Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quantiesque Snowflake

Just a quick update; not ready to post anything else yet. I finally got around to tatting Jon's gorgeous Quantiesque snowflake. Here is my attempt:

My attempt at this pattern doesn't do it justice. This is one gorgeous flake (I think I said that already...). I can see why everyone has been tatting it for the last few days. The pattern is easy to follow, and doesn't use any difficult techniques. Highly recommended for all tatters to try. That is, if there are any left who hasn't tatted it already! For this flake, I used Valdani Pearl cotton size 12 in colour number M95: Mediterrana, and DMC Cordonnet size 30 in white. I love Valdani threads, but, I guess due to the the six cord thread and HDT I have be using lately, I wasn't used to how soft the thread is. I guess I'll have to start using it more often. I also think that the pearl cotton and DMC thread were not quite the same size as the the second section (the white part) seems a bit larger than it should be. I will make the snowflake again, using better matched threads. Perhaps in HDT.

That's about it for now. I will hopefully have my other pictures ready to post soon. I also have a few orchid photos to share; one new one (I know, I know) and one I've had for a while that recently had a opened flower. That's all for now. See ya.

Oh, I almost forgot. Jon, if you see this post, you have my permission to copy my photo of your snowflake to post on your blog.

Now playing: The Grass Roots - Let's Live for Today
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I'll post again in a few days once I recuperate from the holidays!

NB: I meant to have this post set as a scheduled post but I forgot about it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Yarnplayer's Dream Pendant

After Yarnplayer (AKA Marilee) posted her variation on her own "Dream" necklace and earring pattern, I just had to try it. And here is my attempt:

The original pattern is pretty easy to make and Marilee's variation doesn't add much complexity to the pattern. For this pendant, I used some of Marilee's "Purple Punch" HDT along with some metallic purple size 8 seed beads, size 6 silver lined crystal seed beads, and some very light purple drop beads. With all this purple, this pendant will obviously be a Christmas gift for my mom. I may be able to make a couple more for gifts before Christmas. I'll have to see. This is motif #16 of my second 25 Motif Challenge. Till next time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Presenting.... The Mermaids!

This blog entry is rated R.

Happy, Tattingchic? Just kidding.

Well, I've threatened to show them. And many of you wanted to see them. Here they are. Bring out the ladies:

These are Martha Ess's Block Tatted Mermaids, sometimes referred to as the Naughty Mermaids. I can't imagine why. Actually, I can think of a couple of reasons. VBG! By the way, this is a very guy friendly pattern. These three, in order of appearances, went to my dad, uncle, and brother last year for Christmas. I still need to make one for me. I will show her when I do. Did I hear someone say they wanted a closer look? You command and I obey:

I'm not sure if it is obvious, but these mermaids were made into bookmarks. In case your wondering, I used the following threads: DMC Cebelia 30 in colour # 754 (peach), 797 (blue), 666 (red), & 699 (green). The hair was made with Finca pearl cotton size 8 in colour #741. The sea weed was made with Finca pearl cotton size 8 in an unknown variegated green (unknown because I can't find the label!). I should mention (again) that these were made last year and are not part of my 25 Motif Challenge. I hope you have enjoyed this post, and fully recommend this pattern to other tatters. If you wish to make them more acceptable (Gasp!) you could use small shells to cover her, um, you know.


The above pattern was created by the brilliant Martha Ess, and only tatted by yours truly. The pattern was posted on Martha's website over a year ago. This proves that I did not introduce any indecency to the art of tatting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snowflakes, Turtles, and Snow

As with many other people, I have been busy working on Christmas gifts. I do have a few tatting related items to show. However, I would like to mention something first. Snow! I can't stand it! We didn't have any snow until recently. It started last week, and it seems that it is snowing nearly every day now. And (I'm not sure if this is just local, or if it happens everywhere), but after the first snowfall of the year, most drivers forget how to drive in the stuff. I think I got that out of my system right now. Be prepared to hear this again in January.

The first tatted motif I have to show is the third snowflake for the Snowflake Round Robin:

I should mention that this is not the snowflake I sent to my next partner. I was in a rush to get it mailed and I forgot to scan the thing. I heard that. I prepared this snowflake earlier for just such an emergency. OK, not really, I just really like this pattern. The snowflake is called "October Enchantment" by Lenore English. I used DMC Cordonnet size 30 thread to make the snowflake. This is motif # 12.

The next snowflake is one designed by Nancy Tracy:

I don't even remember seeing this snowflake of Nancy's. I'm not sure how I could have missed it. The snowflake was actually pretty quick to tat. I tatted the snowflake continously instead of cutting and tying each round. I used DMC Cordonnet thread size 30 (I think) for this snowflake. This snowflake was supposed to be used for the Snowflake RR, but at over 4 1/2 inches in diameter, it came out much too big. I'm going to use it for a Christmas gift instead. This is motif # 13.

The third (and final) snowflake is again a Ruth Perry design;

Again, this is Ruth's Celtic Snowflake 2008, this time done in some HDT. I used some of Yarnplayer's "Winter Blend" HDT in size 50. I just love this pattern, and Marilee's HDT. This snowflake is also going to be a Christmas gift. I currently have another one of these snowflakes in progress, but done in a different thread. The Winter Blend Celtic Snowflake is motif # 14 of my Second 25 Motif Challenge.

Finally, I made another one of Teri's turtles. This time, fully, cloth---er, shelled. Be warned Tattingchic, I will show the mermaids that I made from Martha's pattern. And you thought a naked turtle was bad!

This turtle was made using C-lon Micro thread. This is the thread that Teri recommends for her turtle patterns. It is quite nice to tat with, as long as you don't tat too tight. It does handle a little retro-tatting if necessary. And as a bonus, due to it's stiff nature, items made with it shouldn't need stiffening. BTW, this turtle is mine! I hope to make a few more yet before Christmas. This is motif # 15.

I think that is all for now. Besides another snowflake to make for the SRR, I may not get much tatting done. I have two afghans to crochet for Christmas gifts. That isn't as big a feat as you may think. I am using Super Bulky weight yarn and a size S (19mm) hook. Yes, you heard the size right; there is a hook available that is bigger than a Q! Till next time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update! Naked Turtle No Longer Naked

Due to recent insomnia, I worked on the turtle last night. And here is the final result:

The beading part of the pattern went pretty quickly (to my surprise). I couldn't find the beading needles that I had bought (for a purpose that I don't remember!), so I used the next best thing, a floss threader. Yup, I used a floss threader to do the bead work. It worked, but next time I will use an actual needle. Teri doesn't mention what she uses to do the beading. I really like how the turtle turned out and will make some more. I see some of these becoming Christmas gifts. Since the size 50 thread worked, I might try some HDT next time.

I never mentioned why I wanted to make this pattern. It's because there isn't very much tatted jewelry or wearables for men. Sure, Ruth Perry has a few patterns that she calls masculine as well as a few that could be made manly (the Celtic watchband in her new book for example). I'm sure there are others that could work. I don't wear much jewelry; only a chain with a Sterling silver dragon on it. I would love to wear some tatted items besides what can be sewn onto clothing but it has to be masculine looking. A tatted dragon would be nice, but most are too big for my purpose. Anyway, that's all I have right now, I'm starting to ramble. Later.

BTW Tattingchic, I almost choked on my Coke when I read your comment on the previous post! Should I have my blog rated R now?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Snowflake, Stone Discs, and a Naked Turtle

It's been a while since I last posted. I have been alternating between snowflakes for the Snowflake Round Robin (have a look at the gorgeous snowflakes that have arrived at their destinations, but remember to come back!), and working on Christmas gifts for various family members. These gifts are crocheted, but I will have pictures once they are done. Here is my next snowflake that I sent this past Friday:

This is "The Eighteenth Day of Christmas" by Lene Bjørn from her book "24 Snowflakes in Tatting". Again, for this snowflake I used DMC Cordonnet size 50 thread and Guttermann Metallic thread. I wanted to use this thread combination for all of the snowflakes I am making for the Round Robin, but I will probably run out of the size 50 thread before I am done, so I will have to use other threads as well. This snowflake is motif # 11 of my Second 25 Motif Challenge.

Like many people (I think, anyways), I am facinated by the tatted turtles that Teri Dusenbury makes. If you go to her blog (remember, come back when you are done!), and scroll down, you will see some of her turtles. She has the pattern available for a fairly simple version of her turtles. If you want it, go to her blog, and on the right side under Tatbits Tatting Patterns, select the Tatting: Turtles link. Once there, select the bottom pattern (Tatting Turtles Agile.......). I don't know if I should link directly there, so I won't. Anyway, for the turtle you need these small stone discs for the turtles shells. These discs look like this:

I know, discs are round and these are oval, but bear with me. The green discs are Jade and the others are Tiger's Eye. The small discs are the size that Teri calls for in the pattern, but I wanted to get a couple larger discs so I can try to scale up the pattern. I said try. I also ordered some of the thread that Teri calls for as well (I guess you could call four spools some).

While I am waiting for the thread to come, I decided to give the pattern a run through to see if I could even make the turtles. Here is where the naked turtle comes in! Presenting the naked turtle:

See? It has no shell; so it's naked! I guesstimated the thread size to be about a size 50, and I think that it is very close. Probably somewhere between a 40 and 50, but I may be able to add the shell. If you are unfamiliar with the pattern, the shell (ie: the stone discs or cabochons) are beaded onto the tatted turtle which encloses the disc in the process. I am planning on trying this real soon, though I don't know how well this will work. Teri waxes the thread heavily while working with it for both the tatting and bead work, and I don't have any "wax" (the product she uses isn't actually wax) to use so I will skip that step.

That is pretty much it for now. I'll try to post again soon. Until next time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Snowflake Round Robin and Wooden Boxes

I think I mentioned earlier that I joined the Snowflake Round Robin that Sharon B. is running. Our first snowflakes have been made and sent, and a few lucky people have already received theirs. I know these things because I'm the Group Coordinator. Anyway, since I haven't received mine yet, I'll show you what I made for my first partner:

This is, again, Ruth Perry's Celtic Snowflake 2008. This time, I made the snowflake in DMC Cordonnet size 50 combined with Guttermann's Metallic Thread. This is the same thread I mentioned in a previous post. This combination works out to be equivalent to a size 30 thread. It is about 4 inches in diameter. The colours of the metallic thread really comes out in a larger sized piece of lace. I love this thread! I'm going to count this as motif #10 of my Second 25 Motif Challenge.

Inspired by Diane's recent find at Michaels, I decided to get one myself.

Yup. It's one of those Photo Treasure Boxes. I'm pretty sure it is slightly different from the one Diane found. But I guess that is to be expected; I'm sure each Michaels store has a slightly different inventory. I figured that the box would make a nice shuttle box to hold my small but growing shuttle collection. It is a little small for this purpose, at least for the way I envision it to be. You be the judge:

It only holds maybe 4-6 shuttles, depending on the size. Not to worry (I'm sure none of you will, but bear with me), while I was at Michaels I saw another box that looked suitable. I went back a few days later, armed with a 50% off coupon, and purchased the box. Here it is:

Michaels calls it a "Cigar Box", but to me it was screaming "Shuttle Box"! The approximate outer dimensions are as follows: 8 1/2" x 8 1/4" x 1 3/4". I think it will be very suitable. See for yourself:

See. I told you. Now, I need to finish the box to make it work. I was thinking of painting the box. What colour you ask? I was thinking of a nice glossy bl.................. black! What were you thinking? After it is painted, I will line the bottom with black felt. Finally, to hold the shuttles in place, I'll add some loops of elastic. This will probably wait for a while. I have a few crocheted gifts to make, and of course snowflakes for the Snowflake RR. That's all for now.
Now playing: The Puddle Jumpers - Pay the Piper
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rainbow Snowflakes: What a Difference Colour Makes

You knew it was coming. You had to. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I purchased some of Pamela's Rainbow HDT. Of course, I had to make a Rainbow snowflake. Here it is:

This is called "Kim's Snowflake" designed by Kim Millar. It is probably my favourite snowflake pattern. I have made this pattern in a variety of threads: regular cotton, metallic, glow-in-the-dark. And have used beads in combination with the above threads. Diane probably can make MK's Spinning Wheel in her sleep; I could do Kim's Snowflake in my sleep. As mentioned I used Rainbow HDT in size 60. The snowflake is about 2 inches in diameter. This is motif # 9 in my Second 25 Motif Challenge. I forgot to mention in the last post that the Invisible Tatted Layered Snowflake (ITLS) is motif #8.

I figured I should mention my attempts at blocking the ITLS last night. I tried ironing it. My iron has a "Nylon" setting which I figured should work. It didn't. The temperature seemed too low (I think you know where I'm going with this....). Being a man I turned the temperature up. And............

It didn't help. I didn't crank the temperature too high (just to be safe). You know, I think I would rather have a wavy snowflake than a melted one. Now I just have to find it ............

Oh, before I forget, the ITLS was featured today (Nov 4) on the Needlework News blog. You'll have to scroll down to find it. Pretty cool. That's all for now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Invisible Snowflake, Adventures with Thread, New Toys, and a Mutated Orchid

I have continued playing with invisible thread. I finished the Tatted Layered Snowflake:

This, of course was designed by Nancy Tracy. As Diane mentioned last week, when I first posted about invisible thread tatting, the snowflake looks like it is made out of ice. I have to agree. Unfortunately, the snowflake is kind of wavy and uneven 'cause I haven't blocked it yet. Why not? I'm not sure how to block nylon thread. I highly doubt wetting and pinning it out like you would with cotton thread would work. If I remember right, the packaging the thread came in said the thread can be ironed. I may try that. Maybe. I figured I'd post a photo of the unblocked snowflake in case I end up with a puddle of nylon. Of course, I would need to layer it in between some fabric. Right? Anyway, in case anyone else is wanting to join Jane and me in the joys (???) of tatting with invisible thread, here is some info that may be useful. The thread I'm using is Coats Transparent Nylon thread, size 0.005 (not sure what unit of measure they are using). Four strands of this thread equals approximately a size 80-90 cotton thread. According to Jane, two strands of size 80 equals a size 20 (it does, by the way), so logically, the same would apply here. Eight strands of the thread should equal about a size 20 thread. I haven't tested this. If anyone wishing to try tatting with invisible thread has any questions, just ask.

Moving on. While at Wal*Mart the other day, I came across some really nice looking metallic thread. It's Guttermann's Metallic Thread (I don't recall the actual name if different). Here's a pic:

The scan doesn't do this thread justice. It is really nice looking thread. And it is really fine. I haven't attempted tatting with a single strand of it. I did try tatting with it combined with another thread. Here is a scan of that attempt:

You should be able to see the colours better here. For this sample, I used the metallic thread with DMC Cordonnet size 100 thread. Size equivalent of these two threads combined? Drum roll...... size 80! Approximately. I planned on using this thread with the invisible thread, but I think I will be using it for the snowflakes I am/will be making for the Snowflake Round Robin that I have joined. Of course you won't see them for a while.

I recently purchased a new monitor for my PC since my old monitor has bee acting funny, and basically threatening to die. I had to get an LCD monitor (like there was any other choice!), and it had to be bigger than the CRT monitor I had already (just a little quirk of mine, no real reason for a larger monitor). I had initially planned on purchasing a 20" LCD monitor, but when I got to Staples, that changed (it always does, doesn't it?). They had a 22" widescreen LCD monitor on sale. It was only $20 more that the 20" one I had decided on. So the 22" monitor ended coming home with me. It looks awesome! I've only used an LCD monitor a few times before, so I'm still getting used to it. I also got a new cellphone earlier this week. I haven't had a cellphone for a couple years now, but with winter coming (unfortunately!) I felt I should get one again. I've been lucky the last few years and haven't needed it when traveling, but you never know. And the best part about the phone I got is that it was free! When all is said and done it is, anyway. If it matters, I got a Motorola W385 phone. Out of the phones the carrier offered, it seemed to have the best user ratings at various opinion websites.

Finally, I wanted to show you a picture of what probably is my last new orchid till spring.

This is a Phalaenopsis, just like most of the others I posted, but something is different with this one. It has what I believe are Peloric flowers. That is, the two petals have mutated for some reason to look like the lip of the orchid. So the flower looks like it has three lips. Some people may not like the way it looks, but I think it's kinda cool. It was the reason I bought it after all. Apparently, the flowers can revert back to normal, depending on how stable the mutation is. So I'll have to wait and see what happens next year when it flowers again. I think that's everything right now. See ya later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Snowflakes, BEANILE Lace, and Invisible Tatting

I had a pretty good time at my parents last weekend, though I didn't get much tatting done. Did some crocheting though. Unfortunately, I didn't see my aunt. So more lessons will have to wait until Christmas. Now on to the tatting. The first motif is Ruth Perry's Celtic Snowflake 2008:

I love Ruth's Celtic designs. For this snowflake I used DMC Cordonnet thread in size 20. Size 20 made a large snowflake. This one is approximately 5 inches from point to point. I will have to make this snowflake again in smaller thread, probably a HDT. For those of you interested, the pattern is available from Ruth's Celtic Tatting group. The actual tatting is easy with only a couple split rings. I used approximately 5.5 yards of thread on shuttle 1 and 7-8 yards of thread on shuttle 2. This is motif #6 for my Second 25 Motif Challenge.

My next motif is a BEANILE Lace pendant designed by Nina Libin:

The pendant is called BNL-162b and is from Nina's newest Lace of Beads book called "#15 Translating Ideas Into Lace". I love Nina's BEANILE (which stands for Beadwork by Nina Libin) lace designs, but threading on all the beads can take a loooooooooooong time. However, with this pendant, and some beads I purchased at Wal*Mart, I discovered a trick to load large amounts of beads. The beads I purchased were prestrung (which is important here). Basically, to transfer the beads from the temporary strand that the beads came on to your tatting thread, you simply tie the two threads together and slide the beads from one thread to the other. Now the beads need to be large enough to pass over the knot (which the beads I tried this with were; some of them were a size 11). Once enough beads are transferred , you can untie or cut the knot and wind your shuttles. Now that I know this, I have to buy more beads that are prestrung. This pendant is motif #7. The pendant was given to my Mom as part of her birthday gift. She loved it.

Finally, I finally tried tatting with Invisible thread. It was, interesting. Here's a picture:

Like I said, the results were interesting. Kind of ethereal looking. This is the centre of Nancy Tracy's Layered Tatted Snowflake, available here. I only wound enough thread to make the centre of the snowflake. Since the invisible thread is really fine, I used four strands together. If I decide to continue, I will probably need to get several more spools of the thread for ease of winding large amounts of thread. You probably don't want to know how I managed to get four strands of thread off of one spool, without dropping them. It wasn't that bad, but I don't think I could explain it. I still need to do some experimenting with the thread. I would like to make a sample to compare the size to other threads. I also had a thought of adding a single strand of metallic filament thread to the invisible thread. And if I could match the thread to a size 20 or 30 thread, the thread might look cool as the fins on my Betta. Now look at what you started Jane! Hopefully I will get some more tatting done. I got some of Pamela's Rainbow thread, so expect to see something made out of it. That's all for now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not Much To Show

I didn't get as much tatting done as I would have liked. Since my last post I managed to complete a pendant and one earring. I am also on day 8 of TIAS 4, but I'll print off the rest of instructions and will try to finish it. As I mentioned briefly in my last post, my workplace was set to strike, but fortunately it didn't happen, so I had to work (which isn't a bad thing; money=good). Because this weekend (Monday actually) is Canadian Thanksgiving, I will be going to my parent's house for the weekend; I'm leaving tomorrow after work. So I "should" get some tatting done over the next few days.

I may also get to see one of my aunts who is trying to learn how to tat. It's kinda hard to teach someone when you only see them a couple times a year. I've provided her with links to guides and videos to help her when I'm not there. The last time I saw her, she was having trouble with the flip. So, I got her a tatting needle, and will try needle tatting with her (if I see her that is). And I may even get to photograph the Bird of Paradise flower I made earlier. Now, I wonder if I could count it as part of my currant 25 Motif Challenge? Arrivederci, till next week.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tatting, Canning, Ebook Reader, and Orchid Photos

Well, the title says it all. This is going to be a long post. I've been meaning to post but just haven't had time (heck, I barely managed to update the Challenge page yesterday). I'll start with the tatting since that is what my blog is mainly about.

Motif number 5 for me is a pair of earrings for my mom's birthday.

These earrings are Yarnplayer's (Marilee) Carnival Earrings. Pattern available on her website. For the earrings, I used some of Yarnplayer Purple Punch HDT, a couple light purple crystals, and metallic purple size 8 (I think) seed beads. Gee, I wonder what colour my mom's favourite is? Actually, that may be too much purple for me. Getting weak.......must see blue ..........

That's better. As you can see, I am retatting my Male Betta (in the thread from Sylvia). This time trying to write out the instructions. I wrote out the pattern for the body shortly after posting the finished motif, but the fins have been rather daunting to write out. I'm not 100% sure how to write out block tatting, so it is going to take time. Knowing me, it'll be 6-8 months. OK, maybe not that much time. Hopefully I can get back to working on him soon. I've also been working on the Lucky Clover doily, but won't post an update picture until it is done. I have been working on TIAS4 too, but I haven't scanned it yet. One of these days.

Now, the main reason I haven't been tatting is because I have been doing some canning this year. Since several grocery stores have apples on sale right now I have been focusing on them right now. So far I have made half a dozen pints of Apple Butter (and will probably make some more), half a dozen half-pints of Apple Jelly (the recipe said it will make 3 half-pints & I only made one batch; go figure), and I hope to make some applesauce after work tomorrow. I'm not going to mention the Mint Jelly; something didn't work out, and think it was me! This jelly has a consistency somewhere between rubber cement and regular cement. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure I overcooked it. Maybe it was for the best, since my mint must have been too old and the jelly had no mint taste; the plant has been flowering/trying to flower for the past month or so. I hope to make some pickled carrots as well; I just have to find some dill.

Now, next on my list is my new ebook reader. As I mentioned previously, I was saving up for one of Sony's Portable Reader System (PRS-505) ebook readers and I finally got it. Diane mentioned that her mom got one of Amazon's Kindles, but since the Kindle isn't available in Canada (or anywhere else except the USA) it wasn't an option. Since many fellow tatters are offering their books in PDF format (and due to the fact that I tend to print web pages and the like to PDF files) an ebook reader was quite logical for me. Here is a photo of the device displaying one of my newest ebook purchases:

Hopefully Linda won't mind me showing the cover of her new book. The photo show the text as being a bit blurry, but in reality, it isn't. If anyone is interested, ebooks available from Toni Storer, Nina Libin, and Linda Davies are readable on the Sony PRS-505 after being formatted for the reader's screen size. Some of the large diagrams in Toni's books may difficult to read by some people. But that is what the computer and/or a printed copy is for.

Finally, I'll finish this post with three orchids photos from the three orchids I purchased over the last couple months. All three are NOID Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids), but they are still very pretty.

Not really much to say about these. Not like I needed anymore orchids, but I couldn't resist. I haven't purchased any orchids since. If you don't count the two Phalaenopsis species seedlings that I got off eBay. No, we won't count them since they are still small and won't flower for a couple years. I guess I should finish the Betta pattern, and the Venus Fly Tat so I can work on the tatted Phalaenopsis I have drawn out. Well, kinda drawn out; I created outlines of each flower part and just have to fill in. Something tells me that they would be great block tatting candidates.

I have more plant photos, but I'll leave them for another day. Since my mom's birthday is coming up and the possibility that my workplace may go on strike (which may give me more time), I will probably have other tatted items to show within a week or so. Stay tuned. That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Do You Do If Your Thread Bears Are Misbehaving?

Give up? Why, you make them into rugs of course!

OK. I didn't actually turn a miniature crochet thread bear into a rug. It was made that way. Isn't it cute? I was actually looking for something else when I found this pattern (located here). If you're interested I was looking for a pattern for a full sized crocheted bear rug. It does exist. I'm not crazy. Don't say it Jane! I did find a pattern in a copy of "Needlecraft for Today", but I can't find that issue. I don't know much about the magazine. All the issues I have (from my mom) are from the early '80's. It is similar to "Workbasket" but bigger in size. Some the issues did contain tatting patterns, which are mostly the issues I have. Anyway, I thought the bear rug would look good with my Zebra rug. I haven't showed you my Zebra rug? That won't do; here you go:

I found this pattern at ePatternsCentral.com. I don't know if it is still available (it's not, I just checked). The patterns change frequently. They had a bunch of tatting patterns, but those seem to be gone now too. Anyhoo, the Zebra rug was quite simple to make; it just took a long time. The white part is done like filet crochet. Then a lot of black chains are made. These are then used to create the stripes using techniques similar to needlepoint. I really love this rug, but it ended up MUCH larger that it should have. It is a little over 5 feet long and 3 feet wide when it should be somewhere around 3-4 feet long and 2-2.5 feet wide. I guess I should have checked my gauge!

Onward to tatting. I got the three dragons in my mug. It looks pretty good. Here are pictures of all three dragons (one at a time):

I used invisible thread to sew the dragons onto the plastic aida cloth. The invisible thread was a pain in the *** to use. I can't believe Jane uses it to tat with. She must have bionic eyes in order to see it. I think she doubles it first, but still. I have a confession though. The invisible thread I bought is some that Jane recommends for tatting with (it is a made in the USA kind) because, wait for it, I want to tat with it too! More on that when and if anything happens. Maybe I am insane ......

I haven't done much tatting otherwise. I am following Sherry's TIAS. I haven't the faintest idea what it is. I don't have pictures ready yet but I'll post them when I do. I could write more, but I have to work in the morning and I would like to shave and trim my goatee tonight before bed. Later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Dragons! I'm Surrounded!

more animals, picture courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com

I couldn't resist this picture, being a dedicated Firefox user. Now back to my regularly scheduled blog post.

I have been working on the second dragon for my mug. Here's a picture of it. The colour is very vivid in the scan.

As I mentioned earlier, I used Omega thread, in size 30. This is the first time I have used Omega thread. I am quite pleased with the thread. Handy Hands says its a 6-cord thread, but I haven't dissected a sample yet to know for sure. I am going to have to buy more Omega thread next time I place an order from Handy Hands.

After making the Omega dragon, I began to arrange the two dragons on the canvas. Of course, after a few minutes, I realized there was too much space left on the canvas. What to do? Naturally, I HAD to make another dragon!

As you can see, this dragon isn't very happy. He seems to resent being made last. I haven't seen anyone make the fire-breathing dragon variation of Anne's dragon, so I had to. This dragon is made with Pamela's HDT called "Coral Reef". I love this colourway! Pamela is fairly new in the HDT trade, but she certainly has a way with colour. I look forward to her future colourways. Back to the dragons.... These are Motifs 3 & 4 in my 2nd 25 Motif Challenge. I hope to sew the dragons onto the canvas tonight. I'll show my progress soon. Then I'd better get back to my doily. That's all for now.


more animals

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dragons are Invading Canada!

Well, one dragon anyway (it's still an invasion!). I finally got to make one of Anne Bruvold's Flying Minor Norwegian Dragons. Here it is, done in, wait for it, blue thread (bet you didn't see that coming!):

This is my motif # 2 of my second 25 Motif Challenge. Anyone who has tatted Anne's dragon will see that I made one mistake. I forgot to join the second ring (or third, depending on how you look at it) on the left wing to the body. I didn't notice until I was attaching the second wing. Oh well. I am going to attach this dragon to the weird plastic aida cloth (yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to use it) that the mug came with. I'll join the ring to the body when sewing it on. No one will notice. No one! For this dragon, I used the Altin Basak thread that Sylvia gave me. The thread is colour number 344. I love this pattern. And I love the blue! Thank you Anne for sharing the pattern with us.

I haven't done much tatting lately. I've had a cold for the last few days. I still have it actually, but it's not as bad as it was. I'm also going to be going away for a few day starting Tuesday. So there is a lot of things that have to be done before I go. I also have to work tomorrow, but I'm not complaining. I am planning on getting Sony's ebook Reader, and should have enough by my next paycheck. Then, perhaps I can get some more tatting books and threads. TattingChic is showing off some of her birthday gifts to herself, and a few of the books she got look really interesting.

I recently purchased a ball of Omega thread from Handy Hands (it looked like one that Gina was using that I really liked, but it wasn't the same). I am going to make another dragon with it to go in the mug as well. I'll keep you updated. That's all for now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Motifs For Tally-Ho Clunies or How I Finished the 25 Motif Challenge

I finished two motifs for the "Tally-Ho Clunies" event, which is for the HBT Tatting Olympics. Now, while neither one was difficult, I don't want them not to count towards the 25 Motif Challenge. So, I am going to count them. Here is motif # 25:

This is Mark's (aka Tatman) Hazel's Angel from his book "Tatted Gathering of Angels". It is done in DMC Cordonnet size 20 thread. While I'm not a very religious man, I really like the looks of Mark's angels in his book. I hope to make the 3D one for a few Christmas gifts this year.

Now, that I'm done the Challenge, I can start it again! Here is my first motif of my second 25 Motif Challenge:

This is Monica Hahn's Cluny Medallion from her book "Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns". I used Flora thread in colour number 230, size 20. I have always wanted to make this motif. I am so glad I did, it is a really nice and fairly simple motif. The only thing I might do different is to try to jump from round to round instead of cutting and tying at the end of each round.

Now, I'm sure you're all asking "What about the doily"? I am going to finish it, and it will be one of my motifs for the second time. I can't do one large project at a time. Some days, I think I have the attention span of a four year old. I like chocolate. Um, what are we talking about? OK, I'm kidding, it's not that short, but still. I like to mix small motifs and other interests in between the large projects. I have many "wanna-tats" that I have been putting off so I could work on my doily. This way, I can get some wanna-tats tatted and work on my doily, and have everything count.

Finally, for the plant loving tatters (and visiting non-tatters), here is a picture of my new bonsai:

From what I can tell this is Ficus retusa, or the Banyan or Ginseng Fig. I really like this plant (not too fond of the pot colour, but there were no blue ones), and the fact that it can be grown indoors year round is a big plus. I bought a Juniper bonsai a few years ago, but found out that it needs a cold dormancy that I couldn't provide. It died. That's all for now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quick Update

First of all, thanks to everyone who gave their opinion about whether or not I should continue the doily with the variegated thread. Here is my interpretation of the results:

7 were definitely yes for the variegated thread
3 were definitely no for the variegated thread
3 were undecided or could learn to like the variegated thread

I am impressed with the variety of reasons why people liked/disliked the way the variegated thread was working out. I have been processing all the opinions for the last few day, and have come to a conclusion.

I have decided that I will continue on with the variegated thread. And, no, I'm not joining the yes group and ganging up on the nos. The doily keeps growing on me. I am glad that more people liked the way the doily was coming along. I hope that the doily will look even better once finished, and perhaps, a few of the nos will change their minds.

I will continue to work on the doily next week. I am currently working on the "Tatting Olympics", doing the "Tally Ho Clunies" event. I hope to post my entries either Sunday or Monday, but I won't promise anything. I also recently purchased a Ficus bonsai that I will post a picture of the next time I post. That's all for now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Need Your Opinion

I started working on the third (and final) round of the Lucky Clover doily (a Blomquist and Persson pattern). For this round, I am using Accent thread in colour 04, Mediterranean Blues. Except for the slightly lighter blue, I don't know where the name comes from. It has purple and what appears to be black along with the blue in the colourway. It looks alright to me, but I want your opinion. Here is the doily with 1/4 of the third round complete:

Please, give me your honest opinions. Love it, let me know. Don't like how the variegated thread looks, let me know as well. I can remove what I have done so far if you all think it doesn't look right. I know this pattern looks great when done completely with variegated thread. I would like to remake the doily in King Tut thread later on. Not for a while probably as I have waaaaaaaaay too many other things I want to make first. So, to recap, post your honest opinions about how the doily looks with the variegated thread. You, my fellow tatters, can make a difference. You can choose the fate of the final round. I will wait for a day or two to give time for you to get your opinions posted.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that the negative space between rounds one and two look kinda like the head of a teddy bear? Maybe it's just me. Bye for now.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Doily Update & An Obvious Decision

You know, I shouldn't say when I plan on posting. That way I won't be late. Anyway, I have finished the second round of Lucky Clover. Here it is:

It's looking very nice, if I do say so myself. For the third round, I have decided to use a variegated thread: it is called Mediterranean Blues. The solid is Mediterranean Blue (no 's'). It's not an exact match, but its fairly close. I'll do a couple points and post again in a few days (famous last words...). If you guys don't think it looks good, I can still remove the variegated section and continue with the solid colour.

Now, my decision. I have made the obvious decision of making this doily (once finished, of course) my final motif in the 25 Motif Challenge. This has nothing to do the fact that I can't find the completed parts of the motif that was going to be #25. Honest, it doesn't! Once they are found, I'll finish the item and post a picture of it. That's all for now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some Cool Things To Show You

Well, I guess I didn't post three days in a row after all. I had a migraine yesterday and didn't feel like posting. I'm better now. Now, as the title says, I have some cool things to show you. They are tatting related.

First up, is my new tatting bag and shuttle pouch, made by our own Jane Eborall:

Isn't it cool? I'm sure you've seen this pattern before. I really like both of them. The bag will be much better than my current tatting container, which is a plastic food storage container. The pouch is nice in that it not only holds two of my Aero's, but it also holds the shuttle I got from Sherry (AKA Ladyshuttlemaker):

Here you can see my Agateware "Sherry Shuttle", as Jane called it, peeking out of the pouch. It fits nicely, but since the pouch isn't padded, I'm not going to keep it in there. Maybe Jane can make padded ones specifically for "Sherry Shuttles". Maybe not. Jane is way too busy.

While I was shopping at Herrschners for thread (I've spoiled myself with 6-cord thread and had to get more), I came across a couple really cool things that should be useable with tatting. The first item is a mouse pad. Yeah, you heard me right.

The mouse pad is designed for use with cross stitch, hence the really weird plastic cloth sticking out. Its sticking out because your's truly can't get it back in. The pad consists of a clear acrylic (possibly vinyl) material with a whitish/grayish vinyl material joined on three side. You then insert your item inside. When I saw it, I was sure it could be used with tatting. I was right:

Here you can see my Lucky Clover doily inside the mouse pad. My well used, 5-button, wireless optical mouse is modeling with the pad. I can't wait to make something to go inside the pad. I'll keep you posted when I get around to working on this.

The last thing I wanted to show you is this:

This mug is also designed to have something cross stitched and put inside. I believe the mug is acrylic (the clear part is anyway). Again it comes with the same plastic mesh as the mouse pad. I don't intend on using the mesh in either items. Again, when I start working on this, I'll keep you posted. That's all for now. I'll try to post Sunday. Maybe.

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