Sunday, March 17, 2024

One project at a time or Multiple

 I usually try to force myself to work on one project at a time, but I'm finding I'm actually more productive switching from project to project. I'm getting things done as well as learning and exploring new things. My old approach sometimes seemed laborious and it was easy to lose interest. Now I'm just having fun.

These are some of the things I've been doing this week.

In the top left, the Catherine Wheel Join practice piece is now big enough to hold my favorite mug. My shuttles were empty, so now I'm just trying to decide if I should continue it in some way to make it a little larger. (Manuela size 10, variegated pinks)

The top right image is the completed Cloth Stitch Bookworm on page 22 of Beginner's Guide to Bobbin Lace by Gillian Dye and Adrienne Thunder. This is my first Torchon project in about 20 years. I used a slightly smaller pricking with Caron Wildflowers Emerald Green and Pine Forest.

The center top is the beginning of my second Torchon project--Half Stitch Bookworm, page 28 of the same book. This one uses the original pricking size with DMC Perle Cotton size 8 in colors 311 and 995 (down the center).

And lastly, I'm tatting up my teddy bear pattern as I work on an updated version of the pattern that includes a diagram.

So what works best for you? Do you prefer to complete one project at a time, or do you prefer to have several different things going and move from project to project?

Have a fun and productive week, my friends!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Beginner Tatters Can Design, Too!

 When my daughter, Sarah, was new to tatting at age 12, I encouraged her to start creating her own designs right away--just play with what she knew.  She had learned to make a ring, rings on bare thread, and rings and chains. She used these three elements to create this bookmark. It's a great way to use the last of the thread left on a shuttle. She shared it only with our close little tatting group at first, but when Mary McCarthey published it in the March 1997 issue of her newsletter, KNOTS!, Sarah was thrilled.

Sarah has given me permission to share this edited version with you that includes how I tat it in two rounds instead of three along with her original instructions. 

I eliminated the need for a separate starting ring soon after she designed it, by starting with the bare thread element and then combining the 'starting ring' with the ring and chain round resulting in two rounds instead of three. I am sharing the pattern as she originally made it, but including a diagram so you can explore other paths through the design. The long segments of bare thread combine with the tassel to create a fluid look that reminds me of jellyfish. I love it!

Designing and publishing your designs are two separate things. No matter your skill level, don't be afraid to play with your needles or shuttles. You may be amazed where your imagination and your fingers take you.

Have a great week, my friends, and happy tatting!

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Catherine Wheel Joins and Torchon Cloth Stitch


This is my practice piece for the Catherine Wheel Join. It has plenty of bad joins as well as some good ones. I think I've finally got it, but I plan to keep practicing until it's large enough to serve as a coaster for my favorite mug.

Progress on Torchon! I completed three inches. I love that this project lets me practice cloth stitch as well as the effect of twists within. Just two more inches til completion.

Inkscape and I are becoming friends again, too. I'm learning from the YouTube channel of Sue Fuller who does the Design Classes for channel and from my own mistakes. I completed my first diagram--a simple pattern my daughter is sharing with all of us. It's been so long since I used Inkscape, but some of it is coming back as I work. Most important lesson I learned last week?--Save, Save, Save! Hours of work were lost when the program crashed and efforts to re-open the document crashed the program again and again. Things are working much better for me now. It crashes, and I open my last manually saved copy, which usually means repeating only the last change I made.

Til next time!