Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Tatting & Other Stuff

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate). My Christmas was really great. I went to my parents, where we had a pretty quiet Christmas. I did get some tatting done, which I will now show you.

The first motif is the one I told you about in my last post that needed some stiffening and shaping before I could show you.

This is the Bell Ornament from Heirloom Treasures in Tatting, an Annie's Attic Publication. This is a really nice pattern to tat. It is made in 11 rounds, and thus has 11 cut and ties. Utilizing split rings and chains, I reduced the number of cut & ties down to four. I could have done it in three, but I need to add some thread before beginning the eighth round. For this motif, I used Lizbeth size 20 in silver, #605. The last round has some silver beads, and I added some ribbon. And a little jingle bell inside. This is motif #10 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

My next piece is from Lene Bjørn's book 24 Snowflakes in Tatting.

This is The Third Day of Christmas snowflake. This is a nice snowflake to make. It isn't hard, and tats up pretty rapidly. I think I tatted the centre a little too tightly. I noticed after I made it that the centre chains are supposed to lie above the previous row, not behind them as I tatted it. I still think it is a really nice snowflake. One of these days I will have to tat the snowflake in Pamela's Rainbow Brite HDT. Thread stats: I used Lizbeth size 20, #663 (Dark Turquoise) for the centre and Lizbeth size 20 in colour #142, Turquoise Twist for the outer round. This will be motif #11.

The next snowflake is another snowflake from Lene Bjørn's book.

This is The Second Day of Christmas snowflake. This is a really nice snowflake, however it needed A Lot of blocking in order to make it look presentable. If lace could scream, I'm sure the neighbours would have called the police. OK, I may be exaggerating a bit. Thread stats: for this snowflake, I used Lizbeth size 20 in colour # 611, Gold. This will be motif #12 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

I did tat another motif, but I haven't scanned it yet. I'll have it ready for the next post. That's all for now. I'm hoping to get a little bit of tatting done tonight yet. I bought myself a copy of The Complete Fourth Series of Doctor Who, which I am currently watching (though, when you read this, I probably won't be). This is probably my favourite series/season of the new Doctor Who, however I don't like the way this series ends. I found it very unfortunate that the Doctor has to wipe Donna's mind. But that's just my opinion. I'll stop talking now, and will get to my tatting. Oh, before I forget, Be-Stitched is currently having a sale right now. Use the coupon code SALE2009 to get 20% off your entire order until Midnight Dec. 31. And yeah, I ordered more Lizbeth thread. VBG! Later.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas.

This has been a recording.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowflakes and Tatted Trees

I was kinda hoping to post a little earlier, but I guess I got a little busy. I have managed some tatting, which I will now show you. At least most of it. I have one piece that needs stiffening, and haven't done it yet. I will (hopefully) get pictures once it is finished.

The first tatted motif is a Jane Eborall original. It is, of course, Jane's Snowsettia,

This is a really cool pattern by our very own Jane Eborall. It isn't difficult, though there are a lot of split rings. And juggling four shuttles took some practice (and an extra arm or two would have been nice as well). I ended up placing the two unused shuttles in a small ziploc bag while tatting with the other two. I thought the colours I chose would look good, but the two "conjoined" snowflakes kinda blend together. I will be making this design again. I saw a really cool colour combo on another blog. This will be my 7th motif of my Third 25 Motif Challenge. Thread stats: I used Lizbeth size 20 in colour #116 (Christmas Delight) and DMC Cordonnet size 20 in white.

The next motif is one you should have seen on Pamela's blog. It is The Sixth Day of December from Lene Bjørn's book 24 Snowflakes in Tatting. I have had this book for a few years, but I have only made one snowflake from it. Like many others, Pamela has inspired me to try some of the patterns in the book. For this snowflake, I used Lizbeth size 20 in colour #656 Dark Wedgewood, one of the new colours of Lizbeth I recently bought. I love this colour! I bought it in both size 20 & 40. And its all mine! I'm not kidding. This is motif #8.

The last motif is another one that I'm quite certain you all have seen. It is Nancy Tracy's Tatted Tree:

I have made this pattern before, but I didn't get a decent photo of it. This is a really nice pattern to tat. It's not difficult, and easily deserves the beginner level Nancy has given it. I'm not sure you can tell, but I purposely made the picots somewhat uneven in length. Not dramatically, but enough that it should be noticeable. I thought the tree looks better with the picots uneven; its more realistic IMHO. For this motif, I used Flora size 20 thread in colour #230. This is motif #9 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

That's about all for now. I will be away from Dec. 23-26 for Christmas. I don't know if I will close my shop though. I think I will just put up an announcement on the front page. I will try to post again before I go. My parent don't have high speed yet. I hope to get a lot of tatting done, and I'll post about it when I get back. Till next time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mary Konior's Patchwork - Bookmark For TattingChic

Before I begin the tatting portion of this blog post, I want to make a quick shop announcement. I'll make it short. I have decided to offer free shipping to Canada and the United States for the month of December. Overseas shipping has been reduced by the US shipping amount. OK, enough of that. Time for the tatting.

My previous post was about the bookmark I received from TattingChic. This time I will show off the bookmark I made TattingChic. After scanning through websites and pattern books, I decided to use a motif from Mary Konior's Tatting With Visual Patterns. I chose "Patchwork".

The above motif was actually the third motif I made for Tattingchic's bookmark. However, on the third repeat, just before I was going to join it with the first two, I made a mistake-sorry, design variation. I made one of the large chains (at the top in the above photo) smaller than the other. I didn't want to retro-tat to fix the mistake-er, design variation, and I couldn't join it to the completed two motifs. So I just finished the motif. I'm sure I find some use for it.

You're probably wonder what the finished bookmark looks like. Well, here it is:

I really like how it came out. Please note: I don't remember if I blocked the bookmark before or after scanning. So it probably looks better than the above photo. Anyway, here are some stats for the bookmark. I used Lizbeth size 40 thread in colour #120 Denim Whisper. TattingChic likes pink and other "girly" colours, and this was as close I could get. I have to admit, I can't say I have ever owned anything denim with pink in it. I usually think of denim as shades of blue. But, its still a nice colourway. This will be #6 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

Finally I decided to treat myself to some more Lizbeth thread. I love this stuff! I wanted to get a few of the new colours that had been recently added to the growing list of colours. I would like to mention that Handy Hands isn't the only place to buy Lizbeth thread. Both DS9Designs and Be-Stitched carry Lizbeth. I ordered from DS9Designs since they also carry Superior Threads products such as King Tut and Perfect Quilter threads. But Be-Stitched has cheaper shipping options, which is nice when you only want a few balls of thread.

That's all for now. I was hoping to have the pattern by Jane finished, but I've spent the last few days working on chainmaille stuff for my shop. Hopefully I can do some tatting after work tomorrow. Later.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bookmark From TattingChic

I mentioned a while back that I was involved with a tatting exchange. Well, the exchange is over. We tatted, mailed our bookmarks, and the bookmarks have been received. As the title indicates, TattingChic was my exchange partner. This was a private exchange, by the way. I'm only going to show the bookmark I received today. I'll show off what I sent TattingChic in my next post.

Here is the bookmark I received from TattingChic, first the back:

And then the front:

Isn't it pretty? This is LaRae Mikulecky's Celtic Bookmark. TattingChic mentioned in the card she sent that the site that the pattern was located on has gone down. However, I did find the pattern in the Internet Archive. If you've never been here before, you simply type or copy&paste the link you want to find into the box with the large "Wayback Machine" logo and click the "Take Me Back" button. Here is the link to the above pattern. For the bookmark, TattingChic used Lizbeth size 20 in Denim and Light Medium Blue as well as an unidentified green in size 20. TattingChic chose the colours and the pattern to be as "manly" as possible. I think she did an awesome job. Thank you TattingChic!!!

TattingChic also sent a really cool card, which was also chosen for being the mostly manly, or (as she put it) the least girly she had. I love it too.

I'm not sure if you can see, but the buildings at the bottom has a really cool 3D look. The 3D effect is much more pronounced in real life. Thanks again TattingChic.

In unrelated news, I am toying with the idea of offering free shipping for my chainmaille jewelery and accessories for the month of December. I'm thinking the free shipping offer would apply for North America, but world shipping could be reduced by half or so. We'll see. Yeah, I know. December starts tomorrow.

That's all for now. I'll post again in a few days, showing the bookmark I made for TattingChic, and hopefully the Jane Eborall design that I should finish tonight. Later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gina's Gingerbread Boy

I love this pattern! Ever since I saw it, I wanted to tat it.

You'll probably want to click on the image to see it better. I'm not sure why, but I tend to get pretty funky scans when using a white background. I adjusted the image a bit to make it easier to see. The pattern is from our very own Gina B, The Tatting Goddess. There is a link on Gina's blog to get the pattern, you will need to click the esnips link at the top of Gina's "Patterns & Tutorials" list on her sidebar. The pattern isn't hard, but you do need to pay attention to it for the proper joins, and the outer round of chains and the frosting round are (kinda) free tatted (ie: Gina just gives approximate stitch counts, you will need to adjust them to your own tension). I should mention that I did make a few mistakes (I think, it still worked out). I joined the head to the wrong rings on the body. Gina mentioned that a join was needed on one beaded picot, but I didn't mark which one. This join caused the top beaded ring to become heart shaped. I also added the first eye between the wrong set of small and large rings, and my attempts at adding the second eye to match the first were wrong as well. However, I will be making this pattern again; I was going to give this one away, but I don't want to now. Some stats: I used Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour #692 brown and DMC Cordonnet size 20 white for the frosting. This will be #5 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

This is actually an important day for me. Two years ago, I contacted Gina for the first time about this pattern. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me two years to finally tat the pattern. Though I only tried the pattern three times; the second time was right after I contacted Gina. Both previous attempts were not completed. I am glad I finally tatted the Gingerbread Boy. Thank you Gina for the pattern. Till next time.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Chainmaille Project, and it Has Tatting

If you've been to my shop recently you may have seen what I am talking about. I am talking about my Byzantine Scissor Fobs:

I did a fairly exhaustive search of Etsy, and couldn't find anything like this, so I am confident that I am the first person (on Etsy, anyway) to have come up with this idea. The scissor fobs are actually a scaled back version of another idea of mine. My initial idea was a chainmaille Chatelaine, but I scraped that idea since I was unsure of how practical it would be. And plus, I have no need for one. Anyway, the above scissor fobs are made of aluminum and anodized (coloured) aluminum. The byzantine section is about 3.5 inches long with about 2 inches of plain chain to facilitate attachment to the scissors.

Now, many of you may be wondering where the tatting comes in, well, you see the large split ring on the end of the fob? You can use that to attach beads, trinkets, etc. to it. That includes tatting:

See? This is one of Marilee's Carnival Earrings added to my prototype scissor fob. Isn't it pretty? Assuming they sell well, I hope to add other chainmaille weaves to my scissor fob line.

That's all for now. My next post should be completely tatting related. Later

Friday, November 6, 2009

Featherline Snowflake

As usual, the title says it all. I finally managed to tat Jon's latest snowflake. Actually, I tatted it about a week ago, but am only now posting it. I won't keep you in suspense.

Actually, I will for a bit. I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post. I'm glad you all liked my costume, especially since I don't normally dress up (I really want to stress that). In case anyone is interested, the tutorial I used to make the horns can be found here. Not sure why anyone else would need to make horns but ......

Now for Featherline (click the name for the pattern). I might as well start with a photo:

I'll admit it up front; this is my second attempt at the pattern. And I didn't do it justice. I don't believe there is anything wrong with the pattern; it's me. I didn't follow the instructions. I followed the diagram. Now, I like diagrams; I prefer diagrams. And there isn't anything wrong with Jon's diagram, it's still me. You see, Jon made the snowflake, so that the centre is done using SCMRs and thrown off rings. You then tie and cut. Then the second round is tatted. I figured I could tat the snowflake continuously and jump from the centre to the second round with no tie and cut.

Well, you can. Was it worth it? Meh. You really can't tell where I split-ringed (there are three split rings) out of the centre to the next round. I can, but its my snowflake. I'm going to tat the snowflake again, probably in a different colour. Speaking of colour, the thread I used is Lizbeth size 20 in colour #605 Silver. Its not a metallic silver, though it would be totally cool if Lizbeth made a metallic thread. A guy can dream. I would think that this thread (and its gold counterpart, which I also have) would look awesome when used with a metallic filament thread. I'll have to try it sometime. In size 20 thread, the snowflake is about 3 inches from point to point. This will be #4 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

That's all for now. My next post probably won't be tatting related. I have been working on a new chainmaille product line. I won't give any details, except that its not jewelry. I want to get the pages for Etsy made first before posting here. I might be the first person to think of this idea. Till next time.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!

I figured I should do a quick post. As the title says:

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!

It still is Halloween (here anyways). To be honest with you, I really don't like Halloween. I know I can almost hear the screams of horror from those of you who like the holiday. I guess I outgrew the holiday many years ago. Until today.

My workplace encouraged those of us who had to work today to dress up. And, there was going to be a contest. After some thought I did dress up.

Subtle, isn't it? Dressing up made the day quite enjoyable. In case you're wondering, I made the tail and the horns. The horns were made using polymer clay (Fimo), and attached to my head with a black cord. A lot of people (customers and co-workers alike) wondered how the horns were attached. Unless you stood fairly close to me, you couldn't see the cord. The costume turned out better than I though, especially since I altered my original idea. I had wanted to get a red jacket to wear, with the horns growing out of a hat. But the used clothing store I visited didn't have red jackets or suitable hats, so a black jacket was chosen and I opted to not wear a hat. And oddly, a lot of people (mostly co-workers) commented how the costume was very appropriate. I just can't figure out why.

That's all for today. I do have some tatting to show, but its not Halloween related, so I'll make another post about it soon. Later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Magic Moments & Jasmine

I'm still here. And I have been tatting. Mostly. An early October snow brought on a bout of crochet; but that has mostly disappeared, along with the snow. For now. In case you're wondering, I started another sweater from the Crochet Dude's book, using an Alpaca/Acrylic blend bulky yarn that I have been hoarding all summer.

Onwards to the tatting. I have a number of projects in progress but I'm only going to show one right now. I made my mom a bunch of earrings for her birthday, but I'll make a separate post for them. Another project is a bookmark exchange, but I obviously can't show that yet. So I'll move on to the snowflake.

As the title suggests, I tatted another of Jon's Magic Moments snowflakes. Here it is:

Ain't it perdy? What was that? No, this isn't the same one I made before. See for yourself:

See? The new one is on the left, and the one I made before is on the right. I guess I should explain. The new snowflake (the one on the left) was made using Lizbeth size 40 thread while the one on the right was made with size 20 Lizbeth. Both were made using colour #116 Christmas Delight. I think I mentioned it before, but I'll say it again: I love this colourway! I guess its because I really like the traditional Christmas colours and that brings thoughts of a traditional Christmas. But its too early (in my mind anyways) to go into too much detail about Christmas right now (I'll save my rant of Christmas vs. Holiday for another time). Anyway, I noticed that Jon has another new snowflake pattern on her pattern blog and I want to make that one as well.

Finally, the title also suggests something about Jasmine. I am, of course, referring to the plant. About a month ago, I bought a Jasmine plant while I was at the Home Depot. The plant I bought wasn't in flower, though it did have a lot of dried out buds attached to the plant. Here is a photo of the plant a few days ago:

You can see quite a few developing buds on the plant. And several buds opened as well, see here:

As you might imagine, the fragrance is absolutely magnificent. I can't describe it. And it's strong; a single flower fills an entire room with its perfume. Since the plant was simply labeled 'Jasmine', I did some research on a proper ID for the plant. From what I can find out (and this is based mainly on the flowers), I believe this particular Jasmine is Jasminum sambac 'Maid of Orleans'. But, if I'm wrong about the ID, the plant's fragrance is still heavenly.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for the "Earring Post", coming soon. Later.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Tatting Book Post - Finally

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who sent their condolences and prayers. My Grandma was very proud of my tatting, and was easily my second biggest fan. She will be missed. I have made her many tatted items as well as an equal (or even greater) amount of crocheted items. Now that she's gone, I really want to get at least some of the larger items (particularly the tatting) back. Hopefully that doesn't make me insensitive or anything, but as far as I'm concerned they wouldn't mean anything to anyone else. I will have to design something in her memory. Since its getting colder out now, perhaps a snowflake would be ideal.

As I mentioned earlier, I purchased some new tatting books recently. The first book is one that I know some of you have already. Its one of Jon Yusoff's books.

Jon even included a cute little tatted snowflake:

There are lots of really pretty snowflakes in this book. So you will be seeing plenty of snowflakes in the coming weeks. Thank you Jon for writing this book.

My next two new books were purchased together. I found them on eBay. The first one is another book some of you may have.

I know. I mainly shuttle tat, but I thought it would be nice to have this book as a reference. I have done some needle tatting, but I wanted a good offline reference. This is the book I wanted in the auction, and in case you wondered, the cost of the two books plus shipping was cheaper than the above book is when new (and without shipping). I am quite pleased with this purchase.

The final book is one that I haven't heard of before.

This is basically a book of older tatting books. It contains such books as Priscilla Tatting Book No. 1, plus four other books. There are a number of cool designs I'll have to try sometime.

I haven't done much tatting since the funeral, but its more of a lack of time rather than a lack of desire. I had purchased some Lizbeth size 40 thread that I am currently using in several projects. Once they are done I'll show you.

One more thing before I go. You may remember the Tillandsia that I blogged about back in June. If not here is a refresher:

Well, a few weeks after this picture was taken, the plant turned completely green again and then went back to doing nothing. Or so I thought. (Insert dramatic music here.) I usually just spray the plant with water while misting the other plants and think nothing of it. A couple days ago, I thought the plant could use a good soaking so I went ahead and did so. Here is what I saw when I did:

I am so proud of the plant. I was kinda hoping for more than one offset, but one will do. I have several other bromeliads, enough to do a whole post on them. Heck, I can even make it tatting related. Hmmmm (stroking beard), that's not a bad idea. Look for that in the near future; though I'll have to get my butt in gear in order for that to work. That's all I have right now. Later.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Tatting Post This Week

Well, at least not for the next several days. Due to a death in the family, I will be away until Wednesday sometime. My paternal Grandmother lost her battle to cancer on Friday. I may try to do some tatting while I am away. Grandma would have wanted me too; she was very supportive of my tatting, and proudly shared this fact to her friends.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chinese Dragon Invasion!!!!!!

From the title, I'm sure you can guess what I tatted lately. Yup, you would be correct to assume it was the newest dragon pattern to enter Tatland.

Please click on the photo to enlarge it. This is Anne Bruvold's Chinese Dragon. See the blog post here for the pattern. This is a magnificent piece to tat. The instructions were easy to follow (my "guy" mind skipped over a few critical parts, but that's me and not the pattern). I stayed up late a couple nights in a row so I could keep working on the pattern. I loved watching the dragon take shape. I did make a few mistakes, er, design variations. I seemed to have skipped over the sentence in the pattern where it states where to begin joining onto the Sun. It should be rotated 90 degrees. But I like the way it is. I also skipped over the part of the pattern where the second leg was supposed to be tatted. I happily tatted a good 4 or 5 rings and chains past the point. I had to cut 4 or 5 rings and reattach the thread. I fortunately didn't have to cut the second shuttle thread. I used Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour # 142 (Turquoise Twist). In size 20 thread, the dragon is about 8 1/2 inches long from the nose to the tip of the tail, and about 4 inches tall. I plan on tatting the dragon again. I think it would look gorgeous if tatted with a metallic thread. I'm thinkin' Oren Bayan metallic thread in green, red or blue. I'll have to order some in one or more of those colours. This will be Motif #3 of my Third 25 Motif Challenge.

I know. I was going to post about the new tatting book I got, but it will have to wait until next time. On the plus side, I can also blog about the new thread I purchased recently, and about the two tatting books I found on ebay this weekend. Till next time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Test-Tatting For Linda, Part 2

Howdy. I finally got around to posting about the second flower that I test-tatted for Linda Davies. This time, the flower is a freesia. If you're not sure what a freesia is, here is a photo from Wikipedia:

As with the previous post, here are a few photos of the flowers in various stages of construction:

As always, Linda's sense of realism is impressive. She didn't make just one size of flower, but three plus an unopened bud. Many of Linda's patterns contain flowers of different sizes. When put together, the finished flowers look quite realistic. The finished freesia is no exception:

Here is the finished freesia flowers (posing with my young date palm seedlings). The individual flowers are quick to tat, and is simple enough for beginner tatters. While each flower is pretty on it's own, the beauty of the flower comes from the sum of its parts. Once put together, the freesia looks much more beautiful than the individual flowers and it looks far more complicated than it really is. The flowers were made with Flora size 20 thread in colour numbers 204 (yellow) and 221 (red). I am going to call this motif #2 of my Third(!) 25 Motif Challenge. The daffodils were number 1.

I'll leave you now with a pretty plant photo. It is a small variegated vine, and I have no idea what it is. If anyone knows, please let me know in the comments. Thanks. I should be able to post again early next week, since I have a new tatting book in my possession. Till next time.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Test-Tatting For Linda, Part 1

As I mentioned in the previous post, Linda Davies asked me to do some test-tatting for her. Actually, I think I offered first, but anyhow, I have been working on tatting a couple of Linda's new flower patterns. These are, I believe, for a new book Linda is working on.

I started with Linda's very pretty Daffodil. Here are a couple of photos of the finished pieces. I have kept the images small to help protect Linda's pattern.

The top photo shows the individual parts of the flower. The second photo is, of course, the completed daffodil. I used some of the pearl cotton that my brother got for me. It worked very well, and the cream colour makes a very nice looking flower. I really like this pattern. Linda's methods for creating the different flower parts, and her construction methods (layering, usage of beads, etc) make for some realistic flowers. I liked the pattern so much, that I made a second flower:

This daffodil is made using a "modern" pearl cotton, ie: one that I bought a few months ago. The pattern is straight forward and many flowers could be made is a fairly short time. A whole bouquet would look awesome (I know what someone is getting for Mother's Day next year! Or for her birthday in a few months).

I am currently working on another of Linda's new patterns. I should be done tomorrow, and after I send her any errors or changes that I feel need to be corrected, or made (don't worry Linda, I haven't found anything major), I will post about it soon after. Well, that all for now, I'll leave you with a photo of the two daffodils together. Until next time.