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.