Sunday, August 17, 2014

Motif #21

This is one of the Shuttle Brothers' SCMR butterflies.  I used Sulky #12-wt thread, one of those spools with the label long gone, so I haven't a clue what color/color number it is.  The marigolds are second-generation 'volunteers.'  Originally I planted a package of dwarf marigold seeds in a barrel.  The next year, the barrel was filled with marigolds again - plants that came up from the seeds dropped by the flowers the first year.  There were a few marigolds that came up near the barrel, too - from seeds that made it all the way to the ground that first year.  This year the barrel did not have flowers in it, but there is a small patch of marigolds at the base of the barrel - grown from seeds dropped by the 'volunteer' flowers last year.  I love the little patch of bright color they add.


The bright sunlight this afternoon made the light pastels of the thread look much lighter - almost white. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Motifs #19 and 20

Ever want to tat 'something,' but you are not quite sure 'what' that 'something' is?  I tried several patterns, got the center rounds done - sometimes did several rounds of one - and decided it just wasn't what I wanted to work on right now.  FINALLY decided to tat the first 3 rounds of Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin, since that is what I kept WISHING I had tatted when I started all those other things.  I am happily experimenting with color and thread size.  The first three rounds make a nice little decorative spot of color on a small table, especially if you do them in 'larger' thread sizes (larger than size 80, that is).

The purple version is size 50 thread, a vintage DMC.  The sun was very hot and bright when we took the photograph - I more or less tossed it onto the covered board.  There are a few spots where it apparently got crinkled.  Will have to take a neater photo at some point, but not today - very hot, very humid, and hard to breathe outside today (which is the main reason I just tossed it onto the covered board the day we took the picture - couldn't stay out there very long).

The green doily is Sulky #12-wt (Lime Sherbet) and DMC 80 ecru.  I love the contrast between the green and ecru threads and the large terra-cotta tile.  Although this green version looks larger in the photograph, in real life it is smaller than the purple one. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

Motif #18

I keep losing my reading (tatting) glasses, so I decided to do something about it.  A lanyard designed by Patti Duff (for a name tag, I think) was the April 15, 2014 Wednesday Challenge on the Shuttlebirds web page.  I fastened the ends to 'eyeglass holders' and tatted several of these in Sulky #12-wt cotton (with size 11 seed beads) and one in Perfect Quilter #17-wt cotton (also with size 11 seed beads).  All but these two (which I intend to use myself) are already in new homes.

I'm not sure this will keep me from losing my glasses - I still take them off and put them down pretty frequently - but the lanyard and the bright colors should make it easier to FIND them.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Motif #14

Remember this doily?  This is the doily from Tatting Theory and Patterns, by Jan Stawasz, page 65.  If I remember correctly, it's just about 11 1/2 inches in diameter, done in 'Truly Teal' Sulky #12-wt (about equal to size 80 DMC) and ecru DMC 80 thread.  Here it is with a light blue background - trying to get the ecru color to show off the design.

This is the same doily, but with a white background.  Neither color really showed it off to best advantage, but they were the only background choices I had that didn't make the teal fade into the 'background.'  I like the way the chains in the penultimate round 'outline' the arches and show off the negative space in the design.

Motif #15

Another of the doilies from Tatted Treasures by Jan Stawasz.  The diagram is on page 77, I think.  This one was tatted with Sulky cotton Blendables #12-wt, but I have no idea what the color name or number is.  The labels on BOTH ends of the spool have fallen off.  I couldn't find a good 'background' color to show off the pastels - all my colored paper is some version of pastel, also.  Found a bright pink piece of cardstock - it looks a little wild combined with the pink, but it DOES show off the design nicely.

Motif #16

This doily is the "Jasmine" centerpiece from The Tatter's Treasure Chest, page 58 (picture), page 59 (pattern).  I used Sulky cotton Blendables #12-wt thread, color number 1232 (dark green), and color number 4017 (I think it's called "Lime Sherbet").  Size is about 10 inches across.  In the original pattern they used size 30 thread, and the 'original' size was 15 inches in diameter.

Motif #17

Here is the completed "Spring 2014" doily - pattern designed by Renulek.  This one is tatted entirely in Sulky #12-wt cotton Blendables, color number 4022.  This is about 13 1/2 inches in diameter.  Funny, on a white surface (in 'indoor' light), it looks very, very dark blue, almost 'black.'  On a shiny black surface, it looks much lighter in color - the blues show up beautifully.  Couldn't carry furniture outdoors to take a picture, so I tried a light blue background and an off-white one.  Blue background first:

 And the same doily with an off-white background:

The whole 'tat-along' thing was so much fun that I immediately joined in on Renulek's summer doily.  Couldn't decide between two thread colors (and two thread sizes), so I chose 'both.'  No pictures yet - I'm too busy having fun tatting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just realized we managed to get a photograph of the finished 'flower' doily from Jan Stawasz' first book, but it never got posted.  This is the photo with no edges chopped off where it was too large for the scanner.

Thread is Valdani #35-wt (which 'translates' to a US #24-wt, I think).  Color is "Forgotten Lavender," a beautiful overdyed thread that I think gives the effect of light and shadow, without being a drastic color variation.  The shading looks lovely without distracting the eye from the design.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Motif #12

This is from Tatted Treasures by Jan Stawasz.  Diagram is on page 77, I think.  Colors/thread used for this doily are DMC ecru (size 80) and Perfect Quilter color #021.  Sometimes you find a pattern that you just "need" to try in all sorts of color combinations.  For me, this is one of those patterns.

Motif #13

The leaves are for an upcoming Online Tatting Class event.  On the scan I tried to 'arrange' them so they look like they would if they were on the Rose Doily (by Lucy Consistre) we'll be looking at on 1 April (International Tatting Day).  One of the class members did a sample of the center, another did a rose sample, and I did the leaf samples.  If you're not already part of the Online Tatting Class, it's free, it's fun, and you get to meet lots of people (online), and we talk about tatting, techniques, patterns.  It's amazes me how much I've learned online!  Back to the leaves - I used Lizbeth size 20 in Leaf Green, med.  I'd started them in Sulky, but the rings are so small that they just didn't look quite 'right' in tiny thread, so I switched to something bigger.

Happy tatting to you!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Motif #11

Lucky Clover, from Tatting Patterns and Designs, in Sulky #12-wt thread, color 4019 "Forest Floor."  Finished it late last night, just in time for today.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Motif #8

This is a 'glass mat' from one of Mary Konior's books.  It's done in Perfect Quilter thread, so it's not anywhere NEAR being big enough to use beneath a glass, but I enjoy tatting this pattern.  Color is 085, I think they call it 'Sun Rays.'  After a series of grey, wet days, I needed a bit of 'brightness' while I was tatting.  I tend to turn to yellow threads when the weather is dreary. 

I tatted this doily (page 77 in Tatted Treasures by Jan Stawasz) last year using Perfect Quilter 'Volcano' color and Sulky #12-wt cotton, color #1232.  It's been sitting in my tatting corner for the last 2 or 3 months.  The threads I used are approximately equal to size 80 DMC, so this doily is much smaller than Stawasz's original. 

Motif #9

This one was tatted in Sulky #12-weight cotton, color #1078 and Perfect Quilter #085 (Sun Rays).  Even after it was finished, I kept thinking it was much smaller than the first one (the 'volcano' and green one - above) that I'd made last year.  After a quick 'press' with the steam iron, I put the new doily on top of the 'old' one, and they are exactly the same size!  The orange and yellow one just looks smaller when you lay them side-by-side. 

The other Stawasz doily is progressing slowly.  The penultimate round is finished, and I have done a few rings and chains on the last round, but nothing much to show yet.  The teal variegated thread outlined the arches of this round just the way I hoped it would.  Thread is DMC 80 ecru and Sulky #12-wt. cotton blendables - the label identifying the color number has fallen off, but it's called Truly Teal.'  The doily is too large to fit on the scanner, but I can show you part of it.

Motif #10

This is "Ice Crystal," from Tatting Patterns and Designs, by Blomqvist and Persson.  The design is amazing - no cut and tie from beginning to end!  First the center part is tatted, then you just make a chain and keep going for the outer round.  Very clever, and great fun to tat.

I used the Perfect Quilter "Sun Rays" color again - it reminds me of the way the sun sometimes washes everything in 'gold-colored' light to make everything look gold for just a few moments.  The sun has to be at a certain angle as it is setting, and it doesn't happen every day, only sometimes.
On the set of 2 chains near the outer edge - between pattern repeats - I altered the two chains a bit.  The inner chain on my 'Ice Crystal' faces the opposite direction from the original pattern.  If you look very carefully, you may be able to find 3 'versions' of that inner chain before I settled on the one I preferred.  Altering the direction of the inner chain made it necessary to lengthen the outer chain, too: I added 3 DS and a picot - so the inner chain's picots did not overlap.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Back to the Lucky Clover doily (Blomqvist & Persson).  Here it is with the first two rounds finished.  One more round and it will be finished.  I am very happy with the color.  There is just 'something' about this design that calls to me to tat it:  not sure if it's the 'swirls' it seems to create with the chains and groups of rings, the use of 'negative space,' the lack of decorative picots, or the back-to-back 'points' that show up once the next round is added.  It all adds up to an attractive shape that makes me want to tat another, and another, and another. 
I haven't forgotten about the other two things, but I do tend to 'rotate' among several projects.  Everything seems to progress more smoothly when I work on at least three things.  Which one gets the most attention on any given day seems to depend on my mood - whether I feel like looking at/working with bright colors, dark colors, or something in between.  Sometimes it depends on whether I am awake enough to focus on a complicated pattern or whether I need something simpler.
Happy tatting!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back to the "Lucky Clover" doily: I started again with a different color. This is Sulky Cotton Blendables #12-wt, color 4015. I like it much, much better in this color.

Ever wonder just how much thread we use? Sounds crazy, but I've been wondering about that today. My spools of Sulky #12-wt are all 330 yards (300 meters).  A 330-yard spool goes a long way.  If a person used 5 1/3 whole spools of it, that would be about one mile of thread.  That would be a tremendous amout of tatting!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Motif #7

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right?  Seems like everything I've tatted for the last week or two had to be cut off, thrown away, or started over.  I've tried THREE times to get this doily center done, thinking it would be a good portable project if I did it in a light color.  The other two are in the trash can.  (Why is it I never seem to notice a really BAD error in the 'early' stages of something until I get almost to the END of it?)  FINALLY got this center finished, and now I don't like my color choices.  I'll probably do the doily eventually, and most likely still use a 'light' color, but it'll be something brighter than this sample.  It's OK - most of the time I really don't care if I have to cut off a mistake or re-do something, as long as I'm tatting.  Whatever the color, whatever the project, whatever the technique, even whatever the weather - if I'm tatting, it's a nice day.
This is the center from the "Lucky Clover" doily in Tatting Patterns & Designs by Blomqvist and Persson.  Patterns in this book are in what I think of as 'shorthand' form.  I don't think there are any diagrams in the book, but it has fantastic photographs, and that helps me quite a lot if I get 'stuck' somewhere in a pattern.  Thread used is DMC 80 Ecru and Sulky #12-wt.  Unfortunately sometimes the labels fall off of my Sulky spools, too, so the color number/name will have to remain a mystery.  For those long chains in the center, instead of doing a regular DS, I used the double-double stitch (DDS).  For my tension, 4 DDS equals 5 regular DS, so where the pattern said '10' of the regular DS, I did 8 of the DDS.  The double-double stitch makes very long chains smoother - they don't look crumpled and try to curl when you compress the long chains. 
Today I spent part of the afternoon tatting while the aroma of baking gingerbread floated through the air around me.  I was working on Renulek's tat-along at the time, trying to finish the 'current' row in time for the release of the next row tomorrow.  The gingerbread turned out very nicely.  The tatting is coming along well, also.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin - ready for the next round

So far there are five rounds on the doily.  Renulek's blog says that the next row will be given on Monday, and I am really looking forward to it.  The whole 'tatting along' idea is great fun, and it makes me wonder what the next row will be.  Once again I am taking a bit of a 'risk,' climbing out with a split chain, guessing that each picot in this round will be joined to an element in the coming round.  The threads sticking up at the top are still attached to the shuttles.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Update on Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin progress

Just completed Round 4 of Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin this morning.  This hasn't been pressed, blocked, shaped, or anything - just put it on the scanner, so it looks a bit crumpled from being held while I was tatting.  When I started this round I took a bit of a risk - decided that those picots would probably all join to Round 5, so I climbed out of Round 4 with a split chain - those 2 threads at the top of the picture are still connected to the shuttles. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This is one of my other projects - another doily designed by Jan Stawasz.  Instead of size 10 thread, I am using DMC 80 (ecru) and Sulky Blendables #12-wt (teal variegated).  I was SURE a full 5-gram ball of DMC would be plenty, since it was not the only color I was using.  I was wrong.  Today I cut several pattern repeats off (I had started the next round).  Dug through all my 'small thread' stashes to find my last ball of DMC ecru.  I am not worried about the difference in dye lot, because the threads are close enough to look alike in the sunlight, and there will be a round of teal rings between the 'old' ecru thread and the 'new' ecru thread.  There are two rounds left before this doily is finished.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Motif #6

Jane Eborall released the last 'puzzle piece' (section of pattern) for the 2014 Tat It And See (TIAS) game today.  If you haven't been participating, it's not too late to start.  Although Jane recommended using size 20 thread, I checked with her, then used Perfect Quilter 17-wt 'volcano' color for the sails and Sulky #12-wt quilting thread (solid color green, sorry, I don't know the color number for this one) for the rest of the boat.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Motif #5

This little shuttle-shaped medallion came from the 17 February, 2014 Online Tatting Class.  It is an 'oval' medallion by Norma Benporath.  I wanted to make a flower, leaves, and an 'edging,' so in this first one, the flower is an unidentified vintage tatting (size 80) thread.  Leaves are Sulky Cotton Blendables #12-wt, color 4015.  Outer edge is Sulky Blendables #12-wt color 4032 'Iris.'

Next I tried the same medallion, this time using tips from the class materials to do it in one pass.  I used Sulky Blendables #12-wt, color 4031 'Country Colonial' for this one.  Class materials showed how to use split rings with some floating rings and a split chain to do the entire medallion without having to cut, tie, and hide ends.  I did half of the medallion using the suggested path, then decided to experiment to see if I could do something similar using self-closing mock rings (SCMRs).  I tried 'stacking' two SCMRs on top of each other, which did not work very well, as you can see, if you look closely.  Finished the medallion anyway - after all, the shuttles were already filled and in my hands - may as well keep tatting.

Still in the 'experimenting' mood, I started another one, this time using 2 colors, the pink 'unknown' vintage thread and the Sulky 'Country Colonial' thread.  Color choice was entirely based on "which two shuttles have the most thread left on them?"  I started with the flower, leaving enough of a 'tail' to be able to use it to climb out of the flower and into the next 'round' with 2 split rings.  Once I was on the 'outside' of the medallion I changed to pink thread for the outer chains and hid the ends as I tatted that first chain.  This time I used SCMRs, but did not try to 'stack' them - just did 1 SCMR with a floating ring, finished the SCMR, and continued tatting 'normally' until it was time for another SCMR and floating ring.  The actual placement - WHICH ring should become the SCMR - in each case is probably not all that important as long as you keep track of where you are in the actual pattern.  I added a tiny picot - not much more than a bump - to the first floating ring where the rings of that 3-ring 'leaf' group would have originated, and as each subsequent floating ring added another 'leaf' to the inner group, I tried to make the join as invisibly as possible. 

In the process of experimenting, I discovered that in some ways the split ring/floating rings/split chain method was easier, and in some ways the SCMR/floating ring method seemed easier.  I think it probably depends on which technique a person feels most comfortable with, and possibly what sort of mood one is in at the time.  I still like my old-fashioned 3-color cut, tie, hide ends version the best.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin - Round 3

Finished the third round just as the sun was heading over to the other side of the house.  To tat with these dark colors, I really need the sunlight coming in the window over my shoulder.  I am looking forward to Renulek's next row.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Renulek's "Spring 2014" napkin (what I would call a doily, mat, or - if it gets really large - a centerpiece) is posted on her blog.  She gave the pattern for the center on Monday, 10 February (2014) and the second round today (Tuesday, 11 February).  This is such a pretty, lacy bit of tatting I really couldn't resist.
Here are the first two rounds, done in Sulky Blendables 12-wt cotton thread.  Color is #4022, Midnight Sky.  Sulky #12-wt works out (for my tatting tension) to be about equal to a size 80 tatting thread.  It is intended for quilting and machine embroidery, I think.  It is softer than 'the usual' tatting thread, but I love the colors and the 'feel' in my hands.  Picking out mistakes can be difficult, not just because it's tiny, but because it is more loosely twisted than a thread made specifically for tatting.   I can hardly wait for the next round.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Motif #4

I had tatted an edging for the sleeves of a long-sleeved blouse last fall, but it needed something more.  Since it was a 'mock-turtleneck' blouse, anything I edged the neckline with would have to stretch enough to pull over my head, then go back to it's normal size so it would sort of 'hug' the neck.  Finally decided to make a medallion, then decided instead of a medallion to sew on, I would try making a pin instead.  I plan to wear it pinned at or near the neckline, but here you see it pinned to one of the sleeves so you can see the edging. 
This is Perfect Quilter #17-wt cotton thread, color name is 'volcano.'  It's approximately equal to a size 80 tatting thread.
Happy tatting to you all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

For this first 25-motif challenge I decided to count only things I'd tatted this year.  I'd started this doily in the fall of 2013 and completed it just this week.  It's from Jan Stawasz's first book:  Tatting Theory and Patterns.  It was tatted using Valdani 35-wt. cotton quilting thread.  According to the Valdani website, their 35-wt. thread corresponds to US 24-wt thread.  I did a size 'guesstimate' using a medallion I've tatted so often that the pattern is memorized, and my best guess is it's somewhere around what might be considered size 90-100 in 'tatting' thread sizes.  The doily turned out too large to fit on the scanner bed, even using tiny thread.  Can't imagine how big it would be if I used the thread size recommended on the pattern.  It needed to fit on a quilt block, so I kept trying smaller and smaller threads until I got a good 'fit.'

Motif #3

This medallion is Wally Sosa's 'birthday/Superbowl' 'snowflake/medallion' for 2014.  It was featured in the Online Tatting Class 'Special Event' session on Sunday 2 Feb.  Wally's patterns are always fun to tat.  Thread used was size 30 in pink and very pale blue.  This is another 'anonymous' thread - labels are long gone.  At least I'd written the size on the inside of the spool.


Motif #2

The pattern for this bracelet came from Edwige Renaudin.  It was Monday's (3 Feb) Online Tatting Class lesson.  Another 'lost label' thread - I used Lizbeth size 20 in black and a purply-pink ombre.  Clasp is tatted so I can wear it - I'm allergic to some metals.  Bracelet is interlocking split rings.  There were two versions - one with the rings sloping upward, the other with the rings sloping downward.  I did the downward one. 

First motif of my first 25-motif challenge is a cupcake designed by Nancy Tracy.  Used vintage size 80 threads because I was determined to have a CHOCOLATE cupcake, and a nice, red cherry.  That was the only thread size with both colors.