Sunday, March 16, 2014

Japanese Doily, Take Two

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been working on a motif/doily from Tatting Lace by Sumi Fujishige. I made this motif earlier, back in November, 2012. You can see the post here.When I made it then, I was having trouble with the overlapping chains. I think I figured out how to make it, without unwinding bobbins and/or shuttles. Here's the centre or glass mat if you will:

It's not blocked yet, so it's a bit ruffly. This is the first two rounds of the doily. In order to get the shuttle to go through the interwoven chains, I used a narrower shuttle. Specifically, a Celtic shuttle. It works much better, apart from winding the thing seemingly all the time. The one I bought, a Lacis metal one, only holds about half as much as an Aero/Aerlit. I'm faily pleased with the result, and decided to continue tatting and make the next size doily. Oh, the thread is Lizbeth 20, colour #602 Natural.

And, like magic (and procrastination from blogging!) we have the third round finished:

It's still ruffled somewhat, but I think it will flatten out once blocked. This round was quick to tat. Probably because I was using a Pop-a-Bobbin shuttle for it. I am currently working the fourth round. It's an interwoven chain round, like the second round. It's slow going because I have to add thread every four or five clovers. Hopefully, I'll have it done by next weekend and I could do a quick post. I plan on making the largest version on the doily since rounds five and six are similar to three and four.

That's it for now. I have been making steady progress on round four, so I hope it won't take long to share it. I hope the weather is cooperating for everyone. We started warming up since my last post, and have had many days above freezing. Our high was 6 C today.  The snow is definitely melting, which is awesome to see. I just hope it keeps melting and doesn't snow anymore. It's been a long and cold winter. I'm looking forward to spring and summer. I have a lemon tree inside that has been flowering for the past few weeks. I've been pollinating the flowers as they open, so I'm hoping I may get a few lemons this year. Till next time.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Quick Update

I'm still here. I just haven't been tatting much apart from the TIAS. I have done a little more chainmaille, but not much, mainly my own stuff. There are a few crochet projects I'd like to make, but we'll see if they happen before spring.

Since I was managing to remember to send progress pics to Jane, I think I will skip to the final motif:

As I'm sure everyone is aware, Jane's TIAS this year turned out to be a Pirate Ship. OK, I think technically it's a "sailing ship" but that mine's a Pirate Ship. What's that? Who says a pirate ship can't have pink sails. Yeah, probably not the best choice, but if you did meet some pirates with a ship that had pink sails, you might not argue with them. Thread stats: Lizbeth size 20 #s 701 and 704 (the blue one). Thanks Jane for hosting the TIAS. It was lots of fun.

That's it for now. I am currently working a doily as my main tatting project right now. It is one I have partially done before, but found a more efficient way of working parts of it. I hope to do a proper post in a couple days. I hope to get a fain amount of tatting done as it supposed to be really, really, really cold this weekend. We're supposed to be in the minus 50's with the wind chill tomorrow. Which is better than the -60 something Environment Canada was forecasting yesterday. Till next time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

TIAS 2014, Days 4-8

Yeah. I haven't been posting these as often as I hoped. With the exception of a special tatting experiment (still in progress-will share when ready), I haven't done much tatting except for the TIAS tatting. I have been somewhat inspired to do some chainmaille lately. I learned two new weaves and made a few bracelets using them. I will share once I get some decent photos. 

Anyway, here are my TIAS 2014 progress pictures, these are days 4,5,6,7 and 8:

Jane is definitely making this TIAS difficult! I'm not sure if anyone has guessed it right yet, and  she won't tell us. I am having fun with this though.

That's it for today. I hope to spend the rest of today tatting. It's my birthday today, for anyone not on Facebook. My copy of Jan Stawasz's first book arrived today. I definitely hope to tat something from it today. Till next time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

TIAS 2014, Days 1 to 3

I'm still here. I didn't get as much tatted over Christmas as I would have liked. I had meant to post earlier, but I have been down with a cold for over a week now. I am feeling somewhat better, though, I'm not operating at peak efficiency yet. Actually, I haven't felt like doing much at all lately. I did some crochet last weekend. Nothing special. Just a new pair of slippers using a pattern I've used before. It may be my cold, but I just haven't felt like tatting much. I've been flipping though pattern books and I have a number of motifs picked out, but I just haven't picked up my shuttles yet. And speaking of cold, it was freaking cold out last weekend. With the wind chill, it was -50 outside! -34 or -35 without the wind. And I still had to go to work. Granted, it wasn't snowing or anything; I think the sun was out all day, but still. It did warm up by the end of the week, and we had single digit negative temperatures this weekend.

Anyway, as you can guess from the title, I am participating in Jane's latest TIAS (Tat It And See). Since I'm not busy with other stuff like the last TIAS (or two, I can't remember), I decided to participate. Here is my progress for the last three days:

Day 2 looks like a leg to me, but Day 3 kinda changed that. I have no idea what it could be right now. I'm sure Jane will keep us guessing right till the end. I'm using Lizbeth 20 #701 Dark English Rose. I have no idea why I bought this thread. It's not one of the colours I usually buy, but felt drawn to it for some reason. None of the photos above capture the colour correctly-even the colour of the smart cover on my iPad is wrong. The top photo is probably the closest. I'm not sure if I'll post after each days progress, we'll see.

I think that's it for now. I'll have to post again soon. I do have a few motifs that I tatted over Christmas that I remembered to photograph before giving away to share. I also found out some good news for some of us who were waiting for the reprint of Jan Stawasz's first book. It is currently available from Handy Hands. Or you can order it from the publisher here: . This is probably what I'll be doing. I don't really need anything else from Handy Hands to justify their shipping charges and I haven't noticed any of the other tatting suppliers offering the book yet. Handy Hands does have a number of new foreign language books I kinda want, but I am planning on purchasing some other books so they will have to wait. That's it for now. Till next time.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jan Stawasz Doily, Almost Finished

The tatting of the doily is finished. I just haven't blocked it or dealt with the ends yet. I actually finished tatting the doily a few weeks ago; it was actually pretty quick to tat once I got the stitch counts memorized. I haven't gotten around to posting it till now because I have been busy with work. You gotta love working retail at Christmas. Today was my last day before I go on four days off for Christmas. Let me tell you, I couldn't wait to leave work today! Granted it was freaking cold when I left the building; temperature didn't move much between -28 and -31 C today. It's supposed to get to -35 C tonight then warm up for several days. Which is nice as long as it doesn't snow. Anyway, I really need to make this post short, I still need to pack and do a million other things tonight so I can go to my parents house tomorrow.

Like I said above, the Jan Stawasz doily I tatted, Doily V, was fairly quick to tat. Lots of split rings for much of it. The outer scallops add interest to the pattern, though that's where I found some errors in the stitch counts. Anyway, here's the unblocked doily:

I'll post another picture once it's blocked. I had a few things to talk about as I was tatting the doily but I don't remember them right now. As a reminder, I used Lizbeth 20, #601 White thread. As I said, if anyone else wants to tat this doily, just be aware that there are a few errors in the stitch counts. It's not difficult to figure out the correct stitch counts. I am looking forward to tatting another one of Jan's designs.

That's about it for now. I do hope to get a fair bit of tatting done while I'm away. I'll share what I tat when I get back. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Till next time.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tatting a Jan Stawasz Design: Doily V

Wow! It's over a month since I last posted. I really hadn't planned on that. I guess between work and life, I never got around to posting till now. I still haven't made a PDF file of the football pattern I posted in my last post yet. You did see it right? You can find the pattern here. You may have noticed that my pattern links are gone from the top left sidebar. Keep & Share closed my account for some reason, and didn't tell me. I'm assuming the account was closed because I hadn't logged in for quite a while. I made a new account, but, um, forgot the password and just haven't dealt with it yet. Don't worry, I'll get them back up soon. Onward to the tatting! I have been tatting, honest!

I'm sure many of you may have heard that Jan Stawasz recently passed away. I only have his second book, though I have wanted his first book for a while. I do hope his publisher continues with the re-release of the first book. I started one of his designs a few weeks ago when I went out of town for the weekend. I chose Doily V, on page 35, as it didn't seem to use "Jan's Method" much.

I had to start the centre square over as I neglected to make the joining picots really small as Jan suggests. It cupped because of the larger picots. It still cups a bit, due to the joining picots on the corners, but I didn't really want to start over. I am hoping blocking it when it's finished will help it. I am currently working on the final round, or Part III as it is written in the book. Unfortunately, this round has some inconsistencies with the stitch counts. I'll talk about them when I'm done the round. I did try Jan's Method on a few rings, and it is pretty easy to do once you start doing it. It's basically a form of frontside/backside tatting. I had to cut off the round shortly after I started as I got mixed up with the stitch count inconsistencies. I didn't use Jan's Method, but I do see the difference now and am looking forward to tatting some of his other designs. I'm using Lizbeth 20, #601 White.

That's about it for now. I bought a couple more Pop-a-Bobbin shuttles from the latest batch that Jane posted last Saturday. I had to; I haven't bought one for a while. I also placed a small order from Bestitched as I wanted one of the new Aerlit shuttle colours, and matching bobbins. There was also a few new Lizbeth colours I wanted. Of course, I ordered a week early, and will miss the Black Friday sale they are having all weekend. Which reminds me, I'm having a sale too!

Starting at midnight (my time) everything is 25% off. This includes the already deeply discounted Sterling Silver. And that's not all! The coupon code located on the right sidebar can be used too. The sale will last all weekend, including Monday.

I had to buy a new battery for my truck a week ago so I would love to get some sales this weekend. Sales have been slow, though I know it's not just me. I'm not trying to guilt anyone by the way. Feel free to pass this on to other people who may be interested. I hope all my US tatting friends are having/had a great Thanksgiving. Till next time.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football!

Football related tatting that is. I am kinda nervous and excited to be part of The Football Blog Hop, organized by Catherine of Ancora Crafts. This is the first time I've been involved with a blog hop. For anyone not familiar with a blog hop, each participant creates a tutorial that they share on their blog. At the bottom of this post (and the posts of each participant) are links to the other participants. Make sure you check out their tutorials as well.

OK. My project is a tatted motif. Obviously, you'll need to know how to tat in order to make the motif. YouTube has a growing selection of tatting tutorials if you wish to learn. Alright, we got that out of the way, so now we can begin.

You will need:

  • 1 or 2 tatting shuttles or tatting needles
  • 1 ball of size 20 thread in the colour you want your football, I used Lizbeth #692 (Brown) and Flora #230 (Green)
  • 1 ball of size 20 thread in white, I used DMC Cordonnet
  • fine crochet hook (optional if your shuttle has a hook or pick)
  • a safety pin (coil less preferred), or a paperclip
  • scissors
At this point I should mention that I haven't tested the pattern using needles. It should work though.


R       Ring
SR     Split Ring
CH    Chain
vsp    Very Small Picot
LJ      Lock Join (AKA Shuttle Join)
-        Picot
---     Large Picot
J, +    Join (a normal join)
SLT    Shoe Lace Trick

Let's begin!

Wind a couple yards/metres of brown (or colour you want) thread continuously onto each shuttle. You can use just one shuttle and the ball if you are not comfortable with making split rings and split chains. I have noted the changes needed when necessary. Don't wind more than one yard/metre if you take this route.

Tatted Football ©2013 Jeff Hamilton

Round 1

R1: 3-3---(10mm)3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R2: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R3: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 6-6 RW
R4: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R5: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW 
R6: 3+3+3+3 RW
Sch: 6/6 Flip work. Do not cut thread

If you don't know how/don't like to make Split Chains, you can make the last chain 6-6, join to base of first ring. Cut, tie, hide ends.

Round 2

Now, if you made the split chain in round 1, leave a short length of thread before starting SR1. You are making a mock picot. If you didn't make a split chain, then make SR1 a regular ring like so: 8+8 RW. Make sure you join to one of the chains with only one picot.

SR1: 8/8 RW
Ch: 8-8 RW
R2: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 2-2 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 2-2 LJ RW
R3: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
CH: 8-8 RW
R4: 8+8 RW
Ch: 8-8 RW
R5: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 2-2 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 2-2 LJ RW
R6: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 8-8 LJ to base of SR1. Flip work. Do not cut thread.

Hmmm. Kinda looks like a dog biscuit, doesn't it? Don't worry, it won't stay that way for long.

Round 3

Alright, I have to say pretty much the same thing here as above. If you will make a split ring, leave a short length of thread before starting SR1. You are making a mock picot. If you don't know how/don't like to make split rings, then make SR1 a regular ring like so: 8+8 RW. Make sure you join to the space above the first ring you made in the previous round.

SR1: 8/8 RW
Ch:13 LJ 8 LJ 5 LJ 6 LJ 6 LJ 5 LJ 8 LJ 13 RW
R2: 8+8 RW
Ch:13 LJ 8 LJ 5 LJ 6 LJ 6 LJ 5 LJ 8 LJ 13 Join to base of SR1. Tie, cut, hide.

Still with me? Good. We're almost done.

Stripes (Make 2)

Wind a couple feet of white thread onto a shuttle and leave attached to the ball. Slip a paper clip or safety pin on the thread to begin. It will give you a place to hold onto and a picot. A twofer! You may find it easier later to make the first stitch a lock stitch.

Ch: 8vsp8 SLT, RW
Ch: vsp8LJ8 LJ to p made using paperclip, SLT, RW
Ch: LJ to previous Ch, J(to 1st picot on the football marked with a green dot, don’t make the join too tight )9LJ to space above previous LJ,9 LJ to last vsp on previous Ch, J(to the picot on the football marked with a red dot, don’t make the join too tight). If you have trouble with the joins don't worry. I don't think there is a right way or wrong way here. join as best you can.

Tie the shuttle and ball threads together then cut the threads. Take the threads to the back of the football and tie the threads together again. Hide them as you wish, or cut them close to the knot and leave them. Repeat for second stripe joining the stripe to the football using the second green and red dots.

Awesome! We now have a tatted football to use as you wish. I'm sure someone might mention it, but I didn't add stitches to the football. They would be easy to add if someone wants to. I think a pair of footballs would look pretty cool as earrings for the football loving lady. Strategic picots on the outer round could allow them to join to become something larger. Football doily, anyone?

I hope everyone had fun tatting the football. And of course, if anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I've tested the pattern pretty extensively (I have quite a few tatted footballs now), but if anyone finds an error or doesn't understand something please let me know. I will be releasing the pattern in PDF format soon. I hope to do so over the weekend. And to incorporate my favourite football team, The Saskatchewan Roughriders:

You can buy green footballs for the Roughriders apparently. Hopefully, that's not cheating.

Thanks for playing along. And be sure to check out the other crafters in the blog hop!