Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crocheted Torchon Lace, and Some Tatting

Where does the time go? I can't believe it's almost July. I keep meaning to post but never seemed to find the time. Fortunately I have been working on a some projects, surprisingly mainly tatting. As the title indicates, one of these projects is crocheted. I've even been working on some chainmaille.

I came across a pattern for a crocheted Torchon Lace edging in the May/June 2015 issue of Piecework Magazine, The Lace Issue, and had to try it. Torchon Lace is often made using bobbin lace techniques but can be made using other techniques, including crochet.

The pattern called for size 80 thread and a size 13 hook. There was no way I was going to try to crochet using size 80 thread. I'm sure it would look more like traditional Torchon Lace if I used that fine of thread. I used some size 20 Omega thread in colour #252. It measures about 2 inches wide. I would like to try the pattern again using a size 40 or 50 thread. Perhaps one day I'll try it in size 80 thread, but who knows if that will happen.

I finished the Japanese Doily at least a month ago. I worked on it quite regularly since my last post. It need some significant blocking, which I haven't done yet. I figured I'll share it anyway.

I haven't measured it and even if I did right now it probably won't be accurate. Technically there is supposed to be another round of interwoven chains and clovers, but since I found them painfully slow to tat, I don't want to tat that round. I actually like it this way. To me it looks finished, but I would love to know what other people think. Does it look finished or does it look like it's missing a round? The thread is Lizbeth 20, colour #602 Natural. I should point out that I almost ran out of thread by the end of the round. I have about a bobbins worth left. I bought another ball of this thread colour but they look significantly different. I'm not sure if it's because of a large dye lot difference or that the thread colour isn't #602 Natural. I lost the label from the ball.

Finally I'm going to give you guys a quick peek at what I'm currently working on, tatting wise.

This particular motif is part of the pattern I'm working on. I'll have to make 18 of them in total. Some (six) will be joined together, the rest used elsewhere in the patterns. And while it doesn't look it here, the colour is a pale baby blue.

That's about it for now. Since I doubt I'll post again for a few weeks, I'd like to wish my fellow Canadians a happy Canada Day tomorrow. And a happy Independence Day for my US followers. Till next time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm Still Here!

I'm still around, just been too busy to post. Or tat. I've been pretty busy with work, and life and just general stuff. It's not super busy at work, but busy enough. I got a new cellphone at the end of January-an iPhone 6. I got it mainly for the Apple Health features; the phone itself tracks steps taken and flights of stairs climbed and with the help of apps you can add other health related info as well as calculate other stuff- ie: calories burned, etc. You can also buy hardware products that integrate into Apple Health to-I bought a new blood pressure meter that is compatible with Apple Health which is cool. With the phone, and hopefully one day using a compatible standalone fitness tracker, I've been motivated to try to exercise daily. Especially on my days off. I also taught myself Indian cooking thanks to a cookbook I bought. It's pretty good and many of the recipes can be frozen. That means I can cook on my days off and freeze serving size portions for days I don't or won't have time to cook. I also discovered why I haven't felt like tatting much.

I think the main reason I haven't done much tatting lately is basically pure laziness. I discovered this the other day when I wanted to tat, but having to dig out and then wind the shuttles, find a pattern,etc. It doesn't seem like a lot of work or time but it seems like it's enough for me to lose interest. I don't know; maybe I'm just not in the mood. I was motivated to tat mid February however. I wanted to make a bracelet for myself and thought I'd try to make one using interlocking rings.

As you can see, I didn't get the spacing quite right initially but I did figure it out near the end of the sample. Yeah, I didn't actually plan to make a sample since I didn't realize I'd have issues with bare thread showing and stuff. As you may be able to tell, one the of the threads broke while I was closing a ring. I'm not sure if it was me or the thread. I was using two of the Manuela threads I bought. Hopefully I'll get around to trying this again. Perhaps I'll try the pattern again using size 10 thread instead of size 20. Whenever that'll be. I keep thinking I should go back to a pattern I know that I could mindlessly tat, maybe the Windmills motif/doily. Of course I have to find the thread, and wind a shuttle and...yeah, I sense a cycle.

Anyways, we'll see what happens tatting wise over the next few weeks. Maybe I'll get inspired and get some tatting done. There was and orchid show last weekend that I went to. It was awesome! I've never been to one before so I was completely overwhelmed with it all. I bought several new orchids while I was there. I'll try to make a whole post of pictures (I did take a number of photos the second time I went). Hopefully it won't take me two months to do it. Till next time.

Happy International Tatting Day!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chinese Dragon and Some New Thread

So, in my last post, I hinted at tatting a Martha Ess design. Well, here it is:

This is her Chinese Dragon from her newish book Flights of Fancy. It was very easy to tat-only two split rings for those of you who don't like tatting them, and as I mentioned earlier, I started it on a Saturday afternoon and finished it Sunday afternoon. Of the same weekend! I surprised myself on how quickly I tatted it. It might have been a fluke, but it doesn't matter. I'll have to make another one soon. As you can see, I didn't hide the threads when I finished as I don't know what I will do with it. It (or maybe they?) could end up sewn onto a t-shirt or perhaps mounted and framed. We'll see. Thread stats: Lizbeth size 20 in #404 Twirlz Mermaid Lagoon. I don't know about you, but I think this thread works for this pattern.

Finally, I want to show you guys some new threads that I bought fairly recently. Most of them are new to me.

If you can't tell from the picture, the four large balls are Manuela, the small blue ball is Flora, the copper coloured one is DMC Diamant, and the metallic blue is Razzle Dazzle. All were bought, again recently, from DS9Designs. For those of you who don't shop at this online store, the owner, Debbie purchased the remaining inventory of Catchpin Lacemaking Supplies after it shut down. She is slowly listing thread, books, and shuttles that she has. I actually have another order coming with more Manuela and Flora, as well as a book. I can't quite remember but I think the Manuela is supposed to be a good thread to tat with. I haven't tried it yet but will soon. I know the Flora is awesome and I'm sure many of you who have tried it will agree. It's the thread that Lizbeth replaced. As for the two metallic threads, well, I like shiny threads, and shiny things in general. I'll share how well they tat when I try them.

That's it for now. I haven't tatted much since my last post. I did some crocheting-but that was just another pair of slippers which you've seen already. I did get an order through my Etsy shop last night (first one of the year!) which will be easy to make; I plan on finishing the custom bracelet before bed. I also sold a sterling silver bracelet in the same order which is awesome as I've discounted them pretty severely in order to get rid of them as that product line wasn't doing great. Just two more to go and a pair of earrings. Till next time.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

First Post of The Year. And With Tatting!

Hello 2015! Yeah I know the year started for most of us almost three weeks ago. I actually can't believe that 2014 is already over. Its probably just as well; it was definitely a weird year. I'm not sure what 2015 is going to bring but we'll find out whether we are ready or not. As always I didn't make any resolutions this year.You can't break'em if you don't make'em! All joking aside, if something's worth changing in your life, any time is a good time to start. I am actually planning on getting one thing in my life fixed. A problem I never really thought I may have. Between a few things happening at work recently and paying closer attention to my own feelings/emotions, I have concluded that I may be suffering from depression or something related. I think I have been for a number of years. I intend on seeing my doctor soon. I'm keeping track of my thoughts and emotions first so I can better talk to him about it. I guess I hope 2015 will be a year of change for me.

Now that that's out of the way we can get to the tatting. I have been tatting quite a bit lately. I don't know if it has been the wonky shifts at work again or what, but I managed to fit some in nearly every day. The main project I have been working on has been the doily from the Japanese book Tatting Lace by Sumi Fujishige. It's taking way too long to do, and it's not even that big. I guess it hasn't been a year yet since I started it, but it's still not done.

Here it is after four rounds. It measures about 7 1/2 inches in diameter. I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue the pattern and make the final two rounds. I was thinking of just doing the next round only and not having the final round of intertwined chains with clovers. I really don't like having that round as the final one on the doily. I'll see after the next round. I case you forgot, 'cause I did, the thread is Lizbeth 20, colour #602 Natural. I probably should buy another ball of this thread if I don't have another one already.

The next bit of tatting I did was a pair of earrings tatted before Christmas. These were inspired by a pair Frivole tatted. The pattern is by Elizabeth Zipay and is available in her Etsy shop here.

The pattern is Tiny Tatted Snowflakes. There were very quick to tat-even for me! I made two pairs, one with beads and one without. I never took a photo of the one with beads. Elizabeth included a photo showing a number of bead related variation one can do with the pattern. I'm not sure if I used Lizbeth thread in white or DMC Cordonnet in white, the size was #20 though.

I also made a pendant pattern from Totusmel before Christmas as well.

This is Star Flower, available in Totusmel's Etsy shop, here. The inner green section was shuttle tatted in Lizbeth size 10, Christmas Green thread. The outer red section was needle tatted with Lizbeth size 20, Christmas Red thread. The thread sizes are correct. In order for the motif to look right when both shuttle and needle tatted I had to use two different sizes of thread. For me anyway, a shuttle tatted item comes out smaller than the same item that is needle tatted when using the same size thread. My tension is fairly tight with shuttle tatting. Since I don't needle tat often, my tension is fairly loose. Your mileage may vary.

Finally a quick photo of a new book I bought.

I thought the "quilts" looked cool, though I don't know if I will ever tat anything from the book. There are five patterns in the book, but as you can probably tell from the photo, there will be a lot of ends to deal with. For now, the book is mainly just for looking at; it wasn't really expensive so I don't feel too bad. I might try one of the simple patterns one day.

I think that's it for now. I started tatting a pattern from one of Martha Ess's books yesterday afternoon and miraculously finished it this afternoon. I amazed myself as I consider myself a pretty slow tatter with the attention span of a three year old. No foolin' there. But that will have to wait, as well as a new thread purchase. I have some thing for a new post without even trying! Now to find the time to write it...

Till next time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Well, I had hoped to post at least once before Christmas, but I ran out of time. I did get some tatting done though. I will have to blog about it after Christmas. It should be much quieter then. I've been pretty busy with work for the last month or so being in retail and all. I'm heading down to my parent's early tomorrow morning for several days. We'll see if I get anything accomplished. Till next time.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Just a Few Snowflakes

I haven't really accomplished much since my last post. I did manage a few snowflakes, and have been playing a bit with needle tatting over the last few days. Mainly just practicing split rings and lock stitch chains; I've never done either one before in needle tatting. I think I've got the hang of both techniques, but I don't care for the constant un-threading and re-threading the needle in order to do a split ring. And needle tatted lock stitch chains take forever. In case you're wondering, I'm not switching to needle tatting. I've purchased a few of Totusmel's patterns over the past few months and while they seem very doable with a shuttle they should be much easier with a needle. The patterns I'm planning on tatting have interwoven rings/Celtic style tatting. I am thinking that I might try doing shuttle tatting for part of the motifs and needle tatting for the rest. I'll share the results once I'm done. I had to order some more thread today (yeah, I'm sure I really needed it; I needed other stuff too!) so once I get it, I can tat the patterns.

Anyway, as I said earlier, I manage to tat three snowflakes lately. All are from Jon Yusoff's book Tatted Snowflakes Collection.

This is Circle of Crowns, tatting with Lizbeth Twirlz size 20 colour #403. I have to say, I really like this thread. I had no issues with it. I know I read that some people found it twisty, but it didn't seem anymore twisty than any other thread I've used. Mind you I do drop my shuttle(s) periodically while tatting; I don't know if that made a difference or not.

This snowflake is called Oasis. This was tatted with the same thread as above. Fairly quick to tat. Its not block yet, as you might be able to see. I made the picots on the centre ring to long because I didn't read the pattern before tatting, and I thought they needed to be large because of the three rings that seemingly join to it. I might remake it if I have time/remember. I don't think anyone will notice, however.

This is The Twirly. It was fairly quick to tat. However it was a very bad thread colour choice on my part. This was tatted with Lizbeth Twirlz size 20 colour # 407. I thought it might work. Didn't think that choice through. It's looks like a muddy snowflake. I'll definitely have to remake this one.

That's it for now. I do plan on tatting more snowflakes and hopefully a few other motifs. I can't believe it's going to be December 1 tomorrow. I've got a few chainmaille items to make this week for gifts. Speaking of chainmaille, everything in my shop is 25% off for anyone interested. I've got items suitable for both men and women. The sale will end midnight Monday. Till next time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Windmills Doily and a Mouse

Finally, I can show you guys the Windmills doily as it is currently. I did hope to post this earlier in the week, but posting during the week just doesn't seem to work for me. I really haven't done as much tatting as I'd like, but I am hoping that will change soon. The temperatures have dropped quite a bit lately, and we've even gotten a little bit of snow. I do feel like tatting some snowflakes right now. I picked out a few designs to make and I bought a couple balls of the Lizbeth Twirlz thread to try. With some luck and free time, I'll have something to share regularly.

I think I'm done with the Windmills doily for now. I do plan on making it larger, just not right now.

Before I do any more tatting on it, I probably should block it. Because it has taken me so long to get to this point, my tension varies a bit with each tatting session. I'm not sure what I'll do with it when I start working on it again. I'll probably add more motifs to make it more round again, but we'll see. I forgot to measure it, but it is getting pretty big. DMC Cordonnet size 20 thread in white.

Finally, I want to share my first Bauble Tatted creature. The mouse:

He is from the Shuttle Brothers' book Tatting GR-8 Baubles, Bugs and Blossoms. This was fun to tat. I see why Jane E. likes to make them. Making the mouse means I am now a full member of Jane's Exclusive Tatting Club. Once you are familiar with the bauble tatting technique, the mouse wasn't too difficult to tat. I did mess up the first time, I think I got my stabilizer/rib threads mixed up near the beginning or it went inside out or something. My mouse looks smaller and rounder than the one in the book. Mine is about 1 1/4 inches long without the tail and about 3 inches long with the tail. The mouse is one of a couple in the book that do not include measurements so I'm not sure what size it should be. I'm pretty sure that I snugged all the stabilizer/rib threads too much compacting the mouse's body, that's why mine isn't as long as it should be. I do plan on making more bauble creatures (plant and animal) but I think I'll give them a rest for a while.

That's it for now. Hopefully I will get around to tatting some snowflakes this week. It is a short week because of Remembrance Day on Tuesday. Until next time.