. I wasn't thinking when I let it leave my house after being approved by its recipient. I think she plans to send me a picture of it in its place on the Christmas tree.

Happy tatting!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Crown in Progress

Work in Progress
Tatting Patterns and Designs
by Gun Blomqvist & Elwy Persson
pages 92-94

This is my first effort at trying to tat anything larger than earrings with multiple strands of sewing thread. This is Coats & Clark All Purpose thread, article 210 Color 83B. It looks a little washed out in this picture, but it is a lovely gold color without being a metallic thread. I'm tatting with five strands to produce a crown approximately 5 inches in diameter. The hardest part about working with this thread is dealing with the all of those ends!

I'm really amazed at how well it looks already. I still have two more motifs in this round and then the final round which provides the peaks. If I were making it for myself, I would be tempted to stop at this round, but I may think differently once I see the final round in place.

Happy tatting!

Note to those of you who have seen a large image overlaying my blog post: I haven't been able to get it to appear for me. You might check to see if you are visiting my blog through an http link or an https link. Try

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Monster Edging Project

You wouldn't think an edging for a table runner would be a monster project, but this one qualifies. It's a simple pattern, Clover by Mary Konior that was published in Tatting With Visual Patterns. The problem? The only thread I could find that matches the fabric in color is some Coats and Clark from my vintage stock, color #61. It is size 70!

It's a project that I can't work on very often or for very long, but it is going to be gorgeous when I finally get it finished. My sister chose the fabric and asked me to tat an edging for it. This is a picture of the sample I tatted for her to pre-approve. I'm actually about 1/8 of the way around the runner now, and I've only been working on it for about 3 months. I told her that she might get to use it at Christmas next year. :D

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Muskaan's Quatrefoil Medallions & Hiding Ends Knot Free

After months of seldom posting, it may start to look like I'm tatting up a storm. The truth is that you are seeing the things I've done, or been working on, for many months. This one is about my explorations of muskaan's Quatrefoil Medallions and the knot free hiding of ends that she shared in her August 18 post. You will find the patterns for the various Quatrefoil Medallions on her Tatting Patterns and Designs page under Motifs and Medallions. What I love so much about muskaan's method is the effortless way it cinches the last ring up against the first with no gap at all. You have to look closely to figure out where you began and ended.

Motif #10 of 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
muskaan's Quatrefoil Square Version 1

Motif #11 of 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
muskaan's Quatrefoil Square Version 2

Motif #12 of 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
muskaan's Quatrefoil Square Flower 1
After having such wonderful success with muskaan's method on the first two Quatrefoil squares, I decided to try using it on both ring 1 and ring 2 in Quatrefoil Flower 1. It worked great as expected, giving me a tight fit up against both of the rings and making it even harder to tell where the medallion began and ended. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ice Drop & an Act of Kindness

Tatters are wonderful people. You don't have to be involved with the online community long to discover this is true. When I was very ill earlier this year, I received emails and blog messages from a number of fellow tatters. (Many thanks to all of you!) I was really too ill to tat if you can imagine such a thing, and these emails warmed my heart and made me feel still connected.

One of those emails was followed by a care package. Denise Wessman sent me an Ice Drop kit complete with a beautiful sample of one of her latest variations on Diane's, aka Lace-lovin' Librarian, original pattern. As you can see in the image below, it is a warm, beautiful color. It brings a smile to my face every time I look at it, and I've kept it close for months. I've been slow to get back to doing much tatting, but I finally got my first Ice Drop tatted using one of the drops from Denise's care package. I stuck to Diane's original Ice Drop pattern for this first effort, but I'm still toying with some ideas for my next.

As you can see, Denise provided everything I might need.
Thank you, Denise!

Ice Drop
size 20 Lizbeth thread

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Have I Missed?

Hello, fellow tatters. I've been out of the loop for the most part since the first of the year. I've missed you all very much, and I'm terribly behind in following all of your creative ideas and techniques.  I'm working my way through your older posts to see some of the wonderful projects you've been working on. I'm also trying to update the Element-al Approach & Techniques documents, but I'm sure to leave something out. I'm adding muskaan's explorations into cluny variations, Diane's Snow Drops, Ninetta's Tuft picots, Usha's Dot Picots, and Carmin's Double Cluny. (Links will be included in the documents when I upload the updates.) Have I missed any other new techniques or applications?

I promise you some images in the next post. :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Alphabet from a Strip Bookmark

Can we design an alphabet from a strip bookmark? YES!

Motif #7 & #8 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017

The Background of the Project:
Back in December, I was asked to tat a couple of letters to be framed. All of the alphabets I'm familiar with are much too small, so I put the brain cells to work on it. Occasionally designing is easy, but sometimes it's a very slow process. I sometimes have to let my brain play with an idea until something starts to gel. It took two months for an idea to start to form in my mind for this project, and it was based on someone else's work--a strip bookmark by Bev Dillon called Tatted Lace Bookmark with Small Butterfly Rings which was published in the June 1996 issue of Tatting Guild of North America.

Have you ever noticed that some patterns make a lasting impression on you? This is one of those. It was a favorite with me for quite a while, but I haven't tatted it in many years. No matter how many other options I considered, I just couldn't get the idea of letters based on this design out of my head. It took a thorough search of my pattern stash to find it. Bev has never published this pattern in any of the books that she sold, but she did share it through IOLI at their annual conference in Seattle, WA, in 1996. She used it in the class she taught on picot size and construction.

Working Out the Designs
You may have heard of using a mirror to help you design a corner for an edging. This technique works well to help you figure out how to turn a 90 degree angle to form a letter like this letter L. Forming the curves of the D was trickier. I got some ideas from the corner I turned in the letter L, but I needed to make the turn rounder, less sharp. Some designer out there in tatting land could probably work all of this out on a computer or in their heads, but I drew, tatted, erased and redrew, untatted, tatted, etc., until I liked what I had. The very gentle longer curve in the letter D was simply a matter of adjusting picot length to be shorter on the inside of the curve.

Permission to Post and Background of Bev Dillon's Original Design
Many thanks to Bev Dillon for giving me permission to share this project through my blog. I know many of you will appreciate the story she shared with me. It has increased my appreciation of her original design all the more. Here is what she said:
I had created the original design to be used as an edging on a gray challis dress for an antique china doll.   That doll was given to my grandmother on her 9th birthday in the 1880s.  She named the doli Emma and later passed the doll on to my mother who gave it to me.  When my daughter was old enough I gave her the doll and she has since given it to her daughter. The doll had a new dress for each "giving" so when my granddaughter received the doll, Emma was wearing the butterfly edging on her new dress.
Lastly, The Challenge
Do you have a favorite strip bookmark or edging that might convert well to letters? Since doing this project, I've thought of a few vintage ones that have possibilities. Give this a try with your own initial, and let me know how it comes out. The tatters of the world need more large letters.

Happy tatting,

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Doll Sock/Shoe

I found a copy of the better picture I took of Butterbean's doll in her socks.  Here it is.
Motif #6 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
(2nd sock of the pair)
This was too much work to count the pair as one motif in the Challenge. :D

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Doll Sock (or Shoe) for Butterbean

Hi, everyone. I've missed you all so much, and I know I have loads of blog reading to catch up on. Today, though, I thought I'd try to get a couple of posts ready for you to catch you up on what little tatting I've managed to do in the past 6 months.

My last post was a picture of the socks I trimmed for Butterbean. Her cloth doll has a matching dress and really needed a coordinating look for her feet. Those are the oddest shaped doll feet I've ever examined up close. Designing something was a real challenge.

Computer glitches today ate the lovely posed pictures of this doll in her socks. This is one of the in-progress ones I took before I made up my mind about the final ribbon placement, but you can get the idea.
Doll Socks (Shoes)
Motif #5 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
Base in Lizbeth size 20
Trim in 2 strands of embroidery floss

I looked at a lot of tatted baby shoe patterns, including my own, for inspiration, but nothing stirred in my brain. I found myself back at the square tatting element by Ann Valeire that I've used in other designs. These squares are the foundation of the top and sole of this design. The sock (or shoe) is tatted in Lizbeth size 20. Then I trimmed it 3/4 of the way around (none in the front) with the same trim I used on Butterbean's socks. 

I don't have any plans to share this pattern. You might say this is a prototype, but there was no time to improve the original design. If Butterbean's interest in this doll holds up, I plan to make another pair that incorporates the notes I've made for improvement of the design. That will be the pattern I hope to share with you. For now, she and her mommy are both very pleased, which helps me be content with this effort for now.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Trimming Socks

#4 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
sock trim
Pink and White - 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss
Turquoise - 2 strands of vintage J&P Coats

I've been working sporadically on several different projects. This one is a special request for my granddaughter's 2nd birthday. She will wear them with this dress. Sock one is finished. Now to get busy on its partner. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Another UFO Completed

 #3 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017

This lovely seahorse is testimony that you can make lots of mistakes in a pattern and still have a nice outcome. Do follow the link to view Jane's wonderful pattern as it should have been tatted. Rings and beads are missing from mine, but I really enjoyed completing it. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finishing Unfinished Objects

Victorian Heart
(Designer: Kim Goetz, Victorian Hearts and Flowers magazine by Better Homes and Gardens - 1995)
#2 in 25 Motif Challenge of 2017
size 16 Finca perle cotton

Let me start by apologizing that these haven't been blocked or pressed yet. I've put this post off all week, planning to get that done first. I finally decided it was better to let you see them as they are than to have you wondering what happened to me again.

I'm still struggling to focus on anything for very long, so I've been sorting my UFOs and working on those that didn't need much to finish them up. Many of those in this picture just needed the ends hidden. I used to have a tendency to postpone that for as long as possible. Now I tend to have fewer to deal with and I make myself handle them as I go so there aren't a large number to deal with at the end.

You'll recognize the cross and the snowflake as items I've blogged about in the past few months. I've no idea where the red object came from. Was it the beginning of something larger? No clue. I had no notes with it. The teal and pink one is a design I played with that begins with the Valeire square (see my pattern page). Only the heart required any tatting. It was a little more than half finished. It's a lovely pattern I've used often. My own notes are a hand drawn diagram I made from the original text pattern. I'm sorry I can't give you the source. I was much less concerned with that kind of thing back then--many, many years ago, when I understood nothing about copyrights and the courtesy of acknowledging sources and designers. I do love the pattern and I've used it often. In sewing machine thread, it makes the daintiest earrings.

Now I'm going to go enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon nap. Happy tatting, everyone!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Jane's TIAS 2017

#1 of 25 Motif Challenge 2017

Many thanks to Jane Eborall and muskaan for the encouragement to tat this lovely lady. I've been sick for several months with breathing difficulties which escalated to the point that I have found it difficult to do anything at all some days. It looks like recovery is going to be very slow so I've been taking advantage of good moments to implement some things that will make it easier to participate with the much-missed tatting community from the wi-fi of my iPad instead of having to sit at my computer. Today's blog post is testing some of them. 

I'm using BlogGo to read your blogs and write this post. I haven't found a way to import my reading list, so I'm forced to add your blogs one at a time. I have lots more to add to my feed, but I shall get you all in there in time. 

My other new tool is Font Candy. I used it to edit the camera image above. At the moment, I'm finding all of the ads and self-promotion frustrating, but the features seem promising. I'll have to play with it a bit more, but it's full feature price of $2.99 will be a good investment if I can get the end result I'm looking for.  

I apologize if my post sounds like advertising today. That certainly isn't my intention. I'm hoping that some of you who use your iPads similarly will share your experiences and recommendations, too. I may not be the only one of us looking for such resources. 

I've really missed all of you!
Happy tatting,


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Old and the New

It's been ages, too, since I've posted on my blog so I thought I'd update you with the last of the old and the start of the new. 
The OLD: I promised you more pictures of the burlap ornaments I made using the snowflakes I tatted from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn. While you can't see all of them plainly in this picture, you've seen all of the snowflakes before if you followed my blog last year. There were seven ornaments in all and my daughter loved each one. If you'd like more details about how I made the ornaments, please see my December post.
The NEW: I didn't get any tatting done for several weeks which actually left me struggling to find the motivation to pick up my shuttles again. I'm sure it was partly the winter blahs and partly that it is a very busy time of year for me so that finding time to tat is a real challenge. However, Jane Eborall's TIAS 2017 is perfect for getting back in the groove. I've enjoyed the switch to tatting with Lizbeth Jelly Bean after so many white snowflakes, too. Still no clue, though, as to what we are tatting, but that's a big part of the fun. It isn't too late to pick up your shuttles or tatting needles and join the fun.

I was rocking along quite well with the Craftree Snowflake challenge last year until November. I finished the year with both the Nineteenth of December and the Twentieth of December in progress. The challenge was lots of fun and I'm committed to finishing the remaining snowflakes in this book as well as the Renulek doily I started last year. Then there are all of the great ideas that keep popping up in your blogs! Obviously, I have plenty to tat in 2017.

Til later,
Eliz aka Tatknot