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.


  1. Your snowflake is lovely! Thanks for the link to the group, I had no idea there was a celtic tatting group! Very cool. Your beanile lace pendant is absolutely gorgeous! I have some of Nina Libin's beanile lace books and I haven't attempted anything, yet! Awesome possum!

  2. Thanks for the compliments Chiclet. Ruth's Celtic tatting group is where it's at if you like Celtic Tatting. I have to admit, I have several of Nina's BEANILE lace books (ebooks, actually) and I have only made a few things from them as well. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. So, at long last somebody else has joined me in the looney bin!!! Working with invisible thread is the best qualification to become a member of the 'Society of Looney Tatters'!!!!!
    Heh, heh, heh!!!!!

  4. The snowflake is lovely and your pendant is ... WOW!

  5. I love both snowflakes... the Nancy Tracy one looks like ice! I love Nina's books too, although I've only tatted designs from her original book so far. I wonder where I put that book? Great job, Jeff!

  6. Once more you have done some beautiful tatting, no wonder your mother loved the pendant.
    I am so impressed too, that you have been able to tat with invisible threads, I know what a pain it is when I try to put my motifs on the bangles with this thread. I would never have dreamed of using it for tatting. Pity you can not explain how you managed not to get into a fight with four of those strands of thread - I hope that is the right explanation, lol.
    Very well done.

  7. Thanks for the nice compliments everyone.

    At least I'll be in good company Jane.

    You know Diane, the Nancy Tracy snowflake does look like it is made out of ice. Cool!

    Actually Susanne, it wasn't that difficult to manage the four strands. The second time! I'll explain later.

  8. I have not tried invisible thread tatting. Brave soul, you are. LOL!

    I need to practice more celtic stuff. My fingers always seem like thumbs in the process, but if I tried using the bigger thread that Ruth does it with, I'd probably get the hang of it better!

  9. Brave soul, or completely insane!

    Ruth's designs do work better if done in larger thread the first time you attempt them. Then you can move on to finer thread.